Reviews

Reaching for these shoes more and more
4.5
  • Amy reviewed 3 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

When it comes to shoes, I’m kind of like the Princess and the Pea. I’m pretty sensitive to change. My form changes slightly in each shoe, so it takes me several runs to determine what I think. After 11 runs in the Zantes, I think I’m ready to share my opinion.

I was really excited when I heard New Balance was pre-releasing their new running shoe, the Zante, for the NYC Marathon. I ordered it as soon as it was available. It’s a light-weight (6.5 oz for women), low-profile shoe (6mm drop) with more cushioning than just a racing flat. Most of my runs in the Zantes have been recovery/training runs on road, although I did wear them for a couple of mile-repeats on the track a few weeks ago. After a couple of repeats, I switched to the New Balance 1400, preferring them for track speed work over the Zante because I can “feel” the track better in the 1400. The extra cushioning in the Zante seemed to get in the way a bit for speed.

When I first put on the Zantes, I felt a band of prominent cushioning in the forefoot, just ahead of where my arch sits. I wondered if it would bother me, but I’ve gotten used to it and don’t really notice it when I run. (Other friends haven’t experienced the same prominent forefoot cushioning feel. It may just have to do with the shape of my foot.)

I love how light-weight the shoe is while still retaining enough cushioning to feel comfortable on a recovery run. I love the 6mm drop because it promotes a slightly more forefoot foot strike that helps me feel more smooth and symmetrical when I run. The toe box is slightly wider than some other New Balance shoes I’ve worn which is great! The tongue is sewn into the upper so it stays put. The upper is soft and flexible making the shoe feel almost cozy. I LOVE the laces – super soft to touch and the perfect width, so they stay tied securely. The style of the shoe is also super-cute, a fun bonus.

I’m giving the Zantes 4 stars instead of 5 because some days I still come home from a run going “hmmm, what do I think of this shoe?”. Some days they feel amazing, other days just okay. That’s why I love rotating them with a couple other shoes. However, I do notice myself reaching for them more and more, which means I must be liking them and adjusting to them. They’re definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a lightweight, neutral running shoe with a decent amount of cushioning. I love having them in my running shoe rotation.

Update – 5/18/15
In December, I severely injured my right heel while running a marathon. Coming back to running, my foot has been very sensitive to shoes, some making my foot feel really good, and my foot feeling really sore in others (limiting my running distances). Thanks to the review from bcforster, I had the courage to give the Zantes a try while I was still in the major healing phase. I was amazed that my foot felt so much better in the Zantes than in many of my other shoes. I think they encourage a good neutral foot motion and really allow my toes to spread. I still rotate them with other shoes, but the New Balance Fresh Foam Zantes have been great to keep me running as I recover from a foot injury, so I’m increasing my rating to 4.5 stars. Also, I think the reason I used to feel off in them some days is because I’ve discovered my right calf is tight and weak (and these shoes do have a lower drop, 6mm). When I do a good job of stretching my calves, I feel much smoother running in these shoes (and just running in general). Couldn’t live without my Zantes.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lightweight training shoe
5.0

I wore the Mizuno Wave Elixir for years and was worried when they discontinued that line. The Sayonara was recommended to me as a similar shoe that provided neutral support. I love how lightweight they are and low to the ground without being a racing flat.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Best shoes ever!
5.0

I have two pairs of hot pink and neon green Asic Gel Kayanos. Not only do they look flashy and fast, they provide stability for my overpronation with enough foot coushion while not being heavy like many other shoes I have tried. I scrapped my GT2050 rut when I found these for great deals on Roadrunnersports.com. My sister in law that has bad knees just bought a pair of last years model for under $90 bucks at Nordstroms and loves them.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great tool!
5.0
  • MJA reviewed 2 years ago

I love this ball! At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend $40 on a ball… but the lacrosse and tennis balls just weren’t working for me!

I have used the supernova on my glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings. It works really well and gets in super deep and immediately releases tension. I have friends ask to borrow it all the time!

I love how portable it is too! Worth every penny.

Definitely my new favorite water bottle
5.0
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

I first heard about Hydro Flask water bottles in July during a hot track workout. The water in my standard plastic water bottle soon tasted like bath water and was hard to stomach. Two friends told me that water in Hydro Flask water bottles stays cold for hours even on a hot summer day. Months later, I read reviews of the Hydro Flask, and I was intrigued. One reviewer said he left the water bottle in his hot car for hours and came back to still hear ice clinking in it. Another reviewer said she loved the water bottle so much she would buy it even if it cost $500. The reviews had me sold. I purchased the 40 oz. Hydro Flask with the optional straw lid (the hardest part was picking the color), and I love it. A few points:

  1. My water really does stay ice cold for hours. I can get my water bottle ready the night before a run or workout, and it’s still ice cold the next day. Amazing! I love being out the door for a workout a little faster in the wee hours of the morning when I’m all bleary-eyed.
  2. I love the 40 oz. size. Before, if I would be away from home for more than a 2-3 hours, I would have to bring two water bottles with me. No more! 40 oz. is plenty of water to keep me hydrated for hours.
  3. Even though the 40 oz. is a big water bottle, it’s narrow enough to fit in the cup holders of my car and my husband’s, a great feature.
  4. This water bottle does not sweat. That means I can leave it on my wooden desk without worrying it will create rings, ruining the surface.
  5. I love the optional straw lid so I don’t have to tip the bottle back every time I want a drink. It makes it much easier to drink on-the-go without spilling and to drink water safely while driving. The straw lid also has a handy notch on it so I can flip it up and down without having to touch the drinking surface, keeping it a little more free of germs. The straw lid also provides really good water flow.
  6. With my old plastic water bottle with straw lid, the water would gradually warm up, and when I flipped open the straw lid, water would come spilling out, creating a mess all over me, my car, or wherever I was. Because the water stays cold in my Hydro Flask bottle, I’ve never had the problem of flipping open the top and having water surge out.

While the water bottle is a little pricey (I paid $33.29 for mine on Amazon and another $9-10 for the straw lid), you really do get what you pay for. With a lifetime warranty, I plan on using this thing forever. I can’t wait to take it around in my car and to the track this summer.

My go-to racing flat
5.0
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

The New Balance 1400 has been my go-to racing flat for 2.5 years. It feels light, fast, and comfortable for track workouts and tempo runs and provides just enough cushioning to get me through a marathon. I use it regularly for speed workouts and races, but I like a little more cushioning for recovery days. My only wish is that the toe box was slightly roomier. FYI, after about 200 miles, this shoe is done for me, even when the tread looks okay.

After 175 miles, still deciding
4.5
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

I’ve run at least 175 miles in the Vazee Pace, and I still can’t completely make up my mind about them. Some days I think they’re great for my achy foot and provide the right amount of support while remaining very lightweight, and other days I feel like there’s nothing to them, like they’re lacking cushioning, but they feel stiff. The Zante (also by New Balance) is about the same weight as the Vazee Pace but provides more cushioning and softness per ounce.

The Vazee Pace was supposed to replace the 890, but I’m still mourning the loss of the 890v2 (more soft and flexible, felt more like a daily trainer). I wish they would bring it back!

Update – 12/15/15
Several weeks and 50 miles later (on this particular shoe), I find myself reaching for my Vazee Pace running shoes more and more because they help my sore foot feel and function the best. I love the way it wraps around the arch and hugs the heel. I think the bottom of the shoe provides a nice stable platform while still being really light-weight.

Light stability even a neutral runner can love
5.0
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago

I was reluctant to order this shoe at first since I run almost entirely in neutral shoes, and this one is a lightly posted racing flat. However, I’m so glad I gave it a try! From the first run, it felt amazing. It provides just the right amount of cushioning, so my feet feel smooth on the ground. The posting feels like it’s gently supporting my Achilles without feeling rigid. I totally understand why Runner’s World shoe testers rave about this shoe.

My go-to racing flat is the New Balance 1400 which has a 10mm drop. Sometimes I wonder if the lower drop on this shoe, 6mm, makes it harder for me to push off as fast as I can in a higher drop shoe, but I think I’m probably just weird. :) Overall, I really love this shoe. It consistently feels great.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
great light but stable shoe
4.5

I’ve always struggled with trying to find the right shoe. I went back and forth from smooshy too much cushioning to having something with too much stability and across the spectrum. After having months of SI joint and hip issues (and weekly visits to my chiropractor), he suggested getting fit tested again with a gait analysis. I hadn’t done this for quite a while and knew I needed to start from ground zero again. I’d run in the Saucony Kinvara previously and liked the light weight shoe. It also felt stable enough for me.

I tried these along with another Saucony. The Asics were the winner mostly because of it’s much simpler construction. There’s no stitching or logo to battle with across my outer foot or little toe area which seems to always be a problem for me. They are light as a feather. My pronation is no longer as severe so there is enough stability and arch support. As I’ve been working back into my running and getting my hip and core issues sorted out, these are plenty of shoe for me to hit the reset button in.

Beautiful sports bra that feels great on
5.0
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago

I have two of these Lululemon Energy Bras, and I love them. They come in vibrant colors, and the criss-crossing straps in the back are cute and unique. Lululemon fabrics are super soft to the skin so it feels great on. Lululemon says it’s a light support bra for yoga, but I found that if I buy a snug size, it’s super supportive (and still no problem to pull on over my head). I like that it comes with removable cups (a standard feature for Lululemon bras I believe). I have friends who have this bra and love it, too! Would definitely recommend it.

Beautiful Tank
5.0

This is simply a beautiful tank. It’s fitted without being tight and is made with the silkiest, softest fabric. The material is slightly thicker, so it’s perfect for 50º-65ºF mid-season weather and makes a nice layering piece. Fun fact: the tank just so happens to be named after my absolute favorite singer, Gwen Stefani.

Fast, light, and good traction
5.0

I love this shoe! One thing I really like about this racing flat is the tackiness on the forefoot. Racing in the Pacific Northwest means alot of racing on wet roads. Unlike other racing flats, I know that when I go to make a move or power up a hill in a race I’m not going to loose ground by slipping with this shoe. The shoe is also feather light (5 oz). I wear these shoes for the half marathon and shorter. I also use this shoes for track work. They are fantastic on the track but yet cushioned enough to handle a long warm-up and cool down on the roads.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Can't believe they work so good!
5.0

Due to having a long second toe and a short big toe I am prone to pinched nerves in my feet, and have recently fought with a Morton’s Neuroma in my right foot. I wish that I’d found Toe Spacers sooner, as once I started using it my recovery time has sped up drastically. I’ve always been a “gear skeptic,” but I can’t say enough good things about using spacers to relieve the misery of a foot neuroma. I’m hoping that if I keep using them, the nerve pinches will be a thing of the past.

As good as it gets.
4.5

I’ve used a lot of running watches and I think this watch is as good as it gets. When I say that, I mean, it’s NOT perfect, but as perfect as possible. It’s made by the leaders in GPS technology. It’s not totally intuitive, you have to learn to use it and in a wind storm or some crazy gravitational vortex you will be running a 4:40 pace or a 16:30 pace depending on it’s pull. I’m sure there are several things it can do that my small mind has yet to learn. It is, however, the best on the market for GPS. It has a life span of about 2-3 years, so work that into your running budget. They will NOT last forever. But, during your journey with your beloved Garmin 620, it will tell you your splits, total time, mileage, you can download all of the information online and overall is the best that’s out there to provide all of this information. And it’s white and sleeker than it’s bulky, dark colored predecessors. I love it.

good, natural bars with real ingredients
4.5

great energy bars before/during a workout; lauren’s mega nuts, smooth caffeinator, and blueberry boomdizzle are some of my favorites.

Very good GPS watch
4.0

I have been using this for over an year now. Ran around 600 miles so far using this and I’m quite satisfied with it. Good battery life, gets the signal relatively quickly. I’ve paired it with my HRM and also a foot pod. During indoor runs on treadmills it uses the foot pod to measure the distance and I’m ver impressed to say it is accurate to 0.02 miles. Overall nice gps watch. I’ve used it only for running and not for other sports yet.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Adios Boost is a winner
5.0

The Adidas Adios Boost is the first racing flat to utilize the new “Boost” technology by Adidas and it is fantastic.

The Boost technology claims to return more energy return than any other midsole material used in the running industry. In addition it is not affected by the environment meaning it feels the same at 10 degrees as it does at 110 degrees. That in itself makes the shoe unlike any you have every written.

The Adios Boost uses a slimmer midsole than the Energy Boost and other midsoles in the Adidas running line. The midsole is very responsive and this shoe works for distances up to the half-marathon as well as track workouts and tempo runs. It is extremely responsive with a very breathable upper which comes in a variety of colors. The toe box is roomy and I did not find any stitching or other issues with the upper which would cause irritation.

The outsole has exposed areas of the Boost midsole, but the carbon rubber overlays wear well enough that I have not experienced any issues with the midsole being damaged or compromised over the life of the shoes. You will also likely notice that the outsole wears out before the midsole, which is unusual and gives further testament to the unique properties of the Boost technology.

If you have worn a previous version of the Adios you will find this upgrade very pleasing. The midsole feels softer without compromising performance and as noted above is very responsive. I’ve given the shoe 5 stars because quite frankly there are not a lot of racing flats out there that are comfortable enough to wear for everyday training, which if you like a minimal shoe, the Adios Boost would allow.

Give the Adios Boost a look if you want a lightweight responsive racing flat which can double as a lightweight trainer.

protein enhanced UCAN for recovery, meal replacement, anything :)
5.0

I use protein enhanced UCAN (Vanilla Cream is my favorite) on a daily basis. It is a great post-run recovery drink and the super starch helps to keep your blood sugars stable after the workout. I love how I can drink it and it allows me enough time to come home, clean up and then make a good meal decision, instead of coming home after a workout starving and looking for anything to eat. I am also in my car a lot and spend a lot of time on I-5…as you know there are not always the healthiest food choices right off freeway exits. I always keep a packet or two in my car to have as a meal replacement or mid-afternoon snack. While it is great with just water, I also will blend it with things such as almond milk, almond butter, bananas, coconut water, etc…

Exactly what I wanted in a GPS watch
5.0
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago

I’ve run with an older Garmin, the Forerunner 305 model, for several years. It worked perfectly but was so heavy and bulky that the only time I used it was on tempo runs and some long runs. I kept wanting to buy a new Garmin but had a hard time justifying the cost when my current GPS watch worked perfectly. Fast forward to Hood to Coast a few weeks ago. The weather was chilly and wet on my night and early-morning legs, but my GPS watch was so bulky I couldn’t even put on and take off a warm-up coat over my Forerunner 305. A few girls in my van had the Forerunner 220 and loved theirs, so I bought one on Amazon (for about $200) before we even reached the beach. So far after 13 runs, varying from long, interval, tempo, and recovery runs, I love it.

Size: Even though the watch face looks large for a small wrist (see photo), the watch feels light and unnoticeable on my wrist. I actually think the design of the watch is pretty cute.

Accuracy: After 13 runs, I feel confident in the accuracy of the watch. One morning I wore it for 800 repeats on the track, and each interval consistently measured 0.50 miles.

Lap Pace: I love this model over the more basic Forerunner 10 because it includes lap pace. This field is so important when I’m on a tempo run or doing off-track repeats so I can see what pace I’m trending for the current lap. There is also a lap button, so it’s easy to start a new lap (repeat) at any point in a workout.

Fields: The only fields I really care about on a GPS watch are time, distance, average pace, lap distance, lap pace, lap time, and time of day. The 220 offers all of these fields and several more. When in use, I have access to three screens on the Garmin 220. There are three customizable fields for screens one and two, and the third screen displays time of day.

Wristwatch: As compared to my old 305, I love that the 220 can remain on all the time and be used as a wristwatch. Because the time of day is synced with satellites, it’s perfectly accurate. Awesome.

Bluetooth: The 220 syncs via Bluetooth with my iPhone. When in unlocked mode, it can connect to my phone and sync my runs with Garmin Connect. I have Garmin Connect set up to link automatically with Strava, so my run data is all there almost instantly when I finish running.

So far, I feel like this was $200 well spent, even with my old GPS still workable. The lighter/smaller profile, ability to use as a wristwatch, and the Bluetooth syncing feature have made it a worthwhile purchase.

See and be seen throughout the winter months
5.0
  • Amy reviewed 1 year ago

Throughout the year, I usually run early in the morning, so in the winter months, it’s DARK (and usually rainy) outside. I wear a headlamp not only to see my footing and where I’m going, but also because it’s one of the best ways to quickly be seen by oncoming traffic and at intersections (i.e. avoid getting hit by a car or bike). I attach a small Nathan Strobe Light (http://www.amazon.com/Nathan-Strobe-Light-Tango-Size/dp/B0099LSWYM) to the back of the headlamp strap, and then I’m confident I can be seen from the front or the back without needing to wear a reflective vest or expensive reflective jacket.

I’ve run with a Petzl headlamp for a few years, but even after changing the batteries, I felt like the light was pretty dim. I searched on Amazon and found this yalumi headlamp with amazing reviews for only $15 and decided to give it a try. In short, I love it. It’s one of my best running-related purchases of the entire year. Super high yield for a great price. I’m amazed at how bright the light is – I can see SOOO much better on my early morning runs, so I’m not worried about stumbling or stepping in a pot hole. After some use, I felt like the light was dimming, but when I replaced the batteries, it was very bright again. The bright beam it casts is kind of narrow – I wish it were a little broader, but I’m still so happy with it. There are three settings on the headlamp: First touch, economy; Second touch, brightest setting; Third touch; strobe setting; Fourth touch; off. The headband is easy to adjust, and the light tilts very well so I can cast the light right were I want it, regardless of whether I’m wearing it right on my head or over a hat.

If you’re looking for a headlamp for dark runs or for an upcoming relay race, buy this one! It’s so bright and such a great price.

It really works!!!
5.0

I have had many issues with tight hamstrings, glutes, hips, quads, and IT band. I previously used a mix of the foam roller and a lacrosse ball to work out my tightness but found that the foam roller didn’t go deep enough and the lacrosse ball almost went too deep. This ball is the answer and it really works well. If I am tight at all after a long run or workout, I spend a little time rolling out the area. When I wake up the next day, I’m almost surprised to find the tightness gone. But it is! It’s like a targeted sports massage but better because I can use it whenever I need it! I highly recommend the Supernova!

No "breaking in" required, less joint pain, no black toenails :)
5.0

I’m on my fifth pair of these…I love them. I’ve been running for 17 years, and these are by far my favorite shoe. Barefoot/minimalist running definitely changes your gait (shortens your stride and puts your feet under you instead of extended in front), so when I made the switch to these, I did it gradually to avoid being super sore. I wore them for short runs only at first, and built up to full-time wear over a couple of months. I’m so glad I did. I used to get sharp pain up under my toes sometimes, and never do now. If I ever put my regular running shoes on for a run, I feel that pain again, but for whatever reason, never do in the Five Fingers. I also have way less knee pain in these–almost none.

I ran my first full marathon last spring, and I ran them in these. Loved them every step of the way. Because they fit your feet like a glove, with spaces in between each toe, there’s no jamming of your feet/toes as you run step after step (read: no black or dead toenails). You don’t wear them with socks, which means no blisters. They really are like an extension of your foot. I love them. They’re all I wear now. And because I know what size I am, I can just order a new pair when I need to, slip them on, and go. No breaking them in. Mine have lasted around 500 miles before I wear a small hole in the sole and buy a new pair.

My form is improving with this shoe
5.0
  • Amy reviewed 3 years ago

The New Balance Fresh Foam 980 is the first 4mm drop shoe that has actually worked for me. I’ve tried the Brooks Pure Flow and Saucony Kinvara previously and they didn’t work out for me. It takes me several runs to decide what I think of a shoe, but after wearing the New Balance 980’s for dozens of miles, it’s promoting a more forefoot strike that is helping my right hip engage and help me run straighter!! My running form feels smoother as a result. It feels soft and supportive while remaining lightweight in feel. It feels stable and neutral underfoot, and I like that it has a slightly lower profile than more traditional running shoes.

I find myself reaching for this shoe time after time. I love rotating it with the New Balance Fresh Foam NYC Zante and the New Balance 1400.

Flattering and Functional
5.0

There are so many factors that have to be just right when considering new running shorts. The way they fit, the way they look, and the way they move with you. All of those things considered, the Roga Shorts are it for me. My favorite feature is the wide waistband because it stays put without pinching in, creating a flattering silhouette. The main short material is light and stretchy, and most importantly, never rides up or chafes. The 4” inseam is the perfect length for me, though Oiselle offers a shorter option with the Mac Roga (1.75”) as well as the Long Roga (6”). As a plus, the back pocket is stretchy enough that it fits my iPhone 6. It looks silly, but it works!

I love this shoe!!
5.0

I have been running in the 1400’s for a little over a year. I love this shoe. I can wear it on the trail or the road, on dry, wet or snowy surfaces and it always performs. I recent ran in very cold snowy conditions in the Midwest and it had the perfect amount of traction. It is very lightweight and I barely notice that I have shoes on at all. It provides the perfect amount of support for my neutral running self and I love how I can feel the road beneath my feet.
For my last marathon I had to wear a brand new pair out of the box, yes s major racing no no but when they get lost in the mail sometes you do what you have to do. I had absolutely no issues and I loved them!! I highly recommend this shoe!!

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Whether you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes, healing and recovery tools to keep you healthy, or a new watch, headlamp, apparel, or nutritional product, you’ve come to the right place. Read reviews from runners of the latest shoes and gear they use and love, reviews that span all running-related products and brands. Share reviews of your own! Use the Search, Category, and Sort fields on the main Shoes & Gear page to narrow your search and find exactly what you’re looking for.