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Nike 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.

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 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 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? 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 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? 

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Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Shoe Review

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Shoe Review

The Nike Pegasus is many people first shoes. (In fact, the Nike Pegasus was my first shoe). With 36 versions, it’s been around for several years. For the last two years, Nike has added a few versions of their Pegasus while still keeping the original Pegasus.

For the 36th version, there is the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 (also known as the Nike Turbo 2) as well as the Nike Pegasus Trail.

Keep in mind, all of these Nike Pegasus are in the zoom series or zoom family and use zoom air as well. It’s just easier to remove the word Zoom, so the shoe name isn’t longer than the review. (How obnoxious would it be to write The Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Turbo?)

The updated Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 is the faster and more workout oriented version of the Nike Pegasus 36. It’s lighter and uses the same foam (The Nike ZoomX Foam and React Foam) as the Nike Next%.  All three versions of the Pegasus can be used for daily running and training. Of the three, the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo is could also be used for race day or long distance too.

Nike Zoom Pegasus 2 Shoe review

Quick Stats:

Weight: 7.2 oz (size 9)

Drop: 10 mm

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Fit:

The Nike Pegasus Turbo 1 (Nike Pegasus turbo 35), fit almost big. It remains one of the only shoes a women’s size 10 fit well. With the Nike Turbo 2, the fit is similar, and I find myself liking a women’s size ten as well. My usual size in any running shoe is between women’s size 10-11 wide.

For the Nike Turbo 2, the flywire is removed. It makes the shoe a bit wider and less snug through the midfoot. Nike also removed the racing stripe to increase breathability.

The upper has been redesigned to a thin and breathable engineered mesh. Between the brand new engineered mesh upper and removal of the flywire, the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 weighs almost .3 of an ounce lighter. It also fits and breathes better.

Finally, the heel collar is higher, which Nike claims will irritate the Achilles less. I haven’t had an issue with it. Many of the “Nike Fast Shoes” have almost a fin-like heel. Nike claims the angled heel optimizes initial touchdown and helps to provide a smooth transition from heel to toe.

Nike Zoom Pegasus 2 Shoe review

The Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Ride:

The  Nike Turbo 2 midsole is similar to the Nike Zoomx Vaporfly (now Next%) without the carbon plate. The Nike Turbo 2 combines both the Zoom X foam followed by the React Foam. With both foams going the full length of the shoe, the energy return is higher, and the Nike Pegasus 2 absorbs impact better than previous versions.

The Nike Turbo 2 is designed to run fast. While the Nike Pegasus 36 might be the everyday trainer, the Nike Turbo 2 is designed for workouts, long runs, and fast runs. Instead of wearing out your Nike Next%, use the Nike Turbo 2 for those hard workouts.

I appreciate that there is plenty of traction on the Turbo 2. It’s much better this year in elements like rain and ice. It’s not perfect, but better. The Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 is also much more durable than last year. Last year, the Pegasus Turbo probably got between 150-250 miles, but this year the zoom cushioning is lasting to about 300 miles.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Review

I’ve run a few workouts and long runs in the shoe. For me, it does fit best as a “fast shoe” and a shoe I know I want to run well. I wouldn’t use it as an easy run or recovery shoe. Last year, it was hard to justify the Nike Pegasus Turbo 1 over the Nike Zoom Fly, but this year the Turbo 2 is a faster, more quality shoe.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Review

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Conclusion:

The Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 has been updated well. It’s much more durable than previous versions as well as being more breathable. Of the three Nike “fast shoes” (the Next%, Zoom Fly, and Turbo), I think the Turbo 2 is the best update from Nike Running. Last year I couldn’t justify the $180 price cost, but this year I believe the shoe is worth it.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Review

Current Rotation:

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

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Hoka 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:

Have you tried a new shoe lately?

What is your favorite running shoe?

 

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket Shoe Review

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket Shoe Review

I’ve wanted to try the Hoka One One Carbon Rocket for quite some time, but it seems always to be sold out on Hoka’s website.  I guess that’s because Hoka doesn’t make many true racing flats and it’s popular.  Hoka is known as a maximalist shoe brand, so racing flats go against the grain.

Before this year, if you were looking for a racing flat, the Tracer was the best option. I also argue the lightweight Hoka One One Cavu is another excellent racing option for Hoka (it’s my all-time favorite shoe for fast runs). Now Hoka also has the Carbon X, which I recently reviewed as well.

Weight: 7.3 ounces
Heel-to-toe drop: 1mm

Hoka one one carbon rocket

So where does the Carbon Rocket Fall into place? Why is it always sold out?

The Carbon Rocket is a lighter, more responsive version of the Tracer. For many, (including myself), the Tracer is still too much shoe for a short race like the 5-10k.

Hoka one one carbon rocket

Fit:

The mesh upper of the Hoka Carbon Rocket is lightweight and breathable. It’s a relatively simple design which I appreciate. There are minimal seams so it won’t rub on bunions. Theoretically, you could probably wear them without socks, but I choose to wear socks.

The shoe is unisex, and a size 9 (which is about women’s 10.5) fits well.  I am a size 9 in almost any racing flat I use. It’s true to size, something Hoka shoes have done well with.

Hoka one one carbon rocket

Ride:

To make the Carbon Rocket as light and responsive as possible, it uses Hoka’s “ProFly” technology. ProFly is softer in the heel but much firmer in the forefront. The heel is soft for cushion while the forefront is firm for propulsion. There is also a carbon fiber plate sandwiched between to minimize energy loss.

Another thing I appreciate is the rubberized foam outsole on the bottom of the shoe. Many flats this year have gone away from the rubber, but there is plenty of traction.

I’ve done a few different types of runs in the shoes, including runs at slower paces, as well as faster runs and workouts.

For me, I think it fits best as a long/fast run or on workout days. I am still in the process of figuring out my marathon shoe, and right now, this is a contender. With the carbon fiber plate, I do feel fast. If you are using any model of Hoka and want a fast 5k-10k shoe, this is a good option.

One final thing to add is that it does have a 1mm drop. I don’t know of another shoe that does, plenty of 0mm and 2mm drops.

Hoka one one carbon rocket

Conclusion:

The Hoka Carbon Rocket is the best true racing flat out there for shorter distances. If you are running a marathon or above, I think the Hoka One One Carbon X is better. For below a marathon, I would prefer the Carbon Rocket. I believe either is probably suitable for the marathon, along with the Cavu but I’m still in the process of figuring that out. (You’ll be much more injury-prone in the Cavu). I do appreciate this is a much more cushioned shoe and racing flat.

Current Rotation:

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

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProNike Streak Lt,

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. This week is all about race day nerves! 

Questions for you:

Which shoe do you use for the 5-10k?

What is your favorite racing shoe? 

Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

The Hoka One One Carbon X is the most requested shoe review I’ve ever had. Keep in mind, I’m not a Hoka athlete (or “sponsored” by any running shoe brand) so just because a shoe comes out doesn’t mean I immediately get a pair. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Luckily our local running store carries them. The Hoka Carbon X came out in early May during the Project Carbon X with Jim Walmsley in Folsom, California. Ultramarathoners and elite runners debuted the shoe while chasing the 100k and 50-mile world records.

The Hoka One One Carbon X is designed to be ultra-cushioned while still be very light and a responsive ride. It’s intended to be a distance shoe for half marathons, marathons or ultras.

Quick Stats:
Drop: 5 mm
Weight: 7.2 oz
Category: Road racing or soft groundHoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

Upper:

Like the Cavu (my favorite shoe),  I appreciate how the upper is light and simple. It’s just a single layer of breathable mesh. I wear anywhere between a women’s size 10-11 wide and the women’s 10.5 fits well. There is minimal structure to the upper, so your foot floats around. Your running shoe should always have space. Most “racing shoes” fit much more narrow, so this is the first racer that has plenty of room.

One thing to keep in mind is there is no heel counter. Your heel might not feel as secure as other shoes, but I’ve run just over 50 miles in the shoe and haven’t had an issue with sliding.  It does take patience the first time you put the shoe on. There is still the back eyelet that you can use to secure your heel more into place if you find it to be an issue.

Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

Ride:

This is what I was most curious about. Would I feel the carbon plate like the Nike Vaporfly? The ride is smooth, and you feel the cushion but also feel the propulsion of the carbon plate.

If you’ve never run in Hoka before, Hoka uses a “Meta-Rocker”. Most Hoka models are low heel to toe drops (usually between 1mm-5mm). Think of the Meta-Rocker like a rocking chair which helps a smooth transition from heel to toe during the gait cycle. Hoka breaks down the Meta-rocker into “early stage” and “late stage”. The Carbon X is an early stage meta rocker which means it’s designed to be a fast shoe.

In the Carbon X, there is Profly foam both above the carbon fiber plate and below (think of it like a sandwich). Profly foam is Hoka’s lightest and most resilient foam. The Carbon fiber plate curls under the lateral toes to spring you forward.

If you love the Hoka Clifton, this is a very different feel. If you’ve been running in the Hoka Bondi or the Mach, it will feel more similar but faster. The transition is smooth and rolls right through the gait cycle.

I’ve run tempo runs, easy runs, and workouts. Do I feel faster in the shoe? Yes. Would I race a 5k in it? Probably not, but I would be more likely to do a longer race or approach half marathon race day in it. I am curious to see how the Carbon Rocket compares.

Finally, to reduce weight in the shoe, there is minimal traction. On a typical day with no moisture on the ground, this is fine. When it’s rainy or wet, I’m not sure how the shoe would respond without sliding (just like the 4%).

Conclusion

Debut shoes can be tricky. Sometimes, they are fantastic, and sometimes they miss their mark. For me, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the best for a 5k but do believe for a half marathon or above it’s an excellent option for race day. I do feel faster when I run in the shoe. Like the Cavu, I appreciate the minimal upper with less seams to irritate the foot. I’m curious to see how the carbon plate stacks up against the Vaperfly.

Current Rotation:

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

Speed Work: Topo Fli-Lyte 3, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, 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 about getting the most out of your running store.  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 tried the Hoka Carbon X?

What shoe do you like to race in? 

Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro

Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro

This is the first Reebok shoe I’ve ever tried. I needed a new workout flat, so I decided to try it out. The Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro was designed as a racing shoe.  To my knowledge, it’s the lightest racing flat on the market weight just 3.5 ounces.

It’s more designed for a 5k but could you run a half or maybe (maybe!), a full marathon, sure.  Most of the weight is taken out of the upper material. There is a ton of cushion in the shoe for the weight, which is why the price point is $250.

Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro Shoe Review

Quick Stats:

Heel Drop: 3mm

Weight: 3.6 ounces

Fit:

Like most flats, they fit narrow and are neutral shoes. I usually wear between a women’s 10-11 wide. I found the unisex/9 to fit the best since it’s a bit wider.

The upper is a thin single layer engineered mesh.  The thin mesh takes off a few ounces (which is a lot in the racing flat world). There aren’t any seams or overlays that would cause blisters. For a racing flat, it fits fairly average, and I’ve come to wear unisex 9.5 in most. I’ve done a few workouts in it, and haven’t had any issues with any irritation. Like any running shoe, it has an eva sockliner.

Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro Shoe Review

Ride:

This is the first Reebok shoe I’ve tried and a different feel altogether. It’s much softer and with more cushion than a traditional flat like the Nike Streak, yet doesn’t have the weight. It’s lightweight shoe designed for race day.

Reebok uses an entirely different material than the traditional EVA. Floatride Foam (also known as Pebax) is significantly lighter than traditional EVA foam. It’s also significantly more expensive.

The cushion they use it called “Pebax.” Why should you care about Pebax?

The Floatride Foam Technology/Pebax is lighter and doesn’t compress as regular EVA foams. It’s softer and similar to the Vapor Fly. So yes, this shoe feels similar to the Nike Vaporfly but lacks the carbon plate.

You do feel as though your foot springs forward with every step.  I’ve ran the Scott Coffee 8k in them and my feet felt comfortable from the start to the finish line.

One interesting thing is how much rubber there is despite how light they are.  For a racing flat, they have the most traction of any shoe I’ve seen. Reebok has separated itself from any other flat because of the high traction outsole. This shoe will be my rainy race day staple.  The entire outsole of the shoe has traction.

I like running in them, and I feel fast when I do. They’ve become my staple speed shoe, and I think they’ll be a better 5k shoe than the Nike Vaporfly. Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro Shoe Review

Conclusion:

I do believe this is a good flat and has become my favorite workout flat.  If you had asked me two months ago, would I like Reebok, I would have LOLed. It’s not a shoe you “go for an easy run in,” but it’s a great workout and racing shoe. To me, it feels the most like the Nike 4%, but I think the durability will be better than the Vaporfly. Plus, the outsole traction (can you tell I think it’s the best and Reebok is not paying me or sending me anything) responds much better in a rainy day.

To me, this is a very strong competitor to Vaporfly and would probably win for a better racing shoe for the 5k or in rainy/poor weather conditions.

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs: New Balance 1080, Brooks Glycerin 17, Hoka Mach 2

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2,, Nike Pegasus Turbo

Workouts: Nike LT Streak 4, Reebok Floatride Fast

Races: Reebok Floatride Fast, Nike Fly

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 racing shoe right now?

Have you run in Reebok?

 

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