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Brooks Levitate Shoe Review

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.

Fit:

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

Ride:

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?

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Hoka Clifton 4 Shoe Review

Hoka Clifton 4 Shoe Review

I’ve run in a few Hoka One One Clifton.  I ran in the original Clifton as well as the Clifton 3.  I skipped the Clifton 2 because it was a bit too narrow for my foot.  The Clifton has continued to be one of Hoka One One’s more popular models.  It’s light but still, has the cushion people have come to love from Hoka.

Hoka claims the differences between the Clifton 3 and Clifton 4 are the most drastic.  In my opinion, I believe sizing was a drastic change between the 1-3, but the upper is much different in the 4.

Appearance:

I rarely talk about the appearance of shoes, but Hoka has made a solid effort to make their shoes look more friendly to the eyes.  When Hoka was first developing shoes, some of their earlier models I wouldn’t ever use as a “casual” shoe.  The Hoka Clifton 4 went through such a drastic change in appearance, that it’s now a shoe I bought myself a second pair to walk around in.

Fit: 

Fit wise, the Hoka Clifton 4 is similar to the Clifton 3.  It’s important, especially if you have wider feet (like myself!).  I wore a 10 in the Clifton 3 and continue in a 10 now.

The great news for the Clifton lovers is the Clifton now comes in wide!  That deserves 10 exclamation points by itself.

As Hoka claims, they did update the upper.  The new mesh is much more breathable than previous years and also has zero seams (which is trending in the industry right now).

Ride: 

The Clifton is known to be lightweight but very cushioned.  To me, it feels like a giant spongey marshmallow underneath your feet.  The Bondi feels much more firm and dense, while the Clifton is much more spongy.

Hoka claims this year the Clifton 4 will last much longer than previous models.  As someone who has run and works at a running store, I will say that the Clifton has been notorious for not lasting as long as many other similar brands.  They sacrifice durability with decreasing the weight of the shoe.  This year, is a different story and I’ve almost run 300 miles in the Clifton 4.  A shoe I was never able to put that much mileage on.

If you have run in the Clifton 3, the ride is very similar.  It’s like a giant marshmallow underneath your feet. If you are new to the Clifton or Hoka, it’s a lightweight but a well cushioned and soft ride.  You feel the roll as you move through your gait cycle.

Hoka Clifton 4 Shoe Review

Thoughts:

I like the Clifton 4 and it will continue to keep it in my rotation.  In fact, I bought a second pair to walk around in because I do believe it does look that good.

Current Rotation:
Saucony Freedom (long runs/easy runs)
Hoka Clifton 4 (long runs/easy runs)
Brooks Ghost 10 (daily runs)
Altra Escalante (speed workouts)
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (races)

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Each year, I go to the Runners World festival, I get the opportunity to learn more about the brand and company.  Altra also gives bloggers a pair of shoes (of their choice).Altra also gives bloggers a pair of shoes (of their choice).  This year I knew the most about the Altra Escalante because we carry it at work and requested that model.  I was lucky that Altra was extremely receptive and sent me the Escalante.As most people know, Altra is known for a wider toe box.  As the founder Golden has said, it’s not a “wide” shoe but it’s foot shaped.

As most people know, Altra is known for a wider toe box.  As the founder Golden has said, it’s not a “wide” shoe but it’s foot shaped.  Well my foot is wide.  Altra is actually more narrow through the arch and heel which makes it a better fit for most people’s feet.

The other component Altra is known for is their “zero drop” shoe format.  This means the heel and the forefront are at the same level and flat.  It doesn’t mean it’s a minimalist shoe, but it is flat.

The Fit: 

I do believe the Altra Escalante is one of the better fitting running shoes right now.  I usually wear between 10-11 wide in my shoes, and in the Escalante, I wear a comfortable size 10.

The upper is made from a stretchy knit which means there are no seams to rub on feet.  It’s accommodating and with minimal seams, there aren’t pressure points.  This is especially important for someone who might deal with bunions or a wide forefront. The heel counter hugs the heel, so while the toe box is roomy, there isn’t any heel slippage.

me altra escalante shoe review

Ride:

As described above, something important to note, if you have never tried Altra before they are a “zero drop” shoe.

 What does this mean?

The forefront and heel are at the same height.  If you currently run in a higher stacked or higher drop shoe, your calves might be more sore as you integrate a flatter shoe into your rotation.  To prevent injury, you should slowly work the shoe into your rotation versus starting to run in it every day.

I’ve run in a few Altra shoes including the Altra Paradigm 1.5. I prefer more cushion and don’t have a need for a trail shoe.

The Altra Escalante is the most minimal design I have chosen and I’ve used for several runs from workouts too easy runs.  When I ran my first tempo run, I felt the ground, less ground than a racing flat but more than a high cushioned shoe.  I liked how responsive it was.  

When I ran a few easy runs, I could the softness and cushion that Altra has integrated into their shoes.   In total I’ve run between 50-75 miles in the shoe and haven’t had any issues. I’ve never run in it back to back days but don’t typically do that with any of my shoes.

While all of my runs were successful in the shoe, personally I love the feeling of running tempos in the shoe. I feel like I’m giving my body more cushion than a racing flat but getting my turnover up with a flatter shoe.

Summary:

So far I’ve liked using the Escalante for workouts and as a “faster” paced shoe.  I might experiment with it as a half marathon shoe but for now, it will be my staple workout shoe.

Thank you Altra for sending me the Escalante as well as the Runners World Festival for bringing me back as a blogger.  While I was given this shoe, I wasn’t paid for the review and all opinions are my own.

My running rotation:
Brooks Ghost 10
Brooks Glycerin 15
Hoka Clifton 4 (Review to Come)
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (racing)

Questions for you:
Have you tried Altra before?
Do you prefer more or less cushion in your shoes?

Brooks Glycerin 15 Shoe Review

Brooks Glycerin 15 Shoe Review

For the past year, the Brooks Glycerin has been one of my personal favorite shoes.  I ran in the Brooks Glycerin 14 and am currently running in the Glycerin 15. Spoiler: The Brooks Glycerin is 15 is just as good, if not better, than the Brooks Glycerin 14.

A common question I recieve both at work and on this blog, is do you like the Brooks Glycerin or Brooks Ghost better?

Brook glycerin 15 shoe review

My answer is: I wish I could take the fit of the Brooks Ghost (it’s wider) and have the cushion the Glycerin.  Both have their positives and negatives and I like both shoes about the same.

In short, the Glycerin is the most cushioned shoe from Brooks.  Whether you are running 100 miles or walking 1, it’s going to provide a soft and well cushioned ride.

Brooks is not paying me to review their shoes and I’m not a Brooks ambassador.

Fit:

One major update from the Brooks Glycerin 14 to the Glycerin 15 is the redesigned upper.  There are less seams and it is a bit wider.  Without the seams, the Glycerin fits many more people with bunions or people that have fuller toe boxes (like myself). The wider toebox update is welcomed from the Glyercin 14.

Brook glycerin 15 shoe review

The redesigned upper is positive and you’ll have a lot more room for your toes to spread out.   Fit wise, I wore a 10 wide in the Brooks Glycerin 14 and I still wear a 10 wide in the Brooks Glycerin 15.  My feet have much more room and they are happier.

Ride:

The ride of the actual shoe is very similar to the previous model.  To me, it feels almost identical in a good way.  You don’t have to worry “the shoe update has changed” and it won’t work for you.  It still has a very high cushioned and soft feel.

The Glycerin Line Itself: If you’ve never worn the Glycerin, it’s a very high cushioned, soft, shoe.  There is a lot of cushioning throughout the shoe but it’s not heavy or bulky either.  A major reason I like it, is the amount of forefront cushioning.

me running brooks glycerin 15

Brooks Glycerin 15 Conclusions

The Glycerin 15 is a solid update from the Glycerin 14.  There isn’t anything too crazy changed, so you won’t feel as though it’s a brand new shoe.  Let’s be honest, minimal changes in the running shoe world are a good thing.  With the amount of cushion, it’s a personal favorite of mine.

Current Rotation:
Brooks Ghost 10
Hoka Bondi 5
Saucony Freedom
Brooks Glycerin 15

Questions for you:

Have you run in the Brooks Glycerin?

What is your favorite running shoe?

Brooks Pureflow 6 Review

This Spring there have been a lot of updated shoes I’ve wanted to try.  Since I took a big portion off, I have a lot of catching up to do!  I haven’t necessarily found a shoe I’m “married” too, but I have found most of the shoes I’ve tried are good updates.  I work at a local running store, but I’m not paid by any company.  All thoughts are my own.

One shoe I’ve wanted to try for a long time has been the Brooks Pureflow.  Unfortunately, I have a wide foot, and it never felt comfortable.  I also don’t train every day in flat, minimalist shoes.   For me, it’s more of a speedwork shoe.

The Pureflow was one of the last shoes I tried before taking a running break.  I was using it as a speedwork shoe.  During my running break, I rotated it into a casual shoe, and it was just as comfortable.  The shoe has almost reached the end of its life, and I’ve probably logged equally speedwork and walking miles.

Fit:

As mentioned, the Brooks Pureflow has run narrow.  The updated version has become wider and accommodating.  Like many Brooks shoes, the upper is now seamless, so even if you have a bunion or wider forefront, your foot will probably still fit into the shoe.  I usually wear a size 10 in running shoes, and size 10 fits well.

Feel:

The Brooks Pureflow is part of the Brooks “Pure” series which includes the stable Pure Cadence as well as trail Puregrit. The focus of the Pure line is low profile and minimal design.  For some runners, this is their everyday trainer.  For others, like myself, it’s more of a speedwork shoe.

To me, it feels like a typical speed work shoe.  It has a little more cushion than the Saucony Type A and a little less than the Brooks Ghost. In my opinion, it would be an ideal half marathon to marathon racing shoe for someone looking for a little less shoe but not a racing flat.

Pros:

  • Less than most trainers ($100)
  • Wider than previous models and can accommodate more foot types

Cons:

  • Less shoe means less durability.

In my rotation, the shoe is replacing the Launch 4.  I didn’t hate the Launch and would buy it again, but I wanted to try something different.

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Glycerin 15 (daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (recovery runs)
Saucony Type A (races)
Asics Nimbus 19 (cross training)

Questions for you:
Do you prefer more cushion or less?
What is your current favorite pair of running shoes?

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Recently I decided to try the Asics Nimbus 19.  I’m no stranger to the Nimbus and have run in the Asics Nimbus 17 as well as the lower cushion Asics Cumulus 18 too.  I’ve even run in the Asics FuzeX as well as the max-cushioned Asics Quantum.  Come to think of it, I’ve run in most Asics neutral shoes.

Recently, the Nimbus has been extremely inconsistent. Both the sizing and feel of the shoe is completely different from one model to the next.  Neither “feel” is bad, but it’s hard because if you like a soft feel and the next version is firm, it’s not a shoe you will love.

The Nimbus 19 is a shoe you need to try on before purchasing. A few years ago the Nimbus ran big with plenty of room. However, this year it’s tight.

Sizing is not a concern, and it’s just a matter of finding what works for you.  You also have to keep in mind there have been 19 models of the Nimbus, so Asics must be doing something right.

Fit:

Oh, where to start with the fit.  To start off, it fits tight and narrow. I normally wear a women’s size 10 in running shoes, and in the Asics Nimbus 19, I wear a size 11 wide.  Sizing is not a big deal, but it’s a shoe you need to try on.  Don’t expect to be in the same size “you’ve always worn”.

Compared to the previous versions, the upper of the shoe is screen printed and the weave is tighter.  It doesn’t use the “traditional” mesh of other Asics shoes and is seamless. Once I found the appropriate size, it’s a comfortable shoe.  The seamless upper allows no rubbing at the top, and for me personally nothing rubs.

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Feel:

The new Nimbus 19 now combines both gel and the latest Asics cushioning system: Flytefoam (similar to the FuzeX).

Why does this matter?  Flytefoam makes the shoe significantly lighter and makes the Nimbus a lot firmer.  It no longer feels like a giant soft sponge under your foot.  With the addition of the Flytefoam, it is a drastic difference.  The cushion is still there but it’s a different type and feels softer and lighter.

In summary, I like the shoe.  I’ll run through this version and use them on easy days or recovery days.  I will also say they are a great workout shoe and I tend to do most of my cross training in them too.  This is a shoe that will probably migrate towards my easy running days and cross training shoe because of all of the cushion.

Pros:

  • Lots of cushion
  • Lighter than previous years
  • More durable than many running shoes

Cons:

  • Expensive ($160)
  • Inconsistent sizing and feel of shoe

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Glycerin 14 (easy runs, long runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (easy runs, long runs)
Saucony Freedom (daily runs)
Saucony Type A (workouts)

Questions for you:

Which shoes are you currently running in?

Do you prefer light weight or heavy shoes?

Brooks Glycerin 14 Shoe Review

Brooks Glycerin 14 Shoe Review

The Brooks Glycerin 14 is the most cushioned neutral shoe that Brooks currently offers.  I’ve reviewed both the Brooks Ghost 9 as well as the Brooks Launch 3 and Brooks Launch 4.

As most people have noticed, lately I’ve been doing most of my training in Brooks.  I’m not paid or an ambassador.  Recently, I have found the fit of Brooks to match my foot well.

A while ago, I ran a minimal amount in the Brooks Glycerin 12, and I liked them.   For no reason, I just haven’t run in them since.  I’ve wanted to try the Glycerin again but for whatever reason, haven’t.

The Brooks Glycerin 14 is similar to the 13.  The majority of the update came with the fit of the upper, and it fits wider than the previous model.

Fit:

The upper is seamless which means it’s able to fit wider feet as well as it doesn’t press against bunions.  A lot of running shoes are going towards seamless uppers.  Being seamless, allows for an overall more comfortable fit.

A smooth mesh allows for a “socklike” fit with plenty of breathing room.  Compared to the Glycerin 13 upper, the mesh feels more durable too.

Speaking of the mesh, something unique about the Glycerin is the mesh is much thinner. I have found it to dry much quicker than many other shoes.  Considering most of March was pouring rain in New Jersey this was extremely helpful.

Typically I wear a size 10 or 10 wide in running shoes and have found the 10 wide to be the best fit.

Brooks glycerin 14 shoe review

Ride:

The Glycerin has a lot more cushion than the Ghost.  You can feel the cushion under your feet, and it feels like a sponge.  Brookes uses cushioning technology similar to memory foam.  The Brooks Glycerin is definitely the softest traditional shoes I’ve run in for a while.  You feel the extra cushion without the extra weight.

Thoughts:

The Glycerin has been a shoe I’ve wanted to try for a while, and I was pleased to finally give it a shot.  I like the shoe a lot, and I’ll probably keep it in my rotation for a while.  I don’t have any complaints and the Brooks Glycerin 15 comes out soon so I’ll add that into my rotation too.

Pros:

  • High Cushion and Soft
  • Seamless Upper
  • Updating soon so will be on sale

Cons:

  • Price ($150)
  • More narrow than many other Brooks Shoes
  • Brooks glycerin 14 shoe review

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Glycerin
Brooks Launch 4 (short runs, workouts)
Saucony Freedom (daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (daily runs, recovery runs)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Questions for you:
What are your favorite shoes right now?
Do you prefer more or less cushion when it comes to running shoes?

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