Asics Cumulus 21
Gear Review, Running

Asics Cumulus 21 Shoe Review

Asics Cumulus 21 Shoe Review

Asics has been around the running world for years. The Asics Cumulus, the Asics Nimbus, and the Asics Kayano are all over 20 models old. A few years ago, Asics changed factories and their shoe quality went down.  The shoes were narrow and tight and many people went wider and even a full size larger. Shoe size is just shoe size but when you order the same shoe year after year and suddenly you’re a size bigger, it doesn’t do the brand any favors.

My point with that is from about 2015-2019, Asics was not great. In late 2019, they came out with the Asics Nimbus 22 and it was the first shoe in years I was impressed with from Asics.

Asics does win the award of most consistent with their technology.  The same Asics Gel from the 1990s is the same Asics gel now.

Now that we have that long introduction about Asics let’s get to the Asics Cumulus 21, also known as the Asics Gel Cumulus 21. Although there is no non-Asics Gel Cumulus 21 and there is no shoe called the “Asics Gel.”

The Gel Cumulus 21 is a lighter, less cushioned version of the Asics Nimbus 22.

Asics Cumulus 21
Asics Cumulus 21

Asics Cumulus 21 Quick Facts:

Weight: 9.9 ounces

Heel to Toe Drop: 10 mm

Asics Cumulus 21 Fit:

The fit of the Asics Cumulus 21 is what so many people are curious about!  Now, the Asics Cumulus 21 uses a  dual-layer mesh.  The toe box is wider and the Asics Cumulus 21 fits more true to size than it has in years.

First, Asics Cumulus 21 now uses a dual-layer mesh.  While more durable, the engineered jacquard mesh upper doesn’t breathe as well as I hoped.

One thing I wish Asics would remove (from all of their shoes) is the heavy Asics logo. It takes up a lot of space and just seems like unnecessary weight. Many brands have already gone towards screen printing their logos on shoes, so Asics should go that route too. Although the Asics logo doesn’t hinder anything with the fit of the Asics Cumulus 21, it just adds unnecessary weight.

I do appreciate is the higher heel collar in all Asics shoe. The higher internal heel counter and holds the foot in position. My foot feels secure when running in the Asics Cumulus 21.

Asics Cumulus 21
Higher heel counter in the Asics Cumulus 21

In running shoes, I typically wear between a 10-11 wide and I find the Asics Cumulus 11 wide to be the best fit. For a while, I couldn’t comfortably fit into the Asics Cumulus, but I can once again.

Asics Cumulus 21 Ride:

Asics, in general, is one of the heavier brands out there. That’s because Asics uses gel in (most) of their shoes and gel is a heavier substance. While the Asics Cumulus 21 is one of their lighter offerings, it’s still heavier compared to the Saucony Ride, Brooks Ghost, or Hoka Clifton. The Cumulus 21 is no different. The following is some of the features for the midsole and outsole of the Cumulus 21.

Asics Cumulus 21
Asics Cumulus 21 upper

The staple in most Asics shoes is the silicone-based gel, which absorbs shock. Gel is no better than other cushioning systems, but there is more cushion in the heel. The rear and forefoot gel technology is designed for shock absorption with a Flytefoam, low-density foam, in the midsole.

The midsole is made up of both Flytefoam and Flytefoam propel midsole technology. What is Flytefoam? It’s softer, low-density foams that provide bounciness and responsiveness. Asics introduced Flytefoam into many of their staples shoes to reduce weight but also provide a more responsive ride.  With the mixture of foams, I’ve found the Asics Cumulus 21 to provide responsiveness no matter the type of run.

Finally, like many shoes, the Asics Cumulus 21 uses “AHAR,” also known as ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. The rubber makes it great on rainy, wet, or icy days. If it’s icy or snowy, I’m more likely to grab the Asics Cumulus 21.

Asics Cumulus 21
Asics Cumulus 21 outsole

The Flytefoam Propel Technology, together with the rearfoot and forefoot gel technology, makes the Asics Cumulus 21 the softest and most responsive ride in a long time.

I’ve run a few different types of runs in the Asics Cumulus 21 and I find the best use is as a daily trainer or a shoe I’m standing around or at the gym in. I prefer the durable gel for long days at work or to reduce shock on easy runs. Lately, I’ve used the Asics Gel Cumulus 21 a lot for warmups and cooldowns for workouts and races.

Asics Cumulus 21
Asics Cumulus 21

Asics Cumulus 21 Conclusion:

The updated Asics Cumulus 21 is better than it has been in years. It’s exciting to see Asics getting back in the game. The Asics Cumulus 21 fits more comfortably and is a great trainer for someone looking for an everyday shoe for easy runs. It’s one of my favorite shoes to stand around, go to the gym, or even work in (yes, a running shoe that I use a lot for nonrunning). If you’ve run in the Asics Cumulus before, the major changes are the upper and a better fit than previous versions.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3New Balance 1080 v10Diadora Mythos Elite TRX, Hoka Bondi 6, Asics Cumulus 21

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review, New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Altra Escalante 2.0, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you run in the Asics Cumulus 21?

What is your current favorite running shoe? 

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Gear Review, Running

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

The original Brooks Ricochet was one of the brand new shoes using the DNA AMP cushioning.  Most people know Brooks for their soft cushioning (BioMoGo DNA) in shoes like the Brooks Ghost 12 or Brooks Glycerin 17. A few years ago, Brooks came out with a firmer cushioning called: DNA AMP, which you see in shoes like the Brooks Ricochet 2 or Brooks Levitate 3. Is firmer, better than softer? Only you and your body can decide. There is no best or right cushioning, but whatever feels best to you.

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review
Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

Brooks Ricochet 2 Quick Facts:

Weight: 8.1 Ounces

Heel to Toe Drop:

Brooks Ricochet 2 Fit:

Both the Brooks Ricochet 2 and Brooks Levitate 3 use a stretchy, flat knit upper. The heel collar is much higher than almost every shoe, so it “fits like a glove.” The flat-knit upper ensures you have a lightweight, but a breathable shoe with a sock-like fit.

I don’t love it when brands do this.  When Brooks started adding a higher heel collar and heel wrap with the Brooks Levitate 2, it cut me like a dagger. I was bleeding from the run.

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

The updated suede heel tab seems to do a better job, although not perfect.  Typically in running shoes, I wear between a 9.5-11 wide. In the Brooks Ricochet, I found the 10.5 to fit well.

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

Brooks Ricochet 2 Ride:

As I mentioned, the Brooks Ricochet 2 uses DNA Amp Cushioning. According to Brooks, this provides a light-responsive ride that gives more energy back. It’s lighter than the Brooks Levitate 3 but firmer than the Brooks Ghost 12.

The bottom has an “arrow point pattern outsole.” Together with the DNA, AMP cushioning works to roll from heel to toe quickly and smoothly. The energy return from the DNA Midsole is apparent when running faster. On slower, more comfortable runs, I felt like the shoe was weighing me down, and like a ton of bricks on my foot. With faster long runs and tempo runs, the DNA Amp Midsole responded to my movement and it felt like an energized ride.

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

For me, the Brooks Ricochet 2 fits best for a long run or tempo run. It feels too cumbersome as an easy road running shoe.

Brooks Ricochet Conclusion:

While I believe Brooks did a better job in the update of the Brooks Ricochet 2, I don’t think it’s perfect or “the best shoe ever.” I wish they would get rid of the sock-like upper fit and go towards a regular fitting upper. I’ll continue to use it for longer and faster runs. Between the Biomogo DNA and DNA Amp, I’m personally more of a BioMogo gal and prefer the soft and cushioned Brooks Ghost 12 or Brooks Glycerin 17.

The Brooks Ricochet 2 is a solid daily trainer and can handle mileage. It fits best as a faster effort and energized shoe but can be used as an easy run shoe too.  The Brooks Ricochet 2 is not my favorite shoe, nor my least but I’ll keep it around.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3New Balance 1080 v10Diadora Mythos Elite TRX, Hoka Bondi 6,

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: Brooks Richochet 2, New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Altra Escalante 2.0, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite shoe? 

Have you tried the Brooks Ricochet 2 

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Vest Review
Gear Review, Running

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration Vest Review

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration Vest Review (Also known as the S.A.S.)

Recently I’ve been looking for a lightweight hydration pack that I can use for 1-2 hours of hiking. I don’t need anything heavy-duty, but something to keep water and maybe a snack on the go without holding it.

The Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration seemed to meet those requirements, so I decided to try it.

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Vest Review

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration Vest Review

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration (S.A.S.) Features:

  • Minimalist vest designed for fast, ultrarunning, trail running or short hiking
  • Soft Flasks vital kit sits tight and close
  • The fabric is lightweight, breathable and chafe-free
  • Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration uses SensiFit system molds to the contours of your body
  • It also has front hydration pockets allow for easy access
  • Additional storage with front pockets and side zip pockets.
  • The Chest stretch pocket with silicone grip makes it easy to forget you’re wearing a pack
  • Plus, reflective details and a whistle. I’m not hiking at night but good features if you’re doing a 24-hour ultra or night race.
  • Sizing small, medium, large

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration (S.A.S.) Thoughts:

The greatest importance for me was to wear a pack but forget I was wearing a backpack. I wanted a pack that was lightweight and minimal and it didn’t feel like “another thing” I was carrying. That’s precisely what the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration is. It’s perfect for a short run or hike.

Salomon SAS Hydration Vest

I’m looking forward to using it more.

I appreciate the flasks are easily washable and I don’t have a giant bladder to clean out routinely. This pack isn’t meant for an all-day event, but something shorter. I appreciate the soft flasks and front stretch pockets for an ultimate gear stowing solution. I’ve used on several hikes less than 3 hours and never had an issue with chafing or feeling like it was bulky.

The Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration Pack isn’t a “one size fits all pack,” and I wear a small (I wear a small top too). Think unisex sizing, and whichever unisex top you typically wear should be reasonably comparable. Of course, I would try it on, if possible.

Salomon SAS Hydration Vest

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration (S.A.S.)?

What is your favorite pack? 

 

 

Nike Pegasus 36 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

Nike Pegasus 36 Shoe Review

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoe Review:

The Nike Pegasus is one of the most iconic shoes out there. It was many people’s first running shoe, including mine. Maybe the Pegasus 25?

It’s been a few years since I ran in the Nike Pegasus and to be honest, Nike isn’t the first brand I choose due to all of the recent events with their athletes. Nike made significant changes from the Pegasus 34 to 35, so the Pegasus 36 remains similar to the 35. The fit is better in the 36, but the ride is about the same.

Nike Pegasus 36 Shoe Review

Nike Pegasus 36 Quick Facts:

Nike Pegasus 36 Heel to Toe Drop 10mm

Nike Pegasus 36 Weight: 8.1 oz

Nike Pegasus 36 Fit:

Like many Nike shoes, the entire upper is a seamless engineered mesh upper. Most running brands are removing extra seems because they allow a better fit, especially if you have a wider forefront or bunion.  The upper enhances breathability in the forefoot and arch of the foot.  The Nike Pegasus 36 has a better fit overall than the Nike Pegasus 35. According to Nike, the exposed Flywire cables in the midfoot promote a snug fit at higher speeds and promote a smooth responsive ride while also reduces bulk.

Nike Pegasus 36 Shoe Review

Many people believe “Nike fits narrow,” and their casual shoes do. Most of the run specialty training shoes are narrow through the arch but have a wide forefront allowing feet to splay.

Nike Pegasus 36 Shoe Review

The Nike Pegasus 36 also has a high heel collar. The heel of the shoe flairs at the top? Nike claims this keeps the heel collar tongue from rubbing or irritating the Achilles tendon. Similar to the New Balance 1080. As someone who hasn’t had many Achilles tendon issues (seriously untying your shoes instead of sliding them off all of the time helps that).

Nike Pegasus 36 Shoe Review

Nike Pegasus 36 Ride:

In the Nike Pegasus, Nike uses Zoom Air cushion to give the Pegasus the feel of a “faster” shoe.  The full length zoom air unit makes the Nike Pegasus 36, a firm yet responsive cushioning trainer.

In all running shoes, the shoe itself as gone through the most transformation.  The recent significant changes in the Nike Pegasus came from the Pegasus 34 to the Pegasus 35.  Nike kept the Nike Pegasus 36 similar to the 35.

In fact, Nike kept the same Cushlon foam and full-length Zoom Air cushioning unit from version 35. The outsole remained the same as well.

If you are new to the Nike Pegasus, it’s a lightweight trainer.  I’ve used the shoe for an easy run, long runs, and workouts but ultimately settled on it for shorter, easy runs. My body wants more cushion (like the New Balance 1080) for further distance and I want something more responsive for workouts (like the Hoka One One Cavu 2). When I put on the Nike Pegasus 36, the shoe feels ready to go fast.

Nike Pegasus 36 Shoe Review

The Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Conclusion:

The Nike Pegasus 36 is a lightweight, everyday trainer that is good for almost anything, but not “the best” for anything.

There aren’t many significant changes from the Nike Pegasus 35 to the Nike Pegasus 36 Nike.  All of the updates in the Nike Pegasus 36 are in a better fit and more breathability.

Finally, if you have been in a Nike Pegasus and due to recent events want to try a different brand or shoe, I suggest the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel, New Balance 1080, Saucony Ride ISO, or Hoka Rincon.

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you: 

What is your favorite running shoe?

Have you tried the Nike Pegasus 36? 

 

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

The Mizuno Wave Rider has been around for years. It’s consistent and well put together shoe that has a strong following. For a while, I didn’t consider it a “shoe for me,” but in the last few years, I’ve enjoyed the firmness of the Mizuno Wave Rider.

Recently Mizuno created the Mizuno Rider Waveknit, which is a knit version of the Wave Rider. The Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 fits wider than the traditional Wave Rider which makes my feet happier.

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

What is the Difference between the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 23?

Basically the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 are the same shoe but with slightly different uppers. 

  • Both offer comfort and dynamic rides
  • Both use the Mizuno Wave cushioning featuring the smoothride midsoles crafted by combining u4icx and u4ic cushioning.
  • Both offer a natural fit with sleep design while working on a modern featherweight frame

There makes no sense to review both of them since the ride Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is the same.

The newest Wave Rider keeps the same responsive ride and laid back fit that made it famous, but it was due for a refresh. So Mizuno overhauled the look this year of both the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 to give it a fresh and modern look.

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Quick Facts:

Weight 8.3 oz,

Drop 12mm

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Fit:

Most of the update in the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 comes with the upper, so the fit and upper will be much more substantial. According to Mizuno, the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 looks better but still accommodates your foot well. The look of anything is subjective and only you can decide what looks good.

The Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 now uses a two-layered engineered mesh upper.  The two-layered breathable mesh upper allows for both stretch and structure.  Some years Mizuno runs slightly narrow, but this year they are a bit wider.  The Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 knitted upper combines a natural fit with sleek design to provide the ultimate comfort and dynamic response.  The moment you put your foot into the shoe you feel how sleek the design is.

Finally, both the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and Mizuno Wave Rider 23 has a higher internal heel counter, which allows the foot to feel more secure in place. The super secure fit continues throughout the most every version of the Mizuno Wave Rider and now the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3. The ankle collar is now much less bulky.

In all, the upper has the biggest update but all positive. In running shoes, I wear between a size 10-11 and I’ve found the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 and Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 size 11 to fit the best. They do come in wide, but the regular width size 11 is fine.

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and Mizuno Wave Rider 23 Ride:

The Mizuno Wave Rider 23 remains the same as the previous version Wave Rider 22 and Mizuno Waveknit R2. The midsole and cushioning didn’t change. So if that didn’t change, the ride didn’t change. So yes, all of the updates for the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 was in the upper.  This is the same with the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3.

If you are new to the Mizuno brand, they a wae plate to absorb and disperse shock. This keeps the shoe firm but also light.

To get nerdy with you, the Mizuno Wave Rider features a dual compound midsole with two foams: U4ic and U4icX foams.

    • The “U4ic foam” is durable and also reduces shock.  It runs the length of the shoe.
    • The compound midsole using “U4ic foam” is lighter and adds cushion but is only in the heel. That way, the heel has a cushioned and soft, but the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 remains responsive.

The Mizuno Wave Rider also has a 12 mm heel to toe drop, which means the heel is much higher. This allows for a smooth transition from heel to toe.

I’ve done a few runs in the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and I’ve found it works best for easy or daily runs. I like a little lower to the ground shoe for workouts. It can be used for long runs, but I prefer to keep it to runs under an hour.

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Conclusion:

The Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 is lightweight and consistent shoe. I like that there is the option of the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 or the Mizuno Wave Rider 23. I do wonder if eventually Mizuno will phase-out of the Wave Rider and the only option will be the Rider Waveknit. (I haven’t heard anything)

It’s a great daily trainer if you are looking for a lighter and firmer shoe. The most significant change (and only) change with the upper. I like the ultra-soft comfort Mizuno added to the Wae Rider a few years ago and it continues to a solid neutral shoe.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3, New Balance 1080 v10Diadora Mythos Elite TRX, Hoka Bondi 6,

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2, Altra Escalante 2.0, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you: 

What is your favorite running shoe?

What are you currently running in?