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shoeporn: Adidas – UltraBOOST 21

Herzogenaurach’s three stripes company just released the state-of-the-art renovation of their popular UltraBOOST series. There is possibly no shoe in the assortment that feature so much of adidas’ soft and springy Boost material then this one. In addition to the iconic three lines, the material has been a trademark for adidas running shoes since its very first release in 2013. I had the chance to test one of the first pairs, the Adizero Adios Boost, back then. Check the Post if you are interested.

With the UltraBOOST series adidas has been surfing amid the so called “lifestyle” and “performance” segment. There are no two opinions about the look, that is for sure. Nonetheless we will concentrate on the performance part of things in this post.
As mentioned earlier on, the boost material is a trademarked polymer exclusively used by adidas. Basically, it is a lot of small balls which are compressed and molded to protect the foot from the ground and it delivers a certain boost while toeing off during the running movement. The small balls contain of patented thermoplastic urethane. Adidas cooperated with the German chemical powerhouse BASF (Hello Steffen 😉) to create this material.
Adidas did not hold back with the usage of the boost material. Particularly at the back end of the shoe. At first the Boost material was only known within the running scene, but when a certain Kanye Omari West was seen wearing a pair of UltraBOOST “Triple White” in 2015, the shoes went mainstream and not only boosted running strides but also sales.
The three stripes are an iconic characteristic that defines Adidas. At first the brand added the stripes to its running shoes to make them sturdier. One of the initial T&F athletes to use the shoes with the stripes was legendary Jesse Owens in the 1936 Summer Olympics. By now, the stripes on the clover symbol represent Adidas focus on variety. Finnish brand Karhu and Adidas used to share the three stripes but Adi Dassler bought the rights in 1952.
Comfort undoubtedly is a key feature with this shoe. The upper feels super pleasant and comfortable. The pattern on the side of the shoe make sure that enough stability is provided. I like the sock-like design and the wide flexible fit around the forefoot. The Ultraboost 21 upper is made from flexible Primeknit material and is only 1.9mm thick. Compared to a traditional upper, this really feels like a sock.
The last 7 years, the Boost material was a stable when it comes to cushioning. Several models have proofed this. Notwithstanding the age, the material is still good and certainly does the trick when it comes to the padding part. The energy return was lacking in previous models and adidas successfully changed this with this model and the newly developed LEP Torsion System. The Torsion system is something that can been seen in older models but adidas changed it quite a bit and added the flexible TPU fork to increase the toe off.
A new standard is the Continental rubber that is used on the outsole of the shoe. Its durable and grips pretty well.
Two german tradional companies unite. Continental was founded in 1871 as a rubber producer and still is strong in this segment producing all kinds of tires and car equipment.
It is no top-secret that the Ultraboost 21 is not the lightest shoe. With a weight of nearly 380 grams in my US13 model it is weighty for its standard. Nevertheless, it doesn’t feel super heavy or unsmooth while running. The feeling was normal and I never felt I have to invest more energy then I essentially got out of the shoe. According to adidas, the Boost foam in this shoe is now firmer. This should result 20% more responsiveness.
A close up shot highlighting the Primeknit upper that is made of yarn from recycled plastic bottles.
It looks like the heel is one gigantic portion of Boost foam with one major drop. With 10mm, it is not that huge at the end. The heel foam is wrinkled around the cup of the heel and produces a setup that allows the foot to sit securely inside the midsole. This is a major change to the previous version, the Ultraboost ST.
To me the Ultraboost 21 is a daily milage grinder. I really treasure the fit and the padding it offers. I use this shoe on a daily basis to get the base miles in the tank. I like the fit the reliability of the boost material that certainly doesn’t disappoint. With the arrival of the Lightstrike and Lightstrike Pro material it will be exitng to see what the future holds for this modell range. Boost is the heaviest of the current three Adidas performance foams and it will be interesting to see how the brand develops or include these materials further.

Tune of the day: Fred The Godson – Garcias
YouTube of the day: Kengo Suzuki’s 2:04:56 National Record to Win Final Lake Biwa Mainichi
Pod of the day: Tommy Hughes joins the Spring Snyggt Podcast (Start at 53 Minutes)

shoeporn: The North Face – Flight Vectiv

Something that these days is part of the shoe business, is the rumor mill. Since months Alameda, California grounded outdoor powerhouse The North Face, was set to drop a carbon plated shoe. Well, it seems that all major shoe corporations are on the outlook to apprise their respective top range models with this technology. But suddenly it was a brand that is not necessarily known for its shoe building skills, that joined the hype.
Since 1968 The North Face distribute and produce outdoor equipment. It all started with climbing gear and then grew into a brought variety of accessories, clothing and footwear. Personally, I have tested more than a few of their off-road running shoes in the past. Although their jackets, vests, caps and technical gear have been a stable in my wardrobe over the last decade, none of the shoes have majorly impressed me and it seems that technical clothing was more the focus then suitable footwear. Now they released a performance oriented trail running shoe that goes by the name of Flight Vectiv, merging a 3 D carbon fiber footplate, midsole rocker geometry and SurfaceCTRL grip into the first trail specific shoe using the prominet carbon technique.
I had a chance to spot the Flight Vectiv last April as Spaniard and The North Face athlete Pau Capell wore the shoe throughout the 2020 version of the Fjällmaraton around Åre, Sweden where he came 2nd in the 100 kilometer distance. Pau was part of the development process of the Vectiv equipment range and mostly this shoe. TNFs VP of Global Footwear, Jean Marc Djian aimed high when the company took on this project. The company recognized that another try into the footwear market had to be an innovative and exciting.
The Flight Vectiv is the top model of the novel TNF shoe assortment. It is the one shoe that contains full-length carbon plate combined with a rocker geometry. This combination is intended to upsurge the energy return and I was more than keen to see how this mix turned out in a shoe that is intended to be used off the road, a setting where the carbon technology is more to be seen in up-to-date shoe releases. On the picture above some details of the carbon plate are teased on the external.
Even though the sock-like silhouette of the shoe looked like a pleasing feature, I was quite staggered how rigid it was to get into the shoe. The opening is rather small and that undoubtedly created some matters to me. As soon as you’ve entered the shoe, there is not a tense sensitivity. It just appears that the entering part of the shoe is pretty close-fitting. After a while I got used to it and know how to enter as the reinforced, breathable-knit upper is pretty strechable. Running this shoe throughout wintertime, I have the feeling that the body-hugging fitting also stops all sorts of muck to enter the inside. To me something that is very helpful particularly with the heavy use of salt and sand on the local streets. Frequently the small particles find a way to enter a shoe. Not so in this one. Generally the one piece upper that is elasticated and hugs your upper foot and ankle is super nice and fits around the foot like a glove.
With the Flight Vectiv, The North Face planned a shoe for the longer and ultra-distances. The company paid attention to durable ingredients such as kevlar, polyamide and matryx materials that they also tested and used in other equipment. This time it seems that The North Face was able to familiarize their extensive knowledge from mountain equipment into footgear. The Flight Vectiv is an overall quality shoe that is very well made. Till now I spend somewhat over 100 kilometers in this shoe and I’m constantly surprised how it tackles different grounds and weather situations. The picture shows the 3D-molded heel counter for a better fit, another nice detail in a well build shoe with a quality finish.
There were times when The North Face allowed their sponsored athletes to use different shoes and switch from their very own models to the ones that the competition offered. This has clearly changed now with the new shoe range. Several athletes have been smashing FKT’s last year. One of my favorite runs has been the record setting Grand Canyon R2R2R-alt FKT effort by TNF legends Mike Foote and Rob Krar. Check their video here. Time for these two to tackle some SwimRun competitions i guess.
Without a doubt, the climax of this shoe must be the so-called 3D Vectiv plate. It offers momentum and in combination with the stability Rocker shape, the foot placement is optimized. The shoe is not super soft as many other carbon running shoes, but this is something that aims the runner while running on technical ground. At the start it feels like the shoe is rigid as it does not provide much flexibly, especially to the sites. Although it feels stable and the feel for the ground is certainly given. Officially The North Face labels the Vectiv technology as “revolutionary soling architecture.” Fundamentally what they are describing are the layers beneath the feet. These are all the different foams and treads that work together to deliver a cushioned, safe and springy sensation.
Despite the fact there is a lot of advanced and new material that has been incorporated in this shoe, the outsole is known from previous models. Grip on wet and dry terrain has been the attention in the development procedure. If you expect a super aggressive and “deep” outsole, you will be dissatisfied. The lugs are well and smartly placed but come in with 3.5 mm which is not a standard in trail shoes. After some sketchy situations, the design and traction really grew on me. To me it is a great mix of traction and control. The lugs are places in proper distance and that means that snow, dirt, or whatever sticky stuff you encounter, will not get stuck. I try to break in shoes on the treadmill. Until now, this tradition has never been used with trail shoes. It was different with the Flight Vectiv. It certainly is a versatile sole.
A detailed look at the outsole construction that protects the 6 mm toe-to-heel offset. This shoe facilitated 14 North Face sponsored athletes to set FKTs wearing different Vectiv prototypes during a nearly race free 2020.
To me, the Flight Vectiv delivers a high level of comfort and proper cushioning that still allows to feel the ground but not the pounding. Combined with the securely sensation of the sock-fit paired with a minor, cushioned padding at the upper heel region, this shoe ensures thoroughgoing comfort and support.
Throughout the punitive dark and slushy time of the year and now, when all the lovely white stuff is about to dissolve, this shoe has really gotten to me. It’s fun to run due to the pleasant and well thought cushion, the ground feeling is excellent and joint with a well-planned outsole, it generates a certain security during the cold season. I ran the shoe a lot on icy and wintry streets but also took it around the local, technical, trail system. I get to treasure a well thought out shoe that I never saw coming from The North Face. Having run plenty of carbon-based road running shoes, I really valued this innovative tactic and the way it was shifted into a running shoe aimed to hit he paths. It can be discussed if it makes sense to issue a trail shoe that has a white upper, but at the end I felt it was enjoyable that the daily run was able to produce the color line. A very philosophical slant to this debate, I know. Its some sort of a minimalistic approach, even from the design. Typically trail shoes do look a bit unlike. The Flight Vectiv seems more like a road shoe. Yet, I have the feeling the shoe will continue in my daily rotation for a bit longer.

Tune of the day: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – It’s Not a Game (Instrumental Version)

Read of the day: Cathal Dennehy: Welcome to the age of the super shoes

shoeporn: Hoka One One – Challenger ATR 6 GTX

Just fresh from the shelves comes an update to yet another Hoka classic – the Challenger ATR in the 6th version with a lovely Gore-Tex top-up. To me, the Challenger has been a go-to shoe, particularly throughout the spring and winter period. Changeable weather conditions enquire some multipurpose capacities. This model is a characteristic “door to trail” shoe and I have been using the prior three versions in the past couple of seasons.
The most substantial difference with this model is the Gore-Tex upper. Gore-Tex is a waterproof, yet breathable material that can resist water even though it is able to let water vapor through. This will allow you to keep your feet nice and dry from the outside. Especially in the wet season this makes the difference. Different shoemakers are using Gore-Tex material but, in the past, I had some bad experience. Although you still want the water to stay external, you want a shoe to be breathable. After several tough and wetly off-road kilometers I can attest the Challenger a damn well use of the material. It is not too thick and consequently permits some sort of air circulation.
The design of the outsole remains the same. From what I could find out after about 250 kilometer in the ATR 6, the performance and robustness is the same as it was in the preceding versions. As detailed earlier on, the sole performs on a wide vary of undergrounds but is not a specialist at one. If you expect a companion for technical trails, then this shoe should not be your choice. Although the ATR performs great on trail you will feel the lack of an aggressive outsole design, the more technical and demanding the terrain gets.
The Gore-Tex version of the new Challenger ATR comes in a stylish black, yellow and red colorway. If you want to get your hands on the Gore-Text type then this is the only choice you have, at least in the male variety. There is also a really nice all black version of the ATR 6 around, but then again deprived of the distinct shield that Gore-Tex provides.
Smooth operator – commonly I break in a pair of Challengers as soon as the weather turns bad and unpredictable. This shoe is game for whatsoever is coming along thru the worser part of the year, at least when you are based somewhere in the northern hemisphere. I also like that it is not exceedingly soft and offers a nice spring paired with a proper cushion.
The development of the material that is now known as Gore-Tex was a happy accident, born partly of frustration by Bob Gore in 1969 and has since been used in several outdoor garments such a shoes, jackets and trousers.
Some raw details: Heel height comes in with 31 mm and the forefoot is 26 mm high. This creates a 5 mm Heel-Toe Offset.
The focus of this update was to provide a smoother feel and a softer, more comfortable upper. Hoka One One also modified the rocker’s design for an enhanced heel-toe transition within the 6th version of this shoe.
The Stinson is Hoka One One’s max cushioned trail shoe, I would put the Challenger one step beneath this model. Personally, I like the volume of provided underfoot padding as this shoe, to me, is a daily trainer and mileage eater. Therefore, I think this is the right amount of cushioning without taking the ground feeling, especially off road, away.
Inside look – While on the road, the midsole sends some nice return that pretty much surprised me. I strike with the middle and forefoot and this part of the shoe is well and proficiently designed to be reactive.
Having experienced the earlier models of the Challenger ATR, there is no major update when it comes to feel and ride. The biggest change in the sixth version is the more flexible upper material made from secondhand yarn. It feels more stable and comfortable then the previous version. Also, the lacing has been restructured and adds to the steady approach of this shoe. The Challenger ATR 6 endures to build its legacy as an exceptional versatile training partner.

Tune of the day: DJ Stylewarz – 2360 feat Toni L + Esa X Four Tet – Parallel

YouTube of the day: Mount Fuji Women’s Ekiden 2020

shoeporn: Hoka One One – Torrent 2

Another update Hoka One One fans were highly anticipating. I might not run as many trails as i used to do, but i do cherish my Torrent model that i had on rotation. I was intrigued when the news broke out that an update is about to happen. If you want to ping point one of the central updates, it has to be the upper. Hoka came up with a completely new engineered mesh upper, that is made out of recycled polyester fiber, that fits was better than the initial one.
So what makes the Torrent so special in general? It is a pretty supportive, well-cushioned, and lightweight shoe made to run fast on unpaved footways. While the Hoka’s Speedgoat is probably the most known and liked trail shoe in the assortment, the Torrent is the slimmer and less bulky brother.
The weight difference between the first Torrent model and the 2nd version is not really there on paper. But what is really obvious is that the new version feels lighter. Several weeks of running in the shoe, i have no idea what it is. I weighted both models and they are nearly identical in weight with 268 grams in US 13.
If you ask me, there is no faster trail shoe in the Hoka One One assortment than the Torrent 2. I used it for several SwimRun sessions, off-road training sessions and a full trail marathon through a varied terrain in the north of Sweden. Im completely sold on the 2nd version of this shoe.
A low-profile cushion construction makes sure that the foot is close to the ground. A pretty essential feature for technical trails. Despite the proper cushion is the material firmer to provide a more efficient kick from the ground thanks to the Profile midsole.
The upper feels thick but comfortable and even though the material is a bit thicker, it is pretty breathable and created no issues for me. Plus it does not scratch off opens up during rougher runs. After a few weeks of rough use, the upper are still fine.
A close up of the new upper and the toe box that is slightly tighter then the previous model.
The new overlays wrap nicely across the forefoot and toe boxes for proper support and protection during challenging trail runs. They not only look good, they work amazingly fine.
Detail – The forefoot section of the Torrent 2.
To praise proper cushioning in a Hoka shoe is an understatement. The Torrent has plenty of cushioning in the midsole area and provides an amazing energy return. But it is by far the trail shoe with the least cushioning in the Hoka range. This makes it the absolute go-to trail racing shoe for me.
A core element in a trail shoe is the outsole. The lugs of the Torrent are not overly deep but well placed. Mud and deep trails are not a massive problem but wet stones are not the best friend of the Torrent. Overall i liked the comfort and the reliability that the sole provides.
An updated sole design make the Torrent 2 more comfortable than its predecessor. With a Lug depth of 4mm and a better placing of the lugs, Hoka did a great job. The marbled sticky rubber outsoles with its multidirectional lugs provide a grip that can face a lot of challenges.
Besides all the technical features, the Torrent is a pretty good looking shoe i must say.
The new Torrent in its natural habitat. Mud and dirt is what this shoe likes and where it feels home. A proper update the Torrent line that i cherished now during the last few weeks. A shoe that moves fast and gives a great feel for the trail combined with cushioning that saves the legs. A delicate combination on technical trails well executed.

Tune of the day: Logic – Soul Food II X Kelly Lee Owens – Inner Song

shoeporn: Hoka One One – Cavu 3

While Hoka One One seems to have certain trademark models such as the iconic Clifton and the Bondi, the Cavu seems to fly a bit under the radar. Usually Hoka is known for massive cushion, with the Cavu they come up a thinner approach to the sole design.
Cavu product descriptions vary quite a bit. The shoe sometimes is described as a performance oriented sneaker. Personally i have never felt that way. The Cavu is a clean and simple running shoe that, to me, offers a lot I’m looking for in a reliable, performance oriented running shoe.
A feature that certainly sticks out and makes this shoe special, is the nicely knitted, tongue-less and extremely comfortable stretch knit upper. The sock-like fit is amazing and creates a nice snug feel to the feet. Enough to just easily slide in and enjoy the ride without being too loose.
A more detailed look at the well placed zonal perforations with some structured sections that provide good breathability. Nevertheless does the structure of the shoe paired with the knit material offer a proper stability while running.
A close look at the heart of the Cavu – the Profly midsole. A midsole design that is pretty unique in the Hoka range. The sole offers a very responsive toe-off and very nice direct feeling that i treasure a lot on longer tempo runs.
One more detailed look at the updated EVA midsole that provides significantly more comfort to the underfoot than the one that was provided in the 2nd generation model of the Cavu.
No worries readers. This shoe is a 100% Vegan and weights in with 198g and an extra springy rocker profile while a deeper Active Foot Frame delivers added support. Nice one!
A front view of this light and speedy powerhouse. Simple does it with the Cavu and that is what i realize appreciate with this one, a fast and efficient transition!
This is the heel section of the shoe. From here to the toe section, there is a 6.00mm drop. Enough to create some nice dynamic within the stride.
The Profly sole that is used in the latest Cavu 3 keeps on offering a nice and soft landing while having a nice and springy toe-off. The redesigned midsole and outsole provide a smoother, more comfortable running experience than the previous model.
On the outsole and rubberized EVA material offers some more cushioning and now, after about 150 kilometers with this shoe, is still in a pretty good shape. This shoe is resilient.
The 3rd update of the Cavu is a proper one and a significant step in the development of this shoe. This shoe comes in the lower price dement but i have to say it offers was more than the price suggested. To me, this is not a sneaker, it is a running shoe that provided me a great range of services. From dual commutes to tempo runs and a few track session, the Cavu was a reliable and fun partner.

Tune of the day:
Alfa Mist & Emmavie – Epoch (Full Album) X DJ Seinfeld – U

shoeporn: Hoka One One – Speedgoat 4

It was a few years ago when Hoka One One started to create waves around the running scene. Traditionally the ultra and trail running segment of the scene seems to be more open to new ideas and equipment approaches. Especially the grueling long-distance ultra part of the running scene was the start point for the two Hoka founders Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard. One of the most succesfull athletes in this genre was and still is American runner Karl Meltzer. Meltzer until today has the most wins at ultra distance races and an incredible five wins at the iconic Hardrock 100 under his belt. He was one of the first people that provided the two Frenchmens with input on their crazy idea of high stacked running shoes. In homage to Meltzer’s nickname one of the first models was christened „Speedgoat“. Just now Hoka One One released the fourth update to one of their oldest models range.
Frontline – The Speedgoat in the 4th version is first update to this trail classic that received a major update to nearly every part of the shoe. While it is insignificantly heavier, a major benefit is the better durability and, quite essential for a shoe that should be used off-roads, the grip of the sole.
New heights – the pure stack height of the Hoka One One shoes has been the centre of many discussions. Especially while running on technical trails and off trail, every runner has his personal favor. The feeling for the ground and therefore reaction to what’s coming is quite essential in trail running. The Speedgoat now comes in with a stack height of 28mm. Compared to other trail running models, this is significant higher. While the cushion in itself provides some sort of protection against possible stones or sharp underfoot challenges, a Rockplate has been added to protect the runner from whatever is waiting on the trail.
Inside the ride – A view at the well-balanced cushioning of the shoe and the 4mm Heel-Toe drop that the Speedgoat provides. The new EVA midsole design comes up with a new lightweight foam to enhance a more responsive ride.
Another detailed look at the backend of the shoe and the unique design of the outsole.
Back – a view at the 32 mm high heel with the prominent Logo of the original Speedgoat and godfather of this shoe, Karl Meltzer. Karl rotated 18 pairs of Speedgoats while he was setting the FKT on the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail in 45 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes a few years ago. The Speedgoat was the only shoe he used to do so.
And a close-up for better measures.
While you are running on the trails, it is important to have a sole that you can rely on. Usually it takes me several runs with trail shoe to get this trust. As mentioned before, the stack height initially did not provide much secure to my stride but that was gone after just a few runs around different sets of trails and weather conditions. Hoka introduced the Vibram Megagrip rubber outsole and paired it with 5mm lugs to offer proper stabilty. Also important to me is that the mud does not stick to the sole, this has never been the case.
Close up with the Vibram outsole.
Style is to everyone self to judge. I like the large Hoka branding on the site and the fresh look of the 4th version of the Speedgoat. Pictures is the Gold Fusion / Black Iris colouring of the shoe. At least until it is covered with mud after a journey through its natural habitat.
A major change to the upper has been carried out. Comparing this version to the older models, it feels way more breathable and not as rigid as before. To my foot it had a more adaptable and snug fit and generally very comfortable. Paired with a roomier toe box, this provides a lot of comfort especially during longer offroad outings.
Despite a decent stack height the Speedgoat felt amazingly direct and under control on the trails. I never had the feeling to not „feel“ the ground. This, for me is essential when running off-road. Especially on tricky downhills I enjoyed the grip of this neutral running shoe and the protection the Speedgoat provides, even during top speed. Having ran all the other previous models of this product line, I can see a clear update in overall performance and reliability.

Tune of the day: ovrkast. – Try Again

shoeporn: New Balance – 1500 V2 (Team NB Elite edition)

224 grams of running flat beauty – with the second revise of the firstly in 2015 launched 1500 series; prominent Boston based footwear makers New Balance provides an terrific and elegant shoe for wholesome and loose running.
The first issue of the 1500 series received raving reviews. Still New Balance included the athlete response and shaped a shoe that could be described as a perfect distance racing shoe. The 1500 in its second version comes up with light pronation stability as well as just about the right amount of cushioning that a running shoe of this style requires.
The special “Team NB Elite edition” looks extravagant with its “Bright Cherry” colour scheme. Pretty difficult to oversee. Naturally style is matter of personal favour. Personally I like the look of the new 1500 v2. That is how a racing flat should look like.
Sebastian Kienle, 2014 Ironman World Champ, wore the first version of the 1500 when he won the iconic event on Hawaii’s big island. Subsequently he was instrumental in the development of this shoe. Till now this is his racing shoe when it comes to Ironman distance racing.
Getting low – the general drop comes in at 6mm. Other hard facts are a 22mm heel height and 16mm on the forefoot. Proper racing style!
However the crash pad of the outsole still remains the same as seen in the first version, the design got altered a bit by the New Balance designers. Whilst they used tiny rubber cruxes in the previous model there are now some sort of triangular formed lugs. I took the shoe through its paces while running on the roads, gravel and on the track. I like the grip, no changes when it comes to ground control and general feel.
An inside look – The 1500 V2 bids added padding in the middle of the sole to care for runners with pronation troubles. While the shoe is light and meant for racing this could be a bonus for runners that are generally struggling with lightweight racing flats. Still the support is light that the extra “T-Beam” technology offers. The lightweight TPU shaft is built to provide torsional stability arch support through a middle beam design.
 “REVlite” is the title of the foam mixture that is used as the base of the shoe. The lightweight composition bids excellent and springy underfoot cushioning which I really valued.
Besides a tacky design the greatly centred heel-to-toe cavity supports the runner to achieve a straightforward and precise ride as the shoe is stabilised.
More specifics of the firm outsole and the certain lug-designs.
A key factor for the steadfast and supportive ride that this shoe offers is the “REVlite” sole.
Front end – New Balance reorganised the start of the lacing and built-in a petite holder in the centre of the bottom end of the shoe.
Pretty much like his predecessor the V2 comes in with a snug and well-made no-sew layers finish that is called “FantomFit”. A lot of racing flats are designed very narrow in the toe box area. Not so with this one. NB gives the forefoot plenty of space.
The foremost revise to the first version of the 1500 – a sock-like tongue support that keeps everything in check and creates a very comfy and precise feeling while striding.

With the revise of the 1500 NB raised the bar when it comes to running flats. Whilst the latest model supports a direct stride it still has some decent and well located cushioning. Something that hasn’t been seen within such a style of shoes. I really became a fan of this one. Still I don’t know why the up-to-the-minute model is a little bit heavier then the first version?

Tune of the day: Aidan Baker and Tomas Järmyr – Werl I

shoeporn: Hoka One One – Speed Instinct

You are well used to profound appraisals of Hoka One One foodstuffs over at this neck of the woods. When I firstly experienced the distinctive and debated marque it was all about all-out sole-pillow. Today it appears that Hoka One One reduces the sole tallness and transports even more dynamic into their collection of running shoes. The Tracer, Hokas elected Road Running Flat, emerges to be the turn to a very exiting expansion. Alongside the release of cross and track spikes, Hoka One One now tries satisfie even more Runners. Once I received the state-of-the-art Modell, the Hoka One One – Speed Instinct, I couldn’t wait to take it out. Not only the appearance, moreover the primary impression of this Trail Running shoe is somewhat else.
The Hoka One One – Speed Instinct is meant to be an agile shoe for steadfast off-road trips. Still growing, the busy trail running market is the target of this model. With a mere of 225 grams the Speed Instinct approaches interested runners with the Hoka trademark weightlessness.
Visually the web upper sticks out instantaneously. The smooth Air mesh upper is welded in a synthetic web and covers most of the shoe. For myself I like the design as it gives the shoe a distinctive and individual note. But there is not only a style factor inside the formation of this shoe. Though it looks noble it is also built to hold the hard-working feet in place whilst running. I liked the meek and enjoyable firmness that grips the feet in place whilst roaming past technical sections on the run. Still the toe shield does not really work as it should be and I experienced some slams whilst hitting rocks or woods.
The heel counter is very flexible and the collar is well padded.  Despite it’s flexibility, it offers great hold/support and is quite comfortable.
Alike the Tracer and the Clayton, Hoka uses their latest Pro2Lite midsole also within this shoe. I liked this sole in the other models and likewise with the Speed Instinct. The forgiving tail and the steadier front part of the sole is great with me. I like to run mid or forefoot so I like the straight sensation of this sole a lot. Still it is weird to have so much cushion with a shoe that bids so much dynamic and impulse to run fast.
A comparably widespread nonetheless shallow toe-box could be a potential difficulty for certain runners.
Though being a shoe that is meant to be used on un-paved undergrounds the performance on the road is great. The outsole is not too destructive on the legs, which delivers cosiness while wandering to or amongst off-road sections.
Quite the soul of each trail shoe – the outsole. For the Speed Instinct Hoka used a low profile, multi-directional tugs based design that do provides brilliant sense for the ground and faultless control. Most trail or off-trail units I ran with the shoe where great and joint with the soft sole the Speed Instinct performed to be a great and reliable companion. Although this altered when the underground got misty or very technical. As the lugs of the outsole are not very long the sole showed to loose grip here and there. A forceful sole design has its pros and cons. Not using lengthy lugs means that once the underground gets softer it ultimately loose grip. For me it was not a major problem during my daily running outings. The positive side is that the trip to the trail is smooth and without any hustle as sometimes spikey soles can be tough on the legs. 
The so-called Pro2Lite +10 EVA cushioning is used for the sole of the latest Speed Instinct. Eventually it supports fast and hasty off-road running.
The official product despricton states that this shoe comes with a rock-plate. I did not really experience a lot of protection while on rocky undergrounds. Some stones seem to find their way past the little red triangles. 
At the end – Some hard facts: Heel-to-Toe Offset: 3mm; 22mm (heel), 19mm (forefoot)
Hoka pooled the advantageous characters of their lightweight assortment into a top-class and exciting trail racing shoe. The Speed Instinct understands how to grip off-road streams with all obtainable types of speeds. The last couple of weeks I had tons of fun with this one as it combines the valuable Hoka qualities with a more prompter style. The low sole makes a lot of fun and the low to the ground gives you a lot of confidence when you hit the trails.

sneakerporn: Mizuno – Wave Ekiden 10

I do not really memorize which version, but the Wave Ekiden was my very first road-flat quite some years ago. From the time when then I got my first pair until now, I raced several pairs of this modern road-running classic. It is not only a shiny and fast looking shoe, it is also a superior racing flat I loved every time I got my hand on one. Now Mizuno released the 10th version. Lets have a close look.
The term “Ekiden” is something that should be well-known to all running fans across the globe. It refers to a long-distance relay running race, typically on roads. The Japanese term originally referred to a post-horse or stagecoach which transmitted communication by stages.
Mizuno calls the outsole by the name of “G3“. It is merely created for road running and bids just enough charge for reckless excursions on the cemented underground or track workouts. For a humble and slick get-up it latest quite some time when I used the shoe through numerous trainings and road interval sessions.
Personally I always enjoyed the fitting of the Ekiden. The elegant and thin upper creates a comfortable and close fit and makes running fast a controlled experience.
It is called “X10” and its job is to ensure stability and traction. The durable Mizuno carbon rubber allows for longer wear in high impact areas and provides more traction.
“U4ic” is the name of the midsole compound providing high comfort and performance, while being extremely lightweight.
The height of accurate racing expertise is found in this Japanese heritage shoe.
Unconquerable – the pure beauty of a simple running flat.
The polite 6mm offset bids a  fast and very responsive ride.
All pictures show the Mizuno Wave Ekiden in the Diva Blue, White and Safety Yellow colour line. Mizuno sticks to the characteristic design.
All my dear reader please note: This shoe does not have a lot of cushioning you consequently need to be able to have some experience running a shoe like this. The minimalist design does not offer much and feet and legs might need to work more. It is a pure racing shoe that follows the minimal route.
Mizuno’s 10th version of the Wave Ekiden bids minimal underfoot support which is desired to run fast and efficient. With a total weight of sweet 145g the shoe offers no arch support either. 
Once more I was delighted to have a go with this classic. Mizuno delivers once more as the only update their road-racing flagship insignificant. Why change a running system?

All pictures (c) Runssel

Shoeporn: Scarpa – Atom (Orange Fluo)

Scarpa is on the move. On the move to further increase and improve their quality alpinist inventions. Since years the Italians are a household name when it comes to high-quality off-road outdoor equipment. Particularly the footwear union is widely recognized and highly popular among hikers, mountaineers, alpinist or Skimo competitors.

The rapid chunk of mountain and off-road undertakings have been overlooked for some time. Last year’s running shoe collection (Already I reviewed the Minima) was an exciting starter to the lighter efforts of alpine travels. With the latest signing of well-known athlete, photographer and outdoor novelist Joe Grant, Scarpa puts the emphasis on the thriving trail-running market place. With a three-year contract in its pocket, Grant will be the face to their alpine shoe product line. It will be exciting to see how his contribution will assist the corporation to settle in this market slice.

The up-to-date product pool bids some pretty exciting lightweight and minimal goods. As I was checking the fresh assortment, the Atom caught my full attention. A refined and fast looking minimal piece of foot wear. Not only the flamboyant coloring forms an eye catching shoe, it is also the vigorous 4 mm drop that generates a shoe for quick and direct off-road undertakings.

In addition to the general clean and effective look, the Atom offers some thoughtful details that will appreciated during long and short outings. I ran the Atom through varieties of undergrounds and conditions. While I was training around the Cote d Azur lately, I had the chance to take the Atom from end to end of a variation of challenging undergrounds. Although damp and indulgent forest single-lanes were an laid-back mission, the shaky and technically difficult trails along the rocky coast line were a excessive playground for this model. I was astonished by the performance of the nifty grip the Vibram Genesis Lite outsole offers. The build-in rock platter bids a boundless protection without making the shoe too inflexible.

I still appreciate my excursions with the Atom as the shoe offers great traction that ends in a secure feeling during all sorts of punishing environments. Scarpa marks a move into the correct direction. It is going to be exciting to see what the Italians issue in the future. Their knowledge among mountain shoes is countless. How they will incorporate it into the light and fast style will be interesting to witness. Certainly the new-fangled Atom is a huge move that offers so much delight along the trails.

The low stack height of the Atom is created for steep and technical trails.

The brand name stands for Società Calzaturiera Asolana Riunita Pedemontana Anonima, which means Associated Shoe Manufacturing Company of the Asolo Mountain Area.

The Atom characters a fine and exiting refresh to Scarpa’s mountain running assortment.

Race ready – fused upper material to save weight and increase the comfort!

Hailing from the Montebelluna region in Italy, the company opened their US HQ in Boulder, CO in 2005.

249g of trail running madeness awaits.

The partner for wild outings is the Vibram Genesis Lite sole.

The midsole is made out of Compression Molded EVA and works quite well.

Not only the Orange Fluo painting makes this shoe stand out.

A pretty handy element – A little pocket on the tongue stores away the laces.

All pictures: Runssel

Tune of the day: Exiles beautiful Rework of Adiam’s Runaway Feat. BLU

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