Brooks Launch 4 Shoe Review

The Brooks Launch 4 has quickly become a staple in my running rotation.  A month ago, my second pair of Launch 3 were getting beat up, so I needed a new pair of shoes.  I enjoyed the Launch a lot, so I decided to introduce the Launch 4 into my rotation.

Brooks is not paying me to review their shoes and I purchased the shoe myself.  All thoughts are my own!

Fit:
The fit of the Launch 4 has a few significant updates including fewer seams and it’s wider!  I barely wore a women’s size 10 in the Launch 3, and now a size 10 in the Launch 4 feels great.

Brooks Launch 4 Shoe Review

Feel:
The Launch 4 includes an entire extra strip of rubber at the bottom.  There are now 5 rows of rubber versus 4.  This means it’s more responsive to different forms of running. Brooks Launch 4 Shoe Review

The extra strip of rubber helps forefront cushioning as well as a smoother roll from the toe off.  What does this mean?

It feels like a smoother, less clunky shoe from the 3 (not that it ever felt clunky).

Weight: 9 ounces
Drop: 10 mm

Pros:

  • Cheaper: The Launch 3 was 110, and the Launch 4 is 100
  • More forefront cushion and deeper treads

Cons:

  • I have yet to find any

Current Shoe Rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (Long Runs, daily runs)
Brooks Ghost 9 (Long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Launch 4 (daily runs, tempos)
Saucony Type A (workouts)

Question for you:
What shoe are you currently running in?
What is your all time favorite shoe?

Advertisements

adidas Supernova Shoe Review

The adidas Supernova is a brand new shoe from adidas.  It replaced the Adidas Glide.  I never ran in the Glide, but I have run in the Energy Boost which I liked.  Boost is the material that adidas chooses to construct their shoes out of.  It’s a much more “bouncy” shoe, and it reminds me a lot of Newtons (which for anyone who read my blog in 2010-2012, I almost exclusively ran in).

Fit:
Like with the energy boost and almost all of the adidas line, adidas fit narrow.  The shoe is seamless so if you have wider feet (like myself), then it will stretch to fix your foot.  However, it does run narrow.  In most models of shoes, I wear a 10 wide.  In the adidas Supernova, I wear a 10.  The 10.5 was too long, and the shoe does not exist in wide.  It fit pretty well, but if there were a wide, I would have gone that route.

adidas supernova shoe review

A huge plus is that the shoe is seamless.  You don’t have to worry about the shoe rubbing bunions, or if you have a high instep, it won’t rub there either.

Ride:
The boost material in adidas shoes makes them much more bouncy and responsive.  The heel is well cushioned where the forefront of the shoe has less boost and is more responsive.  With every step, I felt propelled off the ground as the boost material responded.

The Supernova Glide is a great option for those who want a lightweight but want to stay in the adidas line.  Especially for someone currently training in the Energy Boost and wanting a lighter shoe to race or do speed work in.

Another bonus about adidas is they use Continental tire rubber at the bottom of their shoes.  There is more traction than several other brands. It was my shoe of choice when running outside in any conditions with possible ice.

adidas supernova shoe review

Similar Shoes:

Brooks Launch, Asics Nimbus, ON Cloud Surfer, Saucony Ride

My Current Rotation:
Brooks Ghost 9 (easy runs, long runs)
Saucony Ride 9 (easy runs, long runs)
adidas Supernova
Saucony Type A (speed work)

I like the adidas Supernova a lot, I just wish it came in wide!

Questions for you:
Have you run in adidas before?
What is your favorite running shoe?

 

Brooks Ghost 9 Shoe Review

I haven’t had a shoe that impresses me during my first run like the Brooks Ghost 9 in a while.  I am shocked of how much I like the shoe.

The Brooks Ghost is one of the staple running shoes in the industry.  At our store, it’s one of the most popular neutral shoes. Brooks is also a great company to work with too. For no real reason, I haven’t run in a lot of their shoes.  I’ve tried on almost every model, but the only model of Brooks I’ve put significant mileage in, is the Brooks Launch 3 (for speed workouts).

The Brooks Ghost 9 came out in June.  Recently, I fell in love with the new Galaxy color and decided it was the perfect time to give Brooks another shot. I was due to rotate another high mileage trainer, so that worked out well.

brooks ghost 9 shoe review galaxy
Even the shoelaces are decorated

The Brooks Ghost 9 has enough cushion for high mileage but is also light enough for speed workouts and races.  It’s a little more cushion and softer than the Launch.

As mentioned, I haven’t run much in any previous model of Brooks Ghosts.  I had a pair of Brooks Ghosts 7 as well as 8s that I worked in but I never took them to the road.

Fit:

The update from the 8 to the 9 is significant.  They have widened the toebox.  I wore a size 10 in the Ghost 7s, 10 wide in the 8s and I’m back to a regular 10 in the 9s.  Wider feet or those with bunions can appreciate the upper is now seamless, so there is no rubbing or bleeding (something that happened to me personally a lot with the Asics Nimbus).

The wider toebox is something I’m personally thankful for.  Your feet need to spread out while running.  If there isn’t enough room, you are much more susceptible to foot issues.

In summary, the fit of the Brooks Ghost is one of my favorite of any shoe I’ve run in recently.  It has a wide, seamless upper which allows my foot comfort.

Ride:

The Brooks Ghost 9 is one of the softer shoes on the market. As a company, Brooks uses a material called “BioMoGo DNA” which essentially molds to your foot like memory foam.

The cushioning from the 8 to the 9 hasn’t changed much. If you like a soft and well-cushioned shoe, this could be a great option.  I was always a fan of working in the shoe and it feels just as great when running.

I’ve put just over 100 miles in the Ghost now including a few longer runs of 10+ miles.  I haven’t run into any issues.

brooks ghost 9 shoe review galaxy

Similar Shoes:
Asics Cumulus
Saucony Ride 9, Saucony Zealot ISO 2

My Current Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Ghost 9 (Easy runs, long runs…replaced the Saucony Zealot ISO 2)
Saucony Triumph ISO 2 (easy runs, long runs)
Nike LunarGlide 8 (Shorter runs)
Saucony Type A (speedwork)

Questions for you:
What is your favorite “long run shoe”?  

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

Boy is that a long shoe name?

New Balance is one of the few brands I don’t have much experience with running.  I’ve walked around in both the 880 and the 1080 but never run in either. To be honest, the Fresh Foam Zante caught my eye when it came out in Rose Gold. I finally decided to give New Balance a fair shot in my rotation.

New Balance is not paying me, and I purchased these shoes.  Remember what works for me might not work for you.

Related Shoe Posts:
Why Running Shoe Reviews Are Mostly Worthless
Five Secrets to Buying Running Shoes
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
The Importance of Rotating Running Shoes

The Fit:  These days, I have been favoring a size ten wide.  Many people associate New Balance with wider shoes. However, many of their current styles are no wider than other brands.

img_1310

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante fits more narrow than many current New Balance models.  I typically wear a size ten wide, and I found 10.5 to be the best fit.  

The Ride: The Fresh Foam Zante uses the newest material from New Balance…you guessed it, Fresh Foam…

The New Balance Fresh Foam is lightweight but soft.  It’s a softer brand and also a lot less cushion than I’m used too.   The technology in the foam makes this one of the softer shoes I’ve tried.

The sole of the shoe is flat.  This allows the shoe to be useful for speed or racing because you are lower to the ground. Even with more contact, your feet are supported.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Shoe Review

For me, I’m using the Zante for speed work and shorter runs.  It doesn’t have enough cushion that I would be comfortable doing a long run in.

Summary: I like the shoe, and it’s a great lightweight or racing option.  It’s not a shoe that I would train heavy miles in but it’s ideal for racing or speed work.

Similar Models: Brooks Launch, Saucony Kinvara, Nike Pegasus

My Current Rotation:
Saucony Zealot ISO 2
Saucony Triumph ISO 2
Nike LunarGlide 8
Brooks Launch

Questions for you:
What is your favorite running shoe?
Do you have different shoes for different runs? (You should)

LunarGlide 8 Review

The Nike Lunarglide is a special kind of shoe.  It’s mildly supportive when you need it, and not when you don’t.  It can fit a broad range of foot types, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for everyone. In fact, if you need an extremely supportive or high cushioned shoe, this probably isn’t a shoe for you.  If you need a mildly supportive or neutral shoe, it could be a great option.

While I never ran in the LunarGlide 7s or any previous model of the LunarGlude, I had put them on before.  They felt too supportive, and it was a shoe I didn’t need.  The update from the LunargGlide 7 to 8 made it less supportive and a shoe I wanted to try.

Nike LunarGlide 8 Shoe Review

Fit:

The LunarGlide 8 now uses the flyknit upper that many other Nike shoes use.  The fit is similar to other Nike Flyknit shoes, but it’s different than previous LunarGlide models.  It’s not a good or bad thing, and the flyknit upper accommodates wider feet (like mine) as well as those with a higher instep.  A lot of brands are going towards a seamless upper, and it’s a good thing. I usually wear a size 10, and the size 10 was the best fit for my foot.

It’s not a shoe I would just order online because you’ve worn that size the previous year.

Ride:

As I mentioned, I’ve never run in LunarGlide before and in fact, on paper, it’s not exactly a shoe that would make sense for me.  Since it is a special design that works for runners who need mild stability and those who need nothing, it can work for a few different people.  (Sorry friends, not going to try a shoe that would injure me “for the sake of the blog).

The ride itself is light and soft.  It doesn’t have a lot of cushion but definitely more than a racing flat.  It’s not a shoe I’m comfortable running more than 10 miles in but some people might get away with it.  Based on the design, I’m curious to see how much mileage,, it will be before the shoe breaks down.

Something interesting about the design pattern of the bottom is how many rocks it collects.  I’ve only run into this problem with a couple of different shoes (including the Newtons).  It’s not a make or break for the shoe, but you will hear a little clicking noise when (not if but when) a rock gets stuck in between the layers.

Nike LunarGlide 8 Shoe Review
Rock City

The major difference in the ride is the stability factor.  The LunarGlide 8 is far less stable than the LunarGlide 7.  If this is something you needed from the shoe, I would be more hesitant.  For me, this is a good thing and why a neutral runner like myself likes and can use the shoe.

Final thoughts:

While I never ran in the LunarGlide 7, I do know it’s a drastic and significant change.  That change is why I can run in the 8, but it’s a change that many running in the 7 might not appreciate.  I would go to your local store before purchasing.  Due to the changes, it’s not a shoe I would recommend ordering online, just because you’ve worn several models.

I do like the shoe and will continue to run in it until it wears out. 

Pros:

  • Less stable and can fit a broad range of foot types
  • No seem upper allows accommodating bunions and wide feet

Cons:

  • Drastic changes from the LunarGlide 7 to LunarGlide 8
  • Collects a lot of small rocks underneath

Not too many “similar” models of shoes to compare too.

My Running Shoe Rotation: Hoka Clifton 3, Saucony Zealot 2, Brooks Launch 3

Questions for you:

What shoe are you currently running in?

Do you have any shoes that collect rocks underneath? 

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Review

A few weeks ago I decided to try the Saucony Zealot ISO 2.  The Saucony Zealot was one of my favorite shoes last year.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 came out a couple of months ago but due to injury, I was cautious to try anything new.  My injury took over the blog for a while, but since this is a running blog, it affected my ability to train and try new shoes (not that running is everything).

So once I felt comfortable to experiment with new shoes, I decided to try the Zealot.  I was both curious and excited to see what the newest update had to offer.  At work, our Saucony rep told us it was going through significant changes, so I was also nervous.  It was only the second model, so the shoe doesn’t have anything consistent behind it.

Saucony is not paying to promote their shoes and remember what works for me, might not work for you.  See: why online running shoe reviews are (mostly) worthless.

Fit:

The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 still uses the ISO and sock-like upper fit which I like.  It fits similar to the first model. However, it is much smaller.  In the Saucony Zealot ISO, I wore a size 9.5.  However, when I put the 9.5 in the ISO 2, I immediately thought it was both too tight and too narrow.  Sizing is never a big issue, and I went with the size 10.  When comparing, it appears the Zealot 2 has a much more narrow toe box.  After getting a more appropriate size 10, I liked the fit, and it felt much better on my foot.

Ride:

The previous Zealot was firmer and lower to the ground.  I liked to use the shoe for “faster” paced runs.  The Zealot ISO 2 includes the Saucony Everrun material which makes it feel less like the Kinvara and more like the Triumph.  For me, that is a good thing since the Triumph is one of my all-time favorite running shoes.  There is much more cushion and more “shoe” to the Saucony Zealot ISO 2.  If you like more of a shoe, then you’ll like the update.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

Conclusion: 

Even though the shoe is drastically different, I like the update.  I was in need of either a new pair of Saucony Triumphs or something comparable to replace them in my shoe rotation.  I think the Saucony Zealot ISO 2 fits that and I’ll continue to use them.  They are significantly more shoe and cushion than the debut edition but for me, that is not a bad thing.

Pros:

  • Light weight but cushioned
  • Same price

Cons:

  • Update is drastically different and more cushioned
  • Fit is more narrow

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

Similar models: Saucony Kinvara, Saucony Triumph ISO 2, Saucony Ride

My personal shoe rotation: Saucony Zealot ISO 2, Hoka Clifton 3 and Brooks Launch 3

Questions for you:

What is your all time favorite running shoe?
Do you get nervous for shoe updates? 

Hoka Clifton 3

For the last month, I’ve been using the Hoka Clifton 3 to run in.  After my ankle fracture, I wanted to find shoes with more cushion.  Even though I was training in the high cushion Saucony Triumph, I opted for something softer and with more cushion.  Lucky for me (eh), the Hoka Clifton 3 was released around the same time I began running more than a quarter of a mile.  Interestingly enough, the Hoka Clifton was one of the first shoes I reviewed on LOLZ blog nearly 2 years ago.

Hoka Clifton 3 Shoe Review

Keep in mind, there is no “best” running shoe.  What works for me, might not work for you.  (See: Why Running Shoe Reviews are Mostly Worthless). Hoka isn’t paying me to promote their shoe.

Fit: 

The biggest change for the Hoka Clifton 3 came to the fit. As many people realized, the Hoka Clifton 2 sized both narrow and short.  For a shoe that was supposedly a wide toe box, it wasn’t. That was a big reason I chose never to run in the Hoka Clifton 2. My toenails are important to me and I need a wider shoe.

The Clifton 3 has a similar to fit as the original Clifton and is much wider. I normally wear a size 9.5 wide or size 10. The size 10 fits well.

Ride: 

The Hoka Clifton is an extremely soft, marshmallow cushioned shoe. That’s a huge reason I chose to run in the shoe after my ankle fracture. I already prefer a high cushioned shoe, but I also wanted a shoe that was soft and felt as if I was running on pillows. The Hoka Clifton feels that way.

The Hoka Clifton is not a heavy shoe, but the third model feels as if it’s heavier in the forefront.  I like that feeling because it means more metatarsal cushioning.

Pros:

  • Wider than the Hoka Clifton 2 (a common complaint).
  • Inexpensive for the amount of cushion ($130)
  • Lightweight

Negative:

  • Could use extra width or a wide model.
  • The cushion does not last the traditional 400 miles. If you are training in them, you will be replacing them sooner than 400 miles.

Hoka Clifton 3 Shoe Review

Overall thoughts:

I like the Hoka Clifton 3.  I’ll continue to run in the shoe until the cushion is gone.  I can appreciate the shoe is much wider. However, it is still not as wide as the original model.  I do hope they either continue to widen it or release a wide version as well.

Similar models: Saucony Triumph, Asics Nimbus, Altra Paradigm and Brooks Glycerin

Questions for you:

Have you ever run in Hokas? 

What is your current favorite running shoe?