Hoka One One Arahi 4 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Shoe Review

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Shoe Review

I don’t typically review shoes in the stability category?

Why? Because I don’t usually run in them.  Lately, I’ve found I’ve needed a shoe that is more stable for longer, easy, runs. My body feels better with it. I didn’t want anything to be stable and the Hoka One One Arahi 4 felt comfortable.

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Shoe Review

The Hoka Arahi 4 is one of two support trainers from Hoka. The other (Hoka Gaviota) has max stability and cushion.  The Hoka Arahi 4 is lighter and more responsive. The closest neutral trainer to the Hoka Arahi 4 is the Hoka Clifton 6.

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Quick Facts:

Weight: 8 oz

Heel to Toe Drop: 5 mm

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Fit:

One thing that drew me to the Hoka One One Arahi 4 over other more stable shoes was the width. While the Hoka Arahi 4 is not the widest Hoka shoe, it’s wider than most brands.

Most of Hoka’s shoes use an engineered, seamless mesh.  Compared to previous versions, the Hoka Arahi 4 uses a softer material which makes the upper lighter, more durable, and more breathable.

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Shoe Review

Since there are no seams, the Arahi 4 doesn’t irritate your foot if you have a wider forefoot, have bunions, or just like a wide shoe. That being said, the upper of the Hoka Arahi 4 also doesn’t provide much structure.

Since many Hoka models are wide and seamless, some people feel as though their foot just free-floating around in a Hoka shoe. That’s not a bad thing, and you never want a running shoe to be too tight. A tighter shoe isn’t providing support. That being said, you don’t want to feel comfortable.

Typically in running shoes, I wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide. I’ve found the Hoka One One Arahi 4 size 10 to be perfect.

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Ride:

If you’ve run in the Hoka One One Arahi before, this year’s model is similar. The sole hasn’t changed.  If you are new to Hoka, Hoka uses early stage Meta-Rocker. The early-stage Meta-Rocker “rocks” you forward and provides a smooth transition from heel to toe.

Unlike the neutral shoes I typically use, the Hoka One One Arahi 4 uses “J-Frame” Technology to provide stability.

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Shoe Review

What is “J-Frame”? 

J-Frame isn’t a traditional medial post like many stable trainers. It’s the second reason I was drawn to the Hoka Arahi 4.

The support is a denser foam that starts in the midsole and runs down the medial (inner) side of your foot.  It then goes to wrap around your heel (like a J). It’s easy to distinguish in the Hoka Arahi 4 because it’s slightly darker foam in the shoe. Many brands are going towards more natural ways to support your foot rather than a giant piece of stability built into the shoe.

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Shoe Review

Finally, the outsole of the Hoka Arahi 4 uses high abrasion rubber. The Hoka One One Arahi 4 has traction when needed, but it doesn’t have the most traction of any shoe. It’s okay for inclement conditions.

I’ve run a few different types of runs in the Hoka Arahi 4 from long runs to easy, recovery runs, and a shorter speed workout. I’ve found the Hoka One One Arahi 4 fits best for me on an easy run day that my body is tired.

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Shoe Review

Hoka One One Arahi 4 Conclusion:

The Hoka Arahi 4 is a great trainer for anyone who needs some stability. It’s light, yet responsive. The cushioning is positive for anyone looking for something with a little more.

I appreciate the use of the “J-Frame” and the natural stability versus a giant arch piece. I’ll continue using the Hoka Arahi 4 as my easy run shoe.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3New Balance 1080 v10, Diadora Mythos Blushield Blushield Hip 5, Hoka One One Arahi 4, Asics Cumulus 21

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

Long Runs: Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe ReviewNew Balance FuelCell RebelAltra 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 Hoka before?

Have you tried the Hoka One One Arahi 4? 

 

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Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review
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? 

 

 

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? 

 

Altra Escalante 2.0 Shoe review
Gear Review, Running

Altra Escalante 2 Shoe Review

Altra Escalante 2 Shoe Review

The Altra Escalante 2 is the latest update for the Altra Escalante. The Altra Escalante is one of Altra’s most popular shoes. If you’ve never tried the brand Altra before, Altra is a zero drop brand.  Zero drop means that the front of the shoe is the same stack height is the back. So the heel and forefoot are the same distance from the ground and the drop platform is zero. Altra shoes also have a foot-shaped toe box which allows the toes to relax and spread out. In any running shoe, you never want a tight toe box and the brand Altra already has more room.

Altra Escalante 2.0 Shoe review

If you’ve never run in the Altra Escalante or the brand, Altra, it’s important to note that it will take time to get used too. Since the brand Altra is zero drop, your calves will work much harder.

Altra Escalante 2 Quick Facts:

Weight: 7.4 oz

Heel to Toe Drop: 0 mm (like all Altra shoes)

Altra Escalante 2 Fit:

The more significant updates for the Altra Escalante 2 come in the fit and upper.  The Altra Escalante 2 hasn’t seen much of a drastic update, but the upper of the Escalante 2 now has additional structure.  The fully knit upper still flexes and fits the foot well, but with the extra structure, it doesn’t let your foot feel like it’s free-floating.

Altra Escalante 2.0 Shoe review

I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and hae found the 10.5 to fit the best in the Altra Escalante.  One thing I do caution people with is, while the brand Altra prides themselves in being “foot shaped” and having plenty of room in the foot shape toebox, they aren’t the widest brand out there. If you have a wider forefront or bunions and traditionally need a wide, Altra might be too narrow for you.

Altra Escalante 2.0 Shoe review

Altra Escalante 2 Ride:

The Altra Escalante 2 has a similar outsole as the original version.  It still uses Altra’s “FootPod Technology” as well as the Altra “EGO” Midsole Foam.   What is FootPod Technology? It’s designed to mimic the bone structure of the human foot.  This allows the shoe to flex at the same places that your foot does while running. It’s designed to really keep your feet moving naturally.

The Altra EGO foam is light but also designed to feel springy with each step.

One difference is that the Altra Escalante 2 has a 1 mm smaller stack height than the original Altra Escalante.  This means you are 1 mm closer to the ground. (The new stack height is 24 mm). I ran in the original Altra Escalante and now run in the Altra Escalante 2 and haven’t noticed a difference.

I appreciate how light and responsive the Altra Escalante 2 is. I’ve run easy runs, longer runs, and workouts and like the Altra Escalante 2 best for workouts or faster run days. Just like the original Altra Escalante, I need more cushion for longer and easier runs.

Altra Escalante 2 Conclusions:

I like the Altra Escalante and the update is a great addition to the shoe. For me, it fits best in a fast-paced or workout shoe. I need more cushion for longer runs but for me, the Altra Escalante 2 is a great shoe for workouts or faster runs.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: New Balance 1080 v10Diadora Mythos Elite TRX, Hoka Bondi 6Saucony Triumph 17 Shoe Review

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProHoka RinconNike 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:

Hae you tried the brand Altra? Have you tried the Altra Escalante 2.0?