Hoka Huaka (2014)

Model :  Hoka Huaka (2014)  Hoka Huaka Web

Weight :  Approx: 9.2 oz
Cushion : Medium Plus
Toe Box Room : Reasonable
Zero Drop : No
Heel to toe drop : 4 mm
Control : Neutral
Manufacturer : Hoka One One
Purchased : Yes via Running Warehouse

Test Surface : Trail and Treadmill
Miles :
~20 miles
Tasty?  A shoe I planned to love for hybrid running on Trail and Road, but alas it was not meant to be. That said let me clarify, I have a pair of Hoka Cliftons (2014), that I totally love.  In fact they have provided me with one of the best running experiences to date, so I was hoping for the same. However the Huaka’s use a stiffer RMAT material that creates just that, a stiffer ride.  I prefer a cushier and softer ride. So these are leaving my rotation, but I will remain a Hoka fan based on the Clifton.

Second Opinion:  Via The Ginger Runner

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On Cloudsurfer (2014)

Model :  On Cloudsurfer (2014)On Cloudsurfer 2014 Web Small
Weight :  Approx: 9.2 oz
Cushion : Min + bounce
Toe Box Room : Better than average
Zero Drop : No
Heel to toe drop : 7 mm
Control : Neutral
Manufacturer : On
Purchased : Yes via leftLane Sports

Test Surface : Road and Treadmill
Miles : ~
62 miles
Tasty?  Love this shoe. This is a reasonable light weight, low to the ground trainer, and it lives up to its name. This shoe claimed a solid slot in my rotation for exactly what its designed for, and it offered a unique slightly bouncy ride. In fact the experience has been so positive that I continue to experiment with other On shoes for road work and trail running.  However, I have been preferring something with a bit more full cushion feel, so right now my daily trainer for the road is a Hoka Clifton.  That said this was a solid shoe and enjoyed every run in them.  And I should mention – never a blister did I have!

Second Opinion:  Via Wired

Ultimate Direction Naviti – Hydration Belt

Model : Naviti
Overall :  Functional for walk or hiking
Manufacturer : Ultimate Direction
Purchased : Yes via LeftLane Sports

Test Conditions : Treadmill

Features:

  • Two 20 oz / .6L bottles included
  • Comfort stability belt with dual-adjust quick-release buckles
  • Strap secure webbing control
  • Closed-cell foam back panel padding won’t absorb sweat
  • Snug fitting, twin ‘V’ canted bottle holsters prevent bottles from popping out
  • Bottle lock bungee system keeps bottle in-place
  • Reflective piping & logo
  • All Ultimate Direction products are 100% BPA-Free

Storage: Contoured zippered storage pocket with key hook

Specs:
 
  • Weight: 1lb / 454g
  • Height: 8 in / 20.3 cm
  • Length: 27 in / 68.6 cm
  • Depth: 7 in / 17.8 cm
  • Storage Capacity: 320 in3 / 4.9L

Materials:
3D AirMesh, Nylon 210D & 150D and Nylon Mesh

Miles : ~ 3 miles
Tasty?  This pack is a no go for me. I think really I just picked the wrong item for the task. I was looking for a pretty well contained running belt that would let me haul along a couple of bottles of water, a jacket, some gels, and a small single use first aid kit.  This pack really could carry way more than that and it looks like its meant more for hiking or walking.  When I filled the water bottles and stuffed the items in the belt it felt heavier than I expected.  However, its the ride that matters, so I took it for several test spins on the treadmill trying to adjust the placement on the hips and the circumference of the belt.  I fiddled around for about 30 minutes, but no matter how I tried the water bottles bounced like crazy and it was just generally uncomfortable to run in. It might work for walking or hiking, but it did not meet my needs for running.  That said I do have another Ultimate Direction pack that I am playing with and having much much better luck with, more on that later. For the moment I would carefully consider other options if you are a runner.

Second Opinion: From reviews at Amazon

Altra Lone Peak 2.0

Model :  Altra Lone Peak 2.0 Altra Loan Peak 2 Web Small
Weight :  Approx: 10.9 oz
Cushion : Moderate
Toe Box Room : Roomy
Zero Drop : Yes
Heel to toe drop : 0 mm
Control : None
Manufacturer : Altra
Purchased : Yes via Running Warehouse

Test Surface : Trail 
Miles : 
13.x miles
Tasty?  I have hesitated writing this review for a very long time. Primarily because I have only put about 13 miles on the shoe and I wanted to put more miles on it before I provided a review. However, I just have not been able to bring myself to run in the shoe again. My trail miles tend to be on the order of six or more miles per run and I don’t see myself ever wanting to put more than three mile in these at a time.  It seems to be a good shoe and perhaps I had the wrong expectations for it. Early on I had very good luck with the Altra Torin and I really wanted to this shoe to be the Altra Torin designed for trails.  Its just not that. It needs more cushion to be that, and that’s my only real issue with this shoe. I really would like it to have more cushion and have a softer feel, much like the Altra Torin but without the odd cushion slope / foot mechanics I experienced in the Altra Olympus. That said I have a lot of faith in Altra and I will probably be back to Altra in the future, but for now this shoe has left my rotation.

Second opinion :  Review by TheGingerRunner

Road ID Sport (Wrist ID)

Model : Road ID SportRoad ID web small
Overall :  Effective / Excellent
Manufacturer : Road ID
Purchased : Yes via Road ID

Test Conditions : Road / Trail

Details:

  • The Wrist ID Sport is a comfortable bracelet ID that includes two 3M reflective strips and a Velcro closure. Laser engraved peace of mind in a stylish and durable form. Easy to wash and interchangeable with the Shoe ID.
    Weight 0.1 ounce (3g)
    Material Laser Engraved, Satin Polished, Surgical Quality Stainless Steel
    Interchangeable Yes, the ID tag on the Wrist ID Sport can be easily transferred to the Ankle Band, Shoe Strap or Shoe Pouch.
    Dimensions 0.75″ X 1.5″ (19mm x 38mm)


    Miles : 
    ~150 miles 
    Tasty?  Yes – Excellent. I tried a different brand before turning to the Road ID, and let me tell you the Road ID is the Wrist ID to wear. Its solid, light weight, and DURABLE.  I put it on for every run or bike ride, and it has yet to show any wear.  The printing on the other brand smudged and became unreadable in roughly thirty days.  In addition, The Road ID website is also excellent and clearly works hard to protect your identity while still allowing emergency personal access to your data when needed.

Second Opinion: From the gadgeteer

Nike Zoom Terra Wildhorse

Model :  Nike Zoom Terra Wildhorse Nike WIldhorse web small
Weight :  Approx: 9.6 oz
Cushion : Minimum in forefoot
Toe Box Room : Average
Zero Drop : No
Heel to toe drop : 4 mm
Control : None
Manufacturer : Nike
Purchased : Yes via RoadRunner Sports

Test Surface : Trail and Treadmill
Miles : 
18.25 miles
Tasty?  The Nike Air Zoom Terra Wildhorse has a very long name and people love it. I however have decided to retire it from my running rotation. Its a good looking shoe and fun to wear, but the cushioning is just too minimal in the forefoot for my taste. In this case I think I should have gone with the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger.  The Wildhorse has an air cushion in the heel only, while the Nike Terra Kiger has air cushions in the heel and forefoot.  I do plan to keep this shoe around and use it for cross-training  days. It works great in the Gym, it locks me in place and lets me concentrate on the move, not my feet slipping out from under me while attempting a Pike Press.

Second opinion :  Review by TheGingerRunner

Cyclops CYC-MHC-W Micro Mini LED Hat Clip Light

Model : Cyclops CYC-MHC-W Micro Mini LED Hat Clip LightMini LED Cap Light web small
Overall :  Effective
Manufacturer : Cyclops
Purchased : Yes via Amazon

Test Conditions :
Nighttime: Road / Dusk: Trail

Details:

  • Micro Hat Clip Light with 10 lumen
  • 5 super bright LED’s with built-in 15 angle tilt
  • Weighs less than an ounce, top mount design does not obstruct vision
  • Burn Time: 118 minutes
  • Powered by (2) two CR-2016 batteries (included)

    Miles : 
    ~15 miles 
    Tasty?  It works and it works well. It does everything as advertised. I do have to say that I found myself in a nighttime 5K in the pitch black of night and it got me through the race, but I did find myself wanting a brighter more powerful headlamp for those conditions. And it certainly looks like Cyclops offers headlamps with more lumens. The reality is I had no clue how many lumens mattered. So in this case, for trail running at dusk or road running with some street lights around, where I needed just a little more light this was perfect. For times I found myself standing in the pitch black of night, I would recommend something with a lot more lumens, 10 was just not enough.

Second Opinion: From Amazon Customers.

Feels like a Patellar issue, but might be the IT Band – Does not matter Pro-tec is awesome!

Model : Pro-Tec Athletics Knee Patellar Tendon Strap Petla Band web small
Overall :  Highly usable / effective
Manufacturer : Pro-tec Athletics
Purchased : Yes via Amazon

Test Conditions : Road / Trail / Treadmill
Miles :
100+ miles 
Tasty?  Excellent.  Running more than three miles results in knee pain for me. My solution to date has been to use a Patellar Tendon strap and it works.  In fact this model from Pro-Tec is awesome: Its simple to line up and put on. I have tried others with more complicated straps or tightening mechanisms, but sometimes simple is better.  Now – let me just add something here. While the Patellar band seems to work, I have never bothered to actually see a doctor and I suspect it may actually be an IT band issue, and to that point I do have an IT Band strap on order to experiment with, and Competitor.com has a great article on some exercises to try – I am going to do both.  I will post my final results once I have completed my trials runs and comparisons of results.   But please don’t consider any of this medical advice.  🙂

Second Opinion: From Amazon Customers.

Amphipod RunLite AirStretch Hydration Belt

Model : Amphipod RunLite AirStretch Hydration BeltAmphipod Hydration Belt web small
Overall : Light weight and comfortable
Manufacturer : Amphipod
Purchased : Yes via local REI store

Test Conditions : Trail
Miles :
18+ miles
Tasty?  Excellent. The Amphipod has become my go to hydration belt for long runs, and by that I mean anything at six miles or more. Since I am my own trail support at the 6 mile mark I have a hydration and nutrition plan that starts at 3 miles. The Amphipod lets me carry water and gels with no issues and the water bottles snap in and out even at a good pace.  The other cool thing about the Amphipod is that you can add pockets or bottles based on your needs.  I have done just that, adding another pocket to haul my cell phone and using the rear pocket for gels and trash.  If you’re looking for a good solid hydration belt that can adapt as your needs change, I highly recommend the Amphipod.

Second Opinion: From The Running Duo

Clif Shot Energy Gel

Model : Clif Shot Energy GelClif Shot Gel web small
Manufacturer : Clif Bar
Purchased : Yes via Amazon

Features:
– 90 % Organic Ingredients
Great Taste
More Electrolytes
Thinner consistency
Trash Fighting Litter Leash

Test Conditions : Road and Trail
Tasty?  Love these things. I have not tried all the flavors, but so for I really like the Chocolate, Espresso, and Mocha flavors.  Some of these have caffeine, some do not. Chocolate for example does not, while the Mocha has one cup of coffee worth, and the Espresso has two cups of coffee worth. Clif marks each little shot so you can determine what you want to eat. Its a nice handy system and when your out on a long run and you are your own trail support system, these things are great.  In addition, My son is a juvenile diabetic so we always have to carry a snack with us in case his blood sugar drops. These shots average around 20 to25 grams of Carbs, and are very temperature stable, and like most kids he loves chocolate. So these little mostly organic shots serve double purpose for us and I am very glad we found them.

Second Opinion: From CoachLevi.com