Skip Navigation

Tag Archives: running made easy

Tried, Tested & Abused – Altra Timp 5

The new Altra Timp 5 boasts maximum comfort for spending all day out on the trails. Accelerate Community Run Leader Carlton has been putting them to the test in Peak District. Continue reading to find out his thoughts on Altra’s new cushioned trail shoe

Straight out of the Box

Taking these shoes out of the box, I was immediately struck by the bright colours: these luminous yellow ones are not for those wanting to blend in (other colours are available).The shoes look big both in terms of the wide toe box and ample midsole cushioning but I found them surprisingly light: my size 8s were just 277g on the scales. They are well designed for trail running with a reassuring toe guard, a flexible lacing system and a gusseted tongue to stop debris getting inside.

I was initially perplexed by the loop at the front of the laces and the Velcro tab on the heel but apparently these accommodate gaiters. I’m sure this might be a useful feature for some, but I have never heard of anyone running in gaiters so it did seem a bit unnecessary.

The Vibram sole is as colourful as the upper. The 4mm lugs are well spaced and I was interested to see how they would cope with really muddy paths.

First Run


Feeling slight conspicuous in my new fluorescent shoes among the grizzled runners of the Peak District, I went out for a 10km trot around Stanage Edge over a variety of paths and terrains. The shoes were a perfect fit for my shoe size and the spacious toe box let my feet spread and breathe while the combination of laces and fitted heel held me snug and secure throughout the run. I was initially concerned that the side of the shoe came up quite high and would rub my ankle but this didn’t happen as I scampered around.

These are zero drop shoes and the lack of elevation at the heel is not something I am used to. I noticed the difference it made to my running form as I found myself less likely to heel-strike and this improved my steadiness particularly when the ground was unpredictable.

The thick midsole proved extremely comfortable, offering lots of bounce and a surprising amount of stability which helped me feel more confident running on the uneven terrain. The outsole really held onto the gravel paths and forest trails. Despite all the cushioning, I found the shoes quite responsive and nimble over roots and more technical rocky sections. I was surprised at how grippy they proved to be on the particularly muddy parts of the run and having been submerged numerous times, how quickly the water inside displaced.

 Conclusion

These shoes are very comfortable and soak up bumps on the trail while remaining pleasantly responsive. Combined with the roomy toe box, the shoe is really well suited for long runs. Although, I’m not sure what they would be like if I was wearing gaiters at the same time!

How do they sound?

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 for yourself!!

Altra Escalante 3 – Tried, Teasted & Abused

A classic in the Altra line up but with some tweaks to pull it in a sleek and speedy shoe.  With a new knit upper and an updated midsole its Altra’s answer to a more traditional racer/trainer. Team Accelerate Athlete Will Burton is a big fan of Altra, he’s been putting the new Altra Escalante 3 through it’s paces. Continue reading to find out his thoughts.

The Altra Escalante 3 is a minimal and lightweight shoe, perfect for running workouts and road races. I have been fortunate enough to test them over the last few weeks and have found them a great addition to my line up of running shoes. I have been a fan of Altra shoes for a while now, favouring the Altra Via Olympus for my recovery runs and Sunday long runs. I also like the Torin’s and have used them for steady runs, workouts and races. But as versatile as these shoes are, I prefer something more minimal for my sessions and race days. The Escalante 3 fits the bill.

STRAIGHT OUT THE BOX

Straight out the box the shoes felt great. The flat laces combined with a soft tongue and snug heel made the shoe feel comfortable and like an extension of my foot as soon as I put them on. The slim stack height of the shoe and trademark Altra zero drop from heel to toe also helps the shoe feel neutral. The vivid red mesh of the shoe and rich red laces look great, and we all know that good looking running shoes make you go faster! The shoes come in lots of other colour ways if this isn’t to your taste.

FIRST RUN THOUGHTS

The shoe felt very responsive and close to the ground from the first run. I felt agile and able to accelerate quickly and didn’t feel like the shoes would take long to ‘break in’. However, similarly to when I tested out the Altra Olympus, I felt it necessary to put a lace lock in the top of the shoe to keep my foot firmly in place when on the move (have a look at this video if you have not done this before). This is a matter of preference but it worth trying out to see how it feels. I do this with most of my shoes.

I haven’t worn a shoe this minimal for quite a while but was really impressed with how it has felt in my recent training. I think the shoe is great for track and road sessions where you want to run fast with a quick cadence. So far, I have used them for a 12 x 300m session and fast fartlek session, feeling able to kick hard from the first rep. They feel especially good after warming up in a slightly heavier and softer shoe. I think it’s always good to warm up in a heavier shoe as it helps you feel light and nimble when you start moving at speed. The shoe also felt great when doing drills before running sessions. Their minimal profile gives you a responsive feel underfoot and allows you to dial in the technique of your drills, improving your running form overall. In terms of racing, this shoe would be great over the 5k and 10k distance.

CONCLUSION

This shoe might take a few runs to get used to if you are used to more cushioned, high stack shoes. But it is an excellent option for runners wanting to take their training and racing more seriously, shaving seconds off their 5k and 10k personal bests. For longer races I’d favour something a little more cushioned but for road races of this distance it would be perfect. I plan to continue using this shoe for track sessions, tempo runs and road races as we come into the spring and summer season. Combined with something more cushioned like the Altra Olympus this shoe is a great, lightweight addition to your running shoe rotation.

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 Harvey put the Scott Supertrac Speed RC to the test!!!

Team Athlete and shoe Nerd Harvey takes you through his thoughts on the All new Scott Supertrac Speed RC.

Initial impressions

Opening a box of shoes for the first time is exciting for me. Even if you know what they will look like. The new Scott fell shoe is no different. They are topped with a super light Rip Stop Cordura upper, sandwiched in is a thin layer of cushioning and finished with a new aggressive looking outsole.

Slipping them on its pretty clear they are made for speed. You can barley tell they are even on your feet. In the first few protos this resulted in a drop in durability, however, in the production models they look to have got it nailed, and kept it stripped back. The cushioning is minimal, this has the upside of offering great ground feel, the downside, if you happen across harder packed trails you start to know about it. Now the outsole, using a new pattern designed for better traction in soft ground. At first look they appear to be on the small side but once you get running in them this is not the case.

In the first few runs I was blown away by just how well they gripped. In the ice, mud and even on rock I seemed to be able to put my foot down and it not shift.

On top of the grip of the shoe the biggest thing you notice is just the lack of weight, from pushing on an uphill it feels as though nothing is there hindering you and, on the flats, and down you feel practically weightless in them.

Conclusion

Pro’s

  1. Its super lightweight and feels like you have nothing on.
  2. You can be confident to hit pretty much anything and you won’t slip.
  3. They are bright yellow, enough said.

Con’s

  1. The minimal amount of cushioning might be a shock for some.

So, if you are looking for your next fell running and racing shoe that’s a bit different from the norm this are certainly worth giving a go. You can find Men’s Here and Women’s Here

Ten10Ten – Race Report by Dot Kesterton

The 13th Sheffield TEN10TEN Race

This is a tricky one to plan for because it has such wide surface variations underfoot from easy, broad road sections to grassy rises and from spongy field to ankle breaking tree roots. Son Joel and I walked the more difficult parts and discussed the merits of road v trail shoes, finally opting to play safe with a more grippy sole.

The annual Ten10Ten race was a delight. Unseasonably mild, even warm with lots of fellow Striders, Smileys and assorted runners, young and old descending on Endcliffe Park for the early autumn jamboree. Music blared, children leapt into action and officials strutted their stuff and got us all into our various pens ready for the off.

Just coming back to form after minor knee surgery I had no idea how today’s race would pan out. I’d had the pleasure of spectating for 10 days at the European Masters Athletics Championships in Italy last week watching records tumble and seeing extraordinary athleticism including from Sheffield’s Jed Turner and World M70 100m Champion Steve Peters so I was motivated to give this one my best shot.

It’s a two lap course from Endcliffe Park through Bingham Park, rising on slippery grass and mud to an uneven trail through the Porter Valley before a steady descent along the river and back to Endcliffe. That means you should be able to work out your negative split in advance by taking a measured approach for 5k before blasting lungs and every muscle on the second leg to come in triumphant. That’s the theory anyway. In the event most of us in our enthusiasm go off too fast, slog the first hill, stagger round Bingham and die somewhere around Queen Victoria cursing the fact we’ve now got to do it all again half dead. The heavy rasps of snatched breathing and visible slowing suggested others were going through exactly the same experience. Huge support from marshals, spectators and well wishers meant we were able to forget the pain momentarily until we could limp through the quieter parts of the course furthest away from the park.

My dodgy knee held up and I managed to complete the race in 52:27, only a couple of minutes slower than my last Ten10Ten race in 2021. That gave me first of thirteen V70+. How brilliant that thirteen V70+ were out on the course. Perhaps we scooped up a few pensioners out for a quiet amble before lunch.

My thanks to Doug Banks, Andy Green, Matt Rimmer and the whole army of volunteers who gave us the best morning out since the Sheffield Way relay a few weeks ago.

The race was won by Lewis Roberts, Worcester Athletics Club in 36:15mins.
First woman was Sarah-Jane Bamford W40 in 44:20mins.
Sarah-Jane had a baby earlier this year and is only recently back to running again. What a great result by Sarah-Jane.

Dot Kesterton
08th October 2023.

The Saucony Xodus Ultra 2

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.

That upper…

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.

Conclusion

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.

Summary

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.

Tried, Tested & Abused: Altra Lone Peak 7

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.

Specs

  • Trail running
  • 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.

Conclusion

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.

Dot Kesterton 2022: Yearly Round-Up

Team Accelerate Athlete Dot Kesterton has had a rollercoaster of a 2022 with plenty of ups and downs throughout the year. Keep reading to find out how she got on and what challenges she’s faced throughout the year.

Climber Karen Darke, lying on her back in hospital having broken her back in a climbing accident, watched the 2008 Olympics on TV, saw the recumbent cycling and decided she would give it a go. she opened a blank page on the computer and wrote ‘London Olympics, 2012.’ Karen went on to be a silver medalist in London and champion Olympic paracyclist in Rio 2016.

Karen’s determination has inspired me throughout my running career. Her absolute refusal to give up on a challenge gave me the confidence to run my first marathon in 2012, run for GB Masters in Europe in 2019 and this year to go to Finland to pit myself against the fastest women in my age in the World Athletics Championships 2022.

After a pretty awful couple of years without much competition I, like Karen, mentally opened a new page in my imaginary computer at the beginning of this year and wrote, ‘World Masters Athletics, Finland, 2022.’ The act of committing that to paper, virtually or otherwise is a huge step towards realising and achieving the goal. I would be at the very start of a new age group giving me an advantage over other athletes of my age and I was running well in both Cross Country and road races.

Every training session, parkrun and race in the run up to Finland had to count towards the competition. I planned fewer races but made 100% effort in those I entered which helped me build mentally and physically during the spring and into the summer. Among the highlights were Endcliffe Parkrun at the end of May with a time of 22.08, 100.6% age grading and Rotherham 10k again in May in 46.22 with 96.98% AG. It was the boost I needed to take me to Finland.

The Masters Athletics Championships were a great success. Finland with 954 athletes came first followed by Germany and USA. GB took fourth place overall, a good result given that the team was represented by fewer than 300 athletes. I came home with a gold in Cross Country team event along with Anne Dockery and Ros Tabor; individual gold in the 10k road race (see separate race report) and a surprise silver in the 4x100m track relay when I replaced an injured runner.

Within days of my return home, I succumbed to Covid 19 which sadly meant I was unable to run as torch bearer in the Commonwealth Games Torch Relay. With my goals for the year achieved I was able to rest and recover over the summer and take first V70 in the England Masters 10k road race in Bristol in September. Disappointingly a minor knee injury prevented me taking up a place in the Home International Cross-Country Championships in Dublin in November but I was able to end the year with a ninth win over four age categories at Percy Pud in December.

Results in 2022

Date Name Distance Time Position Notes
6.2.22 Alsager Road race 5m 37.32mins 1st V65 93.07%AG. 8thV65 UK rankings.
12.2.22 Newport Parkrun 5k 22.35 1st V65 96.97%AG

3rd F.

6.3.22 Norton Nine 9m 66.53 1st V65 97.31%AG

16th F of 165.

12.3.22 YVAA XC champs, Norfolk Park. 5k 24.46 1st V65
20.3.22 Windmill 6, Huddersfield 6m 45.34 1st V65 93.49%AG
17.4.22 BMAF Road Champs, Grangemouth 10k 46.54 gun

46.39 chip.

2nd V70 95.81%AG

Anne White 1st.

23.4.22 BMAF road relays, Sutton Park. 5k 22.55 1st V65 individual and team
7.5.22 Lakeland Trails, Staveley 11.75k 1hr 10m 1st V70 320m elevation.
15.2.22 Rotherham road race. 10k 46.22gun

46.20chip

1st V65 96.98%AG
30.6.22 WMA XC, Tampere, Finland 5.38k 25.19 4th V70,

1st team.

GB V70  team Gold.
8.7.22 WMA road champs, Tampere, Finland 10k 47.17 1st V70 V70 World Champion
25.9.22 EMA representation race, Bristol 10k 47.17 1st V70 91.54% AG

EMA Gold.

15.10.22 EMA XC selection race, Derby. 6k 31.36k 2nd V70 Yuko Gordon 1st.
4.12.22 Percy Pud road race, Sheffield 10k 46.39 1st V70 93.21% AG. 9th win at PP over 4 age groups.

Running Stats for 2022:

Runs – 268

Distance – 1990k

Time – 239 hours

Elevation – 36,168m

Uk ranked 2nd V70 F 10k road.

UK ranked 2nd V70 F Parkrun

UK ranked 2nd V70 Overall.

World Masters Athletics V70 World Champion, 10k road.

Acknowledgements:

Coach: John Rothwell

Strength and conditioning support: Accelerate Running Company

Physio/Running Rehab: Sally Fawcett.

Club: Steel City Striders, Smiley Paces, Northern Masters.

Team Accelerate Create A Heatwave in the Cold North

The first weekend in November some of Team Accelerate headed north to race in the Wooler Trail Half Marathon. The latest addition to the team Paddy sums up the weekend.

I don’t need much persuading to travel to new places, so when a trip to Wooler Trail Half Marathon was suggested, I immediately put my hand up. Five months later, I’m on my way to the far North East of England with Team Accelerate, racing in Scott kit for the very first time, with teammates Harvey, Chris & Hugh.

Over the years, I have been on many away days and weekends playing rugby so I knew to expect some banter from the lads! Light hearted shots were fired before we even got on the road, team bonding had begun.

How much kit and pairs of running shoes would 4 people require for a simple 3 day trip and race? I had guessed at 2. One pair to train/warm up in and another to race in. How wrong was I?! Between Chris and Harvey there were 10 pairs with enough kit for every possible weather condition. As for food, we had enough pasta and rice to feed EVERYONE racing on Sunday! Genius move of the weekend? Harvey brought his coffee machine!

With all our bags shoehorned into the back of Chris’ Land Rover and some new age punk playing on the radio, we hit the road for the 4hr journey ahead. The weekend had begun!

I have been training alongside Harvey, Chris and Hugh for a few months now, under the wise tutelage of Stu. I began this journey wanting to find out if there was still opportunity to improve in my early 40s. I regard Stu as the best Coach I have met over the years and as a Coach myself I wanted to learn more about how I can improve the Coaching I provide, whilst sharing my own knowledge and experience with the Team.

I firmly believe in living everyday like it is a blank page and being willing to learn, change my mind about opinions I have formed over the years as an Athlete, Trainer and Coach. Many training sessions and a few races later, my confidence has grown.

I know I’m not completely there yet, but I also know I am now in a place where I can run well, run happy and begin competing at the front end of races again. Being part of a team that encourages and supports you on your journey is key. Travelling to Wooler to race as part of Team Accelerate made me feel proud of what I had achieved so far and actually took all the pressure off how I might perform on race day.

Harvey was returning to Wooler as defending Champion having made the journey North alone a year ago. This time he came with friends, and it seemed to provide an extra layer of confidence from the second we set off on our recce of the route. Despite the route having been marked out ready for the weekend, with a big yellow arrow directing us along the road, Harvey was certain we were to go off to the left along a well trodden footpath towards the woods. Apparently, he hadn’t read the race info that stated there was an alteration to the publicised route due to tree felling in the woods. We found our way to the route thanks to the little yellow flags and arrows put out by the organisers, checking the first 3k and the final descent where a discussion about vaulting gates would give us food for thought over the next couple of days. Shoe choice? The ground was still relatively firm and with the finish now a longish stretch of road would it be plausible to change to carbon road shoes to finish in? Fortunately, that was a decision we didn’t have to make as out of all the shoes we had brought, those weren’t on the list.

Route check complete, we went to find our accommodation for the next few days. Driving out of Wooler into the middle of nowhere, overlooking the very hills we would be racing on. Cracking job Harvey! Now to settle in and relax, with only one tricky decision ahead of us. What film do we choose?

We had decided to go to the route again on Saturday to watch the leaders of the marathon descend to the finish. It also served as a little leg stretch ahead of Sunday. It was definitely going to be a fast one with the ground firm and overhead conditions looking good.

There are many similarities between Northumberland and the Peak District. Sleepy towns, rolling hills and runnable trails that can take you anywhere.

We all certainly felt very much at home in our surroundings and even though we hadn’t dedicated much racing to off-road this year, we all felt quietly confident about performing well on what appeared to be a fast course.

Race day!

The weather was set to be kind to us which was a relief. We arrived at the race HQ, Wooler YHA at 7.45am. Numbers collected, mandatory kit checked and plenty of time to warm up and prepare our bodies and minds for racing.

The short walk to the start line helped settle any nerves that we had and with the relaxed starting process of ‘I’ll count you down from 5 and you can go!’ we were off

Harvey took the lead and it is fair to say no one was going to catch him. Chris settled into a solid position, I eased into the race keeping myself controlled having not raced over this sort of terrain in a while, giving it the respect it deserved focussing on keeping my effort even and sustained. Hugh was sticking to his race plan of staying easy.

By the time I got to the turn around point, Harvey had opened up a sizable lead and as we passed each other on the hill into the checkpoint he was looking strong. A simple cheer of encouragement both ways was appreciated especially as I still had to come back up the hill I was descending. Chris had settled into 3rd and as I reached the checkpoint I found myself in 7th with 8th place trying to close the gap. Hugh was showing his versatility on the trails as I saw him in 9th place as I began my ascent.

Now the ascent! Up to this point the uphill sections had been, relatively speaking, a breeze. This final climb would prove the most challenging. Time to dig in and sustain the effort. If you are feeling it, then those behind and in front are too! Once at the top there were some free flowing trails to stretch out on, an opportunity to get the effort level back up and keep the legs turning. There was a short hill up to a final gateway and as I climbed it I allowed myself a quick check to see how far ahead of 8th I was. It gave me the kick I needed for one final push down the descent and onto the finish I needed! There was no way I was giving my place up now! A shout of ‘Focus, keep the effort up’ and ‘You’ve got this’ from Stu was the extra bit of encouragement to stay ahead. Time to empty the tank, which is exactly what I did down the hill and onto the road. By the time I had got to the finish the gap had increased. Seventh place was mine, greeted by Chris who had given all he could give only to be pushed back from 3rd to 5th in the final stages. Still a positive result for him having had his build up disrupted through illness and a niggle. Harvey was looking pleased with himself and after congratulating me for a strong run, he was pleased to announce he’d continued on for the win in under 90 mins breaking his own course record in the process. Hugh was next across the finish line in 9th having hardly broken into a sweat. The wonder of youth!

All in all, a fantastic weekend building relationships as a team and putting in individual performances that we can all be very proud of.

What a team and what potential we all have to look forward to reaching together!

As for The Wooler Trail Half Marathon, Trail Outlaws have put together a great race. A challenging, but manageable route for all abilities with some really fast sections to get your teeth stuck into. Thanks must be given to Scott Sports for their continued support of Team Accelerate, it was certainly a proud moment for this 41 year old to race wearing their kit. Thanks to Stu & Debs for their support on and off the course and for everyone at the APC for support with niggles of body and mind.

See you next year?

Ps…Our films of choice for the weekend? It had to be James Bond Skyfall on Friday & Spectre on Saturday!

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.

 

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

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

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

Forgot to fill in the entry form.

I didn’t tell the family I’d be away.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dot Kesterton, W70

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.

Come and say Hi, "The kettle is on"