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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 , , , ,

Saucony Triumph ISO | First Look

October 2nd, 2014

Available November 2014 – MSRP $150.00

A new ISOFIT upper, new PWRGRID+ cushioning technology and 3 additional millimeters of midsole foam come together in the Triumph to deliver an improved, premium neutral running shoe.

Updates

  • ISOFIT upper combines a plush sock liner with a flexible internal cage to allow the foot freedom to move as it pleases.
  • PWRGRID+ is a one-piece platform that uses grid shaped cushioning materials to aid in shock absorption and durability while adding 20% more cushioning.

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Chris Running Shoes , , , ,

Nike Zoom Structure 18 | First Look

October 1st, 2014

At a Glance:

  • Weight: Men’s 10.1 oz (size 9.0), Women’s 9.2 oz (size 8.0)
  • Stack Height: 27mm (heel), 18mm (forefoot) – Drop: 9mm
  • Tri-density Dynamic Support adapts to varied levels of overpronation
  • New Zoom Air cushioning dissipates shock in forefoot
  • Flymesh Upper provides exceptional flexibility and durability
  • Competing Shoes: ASICS 2000 3, Saucony Guide 8, Brooks Ravenna 5

Gone are the days when substantial support and speed were impossible to reconcile in running shoe designs. Technology has progressed to the point where many shoes are managing to successfully correct overpronation while staying adaptive and quick. The Nike Structure 18 is an example of a shoe that’s leading the pack due to significant updates to the Dynamic Support, Zoom Air, and Flymesh upper materials. This shoe definitely warrants some attention so let’s take a deeper look.

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Scott Running Shoes , , , ,

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton Review

September 10th, 2014

Men's & Women's Clifton models

At a Glance:

  • 7.8 oz (Men’s size 9), 6.8 oz (Women’s size 8 )
  • 6mm Heel to Toe Offset
  • 29 mm heel, 23 mm forefoot
  • With a soft and quick feel, the Clifton delivers maximum cushioning with HIP CMEVA Midsole.
  • At faster speeds, transition to the forefoot feels effortless due to the Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry
  • With a full Ground Contact design, a stable ride is achieved without feeling overly bulky
  • The SpeedFrame upper design offers a snug fit during runs no matter what pace you run

Verdict: The HOKA Clifton is in a class of it’s own. This ultra-lightweight shoe partners well with efficient runners looking for a suitable tempo shoe while the large midsole shape and high ride height provide a soft forgiving experience on the roads at any pace.

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Connor Running Shoes , , , ,

ASICS GEL-Kayano is 21 and Running Warehouse is Celebrating!

September 1st, 2014

Happy Birthday Kayano!

When the lead footwear designer at ASICS, Toshikazu Kayano, made ASICS’ most advanced running shoe in 1993, he could hardly imagine how his creation would look 21 years later. While shoe concepts often start within a shoe company’s product development department, with thought toward reaching different customers and filling holes in the existing product line, this shoe was unique as the original concept came from Mr. Kayano himself. Naming the shoe in his likeness was originally a temporary plan as a placeholder during the development phase, with a different name intended to be created to take its place as the shoe came to market. However, the name Kayano became popular among the developers and the GEL-Kayano was born. To date, this is the only ASICS shoe ever named after a designer.

As with any 21 year old, the GEL-Kayano has gone through many changes to get to their current state. With every trend setting innovation that the GEL-Kayano brought to the industry, great care was taken to ensure that the shoe’s legendary ride persists undiluted.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 1 Running Shoes

The ASICS GEL-Kayano is born!

The GEL-Kayano Trainer was born in 1993. From birth the Kayano, broke barriers for comfort and support in the industry. With GEL units in the heel and forefoot and supportive elements in the midsole and upper, the shoe delivered a premium experience that ASICS didn’t offer in other models. The first Kayano was the most expensive running shoe in the industry and many people doubted ASICS’ ability to sell a shoe at its price point. “Trainer” was initially included in the name to reflect runner’s lexicon for high mileage running shoes but the shoe came out right as cross-training became popular and the word “trainer” was dropped from subsequent models.

ASICS GEL-Kayano was definitely advanced at age 5. The age many of us first went to school!

By its 5th generation, the GEL-Kayano had started to excel among its running shoe peers. Sales exploded with the 3rd rendition when ASICS included the first Trusstic System included in that model. The Kayano reached its 5th year in style as it started really showing off with more exposed GEL units than before and a bold logo on the side. 5 is the age that many of us experienced our first day of school, the Kayano was certainly prepared to be the coolest kid in class.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 10 Running Shoes

Big innovation to the upper came when ASICS GEL-Kayano hit double digits.

By the time the Kayano reached double digits, it had taken comfortable support to the next level. With four years of refining its impact guidance system the shoe’s ride grew ever smoother. For the first time ever the GEL-Kayano X (the shoe had been showing off its age in Roman numerals in the title from VII) featured Biomorphic Upper Fit, with upper materials that give an equivalent custom fit experience to the GEL units underfoot.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 13 Running Shoes

Teenage years for the Kayano would be very fruitful. The 13th generation was improved above and below the foot.

When the Kayano became a teenager it gave up on Roman numerals and took on more GEL in the midsole than ever. This GEL was added without making the shoe heavier thanks to lighter materials in the upper. The updates included in the GEL-Kayano 13 would lay a foundation for some very successful subsequent years.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 Running Shoes

ASICS GEL-Kayano's sweet sixteen came on the heels of 2 Runner's World Editor Choice Awards for best shoe.

When the Kayano reached its sweet 16 it was coming off of consecutive Runner’s World Editor’s Choice awards. The GEL-Kayano 16 introduced the Guidance Line, a groove that spanned the shoe from heal to toe to encourage an efficient stride without sacrificing support. As many of us did, the Kayano certainly passed its driving test on its 16th birthday.

ASICS GEL Kayano 18 Running Shoes

The 18 year old ASICS GEL-Kayano graduated from high school at the top of its class.

The GEL-Kayano 18 celebrated its status as a legal adult by shedding over an ounce to be the lightest Kayano to date and with out losing any of the innovative features that made the shoe so successful. With the drop in weight the Kayano became more flexible but managed to stay incredibly cushioned.

ASICS Gel-Kayano 21 Running Shoes

ASICS GEL-Kayano is 21 and is ready for everything that comes with such the milestone!

And that leads us to the Kayano’s 21st birthday. The GEL-Kayano 21 retains everything that has made it great and, coming in at 11.5 oz is the lightest yet. The FluidRide midsole compliments the FluidFit upper perfectly to conform to the unique needs of every foot while keeping the foot springing toward each stride. GEL cushioning units continue to provide the lasting protection from the road and this generation has the most gel yet. While the Kayano is a shoe that accommodates all footstrike points, a larger portion of the additional gel is in the forefoot, upping the protection for forefoot and midfoot strikers. A new heel crash pad engages the Guidance Line earlier in the ground contact cycle and the Guidance Line has been reshaped to bring the foot through the optimal movement and waste as little energy as possible when toeing off to the next stride.

Kaizen is a Japanese word that refers to continual improvement.  Perhaps no other shoe in the industry embodies this philosophy like the GEL-Kayano. The 21st birthday is the ultimate coming of age moment for Americans and signifies that one is finally entrusted with virtually all rights and responsibilities of an adult. It provides and opportunity to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to future improvement and success.

Whether you are a Kayano faithful or have never tried the shoe, join Running Warehouse in celebrating a shoe that continues to set innovative trends for the industry and keeps runners around the world hitting the pavement for mile after mile.

We will have a more detailed review of the new Kayano when we can thoroughly test the shoes.

Pre-order the ASICS Gel-Kayano 21 and buy other ASICS shoes here: Men / Women

Scott Running Shoes , , ,

HOKA ONE ONE Huaka Shoe Review

August 26th, 2014

At a Glance

  • 4mm offset (26mm heel, 22mm forefoot)
  • Weight: 9.2 ounces (men’s size 9); 8.2 ounces (womens size 8 )
  • RMAT midsole for smooth shock absorption
  • High abrasion rubber zones for sticky grip
  • Lightweight SpeedFrame upper maintains breathability and prevents debris from entering

Verdict

A soft, low offset road trainer, the HOKA ONE ONE Huaka provides maximal cushioning for plenty of shock absorption along with a performance-oriented feel when paces pick up.

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Connor Running Shoes , , ,

New Balance 980 Trail Shoe Review

August 20th, 2014

At a Glance:

  • 4mm offset (24mm heel, 20mm forefoot)
  • 10.5 ounces in weight (men’s size 9)
  • Fresh Foam midsole technology that delivers plush cushioning
  • Multi-directional lugs that offer traction for climbing and descending
  • No-sew synthetic mesh upper and gusseted tongue designed to keep out debris

Verdict:

A low offset, highly cushioned trail shoe that meets the demands of daily trail runners as well as fans of the New Balance 980 road version.

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Connor Running Shoes , , ,

Saucony ISO-FIT: Improving fit with each step

August 8th, 2014

Saucony ISO-FIT: 2015 Saucony Triumph

For Spring 2015, Saucony is rolling out a premium fit construction for three shoe models in their new ISO-Series. With the goal of reducing points of pressure caused by interaction between the foot and the shoe’s upper, Saucony created ISO-FIT.

ISO-FIT technology virtually eliminates the bunching or creasing in the upper that results from the change in shape of the runner’s foot and shoe during the gait cycle. This should drastically reduce pressure points that cause blisters and other irritation. This is accomplished by what Saucony is calling a “floating support cage,” allowing supportive elements to react independently to foot movements rather than being influenced by other movements of the upper. In addition to the “floating support cage,” an “ultra-soft inner fit-sleeve,” creates a sock-like wrap around the top and sides of the foot.

So what does all this mean? Well, we had a chance to try on the new Saucony Triumph, and the initial step-in feel was very plush and while we cannot yet comment on how it feels on a long run, if the Saucony data is correct, long-term comfort should be outstanding. Look for ISO-FIT this November with the release of the new Triumph. The ISO-series Hurricane will hit the market January 2015 and a new shoe, the Zealot will follow in February.

Jonathan Running Shoes , , ,