The RunningRats recently demoed some of the new Saucony introductions for Winter 2017 and Spring 2018. Here are my brief impressions of the shoes I tested – the Liberty ISO, Ride ISO and Kinvara 9. The Liberty is a new model, whereas the Ride and Kinvara are the latest version of long-running models within the Saucony lineup.
The Pegasus 35 is the latest iteration of Nike’s neutral medium-cushioned trainer. It has a responsive ride and trend-setting design. Substantially changed from prior versions, it is well suited as a daily high-mileage trainer for neutral runners, as well as being a cool off-duty lifestyle shoe.
Skechers Performance Division has a solid 2018 model lineup. I had the fortune of testing the GOrun 6, GOmeb Razor 2, GOrun Ride 7 and GOrun Ultra R. In their respective categories, they are lighter weight, better cushioned and have more outsole coverage for grip and wear resistance.
I had the pleasure of testing a good part of Skechers Performance Division’s (SPD) 2018 line-up at a recent run with the Eastbound Run Crew (EBRC). Here are some brief thoughts on each of the shoes I tried.
Having endlessly run the streets of downtown Toronto over the last ten years, I noticed my GPS watch was consistently beeping the kilometre intervals at the same major streets. I realized that many of theses roads are almost extactly 1 km apart, in both the north-south and east-west directions.
- East to West: Sumach – Sherbourne – Bay – Beverley / St. George – Bathurst – Shaw – Dufferin
- North to South: Bloor – College / Carleton – Queen
That’s a grid of 6k east to west and 2k north to south. Not every section of the grid will have a street or intersection, but the majority of them do.
Another variation has the same east-west streets, but a different alignment north-south:
- East to West: Sumach – Sherbourne – Bay – Beverley / St. George – Bathurst – Shaw
- North to South: Harbord / Wellesley – Dundas – Wellington
I call these the magic metric streets. They pretty handy to have when estimating distances or navigating ad-hoc on the fly. Remember this the next time you forget your watch.
The 890v6 is a faster version of the classic neutral trainer. A very versatile shoe which can handle both faster paced and slower, longer mileage runs. The ride is firm and snappy. It has a roomy, stretchy toebox and gets more fitted towards the back of the shoe. Fans of the previous version of the 890 will want to check the fit and ride before proceeding with this update.
The Zealot ISO 3 is a 4mm offset, sub-9oz, full stack shoe. It offers plenty of cushioning and flexibility and has more toebox volume than recent Saucony models. With an exceptional cushion-to-weight ratio, it is an ideal high-mileage option for Kinvara runners looking for more cushioning on longer runs. Those looking for a firmer ride should also consider the Saucony Freedom.
Aftershokz headphones should be the short list for most suitable headphones for street runners. They sit on your jawbone and transmit sound into the head and ears via bone conduction. They provide decent audio quality without obstructing ear openings. Compared to conventional headphones, the provide significantly improved situational awareness and safety.
The NB Sonic Fuel Core combines a firm riding and flexible Revlite midsole with a sock upper cinched down by a Boa retention system. It is ideal for those who like quick and fine-tuned adjustability across the top of the foot. The stretchy toebox should accommodate wider feet. It should also appeal to triathletes looking for time savings in their transition. The shoe will be available in July 2017.
The Saucony Razor ICE+ is a winter-focused trail shoe that features Vibram Arctic grip, which provides additional traction on ice. The other notable design element is the high-cut outer shell that zips around the core shoe and functions as a water resistant layer and gaiter. The midsole provides plush cushioning with moderate flexibility. It’s not cheap, but provides a substantial level of technology and features in a unique and specialized winter shoe.