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Backpack For running

Having a amazing backpack is vital for so many extraordinary reasons, one of these motives being for getting all of belongings to and from paintings. Having a incredible backpack for walking to paintings and commuting is sincerely essential as it permits you to carry the whole lot to your lower back while preserving your arms free.

Being capable of healthy a few garments, your lunch, and your computer or tablet inside the backpack is a very handy manner to get your matters to paintings.

That’s why we are here nowadays, to review the first-rate backpacks that you may have for buying all your property to work and returned domestic in one piece. Here are a number of the pleasant, strongest, and maximum relaxed backpacks round.

Our Top Pick And What We Think Is The Best Backpack For Running

This is one of the high-quality backpacks available on the market these days and it’s far truely our top pick for a backpack for running to paintings. One of the motives that we like this bag a lot is as it has the capacity to attach on to another Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack to boom space and carrying capability. Sure this backpack is excellent and small which makes it ideal for strolling round and commuting, but with just a few clicks and an add-on bag you may remodel it into a larger backpack best for all situations.

In terms of going to and from paintings, this bag is splendid due to the fact it’s miles great and compact because of this that you won’t be bumping into each person and entering into their manner for your long go back and forth. Even although it is quite compact it is able to nevertheless fit a whole lot of factors internal of it. People were loving the fact that they can healthy their smaller laptops or pills perfectly inside the again pocket and feel safe in understanding that the excellent padded back is maintaining their electronics in mint circumstance.

Going to paintings often entails a computer or at the least a pill which makes the padded returned a amazing function to have. Of course the padded again doesn’t just guard the electronics because it’s fundamental feature is to offer comfort on your returned; a difficult backpack is truely now not what we need! The large shoulder straps make it even extra cozy in addition to strong way to their optimal padding and ergonomic design.

The Osprey Packs Nebula Daypack is fantastic as it has a couple of cubicles, numerous indoors sleeves, and couldn’t be any more comfortable. The inside layer of this bag is even waterproof so you can rest confident that your property will stay dry even when the sky is unleashing a torrential downpour on you!

Key Things To Consider When Buying A Backpack

  1. Weight/Size

One of the most crucial things to don’t forget whilst shopping a backpack for commuting is how huge it’s far and how heavy it is. First of all, you don’t need a definitely heavy bag because this is going to make your lower back harm, specifically if the contents you’re adding are heavy too. You need the bag to be as mild as possible so that you will barely sense it to your shoulders.

The identical thing is going for length; it does depend on what the motive of the backpack is, however usually speaking something among small and medium in length is most effective for commuting in a hectic area. You don’t want some thing so massive as to continuously get for your and other humans’s way, however you also nevertheless want so that you can fit all the necessary things within the bag.

  1. Comfort

The next most crucial function of any backpack is the comfort. You can’t spend numerous hours according to day carrying a backpack that isn’t at ease due to the fact no longer only will that get to your nerves, however it will additionally reason pain in the end. Just like with any pair of shoes, you have to always attempt a backpack on first to peer how secure it is; now not all bags fit every person. Having an amazing padded backing is key for comfort in any backpack.

   3. Support/Straps

The supports and the straps are every other key feature to look out for when getting a backpack. Good straps will ensure that your shoulders and again remain ache free and that your assets could be secured in your lower back.

More Options That Are Great For Running And Commuting

  1. Diamond Candy Backpack 40L Waterproof Outdoor Lightweight Travel Backpacks for Men and Women with Rain Cover

Diamond Candy Hiking Backpack 40L Waterproof Outdoor Lightweight Travel Backpacks for Men and Women with Rain Cover

This backpack is excellent each for getting to and from work and for sports activities too. This bag is mainly extremely good for those who like to cycle to paintings, that being because of the unique helmet internet wherein you could positioned your helmet whilst it’s now not in use. Of course the helmet internet isn’t the only reason why this bag made the listing. It’s additionally suitable for commuting to work on a bicycle due to the fact the returned layer is manufactured from a wonderful mesh that lets your returned breathe without getting too sweaty.

The Diamond Candy Backpack is super because it as a bigger fundamental pocket that could fit your lunch, some gymnasium garments, or even your tablet or pc too. There is likewise a smaller pocket that is right for becoming snacks and such things as your cellphone.

Of route the bag is water proof to make sure that your electronics don’t get ruined on the ones wet days. Not to mention that the again padding and the shoulder straps are both designed for most efficient consolation. The Diamond Candy comes in 5 colorings and is perfect for everyday use.

  1. Naturehike Outdoor Backpack

The Naturehike could be very just like the Diamond Candy Backpack and that’s exactly why it made this list of quality backpacks for commuting. It may be very secure and has an ergonomically designed backing as well as ergonomic straps to make sure surest consolation. The Nature hike is ideal for commuting even through the worst of weather because it’s far water-resistant and could keep all your assets dry, now not to mention that it also has a brilliant netting to shop a bicycle helmet too.

This backpack makes for a extremely good desire both for commuting to work and for a bit trekking experience. The a couple of pockets, one massive and a smaller one, make it perfect for storing small objects, electronics, garments, and a few snacks. The Naturehike is small and light weight which makes it ideal for human beings at the cross.

         3. LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Riding Backpack Bike Rucksack Outdoor Sports Daypack for Running Hiking

LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Riding Backpack Bike Rucksack

This is another fantastic backpack to pick out on your travel to work. First of all it can healthy some surely heavy items way to the particularly rip and tear resistant material, plus it’s waterproof too so that you realize that your objects will always be safe. The bag could be very light-weight in addition to ergonomically designed to make wearing it round a breeze.

Not only is it at ease and light-weight, but it is also small sufficient to take to paintings on a each day basis. Don’t worry even though because it nevertheless is large enough to match all of your necessities while not having to worry approximately strolling out of area. This bag is good for those who cycle or run to work because the shoulder straps are product of lightweight mesh which make it easy for the pores and skin to breathe. This backpack honestly makes our listing of top three runner our number one choice.

If you are seeking out a first rate backpack for going for walks to paintings then you definitely must appearance no in addition than the above options. Of direction we’d recommend our pinnacle choose, but if that one doesn’t appear perfect for you any of the opposite three picks we’ve got indexed are exceptional as properly.

10 Best Running Shoes for Supination in 2018

Nowadays, people get so caught up in their own routines that they forget how interesting, fun and healthy some hobbies can be. Whether you’re active or completely sedentary, an extra walk or run each day can be beneficial for your cardiovascular health.

Running is one of the best exercises to burn fat because you instantly burn calories. Your lungs get stronger and your breath becomes deeper. Your hearts becomes more trained because it’s a muscle itself.

But, what is supination? Why can supination be a problem for those who like running?

Everyone knows good posture is beneficial to your health. Supination is a situation where people tend to put most of their weight, or even all of it, on the outside of their foot. They tend to have structural issues because they force their feet in excessive movements such as running, jogging and even walking.

It can be dangerous for your ankles, knees, hips and bones. The overall feeling of sore feet cannot be too bad, but putting stress on your feet during a longer period of time can create problems that cannot be „erased“ later.

That’s why you have to invest in great running shoes. Even if you don’t run, but only walk or jog, you should pay attention to how your feet are feeling in your shoes. If you have appropriate sneakers, you can save yourself money, time and energy. Let’s not even mention the fact that you will save your knees and hips along with your ankles.

What should you be looking for in shoes appropriate for supination?

First and foremost, high arches.Your feet have to fit perfectly in the shoe and you shouldn’t feel excessive weight on any part. By putting the back of your foot in a higher position, you are forcing your foot to balance the rest of the weight in order to be stable.

  1. Brooks PureFlow 7 can be great for this occasion.

Another thing you should be focusing on is the flexibility. You don’t want a „sponge shoe“ that will let your feet go everywhere and all over the place, but you want a shoe that won’t force your foot to stand in a certain way where it’s not natural for you.

If you force your foot to be in one place and don’t allow it to move along with the shoe, not only will the running be uncomfortable, but your feet will make indents in the shoes to make them fit better. This means that if you tend to put your weight on the outside of the shoe, your feet will make indents on the outside of the bottom.

  1.  Asics Gel Kinsei 6 would be a great example.

 

What fits most people with supination are soft and foamy cushions. Of course, you don’t want to be swimming in the shoe (it’s not a water bed), but finding a shoe that you’ll be able to fit into and then make it tighter without it hurting may be a good option.

  1. Hoka One One Clifton 4 have cushions on the heels which make it even better for those with problems.

Something that a lot of people ignore is the „natural“ feeling to shoes. They tend to buy popular models without actually feeling how their balance in the product is doing. If you feel like you could use a better-balanced shoe, don’t spend your money on this popular model you’re insecure in.

Each person’s different and so are people’s feet. Not everyone is made for the most popular Nike’s on the market, you have to feel secure, safe and sound in them.

  1. On Cloudflyer is a shoe model popular for its balance. It was made in Switzerland and the precision put into the model is incredible!

Silicone or rubbery bottom is practical for those who like to jump around and move fast. Your feet need to land softly, especially if they are usually used to rough treatment. For those that suffer from supination, it’s important that you have „safe landing“ which won’t hurt your ankles since there is already excess pain and stress put onto them.

  1. Brooks Ghost 10 are famous for this.

If you tend to have cramps in your shin or your calf, this means that you don’t balance good and that your muscles aren’t being properly treated. Warm-ups and cool-downs can help, but if you don’t know the mechanism of muscles, you won’t be able to help them.

Muscles work in pairs and so does the shin and the calf. This means that at one point in movement all of the stress is on your shin, none on your calf and vice versa. If you have supination, your movements are irregular and you won’t be able to help them.

However, some shoes tend to make things better.

  1. Mizuno Wave Rider 21 works great in these situations.
  2. Under Armour Men’s Micro G Assert 7 do a great job too.

Some people like to run in nature. While nature can really calm you down and give you a wonderful experience that many consider as efficient as meditation, what’s not so relaxing is the fact that you have to clean your shoes later if you run into dirt.

That’s why there are models ideal for supination that were actually made for tougher tasks. These bad boys are made from stronger materials and can be cleaned easily.

  1. Adidas Men’s Rockadia Trail m Running Shoe work like a charm in these situations.

And of course, last but not least, looks are important. Whether you suffer from supination or just want a really high-quality shoe, you must want something visually attractive too.

If you’re a trendsetter or wish to become one, we have a few models that will fit you just perfectly.

  1. Adidas Women’s Edge Lux W Running Shoe have a chic look to them and although they are marketed as female, they can be worn by males too.
  2. Under Armour Men’s Charged Bandit 3 Running Shoe looks wonderful with the whole gradient situation going on, don’t you think?

Don’t forget the most important piece of advice: we are all different and have different needs. You have to buy the shoe that fits you best and makes you feel good while you’re running. If you don’t like them and are buying them for the popularity or looks, don’t bother being excited about them.

Also, it’s a good investment to make so don’t be afraid to give a bit more money for a high-quality pair of shoes. It will pay off with every painless kilometre you make. Enjoy your runs and stay safe, healthy and happy!

 

Best Low Drop Running Shoes Review

Top Ten Best Low Drop Running Shoes in 2018

Having the very best low drop running shoes is distinctive from minimal running shoes, due to the fact these shoes are from 7mm drop or under, unlike the conventional running shoes which are 12mm and the minimal which are nearly zero. Running shoes today are very different in style, characteristics and consumption, that’s the reason why some athletes choose various running shoes for various ground and particular reasons.

Today, 12mm drop on many running shoes will support the heel attack more compared to middle base attack, that escalates the affect on your own legs, while low drop which are 7mm drop or under will generate a far more vibrant motion and can help you build an all natural stride.

If you should be considering changing from regular running shoes to low drop, you need to take action gradually till you are applied to it and do plenty of extending in order to avoid incidents through your routine.

Are low drop running shoes great for running?

Running shoes with less padding can enhance your efficiency on the highway, you’ll produce a greater balance on your own foot.
Most readily useful low drop running shoes helps you to get more freedom as soon as your are performing your schedule, your feet can produce a greater answer and your Achilles muscle can reduce a base fatigue.
Carrying a low drop shoes will even support the stress faraway from the body due to heel striking. As soon as you learn to correct your sort, a much better power and harmony normal base movement will soon be achieve.

How to decide on a low drop running shoes?

Fat – Light running shoes are great to own because they do not pull you when you are running.
Heel to toe drop – This may give a much better soil contact, you are able to pick from zero to 4mm but number greater than that.
Design – The structure of the boot, characteristics will soon be just like a barefoot-like running.
Advantages of most useful low drop running shoes

Low drop running boot presents increase and greater control by activating some muscles in your legs, heel and feet.
These running shoe are light and employs less power throughout foot attack, and normal base springs.
It inspire normal base splay, flexes and greater soil contact for greater running. It may also improve the tendons and base muscles within your body, this running shoe may also lower the danger of common running injuries.

1.Nike Free Run Distance

Best Low Drop Running Shoes

Nike Free Run Distance is a running shoe developed for free running, it functions good padding having its Lunarlon padding program and presents good freedom because of the hexagonal bend with greater patterns. The padding can be light and smooth, supporting your base work more on lengthier distance. The outsole is constructed of open padding structure that produces normal activity, it can be durable. Top of the is manufactured out of an individual coating of Flywire that systems your base for comfort. Most of these functions can help you for better running on lengthier range throughout your routine.

The functions that individuals like the majority of could be the midsole, that was altered like accordion-structure. Nike provides a smooth and certified experience for smoother and plushier running. This running shoe is created to give you good education software to assist you increase and build your abilities, it can be perfect for simple athletes who needed more freedom and padding for extended distance running routine.

Free Work Range supplies a normal base activity that can help you work easily, particularly if you are seeking better running form and technique. The structure is not any problem, it’s strong and trusted, allows your base to maximise the motion whilst having a help and flexibility. If you will want obviously free base activity, you should truly take to Nike Free Work Distance.

Pros: Exceptionally variable, sock-like function is remarkable in accordance with athletes, great dimension, easy and open

Cons: Some athletes protest concerning the slim foot, expensive running shoe

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2.Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra SG

Best Low Drop Running Shoes 1

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra SG is a running shoe that is made for smooth floor, it is a touch major compared to the past types, but really reliable on smooth or damp reasons and muds. You may also utilize this for trail running, in the event that you actually needed to.

If you needed to complete a ultra-distance race on smooth floor, as well as on cold paths, the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra SG will hold your work more fulfilling, relaxed and will take the most effective in you. Actually the hard problems, this running shoe can help you. It’s value trading with this boot, in the event that you needed to offer your operates the most effective kind of safety on damp or dull grounds.

Pros: Top functions anti-debris mesh, fast lace program, hostile carry deisgn, offers remarkable hold on damp, dull or smooth ground

Cons: Much less tough not surprisingly, very expensive running shoe, maybe not capable as different athletes said, girls variation isn’t comfortable.

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3.Nike Flex Run

the Best Low Drop Running Shoes

Nike Flex Run makes a comeback making use of their new types, a higher performance running shoe with an increase of increased functions that may allow you to be better throughout your runs. The little but stronger Respond Work supplies a secure journey that may conform to your base form, while sustaining and acquiring your foot. The brand new variation has the flexibleness that enables you to work lengthier range, the ease and flexibility is why is that boot good (again).

In the event that you needed a optimum padding, design, breathability and flexible match, Nike Flex Run is the boot for you. It enables you to operate on selection character without dropping the cushion. It may also allow you to conquer lengthier ranges without endangering your base weakness or any vexation, some athletes also utilize the Respond Work fo healing operates and large usage runs.

Nike Flex Run is designed for street and streets, the functions involves bend lines, large anti-abrasion plastic, phylite shaped product, smooth phylon midsole and stress mapping engineering EVA, with inserted sock lines, a padded language and a complete internal sleeve construction.

Pros: Top is made out of light mesh for capable and ease, mesh and foam is what Respond Work was structure, increased match

Cons: A little stronger for many athletes before separate inches, smaller measurement than applied to, some problems concerning the slim foot place.

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4.Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO

Best Low Drop Running Shoes 2
The smart system that assists your basic base activity, without reducing the ease, this really is what Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO is all about. It ensure that that boot is gentle on your own base while defending you from street dirt, the warm match and odo-free in addition to the capable base atmosphere is a good function to add. Freedom in every instructions offers the Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO, with patterned main and tolerant grip.

Freedom and ease without reducing the bottom tenderness may be the key place of getting a Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO, in the event that you needed to complete corner education and running, that boot will not fail your productive life. It is useful on damp moist areas, as the outsole grasp are designed for any kind of surface. If you should be seeking the organic base activity, or zero drop profile, and undoubtedly the increase athletes harmony, speed and base strenght on the tarmac, that boot is the greatest for you.

Pros: Really light, presents floor dropped, really capable and variable, fast lacing system is excellent

Cons: Main is also slim and perhaps not resilient, some claims concerning the feet being also small, material wears down rapidly.

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5.Vibram FiveFingers Treksport

Best Low Drop Running Shoes 3
The Vibram FiveFingers Treksport featues a versatility and performance that the boot offers on good performance on the trail. The engineering on walk and journey tracks, the boot harmony the natural running movement without limiting the durabilty. Regardless of the concern you experience, that boot is definitely there to simply help you.

Improve walk athletes will like the Vibram FiveFingers Treksport, the mixture of steel security and large floor tenderness is a good expense for the day-to-day corner education routine. It may get you several use to regulate, but following you will increase the shoes capability on street and track. The Vibram FiveFingers Treksport is suggested for walking and walking since it’ll improve your feet. The plus ease is really a small no-there merely a change straps but they are perhaps not the main reason it is in addition crucial to utilize this shoes.

Pros: Light structure, stretch-mesh sections, capable, anti-debris characteristics, jeep tie for help

Cons: Defensive product is also slim, longevity subpar, main of the boot is quickly cut out.

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6.Hoka One One Clifton

Best Low Drop Running Shoes review

Hoke One One Clifton is among the light boot that increases your effectiveness and fluidity of one’s works, it comes with a harmony and cushioning. It seems large initially, but traveling, the match and sense can keep your base protected also for large usage runs. The Hoka One One Clifton was made for monitor, path and gravel terrain.

In the event that you needed to own more trail running in a light and cushioned running shoes, the Hoka One One Clifton is the boot for you. That boot will soon be your expense to extended distance running and healing routines.

Pros: Light structure, padded language for ocmfort, permits greater change from heel to foot place

Cons: Wears out rapidly, foot place was also slim for some athletes, somewhat firmer compared to the prior designs, costly.

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7.Trail Glove

Best Low Drop Running Shoes 5
The Merrel Path Glove is still another minimal set from Merrell, it will provide you with an entire new amount of trail running with organic sense, great footing and over all performance. The low heel to toe drop will promise you of great sense and over all satisfying run.

Merrell Trail Glove offers footing, safety, ease and efficiency on all walk you experience, it is good for a myriad of ground as effectively their defensive features. The boot needs your type to be correct before changing to minimalist running shoe, however it’s this that different athletes contact a balanced running shoes. Merrell Trail Glove will provide you with the connection with barefoot running without the suffering of moving dirt and hurting your self through your run.

Pros: Great match, extraordinary outsole, resilient, capable top mesh, presents support for minimal athletes

Cons: Some athletes have sores from the insole, wants more support, maybe not for athletes who does not like barefoot running knowledge.

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8.Merrell Bare Access Arc

top Best Low Drop Running Shoes
Merrell Bare Access Arc is an awesome running shoe that could offer an excellent and successful help to whoever employs it. You will find two designs, for guys Merrel Simple Accessibility, for women Merrell Bare Access Arc, that is created specifically for various anatomical design of the foot. The boot is light and variable, however very little support for both.

Pros: Top capable mesh, light, successful for corner education, resilient and reliable, little support for ease

Cons: Artistic of the boot is comparable to the prior edition, small help for arc, maybe not most useful for over-pronators, slim foot place.

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9.Nike Free Flyknit 3.0

Best Low Drop Running Shoes 6

Nike Free Flyknit 3.0 offers an alternative sort of running shoe, it matches effectively and warm for the base, variable and top of the mesh functions such as for instance a 2nd skin. Hexagonal outsole lets you operate on organic gait, and the Flywire cords can protected your base as you sees speed.

The Nike Free Flyknit 3.0 is made for athletes which can be applied to running barefoot or minimalist running shoes, with experience running in low drop, you’ll recognize the functions that boot offers.

Pros: Ultra-light top, support is outstanding, comfortable also without clothes, foot support is way better, easy change from heel to foot

Cons: High priced runnign boot, little stones may be caught in the lines, level large legs athletes complains in regards to the foot package.

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10. Skechers GOrun

Best Low Drop Running Shoes

The Skechers GOrun is a light and cushioned running shoes that may be used as minimalist running shoes for the education days. The boot is agile, and defensive, different athletes discover the Skechers GOrun a good running shoes for the corner education days.

Pros: Manufactured mesh is light and capable, has anti-microbial ability, Ortholite Sock Ship, Resalite mid-sole element, underfoot support

Cons: Some athletes believed it’s firmer compared to a, slim foot place, bigger compared to the typical styles.

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Realization

If you are however searching for the best low drop running shoes, and you have not discovered it on the list. Ensure you number your needs and question an expert, this can produce points therefore easier ? Also observe that you might want to utilize the boot for two weeks maximum, to be sure you are deploying it to their whole potential. In the event we forgot anything, please keep it in the remarks under!

Best Walking Shoes for Exercise

Exercise walking, as with other forms of exercise, requires the right equipment for a safe and effective routine. Good walking shoes are an important investment, and choosing the appropriate walking shoes is an important step in maximizing the benefits of exercise walking.

Finding the proper walking shoe may take some time and a bit of money, but it is essential for achieving long and short term benefits. Shoes are the most important piece of equipment in walking.

Walking Shoes Interact with the Back

Rosone Women's Lightweight Athletic Running Shoes Breathable Sport Air Fitness

Walking shoes provide a basic protection and mechanical support for the foundation structures of the body – the feet – which in turn help keep the entire body balanced and aligned. When there is a minute imbalance in the feet, the compensatory domino effect causes changes throughout the body.

Specifically, when the body’s natural gait motion is off balance, the body counterbalances the problem by redistributing weight. This ultimately changes the natural posture and alignment of the spine, leading to muscle strain and back pain over time. Though the imbalance may seem minor, in the long run, the stresses added to the body can add up and cause unnecessary wear and tear.

Finding the Correct Walking Shoes

The right walking shoes can help foster excellent balance and posture during exercise walking, while poorly fitted walking shoes can cause pain or increase susceptibility to injury. It is best to find a technical running shoe store that will watch the individual’s walk and will provide a shoe that fits based on the individual’s specific biomechanics (this service is not typically found in large chain store).

Walking shoes should allow the feet to naturally roll slightly inward (pronation) and outward (supination) to help absorb the different forces acting on the body. For many people, either one or both feet under pronate (roll outward) or over pronate (roll inward), altering the balance and length of the leg during stance, as well as gait. Some shoes are designed to control over pronation, whereas others are designed to encourage pronation. Therefore it is important to make sure that walking shoes match each individual’s specific biomechanical pattern.

An additional side effect of pronation and supination is the change in the natural curvature of the arches of the feet.

Over pronation – one or both feet excessively roll inward, causing the arch to flatten – also known as “flat-feet”. This will create excess motion in the leg as it internally rotates. The pelvis tilts to compensate for the rotation of the leg, tightening muscles in the lower back, fatiguing, and stressing the components of the spine.
Under pronation – one or both feet fail to pronate and excessively roll outward, impairing the bodies ability to absorb shock. This added force is absorbed through the joint and muscles of the lower back and lower extremities, which over time may cause injury.

The feet are the crucial elements of gait motion, and maintaining a smooth gait is critical to preserving good spinal health. To ensure the correct balance during exercise walking, one must limit over pronation and under pronation of the feet. Good walking shoes should provide this stability.

Guidelines for Buying Walking Shoes

Agsdon Women's Brief White Leather Casual

There are three essential factors that should be taken into consideration before purchasing a new pair of walking shoes.

Stability – the shoes should have a balanced and secure feel throughout range of motion.
Flexibility – the shoes should allow for a good degree of give at the base of the toes, providing smooth motion.
Comfort – walking shoes should comprise contours and padding conformed closely to the feet, providing a snug fit at the heel and midfoot, with ample room in the forefoot.
When trying on shoes for exercise walking, it is advisable to examine the following four particular areas of walking shoes:

Heelcounter – the area of the shoe that holds the back of the heel, just underneath the Achilles tendon. This area should be snug but not tight, comfortably cupping the back of the heel. A good heel counter will help prevent the feet from over pronation or supination.
Midsole – the area between the tread and the cloth upper of the shoe. This is the most important component of any footwear. Midsoles are made of a variety of materials that give the shoe greater or lesser degrees of cushioning, support, and flexibility.

Insole – the area inside the shoe, on the bottom, where the sole of the foot is in contact with the shoe. It should contour comfortably to the foot. It is designed to reduce shear forces between the foot and the shoe and provide some shock absorption.
Toe box – the entire area that surrounds the toes. The toe box should provide adequate room for the toes to move freely. Wiggling and bending the toes at the knuckles should be unrestricted. Conversely, too much space will cause shifting and discomfort. There should be approximately one half to a full thumb’s width between the end of the longest toe to the end of the toe box.

Asics Roadhawk FF Review

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_Score

  • Tech
  • Summary
  • Pros
  • Cons

Asics’s marketing pitch: Looking for speed and versatility?

Upper: Engineered mesh, fused and stitched-on synthetic.

Midsole: Full-length, single density Flytefoam midsole. 8 mm heel to toe offset.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber throughout.

Weight: 243 gms/ 8.6 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: Single, D – regular (reviewed).

What is the Roadhawk FF? It’s a firm shoe with a comfortable upper and works well for fast-paced training. Great value for money.
Excellent value for money, decent upper fit with a plush heel lining, Flytefoam is firm but delivers good transitions
Noisy forefoot, lack of optional widths, average outsole grip on damp surfaces

INTRODUCTION

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_introduction

Remember the 33 series, anyone? A few years ago, Asics attempted to make inroads into the lower drop, minimally constructed running shoe market with its 33M, 33-FA, and the 33-DFA.

The aforementioned shoes featured a 4 mm heel drop which was unprecedented for the Japanese brand. The midsole also skipped the whole Gel-and-plastic show in favor for an all-foam one, and the outsole swapped the traditional ‘Guidance line’ layout with the ‘Fluid Axis’ instead.

It was fairly obvious the 33 series was a case of trying to force-fit a square peg into a round hole. At the time, Asics simply did not have what it took to make the 33 series successful. It neither had the lightweight chops of the Kinvara, nor a cushioned midsole platform which could compete with the likes of Hoka One One.

As one would expect, the Asics 33 assortment met with a short and forgettable demise.

In hindsight, the missing link was a suitable midsole platform. For years, Asics has relied on its Gel tech (more form than function, though) to market its running shoes rather a foam compound.

Then Asics hit a relative breakthrough with its new Flytefoam material, an EVA foam variant with fibers molded in. The $250 Metarun was the first to feature Flytefoam, followed by the Dynaflyte and several others.

The new Roadhawk FF is proof that Flytefoam isn’t tier exclusive, but rather price and platform agnostic. Even at an MSRP of $100, the Roadhawk features full-length Flytefoam, something that even more expensive models do not have.

While it is good that Asics has made Flytefoam accessible, they should exercise caution in maintaining price-value across their assortment – else, if all shoes have Flytefoam, why pay more for one shoe over the other?

And by the way, what is the Roadhawk FF?

It is a firm riding shoe which is suitable for faster training runs, and it has a seamless upper which fits well. Instead of comparing it to other Asics shoes, the identically priced Brooks Launch 4 would be a more meaningful benchmark.

Like the Launch 4, the Roadhawk FF is very lightweight with a sub 9-ounce weight and a snug fit. Despite the abundance of Flytefoam, the ride quality is firm bordering on hard, so know that the FF isn’t meant for everyone.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Asics_Roadhawk_FF

Take a cursory glance at the Roadhawk, and some elements from the 33 series jump at you right away. For example, the heel has a straight-up design, free of the plastic clip or the distinct Achilles lip which are seen on many Asics models.

In the front, the engineered mesh design appears familiar – and that’s because you have seen it before on the 33-FA. The open vented area on the top and the tighter-knitted sides are similar to the FA. There’s an internal bumper propping up the toe-box, and a stiffener gives structure to the heel at the rear.

Even the midfoot treatment is based on the 33 series; fused synthetic forms a box over the midfoot, and the lacing eyelets are punched into them. The laces are regular round types which cross over a thinly padded tongue.

The Asics logo is semi-concealed beneath a see-thru mesh over the lateral midfoot, giving the Roadhawk some nice design depth.

The inner side doesn’t have a logo and simply features a different mesh panel. The removal of the inner side logo is something we’ve seen on Asics a lot lately, including more expensive models like the Kayano.

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_upper

While the heel and tongue don’t have a lot of foam padding, the lining material is very smooth and plush. That’s one of the reasons why we equated the Roadhawk to the Brooks Launch; both shoes have a comfortable lining material.

As you can see, there isn’t much going on the Roadhawk’s upper. It is a simple upper with a nearly seamless interior; nothing more, nothing less. There’re a few other design elements, like the printing over the outer heel which includes a reflective trim, or the molded Asics logo on the tongue flap.

Breathability is average on the Roadhawk, though no more or less than your average trainer. The upper might look very ventilated from the outside, but the interiors have a separate lining layer in certain areas.

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_outsole

There are no fancy bits and pieces on the midsole – no shank, no Gel, no nothing – except for the Flytefoam compound in a full-length avatar. The midsole is compression molded and is firm to the touch. The foam has the characteristic Flytefoam texture – you can see a wrinkly surface with embedded fibers.

Like any other foam, not all Flytefoam is the same. On some shoes, it can be of a softer density, while shoes like the Roadhawk FF get a firm kind. This is something you should know – the Roadhawk is NOT a soft shoe, no matter how thick the heel looks.

Speaking of thickness, the midsole is rear loaded. The heel stack of 20 mm is nearly double that of the 12 mm forefoot. And if you’re performing mental maths right now, then you must have realized that the Roadhawk has an 8 mm drop. This is slightly lower than the usual Asics gradient of 10 mm.

The only soft components are the removable Ortholite insole and the foam lasting below it. The insole is a soft, blown-foam kind used in other Asics shoes, and is one of the reasons why the Roadhawk is great value – this is a premium component.

The midsole sidewalls have a very balanced design. There are just some fine ridges running over the surface, and no deep groove which can cause a ride bias. The Roadhawk’s midsole also has pronounced edges which flare on both sides of the rearfoot, and this helps produce a cupping base for the foot to rest within.

Unlike many Asics shoes which have a softer blown rubber forefoot, the Roadhawk’s outsole is covered with hard carbon rubber throughout. While there are a few areas of exposed midsole foam, most of the outsole is overlaid with rubber. At the same time, there’s plenty of flex grooving and articulation.

The product page for the shoe might not mention the ‘Guidance line,’ but there is one – it begins under the Roadhawk’s heel and splits the forefoot into two distinct halves.

DURABILITY ASSESSMENT

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_durability

Regardless of its affordable price tag, the Roadhawk is no slouch when it comes to durability. The entire outsole is made of hard rubber, so sections like the forefoot will last longer than their blown rubber counterparts.

It’s not just the material, but also the design which plays a part in increasing lifespan. Despite the guidance line, the edges of the rubber slabs fare better. The edges along the Guidance line are tapered, and this lessens the potential damage from abrasion. Also, the pieces are better inset (or flush) with the midsole, so that helps too.

The firmer Flytefoam compound will perform better than regular EVA compounds, so that’s one thing less to worry about.

The upper forefoot mesh might be a concern for runners with a wide forefoot. This might lead to the bodyweight rubbing the mesh against the midsole edge, resulting in gradual wear and tear.

As with all blown-foam insoles, the Ortholite will gradually flatten and lose its squishiness over time.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_upper_fit

There are no complaints with the Roadhawk’s fit. There are no overlays over the toe-box, but only engineered mesh and the internal bumper in the front. So the toe-box isn’t vertically challenged; the height feels just right.

The interior fit is smooth as expected of an upper which features no stitched overlays. However, the round laces tend to apply top-down pressure over the thinly padded tongue.

There’s a small problem with the upper design. When you lace the Roadhawk tight in the front, the forefoot mesh tends to pucker up – though this is not so much a functional flaw, but rather a visual eyesore.

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_upper_fit

While there are no hot spots, a slight sense of tightness is felt from the fused bands between the forefoot and the midfoot. The engineered forefoot mesh has enough space; it is only over the forward midfoot where the upper feels a bit snug. There are no optional widths for the Roadhawk, so trying before buying is recommended.

The insides of the heel have a soft lining, so the collar fit has a soft feel. The grip isn’t tenacious like how fully-padded collars are, but it gets the job done, with no slide of any kind.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_cushioning

Don’t let that thick stack of rearfoot Flytefoam fool you – the Roadhawk is a very firm shoe. Sure, the Ortholite insole feels soft underfoot, and the area of exposed foam under the heel also produces a cushioned effect. But once you get past that, the rest of the midsole is firm.

You might have worn other Asics shoes featuring Flytefoam which might have felt softer, but the Roadhawk is not one of those. The compression molded Flytefoam has a higher density, leading to a firm feel from heel to toe. It must be pointed out that the forefoot feels far stiffer than the heel.

The forefoot is rigid due to a few reasons. The front thickness is only a mere 12 mm of Flytefoam, so that’s certainly a contributing factor. The rubber used underneath is a hard variety, and that adds to the firmness too. The forefoot hardness also leads to an undesirable side-effect.

The front outsole makes a slappy noise during runs, and this is going to be more noticeable for forefoot strikers than heel loaders. This might not have a negatively functional impact, but the sound is distracting.

You need to give the Roadhawk’s forefoot at least 50 miles to break in. Initially the midsole has a very stiff feel, but it gains marginal flexibility in the weeks which follow.

There is an upside to the lack of cushioning softness, and that’s the superior stability. The combination of a stiff midsole and a balanced sidewall design make the Roadhawk extremely supportive. There’s no bias on the heel, and the raised sidewalls keep the foot locked in.

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_responsiveness

Forefoot transitions are great. The midsole might not be very flexible, but this character allows the weight to load quickly and economically all the way to toe-offs. Asics advertises the Roadhawk as a speed trainer, and we must say that’s a fairly accurate marketing description.

Like the firm Brooks Launch 4, the Roadhawk is best used for fast training runs, and even long distances if you’re accustomed to a firm ride. The shoe is very lightweight at a mere 8.6 ounces, so that helps make the Roadhawk feel fast too.

As far as responsiveness or the springback quality is concerned, it is nearly non-existent on the Roadhawk, except for some mild feedback from the rearfoot.

PROS AND CONS

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_pros_and_cons

The Roadhawk is excellent value for money, with it’s $100 MSRP offering a lot. There’s a full-length Flytefoam midsole under an engineered mesh upper, and the plentiful rubber coverage makes the shoe durable. There’s little softness to be found on the Roadhawk, but that makes the ride very supportive, and the transitions quick.

There are a few things which we didn’t like about the shoe. The rigid forefoot is noisy, making a slappy sound during runs. The hard rubber also delivers average grip performance on damp surfaces. And then there’s the lack of additional widths. The Roadhawk fits snug, so it would be great to have at least a 2E (wide) available as an option.

SUMMARY

The 2017 Asics Roadhawk is what the earlier (and unsuccessful) Asics 33 series aspired to be – a well-mannered and an affordable lightweight trainer with a comfortable, no fuss upper.

All that said, the Roadhawk isn’t for everyone. If you’re expecting the Flytefoam midsole to be an epitome of softness, then you’re likely to be disappointed. Instead, what we have here is a firm trainer which shines during fast-paced workouts.

So what if you wanted a couple of other shoes to rotate alongside the Roadhawk? We’ll cover that in the next section.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Asics Roadhawk FF Lightweight, fast-paced training Amazon
Same brand Asics Cumulus 19 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand Asics Hyperspeed Firm, lightweight, race-day Amazon
Multi brand Asics Roadhawk FF Lightweight, fast-paced training Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1080V7 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Lightweight, race-day Amazon

For an Asics shoe with a softer ride, the Cumulus 19 fits the part. It is softer than the Roadhawk, though the toe-box fits shallower. For race-days involving 5K and 10K’s, the Hyperspeed 7 is the shoe to rotate.

If you want an all-foam, non-Asics cushioned trainer with the same heel drop, then we recommend the New Balance 1080 V7. The ride isn’t particularly soft or responsive, but there’s plenty of consistent cushioning.

For shorter races, get the New Balance 1400V5.

SIMILAR ENTRY LEVEL NEUTRAL SHOES

We can think of a few shoes which compare with the Roadhawk, but the Brooks Launch 4 is the closest – both in terms of the $100 MSRP and the ride quality.

Both the Asics and Brooks models are firm, though the Launch 4 has a better padded forefoot due to the use of blown rubber. The Launch 4 has a more comfortable heel collar too, but happens to be slightly heavier – by 0.4 ounces to be precise.

If we had to choose between the Roadhawk and the Launch 4, our money would be on the Brooks shoe.

The Roadhawk can also be loosely compared to the $15 more expensive and cushioned Hoka Hupana and the 4 mm drop Skechers GoMeb Razor. At some level, even the Nike Elite 9 is comparable, if you just consider the intended use-case.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post Asics Roadhawk FF Review appeared first on Solereview.

adidas Pureboost DPR review

adidas_PureBoost_DPR_score

adidas’s marketing pitch: Shoes with a lower midsole drop and energy-returning cushioning.

Upper: One piece knit mesh, synthetic suede, fused Urethane.

Midsole: Full-length Boost foam. 8 mm heel to toe drop.

Outsole: Single piece of hard Carbon (non-Continental) rubber.

Weight: 255 gms/ 9 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8.5/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: Single, D – regular (reviewed)

The PureBoost DPR can (finally) be used as a running shoe, but know that there are better alternatives which can be bought for less. Fits true to size.
Cushioned and responsive, durable, breathable, roomy forefoot
Tongue design needs improvement, expensive, no reflectivity, lack of optional widths, average heel grip, top-down lacing pressure

INTRODUCTION

adidas_pureboost_dpr_introduction

Ever since the adidas PureBoost made its debut, it has put on the pretense of being a running shoe without actually being one. The first 2014 version was the gold standard for bad running shoe design; the shoe was slippery, the ride unstable and the upper was uncomfortable.

Subsequent versions like the PureBoost ZG Prime and the PureBoost 2017 were better shoes but yet below the exacting standards of performance running footwear. All PureBoost models have had an unmistakable lifestyle/casual sneaker orientation, though adidas has consistently (and unapologetically) positioned them as running shoes.

The DPR is the second PureBoost model to be released in 2017. The first one was simply called the PureBoost 2017; it had an inconvenient ‘Burrito’ tongue which struggled to lie flat over the foot.

The DPR borrows a few elements from its namesake model – like the external heel side pods for example – while introducing a lower profile midsole and a more minimal upper design. While we’ll cover the various design elements of the DPR and its pros and cons today, the question is – can the latter be used as a performance running shoe?

Let’s put it this way. On a running shoe scale of -2 to 10, if the original PureBoost was a -2 and a great performance shoe is a 10, then the PureBoost DPR would be a 6. Somebody reading this might say:

“Why, you snooty solereview. What’s wrong with the PureBoost DPR? I ran 5 miles in the DPR today, and they were great. Take your running shoe sensibilities elsewhere. This is a terrible website. Bye.”

Hey, hold on. We never said that the PureBoost DPR was a bad shoe. It might have undesirable historical baggage in the form of the earlier PureBoost models, but the DPR is much closer to a real running shoe. But it still lacks certain ingredients which elevate an average shoe to greatness.

One of the DPR’s drawbacks is its $150 MSRP, which is a huge let-down. Why pay so much when you can get better, full-length Boost and Continental rubber equipped running shoes for less? Then there’s the matter of running shoe design best practices, an area where the PureBoost DPR comes up short.

At best, the DPR is a shoe suitable for mild runs, and it could also be a dual-purpose shoe for business travelers. But a ‘racer’ this model is certainly not, contrary to what the letter R in the ‘DPR’ suggests.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

adidas_pureboost_dpr_upper

Wondered what ‘DPR’ in the shoe name stands for? It’s an abbreviation for ‘Deconstructed Pure Racer.’ Calling it so is a bit of stretch, which by the way, the DPR’s knit upper does not have.

The knit fabric has a fit and feel similar to the adidas’s adizero Primeknit 4.0 or the Ultra Boost ST. And if you’re not familiar with these shoes, then the DPR’s knit upper can also be compared to the fabric used on Nike’s original Flyknit Racer, or more recently, the Flyknit Lunar 3. It’s a single-piece construction without internal lining, with plenty of pores for ventilation.

The interiors are not entirely unsupported, though. The insides of the midfoot have these fused bands of soft synthetic giving the shoe its shape. In the front, there’s an internal toe-bumper.

Even the heel has a thin internal stiffener lending it some structure. One might question the need for an internal counter when there are two ‘pods’ on the outside, but then that’s perhaps the reason why the counter exists. Without it, the plastic pods could weigh the upper down.

These pieces of urethane are fused on either side of the heel. If you’re familiar with the PureBoost 2017, then you’ll recognize these pods. Though the design looks similar, the ones of the DPR are made of rigid plastic instead of the soft rubberized version of the PB 2017.

The term ‘deconstructed’ (or Decon for short) is often used in the sneaker world. Shoes which have this suffix usually implies a design which uses minimal layering or processing.

For example, a Decon shoe could have a raw-edged heel collar without foam padding. The same shoe could have a one-piece leather upper without embossing or lining, and the lacing eyelets could simply be holes punched into eyestay. You get the general idea.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_upper

Given that context, the PureBoost DPR isn’t a deconstructed shoe in a true sense. The tongue is thick and made of stiff synthetic suede with the adidas logo embossed on top. The heel lining is made of the same material, and there’s some padding inside.

There’s no sleeve inside, and the thick tongue is only attached to the front. As a consequence, tongue slide happens plenty on the DPR.

The PureBoost DPR has only four primary lacing rows plus one reserve for heel lock lacing, and this is a nod to the shoe’s lifestyle orientation. While the thin, flat laces pass effortlessly through the embroidered eyelets, they don’t provide the lockdown required of a performance product.

This lacing arrangement also applies a higher level of top-down pressure compared to regular running shoes, and this isn’t a compliment. Also, these laces aren’t the cottony types found on performance racers, but a smooth kind which doesn’t cinch as well as the ones with a cotton texture.

The DPR is very well ventilated. The knit mesh has plenty of forefoot and midfoot pores, and this allows plenty of air circulation. There isn’t much external layering which gets in the way, except for the heel pods and a small area of transparent lamination over the lacing area.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_outsole

As the name implies, the midsole is made of ‘pure’ Boost foam, adidas’s cushioning tech. Nothing but Boost separates the upper and the outsole, with only the insole and the latticed window above it. The DPR does not have the hard EVA rim or layer often seen on adidas performance running footwear. This way, the foot has easier access to the Boost material.

Historically, some PureBoost models have featured only the perforated (windowed) lasting material below the foot, and nothing else. The original PureBoost had this design, and so did the PureBoost 2017. The DPR features the latticed lasting sheet exposing sections of the Boost midsole, but that is also topped by a molded insole – just like the Prime ZG.

The outsole is a single piece of hard rubber in a ‘Stretchweb’ layout, a design similar to the type used on performance running shoes. That said, the rubber is neither Continental nor adiwear, which is puzzling considering the not-so-affordable $150 retail price.

There’s no Torsion shank underneath, just a small extension of the rubber outsole under the inner midfoot. This again, is borrowed from the PB 2017 which had a much larger area of the outsole extending over the medial midsole.

Discerning users will note that the PB DPR has a ‘bottom heavy’ construction. Most of the weight is concentrated in the lower regions due to the full-length Polyurethane midsole and the rubber outsole.

If you look past that, then the PureBoost DPR is actually lightweight. 9-ounces is pretty decent for a shoe with so much midsole and outsole material.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_durability

adidas and Nike have their rubber compound formulation down pat. So despite the lack of a Continental badge, the outsole will last longer than most shoes do.

The Boost compound is bulletproof and highly resistant to deformation fatigue, so the midsole is the least of your worries. Past Boost models used to have an open window under the heel which led to the Boost foam getting damaged on footstrike, but the recent Stretchweb outsole (also used on the DPR) with its full coverage design has put an end to that.

We can’t point out any construction flaws on the upper, and it should outlast the midsole and outsole.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

adidas_pureboost_dpr_upper_fit

The PureBoost DPR’s actual fit character belies its sleek exteriors. Based on looks alone, one might assume the DPR to have a cramped toe-box and forefoot. That’s not the case at all.

While the toe-box is structurally shallow with barely any space over the big-toe, the upper doesn’t feel shallow. There’s a good reason – the mesh isn’t super-elastic like the Ultra Boost, so the upper doesn’t pin your foot down.

Instead, the mesh has an accommodating nature – not because of inherent stretch in the material, but due to the interlocked knit structure which allows marginal expansion.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_upper_fit

This openness applies to the forefoot too, where the sideways fit feels noticeably more relaxed than most adidas shoes. If the forefoot feels snug initially, fret not – the shoe will eventually adjust to the foot shape. The mesh is also very breathable, as the open pores allow plenty of air to pass through.

The lacing is asymmetrical/skewed, and this relieves some pressure over the forefoot. At the rear, the heel does not have much padding, so the foot’s position is moved slightly rearwards – thus increasing the margin in the front.

But there are no additional widths, as is the case with (even) performance adidas running shoes. When it comes to lengthwise sizing, buy the PureBoost DPR true to size.

The relaxed nature of the interior space extends all the way to the heel. The midfoot has only four lacing rows with no inner sleeve, so the lacing cinch doesn’t feel as secure as it should be. Fewer lacing rows also equates to a greater top-down pressure. Although the tongue is thick, it has no padding and the laces can be felt over the foot.

The tongue has a few design flaws. Firstly, the absence of a sleeve makes it slide – the flap is long, so the movement of the foot’s instep area pushes it sideways. Secondly, the tongue tends to fold over the foot when in motion. The tongue material being what it is, a break-in period is required for the stiffness to abate.

Heel grip is average, which isn’t surprising considering how thinly padded it is. The Achilles also curves outwards, so that doesn’t help either.

Although there are a few parts we like about the PureBoost DPR’s fit, the overall lockdown isn’t great. The midfoot and heel could have a better hold, and this is of particular concern when running downhill or similar steep gradients – this might lead to your foot sliding inside the shoe.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

adidas_pureboost_dpr_cushioning

The midsole and outsole update explains why the PureBoost DPR is a significant improvement over the earlier PureBoost models  The midsole stack is lower, and the outsole uses hard rubber in a full coverage layout.

This bodes well for the ride quality, as the lower stack promotes a higher level of stability which was earlier missing in Pureboosts and the lifestyle UltraBoost. The outsole, while not of a Continental variety, grips well and also serves as a stable foundation.

The extension of the outsole over the inner midsole also adds a little bit of support, and so does the forefoot Boost which flares outwards to create a wide base.

Mind you; we’re comparing the DPR to earlier PB’s from a stability standpoint. When compared to shoes from the performance line – say the Boston 6 – the DPR will rank lower. Speaking of which, ‘a spineless Boston 6’ is a good way to describe the Pureboost DPR.

And why? The DPR and the Boston have a similar amount of Boost available to tap into, but that’s where the similarity ends.

There’s no plastic shank below, nor there is a firmer EVA rim on top – only the insole and the perforated sheet. Hence, the transitions feel slower due to the lack of firmness – both in the upper and lower areas. So we do not recommend using the DPR as a ‘racer.’ There are far better shoes for that.

Cushioned the DPR is, which is expected of a midsole stack comprising of the molded insole and a full-length midsole. All the same, the cushioning and responsiveness feel is very localized instead of being distributed.

In the absence of a firmer upper layer, a smaller section of the Boost gets displaced upon weight loading. The foot tends to focus the foam compression on a smaller section, in contrast to a firmer top layer design which causes a greater volume of Boost to be displaced.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_responsiveness

adidas enthusiastically markets the ‘lower heel drop’ of the DPR, perhaps a feeble attempt to establish the new PureBoost as a performance shoe.

Well, 8 mm isn’t exactly low drop – only so when you compare it to other adidas models with 10-12 mm offsets. Though to the DPR’s credit, the actual (loaded) drop should be lower than the static 8 mm, as the perforated lasting allows the foot to sink further into the Boost midsole.

If you’ve been a customer of the past PureBoost models, then we’d like to point out a few differences. Given the lower stack, the DPR is firmer than both the original Pureboost, the PB Prime ZG, and the PB 2017. Nonetheless, the upper midsole feels more cushioned due to the presence of the insole.

One of the things we hated about the original PB was the soft outsole allowing pressure applied by small rocks and the like to pass through. The DPR’s hardened outsole provides far better protection from the imperfections on the road. The rubber grips better too.

So what is the PureBoost DPR good for, considering that it now bears a greater resemblance to performance running shoes? Like we said in the preface, this new PB is suitable for mild and short runs. Going too fast feels a chore due to the lack of stiffness, and running too long will not be very enjoyable – the stiff tongue and heel lining materials can get in the way.

PROS AND CONS

adidas_pureboost_dpr_pros_and_cons

As expected of a Boost powered shoe, the DPR has consistent cushioning available in spades. Despite the lower stack, the foot has closer access to the Boost material due to the perforated lasting.

Stability is improved when compared to the earlier Pureboost models, and the durable outsole grips the way it should. The upper is breezy and has a relaxed fit which will come as a pleasant surprise to adidas loyalists.

On the flip side, the Pureboost DPR isn’t great value at all. Even after paying $150, you receive neither a Continental outsole nor a proper Primeknit upper. The DPR seems like a budget execution, but the price doesn’t suggest that.

It is evident that sneaker heads are getting shortchanged with the DPR not only from a material package standpoint, but functionally too. What extra material advantage does the DPR have over the Boston 6, the cheaper Supernova or even the Energy Boost?

One could argue that the DPR has a different fit and ride character, but that has little to do with justifying the $150 MSRP. That said, we’d have a different opinion if the DPR were priced at $120.

Though the DPR is positioned as a city running shoe, there’s (ironically) no reflectivity. The transitions are sluggish compared to the DPR’s performance running counterparts, and the upper lockdown isn’t perfect either. The tongue is stiff and tends to slide around inconveniently.

SUMMARY

The PureBoost DPR is very comfortable, but is it a very good running shoe? Not in our opinion. There’s a lot of work needed before the Pureboost DPR can earn its place on the front row seats occupied by the Boston 6 or the adios 3.

As a regular runner, should you get the DPR? No, you’re better served by cheaper models such as the Boston and the adios – or the Tempo if you require additional support.

So who should buy the DPR, and why? We can think of a few reasons:

1. You religiously follow heel drop specs. In that case, the DPR’s 8 mm gradient is lower than most adidas shoes.
2. You found the PB Prime ZG or the PB 2017 too soft, and you want something firmer and more supportive without switching to pure-performance shoes.
3. You want an adidas shoe which has a wide and ventilated fit without the plastic cage or similar suffocating features.
4. You’re ok with limiting the Pureboost DPR to mild runs, and the $150 price is the least of your concerns.

The PureBoost DPR isn’t a bad shoe at all, but choose your running shoe wisely – don’t have buyer’s remorse.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post adidas Pureboost DPR review appeared first on Solereview.

Brooks Ghost 10 Review

Brooks_Ghost_10_score

Brooks’ marketing pitch: The Ghost 10 delivers the smoothest ride possible for neutral runners.

Upper: Mesh, fused and stitched synthetic leather.

Midsole: Dual-density EVA foam midsole. 12 mm heel to toe drop.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber under the heel, softer blown rubber under the forefoot.

Weight: 295 gms/ 10.4 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: 2A, B, D – (regular – men’s, wide – women’s), 2E – (wide-men’s)

The Ghost 10 is an improvement over the 9. And why? Brooks’s popular neutral trainer has increased toe-box room and breathes better. The cushioning is slightly softer too, a result of significant midsole design updates.
Cushioned yet supportive ride, premium materials, interior fit quality and heel fit, outsole grip
Outsole durability, the DNA midsole material isn’t engaging

INTRODUCTION

Brooks_Ghost_10_introduction

A few years ago, we were outraged when Brooks swapped its DNA Gel midsole for an all-foam one. The outrage wasn’t so much about the foam midsole per se; after all, brands change their cushioning technologies all the time.

It was rather an issue of semantics. Brooks described the new ‘DNA’ foam the same way it did the Gel, and that, we thought, was somewhat misleading. But that was back in 2014, and the whole DNA foam-Gel thing is a non-issue now – at least from a marketing perspective.

The all-foam Ghost has also grown on us over the past few years, based simply on the merit of the product.

You see, the rest of the footwear industry is on a penny-pinching drive. Many of the new running shoes in the $110-130 price-band are stripped down versions of their former designs, relying heavily on a minimal design language and material specs to reduce manufacturing costs. This approach applies to some of the more expensive shoes too.

Brooks’s design approach is a contrast; they continue to use shoe making materials which look and feel premium. Even though the Ghost 10 isn’t Brooks’s most expensive neutral shoe (the Glycerin is), it is heads and shoulders above the rest when it comes to the level of materials used.

But will Brooks’s material generosity last for long? Can’t say for sure, but let’s enjoy this fleeting moment while we can.

There’s also a consistency of upper fit and ride quality with the Ghost 10, and that makes the latter’s case as a versatile everyday neutral trainer very strong. The midsole doesn’t have the springy feedback of Boost or Everun, but there’s cushioning in plenty. The upper fits just right, being neither too snug nor excessively spacious.

And what of changes between the Ghost 9 and 10? We’ll eventually cover this topic in greater detail as we always do, but the summary is that the new Ghost 10 comes with an increase in forefoot room, is more flexible, and happens to be a bit softer and lighter than the outgoing model.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Brooks_Ghost_10_upper

Most of the Ghost 10’s upper is made out of engineered mesh and high-density printed layers. The Brooks marketing name for this is 3D Stretch Print, a nod to the printing’s semi-elastic nature.

The Stretch Print is applied over the mid and rearfoot, while the forefoot is built of engineered mesh. There are narrow bands of tightly-knit mesh areas near the midsole edge and over the forefoot, and in between are zones with larger pores for ventilation.

The last year’s Ghost 9 had a fused toe-cap with a small ‘canopy’ extending over the big toe. That changes on the Ghost 10, which now uses a regular, stitched-on toe bumper. The Ghost 10’s forefoot gets an updated engineered mesh, and there’s reduced usage of the 3D Stretch print material over the sides.

Needless to say, these updates affect the Ghost 10’s fit character – something which we’ll cover when discussing the upper fit later in this review. There are other design tweaks on the new Ghost, such as the updated (and cleaner) lacing area and the external heel area.

Brooks_Ghost_10_upper

The laces are round this year compared to the Ghost 9’s flat ones. But regardless of their shape, Brooks’s laces are a soft and semi-stretchable kind, and they stay tied-down. So there’s little functional impact here; rather, it’s a matter of personal preference.

The heel gets some bling in the form of molded urethane decorations colored in metallic. We say they’re decorative because the heel already has support due to the hard internal counter. Over the heel center, the synthetic strip of the Ghost 9 has been replaced with molded mesh.

Reflectivity gets affected here, as they disappear along with the Ghost 9’s stitched synthetic. The small ‘DNA’ logo on the midsole and the tongue label are the only shiny bits the Ghost 10 have.

For the last few years, Brooks had relied on a two-mesh set-up to construct the heel collar design. One kind of mesh lined up the Achilles area, while another formed the rest of the heel collar.

That changes with the Ghost 10, which now uses only a single mesh to line the insides of the heel. Also, there’s more foam padding inside the heel over the Ghost 9, so the heel interiors feel smoother overall.

The Ghost has never had an inner sleeve, but tongue slide was prevented by using a ‘tongue-tied’ loop. The Ghost 10 doesn’t have a sleeve either, but the tongue now has two loops instead of one. So the plushly padded tongue is securely held down by these loops, hence completely preventing tongue slide.

The Ghost 10 is slightly lighter than its predecessor due to the elimination of layers; there’s a weight reduction of 0.3 ounces.

Brooks_Ghost_10_outsole

If you’ve been keeping up with the Brooks Ghost series, then you’ll know what we mean when we say that the Ghost 10 feels similar to the Ghost 7.

The Ghost 7 was the first all-foam based model after the Gel-based Ghost 6, and it had a softer ride. A similar analogy applies to the Ghost 10; the Ghost 8 and 9 were firmer riding models.

The Ghost 10’s midsole construction is similar to the Ghost 7 too, with a separate crash pad on both the midsole sides. In contrast, the outer/lateral midsole of the Ghost 9 had a single-density construction.

These updates also mean that the Ghost 10’s forefoot midsole is now single density, as opposed to the twin-stack of the Ghost 9. The result is a noticeable increase in forefoot flexibility and softness over the last version. The design of the outsole flex grooves have little to do with the added flexibility; rather, this change is material and construction dependent.

The midsole walls also flare higher on both sides of the midfoot. You can see the midsole sloping upwards from the forefoot to the midfoot, after which it melds into the rearfoot.

The material hasn’t changed, however. The foam continues to be Brooks’s Biomogo DNA EVA foam, and updates made to the construction and density ends up making the Ghost 10 a softer Ghost.

If you’ve read our Glycerin 15 write-up, then you’ll recognize the common update theme applied to both. For example, a section of the foam midsole (under the midfoot) now swoops down to form a part of the outsole. This is so designed to soften the midfoot transition experience.

Other design aspects are borrowed from the earlier Ghosts. The rounded heel outsole is split into two near the edge; this allows for smoother landings. There’s an open section of midsole foam right under the heel, and this splays wide during landings to produce a cushioning effect.

The removable insole placed inside the upper hasn’t changed. It is the same thick BioMogo foam sockliner used on the past versions of the Brooks Ghost.

DURABILITY ASSESSMENT

Brooks_Ghost_10_durability

Like many Brooks shoes, the soft outsole rubber will be your primary durability concern. What Brooks giveth in outsole grip, it taketh in outsole lifespan. The rubber provides excellent grip, but has lower durability compared to its peers. Regardless of whether you’re a forefoot and rearfoot striker, the frontal section should be the first to shred.

Another area you should keep an eye on is the forefoot mesh. Compared to the Ghost 9, most of the mesh in the front does not have external reinforcement; also, it feels thinner.

Since the mesh is directly glued to the midsole, watch out for signs of early wear due to abrasion and repeated flexing. The Ghost 10’s midsole is noticeably more pliable than the Ghost 8 or 9, so that translates into an increased flexing action for the upper mesh.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Brooks_Ghost_10_upper_fit

The Ghost 10’s upper fit is an improvement over the 9. The last year’s model had a larger, fused toe-bumper with an extension over the big toe. This made the toe-box relatively cramped, so the increased space in the Ghost 10 will come as a relief.

By removing the 3D Stretch print in the forefoot and shortening the synthetic toe-bumper, the Ghost 10’s toe-box gains space – both vertically and sideways. The upper breathes better too, and has an accommodating nature. That said, the Ghost 10’s mesh isn’t as stretchable as the Glycerin 15’s.

Brooks_Ghost_10_upper_fit

The insides have a smooth feel, as expected of an upper which is nearly free of stitched overlays. There’s no tongue slide, thanks to the dual loops, and the generous padding filters the lacing pressure.

The heel collar has a smoother fit now. The switch from dual-mesh to a single mesh lining results in a more consistent feel, and there’s this sense of increased padding packed within.

The rear upper grips extremely well. When new, the Ghost 10’s Achilles dip slopes inwards – more so than the Ghost 9 – and this leads to a temporary paucity of toe-box room, as the heel pushes the foot forward. But after a week or so, the heel padding settles in and makes the Ghost 10 fit true to size.

So if you feel that the Ghost 10 is slightly shorter in size, this feeling should dissipate as you put on miles. Get the same size as the Ghost 9, or if you are new to the Ghost, then buy true to size.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Brooks_Ghost_10_cushioning

The Ghost 10’s ride represents an optimal meld of cushioning and support. There’s a distinct sense of softness underfoot, but it isn’t mushy either. But if you’re comparing the 10 to the 9, the newest Ghost is softer. This is because of two reasons.

The first is the updated midsole with a separate crash pad under the heel. This also translates into a single density forefoot on the Ghost 10, which is different than the dual-density design of the Ghost 9. The second is the lighter density of the upper midsole foam itself, which is softer than before.

Brooks_Ghost_10_responsiveness

Combine these updates, and you get a softer ride – both under the heel and the forefoot. While the cushioned insole inside the upper delivers an identical level of cushioning, the softened midsole foam changes the Ghost 10’s ride character. The forefoot is also softer, as the entire midsole thickness is constructed using a single density (and softer) foam.

That said, the rearfoot doesn’t lack support. The crash pads in the lower midsole are firmer than the upper portion, and these structures keep the midsole stable. It is also important to highlight the higher arch flare of the Ghost 10’s midsole. This change in the sidewall design makes the shoe feel more supportive under the arch when compared to the Ghost 8 and 9.

The transition quality is average, as the softer midsole tends to slow the down the loading process. This is particularly noticeable under the forefoot, where the softer and more flexible base makes the push-offs a bit lazier.

So depending on how you like your neutral trainer served, the Brooks Ghost 10’s added softness could be viewed as a double-edged sword. A softer midsole makes for a plusher ride experience, but at the same time, you’ll miss the rock-solid stability of the Ghost 8 and 9.

Nonetheless, the Ghost 10 is a great neutral shoe for training runs of any distance. It has ample cushioning for a marathon, and stable enough for a quick treadmill run. It is just that you won’t get the bouncy responsiveness of foam technologies like the adidas Boost or Saucony Everun.

PROS AND CONS

Brooks_Ghost_10_pros_and_cons

The Ghost 10’s biggest strength is its versatility. The upper fit hits the sweet spot of interior space and secure hold, and the same applies to the balanced ride character. This versatility gives the Ghost multi-role capabilities, be it tackling marathons or the occasional training run.

We like the use of premium materials in running shoes, a fast disappearing trend save for shoes such as the Glycerin, Ghost and a few Saucony products. There are no evident signs of cost cutting on the Ghost, and that translates into a running experience which feels worth every dollar of its $120 MSRP.

Below, the outsole grips well, and the density consistency of the upper midsole and the BioMogo insole give the ride its characteristic smoothness.

Now for the cons. The outsole durability has always been an issue, so the premium material package amounts to nothing when the underside tends to wear and tear faster than shoes from say, the adidas or Nike stable. And then there’s the staid plainness of the DNA foam material, which provides the expected (and ordinary) foam-based cushioning and nothing more.

You’ll also have to live up with the blemishes and finishing defects in some examples of the Ghost 10. We’ve often highlighted this issue in our past reviews (G7 review), and some production models might have skewed assembly or glue marks. So visually inspect any Brooks shoe before you buy.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE GHOST 9 AND GHOST 10

A couple of things will stand out when comparing the Ghost 10 with the Ghost 9. The first is the softer ride quality which also includes a more flexible forefoot. Earlier in this review, we’ve already covered the reasons why this occurs.

The second update is the increased space in the toe-box, the result of a redesigned toe-bumper and an open forefoot mesh construction.

There are other minor changes such as the 0.3 ounces weight reduction, the increased under-arch support, and the updated heel area, but the ride softness and the toe-box space are the updates which matter the most.

Brooks_Ghost_10_13

Name Shoe tech Check price
Brooks Glycerin 15 Super-DNA foam midsole Amazon
Brooks Ghost 10 Dual density Biomogo-DNA foam midsole Amazon
Brooks Revel Single density Biomogo-DNA foam midsole Amazon

Spend $30 more, and you get the Glycerin 15. What’s the difference? The Glycerin has a plusher interior and a slightly more stretchable mesh, and the midsole is more supportive and cushioned.

When compared to the Glycerin, the Ghost 10 feels a much lighter shoe, though the actual weight difference isn’t much. This is perhaps so because the Glycerin 15 feels relative bottom heavy, and there’s a sense of more midsole material than the flexible Ghost.

At the entry level is the new Brooks Revel with its new knit upper and a single density midsole. Much like the Launch 4, there are no additional widths.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Brooks_Ghost_10_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Brooks Ghost 10 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand Brooks Launch 4 Firm ride, fast-paced training Amazon
Same brand Brooks Hyperion Lightweight, race-day Amazon
Multi brand Brooks Ghost 10 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand Nike Elite 9 Firm ride, fast-paced training Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Lightweight, race-day Amazon

The Ghost 10 is a comfortable and versatile shoe, but not very fast. So what do you do then, for faster training runs? You get the much firmer and snugger fitting Launch 4. And if you’re used to firm riding shoes, then the lighter Launch 4 can be used for longer races too.

For shorter 5K and 10K races, the Brooks Hyperion is your go-to shoe.

Now let’s explore some of the options available outside the Brooks assortment. The Hyperion equivalent would be the sleek New Balance 1400V5. It has a secure yet breathable fit, and there’s enough cushioning for shorter runs or races.

For general fast-paced training runs, consider the firm riding Nike Zoom Elite with its snappy forefoot feel.

SIMILAR NEUTRAL CUSHIONED SHOES

Brooks_Ghost_10_similar_shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
Asics Cumulus 19 Medium soft Amazon
Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Firm Amazon
New Balance 880 V7 Medium soft Amazon
Nike Pegasus 34 Soft Amazon
Saucony Ride 10 Medium soft Amazon
Underarmour Gemini 3 Medium soft Amazon

There are various neutral trainers available in the same price class and category, but the New Balance 880V7 is the closest match with the Ghost 10.

Much like the Brooks shoe, the 880V7 has a regular dual-density EVA foam midsole with similar support and cushioning levels. The upper, with its engineered mesh and fused overlays, partly resembles the Ghost – except for the 880’s shallow toe-box and tongue slide.

If you’re shopping for Asics, then the Cumulus 19 is the Ghost equivalent. It has a comfortable dual-density ride, but with a shallow toe-box.

The UnderArmour Gemini 3 is also comparable, but solely from a category perspective. The Speedform upper design and materials feel and fit different than the rest of the shoes on the list. Underneath, the Gemini 3 comes with a smooth and supportive ride.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 has a ride quality which runs tangential to the rest of the pack, made unique by the hard plastic ‘Wave’ plate embedded in its midsole.

And lastly, you have two of the most popular neutral trainers – the cushioned and responsive Pegasus 34, and the snappy Saucony Ride 10.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post Brooks Ghost 10 Review appeared first on Solereview.

Asics Gel Cumulus 19 Review

Asics_Cumulus_19_score

Asics’s marketing pitch: The Cumulus 19 delivers superior comfort and shock dissipation.

Upper: Spacer mesh, fused and stitched-on synthetic.

Midsole: Dual-density EVA foam midsole with plastic shank. Front and rear Gel inserts. 10 mm heel offset.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber under the heel, softer blown rubber under the forefoot.

Weight: 320 gms/ 11.3 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: D – regular (reviewed), 2E – Wide, 4E – Extra wide

Asics’s mid-priced neutral trainer is adequately cushioned for the long and easy runs, featuring the same sole unit as the 18. The upper toe-box still fits shallow.
Cushioned ride, breathable, plush upper heel and tongue, optional widths
Unresponsive ride, tongue slide, potential upper durability issue, heavy, reduced reflectivity over the Cumulus 18

INTRODUCTION

Asics_Cumulus_19_introduction

The Cumulus 19 is the Japanese brand’s ‘budget Nimbus.’ Like the latter, it is a cushioned neutral trainer but minus many of the bells and whistles which the more expensive Nimbus comes boxed with.

At an MSRP of $120, the Cumulus 19 competes with the likes of the Brooks Ghost 10, the Nike Pegasus 34, the Saucony Ride 10, and many others – all mid-priced neutrals which occupy a similar price band.

For many years, the Asics Cumulus dutifully delivered what it was supposed to. The midsole packed ample cushioning, making it one of the many shoes suitable for long runs and general workouts of a relaxed nature. The upper, while not super-plush, seldom gave any reason for complaint.

The otherwise good-natured Cumulus changed last year. Misguided by some strange market trend, the Cumulus 18 squashed the toe-box shallow, making the new version a marked departure from the well-proportioned interiors of the Cumulus 16 and 17.

Do things change for 2017? Sadly, no. The Cumulus 19 not only features a shallow toe-box, but also uses a more flimsy looking upper. And in what’s now an emerging trend (for Asics), the Cumulus 19 uses a midsole and outsole stack which is identical to the outgoing version.

In the past, each successive update introduced a brand-new midsole and outsole along with a refreshed upper. But the last couple of Asics we’ve reviewed – namely the Kayano 24 and now the Cumulus 19 – appear to be indicative of Asics’s new (cost-cutting) direction.

There’s nothing wrong with using the same sole design. Nike does this on a regular basis, but then a shoe like the Pegasus undercuts others by $10. If Asics is reusing parts or molds from a previous version, then the cost benefit should be passed to the end-consumer in the form of a lower MSRP.

If the toe-box is still shallow and the sole unit hasn’t changed, does it make sense for an existing Cumulus 18 user to upgrade? Not at all. We’ll save you the trouble of reading the rest of this review and tell you right away that there’s no value in swapping your 18 for the 19. It is a better idea to invest in Cumulus 18 deadstock and save money.

And if you can get your paws on the Cumulus 17, nothing like it.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Asics_Cumulus_19_upper
To say that the Cumulus 19 has reduced the amount of external overlays would be an understatement. Most of the upholstery is now either spacer mesh or knit fabric, with synthetic leather only providing coverage in select areas. The lacing eyestay has synthetic, which is understandable given that this area needs additional reinforcement.

The external toe-bumper seen on the past versions of the Cumulus is absent. Instead, there’s a combination of a micro-bumper near the toe-tip and a band-like strip which runs over the toe-box and forefoot. This doesn’t mean that the front area lacks structure; there is a reinforcement material underneath the mesh.

Most of the synthetic layering is on the lateral/outer side of the midfoot. The inner midfoot is missing both the Asics logo and the synthetic panel seen on the previous Cumulus editions.

Much like the new trend of carrying over the sole design, the removal of inner midfoot layering seems to be the way ahead, if the Kayano 24 and the Cumulus 19 are to be considered as a yardstick.

Let’s be clear – Asics might tout the ‘cleaner’ midfoot as an ‘improvement,’ but it has no benefit on the quality of fit. This change, similar to reusing the sole design, is purely a cost-cutting measure.

In the Cumulus 19’s case, the flimsy midfoot area is more a potential drawback than anything else. We’ll devote more screen space on this topic in the durability section. The silver lining, in this case, is the improved ventilation over the Cumulus 18.

Most of the external heel area is covered with a knit fabric. This visually cleaner design replaces the synthetic strips, the molding, and the reflective details of the Cumulus 18. Reflectivity is a casualty here, as it gets downsized from a couple of strips to a small logo.

The Cumulus 19 gets a new heel collar design. The prominent Achilles dip which was earlier a part of most Asics shoes is replaced by a rounded collar design with a brand new lining fabric. This updates slightly lowers the heel height, but the generously padded collar counters any (potential) negative effect of the lowered height.

Asics_Cumulus_19_upper

The tongue does not have a sleeve, and the flap uses a softer fabric – the same as the heel collar. Tongue slides do happen, so if you’re switching from a sleeved shoe such as the Pegasus, mentally prepare yourself for this mild inconvenience. And by the way, the tongue is a bit shorter than the Cumulus 18.

The interiors have a smooth feel. Like many modern-day running shoes, the Cumulus 19’s upper relies more on fused layers rather than stitched-on ones. While the insides aren’t completely seamless, there aren’t any irritating bumps either.

Asics_Cumulus_19_outsole

If you already have the Cumulus 18, you can skip this section because the sole unit hasn’t changed. But many of you might not be familiar with the series, so it’s worth breaking down the finer aspects of the Cumulus 19’s sole unit.

The midsole and outsole are based on the long-continuing Asics design template. This includes a top EVA foam layer, a couple of visible Gel windows, and then finally a larger stack of EVA foam which acts as the main midsole.

It’s worth mentioning that while the men’s and women’s Cumulus have the same 10 mm heel -to-toe drop, the women’s Cumulus has a softer upper midsole for increased softness.

Mind you; there isn’t much Gel inside the midsole. The forefoot windows are merely decorative, and even the rear has a penny sized unit. Hence, most of the Cumulus’s cushioning comes from the thick foam and not the Gel. This also applies to more expensive Asics models such as the Nimbus, Kayano, and even the Quantum 360.

There’s a plastic shank under the midfoot, a feature which is now fast vanishing from the world of athletic footwear. As for the outsole, you get the standard layout of various rubber pieces separated by generous grooves – placed in a sideways and lengthwise orientation.

The groove which runs the length of the shoe is what Asics markets as the ‘Guidance line,’ while the other grooves help with flexibility and ride transitions.

As for the outsole, the Cumulus uses slabs of soft blown rubber under the forefoot, and the rear is shod with a harder variety. This is designed so because the majority of the running population are rearfoot strikers, so the rear needs to be stronger to withstand the abuse from heel strikes.

At the top lies a soft, blown foam insole. There’s another sheet of foam just below it, and both these combine to give you the initial softness which most people experience while trying the shoe at the store.

We’re not sure what the next year will bring for the Cumulus 20. Since this is the second year running for the same midsole and outsole, the sole should get an update in 2018. But will the regular foam be replaced by the new Flytefoam? If that happens, the Cumulus 20’s ride is probably going to turn firmer yet more resilient.

Asics_Cumulus_19_durability

The wide ‘Guidance Line’ causes the edges of the forefoot rubber slabs to be exposed to a higher rate of wear and tear. This is limited to the initial days, so from a long-term durability perspective, this isn’t something to worry about. The midsole is made of regular EVA foam, so a flattening of ride quality after a few hundred miles should be expected.

The changes on the new Cumulus 19 upper are worrying, however. The inner midfoot is missing a lot of protective covering last seen on the Cumulus 18, and the thin mesh is directly in contact with the midsole edge.

Based on experience, this kind of design usually ends poorly for the upper. There’s a lot of weight applied by the foot in this area, and the lack of reinforcement could lead to the mesh tearing.

These are early days for the Cumulus 19, so we haven’t come across examples of the mesh failing – yet. Nonetheless, this is a red flag from a durability viewpoint. We’ll update this review if we come across instances of premature mesh tear.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Asics_Cumulus_19_upper_fit
The toe-box of the Cumulus 19 is shallow and pointy. It is shallow, because a band of synthetic runs over the toe box in a semi-circular path. There’s an internal bumper, so the Cumulus retains its pointy toe-box profile

This construction hems in the big toe; while the sensation isn’t uncomfortable, it makes the limited height of the toe-box noticeable. The Cumulus 19’s toe box design reminds us of the Brooks Ravenna 6 which used a similar band design and produced an identical fit result.

You should buy a half size larger than your regular size (or the same size as the Cumulus 18), else there’s going to be a paucity of interior space.

Asics_Cumulus_19_upper_fit

The tongue has a lot of padding and offers adequate insulation from lacing cinch. But as the Cumulus 19’s tongue is slightly shorter than the 18, using the heel-lock lacing (the last eyelet) will apply top-down pressure over the foot.

Regardless of the updated heel design which appears straighter than the Cumulus 18, there’s no heel slippage. You miss the foam ‘pockets’ of the older heel design, but that’s more of a sensory difference than a functional one.

The Cumulus 19 is offered in multiple widths, ranging from D (regular) to a 4E. So if you’re not happy with the snug forefoot, then get a width upsize.

The removal of external layering makes the C-19 breathable, more so than the C-18.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Asics_Cumulus_19_cushioning

Nearly all of the Cumulus 19’s cushioning is delivered by the dense foam stack. Asics Gel plays but only a minor role in the ride behavior, as most of the Gel is more show than substance.

The soft feel underfoot is the result of the Ortholite insole, and the remaining foam layers have a medium-soft quality of cushioning. The Cumulus has never been a mushy shoe, and the same applies to the version 19.

Still, running fast in the Cumulus 19 feels somewhat laborious. It’s not just the thick midsole, but the generously articulated outsole which slows down transitions. The outsole lugs mounted on a wide area of exposed foam delivers a cushioning (or ‘piston’) effect, but the trade-off is a somewhat slow quality of transition.

The ‘Guidance Line’ demarcates two sides of the forefoot with a wide chasm, so the rubber edges feel lumpy – the same as Cumulus 18. Though this is less pronounced than some of other Asics shoes we’ve reviewed, the abundance of flex grooves proves to be too much of a good thing.

Asics_Cumulus_19_responsiveness

There’s nothing remarkable about the Cumulus 19’s ride quality, but there aren’t any glaring faults either. It has enough cushioning for runs up to a marathon, happens to be moderately stable, and the outsole grips well.

The midsole works for both heel and forefoot strikers. Even with the 10 mm drop, the forefoot has adequate padding; the blown rubber outsole and the midsole work together to create soft landings or transitions, depending on your footstrike.

It is very likely that the next year’s Cumulus will feature a Flytefoam midsole, but for now, the midsole is made of regular EVA foam. So being responsive or bouncy isn’t one of the C-19’s characteristics; the ride feels padded but flat.

PROS AND CONS

Asics_Cumulus_19_pros_and_cons

If the shallow toe box of the Cumulus 19 doesn’t bother you, then the rest of the shoe isn’t bad. The midsole has enough padding without being overly soft, and the upper is breathable. The heel and tongue have a plush fit and feel, and the optional widths make it easier to find a Cumulus which fits you best.

Among the list of negatives, there’s the tongue slide, the unresponsive ride quality, the shallow front, and the flimsy upper build – especially over the inner midfoot. Lastly, let’s not forget that the Cumulus 19’s 11.3-ounce weight makes it the heaviest in its class.

CHANGES BETWEEN THE CUMULUS 19 AND CUMULUS 18

The Cumulus 19 reuses the Cumulus 18’s midsole and outsole, so there’s no difference in the ride quality. A few changes take place on the upper, but nothing which makes the C-19 significantly different than the 18.

The toe area remains shallow, with the overall interior proportions staying very similar to the C-18. The heel area feels softer, and so does the shorter tongue – thanks to the updated lining material which feels smoother than the 18. And the loss of outer covering increases the 19’s breathability.

In the rear, the Achilles dip is toned down to a rounded profile, and the outer heel loses the molded details and reflectivity last seen on the C-18. The inner midfoot loses the synthetic panel.

Both versions are matched on weight (the Cumulus 18 was 0.2-ounce lighter) and the retail price.

UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE?

Asics_Cumulus_19_upgrade_downgrade

Options Technology Check price
Asics Nimbus 19 Flytefoam midsole, dual Gel windows Amazon
Asics Cumulus 19 Regular EVA midsole, dual Gel windows Amazon
Asics Pursue 3 Regular EVA midsole, heel-only Gel window Amazon

At a $40 premium is the Nimbus 19, a neutral trainer which is marketed as an upgrade from the Cumulus 19. Till a couple of years ago, the Nimbus had a softer ride and a plusher upper than the Cumulus. Today, while some parts of the upper – say the heel and the tongue for example – feel softer than the Cumulus, the ride isn’t softer.

The Nimbus recently switched to a firmer Flytefoam midsole. The new design makes the N-19 much firmer than the older models, so when compared to the Cumulus, the midsole density feels similar. What is different though, is a more resilient and responsive ride than the Cumulus. This is the result of the Flytefoam layer which the Cumulus 19 does not have – yet.

At the lower end of the assortment is the Pursue 3. It’s a bargain Cumulus of sorts, offering a firmer ride with a trimmed down material package. The Pursue 3 doesn’t appear to be widely available, so consider the Roadhawk FF as an alternative. The Roadhawk is a neutral trainer with a 10 mm heel drop and a full-length Flytefoam midsole.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Asics_Cumulus_19_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Asics Cumulus 19 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand Asics Dynaflyte Lightweight, fast-paced training Amazon
Same brand Asics Hyperspeed Firm, lightweight, race-day Amazon
Multi brand Asics Cumulus 19 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand adidas Boston 6 Lightweight, fast-paced training Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Firm, lightweight, race-day Amazon

Recommending a three-shoe rotation for the Cumulus 19 is relatively easy. The cushioned Cumulus 19 is good for the long and easy runs, so pairing that up with a firmer and lighter Dynaflyte makes perfect sense.

The Dynaflyte is great for fast training runs and even races up to a marathon. For shorter races, the Asics Hyperspeed 7 will get the job done.

Do not want an Asics shoe overload? Then consider the New Balance 1400V5 as your short-race shoe, and the excellent adidas Boston 6 as a Dynaflyte substitute.

SIMILAR NEUTRAL CUSHIONED SHOES

Asics_Cumulus_19_similar_shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
Brooks Ghost 10 Medium soft Amazon
Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Firm Amazon
New Balance 880 V7 Medium soft Amazon
Nike Pegasus 34 Soft Amazon
Saucony Ride 10 Medium soft Amazon
Underarmour Gemini 3 Medium soft Amazon

There’s plenty of competition in the mid-priced neutral cushioning category, so once you look beyond the Asics assortment, the Cumulus 19 doesn’t seem to offer great value. The problem with the Asics Cumulus 19 is that it stands for nothing, and ends up being an ordinary shoe with mediocrity emanating from its 11.3-ounce weight and its shallow fitting upper.

For example, if you wanted a combination of a plush upper and a supportive yet cushioned ride, then the identically priced Brooks Ghost 10 is the shoe. Need lots of soft cushioning with an ultra-durable outsole? That’ll be the adidas Supernova, sir.

The Nike Pegasus 34 is the lowest priced in this category and offers great value. The ride is cushioned and responsive, and the sleeved upper offers a better fit. The Saucony Ride 10 is also an excellent shoe, its ride offering a touch of Everun responsiveness and smooth transitions.

Don’t need a soft ride? The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 delivers a unique, Wave Plate powered ride under a spacious upper. And if you wanted something ‘traditional,’ the New Balance 880V7 is an under-rated performer.

And now in its third year, the UnderArmour Speedform Gemini 3’s ride is smooth and cushioned, same as the versions before it.

So you see, all other shoes seem to have character in one form or another. And what does the Asics Cumulus 19 have, except that it’s an Asics? Amidst all the running shoe newness, the Cumulus 19 struggles to make a compelling case for itself.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post Asics Gel Cumulus 19 Review appeared first on Solereview.

Brooks Glycerin 15 Review

Brooks_Glycerin_15_score

Brooks’ marketing pitch: The Glycerin 15 offers neutral runners the ultimate in softness and supreme comfort.

Upper: Spacer mesh, high-density printing and stitched synthetic leather, inner sleeve.

Midsole: Dual-density EVA foam midsole. 10 mm heel to toe drop.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber under the heel, softer blown rubber under the forefoot.

Weight: 300 gms/ 10.6 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: 2A, B, D – (regular – men’s, wide – women’s), 2E – (wide-men’s)

The smooth riding yet supportive Brooks Glycerin 15 is a neutral shoe in the truest sense of the word. Updated for 2017 with a softer ride and a slightly snugger upper.
Ultra smooth transitions and supportive ride, premium materials, interior fit quality and heel fit, outsole grip
Outsole durability, the SuperDNA midsole material isn’t engaging

INTRODUCTION

Brooks_Glycerin_15_introduction

We’ve said this before, and we’ll repeat this – the Brooks Glycerin and the Ghost are two shoes which are more ‘neutral’ than all other neutral running shoes.

What does this statement even mean? We define a neutral running shoe as one which has a balanced ride quality; a shoe without the outwardly leaning character which is often present in stability shoes and even certain neutral shoes.

The strong neutral character has been a part of the Glycerin and Ghost for many years now. Brooks might have replaced the DNA Gel midsole with an all-foam one in 2014, but that did not alter the fundamentals of the Glycerin-Ghost pairing. Both these models have been historically supportive with a smooth ride quality, and the latest Glycerin 15 carries forward those qualities.

For those new to Brooks, the Glycerin 15 happens to be Brooks’s premium (and highest priced) neutral trainer. The 15 suffix denotes that the model is in its fifteenth year, which is also a sign of the latter’s popularity with runners. The Ghost 10 is a lower priced alternative with a firmer ride and downsized trim package.

And what’s new on the Glycerin 15? The midsole has a slightly softer ride, courtesy of the change in foam density and an updated outsole. The upper is visually cleaner yet slightly narrower in the forefoot, the result of increased heel padding which pushes the foot forward.

What’s not changed is how plush the Glycerin 15 feels, thanks to the best-in-class material package. The upper looks and feels premium, and that is matched by a smooth and cushioned ride which isn’t mushy.

In our opinion, the Glycerin 15 is an improvement over the 14.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upper

The Glycerin 15 has a visually and functionally beautiful upper, with no signs of penny-pinching we’ve seen elsewhere of late. All the materials feel plush in look and feel, and worthy of the shoe’s $150 MSRP.

The upper is made of a single mesh component which is soft and slightly stretchy. Unlike many other models nowadays, the Glycerin does not use an engineered mesh – a design which has a combination of open and close knitted areas. Instead, the entire mesh exterior is consistent, and that’s not without a good reason.

Brooks uses a network of high-density printed overlays on the upper, and a closed mesh design is better suited for this treatment. Brooks calls this ‘3D stretch print,’ which is exactly what it means. These high-density printed overlays match the light elasticity of the mesh they are printed on, allowing both components to work together when the shoe is in motion.

There are a couple of stitched-on components, one which acts as the toe-bumper and another which runs vertically up the heel center. But the midfoot no longer features the thick synthetic panel which graced the uppers of the Glycerin 12, 13, and 14.

There’s even a reduction in the coverage of the 3D stretch print layers. As a result, the Glycerin 15’s upper is visually sleeker and also better conforming from a fit standpoint.

The laces are the soft round variety we’ve come to love, and the tongue is quilted generously with foam and has a soft hand feel.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upper

What’s interesting is that the Glycerin 15 uses a ‘tongue-tied’ loop, an exclusive Brooks feature which is meant to prevent tongue slide. This wasn’t needed on the Glycerin 14 as there was an inner sleeve, and as it turns, neither does the G-15 need it. The Glycerin 15 does have an internal sleeve, so this lacing loop is just another precautionary (yet gratuitous) measure.

The tongue flap is softer than the Glycerin 14 and somewhat reminiscent of the Glycerin 13. The flap uses the soft fabric from the heel; the latter is plump with foam and is extremely plush. There’s a marked increase in heel padding, an update which pushes the foot forward inside the shoe and affects the upper fit.

Though there is an internal heel counter like all the past Glycerin versions, the synthetic piece stitched on the outside is smaller than before. There’s more soft mesh near the top, and when combined with a higher level of foam padding, the Achilles dip tends to lean more inwards when compared to the G-14.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_outsole

Based on outward appearances, the Glycerin 15’s 10 mm drop midsole looks similar to the ones before it. But as it so happens, it’s the hidden changes which make all the difference.

We noticed that the upper layer of the dual-density midsole appears to be a separate rearfoot layer instead of being just a rim, like how it was on the Glycerin 12-14.

Although, we can’t be sure if this treatment extends throughout the length of the midsole unless we dissect the Glycerin. This top layer also has a softer density than the rims on the earlier Glycerins. Needless to say, this update makes the Glycerin 15 softer than before.

The primary midsole is made of Brooks SuperDNA midsole, an EVA foam blend which the brand uses on the Glycerin and the Transcend. This foam is slightly softer and smoother riding than the regular DNA foam used on lower priced models.

Beginning with the Glycerin 12, the midsole sidewalls acquired an inwards sloping profile. The previous generation midsoles had a wide base at the top, and then sloped downwards; this resulted in a slim and rounded outsole profile.

Well, no more.

The Glycerin 15’s midsole loses most of that curve. This also leads to an expected outcome – the outsole becomes wider as it lines up with the broader midsole profile. This is particularly noticeable under the rear and midfoot, where the previous generation Glycerins had a rounded profile. This update helps improve the Glycerin’s road manners.

The widening of the outsole isn’t the only change at the bottom. The rubber pieces are now laid out in a brand new geometry, thus influencing the ride behavior. The heel bevel (meant for gradual landings) is similar to the past Glycerins, and so is the groove forming the heel crash pad.

Under the heel, the outsole pieces are flatter and wider with small lugs. There’s also a much longer transition groove separating the outsole pieces, exposing a larger area of foam underneath.

Rubber usage is noticeably reduced throughout, and the Glycerin 15 goes even a step further – part of the SuperDNA midsole extends all the way downwards and forms a part of the outsole. The forefoot layout also gets a bunch of updates.

The forefoot flex grooves are wider, and the inner/medial outsole blocks most of the flex grooves with solid rubber. This is meant to allow quicker roll-offs, and also improve durability by a small margin. While the wider grooves improve the Glycerin 15’s flexibility, they have an undesirable effect on durability. We’ll cover this next in the durability section.

The grip quality is excellent, a continuing hallmark of Brooks running shoes. The soft blown rubber used under the forefoot provides great traction, and the harder rubber under the rear perform equally well.

Brooks_Glycerin_13

Inside the upper are two components you’re already acquainted with – the smooth, compression molded BioMogo foam insole with a plush cloth covering, and the foam lasting below it.

Together, these deliver soft cushioning just underneath your foot. This is the same insole used on the Glycerin 12, 13, and 14 too.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_durability

There’s a trade-off for the newly acquired forefoot flexibility. The wider flex grooves on the Glycerin 15 tends to increase wear and tear on the edges of the outsole rubber strips. The Glycerin 14 fared better in this regard, as the flex grooves were higher in count and closely spaced.

Regardless of the updated flex grooves, Brooks shoes were never known for their outsole durability. Their shoes use a softer kind of rubber which grips very well but are quick to shred.

It won’t be far fetched to say that Brooks’ outsoles are the least durable in the premium running shoe segment. Brooks has nothing on the adidas Continental or even Nike in the matters of rubber longevity. A median of 300 miles is what you should get with the Glycerin; 400+ miles if you’re a light runner using the shoe in colder climates.

On the bright side, the upper is extremely well put together, so expect no durability issues.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upper_fit

The interiors of the Glycerin 15 feels as plush as it looks from the outside. The combination of a super luxurious heel lining, an inner sleeve, and a slightly stretchable mesh ensures both functional fit and interior comfort. There’s more padding around the heel over the G-14, so the heel provides a secure grip.

Around the midfoot, the inner sleeve keeps the tongue in one place, and the generous quilting is effective in filtering the lacing pressure. The round laces are made of a semi-stretch yarn structure, so they feel great to cinch.

The upper breathes fairly well and is a definite improvement over the last few Glycerins. This is because the mesh has fewer overlays, which includes the omission of the large midfoot panel stitched over the earlier versions.

In the front, the toe-box is wide with ample room above the toes. Most running shoes with a stitched-on toe bumper have this fit characteristic, and the Glycerin 15 is no different. The forefoot, however, is a mite narrower than before.

While the new heel design offers an excellent grip and plush wrap, the additional material pushes the foot forward.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upper_fit

This makes the Glycerin 15’s forefoot feel a bit snugger than the 14, but far from being uncomfortable. The mesh and the printing over it has an accommodating nature, so the upper doesn’t hem the foot in.

Besides, the Glycerin 15 is available in multiple widths, both on the men’s (B, 2E) and women’s (2A, D) versions.

And does one need to buy a half size up on the Glycerin 15? Since we’re talking purely in relative terms, the sizing situation depends on how you purchased the Glycerin 14. If you had a thumb’s width of space in the front of your toes (on the Glycerin 14), then you should be ok with sticking to the same size on the 15.

But if you were already cutting it close with the Glycerin 14’s size, then you should get a half size up on the 15. This should apply to some Glycerin 14 users who bought the shoe for walking or casual use and did not leave as much toe-box margin as a runner would.

Barring these small updates, the Glycerin 15 has a great fit. All sections of the upper hold the foot securely while offering a very comfortable interior environment.

This is also a running shoe which requires no break-in period – an area where the 15 outperforms the 14. The removal of the midfoot saddle makes the upper softer and more pliable, both on the sides and over the lacing area.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Brooks_Glycerin_15_cushioning

The overall ride quality is similar to the past few Glycerin models. There’s a smoothness which is due to the uniform use of SuperDNA foam from heel to toe and a full-contact outsole. Glycerins have never been a super soft or mushy shoe, and that is consistent on the G-15 as well.

Most of the softness you feel comes from the plush removable insole just under the foot. The compression molded Biomogo insole is generously cushioned, and the cloth over it feels premium. While the Glycerin 15 continues to maintain the supportive ride quality of the series, the midsole is slightly softer than the last three editions.

One of the reasons is a softer top layer of midsole. Unlike the past models where this layer was merely a rim around the midsole edges, the G-15 uses a separate layer of foam over the main SuperDNA midsole – at least under the heel area. This adds an element of softness previously not present.

The second reason is the changed outsole design which introduces a much wider and longer groove under the heel. More foam is exposed on the outsole, making the ride softer on impact and weight loading.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_stability

That said, the ride isn’t mushy at all. You get the best-in-class support and efficient transition quality one expects of the Glycerin. As we pointed out before, the combination of the balanced midsole design and solid foam makes the Glycerin very stable with no outwards lean.

Being responsive or bouncy isn’t the Glycerin’s forte. It never was, even in the days when the midsole featured a full-length DNA Gel insert. There’s mild responsiveness under the heel, but that’s more on account of the midsole groove splaying rather than the material itself.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_responsiveness

The Glycerin 15 lacks the heightened cushioning properties of the adidas Boost or the snapback of Nike Zoom. Instead, the ride is reminiscent of traditional trainers which deliver a consistent kind of foam cushioning minus the theatrics. The same cushioning consistency also makes the Brooks Glycerin the smoothest riding running shoe in its category.

There’s enough padding for daily runs and long distance runs such as marathons. The Glycerin doesn’t feel fast, but its optimal midsole foam softness won’t bog you down either. It’s a versatile running shoe which performs well in most situations.

Regardless of its 10 mm heel to toe drop, the Glycerin works equally well for rearfoot and forefoot strikers. The front has a decent foam stack topped with a chunky insole, and the blown rubber outsole provides a padded feel at the point of contact.

And given its non-mushy character, there isn’t a lot of (perceived) difference between the stated 10 mm drop and the actual (dynamic) offset.

PROS AND CONS

Brooks_Glycerin_15_pros_and_cons

The Brooks Glycerin 15 has a long list of positives. It has a lot going for it, be it the plush material package, a conforming upper fit, or the smooth and supportive ride character. The G-15 is a versatile neutral shoe in the true sense of the word, delivering a plush running experience which is deserving of the high price tag.

The otherwise excellent Glycerin isn’t without its shortcomings. The outsole durability is worst in class, and the SuperDNA midsole, while smooth, doesn’t deliver the engaging ride experience of other shoes featuring tech like Everun or Zoom.

Owing to the increased heel padding, the sizing is inconsistent over the Glycerin 14. This might cause grief for a small group of runners who’ll find the G-15 slightly shorter than the 14 in stick length.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE GLYCERIN 15 AND GLYCERIN 14

The G-15’s overall fit and ride character have a lot in common with the 14, but there are a few exceptions worth noting. The ride is softer due to the new midsole design with a softer upper layer and a larger area of exposed foam under the heel.

Much of the G-14’s layering has been eliminated. The amount of 3D Stretch print overlays have been reduced, and the midfoot saddle is gone too. This not only makes the G-15’s upper aesthetically sleeker, but softer and more breathable too.

The forefoot fit becomes a bit narrower and the sizing turns shorter by a small margin; this is the by-product of a plusher heel padding.

The G-15 performs slightly better on midfoot stability and forefoot transitions. The inwards sloping of the Glycerin 14’s midsole has been toned down on the 15, and this leads to a wider outsole footprint in the midsection. Updates made to the outsole flex grooves make the 15 easier to bend than the 14.

While the Glycerin 15 feels lighter, it weighs the same as the 14. There’s no change in MSRP, which stays at a pricey $150.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upgrade_downgrade

Name Shoe tech Check price
Brooks Glycerin 15 Super-DNA foam midsole Amazon
Brooks Ghost 10 Dual density Biomogo-DNA foam midsole Amazon
Brooks Launch 4 Single density Biomogo-DNA foam midsole Amazon

The Ghost 10 is the direct price downgrade from the Glycerin 15. Though it shares a few traits with the more expensive model – such as the fit quality and the supportive ride – it’s easy to see why it is priced $30 lower.

The Ghost features a firmer BioMogo DNA foam midsole instead of the G-15’s SuperDNA, and the tongue does not have an inner sleeve. The mesh is an engineered kind with larger vents, as opposed to the softer and semi-elastic material of the Glycerin.

Relatively speaking, the Ghost is more supportive than the G-15. The Ghost’s midsole is firmer and delivers a greater level of under-arch support due to the higher midsole flare. The cheaper Brooks shoe also features a 12mm heel drop, which is 2 mm higher than the G-15.

Compared to the Ghost and the Glycerin, the Launch 4 comes across as utilitarian – which is precisely what it is. A single density midsole provides a much firmer ride, and the no-frills yet comfortable upper is sold only in a single width.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Brooks_Glycerin_15_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Brooks Glycerin 15 Max cushioning, long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand Brooks Launch 4 Firm ride, fast-paced training Amazon
Same brand Brooks Hyperion Lightweight, race-day Amazon
Multi brand Brooks Glycerin 15 Max cushioning, long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand Nike Elite 9 Firm ride, fast-paced training Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Lightweight, race-day Amazon

Buying both the Glycerin and Ghost is overkill. Instead, adding the firmer and lighter Launch 4 makes more sense. Using this rotation approach, you get a plush cushioned running shoe in the form of the G-15, and a firmer Launch 4 for speedier training runs.

For race day use and track workouts, the Brooks Hyperion works very well. And just in case you feel there’s too much of Brooks-ness for you to handle, get the excellent New Balance 1400V5.

The Nike Zoom Elite 9 isn’t a direct Launch 4 replacement but still adds ample rotational value. The Elite is a firm shoe with a snappy forefoot, and these qualities make it an excellent choice for fast runs.

SIMILAR PREMIUM NEUTRAL CUSHIONED SHOES

Brooks_Glycerin_15_similar_shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
adidas Supernova Very soft Amazon
Asics Nimbus 19 Medium soft Amazon
Brooks Ghost 10 Medium soft Amazon
New Balance 1080 V7 Medium soft Amazon
Nike Vomero 12 Soft Amazon
Saucony Triumph ISO 3 Medium soft Amazon

There are six premium cushioned trainers on the list, but we couldn’t help but notice how different all these are. For example, the adidas Supernova has a softer and bouncy ride inherent to a full-length Boost midsole.

The Asics Nimbus 19 is a now-turned-firmer Nimbus with a comfortable upper, and the Nike Vomero 12 relies on its Zoom Air bag inserts to produce a snappy and cushioned ride. The Saucony Triumph ISO 3 is a mix of the old and new, as the midsole blends regular EVA with an Everun e-TPU foam insert.

On the other hand, the New Balance 1080 V7 feels ordinary for its price. The Fresh Foam platform struggles to keep up with others in the ride department, no matter how well fitting its upper is. Lastly, the slightly cheaper Ghost 10 has a lot in common with the Glycerin, and that’s why it features here.

The Brooks Glycerin 15 has the plushest upper by far and the most supportive neutral (not counting the Ghost) on the list. Brooks might not have the magical properties of the Boost or Zoom, but the ride is smoothest by far, bar none.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post Brooks Glycerin 15 Review appeared first on Solereview.

New Balance 1400V5 Review

New_Balance_1400_V5_score

New Balance’s marketing pitch: Designed for movement that feels fast and free.

Upper: Engineered mesh, fused layers.

Midsole: Single density Revlite EVA foam. 10 mm heel drop.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber under the heel, softer blown rubber under the forefoot.

Weight: 207 gms/ 7.2 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8.5/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: D – regular (reviewed)

New Balance’s lightweight trainer/racer retains the fast ride of the previous versions, and its upper takes the minimalist design route.
Lightweight, quick and efficient transitions, smooth interior fit, outsole grip, price-value
Lack of widths, decreased reflectivity

INTRODUCTION

New_Balance_1400V5_basics
New Balance has quite a few models in its Racing-Competitive category, also called ‘RC’ for short. This assortment has a slew of lightweight racers and spikes which sticks to the brand’s legacy numbering system instead of proper names. We don’t cover spikes at this time, but we’ll spend a little time discussing the non-spiked lightweight trainers within the RC construct.

At the time of writing this review, there are three models which fit the description. The first is the 1500, a model which we’ve often reviewed on the site. The 1500 is a lightweight trainer with a twist; it has a small (but unobtrusive) medial wedge embedded in its midsole. The 1500 has a decent amount of midsole stack, so it isn’t a pure racing flat.

The second shoe is the newly released Hanzo. This is a purist’s racing shoe which features a thin, 4 mm drop midsole and a super-grippy DSP (Dual Stencil Process) outsole, all packaged in a hyper-light 6.5 ounces.

There’s a product gap between the Hanzo and the 1500, and that’s where the RC 1400 V5 comes in. It’s a slightly trimmed down version of the 1500 in a neutral guise, and its 10 mm drop midsole packs enough cushioning for fast training runs, but firm and light enough for 5K, 10K races, and all the way to a half-marathon if your feet and mind are willing.

The 1400 isn’t a thoroughbred racing flat considering that a lot of midsole separates your foot from the ground. But not everyone wants to run in racing flats, so that’s where the 1400 and 1500 come in.

Before the Hanzo came along, New Balance used to have the RC 1600 which is now apparently discontinued. But if the 1600 were to exist today, it would be the shoe bridging the narrow gap between the Hanzo and the 1400.

Most running shoes, like people, change over time, and the 1400 is no exception. Now in its fifth year, the model has gone through numerous design iterations, losing some followers and gaining new ones in the process.

The 2017 New Balance 1400V5 bears little resemblance to the first few designs. The V2 for example, had a uber-breathable upper with lock-down provided by a network of synthetic overlays. The V3 took the V2’s fit, but replaced the cheese-hole mesh with a regular spacer one which had lots of stitch-less overlays.

Last year, the 1400 V4 gained a bit of weight, adding more structure to its upper and aligning the overall design with the 1500. All said and done, the ride quality has stayed more or less the same through the years. All 1400 versions have had a single density midsole made of New Balance ‘Revlite’ EVA, a material also used on the 1500.

And what’s new on the 1400 V5? A lot, we’d say. There’s a new upper which cuts down on all the layering, and delegates the fit and support duties to a combination of engineered mesh and a minimal set of thin overlays. While the midsole is still a single sheet of Revlite, the outsole update results in the grippiest 1400 ever.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

New_Balance_1400V5_upper

Unlike the past 1400 versions which relied on a lot of fused overlays to provide structural support, the new 1400 is all about keeping things minimal. The contrast is obvious when compared to the V4.

We’d admit, though, that the V4 had an unusually high level of external layering for a 1400. The V4’s heel, for example, had a thick, stitched-on overlay, accompanied by lots of fused synthetic over the midfoot and forefoot.

The 1400V5 gets rid of all that. It changes the upper material from the spacer mesh of the older 1400’s to an engineered mesh.

This design approach allows the mesh to have vented and close-knitted surfaces on a single component without relying on external overlays. Only the heel center retains a vertical strip of stitched synthetic. This also means the most of the reflectivity of the V4 is gone, replaced by the somewhat shiny ‘New Balance’ font printed over the heel.

The toe-box and forefoot have larger vents for letting air flow better, while the rest of the upper has a close-knit design. The new mesh has a bit of squeeze compared to the previous spacer one, so the upper feels better over the foot.

The only downside is that the shoe looks droopy when not worn. With most of the external overlays gone, the upper tends to sag under its weight. The only areas where the fused synthetic has been applied are the toe-bumper and the lacing eyestay.

The midfoot and heel sides have high-density printing, which includes the ’N’ logo and speed-streak graphics. (New Balance calls this the ‘wind-swept’ motif; nice.)

The toe-bumper is now a shorter version of the V4’s design, and extends over the forefoot on the big toe side. It’s a wise design choice to keep the lacing area reinforced with synthetic, as it prevents the eyelets from tearing.

New_Balance_1400V5_upper

The laces are the standard flat ones with a bit of stretch in them. These spread top-down pressure evenly and stayed tied during runs, so it’s good to see them unchanged. The tongue has minimal padding and has no sleeve. But there’s no tongue slide.

This is due to the 1400’s narrow lacing, a set-up where the opposing eyelets come very close together when laced-up. This allows the tongue to be locked in its position by the very wide center lace-loop.

The interiors are by far the smoothest in the 1400’s history. The complete lack of thick overlays allows the insides to be seamless, making the 1400 suitable for sock-free runs too. A internal stiff counter wraps around the heel, and the collar has minimal padding. There’re a couple of updates over the V4 in that area.

The collar gets a new fabric lining which is soft, but different than the cottony melange type used on the V4. The Achilles dip is also slightly lower, though this does not affect the fit in a negative way.

New_Balance_1400V5_outsole

Save for the cosmetic details, not a lot has changed on the 1400’s 10 mm drop midsole. It’s got a single-density block of EVA which New Balance calls Revlite.

The volume of foam is similar to the one used on the 1400 V4, and the sidewalls get updated details.

Instead of the angular grooves and cuts of the V4, the 1400V5’s midsole has small rib-like details which match up with the graphic on the upper. This compression molded foam is neither too soft nor too firm, which is fitting given the 1400’s fast-shoe positioning.

There’s a perforated (and removable) insole inside which adds an extra layer of cushioning. This is the same insole used on the V4, and also on the 1500 series.

The basic outsole design hasn’t changed in a few years. Thin slabs of rubber are placed flat over the Revlite midsole to result in a near-full contact surface. There are some areas of exposed foam under the heel and midfoot, but the rest of the surface is rubber.

The rearfoot gets a two-piece set up of hard rubber, whereas the front is covered with softer blown rubber. That’s where the similarity with the V4 ends, however. The forefoot outsole geometry gets a radical design update.

A new groove splits the forefoot outsole into two side-by-side halves. This wasn’t the case on the earlier versions of the 1400, and it seems that the V5 has taken inspiration from the medially-posted 1500. Not only is the split forefoot similar looking to the 1500, but the lug design also shares a common template.

This year’s 1400 gets a colony of tiny lugs on the forefoot slabs. This wasn’t so on the V4, which featured wide rubber slabs without a groove dissecting them. As a result, the 1400V5’s road manners have a lot more grip on road and track than the V4, or for that matter any of the past 1400’s.

What New Balance doesn’t mention is the presence of a small midfoot TPU piece. This is placed above the midsole, and contributes to the torsional rigidity of the 1400.

New_Balance_1400V5_durability

For all its lightweight appearance, the 1400 isn’t as fragile as it looks. You should be able to squeeze 300 miles out of the shoe easily, probably more. The smaller lugs tend to wear faster than the bigger slabs of the previous 1400’s, though the rate of wear will gradually taper.

Revlite and the insole are still EVA foam no matter what New Balance claims, so expect the foam to go all wrinkly and flat after a couple of hundred kilometers. In other words, the 1400V5 will get closer to a racing ‘flat’ feel at mile 200 than mile 10, so not sure whether the midsole flattening is a bad thing.

The toe-box is shallow, so get a half size larger if you want to preserve the toe-box mesh. Else, friction with the foot might lead to a premature failure of the mesh material.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

New_Balance_1400V5_upper_fit

There’s a good reason why the 1400V5 is in New Balance’s ‘RC’ category. Apart from its light weight, the upper is form fitting – a characteristic of road racing shoes. A narrow fit keeps the foot locked down and minimizes distraction.

On the other hand, if a shoe such as the 1400 is one of your first, then know that the fit is different than a daily training (like the New Balance 1080 or the Nike Pegasus).

When compared to traditional trainers, the 1400’s toe-box is shallow, the front end is pointy, and the forefoot is narrow. But on a scale relative to the 1400V4, the new V5 has a slightly more accommodating fit.

New_Balance_1400V5_upper_fit

We mentioned that the forefoot and midfoot go through numerous changes, such as a smaller toe-bumper, the reduction of side overlays, and the softer mesh. One can’t have all these tweaks and not expect a change in the upper fit at the same time.

It is no surprise that the foot doesn’t feel hemmed in as it did inside the V4. The engineered mesh is softer and will expand slightly over time. The new toe-bumper is shorter on both sides, so the front isn’t as pointy. The insides feel way smoother than before too; overall, the V5 feels more spacious inside than the V4.

This doesn’t mean that the upper lacks support. The 1400 has a thin waist, which means the upper hugs the foot securely and prevents it from sliding forward. The internal heel counter grips well, and the flat laces do a great job of keeping the tongue in place. As called out earlier, the narrow lacing and the ultra-wide center loop keeps the unsleeved tongue from moving around.

Whether you buy a half size up on the 1400 or not depends on the use-case. If your intention is that of reserving the 1400’s use exclusively for synthetic tracks, then we recommend that you stick true to size.

But you intend to run 10k and beyond in the 1400, then getting a half size larger is recommended. It must also be noted that the 1400 is not offered in additional widths, so what you see is what you get.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

New_Balance_1400V5_cushioning

The 1400 is a 10 mm drop shoe, which means that the cushioning is heel loaded. There’s a lot more Revlite in the rear than under the minimally padded forefoot. So your impression of the 1400’s ride will depend a lot on whether you’re a rearfoot or forefoot striker.

In the back, three components work together. The perforated insole placed inside comes with inbuilt cushioning, and this provides the first layer of cushioning. The primary Revlite midsole does a good job of damping the ride without a loss in speed, and the area of exposed foam cavity (under the heel) splays out on impact, adding to the cushioning experience.

New_Balance_1400V5_responsiveness

Even so, we’d still categorize the 1400’s cushioning character as firm with only the slightest responsiveness. The foam doesn’t have a lot of give, and offers excellent ground feedback, stability, and transitions instead. The forefoot cushioning is bare-bones, but not jarring – the soft blown rubber adds a touch of softness when it meets the road.

If you’re familiar with other New Balance models, then a good way to describe the 1400’s cushioning quality as being midway between the Zante V3 and the Vazee Pace V2.

One might ask – can the 1400 be used for marathons?

No one’s stopping from using the 1400 as a long distance shoe which involves running longer than a half-marathon, but the forefoot is thin and will beat your foot down. Also, the fit is narrow, and there are no additional widths, so that’s another thing you need to watch from a comfort perspective.

Some use the 1400 on light, non-technical trails where a snug upper works better, but then that’s an entirely different use-case.

PROS AND CONS

New_Balance_1400V5_pros_and_cons

This is a New Balance, so the first positive which comes to mind is the upper fit. The 1400 might be narrow, but there’re absolutely no pressure hot spots. More so this year than the last, as the all-mesh upper delivers increased breathability and interior smoothness while being supportive.

The ride quality is a great mix of firm and cushioned. The single density Revlite EVA offers excellent transitions, and the new outsole grips very well on the road and tracks. This lightweight shoe is also great value at an MSRP of $100.

If we had to nitpick, it would be the lack of optional widths and the decreased reflectivity over the previous model.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE 1400V4 AND 1400V5

As far as the ride is concerned, both the versions are very similar. That’s because the V4 and V5 both use a single-density EVA midsole of similar dimensions. That said, the 1400V5’s outsole grip is much better owing to the new forefoot lugs.

What’s changed a lot is the upper. The V5’s upper leaves most of the external layering behind, which also includes a smaller toe-bumper. The reduction of overlays when combined with the slightly more stretchable engineered mesh, frees up more room inside.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

New_Balance_1400V5_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand New Balance 1400V5 Fast runs, races Amazon
Same brand New Balance Boracay V3 Long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand New Balance Zante V3 Medium-paced runs Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Fast runs, races Amazon
Multi brand Nike Pegasus 34 Long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand adidas Boston 6 Medium-paced runs Amazon

If the 1400 is going to be one of the many in your running shoe mix, then there are a couple of rotational approaches to consider. You can either keep the entire collection minimal and speed focused, or go for a wider range of ride experience.

An assortment of the Zante V3, the 1400, and the Hanzo will give different levels of lightweight. The Hanzo is a pure racing flat for quick 5K and 10K runs, while the Zante V3 is a cushioned daily trainer. In between these two, you have yours truly.

But we think that the assortment will be more wholesome if you get the Boracay V3, the Zante, and the 1400V5. This way, the 1400 can be used for races and very fast runs, while the Boracay can perform the role of a long-distance hauler. The Zante works great when you want a lightweight shoe but with a higher level of cushioning than the 1400.

If you seek brand diversity, then consider the Nike Pegasus 34 and the Adidas Boston 6. The Nike will give you all the cushioning you need for longer runs, while the Boston is a good in-between shoe for fast-paced daily training.

SIMILAR LIGHTWEIGHT TRAINERS

New_Balance_1400V5_similar_shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
adidas adios 3 Medium soft Amazon
asics Hyperspeed 7 Firm Amazon
Brooks Hyperion Firm Amazon
Mizuno Hitogami 4 Firm Amazon
Nike Streak LT3 Firm Amazon
Nike Streak 6 Firm Amazon

Regardless of its ‘RC’ tag, the 1400V5 is not a full-blown racing flat; the 10 mm heel drop is a dead giveaway. It is undoubtedly a fast trainer, but has adequate padding underneath, much unlike a racing flat. The 1400 is a level or two above the racing flat silhouette as far as road manners go.

There are many other shoes within that category. There’s the Asics Hyperspeed 7, the Brooks Hyperion, and the adidas adios 3.

The Mizuno Hitogami 4, the Nike Zoom Streak 6, and the LT3 are a few other options. Needless to say, each of these come with their distinct ride and upper fit character.

But if we had to choose just one shoe which is a closer match with the 1400 than the rest, it’d be the Asics Hyperspeed 7. The latter’s upper fit shares some of the 1400’s traits, along with a single-density midsole and a transition groove which splits the forefoot – much like the New Balance 1400V5.

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