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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Run By Any Means Necessary...

Run by Any Means Necessary Speech... 




I must emphasizes at the out start that I'm not here to representative Asics or Saucony Brooks or Nike Skechers or Newton Hoka or Karhu... So I have to stand here as what I was when I was Born.. A runner!!! 

Before there was any such thing as midfoot or forefoot strike we were runners...
Before there was anything such thing as Running and Being Or Born to Run... we were runners!!
Before they was any such thing as Chi or pose running we were runners!!! Before there was any such thing as 800's or hill repeats we were runners!!!

I shared this on FB and was surprised when it received over 2.5K Views

Before there was any such thing as GU or Nuun... We were runners!!! In fact before there was any such thing as football or basketball we soccer or baseball... We were runners. 

And long after the cowboys don't make it to playoffs and Donald trump fades off the scene with his hate bating rhetoric and his dumb comb over.... we will  still be runners. 

As a Sneakerholic I've Got Love For All Brands

Who told you running was bad for knees?
Who told you black men only run if their being chased by cops?
Who told black women don't run because their scared of sweating out their perms weaves and natural hair.  Well parts of that may be true but from what I understand the struggle is real and their working past it...
Who told you were going to die if you ran a marathon?
Who told you couldn't run in the rain?
Who told you we don't run in the cold and snow?
Who told to wear shorts over running tights. It makes no sense!!! Its nonsense!!! Laugh 

Humbled by the overwhelming support hope you enjoy it...

Oh I say and I say again you been had... You been took!!!
Led astray!!!
Bambozzled!!!
Hoodwinked!!! I'm here to tell like it is... We don't need a lot of gadgets to start running. But like a Garmin and banging beat playing in my head when I hit these  mean streets!!! 

We didn't land on running, running landed  In conclusion my sole brothers and sistas lace up your shoes get dressed Shut your mouth kick your excuses to the curb and Run by any means necessary!!! #grind #runutainment
RunR4Lyfe

Mizuno Wave Sayonara 3 Review

Fans of the Precision and Elixir were sad to see their favorite shoes fade to black but,  were assured by Mizuno that saying Sayonara to those kicks was actually saying hello to better, no wait that's Newton's tagline.  The Sayonara promised to be the beginning of a new era creating its own category as a neutral shoe that also provides exceptional support for slight over and underpronators-not sure if the prophecy was fulfilled.  Some folks embrace change and others start stock piling their favorite shoe before its completely removed from circulation.  

Weight 9.2oz (size9)
While I came close to pulling the trigger on both shoes before Mizuno yanked the plug, I didn't run in either shoe so I can't speak to the affection.  However, I did check out Sayo 1&2.  After a few treadmill runs in the first version I returned them because it was way too much room in the toebox for me.  The 2nd edition was dialed in slightly and I kept them in my collection but the uppers still weren't an ideal fit for me. 

Stack Height: 28mm (Heel), 18mm (Forefoot)
The 3rd time was the charm. Mizuno returned to a more traditional looking running shoe and I found the fit in the upper spot on for me.  Seeing previews of the Sayo 3 I put them on my wish list and  copted a pair once they were released.

U4ic is a lightweight midsole that provides optimal shock absorption
While most brands were moving toward a Flyknit Fitknit synthetic or heat welded uppers, Mizuno decided to go for a retro look-perhaps it was an ode to the OG Precision.  In any event that may have contributed to hot feeling some wearers complained about, I didn't find the Sayo3 any hotter than other shoes in my rotation.  The open mesh upper is lined with a wicking fabric to prevent debris from entering and spoiling your run. 

X10 in the heel and Blow rubber in the forefoot increases cushioning and responsiveness 
The Runbird is intergraded on the medial and lateral side to help lock your foot in place.  Even with the stitching on the uppers I found the uppers to be free from any hotspots and I wore them with and without socks.  

The sole of the Sayo 3 still incorporates Mizuno's U4ic material there's just more of it underfoot, which gives it a slightly cushioned feel.


AIRmesh cover the heel and Open mesh in the forefoot provides exceptional breathability
The Sayo 3 sits perfectly between the Hitogami and Wave Rider and  it's versatile enough to be used as a daily trainer tempo or long runs.  I used the Sayo 3 during my Fall Marathon Season, tossing everything at em from track work to long runs and wasn't disappointed.  If you prefer a firmer feel underfoot you'll definitely notice the difference between the earlier iterations. 

Dynamotion Fit creates optimal fit in the forefoot
However, the Sayo 3 is still responsive enough when you pick up the speed.  IMO the Sayo3 is comparable to Launch2-(full review here) Vazee Pace-(full review here) and Pegasus-(full review here) in terms of price point versatility and weight-the pace is slightly lighter than the Peg and Sayo3.  Overall I'm pleased with the Mizuno's update. 

RunR4Lyfe

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cost Vs Comfort: What Influences Your Running Shoe Purchase?

Expensive running shoes are not better than more affordable running shoes(Study). This was the premise thesis title-(call it what you will) that was tackled by the folks at RunRepeat-(click the link for details about RunRepeat).  I first became aware of RunRepeat back in August while reviewing the stats on my blog.  

Being curious of the traffic source I reached out to thank them for the link love.  After a few exchanges they asked me to craft a post about a study they recently conducted looking at 134,867 reviews and 391 running shoes from 24 brands on their site-(Sure why not).

OK what's really real? From the gate let me just say I take these studies with a grain of salt and no I'm not cynical or from the show me State-I'm a Sneakerholic from BK.  The study comes fully equipped with a table of contents, conclusions, background, methodology, results, potential biases and info about the researchers, bathroom reading for sure.  And that's not necessarily a bad thing I've read some fine books on the throne.

Expensive running shoes from $130-$199.  According to Jim: "The difference between expensive and inexpensive running shoes is usually a couple weeks worth of coffee, and while I enjoy my coffee I spend more time running".
Runners are strange birds but, they're not dingbats.  Skeptical shrewd consumers especially in light of the explosion of online bargain sites and brick and mortar locations that offer incredible deals on last years version of their favorite shoe.  

Die hard Sneakerholics, Running Shoe Geeks, Sneaker Heads or Fanboys will long for and even drool over the latest tech update color way limited edition shoe.  But, I'd like to think they have reasonable expectations when they lay down their hard earned cash and are capable of sifting through a barrage of marketing hoopla to distinguish between hype and fact.  Granted some new and veteran runners may be swayed by marketing campaigns for the most part I think they make informed decisions-I could be wrong though.

Affordable running shoes
So with an open mind started reading the study.  A few lines in I came across, Vibram Five Fingers as the #3 Top Rated Brand and I immediately started chuckling in disbelief.  Hey weren't those the same guys who recently settled a class action lawsuit?  And it made me question the accuracy of the data.  But, whatever I continued reading.

At a minimum I think the recent class action lawsuit levied against Vibram for fraudulent claims would serve as a cautionary tale for other brands to be careful of what they print in ink or record and serve to the masses as gospel. 

But, who doesn't enjoy watching a witty hilarious visually ecstatic commercials during the super bowl.  Even if your team didn't make it to the big game you still tune in, if for nothing else the camaraderie, beer and commercials.  Aww, yes the commercials.

What once was confusing is now an exquisite display 
When I started running I made the classic mistake of grabbing an old pair of what I thought were running shoes and hit the road.  As my passion for the sport grew I started looking for better equipment so I hit my local Running Specialty Shop to get properly fitted.  Staring at the wall was confusing as hell with all the brands colors racing flats daily trainers minimalist and maxi cushioned kicks.  I was at the mercy of the sales representative and their available inventory.  Not wanting to feel completely clueless I did some research online before making a decision.  Now I'm not the sharpest tool in the tool box but, I found this approach helpful.

Being a niche market most Running Specialty Shops don't carry entry level shoes that you may find in a department store or big box retailer.  Sure you may find an affordable shoes at the mall but I seriously doubt if they're equipped to handle running specific questions.  That's part of the service experience and lure that differentiates the two entities. 

There's something for everyone from the walker to triathlete 
I've always been of the mindset that you get what you pay for. Running shoes like cars will both get you from point A to B.  You have a choice you can roll up in a SmartCar or Phantom but if you don't put gas in either you're guaranteed not to get very far-they're no short cuts you've got put in the work.  

As a Sneakerholic I'm bias, so I posed this question in a few online groups: Are you more or less satisfied with expensive kicks compared to more affordable ones-(click the links to view the comments: Running Shoe Geeks and Black Men Run. The two groups represent newbies veterans shoe geeks and frugal consumers.  Regardless of the group comfort was most important factor that influenced their purchase.

RunR4Lyfe

Monday, August 17, 2015

NB Vazee Pace Shoe Review

The Vazee Pace is one "Tuff Shoe" and is quickly becoming one of my favorite kicks of 2015.  It dropped on July 1st and I happened to be in my LRS in Brandford Ct-(SoundRunner) when the NB rep was in the store giving an in store product review.  After hearing the rundown about the shoe I tried it on and my interest was peaked enough to take them home for a ride.

The Pace is built on the same last as the Zante with a bit more room in the upper with a nice booty box to keep the tounge still-(they had me at booty).  This is a kick asphalt shoe!

Sweet Asphalt Kicking Shoe!!!

Features and Benefits:
  • REVLite Midsole: Offers a lightweight ride without sacrificing underfoot cushioning or stability 
  • Deconstructed Heel Counter: Flexes where you need it
  • No-Sew material application
  • Heel-to-toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 7.5oz 


Deconstructed Heel Counter reminds me of the Lunar Glide 6
I'm with my man Thomas at Believe In The Run, the deconstructed heel might just be marketing jargon and esthetics.  The upper is airy with a smooth interior with not hotspots, I was almost tempted to take a spin in them sockless.

No-Sew Material Construction
NB has it rated as a daily trainer but, I could easily see this being used as race day shoe for distances from 5k to a marathon. 

Competitor jumped the gun in naming the Zante the shoe of the year, they may need to retract that article before Kanye grabs the award and gives it to the Pace, either way it's a win for NB.

Heel-To-Toe Drop 6mm
The hype around the Zante was incredible and I'll admit I picked up two pairs but, subsequently returned them-they looked good just didn't work for me.  The Pace on the other hand looks good and works with me.  My only issue with the Vazee Pace was the bunching on the medial side-sizing down resolved it somewhat. 

REVlite Midsole 

The Vazee Pace has garnered a spot in my rotation and is def in the ranking for my Top 5 Shoes of 2015

Love at first Run

The Pace has a nice firm snappy but cushioned ride with a toe spring that provides quick lift off.  NB is certainly starting to make some noise in the running shoe industry.  For another take on the Vazee check out Steve's review at Run Bull Dog Run

RunR4Lyfe

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Clifton 2 Shoe Review

One of my favorite shoes last year received an update even without the improvements the Clifton was a solid shoe so I was eager to see how Hoka would improve on a nearly perfect shoe for me.  

The original Clifton wasn't without some minor flaws or what like to call #IWishTheyWoulda's, I wish they woulda added an additional eyelet, I wish they would do something with the tounge  and finally I wish they would do something with the insole so it would stay in place.  I resolved the latter with a little dab of loctite and was tempted to add an additional eyelet by performing surgery with an exacto knife but, decided to chill. 

5.00mm Offset 24mm forefoot 29mm heel

I'm two pairs deep on the original Clifton and pass the 50mile marker in my Clifton 2's.  The majority of the changes were to the upper and my #IWishTheyWoulda's were addressed it was as if they read my mind-thank you from the bottom of my sole.  

The changes weren't so drastic as to be unrecognizable don't worry you'll still have the same ride as with last years award winning shoe.  Hoka added an additional eyelet and padded tounge to the Clifton 2 and really dialed in the fit on the upper.

Full Ground Contact Design

They're a lot of Hoka Haters out there but, there's no hating on Hoka's ability to cram so much cush into such a light weight package. Gotta Luv the Cush!!  The Clifton 2's are my go to kicks for recovery or long runs.  The improvements to the upper made it appealing enough for me to rock around town.  

Ultra-Lightweight No-Sew Speedframe

I alternate between a max cushion of a Clifton for LSR to a 1400, Fastwitch 7, Hitogami 2 and most recently NB Vanzee Pace for speed work and tempo runs  The change in kicks stimulates different muscles.  I even noticed differenence in the laces with a bit of elastic in them and trimmed in red-nice detail.

Early-Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry

I've used the Clifton's for tempo runs also with no issues, it's easy to see why this shoe was last years fav and this years best trail shoe of 2015 according to Competitor.

Strategic Rubber Placement for Lightweight Durability 
  • Ultra-Lightweight No-Sew SpeedFrame Construction.
  • Early-Stage Meta Rocker Geometry.
  • Full Length Compression-molded EVA Midsole.
  • Full Ground Contact Design.
  • Strategic Rubber Placement for Lightweight Durability 

Perfect Balance of weight & cushion


7.70oz based on US9


The Clifton 2 gained some weight since last year but, it's not noticeable on the ride weighing in at 8.3oz in a men's size 9 compared to 7.9 in the original-that's still lighter than a Ghost, Glycerin, Nimbus or Vomero. 

RunR4Lyfe

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Newton Aha Review

The Aha was my first experience running in a pair of Newton's since they added the additional lug, before that I ran in the Sir Isaac, Distance Gravity and most recently BOCO AT -(BOCO AT review here).  

My favorite up until this point was the BOCO, the lugs were barely noticeable and it was a light weight water resistant shoe great for slushing around in the snow or trail. 

New Favorite Newton Aha
In March I picked up a pair of Aha's while training in Albany and took em straight out of the box for a 13mile along the Hudson River.  Newton appropriately named the Aha, it was triumphant surprising run and I was throughly impressed.  The Drive down to the Hudson River was worth the sweat!  Perfect running weather... 13mi in 1:44:12 avg pace 8:01 avg cadence 90spm and 1737 cal burned.

EVA Midsole Offers Durable Underfoot Cushioning 
My plan initial plan was to leave my GU and water in the car and go out and back for 3.5miles returning to the car fuel and finish 7miles.  I felt so good I kept running for 6.5miles stopped in Mickey D's for some water and kept it moving. 

The 5 luged Newton's felt pretty freakin amazing, I had an Aha moment along the Hudson and decided to keep going screw the quick loop.  The addition of the 5th Lug offered a more stability for me as compared to the wobbly feeling I remember from the 4 luged Newton's. 

Action/Reaction Technology
Below are the details from Runningwarehouse:
Every one is familiar with the "Aha" moment when the confusion suddenly becomes clear. This sensation inspired the Newton Aha: the beginner Newton model for neutral runners. With Newton's POP 3 platform featuring the smallest lugs in the Newton line, this shoe is the first step to forefoot striking.

MIDSOLE
  • Action/Reaction Technology is utilized in the heel and forefoot. These external lugs compress to absorb shock energy, and then release energy during toe-off.
  • P.O.P 3 is an entry-level Newton platform, featuring tapered lugs that recess into polyurethane-filled chambers for a forgiving underfoot feel.
  • EVA midsole offers durable underfoot cushioning.
  • Biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate in the forefoot allows you to feel the ground, offering constant sensory feedback.
OUTSOLE
  • SHARC Outsole consists of a high abrasion compound that provides increased traction in both dry and wet conditions.
UPPER
  • Engineered mesh provides lightweight breathability and structure in key areas.
  • Overlays are anatomically placed to provide a secure fit.
  • ETC Sockliner is anti-bacterial for underfoot comfort and a healthy foot environment.
  • Strobel Last with the upper stitched to full length fabric for a comfortable underfoot feel.
P.O.P. 3 is an entry-level Newton
The Aha is one of those shoes that's getting a lot of road time with me now... Recently Newton teamed up with Zappos to offer a limited edition Kitchen Community Aha.  Each purchase will go towards providing a child access to a learning garden in his/her school.  For more on this exciting collaboration go to Zappos.  It doesn't take much to give a Sneakerholic a reason to indulge in his/her addiction and since this was for a good cause I decided to pick up a pair of the limited addition Kitchen Community Aha.

The Kitchen Community Aha
The Aha rides like a traditional light weight trainer but, with a nice P.O.P. and cushion feel in the forefoot that encourages a quick turnover.  A few things attracted me to Newton, their technology informative videos and vibrant colors.  The Aha is the ideal shoe for anyone looking to make the transition to Newton.  

RunR4Lyfe 

Monday, June 15, 2015

NB 1400V3 Shoe Review

To quote Mike one of my RSG friends "The 1400V2 is a staple of any runner's rotation"  So when I saw them on clearance in Bob's Sports this winter I decided to give em a try and was hooked after my first run.  I immediately saw the allure after my indoor track workout.  

The 1400V2 was a simple racing flat with a cult like following, folks swear by this shoe.  Simple elegant design with a honeycomb mesh upper, the only complaint about the shoe was its abrasive internal upper and NB resolved that issue with the update-(it's nice when brands listen).

Simple Elegant Update
Most of the changes to 1400 were in the upper the sole seems to be unchanged.  NB smoothed out the  internal feel of the shoe, so if you're inclined to go sockless you should be fine.

NB1400V2 

Here's what Road Runner Sports says about the 1400V3:
  • REVlite midsole: Offers a lightweight ride without minimizing construction or sacrificing underfoot cushioning or stability.
  • New synthetic/mesh upper:  Tigheter mesh than the previous version for a secure, yet barely there fit.
  • Blown-Rubber Outsole.
  • No-Sew Material Application.
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10mm.
  • Weight: 6.5oz

New Synthetic/Mesh Upper
Although I consider myself a Sneakerholic, I wasn't really a fan of NB.  In High School I purchased a pair from Paragon Sports in NYC but, when I started running they weren't my first option for a running shoe.

I'm not a bandwagon runner so when there's a lot of hype about a shoe you won't find me sitting outside my LRS waiting for it to be released.  Yeah I'll admit it they're some kicks I drool over because something about it speaks to me. 

A few sales reps from my LRS suggested the 1400 a couple of years ago but, I wasn't ready physically to run in the 1400 and to be honest it didn't speak to me.  When I looked at the 1400 it didn't appear to have enough cush in the forefoot for me especially after running in traditional high mileage trainers.  I've grown and gotten a little stronger as a runner and this has allowed me to run in a variety of low profile kicks such as the Hitogami 2, Adios 2, Sacouny Fastwitch7 and Brook T7.  

The Sole on the 1400V3 Appears Identical to its Predecessor  
After logging over 50 miles on both kicks I'm glad I took Mike up on his recommendation and added the 1400's to my collection.  The 1400V3 may not be the best looking shoe on the market but it's not the worst either, the (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _)is.  You decide :-).

A Peek inside reveals changes in the tongue upper/sockliner

New tighter mesh fabric on the Upper/Sockliner improved the comfort of the 1400V3
The bottom line is the shoe works and works well period.  At 6.5oz with a 10mm drop the 1400 rides well and offers additional cush in the heel for the latter half of a marathon when your form may breakdown and you start to heel strike. 

RunR4Lyfe

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Brooks Launch 2

If you're an avid runner Sneakerholic or Running Shoe Geek, you probably look forward to flipping through the pages of Runner's World Magazine or clicking the next button on Competitor.com site to see whats coming down the pike and immediately start adding "sneaks" to your wish list.  I don't maybe that's not you.  But, this is what I tell myself: "everyone is doing it so don't apologize for your obsession with running shoes".  My name is Derek and I am a Sneakerholic, there I said it.

It was love at first sight.  Pssst!! psst!! Derek you know you like me I'll be out soon please wait for me, so I did just that-I waited until it was released.  Now I'd be lying to you if I tell you I was faithful and didn't buy any shoes while waiting for the Brooks Launch 2 to land-I didn't.

To think a few years ago the Launch was on its death bed.  The folks at Brooks pulled the plug made funeral arrangements and announced its obituary online.  And now back by popular demand, the Launch 2 is back and creating a buzz in the streets.   
   
Damn!!! That's one sexy looking shoe!!!
The L2 is the kinda a shoe that brings bloggers out of retirement to blog about it,  Becki at The Middle Miles came out of hiding to weigh in on the L2-(her review here).  I ran the Cheshire Half Marathon last year in the Launch and it felt great, so when I saw the early pics I wanted to try the L2. 

Air mesh uppers keeps the air moving so your feet stay cool
Upper
  • Air mesh upper keeps the air moving so your feet stay cooler
  • Synthetic overlay materials add no-sew support
I really adore the fit of the upper on the new L2 especially how it greets and hugs my feet as they settle into the shoe.  The L2 offers a plush secure feeling atop my foot and along the heel counter. 

30% more cushioning that standard materials (gel or EVA)
Sole
  • BioMoGo DNA is DNA technology blended with the BioMoGo midsole to provide   adaptive cushioning throughout the midsole vs. just in the heel and forefoot.
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole includes an organic, non-toxic additive that biodegrades the midsole 50 times faster than traditional EVA when it comes into contact with   anaerobic landfill microbes (otherwise known as active, enclosed landfills).
  • 30% more cushioning than standard midsole materials (gel or EVA)
  • Twice as much energy return for more pep in your step
  • Great performance no matter your weight or running pace
  • Smoother transition from heel to toe

Details

DNA MIDSOLE

WHAT IS IT?

Brooks DNA is an innovative and uniquely adaptive cushioning system. By adapting to your specific weight, pace, gait and running surface, DNA offers customized cushioning and adds a spring to your step.  Traditional cushioning takes a one-size-fits-all approach, but we know that each runner is different. Brooks DNA was developed to continuously tailor the level of cushioning to your specific needs – even as they change during the run.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Brooks DNA is made up of a highly viscous non-Newtonian material or more simply put, a material that adapts to the specific force you apply to it. Part of the brilliance is that this compound was engineered to perform at the molecular level (picture millions of resilient 'nano springs').  If you looked at Brooks DNA through a microscope, you'd see that it's made up of individual molecules connected in strands. These strands (which form chains) react to the amount of force placed on the foot, dispersing pressure and providing resiliency. Bottom line of this physics lesson: You get tailored cushioning that reacts to your specific weight, pace, gait, movement and running environment – "made-for-me" cushioning vs. "one size fits all."  And, as with all good technology, we’ve taken it a step further (two steps actually):

Twice as much energy return for more pep in your step

If you liked the first iteration, chances are you'll love the L2.  The L2 is perfect for tempo recovery runs or a race day shoe.  Lighter than and more flexible than the Ghost 7, the L2 felt great during my single digit temperature runs in New England.  I look forward to logging many miles in them this marathon season.  Well done Brooks for listening to your loyal customers and producing an awesome update without a bombshell overall.  

RunR4Lyfe

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Saucony Zealot Review

Dating back to the days when my mother would buy my kicks off the rack at Woolworth, to when we finally upgraded to shopping off the tables at Models downtown Brooklyn till now-I've had some peculiar peccadilloes when it came to sneakers.  One of the first things I noticed was how a sneaker felt underfoot when I slipped it on and the second thing I peeped was how it looked when I stared at them while standing up-were they symmetrical or irregular a rubber feeling like a pair of Pro Keds or plastic like a pair of rejects-the latter came with its own street commercial.  "Rejects they make you feet feel fine, rejects cost a $1.99".  What I wouldn't give to pay a buck ninety nine for a pair of running shoes today. 

Running outdoors in the Zealot and BreakThru during the freezing temps in New England was reminiscent of wearing a pair of rejects growing up.  Taking them indoors on the treadmill and indoor track provided a different feeling.  The Zealot is the second single released from Saucony's ISOfit classic album.


Enhanced PWRGRID+ platform provides 20% more cushioning
Mark Johnson with Saucony stopped into Holbird Sports to give a brief overview of the Zealot check to the video below.  If you have 20min swing by Gerist for an extended review.


The Zealot was one of the shoes on my bucket list this year after experiencing success with the Triumph ISO-(my review here) I was willing to give Zealot the nod.  Sam provided a sneak peak in August from Outdoor Retailer 2014-(his review here)  As you know I'm a sucker for a bright shoe and the Orange Zealot screamed for a home but, I went with grey colorway to hide the dirt from the  winter slush.  Peter scored an Viziglo Orange colorway  and shared his thoughts on the Zealot-(his review here)


4mm Offset
The Upper

I alluded to my impressions on the Zealot's upper during my review of the BreakThru-(my review here)  While I was a fan of the ISOfit Technology on the Triumph, I was particularly impressed with the fit and feel of the upper-I don't why Saucony didn't just use the same material and sizing principle it, would have made for a better fitting shoe for me.  Thomas over at Believe in The Run wasn't a fan of the fit of upper either-(his review here)  If you have a wider foot your toes will appreciate the spare room in the toebox. 

Heel Stack Height 25mm Forefoot Stack Height 21
Fit and Feel

When I laced up the Zealot in search of the ideal feel before my runs and I look down at the puckering and was time hopped  to Brooklyn with my rejects.  Once I was locked loaded and stood up I loved the little bump I felt under my arch.  The Zealot weighs in at 8.3oz but it has a light feeling and is the quintessential oxymoron with a unique combination of cushioned firmness.  I enjoyed the flexible feeling in the forefoot.   

Support Frame add structure and support the heel
Details

OVERVIEW
ISOFIT provides stabilizing support while adapting to the movement of the runner's foot
Enhanced PWRGRID+ platform provides 20% more cushioning and better druability than previous versions
Support Frame adds structure and support in the heel

SPECS
Shoe Category: Neutral
Pronation: Neutral
Cushion: Plush
Construction Type: Natural Motion
Surface: Road, Track
Arch: High, Normal (Mid), Low
Water Resistant: No
Waterproof: No
Offset: 4mm
Heel Stack Height: 25mm
Forefoot Stack Height: 21mm

ISOFIT provides stabilizing support while adapting to the movement of the runner's foot
The Zealot has a firmer ride than the Kinvara 5 and a quicker feel than the Triumph.  Saucony left 2014 with their jaw dropping Triumph and kicked  open the doors to 2015 waving two smash hits.  It will be interesting to see how the Zealot and BreakThru are received by runners this season and beyond.  If you're adamant and passionate about getting the most out your runs the Zealot may just be the shoe for you swing by your LRS or shop online either way #findyourstrong 

RunR4Lyfe 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Saucony BreakThru Review

Back in January I purchased a pair of BreakThru's on a whim while returning a pair Mizuno Musha's at my LRS.  I noticed one of the associates rocking a gold pair which were on Fleek.  The BreakThru's were so appealing I picked up them up without doing any research.  Saucony has been busy dropping new kicks like Jay-Z was releasing monster albums back in the 90's and racking up the Grammy equivalent awards in the process-you gotta love it.  

So wait, why would Saucony introduce the BreakThru and the Zealot and what role will they play in their line up?  Good questions, I don't have a definitive answer but, I do know if you're standing still and not evolving in this industry you'll get left behind.  

BreakThru Color way on Fleek

The BreakThru is one of Saucony's lightest daily trainers at 8.6oz with a 8mm drop compared to 9.3oz of their award winning Ride 7.  The BreakThru has a lower ground feel and firmer more responsive ride.  It seems like the BreakThru is trying to find a sweet spot between the  A6, Kinvara and Zealot.  


INFOGRAPH Comparison 

The Upper

The BreakThru is on the snug side so its recommended that you go up a 1/2 size, the upper is has a racing inspired sublimed print with minimal seams.  The uppers on the BreakThru were a better fit for me compared to Zealot.  I loved the ISO FIT on the Triumph-(see my review here)  not so much on the Zealot-for me it was a combination of the material used and the size of the toe box.  If you have a higher volume foot you'll appreciate the condo the Zealot offers for your toes to splay and play.  


8.6 oz with an 8mm Drop 
Fit and Feel


Once I sized up I didn't have any issues with the BreakThru, the fit and feel of the upper is superior to the Zealot in my opinion particularly across the top and along the heel counter.  My buddy Pete at runblogger.com called them comfy-(see his review here)

Heel-to-toe POWERGRID provides a responsive and cushioned ride
Details

OVERVIEW
  • Lightest 8mm everyday trainer
  • The platform featuring heel-to-toe POWERGRID provides a versatile blend of cushioning and responsive 
  • The purposeful upper design with minimal overlays enhances comfort while minimizing weight
  • Eye-catching sublimated print draws inspiration from our racing line

SPECS
  • Shoe Category: Neutral
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Cushion: Responsive
  • Construction Type: Neutral
  • Surface: Road, Track
  • Arch: High, Normal (Mid)
  • Water Resistant: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Offset: 8mm
  • Heel Stack Height: 23mm
  • Forefoot Stack Height: 15mm


SSL™ midsole material that maximizes durability while minimizing weight

The Sole

If you're an efficient speed demon you'll probably lean toward the A6 or Fastwitch but, if you're a middle of the pack runner like me needing a bit of cushion underfoot the BreakThru might be an awesome fit for you.  Saucony built the sole with their SSL™ midsole material that maximizes durability while minimizing weight.  Learning from their past mishaps with exposed eva Saucony didn't take any chances, the BreakThru comes equipped Ultra durable XT 900™ carbon rubber in high wear areas of the outsole.

Ultra durable XT 900™ carbon rubber in high wear areas of the outsole
I've take the BreakThru's on several runs on the asphalt, treadmill and indoor track and compared them to few shoes in my running shoe library specifically the Launch 2 and Zealot, hands down the L2 had the best fitting upper.  During my speed work intervals today I put all of them to the test and spent most of my time in the Zealot's.  The Zealots just felt better underfoot especially as I rounded the corners and picked up the speed on the straight aways.  If you prefer a flat firm ride with a nice blend of cushion the BreakThru is worth taking a look at especially at a buck.  Go find your strong!!  My Buddy Steve at Run Bull Dog Run shared his initial thoughts on the BreakThru-(check out his review here)

RunR4Lyfe