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
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.
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.
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.
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.
4mm drop 14mm/10mm
250g in size 8UK
6mm butyl rubber lugs
Schoeller Keprotec upper fabric
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.
As with any good fell shoe first and foremost has to be the grip. The XTRM 2’s excel in this department.
The Schoeller fabric is a great addition to the upper and helps to mould to your feet quickly for a very comfy fit.
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.
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.
Accelerate Community member and Accelerate Trail Runners run leader Graeme has been lucky enough to get his hands on a pair of the new Saucony Xodus Ultra. Now available from the Accelerate store, to find the specs of the shoe Click Here >>. Keep reading to hear how he got on. Spoiler alert, they are good!
I’m not normally a reviewer and I won’t go into too many technical details. I’ll just concentrate on how they feel to run in. I normally wear the Scott Supertrac Ultra, so this was my main comparison.
Straight out of the box
My first thought was that they were a bit big for my usual 10UK. However, slipping them on I realised they could easily be tightened up. The springy laces, along with the super stretchy upper, moulded to my odd shaped feet straight away. Lots of lovely room for my forefoot and no heel slippage. So all held in place but would it be too tight? Well no, the upper stretches where it needs to: around my feet’s lumps and bumps — all good and no ‘squeezing’ of the forefoot even when the foot bends.
First run thoughts
So off for a swift 7k run around my local loop. The first of 4 runs in them from 7k to 29k. All on a mix terrain, from mud, packed trails, gravel, tree roots, wet rock and even some quite long tarmac sections. Nothing bothered them. On all the runs they felt very plush; especially in the heel. This felt very soft and forgiving. Would I get the control my iffy feet and ankles need? Yes again, all felt very stable, so soft and stable. I have no idea how that works, but it does. The cushioned forefoot, lacking in some shoes, now also became noticeable whilst running. Lovely, and no aching, which I sometimes get after a while wearing a firmer shoe.
With such a high stack height I started off careful making sure not to slip or twist an ankle. I soon realised I didn’t have to bother, I just didn’t notice it. With such plush cushioning there can sometimes be a loss of ground feel, however, not in these and they have a rock plate. The balance between ground feel and ground intrusion seems well balanced. I even deliberately ran over some sharp rock edges and while I could feel them, they didn’t intrude or hurt.
I’ve even run a tarmac Parkrun. Admittedly bobbing onto the grass wherever I could. With no sense of dragging a big and heavy shoe around, they felt light and easy to run in. No doubt the shorter distance, ‘fast’ shoes would feel lighter but I don’t normally run in those, I need cushioning, it worked for me. In all the runs I have done there was no rubbing, or blistering from the off even with wet feet. The Saucony’s felt much more cushioned and possibly lighter than the Scott though I’ve no idea of the actual weight of each.
Pros: well everything; a highly cushioned straight out of the box shoe that can do just about anything bar extremes of terrain (I suspect – but who knows!).
Cons: Nothing except possibly that they run a bit big, but if you’re running long distances and need that extra room then maybe don’t bother going down a half size — it didn’t get in the way for me especially when I ran a longer distance using thicker socks. Oh, and mine are bright yellow – not a colour I’d normally pick but I’ve worked on that and they now are a muddy, mottled yellow/brown!
Has the all new Saucony Xodus intrigued? The Men’s can be found here >> and the Women’s available here >> Or you can pop down to the Accelerate Running Store to try a pair out.
If you have stepped onto the start line of a road race in the last few years you may have noticed the majority wearing brightly coloured, high stack height, cushioned shoes. This is the latest in a wave taking over the running world, Carbon fibre plated racing shoes. Gone are the days of lightweight minimal racing flats and in their place are highly cushioned, springy racers. Keep reading for a rundown and review of the different options available here at Accelerate.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 2
The Softest Cushioning
Designed use: Road Racing from 5k – Marathon + distances
Drop: 8mm, 35.5mm in the heel and 27.5mm in the forefoot
Weight: 213g in men’s size 8UK and 197g in women’s size 6UK
From its initial launch in the summer of 2020, the Saucony Endorphin Pro has been a stand out performer. Saucony spared no expense in designing them. Starting at the bottom, they created a new midsole foam, PWRRUNpb, their lightest and, most responsive ever. An S-shape carbon plate runs through to push you forward and a super light mesh upper holds you in.
Running experience: Wow, to say these shoes feel great is an understatement. They feel light on your feet, responsive to run in and they certainly keep your legs feeling fresher for longer. The upper is secure yet minimal with very little in the way of plushness, they are designed for speed. Once up and moving you notice the slight roll forward from the combination of carbon fibre plate and Speedroll technology.
Designed use: Road Racing from 5k – Marathon + distances
Drop: 5mm, 30mm in the heel and 25mm in the forefoot
Weight: 240g in men’s size 8UK and 220g in women’s size 6UK
Scott is famous for testing its products before launching them and the Speed Carbon is no exception. After a long-anticipated wait, they did not disappoint. Scott teamed up with carbon fibre experts CARBITEX in creating the plate for the shoe. It uses a dynamic carbon plate which stiffens with the more force applied, the faster you run the firmer it gets, genius really.
Running experience: Firmer than most carbon shoes but a whole lot more responsive. With the combination of Scotts Kinetic light foam and Carbitex DFX Plate, they take some getting used to. But when you do, blimey they feel quick. Scott also uses their ER2 rocker which helps to keep you on your toes with a high cadence. The upper is noticeably stripped back, with just a thin layer of cushioning around the heel to keep you secure. The rest of the upper is made with a new super-light water-resistant fabric. Ideal if you are racing in wet weather!
Drop: 5mm, 37mm in the heel and 325mm in the forefoot
Weight: 222g in men’s size 8UK and 188g in women’s size 6UK
The kind of shoe you could wear all day. Hoka has nailed the fit and comfort of the Carbon X3, most of this is down to the upper. Using a knitted one-piece, sock-like design, it’s easy to slip on and moulds to the shape of your foot almost instantaneously. Hoka has also updated the midsole and is now using a new energised foam for even more energy return.
Running experience: The Carbon X3 is the goldilocks of the 3, it’s firmer than the Endorphin Pro and Softer than the Speed Carbon, A great blend. Running in them you almost forget they are even on. With just enough of Hoka’s meta rocker to propel you forward.
Well, now is your chance to try all of them on the run. On the 2nd of June, we are hosting a Carbon Test day. A chance to try all the carbon racing shoes we stock side by side along with their training counterparts. For more information on the event follow the link Here >>
Love them or hate them, come the cold mornings and long and dark nights of winter they can be incredible in keeping your running mojo going. As the age-old saying goes, winter miles = summer smiles. Here at Accelerate, we are lucky enough to work with Noble Pro and have both the Elite 8.0 and Elite E8I, If you are looking into getting a treadmill this winter pop down to the store where you can try both out!
We have put together a top 5 list of the best reasons to hop on a treadmill this winter.
Running in the Warmth: In my opinion, the worst parts of running in the winter has to be the cold. With a treadmill though, you never have to leave the warmth of your home. When everyone else is piling on tights and jackets while you can be happily trotting along in shorts and a vest. No fear of the cold creeping in and a reduced risk of pulling a muscle due to the cold.
Consistent footing: If you are, like me, a fan of getting out early for your run, then you may have noticed frost and ice creeping across the pavements turning smooth tarmac into an ice-rink. Jumping on the treadmill and there is no chance of slipping on ice.
Lighting: Night’s drawing in, and many runs in the cover of darkness. Running at night is a valid safety concern. The opportunity to run with others isn’t always an option. No longer do you have to worry, the treadmill is the answer and much safer than running alone at night.
Training benefit: Let’s not forget the training benefit you can have from training on the treadmill. Program in the speed you want to run at and no longer do you need to worry about having to slow for other pavement users or stop at traffic lights. Broken intervals and stop/start runs are a thing of the past.
Entertainment: Boredom, this certainly isn’t the upside to treadmills. With the great Noble Pro Treadmills and their built in TV’s. Why not make the most of it and catch up on your favourite TV show, film or podcast, even pop on an album you have been meaning to listen to. Checking your watch to see if you are almost done is a thing of the past, and runs getting longer is the new norm.
And finally, hop off and you are already home, winner!
Don’t be mistaken, on a sunny winter’s day I love getting outside to run, but come wind and rain the treadmill is the place to go.
After reading this do you think a treadmill will help take your winter training to the next level? Pop down to the store and try one of the Noble Pro treadmills.
The Accelerate Running Store is working in collaboration with Noble Pro Treadmills, acting as a local showroom. You can get in touch to make an appointment to see, try and find out more about their range. Call 0114 242 2569 or you can start your research Here >>
The do or don’t, the divider of runners everywhere. Running with music is a lifesaver for some it’s a distraction that can get you out the door and keep you going when it gets tough. For others, it’s a terrifying thought, the disruption of your flow or not feeling connected to nature.
All of us here at Accelerate are in the no music camp. So to get the inside sweep of why you might want to run with tunes we had a chat with one of our community members who is often seen running with a pair of headphones, Jason Ward.
Accelerate “Have you always run with music?”
JW “I rarely used to run with music, and never ran with music if it’s a session, I used to run with other people a lot so never listened to anything. As life changes and I begun to run a bit more on my own and with time constraints impact that lifestyle I started to use it more especially as technology improved, especially wireless.”
Accelerate “Why do you run with music?”
JW “I run with music as I get bored very easily and have to keep my brain occupied. Sometimes I’m not even sure what I’m listening to it’s just background noise which helps me switch off. Music also helps on some of the runs when I’m not feeling it and helps me switch off from aches and pains. Running with music is a mental training aid for me, it stops you from thinking about what you are doing too much on the runs where you’re not trying to push it too much. I think people shouldn’t do it all the time as it can become a need. The biggest reason for me is just to shut the brain off for a bit.”
Accelerate “Do you always run with music?”
JW “Not always, wouldn’t run with music in areas with heavy traffic, as I don’t trust traffic. Never in a race or speed work as it’s too distracting. Definitely never when running with others, that’s just rude.”
Accelerate “What’s your favourite song to run to?”
JW “Don’t have a favourite song, my playlists consist of a varied selection, dance music, rock, and some chart stuff. Sometimes I have to be careful as I can increase in pace with different types of music. I also, listen to a few sports podcasts”
There you have it, sounds like there is a time and a place for running with music. Do you run listening to your favorite tune? Does it help you through those long runs? Let us know in the comments below.
Its that time of year again. The nights drawing in, clocks going back, scrambling around to find the head torch you haven’t used since last winter. Only to find it ran out of battery a long time ago. Maybe its time for a new one? Well with a plethora of different models, designs and styles all boasting different lumens and burn times how do you know which is right for you? We have tried to put together a little guide that will hopefully de-mask the confusion of getting a new head torch.
The first question you need to ask yourself is what am I using it for. This for us breaks down into the two categories, being seen or seeing.
These types of runs don’t always require a huge amount of light. If you just want to be seen when running on the pavement a hi-vis vest might do just the trick. However, if you are road running on unlit areas where you need a touch more light the Petzl Bindi, really comes into its own. Its lightweight and compact design still packs enough punch to light your way. Weighing only 35g and pushing out 200 lumens. It’s great for sticking in a commuting bag as a just in case or for dark evening runs that’s just pushing it a little too much without one.
Off-Road, Trail and Fell Running
Long Night Time Adventures
Heading off-road? well, this is where it gets a little more confusing, so here come a few more questions.
What sort of terrain are you planning on running on?
How long are you going to be out for?
Depending on the terrain you are heading for can affect the amount of light you might need. A good guide to follow, the more technical of the terrain the more light you need. This is where Lumens* can be miss leading. As a torch with a white light may seem brighter than that of a yellow-tinted light. However, having a lower lumen count. This is where it can get confusing with different opinions. Personally, I think you can never have too much light. But others are happy with 200-lumen head torches. Here at Accelerate, we have a range from Petzl and Silva that cover a lot of different brightnesses. Starting at the Silva Trail Runner Free H with 400lm but a very white light all the way up to the Petzl Swift RL that has a whopping 900lm, my personal favourite.
If you are never out for more than a few hours the battery life of your touch won’t be too much of a worry. But if you are into longer nighttime adventures that are hour on hour the life of your torch is much more of a concern. No one wants to be stuck on the side of a dark hillside with no lights. The Petzl Nao+ Head Lamp or the Silva Trail Runner Free Ultra are both great examples of torches that can go all through the night and still have power left over in the morning. Their only downside is the battery pack on the back of your head that increases the weight.
Hopefully, we have managed to spread some light on what head torch you need but if you are still unsure as to what you need either give the store and call or pop in and we are more than happy to chat you through what you might need.
To see our full range of head torches follow the like here >>
*Lumens = Light Output. In simple terms, Lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light (to the human eye) from a light source. The higher the lumen rating the “brighter” the torch will appear.
If there is one thing we can be certain of with Scott Running is this: “If it ain’t broke leave it alone”. This day and age that is a rare thing. Too many shoe brands update their shoes every six months or just bring in a new fresher colourway.
Not Scott. Yes, as a shoe gains traction (Yes, that was intended :-) ) they will change the colour or the upper annually. Not a guarantee though.
What you will see is the successful elements of one shoe taken into the next newer shoe. This plus something different and improved to ensure we do have a new shoe.
In this case the new Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC. Launch date: 15th June 2020.
Take the midsole from the highly popular Supertrac range. It is responsive, protective and extremely well cushioned. Plus it is resilient, it just runs for miles and miles.
Add in the outsole from the existing Kinabalu RC 2.0 that is perfect for summer trails. Grippy, surprisingly so on wet rock, plus it’s holding power up and down step terrain and you get the idea this is going to be a superb shoe.
With an 8mm drop this is a shoe that should suit a wide range of folk. Add in the ‘Scott Rocker’ and you have a shoe that feels like it just wants to be run in. So we have traction and grip, a resilient, protective midsole; all known factors and pretty much guaranteed that we know what we are going to get.
Except for one major change the upper. This we did not expect. It is lighter in feel on the new Kinabalu Ultra yet retains the same essential caressing fit that so often typifies the RC range. Straight out of the box and onto my feet. WOW!
That I did not expect, so very very comfy. Definitely a step up in both fit and comfort.
So for a quick run. I normally prefer anything lower in drop than 8mm. Yet, these did not feel like 8mm, if anything more like 6mm. Was it the rocker? I felt immediately at one with the shoe. I wanted to run in them. All the characteristics I love about Scott Running shoes were there. The traction, responsiveness and protection. Yep, reckon I could run all day in these. The big step up is in the level of comfort and fit offered by the upper.
If you are in the market for a summer training come racing shoe then I suggest the new Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC should be on your radar. It could be a surprising treat for your running paws.
Out of the Box review by Stu. Photos’ are our own, with a very excited Harvey.
To get your pair now follow the link here >> for Mens and here >> for Womans
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.