Salomon X Ultra LTR GTX Men’s Hiking Shoes

These great looking trail shoes arrived in my front porch last weekend. As soon as I got my grubby hands on them I could feel the quality and more importantly the strength in them. These are built for proper trails. They were comfortable on my feet straight out of the box. They had some slight tension in them but this was balanced throughout the shoe and will break in with little effort.

I took them for trial in and around Llyn Padarn In Snowdonia where there are some undulating trails but nothing to extreme (recovering from a bad running injury) The grips were fantastic (Contragrip sole) on the wet rocks on what was a showery day. No slips and I felt confident on the steeper gradients. The toe cap and heal provide plenty of protection and stability without being built like a tank.

Salomon shoes tighten via a single-pull tab they call this “Quicklace” and I have used the same system on a pair of trail running shoes made by the same company. You pull the tab to tighten and then tuck it all away in a pocket on the tongue. It works really well and It has never let me down.

Gore Tex lined so no problems with waterproofing. These shoes are ideal for the trails but if I was carrying quite a bit of weight in a rucksack I would go for a boot. These shoes are wonderfully comfortable and I know they will last me for  years.

Stocked here at Milletsports

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Under Armor – Speedform Turbulence Review

This is the first time I have tried a pair of Under Armor trainers. The mens Speedform Turbulence shoe is made with high quality materials showing Under Armor are serious about getting into the running shoe market. The first thing I noticed when I pulled them out of the box was how lightweight they are. The weight does not reflect how strong the shoe is constructed. The upper is made of UA SpeedForm® technology with a dual layer mid-sole. I really like this part of the trainer because it feels firm without any soft spots giving it a nice bounce on each stride. The sock liner construction that lots of modern shoes are made of these days really helps with breath ability. These trainers are going to be my go to shoe for this coming summer. A lot of trainers I have owned in the past have a metal insert in the back of the heel. After about 200 miles of running it gets exposed and that is the end of life for those particular shoes. The Under Armor trainer doesn’t have that so I can feel confident I am going to get some good mileage out of these.

All of the above make up for a great trainer that is already my firm favorite. I got these trainers from Get The Label where they have a great selection of trainers and a large variety of brands.

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Salomon X Celerate 2 GTX

The new Salomon X Celerate 2 City Trail Running Shoe ( exclusively available in Intersport stores ) is probably the perfect running shoe for this time of the year in Northern Europe especially here in the UK. Right now we are experiencing a series of storms coming in with a new name (I think we are on Storm Desmond) every few days or so. The GTX in the name is there because these trainers have that wonderful fabric Gore-Tex in them which will keep your feet nice and dry when you splash through those frequent puddles. Salomon are well know for building trainers that are more technical and aimed at a more dynamic sort of runner who may choose to do things a bit more differently than just pure road running. These fit that bill really well.

The shoe itself is comfortable, lightweight and packed with lots of neat features. I really like the Quicklace system (remember to tuck the plastic bit away in the pocket). The grip is Salomons own Contagrip sole which has sufficient depth for some off road work. The fabric as mentioned before is Gore-Tex but it’s also well constructed with some flexibility that really hugs your feet in a nice way. They are truly light in weight. You don’t need to get the scales out it’s that obvious but at the same time they feel robust. Salomon have done a great job here there is no doubt.

X-CELERATE 2 GTX

The new Salomon running shoe – X Celerate 2 X, is exclusively available in Intersport stores (www.facebook.com/IntersportUK)

There approach is to make every run an adventure which simply fits perfectly with my philosophy of running. Running in this country has completely changed in the last 10 years with events like Tough Mudders and those weekend festivals where they combine lots of running in a festival setting. These trainers are perfect for such events and approach to running.

X-CELERATE 2 GTX

 

With that it mind I’m going to do a separate post about making every run an adventure because that can literately take us anywhere.

I can see these Salomon X Celerate becoming my favorite shoe. On the runs I have done so far they have been great and I have had no problems at all. In fact I don’t think about them when I’m pounding away which means they are doing the job properly. Since I have got them I have banged out a good 50 miles on them. There has been no breaking in period in those miles at all. With no hot spots, rubbing or blisters they have already passed the test.

 

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Water-To-Go Bottle Review

There is a lot more to this water bottle than meets the eye. When this arrived in the post I was in a rush to get to work. I quickly opened it had a quick glance and put it on the kitchen table to have a look at when I got back. Later that day holding it and reading the blurb on the packaging It said “Filters over 99.9% of ALL microbiological contaminants” Now I work in Laboratory and you have to be pretty confident to put those sort of stats on your product and that’s the key here to any type of water filtration technology trust! The filter can clean 200 liters of water.  A lot!!

I took it out for a run with me this weekend and it felt great in my hand and I will certainly use it for those 5 or 6 milers. To be honest though I will use this more for my wild camping when I go away to Scotland every year with my mates. We always end up on an island in a Loch after paddling all day and this bottle is perfect for 5 days outdoors.  It fits perfectly in my rucksack side pouch and I can feel confident about the drinking water which is vital when you are in some remote places.

The Water-To-Go bottle is genuinely a great product and something that suits me perfectly not only for running but more for my outdoor stuff. The bottle came from a site called www.traveloutdoors.co.uk

Get one and get me another one for my birthday!!

water to go 2 water to go

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Mizuno Wave Riders

A pair of Mizuno Wave Riders arrived a few weeks ago to try out. They came from this quality website over at Up and Running, who always have a good collection of trainers. It’s always nice to get shiny new trainers. I opened the box in front of my kids and after we all spent a few minutes taking in that wonderful new trainer odour we all agreed that these look fantastic. Now I didn’t get the scales out but these feel really light compared to other shoes I have, and I am sure I will be corrected later on. I don’t usually go for a longish run with a new pair trainers in case they have a slightly awkward fit and I end up with blisters (as has happened in the past), but I was very confident after putting these on that they would be fine. They were snug and felt stable. My first run was a 6 miler down the beach and I had no problems with them at all. I don’t know if it’s the psychological effect of new trainers but it felt like I was bounding along at a great pace with these. They are a firm favourite of mine out of the growing collection, and I am sure they will-be for a long time. So after a few weeks of good running in them they still have that fresh feel and I will be entering them in their first race in a couple of weeks’ time, in an off road/ on road 10km.

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That Was Great

The Olympics have just finished and there are a lot of glum people at work. I’m looking forward to the Paralympics now which is just a week and a bit away. It was great to see so many people out running over the period. I’m usually quite cynical when we get the New Year runners and don’t see them in February but this was different. I saw parents out running with their kids and it was obvious it was a new thing. Great stuff.

I haven’t posted in ages but i have been out running around. I have no plans at the moment but i am seriously looking at doing a triathlon sometime next year. Time to dust down the speedos and get the bike out.

The people who do these things sent me a lovely pair of Polaroid sunglasses. I don’t usually wear glasses when i’m out running but these were of a different quality. Slightly heavier (in a good way) than others i have tried and when i put them on i did let out a surprised “oh!” because these sat very nicely on my big nose. There was a good gap for ventilation something i suffer from horrendously because of the amount of sweat i generate. It was so nice running without squinting and i thought they looked ok. I was going to say cool but a bloke in his late 30’s saying that is not cool. Now a part of my running kit and good for everyday stuff.

 

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Helly-Hansen-pace-trail-running-shoe

The nice people at Outdoor Look sent me a pair of these trail running shoes to try out. I am training to do a cross country half marathon on the island of Anglesey in Novemeber so these trainers have come at a great time. The first few runs i did with these running shoe were, to be honest not the most comfortable but that i think was largley due to them being a tough and well constructed shoe. Now that i have “broken them in” they are now my favourite. Rigid and stable when i go off road on the slippery mud and hills but comfortable when i am on road. I like the look of them to. No shiny florescent fancy lines etc. They look like they are up to the job.

Helly Hansen produce some great kit and i have a lot of there products for when i am out on the mountains. Outdoor Look have a great range of kit not only for us runners but plenty of stuff as the name implies for the outdoors.

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Asics Gel Asperatus

Haven’t had a new pair of trainers for ages and with this new enthusiasm for running i decided to treat myself to a pair of mid range Asics or to be more precise a pair of shiny new Asics Gel Asperatus. I have had a pair of from this sort of range before and they did me proud. I got some great mileage out of my last pair of Asics.

I always find writing a review for trainers a bit conflicting (I’m a poor darling) but trainers are very personnel things . Everyone has different feet and are built in an equally different way so one trainer that i might like may be a nasty clump of textile crap to another. Anyway i went through www.idealo.co.uk to look for some good deals and came across these at a very reasonable price. Just below 50 quid. There are some running snobs who would baulk at the idea of donning such a cheap pair of running shoe and i hope this makes them even more sniffy after reading this.

I use a pair of trainers like these for short runs such as 3 to 6 milers. Anything more and i have to use a different pair. I love Nike Air Pegasus and have consistently had a pair knocking about for a number of years now.

These Asics Gel Asperatus are very comfortable although after the first mile or so i found them a little tight around the mid sole but this was just the newness in them and after a couple of miles they felt great. They have the GEL Cushioning System like most Asics shoe and this really is great for on road runners. I don’t really care how a trainer looks but if i did i would imagine these look ok. I have no idea what a good looking shoe should look like but I’m sure some fashion geek somewhere knows better than all of us. After all I’m not going to the local disco to cut some shapes on the floor wearing these.

I have put a a good few miles now in these and have broken them in nicely. Looking forward to getting a good few months of pounding mileage with them.

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