Lacing Techniques

Have you ever had foot pain from your favorite shoe? Have you purchased a new pair of your old favorite but somehow it just doesn’t fit the same as last year’s model?

Sometimes, just changing the way you lace your shoes can make a difference. This is more than loosening or tightening your laces.

Check out this video from Running Warehouse

Lacing Techniques for Running Shoes

I’ve had people tell me about different ways to lace my shoes to cure various issues. The problem is I can never remember how they did it. One time someone even re-laced a shoe for me. When I got home it still looked incomprehensible. Maybe I’m a little slow.

lacing techniquesWhen I was in Boy Scouts I always had a hard time tieing the different knots. I have no idea why this is so hard for me but it is.

Fortunately this video is very clear and doesn’t skip that crucial step that all other videos seem to do. I hate it when a video skips what seems like an insignificant step. I need it all spelled out for me clear as day. Explain it to me as if I was in 4th grade.

If you are having problems with a particular shoe, or if you always have foot problems, this video may be for you.

Running Warehouse has a ton of other great videos that you may find useful also.

Do you use different lacing techniques already?

What types of foot problems are you dealing with?

Did you try any of the techniques in the video and get some relief?

Run well my friends,

Andy

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Adidas – BAA announce new store

The BAA and Adidas announce a new retail store

Adidas, running shoesMay 2nd, 2015 Adidas and the Boston Marathon, announce the launch of the Boston Marathon® RunBase in partnership with Marathon Sports, Inc. The Adidas exclusive community experience will open mid-April just steps from the finish line. The initiative is the first of its kind in the U.S. and will be the center of running in Boston, located at the 26-mile mark of the legendary course on Boylston Street.

RunBase is more than a shop to buy running shoes. Check out the full announcement on the BAA web site for more cool details.

If you register with Adidas they will send you a discount code for 15% off through April 19th.

Through April 30th Adidas is offering free shipping on orders over $49.00. I think we all know it wont be hard to spend $49.

Run well my friends,

Andy

2015 Running Shoe Guide

Spring is in the air and a runner’s thoughts turn to…  New Running shoes, of course!

Every year the running shoe companies churn out new versions of old favorites and roll out a few new styles and concepts for us. 2015 is now different.

Brooks Adrenaline, running shoesI’ve been running in Brooks Adrenaline for over 10 years. When I first started running I had toe and blister problems. I switched to Brooks because they had a larger toe box. That change relieved 90% of my foot problems.

Why would I look at anything else, right?

The shoe companies aren’t spending millions of dollars on research and development just to keep engineers and designers on staff. They do it because material science evolves. New discoveries are made and new principals applied to shoe design and manufacturing.

Many people recommend that you switch out your shoes for your weekly runs. Different shoes put pressure on different parts of your feet, have different support and will feel different on your feet. Change is good and sometimes you discover your new favorite shoe.

Swap in your new shoes on shorter runs and wear your current shoe for longer runs. As you become more comfortable and confident in the new shoe, the new shoe can be your long run shoe and the older shoe can be for your shorter runs.

Many people have told me that new shoes do not need a break in period. This may be true, but you should go on short runs with your new shoes until you know how your feet will react to them. The best shoe for everyone else could cause you a world of problems. You don’t want to discover this on a 20 mile long run.

Adidas Ultra Boost

I recently tried on the Ultra Boost. The shoe is very different from what I currently wear.

Energy-returning boost™ in the midsole gives these men’s running shoes a soft but not too-soft feel. They have a breathable mesh upper with a bootie-like fit and feature a grippy rubber outsole that’s built to log miles. – Adidas

Adidas, running shoesThe shoe fit tightly in the toe box area with the mesh material gripping the knuckle of my big toe. The front of the shoe is all mesh without any of the strips that go from the lace structure to the toe of the shoe. These strips probably gave some structure to the toe box and kept the shoe away from my toes.

The heal of the shoe is also unique. The cup for the heel is split in the back with the center inch or so made of a mesh fabric. I only went out for a short run but it felt like the shoe may fall off. When I sat down and pulled on the shoe, it was obvious the shoe wasn’t going anywhere.

The tongue of the shoe is integrated into the upper. I’ve never seen this before. Many shoes have a tab to run a lace through and hold the tongue in place. This is an innovative approach to holding your tongue.

Because this shoe is so different from anything I’ve worn before, I’d love to try them on a longer term basis. It would be interesting to see how they feel on my daily run and a long run.

Adidas and the BAA just announced a new store on Boylston Street in Boston. It’s a new retail concept for Adidas and looks really cool. It’s called Boston Marathon RUNBASE. If you sign up for their mailing list you get a 15% discount.  I have no affiliation with Adidas or the BAA.

2015 Running Shoe Guide:

2015 Running Gear Guide: Road Shoes

from Competitor.com. You can also check out their complete 2015 Running Gear Guide for information on everything you need for running.

From Runner’s World I have their

Runner’s World 2015 Spring Shoe Guide

Under Armour seems to be coming on strong. A friend gave a good review of the Speedform Gemini shoe. He writes his reviews after running 50+ miles in a shoe. A real runner with real opinions.

These shoe guides have plenty of names that you are familiar with and some that you may not be. I’m constantly surprised by new names, or new to me anyway.

Hope you find what you are looking for.

Run Well my Friends!

Andy

balega sock review

balega sock six month review

I purchased a pair of the balega socks when I bought my Brooks Adrenaline ASR 10 GTX shoes in November. The idea was that combining these socks with the GORE-TEX lined shoes would help keep my feet warm.

Brooks Running, running shoes, balegaThe GORE-TEX lined shoes keep the wind and the water out of my shoes and the enclosed toe box hold in some heat.

I don’t always wear the shoes and socks together, as socks need to rotate through the laundry.

But the shoes and balega socks do go together nicely.

balega sock wear test

As I mentioned in my Adrenaline ASR 10 GTX review, no white lab coats and high-tech machines are in the Omni Running Labs. All products are tested under real world conditions.

I’ve worn the balega socks for five races and many training runs. Since I’m currently focused on 5Ks my training runs pretty much max out at 6.5 miles.

When I put these socks on for the first time it felt like a snug embrace of my feet. balega calls this  the “Second skin fit.”

balega, running socksThe fabric is soft with a nice stretch to it. They slip on easily and really fit nicely. Many socks need to be pulled on, these just slid onto my feet.

With many socks, I have to fool with them to get the toe seam properly aligned. Often there is a bunch in the seam over one toe or another. If you don’t get this bunch properly placed, you can end up with a nasty blister or raw skin after a long run.

The balega socks have what they call a “Hand linked toe closure.” The inside of the seam is completely flat. The seam on the outside of the sock is barely noticeable. I haven’t had to deal with seam bunching with these socks at all.

Winter sock comparison

saucony, mittens, darn tough
Cold weather mittens and socks

Last year I purchased a two pair of the Darn Tough wool socks. The design was the #1723 “1/4 Sock Light Cushion.” These socks also have the flat toe seam with just a slight ridge on the outside of the sock.

Both socks use Merino wool. The Darn Tough use 51% Merino Wool, 45% Nylon and 4% Lycra Spandex.

The balega use 54% “Moh-rino”, 13% Pan, 30% Nylon and 2% Elastane. I thought “Moh-rino” was their way around a trade mark but ” Moh-rino is actually a combination of Mohair and Merino.

balega socks are made is South Africa and the balega site says that:

Nelson Mandela Bay is the unofficial capital of the global mohair industry, with South Africa leading the global mohair market with a 58% share of world production.

Moh-rino combines the best features of Merino wool and Mohair, as explained on their site. The mohair is produced locally in South Africa and the socks are manufactured there as well.

For testing purposes, I wore the Darn Tough socks with the Adrenaline ASR 10 GTX shoes when I ran with the Somerville Road Runners.

The Bur-Run was not exactly a cold night. The streets of Somerville were also dry for the most part. A few puddles but nothing like the Mt. Hood Golf Course.

Still, it was a wear test combining the same shoe with the comparison sock.

The Darn Tough socks don’t have as much stretch to them as the balega socks do. But they fit just as well as the balega and the toe seem is very similar.

My feet felt very comfortable during this 5K fun run.

I’ve worn the balegas for many training runs and several races over the winter. They were comfortable in the different shoes that I wear and kept my feet as warm as the Darn Tough socks.

For comfort and ability to keep my feet warm I would say these socks are equal.

The balega socks are $16.50 a pair and the Darn Tough Vermont are $17.00 a pair. Equal again.

The balega socks I have are grey and black with orange design and logo. The first time I put them on with the new Brooks shoes it seemed like they were designed together.

The Darn Tough Vermont are white socks like every other sock you own. They have a subtle design on the back of the ankle and a grey design on the top of the foot. Very understated, like a true Yankee.

I don’t pay much attention to fashion and color coordination. In most of my photos I’m wearing all black. I did like the way the balega socks and Brooks shoes matched. It was all by accident but it looked pretty good. I’ll give a point to balega.

I’ve been careful washing my new balega socks. They are part wool and I’m pretty good at ruining laundry. I’ve washed them in cold water and let then air dry.

Even with this level of care, they did have some pilling that you would expect from new wool socks. The Darn Tough socks have no pilling and look almost brand new, even though they are about a year old.

After six months of wearing the balega socks they are holding up nicely. I’ve worn and washed them about 25 times and they look the same as they did after two months. The initial pilling has not continued and they look great.

The Darn Tough are about a year old and have been worn many times. They are no longer spotless but they have held up very well.

For durability I think they are equal. The quality for both is good, they just use slightly different materials that react differently to wear.

The points break down as follows:

  • Comfort and Feel: balega
  • Style: balega
  • Warmth: Tie
  • Price: Tie
  • Durability: Tie

Final assessment

I like the look and feel of the balega socks. All of my other socks are, or were, white. So the color was a bit of a novelty for me.

Both winter socks worked equally well at keeping my feet warm. I did have a hot spot on the bottom of one foot during a 16 mile run while wearing the Darn Tough socks. I have not tested the balega at this type of distance.

The balega do have the feel of a wool sock and have a nice fit. What they call the “Second skin fit.” Neither sock is inexpensive, but I think I’d buy another pair of the balegas first.

This assessment has changed since my initial review in December. A few extra months of wear and testing show both socks to be fairly equal. But balega has a better feel to the skin and I like their design.

  • Have you worn balega or Darn Tough Socks?
  • Do you wear heavier socks in the winter?
  • Is there a brand that you prefer?
  • How cold is to cold for you to run?

Run well me friends!

Andy

Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX

Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX shoe review.

Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX review

I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenaline GTS running shoes for about 10 years. They are a great pair of running shoes and have served me well. As a runner, when I find something that works I stick with it. Brooks Running shoes work for me.

The need for change

Brooks adrenaline ASR, gore-tex, winter runningA few weeks ago I went into Marathon Sports in Melrose to see if they had anything to help with cold weather running. The past few year’s winter cold has been rough on my feet. I’ve upgraded my running socks, but it was time to upgrade my running shoes. They suggested the Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX running shoe.

Brooks calls these an all-terrain shoe. They’re good for road running but give you extra support and traction for trail running and winter conditions.

What I really like about these shoes is the GORE-TEX lining. Most shoes have a ventilated toe box which is great in July, but not in February.

The GORE-TEX membrane is waterproof, windproof and provides some insulation to help keep my feet warm. I had been looking for a shoe that does not have a ventilated toe box. I did some research, but not enough. I have since found several brands that make winter shoes and a few that also use Gore-TEX.

Check out this review of the 10 Best Winter Running Shoes of 2015 from Gear Patrol. They also have a 2015 review on Winter Running Gloves.

Product Testing

I tested these shoes on the road in the real world. And while I got a discount on last year’s model, I did pay for these shoes.  Continue reading “Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX”

LaceLocker Review

lacelocker, laces, running shoesHow many times have you been out for a run and had your laces come undone?

I recently received a pair of LaceLockers from Carol Stanley at STASH Sporting Goods.

LaceLockers are a handy way to keep your laces tied and your run on track.

In running as in life, there are things you can control and things you just have to say, well I won’t say what I say. But you get my drift.

The laces on your running shoes are 100% under your control. Some people like them loose, some tight. Experienced runners know not to knot them too tightly as your feet tend to swell during a long run. Due to nerves or habit, some people tie their shoes several times before a race.

No matter how tight you tie yours on, you don’t want your laces coming un-done and making your trip a short fall.

LaceLocker is an ingenious solution. The instructions below show how they work.

Continue reading “LaceLocker Review”