Spibelt Running Belt Review
Gear Review, Running

Spibelt Running Belt Review

Spibelt Review

One of the most common questions I get is, “how do you hold fuel or gels while running.”  I have never minded holding my cell phone (or using Koala Clip), but I hate going out for a long run carrying a bunch of stuff. I’ve had my original Spibelt Running Belt for over a year now but am just now writing a Spibelt Review.

Continue reading “Spibelt Running Belt Review”

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Form Goggles Review
Gear Review, Running, Swimming

Form Goggles Review

Form Goggles Review

“Back in my day” of swimming (IE before 2012), we didn’t have GPS watches to count laps, underwater headphones, or goggles that gave you feedback directly through the lens.  My how have things changed since then!

Form Goggles Review

It’s been fun taking a break from the sport and coming back when there is so much technology.

As both a runner and a swimmer, there a lot of things that track running.  Watches? Pods? But there aren’t a lot of things that track swimming. In fact, you’ll either need to get an expensive GPS watch or the latest Form Goggles.

I was given the opportunity to test out Form Goggles. As an “old school salty swimmer,” I wasn’t sure I wanted all of that technology in front of me at all times. Part of the reason I like swimming is just to get back in the pool and have nothing but my thoughts and myself.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I appreciated all of the feedback from Form Goggles plus they didn’t take away from my actual swim.

Form Goggles Review

Pros of Form Goggles:

  • Just an excellent goggle. If you break down Form Goggles to the most basic component, they are a good goggle. Form Goggles is anti-fog and keeps water out of your eyes.
  • Accurate at Tracking Laps
  • The display is easy to read (and also doesn’t give me a migraine or make me dizzy)Form Goggles Review

Cons of Form Goggles:

  • $199 is expensive for goggles, but if you are a serious swimmer and training, it’s a great tool.
  • Swimming only
  • Must be able to continuously swim to get the full benefits

Form Goggles Review

So What are Form Goggles?

Form Swim Goggles are goggles with a smart display inside the lens of the goggle. The augmented reality smart display shows various information, including:

  • time
  • stroke rate
  • laps
  • splits

So while you are swimming, you have that information in front of you like an onboard computer.

Form goggles are controlled by 2 buttons on the side of the goggles. In the lens of the goggle, you have a small display of your laps which you can program to include splits, laps, or distance. You aren’t getting high definition inside your goggles, but do you need it? No. Form Goggles displays information inside the goggle in real-time. Programming Form Goggles is easy; in fact, I did it 5 minutes before I went for a swim.  There are a few different displays to go through and once you’re done, you can get to swimming.

Form Goggles shows you the following:

  • Stroke Count
  • Split Time (you can program 25 meters, yards, 50 meters, or yards, and custom or unknown length.
  • Total lengths swam

Form Goggles connect back to your phone, which can give you an overall breakdown of your performance. Like a running GPS watch, you can see every split and it points out which is your fastest.

How do Form Goggles Know How Far You’ve Swam?

According to Form Goggles, they use a combination of an accelerometer, gyroscope, and algorithms.  Swimming in a pool also makes it easy to track when you turn around (flip turn, turn around, or whatever).

I’ve swam about 20,000 meters in Form Goggles now and haven’t had an issue where I question if it was accurate. I’ve compared to both my Coros APEX GPS watch and both have come up with the same laps each time.

The difference between Form Goggles and a GPS watch for running, is they don’t need to include a GPS function to determine your route. Most pools are standardized, so it just needs to know the length of the pool. Based on that, it determines when you change directions.

Swimming Continuously:

Form Goggles relies on you swimming proficiently down the lane. So, for instance, if you are attempting to swim 25 meters and stop in the middle at say 12 meters; it might end up counting as a lap. I’ve had to stop a couple of random times and it will count it as a lap midway through.

If you are thinking of swimming 500 meters of start and stop (which is fine), it’s not an investment I would make. If you get in the pool and swim laps and laps, or are a previous swimmer, training for a triathlon, or just like swimming, then it might be something I would consider. The system and tracking of Form Goggles rely on you being able to swim consistently.

Form Goggles Fit:

At the fundamental principle, Form Goggles are a goggle. A goggle should be able to keep water out of your face and the silicone eye seals do just that. In the about 20,000 meters I’ve swam using Form Goggles; I haven’t had an issue with water getting in my eyes or Form Goggles fogging. So at the fundamental principle, Form Goggles are well designed for lap swimming. Form Goggles also comes with several different nose bridge sizes to figure out which one fits the best on your face. Plus, Form Goggles have a 45-day fit guarantee, which is nice.

How I Felt While Using Form Goggles:

I was slightly worried Form Goggles would feel heavy on my face, but they don’t. They feel like a lightweight goggle and I don’t notice a difference. No one seemed to notice I was wearing Form Goggles while swimming my laps either.

I was also worried that Form Goggles might trigger a migraine or make me dizzy from staring at a screen while swimming (something I get from something too tight on my head or reading something while moving, but it hasn’t done that either.).  I can’t wear tight headbands because they trigger migraines.

Are Form Goggles Right for Me?

A great question and it’s pretty easily answered. If you are swimming multiple days a week and for a substantial amount, you can benefit from them.  If you are only swimming and don’t want a watch that can track running mileage than yes.

If you swim a couple of times a month for a little bit, you don’t necessarily need Form Goggles.

If you’re a “serious or competitive swimmer” and someone who trains competitively (whether it an open water swim or triathlon), I would recommend Form Goggles.

If you are more casual with your laps, than finding a GPS watch that can do other fitness activities would be beneficial. There is no hard line there, and you certainly don’t need to be Micheal Phelps to benefit from them.

You can see all the product 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 tried Form Goggles?

Do you like swimming?

Koala Clip Review
Gear Review, Running

Koala Clip Review

Koala Clip Review

What is a “Koala Clip”? A common question if you read the title. Another common and relevant question is “how can I hold my cell phone while running?

Much like it sounds, Koala Clips can hook into the back of a sports bra or on the side of shorts to hold your phone, or even money, credit cards, or a gel. You don’t have to be female to use one and they easily hook onto the side of shorts or pants too.

Koala Clip Review

Several years ago, armbands were what people used the hold cell phones. The thing about armbands is that they cause you to become unbalanced while balanced. Whichever arm uses the arm band will ultimately become stronger because it has something around your arm. Since cell phones have only gotten bigger, it’s become increasingly difficult to create an armband that isn’t cumbersome and awkward to run with.

Koala Clip was created when the founder Kristina learned to sew. She dreamed it and created it. The name, Koala Clip, was inspired by mama Koalas carrying their babies on their back for efficiency.

I’ve known Kristina for many years and it’s been fun to see the evolution of Koala Clip. She now has two types: “Koala Clip Original” and “Koala Clip Lux,” and even has an ambassador team. I have two of the original Koala Clips (a purple and a grey). I have enjoyed seeing her process and growth. The older I get, the more I prefer to support friends and local stores doing their thing over big businesses.

The major differences between the Original and LUX are:

  • The Koala Clip LUX comes with an internal card pocket to carry cards and cash separately from your phone.
  • The Koala Clip LUX outer material is a spandex/nylon blend and feels more like a sports bra. The Koala Clip Orginal uses mesh/jersey.

While I’m not an ambassador, Koala Clip is a product I genuinely like and have used for years. It simply hooks into the back of a sports bra. It doesn’t have to be a racerback and it can hook into anything from a T back, racerback, or strappy back. In the several years, I’ve used it; I haven’t had a sports bra it hasn’t worked with.

What can the Koala Clip Hold?

Each Koala Clip pouch can hold your phone, cards, keys and even a few gels. The more you add to it the bulkier it will be though, if you are worried about how it will appear on your back.

Koala Clip

Can a Koala Clip Hold my “Massive Phone”?

The answer is yes. There are several sizes, including medium, large, and extra-large. The Koala Clip is designed to hold your phone, plus more. I have a thick otter box on my phone and fits comfortably with plenty of room for fuel.

Is the Koala Clip Waterproof?

You cannot go swimming, but I’ve run in the rain and been ok.

How Do I Wash It?

Finally, you can easily clean them and run in the same load of laundry as your socks. Just let them air dry versus dryer.

Koala Clip

In use:

While running, I often forget I have it. It doesn’t bounce, move or chafe. When I was marathon training last summer, I used Koala Clip to hold fuel as well as my cell phone without sticking them in my pocket. I wish I had stuck my fuel for the 18.12 Challenge in a Koala Clip because it ultimately fell out of my pocket during a race.

So if you’re looking for a noninvasive way to hold your cell phone, fuel, or card, I recommend thinking about Koala Clip. I’ve hooked into my sports bra as well as on my shorts and never had an issue. I haven’t had a time that it’s caused me an issue.

Many local running stores carry Koala Clip, but you can also find them here.

You can see more product 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.

Question for you:

How do you hold your phone while running?

Nike React Infinity Run Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

Nike React Infinity Run Shoe Review

Nike React Infinity Run Shoe Review

To me, the Nike React Infinity Run is classified as a social media shoe. Since the release of the Nike, React Infinity Run a couple of weeks, I’ve gotten more questions about it. Is it the best ever? Is it great for me? The list is endless. Except for the carbon plated shoes, in the last two weeks, I’ve gotten more questions about Nike React Infinity Run then all of the rest of the shoes in the entire running industry-combined!

Nike React Infinity Run Shoe Review

So what is a social media shoe?

Social Media shoes are the shoes that are super “hyped” the most before release. Typically it’s either a Nike or adidas shoe, although there have been some from Asics and Brooks that have been marketed extremely hard. Remember the launch of the Brooks Levitate? The same person who helped Starbucks Pumpkin spice Lattes helped the Brooks Levitate. Brooks did a great job and for a debut shoe, it did well.

Nike React Infinity Run Shoe Review

Just keep in mind, not every shoe works for everyone, so I think these social media shoes do a disservice to the running community. The biggest way to know if the Nike React Infinity Run is good for you is to go to your local running store and get your gait looked at.

Like many things, if Nike says it’s the Nike React Infinity Run is “the best ever,” people will think it and buy it.

The Nike React Infinity Run shoe is like any other running shoe. It’s not the best ever, it’s not the worst ever, and it only works for certain foot types. The Nike React Infinity Run shoe does have a lot of cushioning to it. I am wary of any brand that says: “the shoe is designed to keep you injury-free”.  No shoe will do that, but how you train in a shoe will.

Nike React Infinity Run Shoe Review

Nike React Infinity Run Quick Facts:

Weight: 9.6 ounces

Heel to Toe Drop: 9 mm

Nike React Infinity Run Fit:

The Nike React Infinity Run features a single layer of Flyknit Upper. It gives the Nike React Infinity Run a streamlined fit and sleek look. Like most Nike shoes featuring the Flyknit material, it’s stretchy at the front with micro-perforations to help the shoe breathe well.  In wet conditions, the Nike React Infinity Run can get soggy and heavy.  Similar to the first edition of the Nike 4%.  While the Nike React Infinity Run Shoe has plenty of traction for the rain, due to the upper material, it’s not my first choice for inclement weather.

Interestingly, the Nike React Infinity Run shoe doesn’t have a traditional tongue. The elastic tongue stretches over the top of the foot and keeps the shoe’s one-piece construction.  If you have a higher instep, the Nike React Infinity Run shoe can accommodate that.

The fit of the Nike React Infinity Run Shoe is narrow through the arch and wider in the forefoot. Nike also has a pull tab instead of a traditional heel counter to make taking the shoe off easy (but seriously always untie your laces).

Finally, something to keep in mind is Nike only included four eyelets. This minimizes the ways you can lace the shoes.

In running shoes, I typically wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide and have found the 11 of the Nike React Infinity Run to fit the best.

Nike React Infinity Run Shoe Review

Nike React Infinity Run Ride:

According to Nike, the Nike React Infinity Run shoe is designed to reduce injury.  As I mentioned, I hesitate when a company says a shoe is great for “injury prevention”. There isn’t going to ever be a shoe that prevents all injuries.

Realistically, the Nike React Infinity Run Shoe is just an updated version of the Nike Epic React. Since they changed so much, they gave it a new name. Nike claims the Nike React Infinity Run Shoe has 24 percent more React foam than Epic React Flyknit 2. More foam=more cushion.

So what is the deal with the Nike React Foam?

The nitty-gritty details are the Nike Running React Foam is a combination of two polymers found in running shoe cushioning:

  • (TPE) thermoplastic elastomer
  • (EVA) ethylene-vinyl acetate

Together, the two make the Nike React Infinity Run have a soft and springy ride.

The Nike React Infinity Run has a midsole designed in a rocker shape. The rocker geometry is most similar to the curve of the Nike 4% shoe.

What does the rocker do? The rocker in the Nike React Infinity Run encourages a forward lean.  According to Nike, this promotes a natural and forefoot strike.

When running in the Nike React Infinity Run, I felt the curve and found it rolled smoothly from heel to toe. I expected a giant marshmallow under my foot with the amount of React foam, but it felt like a smooth ride and responsive.

I’ve run a few runs in the Nike React Infinity Run, including a short tempo run, easy run, recovery run, and a quick workout. Truthfully I’m not sure where it fits in my rotation. I like how fast I feel in the Nike React Infinity Run, but I like flatter shoes for workouts.

While there is no stability piece to it, the wider base of the Nike React Infinity Run makes the shoe more stable by nature. Unlike the Next %, you don’t feel like you’re going to roll an ankle with one wrong move.

Nike React Infinity Run Shoe Review

Nike React Infinity Run Conclusion:

I like the Nike React Infinity Run and it’s a good shoe. I struggle with where it fits into my shoe rotation. I caution anyone who thinks a shoe is going to keep them “injury-free or healthy” because there is no shoe that will do that. That being said, there is plenty of cushion which most people can benefit from. It’s neither the best nor the worst shoe out there, but it does get the most social media attention for a trainer.

If you are looking to replace Nike React Infinity Run with something else the Brooks Levitate 3, Brooks Ricochet 2, or Saucony Ride ISO 2 are all good options.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3New Balance 1080 v10, Diadora Mythos Blushield Blushield Hip 5, Hoka Bondi 6Asics Cumulus 21

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike React Infinity Run

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 tried the Nike React Infinity Run Shoe?

What is your current favorite shoe?

Fun Run Box Review
Gear Review, Running

Fun Run Box Review

Fun Run Box Review

Recently I tried the Fun Run Box.  The motto of the Fun Run Box is “For Runners, by Runners,” which I thought was cool. With a subscription to the Fun Run Box, you get a box each month filled with “Runner Things.” One thing I appreciated is that each item in the Fun Run Box is full-sized. You aren’t getting half of an item or a little bit of something. Who wants to try half of something?

Fun Run Box Review

So anyway, what is Fun Run Box?

Fun Run Box is a running monthly subscription box.  What makes Fun Run Box different is that it’s also a running experience. The monthly challenges and monthly theme box make it different.  T

Fun Run Box Review

Boxes each month come with anything from running gear, apparel, skincare, and snacks.  Then there is also a “challenge” each month from a game to a running streak. The running challenges makes more interesting than here is a box for you. Especially in the winter months, we all need more motivation.

With the February Challenge, it was a “Scavenger Hunt” for all things red. Each month is part of the challenge series and you never know what you’ll get. A few of the items included red running shoes, a sign with red lettering, and a dog wearing a red sweater. By competing, you could win your next box free.

Who doesn’t love a good competition?

So what was in the Fun Run Box?

So that Fun Run Box sends you the right sizes and appropriate gear, you choose which gender as well as your shirt size, calve size (for compression), and sock size. They take care of sending you a fun care package.

Fun Run Box Review

I appreciated that the Fun Run Box is catered for the season. Obviously, it’s February and colder.  The items this month included a headband, hat gloves, and hand warmers. The hat is a wool reversible City Sports Beanie.

Fun Run Box Review

All the winter gear was high quality and isn’t just cheap, clearance stuff on sale.

The Fun Run Box also came with a few new to me products, including Nuttzo organic butter.  I’ve never tried Nuttzo before but have been making an effort to eat more peanut butter, so this was perfect. I liked both the original and the chocolate power fuel.

Fun Run Box Review

The Fun Run Box also came with a “Boost Hydrate” to get electrolytes. Similar to products like Nuun. It tasted good, and I appreciated the electrolytes.

In all, I like the idea of the Fun Run Box.  I think it’s a great idea for running friends that “have it all” or that you have no idea what they would like. We all have friends like that.

Right now, Fun Run Box is offering 15% off with the Code: Welcome15.  The boxes are usually 35.99 (if you do more than one month, they are cheaper). 

You can see all the product reviews here.

Questions for you:

Have you tried a subscription box? Runner box or any box? 

Have you ever gone on a running scavenger hunt?