Reviews

Hyperion

The Hyperion was always going to have a tough job replacing my favourite T7 racers- but they really have won through! To start with, although I loved the narrow fit of the Hyperion, I really struggled to get used to the new material of the upper. It is almost plastic-like and doesn’t have much stretch. I worried I wouldn’t get on with them BUT soon realised if I laced them up more loosely than I usually would and let the laces do the expanding, it overcame this and they were FANTASTIC!

I absolutely love the fit of them now and they are just as lightweight as a racer needs to be! I’d wear them for all distances. They are a very slim fit- which suits my long thin feet, but wider feet may find them a bit too snug? Another big bonus of these over the T7s is they wear out MUCH less quickly! I used to go through the soles of the T7’s in a matter of weeks (bearing in mind I wear them a lot though). I’ve had Hyperions for a couple months now and there is no sign of wear at all. Also, these are specifically for female runners, so the fit feels more ‘made for me’, whereas the T7’s were unisex and therefore a bit wider than ideal. I even wear them to the gym and for cross training- they are that comfy and adaptable!

I am thoroughly sold on the Hyperions now and do prefer them to the T7’s- so GREAT job Brooks, thank you for producing an all-round brilliant racing shoe for ladies!

 Emma Stepto

 

Hoka One One Challenger ATR

…So I went out to At Your Pace where Kay sorted me out in a pair of the Challenger gtr trail shoes. That evening I was out in them, only out along St Erth river bank, as I was itching to give them a go. My first impression was wow these are great!

I only did a couple of miles in them but I was delighted how they felt on my feet. For my next run I went up and around the North Cliffs where I did a 10 mile run in them to see how they got on with the place that always ended up hurting my feet with the horrible sharp stones.Hoka Mens Challenger ATR Orange small After a few miles I was thinking so far so good but just up ahead was the bit of path that I knew was pretty gnarly and would be a good test for them. This bit of path is only about 500yrds long but full of the little evil stones that my feet hate so I decided the only to really test these pumps was to go for it! Boom, off I went flat out and it felt great! I was just gliding over the stones that before I would of been plotting my way through…

Check out the full review here!

 Keith Kemp

 

X-Bionic The Trick Running Shorts and Running Pants

xbionic shirt womenxbionic shorts womenI wore the shorts and top under my skirt and top on Saturday. They both felt great to run in and gave that feeling of everything being sort of held together, although I was a bit hot at times. However the main thing is that I had no stiffness in my legs at all, or in my stomach.

And that has continued, and I ran 5 miles off road comfortably today in 40 minutes! So I have definitely felt the benefit of them. Thanks for letting me be a tester, and I will probably wear them again like that at Mont Blanc.

 Jayne Angilley

 

FlipBelt

FlipBelt…what can I say? I love it!!!
I’ve never found a running belt that has felt comfortable and doesn’t move around so when I was asked to try the FlipBelt I was keen to give it a go.
flipbeltcrop
jamienewingcropThe first thing I liked was the colour. Neon yellow…reflective on dull days and dark evenings. Stretchy fabric and no belt clip to fiddle with, you just step into it and
pull up into position.

The belt has 4 openings on it where you can slip in your phone, ipod, gels, money, keys or whatever else you want to carry on a run. You simply put items in then
flip the belt over to keep the items in place! Brilliant!

I tried the belt on a 10 mile run. I carried my phone, a gel, money and Ipod. It fitted well and the first thing I noticed was there was no movement. My phone wasn’t
bouncing around and I didn’t have to adjust the belt at all. I forgot I was wearing it!

I will definitely be using The FlipBelt from now on…it is lightweight, comfortable and looks good too! I’ll definitely be recommending it to all my running friends!

 Sarah Newing

 
Brooks Pureflow 3

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Name – Andrew Benham
Age – 42

Running experience – I started running to get fit for a return to climbing after a nasty accident about 7 years ago. Before long I found myself running more often than I was climbing. Over the last few years I have increased my mileage and completed half marathons, a marathon and a couple of ultras, with more in the pipeline in the near future. I’m not particularly quick but enjoy the challenge of pushing myself as hard as I can and have found most satisfaction in longer and longer events. This year I aim to complete my first 100k; after that, who knows?

Brooks Pureflow 3 – The Brooks Pure Project range comprise of the Cadence, Flow, Connect and Drift. According to Brooks, these shoes are designed to promote “an efficient and natural foot strike”, with the Cadence offering most stability and cushioning and the Drift the least. The Pureflow is a neutral, cushioned shoe with a 4mm drop. It has a taco style lacing system, a rather bizarre split toe sole and is overall fairly lightweight.

pureflow 3Fit – I dislike feeling my toes pressing against the front of my running shoes and so opted to buy a full size up from my normal shoe size. On reflection I think I could have got away with a half size, but there is no doubt they size up a little small for most people so try before you buy. I am really impressed with the fit; I have a fairly narrow heel and, even with shoes I really like, often find it hard to get a secure fit around the ankle but the heel cup in the Pureflow 3 holds my foot solidly without having to pull too tight on the laces. One of the features that sets the pure range apart from other trainers is the “Nav Band” an elastic band in the mid foot which is designed to grip the foot and hold it in place. This makes the mid foot feel nice and snug without being particularly noticeable. Up front the toe box is wide and roomy and leaves plenty of space for the toes to spread on impact as you run. I don’t quite get the point of the split toe; it doesn’t seem to do anything for me really.

Comfort – On first putting them on the Pureflow 3 feel quite springy, bouncy even, though they feel firmer when running. For me at least they offer the perfect amount of cushioning while also feeling very light. There is some arch lift but no stabilisation and again this suits me perfectly. Overall the shoe feels very flexible and responsive. The rear of the sole is slightly rounded up which is meant to discourage heel striking. As a mid foot striker I can’t really comment on how effective this is but I certainly didn’t feel the shoe getting in the way as I ran. In fact this is probably the best compliment I can give these shoes; I just don’t think about them that much when I run.

Upper – The upper is fairly minimal, with little in the way of structure. Constructed of a double layer of mesh it seems durable enough and has plenty of bonded plastic overlays to maintain the shape of the upper. The heel cup has some stiffening and is quite well cushioned. The taco style lacing system works well and there are no obvious pressure points.

Outsole durability – The springy ride comes from the Brooks BioMoGo mid sole which is, to its credit, fully bio-degradable. Brooks describe this tech as “an ingenious polymer structure that is more durable than EVA and offers a softer, more flexible running experience”. There is plenty of tough out sole material arranged throughout the length of the shoe in oval pods. When I first saw them I thought maybe the sole may not last but actually it seems to be a lot more hard-wearing than it might look.

Durability – I’ve not done enough miles in them to comment fully on the durability of the Pureflow 3. However I own a pair of the original Pureflows and have clocked up over 500 miles in them. I see no reason to expect any less from version 3.

Conclusion – For me the Pureflow 3 combine some of the best aspects of minimalist shoe design with a level of cushioning sufficient to remain comfortable up to marathon distances. Despite their relatively light weight they are well cushioned and hard wearing and are my shoe of choice for road running.

 Andrew Benham

 
Inov-8 X-Talon

xtalon212transHi there, I bought a pair of Inov-8 X-talons from you to use for Rock Solid obstacle race. You said you’d be interested to hear how we got on.

And would also like to say that the shoes were fantastic, i ran past many people slipping and sliding on the mud, without any problems myself and 12km later, my feet were the only part of me that didn’t hurt.

Inov-8 X-talonsreviewpic1
Inov-8 X-talonsreviewpic2

 Jenny Defriez

 
Salomon Speedcross 3

Shoe selection is always a topic that causes a lot of debate! At the end of the day what suits one person may not suit another! Fit and comfort are so important when you are running long distances.
Once you find a shoe that fits and is comfortable you can then look at all the other attributes and requirements: distances, terrain, support, tread, weight, material etc, etc!
speedcross3brightredtrans
So the best piece of advice I can give is go to a shop like “At Your Pace” where you can talk to and get advice from people who truly understand because it is what they do; run trails!

So, why Speedcross for me? Well, first of all they are a perfect fit for my feet, since I have been using Speedcross I have never had hot spots, blisters or any form of rubbing! ( Except once which I don’t count because I put a brand new pair on and ran over 30 miles straight off!). Having said that I have worn a pair for just a few days and then run 60 miles in them with no ill affects.

Andy Jukes charity raceI have never used another shoe that I feel so confident in, they provide excellent support feeling like part of my foot, I can run confidently from rocky ground to mud to boulders to grass knowing they will cope with it all. They are great on steep ascents and descents; again they give me the confidence to push hard on either. Underfoot they also provide the protection I need for my coast path running, the sharp, rough, undulating paths never penetrate through the souls making them a comfy run, they have the combination of protection and comfort rite without being over the top.
I am sure there is a lot of technical mumbo jumbo to explain all this, but I just run, you will need to talk to the guys in the shop if you want that sort of info!

At the end of the day they cope with what ever I throw at them, they work for me and I would not hesitate to recommend them to any one!

I love my Speedcross!

Supporter of Children’s Hospice South West

childrens hospice south west logo

 Andy Jukes

 
Brooks Ghost 6 GTX

sarah newing

Being both a road and trail runner I was excited to hear about Brooks Ghost 6 GTX shoe. I needed a shoe that would cope with both terrains and this seemed to fit my list of criteria. The great thing with this shoe is the gortex lining promising me dry feet in wet conditions! I’m usually a 5 and a half in my trainers but found a size 6 was a good fit for me. My first road run was on a wet day….great grip and very comfortable. No rubbing or blisters which is something I can suffer from. Dry feet at the end of my run 🙂

waterproof comparisonDay 2 out on the coast path….very muddy conditions! On the really wet mud the shoe struggled to grip and I slid around a bit but on the rocky gravel and drier parts of the path the shoe performed well and had a good grip. Again very comfortable and well cushioned on rocky areas. At the end of the run after my feet had been in mud and water my feet were completely dry and my socks still white! I felt quite smug next to my wet footed fellow runners! ghost 6 gtx trans
 

Verdict – To sum up this shoe it’s great if you want a trail shoe that can be used on the road too but for really muddy tough conditions a trail shoe with a deeper tread is needed. A very comfortable shoe and to have dry feet on a wet run is fantastic! I would definitely buy again! Love the colour too!!!

 Sarah Newing

 
Salomon S-LAB Sense ULTRA

s-lab sense ultra

Where do I start with this shoe? It is quiet simply the best shoe I have ever run in! Its a bold statement I know but it really is. The shoe is a great weight (210g UK 8) but it still has a lot of support and protection for your foot. The shoe really promotes forefoot running with only a 4mm heel to toe drop. The fit of the shoe is amazing, it feels tight when you first try to put the shoe on but once it’s on it fits like a glove. The grip of the shoe is good on all terrain but is better suited on dry hard trails but can cope well in the wet too. With the salomon speed lace system and great rubber toe protection I really can’t fault this shoe. I just completed the UTSW 100 wearing the LAB SENSE ULTRA so the shoe is good from 10k – 100 miles and not a hot spot or blister in sight!

 Loyd Purvis

 
Brooks PureGrit

A great off road shoe by Brooks. Had them about a week now and tried them out on a few surfaces. Initial thoughts- really comfortable for some road to get to off road and then they really shine. They feel light and the low profile makes me naturally go to my toes so they feel quick too. Thought the cushioning took away a bit of the responsiveness off road at first but that was on the beach and dunes. On trails they feel great. Good grip so far too. Haven’t done much distance in them but wouldn’t be afraid to. Really impressed and tempted to try the Pure Flow as a road shoe at some point.

 Jo Friday

 
Brooks Racer ST5

st5 racer new yellow transI started using this shoe in training for London, as I wanted something a bit more lightweight than standard shoes, but not as light as racing flats. I found they were perfect for long runs and even tempo sessions, as they have a brilliant balance between flexibility and support. I really enjoyed wearing the ST5’s and wore them with full confidence for the marathon. I was very pleased to run a PB and couldn’t fault the shoes. I still wear them for 80% of my training- alternating with my Saucony Kinvaras when I feel like a change- and just slip into flats or spikes for the very short speed sessions.

The only thing I might change on this shoe is the laces- as they are made of a slippery nylon type material- if you don’t double knot them well and tuck the ends in, they can slip loose very easily. But that’s just a very minor thing. In summary, a fantastic all round training shoe for road and grit trails and with enough support for longer races.

 Emma Stallard

 
Salomon Speedcross 3

Salomon Speedcross 3I needed a new pair of shoes for running several hours at a time off road. Innov8 Talon is my preferred shoe at present for off road but just not solid enough for the longer stuff. I was directed to the Salomon Speedcross and while it’s a little too early to comment on their longer run performance, so far so good. The Speedcross is a very good looking shoe, so I chose to get through the hardship of trashing the look by sinking them deep into the muddiest puddle I could find early on; job done within five minutes of putting them on.

I am not really a techie when it comes to shoes, fortunately I have not had too many injuries and have not needed to choose shoes specific to different running gaits etc. My main needs therefore were durability and support for the longer run, plus a secure grip, the routes taken so far have been very muddy so they have had a good test. To date I have not slipped or fallen over and can say that I feel secure, supported, and confident in them, so in this simple way they have been a success. I have not been especially conscious of wearing this new pair of shoes either so can’t wax lyrical about them, but if the rule that a good referee is the one you don’t notice also portends to shoes then these are ‘good uns’.
Summary, Great looking shoe, secure confident grip, and good solid support.

 David Angilley

 
Brooks Launch

Think that I may have just found the perfect road shoe with theBrooks Launch Brooks Launch!These are light weight, but also comfortably cushioned. They feel really fast and springy, particularly in the forefoot. Although most of the shoes I’ve been running in recently have been lighter than the Launch, they don’t feel bulky, and their comfort and performance outweigh any concerns I had about their weight. In fact, they are quite a deceptive shoe, as they look heavier than they actually are. I am certainly impressed by how they make running on the roads feel almost enjoyable (I am really an off road gal, but dark winter nights necessitate a bit more road work!) and they can handle the less aggressive trails too. Definitely a shoe that I will be buying again when these ones run out!

 Jayne Angilley

 

Brooks T7 Racer

brooks t7 racer newgreentransI have been wearing Brooks racers for about 5 years now and have never been able to fault them for road and track races. I like shoes to feel like they are part of my feet, which these do, rather than weights that are strapped on. I really like the curved last of the racers- it seems to suit my narrow feet and makes the shoe feel snugly fitted. The sole is quite flexible, although if they changed anything, I would opt for it being slightly more flexible in this area and just slightly less chunk in the heel. I’d use these to race up to half marathon distance quite comfortably. Overall I don’t see any real downsides to the T7 racer and find it a great reliable racing shoe that gives confidence over almost any distance.

 Emma Stepto

 

Saucony Grid Type A5

These are easily my favourite shoe at the moment. So much so that I have even been racing in them! They are very lightweight, have a very low heel and are really flexible. You barely know you are wearing them! The best feature for me is an elasticated band that holds the tongue of the shoe in place and wraps around the midfoot- it actually feels like the shoe is holding your foot, supporting the arch very gently. You really want to run fast in these. Like the Kinvaras, but with even less cushioning, the comfort is in the flexibility and lightness.

I started off doing very short distances in these- because they are so low, they really stretch your Achilles/ calf muscles, more than shoes with a bigger heel, so you have to be careful, get used to them gradually and stretch well afterwards. Brilliant shoes for fast training and short races on road- but half marathon distance left me with very sore soles (there’s just not enough cushioning for that distance). I’ve been really impressed with how well the tread is lasting- as I usually wear shoes through within a few weeks. The only downside I’ve found is that there are small holes designed into the sole which easily get small stones stuck in them and sometimes you can feel them as you run- so unless you carry a hoof pick, or have long fingernails to get them out, you could have a problem!! (Not a great shoe for off road, perhaps?!) In summary a fantastic minimalist, fast shoe, but be careful getting used to the low heel.

 Emma Stepto

 

New Balance MT10

The first time I put the New Balance MT10 on I new it was the shoe for me to start minimalist running in, as it has just a bit of cushioning where as apposed to some minimalist shoes there is no cushioning at all. the shoe not only looks good but holds the foot well on off-road uneven technical ground. it has a band that cradles the mid Tarsal area that at first might feel slightly tight but hold in there, as after a while this subsides and the foot gets used to it.

The MT10 has a Vibram sole that flexes very well and grips on most surfaces but really soft mud, but amazing on rock and stony coastal paths.

The transition from your ordinary running shoes to a pair of minimalist shoes must be taken seriously, the benefits are fantastic but you must take things easy and i mean easy, I wore mine as a slipper to start with only wearing it in the house, then I wore it at work in the gym to let my feet get used to the feel, then I ran 1/4 of a mile I then took this up by only 10% per week.The feel is fantastic coming down on the forefoot as nature intended and not on the calcaneus, let your feet feel what ground you are about to cover, I felt free and was able to cover rough ground with ease. There is another step to running and how it was intended to feel but just take care and remember the 10% rule !

Pete Roper

 

INOV-8 Roclite 315 “Most Durable Trail”

Peter Roper

Pete Roper pete@peteroper.com +44(0)797 785 9965

inov8 roclite 315 bluenew transThe 315 is a good all round gutsy multi terrain shoe with a good amount of cushioning for long distance training runs. I have really ragged this shoe and its come back for more every time, it has a nice protective toe box and heel counter and a nicely padded ankle collar, you could never quite get a shoe to do it all, but this shoe comes very close to doing just that. The beauty of this shoe is that it will hold its own if you have to take in a bit of tarmac.Every shoe has its draw backs and this shoe does lack a bit of grip when it gets messy under foot and its fairly wide fit means you do get a bit of inner foot movement when contouring down steep descents, that’s where a narrower shoe would come into play, but all in all this shoe does take some beating and its worth taking a close look at.

Pete Roper

 

Saucony Arm Warmers

Saucony Arm WarmersThe ultimate Autumn Accessory
If you don’t already have these you need some! Fantastic and versatile piece of kit. Pop on with a vest or short sleeve T-shirt on cold autumn/winter mornings or evenings to keep elbows and wrists snug. Small enough to whip off and put in a pocket or waist band, or roll down and wear as a sweat band/ snot wipe!! Also fab for winter and cross country races as a useful but lightweight addition to your race kit. I wear mine all the time and love them! Cyclists have been on board for a long time, so come on runners- it’s our turn now.
Available in black and Hi-Viz, funky pink at the shop. Pop in and GET YOURS NOW!!

 Jo Friday

 

Saucony KINVARA 3

Emma Stepto

Emma Stepto

This is my second pair of Kinvaras- I had a ladies pair last time and this time went for the men’s version, as it had more toe room. I love using these shoes for fast sessions/ tempo runs. They are light and very flexible, so you can really use your feet and spring forwards. Not really a comfortable shoe for doing long runs- I use Brooks Launch instead for that- but they are perfect for speed, on and off road! I have almost been tempted to race in them.
Initially I found them a bit strange- in that they don’t feel fitted or snug when you put them on and walk about. But don’t let that put you off- they are actually fantastic to run in and that’s the important thing! I really like the springy lugs on the sole but I find they do wear out quite quickly. (Not that that seems to affect the performance at all.) I don’t wear them for long runs just because they are quite ‘flat’, not much arch support, and I do suffer with that over long distances- but other people might not find this a problem. I hope the design stays the same as I can’t see anything that needs changing. I’ll definitely stay a fan!


“Strap on the loveliness people”….

I was very excited the minute I put these on my feet- comfortable and soft and very ,very light . On the road they feel awesome- all the lightness and speed of a racing shoe but with more cushioning and support from the sole- ideal. They feel so racey!

Off road- ok but just difficult to appreciate the awesomeness on that sort of terrain. Not as much support in the upper shoe so felt my foot was moving around a bit. Also found myself picking through the mud trying not to get them to mucky- now what’s that all about???

In short- I would stick to the roads to appreciate these shoes because they are fabulous- get them on your feet!! 10/10 for road training.

Emma Stepto | Jo Friday

 

Brooks Cascadia 8

The Brooks ‘off roadie’. Have been test driving mine over some very mixed terrain over the last few days. Here’s a few thoughts.

cascadia8transAs with my other Brooks (Glycerins and Launches) very comfy and soft when you first put them on. Also nice and light for an off road shoe. Meanwhile, in the great outdoors….. Good stable shoe- much better that trotting off road in your normal or ‘old’ road shoes!! I would say great for the dunes, trails , beach (is any shoe good on the beach??), coastal path during the Autumn. Also good if you have a bit of road involved to get to your trail or in the middle of it.

Don’t know if it would be my shoe of choice for full on slushy mud fests- although we haven’t had that yet this season so we’ll see. My shoe of choice then or for XC races where you can’t wear spikes would be the INOV-8 MUDCLAW- can’t beat those 4 wheel drive lugs on the soles!!

Overall 7/10. A glorified and more stable version of a road shoe. If it was totally off road and for speed I would choose the MUDCLAW. What do you think??

 Jo Friday