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Archive for the ‘Running Shoes’ Category

Nike Zoom Elite 7 Review

December 18th, 2014

At a Glance

  • 9.0 oz. (Men’s size 9.0) & 7.9 oz. (Women’s size 8.0).
  • 7mm heel-toe offset: 25mm heel, 18mm forefoot.
  • The addition of a lateral crash rail system creates a smooth heel-to-toe transition.
  • Springy Zoom Air unit propels runners effortlessly through toe-off.
  • Lightweight mesh upper provides a snug, glove-like fit. 

Verdict

The Elite 7 is a neutral trainer that provides enough cushioning to cater to both tempo runs and daily training. With a weight and drop that fits right in between standard and performance trainers on the market, this hybrid model is a perfect match for efficient runners who are looking for a shoe that can match their changing speeds.

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Connor Running Shoes , , , , , ,

Holiday Gift Giving Guide for Runners

December 15th, 2014

It has been said that it is better to give than to receive. And…that statement is probably correct. In fact, the Science of Generosity Initiative, one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted on Americans’ giving habits, reports that there is a strong correlation between giving and happiness. Those who give of their time and resources are generally more happy than those who do not (The New Republic, 2014). And, regardless of the research, many of us can agree that the look of absolute surprise and sheer delight on the face of the recipient when opening a gift floods the gift-giver with deep satisfaction and a sense that (in that moment) all is right with the world.

But before we get too gushy about this whole thing, let’s not forget one very important detail. Gift giving is HARD (let me clarify; when I say gift giving, what I really mean is gift choosing). The choosing process has the potential to turn one of the most joyful experiences into a royal pain in the you-know-what. So, we are here to help. Every runner has different needs based on their experience level, athletic ability and personality type, and we have matched some of the year’s finest products to the appropriate runner type.

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Jen Running Accessories, Running Apparel, Running Shoes , , ,

ASICS 33-M | First Look

December 15th, 2014

ASICS 33-M Men's Shoe Khaki/Coffee/Orange

Available February 2015 – MSRP $140.00

The ASICS 33-M is a low offset, maximal neutral trainer in the revamped Natural33 collection.

Tech Specs

  • Stack Height: 31mm Heel, 27mm Forefoot, 4mm offset
  • Weight: 10.9 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 8.9 oz (Women’s size 8.0)

Competing Shoes

  • Altra The Paradigm – MSRP $130
  • HOKA ONE ONE Conquest – MSRP $170

What’s in a name?

The M stands for “maximal”, as this shoe features a significantly higher stack height than its brethren in the 33 series, and rivals other maximal shoes on the market, most notably the HOKA ONE ONE Conquest.  With HOKA spearheading the movement towards more maximalist footwear, the 33-M is meant to cater to the runner looking for a shoe that will provide substantial amounts of impact protection without feeling clunky. With a weight that mirrors most standard daily trainers, this shoe looks to make a statement in the industry among the growing trend of lightweight, highly-cushioned trainers.

The 33 designation in the ASICS 33-M refers to the flexibility the shoe provides for the 33 joints of the foot. With a 4mm heel-toe offset, this model offers a more natural running experience compared to traditional trainers such as the Kayano or Nimbus, which have drops of 12mm.  This shoe, alongside the 33-FA and 33-DFA, will be the face of ASICS’ Natural33 series heading into 2015.  For a little more information on the 33 designation and the series as a whole, check out our first look at the ASICS 33-FA.

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Sean Running Shoes , , , , , , , ,

Nike Zoom Structure 18 Shoe Review

December 5th, 2014

At a Glance

  • 10.1 oz. (Men’s size 9.0) & 9.2 oz. (Women’s size 8.0).
  • 9 mm heel-to-toe drop: 27mm heel, 18mm forefoot.
  • The addition of a third density through a stock fit medial post provides increased pronation control for moderate overpronators.
  • Cushioning from a forefoot loaded zoom air unit creates a quick, springy toe off.
  • The debut of the Flymesh upper offers a snug fitting, breathable experience on top of the foot.

Verdict

The Nike Zoom Structure 18 blends stability and cushioning together to create a versatile daily trainer for moderate overpronators. The Structure 18 utilizes a triple density material design in the heel and springy zoom air pockets in the forefoot to provide a supportive and responsive heel-to-toe transition. This model excels as a daily trainer but runners may find the springy underfoot feel suitable for tempo runs. The Structure 18 is a great option for runners looking for one of the most supportive midsoles in its class while offering a moderately firm underfoot feel throughout the gait cycle.

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Connor Running Shoes , , , , ,

ASICS 33-FA | First Look

December 3rd, 2014

ASICS 33-FA Women’s Shoe Coral/Yellow/Mint

Available February 2015. MSRP $110.00

The ASICS 33-FA uses AmpliFoam to deliver a resilient, soft ride in a low weight, low offset package.

Tech Specs

  • Stack Height: 25mm Heel, 21mm Forefoot, 4mm offset
  • Weight: 9.2 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 7.5 oz (Women’s Size 7.0)

Competing Shoes

  • HOKA ONE ONE Huaka – MSRP $150
  • New Balance 980 – MSRP $110
  • Saucony Zealot – MSRP $130

What does the 33 designation mean?

Embodied in the name of ASICS upcoming natural series, 33 refers to the number of joints found in the human foot. Inspired to create a low offset experience, ASICS infused natural running concepts into all three model designs being released in 2015. Current ASICS 33 models (The Excel33, Electro33, Super J33, Lyte 33 models) utilize ASICS Gel for shock absorption, FluidAxis geometry for smooth shoe function, a Natural33 Last for a rounded toebox shape, and varied heel-toe offsets of 6mm and 10mm.

With the 33-FA, ASICS plunges deeper into “natural running”, using a heel-toe offset of 4mm for a more level foot position. Additionally, the ASICS Gel insets have been replaced with AmpliFoam that runs the entire length of the midsole. AmpliFoam is a low density foam that provides consistent cushioning opposed to the spot cushioning of Gel, while delivering a soft ride that is unique in terms of being as resilient and durable as some firmer foams. The 33-FA follows suit of previous 33 models, by incorporating FluidAxis and the Natural33 Last.

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Sean Running Shoes , , ,

Saucony Zealot | First Look

November 24th, 2014

Saucony Zealot Men's Shoe (Sample Shown)

Available February 2015 – MSRP $130.00

The Saucony Zealot is a low weight, low offset, premium cushioned running shoe.

Tech Specs

  • Stack Height: 28mm Heel, 24mm Forefoot, 4mm offset
  • Weight: 8.3 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 7.4 oz (Women’s size 8.0)

Competing Shoes

  • HOKA ONE ONE Huaka – MSRP $150
  • New Balance 980 -  MSRP $110

What makes the Saucony Zealot relevant?

When the minimalist movement began to catch on, Saucony introduced the Kinvara, a not-quite-minimal shoe that weighed under 8.0 oz. Adopted by serious runners seeking a more natural foot position without the extreme nature of a true minimal shoe, the Kinvara delivered a rare combination of a lightweight, semi-soft ride with exceptional energy return.  The Kinvara was arguably the first shoe to bring the 4mm offset to the masses, and while it could not be classified as a true minimal shoe, it found a very desirable niche and redefined the current lightweight/performance running shoe category.

More recently, there has been a movement toward maximal cushioning in running shoes. Simply look to the expanding line of Hoka One One (the creators of maximalist shoes), the recent success of the Altra Olympus and Altra Paradigm, and the upcoming 2015 release of the Asics 33-M as evidence to maximalism beginning to take hold. Just as with the Kinvara, where Saucony did not go to the extreme end of minimalism, the Zealot moves in the direction of maximalism without going to the end.

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Jonathan Running Shoes , , , , , ,

ASICS Gel-Kayano 21 Shoe Review

November 18th, 2014

At a Glance

  • 11.4 oz. (Men’s size 9.0) & 9.6 oz. (Women’s size 8.0)
  • Men’s model offers a 10mm heel-to-toe drop (Heel: 28mm, Forefoot: 18mm)
  • Women’s model offers a 13mm heel-to-toe drop ( Heel: 30mm, Forefoot: 17mm) due to gender-specific Plus3 Support system design
  • Top of the class cushioning creates an ultra-soft and absorbent feeling throughout the gait cycle
  • Maximum support reduces moderate to severe overpronation
  • Plush, FluidFit mesh upper wraps foot for a snug and comfortable fit

Verdict

The ASICS Gel-Kayano 21 blends a firm, maximum support platform with top-of-the-class cushioning to create a plush yet sturdy running experience for daily road training.

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Connor Running Shoes , , , ,

adidas Boston 5 Shoe Review

October 20th, 2014

At a Glance

  • 8.5 oz. (Men’s size 9.0), 7.7 oz. (Women’s size 8.0)
  • 10mm heel-to-toe drop: 26mm heel, 16mm forefoot
  • Fast & responsive underfoot feel at fast paces
  • Exceptional energy return creates a smooth feel at any pace
  • Adequate cushioning for efficient runners to use as a daily trainer

Verdict

The adidas Boston 5 blends lightweight performance with springy cushioning to create a versatile shoe, fast enough for up-tempo workouts while having sufficient cushioning for daily training.

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Connor Running Shoes , , ,

The History of the Mizuno Wave Rider

October 9th, 2014

In 1997, the MIZUNO Corporation of America was dissolved and MIZUNO USA, INC. was created in its place. Unless you were in a Mizuno office at the time, chances are you didn’t notice. Yet, changes went beyond just the name on the building as the decisions made during the transition have impacted the design of Mizuno products over the past decade.

Companies like ASICS and Nike were gobbling up sales at running stores around the country by injecting their shoes with ever-more Gel (ASICS) and Air (Nike), always searching to create a softer ride for runners. Mizuno, on the other hand, thought that not all running customers were looking for more and more cushioning in their running shoes. In order to differentiate their product, Mizuno focused their energy on designing a shoe that dispersed the stride’s energy in a way that propelled the runner forward rather than simply cushioning the blow upon impact. The result was a thermoplastic, wave-shaped unit in the midsole of the shoe. Thus, the Mizuno Wave Rider was born.

The signature Wave plate has been present since the Rider's first iteration.

The Wave Design

Inspired by nature’s propulsive forces, Mizuno’s Wave plate acts like a spring, redirecting downward energy into a forward motion. For example, the ocean’s waves gather momentum from winds of varied directions, pushing breakers towards the shore. In the same way, the Mizuno Wave plate was designed to bring together the forces that occur during a foot strike and use that compiled energy in a positive way. In addition to a springy underfoot experience, the Wave plate also has pronation-corrective properties as well. Lateral movement will also be redirected forward by the physics of the shoe, although the Rider is designed for neutral runners. The Wave plate has taken different shapes to accommodate the need for more significant pronation control in shoes like the Inspire and Paradox, for example. While the Wave plate does not create the plush experience of other midsole technologies, the ride of the shoe cannot be found anywhere else.

The Evolution of the Wave Rider

New composite materials were used in the Wave Rider 8.

As you might have suspected, it didn’t take long for the Wave Rider to take off. The unique ride experience of the Wave plate and innovations like AIRmesh and Intercool in the second and fourth editions of the Wave Rider won over customers and inspired others to adopt similar features in shoes across the running industry. The Wave Rider 6 switched the Wave plate from plastic to a composite material, making the shoe lighter, the ride smoother, and the landing softer. These early innovations not only won over the hearts of runners but also caused the editors at Runner’s World magazine to take notice. The Wave Rider 2 won the Editor’s Choice award and the Wave Rider 6 earned Best Update honors.

The 11th version of the Wave Rider first implemented the Dynamotion upper.

Despite the awards, Mizuno was not content letting their flagship shoe become stale. With the Wave Rider 8, Mizuno wagered that the decoupled outsole in their new SmoothRide Engineering design would enhance the Wave plate’s ability to disperse energy while letting the foot naturally spread the shock of each foot strike. This is another Wave Rider technology now imitated across the running industry. Other notable innovations included the Dynamotion upper in the Wave Rider 11 and the Pebax Rnew Wave plate in the Wave Rider 12. Dynamotion and the Pebax Wave correlated with more Runner’s World awards as the Wave Rider 11 won “Best Buy” and the Wave Rider 12 was crowned “Editor’s Choice.”

The Rider 14 offered the plushest model to date.

Innovation is risky, and whether Mizuno was responding to competitors or listening to retailers when looking for ways to update the trusty Rider model, hindsight reveals that the changes made to the Wave Rider 14 did not resonate with consumers. Mizuno changed the upper in efforts to create a more secure fit than before. Unfortunately, “plush” can feel “bulky” and “secure” can mean “constrictive.” So, while the new upper on top of the ride platform may have made for a great shoe, it just wasn’t right for the faithful Wave Rider customer. A few years later, the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 may have gone too far in the other direction. Mizuno stripped the upper of almost all structural overlays and changed the Wave plate from Pebax to polyurethane. While Mizuno did successfully create a shoe that enhances the foot’s ability to move through the gait cycle naturally, the lack of structure didn’t cater to those who worried about its ability to last through the high mileage required of a daily trainer.

The Wave Rider 18

The latest Wave Rider 18 has found a way to build on what the last model did right while fixing the some of the shortcomings. The iconic Runbird logo on the side provides security around the midfoot, while an overlay along the lace eyelets ensures an even fit all the way up the shoe. Additional strapping exists within the upper to allow for a minimalist look while maintaining the structure needed for high mileage training. The Wave plate has returned to the Pebax material that won over many Wave Rider fans in the past, helping make the Wave Rider 18 the lightest shoe in the neutral category for everyday use.

The Wave Rider evolution has delivered one of the most innovative and beloved shoes in the industry. Mizuno’s willingness to take risks with their flagship shoe has paid off with technology that spreads throughout their entire line of running shoes, and their inspiration can be seen beyond the borders of the Mizuno brand.

To find the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 at Running Warehouse, please select the Men’s or Women’s link.

Wave Rider 18 for Men

Wave Rider 18 for Women

Scott Running Shoes , , , ,

Altra Paradigm Shoe Review

October 7th, 2014

At a Glance

  • 10.2 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 9.2 oz (Women’s size 8.0)
  • 25mm heel, 25mm forefoot
  • Promotes midfoot and forefoot strike due to zero mm heel-to-toe offset
  • Soft, maximum cushioned A-bound midsole keeps your legs feeling less fatigued on longer distance workouts
  • Ample room for toe splay is created through an extra wide toe box shape

Verdict

The Altra Paradigm is best for runners who want to maximize shock absorption but prefer a shoe that makes it easy to focus on an efficient stride over long distances or recovery runs.

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Connor Running Shoes , , , ,