I purposely don’t get overly excited about a product when I first see or use it whether I buy it or it comes as a media sample, because I have learned the hard way that how a product feels, looks and works when they are new are sometimes vastly different after a little bit of time goes by.
Perhaps with all the running gear that I have bought or tried over the years, I have become slightly jaded or skeptical, about manufacturer’s claims of greatness or maybe I just getting to be a crotchety old guy.
During the Runner’s World Half Festival, in the swag bag there were a pair of Swiftwick Aspire Socks, when I first saw them I thought to myself – just what I need another pair of socks and put them off to the side.
A little later I decided to take a closer look at them and went to the website and did a little looking around. What I saw intrigued me. I like products made in the USA (old-fashioned), a company that supports athletes and the claim that they would not stink – well if that was true, TheWife would appreciate that, because my feet and socks do STINK after running.
As of today they have 50.8 miles on them. 50 Miles is usually a good point to do have found out things that you like and dislike about a pair of running shoes.
The Elixir’s are promoted as a light-weight supportive trainer, that could also double as a racing shoe for some.
They are not a minimalist or low-drop shoe, like most of the shoes that I have run in this year. They are a traditional running shoe with a 12MM drop, however, comparing how I run in them versus other lower drop shoes, I really don’t notice that much of a difference. The Elixir’s to me feel lower than their published stats.
I was talking with a Skora representative on Twitter last week and was offered the opportunity to review the Skora Base running shoes.
They arrived this morning and I couldn’t wait to try them on (disclaimer: they were provided at no cost to me and what I write about them are my opinions about the shoe).
As TheWife would say they look like “Harold” shoes. The Base are slip-ons, that have a Velcro strap to tighten them if you need to. I really like the looks of the Base and couldn’t wait to try them on. Before I did, I looked them over very closely and found that the construction and the quality of the fit and materials was all great. When I tried them on they fit like a glove, but with plenty of room in the toe box, which can be a problem with a lot of shoes for me.
A little while ago, I was contacted by Matt fromJack Rabbit Caps, about reviewing one of their hats. I had been to their site previously and their hats looked interesting to me, so I said sure.
FTC Disclaimer – I was provided this product free of charge to review it on my blog and received no other forms of compensation to do this review. My opinions about this product are my own, based upon my experience while I am using this product.
The JackRabbit Cap is a great looking hat.
The burgundy color and while monograming of “A Veteran Runnah” looked fantastic (just wish I could say the same for the model) .
The hat was well made, no imperfections, loose threads or blemishes that I could find.
I find it both exciting and exasperating all at the same time to shop for new running shoes, because you are trying so hard to find that next perfect for you running shoe and you wonder if the shoe you chose was the right one and you don’t really know until around 200 miles the answer to that question.
Initially I was going to wait until 100 miles to do this review, but I have been doing the 50 mile running shoe reviews since I started A Veteran Runnah and decided to keep doing it that way.
There have been so many reviews published on the Altra Instinct’s over the past year, that I probably don’t have any earth shattering insights about them, other than my own experiences with them. So I will not bore you with the technical specs on the Instinct’s, which you can find on the Altra website or by doing a web search for them.
Some very good reviews of the Instinct’s can be found here (Birthday Shoes) or here (RunBlogger).
Many bloggers and others have tried to pigeon-hole the Instinct’s into this category or that category, but the only thing that really matters to me, is whether or not they work for how I run and if they are comfortable to me when I am running in them.
Isn’t that what is actually important? Not all the other noise and hoopla.
How are the Altra Instincts doing after 55.8 miles?
The Instincts have always been high on my list of shoes to check-out, but I really wanted to try them on before went ahead and bought a pair.
Appearances are Deceiving
I don’t know why, to me they just really looked clunky and well like a “slow” shoe. Even though they are listed as a “minimal” shoe, are listed as weighing 9.1 oz. and all the reviews state differently.
Also I am doing higher mileage (for me) and looking at them, the Instinct’s just didn’t fit with my preconceived notions of what a marathon training shoe looks like.
On Twitter and Facebook I hear a lot of people asking about which hydration system people are using, so I figured that I would add my two cents.
FYI: This was a personal purchase from Amazon.com.
Back in May, I had a long run with my old belt hydration system that just frustrated me so much, I haven’t used that belt since – see my post on that.
I had been unhappy with my hydration belt before that run (but that was the final straw) and had already been doing some preliminary research to figure out a new hydration system. I had gone to a couple of outdoor stores to look at what they had and searched online, trying to figure out a better system for me.
Basically, it came down to 3 styles to meet my hydration needs: