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Brooks Ghost 12 Shoe Review

Brooks Ghost 12 Shoe Review

The Brooks Ghost 12 is one of Brooks staple shoes. It’s probably the most sold shoe in the running industry. The release date of the Ghost 12 was July 1st but due to the Brooks distribution center moving and their ongoing shipping issues, it was delayed. It seems to be stocked, for now.  I’ve reviewed the Ghost 9, 1o, 11, and here we are at 12.

This year the Brooks Ghost 12 has gone up $10 and now retails at $130. It’s not my favorite thing to tell people but not the most expensive running shoe out there. Both the men’s and women’s Ghost 12 come in a multitude of colors.

Brooks Ghost 12 shoe review

Fit:

The Brooks Ghost 12 comes in a variety of colors. I like white shoes so when the melts collection came out, I knew that was the shoe I wanted. The Ghost has one of the best fits in the industry. The other plus about the Ghost 12 is it comes in wides, double wide, and narrow. (Also known as 2E).

The Ghost 12 has a narrow heel but wider toe box to allow feet to splay. I’ve consistently been in a women’s 10.5, and that seems to still work in the 12.

The Brooks Ghost shoe design is meant to “disappear on your foot”, like a Ghost. The 11 was slightly more narrow and the 12, while wider than the 11, still fits similar to the 11.

The upper of Ghost 12 is seamless with minimal stitching. Brooks uses 3D Printed overlays on the mesh to help bring down the weight and maintain the shape and structure of the shoe.

If you have a wider forefront or bunions, you won’t have much irritation. The most significant update in the Ghost is in the upper. It’s all aesthetic, so it will just look slightly different.

Brooks Ghost 12 Shoe Review

Ride:

The Brooks Ghost performs similar to previous models.  The Ghost 12 is one of the most standard running trainers out there. It’s known to roll forward to you feel as though you’re being propelled through your run. The heel is soft with a more responsive forefront.  It’s not super soft like the Hoka Clifton but also not as responsive as Saucony or New Balance.

The Brooks Ghost uses DNA Loft foam which runs from the heel through the midfoot. What does this mean? The DNA Loft cushioning is soft and adds the extra cushion on the heal as well as the transition (midfoot).

On the bottom of the shoe, Brooks uses “a Segmented Crash Pad” and “Flex Grooves” in the forefoot.

Segmented Crash Pads are small shock absorbers in the outsole. Each one works independently to cater to your form and where your foot lands. Together they make a smooth and seamless transition from heel to toe and a smoother step from previous versions.

Essentially, if you’ve run in previous models of the Ghost, the Ghost 12 will feel similar.

I’ve done long runs and easy runs in the shoe. For me, it feels the best as an easy run shoe. I prefer something slightly more responsive for workouts and faster long runs. The traction remains great, so if you’re running in the rain or ice, you shouldn’t have an issue.

Brooks Ghost 12 Shoe Review

Compared to a few other Brooks shoes:

Compared to the Brooks Glycerin 17, there is less cushion in the Ghost.

Compared to the Brooks Launch, there is more cushion in the Ghost 12.

Compared to the Brooks Richochet, the Ghost is a softer shoe

Compared to the Brooks Levitate 2, there is less cushion and it’s a softer ride with the Ghost.

Brooks 12 Conclusion:

The Brooks Ghost is one of the most traditional shoes out there and also one of the most sold running shoes out there. It’s an excellent staple for daily runs and easy runs. If you are looking for a neutral trainer that can do most everything, the Ghost is a good place to start.

The Brooks Ghost 12 didn’t change much since the Ghost 11.  Both versions of the Ghost use DNA Loft and BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole. The smooth ride will feel very similar, and if anything have smoother transitions.

Brooks Ghost 12 Shoe Review

Current Rotation:

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

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 recovery. 

Questions for you:

What is your staple training shoe?

What shoe have you been running the longest in?

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New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

The New Balance FuelCell Rebel is a brand new shoe from New Balance. In fact, the Fuelcell Rebel was release date was July 1st.

There will be several different Fuelcell Shoes released with the FuelCell line, including a carbon plated shoe.  The shoe isn’t called the “FuelCell,” or “Fuel Cell”, it’s called the “FuelCell Rebel.” The Fuel Cell is just one word: “Fuelcell”.

Like any brand, there will be many shoes called the “FuelCell [name]. (Like the Asics Gel Cumulus or Nike Air Pegasus).

When I first saw the shoe, I thought, “what a beautiful white shoe.” I’m in a white-shoe phase right now and can’t seem to have enough.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Right out of the box, the Rebel looked sleek and fast. The FuelCell Rebel is designed for running fast, workouts, or races. There is minimal protection if you strike at the heal and more for the forefront of the shoe. If you are a forefront striker and maybe even underpronate, this shoe is built for you (which is extremely rare in the running world.). The Fuelcell foam is designed for energy return during your run.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

The FuelCell line was designed in collaboration with American distance-runner Jenny Simpson.

Quick Stats:
Weight: 6.1 Ounces
Drop: 6mm 

Fit:

The FuelCell has Trace Fiber Stitching and reinforced the engineered mesh.  This means there is minimal stitching with less weight. If you have a wide foot or have bunions, there isn’t additional stitching to rub.

There have been several brands try and create a high cut socklike upper, and they miss their (like the Brooks Levitate 2).  This is the first sock-like upper I’ve attempted to, that doesn’t irritate. It has a bootie construction but doesn’t irritate the ankles.

The shoe fits true to size. I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and the 10.5 is fine.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Ride:

The outsole of the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel is something I’ve never seen in a running shoe before (which says a lot because I’ve reviewed dozens of shoes). It has support on the outer corners of the shoe and with a wider platform (for say, someone who supinates). It doesn’t correct anything, but there is a wider platform if you strike on the outer edges of your foot. It is still considered a neutral shoe. It feels smooth from heel to toe.

The New Balance Fuelcell running experience is meant to be fast. It’s designed for race day, tempo workouts, or just a speed shoe.  I have run several distances, including easy runs, long runs, and workouts. For me, it fits best for a long run or workout shoe. I like the responsive ride and I’ve been doing most of my long runs in the shoe. As New Balance states: “The FuelCell technology delivers a propulsive feel to help drive you forward”.

I will note, to remove weight there isn’t a lot of traction. There is blown rubber to keep you from sliding but I wouldn’t use the shoe in a torrential downpour or ice.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Conclusion:

I like this shoe a lot. I’ve already run about a hundred miles in them. They are a great fast run shoe, and I feel supported from mile 1 to 17. Tied with the Hoka Cavu 2, this is my favorite shoe of 2019. If this is the debut of their FuelCell line, I think we will see a lot of good things to come. I’m looking forward to taking these out on race day on my quest for a marathon shoe.

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 your favorite shoe? 

What is your “go-to” fast shoe?

 

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

The Topo Fli-Lyte is one of Topo Athletics most popular road shoes. I haven’t tried previous versions but tried the Topo Magnifly 2. Topo Athletic is a newer brand to me, and I’ve only started running in them recently. I was lucky enough to be sent a pair of Topo Fli-Lyte 3s to try.

Quick Stats:

Weight  7 oz
Drop: (3mm drop)

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

Fit:

The Topo Fli-Lyte 3 uses engineered mesh. There are no printed overlays or seams, which makes it great for someone with a wider forefront or bunions. While it doesn’t come in wide, the standard width is much wider than several brands.

The mesh has much larger holes, so it’s more breathable than previous versions. Typically I wear between a women’s size 10 and 11 wide, and the 10.5 fit well.

Like the Altra Escalante, the Topo Fli-lyte 3 shoe has a naturally shaped but snug fit. I appreciate the roomy toe box with enough room for your toes to splay (You never want a running shoe to be too tight).

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

Ride:

The Topo Fli-Lyte 3 is extremely light. At just 7 ounces for women and 8 for men, it’s one of the lighter trainers out there. If you prefer minimalist or lighter shoes, it works as a trainer. Topo Athletic wants you to have a “natural running experience” and that ground feel. For me, it fits well as a speedwork or long run shoe. It’s not a trail run shoe, but can be used on groomed trails. I prefer them as road running shoes. I’ve done a few longer runs in them and I appreciate the cushion while still being light weight.

To reduce weight, Topo has removed rubber from the bottom. Removing rubber also removes overall traction.  There is still rubber in critical areas such as the toes, forefront, and heel.  That allows for traction upon contact. Many brands have removed most, if not all rubber to reduce weight. That, in turn, makes the shoe much less durable and it won’t have good traction on a rainy day.

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

Summary:

In all,  I like the Topo Fli-Lyte 3, and I will continue to use it as a speedwork or faster long run shoe.  The more roomy toe box and lower heel to toe drop make Topo Athletic a great brand for anyone running in Altra as well.

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 Topo?

What is your favorite shoe? 

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

It’s been a long, long, long, time since I ran in a Mizuno shoe. Typically I like softer brands, while Mizuno is more firm. The last shoe I ran in was the Mizuno Wave Engima. 

The Mizuno Wave Rider Waveknit R2 is a specialized version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22. This year Mizuno introduces Waveknit into many of their shoes and you’ll see it in several. Similar to the Nike Pegasus and Nike Pegasus Turbo (Both Nikes, just slightly different).

The Mizuno Waveknit R2 isn’t a “faster” shoe, but it does have a different knit upper to it. I’ve found the knit upper to be more forgiving to wider feet like mine. If you like the Waverider and want something different, try the Waveknit. Think of it as the Waver ider Waveknit. You’re getting the same bottom of a shoe but a fun change to the top.

Several years ago somewhere between the Wave rider 17 and Wave rider 20, the Mizuno Waverider went through a few drastic changes. It lost several people. Since then, our Mizuno rep has told me that they won’t be making any “big changes” to the shoe and will keep it relatively consistent from year to year.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Fit:

While I haven’t run in the Mizuno Wave Rider in several years, a significant issue people had last year was how “breathable” the upper was.  It isn’t an issue in the Waveknit R2, and we haven’t had it as an issue with the Wave Rider 22 either.

By nature, Mizuno is one of the more narrow brands for the last few years. Typically I wear a women’s 10-11 wide and the 11 fits and felt the best. The knit is more forgiving than the traditional upper, and there are no seems. If you have wider feet, you will appreciate the knit being so forgiving.

The engineered mesh has stretch and hold abilities so while it’s seamless, it doesn’t lose it’s shape. It has a more natural and dynamic fit through its stretch. I like when any brand goes into a knit material because it fits more feet.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Ride:

As mentioned, Mizuno is much more firm and responsive brand. Mizuno technology uses a wave plate and wave construction to disperse energy. This year, it’s softer and smoother than previous versions. The softness allows you to roll through from heel to toe without the shoe feeling clunky.

How did they soften and smooth it up? The sole is made up of a mix of two different foams.  Essentially a soft and firm foam. The soft foam is found right under the heel to add a more cushioned feeling and to reduce impact.

The signature wave plate keeps Mizuno on the firmer side and more responsive. The Waverider is known to be a firm, everyday trainer, and that is exactly where it fits in for me. I have used it for most running from everyday runs to recovery, and long runs. The best sport for me is long runs, or a daily run. For recovery runs, I prefer something with more cushion.

Just something to note, I did notice was when running on a rocky or gravel road was the number of rocks that got stuck in the shoe.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Conclusion:

The Mizuno Wave rider waveknit R2 is a great shoe if you are looking for a neutral shoe to add to your rotation. It is more firm than several brands but worth trying on.

If you have run in the Wave Rider and are looking for a slight change, the Wave rider Waveknit R2 is the way to go. Since the bottom is the same in both the Waverider 22 and Waveknit R2, you’re getting the same technology but a different knit upper.

Personally, I like the fit of the Wave Rider Waveknit R2 better because it allows for more space for those of us with wider feet. From previous versions of the Mizuno Waverider, the Waverider 22 and Waveknit R2 will feel softer, but it’s not a drastic change.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6, Topo Magnifly 2Hoka Mach 2Brooks Glycerin 17,

Speed Work: Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Mizuno R2, Hoka 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 tying your shoe.  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 Mizuno before?

Do you like white running shoes?

Altra Escalante 1.5 Shoe Review

Altra Escalante 1.5 Shoe Review

One of the most popular shoes from Altra has become the Altra Escalante. If you are looking to try Altra and don’t know where to start, the Escalante is usually a good first step.

Altra is well known for their zero drop shoes as well as a footshape toe box. Altra wants you to bend and move naturally when you run. I wrote about zero drop in the newsletter a few weeks ago. Zero drop isn’t for everyone but can allow for better foot positioning.

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Upper:

The Altra Escalante 1.5 has a very breathable upper. Altra is well known for a footshape toe box, and there is plenty of space if you have bunions or a wider forefront. Altra mentions their shoes are “foot shaped,” but they aren’t wide.  I met the founder, Golden, at the Runners World Festival a few years ago, and Altra is adamant about their shoes being “foot shaped” and not wide.

One thing to make note is while any Altra shoe has a wider toe box, many brands come in wide, and other brands create a wider shoe. So yes, the regular width of Altra is relatively wide, it’s not the widest thing out there (and doesn’t come in wide). I wear anywhere from 10-11 wide and found the men’s size 9 to be the best fit for my feet.  Hopefully that makes sense: basically, Altra has a wider toe box than many brands, but it isn’t the widest shoe out there.

The upper is entirely knit and completely seamless, and as such, it feels more like a thick sock than a shoe.  The knitted upper is breathable and there isn’t much structure to the shoe.

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Ride:

If you like to feel the ground when you run, the Altra Escalante is a great option. It’s light, but responsive. The Altra Escalante is designed as a high performance running shoe. For me, it has a place as a workout or “faster” shoe. I wouldn’t personally do higher mileage or easy runs in it.

If you’ve never run in an Altra shoe, it will take time to adjust to. With a zero drop, you’ll have the same amount of cushion in the front and back. This means the forefront is the same distance from the ground as the heel. There is “zero drop” from the heel and forefoot. Like transitioning into racing flats, your calves might be sore.

Altra Escalante 1.5 Conclusion:

I like the Altra Escalante 1.5 for shorter and speed workouts. It’s too lightweight for me to get away for training. I like how seamless the knit upper is and the amount of extra room my foot has. In all, I will keep using the shoe for workouts and speed work. If you are looking to try a zero drop shoe and don’t know where to start the Altra Escalante 1.5 is a good option.

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Current Shoe Rotation:

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

Speed Work: Reebok Float ride Runfast Pro, Nike Fly

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Floatride

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 ever tried a zero drop shoe?

What is your current favorite shoe? 

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