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.
The Saucony Freedom ISO has a full-volume TPU Everun midsole that provides excellent energy return, responsiveness and ground feel. The upper fit is snug but not overly narrow. The combination of low stack, good cushioning and 4mm offset resulting in a fairly unique shoe. The price is high, but justified by a versatile shoe, packed with the latest technologies.
Saucony recently released a totally new model in their lineup – the Freedom ISO. It is the first shoe with a full-volume Everun midsole, Saucony’s TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) material. Similar to Adidas Boost, it promises better energy return and durability than standard EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam found in most other running shoes. It is also more temperature-stable, retaining more elasticity in colder temps. Previous Saucony models used Everun in the heel pad and as a thin top sole under the sock liner. The Freedom is the first shoe where the entire cushioning system is Everun. The shoe retails at $160 USD / $200 CDN. My shoe weighed in at 265g / 9.5oz for men’s size US 9.0 (one shoe).
The Apple Watch Series 2 adds GPS and waterproofing to the first-gen watch, making the Series 2 a legitimate running watch. The GPS tracking is excellent; the HR tracking is good and equal to other devices. The usability is very good – the screen is sharp and readable in bright sunlight. The battery will last 5h with GPS and HR on. Those needing workout data export will need to wait for third party apps to be updated to support the onboard GPS.
The TomTom Spark Cardio+Music is one of the few GPS watches with both optical HR and Bluetooth music streaming (as of fall 2015). It’s very easy to use but has limited customization. The GPS accuracy is very good and the HR accuracy is ok. It’s hampered by some usability flaws, especially during a workout. It’s suited to an athlete who wants something easy to use and wants both built-in HR and music and doesn’t care too much about tweaking and configurability. The mobile app and website have limited functionality, but this can be mitigated with the Strava or MapMyRun integration. It’s important to match it with BT headphones that are on TomTom’s compatibility list. The price is extremely competitive at $249 USD/$299 CAD.
Its main competitors are:
- Adidas Smartrun (HR+music)
- Sony Smartwatch 3 Timex Ironman One GPS+(Music, no HR)
- Garmin FR225 and FR235, Fitbit Surge, and Casio 810 (HR, no music)
New Balance brought a number of their models to BlackToe Running. For these reviews, I ran a few miles in each shoe, while not an extensive months-long wear test, it was definitely enough to get a feel for the characteristics of the shoes. Today, I test two cushioned New Balance shoes – the 890v4 and Fresh Foam 980.
I purchased these shoes after seeing a few positive reviews and needing some trail shoes. Throughout this fierce winter and spring, I’ve run over 300k on these shoes, over snow, ice, mud, dirt and slush. This is one versatile shoe, at home in marginal grip conditions and yet feel fine on the road. The water-resistant uppers shed off most weather conditions. They are responsive, flexible and at 8.7oz, light enough for those go-fast runs.