Saucony Triumph ISO 5 Shoe Review

The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is a high cushioned neutral trainer from Saucony. More cushion than the Saucony Ride ISO. I’ve run in several models of the Saucony Triumph ISO, with my favorite being the first.  The Triumph is a high cushioned, but lightweight trainer.

I’ve typically had a version of the Triumph in my rotation but recently moved towards the Ride.  For the last year, the Ride has felt better to me personally. When it was released, I was eager to see how the Triumph felt.

saucony triumph iso 5 shoe review

Fit:

The Saucony Triumph ISO has run short for several versions, but this year it runs true to size. I typically wear a women’s 10-11 wide, and 10.5 has been great.

Like many Saucony shoes, the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 uses Saucony’s ISO Fit upper. What ISO Fit? It helps to lock in your foot while moving and adapting throughout the run. It can also fit more feet; whether you have bunions, narrow feet, or full but don’t worry, the shoe also comes in wide.

The second update to the Triumph upper includes a “Jacquard” engineered mesh. According to Saucony, this helps to accommodate more foot types (with the updated ISO  fit, it does).  The jacquard mesh is basically fancy mesh.

saucony triumph iso 5 shoe review

Ride:

New for this version, Saucony added 2mm of EVERUN Topsole cushioning.   There is supposedly more energy return than ever before. The topsole is on top of the Everrun, so the shoe feels more cushioned and more energetic.

Something to note is the grip is much better than previous versions too.  I’ve run in the downpouring rain, and the traction has been fine.

The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 feels closer the original ISO 1 than ever before. Maybe I’m just reminiscing on the shoe, but it finally feels like Saucony put more into the again. For the past few generations, it’s taken a backseat to the Freedom or even the Ride.

saucony triumph iso 5 shoe review

I’ve run about 100 miles in the shoe (long runs, easy runs, workouts) and for me, it’s best fit as a daily trainer or long run.

Conclusion:

I like the Saucony Triumph, and I think the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is the best it’s been since the first version. I’ll continue running it.

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Brooks Ghost 11, Hoka One One Cavu

Workouts: Nike LT Streak, Nike Zoom Fly

Races: Nike LT Streak

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Questions for you:

What is your current favorite pair of running shoes? 

Have you run in Saucony before? 

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

I’ve got a few new shoe reviews coming out soon.  Some of my favorite shoes have been updated, but I’ve also branched out to try a few new ones as well.

Anyway, I rarely do a running flat review, because they are all basically the same. Lightweight, used for racing.  With the release of the Nike Vaporfly 4% last year, the running flat game has changed.

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

That being said, I’ve been a Nike LT Streak fan since it the first version came out. Something about putting on a brand new pair has always made me feel fast. It’s a lightweight, racing shoe, that has been great for both workouts and races. I’ve done everything from 400s to a half marathon and never had any issues. That being said, it’s so important to work yourself into a flat. Don’t go from a trainer to a half marathon because you will get injured.

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

Fit:

Like any racing flat, the Nike Streak LT fits narrow.  I wear from a women’s 10-11 wide. Since the shoe is unisex, I found the mens 9.5 to fit the best (women’s 11).

New for the Streak LT 4, is a Flymesh upper.  According to Nike, the Flymesh makes the shoe more durable as well as breathable. There are also vents along the forefoot and sides to eliminate hotspots.

I appreciate this year, the overlays that give the shoe more overall structure.  It’s not you’re your foot is just free floating around in a shoe. Of all the versions of the Streak LT, I think the 4th version fits the best. It has the most structure and your feet feel most secure in a flat.

Ride:

The Air Zoom Streak LT 4 is one of the lightest racing flats out there. It’s possibly what drew me to this shoe way back when. Lighter (whether it’s body weight or racing shoe), doesn’t mean faster, especially in distance. The Lt Streak hits a good spot with about the most amount of cushion for the least amount of weight.

So how is it so light? Nike uses a Cushlon LT midsole, aided further by “Zoom Air” in the shoe’s heel. The cushioning is durable for paved roads, track, and trails.  While I personally wouldn’t do a fast workout with them on the treadmill, they should be fine there too.

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

The Air Zoom Streak LT 4 is a 4mm drop.  This is a drastic difference between most trainers so if you’re using them for the first time, take a few weeks or workouts to get used to them. The lower drop allows the foot to move more natural and there isn’t additional support there. You feel more of the road or terrain.

Another important feature to look for in a racing flat: traction without weight. This is one of Nike’s best “bad weather” racing shoe (unless you race in a trainer).  I’ve run races like Shamrock in torrential downpours and slicker conditions and still had traction.  Not every racing flat is great in bad weather and both the Nike Zoom Fly and 4% do not perform well in rain.

Conclusion:

I like the Zoom Streak LT 4 and will continue to use them.  Typically I go through 2 pairs of racing flats a year.  They last 100-200 miles (as most racing flats do before your cushioning is gone).

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs: Hoka Cavu, Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph ISO 5 (shoe review to come)

Workouts: Nike LT Streak 4, Nike Zoom Fly

Races: Nike LT Streak 4, (I think the Vaporfly will just be a marathon shoe for me and I have no plans to do another one for a while)

Questions for you:

Do you use different racing and training shoes?

What is your favorite racing shoe? 

 

Fitbit Iconic Review

As most people know, I’ve been searching for a new watch to update my Garmin 220. I’m basically 4-5 watch updates behind with Garmin at this point. I use my GPS for workouts, long runs, and races, but I typically leave it at home for easy runs.

I like going by effort and being honest, a 9:03 mile versus a 9:30 mile doesn’t mean much to me on an easy run.  So finding a watch that has the functionality of a 220, but is nice enough to wear all day has been a challenge. I’ve had to give up a few features in the Fitbit Iconic, which doesn’t make it a perfect fit but it’s a good watch for life.

I bought the Fitbit Iconic and don’t have any relation or partnership with any GPS brand.

Personally, I’ve been looking for a watch with all of these qualities:

  • GPS function (distance, time, pace, elevation)
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Less Sporty Exterior look to wear daily
  • Interval timer and ability to log workouts

To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a watch that has all of those qualities that isn’t $400+.  I don’t use my GPS for every run or workout, but I do use it for measuring mileage in new spots, and for races, and workouts.  I’m not a stranger to either Fitbit or Garmin, as I’ve had both.

GPS:

The primary reason I went with the Iconic versus the Surge, is the built-in GPS.  The older Fitbit models like the Charge 2, lacked accurate GPS. A few years ago, I ran Broad Street 10 miler, and Fitbit said I ran 8.7 miles. The race is literally a straight line down Broad Street.  The Fitbit Iconic is by far the best GPS, Fitbit has come out with.

The GPS connects quickly, and I’ve used it in many places with no delay or lag.

I’ve compared the Ionic’s GPS against the Garmin 220, and my husband’s Garmin D2 and it’s always been within .05. I’m also into elevation and climbing (especially with hiking), and it’s just as accurate.  For a daily run, walk, or hike, the GPS in Fitbit is fairly accurate.  It’s by far Fitbit’s most accurate GPD, and it’s as good as any model of Garmin I’ve used.

The only complaint with the running and fitness logs, is there is no history unless you use Strava. I don’t use Strava, and I don’t foresee myself using it either. This would become more of an issue since I can’t look back a year, from now and see what I did.

Battery Life:

The Fitbit Ionic claims to have over four days of battery life. I’ve used it for over a month now, and I’ve had success with that.  I like to charge the watch every 2-3 days to keep it full. It also claims 10 hours of GPS life, and I find my daily runs don’t take up much of the battery.

Display:

The Ionic’s display is easy to read, even in lower light. I find the Fitbit easier ro read than any Garmin watch.

There are three physical buttons as well as a touchscreen front. The display screen stays off unless you tap the touchscreen or move your wrist.

As mentioned the screen is easy to read which is a huge plus for me.  I want a watch I can use daily for the actual time.  Plus I can see progress towards a goal such as steps and calories (which isn’t something I care much about).  But seeing progress is always nice. 

If you swipe up on the home screen, you can get recent notifications from texting or third party apps.  It’s easy to control which notifications you receive. I like to only receive texts, but if you want twitter, facebook, and whatever else, you can.

 

Music:

To use the music feature of any smartwatch you need Bluetooth headphones. I run with my phone anyway, so this isn’t a feature I look much into.  You can use any Bluetooth headphone you prefer.  Fitbit sells their own headphones, but any will do.

One of the many apps the Ionic comes with is Pandora app.  It also has 2.5GB  of storage for music.  Isn’t that most than the original iPods?

Apps and Notifications:

One of the big draws of the Iconic is the ability to load apps like weather, Pandora, and even Starbucks. This isn’t a feature I use but makes it more comparable to the Garmin 645 with music or the Garmin Vivoactive.

You can also get texts through the phone but can’t respond. I do like the ability to see a text while out. Sometimes it can important, sometimes not, but I do appreciate it.

Wrist-Based Heart-Rate Tracking:

I like to know my heart rate, but the feature isn’t a “make or break” for me.  My heart rate was consistent with that of the Garmin Vivosport.  The 220 doesn’t have the feature.  My resting heart rate as well during workouts was about the same through the two devices.

 

Fitbit App:

In my opinion, the Fitbit App is much more focused on overall health. Garmin Connect, is great for running and that’s it. The Fitbit app is more user-friendly option too. Daily stats are easy to find too. You can see steps, sleep, flights of stairs climbed, calories, and water.  I think it’s a lot easier for someone who wanst ovrall health versus just “how far did I run”. I wish Garmin had a better app with easy to see and use features.

So What Features Is Fitbit Lacking?

Interval Tracking: I like doing 400s, 800s, mile repeats, and any interval tracking. The Iconic doesn’t do it. The lack of this feature is why it cannot become my primary running watch.

History: I know I’m one of the few, but I’m not a strava member. I would prefer to have a watch that you were able to look back at runs throughout time.

Conclusion:

I like Fitbit more for everyday watch wearing.  It’s a watch I can wear around the clock. It’s a great eatch to measure easy runs or even races you just want mile markers, but if you are looking for a “just” running watch, it wouldn’t be the first watch I would recommend.

Two major issues make it not a perfect watch for me, or even most competitive runner.

  • The absence of laps and the ability to program workouts
  • The availability of history only on Strava

If Fitbit added both of these features, it would compete with Garmin and other GPS runner focused watches.

That being said, I’ll continue to use my Fitbit Iconic. I like the app better, daily use, and the look if far better than Garmin.  I’ll continue to use my old 220 for workouts and races until there is a Garmin I like enough to buy that isn’t $500.  I like the rose gold 645 with music, but I can’t justify the price for what I need in a watch.

Questions for you:

Have you used Fitbit?

Which watch are you using? 

Why use compression sleeves or socks?

Why use compression sleeves or socks?

Many people have asked, if “compression socks or sleeves really work”?

The short answer is yes and no.

Before the running boom, compression socks were used by diabetics and airplane pilots.  Now, you can’t go to a race without seeing runners of all abilities wearing them (myself included!).Why use compression running

So if “everyone” is wearing them, there must benefits, right?

Most of the benefits in studies have been mental versus fitness gain.  Running is 80% mental anyway. Personally, while wearing compression my legs feel better during and after runs.

So what are some benefits of Compression? 

Recover Faster:

Compression promotes blood flow and in turn accelerates the removal of metabolic waste.  In short, it encourages blood flow with oxygen and nutrients to muscles faster.  As someone who deals a lot of with calve tightness, I’ve found that compression helps to speed up recovery after a hard workout or race. 

Stabilize:

If you’ve ever had issues with needing stabilization (for instance a rolled ankle), compression can help stabilize tendons and ligaments.  A few years ago, when I rolled my ankle, I used the CEP compression ankle sleeve. 

What to Keep in Mind:

There are a few things to keep in mind though, and not every compression sock brand is the same.  Some are just glorified tube socks.  The average quality set of compression sleeves cost about $40, while the average sock is about $60.  I personally have had the most success with CEP compression (they aren’t paying me to tell you that).

Socks or Sleeves?

If you aren’t having foot pain and issues, I highly recommend the sleeves versus socks. It can be tough to get a perfect fit between a calf size and foot size. For instance, my feet don’t match up because my calves are size 3 and my feet are women’s size 10-11!  Plus with the sleeves, you can use your own socks or if you feel like you need a pair of compression socks, purchase the right foot size. 

Look for Medical Grade:

You want to look for a brand that uses “Medical Grade Compression.” Medical Grade Compression is designed to promote and target blood flow. Typically colors are more boring and aren’t on sale every 10 minutes.

Medical grade compression comes in several different levels of compression:

  • Mild (8-15 mmHg)
  • Medium (15-20 mmHg)
  • Firm (20-30 mmHg)
  • X-Firm (30-40 mmHg)

Most runners don’t need anything more than medium or firm.

Get Measured:

The last thing to remember is to get measured. If you need a size 11 and are wearing a size IV, then you probably won’t feel much of the benefit. You want to measure the widest part of your calve.  Keep in mind to measure both, as many people’s calves (and feet) are two different sizes. Compression socks should fit snug. They should be tight enough to leave small impressions from the fabric, but they shouldn’t ever be painful.  The first time you put a pair on, it should challenge you.

Finally, When to Wear Them:

There are no rules about when to wear compression socks. Many runners like myself, wear them while running to increase circulation. Others use compression after a workout or run. If you are having shin and calve issues, wear them during a run or workout, as well as after.  (Don’t wear them 24-7 though, your feet need time to breath). If you’re using them for recovery, use them post run.  The beauty is, you can experiment is figure out when feels the best to you.

underarmour killington 25k

Question for you: Do you wear compression?  Socks or sleeves?

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

In my quest to find a more cushioned shoe for the marathon I decided to try the On Cloudrush!  Weighing roughly 8.1 ounces, the Cloudrush is a more substantial shoe for workouts and racing than what I’m used too.  As I mentioned during my training, one thing I’ve done to stay healthier is to use shoes with more substance and cushion.

On cloudrush shoe review

On Cloudrush Fit:

On generally run narrow and the Cloudrush is no exception.  Something good (for me anyway), like many racing oriented shoes, is it unisex sizing.   

Fit wise; I’m usually anywhere between a women’s size 10-11 wide. Since they are unisex, I chose the 9.5 and was fine but width and length.

The Cloudrush is almost all mesh.  It’s lightweight and breathable, but at the same time, it allows moisture into the shoe much quicker.  That being said, most people are racing or doing workouts in the shoe so it’s not as if you’ll go run a 30-mile muddy trail race in them.

The lightweight mesh also allows for the shoe to be much lighter and a lot of breathability. Every part of the upper is thin and lightweight, from the toebox to the laces, to the tongue.  The shoe was made to run fast.

On cloudrush shoe review

On Cloudrush Ride:

The On Cloudrush is both responsive and soft. That is a weird thing to type. If you’ve never run in an On shoe, their technology uses small rubber pods on the bottom of the shoe that each adapt to the needs of a runner.

The Cloudrush has 18 pods. Each pod collapses and compress when the runner strikes the pavement. So if you hit more on the heel, the heel pods will compress to your stride. If you strike the forefront, the forefront will collapse more. The pods make for a much more personalized ride.

On cloudrush shoe review

I like how light the Cloudrush is but that it still provides cushion.  Many true flats have little to no cushion, but I do appreciate the substance of the shoe.  Throughout the last month, I’ve done several runs in the shoe ranging from an easy run to 400s, to a tempo run.  For me, I think they are best suited for a tempo run.  I think I appreciate more cushion for a long race, but I do believe a lot of people would like this the On Cloudrush for either a half or full marathon.

On cloudrush shoe review

On Cloudrush Conclusions

I like the Cloudrush, and I will continue to use it for workouts (at this point after New York).  It’s lightweight and responsive but also well cushioned. For me, it’s an excellent combination for workouts.

It’s definitely a good half to full marathon shoe.

Shoe Rotation:

Easy Runs/Daily Runs: On CloudaceHoka Cavu, Hoka Clifton 5, Brooks Glycerin 16,

Workouts: On Cloudrush, Nike Pegasus Turbo, Nike Fly

Races: Nike Fly

Questions for you:

Marathoners, what is your shoe of choice?

Do you have a favorite shoe? 

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