Categories
Brooks

BROOKS LEVITATE 5 REVIEW

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

THE BUZZ

The Brooks Levitate 5 is a neutral-oriented everyday training shoe with a springy, energetic vibe. It’s a model designed for casual runners who appreciate a shoe that combines a comfortable fit, moderate structure and a responsive ride.

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The fit of the Levitate 5 has been updated with a more accommodating interior shape and a new circular knit engineered mesh upper.

DNA AMP midsole material is a soft, lively polyurethane-based foam encased in a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) skin that resists horizontal expansion. Because the midsole cannot expand laterally, it expands vertically which results in a spring-like effect in every step.

The new engineered circular knit upper material provides breathability and ensures a more flexible, accommodating fit, especially on the run. It’s soft and comfortable in the forefoot while providing just enough structure to lock down your feet to the chassis of the shoe.

The arrow-point pattern of the one-piece durable rubber outsole lets your foot move quickly from heel to toe. This enhances the shoe’s springy feel while also durable and reliable traction.

There’s a small decoupling channel under the rear of the shoe. This helps to absorb shock and keep the foot moving forward, while six grooves in the forefoot promote flexibility.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Levitate 5 fits true to size with medium to narrow interior volume from heel to toe. It feels comfortably secure in the heel and arch/saddle. It’s a bit compact in the toe box — although the new stretchy upper material is pleasantly soft and accommodating across the forefoot and it feels less restrictive on the run.

The step-in feel is cozy and soft, thanks to a nicely padded heel collar, thick tongue and premium sock liner. The lively vibe of the midsole is evident the moment you lace up the shoes and start running. The ride is soft, bouncy and very responsive with an energy-returning sensation in every stride.

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The Levitate 5 is ideal for runners who appreciate a well-cushioned shoe that absorbs shock and puts a spring in your step.

It’s a versatile everyday trainer for slow to moderately fast running paces over any distance. It’s not light or peppy enough for the fastest paces you’re capable of running.

If you’re a novice to intermediate runner or an occasional runner who runs 20 to 40 miles per week, there’s a good chance you’ll love this shoe.

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

BROOKS LEVITATE 5 PROS

The bouncy feeling of the midsole has helped change the game about the level of responsiveness you could expect in an everyday trainer. It’s not the super-fast sensation of a carbon-plate racing shoe, but more of a resilient feeling that matches your cadence.

Our wear-test team expects this to be is a highly durable shoe. The DNA Amp foam, new upper material and outsole rubber — as well as how the shoe is constructed — should accommodate high-mileage running without excessive wear and tear.

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

BROOKS LEVITATE 5 CONS

The only minor drawback of the Levitate 5 is that it’s slightly heavier than some everyday training shoes. It features a high-quality materials package, but it’s just not as light as what you’ll find it other models.

BROOKS LEVITATE 5 TECH SPECS

Brooks Levitate 5 Tech Specs

SHOP LEVITATE 5

Mens Brooks Levitate 5

MEN’S LEVITATE 5 – COMING SOON
Women's Brooks Levitate 5

WOMEN’S LEVITATE 5 – COMING SOON

Categories
On Running Reviews

2021 ON CLOUDFLOW REVIEW

On Cloudflow Review

THE BUZZ

Now it its third edition, the On Cloudflow is a lightweight, low-to-the-ground neutral training shoe designed for efficient, quick-cadence running.

It’s built with On’s Cloud cushioning technology and features a semi-firm plate embedded in the midsole that loads each stride with shock-absorbing cushioning and a jolt of energy for a smooth, snappy ride.

On Cloudflow Review

WHAT’S NEW

The biggest updates to the On Cloudflow are a better-fitting heel cup and new engineered mesh upper made from 70 percent recycled materials.

The ultralight Helion midsole superfoam provides a fast, responsive feeling with fully cushioned road protection and exceptional durability. Unlike some midsole materials that falter in hot or cold weather, the Helion cushioning performs equally as well in all temperatures without losing its performance qualities.

The heel cup has been improved to make the rearfoot fit feel more precise and locked down. It gives the Cloudflow a reassuringly secure sensation that contributes to its performance-oriented agility, especially when cornering or running hills at faster speeds.

With small sections of grippy rubber and an enhanced traction pattern on the bottom of most of the Cloud pods, the Cloudflow’s outsole serves up exceptional hold for agile and reliable road running. Although a few pods have exposed foam facing the ground, it doesn’t affect the long-timer durability or performance of the shoe.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Cloudflow fits true to size with a medium-volume interior, an improved fit in the heel, a secure connection at the arch/saddle area and just enough wiggle room in the forefoot.

When you step into these shoes and lace them up, you’ll feel a unique sensation of comfort and precision that comes from the cleanly designed upper and soft but spartan interior that securely holds your feet in place.

The ride is moderately soft and buttery smooth, with an easy-flexing demeanor that’s energized by the semi-firm polypropylene Speedboard embedded in the midsole.

It’s not an overly cushy ride compared to other shoes, but it’s soft enough to reduce the impacts of the ground while also promoting efficient running form.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who prefer a moderate level of cushioning with an intuitive feel for the ground will love the new Cloudflow. Its lightweight, energetic and agile vibe is ideal for all types of up-tempo running, including fartlek workouts, interval sessions and short-distance racing.

Although it’s best for shorter and faster running, it could serve as a long-run shoe or everyday trainer for runners who are light on their feet and appreciate a proprioceptive connection to the ground.

ON CLOUDFLOW PROS

On’s Cloud cushioning technology is the most unique midsole configuration in the running shoe industry. It’s comprised of 18 individually shaped CloudTec pods under each foot that offer a high level of cushioning and responsiveness while allowing your feet to roll naturally and consistently from heel to toe.

The cleanly designed engineered mesh upper not only creates a more streamlined look, but it offers seamless comfort and connectivity at higher speeds. Plus, the Cloudflow makes a strong environmental statement, given that the upper is made of 70 percent polyester content and the overall composition is comprised of 20 percent recycled material.

The clean, almost artful design of the Cloudflow creates amazing aesthetic appeal. The look, feel and comfort make it one of those shoes you want to wear when you’re not running.

On Cloudflow Review

ON CLOUDFLOW CONS

The Cloudflow doesn’t have the depth or soft bounciness of some other training shoes available at JackRabbit.com. If you don’t like a shoe with a low-to-the-ground, semi-firm feeling, consider the On Cloud X for a more cushioned ride.

SHOP ON CLOUDFLOW

On Cloudflow Review

ON CLOUDFLOW TECH SPECS

MEN’S 2021 ON CLOUDFLOW – COMING SOON
On Cloudflow Review
WOMEN’S 2021 ON CLOUDFLOW – COMING SOON

Categories
Saucony

SAUCONY TRIUMPH 19 REVIEW

Triumph 19 Review

THE BUZZ

The Saucony Triumph 19 is a neutral-oriented premium everyday trainer with a plush interior, a soft, mildly responsive midsole and an idyllic, smooth-riding demeanor.

The Triumph 19 is very similar to last year’s edition, except that it’s lighter and more breathable.

Saucony Triumph 19 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The Triumph 19 has a new mono-mesh upper that has improved the breathability and a new lacing system with an articulated eye-row that creates an adaptive, semi-custom fit. Best of all, this edition is a full ounce lighter than the previous version.

The thick PWRRUN+ midsole and an additional layer of the foam in the top sole, combined with the soft, contoured EVA sockliner, create a supremely plush sensation with a feeling of bottomless cushioning. It’s not mushy soft, but instead it’s dense, supportive and durable with a touch of responsiveness — though not nearly as much as its cousins in Saucony’s Endorphin line.

The Triumph 19 not only provides long-haul comfort for less stressful long runs, but our wear-testers found that it also helps your legs recover quicker without as much soreness the next day.

The new mono-mesh upper offers a nice blend of comfort and support, while the perforations in the toe box provide enhanced breathability. It features Saucony’s FormFIT technology and a new articulated eye-row pattern in the lacing system that combine to allow for an optimally personalized fit around the shape of your feet.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Truimph 19 fits true to size with a medium to low volume interior from the heel through the midfoot area, with a slightly roomier forefoot that allows your toes to wiggle and flex. (The fit is noticeably improved from the Triumph 18, which was a bit sloppy in the forefoot.)

The step-in feel is divinely comfortable — as soft and cushy as any shoe available this year. The new mono-mesh upper and gusseted tongue provide a wrap-like fit that keeps your feet comfortably secured to the midsole chassis.

The PWRRUN+ midsole serves up a ride that is soft and compliant and mildly energetic, which is a great combination for this workhorse daily trainer.

The bottom line is that it’s an impressively cushioned shoe that feels soft and a little bit springy when your foot hits the ground, then rolls smoothly through the midfoot to the toe-off phase.

Saucony Triumph 19 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who log mid- to high-mileage weeks in training will love this shoe for its cushy comfort, smooth ride and modest energy return. It’s best for short to long runs up at slower to moderate paces.

It could be used for tempo runs, but it doesn’t provide enough inherent energy return to be a speed shoe for faster workouts or short-distance racing.

Saucony Triumph 19 Review

SAUCONY TRIUMPH 19 PROS

The Triumph 19 fits a lot better from heel to toe than its predecessor, due to a sleeker shape, better upper material and more supportive heel cup. While the interior is very padded, it’s smoother and more conducive to a locked-down fit than the excessively cushioned and somewhat sloppy interior of the Triumph 18.

The reduced weight of the Triumph 19 is noticeable and appreciated and makes it slightly more versatile and conducive to up-tempo paces. Most importantly, though, it just improves the overall vibe of the shoe as a durable and reliable daily trainer.

The XT-900 carbon rubber outsole is durable and mildly soft, which means it will endure all of the miles you’ll willing to rack up in this shoe. The reconfigured flex grooves help make the shoe a bit more pliable, which contributes to the smooth ride.

Saucony Triumph 19 Review

SAUCONY TRIUMPH 19 CONS

The rope-like laces are not nearly as effective at providing a precise fit as flat laces. 

SAUCONY TRIUMPH 19 TECH SPECS

Saucony Triumph 19 Tech Specs

SHOP TRIUMPH 19



Men's Saucony Triumph 19

MEN’S TRIUMPH 19 – COMING SOON


Women's Saucony Triumph 19
WOMEN’S TRIUMPH 19 – COMING SOON

Categories
hoka one one Reviews

HOKA ONE ONE RINCON 3 REVIEW

Hoka One One Rincon 3 Review

THE BUZZ

Light, cushy and fast, the Hoka One One Rincon 3 is a lively and versatile neutral-oriented shoe at a budget-friendly price. It has an exceptional cushion-to-weight ratio and serves up an easy-rolling ride.

The Rincon 3 is a great shoe for long runs, speedier workouts and recovery jogs. It can be an everyday training shoe or your shoe of choice for up-tempo running.

Hoka Rincon 3 Review

WHAT’S NEW

Although the updates to the Rincon 3 seem minor, small changes to the midsole, outsole and upper have made a noticeable impact.

The best aspect about those changes is that it’s made the Rincon 3 nearly a half-ounce lighter than the previous version, which is pleasantly surprising given the how light and agile the Rincon 2 felt.

The single-layer compression molded EVA midsole offers excellent shock absorption, ample softness and a touch of responsiveness. While the midsole/outsole geometry is the same as the previous edition, the chassis has been tweaked with some new midsole foam sculpting for more consistent compression and a notch off the back of the heel for lateral decoupling.

The Rincon features a thin, smooth a very lightly padded tongue with an asymmetrical design that allows for optimal fit on each foot. It’s not gusseted but it does promote a snug, comfortable fit over the top of the foot.

The new upper is only slightly different than the previous edition, but its sleeker and provides a more secure fit than that of the Rincon 2 and is similarly ventilated. The biggest change to the upper is the heel pull tab, which is now made from a thin, sturdy cord instead of a wide fabric band.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Rincon 3 fits true to size and similar to last year’s edition, with a medium volume from heel to toe. There’s a snug and secure feeling in the heel and at the arch/saddle area, but it’s slightly roomier in the forefoot for the toes to wiggle and splay.

The interior is comfortable but not overly padded or plush, just some extra padding in the rear foot and around the heel collar. The first thing you notice when you lace up a pair of Rincon 3 is how well-cushioned they are, but also how impossibly light and nimble they feel.

The midsole is squishy soft, but the ride is very lively and agile. It doesn’t produce a bouncy sensation, but more of a fluid, rolling motion that comes from the rockered geometry of the outsole-midsole undercarriage.

It is exquisitely soft and smooth from heel to toe, with a mildly responsive feeling in every stride.

Hoka Rincon 3 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate featherweight training shoes with a lot of cushioning will love the Rincon 3. It has the rare combination of near-maximal cushioning and a light and zesty vibe that inspires quick-cadence running.

It’s comfortable for long runs and quick and agile enough for any type of faster workout, from tempo runs to short intervals, or even short races.

Hoka Rincon 3 Review

HOKA RINCON 3 PROS

It’s hard to believe a shoe with this much cushioning can be this light. HOKA somehow made this shoe a tad lighter than last year, and that’s great news because lighter is always better. The weight savings came from more aggressive midsole sculpting and cutouts to reduce the amount of material, the new outsole rubber configuration and a more streamlined upper.

HOKA has continued to revise its early-state rocker geometry for quicker heel-toe transitions, giving the Rincon 3 edition a slightly quicker and faster feeling. It doesn’t have the energy return as some of its contemporaries with carbon-fiber plates or advanced foams, but few shoes are as effortlessly smooth as this one.

The outsole of the Rincon 3 actually has a similar amount of durable rubber as the previous editions, but it is spread out over a new zonal pattern for greater durability and more effective traction. Like the previous versions of the shoe, there is a lot of exposed foam under the foot, but it’s not located in high-impact areas so excessive wear shouldn’t impact the ride or performance of the shoe.

At just $115, the Rincon 3 offers a lot of bang for the buck. It’s high on value and long on comfort and performance for a fraction of the price of some of its contemporaries. It doesn’t skimp on quality, but instead benefits from a stripped-down design ethos that eliminates unnecessary materials to ensure the Rincon 3 has a lightweight and lithe demeanor.

Hoka Rincon 3 Review

HOKA RINCON 3 CONS

There aren’t any major drawbacks to the Rincon 3, but it’s important to note that it doesn’t offer much in the way of structure or support, so it’s only recommended for runners with a neutral gait who are light on their feet.

Also, if it’s used as a daily trainer, the long-term durability will likely be shortened as is common with most lightweight shoes.

HOKA RINCON 3 TECH SPECS

Hoka Rincon 3 Tech Specs

SHOP HOKA RINCON 3

Mens Rincon 3

MEN’S RINCON 3 – COMING SOON
Women's Rincon 3
WOMEN’S RINCON 3 – COMING SOON

Categories
Brooks Reviews

BROOKS GHOST 14 REVIEW

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

THE BUZZ

The Brooks Ghost 14 is a neutral-oriented everyday trainer that’s become one of the best-selling running shoes in recent years because it’s so amazingly soft, cushioned and comfortable.

No matter what your ability or experience level, it’s hard not to love the cushy comfort of the Ghost. 

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The biggest structural update to the new Ghost is the addition of a full-length DNA Loft foam midsole. This is combined with a segmented crash pad and improved 3D Fit technology in the upper. This results in the most flexible, smoothest-fitting and most energetic version of the shoe yet.

But the biggest update is that Brooks has made efforts to make the Ghost 14 a carbon-neutral shoe, which means it’s a shoe with soft, light ride and an even lighter footprint.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Ghost 14 fits true to size and has a medium volume from heel to toe, although it feels slightly more snug in the midfoot/arch area. The step-in feel is exceptionally soft and luxurious — in fact, softer than ever — and it remains one of the most comfortable everyday training shoes available on the market.

A slightly updated engineered mesh upper and a modified lacing system create a more compact and even more cozy fit for a variety of foot shapes.

The ride is very similar to the previous versions of the Ghost — buttery soft, elegantly smooth and extremely shock-absorbing. The full-length DNA Loft midsole serves up a springy, energetic vibe in every stride, making it more conducive to faster-paced running than previous versions of the shoe.

The toe-off sensation feels less mushy and more snappy than previous versions. But the most important feature of the Ghost 14 is the comfortable ride from the first mile to the last.

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who enjoy soft, smooth-riding shoes will love the Ghost 14, especially for longer runs.

It’s better at slow to moderately paced running efforts — long runs, recovery runs and other easier runs during the week — but the more energetic midsole gives it just enough versatility for beginners to be a do-everything shoe.

It’s not light enough of quick enough to be adept at quick-cadence running for faster workouts, but it can hold its own for tempo runs and longer fartlek-style intervals.

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

PROS

How does a running shoe become carbon neutral? Brooks is purchasing high-quality carbon offsets to account for the residual emissions in shoe manufacturing. The brand is trying to make an immediate impact by offsetting emissions from the Ghost, its highest-selling shoe. In addition to reducing the product’s environmental impact by incorporating recycled materials, Brooks is purchasing carbon offsets from projects that meet strict criteria for making a meaningful difference in addressing climate change.

The Ghost 14 is the first carbon-neutral shoe in the brand’s new 2030 planet strategy, a science-backed approach that will take responsibility for the impact the brand has on the environment. Brooks’ commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 will be achieved by first reducing emissions in line with climate science, with Brooks’ Science-Based Targets to reduce carbon emissions.

If you ran in the Ghost 12 or Ghost 13, you’ll love the Ghost 14. The updated edition of the Ghost is virtually the same weight as last year’s model, but the Ghost 14 is softer and noticeably more responsive.

The new engineered mesh upper material is softer and more pliable, but the toe box has a similar shape and feeling as previous editions. Bottom line? It’s just more comfortable and accommodating.

The outsole has been updated with a minor adjustment in the flex gloves and positioning of carbon rubber segments in the rear and blown rubber in the forefoot to optimize flexibility without compromising cushioning or traction. The decoupling of the heel has been moved further back, creating smoother heel-toe transitions.

Although it’s a neutral shoe and definitely not intended for runners who overpronate, the Ghost 14’s improved upper and lacing system combine with the midsole/outsole chassis and wide footprint to create an inherently stable ride.

There aren’t many shoes available this year that provide as much all-around comfort as the Ghost 14. The interior feel and soft, resilient foam package feel as good in the later miles of a long run as they do in the very first mile.

If you’re looking for a shoe that looks good, feels good and runs smoothly, you should definitely try on a pair of Ghost 14.

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

CONS

The Ghost 14 doesn’t have a lot spunk. It can handle tempo runs and moderately fast long runs, but it’s not a shoe that you’ll want to run fast for longer periods of time.

TECH SPECS

SHOP BROOKS GHOST 14

Mens Brooks Ghost 14

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Womens Brooks Ghost 14
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Categories
Training

STRENGTH TRAINING FOR RUNNERS: PART 2

Strength Training for Runners with Kevin Purvis
This is the second of a six-part series about strength training for runners with Kevin Purvis, a renowned strength coach based in Boulder, Colorado.

Continued: Understanding your base level of strength and mobility

By Brian Metzler

JR: How do recreational age-group athletes different from elite athletes from a strength training point of view?

KP: “For recreational or age-group runners who are typically working 40 hours a week, their strength training is less about the performance side and more about building a strong, structured base. That means unwinding everything else that goes on in their daily life in order to put them in position to handle the load of running.

If we’re talking about a professional runner, we want to make sure they have the basic health components in place, but we know they don’t have hours upon hours of sitting at a desk, for example. For them, it’s about finding what we can do to find that next 1 percent that might put them on the podium.”

JR: How can recreational or age-group athletes get the most out of strength training?

KP: “As I develop a program for an athlete, we start from a point of view that it has to fit into the schedule of their daily lives. I could write out what I think makes the most sense, but if two weeks into it that athlete says, ‘I just can’t get all of this done,’ it just won’t make sense or be practical.

So I start by asking how much time that person can dedicate to this process. I don’t want the perfect world scenario, I ask them for what will practically fit into their schedule. If that means on a Tuesday they only have 10 minutes of time, I will create a plan that includes 10 minutes of strength and mobility work for that day that I feel is important based on that movement screen. Also, I make sure to align with the athlete’s running coach to make sure where we put things in their schedule coincides with their run training and as they’re going into and out of races.

It should be part of a runner’s overall training, not considered ‘extra stuff’ that’s only done with a ‘if I can get to it’ mentality. But it has to fit within the overall philosophy of the running program. All programs and coaches are different, which is why I reach out to a runner’s coach so I can maximize whatever needs to be accomplished.”

JR: How often should a runner be doing some kind of strength and mobility work?

KP: That depends on a lot of things. If someone is a three-time-a-week runner and maybe just starting out, they might not need seven days a week of strength and mobility work. But if the runners is running six to seven days a week or training for a specific marathon in the fall with a time goal, we’ll want to ‘touch on the body’ almost every single day.

In other words, some kind of strength or mobility work every day, even if it’s brief. And the reason for that is that you need a strong platform to carry you through the rigors of a marathon training build-up.

There’s a common scenario that happens four to six weeks out from a marathon in which a lot of runners start talking about they’re hobbled from a sore hamstring issue that just started bothering them.

In most cases, it didn’t start then, it started at the beginning of their marathon build-up because of how they were moving and where their body started to break down as the training load increased. Those things can be understood from that initial assessment period and addressed before they become an issue late in your marathon training program.

JR: How long of a window should a runner or triathlete expect to do strength and mobility training before seeing results?

KP: “I generally look at the first two-week window as a jump-start to attack anything we found in the movement screen. Some people won’t touch any weights for traditional lifting exercises because we need to clean up and create a better base before we start to put more strength on top of that base.

From there, the body typically adapts in three-week windows, which is why very traditional approaches to linear periodization has three weeks of building followed by a fourth week of backing off slightly. So we might start building that way, depending on where that athlete is in their season or how close they are to their race.

But the more time we have, the better. Ideally, building a base level of strength during an offseason when there isn’t a buildup to a specific race can be very beneficial because that strength can later be then converted into useable strength for that individual’s specific goals for a race and even the specific aspects of the race course, for example, if it’s either hilly or flat.

We can’t just keep doing the same thing or build strength just to build strength. We can’t have a runner with a super strong dead lift and assume that dead life will benefit that marathoner in the last 5K to 10K of a marathon. So what we’ll do is change the techniques to get closer to mimicking the kind of stress they’ll have in a race.

So for a marathoner, we’ll develop some maximum strength early in the process with a range of 4 to 6 reps with a lot of weight and resistance, but once we start to get closer to a race, we’ll have them start to do some circuits that might have a 40 percent load much longer in duration. It’s less of a load but they’ll be doing the exercise for a lot longer.”

JR: What are some of the indicators of improved strength for a runner or triathlete?

KP: “Ultimately clean movement is what I’m looking for, or what I call ‘being more connected,’ in which there is good reciprocating energy and where the athlete isn’t leaking energy out all over the place.

That’s what I notice, but what the runner will sense is that they’re running faster even though they aren’t working any harder. And that’s the efficiency component that we’re looking for.

You might realize you’re not breaking down after your 10th 400 on the track or you might notice that you felt more solid throughout the entire duration of a tempo run. That’s a sign that you’ve got a stronger and more stable base or chassis so you can maximize your engine.”

JR: Why is strength and mobility work necessary to improve running form? Can’t a runner just focus on doing more drills?

KP: “Run form deviations don’t come out of nowhere. There’s always a reason for why something is happening. In a lot of cases, a runner will go through a run evaluation from a coach and will be prescribed a series of drills. But if the runner is experiencing a weakness or tightness or some bad motor skills that snuck into their running gait, it’s really hard to overcome that by simply doing drills.

For example, if you can’t get optimal hip extension on one side because you have a tight hip flexor and you’re overstriding on that side, it doesn’t matter how much you tell them to bring their foot strike back under their body, that leg is coming forward sooner because it’s getting caught sooner and doing drills might only accentuate what’s going wrong especially if the drill is only a repetitive process of improper movement.

And some of the bigger things that can cause an issue in a runner’s gait — for example a hip dropping out or a knee dropping in — are not getting corrected by doing a set of drills. I will still include run drills, but I think sometimes I think people get a little too carried away with trying to be perfect on run form before addressing things that can clean things up from a strength, mobility and stability side of the equation in the gym.”

Stay tuned for parts 3-6 of this Strength Training for Runners series with Kevin Purvis.

Categories
Saucony Uncategorized

THE SAUCONY ENDORPHIN COLLECTION

Saucony Endorphin Collection

When Saucony unveiled its Endorphin Collection of shoes in 2020, runners of all ability levels were delighted with the cushy, energetic feeling that the Endorphin Shift, Endorphin Speed and Endorphin Pro provided for everyday training, up-tempo workouts and all-out racing.

It has updated each of those models for 2021 and added the lively and durable Endorphin Trail to the mix this year. Each of the four shoes in the collection is uniquely designed to provide the right amount of comfort, support, energy and speed for all of the running you do.

Saucony Endorphin Collection

Saucony Endorphin Shift 2

$139.95 | Soft, Stable Everyday Training Shoe

Offering an ideal combination of speed, comfort and structure, the Endorphin Shift 2 is maximally cushioned everyday training shoe that helps reduce the stress of running while giving you a spark of energy in every stride. If you’re the type of runner that appreciates soft, comfortable and effortless running with subtle support, lace up pair of Endorphin Shift 2 as your go-to training shoe.

The Endorphin Shift is a lightweight, smooth-riding, neutral-oriented shoe that gives off a soft, enjoyable vibe. It’s built on a lofty bed of PWRRUN cushioning, with built-in ride-stabilizing features and Saucony’s convex Speedroll geometry that guide and propel your stride with continuous momentum. With its supportive and breathable mesh upper, you can look forward to more comfortable, feel-good runs every day of the week.

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Saucony Endorphin Collection

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2

$159.95 | Versatile, Fast-Pace Workout Shoe

Soft, lively and bouncy, the Endorphin Speed 2 offer limitless energy and versatility for every type of running you do. You can wear it for slow and easy long runs and recovery runs, fast-paced workouts and tempo runs and even on race day.

The secret sauce of Endorphin Speed 2 is the combination of the highly responsive PWRRUN PB midsole foam and how the semi-firm curvy nylon plate and rockered Speedroll geometry helps create seemingly effortless forward propulsion. The Endorphin Speed 2 has been slightly updated a new mono-mesh upper made from recycled materials, a snugger fit in the heel, anti-slip laces and some soft, suede detailing.

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Saucony Endorphin Collection

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2

$199.95 | Race-Day PR-Shattering Shoe

If you want to aim for a new PR in the 10K, half marathon or marathon, pull the Endorphin Pro from your arsenal and hang on for dear life. It’s an extremely energetic and wickedly fast shoe that is almost guaranteed to help you lower your times.

The Endorphin Pro 2 is a neutral-oriented, top-tier long-distance racing shoe built on a light and lively PWRUN PB midsole that’s embedded with a curvy carbon-fiber plate that enhances forward propulsion as you engage the rockered Speedroll geometry. It’s a featherweight and hyper-fast PR machine and an ideal choice for your next race. It was updated ever-so-slightly with more heel support, anti-slip laces for a more reliable fit and a new perforated mesh upper material for enhanced breathability.

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Saucony Endorphin Trail

$159.95 | Versatile and Electric Trail Shoe

With all of the best qualities of a road shoe captured in a trail runner, the Endorphin Trail will let you blaze paths to new adventures in animated comfort. With a soft and energetic midsole and reliable traction and protection, it’s a versatile shoe intended for both long adventure races and racing on a wide range of terrain.

A brand new shoe for 2021, the Endorphin Trail brings the same electric feeling to the trials as the Endorphin Speed 2 and Endorphin Pro 2 models bring to the roads. It’s built on a responsive but stable PWRRUN PB midsole chassis enhanced with Saucony’s Speedroll geometry that put a spring in your step going uphill and a soft cushy feeling as you cruise downhills.

There’s not interior rock plate, but it does have a quick-fit trail sleeve that provides a sock-like fit and also keeps trail debris at bay. The sticky rubber outsole features an array of medium-depth directional lugs that can handle mud, loose gravel, soft dirt and rugged rocks.

ENDORPHIN TRAIL COMING SOON

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Adidas Reviews

ADIDAS ADIZERO BOSTON 10 REVIEW

Adidas Adizero Boston 10 Review

THE BUZZ

The Adidas Adizero Boston 10 is a maximally cushioned and very energetic neutral-oriented shoe that’s versatile enough be a high-mileage workhorse, long-interval performance-enhancing speedster or a reliable long-distance racing shoe.

A longtime favorite among marathoners, the Boston been completely overhauled and modernized since its previous edition with new materials and a much higher stack height, resulting in a livelier vibe and more cushioned ride.

Adidas Adizero Boston 10 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The Boston 10 now has a thick, two-part midsole comprised of a layer of responsive Lightstrike Pro foam on top of a layer of soft, durable, stable Lightstrike foam. (The previous version had a layer of Lightstrike foam on top of Boost foam.)

Sandwiched between those two layers of foam are a series of curved carbon-infused rods that Adidas debuted in its Adizero Adios Pro models. (It does not have the energetic carbon-fiber plate that the Adizero Adios Pro models have, so it doesn’t quite have the elite-level performance capabilities.)

A thin lightweight, two-layer upper system and revised outsole round out the complete reconfiguration of this popular model.

The new Adizero Boston 10 also features carbon-infused energy rods designed to deliver an anatomically driven transition that limits energy loss. Combined with the lighter, more energetic midsole foams, the rods provide a lively ride that make it ideal for up-tempo training, long training runs or long-distance racing.

A new, lightweight and minimally designed two-layer upper provides a snug, compliant fit that stretches slightly when the foot moves through the gait cycle. The inner engineered mesh combines a gusseted tongue and bootie construction that hugs the foot, while the outer micromesh layer adds subtle support and structure. There is a mild internal heel counter that adds a bit of structure, while suede overlays help reinforce the toe box.

Adidas Adizero Boston 10 Review

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Adizero Boston 10 fits true to size with a medium-narrow volume that translates to a semi-snug athletic fit for runners with medium or wide feet.

The step-in feel is cushy and comfortable, thanks to the interior bootie, padded heel, soft, gusseted tongue and premium footbed.

The first two things you’ll notice when you lace ‘em up are the extremely high midsole stack height and the very soft sensation in the heel.

The ride feels similar to a modern marathon racing shoe with the two compliant foams providing shock-absorbing cushioning and energetic bounce and a real sense of forward propulsion.

It’s not nearly as lively as the Adizero Adios Pro (or forthcoming Adizero Adios Pro 2), but it’s much, much more energetic (and a tad lighter) than the Adizero Boston 9.

 WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate a lightweight, maximally cushioned shoe with a little jolt of bouncy energy will love the new Adizero Boston 10. It’s soft and cushy enough to run long, but light and peppy enough to run faster workouts like tempo runs and long intervals.

Runners who liked the low-to-the-ground feeling of the Adizero Boston 9 (or, for that matter, any previous version) might be a bit thrown off with the mega-cushioned vibe of this edition. But this version of the Boston represents a much-needed overhaul and appropriately puts it in the category of modern long-distance trainer/racer models.

Adidas Adizero Boston 10 Pros

PROS: ADIZERO BOSTON 10

It’s clear that Adidas is moving away from its iconic Boost midsole foam in its performance-oriented shoes. Although Boost foam has been staple of the Boston midsole for the past several years, it’s a very good change — one that runners will appreciate because the combination of Lightstrike and Lightstrike Pro foam provides a lighter, smoother and more resilient ride.

Some of the agile and electric vibe of the new Boston comes from the narrow overall footprint of the shoe. The outsole has small segments of rubber for durability, grip and stability, with a large, sculpted channel under the midfoot to keep the shoe as light and flexible as possible.

Although the Boston has been entirely revamped, it represents what modern racer/trainer models have come to be. The new Adizero Boston 10 has a similar composition and soft-but-supple feel to that of the Saucony Endorphin Speed and now-defunct Nike Pegasus Turbo 2. It’s lightweight and lively and can inspire quick-cadence stride turnover. The modern configuration returns the Boston to its place as a shoe that can go fast and long in training or on race day.

Adidas Adizero Boston 10 Cons

CONS: ADIZERO BOSTON 10

The vast changes, new materials and upscaled redesign of the new Adizero Boston have changed the price structure of this shoe forever. It used to be a moderately priced shoe ($120), but it’s now appropriately in that top-tier shoes that double as trainers and racers, which is why it’s competitively priced at $180.

TECH SPECS

Adidas Adizero Boston 10 Tech Specs

SHOP ADIDAS ADIZERO BOSTON 10

Adidas Adizero Boston 10

ADIDAS ADIZERO BOSTON 10 – COMING SOON
 

Categories
Reviews Saucony

SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 2 REVIEW

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Review

THE BUZZ

The Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 is a neutral-oriented top-tier long-distance racing shoe built on an energetic foam midsole embedded with a curvy carbon-fiber plate that enhances forward propulsion.

It’s a featherweight and hyper-energetic PR machine and an ideal choice for your next 10K, half marathon or marathon.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The Endorphin Pro 2 was updated ever-so-slightly with more heel support, anti-slip laces for a more reliable fit and a new perforated mesh upper material for enhanced breathability. Those modifications helped improved the fit and feel without changing the essence of the super-responsive ride.

The new single-layer upper  is made from recycled polyester. This has improved the fit and helps make the shoe more breathable and airy. The wrap-like fit is enhanced by Saucony’s FormFit technology, which allows the mono-mesh upper material to move and stretch slightly while still keeping feet locked down to the chassis.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Review

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Endorphin Pro 2 fits true to size with a medium to low interior volume from heel to toe. It has a snug, locked-down feeling from heel to toe. There is  a slightly higher volume in the arch area and modest wiggle room in the toe box.

There’s soft and comfortable step-in feeling in this shoe. That is thanks the premium footbed, gusseted tongue and thick midsole chassis. Combined with the curvy carbon-fiber plate embedded in the midsole, it results in a lively but very rigid rolling sensation the moment you start running.

The Endorphin Pro 2 is a race-day tool that is really good at up-tempo running but definitely not as good at slow to moderate paces. The similar Endorphin Speed 2 ($160) nylon-plated, training shoe handles those slower paces much better.

 WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners interested in investing in a pair of carbon-plated racing shoes with the hope of setting a new PR in the 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon will love this shoe.

While it could be used for faster workouts such as tempo runs and longer intervals, the sharp, firm feeling makes it much more conducive to racing than it is for training. (Imagine driving a high-end race car around town to do errands and you’ll understand the singular focus of the Endorphin Pro 2.)

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Review

PROS: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 2

The secret sauce of the Endorphin Pro 2 is the combination of Saucony’s PWRRUN PB midsole foam, the curvy carbon-fiber plate and SpeedRoll rocker geometry. PWRRUN PB is an ultralight, PEBA-based foam that provides an energetic and propulsive feeling in every stride.

The foam midsole chassis and firm plate are unchanged from the first edition. You can expect the same electric, responsive ride as the original edition of the Endorphin Pro.

Like other racing shoes with carbon-fiber midsole plates, the Endorphin Pro 2 feels best when you get into a groove at a fast and repetitive pace. When you settle into a conisisten rhythm, the sharp feeling of the chassis melts away into effortless running. But running at slower paces or mixing up paces will muddle that smooth, flowy feeling. Despite the responsiveness of the foam, the ride is unflinchingly sharp and rigid.

The outsole configuration of the Endorphin Pro 2 is identical to the original version. It features large sections of exposed foam complemented by high-abrasion carbon rubber in the forefoot and around the perimeter of the heel to keep the weight down, ensure optimal traction and maintain consistent durability.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Review

CONS: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 2

The only detractor of the Endorphin Pro 2 is that it’s not very versatile. It’s a high-end racing shoe that can help you lower your PRs, but our wear-testers thought it felt too sharp and rigid to use for faster workouts or long runs.

TECH SPECS

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Tech Specs

SHOP SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 2

Mens Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Review

MEN’S ENDORPHIN PRO 2
Womens Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Review

WOMEN’S ENDORPHIN PRO 2

Categories
Training

STRENGTH TRAINING FOR RUNNERS: PART 1

Strength Training for Runners with Kevin Purvis
This is the first of a six-part series about strength training for runners with Kevin Purvis, a renowned strength coach based in Boulder, Colorado.

Starting from Square One: Understanding your base level of strength and mobility

By Brian Metzler

Like a lot of runners, I am excited for races to return in 2021 and eager to start training.

Last year was the first one in a long, long time I didn’t pin on a race bib. I had planned to do an Ironman in St. George, Utah, and also run the Chicago Marathon, but both were canceled because of Covid-19.

I was still relatively fit throughout the year, but my training because a bit haphazard and less structured. No complaints about that because those bouts of training — even if it many were merely moments of casual exercise — helped get me through the malaise and uncertainty brought on the pandemic.

Now that I’ve started training again with an eye toward a fall half marathon and triathlon on my calendar, I realize that I’m long overdue for a tune-up. While have a high level of drive and I’m eager to get back to serious workouts, my body hasn’t been quite as responsive.

I’m still fairly fit and weigh about the same as I did when I completed my last Ironman and the Leadman series in 2018, I know I’m just not the athlete I need to be. I’m not broken down or injured, but I know I am not as functionally strong as I should be and also my running form seems to be a bit misaligned. Like most recreational athletes, I work a lot and my training can be sporadic, so I know it’s time to retool my physique.

Strength Training for Runners

For help rebuilding my strength, mobility and stability as a way to get back to being optimally fit on race day in the fall, I reached out to Kevin Purvis of KP Performance in Boulder, Colorado. He’s been a strength and movement coach for 22 years and has extensive experience working with endurance athletes, especially since relocating to Boulder in 2016.

In addition to training a wide range of recreational athletes, he also trains numerous high-level elite track athletes, trail runners, ultrarunners, triathletes and marathoners, including 2021 U.S. Olympic marathoner Jake Riley. Over the next few weeks Kevin will help give us advice pertaining to strength training for runners.

JackRabbit: First and foremost, why is proper strength training for runners or triathletes important?

Kevin Purvis: “It builds structural integrity or the ability to handle the load and not break down during a long training run, half marathon or marathon. Basically, once the big muscles in your legs, pelvis and lower back start to fatigue and break down, you’ll start to experience inefficiency in your form — especially if you haven’t done the work to get the smaller muscles strong so they can help stabilize your movements.

In essence, strength and mobility work is all about building the chassis of the car so it efficiently and effectively can handle the power that the engine produces.

First, we need to make sure we’re doing everything to maintain the foundation of a runner’s health and then we can focus on things that will improve performance. If I were to take an athlete and have them do performance-oriented exercises right away without having taken care of core strength and functional movement patterns, it doesn’t matter how strong we can get that athlete to be, they’re still likely to break down at some point.

In that case, all that is really doing is giving them more ability to hurt themselves because they can’t handle the increasing load of training. It’s like a car that is producing more and more horsepower on a bad chassis; it’s still going to break down eventually.”v

JR: Why is it important to do much more than just go out and run if you want to be a better runner?

KP: “At some point, you’ll squeeze out everything you can squeeze out of your pure run training based on the strength and stability you have. At some point, you can’t squeeze any more horsepower out of your body. But if we can create a strength base for a runner that can support their movements and handle the workout loads and appropriately build it up over time, what we’re doing is giving that runner a better platform so that their run training can continue to improve.

Even if you’ve been primarily doing only run training for 10 years and are still improving, you’ll need a stimulus that will help you advance from there. It’s really got to be appropriate for the athlete, but also the event or race their doing and for the timing or specific point of where they are in their race build-up.”

JR: How did you come to be such a renowned strength coach for endurance athletes?

KP: “I had grown up as an explosive sports athlete, playing football, baseball, a variety of court sports and body building. I didn’t get into endurance sports until I was 30. I started jogging and that turned into longer distances and running half marathons.

So for me, it was an entirely new set of challenges. I was already a trainer, but once I got into endurance sports myself, I started viewing it through that lens and started thinking, ‘What can I do to help myself be better? And ‘What can I do to prevent injuries?’

It was pretty easy to see some common injuries that would pop up for people and that started the process of backtracking to understand what was causing each of those problems. From there it snowballed and I realized I wanted to be solely involved with endurance sports and so I immersed myself in it and moved to Boulder, because there is such a big population of pros and age-groupers with a high level of commitment to their training.”

JR: How has strength training for runners evolved through the years?

KP: “What was pretty common for runners for a long time was that most weren’t doing a lot of strength work and few were doing appropriate strength work. Once it was agreed that they should be doing strength work, the typical scenario was that they picked up some exercises from a magazine article or a friend and they would include those in their process when they had time.

Originally, everyone took some old-school direction from general fitness concepts or body building and traditional lifting concepts and threw that into their week wherever they could. But then they wondered why it wasn’t helping them become a better runner. The problem with all of that was that the “why” behind it wasn’t really there and most of it wasn’t specifically helping runners improve. So my goal was to create a more cohesive process that is really catered to the movements of running but also to that specific athlete’s needs.”

JR: What is your approach with a recreational runner or triathlete who seeks your guidance?

KP: “My approach is to understand first and foremost what that athlete has done over the past six months or a year, how that worked, how they’re moving on the first day I see them and how that can be changed or improved as necessary. Every runner is different.

They’re built differently and they move differently. You could even have two runners who have the same marathon PR but one of them might need a lot of mobility work and the other might not need any mobility work but might need more strength and stability work. And another runner might just have really funky movement patterns that developed and you’ll need to clean that up as well, and that’s why it’s so important to treat each runner as the unique individuals they are.

“And to do that, I always start off with a movement screen evaluation of every runner I work with, and that can happen in person or, if the athlete is remote, it can happen by the runner videoing a series of movements I have them do. I take every runner through an evaluation that includes a series of movements and stances so we can understand what we need to work on based on how mobile they are and where weaknesses or imbalances might exist.

After that initial movement screen and evaluation, I develop an understanding of what that individual runner specifically needs in terms of strength and mobility and use it as a blueprint for what I prescribe for them to do. I think that if you don’t do something that specifically matches a runner’s needs, you’re just throwing somewhat random exercises into a process.”

Stay tuned for parts 2-6 of this Strength Training for Runners series with Kevin Purvis.