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Category Archives: Tested & Abused!

Product testing, used, abused and generally thrown around to see if we can break it. Kit, gear, equipment and footwear comparisons.

Scott Ultra Carbon RC, Tried, Tested and Abused

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.

Conclusion

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.

Pros:

  • Super Comfy
  • Cushioned and responsive
  • Surprisingly grippy
  • Wide fit in the forefoot

Con’s:

  • 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.

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.

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.

 

 

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 >>

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

Saucony Xodus Ultra, Tried, Tested and Reviewed

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.

 

Conclusion

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.

Carbon Racing Shoe, What’s your options

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

Specs

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.

For the men’s click Here >> and women’s Here >>


Scott Speed Carbon RC

The Most Responsive Ride

Specs

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!

For the men’s click Here >> and women’s Here >>


Hoka One One Carbon X3

The Great All-Rounder

Specs

Designed use: Road Racing

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.

For the men’s click Here >>


Do you like the sound of them?

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 >>

A Closer Look – Hybrid Running Shoes Reviewed

Hybrid running shoes are a combination of a trail and road shoe. Here at Accelerate it is a type of running shoe we are often asked for and here we take a look at some of our favourites, plus a couple of newcomers that have recently arrived in store, so here’s what we reckon.

As to the difference, if you are a little uncertain, then may I suggest you take a look at our previous blog ‘What Makes a Trail to Road Shoe?’ Here >>

So let’s get cracking and see what’s-what within this selection of shoes.  Tried, Tested and Abused by Stu and Harvey.

Best Newcomers

Both the Mizuno Wave Daichi 7 and the True Motion Nevos Elements are recent arrivals to the store. Both brands are predominately road biased and bring their favoured technologies to these excellent Door to Trail options. In both shoes, cushioning is exactly what you would expect from a road brand. Plush yet responsive.
With both the Diachi and the Nevos-Elements, uppers are woven and provide plenty of comfort. Both shoes are excellent at shedding muck and dirt from the upper. Again, all be it with differences, both shoes look to keep the heel stabilised and to hold the foot securely onto the platform.
Grip wise the Daichi is probably the best of the two for heading onto trails away from the city. The Nevos Elements, however, will feel right at home along the banks of your local canal and along  paths through woodland and parkland.

Both offer, something slightly different, yet they really epitomise the benefits of a hybrid shoe.

Mizuno Wave Daichi 7 £120  Men’s >>  Women’s >>
True Motion Elements £140  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Best Value

Hoka One One Torrent
Primarily designed for trail use, we however feel this is another shoe that crosses the bridge between road and trail extremely well.  Light enough for faster paced running yet has more than enough on offer for everyday use. A studded out-sole provides great grip on trails whilst having enough surface area for hard packed surfaces and pavement.  Cushioning levels are high whilst retaining a responsive feel.  It’s a great value all rounder.
We really love the fact the upper of this shoe is made from recycled materials.

Currently available for £100 instore, a Saving of £10.

Hoka One One Torrent £100  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Established Favourites

The Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC 2.0
This is a very definite favourite here at Accelerate. This shoe has so much going for it and now in its second iteration is proving even more popular. Lightweight, well cushioned and traction that works across a variety of terrain. The upper is constructed of an engineered breathable mesh that just hugs the foot.
We have found the Kinabalu Ultra RC to be the most versatile of the shoes in this category and exceeds its original design brief of ‘suitable for man made trails’. Low and high level, hard packed to softer ground, dry and in the wet we feel this shoe just delivers. In fact this shoe was designed with Ultra’s in mind and we reckon that it is just the ticket.

Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC 2.0 £150 Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Saucony Canyon TR2
Another favourite here is the Canyon TR2 as it offers great value for both road and heading out onto to more challenging trails.  A full PWRRUN mid-sole ensure long lasting cushioning and boasts the addition of a flexible and protective rock plate. The upper will help keep out debris and provide a comfy secure fit. Breath-ability is high on the list of benefits of this upper.
We reckon the Canyon TR offers great value and a good bet for a long life everyday shoe.

Saucony Canyon TR2 £120  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Best Hybrid Shoe Designed for Ultra’s

Dynafit Ultra 100
Yes, OK, this shoe was primarily designed for a multitude of different trail surfaces. Yet, it was soon realised that longer pavement sections were covered with ease due to fact this shoe was built for maximum cushioning and protection – something that was well liked. In addition the platform is extremely stable and the shoes really endeavours to get you locked into this. A higher than average shoe volume coupled with a breathable upper provides a comfortable fit for those looking for a little more.
The Pomoco out-sole is an excellent option for multi terrain use, coping well with the steeper slopes of the higher mountain trails.

Dynafit Ultra £135  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Wider Fitting Option

Inov-8 Trail Talon
A higher than usual foot volume has found this shoe a firm following. Lightweight, breathable mesh upper creates a secure fit through the mid foot. An integrated tongue helps to keep debris out of the shoe. Grip is what you would expect from a trail specialist and is definitely good for pavement to more technical trail.  Cushioning, although not the best in test, is still up there and provides good protection and stability.

Inov-8 Trail Talon £130  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

My Favourite..?  Best in Test…

If you said to me (Stuart) I could only wear one shoe this summer, and that’s it, then I know which I would choose.  It’s one I have tested and have since moved onto my second pair.  Enough cushioning for road and hard packed; stable enough at higher altitudes and quite simply responsive and nimble then it would have to be the Scott Kinabalu RC 2.0. They last well, comfort is excellent and volume is above average. The grip just keeps on surprising, in dry and when it has rained. Yet, the biggest surprise for me is a high level of unexpected cushioning.  For me the Kinabalu Ultra RC just work. Harvey, also found this shoe to be his favourite, with the True Motion Nevos-Elements the surprise of the bunch.

I wonder what your favourite will be?

Article compiled by Stuart following testing from Stu and Harvey.

Accelerate Lifestyle Limited

Accelerate UK: The area's largest Running Store for road, trails, mountain and fell. From parkrun's through to ultra marathons. A wide range of shoes and running items that is backed up by a knowledgeable and experienced running staff. At Accelerate we love our running, and we believe it shoe.

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