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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!!

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

Team A Wooler Review – Continued

After a wicked weekend in Wooler, the team have rested, recovered and put together their own experience on paper after such a successful weekend!!

Harvey

The trail outlaws Wooler half has become a bit of an annual event for me over the last few years. It’s a great event, in a stunning place with some lovely people who run it. Well, this year I fancied something a bit different and opted for the marathon. This is significantly longer than I have ever raced before, bar once but I do well to block out that memory…

Like any trail race it started with a very unassuming feel but with a nervous excitement and energy of what’s to come.

10k in and everything was going very smoothly, over the cheviot and all still going well. This is where the first hints of danger came, only halfway in and a twinge of cramp. Part of me saying stay calm it’s okay, the other half s******g myself I wouldn’t make it round.

Fast forward another 20k that past in a blur of too many gels, some stunning views, knee deeps bogs and the odd cramp and I’m done.

A week on and I have already blocked out the mud, sore legs and walking down the stairs backwards and only remember the views, great memories and cheering the rest of the team around on Sunday. Did I have fun, definitely, will I go back, probably.

Eddie

The Wooler Trail Half Marathon is a 14 mile trail run through the heart of the Northumberland National Park, starting and finishing in Wooler, with 741 metres of climbing! The race is organised by Trail Outlaws who put on various trail events in the North of England and Southern Scotland and was sponsored by Scott Sports UK.

6 Members of Team A- the performance running group overseen and personally coached by Head Coach Stuart Hale of Accelerate entered into the race with 5 of us doing the half and the other doing the marathon

As someone who much prefers to stick to good old reliable road running (and preferably flat) this was certainly out of my usual comfort zone and a bit of shock to the system; the route covered features a mix of undulating terrain through forests, fields with livestock, streams, through/over several gates and stiles and across heathered moorland with a single checkpoint and water station at the halfway mark. Weather permitting the route offers splendid and often breath taking and uninterrupted views of the horizon. Thankfully apart from some rain in the hour leading up the start, it remained dry with good visibility allowing the views to be taken in, although this was often when struggling up the inclines or looking ahead to see how bad the next climb looked!  Some of the climbs were pretty brutal- none more so than having to reascend the at times very steep mile incline you have just descended to get to the checkpoint. The majority of the inclines are tackled within the first 14KM but there is still some undulation to be tackled before you get to the finish line however overall the inclines and declines themselves aren’t very technical and would be considered reasonably beginner friendly, a group I would certainly put myself in for this type of terrain. With a great pair of trail shoes (Scott Supertrac RC 2) I found grip to be in abundance and would often find myself overtaking people on the descents, I really did feel confident with my footing that I wasn’t suddenly going to slip or end up with a nasty injury and when I was able to turn up the pace the shoes felt lightweight and responsive.

Overall it was an extremely well organised event, with facilities to leave bags at the start/ finish area, the entire route was obviously marked throughout (and dare I say even I would have struggled to have gotten lost) and  plenty of supportive marshals along the way with  finishers awarded a medal and a quality t-shirt at the end.

Whilst im still not a fully fledged convert to trails I do look forward to hopefully doing it again next year with the team and looking to improve on my time. I can certainly see how doing more trails and off road running can benefit a self confessed “road runner specialist” and will try to incorporate this a bit more into my training. For anyone looking to get into this themselves Accelerate offer ATR groups (Accelerate trail run), a twice weekly friendly and sociable off road run at a steady  sustained pace with plenty of stops and regrouping, more information can be found instore if interested.

Will

The Wooler trail half marathon was my first time racing this distance and my first trail race in over two years. I had no idea what to expect from the race but was excited to put on my trail shoes and head up north with the team. The sky was grey as we arrived in race HQ but started to clear as we toed the line with everyone excited to set off. I felt strong as the race began, conserving my energy but taking the race out at a strong pace with Jonah beside me. I pushed on solo as we got into the hills and the mud, aiming to keep Chris in sight as we raced further away from civilisation.

The long climb at the turning point halfway round the course was the hardest part of the race for me. My legs started to tire as did my morale, but a strawberry yoghurt gel (much nicer than it sounds!) and a few sips of water perked me up as I reached the top of the climb. I was able to pick up the pace as I descended back into Wooler and hold onto second place. Overall, I was very pleased with how the race went. I felt strong over the half marathon distance and feel like the longer efforts in training, and strength and conditioning work in recent months, has made me able to compete over longer distance events. I’m looking forward to the Percy Pud 10K in December and potentially some cross country races in the new year.

Jonah

After a long training block and a tiresome first few weeks of sixth form, I felt happy in the knowledge that I would be back racing at the weekend of the Wooler Trail Half Marathon. So on Friday, two days before the race, Chris, Harvey and I embarked on the long drive up to Northumberland, a pleasant journey where we talked about race plans and Harvey’s preparation for the marathon, which was on Saturday.
When we arrived, Harvey knocked up a delicious mushroom dahl, which must’ve been good seeing as I don’t normally like mushrooms. It was then time to relax, settling down for the evening to watch a film, after discovering the local Co-op.
On Saturday, after Harvey had set off on his marathon, Chris, Michelle and I – one of the Scott reps- went to support Harvey at the first checkpoint in the marathon at 10k, where he came through in a brilliant 2nd. After this, we drove back to the finish to see Harvey come in, taking the win and smashing the course record by over ten minutes! Well done to Harvey!
Back at the house, with Harvey sprawled on the sofa, the rest of the team arrived, with Eddie, Hugh and Will completing the group. It was now time to get down to business and talk team tactics and start to gather our kit ready for the race the next day. While Eddie, Hugh and Will went for a shakeout run (me and Chris had already been earlier), I helped Chris make lasagne for tea ready for when the others got back.
After eating the delicious lasagne while watching a film about the spine race, it was time to kip down for the night, to get some well needed rest, ready for the day ahead.

It was race day- I woke up around 6:30 in the morning and made porridge for the team, then it was time to pack our gear, and off we went to the start.
After collecting numbers, it was time for a short warm up to get the legs going and to mobilise. As a new member to the team, mobilisation was a newer thing to me, but it really does make a world of difference.

By now, it was absolutely tipping it down, and on the start line, I went over the race plan that I’d made with coach Stuart to go fairly easy, wind up the pace in the second half, and most of all, enjoy the experience.
It’s safe to say that after one kilometre of running, that plan was positively out of the window; I’d set off at a relatively conservative pace and just thought, “this is boring, let’s go faster.”
Throughout the race, I constantly enjoyed the magnificent scenery of the Cheviots, an area I was not previously familiar with. I had settled into a good rhythm and was holding third place, with Chris in first, and Will a couple of hundred metres ahead in second.
A sense of pride filled me as I rounded the top of the last major hill at 12k, and my inner 10k runner was unleashed for the final part of the race. For in my opinion the most enjoyable part of the race, I cruised along the last few kilometres, back down towards Wooler, and back down to the road. I rounded the corner to the sight of Chris and Michelle cheering me on with a little less than one kilometre to go.
As I crossed the line in 3rd place, I was greeted by Chris, Will and Harvey and the Team Accelerate podium clean sweep was complete.

A huge thank you to Chris and Michelle from Scott, and Scott for supporting the team and making the whole experience possible by gaining me special permission to enter.

What an experience overall, I definitely will be coming back and would certainly recommend this to anyone who is considering a longer trail race!

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.

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!

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.

Testing 1-2-3

The Big Running Weekend is only around the corner. We have loads of different activities for all abilities across the entire weekend where you can come to as many sessions as you like. Not only do we have all of these fun activities, there will be a whole range of different test shoes that you can try on at the different sessions which you can find out by reading below.

Test shoes available

Trail shoes

Saucony Peregrine 12 

The Saucony Peregrine is an iconic sight in the trail running world. This incredibly versatile shoe is used and loved by many runners. Version 12 see’s some pretty major updates to keep it at the forefront of the trail running market but without sacrificing what you know and love.

The Peregrine is Saucony ultimate do it all trail shoes, and version 12 does not disappoint. Having received a rather large facelift while retaining the same Peregrinesk feel. Starting with the whopping 75-gram weight saving, even deeper lugs for better grip and finally, a new upper that even uses recycled materials. what a winner.

  • Trail running
  • 4mm drop 26.5mm/22.6mm
  • 275g in men’s size 8UK
  • 235g in women’s size 6UK

Saucony Peregrine 12 ST

The Peregrine 12 ST can handle it all thanks to dig-deep traction and a nimble ride that can outlast messy terrain. Even in the worst conditions, it’s got everything you need. Version 12 see’s a drastic reduction in weight along with a new outsole pattern to increase grip and traction while reducing the amount of dirt and mud that can get stuck.

The Peregrine 12 ST thrives when the path stops, the muddier and more off trail you go the shoe really comes into its own. Thanks to its slightly lower profile design even the most technical of trails won’t feel any trouble.

  • Trail and Fell running
  • 4mm drop 26.5mm/22.5mm
  • 289g in men’s size 8UK
  • 246g in women’s size 6UK

Dynafit Alpine

The latest trail shoe to grace the ranks of the Dynafit lineup is certainly eye catching. Its lightweight stripped backed and racey design is ideal for high speed descents, long slogging uphills andtechnical terrains where being light is key. We feel this is where the Dynafit Alpine really excels.

Dynafit says “Lightweight, responsive Trail Running shoe. Cushioning and a comfort fit make it ideal for diverse conditions on technical terrain. With a drop of 6 mm from heel to forefoot and a mid-volume design, the ALPINE is the ideal shoe for fast workouts and runs of various distances. Standout features are its lightness and a grippy Vibram outsole with the MEGAGRIP rubber blend. Its seamless tongue lends superb comfort. Its rounded Alpine Rocker sole design and well-balanced cushioning achieve a dynamic, responsive ground feel. All told, the ALPINE Trail Running Shoe offers everything that you need for your daily training runs”

  • Trail running
  • 6mm drop
  • 260g in men’s size 8UK
  • 220g in women’s size 6UK

Dynafit Ultra 100

Dynafit say “The DYNAFIT Ultra 100 Trail Running shoe offers maximum cushioning. It was developed for all athletes striving to conquer ultra long distances. The maximum shoe volume guarantees a comfortable fit even after hours of running on challenging trails. Needed cushioning was a key focus during the development of the Ultra 100 midsole. Combined with a POMOCA outsole, runners get excellent cushioning and superb grip on all surfaces and conditions. With the Invisible Lacing system, a stretch lace cover adds increased protection against dirt and pebbles getting into shoes on the trail.”

  • Trail Running
  • 6mm drop
  • 300g in men’s size 8UK
  • 270g in women’s size 6UK

 

Dynafit Feline SL

A very well made bulletproof trail shoe that can get chucked around and keep going strong. The chevron shaped lugs helps to grip the ground in the wet and dry to give your confidence in the shoe no matter the weather. A firm feeling midsole can take a bit of getting used to but they does soften up after the first few run for a smooth and stable feeling shoe.

Dynafit says “With its deep, aggressive tread, the Feline SL running shoe for men guarantees optimum traction on soft and muddy surfaces. The shoe is a proven DYNAFIT bestseller and a true Swiss army knife for every trail adventure. The Feline SL is an impressive, versatile, sturdy companion that will keep you feeling totally great on soft surfaces as well as on mud and snow. In particularly suitable for middle distances, the Feline SL scores big for its responsiveness, ideal traction, and well-balanced cushioning.”

  • Trail Running
  • 8mm drop
  • 290g in men’s size 8UK
  •  250g in women’s size 6UK

Scott Supertrac 3

Back and better than ever, the new Scott Supertrac 3 boasts a new and improved upper while keeping its infamous outsole with all terrain traction. The Suptertrac is grippy enough to handle all kinds of mud and rocks while having thecushioning to go as far as you want in plus comfort.

Scotts says “Our most popular mountain performance shoe with ALL TERRAIN TRACTION to handle everything from the muddiest valley floor to rocky mountain ridges. Featuring a nylon ripstop upper to add higher levels of durability to our best-selling model in the collection.”

  • Trail running
  • 8mm drop 29mm/21mm
  • 320g for men’s size 8UK
  • 290g for women’s size 6UK

Road Shoes

Scott Carbon RC

A long anticipated shoe from Scott is the release of their carbon racing shoe. well, the Speed Carbon has not disappointed. Scott has created a new superlight and responsive midsole, teamed up with Carbitex to make the plate and a new water-resistant mesh upper that stay light even in the wet. Made for road racing, fast!

 

Carbon shoes have taken the road racing world by storm. Scott have been later to the party here making sure they are as good as they can be. Firmer than most carbon shoes on the market they are spanning the gap between a more traditional feeling racing flat but with the technology found in the racing shoes of today.

  • Road racing
  • 5mm drop 30mm/25mm
  • 240g in men’s size 8UK
  • 220g in women’s size 6UK

Scott Pursuit

Any great superhero needs a sidekick, well, super-shoes are no different. The Pursuit from Scott does just this, a lightweight highly cushioned everyday road running shoe, a great counterpart to Scott’s carbon racing shoe the Speed Carbon RC. The Pursuit has been designed as an everyday road running shoe to clock up the training miles, ideal for using on easy days or when you want to pick up the pace.

Scott Says “The Pursuit is our latest performance road running shoe.  It’s dynamic, light and fast. Featuring our new ER2 rocker geometry and our lightest foam in range, the Kinetic Light foam, your foot is nicely wrapped into a breathable mesh meaning you get the perfect ally to run faster for longer.”

  • Road running
  • 8mm drop 30mm/22mm
  • 250g in men’s size 8UK
  • 230g in women’s size 6UK

Saucony Endorphin Pro

New and improved, the all-new Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 has all of the great assets of the 1 but with an updated upper to help improve fit, lockdown and give you that secure feel even when pushing it to the limit. The Endorphin Pro 2 firmly falls into the racing shoe category. In this new age of carbon plated racers, Saucony have stamped themselves firmly at the top with the Endorphin been able to tackle everything from 5k through to ultra distance road races and with a new PB in the process.

Saucony says “Born from speed, the Endorphin Pro 2 was designed to help you step up your race pace, one step at a time. A superior fit and more heel support mean you can keep your eye on the finish line. And with our ultralight PWRRUN PB and a carbon fibre plate, there’s no doubt you’ll get there faster than ever before.”

  • Road racing shoe
  • 8mm drop 35.5mm / 27.5mm
  • 213g in men’s size 8UK
  • 179g in women’s size 6UK

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2

A standout performer of 2020 was definitely the Saucony Endorphin Speed, an ideal training counterpart to the Saucony Endorphin Pro. The Endorphin Speed 2 looks to have upped the bar even further. Still using a full PWRRUN PB midsole and an S-Shaped nylon plate with SPEEDROLL technology to roll you forward with every stride. The biggest change is the upper, an improved fit to help with lockdown and keep you secure in the shoe.

The Endorphin Speed 2 is designed to be the training partner for the Endorphin Pro, Used for longer tempo’s or speed sessions, even to race in. The nylon plate is designed to propel you forward with been as aggressive on your lower legs as a carbon version, ideal for smashing sessions in.

  • Road racing shoe
  • 8mm Drop (35.5mm/27.5mm
  • 224g in men’s size 8UK
  • 198g in women’s size 6UK

All of these will be available to try over the course of the weekend, you can swap shoes between runs so you can see what each pair is like. If you havent  got a ticket to the Big Running Weekend yet, then click here

Scott Supertrac 3: Tried, Tested and Abused

Meet the new and improved, do it all, mountain shoe from Scott the Supertrac 3. Team Accelerate Athlete and all round shoe nerd Harvey has been busy putting them through their paces.

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 >> 

Get to know the Supertrac 3

  • 320g in men’s 8UK 290g in women’s 6UK
  • 8mm drop 29mm in the heel 21mm in the forefoot
  • 6mm deep lugs providing All Terrain Traction

Let’s start with a few specs, the new Supertrac 3 comes in at 320g for a men’s 8 UK and 290g from women’s 6 UK. The 8mm drop combined with Scotts new AeroFoam+ midsole and iconic eRIDE rocker results in a fast and poppy turnover. A new ripstop upper solves lots of the durability issues that have appeared in older versions.

First impression:

Out of the box they have a sturdy and well built feel. The fit through the midfoot feels a little narrower than other Scotts but eases after the first few uses. A padded tongue and heel counter gives the shoe an extra plush feel, ideal for spending all day in them. New for version 3 of the Supertrac is Scotts Aerofoam+ midsole, the same as found in their RC lineup. Boasting better weight to cushioning ratio and having increased energy return is certainly something you can feel. I never got on with the older version they felt heavy, clunky, and cumbersome. Well, all that’s changed, they now feel poppy almost helping your legs to turn over at a faster cadence without trying. Flipping the shoe over is where it gets exciting, chunky 6mm chevron lugs make light work of muddy trails, however, thanks to their larger volume don’t lose out on harder trails or connecting roads. The All Terrains Traction Scott claim certainly fits the bill.

How are they holding up:

After around 90 miles of use, amazingly. I have to admit that I’m not the most diligent with cleaning my shoes. And still, these beauties are showing hardly any signs of wear. I have used them in a real mix of conditions. From hard packed trails, gravel, loose dirt to deep soul sucking mud, the outsole still looks in great nic. A shoe designed primarily for the mud and tougher going trails then I have been blown away by how well they handle themselves on longer road sections. Traditionally with a shoe that has deeper lugs, you sacrifice its ability to run on the road, the Supertrac 3 doesn’t! The upper and in particular where the little toe sits still looks solid, this is very reassuring as this is where previous models have failed.

Who is the Supertrac 3 best for:

If you are after a grippy trail come fell shoe with a good amount of cushioning that can tackle running on the road for a prolonged period. Something you can spend all day in, then the Supertrac 3 could be just what you are looking for.

Sold on them and want a pair right now? The men’s are available here >> and the women’s are available here >>  Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out now.

Winter Running Essentials

Winter. Love it or loath it living in the UK its something we can’t get around. When you combine that with heading into the hills. What to carry in your pack can be life saving. Now this list is personal and will vary depending on where about you are running. For instance, nipping up and down the canal toe past you might need to take less vs heading up a snow-capped peak you might pack more. This is simply a guide to work from.

Layed outAll Packed up

  • Waterproofs, both Jacket and Trousers with taped seams
  • An extra base layer, Merino is great as its light and works even when wet
  • Gloves, Hat, and a Buff
  • Whistle
  • Map and Compass
  • Mobile Phone
  • Mini First Aid Kit (Bandage, Fabric Tape and Antiseptic Whips)
  • Survival Blanket or Bag
  • Food and Water (minimum Water Bottle)
  • Head Torch and Spare Batteries

Lastly, you will need a waist belt or pack to carry all this in. Depending on how small and packable your kit is will vary the size of pack you will need. Here at Accelerate, we have a wide range of different running packs, race vest and waist belts to try and give you as much choice when trying on different designs to help find the right one for you. To see our full range of Packs follow the link Here >>

Dynafit Feline SL, Tried and Tested

The Feline SL from Dynafit is the first in their new trail running range. It’s the combination of a shoe for high alpine terrain too rough and muddy peak district slopes. Striking colorways isn’t the only reason they will have you turning your head for a second look. While still a relatively unknown brand in the UK, Dynafit has a big presence in the European sky touring seen. We are seeing some exciting things coming from them in the coming season not just in the new shoes they have but also in their high-performance apparel. Ultramarathon runner and Accelerate community Lee has been putting the Feline SL through some of the Peak Districts boggiest bogs.

  1. I bought my Dynafit Feline SL in July and have run around 150 miles in them so far. It’s been a mix of local tracks and trails, on the fells of the Peak District, and the Scottish highlands.
  2. My first impressions, straight out the box. The Feline SL is a good looking shoe, its bright contrasting colors make it really stand out. A great all-round shoe.
  3. I normally run in Inov-8 X Talon Ultra & the Salomon Fell raisers. I would say the Dynafit’s are a slightly heavier shoe than the others. However, once you have them on your feet they feel equal if not a little bit lighter.
  4. It’s a nice snug feel compared to what I am used to. It gives you a good secure lockdown. As soon as you put them on your feet it feels like your wearing slippers. No rubbing or blisters at all!
  5. The midsole is firm to start with but loosens up after a few runs. They have a responsive feel, which is great for the short fast sessions and long slow plods in the Peaks. A really comfy shoe.
  6. The lugs are super grippy on both wet and dry rock. They have good traction on wet and muddy ground. perfect for the bogs of the Peak District.
  7. The quick lace system is good, very secure, and easy to use.  The little pocket to tuck the end in to stop it from flapping around is really helpful.

There you have it if you are looking for a new pair of do it all trail shoes and want to change it up. Why not take a look at the Dynafit Feline SL. A great all rounder with good cushioning and great grip. See the Men’s shoes here >> and the Women’s shoes here >>

Team Accelerate Scott Athlete Stuart Walkers opinion on the new Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC

I have been wearing Scott shoes for a while now, and it’s fair to say they have got better and better. From originals like the Trail Rockets, they have kept what was good and thrown away what didn’t work.

My current favorites are the Supertrac RC Ultra, which has basically been my go-to shoes for everything (except rare tarmac outings) for the last couple of years. The latest release from Scott is the Kinabalu Ultra RC. These came out in June and lots of excited people have talked about how good they are in summer, but what about now we’re into the season of cold and sloppiness… will they be any good for winter?!

I recently moved from Sheffield to Cornwall. You might imagine that running down here is all flat hard-packed coast path trails and it’s basically sunny all the time? I did, but apparently not. I took the shoes out for a 20 mile training run last weekend and found almost every type of terrain. So, how were they? Here’s a quick roundup of how I found them on each type of terrain, in the order I found them…

Tarmac:
I wouldn’t wear these for a road run, but they are really comfy. Straight out of the box these were a nice shoe to wear. Running on hard trails tends to reveal any hotspots of discomfort and I found none with these. They also feel (and are) really nice and light, which has been a legit criticism of some Scott shoes in the past.

Mud:
I found plenty of mud! When the whole trail is ankle-deep sloppy mud there aren’t many shoes that are going to cope well, but the key for me is that they shed the mud as you get away from it and you don’t end up with a shoe full of gritty stuff. On this, they score highly. Something with a deeper tread would grip better, but in this stuff, you’re going to slop about whatever happens and I’d rather not have to empty my shoes out at the end!

Submerged bog:
More one for you Peak district folks than me, but courtesy of Goonhilly Downs I was able to test on this terrain to my heart’s content. Spongy bog with a foot of water on top: Check. Deep sinky bog which tries to steal your shoes: Check. Soft squishy bog with sharp gorse and brambles: Check.
I found good performance in all of these, to be honest, they were grippier than I expected. Again the mud/water shedding is good, my feet didn’t get cold, and the laces didn’t come undone despite only single knots (rubbish laces annoy me so this is a big plus!).

Beach:
Well, we are in Cornwall! I’ve not yet found a good beach running shoe. These are as good as any. On dry stony beaches, they grip well. I’ve yet to find anything that does grip on a seaweed-covered rock, but I can confirm these don’t.

Coast path (hard trail):
Up on the cliffs on a dry day, trying to run fast, these are in their element. The grip works best on this type of terrain, which reminds me a bit of Derwent Edge. When you’re trying to press on a bit, their lightweight is a great advantage and they feel really stable. They don’t feel like an 8mm drop shoe!

Summary:
I found the original RC with this tread liked to go fast, but didn’t work so well for plodding. The Supertrac Ultra RC are awesome and can do everything, but they aren’t the lightest.

These new Kinabalu Ultra RC seem to have all bases covered. They combine the best elements of my favourite Scott shoes into a very comfortable, lightweight and fast shoe. I’d pick them for everything from a short fast training run to a winter ultra, unless it was going to be a total bog-fest, in which case I’d go to the Supertracs.

So yes, these can be a fast summer training and racing shoe, but there’s nothing to say they can’t do the same for you all winter. Mine will be. We all have our personal preferences, but lightweight, well designed and good quality shoes are surely a good start for anyone!

A final note on longevity:
This is important these days, as we want our shoes to last for both financial and environmental reasons. I haven’t had these long enough to be sure, but I have been amazed at the lifetime I’ve had from recent Scott shoes, and these seem to combine the life-extending elements of those (particularly the RC sole and the raised edge of the outer from the Supertrac RC), so I have high hopes. One area I’ll be watching is across the top of the toe box, as this seems to be where my Scott shoes all eventually die.

Interested in trying a pair yourself. Follow the link Here >> for the Mens and Here >> for the Women’s.

To keep up with all Stu’s exploits find him Here >>