Friday, May 29, 2009

Nike Men's Essential Running Tight

It's the opposite time of the year for a cold gear review but you might be surprised at just how chilly SF mornings in the fog can be. I bought these back in the winter when I was seeing them all over the place but didn't end up using them much until lately. I've never been a big fan of the running tight because I always thought it was a weird look, but lately I've given in.

I admit - they work pretty well. Definitely more comfortable than swishing warmup pants and it eliminates that annoying winter chafe with cold skin. The pocket is placed great too on the back which makes it easy (and quiet) to carry keys; much better placement than the standard running shorts that have the front hanging pocket. Overall not much else to say - I've been wearning them in 40ish weather very comfortably. There's a version for colder weather but I really have no need for that so you'll have to look for those elsewhere.

I have one nagging question though - I still don't know whether to wear these things w/ running shorts or not. There seem to be two camps of runners - those who wear shorts over their tights and those who don't. Each group things the other looks totally stupid. I've tried both but I can't figure it out.

Help me out here and post a comment - if you're wearing tights for a cold run whats the superior method?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NY Mag: You Walk (& Run) Wrong

The 'science' part of this site has been seriously lacking - this is the beginning of my efforts to point out some great resources on human biomechanics, scientific research, and everything else I find that demonstrates just how badly we've been able to screw up our gaits in the last 20 years and how simple the solution is.

This article is from NY Mag and has some great scientific and anecdotal info. It's a long read but it's a good one, check it out.

Adidas AdiZero Pro Review

Alright so I'm a bit addicted to the AdiZero line. But that's only because it's a kickass set of shoes. I've actually had this one almost as long as I've been using the RC's (R.I.P.) but I never got around to posting about them.

They fit pretty well between the RCs and the PRs. They're light at 6.2 oz but definitely more sturdy than the PRs. The bottom uses the hard tack stuff that feels basically like plastic and sticks to carpet kind of like velcro when you walk around (sorry for the bad description, but if you've had flats that use the stuff you know what I mean - check out the picture). It's a pretty good lightweight tread but it does wear down quickly. The heel to toe raise is pretty low which I like, and they're nice and flexible like a real shoe should be. I think they feel a lot harder than the RCs though, and they aren't much lighter.

I've been using them to race road races where PRs are too flimsy or would pick up pebbles like it's their job and the Pro's are good for that. On that note - the 2009 Pro's have an AMAZING improvement over the '08s (yes I had both). The old ones had a slot in the bottom that picked up rocks just the RCs & PRs, but in '09 they covered it with a lightweight metal screen. The thing gets beat up but viola - no more hitch hiking pebbles. Personally this is a big plus for me, and I love it when a shoe company actually adds a useful improvement to a shoe instead of some new buzzword.

I don't use them as a day to day trainer though since the primary tread wears out fast, and they just don't feel as comfy for the long runs.

Pros: Light, comfy, good racing shoe. Built in sole screen to keep pebbles out.

Cons: Hard & fast wearing tread, not much cushion (compared to other flats that is, not compared to those overbuilt running boots most people call trainers).

Adidas AdiZero PR Review: The New Weight Champ

At 3.9 oz I was wondering weather I was really going to get a shoe, or just some cardboard and fabric. It took me about 2 seconds to confirm the PRs were definitely the lightest, most comfortable racing flat I'd ever strapped to my feet (and this one really is a racing flat - I won't be training in them since I don't think they'd last 100 miles). Then it took 1 5k race on the track to set a PR in the PRs (sorry) that confirmed they perform up to snuff too.

The Pros: They're crazy light, ultra flexible, and ultra comfortable. Longest I've raced in them is 5k but I bet they could go longer if you're the type who's used to flats. It has to be a nicely groomed course though due to the con below....

The Cons: The sole is light but not made to be durable (but who cares - if you're buying shoes that weigh under 4oz you know what you're getting). The bigger downside is that the bottom of the shoes has a number of slits in the bottom that seem designed to pick up every pebble you can find on the road. I'm guessing it's what helps make the shoe so light, and it's no issue on the track or a good road, but on anything else be prepared to pick up some stragglers or do that weird shoe scuffle on the ground to knock the hitch hikers loose.