Friday, January 29, 2016

Saucony Run Strong Sportop Review

What They Say:

By itself in the fall, or a base layer in winter, the Run Strong Sportop will have you running smart. Soft, lightweight, comfortable, and lots of other nice adjectives.
  • Soft and lightweight, the perfect weight to start off cool mornings, and then transition to a base layer for frostier days
  • Exceptional stretch and moisture management
  • Back envelope pocket stores your key or cards
  • Long, lean fit keeps you warm, with hidden elastic thumb loops makes layering a breeze
  • Breathable mesh panels under the arms help keep you cool
  • Extra hits of front and back reflectivity
      • Designed For: Running
      • Layer: Mid
      • Temperature Range: 30F to 55F
      • Fit: Slim
      • Hits at: Mid-hip
      • Number of Pockets: 1
      • Waterproof: No
      • Water Resistant: No
      • Windproof: No
      • Care Instructions: Machine washable, hang to dry
      • Fabric Breakdown: DryLete LT (88% Polyester, 12% Spandex), Flex Mesh (80% Polyester, 20% Spandex)

What I Say:

I have had the pleasure of reviewing a good many quality products from Saucony. The Kinvara are easily my favorite running shoe and the standard to which all others are compared.  But this review will focus on Saucony clothing, specifically the RunStrong Sportop, a winter outer layer solution.

I will start by saying I love this top. I cannot begin to understand the science of the design but the Run Strong Sportop is comfortable and warm but at the same time remains reasonable dry as a layering option. I rely on the top primarily as an alternative to a long sleeve wicking shirt layer. Combined with a short sleeve shirt and a windbreaker I have navigated 30 degree runs successfully with sufficient warmth. But throughout the run I have not felt a build-up of sweat. So simply, the Run Strong Sportop is my go to solution for wither running warmth. The top is also light and has a smooth comfortable feel on the skin.

What else is there to say beyond my wishing I had several of the Run Strong Sportops in my collection.

Highly recommended!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saucony Ride 8 Review

What They Say:

    Enhanced fit without adding weight thanks to an all-new FlexFilm upper
    Runners can expect an exceptionally smooth and responsive feel that this franchise model is famous for


    Shoe Category: Neutral
    Pronation: Neutral
    Cushion: Plush
    Construction Type: Neutral
    Surface: Road, Track
    Arch: High, Normal (Mid)
    Water Resistant: No
    Waterproof: No
    Offset: 8mm
        Heel Stack Height: 26mm
        Forefoot Stack Height: 18mm

What I Say:
My running history centers on exploration of the more minimalist end of the spectrum with running style and shoes. My first access to a minimalist shoe was through Saucony with the now deceased Hattori. It was slipper-like and I have relegated one pair to my yard work comfy shoe. While I have run many miles in zero drop shoes including a marathon or two in Vibram Five Fingers I have evolved to a preference and focus on a compromise 4 mm drop with my current go to shoe being any version of Saucony’s Kinvara. LOVE THAT SHOE!

Several month ago Saucony afforded me a pair (Disclaimer: Review Sample) of the Ride 8 which has an 8 mm offset and a bit more sole height. While I love getting a new pair of shoes I honestly felt I would wear these long enough to merit a review but then drop them in my donation bag for my local high school cross country team. But off I went in them for my routine 6 mile jaunts.

Initially they had the wonderful feel of new shoes. They felt soft and provided a gentle foot plant, not squishy, but you could definitely feel the cushioning. The felt roomy but provided a snug fit for my toes, midfoot and heel. And surprisingly, really gave no indication of an increase in heel to toe offset.

I appreciate a 4 mm difference between the Kinvara and Ride 8 is not mountainous. But I have always given much credence to the distinction between the more minimalist Zero to 4 mm drop differences. But here I was running quite comfortably in a shoe with greater offset, AND LOVING IT!

I really have to conclude that I really like the Saucony Ride 8. It has made me a convert to allowing a greater offset into my consideration for future explorations. And the Ride 8 has established itself in my short list of shoes I rotate between through the days and weeks. Check them out. I recommend them across running shoe preferences.