Accelerate Community member and Accelerate Trail Runners Run Leader Graeme is back again and has been lucky enough to get his hands on another pair of the Saucony Xodus Ultra’s, but this time it’s version 2. Now available from the Accelerate store, to find the specs of the shoe Click Here >>. Keep reading to hear how he got on!
I reviewed the Saucony Xodus version 1 back in May 2022 and have now done over a 1000k on them – The review on the version one can be found Here>>; this review is a comparison of that version so I’ll focus on the differences I’ve noticed after ~50k with runs on mixed terrain (tarmac to fell) ranging from 7k to 26k. I’m being a bit picky.
Straight out of the box
The upper is stiffer, less stretchy — more protective I suppose — so I was unable to tighten it up in the same way over my lumpy feet. That said, I did this last time as I thought they were slightly too big – same size this time and they didn’t feel too big – certainly for longer runs where feet need to expand. The forefoot is spacious as before. The laces have changed too – round and quite chunky, not the original stretchy, flat ones.
The ride feels firmer than before – but the sole has not changed! So it must be me: too used to my now slipper-like v1s – after 20-30k they feel as before, so it was me. Very comfortable in both heel and forefoot.
What I’ve noticed is that there seem to be two versions of the upper – and this is not just a colour thing – mine are a claret colour – interesting – all others I’ve seen are grey. On inspection the grey ones have a different (softer?) upper, more akin to the v1, plus the inner forefoot gusset seems to be of a lighter / thinner material, plus the laces are the flat stretchy ones. Most unusual. In summary the grey ones are much more like the v1s but are still a more robust material. The inner gusset now covers the whole forefoot – the v1 had it just around the mid foot.
The upper foot shape has changed a bit – see comparison photo – and there is now a useful looking rand around the whole shoe next to the sole – to protect more I suppose. My concern was that it would keep water in – didn’t seem to make any difference, which was good. The change in upper shape may be holding my foot more naturally, requiring less tight lacing.
I can only really comment on my claret version but personally, I prefer the previous material but I like the new foot shape change and the welt – I’d prefer a softer, thinner material as previously it only started to fail on me after 1000k, so not bad.
Pros: new grey colour looks good; same plush ride but with good ground feel.
Cons: check out if you want the claret or the grey style; the upper may be a bit stiff for some.
Fundamentally the same as the version 1 with a more robust upper. My go-to, long run shoe again.
You can find the Men’s Here and Women’s Here. Alternatively, pop on down to the shop and give them a try.
Team Accelerate and Scott Supported athlete Harvey has been busy putting the new Scott Supertrac Amphib to the test.
Anyone who has seen me run or race off-road in the last few years will have likely seen the Scott Supertrac RC on my feet. So when Scott started developing the Amphib, a shoe designed around the Supertrac but with a lighter and faster draining upper, I was sent a prototype pair in the post and I was pretty excited (massive understatement). Now seeing them on the store shoe wall is even cooler.
I have been using them for a while now and are the shoes I reach for if I’m heading into the hills. I have raced in them most of last year and this year. They feel great and perform even when they are covered in mud. A real winner for the depths of winter.
The most common question about the Amphib is why choose them over the standard Supertrac RC. To answer this question it’s best to outline the differences.
Scott has used their iconic radial traction pattern outsole and AeroFoam+ midsole which are both found in the Supertrac RC.
The real change comes to the upper, Scott has used a KPU upper that provides a rugged and highly durable mesh that maintains excellent levels of drainage. Ideal if you are wading through water and want your shoes to drain fast.
Scott has worked really hard to make sure they don’t lose the fit of the upper. It’s great to see this be perfected over the prototypes. In the final version, Scott has nailed it with the perfect blend of a secure hold without feeling restrictive.
In conclusion, they are great if you are heading off the beaten track and encountering lots of mud, water and bog. Events like swim runs and obstacle course racing they will be ideal for.
Like the sound of that, come and give them a try in-store or order a pair Here
It’s not very often that I get to write a review. Coming across any type of shoe in a size 14 can be hard work. When it came to getting my hands on a pair of the new Altra Lone Peak 7, I was excited for a new experience on the trails.
0mm Drop 25mm stack height
314g in men’s 8UK
262g in women’s 6UK
Straight out of the box
Wow, just look at the size of them. I know it shouldn’t surprise me but it just amazes me how big they actually are. Sliding them on, my initial thoughts are they feel great. They feel very spacious in the toe box which allows my toes to relax while still having a secure fit around the heel. When lacing them up they feel very lightweight, like I’ve got nothing on my feet. Which I appreciate as I’m already quite a big heavy lad.
Famously, Altra are known for their zero drop shoes. This is something that I haven’t tried before and I and looking forward to giving it a go. Now it’s time to get them onto the trails!
First few miles
For my first test run in the Altra Lone Peak 7, I hit the trails of a very muddy Rivelin Valley. They felt plush under foot and could handle everything that the valley threw at them. From loose gravel to boggy water logged paths, they got me through with ease.
The spacious toe box feels amazing as my feet can splay out naturally. The MAXTRAC rubber lugs and a new outsole pattern gives fantastic grip and traction in thick mud. The Altra Ego midsole feels very responsive which makes the ride on the trails go by like a dream, not needing much effort!
After about 7k down the valley, they felt just as good as when I first put them on. No aches, no rubbing, a shoe I would happily wear all day.
After a few more runs up and down the valley, they still feel just as good as the first run. The wide-fitting toe box and well cushioned midsole giving them a great level of comfort. Making the ride feel like a dream no matter the trail. This is complemented by the MAXTRAC rubber lugs which have given me confidence that I won’t slip even on wet and muddy trails.
If you looking for a wider-fitting shoe to take you on most trails, the Lone Peak 7 should definitely be on your list to try.
You can find the Men’s Here and Women’s Here. Alternatively, pop on down to the shop and give them a try.
It’s happened, carbon plates have finally made their way into trail running shoes. The idea does not completely convince me. However, these shoes are doing a very good job of changing my mind. Scott has saved no expense on them, packed them full of their latest tech, and used the innovation they have become famous for.
Trail running and racing shoe
5mm drop 25mm in the heel 20mm in the forefoot
300 grams in my size 8UK
Straight out of the box
I was very lucky and got a pair a few months before they were released so have done plenty of running in them by this point. Going back to my first run and initial thoughts. Slipping my foot into them the over-ruling factor is comfort. The upper is a light and breathable mesh that moulds to your foot shape instantaneously. It feels wider in the forefoot compared to other Scott models which are good if you are stepping up the distance. For the cushioning Scott often have a reputation for their shoes being on the more responsive and firm end of the spectrum, with the Ultra Carbon RC, this is no longer the case. Thanks to the combination of the plate they have managed to soften up the midsole foam without compromising on the responsiveness, A real win!
The outsole is on the lighter end of the trail grip but I have been very surprised with how capable they are when it comes to the mix of terrain they can handle.
Running feels easy in them, unlike some carbon shoes it doesn’t feel like I have had to change how I run in them. The plate isn’t that noticeable until you start running faster then you can feel it subtly ping you forward. A great feeling, especially when you begin to tire towards the end of your run.
A few months on, plenty of miles were run and some raced. They are still a shoe I reach for if I want to feel faster. Still, with the same comfy feel every time I put them on. Some downsides I have found are on more technical terrain you lose ground feel and they feel clunky and oversized, this is more taking the shoe on the wrong trails, but something to be aware of if you are planning on taking them more off-trail.
Cushioned and responsive
Wide fit in the forefoot
Loss of ground feel on more technical terrain
Like the sound of going faster? Pop down to the store to try a pair today or follow the link Here to grab a pair today.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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)
U-Tech structure centres forces applied during the gait cycle
3D MotionBridge structure helps transfer energy and offers a smooth transition
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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