Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Recently I decided to try the Asics Nimbus 19.  I’m no stranger to the Nimbus and have run in the Asics Nimbus 17 as well as the lower cushion Asics Cumulus 18 too.  I’ve even run in the Asics FuzeX as well as the max-cushioned Asics Quantum.  Come to think of it, I’ve run in most Asics neutral shoes.

Recently, the Nimbus has been extremely inconsistent. Both the sizing and feel of the shoe is completely different from one model to the next.  Neither “feel” is bad, but it’s hard because if you like a soft feel and the next version is firm, it’s not a shoe you will love.

The Nimbus 19 is a shoe you need to try on before purchasing. A few years ago the Nimbus ran big with plenty of room. However, this year it’s tight.

Sizing is not a concern, and it’s just a matter of finding what works for you.  You also have to keep in mind there have been 19 models of the Nimbus, so Asics must be doing something right.

Fit:

Oh, where to start with the fit.  To start off, it fits tight and narrow. I normally wear a women’s size 10 in running shoes, and in the Asics Nimbus 19, I wear a size 11 wide.  Sizing is not a big deal, but it’s a shoe you need to try on.  Don’t expect to be in the same size “you’ve always worn”.

Compared to the previous versions, the upper of the shoe is screen printed and the weave is tighter.  It doesn’t use the “traditional” mesh of other Asics shoes and is seamless. Once I found the appropriate size, it’s a comfortable shoe.  The seamless upper allows no rubbing at the top, and for me personally nothing rubs.

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Feel:

The new Nimbus 19 now combines both gel and the latest Asics cushioning system: Flytefoam (similar to the FuzeX).

Why does this matter?  Flytefoam makes the shoe significantly lighter and makes the Nimbus a lot firmer.  It no longer feels like a giant soft sponge under your foot.  With the addition of the Flytefoam, it is a drastic difference.  The cushion is still there but it’s a different type and feels softer and lighter.

In summary, I like the shoe.  I’ll run through this version and use them on easy days or recovery days.  I will also say they are a great workout shoe and I tend to do most of my cross training in them too.  This is a shoe that will probably migrate towards my easy running days and cross training shoe because of all of the cushion.

Pros:

  • Lots of cushion
  • Lighter than previous years
  • More durable than many running shoes

Cons:

  • Expensive ($160)
  • Inconsistent sizing and feel of shoe

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Glycerin 14 (easy runs, long runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (easy runs, long runs)
Saucony Freedom (daily runs)
Saucony Type A (workouts)

Questions for you:

Which shoes are you currently running in?

Do you prefer light weight or heavy shoes?

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Brooks Glycerin 14 Shoe Review

The Brooks Glycerin 14 is the most cushioned neutral shoe that Brooks currently offers.  I’ve reviewed both the Brooks Ghost 9 as well as the Brooks Launch 3 and Brooks Launch 4.

As most people have noticed, lately I’ve been doing most of my training in Brooks.  I’m not paid or an ambassador.  Recently, I have found the fit of Brooks to match my foot well.

A while ago, I ran a minimal amount in the Brooks Glycerin 12, and I liked them.   For no reason, I just haven’t run in them since.  I’ve wanted to try the Glycerin again but for whatever reason, haven’t.

The Brooks Glycerin 14 is similar to the 13.  The majority of the update came with the fit of the upper, and it fits wider than the previous model.

Fit:

The upper is seamless which means it’s able to fit wider feet as well as it doesn’t press against bunions.  A lot of running shoes are going towards seamless uppers.  Being seamless, allows for an overall more comfortable fit.

A smooth mesh allows for a “socklike” fit with plenty of breathing room.  Compared to the Glycerin 13 upper, the mesh feels more durable too.

Speaking of the mesh, something unique about the Glycerin is the mesh is much thinner. I have found it to dry much quicker than many other shoes.  Considering most of March was pouring rain in New Jersey this was extremely helpful.

Typically I wear a size 10 or 10 wide in running shoes and have found the 10 wide to be the best fit.

Brooks glycerin 14 shoe review

Ride:

The Glycerin has a lot more cushion than the Ghost.  You can feel the cushion under your feet, and it feels like a sponge.  Brookes uses cushioning technology similar to memory foam.  The Brooks Glycerin is definitely the softest traditional shoes I’ve run in for a while.  You feel the extra cushion without the extra weight.

Thoughts:

The Glycerin has been a shoe I’ve wanted to try for a while, and I was pleased to finally give it a shot.  I like the shoe a lot, and I’ll probably keep it in my rotation for a while.  I don’t have any complaints and the Brooks Glycerin 15 comes out soon so I’ll add that into my rotation too.

Pros:

  • High Cushion and Soft
  • Seamless Upper
  • Updating soon so will be on sale

Cons:

  • Price ($150)
  • More narrow than many other Brooks Shoes
  • Brooks glycerin 14 shoe review

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Glycerin
Brooks Launch 4 (short runs, workouts)
Saucony Freedom (daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (daily runs, recovery runs)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Questions for you:
What are your favorite shoes right now?
Do you prefer more or less cushion when it comes to running shoes?

Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Lately, I’ve felt a little more “beat up” during training and wanted a shoe with more cushion.  Not injured, just wanting more cushion during easy and longer runs! The Hoka Bondi 5 has the most cushion of any running shoe currently on the market.  I’m not a stranger to the Hoka brand and after coming back from my ankle fracture last year, I ran in several pairs of the Hoka Clifton 3.

Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Drop: 4mm
Weight: 10 oz

A common question I’ve been asked is: “am I more susceptible to falling while running in Hokas”?  

I can personally tell you as someone who falls a lot (and has broken my arm doing so), I’ve never fallen because of a Hoka shoe.  Once you’re running, you don’t feel the difference too much.

While there is a lot of cushion in any Hoka shoe, it’s important to remember your feet actually sink into the cushion and it’s not as overwhelming as it appears.

The shoes are designed so your foot actually sinks down in the cushioning quite a bit. It’s like a giant marshmallow! Once you put any model on you realize you aren’t as high up as anticipated.

Fit:
While I never ran in the Hoka Bondi 4, the fit of the Hoka Bondi 5 is relatively similar.  Right now in the running industry, Hoka is one of the few brands that fits true to size.  I typically wear a size 10 and a size 10 was perfect.  Many brands this year are running either short or narrow.  The Bondi has a nice wide seamless toe box which makes it a perfect candidate for anyone who has bunions or a slightly wider foot.  In general, the fit is one of my favorites from any brand.

Ride: 
As a brand, Hoka has a distinct and unique feel.  Then again, how could it not, you are higher off of the ground?

The Bondi has the most amount of cushion in a running shoe. You feel that. It doesn’t feel large, or clunky, but it does feel like a lot underneath your feet.  If you have never held a Hoka before, they are extremely light weight.

Compared to the Hoka Clifton 3, the Bondi 5 has more cushion.  The cushion is also denser so your foot doesn’t sink as much into the bottom.  It’s a great recovery or long run shoe.

A great aspect of the shoe is you can run as far as needed. Personally, I’ve run 10+ miles and felt great but this was also designed with the ultra marathoner in mind.  Would this be my personal choice for a racing shoe?  No, but it’s a great option for daily runs, long runs and any run you want more cushion.

Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Pros:

  • Max cushioning
  • True to size fit
  • Most amount of cushion in any running and only $150

Cons:

  • Takes a few runs to get used too

My current shoe rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (long runs, daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Launch 4 (short runs, speed work)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Questions for you:
Do you prefer a shoe with more cushion?
What is your current favorite shoe?

Protein and Running

As runners, it’s important to get enough protein while training.  Protein allows us to recover quicker and stay healthy.

As someone who doesn’t always run from home and is constantly on the go, I’m always looking for portable sources of protein.  It’s impossible to just bring a steak around in my pocket.

That’s why when I was contacted to work with two companies I purchase from frequently: Quest Protein and Vitamin Shoppe, I jumped at the opportunity.  I shop with both routinely and have for years.

Thinking out loud, finding a portable protein bar can be tough but finding one that actually tastes good can be tougher!  I’ve pretty much tried every protein bar on the market and some taste like glorified cardboard.

A couple of years ago when staying with good friends Danielle and Amelia, I had several Quest bars in my backpack.  We all went out for dinner.  While we were away, their cats got into my bag and ate several of them.  What can I say, who doesn’t like Quest bars?

Quest cereal bars are just as good as their regular protein bars. The Quest ‘Beyond Cereal’ Bar has all the sweet crunch of a junk food cereal bar, but with the incredible nutritional profile you know you can expect from Quest.  When I’m training, I like to make the most of calories.  While I don’t stress about it, I would rather have a more healthy protein bar versus one with empty calories.

Each bar contains the following:

  • 110 calories and 12g protein
  • 2-3g net carbs
  • 6-7g fiber
  • 8g of Allulose a new naturally occurring sweetener found in figs, raisins & dates.runners and protein

Why do Runners Need Protein?

Protein is made up of essential amino acids.  It does more than help repair muscles after a hard workout. Protein isn’t stored for later use which means unlike fat and carbohydrates, there is a limit your body can use at one time. That’s why it’s important to spread out the amount of protein you get daily, versus having it all in one sitting.

runners and protein

What Does Protein Do?

  • Plays a role in cell repair and production
  • blood clotting
  • fluid balance

How Much Protein Should You Have During Training?

While training, it’s important to have between .55 grams/pound-.75 grams/pound.  Will you hit that every single day?  No.  Should you stress about it? No.  It’s just a guideline.

For comparison, I’m 130 pounds try and get about 70-100 grams of protein daily but I don’t track it everyday.

Personally, I like Quest Cereal Bars because they are quick and taste good. The new cereal bars are chocolate, waffle, and cinnamon.  All three are delicious, but given a choice, my favorite bar is the waffle. I don’t have to worry about storage, and I can pull one out while at work as well.

Questions for you:
Where do you get your protein from?
Do you snack often or are you a three meal a day type of person?

Brooks Launch 4 Shoe Review

The Brooks Launch 4 has quickly become a staple in my running rotation.  A month ago, my second pair of Launch 3 were getting beat up, so I needed a new pair of shoes.  I enjoyed the Launch a lot, so I decided to introduce the Launch 4 into my rotation.

Brooks is not paying me to review their shoes and I purchased the shoe myself.  All thoughts are my own!

Fit:
The fit of the Launch 4 has a few significant updates including fewer seams and it’s wider!  I barely wore a women’s size 10 in the Launch 3, and now a size 10 in the Launch 4 feels great.

Brooks Launch 4 Shoe Review

Feel:
The Launch 4 includes an entire extra strip of rubber at the bottom.  There are now 5 rows of rubber versus 4.  This means it’s more responsive to different forms of running. Brooks Launch 4 Shoe Review

The extra strip of rubber helps forefront cushioning as well as a smoother roll from the toe off.  What does this mean?

It feels like a smoother, less clunky shoe from the 3 (not that it ever felt clunky).

Weight: 9 ounces
Drop: 10 mm

Pros:

  • Cheaper: The Launch 3 was 110, and the Launch 4 is 100
  • More forefront cushion and deeper treads

Cons:

  • I have yet to find any

Current Shoe Rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (Long Runs, daily runs)
Brooks Ghost 9 (Long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Launch 4 (daily runs, tempos)
Saucony Type A (workouts)

Question for you:
What shoe are you currently running in?
What is your all time favorite shoe?

Should You Race in Racing Flats?

As requested, I’m continuing the series of questions and thoughts from working in the running store.  If you have any questions or topics you would like answered, feel free to ask below.

Week 1: Common Questions Asked
Week 2: Today: Should You Run in Racing Flats?

As most readers know, I train in heavier and more cushioned shoes. Right now my favorite trainers are the Brooks Ghost and Saucony Freedom ISO.

Thinking out loud, when I race and do speed work, I use a lighter shoe.  Since I run high mileage, during daily runs I like the extra cushion and weight to keep me healthy.  Personally, it makes me feel more comfortable while training.

This post, however, is about racing flats!

How did I get started in racing flats? In college, we raced in spikes.  A spike is just a very light weight shoe with spikes at the bottom. Since college was on cross country courses, the spikes served to grip dirt and grass better.  Athletes running on the track also use spikes.

Spikes are similar to a soccer cleat.  You can’t run on pavement in spikes, or it wears down the actual “pointed spike, ” and they’ll break.

During the offseason and after college, I also wanted to race in a light weight shoe. I feel faster when I run in flats, and typically I do run faster.

There is no point in training in a flat because the goal of an easy run is not to run fast.

For comparison purposes, the average weight of trainers are about 10 ounces versus the average weight of flats are 5.

The first flat I ever purchased was the Nike Waffle. It was the exact version of the spike I used to race in (but without the spike plate in).

I’ve run every distance from a 1-mile race to my first marathon (which was dumb). To be honest, I raced my marathon in that shoe because I didn’t know any better. While I didn’t get injured from it, I will never do that again.  Most people (myself included) need more cushion during a marathon.

After realizing I liked a little bit more cushion in my racing flat than the waffle, I graduated to the Nike Streak Streak (I’ve gone through several models of both 1 and 2). The shoe is much softer and only weighs an ounce more than the waffle flat.

Keep in mind, what works for me might not work for you and it’s important to find a shoe you are comfortable in.  Out of any racing flat, I’ve had the Nike Streak LT racer has been my favorite (and no, Nike is not paying me to say that).

Recently, I’ve been running more in the Saucony Type A.

So now that I’ve given my personal background why choose to race in flats?

With less weight on your feet, it’s easier to run and increase your turnover. Think about it, less weight (to an extent…) produces faster times.  Carrying an extra few ounces on your feet for thousands of strides really adds up.

Disadvantages of Flats:

  • You are more prone to injury: since there is little to no cushion in a flat, you are more susceptible to injury.  Think about those who train solely in Nike frees or minimalist shoes…that is why it’s not a good idea to train in flats. If you train all of your runs in flats, you will probably hurt yourself.
  • It also takes longer to recover because your feet are taking more of a pounding from the pavement. I’ve always found myself sorer after racing in flats.

How to Get Started in Flats:

As most people know, I work in a running store and tell people the same thing whether it’s kids going to their first XC race, customers at work, blog readers or whomever…you have to slowly work into them.  

Don’t go run a 5k, half or marathon in new shoes. 

I recommend first trying a few SHORT training runs and seeing how you like them.

First try a (fast) mile, then 2 miles…then race a 5k.

Once you have raced a few 5ks, try longer distances.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is not to just jump into a race wearing flats. Not only are they a brand new shoe from your trainer, but flats are drastically different shoe than what most people train in!

If you go from never using a flat to racing a distance event, you run the risk of injury.

Personally, I love the feeling of racing in a different and lighter shoe.  I have no plans to change that!

If you have anymore questions feel free to ask away.  I really enjoy the benefits of racing in flats.  I do alway feel faster and stronger.

Questions for you:

Do you race in flats?

What advice would you give someone beginning to race in flats? 

Saucony Freedom ISO Shoe Review

While living in Alabama, I committed one a runner sin.  I was underprepared shoe wise for 6 weeks.  While I could have gotten a pair of shoes I’ve already run in, I decided to try the Saucony Freedom.  Before leaving, I had tried them on at work. They seemed like they would be a good shoe for me.

This is the first model so there is nothing to compare it too.  I have run in multiple other Saucony shoes including the Kinvara, Zealot ISO 1 and 2, Ride 9 and Triumph ISO 1 and 2.

The Freedom uses Saucony’s signature Everrun material.  It is the first of the line to use the Everrun at the forefront of the shoe.  What does this mean for me? As someone who strikes extremely far to the front, there is plenty of cushion up there too.  There are actually very few shoes with a full length cushioning in the forefront too (most shoes have a lot of cushioning in the heel and it tapers to the front).

Fit:

Just like the Saucony Triumph and Zealot, the Freedom uses the ISO fit.  It fits more like slipper than an actual shoe.  I find the ISO fits my foot better but the shoe does run short.  Typically I wear a size 10 but I found the 10.5 to be the best fit.  I even contemplated doing an 11 or a men’s size 9 because I could use more width.  I would recommend going up at least a half size if not more.

Ride:

This was definitely interesting.  I could feel the extra cushion in the forefront immediately.  My first run in the shoe was an easy 7 miler.  It felt comfortable the moment I put it in on.  It was soft, yet responsive and the extra cushion for my metatarsals was immediately noticed.

me running

Pros:

  • More cushion in the forefront
  • Light weight

Cons:

  • Sizing
  • Cost ($160 makes it one of the most costly neutral shoes on the market)

Similar options:

There aren’t a lot of options with extra cushion in the front.  Both the Saucony Kinvara and Zealot ISO 2 have a 4mm drop and are the closest by far.  The Asics Nimbus or adidas Energy Boost has a good amount of cushioning in the front as well.

Current Shoe Rotation: 
Saucony Freedom ISO (long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Ghost (any run)
Brooks Launch (shorter runs, speed work)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Questions for you:
Where do you wear out a shoe first?
Which shoes are you currently running in?