Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

 vNike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Truthfully, I think it’s dumb to post a review about the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% (or just Nike Vaporfly Next%). Before reading anything, you’ve already made up your mind if you are going to buy the Nike Vaporfly Next%. Most brands are coming up with some form of carbon fiber plate shoe. Nike just did so first. There is plenty of research to shoe the Nike Vaporfly Next% does make you run faster, but you also have to put in the work.

It’s no secret there have been plenty of world records run and races like the London Marathon won and Eliud Kipchoge has run the fastest marathon time. The Next Vaporfly Next% is a race day shoe. I would do some training in the running shoes, but save most of the shoe for racing. That way you get the most out of your money because the Nike Vaporfly Next% is not durable.

Anyway, since Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% is a lot to type out, I’ll just say the Nike Next%. You get it.  I do believe the second version of the Nike Vaporfly has gotten a good update, and I wouldn’t be as worried about sliding down the streets on a poor weather day.

If you wonder, will this shoe be good for me? Here is the thing, no running shoe is perfect for everyone. Yes, this shoe can help you improve 4-5% of your running economy, but in order to get that advantage, you must be hitting the shoe exactly like the professional’s the shoe was made for. Otherwise, you aren’t taking full advantage of that technology.  Some people might gain a 1% and some might gain 5%. Due to my form and running economy (which you can see in the last photo), I don’t think I use a lot of the technology. This was a similar issue I had with Newtons. Some might even gain none, but only you can run in the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike Vaporfly Next% Fit:

Like the Nike Zoom Fly 3, the Nike Next% now uses Vaporweave. According to Nike, the Vaporweave absorbs 93% less water. This isn’t limited to rain but also includes sweat. A common complaint was the flyknit upper absorbed the moisture and made your feet feel sloppy (which is true).

The Vaporweave upper material is transparent and also lighter than the Flyknit and mixes two plastics: TPU and TPE.  So be sure to wear cool socks, because you’ll see them.

Outside of the Vaporweave material, the toe box is wider. The Nike Next% isn’t made in wides, but it does fit wider. The offset laces are now asymmetrical to remove the pressure that some had on the top of their foot.

Nike Next% fits true to size. I wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and I found the unisex 9 to be sufficient.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike Vaporfly Next% Ride:

The Nike, Next% ride, is where all of the magic happens. That’s why people (myself included) are willing to spend the $250. Much of the shoe’s performance benefit comes from Nike’s ZoomX foam.

For Nike Next%, the Nike team added more ZoomX.  By adding an additional 4 mm of stack height, they added 1 mm of ZoomX foam. Why does this matter? Due to the new heel toe offset, the ride is significantly different than previous versions. The heel to toe drop of the Nike Next% is now 8 mm when previously it was 11 mm. (Your calves might be sorer).

Finally, the most important feature Nike added to the Next% was the rubberized bottom. Now if you run in a torrential downpour (like say Boston), you won’t slide around. Plus instead of the Nike Next% lasting 50 miles, it will last about 100.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike Vaporfly Next% Conclusion:

The Nike Next% is a faster shoe than the previous Nike Vaporfly. I’m surprised; it didn’t jump in cost because of more expensive materials to use in the product.  If you are willing to spend $250 to shave a minute or two off your race, then it’s worth it. Other brands are coming out with a similar carbon plated shoe soon too.

With the exception of NYCM last year, none of my PRs are from the Next % series. Last year at NYCM was the first marathon I ran in over 3 years so I don’t attribute PRing with the shoes. I personally have mixed feelings about the shoe. I think there are better shoes for shorter distances, but I do think they are a good marathon shoe (because I didn’t injure myself during last year’s marathon).

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Brooks Ghost 12

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

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike 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 bought a pair of Nike Nike%?

Do you love them? 




Today’s training log was supposed to an exciting log about how I ran the Big Cottonwood Marathon…but I never made it there.

Admittedly, I chose not to go and I chose not to start the race. It was a conversation I had in my head weighing both the pros and the cons. I’m sure the events would have played out differently for many but at the end of the day, it wasn’t worth it to me to start a race when the risk of a more serious injury was high.

It isn’t my first DNS, and it probably won’t be last. On the day my flight was supposed to leave, I could barely walk. Traveling was a literal pain in the ass. Sitting for long periods…hurt, walking…hurt. Running last Wednesday was laughable. In fact, today, Monday, after a week of not running, it’s laughable (but moving in the right direction).

So what led me to a DNS?

I ran a few short runs after the 18.12 mile challenge with no issues. I felt fine. My gait felt fine. I felt fine. Nothing in my running life would lead me to believe I wouldn’t run my marathon. Somewhere around 7-10 days out from my marathon, my hamstring and butt started to hurt. Not just a phantom taper pain hurt, but something was wrong. I delayed saying anything, hoping it would be a quick fix. Truthfully, I also didn’t want unsolicited internet advice about it would be fine and it was just “taper pain”. It wasn’t me exaggerating; I was in pain.

Dr. Craig from Dr. Kemenosh worked on my legs and butt the last few days using active release. I was also able to make an appointment with Dr. Lisko.

There just wasn’t the time to get me back to running a marathon. I could have probably run. I might have been able to run the entire marathon, but there was a greater chance I would have to stop and walk due to my hamstring. There was also a chance, 26.2 miles of downhill running would lead to a torn hamstring. I knew the chance of me leaving the race, having not finished, something torn, or limping, was far greater than me finishing healthy.

What’s the point? Why put myself through 26.2 miles of pain? The marathon would be miserable, I wouldn’t run well, and I would take longer to recover. I would be out for months. So while the weekend wasn’t “the best ever”, I don’t have any regrets about skipping the marathon.

When I decided to forgo the Big Cottonwood Marathon, the race I spent 16 weeks training for, I didn’t take it lightly. It’s hard not to show up. To not feel like a failure.

Throughout my running and especially in my early twenties, I’ve been injured multiple times with many different injuries. This is the closest I’ve come to being injured race day without it happening during a race. (I broke my tibia during the Allen Stone-Run-Swim-Run in 2011).

The older I get, the more I realize running isn’t everything and never will be. I’m a big proponent of having other hobbies. Other hobbies that don’t relate to running or your “central hobby.”

If all you do is eat, breath, sleep, running, and suddenly it’s taken away from you, you have nothing. The same can be said about anything. If all you do is eat, breath, sleep, sewing…and it’s taken away from you, you have nothing. (and no, social media doesn’t count).

That is why you see more and more professional athletes having other hobbies. Steph Bruce and Lauren Fleshman make Picky Bars. Des Linden brews coffee. You need an outside hobby that doesn’t have you mindlessly scrolling social media, comparing and wishing it was you.

Last Wednesday was my final decision day, and when it came, my decision was easy. It was a no. An easy no. Not a tearful no. Just a no. A not worth it to go no. A do what’s best for me, no.

It’s funny, because I haven’t cried people have mistaken that as “not caring”. I am sad I didn’t race but I know it’s not the end of the world. There are more important issues in the world than not running a marathon.  Do I feel like I wasted the summer training? Not really, I would have still run. I wouldn’t have done 15+ mile long runs, but I would have still run.

After coming to terms with it, my day went on. I felt like I was in a fog, but I had other things to keep me busy.

By the time I knew it, I went to bed and moved on. Thursday and Friday were challenging, and my phone notified me I had missed my flight. I felt a quick sadness but moved on from that too. As the weekend progressed, I tried to stay busy. I went on a date with my husband and enjoyed a walk in Wissahickon.

Sometimes, you have to make hard decisions. Do I want to be injured for a couple of weeks or a couple of years? Would I feel satisfaction in running a 5-hour marathon, when two weeks ago I was in shape to run a 3:15?

So where does this leave me running wise?

I decided I would take two weeks completely off from running. That was my plan after the marathon anyway. Why not start it a week ago? I can walk with minimal to no pain, but the moment I try and run my right hamstring/glute says no. Sitting for long periods also hurts.

I’m still planning to take another week off from running and see where it takes me. If I’m 100% healthy with two weeks off, I’ll find something to salvage my season. (I’m not going to jump into high mileage again…). If I’m not 100% healthy with two weeks off, I’ll give it whatever time it needs to be 100% healthy. Plus, probably get an X-ray to cover my bases.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out, it does mean a lot.

Questions for you:

Have you ever DNS a race?

Has anyone else had hamstring issues?

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Shoe Review

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Shoe Review

The Nike Zoom Fly has been a staple since the Nike Fast Shoes like the Vaporfly and Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo came out. Of the three Nike Shoes, the Nike Zoom Fly 3 is the “most affordable.” After enjoying the original Nike Zoom Fly, I wasn’t sure if I would ever get around to doing a Nike Zoom Fly 3 Review.

I choose to get the “Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise” which is a different color of the Nike Zoom Fly 3.

I skipped running in the second generation of the Nike Zoom Fly but was in the minority of people who liked and appreciated the original Zoom Fly.

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Shoe Review

The Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Fit:

The most significant change to the Nike Zoom Fly comes in the upper. If you’ve run in previous versions of the Nike Zoom Fly, you’ll notice the new VaporWeave Upper (like the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2)

What is Vaporweave?

VaporWeave is the engineered mesh upper material which is made of plastics, specifically TPU and TPE. (TPE is also used in Yoga mats…neat!) Compared to the previous Flyknit upper material, Vaporweave is much more breathable, lightweight, and doesn’t absorb as much rain or moisture. If you run in a torrential downpour, your feet are less likely to be soggy. The lacing system makes you feel secure in place, and your feet aren’t sliding around.

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Shoe Review

The Nike Fly 3 Rise Ride:

The original Nike Zoom Fly was a staple workout shoe for me in 2017 and a good portion of 2018. I did a lot of workouts in the Zoom Fly.

The midsole of the Nike Zoom Fly 3 has gone through a few changes with the update. Nike has added more React foam with a higher stack height. What do more React Foam and higher stack height mean?  The Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise is now slightly heavier but also has a low heel to toe drop (from 10 mm to 8 mm).

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Shoe Review

The difference between the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 and the Zoom Fly 3 is the lack of carbon plate in the Pegasus Turbo. The full-length Carbon Fiber plate is still there in the Zoom Fly 3 Rise. Together with the Nike React foam, the Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise feels faster and more responsive. My favorite addition to the Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise is the rubber traction. You are far less likely to slide around than previous versions.

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Shoe Review

It’s a great workout shoe, racing shoe, or even a full marathon racing shoe. I could see myself doing any of the three. I’ve run a few hard runs in the Zoom Fly 3 Rise and enjoyed the ride.

Nike Fly 3 Rise Conclusions:

Of the Nike Vaporfly (Next%), Nike Pegasus Turbo 2, and the Nike Zoom Fly 3, the Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise is the cheapest and most durable. It’s designed to either race or train hard. If you are looking for a faster workout shoe, the Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise is a great option. From the durability to the fit, it is definitely an improvement over the previous versions.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Brooks Ghost 12

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProHoka Rincon, Nike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  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 go-to fast shoe?

What is your favorite running shoe? 


Aftershokz Xtrainerz Headphone Review

Aftershokz Xtrainerz Headphone Review

As many people know, I use Aftershokz Air headphones will running. I appreciate that they go over the ear, and you can hear your surroundings as well as listen to music or podcasts. They are completely wireless, and after using Aftershokz Air for about two years, I haven’t had an issue.

Recently Aftershokz has made a few new changes to their headphones. This includes removing the “Trekz” from the name Aftershokz “trekz.” Instead of being called the “trekz air” or “trekz titanium,” they are called Aftershokz Air, Aeropex, and Titanium.  This might not mean a lot, but it keeps people from confusing brands and thinking “trekz” and “aftershokz” are different…which we’ve had multiple times in running specialty.

Anyway, I was excited when Aftershokz contacted me to try their newest headphone: The Xtrainerz. The Xtrainerz are pronounced: “Cross Trainers.” As the name suggests, they are designed for cross-training.

aftershokz xtrainerz

While Aftershokz did send me a pair of the Xtrainerz, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

What makes the Aftershokz Xtrainerz different from the Aftershokz Titanium, Air, and the Aftershokz Aeropex?

The Xtrainerz are waterproof, which means you can use them while swimming.  They also are not Bluetooth capable, and all audio is downloaded directly into the headphone. This is easy, and I usually find something to keep me entertained 5 minutes before leaving for my workout.

Aftershokz xtrainerz

Image via Aftershokz website

The Xtrainerz have all of the following features:

  • Waterproof
  • 4GB of MP3 storage.  I downloaded a couple of my favorite podcasts to take swimming. I think I’m going to find a podcast download just for swimming.
  • No need for phones. All of the music is stored in the headphone so that you can leave your phone in the locker room or car.
  • Aftershokz Xtrainerz supports the following files: MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC files.
  • 8 Hours of battery life. I’m not swimming for 8 hours, but maybe you are!
  • IP68 Certified: This means the Aftershokz Xtrainerz are fully waterproof and great if you run in a torrential downpour.
    open-ear headphones can keep you company wherever your training takes you.

All Aftershokz Headphones Have the Following Features:

Open Ear Design:

Aftershokz headphones have an open ear design and send sound through the ear canal. Aftershokz uses patented bone conduction technology to deliver the audio through the cheekbones.  This leaves ears open to hear your surroundings. As a former lifeguard, I think it’s awesome because now swimmers can listen to the noises of the pool around you. If there is an emergency, you aren’t in la-la land while in the pool.

Since Aftershokz uses bone conduction headphone technology, the headphones are not noise canceling. That would go against the grain of what the brand stands for. So far, I’ve logged about 6 hours using the headphones underwater while swimming and they hold up well. I haven’t had any issues with sound quality, and I forget them; I’m even listening to music underwater.

I’ve also run twice with them, and I do appreciate that you don’t need to carry or bring anything but headphones. If you hate running with your phone, especially at races, these are a good choice. These are not Bluetooth capable, so if you want to listen to anything, you must download it directly to the Xtrainerz.

You can find them here or hopefully if your local run specialty store.

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. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you ever listened to music while swimming?

What is your favorite music to listen to while working out? 


New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

It’s funny; I thought I had written a review of the New Balance 880v9. I’ve been running in the shoe for a few months now, but when I looked back at previous blog posts, I realized I have not.

Before last year, I didn’t run a lot in New Balance. For whatever reason, New Balance didn’t feel that comfortable to me. Recently, however, I’ve found myself enjoying a lot of New Balance shoes, including the New Balance 1080v9 and the New Balance Fuel Cell Rebel.

The New Balance 880 is one of the most popular neutral shoes out there. The updated New Balance 880v9 is equally as good.

The New Balance 880v8 got a big update with looks and feel so the NB 880v9 didn’t get a drastic of an update. If you like version 8, chances are version 9 will feel similar.

New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 880v9 Quick Stats:

Weight: 8.9 ounces

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10 mm

New Balance 880v9 Fit

If you’ve never worn the New Balance 880, it fits true to size. There is plenty of room to spread your toes. Typically I wear between a women’s 10-11 wide, and the 10.5 fits well.  The upper is seamless so that if you have bunions or wider forefront, it fits well.

The New Balance 880v9 continues to use the engineered mesh upper, which allows your feet room to breath. This year, the 880 has less structure in the toe box, so your feet have more room. You always want your toes to have plenty of space.  The general rule of running shoes is you want a secure fit in the midfoot and heel, but plenty of space in the toe box.

New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 880v9 Ride:

The Ride of the New Balance  880v9 hasn’t changed much since the New Balance 880v8. If you like the New Balance 880 series, you will probably appreciate the v9. New Balance still uses their “TRUFUSE foam midsole” The “TRUFUSE” combines or fuses the New Balance foams: “Abzorb” and “Acteva.”

The bottom layer, Abzorb, is thicker with a higher compression resistance. It’s designed to absorb shock better. The top layer, Acteva, is 12% lighter than EVA and provides cushion without weight. Throughout the last few years, New Balance shoes, especially the New Balance 880, has gotten lighter and “less clunky.”

What does this mean?

The New Balance 880 is a lightweight and responsive shoe. You’re able to do easy runs or faster runs. For me, it fits well into a daily run shoe. I like the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel for speed work, and a bit more cushion like the New Balance 1080v9 for recovery runs.

New Balance 880v9 Conclusion:

The New Balance 880 has remained similar from v8 to v9. If you’ve liked previous versions, you’re likely to appreciate the 9th version too. It reminds me of the staple running shoe; you know won’t change much. You can rely on it.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Hoka Mach 2,

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  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. This week I talked all about hydration.

In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

What is one of your running shoe staples?

Have you run in New Balance before? 


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