Hoka Clifton 4 Shoe Review

I’ve run in a few Hoka One One Clifton.  I ran in the original Clifton as well as the Clifton 3.  I skipped the Clifton 2 because it was a bit too narrow for my foot.  The Clifton has continued to be one of Hoka One One’s more popular models.  It’s light but still, has the cushion people have come to love from Hoka.

Hoka claims the differences between the Clifton 3 and Clifton 4 are the most drastic.  In my opinion, I believe sizing was a drastic change between the 1-3, but the upper is much different in the 4.

Appearance:

I rarely talk about the appearance of shoes, but Hoka has made a solid effort to make their shoes look more friendly to the eyes.  When Hoka was first developing shoes, some of their earlier models I wouldn’t ever use as a “casual” shoe.  The Hoka Clifton 4 went through such a drastic change in appearance, that it’s now a shoe I bought myself a second pair to walk around in.

Fit: 

Fit wise, the Hoka Clifton 4 is similar to the Clifton 3.  It’s important, especially if you have wider feet (like myself!).  I wore a 10 in the Clifton 3 and continue in a 10 now.

The great news for the Clifton lovers is the Clifton now comes in wide!  That deserves 10 exclamation points by itself.

As Hoka claims, they did update the upper.  The new mesh is much more breathable than previous years and also has zero seams (which is trending in the industry right now).

Ride: 

The Clifton is known to be lightweight but very cushioned.  To me, it feels like a giant spongey marshmallow underneath your feet.  The Bondi feels much more firm and dense, while the Clifton is much more spongy.

Hoka claims this year the Clifton 4 will last much longer than previous models.  As someone who has run and works at a running store, I will say that the Clifton has been notorious for not lasting as long as many other similar brands.  They sacrifice durability with decreasing the weight of the shoe.  This year, is a different story and I’ve almost run 300 miles in the Clifton 4.  A shoe I was never able to put that much mileage on.

If you have run in the Clifton 3, the ride is very similar.  It’s like a giant marshmallow underneath your feet. If you are new to the Clifton or Hoka, it’s a lightweight but a well cushioned and soft ride.  You feel the roll as you move through your gait cycle.

Hoka Clifton 4 Shoe Review

Thoughts:

I like the Clifton 4 and it will continue to keep it in my rotation.  In fact, I bought a second pair to walk around in because I do believe it does look that good.

Current Rotation:
Saucony Freedom (long runs/easy runs)
Hoka Clifton 4 (long runs/easy runs)
Brooks Ghost 10 (daily runs)
Altra Escalante (speed workouts)
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (races)

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?

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Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Each year, I go to the Runners World festival, I get the opportunity to learn more about the brand and company.  Altra also gives bloggers a pair of shoes (of their choice).Altra also gives bloggers a pair of shoes (of their choice).  This year I knew the most about the Altra Escalante because we carry it at work and requested that model.  I was lucky that Altra was extremely receptive and sent me the Escalante.As most people know, Altra is known for a wider toe box.  As the founder Golden has said, it’s not a “wide” shoe but it’s foot shaped.

As most people know, Altra is known for a wider toe box.  As the founder Golden has said, it’s not a “wide” shoe but it’s foot shaped.  Well my foot is wide.  Altra is actually more narrow through the arch and heel which makes it a better fit for most people’s feet.

The other component Altra is known for is their “zero drop” shoe format.  This means the heel and the forefront are at the same level and flat.  It doesn’t mean it’s a minimalist shoe, but it is flat.

The Fit: 

I do believe the Altra Escalante is one of the better fitting running shoes right now.  I usually wear between 10-11 wide in my shoes, and in the Escalante, I wear a comfortable size 10.

The upper is made from a stretchy knit which means there are no seams to rub on feet.  It’s accommodating and with minimal seams, there aren’t pressure points.  This is especially important for someone who might deal with bunions or a wide forefront. The heel counter hugs the heel, so while the toe box is roomy, there isn’t any heel slippage.

me altra escalante shoe review

Ride:

As described above, something important to note, if you have never tried Altra before they are a “zero drop” shoe.

 What does this mean?

The forefront and heel are at the same height.  If you currently run in a higher stacked or higher drop shoe, your calves might be more sore as you integrate a flatter shoe into your rotation.  To prevent injury, you should slowly work the shoe into your rotation versus starting to run in it every day.

I’ve run in a few Altra shoes including the Altra Paradigm 1.5. I prefer more cushion and don’t have a need for a trail shoe.

The Altra Escalante is the most minimal design I have chosen and I’ve used for several runs from workouts too easy runs.  When I ran my first tempo run, I felt the ground, less ground than a racing flat but more than a high cushioned shoe.  I liked how responsive it was.  

When I ran a few easy runs, I could the softness and cushion that Altra has integrated into their shoes.   In total I’ve run between 50-75 miles in the shoe and haven’t had any issues. I’ve never run in it back to back days but don’t typically do that with any of my shoes.

While all of my runs were successful in the shoe, personally I love the feeling of running tempos in the shoe. I feel like I’m giving my body more cushion than a racing flat but getting my turnover up with a flatter shoe.

Summary:

So far I’ve liked using the Escalante for workouts and as a “faster” paced shoe.  I might experiment with it as a half marathon shoe but for now, it will be my staple workout shoe.

Thank you Altra for sending me the Escalante as well as the Runners World Festival for bringing me back as a blogger.  While I was given this shoe, I wasn’t paid for the review and all opinions are my own.

My running rotation:
Brooks Ghost 10
Brooks Glycerin 15
Hoka Clifton 4 (Review to Come)
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (racing)

Questions for you:
Have you tried Altra before?
Do you prefer more or less cushion in your shoes?

Brooks Glycerin 15 Shoe Review

For the past year, the Brooks Glycerin has been one of my personal favorite shoes.  I ran in the Brooks Glycerin 14 and am currently running in the Glycerin 15. Spoiler: The Brooks Glycerin is 15 is just as good, if not better, than the Brooks Glycerin 14.

A common question I recieve both at work and on this blog, is do you like the Brooks Glycerin or Brooks Ghost better?

Brook glycerin 15 shoe review

My answer is: I wish I could take the fit of the Brooks Ghost (it’s wider) and have the cushion the Glycerin.  Both have their positives and negatives and I like both shoes about the same.

In short, the Glycerin is the most cushioned shoe from Brooks.  Whether you are running 100 miles or walking 1, it’s going to provide a soft and well cushioned ride.

Brooks is not paying me to review their shoes and I’m not a Brooks ambassador.

Fit:

One major update from the Brooks Glycerin 14 to the Glycerin 15 is the redesigned upper.  There are less seams and it is a bit wider.  Without the seams, the Glycerin fits many more people with bunions or people that have fuller toe boxes (like myself). The wider toebox update is welcomed from the Glyercin 14.

Brook glycerin 15 shoe review

The redesigned upper is positive and you’ll have a lot more room for your toes to spread out.   Fit wise, I wore a 10 wide in the Brooks Glycerin 14 and I still wear a 10 wide in the Brooks Glycerin 15.  My feet have much more room and they are happier.

Ride:

The ride of the actual shoe is very similar to the previous model.  To me, it feels almost identical in a good way.  You don’t have to worry “the shoe update has changed” and it won’t work for you.  It still has a very high cushioned and soft feel.

The Glycerin Line Itself: If you’ve never worn the Glycerin, it’s a very high cushioned, soft, shoe.  There is a lot of cushioning throughout the shoe but it’s not heavy or bulky either.  A major reason I like it, is the amount of forefront cushioning.

me running brooks glycerin 15

Brooks Glycerin 15 Conclusions

The Glycerin 15 is a solid update from the Glycerin 14.  There isn’t anything too crazy changed, so you won’t feel as though it’s a brand new shoe.  Let’s be honest, minimal changes in the running shoe world are a good thing.  With the amount of cushion, it’s a personal favorite of mine.

Current Rotation:
Brooks Ghost 10
Hoka Bondi 5
Saucony Freedom
Brooks Glycerin 15

Questions for you:

Have you run in the Brooks Glycerin?

What is your favorite running shoe?

Workouts of the Week: Trending

I’m in the uncomfortable zone.

I had one good week of running, and I feel darn good about it.

But I don’t want to jynx myself either.  I don’t want to get overzealous.  In June, I had a string of about 3 good weeks that I thought would turn into the epic comeback after a burnout.

But here we are two months later.

So with that, I’ll just say I had one good week of training.  Not a comeback, but also my best week of training since June.

As I mentioned last week in my monthly recap, my goal is to run about 45 minutes or 5 miles most days with appropriate rest as well as a long run. I want to recreate a foundation and base to keep my body healthy.  This will stay a trend until I feel good. We will see where next week takes me.

For me, this is also a critical time because I’m most susceptible to injury.  I haven’t been consistently running mileage.  I have been running enough, but it hasn’t been as consistent as training.

This critical time is when begin to pay more attention to recovery including stretching, foam rolling and more frequent deep tissue massages.  Yes, pricey but less than a trip to get a Xray or even MRI.  Plus, I haven’t spent much in running shoes or race entry fees, so it all evens out.

Monday: 45 minutes running
Tuesday: 45 minutes running/15 minutes core
Wednesday:  OFF
Thursday: 45 minutes running
Friday: 45 minutes running/15 minutes core
Saturday:  45 minutes running
Sunday:  Long Run: 55 minutes

Total: 30-33 miles

While boring, it’s all part of the process.  I took quite a bit of time away from training, so it’s important to build back a strong foundation. I don’t want to commit to actually “training” until I have the time, but I do my schedule is going to begin to free up soon.

Posts of the Week:
July Workouts
How Easy is it To Get Out of Running Shape?

Questions for you:
How long do you typically stay in a base building, easy running mode?
Do you get deep tissue massages?

I love them!

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)

As someone who works in a running shoe store, I can tell you I’ve personally fit about 1000 people for running shoes, and I’ve watched hundreds more be fit too.

Searching for your own personal shoes can be tough.  What do you look for?  How do you know when they are “right”?

When searching for running shoes, I always advise people to get fitted at their local running store.  Thinking out loud, people that work in a running store have seen dozens of brands, styles, and companies. Plus they know shoes well.  That being said, you know your feet.  You know what feels most comfortable.

Most people come in and have no idea what to look for in a running shoe. 

The short answer: Does it feel good? 

Yes, then it’s the right shoe for you.

No?  Then it’s not the right shoe for you.

The Long Answer:

Here are some important details you should look for in shoes.

Size (Length): 

I cannot emphasize this enough.  Do not buy your shoes too small.  During the day, your feet can swell and lengthen anywhere from a half-full size.  This is magnified during running!  Always make sure there is a thumb’s width of space between your biggest toe and the end of the shoe.

Yes, your feet lengthen over time and age so make sure you get your measured frequently.  After putting your shoes on, make sure you can wiggle all of your toes.  If you can’t the shoe is too tight or too narrow.  This brings us to point number 2.

Size (Width): 

The width of a shoe is one of the most underlooked aspects of a shoe.  Most running specialty stores carry at least wide if not double wide!  Do not be scared to go into a wider shoe.  If you are getting holes on the side of your shoe from your pinkie toe, this could be a sign the shoe is too narrow.  Having extra room is always better than not enough.  I never knew I needed a wide until working at the store.  Now, I love it.

Heel: 

In any running shoe, your heel should feel both snug and secure.  It should never feel tight.  If you feel as though you are “slipping,” lace your shoe to the final eyelet. This will you’re your heel more into place.  Some shoes are cut lower than others but make sure you’re comfortable in the cut of the back too.

The heel should never feel tight, but there can be a little bit of movement.  If the heel feels uncomfortable in the store, then it won’t feel good while running.

Feel:

You can be fit into the appropriate shoe but it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t.  How a shoe feels to you is one of the most important aspects of the shoe.  You want a shoe that feels natural.  You don’t want a shoe that “you’ll have to get used too”.  Don’t get a shoe to alter to your stride because that can create many more issues.  Running Stores recommend taking the shoe for a quick run in the store.  That initial few steps often can tell you an immediate yes or no.  Also, most running stores have an exchange policy to work with you.

With so many different shoes out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is “best for you”.  Remember, there is no right or wrong answer but only what feels good and keeps you injury free.

Other Running Store Topics:
Thoughts While Working at a Running Store
How to Get the Most Shopping at a Running Specialty Store
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
There is no Perfect Running Shoe

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?
When was the last time you bought running shoes?

Brooks Ghost 10 Shoe Review

In the Spring, I ran in the Brooks Ghost 9, and it was one of my favorite shoes of 2017.  I ended up running the entire 300-400 miles, and it was replaced in my rotation with other models including the Glycerin 14 and Launch 4.

To be honest, the Brooks Ghost 10 was one of my most anticipated updated shoes!  Brooks is not paying to me review their shoes.

Working in the running store, I can tell you the Brooks Ghost is one of the most consistent shoes on the market. If you like the 1…you’ll probably like the 2 and the 5 and the 10. I like the Ghost 9, and I also like the Ghost 10.

Most of the update from the 9 to 10 is in the midsole.  The Ghost 10 introduces a new two-piece midsole design.  It makes it more fluid for running and able to accommodate many different foot strikes evenly (IE: whether you run heel to toe, on your toes on somewhere in the middle).

The updated Ghost 10 also has less seems with minimal stitching and overlays. For someone with wider feet, like myself, nothing rubs.  If you have bunions or a wider forefront, you’ll probably appreciate this as well.

Fit:

The Ghost has a narrow heel and wide toe box which is the ideal shape for many people’s feet.  It hugs the arches appropriately and for the most part, fits true to size.  It’s been hard finding shoes that do fit true to size recently, plus everyone’s foot shape is slightly different (including your left and right foot).

Finding a shoe that accommodates both feet can be a challenge.  The Ghost has plenty of space.  I wore a regular size 10 in the Ghost 9 and wear a regular size 10 in the Ghost 10.

Ride:

With the included new two piece and fluid midsole, the shoe is much more responsive to where you need the cushion.  For many people, they benefit from a much softer heel.  For myself, I benefit from a much softer and well-cushioned forefront.

How can the shoe be so adaptive to so many foot types? Brooks uses a unique Cushion Material called “BioMoGo DNA foam.”  It’s essential, like memory foam.  It molds to your feet and cushions you where you need it. Out of any brand, the cushioning is the most adaptable to your stride.   It’s soft, light weight and well cushioned.

It’s soft, light weight and well cushioned.  I’ve run speed workouts but also long runs in the Ghost.  Ideally, I like to do my easy runs and long runs in the shoe though.  Since I’m not running a lot, I do the majority of it in the Brooks Ghost 10 right now.

In summary, I like the Brooks Ghost and think it’s a great shoe.  The updates from the Ghost 9 to the Ghost 10 have only enhanced the fit.

Current Rotation:
Brooks Ghost 10 (any run)
Brooks Glycerin 15 (Review to come! any run)
Hoka Bondi 5

Other Shoe Related Posts:
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:
Five Secrets about Buying Running Shoes
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
How to Get the Most Shopping at a Running Specialty Store

Question for you:

What is your favorite running shoe?  Has it changed through the years? 

 

Running on an AntiGravity Treadmill

Since posting on Instagram about running on the anti-gravity treadmill, better known as the Alter-G, many people have asked to write about my experience on there!

The Alter-G is a great tool that I am fortunate to have access too.  You can see a full list of Alter-Gs near you or in your area.  If you’re Philadelphia or Southern New Jersey local, the one I’ve been using is it at RunningCo. Of Haddonfield.

Alter G is not paying me or sponsoring this post is anyway.

Like many runners, when I have the time I like to run outside. I’m no stranger to the Alter-G and have used it recovering from a few injuries. Injury recovery is probably the most well-known reason to use it, but it’s not the reason I’m using it now.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m busy for a few weeks and running outside is not always an option unless I want to run in midday in 90 degrees.  Since I don’t, my choices are run on a regular treadmill, run on the Alter-G or don’t run. Because I also don’t know what each day is going to bring, my training could also be all over the place.  One week, I could have time for 70 miles.  The next week, only 20.  Drastic changes in mileage would create an injury.   So, I settled on running on the Alter-G.  I’ll still get a workout in and retain muscle memory.  However, I won’t put as much stress as my body.

As I mentioned, many people use the Alter-G to run while recovering from an injury.  There are a few great articles and case studies of how elite runners have trained on the Alter-G during recovery.   Many professional runners also use the Alter-G to keep stress off their bodies, so they are less injury prone.

You can run anywhere between 20% body weight and 100% body weight.

Here are just a few benefits with the anti-gravity treadmill for runners:

  • Physical therapy following an injury to a lower extremity (like the feet or legs)
  • Prolong your running career by building leg strength without the full impact on your body
  • Maintain and develop cardiovascular fitness while injured or away from sports.
  • Run longer and recover faster with less pain
  • Gradually progress and easily adjust the intensity of your workout
  • Change your running form without becoming more injury prone.

So What Exactly Happens?

You put on a pair of specialty pants, step into the Alter-G and allow it to calibrate to your body weight.  From there you can adjust to how much weight you would like to run at.  You can run anywhere from 20% body weight to 100%.

Right now, I feel between 60-70% is a good number for me.  After the machine calibrates, you just run.  You can do anything that you do on a normal treadmill including hills or speed.  I have seen several local elite runners do workouts on it and some people (like myself) just prefer to Netflix and run.

So Why Have I Chosen to Go This Route This Summer?

It’s not a secret I’m injury prone.  Due to my form, I stress my metatarsals more than the average person.  When my training becomes inconsistent, I get injured. As I mentioned, since I am busy this summer, I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to consistently run.

That isn’t because I don’t want to run but because I don’t have the time.  For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been out of the house from 6 am-7 pm.  Sometimes I have a couple of empty hours in the middle of the day, but at that point, it’s 90+ degrees.  I would prefer to run inside anyways.  Thinking out loud, it just makes the most sense right now to use the Alter-G and not overly stress my body.

Incase you missed Monday’s training log, I posted a short video about going through the process.  (And yes, I do make random comments like that frequently)…

Related Posts:

NonRunning Workout Ideas

I don’t hate the treadmill

Questions for you:

Have you ever used an Alter G treadmill?

What are your tips for getting workouts in while busy?  (I could use some!)