Archive

Archive for March, 2012

New Balance 1260 v2 Sneak Peek

March 30th, 2012

New Balance 1260v2 Men's and Women's Running Shoes

A fresh take on the max support, max cush trainer for New Balance, the 1260 v2 switches to lighter technologies that still deliver a plenty plush ride.

Launch Date

August 2012

MSRP

$145.00

What to Watch For

  • Updated Support Tech: The 1260 v2 uses a reconfigured Stabilicore design along with a T-Beam midfoot shank to provide stability and arch support.
  • Updated Cushioning Tech: The 1260 v2 features N2 cushioning (replacing N-ergy) contained in Acteva Lite midsole foam (replacing ABZORB FL). These tech updates keep the ride soft while reducing weight.
  • Lighter Weight: Both Men’s and Women’s versions of the 1260 are expected to be a few tenths of an ounce lighter.
  • New Last: The 1260 v2 is built on the “natural” PL-1 last, which is constructed to closely contour the foot for a running-specific fit.
  • Lower Drop: The 1260 v2 will feature an 8mm heel-to-toe offset, down from 12mm in the original version.

Men’s Colors

Silver/Red/Yellow 1260 v2
White/Black/Yellow 1260 v2

Women’s Colors

Lavender 1260 v2
Raspberry 1260 v2

Matt Running Shoes , ,

K-Swiss Blade Max Stable

March 29th, 2012

K-Swiss Blade Max Stable Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

Does the world really need another moderate support daily trainer? If it’s the K-Swiss Blade Max Stable, the answer is “yes.”
(View Men’s Blade Max Stable and Women’s Blade Max Stable)

Big Features

  • 2 Kinds of Cushioning: The Max Stable uses a composite foam layered on top of the blade-shaped EVA foam that makes up the majority of the midsole.
  • Pronation Support: Located behind the arch area, the thermoplastic post is designed to stop pronation before it starts.
  • Plush Upper: The seamless upper design features an open mesh and strategic perforations for additional temperature and moisture management.

Road Test

K-Swiss is a fledgling brand in the running market, but they’re working hard to produce shoes that compete with the big boys in the sport. Everyone loves an underdog story – so did testers find the Blade Max Stable to be an underdog or just plain dog on the road?

The overall verdict is that the Max Stable is a winner. It has the significant heel cushioning runners are looking for in this category, with a transition that is noticeably smoother than similar shoes. This smooth ride is partly the result of the full ground contact the Max Stable offers – unlike many daily trainers, there’s no midfoot cutout in the platform.

The Max Stable felt faster than our testers were expecting. It doesn’t seem as heavy as its weight suggests, and it has good responsiveness in the forefoot. The upper gives your foot a plush place to do its work, and keeps a hold on your foot thanks to a heel cup that’s on the narrower side and a heel collar that’s nice and padded.

A support shoe with one of the smoothest rides in the segment, the Blade Max Stable is a worthy entry by K-Swiss.

Runners Say

“The upper of the Max Stable fits amazingly well and uses pretty nice materials. The heel feels a bit overbuilt.” – Daniel

“Very plush ride. Some shoes with this much cushion get floaty, but the Max Stable remains true to its name and still feels grounded.” – Lauren

“I’ve found that some of the plush shoes out there can overheat easily. My foot never felt hot in this shoe.” – Matt

Matt Running Shoes ,

Introducing Timex Marathon GPS

March 28th, 2012

Timex Marathon GPS Sport Watch

Two words probably stood out when you saw this article: “Timex” and “GPS.” Here’s one more thing that should stand out too: “$99.95.” Put ‘em together and what have you got? The Timex Marathon GPS – a pretty fantastic option for the runner who wants reliable distance, pace and speed calculations.

Key Features

  • Records and displays total time, distance, pace, and speed
  • Automatically records lap splits for up to 6 custom set distances
  • Computes calories based on gender, age and weight
  • Stores up to 30 workouts for data comparison

Of course, you have plenty of options if you’re looking for a more complicated GPS watch with a heap of advanced features including data upload, endless customized screen options, and interval timers. But watches with these features tend to cost significantly more, and some are also heavier and bulkier on the wrist. Plus you could spend days digging through the details in the owner’s manual.

Why not spend less time punching buttons on your watch and more time punching up the tempo on your next run? If you just want a simple, easy to use watch that helps you track how far you’ve traveled, the Timex Marathon GPS was built for you.

Matt Running Accessories , ,

K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5 – Our Take

March 27th, 2012

K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5 Women's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

Run K-Raazy K-Wiick in the K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5, an impressively lightweight racer with a touch of pronation support.
(View Men’s K-Ruuz 1.5 and Women’s K-Ruuz 1.5)

Big Updates

  • Lighter Weight: The K-Ruuz 1.5 is down to 6.0 oz (Men’s size 9), over an ounce lighter than the already trim original model.
  • Improved Upper: Featuring a seamless design, the K-Ruuz 1.5 is now built on a Strobel last stitched to a foam base for better cushioning and treated with a water repellant to minimize water intrusion.

Road Test

The 1.5 after the name of the latest K-Ruuz isn’t just K-Swiss having fun with numbers. The latest K-Ruuz doesn’t go to a 2.0 because it carries over the mid/outsole from the original model but attaches an entirely new upper.

So is this “half” update only half-baked? No way. The original K-Ruuz was the most remarkable shoe in the K-Swiss line, and our testers found the updates in the 1.5 to be nothing but improvements.

Let’s start with the new upper. When you first slip on the shoe you’re likely to notice the locked-in feel of the heel collar. The shoe feels like it’s holding onto your foot even before you cinch up the laces. But once you do tighten ‘em up, the next thing you’ll notice is the great fit in the midfoot and forefoot. A few testers wanted to see a little more structure in the midfoot, but no one felt that the shoe slopped around.

The mesh upper offers amazing ventilation. We didn’t get a chance to try out the shoe’s wet-weather performance. With a new water-resistant treatment on the upper, carryover drainage holes in the platform, and a very stable ride, the K-Ruuz 1.5 is worth considering on days when the weather is more naughty than nice.

And let’s not forget some of the other good stuff from the original model. The K-Ruuz 1.5 still offers one of the smoothest transitions of any racing flat. It’s a comfortable ride for heel strikers and mid/forefoot strikers alike. One thing we’d like to see is a little more spring on toe-off. K-Swiss may not be on your radar when you think of lightweight racing flats, but with the K-Ruuz 1.5, we think the brand has earned your attention.

Runners Say

“Kudos to K-Swiss for taking a lightweight shoe and making it even lighter and just plain better. They didn’t mess with success in the platform, but put some better engineering in the upper.” – Matt

“Great shoe. If I had to nitpick I’d like a little more lateral support in the midfoot, and I’m not a big fan of the color combo.” – Daniel

Matt Running Shoes , , , , ,

Introducing Soleus GPS 2.0

March 27th, 2012

Soleus GPS 2.0 Watch

There’s a lot to love about the Soleus GPS 1.0, particularly at its $99.00 MSRP. Even though it’s one of the most affordable watches we offer with GPS functionality, it’s far from “cheap.” This model is proving to be a durable training companion for many runners.

Our customers have commented positively on its comfort, ease of use and long list of features, including speed and distance calculation, 100-lap data storage, and auto-detect lap splits.

So what’s Soleus up to now? They’ve added a few select features to the GPS 1.0 to create the GPS 2.0, now in stock.

All About the GPS 2.0
The $149.00 price tag for this model gets you all of the features of the GPS 1.0, along with the option to upload your run data to a Soleus computer application (currently PC compatible only), letting you slice and dice the data to evaluate your runs and track your improvement. It also boasts interval timing, with the ability to set up to five individual timers. The new GPS 2.0 combines both of these perks with all of the features of the GPS 1.0, making it a direct competitor with the Garmin Forerunner 210 and Timex Ironman Run Trainer GPS S+D.

OK, But I Need Heart Rate Data
Well stay tuned. At an MSRP of $199.00, the upcoming GPS 3.0 gives you all the features of the 2.0 along with a fabric chest strap heart rate monitor (HRM). This chart tells the full story of Soleus’ GPS line.

Matt Running Accessories , ,

New Balance MR00/WR00 – Our Take

March 26th, 2012

New Balance MR00 Men's Running Shoes

Our Tweet

With just 12mm of material separating you from the tarmac, the New Balance MR/WR00 is flat, flexible and light.
(View Men’s MR00 and Women’s WR00)

Big Features

  • Zero Drop: As the name suggests, the Minimus Road 00 sits on a level platform with a 12mm stack height in the heel and forefoot.
  • Vibram Outsole: Durable Vibram rubber is placed on areas of the outsole that are most likely to see high wear.
  • No-Sew Upper: Great for runners who want to run sockless, the no-sew upper minimizes hot spots where blisters might form.

Road Test

Was the Minimus Road 10 just too much shoe for you? If so, New Balance has your number with the new MR00/WR00. This shoe comes in about 2 oz lighter than the Minimus Road 10 and drops the heel-to-toe ratio so that it’s dead level.

The Minimus Road 00 wraps your heel and midfoot thanks to a form-fitting last shape but gives you space in the forefoot for your toes to splay out during the gait cycle. Most testers liked the fit and feel of the upper, though one female tester commented that she wasn’t a fan of the different mesh material used in the WT00 version of the shoe, which she felt wasn’t as breathable.

Get ready to get seriously in touch with the ground in this shoe. Your feet will be on their own – there’s no noticeable cushioning to speak of. But testers noted that the ride is surprisingly smooth given how little material is strapped on beneath your foot. Flexibility is a hallmark of this shoe – the mid/outsole never gets in your way. The zero drop design actually felt to a few testers like a negative drop design, with the heel sitting below the forefoot. But that’s perception, not reality, and runners used to a zero drop shoe will easily feel at home in the Minimus Road 00.

Runners Say

“The fit is right on, and the foldover tongue design makes me wonder why more shoes in all running categories don’t move to this simpler design.” – Matt

“I thought I ‘got’ the idea of the Minimus collection, but this shoe and the Minimus Trail 00 take the Minimus line in a different direction that’s even more stripped down.” – Lauren

“Love the fit. It just wraps around foot very well. For me, this shoe doesn’t feel like it has any padding. It’s fine on grass but just too minimal on the road. If you want to really feel the road, almost literally, this is your shoe.” – Jonathan

Matt Running Shoes , ,

New Balance MT00/WT00 – Our Take

March 23rd, 2012

New Balance WT00 Women's Running Shoes

Our Tweet

Get the New Balance MT00/WT00 for a near-barefoot running experience without beating the soles of your feet to a pulp on the trail.
(View Men’s MT00 and Women’s WT00)

Big Features

  • Zero Drop: As the name suggests, the Minimus Trail 00 sits on a level platform with a 12mm stack height in the heel and forefoot.
  • Vibram Outsole: Durable Vibram rubber is placed on areas of the outsole that are most likely to see high wear and need a little extra grip.
  • No-Sew Upper: Great for runners who want to run sockless, the no-sew upper minimizes hot spots where blisters might form.

Trail Test

In general, it’s nice to be in touch with nature. But maybe you don’t want to be so in touch that you’re pulling splinters, rocks and other debris from the soles of your feet. Crazy, we know. Trail runners looking for a near-barefoot shoe have a flexible, durable option in the Minimus Trail 00.

The weight of this shoe – a bit over 4 oz for men, a bit under 4 oz for women – is pretty darn impressive. The shoes actually weigh less than the box they come in. Take a second to let that sink in. As expected from such low weights, the Minimus Trail 00 provides all the essentials, without anything extra.

The upper material appears highly durable, especially for how thin it is, though it doesn’t feel or look like the highest quality material out there. The trail ain’t no fashion show runway, right? But still, the mesh material didn’t quite feel like it was working with our feet, particularly in the forefoot, where all testers noticed some undesirable crinkling above the toes.

The Minimus Trail 00 sports the most deconstructed mid/outsole we’ve seen on a running shoe. The knobby lugs spaced a bit apart give your foot freedom to move in every imaginable direction, provide a bit of traction, and will keep your skin safe. But don’t count on any rock protection – every lump and bump on the trail will be transmitted to the sole of your foot.

The Minimus Trail 00 will give you a little protection from the trail without weighing you down or interrupting the natural way your foot wants to move.

Runners Say

“The MT00 gives you a little bit of cushion underfoot thanks to the springy lugs, but basically, your foot is on its own in this shoe.” – Matt

“Comfortable fit on the foot overall, but feels more narrow in midfoot and through the toe box than the WT10.” – Lauren

“The traction was good and the feel was fine on dirt and soft trails, but I got beat up any time I stepped on a rock. Although it did not create any problems, the upper puckered oddly across the forefoot when I cinched up the laces.” – Jonathan

Matt Running Shoes , ,

Nike Zoom Streak LT Sneak Peek

March 22nd, 2012

Nike Zoom Streak LT Men's Running Shoe

To riff on Bill Shakespeare: “A shoe by any other name….” Later this year, the ever-popular Streak XC 3 becomes the Streak LT. This means big changes, right? Nope. It’s really just a name change. Why? Because XC stands for cross-country, but this shoe actually appeals to a much broader range of runners. (Just take a look at our customer feedback.)

Nike recognized the shoe’s broader appeal, particularly among runners seeking a simple, minimalist-like shoe to use as their regular trainer. So the Streak has a new acronym after its name – LT, for “lightweight trainer.”

At an expected weight of 5.4 ounces, the Streak LT is super light and its 4mm heel-to-toe offset puts the foot in a near-level, natural position. In keeping with the natural theme, the shoe has a fairly narrow base and feels like an extension of the foot.

Whatever it’s called, we’re glad to see Nike continuing with this model and hope the name change brings in a few more converts who consider the shoe for their training regimen.

Launch Date

July 2012

MSRP

$70.00

What to Watch For

  • New Name: The Zoom Streak LT replaces the Zoom Streak XC 3. The name change is meant to broaden the shoe’s appeal outside of the cross-country realm.
  • New Upper Graphics: The upper hasn’t changed in design from the Streak XC 3, but looks fresh thanks to a new graphic applied to the mesh material.
  • Same Ol’ Sole: Nike made no changes to the mid/outsole of the Streak XC 3. You’ll still get full-length Cushlon, Zoom unit in the heel, midfoot shank and waffle rubber outsole.

Colors

Matt Running Shoes , ,

Adidas Adizero Hagio – Our Take

March 22nd, 2012

Adidas adiZero Hagio Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

The Adidas Hagio is a racing flat that doesn’t mess around – it just delivers wins with its featherweight, flexible ride.

Big Features

  • Light & Durable: Just 6.1 oz in a Men’s size 9, the Hagio features a high-strength mesh upper and adiWear carbon rubber for long-lasting grip and traction.
  • Well Cushioned: adiPRENE cushioning keeps this shoe comfortable and provides a responsive toe-off.

Road Test

Though the Hagio is considered a replacement for the much-loved adizero Rocket, it’s really the adizero Pro reborn. It’s nearly an ounce lighter than the Rocket and feels much more stripped-down than that shoe. But don’t worry, the responsive ride that gave the Rocket such a fast feel is alive and well in the Hagio. “Like butta” is the best way to describe the shoe’s smooth transition.

The Hagio is a case in point for anyone claiming that you can run fast and remain comfortable. Elite runners will cover the marathon in this shoe, but for most runners this is an ideal shoe for 3K to half marathon distances.

One surprising feature of the Hagio is how grippy its outsole is, particularly in the forefoot. This is a big help at speed, giving you confident traction at toe-off. It’s also a nice feature to help you feel reassured if race day conditions are on the rainy side. We like the highly breathable mesh on the upper, and the fact that you can easily wear this shoe sockless without getting blisters all over the place.

So is this the perfect racing flat? Well, not quite. Out of the box, the laces are laced “backwards,” making them difficult to tighten easily. It’s easy to fix this problem – just undo the laces and string ‘em up correctly. Some testers found the Sprint Web overlays in the midfoot to be too constricting, and others thought the forefoot was a bit too generous.

All told, the Hagio deserves the huge heap of praise it has received since its January 2012 launch and is a big win for Adidas in the lightweight racing flat category.

Runners Say

“No doubt the Hagio feels light, but it didn’t feel quite as fast as I was expecting.” – Daniel

“I can see why so many customers rely on the Hagio come race day. This shoe fits the niche of a lightweight racer to a T.” – Lauren

“One of the best transitions of any running shoe I’ve tried out.” – Matt

Matt Running Shoes , ,

Nathan Minimist Race Vest Giveaway

March 21st, 2012

Pack light and stay fast with the Nathan Minimist Race Vest. We’re giving away 2 vests to fans of Nathan products who want to give this new vest a try.

This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to Janelle in Pennsylvania and Fred in Illinois – winners of our Nathan Minimist Race Vest Giveaway.

Matt Running Accessories , ,