Thanks to Hypebeast, all of us can view a video of how the adidas Ultra Boost is assembled. While we wish we could see how the Boost midsole is made, the video does show how the Primeknit upper is constructed and how the shoe is pieced together. If you have never seen how a shoe is assembled, the above video is worth a view.
For 2015, ASICS has introduced three new trail shoes to the US market: the FujiAttack 4, the FujiPro and the FujiRunnagade.
The FujiAttack 4 is a versatile trail shoe designed to tackle a variety of terrains. The FujiPro is best-suited for faster paced running over hard-packed surfaces and the FujiRunnagade is ready to take on the mud.
Available February 2015 – MSRP $180.00
With full-length Boost, a Primeknit upper, and a Stretch Web Outsole, the adidas Ultra Boost looks to gain a strong foothold in the category of high-end neutral trainers.
- Stack Height: 27mm Heel, 17mm Forefoot, 10mm offset
- Weight: 11.4 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 9.4 oz (Women’s Size 7.0)
- ASICS Gel Kinsei 5- MSRP $200.00
- Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4- MSRP $210.00
A Boost in Popularity
Innovation is what drives the market. It’s what we crave, perpetually waiting for that next big thing to be unveiled. For adidas, this major breakthrough came in 2013, when it revealed the Boost midsole compound. This revolutionary material, composed of thousands of TPU pellets, boasts remarkable energy return properties unmatched in responsiveness.
Since the creation of Boost, adidas has confidently placed all their eggs in one basket. You’ll be hard pressed to find an adidas trainer that doesn’t use at least a little Boost these days. While it may be true that you can have too much of a good thing, that principle may not apply to adidas’ latest unveiling, the Ultra Boost. Boldly touting a full-length Boost midsole in combination with a midfoot Torsion system that creates smooth and powerful heel-to-toe transitions, this latest creation is looking to make big waves in the running world.
At a Glance
- Weight: 9.0 oz. (Men’s Size 9.0) & 7.7 oz. (Women’s size 8.0)
- 12mm heel-toe offset: 27mm heel, 15mm forefoot
- Lightweight neutral daily trainer
- A snug heel and midfoot fit similar to Wave Rider 16
- Responsive platform provides efficient energy return
The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 generates a firm and fast feel that will hold up to high mileage training while offering one of the lightest options in its class.
New for 2015, the Under Armour Speedform Gemini is a mouthful to say but worth a good look. The UA Gemini is soft like a Brooks Ghost or ASICS Nimbus, but flexible like a Nike FREE. Most heavily cushioned shoes seem to result in a runner’s forefoot moving as a single unit. In contrast, minimalist shoes (more minimal than Nike FREE) seem to create a sensation where each metatarsal head moves independently and thus creates a “natural” running sensation. Somehow, the Gemini combines plentiful cushioning and a natural forefoot feel.
The fit of the shoe is interesting. The Speedform upper provides a seamless wrap around the foot, which feels great, but the shallow toe-box has some runners going up a half size to relieve pressure on the top of the big toe. The heel lacks a padded collar found in many shoes and instead has a soft, minimalist, semi-stretch fit with no points of irritation. The heel feels sublime while walking, but lacks a snug feel while on the run. While heel slippage was not evident, there was a sense of a lack of security. There are no problems yet, but it has different feel.
By combining the cushioning of a plush training shoe with the foot-movement flexibility of a minimalist shoe and a streamlined upper, the Gemini stands out as a unique option for neutral runners.
• Weight: 10.1/8.5 oz (Men’s Size 9.0/Women’s Size 8.0)
• Stack Height: Medium (21mm Forefoot)
• Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm (29mm Heel, 21mm Forefoot)
• Foot motion: Neutral
Available February 2015 – MSRP $160.00
The Salomon S-Lab X-Series brings elite performance to the road.
- Stack Height: 23mm Heel, 15mm Forefoot, 8mm offset
- Weight: 7.7 oz (Men’s size 9.0)
- adidas adizero adios Boost 2- MSRP $140
- Nike LunaRacer+ 3- MSRP $110
Happy New Year!
Salomon looks to kick off 2015 with a bang by introducing the S-Lab X-Series, the first road racing shoe and the pinnacle product of the CityTrail line. CityTrail is Salomon’s approach to encouraging road running within diverse urban landscapes of metropolitan areas. Whether you’re cutting corners, flying up stairs, dashing through the park, or maybe even racing the tube, Salomon CityTrail now has a solution for you.
Available January 2015 – MSRP $100.00
The Saucony Breakthru is a lightweight daily trainer and uptempo running shoe that can handle a wide range of mileage and speeds.
- Stack Height: 24mm Heel, 16mm Forefoot, 8mm offset
- Weight: 8.6 oz (Men’s size 10.0), 7.3 oz (Women’s size 8.0)
- Mizuno Wave Rider 18 – MSRP $120
- Pearl Izumi EM Road N2 – MSRP $120
- Nike Zoom Elite 7 – MSRP $110
What kind of shoe is the Breakthru?
While I’m tempted to make some sort of clever play on words about the name of this shoe, I’ll spare you of any terrible puns…for now. All jokes aside, the Breakthru actually provides an interesting option for runners, which is tough to categorize. With what is expected to be a more responsive ride and a weight of 8.6 ounces (for men in a size 10), this shoe could be likened to a lightweight everyday trainer like the Mizuno Wave Rider 18. However, with an 8mm heel-toe offset, this shoe can also draw comparisons to performance trainers such as the Nike Zoom Elite 7. In this way, the Breakthru seems to straddle the fence between a standard daily trainer and an uptempo running shoe.
Available February 2015 – MSRP $90.00
The ASICS 33-DFA is a natural, low stack height option ideal for everyday training or uptempo running.
- Stack Height: 19mm Heel, 15mm Forefoot, 4mm offset
- Weight: 8.7 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 6.9 oz (Women’s size 8.0)
- Brooks PureFlow 3 – MSRP $100
- Saucony Kinvara 5 – MSRP $100
Why should I be interested about the 33-DFA?
Rounding out our first looks on the ASICS Natural33 collection, the 33-DFA will look to cater to the pseudo-minimalist market with a low stack design and natural running concepts in mind. The name “DFA” stands for Deep FluidAxis, representing that the FluidAxis flex grooves cut deep into the midsole to allow for the natural rotation of the foot while running. For additional information regarding ASICS’ FluidAxis technology, check out our first look blog on the ASICS 33-FA. With a forefoot stack height of 15mm, the 33-DFA should provide the most ground feel of the series for an enhanced natural running experience.
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.
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.
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.