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Category Archives: Running Shoes

Shoe Review: Skechers GOrun Ultra Road

The GOrun Ultra has been Skechers’ softest riding shoe, its thick midsole sets it apart from its more cousins such as the GOrun 4, GOrun Ride 4 and GOMeb Speed. The GRU’s soft ride make it a popular shoe for long runs yet many may not know that the GRU was designed with the trails in mind. That, however, didn’t stop most fans from wearing the GRU over the course of road ultras more than in the trails. Among the few flavors of the GRU, I like the Nite Owl edition most. With the glow-in-the-dark upper, it’s the most practical shoe for the long slow runs for me, despite not being known for its durability.

There is now a road specific version of the GRU. Called simply the GOrun Ultra R (R denoting “Road”), runners who want a soft ride but can’t fit into a Hoka (which generally fits narrow) have a alternative.

The GRUR is built from the GRU platform and for the most part retains many of the characteristics of its predecessor in that it’s still a thicker shoe, very cushioned and geared to protect the wearer over long distances. The GRU platform a gradual increase in weight over the years. The original version weighed in at 9.25oz, the GRU2 breached the 10oz mark, coming in at 10.05oz. The GRUR is even heavier at 11.10oz. Only the Ultra Boost was heavier at 11.35oz albeit at a half size larger. There’s certainly no allusions then that the GRUR is meant to be a long haul shoe than a nimble feet performer.

There are differences, of course. The most striking of which is the Fitknit upper. The colorway is one of the best I’ve seen in an upper recently but I felt that Skechers missed out on making it great. You see, the knitted mesh is overly stiff to the touch. The GRUR still flexes and fits at the right places but the Fitknit is hardly as refined as that implemented in the GOrun Ride 3 Bolt. If a wearer dorsi-flexes his toes, they will feel the roughness of the Fitknit material on the inside. The knitted upper is also very breathable, which could pose  problem if you typically run on gravelly and dusty roads. I large pores will let dust, sand and small pebbles (not Nick’s pooch!) in. And you can peek right into the interior of the shoe.

Looking right into the interiors of the shoe.

Very porous side walls of the upper too. The large S logo isn’t reflective.

The interior part of the upper isn’t as soft as that of the Bolt. Best to wear socks with the GRUR.

2 lateral side drainage ports. Another 2 can be found on the medial side.

It goes without saying that water goes right in too but in this case, the GRUR has a trick up its sleeve in the form of 2 large (everything is large with the GRUR!) down-facing drainage ports on each side of the shoe. Positioned just below the perforated and removable sockliner, water will drain right off just as quickly. Weather’s been hazy and dry for the most part and I’ve been unable to test the drainage features out.

Reflective accents are plentiful.

There’s plenty of reflective detailing on call – 2 on each side of the heel counter, 2 in front of the toe box. Being a runner who hits the road at 5am on weekends, it’s a welcome feature. I fail to understand why shoe companies choose to omit this simple touch.

The GRUR employs a dual-density Resalyte foam midsole with the black layer you see in the photos noticeably softer than the orange layer. It has a 30mm/26mm heel/forefoot stack heights for a 4mm offset.

While there are exposed parts in the outsole there are no drainage ports located under the sole and since the shoe is of thicker stack heights, there’s a little bit of protection should you step on puddles. Water will definitely enter the shoe from the upper but not from the outsole.

Rubber plugs for high wear areas are present. I counted 21 nubs excluding the front rim bits. As the nubs are thin, I don’t think they’ll see extraordinarily long service. Nevertheless, the GRUR’s durability will still be several notches above the GRU’s.

The responsiveness is quite apparent. Make no mistake, the GRUR is still a soft shoe, just not as pillowy as the GRU. Personally I like the new tuning as it helps with faster pace running segment (I’ve logged a 6K at 5:10 pace in them) inserted into a more languid long run, without the sinking feeling. I’ve mentioned about the stiff upper which needs to be improved and the GRUR is certainly not a shoe to go sockless in. In fact, it’s best to go with medium bulk socks to add a little more comfort and protection to the twinky toes and nails. Other than the above, the GRUR is a purpose-built shoe for those long sweaty days on the roads which is equally suited for jaunts in the tropical thunderstorm when you simply can’t miss a workout.

Disclosure: The Skechers GOrun Ultra Road is a media sample provided by Skechers Malaysia. The GRUR will be retailing at RM539 and RM529 for the men and women models respectively and are expected to be available in Skechers stores in the country in mid-September.

Shoe Review: Nike LunarTempo

How do you review a shoe which started out with the same name as one half of 2 trailblazing shoes but looks completely different from that classic, had that name changed in the middle of its product cycle resulting in 2 confusing labels in the market, *draws breath* and yet bears a striking resemblance to yet another updated model? By going back to 2008.

Back then, the Beaverton company released what I’d call a game-changing midsole, the Lunarlite. I covered the product launch in this post. Done reading that?

OK, the pair of shoes launched back then were the Lunaracer+ (review) and LunarTrainer+. Of course, the “+” has been dropped some time ago since the company stopped integrating the NikePlus sensor into their core line of shoes. The gaining popularity of wearable tech such as GPS watches and smartphones saw to that demise. Coming back to the shoes, the Lunar midsole generated as much hype as adidas’ Boost did in recent years. Deservedly so, in my opinion, because both midsole technologies were 2 of the best I’ve worn to-date with the Lunar material holding an edge over the Boost in that it’s lighter. I ran the 2008 New York City Marathon in the Lunaracer, so it holds a special place in my heart.

Note: When I mention Lunar midsole, I’m actually generalising since Nike has several flavours of the midsole from Lunarlite in the case of the original Lunaracer+ and LunarTrainer+, to Lunarlon we see today.

The toe box looks shallow here but it fits well for me.

 

I’ve a love-hate relationship with the Lunaracer 2+ (a dreadful misfire – review here) and subsequently Lunaracer 3 (which I didn’t review). The issue I had with them was primarily the toe box, which was extremely constricting to my feet. More often than not, I’d end up with blackened toenails after my marathons. Then along came the LunarTempo (LT) earlier this year. A completely new shoe, there’s more than a passing sense of familiarity with it since it bears a lot of resemblance to the Lunaracer.

CY’s olive green LunarTempo below, in comparison to the Lunaracer 3 on top.

 

When it was first launched, the label on the LT read Lunar Trainer, which was misleading. If you’re a Nike devotee, you’d think that this is a reboot of the original Lunar Trainer. Several months later, new colorways of the LT started emerging on the shelves bearing the new LunarTempo moniker. The pair used for this review still bears the old name though.

Flyweight.

So how does the LunarTempo feel like? Pretty amazing. Gone are the restrictive upper, the LT has a wider forefoot and fits truer to size. Even though I could wear the US10, I opted for a 10.5 just so that it’s more accommodating. Toe box height is a little more than the Lunaracer’s but it’s really about the updated engineered mesh which is now softer and forgiving as opposed to the stiffer and unyielding variety found in the racers of yore. I obviously love the fact that the 10.5 weighs only 7.15oz, thus keeping to its lightweight lineage. To put the weight into perspective, 7.15oz for US10.5 is even lighter than the US10 Free 3.0 v5 (reviewed here). Yet for all its lightness, the LT still provides adequate support and cushioning for distances up to the marathon for me.

Along with the updated upper, the first eyelets have been moved further up, allowing for a more relaxed fit around the forefoot are. The padding on the tongue and heel collar are neither too thin nor too plush. There’s a certain balanced feel to the shoe. Everything feels just right.

The Flyknit strands, which have plenty of reflective accents, now peek from under the outer mesh in both the lateral and medial parts of the upper. There are also greater use of reflective materials, most notably in the heel counter. All in all, the upper now looks tidier compared to the Racer’s mess.

There’s no wayward stitching on the walls of the interior, no exposed seams and there’s a layer of thin mesh (the black portion in the photo above) which prevents the Flywire strands from rubbing on the feet. I also stuck my hands inside feeling around for any potential hotspot areas but couldn’t find any.

The midsole design retains a similar (but not exact, in particular the lateral heel section) look to the accordion folds of the Racer and thus offer the same lightweight smooth ride. The LT has a softer ride than the Adios Boost, Boston Boost 5, Hitogami, ST Racer, Breakthru and Zante but a touch firmer than the Kinvara 5.

Slighter greater coverage of rubber. They’re a little thicker too.

The outsole now sports more (and thicker) solid rubber plugs which should add greater durability. As mentioned, the ride is quick and smooth. Though there’s no overt flex grooves, the Lunarlon midsole is quite flexible – not as supremely bendy like a Nike Free or Skechers GObionic 2 but more than sufficient for a performance trainer.

The heel cushioning is more than adequate and while the toe-off is firm, it retains a tangible softness to it. Most fans of the LT will wear it for uptempo runs and as a marathon shoe but it will be quite at home at slower pace as well. For trackwork, however, I’d go with a firmer shoe.

I snagged the LunarTempo at a great price of RM230 (RRP RM379) at Sportland IOI Mall.  Gems such as the LunarTempo (and Lunar Launch) are not sold in Tier-1 Nike boutiques but rather Sportland and Stadium outlets, so when shopping for running gear, be sure to also look to the smaller retailers for great deals.

Press Release: adidas Boost Elevates Momentum

adidas Launches the New Ultra BOOST in Its Fall/ Winter Sports and Performance Collection

Kuala Lumpur, 12 August 2015 – adidas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. today launched the Fall / Winter 2015 collection of the adidas Ultra BOOST running shoes at the first anniversary celebration of The Marathon Shop, an adidas Preferred Running Partner. From the previously released Ultra BOOST in the Spring/Summer 2015 (S/S 2015) collection, adidas has yet again taken running to the next level. Unceasingly revolutionary, the new and improved Ultra BOOST is designed based on the ARAMIS 3D shape and surface measurement to serve as a fully adaptive running experience in any environment. The F/W 2015 Ultra BOOST is the result of meticulous research and design to provide the best running experience possible.

“We take feedback and comments from consumers very seriously. Hence, to continuously deliver the best running and workout distance, the new F/W Ultra BOOST running shoes is built based on various personal experiences gathered from fitness experts and enthusiasts,” said David WongSenior ManagerBrand Activation of adidas Malaysia.

The Energy Running Brand
Your running experience will never be the same again. adidas is bringing the revolutionary F/W Ultra BOOST running shoes that does not only boost your run, but sustains ENERGY which improves stamina and allows you to go the extra distance. Much thought have been put into constructing this pair of running shoes that is able to appeal to both men and women with diverse requirements for function, adaptability, and feet comfort. While it is a pair of running shoes that take performance beyond normal expectations, innovative masters behind the F/W Ultra BOOST have taken fashion and style equally into consideration to create a design that suit the whole running apparel package.

Greatest Running Shoes Ever
A pair of running shoes should essentially deliver comfort, flexibility and a significant BOOST to propel you forward. adidas applies BOOST technology that pushes performance and extra ENERGY to not only gain ground, but adapt to various activities ranging from normal intensity workouts to aggressive movements. This time, the F/W Ultra BOOST is specially engineered to accommodate most activities making it a must-have pair of running shoes that furnishes ENERGY BOOST at every angle. From running to rigorous training, adidas is going all out to provide the ultimate workout shoes that offers comfort, has the spring touch and promises great performance for runners and fitness enthusiasts alike.

Boost Of Excellence
In this humid weather in Malaysia, the fabric used in the F/W Ultra BOOST works to sustain airiness during long distance running or extended hours of working out. No details are overlooked as adidas has carefully chosen expendable materials that can accommodate different feet structures on various terrains and any orientating movements.

The F/W Ultra BOOST is designed to lift tension off the feet, especially the heels, thus promoting average performance to a level that is outstanding and beyond expectations. adidas’ application of the BOOST technology acts as a vehicle to reach the highest excellence in sports performance for various users achieving different goals.

The running revolution has come, the greatest run ever awaits with the F/W Ultra BOOST at www.adidas.com/ultraboostadidas Ultra BOOST will be available at adidas Sports Performance stores from today the retail price of RM650.

For more information on:

adidas Fall/Winter 2015 Ultra BOOST, please visit adidas.com.my
The Marathon Shop, please visit themarathonshop.com.my

Join the adidas Energy running movement by following:

WEBPAGE adidas.com.my/ultraboost
FACEBOOK facebook.com/adidasMYfacebook.com/adidasRunning
TWITTER twitter.com/adidasMYtwitter.com/adidasrunning
INSTAGRAM instagram.com/adidasrunning
HASHTAG #ultraBOOST #boostyourrun #adidasMY

***

About adidas Malaysia

adidas was incorporated in Germany in 1949 by Adolf Dassler in Herzogenaurach, Germany – a name that stands for competence in all sectors of sports around the globe. The permanent passion for innovation, to give athletes the best products to support their ambitions, has turned adidas into a global powerhouse and market leader, making us one of the world’s most widely recognized brand symbols, the three stripes of adidas.

With the incorporation of adidas Malaysia in 1994, and over the years, the adidas brand continued to go through major product introductions, technological advancements and on enhanced brand positioning, making the three stripes brand a credible and premiere sports brand in the world.

For additional information and assistance, please contact:

adidas (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
David Wong
+603 7494 9512
David.Wong@adidas.com
ROOTS PR Sdn. Bhd.
Kimbelle Lee / Charmaine Goh
+603 7494 0292
kimbelle.lee@rootsasia.com / charmaine.goh@rootsasia.com

Nike Lunaracer+ Review

Note: This is a repost from 2008 as I’m migrating some shoe reviews from another website.

My love affair with the Lunar series continue with the trialing of the Lunaracer+. Being one half of the 2 models released by Nike which feature the space age Lunarlite foam, the racer took my running experience to another level.

When Wong (EKIN with Nike Sales Malaysia) handed me the shoebox, I had to shake it to ensure that the shoes were inside and when I opened the package to reveal the shoes, my colleagues were astounded by its lightness. One remarked that if thrown at someone across the room, the shoes may not reach their destination and if used to smack someone, it may not cause any pain! While I won’t try out the latter theory, I certainly want to test them out as quickly as I can.

I made a visual inspection of the shoes and saw that the midsole construction looks that of the Trainer. The main difference is on the upper. Instead of the Trainer’s white mesh, the racers sport a grey white translucent paper- like material. No visible stitching are seen. In their place, certain stress points had additional strips of yellow suede “welded” or crimped to the upper. Threads of Flywire interlaced the upper material providing just enough structure to support the shoe shape and the wearer. The sockliner is a thin foam and under the left piece is the spot for the Nike+ sensor. The outsole difference is less apparent. What’s obvious are the more liberal application of the BRS1000 and solid rubber plugs for better durability.

I made the right call by opting for 1/2 a size larger for the racer. The shoe fits like a glove and here’s where the next difference lies – their lack of weight. At 5.5oz, they are nearly half the weight of the already lightweight Trainers. The racers are low profile (see Notes section) and you’ll feel your calves walking around in them. With a planned 21K the next day, I limited my first run to a 5K and try as hard as I might,I had a hard time slowing down! I didn’t know if it’s the build, weight or material I just automatically ran in a light and efficient manner. Tap and go, tap and go. More mid to forefoot landing than on the heel. I simply went faster and couldn’t wait for the tougher run the next morning.

21K later, I was astounded. My calves and shins were just a bit sore but that was the legs adjusting to the lower ride. Since the first 2 runs, I’ve put the pair to some really hardcore workouts which included back to back long runs at different pace.The racers defy logic – mad science at work. Consider the following facts:

  1. I’ve not worn any kind of shoes below 9oz. I’m just not biomechanically efficient enough. Yet I was happily running in these 5.5oz babies chewing up the miles.
  2. The legs didn’t feel trashed. I managed 166K mileage over 9 days which included 3 back to back long runs and several shorter workouts with only a day’s rest. The longest run completed so far in them was a 32K done at marathon pace.
  3. Durability is top-notch. After over 100Ks in them, even the “nipples” on the outsoles are still there.

Pulling on the racers give you a boost of confidence.You run lighter and faster. I saw my running form improved and ran faster in training than in race.They totally eclipse my hitherto favorite, the Lunar Trainer and that’s saying a lot, since the Trainers can certainly hold their own.

The Trainers are better ventilated. It felt warmer in the racer. I spoke to Wong and he confirmed that said that this could be due to the upper material used to support the utilization of the Flywire. The typical mesh won’t hold the fibers, so a stronger material was used.

In conclusion, all I can say is that I’m completely bowled over by the racers. Prior to them, there is no way on earth that I can wear shoes this light but they have everything a weekend warrior needs. I’m all the more efficient and faster runner because of it.

If you think the Trainers are good, wait till you try the racers. It dispels the notion that a shoe this minimum and light can’t be worn by non- elites. Both the Lunar Trainer and Lunaracer are now available at the Nike stores.

As you can see from the photos on the left and bottom, the shoe is really holding up with the mileage work. I’ve since logged over 170K in them and the outsole looks just a little worn, which is really good for a racing shoe.

Needless to say the shoe is Nike+ enabled, so you can wear it with a Nike+ Sportband.

The Lunaracer is definitely built like a racer.According to a shoe techie, the racer’s heel is 6mm higher than the forefoot. The racer’s forefoot is 16mm while the rear is 22mm.The forefoot-heel ratio of 6mm is half of a typical training shoe’s build.The Nike Free 3.0 is 19/23 (4), Free 4.0 is 17.5/23.5 (6), Vaporfly 21/33 (12).

For: Efficient, lightweight runner seeking an ultralight, responsive yet stable cushioned shoe for speedwork and racing.

Not for: Runners seeking more stability should look to Nike’s stability models such as Structure Triax and Equalon. A bit of pinching on the right shoe when toeing off. Some may encounter rubbing as well.

Bottomline: Wear socks that protect the heel and instep area, especially where the shoe flexes. Experiment with various lacing configuration. The Lunaracer+ is the shoe you’ll want to wear if you’re gunning for a personal best.

Disclaimer: The Nike Lunaracer+ is a media review pair provided by Nike Sales Malaysia.

Shoe Review: New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

I can’t imagine how long I’ve put off this review. Now, before that statement made you think that NB served up a lemon in the form of the Zante (pronounced “Zantay”), let me assure that it’s not the case. It’s been one of my firm favorites in the last 2 months of my GCAM15 training. I liked it so much that I wanted it to be my marathon race shoe but it wasn’t to be. It’s evident from the photos below how much I’ve put the shoes to use.

Named after a gorgeous island in Greece, the Zante was one of two shoes launched by NB early 2015 (the other being the Boracay, another famous island destination in the Philippines) that saw a departure from the confusing nomenclature used by NB.

If the term Fresh Foam (not related to a certain golden hop/malt based beverage) sounded familiar, you’d be right. The midsole material was first used on the NB 980. I’ve not worn the 980 and although reviews were generally OK, it was widely panned for wrong marketing – it was neither as plush nor soft as the marketers made it out to be. The Boracay, with a retweaked midsole, has since replaced the 980, while the Zante is an entirely new shoe marketed as a go-fast option.

Link to the Irish eBay site.

M625. Be very afraid of the asking price!

It’s been ages since I last owned a pair of NB. I was a fan of the venerable brand back in the days (my favorite was the M625 you see above, a lightweight performance trainer). NBs were still made in the USA then and had a classy boutique in the KL Plaza. And they were the Volvo of running shoes – built like a tank.

Fast forward 23 years later, my idea of fun shoes are those made with simplicity in mind. Keep the upper design and construction simple, avoid excessive overlays, do away with plastic inserts here and there, and I’m generally good. Which is why I reach out to the GOrun 4, Boston Boost 5, Kinvara 5, Ultra Boost (for recovery runs) the most often. The Zante joins this list of favorites.

The Zante is a really simple shoe. Very simple breathable upper that fit like sock, single density foam, full contact outsole. Herein lies the mystery. Despite the simple take on the construction, the shoe weighs in at 8.25oz for US10, which is around the Kinvara 5’s. 8.25 is still light but if you’ve ran in the Zante, you’d have thought it was a sub 8oz shoe.

The front mesh is  very breathable while the dark section has a tighter weave.

There’s only a sliver of reflective element resides on the lateral side of the toebox in the form of a two-pronged fork. The upper is stretchy and never once did my toes felt cramped. I like how the tongue padding is kept just nice to prevent any pressure from the thin laces on top of the foot. The tongue is connected to an inner sleeve which means no sliding around – no stopping to readjust the tongue which means the wearer can just enjoy the running experience.

Tongue is integrated with the inner sleeve.

 

The internal heel counter is soft compared to the monstrous types seen on the Kayano 21, for example. There’s no rubbing whatsoever, and the best thing is the absence of unnecessary weight. The collar isn’t notched, and the padding not overboard. Heel lock down is fantastic as it is.

The removable insole is soft and perforated, and feels like that of the DS Racer.

The Zante has stack heights of 23mm and 17mm (heel/toe) for a 6mm drop, not too low to turn off traditionalists. The midsole foam has a honeycombed pattern – concave on the lateral side, convex on the medial.

As mentioned earlier, the outsole is a full contact one, made up of hexagonal lugs. The lugs aren’t that deep nor are they of the hard-wearing variety. They have a nice grippy feel on all the surfaces (wet or dry)  I’ve run on, from synthetic track, sandy road shoulders, hard tiles to tarmac. After 190KM logged, you can see that it wears better than Skechers’ foam but inferior to the Continental rubber used by adidas in the higher end models. I reckon I could push the mileage to 400KM before the forefoot lugs are sheared down to the base.

Forefoot wear is obvious but quite even.

 

Wear signs on the outer heel of the left shoe.

 

With the full contact outsole and a substantial toe spring, which you can see from the photo below, the Zante treats the wearer to a fast and smooth ride. The Zante feels more balanced shoe than the heel-heavy Boston Boost 5, more responsive than the Kinvara 5 and fits better than the GOrun 4. There’s not a stitch on the Zante that’s wrongly put together and it’s easy to see why that even at the beginning of the year, Competitor.com awarded it their Road Shoe Of The Year. I’ve ran my 10K PR and have enjoyed nearly every run from track workouts to 23K in them.

It’s unfortunate then that I’m unable to wear them for the marathon owing to its firmer forefoot cushioning. While ideal for races up to the half marathon, I’ve experienced some forefoot soreness after 21K. Faster and more efficient runners may be able to take it further than I could. If you belong in that category, you’re going to really enjoy the Zante for all its worth.

The New Balance Zante retails at RM439.00 (going rate for shoes these days!) and is already available at all NB and Marathonshop outlets.

Shoe Review: Nike Lunar Tempo

Choon Yuen returns with another shoe review. We collectively wish he buys more shoes.

————————————————-

Here I am again hijacking the blog, pretending the blog is mine and spending a few minutes blabbing about shoes LOL. With my first major race for 2015 over back in early April, I was looking around for a nice pair of shoes to replace my current favorites the Asics Electro33 (my PB shoes, mind you) for the upcoming Gold Coast Airport Marathon (GCAM) in July. Come to think of it, I really didn’t need to look for a new pair as I’m pretty sure the Asics still have enough life to carry me for another race before officially retiring it into my walking shoes. Nevertheless hanging out with Jamie and Nick, you will always be poisoned with buying new pair of shoes even you really didn’t need to.

Now let’s see what we have here. My first pair of running shoes purchased was the original Nike LunaRacer then followed by Nike LunaRacer+3 (Racer) skipping the version 2. When Jamie poisoned me with the Nike Lunar Tempo (Tempo) which is the trainer version of the racer, immediately I was sold even before looking at the actual shoes. True enough the Lunar Tempo according to Nike, was designed for runners who often take the Racer for long run training. In other words, you will have the best from the Racer (lightweight and fast) plus the extra cushion you need for day to day training from the LunarTempo. Judging from experience with the Racer, I upsized my purchase with a full size to combat the narrow toe box which was a big mistake…well not that big, but still a mistake.

Honestly, after 40km or so I didn’t feel right at home with the Tempo, something just didn’t feel quite right. Nick advised me to try on thicker shocks, and it worked!! In hindsight, I should have tried upsizing by only half instead of the full size due to a welcome improvement on the upper mesh which I will explain later. For the next 20km +, it felt like I have found my shoes for GCAM, at least for now, let’s wait until I test run the NB Zante in the coming weeks before deciding which pair flies with me hehe.

The Racer (top) and the Tempo.

The Tempo’s (left) outsole, which have thicker blown rubber coverage, suggests greater durability than the Racer.

The Tempo by nature is designed to be the trainer version of the Racer, naturally you are right to expect a few familiar characteristics brought over from the Racer+3. First off, on the weight department, weighing at 6.8oz for a Size 9, it’s just a mere 0.4oz heavier than the Racer, impressive for a trainer. Secondly, the responsive Lunarlon midsole are retained with a slight tweak in the groove pattern near the heel area. Then there is the Nike Flywire system used for fit adjustment wrapping your feet like what a pair of socks would do holding your feet firmly preventing any slide. Other than the above, the Tempo is a different shoe from the Racer+3.

Breathable mesh.

Lightly padded tongue.

The highly breathable seamless upper mesh has a slight tweak; it now feels softer and it is more stretchable, effectively taking away the narrow toe box feeling experienced from the Racer (my mistake to upsize by a full size). Couple with the Flywire over the midfoot allowing variable wraparound pressure/tightness adjustment depending on individual preferences holding your feet in place. Once it is adjusted properly, I did not notice any foot sliding even with upsizing. The heel collar as with the shoe tongue is slightly padded and there are no visible plastic/film over the heel counter. Instead the heel counter is packed with patterned reflective material, effective and pleasing the eyes.

The softer (and floppier) Ortholite insole of the Tempo compared to the Racer’s stiffer version.

The thicker midsole of the Tempo (right) compared to the Racer.

The insole sees a change; it is softer and thinner compare to the Racer version and is made with Ortholite material. Lunarlon midsole are slightly thicker as you can see from the picture below. It delivers sufficient cushioning yet not taking away the ground feel returning the rebound energy that one would expect from a racing flat. Carbon rubbers are placed strategically at the wear zones with very minimal visible wear noticed after closed to 70km now. Overall the ride is comfortable and smooth.

Although it is still too early to draw a conclusion on durability with merely 70km mileage, but there isn’t anything to pick on the shoe. It is lightweight, responsive, flexible, has good ground feel and fit snugly thanks to the stretchable mesh and Flywire system. The shoes has grown on me since the initial rubbish 40km that I’ve done earlier and this little package can double as a my racing shoes too (note: I am not a fast runner and you may not agree with me on the racing bits). Okay perhaps there is one thing I want to pick on the shoe which is the colorway available in this part of market…boring!!!

Nike LunarTempo is retailing at RM379 but strangely you will not find it in Nike store in Malaysia. This pair was purchased at Stadium KLCC.

Shoe Review: Saucony Triumph ISO

This shoe review was submitted by Choon Yuen.

I have been asked about a few weeks ago whether I’m interested to review a yet to be launched running shoes in the local market. I thought WOW!! Me? Review shoes? I need to give myself a few pitches and slaps on the face to see if I were dreaming. It is truly a rare opportunity (secretly hoping more will come my way) to try out and write about a new shoe, without a second thought I said yes to the opportunity and whet goo goo goo ga ga about it LOL. I was very excited to say the least and took the opportunity on my off day from work to pick up the shoes and immediately. Met up with Frank, gave me a short introduction of the shoes and off I go for heat training that afternoon on the spanking new shoes. I had no prior experience running in any Saucony shoes albeit very good reviews on some of the shoes they produced e.g. the Kinvara series, so after clocking more than 60km over the past 3 weeks in the new Saucony Triumph ISO, it’s time for me to put my thoughts on the shoe on a clean sheet of paper without any bias opinion.


Saucony Triumph ISO is an 8mm drop shoe with a stack height of 31mm (Heel), 23mm (Forefoot). It’s a very well cushioned neutral shoe with a new upper fit ISOFIT technology which we will be going into a little bit more in details as we go along. The forefoot area of the upper is made of mesh material with visible large cut out for breathability purposes, which is then sewed to the ISOFIT at the midfoot area.

The ISOFIT upper wraps the feet adequately creating a sock-like feel for comfort and adaptability to the shape of your feet. It gives a nice wrap around holding the feet in place, preventing the feet from sliding around which could happened especially if you up-sizing the shoe size. The PWRGRID+ form grid midsole is taking charge in providing impact protection cushioning every stride on a longer run. The outsole comes with xt900 rubber near the heel area for durability while iBR+ is used for the forefoot area for further cushioning. At 10 oz on a US size 9, the shoe does very well in the weight department considering the amount of cushion Saucony puts in.

Ultra padded heel collar.

Although this is a well cushioned shoe, on the contrary the ride of the shoe gave sufficient ground feel making it somewhat responsive and yet giving runners a comfortable ride. This is evidence especially when you are running at a moderate to an easy pace run, but putting in some speed to the shoes immediately it feels a tad heavier which is weird giving that it only weighs 10oz. I suspect this is down to the amount of energy absorbed and returned by the midsole, having said that I’m just being picky and is not actually a deal breaker as this is not designed to be a racing flat. Breathability is not a problem for the hot and humid weather in this part of the world as you can see from the pictures below you can clearly see the “open pores”.

Headlamp in the shoe to demonstrate the open mesh.

There are a few areas that I would wish for on an already good shoe. The inability to flex much has thrown in some constrain to the shoes as it gives rigid feel to the shoe and may not necessary work out well for everyone. Some weight can be taken away from the ridiculously cushioned at the achilles area which is really unnecessary and overkill. Finally the width of the forefoot is a bit tight, however you can always up-size the shoe as the ISOFIT will still effectively prevent your feet from sliding around.

My final thought on the shoe. The Saucony Triumph ISO is a decent shoe and it should excel in 3 types of running conditions. First of all, if you are thinking of increasing your mileage on the long run day, the shoe will gives you plenty of cushions keeping your feet away from impact fatigue. Secondly after a fast and furious race be it a road or trail race, it also works very well for your recovery run. Lastly if you are new to running, you won’t go wrong with Saucony Triumph ISO. However, this is not a fast shoe and if you are looking for a PB record breaking or a speed work type of shoes, this is not the shoe for you.

The Triumph ISO will be available at Running Lab sometime in May onwards retailing for RM469.

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