Brooks launched the initial line of PureProject shoes back in 2011. This year welcomes the third iteration of the PureConnect, PureFlow, PureCadence, and PureGrit (the PureDrift, which was the most minimal of the group, does not appear to be getting an update and looks to be discontinued, as far as I can tell). However, for 2014, the PureProject name will also extend to an apparel line, described by Brooks as a streetwise collection that marries performance and style, such that it's appropriate "for wherever the run takes you." Today I'll be reviewing the Brooks PureProject Jacket.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I have a confession to make: I suck at New Year's resolutions. It's not that I'm against self-improvement, but pinning it all on one day is a lot of pressure. One of my friends and I have this motto that states: "New training plans start on Mondays." It's a lot less pressure if I screw up (and it's inevitable that at some point, I will screw up), but having a definitive start date prevents the whole "I'll start tomorrow" procrastination deal. Now, of course if I mess up on Tuesday, that doesn't mean I throw in the towel for the week, but you get the point. So I was going to go another year of no New Year's resolutions...until ZonePerfect emailed me and told me about their Blog Forward Challenge. Basically, I make some resolutions to better myself, while hopefully inspiring you guys to also better yourselves. And then every so often ZonePerfect sends me ZonePerfect bars (which I already buy whenever they're on sale, so it saves this poor grad student some money), and throughout the year, ZonePerfect says they're going to be hosting giveaways and have coupons for you guys. Sounds good to me! I think I can change my Monday resolutions to New Year's resolutions for that. Plus the extra accountability of having this all online won't hurt. So here we go:
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
The Mizuno Wave Rider has been a mainstay in the neutral running category for as long as I can remember. Seriously, the first Rider was introduced in 1998, and I didn't start running until '99. And I'd bet there are some young'uns reading this review who are actually younger than the Rider! In an industry that seems to have remarkably high shoe model turnover, for a shoe to last that long without being discontinued or replaced, it must be a fairly successful shoe. This holds especially true for Mizuno, who currently seems to be in the process of hacking down its line, with the Elixir and Precision being consolidated into the Sayonara, the Ronin and Musha being replaced by the Hitogami, and the Nirvana and Alchemy being discontinued in favor of the Paradox. That's not to say the Rider hasn't hit any stumbling blocks, with the original Rider being a bulky nightmare nicknamed the "Kiss boot," and even the relatively recent Rider 14 getting a lot of negative backlash from longtime Rider fans. After the Rider 14 debacle, Mizuno returned to more familiar territory with the Rider 15. Two iterations later, Mizuno hasn't strayed far from that formula, introducing a familiar, yet much lighter, Mizuno Wave Rider 17.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Never let it be said that Brooks doesn't listen to their customers. There were two issues that people seemed to complain about with the PureConnect: the poor durability caused by a lack of lateral forefoot rubber and the narrow toebox. While the PureConnect 2, which was pretty much the PureConnect with a burrito-upper, was most likely already designed and a done deal by the time these complaints came out, these issues were addressed for the third iteration. The result is the Brooks PureConnect 3, a new shoe that has seen an extensive redesign, yet still shares some of the DNA of its predecessor (no pun intended).
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Mizuno Wave Universe 4 was a cool shoe. Light, responsive, flexible, and fast, it was the closest thing to my beloved Adidas adiZero PR that I could find (the PR was an early ultralight that had been discontinued a while ago). It had one big issue that held it back though, and that was the somewhat sloppy upper, which traded the sleek performance-fit of the PR for a roomy forefoot that seemed more in-line with minimalist shoes allowing for toe-splay than racing flats that prioritized speed. Thankfully, Mizuno has finally realized that women like to run fast too, and now offers both men's and women's specific Universes (women generally have proportionately narrower feet, and though the Universe 4 was finally available in small sizes, they were still men's D width instead of women's B width), and the gender-engineered Mizuno Wave Universe 5 is a winner.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Tony Post is probably best known as the CEO of Vibram during the rise of FiveFingers. However, in his post-Vibram days, Post has founded a new company, Topo Athletic, that does away with the five toe design and instead draws inspiration from the Japanese tabi (aka the ninja shoe) to be the Topo two-toe. They're also coming out with regular non-split toe shoes, but I digress. Topo has different lines for different purposes: the RR for racing, RT for training, and RX for cross-training/lifting (the ST is their regular non-split toe shoe, but I'm not sure of where it fits into the line as of this writing). In a bit of a change of pace from my normal running shoe reviews, because Cait Chock guilted me into lifting more, I'll be reviewing the Topo Athletic Train RX (sometimes called the M-RX for men and W-RX for women).