serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Posts Tagged ‘performance’

Karhu Fast Fulcrum_Ride Running Shoe Review

Friday, December 10th, 2010

mens-karhu-fast-fulcrum_ride-running-shoeThe Karhu Fast Fulcrum_Ride road running shoe is scheduled to hit stores in the United States on February of 2011, but you can get these hot new shoes now on  The Internet spreads across oceans.  If you haven’t heard of Karhu before, it’s probably because they are a Finnish company, but they have been producing running shoes in Europe for over 100 years.  Karhu has a rich history in running shoes.  After WWII they sold their 3 stripes trademark to a little known German brand named Adidas for the equivalent of 1600 Euros today and 2 bottles of whiskey.  That better have been some good whiskey.  In the 1980s Karhu sold off their outdoor shoe division to Merrell.  Karhu is now back with its new fulcrum technology and bringing it to its new running shoe line.

The patented fulcrum technology they say is, “independently tested and proven, collaborates with the foot to convert your body’s natural energy into forward motion.”  Much like a fulcrum would but with collaboration with your body.  The technology is located in the sole of the shoe.  The fulcrum is more efficient with its lower pronation angle and velocity because it allows for appropriate pronation during the gait cycle.  The center of pressure moves along it’s natural path vertically from the heel to the toes without interruption.  Traditional running shoes transfer pronation energy from side to side.  The fulcrum also allows for more balance because it is naturally centered which accelerates the transition, the most unbalanced portion of your stride.  Traditional running shoes with flat cushioning and vertical posting can create braking and angular forces.  The fulcrum keeps you moving forward with less vertical oscillation.  Stop wasting energy on oscillating anywhere but forward, unless you’re running up stairs or something.

The Karhu Fast Fulcrum_Ride is a neutral shoe built for performance; that’s why its named “fast.”  The Fast Fulcrum_Ride is womens-karhu-fast-fulcrum_ride-running-shoes1able to transition pressure to energy.  The body’s nerve signals anticipate contact with the ground at a natural heel strike, and because of the fulcrum, the force of the impact is distributed evenly.  The activation leads to forward movement, following the body’s natural inclination.  The mid-foot is fully loaded and the body pivots over the fulcrum.  The maximum horizontal velocity is applied in a final push off the fulcrum, driving the body forward.  It’s just science.

The new Fast Fulcrum_Ride are great for flat footed runners.  The fit is true to size, with a narrow and low profile for speed.  However, they feel like they may not be as durable as other running shoes so the Fast Fulcrum_Ride may be best kept for race day.  The cushioning is great but the amount of padding seems unnecessary for a performance shoe.  The extra padding makes the shoe heavier, especially if it gets wet from rain or sweat.

It’s an interesting new concept and you can feel the difference when you run.  Check out if the fulcrum technology fits you.  It could be a fast ride.

TEVA X-1 Evolution Trail Running Shoes

Monday, April 6th, 2009

amazon-teva-picIt’s an Evolution.  This isn’t a Revolution.  There is no forced change.  We are changing, learning, adjusting, evolving to better our experiences.  We are doing like our forefathers did, running through the woods.  Exploring new areas.  Looking for adventure.  Beating the odds.  However, we are a little more enlightened and can now do it more efficiently with the TEVA X-1 Evolution Trail Running Shoes.  TEVA has evolved to give you the trail running shoes that perform the fastest while still giving you the comfort and support you need.  I just got a pair of these trail running shoes and really love them.  I’ve taken the TEVA X-1 Evolution trail running shoes on about five trail runs that were dry, wet, and moist.  I’ve run on asphalt, dirt trails, and grass on the TEVA X-1 Evolutions and they preformed well in all conditions!  Apparently it is due to TEVA’s Spider XC technology which provide, “…extra durability and performance in rugged terrain without sacrificing traction around the river.”  Whatever the technology is, it’s legit.  These shoes are pretty utility.

The TEVA X-1 Evolutions are my second pair of TEVA trail running shoes.  I have a pair of the TEVA X-1 Control 2 trail running shoes which are great for my training because of my need for a little more stability, but the TEVA X-1 Evolution trail running shoes are my trail racing shoes.  These trail running shoes may be engineered for durability, but are they are obviously built for performance.  Their ultra-lightweight, neutral platform, and minimal design make them the fastest trail running shoes I’ve ever tried.  They are manufactured by welding every piece of the shoe together instead of stitching.  Stitching adds more weight and makes the shoes less durable.  See, the TEVA X-1 Evolutions have truly evolved into a better performing shoe.  They even use their patented lug design which not only gives you a great grip, but sheds the mud that sticks to your shoes.  You don’t want to be carrying any extra trail weight during your race.  Add in some leg speed and you’ll be winning trail races in no time!

My favorite feature of these shoes is the upper mesh material.  This material allows your feet to breathe and reduces rubbing which often creates hot spots.  Hot spots are for the night time, not while you’re out on the trail.  Another aspect that I really enjoy but can not find in any other trail running shoe is the TEVA X-1 Evolution’s fresh look.  Before I took them out on the trail I wore them around town.  I got a lot of great responses!  I think people mainly like the Harvest Pumpkin color.  The color is subtle enough that it is not too weird, but loud enough that people notice.  You are like a peacock showing off your feathers when wearing these shoes; minus having to make noise to draw attention to yourself.  You don’t want to be too loud.  This is Harvest Pumpkin.  Buy Halloween Pumpkin colored shoes if you want to be loud.  I love running shoes that not only run well but look good too.  After putting 400 miles on a pair of shoes they are no longer fit for running but are perfectly fine for cruising around town.  I like running shoes that I can do both in and the TEVA X-1 Evolution trail running shoes can do both very well.  They’re so diverse.

So check out the TEVA X-1 Evolutions, increase your speed, perform better and feel good.  Plus you’ll look good doing it and that’s all that really matters anyway.

Running Shoe Types and Classifications

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

blog-use-resize3You’ve got the cushioned, the stability, the support, the performance, and the trail running shoes; those are for the trails.  As I begin my journey for the perfect running shoe I am going to totally re-think my normal running shoe type:  stability.  Even though my pronation indicates I need some stability in my runs (and maybe in my life for that matter), I still want cushioned support that performs the best to its ability; whether or not on the road or trail!  Well, minus the trail part, I want it all.  Here’s are the types of running shoe and explanations of the why I want a bit of it all:

Cushioned: Some may call this type a Comfort running shoe; but I don’t.  It’s not a stuffed animal that you sleep with every night for your comfort.  It’s like a leather couch…cushioned.  These shoes are neutral running shoes with soft midsoles and a rounded toe.  They are for the runner that is looking for comfort on the bottoms of their feet and do not need extra support.

Stability: These shoes are for overpronators like myself.  I can admit it, I overpronate.  So you can admit it too.  The difference in these shoes is that the density is on the base of the inner foot which gives more protection and cushion on your rolling foot.  These types of shoes are also referred to as “motion control” shoes but if you have a problem controlling your emotions, running shoes aren’t going to help.  Why can’t you just land flat on the ground like a normal person?  I bet a caveman could do it.  I didn’t mean to sound condescending.

Support: These shoes are for severe overpronators.  They have a heavy bulk with flat arches that provide the support you need so you don’t completely roll your feet into one other while running.  It’s that severe.  Sure, we all need some extra support now and again but you need it on every run.  Seriously.  Stop being so needy, it’s a turn-off.

Performance: These shoes won’t “enhance” your performance but they will allow you to perform to the best of your ability.  These types are lightweight, typically have a lot of mesh, and are made to be your racin’ shoes.  Buy the fastest shoes you can find and I bet you’ll break your PR.  If you don’t, it’s the shoes’ fault, blame them.

Trail Running: These shoes are obviously built for trail running.  They are in between hiking shoes and running shoes.  They are more durable and provide more protection than normal running shoes against all the rocks and roots you’ll be tripping over.  Stop dragging your feet!

So there you have it.  I want it all.  I want to feel the cushion as I make every step in my run.  I want the stability that my pronating feet need.  I also want a little extra support to guard against injury and wear and tear.  I also want to run as fast as possible, not only in races, but in everyday intervals and on my everday runs.  Is that too much to ask?  I think not.  If the shoe fits, you must…run quick!