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Tried, Tested and Abused, the On Cloudgo

Team Accelerate’s resident marathoner Andy Shelton has had the chance to test out the newest in the On Running lineup, the Cloudgo. Andy admits to being a big On fan and has had “possibly every running shoe they have released since the brand started.” Keep reading to hear his thoughts on their latest creation and if its a thumbs up from him.


The On brand has continued to grow and develop its range of running, hiking, and lifestyle shoes over time. I am constantly surprised at the innovation that they have been putting into their new shoes. Each year On Running manages to design a running shoe that exceeds expectations and consequently shuffles my ranking of On best shoes.

So far this year, On has already overdelivered with 2 new running shoes that have wildly stood out. These stand-out On running shoes include the Cloudmonster (for running long and comfortable), and now the CloudGo (for easy training and longer runs)

So here is what is going on with On’s latest addition….

It’s most certainly an understated running shoe from On. When I opened the box I didn’t really expect much from it just by judging the exterior of the shoe.

Well after using them, I was wrong!!! OK, I was partly right in my judgment because the Cloudgo really doesn’t have one stand-out feature or unique selling points that target it to a specific type of runner. Surprisingly, this is exactly what makes the Cloudgo one of those shoes that, put simply, does everything well without trying to be too much.

The Cloudgo is a neutral, medium-width shoe, and the toe box feels airy – so if your midfoot, and toes are average width then the Cloudgo should feel great in the toe box. It’s a similar feel to the Cloudsurfer.

It has a medium arch that sits ever so slightly more towards the front of the shoe than I’m used to with On running shoes but they feel extremely comfortable right out the box like On shoes generally do. If you’ve worn On’s before and enjoy the feel, then the Cloudgo won’t disappoint, it will likely impress because On has made some great improvements to the cushioning around the heel, and tongue area.

The Cloudgo feels similar to the earlier updated Cloudstratus, in terms of padded cushioning and comfort in the upper, and also the cushioning underfoot to some degree.

That’s a good thing by the way because in both these shoes I enjoy running long distances on concrete and asphalt. The outsole used for the On Cloudgo is quite unassuming but the multi-directional micro-tread patterns mean they can hold their own in wet conditions very well, trust me as they offer plenty of grip, when the conditions aren’t good. The Cloudgo works well on mixed terrain too, including gravel, hard-packed dirt, and very light trails.

I wouldn’t recommend wearing them on technical trails as the tread just doesn’t have the lugs to support uneven terrain., but they have even changed the depth of the lugs underneath, so they aren’t stone grabbers anymore.

This isn’t the bounciest, most fun ride of all the On Running shoes, however, that title still belongs to the On Cloudmonster. Check out the previous review I did here if you really want to turn up the fun while running.

The Cloudtec pods in the Cloudgo are large and as supportive as the Cloudstratus , although the Cloudgo is a lighter shoe with a bit less cushioning in the midsole, and a lot like the Cloudsurfer in terms of how they feel underfoot.

This understated performance makes it tricky for me to put a finger on what actually makes this shoe so good. The only thing I can really say is that they just work well, without trying to be anything ground-breaking. On have gone back to basics and have ultimately created a relatively simple yet effective running shoe that JUST WORKS WELL!

On a personal note, I love the design. As I said earlier though, there’s nothing all that flashy about them, they are comfortable and perform extremely well.

On Cloudgo upper is made with sustainable recycled materials. I really like the little details on these running shoes, from the streak of white lines that run all around them, to the almost camo pattern in the mixed weave/stitching pattern that you can see in the orange parts of the upper. The mesh material used for the On Cloudgo upper is quite thick, comforting, and surprisingly breathable. The shoe is made with 30% recycled materials while the upper is made with 90% recycled polyester. The material used for the interior is very soft on the top of your feet which is so important if you’re planning longer runs in these.

There are areas in the upper that have been protected with strips of ‘no-sew foil’ which will firmly hold fabrics together without the possibility of materials fraying. Everyone will appreciate every move the On brand makes to help improve sustainability in the manufacturing process.

My final conclusions are these, how do I describe the feeling of the Cloudgo: unassuming, reliable, and comfortable!

This is one of those running shoes that you can rely on, is unassuming, yet performs to very high standards.

It’s a workhorse you can rely on which allows you to get in plenty of training miles in total comfort.

PROS

  • Very comfortable out the box.
  • One of those shoes that JUST WORKS. I like how they haven’t been over-engineered.
  • Unassuming yet a high performance shoe – I find myself running faster than usual.
  • Medium cushioning gives them comfort and responsiveness – this makes them great for half marathon and even marathon running.
  • Very reasonably priced for such a workhorse of a shoe that just does it all well!

CONS

  • The design looks a bit unassuming – some will love that; others may prefer something else.
  • I’d like to see more daring colourways. But this is a personal thing.

Get here pair today you can find the Men’s here and the Women’s here

 

Scott Pursuit, Tried, Tested and Abused

My name is Will and I have been running with the Accelerate team for around 4 years now. I enjoy all types of running but am currently studying in Manchester, so do a lot of my training on tarmac and in parks and will be reviewing the Scott Pursuit. Keep on reading to find out my thoughts!

Straight out of the box

Straight out of the box the shoes felt plush and cushioned. The soft tongue and laces made it easy to get a good lace lockdown in the shoe, stopping my feet from slipping around. The 30mm stack height and rocker shape of the shoe did feel unique, especially after running in more minimal shoes like the Saucony Kinvara before, but I quickly got used to this and liked it. I run in a UK size 10 and have found the Pursuits fit true to size. I also like the different colourways (grey-black-lime green, blue-orange and dark green in men’s sizes, and navy-yellow, green-red and purple in women’s sizes) which is always a bonus!

First run thoughts

For my first run in the shoes, I did an easy 6-mile loop from my house. The soft midsole of the shoe was really comfortable running on a mixture of tarmac and dirt trail. Despite the cushioned feel of the shoe, they felt snappy and responsive. The rocker shape of the shoe helped me to promote an efficient midfoot strike and by the end of the run, I had no aches or pains which I sometimes suffer from with inefficient foot placement. The shoes felt snug and secure throughout the run. They were stable and grippy on slightly wet tarmac and soft trail but wouldn’t be appropriate for a muddier trail. The shoe is designed primarily for road running but can handle dry, non-technical trails.

Despite running less than 50 miles in the shoes so far, I have done lots of easy runs, an 11-mile long run, a fast Parkrun and a 12 x 400m session in them. The shoe is not designed as a racer but it has nevertheless felt comfortable and fast for all the types of running I have thrown at it. The shoes were also quick to break in, any initial stiffness alleviated after two runs in the shoe.

Conclusion

The Scott Pursuit is the best all-round running shoe I have used. From fast sessions to long slow runs, this shoe fits the bill. Using the shoe, I have been able to run further and faster with less fatigue the following day.

The men’s can be found here and the women’s can be found here. Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out now.

The New Kids on the Block – True Motion Running Shoes

Blog has been updated on 20/10/2022

True Motion Range

The True Motion Solo is an incredibly versatile everyday trainer come faster-paced session even longer slower runs. The blend of cushioning, weight, and providing such a stable platform for your foot to work from is a runner’s dream. Ideal for on the roads, track, or even very light gravel tracks.

  • Lightweight road running shoe
  • 8mm drop, 22mm/14mm
  • 220g in men’s size 8UK
  • 195g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Solo Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The True Motion Nevos is the do-it-all shoe in the range. It has a great blend of soft cushioning on landing ideal for longer easier runs to an incredibly pingy feeling toe-off that makes faster runs and sessions go by like a dream.

  • Road Running
  • 10mm drop 24mm/14mm
  • 260g in men’s size 8UK
  • 240g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Nevos Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The True Motion Aion Next Gen is built with the goal of comfort, mile after mile and wow does it do that! With heaps of U-Tech cushioning and a spacious fit, it’s the kind of shoe you could wear all day and not even notice.

  • Everyday road running shoe
  • 10mm drop, 27mm/17mm, however, 0mm drop when your foot sinks into the center of our U-TECH™ allowing for a dynamic foot-neutral offset
  • 270g in men’s size 8UK
  • 230g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Aion Next Gen Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The True Motion Elements is built on the same silhouette as the Nevos just with a grippy outsole. It’s a great all-rounder if you run on a mix of surfaces through your weekly runs. From leaving your house for a few miles on the road to getting to light canal towpaths and onto more technical terrain the Elements can handle it.

  • Trail running
  • 10mm drop 24mm/14mm
  • 290g in men’s size 8UK
  • 250g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Elements Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Special Purchase!

Accelerate Price £120 RRP £150

The True Motion Aion is a shoe you can spend all day in with the aim to be comfortable. The True Motion Aion features their U-Tech cushioning system that centres your heel to the middle of the shoe and gives you a pingy toe off.

  • Road Running
  • 10mm static drop, 0mm dynamic 25mm/15mm
  • 290g in men’s 8UK
  • 250g in women’s 6UK

True Motion Aion Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>


OK, here’s the thing.
Right now, within the running industry, there is much talk that running shoe design is becoming more and more dictated by the ‘next thing’ and not science.  I recently asked the question:

‘What is becoming of the industry I so love?’

For me, having worked in the running industry since I was 16, having helped with shoe design and tested how many different shoes for magazines and the brands themselves, there is a feeling of disbelief in what I am seeing.  Asking what research and science base is there to this ‘new shoe’ I am being shown is to often met with a shrug of the shoulders.  ‘It’s what consumers want’.
Oh too often I hear that these days from brands, especially those trying to get onto the shelves at Accelerate.  Come on, on what basis?  Back it up then… Yeah.

A Breath of fresh air

So what a breath of fresh air to be approached by a company that wanted to talk running mechanics first the shoe second.  To talk good technique and providing the foot with a great platform to influence that.  I was all ears.

Nothing too soft and unstable under the foot.  The platform has to be something the foot can move onto and from.  Yes, it has to be cushioned, yet not to firm either.  Most of all the heel has to be stable, not wallowing.  Back in the early years (80’s into the 90’s) brands were trying to achieve this. External heel counters, introduction of thermal-plastic heel cups, additional support straps and so on.  Midsoles were mostly firmer than most of today’s shoes providing that all important base for the foot to sit on and then work from.
Then as midsoles became softer, the problems began and over pronation became a thing.  Oh my, they so got that one wrong and here we are today with all the anti-pronation ideas gradually been withdrawn from shoes.

Runners should be the centre of the design process, not the shoe

So here we are, True Motion, a new shoe brand developed by three very clever runners, about runners for runners.

“Countless runner types and even more shoe categories, material battles about the fluffiest cushioning, the best energy return, and carbon plates. Neutral, cushioning, guidance, support, motion control – so many “treatment options“ that all miss the actual cause of the problem. In the end every runner wants the same: a perfect running experience – as comfortable, natural, and efficient as possible.
That is exactly what we strive to achieve. Your running experience is our motivation. Which is why we turned our backs on the mainstream industry to found True Motion. We unite comfort and support to create something entirely new. Perfunctory category compromises like neutral or support have become obsolete. Once you get to feel this, you will see running shoes with different eyes”.

In truth the True Motion Running Shoe range look just like any other shoe.  They use excellent materials, looking for those that will hopefully provide plentiful kilometers of service, be comfortable and do what a running shoe should do, namely cushion us from excess forces during the running cycle. However, they are all about that all important platform for the foot.

What is the best combination of performance improvement and injury risk reduction in running?

“Finally – after more than 25 years of running shoe research and development – we found the answer: it is you! Inspired by evolution, our running shoes are based on the shape and function of human structures. The result: the revolutionary U-TECH™ technology. THE ANSWER IS U.

Simply a ‘U’ Shaped heel platform helps the centre the heel.  This allows the runners joint and limb alignment through the ankle, into the knee and into the hip to be as natural as possible.

“Two years of research resulted in a large-scale study that credibly confirms the superiority of our innovative sole design. True Motion running shoes were compared to the leading running shoes on the market (supported and neutral). 166 legs of 83 runners were studied. 200 variables per stance phase and over 1.3 million pieces of data were collected.”

So for us, here at Accelerate, over a year ago we began our own testing.  By running in the True Motion shoes.  Initially, it took us a moment, well a couple of runs.  Then something quite unusual happened.  Off the five pairs we had out on test a unanimous ‘You’re not getting these back!’  Now that is unusual.

Feedback was extremely positive, even to the extent that those with the Solo, the True Motion ‘fast shoe’ was appearing for track and speed sessions.  The warm up shoes were coming off, the Solo was going on.  In every case.  It’s still happening.

That for me is the biggest endorsement any shoe and brand can receive.  Time after time, folk wanting to run in the shoes.

We just think if you are on the lookout for a new shoe then the True Motion Range is really worth a try.  Pop them onto your radar and see what you think.

Tried, Tested and Reviewed, True Motion Aion Next Gen

Team Accelerate athlete and marathon runner Andy Shelton has been clocking up the miles in the new True Motion Aion Next-Gen. Keep reading to find Andy’s thoughts on the new Aion Next Gen below.

Who are true motion, and what are they about.

True motion is a German based company whose ethos is putting the runner first. No fancy gimmicks, they are using science to help people enjoy running and stay injury free.

Are the shoes different, yes, they are and for this reason they are wanting to make shoes that are as comfortable, natural, and efficient as possible.

So recently I have been asked to take the Aion Next Gen shoe and put it through it paces. As people know I’m an Ontm fan and have a large rotation of stability and carbon plated shoes.

Is this shoe going to be different, I’m not a stranger to True motion as I have a pair of the Solos in my shoe rotation, and I have been very impressed with overall robustness of that shoe. I have ignored all the sales talk about the shoe, and this is what I think.

 Straight out of the box

They look neat and tidy, looks a well-made shoe, with nothing flashy about it, a pure shoe for running.

Love the colourway as it is nice and understated.

I took the shoes on a few runs furthest was about 16km and how did the shoe feel, all I can say is that they were a joy to my achy feet. Comfort is the buzz word and comfortable they are, this is due to the more cushioned U-Tech midsole which offers up a really soft landing.

The 3D MotionBridge structure also extends around the heel of the shoe for enhanced security and support. The outsole incorporates rotated TrueFlex flex grooves in the front of the shoe which enhance comfort when you push off from your toes. The sustainable Regrind Rubber outsole offers excellent traction and durability, so it gives confidence in the wet (it was raining heavily during the test)

The fit of the shoe was excellent, it felt stable and really secure on my foot, and it nice to know that the material used in these shoes is from sustainable resources.

Who do these shoes suit, in my opinion anyone, if you going to buy the shoes, I would go up ½ a size as this will help your feet and toes, with the little upsizing you will benefit from the extra cushioning. U-Tech Aion (Next Gen) is True Motion’s most luxurious, premium feeling shoe and is an excellent addition to your running shoe rotation, it is excellent for any runner looking to treat their feet kindly on easier or steady-paced runs.

The Aion Next gen specs are as follows:

  • Weight: 270 grams (slightly lighter than previous models)
  • Drop: 10mm
  • U-Tech structure centres forces applied during the gait cycle
  • 3D MotionBridge structure helps transfer energy and offers a smooth transition

Overall conclusion

You aren’t going to go super-fast in these shoes, as they aren’t the lightest of shoe as they aren’t designed for this they are for long easy steady runs, these are definitely a road shoe.

For comfort and running enjoyment these are definitely for you, and you will not be disappointed as you will get lots of happy miles running in the Aion next generation.

Are you sold on them and want a pair right now?

The men’s can be found here and the women’s can be found here. Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out now.

More information about the True Motion and their range can be found Here. Or watch the video below.

 

Tried, Tested and Abused: True Motion Aion

When looking for a new pair of running shoes there are a few simple guides to follow. Firstly. do they fit, second are they comfy, and finally do you enjoy going for a run in them. Stick to that and you are in a good place. The new Aion from True Motion certainly ticks these boxes for us.

Designed for use as an everyday road running shoe, that can clock up the miles day after day. Keep reading to find out how we got on.

Let’s start with a little background, True Motion is a German based running shoe brand with the goal of runner first. Focusing on natural movement and human mechanics, the resulting shoes have a running experience, unlike anything I have tried before.

True Motion Aion Specs:

  • 10mm drop, 25mm in the heel 15mm in the forefoot
  • 290g in men’s size 8UK and 250g in women’s size 6UK
  • Full length U-TECH midsole
  • 3D-MotionBridge

Unboxing

Any shoe that you are greeted with a postcard from the designer, you know you are on to a winner.

Straight out of the box, they have a futuristic look to them, not your traditional trainer. First to catch my eye is the red Motionbridge wrapping around the heel of the shoe, there to help stabilize your foot and lock you in the shoe. Underneath sits the bright, shiny, and slightly sparkly U-Tech midsole. Flip the shoe over and it reveals a horseshoe shape with empty space under the heel, this is the key to their revolutionary design. As you land your foot sinks into the space, putting you in a more natural position and allowing you to align your body from ankle, knee to hip, before firing you forward. All wrapped in a light, breathable mesh upper with reflective detailing to help keep you visible.

Slipping my foot into them the first thing I feel is the horseshoe shape under my foot. It feels firm to start with yet once you get moving and the U-TECH begins to work you get the full effect and suddenly they feel plush and much softer. Hopping onto the treadmill the first few steps feel very strange, this is quickly replaced by a feeling I can only describe as gliding. I can no longer feel any weird bits under my foot when it lands just a smooth consistent base. The Spring forward is more notable now, the result a very snappy transition every time you land, great if you ever start to feel tired it can whip you back into shape.

After 60km of use

Jack was lucky enough to get a pair a few months before anyone and has been busy getting out and running in them.

“Months on and I still have the same interest and excitement surrounding them”

Having had the Aions for a few months now I still have the same interest and excitement surrounding them. I’ve mostly been using them for my easy going runs when I have been after that little bit of extra comfort. Which they have do provide very well; highly comparable to Brooks Glycerin in that respect.

I have tried using them for a few faster sessions in which I found them to be a little out of their comfort zone. Going around a fast, downhill corner I found them unstable, perhaps this was down to the hilly nature of Sheffield. However, the horseshoe shape makes it feel as though I am rolling out of the shoe. This would be my one quibble with them. The solo may solve this issue for me with the complete forefoot!

I’ve run between 60-70km in them roughly thus far, I don’t run with a watch so I haven’t accurately recorded the mileage.  They are wearing very well in all with the biggest change being they have softened through the shoe most noticeable under my forefoot. This isn’t surprising given I do land on the forefoot consistently.

To get your own pair of True Motion Aions follow the link Here for men’s and Here for women’s. More information about the True Motion Range can be found Here. Or watch the video below.

 

Tried, Tested & Abused: True Motion Nevos

One of three shoes available from True Motion, the Nevos sits alongside the previously reviewed Solo and Aion.  Each shoe offers something slightly different in the range.

The Solo (reviewed here >>) is the speedier of the three shoes with the Aoin (reviewed here >>) a terrific everyday training shoes.  Whilst the Nevos sits firmly between the two. It is designed to combine excellent cushioning (Aion) and responsiveness (Solo), arguably the best features of the other shoes.

For those of you investigating True Motion for the first time may be interested to learn why the Team here at Accelerate is so excited to be using and stocking True Motion.  Read our introduction here >>

The New Kids on the Block: True Motion

 

The key to the True Motion Nevos is two fold:

  1. Taking them out of the box you can clearly see the ‘U-Tech’ heel cushioning unit.  Well, it does more than that as it all about ‘support and security’ for the heel. This is designed to centre the heel for natural limb alignment.
  2. The cushioning material of the shoe utilises a unique foam that is responsive, in fact it is claimed that an energy return of 75% is possible.

So all of this should result in a stable, cushioned and responsive feeling shoe.
Tue Motion say about the Nevos…

You enjoy a soft touchdown like on a forest floor, you feel the natural stability and security in your entire running geometry and experience a push-off so dynamic, you can barely await your next steps. The U-TECH Nevos is a functional revolution. We are certain: if you experience this unprecedented running sensation of freedom and security, you will no longer want anything else!

So how does all of this add up in reality?  Well there is only one way to find out and that’s to try a pair on and go run.

Picking the shoe up out of the box and you can get the impression it’s well made. A plush heel cup, lightweight breathable materials that are soft and easy to handle. Onto the foot and there is an immediate feeling of comfort and standing in them does, as has already been reported in the other two styles, they do feel a little odd.  Not uncomfortable, just different.  Fit is pretty good and they size up as I would expect.

Time to Run

First run was around the streets of Sheffield, taking in the River Don and the Olympic Legacy Park.  A mix of typical urban running surfaces. It took a moment to feel and understand the shoe, again something all the Accelerate reviewers have noted. A couple of kilomters in and all this was forgotten as I realised  I was just running. Movement felt natural. I was upright, no leaning forward nor any hint of an overstride. Running felt natural and easy.
Over time the cushioining and impact protection felt awesome, not too much and not to little.  A real blend of coping with a few miles and also not leaving you wanting more from the shoe.  This continued in every run undertaken in the Nevos.  The stated responsiveness was also very obvious. Pick the pace up and it felt like the shoe really was giving.

The balance between cushioning and responsivenes is a joy

I am now into a little over 50km of running in the Nevos. Yep, they are the best road shoe I have run in this year.  The Nevos is a real winner for me.  Which, is actually saying something.  I like the Saucony Kinvara, yet the Nevos are just more responsive.  For me they knock spots of the ‘ON’ Running Flow. It’s like True Motion took the best from both these shoes and blended them together to give us the Nevos.
An everyday, training shoe, well yes. A longer distance racer, well, actually why not… even a fast 5k is not out of the question.

For me these are a real contender for the Best New Shoe of the Year.  Well worth trying!

True Motion Nevos – Men’s

  • Road Running
  • 10mm drop 24mm/14mm
  • 280g in men’s size 8UK

Find out more Here >>

True Motion Nevos – Women’s

  • Road Running
  • 10mm drop 24mm/14mm
  • 240g in women’s size 6UK

Find out more Here >>

More information about True Motion and their range can be found Here. Or watch the video below.

 

 

Tried, Tested and Abused: True Motion Solo

Team Accelerate Runner and Technical Sales Expert, Summer takes the all-new True Motion Solo Running Shoe for a spin.  As part of the Tried, Tested and Abused series we give this shoe more than a run, as they have covered a couple of hundred miles as part of this review.  Used for steady runs, tempo sessions, and also for track sessions we discover what Summer thinks about the shoe longer term.

When I first tried the Solo, I honestly didn’t think I would like them because they didn’t seem to have the same amount of cushioning that I would usually prefer. However, once I had actually tried the shoes on, I had changed my opinion completely. The more pressure and force I had applied to the shoe, whilst running, the more the shoe felt accustomed to me. There was the perfect amount of cushioning I needed. Therefore, the shoe felt like it was personalized for my preference which is one of the greatest things I took from my first experience running in the shoe.

Despite the Solo being great for fast-paced running, I didn’t enjoy doing a longer and slower-paced run in them as much. I found that the shoe took a while for me to break into until I truly found them enjoyable. Due to them being slightly smaller and lightweight compared to the other True Motion Shoes, I think the better alternative for an endurance run would be the Nevos or the Aion.

The True Motion Solo has become my favorite shoe for running in in such a short space of time. As a track athlete, I have found a huge difference within my training experience just because of the effort, detail, and technology used to create an overall amazing shoe. True Motion shoes use a different type of technology called U-Tech. U-tech is cushioning in the shape of a U on the heel of the shoe which offers support as well as comfort. Whilst training in the solo, I have never felt more stable within a shoe. This is because the U-Tech centres the heel and ankle when force is being exerted whilst running. Therefore, no harmful twisting or tilting occurs in the joints and aligning ankle knee, and hip. Overall, I think the Solo is a fantastic shoe that is great for all runners wanting a lighter and faster feeling shoe.

Are you interested in hearing more about True Motion? Find out more in our Buzz “The New Kids on the Block”

Even more exciting are you in need of a new pair of trainers? You can fine the Women’s True Motion Solo’s Here >> and the Men’s Solo Here >>  Not sure the are they are the right shoe for you, pop down to the store and we can have a look.

More information about True Motion and their range can be found Here. Or watch the video below.

 

 

Dot Kesterton England Masters Athletics Home International Bristol 10k road race

Team Accelerate runner and Steel City Strider Dot Kesterton has recently raced in the Bristol 10K road race organised by the England Masters Athletic Keep reading to hear how she got on.

Stuck out on Higgar, can’t get back in time.

Forgot to fill in the entry form.

I didn’t tell the family I’d be away.

It’s the hour before the alarm goes off and all the anxiety half dreams are swirling crazily around. A dozen reasons why I won’t make the start line. With emerging consciousness comes a breath of relief. I’m in the right place at the right time with the right kit, well prepared and have done my homework as thoroughly as I can. Despite the nerves I’m looking forward to it.

Bristol, a bit hilly like home and made rich on the back of slavery sits in late summer sunshine with a breeze off the sea as I walk to the start. I do wish the ‘England’ on my vest sat as comfortably as the ‘Wales’ on the other home international athletes, proud of their heritage. There are times when I’m simply ashamed to belong to a small island nation with small, minded leaders.

The race was organised by England Masters Athletics. The qualifier was Leeds Abbey Dash last October so here I am 11 months later in my new V70 age group to pound city centre streets in search of a new title. The route, snake like in the route map, winds around the Avon, through a small park, over unfriendly cobbles and finishes in Millennium Square, a large pedestrian area overlooking Spike Island and the river. Around 240 England Masters 35+ years old were at the head of a large group of runners looking forward to the Great Bristol 10k.

Tim Rafferty, fellow Sheffielder warming up for the half marathon after the 10k calls a greeting. it’s so good to see a familiar face among a sea of strangers.

My race goes well in that I find my pace in the early stages and settle to around 4.40mins per k. That should bring me in among the leaders without blowing up. Breathing is manageable and my legs are strong. Through the 5k point at 23.22 minutes so if I can hold onto it, I’ll be in around 47 minutes. It would be good to magic up a sprint finish but that eludes me, so I stumble in breathing hard in 47.30 chip time. At that stage I don’t know if I’m leading the age group or not, so it comes as a great relief to learn that I’ve led the group from the outset. Friend and rival, Anne Dockery, a formidable duathlete is next in around 50 minutes with the remaining V70’s a little after.

We relax and chat over the post-race presentations as people from far and near celebrate their achievements. The Masters winner was Matthew Rees, M35 in 31.33. First woman was Helen Gaunt, W40 in 35.41. Full results can be found at Here>>

Dot Kesterton, W70

VJ XTRM 2, Tried, Tested and Reviewed

The new VJ XTRM 2 sees some slight tweaks to an already great shoe which doesn’t mess with the winning formula. They still use the same butyl rubber lugs for incredible grip on anything. Harvey has been able to get out in a pair and shares his opinions on them.

VJ has been leading the charge in the way of fell shoes for some time now. On any start line across the country, you are guaranteed to see someone wearing them. It’s a combination of their ability to grip to anything, and I mean anything, thanks to 6mm butyl rubber lugs. Along with their very hard-wearing and durable uppers. So to hear they were changing one of their shoes is a pretty big deal.

Specs

  • 4mm drop 14mm/10mm
  • 250g in size 8UK
  • 6mm butyl rubber lugs
  • FitLock technology
  • Schoeller Keprotec upper fabric

What’s new

While the XTRM 2 may look radically different to version 1, under the surface it isn’t too different. The biggest changes are additional cushioning and a slightly wider fit through the forefoot combined with new upper material.

Let’s start with the upgraded cushioning. VJ have implemented a new CMEVA midsole, which is more cushioned while still feeling responsive and stable. They have the added bonus of a rock plate for a little extra protection.

 

The other major change is to the upper and the way it fits. Now using a Schoeller Keprotec fabric, it has the same durability as before but moulds to your feet much quicker. The tongue is still a super lightweight material. However, it is now material gusseted to keep it secure on your foot and stop it from slipping on your foot.

Finally, through the midfoot, they feel a little wider and VJ claims they have rounded the toe box to give your toe more room to spread.

On foot feel

Slipping your foot into them they have an unmissable VJ feel. If you have had any VJ shoes before and like them, I’m pretty confident in saying you will like these as well.

The shoes are secure without being restrictive and VJ’s signature fitlock system works a treat. Wrapping around your foot and keeping you feeling connected. While they may have added extra cushioning they still have a low profile feel and are very stable. Even on technical ground, they fill you with confidence to push knowing you are safe in them.

As soon as you step off-road and onto any kind of mud or rock you are reminded why VJ are worn by so many. They grip to anything and fill you with confidence knowing you can put your foot down and it will stay.

Pro’s:

  1. As with any good fell shoe first and foremost has to be the grip. The XTRM 2’s excel in this department.
  2. The Schoeller fabric is a great addition to the upper and helps to mould to your feet quickly for a very comfy fit.
  3. The new tongue is a small but important positive. I was never aware of it slipping or even on my foot. This is certainly a big plus.

Con’s:

  1. Outsole longevity, If you use them for where they are designed, mud and bog they will last plenty. However, if you wear them on roads or harder trails the outsoles won’t last forever and you do risk wearing them down faster. The downside of a soft grippy compound.

If you have had a pair of VJ’s before and are looking for a new pair then look no further. Alternatively, if you are in need of a fell shoe for the summer season but are after something with a little more under your foot this could be just the trick. They are a unisex shoe and if you are after mens we would recommend going up half a size on your normal running shoe size.

They are available here >>

Mizuno Running: The Quietly Understated Brand

Mizuno Running, the quietly understated brand, goes about its business, well, quietly.  Few may realise how big Mizuno is, even how many sports they are involved in and the respect they garner from those that know.

A Brief History…

Formed in Osaka, Japan in 1906 by the brothers Rihachi and Rizo.  Life began as a retail store “Mizuno Brothers Ltd” before manufacturing began.  Of all things, Baseball clothing that was easy to move in.

The history of Mizuno is exactly the history of the pursuit to make something great.

It was not until 1928 that the development of Track & Field spikes began. This was not before the operation including developing equipment for baseball, ski-ing and also the golf market.

In 1983 Mizuno Launched their new Run Bird shoe and was the first product to incorporate the logo we know today.

That is a mark of the shoes which expresses “an orbit of a planet.” It is named “RunBird” for its shape. Now it is the corporate logo of Mizuno and carries a vital role as the symbol of the company’s brand.

Yet it was not until 1997 that the first Wave Rider (pictured) was launched, with its distinctive ‘Wave Plate’ Technology.

Mizuno Wave Rider 1

Today, Mizuno, continue to strive for excellence in all that the do and spend a higher % of their earnings on research compared to many of the so-called big-players.  Their science is usually based around how materials and products affect the human. Most importantly they really do their research on the benefits for the user. They are about more than just some ‘some super’ item that does this and that, they look at the impact.

Does this help the athlete wearing and using the item?  The range of sports they are involved with is mind blowing.
They are today a multi national company with regional head quarters dotted around the globe, including here in the UK.

Mizuno Running: Wave Rider

Today the best known shoe in the Mizuno range remains the Wave Rider. It is very much a go to running shoe for many.  Also, it has been a flag ship shoe for Mizuno for many years. The Wave Rider continually encapsulates a blend of everything good about Mizuno Running Shoes.  Great cushioning combined with a responsive feel.  Lightweight upper materials blend breath-ability and support.  Plus technologies that enhance the running experience.

 

The Wave Plate remains. The Wave Plate is a unique material that increases stability, propulsion and also cushioning. Many have found this also helps maintain the cushioning properties of the shoe for longer. Which can be no bad thing. The rest of the cushioning comprises ‘Mizuno Enerzy’. This material provides plush impact protection coupled with excellent rebound properties. This also helps to extend the life of this key component.

Find Out More:
Mizuno Wave Rider Women’s >>  Men’s >>

Mizuno Running: Wave Revolt

Unusually, Mizuno Technology often trickles down into their more competitive price offerings. At £90 the Wave Revolt is an excellent fitness running shoe. It boasts such technologies as the Mizuno Enerzy cushioning and durable X10 outsole.  We still believe that this to be an 800km shoe and one of the best value shoes we have seen in a while.

Find Out More:
Mizuno Wave Revolt Women’s >>  Men’s >>

 

Mizuno Running: Wave Sky

At the other end of the spectrum the Wave Sky is another offering that feels light and floaty to run in.

Featuring MIZUNO ENERZY Core and MIZUNO ENERZY Foam, it provides an even softer landing and amazing energy return. Combined with Mizuno Wave technology to ensure stability.

Find Out More:
Mizuno Wave Sky Women’s >>  Men’s >>

 

Mizuno Running: Wave Diachi

The latest newcomer to the stable this is a brand new Trail shoe – OK, more of a complete overhaul of the Mizuno Wave Diachi.  This door to trail (hybrid shoe review Here >>) has proved to be extremely popular, selling through very quickly – thankfully more stock due imminently!
It’s easy to see why. Great Grip. Flexible and comfortably soft upper that just molds itself to your foot. Add in the cushioning of the road shoe range and we have a go anywhere shoe.  Quite possibly one of the best updates we have seen in 2022.

Find Out More:
Mizuno Wave Diachi Women’s >>  Men’s >>

Mizuno Going Forward

We are extremely excited by the updates coming through towards the end of this year and going into 2023.  Mizuno are often seen to be behind the curve.  Not really. They do their research to ensure great products and this takes time.  We feel this is a value that should be respected.

Having seen the 2023 range we will be expanding the range stocked, especially the new Rebellion Range.  Therefore you can expect some well researched, tested and developed running shoes for fast running.  Yes, a serious carbon plated offering that we think could be one of those hidden gems.

We really like the fact that Mizuno continue with a great ethic towards product development, sustainability and social responsibility.  They may appear to take their time, yet they really do like to get things as good as they believe they can.

If you have never tried Mizuno Running Shoes before then we suggest that they are well worth adding to your list of shoes to try.  They come, from us at least, highly recommended…

 

Saucony Endorphin Pro 3, Tried, Tested and Reviewed

Team Accelerate athlete and shoe hoarder Harvey has been lucky enough to get his hands on the new Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. He’s been busy testing them, keep reading to hear his thoughts.

I have to preface this review by admitting how much of a fan I am of the Endorphin Pro 1 and 2. For the last few years, they have been my go to road racing shoe from 5k to half marathon. I have run almost all my best races in them, and from the first run to now I get excited and enjoy running in them, a lot.

So when I found out that Saucony we’re updating them, I was a little worried. Well, there was no need.

What’s new

Version 3 of the Endorphin Pro sees some pretty major changes. First off to the upper. Stripped back to the bare minimum, Saucony have used a perforated mesh to maximise the breathability and stop the shoe from picking up any extra weight if you are running in the rain. Something which happened in the older models. Even the tongue features circular cutouts to reduce the weight.

The next big change is the midsole. Now with an extra 4mm of PWRRUN PB cushioning to look after your legs. They do, however, still use the same S-shaped carbon fibre plate as before. Along with their SPEEDROLL technology to push you up onto your toes for a snappy feel.

Finally, the outsole now uses a new rubber layout. With more coverage across the shoe and deeper tread (1mm lugs) that offer better traction in the wet and hopefully increased durability, I need to run in them more to confirm this.

On foot feel

Slipping them on and straight away they feel light and airy, slightly roomier in the toe box compared to previous models. The new tongue feels comfy even with its cutouts. They feel very secure on my feet even when cornering, which is impressive for such a tall shoe.

While there is now slightly more foam under you they still feel pingy and responsive. Amazingly they have managed to strip weight off too which is always good.

The carbon plate and aggressive Speedroll pushs you onto your forefoot, this is nice and gets you up and moving quickly but takes a little getting used to.  If you have had the older models the 3’s have a very similar feel. One of the most noticeable differences is to the outsole,  I never thought the older ones slipped much but having tried the 3’s, wow. The new pattern ias much grippier and fills you with confidence, even in the wet.

Pro’s

  • The new upper still fits well and feels lighter
  • Fast, while this might sound obvious for a racing shoe, they do. Put them on and you want to run quick
  • Shaving off 9 grams. While this might not sound like much over the average 55,000 steps of a marathon it can add up
  • They are Pink!!! Need I say more

Con’s (There are very few)

  • The laces, I’m not a huge fan of. After I switched them over I didn’t have any issue

That’s really it on the cons

I think if you have had an older model and are ready for a new pair you will love what’s been added. If this is your first foray into a carbon plated racing shoe what are you waiting for? The hype around them is real.

Click here >> to get yours today

Getting the Most from Using Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes.

Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes. The latest and greatest in running technology. They are most definitely in demand.
We see social media full of Elite Runners training and racing in them daily.  Yet guidance on their use remains pretty scant and many do ask about getting the most from using carbon ‘super’ shoes.

What Are Carbon Shoes?

Carbon shoes are quite simply a shoe that has a carbon plate sandwiched into the mid-sole.  It’s purpose is two fold.  Firstly to provide stability in an increasing world of soft foams (cushioning).  Secondly, and the real selling point, is that it helps to propel you into your next stride for less effort.  Almost a spring like effect, if you will, resulting in a variety of claims for helping you to run faster.  The plate whilst acting as a propulsion board, is backed up by a variety of new super foams.  These are often, not always though, very soft.  Soft, is not always good for the human.  Without the plate you are definitely losing ‘push’ to the foam as it absorbs this force.  Soft, has also been shown under scientific testing to be pretty poor for stability which can cause injury. This is always off set by claims that soft saves your legs from excessive shock and pounding from the roads.

Combined with a Carbon Plate and things are definitely different. Certainly in longer races there is growing anecdotal evidence that post race recovery is much improved.  Additionally, and perhaps more importantly that reduction in pounding is resulting in athletes being able to run faster for longer. Ideal for the marathon, yes definitely.

Breakdown of the Scott Carbon 'Super' Shoe

When Should You Wear Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes?

OK, let’s get this one out of the way.  These new Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes are not for everyday training.  They are racing shoes. There are some down sides to wearing these shoes and this you have to consider.  One of the key differences is that they can change running mechanics. This is more noticeable with those that are perhaps less strong than their elite counter parts.  They certainly do not improve running form, nor do they make you fitter.  That still has to come from you.

We would advise you to use your carbon shoe for in the main race day.  This can be backed-up with the occasional training runs, perhaps a tempo session, to get used the feel of the shoe.  This, as with any racing shoe, makes a lot of sense.  We would also suggest you consider the mileage that the shoe is designed for – some really do cost a lot per mile!

Getting the Most from your Carbon ‘Super’ Shoe Whilst Training

This is what we would do.  It actually works pretty well.  Taking the advice from the section above we do as follows.

Training in a carbon shoe should ideally be kept to a minimum. I think we can all agree, we really are looking for that difference (we hope!) on race day.
We complete the warm up run in our favourite everyday shoes, before running through a mobility session. Run Technique is something we always advise and we do as part of a focused within this session.  Perhaps at the track we switch into the carbon shoes mid way through the interval set to get a real feel of the shoe.  Often we do this a few days or a week or so before that next race.
It also a nice idea to run part of the course in our race shoes (where possible), to get a feel for the day.  It can have a very positive effect on both confidence and on race day awareness.

Carbon Shoes at Accelerate

So in summary…

Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes are race day shoes.  This is where and how we suggest they should be worn for the most part.
Amongst many runners, the debate rages as to ‘are they faster?’  I would suggest like most things the answer lies with you.  If you feel you are getting a noticeable improvement then well, why not.  For others, it is less clear.  One thing is for certain though, is that no one wants to get left behind once they are on the start line.

For anyone who would like to test a pair of Carbon Shoes, beyond a run on a treadmill, then put June 2nd in your diary.  Scott, Saucony, Hoka will be along with their ‘Test Shoes’ and we will be running a series of Led Runs and a Coached Interval Session.  This is all happening from the store.
Plus, TORQ Nutrition will be along to talk sports nutrition and getting the most from these products in training and on race day.

Test pool will include:

Saucony Endorphin Pro, Speed & Shift
Scott Carbon RC & Pursuit
Hoka Carbon X

Plus, for those more traditionally minded and looking for a comparison we will also have True Motion along.

True Motion Nevos and Solo

More details can be found Here >>

You may also find our Review and Look at the Carbon Shoe Options available to you Here >>

CArbon Shoe Test Day

Accelerate Lifestyle Limited

Accelerate UK: Sheffield and the Peak's Largest dedicated Running Store Road Running, Fell and Trail, along with Adventure Racing are all covered in store. A wide choice of product is backed up with an unprecedented level of experience and running knowledge. At Accelerate we love our running, we would suggest it shows.