Best in Test 2019 - Accelerate's pick of the crop
12 months have seen some changes in the running world. Marathons have gotten quicker. The weather's been wetter....
And here in the store we've had a few surprises. Items which took top slot in previous years have finally been deposed.
So let's gt to it...
Here are our BEST in TEST 2019.
1. Clothing. Patagonia Strider Pro Short
Wicking, breathable, comfy, storage for loads of running accessories/snacks/drink/keys and so on. And Patagonia will repair when they get old and tatty. We've sold more and more due their quality and practical nature. Value for money and without equal.
2. Equipment - Vest/Pack. Scott Kinabalu TR10
One size fits most. 10 Litres of storage space. Compression system built in. Bargain price. Comes without bottles to minimise cost and waste. Simply put, if new to running, upping your training distances or looking to leave bum bags behind, this vest is a very good idea indeed.
3. Trail Shoes. VJ Sports XTRM
Grippy. Very very grippy. On everything. Even (so far) on ice and snow. A trail shoe in essence, but robust and aggressive enough to attack almost every surface with a confidence rarely felt in other footwear. The foot hold and protection are second to none. Their self professed 'best grip in the world' appears to ring true. As confident as we've ever felt off-road, these are almost 'performance enhancing' footwear!
4. Road Shoes. Saucony Ride ISO2
A miracle shoe. A miracle. Engineered to perfection. It suits so many feet. Runners with varied agendas seem to move both efficiently and comfortably while in the Ride ISO2. With 8mm drop, firm, stiff PWRFORM midsole, EVERUN topsole, precisely engineered FORMFIT which guides the foot along a channel in the top of the midsole, helping the foot remain in a stable, neutral position during heel-to-toe transition. ISOFIT upper 'caresses' the foot. You couldn't wish for a better shoe. Easily one of Saucony's best ever.
5. Nutrition. Cliff Bloks
What can you say. Easy to carry. Easy to eat. Almost as much fun as jelly babies, but containing more fuel combined with essential electrolytes for healthy hydration on the move. We've seen these become weapon of choice for those who would rather not have the weight of gels, the litter caused by individually wrapped items and they can be sucked for prolongued flavour, so you don't have to swallow too much at one time and risk choking.
The numbers speak for themselves. We've literally had people take three cases in one visit. Proving more popular than ever.
6. Equipment - Accessory/Gadget. Polar Ignite
A watch. But with GPS and Heart Rate monitor from the wrist. And the all important difference... the Heart Rate is accurate. So much that the watch can be worn 24/7 and track sleep patterns, rest and recovery. It'll warn you when you ought to avoid over training due to what it knows are signs of fatigue or illness and as a result can keep you from injuring yourself or suffering greater issues in future. It's genuis. And for no more money than its rather antiquainted neighbour (Polar M430), features 17.5 hrs training time on a single charge, colour touch screen and a low profile bezel which allows comfortable use as an everyday timepiece. Polar's updates system ought to endure that the watch improves with time and stays effective for the next five/ten years. Outstanding.
7. Door to Trail Shoes. Scott Supertrac 2.0
Finally we have the 'hybrid' footwear to consider. Scott bring out their triumphant evolution of the pre-existing 'Supertrac Ultra RC'. The Supertrac 2.0 is a similar 8mm drop, traction loaded trail shoe, with enough cushioned midsole to handle multi-surface high mileage run routes and provide comfort under foot, while gripping into softer ground, thanks to the depth of the tread. Stability through the design of that outsole stud, broad and lining the rim of the shoe, so not to bend upon contact with anything firm. The massive modification here is in the upper, sacrificing the costly one piece, water resistant version with this supple padded assembly. Verdict - affordable at £110 versus the £140 for the Ultra model and comfier thanks to the give in the material. A more verstailt everyday door to trail shoe with road comfort and more traction than you can shake a stick at.
The runners up...
5. Active Root, Tribe Bars
Find all our Best in Test online and in-store, where you see the rosette.
Tuesday 7th of January 2020