“One of the classic legacy shoes in the ASICS line, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 is a neutral everyday trainer with sufficient cushioning, a comfortable ride and a versatile, do-everything vibe.” Read more…
“The HOKA Mach 4 is lightweight, smooth-riding, neutral-oriented everyday training shoe that gives off a soft, lively vibe. It has enough comfort, versatility and giddy-up to handle the rigors of all types of workouts.” Read more…
“The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 is a lightweight and responsive, neutral-oriented everyday training shoe. It’s a versatile shoe with an elite midsole foam and enough cushioning and bounciness to make it amenable to both running longer or faster.” Read more…
REEBOK NANO X1
“In its 11th version of the training shoe, the Reebok Nano X1 is back and better than ever! This year Reebok took a step away from its cross-training roots to create the new – Shoe of Fitness. We tested the Nano X1 during strength and cardio workouts to see how it measured up.” Read more…
The best-selling running shoe model of all-time, the Air Zoom Pegasus has evolved considerably since initial launch in 1983. The updated Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 retains the familiar vibe of being a versatile, workhorse with a good balance of cushioning and performance for a wide range of runners.
While most Nike running shoes have a snug fit from heel to toe, the Pegasus 38 has been built on a new last and offers slightly more room in the toe box than last year’s Pegasus 37 and similar to the fit and feel of the Pegasus 36. The tongue is extra cushy but is not gusseted, while a new midfoot webbing system allows runners to lace up to a personalized fit.
The tuned, dual-function midsole carries over from the Air Zoom Pegasus 37 with a full-length layer of springy and durable Nike React foam that delivers cushioned responsiveness and smooth transition and a forefoot Zoom Air unit that provides a pop of responsive energy return. It’s soft but not squishy soft, allowing it to give a good amount of rebound “pop” as you head to the toe-off phase of a stride.
A wider forefoot means more space for your toes, while the shoe’s fit maintains the comfortable feel you expect from the Pegasus. The new engineered mesh upper feels breathable and plush while stretching with your foot for a comfortable shape and fit. If you thought the Pegasus 37 was too snug in the forefoot and slipped a little bit in the heel, you’ll appreciate the revised shape and fit of the Pegasus 38.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The fit of the Pegasus 38 has been considerably upgraded from the previous edition. In place of the gusseted tongue of Pegasus 37, a new midfoot webbing that connects the laces to a fit band that helps provide a snug, accommodating feel when you tighten the laces.
The Pegasus 38 fits true to size with a low- to medium-volume interior that provides a snug fit in the heel and midfoot but a slightly more relaxed feeling in the forefoot.
The step-in feel is comfortable but not excessively plush, offering a nice balance between soft cushioning and a good feel for the road.
There’s a cushy, shock-absorbing feeling in the heel and an energetic sensation in the forefoot, a combination that is key to the shoe’s versatility and the true vibe of the Pegasus 38.
The bottom line is that it fits a lot of foot shapes, provides a very fluid ride and serves up dependable and consistent performance.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Versatility has always been one of the best aspects of the Pegasus, both in terms of its range of performance and the range of runners who will enjoy it.
New runners will likely love it for the comfort, fit and ability to handle any kind of workout, while more experienced runner will appreciate its energetic performance ideal for tempo runs and progression runs.
It can be the only training shoe in your quiver or one you rely on for up-tempo running once a week. While it’s not as fast as other modern race shoes, our wear-testers think it could suffice for 5K to half marathon distances.
PROS: NIKE PEGASUS 38
Nike calls the Pegasus “your workhorse with wings,” and that’s a pretty good description for a shoe that is hard-working and robust but also moderately light and energetic. It’s a moderately priced shoe that offers considerable value with its versatility and durability.
The Pegasus 38 can be whatever you need it to be, depending on what your training schedule says. Although it’s not as soft as your favorite long run shoes or as energetic as your race-day shoes, it is soft and lively enough for 10- to 20-mile efforts. It can also handle fartlek runs, tempo runs and longer interval sessions like 800m or mile repeats.
The outsole has a similar dual-density rubber configuration with an array of small rubber knobs that provide traction and softness as needed. The outsole is both durable and flexible and doesn’t feel like it limits the otherwise smooth flex of the shoe.
CONS: NIKE PEGASUS 38
There’s really no negative aspects to the Pegasus 38, except perhaps that it’s firmly in the middle of everything. There are other shoes that are softer, cushier and more energetic. The Pegasus has all of those things, but not at a premium level.
The Nike ZoomX Invincible can probably be considered Nike’s first modern max cushioned training shoe. (Remember, Nike invented that category with the Air Max shoes in the late 1980s!)
It’s a light, soft and responsive premium daily training with copious amounts of midsole cushioning and a wide, exaggerated shape in the forefoot for added stability.
It’s definitely one of the best training shoes for Spring/Summer 2021.
Although the ZoomX foam isn’t new — it’s also in the top-tier Nike Vaporfly Next% racer — everything else about this shoe is new. Even without the carbon-fiber plate of its race-day cousin, there’s nothing quite like the feel and ride of this shoe’s thick layer of Zoom X super foam. The sock-like upper and reliable outsole round out this incredible high-mileage trainer.
With a rocker shape to the midsole platform, the ZoomX foam provides support for the three phases of a runner’s stride. It offers flexibility when your foot rises off the ground. It has a smooth ride when your foot is moving forward and cushioning at ground contact.
Despite the marshmallowy soft midsole, the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit is very stable. To combat any feeling of instability, Nike made two sections on the outside of the forefoot bulge out. This creates a very wide, stable base.
The ZoomX Invincible weighs in at about 9.5 oz. for a men’s size 9 (and 7.6 oz. for a women’s size 7). However, it actually feels much lighter, almost like a performance trainer. Thanks to the bounciness of the ZoomX foam, it’s one of those shoes that runs lighter than its spec weight. It is also lighter than how it feels in your hand before you put it on.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The ZoomX Invincible fits true to size in an athletic/snug way that is similar to how other Nike shoes fit. It also has just enough room in the forefoot to allow toes to splay.
The step-in feel is luxurious, with plush padding all around. It has a gusseted tongue to create a bootie construction that contributes to the secure, locked-down fit. The ride is buttery soft, smooth and somewhat bouncy, starting with a very cushy feeling at the moment your foot hits the ground.
Then there’s an energetic sensation. This allows it to easily roll through the midstance phase of a stride to the extra-wide forefoot for a feeling of stability as it enters the toe-off phase.
There’s not as much “feel” for the ground as some less-cushioned training shoes, but the excess cushioning doesn’t make it feel bulky or heavy. It feels light, bouncy, flexible and free.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Runners who appreciate soft, max-cushioned shoes will love the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit. It’s accommodating and comfortable at slower to moderate speeds and light and springy enough for running up-tempo paces.
It’s not a speed burner or a fast race-day shoe, but it can handle long runs with aplomb. All runners will love it for the forgiving, comfortable and energetic ride.
PROS: NIKE ZOOMX INVINCIBLE
The evolved Flyknit upper is strong, durable and fits like a stretchy sock, keeping your foot secure with every stride. It has high-breathability zones where your feet heat up the most.
ZoomX foam might not be as durable as other midsole materials. However, our wear-testers didn’t find any signs of wear and tear after about 100 miles of running in this shoe. The full-length rubber outsole and the smooth ride of this shoe should allow it to last for 400 miles or more.
The flexible, full-length rubber outsole has an array of miniature knobby lugs that grip the ground well and add both a touch of softness and spring in every stride. It doesn’t have any flex grooves like a lot of other shoes, but that doesn’t seem to inhibit the ride because the layer of rubber is so thin.
CONS: NIKE ZOOMX INVINCIBLE
The tongue is well-padded but a little too short so it tends to slide slightly downwards during runs. But otherwise, the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit is a top-notch shoe.
The right shoe can help make or break a race, but shoe selection is even more important when that race comes AFTER a swim and a bike. Triathletes have a lot of options when it comes to selecting the right gear, wheels, helmets, wetsuits, googles, gearing and of course, shoes.
With the new emergence of the carbon plated shoes, many triathletes have a dedicated training shoe and a dedicated racing shoe. We picked out some of the best running shoes for triathletes to race with.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR TRIATHLETES
HOKA CARBON X 2
HOKA has taken the triathlon world by storm over the last 5 years, with many of the top professionals racing in HOKA footwear.
Positioned as an endurance racer, the Carbon X2 delivers the same propulsive speed as its predecessor in an adaptable silhouette geared for training and racing alike. Engineered with a responsive, carbon fiber plate and aggressive Meta-Rocker, this performance shoe is a formidable competitor.
Saucony jumped on board with the carbon plate hype with their model, Endorphin Pro.
The Endorphin Pro has ultralight, springy PWRRUNPB cushioning and a signature s-curve carbon fiber plate for powerful transitions, running at top speed feels easier, so you get to the finish line faster.
The React Infinity 2 is built on a full-length React foam midsole platform and serves up loads of comfort, softness and resiliency. At the same time it also provides a wide, sturdy platform for a variety of gait types.
Runners can find the biggest updates to the second edition of this shoe in the knit upper. The lacing system is now secured with Nike’s Flywire system for a locked-down feel.
More padding in the heel collar provides a more comfortable and secure fit. And generally, the upper — which features a mix of both coarse, durable knit pattern and a lighter, more open pattern — offers more support and breathability than the previous edition. It is also a teeny bit heavier than the original version.
There is more blown rubber on the outsole in this model, which helps it deliver better traction and durability. Narrow outsole groves give it a performance-oriented flex and increase traction in all types of weather conditions.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 fits true-to-size with a comfortable interior and a medium width in the toe box. (It doesn’t fit quite as snug/narrow as most Nike running shoes, but it does have a high arch.)
The step-in feel is opulently plush, making it one of the best and coziest and most comfortable shoes on the market.
The ride is generally soft and very secure, but it seems ever-so-slightly firmer than the previous version. Although, this is without veering too far to the right of the comfort vs. performance scale.
Combined with the rocker geometry of the midsole profile, it results in a less bouncy ride than the first version. Instead, it produces more of a stable, responsive rolling sensation that tends to return more energy in every stride. It’s almost a boost of assistance in every stride.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Runners who appreciate cushioning and need stability in their everyday training shoes will love this shoe.
The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 can handle long runs, recovery runs and moderately paced tempo runs with aplomb. It provides a stable, consistent ride no matter what type of stride pattern or gait idiosyncrasies a runners might have.
Nike specifically designed this shoe as a modern stability shoe to reduce the injury rate among runners who have significantly pronating gait patterns.
A study with North Star Sports Medicine Research in British Columbia revealed 52 percent less disruption in training due to pain or discomfort compared to the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 stability shoe.
Unlike traditional stability shoes that rely on a firm wedge of foam under the medial side of the midsole, the React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 provides stability in a variety of ways. This is possible due to:
The wider footprint for more ground contact,
Reinforced guiderails around the base of the heel
The semi-firm and absorbent React foam.
The entire system of features is designed to help over-pronators maintain a neutral foot orientation while not encumbering neutral runners.
The addition of the Flyknit closure technology really improves the fit of this shoe. This allows for a more adaptable and secure fit across the middle of the foot and through the heel.
Combined with the padded, stretchy gusseted tongue and high arch, the upper really provides an all-encompassing wrap-like fit. (Runners with flatter feet might find the arch to be a bit too stout.)
The updated version of the React Infinity has less material between the insole and midsole, which means you’re closer to the foam. This helps create a more intuitive and responsive experience. The foam itself has a higher height, providing a plush feel. However, you can also feel the ground better for a more proprioceptive experience.
There’s a more much distinct rocker profile in this edition, helping smooth the transition from heel strike to toe-off. It starts with a flared heel for mitigating downward impact force, then it’s slightly concave under the middle of the foot and finishes with a rounded toe spring off the front.
The only drawback of the React Infinity 2 is that it’s a bit heavier than many everyday trainers. However, it is still well-balanced from heel to toe.
It can be a workhorse for most of your running needs, but it’s a bit too hefty for shorter, faster workouts and up-tempo long runs. This is true especially compared to the well-cushioned, featherweight super shoes that many runners have in their quivers.
Sports Bras: Supporting, empowering and celebrating women never goes out of style. And nothing does that better than, arguably the best invention in women’s sports apparel, the sports bra!
We asked team member Melanie, the woman who has donned sports bras for more years than most, to share her wisdom of ‘The Bra Wall’ at JackRabbit.
In her sporting bra career, she has gone from teen xc runner, to triathlete (when running in a swimsuit with no bra was the thing), to mother, to returning to triathlon (where wearing a sports bra is now firmly a thing). Her tatas have literally seen it all through her varied sport and life journey.
HOW TO GIFT A SPORTS BRAS FOR EVERY OCCASION
Read on to support your ladies, support the tatas and make sure you select the right one. Our gift guide will take all the decision making out of the equation. Buy the perfect one with confidence, wrap and give the gift of support in 2021.
Much like there are race shoes, training shoes and athleisure shoes, there are sports bras for all occasions and all support scenarios. Fortunately, just like shoes, we have you covered at JackRabbit.
STRENGTH TRAINING BRAS
When you’re pumping iron, box jumping, twisting, squatting and crunching, it’s ok to have a bra that offers lighter support for these non-impact kind of scenarios.
This is where you can really shine with your design choices, just make sure there is enough coverage to avoid any slippage when you twist and comfort to avoid any chafing when you’re moving.
HANDFUL DOUBLE DOWN BRA $57. There is ample coverage on the sides and back to eliminate side boob, spillage, pinching, and other unpleasantries. Extra wide band provides comfort and support for time in the gym
BROOKS FAST FORWARD BRA $36. Perfect for strength workouts thanks to minimal back coverage. This gives you a flexible range of motion for all-day comfort and building the power you need.
LIGHT SUPPORT BRAS
Smaller-breasted women can use a lighter support bra when running, merely from the physics of less movement. Indoor bike training? Perfect scenario to crack out the light support bra for a tough workout on the pedals.
NIKE SWOOSH SPORTS BRA $38 The Nike Swoosh Sports Bra gives you classic coverage and medium support for activities like indoor bike training, socially distanced cardio classes and yoga.
DARE STRAPPY BRA $59. The minimal seams add a modern style and distraction-free fit. Plus, an integrated bottom band provides invisible support and comfort.
HIGH SUPPORT BRAS
We hear you pre- and post-partum mothers, ladies with curves, ladies with implants, ladies with ample bosoms needing support. Fortunately, there are science gurus who have literally dedicated their careers – no sniggering in the back – to studying how breasts move and how to support them without restricting breathing (we’ve all made that mistake).
Here are our top support bras for high-impact sports and running. The right support cannot be underestimated and gone are the days when the need for support meant you had to sacrifice style. New fabrics and construction have been game-changing for high-impact bra designs.
BROOKS FIONA SPORTS BRA $50 This is the best-selling bra at JackRabbit and the most versatile. It blends comfort and support in a fit that works for nearly any body type. This is a bra which you can expect everything from it with no regrets.
BROOKS DARE HIGH NECK SPORTS BRA $65 A streamlined shape and support come in this statement-making silhouette. With minimal seams, the neckline and longer length deliver a modern, streamlined look that layers easily and looks great solo.
THE HISTORY OF THE SPORTS BRA
Oh, and we love sports bras so much at JackRabbit, head over to our blog to read about their development, the science behind and how the modern pioneers have, rightly so, been added to the Sports Apparel Hall of Fame. Read, print and add to your gift. What you are giving is really a piece of sporting history.
TWO NIKE TRAIL RUNNING STYLES ARE BACK WITH NEW EDITIONS
Trail running season is still on! Brian Metzler reviews the Nike Pegasus Trail 2 with added love for the Nike Terra Kiger 6.
Both these styles feature Nike’s dynamic React foam debuted two years ago in road running shoes. The combination of shock-absorbing cushioning and energy return bounce is ideal for the trails too. Cushy but not mushy, it reacts swiftly in every step, providing a comfortable, lively ride.
Read on to learn about these two dynamic trail shoes for your next outdoor adventure.
NIKE PEGASUS TRAIL 2 REVIEW
The Pegasus Trail was Nike’s original trail running shoe. Although it has come and gone, it was brought back to the forefront in recent years. It’s been greatly improved over the past two editions. The Pegasus Trail 2 replaces last year’s Pegasus 36 Trail but it’s more of an overhaul than an update. It’s a mid-range, do-everything trail shoe for mild to moderate terrain for novice to expert level runners.
This year’s Pegasus Trail has undergone numerous updates that have improved its fit, feel and performance. First and foremost, the shoe now has Nike’s energetic React cushioning foam in the midsole, creating a softer, springier ride. The upper and outsole have also been improved to be more durable and performance-oriented. This makes the Peg Trail 2 adaptable for a wider range of surfaces and weather conditions.
The reinforced upper, semi-firm heel counter and interior neoprene bootie provide locked-down security, holding the foot in place in the heel and saddle while still allowing the toes wiggle and splay.
The upper and tongue are perforated to enhance breathability and drainage. A pull tab off the heel allows for easy-on, easy-off functionality.
The full-coverage durable rubber outsole has low-profile directional lugs inspired by mountain bike tire design, meaning some are designed to aid a runner going uphill and others are designed to provide braking securing while running downhill.
The only drawback to the Pegasus Trail 2 is that it’s slightly heavier (about 2 oz.) than its predecessor, the Pegasus 36 Trail, and some other contemporaries on the market. While the soft, energetic demeanor doesn’t allow it to feel heavy, the extra ounces are definitely noticeable.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Pegasus Trail 2 fits true to size without the typical snugness common to most Nike road running shoes. It has a medium to wide interior from heel to arch to toe, so narrow-footed runners might have to cinch the laces down extra tight. The step-in feel is soft and plush rounded out with a supple and comfortable tongue and heel collar.
The thickly cushioned midsole feels both shock absorbing and lively, soaking up the impact force of hitting the trail and then returning some of that energy in the next stride. The width and reliable traction provide consistent stability and confidence on all kinds of terrain. All in all this serves up a sturdy but springy ride.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Trail runners who love a consistently comfortable and springy shoe will really appreciate the new Nike Pegasus Trail 2. It’s ideal for dirt roads, smooth dirt trails and mildly technical routes with rocks and roots. Although it’s not super light, it’s light and flexible enough to be nimble and definitely race worthy for longer distances.
Several key features offer protection against rocks, roots and other trail obstacles. This includes reinforced toe bumpers and sidewalls. There is also a faux gaiter collar that helps keep dirt and debris out of the shoe.
Our wear-testers liked the soft feel and springy ride of this shoe, but we loved the flowy, run-wild vibe that it oozes. It offers an ideal mix of cushion, support, stability, traction and freedom.
If you’re looking for a lighter, more agile trail shoe that’s engineered for more technical terrain, consider the Nike Terra Kiger 6 ($130).
It features both Nike React foam and Zoom Air packets for dynamic cushioning. It also features a flexible, segmented rock plate for protection and a sticky rubber outsole for optimal traction on dry surfaces.
It’s a lightweight shoe (9.3 oz. for men, 8.3 oz. for women) with a lower heel-toe offset (4mm) and a low-to-the-ground feel.