Brooks Levitate Shoe review
Gear Review, Running

Brooks Levitate Shoe Review

Brooks spent a lot of time promoting the brand new shoe: The Brooks Levitate.  They built the social media hype, grabbed people’s attention, and drew people in.  It has been one of the most highly anticipated shoes of 2017.

Brooks Levitate Shoe review

We brought it into my work, and when we first got them, it didn’t wow me.  I tried it on, and it felt good, but not like the greatest shoe ever.  I knew I wanted to purchase a pair at some point but had to work through a couple of other pairs first.


Typically I wear between a size 10-10.5 (wide) in running shoes.  I found the size 10 to fit the best, but I would love to see the Levitate come in wide.  Like the Brooks Launch, the regular width fits comfortably, but the wide would fit better.

The upper is seamless, which I’ve mentioned in several shoe reviews.  It allows for those with a wider foot to fit more comfortably, and less irritation all around.  Many running shoes are now designed to fit more like a slipper.  Brooks Levitate Shoe review


When I first tried the Brooks Levivate on, I noticed how heavy it is compared to other models of Brooks shoes.  I was not expecting the firm sole or just the overall weight.  If you are usually Brooks fan, you will notice the difference of cushioning.  The Levitate is much firmer than both the Brooks Ghost and Brooks Glycerin.  It’s also much heavier than the Brooks Launch.  For women, it comes in at a dense 9.7 ounces.

Thinking out loud, A big draw to the Brooks Levitate is that it’s an 8 mm drop.  Most Brooks Running shoes are between 10-12 mm, and they haven’t had a good 8 mm shoe.  It’s similar to the Saucony Ride, albeit much heavier.

For me, it took about 5 runs for me to like the shoe.  I bought the shoe, so at $150 my wallet says: “I’ll like it”, but at first it wasn’t my favorite shoe.  A good shoe?  Yes, but I like both the Brooks Ghost and Glycerin better.  After about 5 runs, I grew to like it much more.  It is much more responsive, and I feel the ground more.  It cushions well.

In all, I do like the Brooks Levitate.  It’s not my favorite, nor least favorite shoe but it’s been a solid trainer so far.  I’ve run about 100 miles on the shoe, with my longest being about 10 and it’s held up well.

My Current Rotation:
Brooks Ghost 10 (easy runs, daily runs)
Saucony Freedom (easy runs, long runs)
Nike Zoom Fly (workouts) Review to come
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (Races)

Questions for you:
Have you tried a brand new shoe recently?
What is your favorite running shoe?

Gear Review, Running

Fall Products I’m Enjoying

I realized that I never did any late Spring or Summer “products I am currently ling” post.

I am nosy and enjoy reading what other people like.  None of these products are sponsored and I’m not being paid to let you know about them.

As I have gotten back into running, there are several running related as well as life-related products I have enjoyed.

Running Shoes: 

None of these should come as a surprise because I do shoe reviews of models I’m running in. Each of these shoes I’ve liked and put over 300 miles in now.  I liked the Hoka Clifton 3 enough to retire the first pair and buy another.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

Hoka Clifton 3 
Brooks Launch 3
Saucony Zealot ISO 2
Nike LunarGlide 9 (review to come)



Coincidentally, We have also brought Janji to work.  Recently I tried this light weight top.  I love the sleeve details and it’s light weight and fits well.

Janji also sends 10% of their sales earned to the clean water.  I like companies that have a back story.
running janji


I’ve written many posts about various products that I like from Saucony.  Including shoes like the Saucony Triumph, Zealot, and Ride.

Working in running retail, I see the evolution of brands and brand design.  They’ve always had great shoes but they’ve upped their game on apparel too.  I love their fashion forward trends including the Life on the Run collection.  You can tell because I’ve hiked in this tank top every time.

Delaware Water Gap

As we draw more into fall and winter, I’m sure I’ll stumble upon new products and gear to add to the list.

Questions for you:

What gear are you currently enjoying?

What nonrunning things are you enjoying? 


Signing a Wedding Dress Waiver

A few days ago the bridal dress store called and said my dress had arrived.

I promptly said “oh great, does it still have built in hips?!” I got a few LOLZ from the various employees. It took exactly four months to come in but my dress is here ready to be fitted.  It is hard to believe that was four months ago, it feels like yesterday! Here was my experience.

Not my dress but a dress that just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Not my dress but a dress that just kept multiplying…when does it end?

When I tried and found a wedding dress they made me sign a waiver. Not a waiver saying I would pay for the dress but signing off on the size we ordered. I was signing to say I would not be upset (in four months) due to the size we agreed on previously.

I think it was a size 6 or 8 but I can’t remember (she took my measurements and I said…you know best and I trust you). It really shows how much I remember or care. It struck me as very interesting that I had to sign a waiver that they ordered me the correct size dress. So interesting, I said this:

Do you when I walk down the aisle what I want people to think and say?

The receptionist (probably tired of my sarcasm at this point): what’s that?

I want people to wonder what size dress I got and make a comment about it. It takes me back to this straight forward point: no one knows or cares what dress you are. No one cares your weight. At your wedding, people notice how happy and how glowing you are…not your damn dress size. 

Anyone getting married or who has tried on wedding dresses will tell you they run small. I don’t want to try and squeeze into a smaller size because it’s not going to be flattering and I’m just going to be uncomfortable.  I’ll be exploding out of the dress trying to get my dance on.

I guess my point is this. It’s sad how fixated on weight and size our society has become. It’s sad I had to sign a waiver to order the correct size. We shouldn’t worry about a dress size, we should focus on being healthy.


Wedding Dress Shopping

Trying on wedding dresses taught me a lot of things.  I obviously won’t be posting any photos of my wedding dress or anything remotely close to it (yes I found one because I’m not about to go multiple times to multiple places). I found some really humerous ones (to me) that filled up my LOLZ tank.

If you know me you know I’m an off the rack buyer.  I look at clothing, think it looks nice and buy it.  I don’t try things on in stores…Since half of my clothing purchases are made online anyways, it doesn’t matter to me.

My mom asked a month ago if I wanted to make a dress appointment.  I responded with: “I haven’t tried on clothing in stores for the last 2 years so I wouldn’t be starting now with wedding dresses.” I was kidding of course, but that obviously didn’t go over well.  Honestly I never spent a great deal of time on pinterest or looking at wedding dresses because I am not 5’10 and 120 pounds…they wouldn’t look the same on me as in a photo…unless I photoshopped my face onto said photo.

I tried on the first dress and that ultimately was the dress I liked the best.  I tried on multiple dresses to compare and to rule things out that maybe I liked or didn’t.

I had made several rules before I went shopping.  All of which I told my consultant (who was fabulous).

  1. I don’t want my butt crack to show. I don’t know why these lower back wedding dresses are trendy but I would prefer my booty covered.
  2. I don’t want anything see through. Why do brides want a wedding dress where they are basically getting married in a bra with a bunch of lace on top…that’s weird.
  3. I don’t want a puffy, ball gown. It’s not my style mostly because I don’t like weight training and those dresses are heavy.
  4. Similary I don’t want a dress I can’t twerk in. If I can’t booty pop to my girl Nikki Minaj, it’s not happening.
  5. I don’t want a b’dazzled dress. That seems heavy, itchy and not me.

I was of course, willing to try anything.  I don’t care because bridal dress consultants know what they are doing…I do not.  If I did I would be a wedding dress consultant.  I told her I was willing to try anything on but I was not holding back my remarks.  (I’m glad she enjoyed my humor/commentary to each dress).

This was not a contendor.  First the dress was 500 pounds and second I swear it was asexually multipling.  It kept getting bigger and bigger (like my hair in the summertime).

wedding dress

The second was a beautiful turkey style dress.  After scouring the country and plucking feathers from several turkeys and birds, I put together this flapper style wedding dress.  I think it was a cross between a flapper and a turkey.  As they say the bird is the word.

Wedding Dress
This photo does not do the feathers justice.

Another dress I tried on was the lacy bedazzled belt.  I’m pretty sure the belt cost more than what I make paycheck wise in a year.  The dress was nice but not my style either.  It was a bit better than the feather flapper and asexual reproducing dress…enough that I took a halfway normal photo with my future flower girl.


Ultimately after comparing and contrasting dresses, I went with the first one I tried on.  It just taught me that I don’t need to try things on and can continue my terrible method of purchasing clothing right off the rack. I had a lot of fun.  I left feeling good and excited.  I also left thinking maybe I could design dresses.  I could just throw some things together and some bride would like it?  Right?

Two hours is a long time to stand in front of a mirror staring at yourself.  It was like a selfie that never ended.

Questions for you:

Brides: How many dress stores did you go too?  Did you enjoy trying on dresses?

Do you like clothes shopping?  Do you try on clothes in general?


Running Taught me About Socks

I often get questions such as “What is the one thing you knew when you were starting running” or “what have you learned since running”…

There are multiple things I have learned from running.  Some are running related and some are life related.  Some are things people roll their eyes and probably will say “I told you so Hollie”.  Some are point blank cluelessness.  File this under the last category.

When I first started running I would run in any sort of sock I felt like.  Cotton socks, Keds socks, cheapo dollar tree socks, no socks, skateboard cool roxy socks…whatever I had was what I ran in.  I would get a lot of blisters.  Not just any kind of blisters but blisters that made my feet rank in probably the top 5 most uncute feet in the history of feet.  (Whatever that means).  I’m not going to post photos but know that on multiple occasions my entire foot was a blister.

Notice closely but here I am running a cross country course in spikes with no socks.
Notice closely but here I am running a cross country course in spikes with no socks.

I never really realized why this was.  This process went around for the first 2 years of running.  Two years or running and I routinely made this mistake.  I never really cared enough to look into it.  I thought blisters (like missing toenails) were just something you got with running.

One day my parents bought me a nice pair of socks.  My mom saw them on sale and they said “running socks” and so she bought them for me.  I never realized (honestly) what the difference a good pair of socks could make.  I felt like I had gotten new running shoes…every time I wore a good pair of socks.

These socks eventually led me to multiple brands of socks and yet another way to make running more expnesive than it needs to be.  Cotton socks are 8 pairs for 10 dollars at walmart.  Good thing each pair of running socks retails for at least 10 dollars.

The two brands of socks I personally enjoy are Injinji and Feetures.

Injinji socks:

You might have seen these before and thought toe socks?  Isn’t that so 1999?  I do remember having toe socks in early middle school because they were a trend.  I actually didn’t like them.  It felt weird to have something between my toes.  (Don’t get me started on toe shoes either…).

After getting some of the worst blisters in training this summer I saw an ad that said “reduce blisters between your toes” which is exactly what I needed.  Since wearing iniji’s I no longer have blisters between my toes.  (I’m not saying my toes are up to par to get a peticure but they have taken good care of my feet.




Feetures Socks:

I’ve worn these the longest.  They were my “upgrade” from cotton socks at walmart.  They come in plenty of different colors from floursent yellow to orange.  I don’t have a lot to say but they are your standard running sock.  My feet don’t blister, they are comfortable and come in a variaty of different cushions.


So yes, I am 100% glad I learned that life lesson about running socks.  I have almost gotten rid of all my cotton socks but I know there are still a few in the wardrobe mix.

Random but I was also nominated for the greatest female running blog of all time.  If I win I get a little ribbon to stick on my sidebar…HA anyways the votes are me: 25%, my opponent 75% (out of possibly 100 votes?) but you never know…maybe I’ll make it out of round 1!  So if you wanted to vote that would be excellent.

Questions for you:

What is a running clothes related issue you have learned?

I’ll say chaffing for another day.

What is your favorite type of workout sock?