Archives for Reviews category

The Marathon Stick Review

Posted on Mar 08, 2010 under Reviews | 5 Comments

An important running accessory that I’ve started using in my daily routine is the Marathon Stick, a very simple and easy-to-use self-massaging tool to help alleviate sore muscles and speed recovery. There is actually a variety of different Sticks that vary in length and firmness depending on a person’s size, muscle density, and pressure preference. The Marathon Stick was the perfect one for me, a runner, and it is named appropriately. “Measuring 20 inches with 10 (1-inch) spindles, this model was made popular by world-class distance runners. Most flexible of the small models, it is preferred for those with lean muscle mass.”

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Sof Sole Insoles & Socks Review

Posted on Mar 06, 2010 under Reviews | 5 Comments

Sof-Sole-LogoI was sent a package of Sof Sole insoles and performance socks many months ago after complaining about how my old running shoes had given me massive blisters after running my first half marathon. They were kind enough to send quite a few products for me to try out, hopefully eliminating any more blister breakouts on my next race. By replacing the worn out, paper-thin insoles on my running shoes and wearing real running socks, I have not experienced any new blisters and it may have also played a vital role in keeping me injury free as well, which is important for all runners. Read the rest of this entry »

Product Review: thriv 1st Natural Performance Apparel

Posted on Jan 30, 2010 under Reviews | 1 Comment

I was contacted on behalf of thriv many months ago asking if I was interested in testing out their new and unique fitness apparel brand. It sounds like a new company using a grassroots campaign to get word out on their new products. What sets them apart from other companies is how their apparel is made: eco-friendly bamboo and cotton. Who would have thought that it was possible to wear bamboo? Anyways, the combination of the two creates a natural and light-weight solution as opposed to other synthetic polyesters. The fabric is able to wick sweat a lot better than the mega-giant brand Under Armour and has a higher SPF. It doesn’t hold odor in which is nice and it’s extraordinarily soft, which I can vouch for after washing it numerous times. Read the rest of this entry »

Product Review: iSkin DuoBand for iPod Nano 5G

Posted on Jan 30, 2010 under Reviews | No Comment

I was asked to test and review the iSkin DuoBand silicone skin and armband for the iPod 5G, except I didn’t even have a 5G. I do have an iPod 4G, which I got for my birthday (2 months before the new one came out..talk about timing). Anyways, when I got the product in the mail, I didn’t know that it was for the 5G and just went ahead and tried it on my iPod.

iSkin DuoBand for iPod nano 5G

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Invigorators Compression Socks Review

Posted on Jan 09, 2010 under Reviews | 4 Comments

I was asked from Invigorators to see if I was interested in testing and writing a review of the Invigorators Compression Socks. It was a great opportunity to test out and review different types of compression socks to find the pair that best fit me. I had previously tested and reviewed a pair of Zensah compression socks and was very pleased with the product. When asked to review the Invigorators Compression Socks, I needed to give my height and shoe size. The Invigorators came in a more custom fit, which is very helpful when you want to get the most of out your compression socks.

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Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10: Running Shoes Review

Posted on Dec 20, 2009 under Reviews | 1 Comment

brooks-adrenaline-gts-10-road-runner-sports-best-updateThe Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10 won Runner’s World “Best Update” award in the Winter 2010 Shoe Guide in its December 2009 issue. Read on to find out why..

brooks-adrenaline-gts-10

As part of the Brooks I.D. (Inspire Daily) sponsored athlete program, I am required to race and train in Brooks gear and apparel. But I also enjoy a 40% discount on said products, so it’s a win-win situation for both sides. I was well overdue for a new pair of running shoes (over 500-600 miles on my New Balance 768), so I started to review and look at potential Brooks running shoes to choose next. I had my feet and running form analyzed courtesy of Road Runner Sports and found out I had normal pronation (but feels more like over pronation) and needed a pair of stability shoes. I was deciding between the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10 and Trance 9, but when I tried on the Adrenaline 10, I knew I was sold. I didn’t know a pair of running shoes could feel so comfortable! On a side note, my brother had his feet looked at (on a different occasion) and was really interested in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10’s as well. What are the odds? Read the rest of this entry »

Product Review: lululemon athletica Tech Tee Shirt & Running Shorts

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 under Reviews | 2 Comments

I was sent a much needed new running wardrobe (a long time ago..) from lululemon athletica to test and review. Before getting the tech tee and running shorts, I would usually wear a plain white (cotton) tee and basketball shorts for all my runs. It actually wasn’t that bad, I didn’t really have any issues with them before. I know other runners sometimes will have issues like chaffing when running longer miles which I can only assume is quite uncomfortable. And as far as running with basketball shorts, I do agree that they were a little on the heavy side and had no safe place to store keys or other personal belongings. I probably could have survived without actual running shorts and a shirt. But these are just little things that can help make a big difference in the long run (literally and figuratively). Read the rest of this entry »

Product Review: POM Wonderful, They Really Are

Posted on Oct 19, 2009 under Reviews | 2 Comments

I was sent an awesome care package from POM Wonderful to try out and review some (a lot actually) of their POM products. I’ve actually never tried anything from POM before, probably because it’s more of a luxury item and a little too expensive for me, even though I have always loved pomegrantes. But who is going to give up the chance for complementary POM products, so here goes. Before I get into the review, here is an interesting quote I found from their website. “In China, a picture of a ripe, open pomegranate is a popular wedding present, expressing the wish ‘May you have as many children as there are seeds!’”

POM Wonderful Products

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Saucony ProGrid Xodus Trail Running Shoes with Vibram Outsole Product Review

Posted on Sep 07, 2009 under Reviews | 4 Comments

Runner's World Editor's Choice Award

I was recently asked to test out and review a pair of Saucony ProGrid Xodus Trail Running Shoes with Vibram outsoles. These trail shoes were picked as Runner’s World Editor’s choice award back in October 2008, quite an accomplishment if you ask me. I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about Vibram lately, but mostly about their very odd looking, but supposedly very comfortable Vibram Five Fingers, but that’s an entirely different conversation. I got back into running consistently for about half a year and when I first started running, I made a wise decision to avoid getting bored from running by participating in my first race since high school. It felt really good (although nerve-racking) to compete once again. After that race, I was able to keep my motivation up to continue running and even tried a 10K and am now training for my first half marathon. But that very first race that I ran was actually a trail course with a good amount of hills, which my New Balance 768 running shoes could not really handle. Also at that race, I ran ahead/behind a barefoot runner, which must have been really hard considering the terrain. I have wanted to do some additional runs and workouts on hills and trails recently and testing out the Saucony Progrid Xodus trail shoes with Vibram outsoles was the perfect opportunity to do so.

Saucony ProGrid Xodus Trail Running Shoe with Vibram Outsole on top of shoe box.
Saucony ProGrid Xodus Trail Running Shoes with Vibram Outsoles

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Zensah Prograde Compression Socks Review

Posted on Aug 06, 2009 under Reviews | 10 Comments
I was contacted on behalf of Zensah (@zensah) to review a pair of Prograde Compression socks, which I gladly obliged to do. I have never had special socks specifically for running. I usually just wore regular low-cut cotton ankle socks during my runs. Because of the crazy tans that we would get while running after school, I would sometimes pull mid-ankle cut socks down to low-ankle level and fold the excess sock under my foot. Sometimes it would be pulled too low and the whole sock would ride below the heal of my foot, which was very annoying. My coach would sometimes run in dress socks because he said that they were softer and felt more comfortable. I’ve tried that a couple of times, but because they’re so smooth, my feet didn’t really have any grip on the actual shoe (unless I tied my shoelaces very tight). I never thought that running socks would make that much of a difference in performance. I know from experience that shoes do because I raced for half of a cross country season with running shoes that made my feet burn within the first mile! The next race I ran with different racing flats and I didn’t have any issues with my feet burning.
Since I have never owned compression socks before, I really didn’t have anything to compare it to. However, after reading what others think of the Zensah compression socks, I have to agree with what most of them have to say about the socks. First off, I’ll point out some of the features that the compression socks state they do:
Increase circulation
Arch support
Recovery & travel
Improve performance
Active Ingredients & Benefits
Zensah Fabric: ultra comfortable
Silver Ions: thermal regulating
Pin-Point Compression: promotes oxygen blood flow
Moisture Wicking Properties: ultra breatable
Seamless Construction: anti-chafing
Non-elastic Band: no cut-off of circulation
Actually says this on the packaging:
Warnings: May lead to ultra comfort and improved performace.
The thing I noticed when I was looking at the socks on the website was how it is thicker around the arch and footing area. When I actually got the socks, I thought that a size small would be too tight for me, but since they are compression socks, they seem to be the perfect fit. The seamless technology is cool and I never have to worry about it bothering my feet while I run. When I first ran with these socks, I did feel like there was a difference on my feet. It may have just been a psychological thing, but that very first run, I ran the fastest time I had on that route and about a week later with the same socks, I ran even faster on that route! The socks provide padded arch support, but I also notice that my feet never burn while running longer distances or in the heat (thermal regulating). I had a long run yesterday and my calves felt kind of sore so I decided to try and wear them after the run to help improve recovery. We’ll see tomorrow how much the compression socks played an effect.
When I ran back in high school, the only running gear I had were running shoes, regular socks, shorts and a t-shirt (I didn’t get a running watch until my last year of cross country that I bought for $10 at Target or Walmart). Now, I have running shoes, special compression socks,
shorts, a t-shirt, a heart rate monitor, 100-lap stopwatch, an iPod Nano & Nike+iPod Sports Kit. At this moment, my times in high school were a lot faster than they are right now. So it looks like all of that extra gear that I have now is not helping me run any faster. But I am still only about 6 months into training and at 6 months into running in high school, I was not as fast as I am now. So maybe all of this gear is helping me run faster, but I know there are more than enough runners out there that feel the need some days to just run without all this technology. I have yet to do that, but will definitely try it out one day.

I was contacted on behalf of Zensah (@zensah) to review a pair of Prograde Compression Socks, which I gladly obliged to do. I have never had special socks specifically designed for running. I usually just wore regular low-cut cotton ankle socks during my runs. Because of the crazy tan lines that we would get while running after school, I would sometimes pull mid-ankle cut socks down to low-ankle level and fold the excess sock under my foot. Sometimes it would be pulled too low and the whole sock would ride below the heal of my foot, which was very annoying. My coach would sometimes run in dress socks because he said that they were softer and felt more comfortable. I’ve tried that a couple of times, but because they’re so smooth, my feet didn’t really have any grip on the actual shoe (unless I tied my shoelaces very tight). I never thought that running socks would make that much of a difference in performance. I know from experience that shoes do because I raced for half of a cross country season with running shoes that made my feet burn within the first mile! The next race I ran with different racing flats and I didn’t have any issues with my feet burning.

Zensah Compression Socks

Zensah Compression Socks

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