Skip Navigation

Tag Archives: running shoes

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

 

The New Kids on the Block – True Motion Running Shoes

Blog has been updated on 20/10/2022

True Motion Range

The True Motion Solo is an incredibly versatile everyday trainer come faster-paced session even longer slower runs. The blend of cushioning, weight, and providing such a stable platform for your foot to work from is a runner’s dream. Ideal for on the roads, track, or even very light gravel tracks.

  • Lightweight road running shoe
  • 8mm drop, 22mm/14mm
  • 220g in men’s size 8UK
  • 195g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Solo Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The True Motion Nevos is the do-it-all shoe in the range. It has a great blend of soft cushioning on landing ideal for longer easier runs to an incredibly pingy feeling toe-off that makes faster runs and sessions go by like a dream.

  • Road Running
  • 10mm drop 24mm/14mm
  • 260g in men’s size 8UK
  • 240g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Nevos Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The True Motion Aion Next Gen is built with the goal of comfort, mile after mile and wow does it do that! With heaps of U-Tech cushioning and a spacious fit, it’s the kind of shoe you could wear all day and not even notice.

  • Everyday road running shoe
  • 10mm drop, 27mm/17mm, however, 0mm drop when your foot sinks into the center of our U-TECH™ allowing for a dynamic foot-neutral offset
  • 270g in men’s size 8UK
  • 230g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Aion Next Gen Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The True Motion Elements is built on the same silhouette as the Nevos just with a grippy outsole. It’s a great all-rounder if you run on a mix of surfaces through your weekly runs. From leaving your house for a few miles on the road to getting to light canal towpaths and onto more technical terrain the Elements can handle it.

  • Trail running
  • 10mm drop 24mm/14mm
  • 290g in men’s size 8UK
  • 250g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Elements Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Special Purchase!

Accelerate Price £120 RRP £150

The True Motion Aion is a shoe you can spend all day in with the aim to be comfortable. The True Motion Aion features their U-Tech cushioning system that centres your heel to the middle of the shoe and gives you a pingy toe off.

  • Road Running
  • 10mm static drop, 0mm dynamic 25mm/15mm
  • 290g in men’s 8UK
  • 250g in women’s 6UK

True Motion Aion Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>


OK, here’s the thing.
Right now, within the running industry, there is much talk that running shoe design is becoming more and more dictated by the ‘next thing’ and not science.  I recently asked the question:

‘What is becoming of the industry I so love?’

For me, having worked in the running industry since I was 16, having helped with shoe design and tested how many different shoes for magazines and the brands themselves, there is a feeling of disbelief in what I am seeing.  Asking what research and science base is there to this ‘new shoe’ I am being shown is to often met with a shrug of the shoulders.  ‘It’s what consumers want’.
Oh too often I hear that these days from brands, especially those trying to get onto the shelves at Accelerate.  Come on, on what basis?  Back it up then… Yeah.

A Breath of fresh air

So what a breath of fresh air to be approached by a company that wanted to talk running mechanics first the shoe second.  To talk good technique and providing the foot with a great platform to influence that.  I was all ears.

Nothing too soft and unstable under the foot.  The platform has to be something the foot can move onto and from.  Yes, it has to be cushioned, yet not to firm either.  Most of all the heel has to be stable, not wallowing.  Back in the early years (80’s into the 90’s) brands were trying to achieve this. External heel counters, introduction of thermal-plastic heel cups, additional support straps and so on.  Midsoles were mostly firmer than most of today’s shoes providing that all important base for the foot to sit on and then work from.
Then as midsoles became softer, the problems began and over pronation became a thing.  Oh my, they so got that one wrong and here we are today with all the anti-pronation ideas gradually been withdrawn from shoes.

Runners should be the centre of the design process, not the shoe

So here we are, True Motion, a new shoe brand developed by three very clever runners, about runners for runners.

“Countless runner types and even more shoe categories, material battles about the fluffiest cushioning, the best energy return, and carbon plates. Neutral, cushioning, guidance, support, motion control – so many “treatment options“ that all miss the actual cause of the problem. In the end every runner wants the same: a perfect running experience – as comfortable, natural, and efficient as possible.
That is exactly what we strive to achieve. Your running experience is our motivation. Which is why we turned our backs on the mainstream industry to found True Motion. We unite comfort and support to create something entirely new. Perfunctory category compromises like neutral or support have become obsolete. Once you get to feel this, you will see running shoes with different eyes”.

In truth the True Motion Running Shoe range look just like any other shoe.  They use excellent materials, looking for those that will hopefully provide plentiful kilometers of service, be comfortable and do what a running shoe should do, namely cushion us from excess forces during the running cycle. However, they are all about that all important platform for the foot.

What is the best combination of performance improvement and injury risk reduction in running?

“Finally – after more than 25 years of running shoe research and development – we found the answer: it is you! Inspired by evolution, our running shoes are based on the shape and function of human structures. The result: the revolutionary U-TECH™ technology. THE ANSWER IS U.

Simply a ‘U’ Shaped heel platform helps the centre the heel.  This allows the runners joint and limb alignment through the ankle, into the knee and into the hip to be as natural as possible.

“Two years of research resulted in a large-scale study that credibly confirms the superiority of our innovative sole design. True Motion running shoes were compared to the leading running shoes on the market (supported and neutral). 166 legs of 83 runners were studied. 200 variables per stance phase and over 1.3 million pieces of data were collected.”

So for us, here at Accelerate, over a year ago we began our own testing.  By running in the True Motion shoes.  Initially, it took us a moment, well a couple of runs.  Then something quite unusual happened.  Off the five pairs we had out on test a unanimous ‘You’re not getting these back!’  Now that is unusual.

Feedback was extremely positive, even to the extent that those with the Solo, the True Motion ‘fast shoe’ was appearing for track and speed sessions.  The warm up shoes were coming off, the Solo was going on.  In every case.  It’s still happening.

That for me is the biggest endorsement any shoe and brand can receive.  Time after time, folk wanting to run in the shoes.

We just think if you are on the lookout for a new shoe then the True Motion Range is really worth a try.  Pop them onto your radar and see what you think.

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.

 

Getting the Most from Using Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes.

Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes. The latest and greatest in running technology. They are most definitely in demand.
We see social media full of Elite Runners training and racing in them daily.  Yet guidance on their use remains pretty scant and many do ask about getting the most from using carbon ‘super’ shoes.

What Are Carbon Shoes?

Carbon shoes are quite simply a shoe that has a carbon plate sandwiched into the mid-sole.  It’s purpose is two fold.  Firstly to provide stability in an increasing world of soft foams (cushioning).  Secondly, and the real selling point, is that it helps to propel you into your next stride for less effort.  Almost a spring like effect, if you will, resulting in a variety of claims for helping you to run faster.  The plate whilst acting as a propulsion board, is backed up by a variety of new super foams.  These are often, not always though, very soft.  Soft, is not always good for the human.  Without the plate you are definitely losing ‘push’ to the foam as it absorbs this force.  Soft, has also been shown under scientific testing to be pretty poor for stability which can cause injury. This is always off set by claims that soft saves your legs from excessive shock and pounding from the roads.

Combined with a Carbon Plate and things are definitely different. Certainly in longer races there is growing anecdotal evidence that post race recovery is much improved.  Additionally, and perhaps more importantly that reduction in pounding is resulting in athletes being able to run faster for longer. Ideal for the marathon, yes definitely.

Breakdown of the Scott Carbon 'Super' Shoe

When Should You Wear Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes?

OK, let’s get this one out of the way.  These new Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes are not for everyday training.  They are racing shoes. There are some down sides to wearing these shoes and this you have to consider.  One of the key differences is that they can change running mechanics. This is more noticeable with those that are perhaps less strong than their elite counter parts.  They certainly do not improve running form, nor do they make you fitter.  That still has to come from you.

We would advise you to use your carbon shoe for in the main race day.  This can be backed-up with the occasional training runs, perhaps a tempo session, to get used the feel of the shoe.  This, as with any racing shoe, makes a lot of sense.  We would also suggest you consider the mileage that the shoe is designed for – some really do cost a lot per mile!

Getting the Most from your Carbon ‘Super’ Shoe Whilst Training

This is what we would do.  It actually works pretty well.  Taking the advice from the section above we do as follows.

Training in a carbon shoe should ideally be kept to a minimum. I think we can all agree, we really are looking for that difference (we hope!) on race day.
We complete the warm up run in our favourite everyday shoes, before running through a mobility session. Run Technique is something we always advise and we do as part of a focused within this session.  Perhaps at the track we switch into the carbon shoes mid way through the interval set to get a real feel of the shoe.  Often we do this a few days or a week or so before that next race.
It also a nice idea to run part of the course in our race shoes (where possible), to get a feel for the day.  It can have a very positive effect on both confidence and on race day awareness.

Carbon Shoes at Accelerate

So in summary…

Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes are race day shoes.  This is where and how we suggest they should be worn for the most part.
Amongst many runners, the debate rages as to ‘are they faster?’  I would suggest like most things the answer lies with you.  If you feel you are getting a noticeable improvement then well, why not.  For others, it is less clear.  One thing is for certain though, is that no one wants to get left behind once they are on the start line.

For anyone who would like to test a pair of Carbon Shoes, beyond a run on a treadmill, then put June 2nd in your diary.  Scott, Saucony, Hoka will be along with their ‘Test Shoes’ and we will be running a series of Led Runs and a Coached Interval Session.  This is all happening from the store.
Plus, TORQ Nutrition will be along to talk sports nutrition and getting the most from these products in training and on race day.

Test pool will include:

Saucony Endorphin Pro, Speed & Shift
Scott Carbon RC & Pursuit
Hoka Carbon X

Plus, for those more traditionally minded and looking for a comparison we will also have True Motion along.

True Motion Nevos and Solo

More details can be found Here >>

You may also find our Review and Look at the Carbon Shoe Options available to you Here >>

CArbon Shoe Test Day

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 >>

What Makes a Trail to Road Running Shoe?

We are often asked for Trail to Road Running shoes. These can also be referred to as ‘hydrid’ shoes. We are talking about a shoe that has the combined properties of a shoe specifically designed for trail running (grip and traction) with the cushioning of a road shoe.  Let’s be honest living in and around Sheffield this makes so much sense.  The question: is a compromise a good idea and what should we be looking for?

So What’s the Difference?

Primarily, the difference between a specifically designed trail and a road shoe is the out-sole and how much harder wearing the upper of a trail is. A running shoe is made up of three parts.

  1. The upper – the slipper like section you put your foot into.
  2. The mid-sole – this is the best that provides the cushioning and protection.  It is made to differing degrees of hardness.
  3. The out-sole – this provides grip and traction between the shoe and the ground.

The key differences between a trail and a road shoe are fairly distinct.

  1. You will find the upper of a road shoe is often softer and more slipper like.  Whereas for a trail shoe the materials used will be more durable to abrasion and much more protective against knocks and bashes. Yes, there can be a small compromise on comfort.
  2. The mid sole on a trail shoe is often firmer than a road shoe as this increases stability. Coupled with a rock plate this also helps in protecting the foot against pointy, sharp objects on the ground.
  3. When it comes to the out-sole, a road shoe is often flatter in profile to provide better contact on man made pavements. Clearly, a trail shoe will have differing degrees of depth to the grip. Studs are more pointed for soft ground and flatter, squarer shapes for dryer condition.  Trail grip has special additives to help grip rock and hopefully to increase the life (wear) of these softer ‘studs’.
What Makes a Good Trail to Road (hybrid) Shoe?

Now that’s a good question and sometimes the lines are pretty blurred.  A road shoe company making a hybrid often keep to their winning formula of prioritising comfort. Trail specific brands look for a more protective approach in the upper. Mid-sole technologies are thankfully extremely similar these days, with the mid-sole cushioning often earring to towards a more protective approach. Many are firmer and some will have that little extra protection by offering a rock plate.  In all cases the out-sole is definitely more open so affording more grip across a variety of terrain. From shallow studs to a grippy tooth-like out-sole, there is a seemingly endless range of options.

In recent years, the slipper (upper) has gone through something of a renaissance. They are definitely more pliable and plush than those from a few years ago. Vinyl overlays help protect the foot and often they are quicker drying and definitely hold less water.

More than anything else, the best hybrid running shoe is the one that is comfortable to wear and fit’s your foot properly.  Above all else, you’ll want to run in your choice.

How Long Should a Hybrid Shoe last?

This really does depend on you! Also, how you look after a pair of shoes will also make a big difference. Shoes that are continually used when wet will not last as long as you would hope as the upper will often fail through no fault of its own.  If you repeatedly run off-trail then again the upper (and stitching) is not designed for this and will take a bashing. Shoes that are continually used on road as opposed to trail will see the grip wear away quicker.  So please do not expect your hybrid shoe to do everything and survive, it won’t!

If you are hard on your shoes then 300 to 400 miles is not unreasonable, whereas those lighter on shoes may see a little over 500 miles of use.  This of course assumes the shoes are not taken to the extreme of their design on a regular basis.

How to Care for your Hybrid (or Trail) Shoe?

Let’s get this one out of the way. Washing machines are a big No-No, as is drying them out right next to a heat source.
To clean your new favorite shoe you should remove the excess mud from the upper with a soft brush or cloth.  Then give them a good rinse with cold water using a decent Footwear Cleaner such as from the Grangers range. This helps protect the fabric and the cleaning agents do not attack the glues that help hold your shoes together. . This is especially a good idea after a trip onto the main trails around the low levels of the Peaks.  Peat is a good way to rot a pair of shoes rather quickly.
In drying them, remove the sock liner and yes, stuff them with newspaper or equivalent.  Air drying them is then the way to go.

To Sum Up…

In conclusion a trail to road running shoe, is a hybrid. A combination of a good road and trail shoe.  Both road and specific trail shoe companies have an offering that will do the job extremely well. With that said if you are planning on more extreme trail running then two shoes, a road and a trail shoe, is the way to go. You will quite simply get more bang for your bucks and economically you should get more life from your shoes.

Here at Accelerate we have plenty of options in this category, available in a variety of shapes for differing feet. Scott, Saucony, Inov-8 and Brooks just to name a few of the brands that have excellent options.  If you would like to find out more about some of the specific ‘Hybrid’ shoes on offer then the ‘A Closer Look – Hybrid Running Shoes Reviewed‘ article has some great suggestions for you. Here we take a look at what we feel is the best value, best new-comer and best for longer runs.

 A Closer Look – Hybrid Running Shoes Reviewed.  Read More Here >>

Saucony Kinvara 13, Tried, Tested and Reviewed

Saucony’ s newest shoe has arrived at Accelerate Running Store, Team Accelerate athlete and technical sales expert Hugh, has given them a run for their money. His thoughts are found below.

Both the men’s and women’s are available in-store and online from Accelerate. The men’s are available here and the women’s here.

I received the new Saucony Kinvara 13 as a special surprise just over a month ago, let’s just say they do not disappoint. The timeless classic has received awell-deserved upgrade, with a lighter, better fit, and improved feel for the road. The new improved Kinvara 13 features a lightweight upper, an energetic midsole and a smooth ride. The shoe is built on a soft and responsive platform that’s comprised of a full-length PWRRUN foam midsole topped with a thin slice of PWRRUN+ for a bit of increased spring. A 4-millimetre heel-toe drop and a soft midsole give the Saucony Kinvara 13 an agile feel that’s perfect for quick running. An updated single-layer, airy mesh upper secures the foot down to the same midsole and outsole that runners enjoyed in the Kinvara 12.

The Saucony Kinvara Specs

  • 219g for a men’s 8UK
  • 184g for the women’s in a 6UK
  • 4mm drop thanks to 28.5mm in the heel and 24.5mm

Saucony labels these shoes as a racer trainer!

First Impressions

Straight out the box they felt light, like really light; and putting them on gave me the same impression. The fit through the midfoot and toe box feels slightly roomier than earlier models, but still secure, allowing a more accommodation fit for varying foot shapes. A new, softer material has been used for the tongue which gives a softer, slipper-like feel. Running in the new Kinvara felt very different to the older models, although different is good, right? A softer feel under the foot and, in my opinion, a more responsive ride has allowed me to complete a variety of different sessions and different paced runs in the shoe.

How are they holding up?
I have worn these shoes for multiple track sessions and a couple of long runs, needless to say I’m very impressed by the condition of the shoes after over 100 miles of use. From feeling cushioned enough on a steady long run, yet also feeling responsive on the track, I have really enjoyed wearing these shoes several times a week. Traditionally, with the previous Saucony Kinvara models, I have noticed that the midsole breaks down quite quickly; however, in the Kinvara 13 I am yet to feel a significant difference from when I began running in them, which is quite impressive given the amount of mileage that I have done in the shoe. For a do it all shoe, I would say that these Saucony Kinvara’s are certainly one of the best in the market and defiantly worth a try!!

Have the new Kinvara 13 piqued your interest yet? The men’s can be found here and the women’s here. Or if you are not quite convinced, pop on down to the Accelerate Running Store and give a pair a go!

Shoe Testing 1-2-3. An Evening for All to Try True Motion Running Shoes

Many a time a delivery arrives at Accelerate. We often have to order well in advance, six months or more, so opening a box can be ‘just like Christmas’.  Fairly exciting.
When it’s a new shoe the excitement definitely rises, as shoes are tried on and we jump onto the treadmill to find out ‘How they feel and run’. Comparing notes and thoughts, working out who they might suit and so on. It’s fun.  Even better when they go onto our very own ‘Want List’.

What’s even better is a long term test – when occasionally we are given a shoe to test for a couple of runs.  It really is helpful to get a real time, actual run, for a reasonable distance to test a shoe.  Much better.
Even better when there are a few of you running together comparing notes.  Interesting and fun.  It is also so helpful to be able to see if this is really going to be our next purchase, the best shoe ever, perhaps?  You just never know.

So with this in mind we have asked True Motion to bring their new shoes along to the store so that we can all give them a thorough testing.  So if you fancy a proper shoe test, then now’s your chance.  You’re invited!

 

True Motion Running Shoe Try-on Run
Wednesday 8th December, 6pm
Accelerate Store. 629 Attercliffe Road, Sheffield, S9 3RD.

True Motion Running Shoes: The Solo

Ready to Test

We have been really impressed with this new range.  So, now it’s your turn.  Come and discover if you think the same is true for you.  Join the Accelerate Team and the experts from True Motion for a run of up to 8km, that will be nice and social.  A chance to ask questions and discuss what you are finding with the shoe.
The ‘Run with a View’ will leave at 6:30pm, prompt.  To add to the fun bring your camera.  The photographer with the best picture on the evening (secret judge?) will receive a very nice gift.

Alternatively, you can just turn up at the store or you can secure your shoe size by booking online.
If you prefer just turn up a little after 6pm to try the shoes extensively on one of our two treadmills or outside, all in your own time.
It really is up to you.

Book to secure the size you need HERE >>
If in the meantime if you would like to find out more about True Motion then take a look at why we think these shoes could just be the ticket with our previous blog:

The New Kids on the Block – True Motion Running Shoes

The shoes available to test include the True Motion Aion:

  • Everyday road running shoe
  • 10mm drop, 25mm/15mm, however, 0mm drop when your foot sinks into the center of our U-TECH™ allowing for a dynamic foot-neutral offset
  • 290g in men’s size 8UK, 250g in women’s size 6UK

Just follow the links to find out more (below), we just think if you are on the look out for a new shoe then these really are worth a try.  Pop them onto your radar and see what you think.

True Motion Aoin Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The Aoin is backed up by the speedier feeling True Motion Solo. The shoe is incredible versatile and great for mid distance runs, tempo and  track sessions.  A shoe we are already enjoying.

  • Lightweight road running shoe
  • 8mm drop, 22mm/14mm
  • 220g in men’s size 8UK, 195g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Solo Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Light Speeds Ahead

This coming February sees the arrival of the latest Saucony Kinvara.  The Kinvara12 is set for a radical update yet remains true to its heritage. So what can we expect?

Lightweight with an almost minimalist approach, yet with enough cushioning and support for everyday training, the Kinvara has always been popular.  For some it have proved to more of a nifty and responsive racer for others a shoe for fast day training.  A traditional shoe in so many ways, resisting the trend towards oversized and max-cushioned shoes.
One of the most popular incarnations of the Kinvara from the last couple of years has been the 10 and 11. Key here has been the improvements made to the midsole. Simply improved cushioning with a greater level of responsiveness. The Kinvara12 has much to live up to.
So following a quick look at the the Kinvara12, this is what we found…

The New Kinvara12
First off the new look is terrific.  The Kinvara12 looks bold in it’s Bright-Future colourway and is definitively distinctive.  It is definitely a statement without being garish. It gets our approval here at Accelerate Towers.

Now the upper gets a revamp. Stripped back to save further weight, yet it very much looks like comfort and fit has been maintained.  Following a quick try-on it was definitely feeling good.  Tongue is sewn in to the sides as well and fit around the mid foot is as good as ever.

This is also where most of the weight saving has been made in this new lighter version.
Weight:
Women’s Kinvara12: 184 grams (UK size 5)
Men’s Kinvara12: 213 grams (UK size 8)

The Sole
Probably the main thing you will notice is the heel shape.  Turn the shoe over and you can see the heel is the newer distinctive ‘Dovetail’ shape.

Kinvara12 Sole

It is said that this helps to even out impact forces and allowing the foot to roll more consistently through the contact phase.  Whilst we are looking at the sole, Saucony have kept to minimal rubber overlays. This is pretty much as has been in previous iterations of the Kinvara and we have never really seen it as a problem – unless you use the shoe to brake whilst on your bike!

The Midsole
Cushioning or underfoot protection.
The stack height has change little and retains the 4mm drop.

Stack Height measured:
Drop: 4mm  Heel: 28.5mm  Forefoot: 24.5mm

The midsole however gets an update with the addition of TPU to the EVA midsole mix.  This will increase resilience and the distribution of impact forces. It will likely increase the firmness of the feel of the shoe yet in our experience of similar midsoles it will still feel cushioned. No doubt good for the long run.
As a result the shoe will feel responsive, in so much that your energy when you push will not be lost to the shoe. ‘Pingy’ is how we often described the older Kinvara’s and we expect this to feel no different in the Kinvara12.

So What do We Think?
Yes, we are kinda excited for the New Kinvara12. We think it will definitely feel different to previous versions, yet not to the extent that it is a completely new shoe.  Lighter has to be a good thing, a firmer midsole definitely gives it a different slant to the ‘rocker shaped big stacked midsoles’ found in many new shoes.  As a mid mileage shoe it ticks the boxes, for those wanting a lighter distance racing shoe, well definitely. As a go to tempo or speed session shoe, we really do think so.  Plus, if you are thinking of stepping into your first pair of traditional racing shoes, well right now, I couldn’t think of a better place to start.
A shoe that definitely should be tried before you buy.

As to the new colourway – oh yes, we are digging this.

Shop for the Saucony Kinvara12: Women’s fit Kinvara12 >> Men’s Kinvara12 >>

Special Note: For those running in the Endorphin Range then these really are a compliment. The danger is that in (and research has backed this up) running all your runs in your lovely rolling oversized shoes, with or without a carbon plate, you are doing your feet and lower limb a dis-service. You run the risk of weakening your lower limb and foot muscles and ligaments. So increase the risk of injury.  We have also seen an increase in adapted running form, that unfortunately is not doing anyone any favors. So popping on a pair of Kinvara12’s or similar is actually a really good idea.

Finally a Word on Responsiveness…
It’s all in the eye of the beholder.These days we refer to responsiveness as a positive feedback from the shoe – a bounce back from the midsole. The jury is out on how much difference this really makes and some research suggests that your foot (should) moves too quickly to gain any benefit.
Back in the old days, now that says something about my age, responsiveness remains more about that ‘pingy’ feeling. A shoe you can run off, without feeling as though all your energy and push has been lost to the midsole.

Please NOTE: The New Kinvara12 is due to arrive this February 2020.  ETA is TBC.

Scott Cruise, tried and tested

Accelerate Scott Team member Harvey was lucky enough to get his hands on a new pair of the Scott Running Cruise. The newest member in Scotts range. Read on to hear all his thoughts on them.

The Cruise is the latest addition to Scott’s road running line up. Using their latest Kinetic midsole, a single layered engineered mesh upper and their eRide technology which rolls you forward with every stride. It has resulted in an interesting shoe to run in…

First Impressions

So this is a strange one. Straight out the box they comfy and feel nice to walk around in. However, to run in I just couldn’t get one with them, they felt heavy, to firm and clunky and I felt sluggish wearing them. So not the best start. But I persevered wearing them to see if breaking them in might help with this.

Specs

Weight: 280g

Drop/ Stack height: 11mm, 15mm in the toe and 26mm in the heel

Midsole: Kinetic Foam, Claiming 14% more energy return than standard EVA midsole

Best use: Road Running

Support: Neutral

After 200 (ish) Miles

They now feel completely different, they are the shoe I reach for whenever I’m heading out on a run. So what has changed?

After around 50 miles the midsole began to break in and feel more alive and responsive, less like a boat on my foot. The upper has also stretched and moulded slightly to my foot making them even comfier than when I first got them.

After the 50 mile mark they have been a great shoe and I have started to use them for more and more of my training. Initially, I only took them out on my easy days when I didn’t want to run too fast and wanted a bit more between me and thew ground. Gradually I have started to use them for more of my longer runs and even a few speed session and they have been amazing. They just do everything I want from a shoe, feel well cushioned enough that I’m not getting beaten up and light enough that even when they are at higher paces they feel great.

There are very few shoes that I feel I can use for every part of my training, the only others are the Saucony Kinvaras.

 

If you have had Scott shoes before and are in need of a new road shoe the Cruise is defiantly worth a try on. The Mens can be found here >> and the Womens here >>

The Saucony Endorphin Pro

I have been lucky enough to get my hand on a pair of the Endorphin Pro’s. The latest entry from Saucony in the carbon shoe battle happening right now. If you head to any busy running area you are bound to see at least a couple of people wearing carbon plated shoes.

Ever since the first few companies released carbon plated shoes and amassed a cult following, PB’s and world records started dropping like flies. Until now I haven’t had a pair, so when the Endorphins bounced through the door I was very interested to see if the hype they had built up was really worth it.

The first thing that hit me out the box was “WOW, these are a flippin good looking shoe”. Bright and bold colors just catching your eye. Yet still maintaining the same look of current running shoes unlike some of the carbon shoes out there.

Slipping your foot into them, they are comfy but not plush. They use Saucony’s FormFit to wrap around and hold your foot firmly in place. The upper is lightweight with no added extras to

maintain a racey feel. Its made with a single-layer engineered mesh upper which is highly breathable to keep your foot cool and drain any water or sweat with ease.

The midsole is Saucony’s latest and greatest PWRRUNPB foam a peba based foam. It claims to be super responsive and cushioned but with the longevity of a standard midsole (500 miles). Sandwiched in between is an S-shaped carbon fiber plate, there to fire you forward with every step. Couple this with Saucony’s new Speedroll meta-rocker and it has the potential to be a very fast shoe. It comes in a whopping 35.5mm stack height in the heel and 27.5 in the forefoot for an 8mm drop. Not quite your traditional racing flat.

To finish it off the outsole use a minimal amount of high carbon rubber compound and exposed midsole to keep them down to a featherweight 213g (UK size 9)

Just jogging up and down in them is a very odd sensation. They feel very soft however, you can feel the plate sandwiched in them as if you are running through mud then hit firm ground. Then roll onto the toe and snap forward. Very strange. But not bad at the same time just very different from anything I have used before.

The first proper opportunity I got to use them was a 3k time trial with some of Team Accelerate. I was excited, to say the least, after hearing all the stats that have been thrown about the Endorphin and other shoes like it. Were they really 4% more efficient than a standard trainer? Well…….

They are bouncy, very bouncy. The combination of soft and springy foam along with the carbon plate results in a shoe with a lot of pop. They feel fast, one of the biggest changes I noticed was how much longer I felt like I was in the air after each stride, almost floating. Now I know they are meant to be a marathon shoe but after 3k my legs felt as if they hadn’t done much not sore or tight even when coming down the small hill in the course it didn’t feel as if they were pounding my legs, still just bouncing along.

I know this was only 3k but still for longer races they certainly could come I handy to keep you feeling fresher even in the later stages of a race.

In short, if you can get hold of a pair then 100% go for it, they are an amazing shoe. They make you feel fast and want to run faster! For anything from 10k and above they are an incredible shoe. The one you pull out on race day when you want to rip it and break PB’s. Get a pair here >> today, alternatively take a look at the Endorphin Speed, a more forgiving racer/ quick trainer, here >>

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"