Trialists

Tested – Running Kit


What We Look For


SHOES
Fit Room in the toe box. Mid-foot support. Heel cup hold and correct rigidity?
Comfort Was the shoe too firm, too soft? Were they too stiff or too flexible?
Upper Was the structure too heavy, too minimal or feel correct?
Outsole Durability Did the shoe wear well on the terrain tested?
Durability Did you get sufficient mileage?
SHORTS
Storage Were the pockets accessible, too big, too small?
Fit Did the fabric move with you? Did they move freely or impede you in any way?
Breathability Were they efficient across the temperature range?
Inner/Compression Did the inner offer good support and was it comfortable?
T-SHIRTS
Panels Look for breathability in all your key areas, on your back and under your arms especially.
Neck Whether you favour a closer fit or flexibility. A round, V or zip neck.
CAPRI 3/4 TIGHTS
Storage Were the pockets accessible, too big, too small?
Fit Did the fabric move with you? Did they move freely or impede you in any way?
Breathability Were they efficient across the temperature range?
Compression Did the inner offer good support and was it comfortable?
GILLET JACKETS
Fit Did the fabric move with you? Did they move freely or impede you in any way?
Breathability Was it efficient across the temperature range?
Storage Were the pockets accessible, too big, too small?
SOCKS
Fit Did the fabric support the foot? Were they the right height, in, up and around the ankle and heel?
Comfort Were they soft, plush too stiff?
Breathability Were they efficient across the temperature range?
Durability How did the fabric wear?

Trialists


Andrew Keigher

photo
Age: 38
Running Experience & Information: I am purely a recreational runner in my spare time, although as a PT I do go running with clients when/if it is part of their training program. I also run group fitness sessions in Helston and Penzance. There is a lot of movement in these sessions as we aim to get a full body workout in under a hour!

Brief product review: The top has a light comfortable fit and with its round neck it is easy to wear. ( I am partial to the round neck ). It dries quickly after exercise and wash.

brooks rev ii. transpngProduct – Brooks Rev II Long Sleeve Top £25

Verdict: I found the top extremely comfortable, with no restriction in movement or any uncomfortable chafing during the wide range of movement patterns performed during my fitness sessions, or out training with clients.

For me this is a summer top, however is equally comfortable being worn underneath a warmer top.

Score: 10/10

Lee Lewitt

Age: 29
Running Experience & Information: Serve in the British army doing numerous running events mainly half marathons and weight carrying disciplines. Over the 2 years I have started trail running and took part I the ENDURANCELIFE UTSW this year for the first time.

Brief product review: The shoe is very light and extremely comfortable providing plenty of support mid sole and around the heel cup, plenty of room in the shoe which allowed for any swelling over long distance. There is also a nice amount of cushioning but not to soft as to compromise support, this is a great benefit when you are running long distance to absorb the shock when running trails. The grip on the soles of these shoes coped really well on the wet coastal trails gripping fast on slippery down hill slopes and considering I could be running 70+ miles a week the soles were very durable. The bend In the shoe was a little to flexible at times, when you are running over rough terrain a little more rigidity would be of benefit to cope with the undulation under foot. All said a very good shoe offering plenty of support without being restrictive.

Product – Saucony Xodus 3 Trail Shoe £95xodus3trans

Verdict: I got well over 600 miles out of the shoe during training for the UTSW and even took them for the actual run. The only drawback for me was the very soft bend which became a slight issue on rocky coast paths.

Score: 8/10

Sarah Cave

Age: 35sarah cave
Running Experience & Information: I have been running and taking part in races for the last 8 years. I’ve competed in races from 5k to ultra-marathons. I particularly like trail running and spend a lot of time out on the coast paths. I don’t do particularly well in races, I just enjoy getting out and keeping fit.

Brief product review:
Saucony Ignite Capri III – these were a good fit around my waist (quite a high fitting, which I like) and knees, wash well and well made. They don’t have a drawstring though and I found myself constantly having to pull them when running as they sagged in the crotch area. However they were great for the gym. I think these are priced fairly.

reviewerSaucony Tech T-shirt – great product, fits really well, great breathability. Love this product, feels great on, very light, dries quickly and the v-neck is extremely comfortable. Worth every penny.

Saucony Bra – Good comfortable fit. I found this bra great for the gym but found there wasn’t quite enough support for running. It was ok for short runs. Washes well though and dries out quickly and very comfortable. Fairly priced.

Product – Saucony Ignite Capri III RRP £30. Saucony Tech T-Shirt RRP £20. Saucony Bra RRP £20

Verdict: For short runs and wearing to the gym I think the capri’s and bra are great and priced well – not so great for long runs. The T-shirt is perfect for longer runs and is really well priced (would have scored 10/10 individually).

Score: 7/10

Nicola Quinn

Age: 45Nicola Quinn
Running Experience & Information: Experienced runner from 5km up to marathon distance. Great Welsh marathon win and WAA 5km gold medal this year. Back to winter training after an achillies strain.

Product – Saucony OMNI LX Tights and Brooks Pure Connect 2 Shoes

Brief product review:
lx-tightsSaucony OMNI LX Tights – Full length tights with good Hi viz stripes down the legs. Key pocket on the back which is big enough for a small phone or keys. Zipped ankles with leg grips. Draw string waist. Winter weight fabric that gave had a comfortable feel. Support was a little bit lacking and the drawstring waist had to be pulled tight to obtain a good fit. The fabric of these tights would limit them to winter training tights only.

Brooks Pure 2 Connect –The fit of this shoe is completely different to Brooks other shoes in the Pure range. It is a very close fitting shoe that hugs the foot from heel cup down into the midfoot area. The toe box is not as roomy as the drift and flow models. The mesh upper is really snug around the foot and is held in place on your mid foot with the aid of the nav band. The asymmetric lacing system works very well and is really comfy. A comfortable, flexible shoe that naturally encourages you to run on your midfoot. The toe off phase is very fast in this shoe. The shoe tested well on all terrain. Gives a bouncy feel on hard trail as well as the road. I had no loss of traction on wet roads. I find the shoe is not the highest mileage shoe on the market but if you are looking for a fast comfortable tempo shoe with a low heel to toe drop this will definitely fit the bill.

Verdict:
Saucony OMNI LX Tights – – A nice looking pair of tights and comfortable on first try. Having used these tights a number of times now the weather has turned a bit colder I feel able to give an honest view of them. The material on these is a bit heavier than I would usually use making them an ideal winter training tight or for people that feel the cold. The hi viz stripes are effective and they look good. That is about where it ends for me on these tights. They come up very short so if you are over 5’9 forget these being full length. The overlocking stitching would become an issue over longer distances as would the drawstring at the waist. All in all I would class these as a beginners running tight. I would certainly be looking for a better fit from Saucony.

brooks pure connect 2Brooks Pure 2 Connect –I found this shoe initially very comfortable straight from the box. The shoe comes up a little bit small in comparison to the other models in this range so I would encourage people to try this before they buy. I would probably have been happier running in it half a size bigger. This shoe has a nice feel to it and has the making of a very fast shoe. It comes up slightly high on the heel cup but certainly not unacceptable. I personally feel it is a tempo training shoe and a good 5-10km race shoe. If Brooks had the got the sizing in this shoe to follow inline with their other models I would not have been able to fault the shoe. If I buy it again I would be taking home a half size bigger.

Score:
Saucony OMNI LX Tights – 6/10
Brooks Pure 2 Connect – 8/10

Loyd Purvis

Age: 39Loyd Purvis
Running Experience & Information:
I’ve been competing in road races and triathlons for the last 8 years. In the 8 years of racing I have competed over many different distances from 5K to Marathon and Sprint to Ironman triathlon. After spending 2 years focusing on triathlon I made the decision to go back to running full time as it’s my strongest discipline so I have spent the last two years trail running. It’s taken me 39 years to find my real passion in life and I can’t get enough of it. Trail running has become a lifestyle for me, training 5-6 days a week and competing in ultra-distance races all over the country it really has taken over my life, in a good way of course!! This year I have been focusing on getting UTMB qualification for 2014. Goals for the future are qualifying and completing some of the most iconic ultra-distance races in the world, Western States 100, UTMB, Leadville 100 and Badwater Ultra to mention a few!
mens infinit 34 tightss
Brief product review:
Brooks Gillet – good product, very well made, great pockets with plenty of room and easy to open and close. The gillet was a bit on the heavy side for me and it could have done with some ventilation on the back. It had good wind proof qualities and could handle a heavy shower as well so all in all a good product for the price.
Brooks Singlet – Super product, great fit and nice and lightweight. Really good wicking material and super fast drying. Great singlet and a real bargain.
Brooks ¾ Infiniti Tight – Once again a really well made product. The fit was good with a good waistband and rear pocket, but it needed more compression. I think for the price you get a really useful ¾ tight that would be just right for Winter and Autumn running. Also the three items had great reflective detail, making sure you get seen at night.

Product – Brooks Gillet RunVestII £50. Brooks Singlet £23. Brooks ¾ Infiniti Tight £32

Verdict: Good products at a really reasonable price.

Score: 7/10

Matty Brennan

Age: 33matty brennan
Running Experience & Information: I have been running since 25, and have competed in every distance up to ultra-marathons, culminating in a best result of 3rd place in the Lakeland 50 in 2012.

Brief product review:
Fit – The shoes feel quite snug, but not uncomfortably so, but does not let your toes splay naturally. My heel was held in securely. The Xodus has an “Archlock”, which is a band of material attached to the lacing system to keep the midfoot secure. It feels quite nice at the start of a run, but can get uncomfortable near the end of a long run if your foot swells too much. It also does not stop your foot from rolling in the shoe if contouring.

Comfort – The shoe is hugely comfortable as soon as you put it on. This is thanks to the very thick insole. The only drawback of this is that it can soak up a lot of moisture, and does not dry out quickly. It is a shoe that lends itself to long trail runs, the cushioning is soft enough to keep on running for a long time, and feels really nice down long descent, while being firm enough not to lose any energy on the climbs. With all the cushioning the shoes are not particularly flexible, but do provide a lot of protection.

Upper – The upper is fantastic. Sturdy, light feeling and durable. These shoes have had a good hammering around the Peak District, and no signs of wear (apart from a little dirt). There has been no ingress of grit, and no blisters even on 4+ hour runs.

xodus2sOutsole Durability – These shoes will last a long time. I have run just over 160 miles in them, mixed trail, roads and fields, and there is very little wear on the outsole or the upper. I would expect to get at least 800miles out of them, that are built that solidly.

Product – Saucony Xodus II £95

Verdict: These would not be everyone’s cup of tea, however if you are looking for a high mileage, traditional drop (12mm) trail shoe to run non-technical trail, then you would be hard pressed to beat these.

Score: 7/10

Mike Evans

Age: 38Mike Evans
Running Experience & Information: ran 39 marathons all averaging under 3hours. Been running for 16 years and have competed at national level, critic to all shoes and fussy about what i use. My feet are very important.

Brief product review: Brooks flow is an exceptional shoe, fit and comfort was A1, fit was great and the weight or the shoe was ideal, plent of support in the mid foot. I have done runs from 5k up to 20miles in thes shoes and they are so responsive. I used these up to 100 miles a week and the flows were like slippers throughout. For the price you are getting pure quality and a pair of trainers which can be used for 5k tempo run or a distance run.
pureflow2trans
Product – Brook Pure Flow 2 £100

Verdict: a superb shoe built for pace and comfort which seems to propel you from heel on landing to ball take off. If you are looking for a mid-weight responsive shoe then the Brooks pure flow are the ones for you. For £100 you get it all. You get what you pay for (Quality)

Score: 10/10

Katie Sharp

Age: 34
Running Experience & Information: I have been running for 3 years and have most certainly caught the running bug! I enter as many races as I can from 5k, to my most recent race, The 20 mile R.A.T. I particually love trail running and try and get out on the Corninsh coast paths as often as I can!

Brief product review:

Product – Infiniti Capri II £35 Essential Nightlife Gillet £55

capri transRunning Tights:

Storage – Nicely concealed small pocket on the back. Great for storing a key or a small item.
Fit – Fantastic fit, lovely wide, high waisted band in constrasting colour. Gives you confidence as they don’t ride down as you are running.
Breathability – Keeps you at a regulated temperature.
Compression – Very comfortable. Cannot fault.

The best pair I have owned to date! I choose these everytime! I have worn them through out the summer and have kept me cool. Great product!

gillettransGillet:

Fit – Amazing fit, just the right amount of movement, also has a flattering feminine shape.
Breathability – Effective temperature control. Nice comfortable collar made of soft material.
Storage – Great inner phone pocket, and extra pocket. Standard outer pockets easy to access as running.
Value for Money – Good value for money. Quality products.

Bright, comfortable, flattering, another fantastic product from Brooks!

Verdict: Two great products with nice attention to detail.

Score: 9/10