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Best Shoes and Gear from 2016

End of the first day at the Fat Dog 120 mile. Enjoying the high alpine section at evening before what would be my biggest struggle of the year through the night resulting in my only DNF for the year.

Finish of the primary day on the Fats Canine 120 mile. Having fun with a excessive alpine part on an ideal night earlier than what can be my largest wrestle of the yr by way of the night time leading to my solely DNF for the yr.

Sure, sadly it’s now February and a better of 2016 publish is previous information, however higher late than by no means. Whereas issues have been somewhat lighter on the running a blog entrance for me, I nonetheless had a full yr of operating, racing, and obtained to check out tons of latest footwear and gear within the course of.  I ran the Carlsbad Street Marathon in January, Gorge Waterfalls 100okay in April, Quad Rock 50 mile in Might, Bighorn 100 mile in June, Fats Canine 120 (DNF at mile 80, 25 hrs in) in August, and the North Face 50 mile in San Francisco in December.  All in all, it was an excellent yr of enchancment and persevering with to study extra about my self as an individual and runner. Some massive objectives on faucet for this yr and hoping to start out issues off properly on the LA Marathon in March (regardless of a current damage setback final week, my first in three years).

I’ve carried out a “Best of the Year” submit yearly and thought I’d put collectively one other one with the addition of some nice gear that I’ve used a ton as properly.  Hopefully this gained’t be too lengthy and some will discover it helpful!

-Street Shoes

From Bottom to Top: Skechers GORun Forza, adidas adizero Boston 6, and Salming Miles.

From Backside to Prime: Skechers GORun Forza, adidas adizero Boston 6, and Salming Miles.

  1. Skechers GORun Forza – The Forza didn’t blow me away once I first tried it in February final yr, however it has actually held on in my line-up and is on the brief record of street footwear I flip to for many street runs aside from actually quick days.  The shoe holds up tremendous nicely, matches and seems like a lighter shoe and presents nice construction with out ever getting in the best way.  Such an amazing shoe from Skechers and foreshadowing of some massive enhancements which might be simply now coming with their 2017 lineup (See GORun 5, GOMeb Razor and GOMeb Velocity four all of that are unbelievable!).
  2. adidas adizero Boston 6 – It took me a very long time to get round to making an attempt the Boston 6 regardless of my affinity for v5 on dry trails.  Whereas the Boston 6 continues to be nice on trails, adidas actually improved it’s really feel on the street with a softer feeling forefoot as a consequence of a brand new outsole which is softer and but nonetheless very sturdy; nice stuff from Continental.  The brand new seam-free toebox is a superb change as nicely.  The Boston 6 is likely one of the greatest throughout footwear on the market that may actually virtually do something nicely.
  3. Salming Miles – Salming was an enormous shock for me final yr and ended up with my street shoe of the yr within the Distance three.  They didn’t actually revamp their mainline fashions a lot in 2016 aside from some new midsole materials on them, however did launch a brand new street shoe within the Miles.  All of my complaints about sturdiness within the Distance and Velocity have been utterly abolished with the Miles.  It’s in all probability one of many extra sturdy footwear I’ve ever used and feels utterly pure driving in Salming’s regular type and really feel.  Nice excessive mileage (possible a 750+ Mile shoe) coach notably in the event you don’t need a greater drop coaching shoe.

Honorable mentions: adidas adios 1 Haile (nice re-issue of the adios 1 and tremendous versatile shoe…can’t discover it anymore so hopefully they re-issue the re-issue 🙂 ), adidas adios three (incremental replace, however nonetheless a fantastic shoe) and Nike Pegasus 33 (mild and versatile; nice on trails),

-Path Shoes

From Bottom to Top: Nike Zoom Wildhorse 3, Skechers GOTrail Ultra 3, and New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi.

From Backside to Prime: My modified Nike Zoom Wildhorse three, Skechers GOTrail Extremely three, and New Stability Recent Foam Gobi.

  1. Nike Zoom Wildhorse three – Sure, I do know this shoe was out in 2015 even (onerous to consider) however I actually didn’t start to make use of it until this final yr and truly ended up utilizing it in most of my races this yr sooner or later or one other.  The most important cause it took me so lengthy was that it took modifying the midsole profile to slender the shoe up, which reworked the shoe and shortly made it rather more nimble and it made a world of distinction within the general really feel.  The higher on the Wildhorse three can also be second to none available on the market it my view.  It’s mild, breathes properly and dries out shortly whereas permitting me to run very lengthy in them sock much less with zero points.  Probably the greatest, properly rounded trails footwear ever made.  Model four is on the best way in April and very a lot wanting ahead to that replace in addition to the Kiger four.  Have a look right here from a preview pic of each of them from Kaci Lickteig’s twitter.
    Unmodified Wildhorse 3 on top, modified on bottom. Basically I've shaved the midsole down to a narrower more nimble profile and really like the results.

    Unmodified Wildhorse three on prime, modified on backside. Principally I’ve shaved the midsole right down to a narrower extra nimble profile and actually just like the outcomes.

    Doesn't affect the shoe in any negative way and really tightens up the ride while being an ounce lighter. Win, win.

    Doesn’t have an effect on the shoe in any unfavourable means and actually tightens up the experience whereas being an oz lighter. Win, win.

  2. Skechers GOTrail Extremely three – The Extremely three was an actual shock for me and after logging fairly a couple of miles in it (in a pair totally different variations: commonplace, Local weather All-Climate and a customized model with the GOTrail rock plate in it which is superb).  It has develop into a really good software to succeed in for in my rotation and the simply launched GOTrail Extremely four is even higher with an improved higher in almost each facet in addition to a bit firmer midsole which can also be good.  In the event you haven’t tried the Extremely three or four seize a pair, I don’t assume you’ll be dissatisfied and it provides a very distinctive experience that isn’t actually just like a lot else out there.
  3. New Stability Recent Foam Gobi – I waited until November to attempt the Gobi and that was too dangerous.  After feeling that the Zante was loosing a few of its preliminary luster for me because of some subpar (for my part) foam that breaks down method too early.  The Zante additionally had an higher that isn’t fairly as supportive as I’d wish to see.  Properly the excellent news for me was the Gobi has a terrific higher with far more help along with the added lugs to the outsole which actually enhance the texture of the experience for my part.  The froth nonetheless breaks down too quickly, however actually on the worth they go for (underneath $100) there isn’t a lot to fault in them.

Honorable Mentions: Hoka One One Velocity Intuition (greatest Hoka thus far for me; properly cushioned but nonetheless sufficient pop to run quick and one of the best match by far in any Hoka for my foot…like a Nike Kiger with extra plush really feel), Topo MT-2/Hyrdroventure (nice mild minimal-esque footwear and implausible replace to unique MT…there’s a new model of the MT-2 with an up to date higher materials that simply got here out) , Skechers GOTrail (good new entry for Skechers that runs properly in quite a lot of circumstances with a quicker/lighter really feel than the Extremely three, however comparable match and end), Montrail Caldorado (strong all-around new shoe from Montrail…actually wanting ahead to the Caldorado 2 higher replace which might handle largest points with first model), Montrail Trans Alps (tremendous burly, sturdy and surprisingly runnable beast of a shoe; additionally wanting ahead to higher replace)

-Mountain Shoes

From Bottom to Top: Scarp Atom, Scarpa Neutron, and Salming Elements.

From Backside to Prime: Scarp Atom, Scarpa Neutron, and Salming Parts.

  1. Scarpa Atom – Scarpa actually nailed their 2016 launches and general got here out with the perfect technical mountain footwear of the yr for my part.  Aside from some overly extensive heel profiles which, whereas not a deal breaker, could possibly be narrower for my part, the footwear are remarkably properly made with sticky Vibram Megagrip, low drops and safe uppers.  The Atom, being probably the most minimal of the lineup matches comfortable however snug and creates a mountain slipper like really feel in each the higher and journey.  Such a enjoyable shoe to run technical terrain in.  I do assume it could possibly be improved with a forefoot rock plate to assist with the occasional sharp rock and prolong the size of outings it might deal with, besides it’s nonetheless excellent and one in every of my prime three mountain footwear of all time….I not often purchase 2nd pairs of footwear today and I’ll be shopping for one other pair of Atoms.
  2. Scarpa Neutron – The Neutron is a burlier and extra luggy choice from Scarpa and regardless of needing only a bit narrower midsole profile within the heel, it’s a actually candy mountain choice with tons of safety, an honest journey, safe higher and nice traction.  Examine Scarpa out for those who frequent some technical or mountain terrain and maintain a glance out for the forthcoming Scarpa Spin that goals to strike a stability between the Atom and the Neutron and has tons of potential.
  3. Salming Parts – Salming’s first entry into the mountain operating scene and they received loads of issues proper.  The higher wants only a bit of labor in cleansing it up from stitchingand making it a contact safer and the shoe might use a forefoot rockplate with its comparatively low forefoot stack peak, however the grip is sort of good in mud and unfastened terrain and it is likely one of the greatest non-UK designed (i.e. inov-Eight or Walsh) fell trainers I’ve come throughout.  Hopefully, Salming doesn’t hand over on the shoe and makes a couple of tweaks within the course they seem like going with their forthcoming Path 5 and Snowrace with improved uppers and Vibram outsoles.
Descending near of the top of Mt. Olympus outside of Salt Lake City in August.

Descending close to of the highest of Mt. Olympus outdoors of Salt Lake Metropolis in August.

-Hydration Gear

From Top to Bottom: Ultimate Direction Mono and Stereo (Hi-Fi fronts on both), Salomon Sense Set and Sense Ultra Set and Ultimate Direction AK Mountain Vest 3.0.

From Prime to Backside: Final Path Mono and Stereo (Hello-Fi fronts on each), Salomon Sense Set and Sense Extremely Set and Final Course AK Mountain Vest three.zero.

  1. Final Path Mono and Stereo waistbelts – I might have by no means thought waist belts would make a submit of any types not to mention prime my listing of hydration merchandise however UD blew me away and completely revived the waist belt as a helpful operating device.  I used the Stereo which holds two 500 ml delicate flasks (the Mono holds 1 500 ml flask) on the Bighorn 100 within the warmth and it was unimaginable to have my torso clear to vent warmth and but nonetheless carry sufficient water comfortably.  The Mono is one thing I exploit a number of occasions every week in coaching and actually you possibly can’t even really feel it on. I can carry a telephone and a number of gels (with Hello-Fi entrance pouch, which comes with Stereo…they’re interchangeable) within the entrance and 500 ml of fluid within the again with out even noticing (used this setup on the North Face 50 and it was flawless).
  2. Salomon Sense Set and Extremely Set – What UD did for waist belts Salomon did for hydration vests…I’d virtually not name these vests however hydration shirts or attire they match so near the physique.  Nice versatility and can carry a good bit with none encumbrance.  Once I wanted extra gear than the UD belts might carry I used one of many Sense vests (i.e. nighttime at Bighorn or different races or coaching outings the place jackets and lights have been mandatory).  Salomon is revamping the road this yr with new bottles with wider caps/opening (sure!) that ought to return into the vest simpler and upping the capability from 1 and three to 2 and 5 for these vests along with including a brand new Eight L mannequin (see new line right here).
  3. Final Path AK Mountain Vest three.zero – The AK vest moved from probably the most minimal of UD’s vests to a extra strong 10L capability and consists of additional pockets and options like ice axe loops for extra formidable outings.  I used the vest on the Fats Canine 120 mile in Canada which had a fairly large obligatory gear record and it was nice for that heavier load which might have been an excessive amount of for the Sense Extremely.  Nice for adventures and extra concerned races and presents a pleasant mix of capability and streamlined design.

-Different issues I Appreciated this final Yr

Altra Casual shoes, Buff and Dynafit running hats and GU Hydration and Nutrition products.

Altra Informal footwear, Buff and Dynafit operating hats and GU Hydration and Vitamin merchandise.

  1. Altra Informal Shoes – Altra launched the Tokala and Desert boot and they actually hit a pleasant stability of light-weight design and consolation, whereas nonetheless wanting like a traditional shoe and feeling like a operating shoe.  They’ve been nice particularly going to work after runs the place they’ve loads of room for ft to unfold, loosen up and get well.
  2. Mild operating caps from Buff and Dynafit – the Buff Cap Professional and Dynafit React Cap have been superior this final yr.  They’re tremendous mild, very packable and each permit the invoice to be flipped up if you end up climbing steeper trails or in any other case need extra visibility.  Nice design, notably in additional mountain environments.
  3. GU Power  – I used to not be that choosy about power and hydration merchandise prior to now and felt that sugar was sugar, however after making some effort to dial in my vitamin for 100 milers (after some points with hydration at Western States in 2015), I wanted to cope with sodium ranges higher in addition to have all kinds of gels and chews to maintain issues fascinating for energy.  The GU Hydration (previously GU Brew) product had develop into a go to for electrolyte alternative for lengthy outings and it additionally incorporates 70 cals per serving so there’s some added sugar there too.  The large distinction for me is that the GU Hydration doesn’t have an excellent candy style or aftertaste that many others do for me and that is big when going by way of a lot of quantity of liquid.  GU Roctane drinks are additionally nice for exercises in coaching the place I need to simplify my energy and hydration into one drink.  GU gels, which at the moment are provided in bulk with a GU designed tender flask (sure!) have all kinds of flavors with many being very palatable for me (some favorited are Salted Chocolate Roctane, Cucumber Mint, Root Beer, Salted Watermelon and Salted Caramel however many different good flavors). I nonetheless will use Clif Shot Bloks, Clif gels and Honey Stinger Gels to combine up the kind of sugars right here and there, however I’ll use GU probably the most and their drink is by far the most effective for my part (Clif’s Hydration drink combine can also be respectable).
Another shot near the bottom of the Mt. Olympus trail.

One other shot close to the underside of the Mt. Olympus path.

Hope you all discovered one thing of curiosity with this submit and grasp in there with the location as we attempt to work out easy methods to stability every part out with our busy household lives and careers.  Doesn’t imply we aren’t getting out operating and making an attempt new issues nonetheless!  I’d like to learn any feedback you might have on any of the footwear or gear I discussed and all the time looking out for brand spanking new issues that work properly for people.  I like good design of all types and all the time curious for brand spanking new improvements and concepts that work properly.  Completely satisfied operating in 2017!

Recent marathon training conditions....not exactly ideal for a SoCal marathon!

Good luck in 2017 everybody! Pic of a few of my current single digit F marathon coaching circumstances….not precisely excellent for a SoCal marathon, however that’s a part of the problem!

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