Shoe Review: New Balance 610 Trail Shoe

PROFILE:

Trail Shoe:

  • Smooth comfortable ride with adequate cushioning
  • Great traction whether in smooth or technical trails
  • Lightweight but exceptionally cushioned ride
  • Weight: 10.9 oz (size 9, M)

New Balance 610 Trail Shoe

I’ve seen this trail shoe model on many of my trail runner friends who swear by its dependability, comfort and durability, not to mention the bargain price made available in many running stores carrying the New Balance shoe brand.  It’s one of the most popular trail running shoes which i’ve worn and tested in about a dozen trail runs and races.

The New Balance 610 is a totally dependable performance trail shoe that does not budge on any surface that’s subjected to whether on rough roads, basic trails, rocky terrain or the occasional river crossings. It cuts through very nicely even on the most gnarly of trails and has enough cushioning to bump off rocks and muddy trails.

CONSTRUCTION:

The shoe has a light, synthetic upper mesh which is comfortable on the toes and gives adequate support. The mid-sole is composed of an injection-molded eva foam (IMEVA) giving it a firm yet flexible cushioning. However, i found the outer layer of the midsole to be soft as some scrapes and scratches were evident which is probably due to the constant scraping on rocks and other rough edges.

Mesh-panelled upper

The outsole has a high-traction thread made of Ndurance rubber which gives it a very durable quality and has multi-directional triangular lugs for sticky traction on most surfaces. I’ve logged-in about 100++ kms in this shoe and so far, the outsoles have been holding up very well with no issues regarding durability. The ankle collars are adequately padded with a lace up system that has string eyelets in the first 2 holes which gives it a somewhat secure fit.

Ndurance outsoles

FIT AND FEEL:

Straight out of the box, the NB 610 has a nice feel, has adequate room in the toe box (i wear 2E widths) and there is no rubbing in the inner edges whatsoever. No pinched feeling as well! The lacing system does help a lot in locking-in the feet and the padded heel counter added to the comfort when i started to walk in it.

Putting it on for the first time, the feeling is like wearing a familiar shoe that you have broken-in and worn for several times and felt very comfortable that you won’t think its new.

PERFORMANCE:

The NB 610 has been put through its paces in several trail runs from 10-k up to 30k distances like the Nuvali Rock and Road Trail Race, all PIMCO Trail Races in Tanay, test runs in Tanay and Miyamit,  Timberland Heights runs, the recent Salomon X-trail run at Hamilo Coast and many other trails outside of the city. This means running in all trail conditions and i’m giving it high marks for its versatility and adaptability.

It shines in all surfaces and treks well in river crossings. The shoe sheds water very quickly except when small sands and pebbles gets inside the shoe that i have to completely stop and remove the shoe of its debris. The shoe doesn’t lose its cushioning and stays very breathable even in hot weather running.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION:

A great all-around trail shoe that doesn’t disappoint and i wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to all hard-core and beginner trail runners. Neutral and slight over-pronators will enjoy the high performance ride and do-everything versatility of this trail shoe.

(I bought this shoe at a bargain price of less than P3,000.00 at the New Balance Store branch at Shangrila Mall, Edsa).

Note: There’s a newer version of this shoe, the NB 610V2 which i hope to have and review in the future.

Shoe Review: New Balance 880

New Balance 880

BAKGROUNDER:

Neutral Cushioning Shoe

  • Recommended for neutral runners looking for support, cushioning and a responsive ride.
  • An excellent shoe for fast-paced training or logging long distances
  • Weight: 10.9 oz

About a year ago, New Balance offered a low-key shoe called the NB759. It wasn’t very technical and despite its simplicity, it attracted a lot of following a runners appreciated its responsive, well-cushioned ride. Its direct descendant, the New Balance 880 doesn’t appear to be too special either. But looks can be deceiving because peso for peso, the NB880 is an excellent shoe and perhaps one of New Balance’s best road shoe.

A little more expensive than the venerable NB759, the new NB880 is essentially the same shoe with two minor differences: First, the 880’s midsole incorporates a stability web shank that makes it a notch stiffer but gives more support to the shoe. Secondly, it has incorporated NB’s ACTEVA Lite midsole which makes the shoe essentially lighter and provides great cushioning and shock absorption.

I’m confident enough to impart what the 880 can do as it has already logged about 80 kms since I got them last January. I like it so much that I am now using them exclusively for races, from 10k to the half-marathon distances. So much for that in a while.

CONSTRUCTION

I like the soft materials used for the upper which has plenty of open mesh and runs constant from the forefoot to the heel area. The tongue has a larger open mesh with soft cushioning underneath that hugs the top of the foot comfortably.

The outsoles are fairly aggressive that would adjust well in many surfaces. The hard rubber provided great traction on pavements and even on wet dirt roads. The midsole is made up of NB’s Acteva Light and the Stability Web. The Stability Web stretches from the arch to the heel portion which locks down the arch and gives some heft of stability at the medial port.

It almost looks like a stability running shoe except for the segmented “N-ergy” on the arch’s upper midsole that gives the shoe a noticeable rebound and produces a soft ride.

FIT and FEEL

This is probably the 880’s strongest point, its secured fit and comfortable feel. The forefoot, the upper and the heel area seem to mold into my feet like a perfect globe. The feeling was like wearing a made-to-order shoe. With the right socks and just the right amount of pressure when lacing the shoe, it was “love at first fit” and I just couldn’t wait to give it a spin out on the road.

PERFORMANCE

Just as I had expected, the 880 was light enough, it had a plush ride and I felt the softness from the midfoot to toe-off. Running felt very comfortable and the easy agility was evident, one I would compare with the great hugging Saucony Pro-Grid Ride that I had a few years ago.

The shoe felt responsive on forays of short and long runs. It is well cushioned and for a neutral shoe, it has a solid base for support. Until recently, it’s been almost impossible for me to find a good training shoe that I could dabble with into a racing shoe. The 880 is one example of why that’s no longer the case. In fact as I earlier mentioned, I am now using this exclusively for races and I intend to get another pair of this model before it gets phased-out.

CONCLUSION

Although the 880 is a durable cushioned shoe for the neutral runner, it’s light enough to be used as a fast paced trainer or racing shoe. And as a neutral shoe, it has a sturdy medial post making it surprisingly stable—enough for a wide range of runners. It is also an ideal long-distance training shoe for just about any level or type of runner, which I highly recommend!

Shoe Review: Skechers ‘Keflezighi’ Go Run

Backgrounder:

Lightweight Minimalist Running Shoe:

  • For efficient runners, mid-foot and forefoot strikers, minimalist runners seeking a light, responsive ride
  • Specifically designed to promote a mid-foot strike
  • Geared for fast-paced training or all-out racing
  • Height differential of 4mm between heel and forefoot to closely replicate barefoot running
  • Weight: 7.4 Oz (size 10)

Okay, forgive me for adding the name “Keflezighi” on Skechers’ new innovative running shoe, Go Run but this shoe could just as easily have been named after Meb Keflezighi, the American runner who finished 1st place in the recent 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Texas wearing this particular shoe.

Skechers has struggled to develop a successful running shoe for the serious, hard-core runner as many of its prior efforts have been weighted down with gizmos. The Skechers Pro-Speed isn’t a bad shoe but wasn’t that much sold-out to runners because of its weak aesthetics and plain look.

Making a good running shoe is a matter of putting components together a certain way and the Go Run was put together with one thing in mind. A mid-foot strike. Although the Go Run isn’t as visually interesting as other traditional running shoes, it takes minimalist running and racing one step further.

My initial reactions to this shoe were positive. See part 1 review (here). Since then i have logged more mileage on it on various terrains.

CONSTRUCTION:

The uppers are soft, light and made of weightless synthetic/mesh fabric although there is very little ventilation inside, a bane for hot weather running. The sock liner is built-in, stitched on its sides and the toe-box is roomy and comfortable enough for the toes to set in.

The midsole is made of Rasalyte, an injection-molded compound which gives it a resilient feel and just enough ground absorption. Like its direct ascendants, the LIV, Pro-speed and SRR models, the GO RUN has still that curved bottom although it is less-pronounced than those of the latter ones. The outsole is made of soft rounded lugs with high abrasion rubber at strike points for extra traction control and stability.

Another nice feature of the shoe is its flexibility: because of its lightness, you can twist and flex it upwards or down wards although you will have to be very careful when running on technical trails as it does not have much support and stability.

FIT and FEEL:

My shoe size is a size 10 and this particular shoe came in standard width. The toe-box however is roomy enough that you’d think that this came in a 2E width, wider than the standard which is great! I was able to put an extra sock-liner on top of the built-in one to protect my plantar fascia and add more cushioning to it. Its just a personal thing i do to avoid recurrence of previous Plantar Fasciitis ailment.

As i reported earlier, you feel an elevated lump in the mid-foot which kind of stretches the arch a little bit when you run. I’m still feeling the lump every time i put on the shoe but disappears as soon as you have warmed up for about 15 to 20 minutes into the run.

As the outsole is designed in a semi-rocker form, you will be consciously landing on your mid-foot for most of the time which takes a little getting used to specially if you are a heel striker. But once you get to the motions of the shoe, the feel is one of quickness and responsiveness.

PERFORMANCE:

You’ll probably get the feeling why Meb Keflezighi has liked this shoe very much after winning the 2012 US Olympic Trials for his stint with the USA Team to the London Olympics this year and setting various PRs in the recent New York City Marathon wearing this shoe. It definitely bodes well with his fast and efficient style of running. The feel is snug, there was no sliding towards the forefoot and you can feel the receptiveness as you hit the ground upon toe-off.

The one and still complaint as was last time is that it overheats under the ball of the foot and if you forgot to apply some form of petroleum jelly before your run, it tends to create minor blisters on this area. The ventilation needs to be improved.

BEST RECOMMENDED FOR:

For fast-paced training or racing, for developing mid-foot running and a good transition shoe for minimalist running.

CONCLUSION:

Skechers should be given credit for trying to break out of its mold of making heavy, toning shoes because that’s what it does best. However, it really comes as a surprise that Skechers is expanding its market by making a lightweight shoe this wild and this good!

Looking forward to more converts of the Go Run!

Shoe Review: Adidas Supernova Glide 2

PREVIEW

NEUTRAL SHOE  TRAINER: 

  • Recommended for high-arched, heavier runners who wants a responsive,  neutral trainer with some stability
  • Excellent cushioned shoe for long work-outs or as an everyday trainer 
  • Weight: 11.5 oz.

After getting these little devils last week from Luis (gingerbreadrunning), my co-Team Leader at the Adination running clinic, i couldn’t wait to get home to try this particular Supernova series, and it didn’t dissapoint. Running a series of fartleks at the UP Academic Oval, you won’t even feel or conscious about testing a new shoe as it didn’t appear to require any break-in of sorts. The snug feel at the heel and mid-foot and the excellent cushioning all equated to a very comfortable ride, like you’ve spent some time with them already.

Adidas Supernova Glide 2

CONSTRUCTION

This shoe is not flashy nor doesnt have the bitchy artwork of the Adizero Boston2 Ekiden which i reviewed here recently (boston-ekiden). It’s simple in design, bland would be more like it, but the construction wallops a string of the usual advance innovations Adidas is known for with a men’s specific fit and stable heel that can withstand the rigors of those who land on their heels first.

Some of the unique features of this shoe:

  • Air mesh upper for maximum ventilation; adiPRENE®+ in the forefoot maintains propulsion and efficiency
  • New engineered 3D TORSION® element for smoother heel-to-forefoot transition; GEOFIT™ construction for anatomical fit and comfort
  • adiWEAR® 6 outsole offers the ultimate in high-wear durability; Men’s-specific flex grooves and outsole lug construction

FIT AND FEEL

If you’re more on the feel that snugs the whole feet like the wrap of a “Lumpia Shanghai” (pork spring roll) when cooked, then this is your shoe. No slippages, no rubbing and the weaved airmesh helped to dissipate any heat accumulation inside the shoe. Running in various tempos, what’s constant is the extra ordinary cushioning that i felt even when running on cement.

PERFORMANCE

The Supernova Glide 2 gave a well responsive feel on slow jogs to short sprints. There is nothing negative about its performance. Though a little heavier than the Adizero, it did not impede any stride or foot strike and felt light enough on long tempo runs. If you’re using a miCoach, this shoe is compatible with it where you can place the sensor under the removable sockliner of the left shoe and review your performance, heart rate and other details about your run.

BEST USE

For long training runs, fast tempo runs and can be used for longer races like the 21k and the marathon.

VERDICT

An excellent shoe for the heavier runner with high arches who wants to run fast!