Archive

Author Archive

New Balance 980 Sneak Peek

August 25th, 2013

This spankin’ fresh model from New Balance is getting some serious buzz. The 980 introduces the brand’s latest midsole compound – Fresh Foam. How can you tell that it’s fresh? Just like a good pear or kiwi, you squeeze it, of course! But Fresh Foam isn’t the whole story here – the elemental design of the shoe makes it a welcome competitor in the popular class of shoes including the Saucony Kinvara, Brooks PureFlow and Pearl Izumi EM Road N2.

What to Watch For

  • Fresh Foam: This new compound is designed to deliver soft, plush cushioning to runners who want a more “natural” experience.
  • No-Sew Upper: All overlays on the 980 are welded in place to keep the shoe light.
  • 4mm Offset: We measured stack heights of a sample of the 980 at 26mm/22mm heel/forefoot.
  • On the Light Side: At 9.3 oz for Men’s size 9 and 7.2 oz for Women’s size 7 (RW measurements), the 980 is light compared to traditional running shoes, but a bit heavier than many other elemental models.

MSRP
$110.00

Release Date
February 2014 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 Sneak Peek

August 23rd, 2013


A go-to shoe for many runners who want a stable, cushioned ride, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS is a perennial favorite. Not wanting to mess with a good thing, Brooks goes easy on the updates to the upcoming Adrenaline GTS 14.

What to Watch For

  • New Platform: The GTS 13 carried over the platform from the GTS 12, but the 14′s midsole/outsole is all-new. Brooks added a bit of foam to the lateral side of the shoe for full ground contact and a smoother heel-to-toe transition.
  • New Upper: The redesigned upper features improved mesh and even higher quality materials, along with better midfoot support through the more structured midfoot overlays.
  • Identical Weight: Brooks lists the exact same weights for the GTS 14 as the GTS 13, for both Men’s and Women’s models.

MSRP
$120.00

Release Date
December 2013 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , , ,

New Balance 890 v4 Sneak Peek

August 22nd, 2013

The New Balance numbering system can cause confusion from time to time, but there’s no confusing the fact that the 890 series has been a reliable performance shoe for neutral runners. The upcoming fourth version of this model introduces a whole new look, with a comprehensive redesign from heel to toe.

What to Watch For

  • Weight Reduction: New Balance claims weight decreases of nearly an ounce in v4, with Men’s size 9 at 8.5 oz and Women’s size 7 at 6.7 oz, compared to NB’s official weights for v3 at 9.4 oz and 7.5 oz, respectively.
  • No-Sew Upper: Stitches be gone! The upper of the 890 v4 features all welded overlays, which reduces weight and the risk of irritation.
  • Increased Toe Spring: The amount the platform curves up at the toe has been increased slightly for a better transition at toe-off.
  • More Generous Toebox: Prior models of the 890 have been known for their shallow toebox, and NB decided to add a bit more material to provide an accommodating fit to more runners.
  • Same Offset: We expect the 890 v4 to continue to fall in the 7mm-8mm drop category.
  • Widths Available: Like prior models, we will carry the Men’s version in 2E widths.

MSRP
$110.00

Release Date
November 2013 (one Men’s and one Women’s color)
February 2014 (remaining colorways) Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Salomon X-Wind Pro Sneak Peek

August 19th, 2013

Salomon X-Wind Pro Men's Shoe

In 2014, Salomon is set to introduce its CityTrail line, a collection of shoes designed to take on the urban environment as well as the off-road terrain that the company knows so well. Among the new offerings is the X-Wind Pro, and if it looks somewhat familiar to you, that’s because it is actually an update to the XR Crossmax. In fact, this shoe goes largely unchanged from the XR Crossmax 2, so fans of the currently available version of this versatile door-to-trail trainer should have little to fear going into this update.

What to Watch For

  • New Name, Same Ride: Despite its new moniker, the X-Wind Pro features a mid/outsole combo unchanged from that of the XR Crossmax 2, so we can expect a similar cushioned feel underfoot.
  • Reduced Weight: The X-Wind Pro is expected to come in at 11.3 oz for a Men’s size 9 and 9.5 oz for a Women’s size 7, a nice reduction over the XR Crossmax 2.
  • Lower Price Tag: A drop in price is a welcome rarity these days. Fans of the XR Crossmax can take the 10 George Washingtons they’re saving off MSRP and buy themselves a nice lunch.

MSRP
$130

Launch Date
January 2014 March 2014 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Asics GT-2000 2 Sneak Peek

August 16th, 2013

The GT-2000 has been a strong success since its launch over 9 months ago. It has carried forward the tradition of the GT 2100 series shoes and brought new runners into the fold thanks to a highly comfortable and stable ride.

For the GT-2000 2, Asics introduces subtle refinements to its winning formula, including a new upper design with repositioned overlays for an enhanced fit. The midsole is largely the same except for the addition of FluidRide dual-layer foam, first introduced on the Nimbus 15. The outsole receives minor design changes that will not affect the shoe’s functionality or performance.

What to Watch For

  • Lighter Weight: According to Asics, the Men’s and Women’s GT-2000 2 drop about half an ounce from the original, with the new Men’s shoe at 11.0 oz (size 9) and the new Women’s model at 8.8 oz (size 7).
  • New Platform: The updated midsole looks much like the original but has been redesigned with FluidRide technology. The top foam layer contains injected/blended rubber, positioned closest to the foot to maximize comfort. The bottom layer, without the rubber blend, is lighter and more responsive.
  • Many Variations: In addition to the color options available in the GT-2000 2, the shoe comes in several other varieties. These include the Asics GT-2000 2 G-TX (a waterproof version with added traction), the Asics GT-2000 2 Trail (with a rugged, trail-specific outsole) and the Asics GT-2000 2 BR (for Blue Ribbon – sales of this shoe support prostate cancer research).
  • Gender-Specific Cushioning: The Women’s GT-2000 2 positions its cushioning slightly differently than the Men’s shoe to account for gender differences in gait and foot anatomy.

MSRP
$120.00

Release Date
October 2013 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , , ,

Understanding Heart Rates

August 15th, 2013

Many runners keep a close eye on their heart rate during exercise. So many, in fact, that we carry a wide selection of heart rate monitors. But like any piece of data, the number is useless unless you know what it means.

Jack Daniels, Ph.D, has a great blog post over at blog.saucony.com on the subject of Understanding Heart Rates. And he should know, having coached 30 NCAA National Champions, 130 All-Americans, and 5 Olympians over his storied 30 year career.

In his post, Dr. Daniels discusses the limited value of comparing your resting or max heart rate with other runners. He also cautions on the value of determining your appropriate maximum heart-rate value only by using a formula that is related to your age. His best advice? Keep a log book of your heart-rate values associated with rest and with each of your weekly runs, including pace, weather conditions, and other pertinent data.  As he writes, “When later in the year you see lower heart rates for rest or for the same intensity of exercise, you know your heart is getting stronger and you are getting fitter.” Amen to that.

Matt Run Training , ,

Running Shoe Sneak Peek Smorgasbord!

August 13th, 2013

Have you been keeping up with our sneak peeks of upcoming running shoes? If not, here’s a sampler of what you’ve missed. Click on the shoe for more info and pics. Stay tuned for many more sneak peeks this month!

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks

HOKA Conquest Sneak Peek

August 13th, 2013

HOKA is only 3 years old, but it’s no toddler. In fact, it has grown up incredibly quickly, holding tight to the idea that maximal cushioning combined with springy rebound can help runners “fly.” We think the upcoming Conquest is proof of how far the brand has come. It’s the most refined HOKA model we’ve seen yet, and all the core pieces of the brand’s story are integrated in a well-built package.

What to Watch For

  • New Midsole Material and Design: The Conquest introduces HOKA’s Rmat midsole material which is designed to provide both excellent resilience and dynamic performance. The material is shaped with a suspension design in the rearfoot, and the cutaway channels actually allow for water drainage.
  • Advanced Upper Design: Though the platform is the main story in any HOKA, the Conquest will have one of the nicest uppers from the brand to date. Look for features including no-sew construction, external heel counter, gusseted tongue, and race laces.
  • Other HOKA Features: Like other models from the brand, the Conquest has a “meta-rocker” design that guides a runner’s form and creates a very smooth transition. In addition, the platform offers “bucket seating” for your foot, which HOKA believes gives the runner a better connection to the shoe with a more stable feeling.
  • Key Stats: According to HOKA, the Men’s model will weigh in at 11.8 oz, with the Women’s at 9.6 oz. Both models will have stack heights of 29mm/25mm heel/forefoot.

MSRP
$170.00

Release Date
January 2014 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Saucony Virrata 2 Sneak Peek

August 12th, 2013

The Saucony Virrata has been a solid addition to the company’s “natural series” line (also including the Kinvara 4 and Mirage 4). From the time we first slipped it on and started chuggin’, we were impressed with the impeccably smooth ride and nice balance of responsiveness/cushioning in this shoe. Apparently, we weren’t alone, as the Virrata continues to be a top seller over 6 months after its launch.

But enough about that ancient history, you want to hear about the next Virrata, right? The Virrata 2 will look a bit different, but functionally, we expect it to perform identically. The platform carries over from the original, and the upper has been refreshed with a design that’s highly reminiscent of the Kinvara 4.

What to Watch For

  • New Upper: The reconfigured upper has added heel support for a more locked-in fit.
  • Carryover Platform: The EVA midsole tooling carries over in this update, along with the application of carbon rubber in strategic wear locations on the outsole.
  • Unchanged Weight: Already a light shoe, the Virrata’s weight is basically unchanged, with Saucony listing weights of 6.5 oz for a Men’s size 9 and 6.0 oz for a Women’s size 8.

MSRP
$90.00

Release Date
February 2014 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Saucony Mirage 4 Sneak Peek

August 10th, 2013

The shoes you see in this post are no mirage. And yet, they are the Mirage. The Mirage 4 to be exact, checking in with an updated look for spring 2014.

Now that’s we’ve blown your mind, we can reorient you by letting you know that the Mirage 4 is not a radical departure from its predecessors. It remains a light, flexible shoe that offers a bit of pronation support. According to Saucony, weights will increase a few tenths of an ounce for both Men’s and Women’s models due to the more durable mesh used in the upper. But still, the shoe will be under 9 oz for men and under 8 oz for women.

What to Watch For

  • New Upper: The fresh upper design is engineered for increased breathability, with more ergonomic FlexFilm overlays.
  • Power Up: PowerGrid replaces ProGrid Lite in the heel for increased shock absorption.
  • Carryover Platform: Beyond the PowerGrid update, the Mirage 4 has the same tooling as the Mirage 3, which we’ve found to offer a much more enjoyable running experience compared to the Mirage 1 and 2. The shoe will continue to offer a 4mm drop.

MSRP
$110.00

Release Date
February 2014 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,