Off and On Again

by Chris Mclung

There are two ways that I know a shoe is good.

One of those I documented in this previous review of the Adios Boost. To save you from having to re-read that one, I will summarize: basically, my dog helps me.

The second is based on what comes to mind when someone asks me after a run: “So, how was the shoe?” If in that moment, my mind goes blank, then I know we’re on the cusp of shoe nirvana.

Enter: the Cloudracer from On Running.

On is a relatively new and unknown brand in the US, although it’s been going nuts in Europe for at least 2 years. It all started when Olivier Bernhard, a three-time World Duathlon and multiple Ironman Champion, retired from professional competition. As someone who struggled chronically with Achilles issues, he teamed up with a Swiss engineer to make a shoe that would give him enough relief to continue running for fun as a retired pro.

They expeon-cloudracer-running-shoe-review-4rimented with all sorts of designs, but the most effective was a make-shift shoe where the traditional foam was augmented on the bottom by cut up loops of old garden hose. These garden hose loops would eventually transform into On’s Cloudtec technology, the little rubber circles that appear on bottom of their shoes.

The company claims that these little clouds provide the magical combination of a more responsive ride with better horizontal and vertical force dissipation (i.e. cushioning) than conventional shoes. The video at the bottom of this page shows the comparison in action: [Note: That video is pretty compelling until you realize that the comp shoe is a Nike Structure Triax without the swoosh on it, a shoe bound to make anyone land with a thud.]

My first reaction when I saw them? Gimmick. Let’s be honest, that’s what you are thinking too. Much like with the lugs on a Newton shoe, the first thing you think of when you see something silly protruding from a running shoe is “that’s a gimmick, where’s my tried-and-true Brooks or Saucony or Mizuno?”



But I will try anything once, so I took a pair of On’s for a spin about 18 months ago. I was seeded a pair of the original Cloudracer, their lightweight trainer (in the orange and silver color you may have seen). We will call it Cloudracer 1.0 for the purpose of this blog. Upon returning from the first run, Subtle Chuck screamed, “How was it?” My honest answer at the time: “Awful.” I felt the little clouds protruding into my feet with every step. It wasn’t painful by any stretch, but it was annoying, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the shoes.

At that point, the decision was easy. We wouldn’t be carrying On shoes anytime soon. Fast forward 15 months, and I was given another pair of Cloudracers to try, this time in green and silver. I was promised by the On rep that I would love this updated version (we’ll call it Cloudracer 1.5). I accepted the shoes politely because I don’t usually turn down free shoes, but I quietly thought that it would be a cold day in hell before they made their way onto my feet on a regular basis.

Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 12.48.50 PMOther than the color change, the shoes looked exactly the same as version 1.0. I had plenty reason to be skeptical, until I accidentally ran in them one day. They were the only pair of shoes I could find one morning (thank you, Jasmine) while getting ready to coach, and therefore, the only shoes I had when I went for my usual post-coaching easy run on Wednesday.

After that run, I didn’t think about them again, until Subtle Chuck asked me in his soft, muted voice: “Have you run in those new On shoes yet? What did you think?” The mind went blank. Let me think. Had I run in them yet? Yes, I did accidentally that one day after coaching. How did they feel? Wait, I don’t remember. I don’t remember thinking about the shoe at all that day. That can’t be right.

So, I started to play it back in my mind. I remember the run being slow (as usual on my easy days) but also smooth and free. The clouds didn’t bother my feet. I thought about a lot of things that morning, as I would during any solo run, but not the shoes, not once. The shoe disappeared on the run that day, like it should. That’s shoe nirvana.

The difference from version 1.0 to version 1.5 is the all new “speedboard”, a rigid, plastic piece (similar to the Adidas torsion system) that is integrated into the midsole foam to make the ride more responsive and give the On shoe a more uniform feel. What a difference it makes. With that change, the clouds could do their magical thing and your feet don’t know the difference.

The On Cloudracer now has a home on our wall

The On Cloudracer now has a home on our wall

Now, the Cloudracer has a permanent place in my rotation as my Wednesday/Friday shoe (for easy days). It’s light (at 8.5 ounces for men and 7.5 ounces for women) and responsive (thanks to the speedboard) like any racer should be, but has enough cushioning to be used as training shoe for most. The offset is just 5mm (heel to toe), so there’s no extra bulk in the heel to get in the way of smooth, efficient running. In addition, the upper is probably the most breathable on our wall, perfect for hot, humid summer runs.

So, I was wrong. On is definitively not a gimmick. The shoes are the kind that make your mind go blank when you run… that free your mind to think about solving all of the world’s problems instead, taking you one stage of enlightenment closer to shoe nirvana.


Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 2.46.38 PMChris McClung heads up all things retail at Rogue Running, and currently coaches The Morning Show, a group for half marathoners and marathoners alike.


Must-haves for the runners on your holiday list

lights Lights on the houses are not the only things illuminating the streets of Austin these days! Runners like to be seen by cars as they bob and weave through the streets in the wee hours of the morning and the dark after-work hours. Rogue Running has a number of options to keep runners visible and safe.  High on the list are Nite Beams, which range from L.E.D. Rings for $5 to Arm Bands for $20. With gifts like these, your runner is sure to be seen!


booksRunners are always looking for new, tasty and easy-to-make recipes that can fuel them after a hard run, and the makers of Skratch have just the thing. Biju Thomas and Allen Lim have two books out on the shelves at Rogue that will help you get the most out of your meals. The Feed Zone and Feed Zone Portables ($25 each) offer plenty of new ideas and delicious recipes and even give you a list of the 30 or so items every athlete’s kitchen should have.


compressionRecovery is essential for runners and what better way to stimulate blood flow and get the legs flushed after a hard run than in a nice new pair of compression socks? Rogue offers many brands to slide your feet into. One brand near and dear to the heart of trail extraordinaire and Rogue employee Erik Stanley is 2XU. 2XU Compression ($50) offers a wide variety of colors and sizes, so you’re bound to find the perfect pair to help you stand out on Town Lake.


rollersTight, achy muscles? When stretching isn’t enough, it’s time to roll. Come check out all of our roller options to help massage and relieve those knots! A new favorite, The Worm ($34), uses your own body weight to massage out any problem areas you might have. They even offer a convenient portable option that can be used all over the body and fits easily into most bags.



watchesRunners live by the clock, be it their pace, distance or both, so having a reliable watch at all times is a must! Rogue has a vast selection, including everyone’s favorite brand, Garmin. Garmin offers a wide variety of options to fit any runner’s needs and price range ($130 – 400). We have the Garmin 110, 210 and the new 620 currently on our shelves and ready to go under the Christmas tree!


Screen shot 2013-12-12 at 12.31.57 PMStill not sure what your runner needs? Gift cards to Rogue Running are the perfect solution, and can be purchased online!




Rogue Running has two Central Texas locations with running experts ready to help you knock out your holiday shopping (and maybe find a thing or two for yourself):

Austin: 500 San Marcos St. 78702 / 512.493.0920

Cedar Park: 2800 E. Whitestone Blvd. 78613 / 512.777.4467

Do you Karhu? (Part III…the final part)

by Chris MacLeod


Note: This shoe is currently only available at Rogue’s downtown location.

After my mini love affair with the supportive Fast, I was downright excited to give the Steady a go. As a shoe that’s advertised as a supportive, stable shoe, I was a bit surprised Karhu got this one through the Rogue front doors.

The answer to that…well, like a Facebook relationship, it’s complicated.  The Steady was quite simply nothing like I expected it to be.

First off, though I didn’t feel any of the Karhus could be said to run “true to size”, the Steady was by far the most egregious offender. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing when I pulled on my usual size 9:


And then I followed my coworkers around demanding, “Look! Look at my foot! Hehehe!”

Unfortunately, the general feeling of “too-bigness” wasn’t mitigated by dropping down a size. Not only did I face my all-too-common battle with a bunchy upper, but my foot actually slid around when I started running in this shoe.

I’ve never had a narrow enough foot to merit ordering narrow shoes (and Karhu doesn’t make them anyway), but I’m afraid this shoe was just too big for me to give a fair shake.

For the sake of completeness, I did still jog around a bit so I could report the other features:

This shoe is quite stiff, giving it a nice amount of reactivity with the ground.


It’s possible I’m a tad obsessed with taking this particular type of shoe shot.

Also, at 8.9(?) ounces, the Steady is noticeably lighter than other shoes in the stability category. Granted, you pay for this in less cushioning and less-noticeable support than a typical stability offering.

One other thing you sacrifice for less weight is the “new and shiny” feel of the upper. After just 20 minutes, the shoe looked like this:

SteadyFabricNobody tell Chuck, okay?

I’m pretty sure the creased decoration is purely that – decoration – and doesn’t represent an actual structural problem with the shoe. But, if you’re the type to try to keep your shoes pristine, consider this a heads up.

Steady3 Verdict

Pros: Very light for a stable shoe.

Cons: Sizing was pretty far off. Upper may be a tad too light to support its own decoration.

Overall verdict: I really don’t think the Steady fit me well enough to give it a fair shake. It’s not the shoe for me, but not because it’s lacking in technology or features. Not the most helpful shoe review, but for me, the shoe just don’t fit!

Karhu Steady3 Specs*
Weight 8-10 oz.
Heel/Toe Drop 12.6 mm (or 8 mm – we found conflicting reports)
Design Features



  • New “EV-icient” EVA foam midsole
  • Assymetrical Karhu Fulcrum technology to help control overpronation
  • High-abrasion rubber on outsole
  • Reflective piping on upper
Available Sizes M: 8-13

W: 6-11

Available Widths Standard
MSRP $125
* – We were unable to find Women’s specs for this shoe.

Missed Chris’ earlier reviews? Check out the Flow3 here and the Fluid3 and Fast4 here.


About Rogue

Stop by to check out the Steady3 and talk with the experts at Rogue Running – two Austin-area locations!

Do you Karhu? (Part II)

by Chris MacLeod

What was the first thought when I slipped on the Fluid3?

“Holy crap, this shoe is long!”


I dropped down a size and the shoe STILL fit like this.

Perhaps I should remember this the next time a customer is upset about how “big” their shoe is. Buying a Karhu is like shopping at Chico’s; everyone’s a size 2! (Gentlemen, don’t worry about understanding that last sentence.)

The next thing I noticed about the Fluid was how light it felt on my foot! This was quite odd, given that the Fluid is technically about half an ounce heavier than the Flow, but let’s just accept that if you want someone to estimate weight by hefting an object, I might not be your go-to person.

I think the reason this shoe felt “lighter” to me was its stiffer last, which gave the shoe a more responsive, “springy” feel than the Flow.


Not so flexy now, are we? (Ouch, I think I pulled something in my hand…)

The Fluid is still a tad heavier than I would choose for a 5K, but I could see using it for quality work. Full disclosure: My Flow fan friend (say that 3 times fast) calls it a “long run shoe”, so I perhaps I’ve just gone completely off the range on this one?

Drop-wise, the Fluid feels low, but not zeroed out, which I personally prefer. (The prodigal daughter writes shoe reviews, hehehehe!)

I might have to bite the bullet and admit I’m a cushion fan, because I also liked that I couldn’t feel the fulcrum as much in the Fluid, as compared to the Flow.

I’m starting to sound redundant with all the things I “liked”, so I’ll just say it flat out: I really LIKE the Fluid! I would never have pulled it off the wall for myself were I not expressly intending to review it, but I’ll take it as a life lesson that I shouldn’t be afraid to try new things.

The only real down side of the Fluid for me was that in addition to fitting long, it was also a bit wide on my narrow feet. Even cinching down the laces, I could just generally feel my foot moving around in this shoe.

FluidWidthWhy do shoes always look like this on my foot?

Of the four Karhus, the Fluid3 and the Steady3 (review to come) fall noticeably in the “too big” camp. They also came out at the same time, leading me to wonder if there was a machine calibration change somewhere on the assembly line.

Fluid3 Verdict

Pros: Light, responsive ride with enough cushion to stay comfy over longer runs.

Cons: This shoe is huge! Who do you think I am? Bigfoot?

Overall Verdict: For most runners, the Fluid3 would likely make a solid everyday trainer or a good transition down from more structured shoes. It’s not a racer, but it’s no pillow either.

Karhu Fluid3 Specs
Weight 8.9 oz
Heel/Toe Drop 8
Design Features Construction:

  • New “EV-icient” EVA foam midsole
  • Karhu Fulcrum technology (higher durometer EVA)
  • High-abrasion rubber on outsole
  • Open mesh upper
Available Sizes M: 8-13W: 6-11
Available Widths Standard
MSRP $125
*-We were unable to find certain specs for this shoe


Remember that history lesson at the beginning of all this? As you can tell, Karhu is a brand that fills me with nostalgia. The Fast4, in particular, takes me right back to 1989.

Which is not a knock on the shoe in any way! I’m going to go ahead and ruin the ending right here: I LOVE this shoe. I’m just not 100% sure my reasons are entirely objective.

Technologically speaking, the Fast has the same basic features as the Flow and the Fluid. The fulcrum, the cloth upper, the crazy colors…all present.

But, as the “most supportive” of Karhu’s neutral shoes, these modern features are accompanied by a distinctly old-fashioned amount of cushion and structure.


Also, they’re purple, and I totally had a pair of purple gym shoes when I was six!

As you can see from the picture, the Fast also has a more “old-fashioned” amount of heel lift, with a full 14 mm of drop from heel to toe. With the recent takeover of low- and no-drop shoes, this is a legitimate rarity in running specialty.

The other feature of the Fast that can be tough to find these days – Adidas Boost’ shoes aside – is cushion. This shoe is soft all over (except for a surprisingly noticeable – and reassuring, if you tend toward overpronation – amount of arch support).

The toe is downright squishy, but not so built up that you feel like you’ll trip over it, and the heel feels like it includes a pre-installed heel cup. Which, granted, was disconcerting at first, but I stopped noticing the slight “bump” after about 3 minutes in the shoe. I suspect it would settle with wear.

Of course, all this cushion and support do mean that the Fast isn’t exactly a lightweight model. At 11 oz., it rivals bigger support shoes like the Brooks Adrenaline in weight, which explains my gut feel that for me this would be a long run shoe. As much as I love this shoe, it just can’t match the Fluid or the Flow in terms of the responsiveness I would want for track work.

That said, if you told me to pick a shoe to go run 20 miles in, the Fast would be a contender. (It also passed the “stand around” test with flying colors…I could work in this shoe all day.)


Can’t you just see the cushiony comfort?

Fast4 Verdict

Pros: Pure cushioned comfort! Also, support. And purple!

Cons: A bit heavy with a large heel-toe drop that might feel a bit 1989 to you, too.

Overall Verdict: The Fast4 is a solid, grind out the miles shoe for those looking for a comfy ride. It does not feel “lightweight”, but if you yearn for the old days of solid stability, the Fast may be for you. Though advertised as a neutral shoe, I felt the Fast had adequate support for a severe over-pronator like myself.

Its sheer comfort could also make it a great option for those prone to impact soreness.

MensFastWallProof that the men’s version is not purple.

Stay tuned – the Steady3 is up next!


About RogueStop by to check out the Fluid3 and Fast4 and talk with the experts at Rogue Running – two Austin-area locations!

Do You Karhu? (Part I)

By Chris MacLeod, Rogue Running Cedar Park

Here at Rogue, we have one surefire method for determining how much of a shoe geek someone is. It involves observing their reaction to this shoe:


Average runner: “Oh, that’s a different-looking shoe.”

Total shoe geek: “Oh wow, you guys carry Karhu???”

Karhu History

Karhu, Finnish for “bear”, is a Helsinki-based company that dates back to 1916. (Technically, the company name is “Karhu Sports”, not to be confused with Karhu beer, reportedly Finland’s most popular lager.)

Long before the rise of runners from East Africa and the Caribbean, the world of track and field was dominated by the “Flying Finns”. Karhus graced the feet of such famous runners as Paavo Numi and the Finnish team that accepted Steve Prefontaine’s invitation to race at Hayward Field in 1975.

Yes yes, this is supposed to be a shoe review, not a shoe history report. Just ONE more fun fact: It was actually Karhu that created the famous 3-stripe logo that now graces Adidas products. Karhu sold the mark to the then-small German company in 1951 for the equivalent of 1,600 Euros and two bottles of whiskey (the latter being equivalent to…two bottles of whiskey.)

Technology Overview

Here at Rogue, we carry four of Karhu’s road shoe offerings:


Clockwise from top-left: Flow3, Fluid3, Fast3, Steady4

These shoes run the range from very light neutral trainer to decently-cushioned stability shoe, but all four are built around Karhu’s patented “fulcrum technology”.

Don’t you wish you’d thought to patent the fulcrum?? Genius!

In running shoe terms, this means that the midsole includes a triangular-shaped wedge of higher durometer (stiffer) foam that creates a pivot point for your foot as it rolls over the ground. Karhus basically have a pivot where traditional shoes might have some form of medial posting. Needless to say, this is one shoe I would like to cut in pieces to see all the layers! (If only performing surgery on quality running shoes didn’t make me tear up.)

According to Karhu, the fulcrum design not only fights over-pronation, it also reduces vertical oscillation. In short, the shoe makes your foot roll so efficiently over the ground that you bounce up and down less, thus conserving energy.


Image from The green line is Karhu; the red is everybody else.

According to Karhu, by reducing oscillation, you reduce other common evils like over-striding, braking with your heels, etc. The end result is a more consistent stride.

I’m not quite as clear on how the fulcrum controls over-pronation, but Karhu does have a video of a guy running pretty darn neutral. I think the basic idea is more efficient stride = less time on the heel to over-pronate, which is in line with the idea of controlling injury-causing foot movements by running on the mid- to forefoot.

If you read my previous review of the ASICS Super J33, you know I’ll be giving these shoes’ pronation control abilities quite the workout!


The lightest of the four Karhus at Rogue is the Flow3, which Karhu promotes as durable enough for an everyday trainer yet light enough for a racing flat. Even I, one of the more “stability-friendly” Rogues you’ll meet, find the “racing flat” claim a stretch. The Flow is by far the most flexible of our Karhus, and not too cushioned, but it’s no Adios Boost.


Well hello, Flexy.

As the pic illustrates, there’s not a whole lot of cushion/stiffness/etc. in the front half of this shoe. This can be great if you like a lot of flexibility and ground feel, but for me it caused that pesky metatarsal joint on my left foot started whining a bit.

Note: Metatarsal pain is a problem for me in most lightweight shoes – or any that are particularly low on the cush-factor – but if you are prone to it yourself, you may want to watch out for it in the Flow.

Another element of the Flow that I decided to attribute to the lack of cushion (and this was definitely the standout factor for me) was that I could feel the fulcrum almost as much as the posting in a support shoe. Weird, right?!?

I won’t say there was a lot of pronation control per se (nor would I expect it in a lightweight trainer), but I could definitely feel something under my arch. Very odd. Perhaps this gets less noticeable as you adapt to the fulcrum?

On the run, the Flow definitely rides like a low-drop shoe. Granted, at 5mm, this is far from the lowest shoe on the floor, but I was legitimately afraid to land on my heel. I’m not sure if that was due to forward propulsion from the fulcrum or just not wanting to land on the stiff heel, but either way, for me, the Flow did encourage a forefoot strike!

One last noticeable element of the Flow was the “heel collar” on the insole, between the heel and the ankle. I noticed no such feature in the other three Karhus, which was a shame, because it fit perfectly! The little padded nobs clinched the shoe in place: I couldn’t have made the Flow slip if I tried! (And I did.)


Heel collar on the Flow.

Flow3 Verdict

Pros: NO heel slippage, low drop, encouraged a forefoot strike.

Cons: Felt “piece-y”. I could literally feel each separate piece of the shoe. I also expected a lighter feel given the lack of cushioning.

Overall Verdict: If anything, this would be a quality workout shoe for me. While I don’t think I’ll be adding the Flow to my regular rotation, another Rogue termed it “One of [his] favorites. The only Karhu [he] likes to run in.” Consider this a good reminder that every foot is different, so you should always take your shoe reviews with a grain of salt! (Or silica pellet.)

Karhu Flow3 Specs
Weight M: 8.6 ozW: 7.3 oz
Heel/Toe Drop M: 5.1 mm (23.3 mm/18.2 mm)W: 5 mm (18 mm/13 mm)
Design Features  Construction:

  • Compression molded EVA foam midsole
  • Karhu Fulcrum technology (higher durometer EVA)
  • High-abrasion rubber on outsole
  • Open mesh upper
Available Sizes M: 8-13W: 6-11
Available Widths Standard
MSRP $115

Stay tuned – the Fluid3 is up next!


About RogueStop by to check out the Flow3 and talk with the experts at Rogue Running – two Austin-area locations!

Hoka One… WHAT?!?


by Chris McClung

“So, we’re bringing in the Hokas.”

Those might be the last words I utter on this planet. Well, the last words before the rest of the words in this blog.

Yep, cue the apocalypse. Hide your children. Grab your bug-out bags and zombie survival manuals. Retreat to your doomsday bunkers. And, don’t forget to bring your parkas because hell is getting mighty frigid about now.

BUT, before you freak out or begin typing out your own “Open Letters to Rogue,” please allow me a moment to explain. This has been a decision that is 11 months in the making with no shortage of very heated internal debate. In fact, as recent as 4 weeks ago, I was personally adamant that we should not bring them in, even though my favorite mancrush, THE Paul Terranova, is a loyal fan of the brand.

This is the story of why we are adding Hoka shoes to our assortment, and perhaps more importantly, insight into how we consider potential new additions to the wall.

First, a quick background on us…

For those not familiar with our shoe fitting philosophy, we have a very different approach  to putting shoes on your feet than most other stores in our industry. As a quick summary, our philosophy centers on this concept: keep it simple. The shoe is not the end all; it is a facilitator, which should “get out of the way” and allow you to achieve your most efficient gait. We favor simplicity over complex “technologies,” neutrality in the shoe vs. corrective stability, lighter and leaner vs. heavier and more “cushioned.” And, perhaps above all, the shoe should be everything you need and nothing more, allowing your body to most efficiently and naturally do the work needed to move you forward through space.

Hoka, on the other hand, would seem to represent the exact opposite of what we believe. The brand is at the center of a new “maximalist” movement in running shoes; it’s the new yin to the yang of the minimalist/Vibram movement from 5 years ago. Hoka founders reference the success of “over-sized” movements in tennis rackets and skis as rationale* for their design. If you have seen the shoes, they are downright beefy like moon boots, with ultra thick midsoles that make even the most petite individuals look like giants in a pair.

We essentially espouse a philosophy of “less is more.” Hoka says that more is more. So, what gives?

Three things:

1. Every shoe has a purpose. And, Hokas are no exception. The shoes have their roots in the ultra-trail world where athletes must endure long, sustained periods on their feet as well as very technical terrain. With max cushioning and a broad, stable ride, Hokas create the perfect platform to bomb down really technical downhills as well as provide long-term support/cushioning for 50+ mile runs. Over 50+ miles, the body will break down no matter what, regardless of how strong you are, so having a plush, well-cushioned shoe can provide an advantage during an ultra-marathon after 12+ hours on your feet. For the same reasons, Hokas are now becoming popular in the triathlon world, particularly with Ironman-distance athletes, as a friendly companion for their feet during the final 3-6 hours of their already long days.

In these cases, the shoes are doing the work in a situation where the body simply cannot, or at least when the body needs some serious help to endure.

Our own Erik Stanley wore a pair during his top 5 finish at the Bandera 100K last January, and of course, Mancrush Terranova dominated in them on his way to top 10 at Western States in June.

That said, our worry with the Hokas is that they will be used as a crutch in situations where the body SHOULD be doing the work instead of the shoe. Just as the Vibram Five Fingers and barefoot running were not the answers to all of your running pains, neither are the Hokas. They have their place in situations described above or perhaps as a tool while returning from injury, but as currently constructed, we would not recommend them to an everyday runner who is strong enough or could be strong enough to run comfortably in a shoe with less cushioning and a lower platform.

2. Given their purpose, the shoes are good… really good. Yes, the shoes are 6-8 millimeters thicker in the midsole than any other shoe on the wall, but other than that, they meet our criteria on almost every other dimension: simple construction with no unnecessary “technologies,” a level platform (4-6mm offsets), light materials with relatively low weights for their size, a smooth transition with complete ground contact from heel to toe, and a lightweight/breathable upper that fits well on many different kinds of feet.

We know we like them because staff members have been wear testing seed pairs for nearly 11 months. We are never quick to move on any new shoe brand; we need time to test it, learn about, digest it, and understand how it fits into our philosophy. Ultimately, after taking the time needed to evaluate it, then you won’t see it on our wall if we don’t believe in it.

With the Hokas, we have made no exceptions to our vetting process, and in fact, we’ve had more debates over this brand than I can count with every member of the team. Ultimately, with the verdict in, the Hokas are Rogue approved.

3. You asked for them. When we say, “Rogue approved,” we aren’t just referring to our staff. Because so many of our customers train with us, we have a different degree of accountability on the shoe floor than most stores. If we screw up the fitting process with anyone in our groups or if a shoe just isn’t working, then we generally hear about it immediately and LOUDLY.

Therefore, our shoe wall is a living and breathing reflection of our expertise AND your feedback. If a shoe isn’t working with you, then it doesn’t stay on the wall. And, likewise, if you want something or ask for it, then we will give it a much closer look. Newton is a brand that we carry in part because you screamed loudly for it. Hoka is a similar story. We received 4-5 calls a week per store asking if we carried the brand, much more than any other brand in recent memory. Of course, Mr. Terranova has also been incessantly lobbying for them.

That type of demand only comes when the product is really good, validating our own conclusions, and giving a much broader meaning to the phrase Rogue approved.

With Hokas (and any shoe on our wall)… Rogue, the collective Rogue, approves!

Note: We currently carry the Hoka Bondi B2 and the Hoka Stinson Trail.

* All arguments in this blog aside. I happen to think this rationale is more about marketing than anything valid. Over-sized tennis rackets are about generating power and increasing the size of the sweet spot. Over-sized skis are essentially about improving aerodynamics. Neither of those scenarios says anything about the potential success or failure of over-sized cushioning, but that’s an opinion of one.


Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 2.46.38 PMChris McClung heads up all things retail at Rogue Running, and currently coaches half marathoners and those taking on the Austin Distance Challenge.


Want to check out a pair of Hokas yourself? Stop by either Rogue Running location!

Austin: 500 San Marcos St. 78702 / 512.493.0920

Cedar Park: 2800 E. Whitestone Blvd. 78613 / 512.777.4467

Love has a new name: Adios Boost!

photo(2)by Chris McClung

My dog helps me decide what shoes I like.

She has a habit of taking them. And, no, she doesn’t eat them or chew them. She just likes to carry them off, cuddle with them, and leave them. It’s an odd ritual, but one that happens every night in our house. Shoes left in one place will find their way to another, separated from their partner, on the end of our bed, on her bed, balanced on the back of the couch, or hidden underneath the furniture. It would probably be fine if she had a preference for my dress shoes (all 3 pairs) or my sandals (2 pairs), but she has a penchant for taking my running shoes. And, I have 32 pairs at last count… I think.

Her habit is a mix of being a tiny bit endearing, very annoying when I’m searching for the left foot of my favorite training shoe… at 5 am… before a workout… and, in the case of writing reviews, actually very helpful.

If there is a pattern in her kleptomania, she most prefers the shoes I have recently worn. As disgusting as that sounds, it’s even more disgusting in reality when I wake up next to a still wet and sweaty size 12 at 3:16 am.

So, what does this have to do with the Adios Boost? Well, let’s just say I’ve been searching for them a lot since I bought by first pair nearly 2 weeks ago. Ultimately, I don’t waste time and energy (at 5 am) searching for the ones I don’t like. They end up in a pile of single shoes, lost without a partner, with the other half hidden away by Jasmine until my wife yells at me encourages me to corral them and clean up the pile.  Such is life for shoes in our house.

Yes, Jasmine and I have both been spending a lot of QT with the Adios Boost in the last few weeks. I’ve done every kind of run in them so far, short and easy and long and hard and on every surface, including track, road, and trail. And, I like them. I like them a lot, which surprises me if I’m being honest.

I am an Adios lover to be sure. But, as someone who has logged many thousands of training and racing miles in the traditional Adios (the current Adios 2), I was skeptical of this new-fangled Boost stuff. As Rogue AC member Chris Gowell pointed out the other day, the Adios 2 is a shoe you can race a road mile or 5K in one day and then very happily log a 20-mile easy run in them the next day.

The Takumi Sen. Another one of our favorites.

The Takumi Sen. Another one of our favorites.

If there were a Hall of Fame of shoes, the Adios 2 would be enshrined there, likely next to shoes like the Asics Tarther and Brooks Launch. Actually, the Adios 1 would be there (as perhaps the greatest shoe ever created), with the Adios 2 mentioned on the plaque as its slightly inferior (but still ridiculously amazing) heir. That plaque might also mention that the Adios was/is the chosen shoe of Wilson Kipsang and Patrick Makau who are responsible for the 3 fastest marathon times ever run on this planet. So, yes, the Adios is a darn good shoe, not one that I like to see messed with.

Enter Boost. Boost is the new Adidas midsole material that they claim (and which has been independently confirmed by Runners World) has the most energy return of any midsole material ever tested.  It first appeared in the Energy Boost released in February, then the Adistar Boost in August, and now the Adios Boost, our favorite of the three. This Boost stuff has bounce, like a trampoline or moon boots. Though with less Boost material than the Energy or Adistar versions, you feel less likely to enter orbit in these, and for me that means it’s just about right.

The cool thing about Boost is the cushioning to weight ratio. The Adios Boost actually has less material underfoot (by ~2 mm from heel to toe) than the Adios 2, but it feels much more cushioned than the amount of material or weight would imply. Like its counterpart, it weighs in at less than 8 ounces for men and 6.5 ounces for women, and yet, I believe this shoe could be an accessible trainer or speed-workout shoe for almost anyone.

The Boost material, coupled with the Adidas torsion plate, gives you the energy return you want when it’s time to go fast, but with a softer step-in feel that you can’t get from the ultra-firm EVA of the Adios 2. Lovers of the original Adios will likely still prefer the pop they get from their old favorites, but this new Adios Boost should work for a much broader audience.

The upper is seamless, which is the cool new thing to do with uppers. Most of them, frankly, are poorly executed – too “baggy” or with extra material that might crease down onto the foot. This one is generally pretty good, assuming you re-lace the shoes to bring the laces up and under through the holes instead of over and around. The fit is also more accommodating in the toe box than other Adidas and Boost models. We have seen some durability issues with the upper on the special edition Adios Boost released at the Boston Marathon in April, but that varies significantly from person to person based on use and personal fit.

The Adios Boost is a shoe that now has a permanent spot in my rotation, when I can find them. As an Adios 2 fan, I will continue to wear that shoe on speed days, while working the Boost in on long run or recovery days. For others who might already be training in a more cushioned shoe, the Adios Boost could be the perfect, lightweight shoe for quality days with the cushioning you crave, but the responsiveness and lightweight feel you want to go fast.

And, if my endorsement isn’t enough, consider these cute little puppy dog eyes:


Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 2.46.38 PMChris McClung heads up all things retail at Rogue Running, and currently coaches half marathoners and those taking on the Austin Distance Challenge.


Want to check out the Adios Boost yourself? Stop by either Rogue Running location!

Austin: 500 San Marcos St. 78702 / 512.493.0920

Cedar Park: 2800 E. Whitestone Blvd. 78613 / 512.777.4467

Shoe Review: ASICS GEL-Super J33

By Chris MacLeod

It’s officially fall! You know what that means: The leaves are turning (somewhere up north), there’s a chill in the air (according to people who live by the turning leaves), and there’s a pumpkin patch around every corner (of HEB).

Okay, so the leaves are still green, the air is still hot, and those plastic pumpkins get creepy after a while. But hey, it’s fall in Austin, and at least we have new shoes for the holidays!

Just in this week from ASICS – two shoes that couldn’t be more different. For the sake of instant gratification, let’s start with the new kid on the block.

Introducing the latest member of the Natural33 line: The GEL-Super J33.

About ASICS Natural33 Line

To me, the best way to describe the ASICS Natural33 line of shoes is…umm…how to be tactful here…

Oh, forget it.

These are ASICS modern shoes. The ones that would scare a runner who accidentally time-traveled here from 1994. They’re brightly-colored, lighter in weight, have lots of techy-sounding features, and are clearly the fun project to be on for anyone in ASICS R&D.

The 33 in “Natural33” represents the 33 joints in the human foot, with which these shoes are meant to interact in “a more natural biomechanical way”. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but my take is this:

After years of success in the world of big, structured shoes, ASICS introduced this line in 2011 – roughly around the time Rogue’s “less is more” shoe philosophy took the running world by storm. (And not long after a little book called Born to Run came out.)

GEL-Super J33 Overview

The Women’s Shoe – Also available in a snazzy pink/yellow combo.

The Women’s Shoe – Also available in a snazzy pink/yellow combo.

The Dude’s Shoe – Also available in green/black/orange.

The Dude’s Shoe – Also available in green/black/orange.

shoe3First let’s admire the pretty colors. I think they ordered both the men’s and women’s in blue so they would be really easy for employees to confuse in the stockroom.

Like all shoes in the Natural33 line, the Super J is built around what ASICS refers to as FluidAxis technology, a pair of intersecting grooves that cut through the bottom of the shoe and allow it to flex in multiple directions and follow the rolling, lateral motion of the human foot.

If you’re having trouble picturing this, check out for videos. (with very Tron-like soundtracks!)

The Super J, specifically, is marketed as a lightweight, short-distance trainer for mild to moderate overpronators. In its promo video, ASICS 800m athlete Alysia Montano touts the Super J as a go-to for tempo runs or even as a replacement for track spikes.

The official specs, for you tech geeks:

Weight:7.3oz (M) and 6.2oz (W)


Heel/Toe Drop: 6mm (M & W, 20/14mm & 19/13mm)

Design Features: GEL heel cushioning, Solyte Midsole, AHAR high-abrasion rubber for durability, seamless, one-piece upper with steamed-on decoration, FluidAxis groove system, Guidance Line

Available Sizes: 7-15 (M) and 5-12 (W)

Available Widths: Standard

MSRP: $100

My feet aren’t sensitive enough to notice all 33 joints moving around the FluidAxis, but given my general lack of flexibility, ASICS could probably design a Natural13 line and for me it would work just as well.

That said, I did notice this shoe felt very flexible as soon as I put it on, which is probably due to a combination of the FluidAxis, the Solyte Midsole (a lighter, slightly firmer material than their traditional EVA foam), and the super-soft upper.

Naturally, I immediately pulled the shoe back off and performed the patented squish-test. (Note: This is not an official test, nor is it patented. However, it’s effective for demonstrating shoe flexibility.)

Not quite pocket-sized, but I could stuff it in a large purse.

Not quite pocket-sized, but I could stuff it in a large purse.

As you can see, the heel is fairly stiff, but gives way to a very bendy forefoot, a combo I personally like in a shoe. Business in the heel, party in the toes!

How it Fits:

The Super J is only available in standard width, but like most ASICS, it felt a bit wide on my average-to-narrow foot. (When fitting customers, I often have success pulling ASICS for wider feet.)

The width wouldn’t have been an issue were it not for the super-soft upper, which turned into a bit of a “bunched-up upper” when I cinched the laces. The shoe also felt slightly long in my usual size 9, but not enough to go down to an 8.5.

shoe5Cedar Park’s resident shoe guru, Travis, asked if I felt the creasing on the tops of my toes. (Answer: “I didn’t before, but now that you mention it, it’s all I can think about.” So thank you, Travis.)

I certainly wouldn’t eliminate this shoe based on the bunching alone – a lot of shoes do this on my feet, I like to think it makes them look “delicate and feminine” – but check for any potential rubbing when you try the shoe.

How it Feels:

As a fairly severe overpronator, I’m always curious to try shoes that are both “lightweight” and “designed for stability”. Perhaps it shows a lack of imagination, but these two ideas just don’t gel in my head.

Perhaps I should have known something was up when I found the Super J in our “lightweight” section of the stockroom.

From the minute I slipped this shoe on, I felt very little in the way of support. That’s not a negative – this is Rogue, and we believe in fitting the least shoe that will keep you healthy and comfortable – but it does seem to contradict the marketing materials.













After further research, I determined that the “support” features of this shoe are the Guidance Line, which I suppose does give your foot a vague suggestion of how to land, and the slightly denser foam on the medial (inner) side of the shoe.

However, since pretty much all shoe manufacturers are doing some form of guidance these days, you’re not likely to notice much impact if you’re coming from a traditional trainer.

How it Feels Part II (The Interlude):

About halfway through my wear-test, I got distracted – some customers came in and I had to do my real job – and even after standing around (read: squashing down the cushion) in the Super J for 45 minutes, I still didn’t feel any true arch support. Different runners will argue different meanings for the word “support”. And yes, I’d rather stand around in the Super J than, say, a racing flat. BUT…if you’re looking for a shoe to literally hold your foot up, this one isn’t it.

Also, towards the end of the 45 minutes, I did start to feel my heel a bit. And then the joint behind my big toe. Though the GEL offers plenty of cushion for running, like most lightweight shoes, the Super J isn’t designed for standing around. In other words, save it for running, don’t wear it to Six Flags.

How it Runs:

If I’m starting to sound down on the Super J, here’s where I turn things around: This shoe runs fast!

At 6.2 oz in the women’s version, it’s extremely light, which makes quick turnover feel easy. The heel fits snug but not tight, so slippage is not an issue. The relative stiffness of the midsole makes the shoe feel anchored enough to change direction quickly in a pinch, while the GEL under foot provided adequate-but-not-distracting cushion.

I also found the (relatively) thick, firm heel did a bit of stabilization work for me in that I didn’t have to over-engage my calf to keep my foot aligned. That said, runners with stronger, more flexible feet might find the heel bulky for a racer. (In fact, one such runner flat out deemed it “too soft” for a racer – which I translated as meaning he wanted his foot doing more of the work.)

In contrast to the stiff heel, I found the high forefoot flexibility allowed for good ground-feel and encouraged a forefoot strike. In short, the balance of firm to flexible was right up my weak-footed alley!


I’m excited to see ASICS exploring more modern shoe design, and the Super J is a solid addition to that side of their product offering. This is a fast, lightweight shoe that could be a great trainer or racer for a runner with a neutral foot who wants a little bit more than zero support.

Let’s just not get too carried away by its marketing as a “supportive shoe for overpronators”…

Best Feature: The light weight! The Super J can take on some true racing flats in the heft department.

Other Pros: Support/cushion in the heel, flexibility up front.

Biggest Gripe: The bunching of the upper material.

Other Cons: Might have been my imagination, but all the decoration on this shoe made it feel slightly warm to me. As in temperature warm.

Will it Work for You? If you’re a neutral runner or mild pronator with good flexibility and foot strength, I’d say yes! Could also be a good option for those looking to transition from traditional trainers to lighter weight shoes.

Suggested Uses: Short to mid-distance runs, quality workouts, and races up to 10K.


An Open Letter: Lose the Shoe Finder!

by Chris McClung

I am hesitant to write this letter to you because of the storied history we have with open letters. The last one we wrote about Brooks and the demise of the Launch garnered more traffic to our blog than any previous post to date, but not all of the traffic was good. Some thought we came off as pompous know-it-alls attacking Brooks unfairly. While I happen to disagree with that assessment, I am also biased and perhaps a bit too results-oriented. After all, the Launch was happily saved this spring, returning from the dead with throwback colors. I would like to believe that our passionate plea for the Launch helped save it, but it doesn’t matter. I bought a pair last week and wore them on an 18-miler straight out of the box, enjoying every glorious step. Now, that’s what matters – finding shoes that disappear when you put them on…that have everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Back to the reason for this letter. To be clear, this isn’t about being pompous know-it-alls. This also isn’t about bashing Runner’s World, which seems to be a popular pastime in certain circles.  It’s about education and sharing expertise that will hopefully provide clarity in the midst of confusion and misinformation.

Two weeks ago, a gentleman came into the store with the June issue of Runner’s World, which contains the latest in RW shoe reviews and awards. As he entered, he opened the earmarked magazine to show me a fold out diagram labeled “RW Shoe Finder” and asked: “Can you help me figure this out?”

shoe finderAt first glance, the RW Shoe Finder resembles a bowl of spaghetti with meatballs (see the picture), and I think that is describing it politely. The diagram is confusing at best and completely wrong at worst. After reviewing it briefly, I told the man in front of me, in the nicest words I could muster, that the first step was simply to toss it aside. And, you should do the same. Now, I’m not talking about the whole magazine or even all of information in the reviews, as some of it is good and helpful. The Shoe Finder, however, is definite material for the recycle bin.

So what’s wrong with it? Where to start?

1. Runner’s World CANNOT provide objective reviews. Period. Full Stop. There is too much at stake for them. They collect millions in advertising dollars annually from the top shoe brands. Being overly critical or failing to select a certain shoe for a certain “award” could put those millions at stake. This is like listening to Fox News talk about politics and expecting an unbiased opinion. Not going to happen. Case in point: what’s on the back of the RW Shoe Finder? photoA 3-page fold-out Saucony ad for the new Kinvara 4. A shoe that happens to have been selected as this year’s “Best Update.” I don’t think I need to explain further (and for the record, we love the Kinvara). I personally believe that the reviews and even the shoes “selected” to be reviewed are more influenced by dollar signs than they are by any shoe expertise. Perhaps that is just the cynic in me, but until the editorial team at RW provides more transparency to their process, I will remain skeptical.



2. 15 shoe models are not enough. We carry over 100 models in our store, and there are still many more out there. The Shoe Finder says: “To find the best pair for you, answer the questions in this flowchart.” And, what if the best shoe for you, isn’t among the 15 they have “selected” to review? Then I guess you are out of luck. Now, I know what you might say. How could Runner’s World possibly review every shoe out there? They can’t, and that’s fine, but they shouldn’t pretend to have the ultimate shoe selector with 15 models in its database. And really, it’s 14 models, because you can’t count anything from Under Armour.

3. Nearly every question in this alleged Shoe Finder is wrong or misleading. This is the crux of the issue. The methodology embedded within this Finder is based on a shoe fitting approach that was developed 20 years ago, and that has gradually proven dated, especially in the last five years. It is the same philosophy that the shoe companies would generally like you to believe because it sells shoes with more technology… more stuff to fix your supposed problems at higher prices. What we know from fitting thousands of people a year in shoes (and then coaching them in our training programs) is that more shoe is generally not better. More is less and less is more.

A few examples:

The RW Shoe Finder asks: “Is your BMI 27 or greater?” The answer takes you down distinct paths on the Shoe Finder, suggesting the bulky, higher-cushioned shoes for those of us who might exceed this “magical” 27 BMI threshold (that’s 200 pounds for a 6 foot male like myself or 168 for a 5’6” female). In fact, if your answer to this question is yes, you only have 2 options to choose from. The Finder says: “Generally, the higher your BMI, the more shoe you need.”

NO, NO, NO. In our experience, the weight of the runner is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT when it comes to shoe selection. Ignoring issues with the BMI metric itself, what matters is the biomechanics of each individual regardless of weight and what level of cushioning he or she needs to achieve his or her most efficient gait. Most of the time, a heavy, high-cushioned shoe causes you to land “heavier” on your feet and therefore put more impact into your joints than a lighter shoe with less cushioning, regardless of how much you weigh. To those who might be carrying extra pounds, don’t fret… you have as many shoe options as anyone else when you walk in our doors!

The Shoe Finder also asks: “What is your arch type? High, Normal, or Flat?” According to the Finder, anyone with flat arches is assumed to over-pronate severely enough to need shoes with more support or stability. Here we find one of the central fallacies of most shoe fitting philosophies: a flat (or low) arch = needs stability.

In our experience, the height of the arch is irrelevant; what matters is how your foot and arch move from the point of contact with the ground through to the toe-off. I have seen plenty of runners with low to flat arches who have no issues whatsoever with over-pronation. In fact, the vast majority have very normal interactions with the ground. Unfortunately, most have been misdiagnosed and are running in posted stability shoes that inhibit their movement and efficiency, like running with a concrete block under your arch.

We fit 85% of runners in neutral shoes, while the running specialty industry average is 30-35%. And, last I checked, we don’t have a line of runners queued up asking for their stability shoes back. This isn’t to say that we are definitively right and RW is wrong; it just tells me that there might be an alternative approach that works and merits exploration and discussion.

A recent study talks about the link between pronation, type of shoe, and injury. There are two very interesting points made within the study. First, the breakdown of pronated feet within the random sample – only 7.5% of the total – is a very low percentage, much lower than the shoe industry would lead us to believe. Secondly, the study found that pronated runners actually had lower injury risk when running in neutral shoes than even neutral runners. Certainly, we can debate the merits of any study, but our real-world experience says that it’s amazing what happens when you take the shoe out of the way and let the body do the work.

4. The awards are suspect at best. I already mentioned the bias issue above, but there is also the issue of how these “awards” are chosen. What makes a shoe the “Editor’s Choice?” And, more specifically, why have Asics shoes been chosen in 5 of the past 8 years in this category? Is it that Asics makes the best shoes? Or does it relate to Asics’ advertising dollars? Or, perhaps the fact that RW hosts an awards party every year in conjunction with the New York Marathon of which Asics is the shoe sponsor? RW always has plausible deniability because it tends to choose a core, popular, franchise model from one of the major brands (usually Asics). This time, however, they jumped the shark by selecting the Asics Gel-Cumulus 15.

If this shoe is worthy of an Editor’s Choice award, then I need to eat my shorts. To be fair, it isn’t a terrible shoe by itself. Lots of runners will buy it and probably be perfectly happy with it. Most of those runners will be repeat Cumulus customers who haven’t changed shoe models since Clinton was President. The problem is that the entire shoe industry has completely changed, while the Cumulus has not. It’s a dinosaur in its category of moderately cushioned, neutral shoes. It weighs in at an absurd 11.6 ounces for men or 9.5 ounces for women, while most of its peers in the category (like the Mizuno Wave Rider or Saucony Ride) are now at least 1 to 1.5 ounces lighter (without sacrificing a discernible amount of cushioning). If an Editor’s Choice is to be made from this category, then the Wave Rider 16 would be the choice (check out this review if you want to know why). Even Asics’ own Gel-Excel33 would be a better choice!

Modern technologies now allow the shoe companies to drop significant weight from your feet without changing any of the functionality, cushioning or support. I would challenge Cumulus wearers to come in for an alternative. I guarantee that they can find a lighter, leaner shoe with equivalent cushioning, and that their feet will happily demand that they never go back.

Again, my point is not to pick on Runner’s World. My primary beef is with the RW Shoe Finder, as the reviews themselves are generally very informative, and in recent years, have become increasingly balanced on discussing the pros/cons of the shoes reviewed. I simply believe that it’s important to question what you read, and to view it with the appropriate counter-perspective in mind. If nothing else, I hope that this letter sparks debate about shoes and fittings and reviews because we all learn in the midst of good discussion.

Happy running… to the recycle bin and beyond!

Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 2.46.38 PMChris McClung heads up all things retail at Rogue Running, and currently coaches half marathoners and those taking on the Austin Distance Challenge.

New Balance 1210: Ultra awesome!


by Erik Stanley

The New Balance 1210 (aka Leadville) busted in this year as an ultra trail shoe ready to toe the dirt line next to the Brooks Cascadia. With a smooth transition, 8mm offset, and 10.4 oz on the Rogue scale  (size 9), I really like this shoe.

The 1210 was designed for ultra running, and named after the Leadville 100 mile trail race. It was created by NB after testing and measuring how runners’ feet respond to Leadville itself. New Balance increased the volume of the upper to allow for foot swelling over longer distances. It also offers a slightly denser foam on the inner heel to provide some stability for tired feet, while the tongue is fairly protective and keeps the laces from adding pressure to the top of your foot.

Over the past few weeks I have spent a lot of time in this shoe as I rebuild my mileage. I logged 75 miles last week, with most of my runs on the Barton Creek Greenbelt and Bull Creek here in Austin,TX.

One run that stands out is my new Wednesday adventure run from the 360 access, The Hump-day Hump Run. This is a run open to the world! We meet at Taco Deli (Spyglass) and run 75 minutes (give or take a few miles) at 7:15 am on the Greenbelt. There are no trail markers or restrictions to where we go: we run, we talk, we eat tacos.

tumblr_inline_mkqx201wZ81qz4rgpThis past Wednesday we headed through the “Sweet 16″ where the trail crosses the creek 16 times within a few miles. This was the morning after more than 2” of rain, so we were having fun! The shoe has a ton of room, and some would say it feels too wide. Being the “Leadville” I would say there is adequate space for 100 miles of foot-swelling mountain running. The shoe did drain really well, even with the multiple creek crossings.

As a lighter “ultra shoe”, I still don’t consider this a minimal running shoe. 8 mm offset is less than the Cascadia for sure, but she still has some girth. The Vibram tread is pretty grippy, as I found on some of the steeper sections, and I didn’t have to be overly cautious. Even on the wet limestone it stuck better than other trail shoes! The tread on the heel is reversed to keep you from slipping while braking on the downhills.There is some rock protection, but I still feel sharper rocks poke through a bit. For the most part, this provides enough protection for me.

I did pick up quite a bit of mud, as the trail was a fresh, soggy mix of mud and clay. No shoe could have kept the mud from sticking! I had to stop and tie my shoe a few times; it’ll take some knot experimentation to find out what works best to keep these laces tied.

I’d been dealing with pain and mild swelling on the top of my right foot since Cactus Rose, and the tongue on the 1210 does a solid job keeping off the pressure on that area. It’s not a fluffy pillow, but more like a Tempur-pedic pad that evenly distributes any pressure.

tumblr_inline_ml5mlayau61qz4rgpWe hit Travis Country and ran the road for a mile or so, which was fine – I didn’t slip or have any problems on the asphalt. We ended up hitting a few creek crossings on the way back from Rattle Snake, and I had one more shoelace tie to take care of before finishing at Taco Deli.

All in all, the 1210 is a great shoe that everyone should consider as their next trail purchase!

(Next week. You be there. Hump Day Hump Run from Taco Deli. 75min at 7:15am. Come explore!)


tumblr_inline_mkqxwfClDN1qz4rgpErik Stanley coaches The Off Rogues, a Rogue Running trail training group that is currently preparing for the Rogue Trail Series 30K!