I’ve put more miles following my first review [read it here] of the Ultra Boost (UB), specifically clocking a total of 65K in them. Therefore it’s time to put my thoughts into a follow-up take on the shoe. For the most part, things are pretty much the way there wer per my initial take.
The ride experience of the UB sees no change. 65K isn’t plenty of miles for a pair of running shoes after all. Furthermore, the Boost midsole is widely regarded as being one of the most stable (in terms of characteristics) and durable in the market today. I believe you’ll get the smooth, protective and enjoyable feel throughout the lifespan of the shoe. In fact, I reckon the midsole to outlast the outsole, which show a little wear on the nubs. The thing is this – outsole design in the form of nubs or nipples will wear off quicker than conventional threads. Less surface are in contact with the ground and therefore whatever wear and tear would be more apparent. This does not necessarily mean that the rubber isn’t durable, however. It’s just because of the design.
Other than the smooth silky ride, the Ultra Boost did pretty well in terms of breathability. This isn’t so much of a concern for runners in temperate countries but in hot and muggy Malaysia, how well the shoe “breathes” is a huge factor. In the photo below, you can see the green of my socks peeping through the knitting – air just passes right through. Needless to say, I very much prefer this knitted upper to the TechFit one on my retired Energy Boost (EB).
There are a few areas where the UB could do better. Firstly, the weight. The UB would surely be one of the shoes I’d reach out for if I’m attempting a road ultra due to its fit, cushioning and impact protection but the thought of carrying that much weight over 60K or more is quite daunting. The PrimeKnit yarn, the plastic lacing system, the substantial heel counter and midsole shank all conspire to weigh the shoe down. Perhaps adidas sees the market differently but I’m all for using less material in production.
The Stretch Web outsole could definitely be improved. It doesn’t do well on wet surfaces at all due to the minimal ground contact by the nubs. They seem to be susceptible to quick wear-off especially on the feet of runners who scrape the bottom of their shoes with each step.
Last but not least, the premium pricing of the UB presents a hurdle to most runners. For the masses, there are thankfully many options available. The EB (now version 2) which rides firmer in the forefoot is a popular alternative. The Glide Boost would also be a viable option if providing a more stable platform. These are the more substantial shoes if you’re so inclined. The lighter ones would be the Tempo Boost, Boston Boost and Adios Boost. More models are being updated to the Boost midsole, so the choices available can only become more bewildering.
However, if you intend to invest in the Ultra Boost, I’d suggest that you upsize by half from your usual adidas sizing. I wear a 10 but opted for a 10.5 for the UB which gives me more room in the toe box.
To read my review of the other adidas Boost models, check out my gear review page.
Disclaimer: The adidas Ultra Boost is a media sample provided courtesy of Adidas (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. The Ultra Boost is already available at Adidas boutiques in the country, retailing for RM650.
Kuala Lumpur, 25 March 2015 – MILO®, the leading breakfast beverage loved by all Malaysians, makes its return by going further and fueling a bigger mission to connect with more Malaysians nationwide on its breakfast beliefs with Malaysia Breakfast Day – Malaysia’s largest breakfast gathering. This year, the annual Malaysia Breakfast Day will be expanded to three cities – Putrajaya, Kuching, and Ipoh.
“Malaysia Breakfast Day was received very positively in the previous years. By expanding our outreach beyond Kuala Lumpur, we hope that more Malaysians will feel closer to The MILO® Breakfast cause and support this movement together with family and friends,” says Philomena Tan, Business Executive Manager of MILO® Business Unit in Nestle. “More Malaysians can now join us with our expanded event footprints across Malaysia.”
Running for its third consecutive year, Malaysia Breakfast Day will be held in Ipoh, Perak on 12th April 2015, Kuching, Sarawak on 26th April 2015, and Dataran Putrajaya on 10th May 2015.
Tan adds that the anticipation of Malaysia Breakfast Day rises from it being not only the largest breakfast gathering but beyond. “More breakfast gatherings mean more breakfast eating conversion and more families convinced to be breakfast advocators. Multiple touch-points are important for us to reach out to as many people as possible. We always have great line-ups of activities during Malaysia Breakfast Day so we are thrilled that more Malaysians would be able to join the breakfast occasion with us this year.”
Alongside with the 7-km and 3-km runs during Malaysia Breakfast Day, there will be a series of interactive and fun-filled activities available for every member of the family. The 3-km fun run is designed for families’ while the 7-km run is for the running enthusiasts.
Most importantly, MILO®’s paramount mission in rallying the nation to have the right nutritional breakfast choices apart from having an active lifestyle will be further amplified through a healthy spread of local breakfast delights available to all participants in Malaysia Breakfast Day.
MILO® believes that raising awareness is important but driving change is pivotal in shifting the perceptions of the nation. The MILO® Breakfast Movement.is a call for action aimed at Malaysians to make right nutritional decisions for their children and also for their family. “As an advocator of healthy living, we believe that the nation can adopt an improved view on healthy living and start practicing towards a healthier eating nation,” adds Tan.
She continues: “As the number one choice of breakfast beverage, we want to continue to provide the right energy for Malaysians to take on their day and start the day right. Together with balanced food intake, MILO®’s perfect ratio of nutrients will provide Malaysians with the much needed fuel to take on both physical and mental challenges each day.”
Cher Siew Wei, corporate wellness manager of Nestle, explains: “We mustn’t forget that skipping breakfast deprives children of energy needed to stay focused and alert. Not only that, kids grow in their sleep and lose 80% of their energy when they wake up; which is why, they must have breakfast to recharge for the day.” Siew Wei and her team of nutritionists will be at Malaysia Breakfast Days to remind Malaysians on the importance of not skipping breakfast and offer advice and information relating to appropriate breakfast nutrition, right balance of nutrients that each member of the family needs.
MILO® will also further engage Malaysians on the importance of breakfast and drive participation of Malaysia Breakfast Day via activities in-store and on-ground from April to June 2015.
An informative breakfast webpage (www.milo.com.my/breakfast) is available for those connected online, where they can find creative breakfast ideas and tips for a healthier start of the day.
MILO® hopes that people will still be part of the Malaysia Breakfast Day even if they can’t make it to the events. “Malaysia Breakfast Day is bigger than just being a large breakfast gathering. It is a drive to ask Malaysians to have MILO® with breakfast wherever they are and be a MILO® breakfast advocator with us.”
To be a part of the movement, Malaysians are encouraged to hashtag #mbd2015 when they are having breakfast no matter where they are.
For more information on Malaysia Breakfast Day and its activities, please visit: www.milo.com.my/breakfast
About MILO® Malaysia Breakfast Day
Malaysia Breakfast Day is an annual initiative and effort by MILO® to make its mark on the Malaysia’s calendar to reinforce the message that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. As a leader in the Chocolate Malt Beverage segment in Malaysia, MILO® wants to drive change and actions among Malaysians towards Breakfast. Malaysia Breakfast Day is MILO®’s pillar in further strengthening the relevance of breakfast in every Malaysian home. Malaysia Breakfast Day is not just an event; it is a day of celebration of the breakfast occasion and a day where MILO® would like to make a call to action to all Malaysians to inculcate a healthy breakfast habit in their daily diet.
A cup of MILO® provides nourishing energy to Malaysians with its new Activ-Go composed of PROTOMALT® and the perfect ratio of micronutrients that will help to ensure optimal energy release, reduce tiredness and support normal body functions in getting ready for the morning.
Serviced on behalf of MILO® Malaysia. For more information please contact:
Leo Selvaraj (019 208 0755)
Winnie Lai (012 979 2682)
Tel: +603 2094 0760
It’s mid-March and the GCAMers have now accomplished 2 sessions of trackwork at the MPSJ sports complex. The workouts are always kept simple and have been relatively short thus far. Due to the intensity of these sessions, I was careful to limit these to the more experienced runners. The last thing I want to see are runners injuring themselves.
1st session: 2K warm up jog > Dynamic stretching > 12x400m with 400m recovery > 1K cool down jog
2nd session: 2K warm up jog > Dynamic stretching > 8x600m with 400m recovery > 1K cool down jog
While I’ve my own timing to hit on each rep, those who weren’t sure of theirs based their workouts on their 10K pace/effort. The sessions turned out great although the first few reps were a little off as everyone was working to lock down their paces. It’s so easy to go too fast or too slow.
The range of the intervals will be increased with each passing week. This will eventually include ladder intervals before progressing into long intervals in June.
Hot on the heels of a shoe review, comes… another shoe review! This time it’s the premium-priced (let’s not beat around the bush) latest Boosted model from the German sporting giant. The Ultra Boost (UB) is a new addition to the expanding range of shoes from adidas featuring the midsole which debuted in the Energy Boost back in 2013.
Since I’ve clued you in on the UB’s premium positioning, let’s get that part out of the way, shall we? It retails for RM650, which means it shares the upper echelon pricing as the adios Boost, adistar Boost and Springblade Drive 2.0. I view shoes in this price bucket as niche. Sometimes companies do turn POC (Proof of Concept) projects into production runs although this may not have been the intention of the UB creators. According to adidas, the goal was to “create a shoe that unleashes the full potential of the amazing BOOST foam while at the same time ensuring an unsurpassed adaptable fit in the upper.” ARAMIS system (same tech used by NASA, Boeing and leading aerospace and automotive industries) was used to measure and map out zones of higher and lower deformation which can be as much as 10mm in the forefoot area just before push off. The upper wasn’t only the area to be scrutinized since the outsole is one large high-stress part of a shoe. You can read the interesting story that went behind the conception of the Ultra Boost here.
The result? Foot-conforming PrimeKnit upper and Stretch Web outsole as well as other complementary components you see below. The video that follows shows the assembly process.
When I picked up the Ultra Boost the first time, it felt like a substantial shoe. I’d opted for a US10.5, up from my regular US10 because of my past experience with the Energy Boost (EB) and Boston Boost 5 (BB5) which both ran a little tight in the toe box. It’s bulkier than my recently blooded shoes and accentuated by exaggerated upward spring on both ends. The UB also has a very prominent heel tab.
The PrimeKnit upper is just as impressive. Not only you can see that the high stress areas are reinforced by close weaving but the whole upper fits like a bootie negating the need to lace up tight as you would a traditional shoe. If there’s a purpose for the long heel tab, it’s to allow you to grab and pull when putting the shoe on. The fit is very snug, very sock-like and almost immediately you’ll feel as if there’s a slight midfoot bump reminiscent of the out of production Skechers GOrun 3. The upper stretches in every direction and thus is more accommodating than say, the Boston Boost upper. Due to a low toe box, the upper could be felt rubbing on my big toe – I’ll cover this in a moment. The step-in feel is plush and walking around in the UB is extremely smooth, unlike the Energy Boost and the performance oriented Boston Boost.
In evaluating it, I was determined from the very first run to really put the shoe through the wringer. I would be a bit more lenient if it is a sub-RM450 but well, it’s not. My first run was a 6K, which covered a wide variety of surfaces on straights and twisty paths between Jalan Binjai-KLCC Park-Mandarin Oriental Hotel driveway-Pinang-Kia Peng-Stonor. Surfaces covered were tarmac, concrete, tiles, bricked pavements, synthetic track, grass and packed earth sections. Conditions were warm and humid, with no rain that evening. The plan was to have a slow and easy recovery run what with 2 quality back-to-back sessions over the weekend. The Ultra Boost blew those plans away. Once the body warmed up after 1.5K, the pace just kicked in. I was conscious at the back of my mind to reel back the pace yet at the same time I wanted to put the shoe through the challenge.
Anyone would’ve had no problems believing me had I reported that this bulky (and heavy) shoe stood no chance on the twisty and congested (it was packed with tourists and I had to slalomed my way through) route I took that day. But the UB was anything but that. It had to be the snug upper which totally locked down the foot despite the frequent directional changes. The low toe-box turned out to be a non-issue due to its highly stretchable properties. The designers well and truly got that part right. Because it was unbelievable, I went a second round. At a faster pace. Same eye opening experience. I had to remind myself that it was my easy day and stop at the end of the second loop.
It was still too early to form any judgment. The next day, I pulled on the UBs again. The menu was an easy 10K and again I failed to keep to the plan of going slow. This time, I took another newly mapped route that’s turning into a personal favorite: Binjai-Tun Razak-U-Thant-Ampang Hilir-Raintree Club-back to the KLCC Park. It had poured like crazy but slowed to a light drizzle as I started off. This second run would reveal much more about the shoes, both good and bad.
First, the good. The shoe pretty much retained all the positive attributes I experienced the day before, from the smooth and quick transition, fit and the upper breathability. The bad? The almost non-existent traction on the wet surfaces especially on the tiled and brick pavements. The little rounded nubs which are also spaced quite apart are simply not for such running conditions. I walked around corners and up the pedestrian bridges to avoid face-planting on my run. The Ultra Boost’s outsole feels nowhere near as assured as the BB5’s Continental rubber. The other thing worth mentioning is that while the PrimeKnit upper is very breathable, it’s also susceptible in letting in rainwater. It’s not a unique attribute of the UB but a trade-off of ultra breathable uppers.
The two most recent runs were both slower, one a 6K and the other a 16K on the hard pavements and sidewalks of Putrajaya. The Boost midsole offer the necessary protection for my legs and I appreciated the bouncy feel in all my strides. In all my runs in the Ultra Boost, there had been no chafing, hotspots or any rubbing, even by the extended heel pull tab. Because the tongue is integrated to the upper, there’s no slipping and sliding.
Reviewing the Ultra Boost has really been more about the wear experience than looking its inherently unflattering specs in terms of weight and pricing. I admit that I had some apprehension going in to the review but am glad to have some doubts struck off for the most part. I’ll put more miles into them before returning with a wrap-up take on the shoe.
Disclosure: The adidas Ultra Boost is a media sample provided courtesy of Adidas (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Initial review is based after running and walking in them for close to 42K. The Ultra Boost is already available at Adidas boutiques in the country, retailing for RM650.
The Breakthru and Zealot ISO are 2 completely new “faces” to Saucony’s lineup late ’14/early ’15. They join a loaded range that’s either already here or coming to Malaysia, consisting of the updated Mirage 5, Ride 7 and Guide 8, and revamped Triumph ISO and Hurricane ISO. Throw the versatile and ever popular Kinvara 5 (K5) into the mix, the shoe shopper may be forgiven for being a little confused as to where the Breakthru stands. Despite just logging around 30K in the Breakthru, I think it’s time to put out this review before the shoe hits the shelves in the coming month (yup, the shoe’s not on sale in the country just yet). I don’t think my opinions will change much, if any at all, over the course of the shoe’s lifespan, so let’s get going.
The Breakthru is a little hard to peg down. It’s heavier and has an offset greater than the K5, yet tuned more like a racer compared to the cushier K5. The Breakthru’s shares the 8mm offset of Saucony’s support and higher end cushioning models. It weighs 8.7oz for my US10 to the K5’s 7.8oz.
The Breakthru is an undeniably striking shoe, with a rad-looking upper that resembles that of the Endorphin Racer. Unlike the sandwich open mesh of the K5, the upper we get with the Breakthru is thinner and stiffer, with no give at all. As a result, your big toe may experience some rubbing on the upper when in a state of dorsiflexion. While this was something I occasionally felt when running in them, it had not resulted in any hotspots or blisters. I’ll need to put in longer distances in the shoes before confirming if this is going to be an issue.
FlexFilm and Pro-Lock are both absent in Breakthru. While I don’t miss the Pro-Lock, the use of traditional and thicker overlays add to the weight. The wide and padded tongue isn’t gusseted yet it worked very well at all speeds including the twists and turns at the track. Never once did they slip and slide.
Around the back, the shoe has a stiff heel counter. The RunDry padding on the collar isn’t overly built up and is as comfortable as the K5’s.
There are some differences in the removable insoles. The K5 gets the softer and thicker SK-41 (more perforations and flex grooves cut into them as well) while the Breakthru settles with a noticeably thinner SK-51.
If you’ve not guessed already, the Breakthru is a neutral shoe, so there’s no medial posting (internal nor external). The midsole comprises of SSL (Saucony Super Lite) single density EVA foam with the Powergrid encased within.
Flip the shoe over and you’ll see why the Breakthru weighs more than the K5 – much more rubber. IBR+ injection blown rubber and XT900 carbon rubber while less exposed foam than the K5. Notice the 2 parallel black strips in the medial arch area? They’re not torsion shanks but thin rubber strips which in my opinion serve no functions. I hope they’ll be omitted in the next update. While durability should go up several notches, weight takes a hit with close to an ounce more than the K5. It is still a light and go-fast package though, make no mistake.
With the technical part of the review out of the way, let’s get to the wear experience. The thing which impressed me most when I laced the shoes up the first time was the fit in the midfoot region. The upper just wraps around the midsection really well – snug without being over tight. As the laces are secured, they pull at the blue overlays around the midfoot area and you get the really good lockdown from midfoot to the heel. The toebox is a little less roomy than the K5’s, probably because the upper mesh doesn’t stretch. Prospective buyer should test both the actual and a half size up to be sure of the fit.
The Breakthru also has the feel of a racing flat. It’s light, responsive, and each gait cycle has a snappy take to it. There’s a sense of immediacy to the running. The heel cushioning is not in the region of the K5, GR4 or the Boston Boost’s but more forgiving than the GOSpeed 3’s. The forefoot feels a little like a thicker version of the Boston Boost’s which means quickly pushing off the balls of your feet isn’t going to be a problem.
I’ve logged a handful of short quick runs, a 10K and a track session in them and encountered no negatives. As mentioned, no blisters, no hotspots. They certainly felt better going fast than slow, that’s for sure.
Saucony loyalists now have 2 choices when looking for a pair of lightweight neutral shoes which can double up for training and racing duties. If you prefer a softer feel in a 7.9oz (US10) package, go for the K5. If something firmer is what you seek, the Breakthru. Want something plusher? The Zealot ISO, Ride 7, and Triumph ISO should tickle your fancy depending on your budget. If you’re mechanically blessed and training to chase a big PR, give the A6 an audition.
Disclaimer: The Saucony Breakthru is a sample pair provided courtesy of Saucony Malaysia. It is expected to be available from Running Lab, Stadium and RSH outlets in April/May 2015.
PUMA READY TO ‘IGNITE’ MALAYSIA
Innovative New Foam Maximizes Energy Return, Comfort & Durability
KUALA LUMPUR (12 March 2015) – Comfort, long lasting and energy return are the three key elements of PUMA IGNITE!
Following its global launch in New York on 12 February 2015, PUMA Ignite is now available in all PUMA retail store and distributors throughout Malaysia beginning today.
The ultimate running shoe which features an innovative foam technology that makes it the most responsive running shoe, the birth of PUMA Ignite was the result of a nine-year research and development programme.
PUMA Ignite was launched today by Tim Tham, Assistant Marketing Manager of PUMA Malaysia in 1 Utama Shopping Centre and witnessed by PUMA “FRIENDS”.
PUMA IGNITE is the perfect example that coincides with their latest tagline PUMA’s ForeverFaster. Powering every stride is IGNITE foam, proprietary foam that provides responsive cushioning, optimal rebound and comfort. Strategically placed in the heel of the shoe is ForEverFoam — a compound used heavily in the automotive industry.
This premium foam in the shoe is what sets IGNITE apart and makes it one of a kind. This foam compound is what gives the shoe maximum durability. This material which results in long – lasting durability is special and it is entirely new to the market.
PUMA’s new aim is to strengthen its running platform with the advantage of IGNITE. The shoe is the ideal pair for everyday running.
“Our vision is to create a running community. We have the best shoe for you to get “IGNITED” and never look back anymore. We are aiming to become the top sports brand once again. I am confident with the launch of PUMA Ignite, we are one step closer to our vision,” said Tham.
In conjunction with the PUMA Ignite launch, PUMA will be launching their latest 21 Days Challenge for all Malaysians to join them and create the next ‘big thing’ on social media platforms. The objective of this campaign is to encourage all Malaysians to be involved in running activities and keep the momentum going for 21 days in a row, snap a picture of every session and upload it onto your social media account Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and redeem your prize.
The first 100 participants who completes this challenge, will win a limited edition PUMA Ignite running tee shirt.
PUMA Ignite is worn by Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world. As quoted by Bolt during the global launch in New York last month, he says “IGNITE is a great a running shoe, along with PUMA spikes, I spend a lot of time training in this shoe as well and it really helps to sustain my energy levels. I love IGNITE for that.”
The much anticipated Puma ‘IGNITE’ will go on sale across Malaysia, effective today. The PUMA ‘IGNITE’ will be priced at RM429.
PUMA is one of the world’s leading Sports Brands, designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. For over 65 years, PUMA has established a history of making fast product designs for the fastest athletes on the planet. PUMA offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as Football, Running, Training and Fitness, Golf, and Motorsports. It engages in exciting collaborations with renowned design brands such as Alexander McQueen and Mihara Yasuhiro to bring innovative and fast designs to the sports world. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf, Tretorn, Dobotex and Brandon. The company distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs more than 10,000 people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany. For more information, please visit http://www.puma.com.
Released by Shekhinah PR on behalf of PUMA Malaysia.
For further information please contact:
Shekhinah PR / 012 – 2161 881
Shekhinah PR / 014 – 252 6663
Shekhinah PR / 013 – 365 8431
I don’t usually post training updates because it’s tough enough for me to keep to a fixed routine. The worksheet with the workouts penned down will usually go through several iterations in the 18 weeks it’ll take me to being race-ready. You won’t be wrong to assume that at times I’ve had to wing it as I go along This time around, with so many friends joining me in preparing for GCAM15, I thought I’d do the occasional update.
The first two weeks of training evolve around building up consistency with mid-60Ks of weekly mileage. This number is slightly on a higher side this early into a marathon program and I’m trying my best to stick to it. It’s a constant challenge, given the fact that I spend 2.5 hours daily in non-productive traffic jams. Some days’ workouts have to be modified by breaking up the day’s mileage into 2 sessions. It may not be ideal but in these conditions, I’ve to maintain a big-picture view.
The plan I’m following is based on Hanson’s, riding on specificity and accumulated fatigue. On paper, the plan may invoke a “meh” to the uninitiated but executing it does present a challenge. By the time I get to the weekend workouts, all the miles logged during the weekdays would’ve been baked in, increasing the toughness of the comparatively short long runs. Last weekend’s checkpoint tempo was an eye-opener when I could only hack half the distance. Definitely need to respect the training plan and the body if I’m to survive.
Thankfully, other than the solo weekday sessions, I’ve had the pleasure of training with a large group on the weekends. The group comprises of beginners, intermediates and several strong runners (always good to have these folks around to motivate you!).
There are no shortages of shoes to be sure. I’ve rotated between the GORun 4, Flyknit Lunar 2, Kinvara 5, Boston Boost 5, Gemini, GOBionic 2, GOSpeed 3 (for trackwork), Ace 6, and recently the Breakthru (logging miles in them for the review!). It’s never boring when it comes to shoes!
The group always welcome runners to join in our training runs, whether you’re training for GCAM or otherwise. I post the group training updates on the GCAM15 – Team Malaysia in Training FB page.
The 2015 Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be run on July 5th. It’s Australia’s only IAAF Gold Label marathon and the venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Early bird entries run up to April 30th 2015. Head on to www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au for details and to register. Then, do join us for training!
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