Monday, September 29, 2014

Berlin World record

New marathon world record time Berlin. Check out Dennis Kimetto's 5K's: 14:42 14:42 14:46 14:26 14:32 14:30 14:09 (!!) 14:42

Zeal Optics Helix review

Zeal Optics is another new brand for us. First time I came across this brand was when I was reading a race report from the great Ultra runner Anton Krupicka. When checking out ZEAL website, I realized that this brand has a lot to offer, both for endurance sports and casual wearing. Zeal also make goggles for mountain sports.  

Overall Rating: Excellent 

Helix - Clear Blue Gloss / Copper

Fit: Very flexible and light, these glasses only touch on the nose an ears. These had a great fit for my face, and are the least noticeable when running. Helix stay in place, during all kind of workouts and does not move around. Nosepiece and earpieces are rubberized for added comfort.

Sun Blockage: Excellent. The lenses are brown tint and provide complete coverage of the field of vision. The brown lens tint offers a soft and smooth vision. No issues with sun glare.

Venting/Antifogging: These lenses have multiple vents and are only attached to the frame at the nose. This provides excellent airflow and prevents fogging in all conditions. Even during the most humid days here in NJ, Helix has stayed fog free. 

Interchangeable Lenses: No (at least, not provided for testing)

Best For: Racing, and everyday use for sunny days. Helix is a great looking product and can be used as an everyday sunglasses as well.

Drawbacks: None

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this review sample for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Salming Running Speed1 Review Running market themselves as a natural running shoe brand. The shoes are designed with a holistic approach. At this point Salming Running offers four different running shoes. "Distance" (most cushion), Speed (Performance shoe), Race (Racing flat) and Xplore (lightweight 0mm drop). The Salming running shoe line up is very self explanatory and I have to admit, it does not have to be more complicated then this. On Salming Running's website you will find ton of information about their shoes and the approach. To me "natural running" is an organic feeling, you can connect with the road and the shoes are not in your way. Salming Running and Speed1 offer just that feeling.

Salming says: Covering mile after mile calls for a combination of comfort and durability. Accordingly, our shoes designed to function in more rugged environments utilize a 3 layer upper construction. A first layer of mesh material adds comfort, while the middle stabilizes lateral movements and reduces pressure on the foot. The exterior thin net mesh encapsulates and wraps up the front in a neat fashion, adding durability to the shoe.
We Say
The upper has been great during a hot humid summer here in NJ. The upper breathes well and dries up fast. The feel is very smooth and I feel that nothing is in the way. You will find a simple lacing system that is easy to get an even pressure, not creating any hot spots. The upper wraps your foot well with out any bells and whistles. The mesh closest to your feet offer a really smooth feel and if you prefer, you would be able to go without socks.   The upper reminds me how the first version of Kinvara felt. Very light and smooth.

Salming says
The RunLite™ midsole features a special High Abrasion Injection EVA, designed to create a nice feel for the ground. The midsole is light and responds to the surface in a flexible way from the very first step. Our standard heel to toe drop of 5 mm sets up a natural running posture, allowing a correct lean throughout the stride. This drop is used in Distance, Speed and Race models.
We say: Last couple of years I have been using 4mm drop shoes. Salming Speed comes in 5mm, to me the 1mm does not make a difference in feel. I get the same great road feeling with 5mm. Drop is all about preference and a low drop shoes might not be for everyone. The Runlite foam offers a really firm responsive ride, and I think with the low profile of the midsole that Speed offers is the glory of this shoe. You dont have to much, just the right amount of protection between you and the road. To me this is "natural running".

Salming Says
"Lightweight yet with sticky characteristics, our blown rubber compound is strategically placed to provide you with great grip in all slopes, twist and turns you might encounter. This particularly durable outsole material is used to further enhance the long-lasting characteristics of the shoe. The special rubber compound will get the most mileage possible out of your shoes."

We Say:
Outsole rubber has a great grip and you feel secure in all weather conditions. Speed has a smaller amount of rubber then a traditional running shoe. I wore out the non protected area in the forefoot faster then the rubber covered parts. I would have preferred to have this area covered as well, for more protection, faster transition and better durability. All the rubber covered parts durability shows normal wear and tear to me after 300 miles.

TGS 62/75°
Salming Says
"The distance from heel to the ball of foot (62% of the shoe) has been designed with extra stability, which ends in the so-called “ballet” line, a 75° angle. In front of the 75° line, we have equipped the shoe with greater flexibility to stimulate the foot’s natural movements. The TGS 62/75° featureassures that the shoe bends in exactly the right places, stimulating the foot’s natural lateral and forward movements"
We Say :
The shoe itself has no added features for stability, but the shoe is built low to the ground and it is supportive and secure enough for my gait and stride. Speed is not the most flexible shoe on the market, but compare to other running shoes in the performance category I would say Speed offer the same amount. To me the flexibility is enough to get me up on the toes fast. The 75% make sense, but I'm not the one to judge if this number is the right one for your foots anatomy.
Speed1 offers a really close to the road feeling. The shoe really shines when you pick up the pace and you can enjoy the firm responsive ride. The firmness works well together with flexibilty and you get up on the toes quick for a fast run and turn over.

Speed is a great shoe for faster tempo runs or as a race day shoe. If you enjoy a firmer responsive ride, you might find Speed being a great every day shoe in the same category as Saucony Kinvara or Brooks Pure Connect


Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive Running shoes from Salming Running as part of their brand ambassador program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Salming Distance named best new Shoe!

Salming Running shoe "Distances" was recently awarded the "best new shoe" in the Swedish edition of Runners World. Distance is a great shoe that the running swede will review shortly!

Salming Running Distance

Monday, September 15, 2014

A New Beginning with Salming Running USA

First of all, thank you to all who have visited The Running Swede blog over the last few years! We hit 100,000 visitors a few weeks ago - that's an exciting number! I realize that my involvement with Skechers Performance Division has been a huge part of this with my reviews of their running shoes. I have had a great two years as a Skechers Brand Ambassador. I especially appreciate my relationship with Kurt Stockbridge, who has always been so helpful and supportive. No matter how busy Kurt and his team (including Kathie Townsend) were, they always took the time to answer my questions and talk running shoes.
 Changes never come easy and its funny how they sometimes happen. I had noticed that a Swedish running shoe brand called Salming had started to get attention in Scandinavia and Europe. Many years ago I had used their floorball products; Salming's founder, Borje Salming, is an NHL hall of fame hockey player and role model for athletes back home in Sweden. Thomas Neuberger, of the "Believe in the Run" blog, told me had heard about about a possible release of Salming Running shoes in the U.S., and he was an acquaintance of the Salming Running USA founders. At that time I started to read up on Salming shoes. They felt like my kind of shoes... around 4-5 mm drop, with four different shoes that ranged from "Distance" to a zero drop shoe called Xplore.

It all made sense to me. When I first started to talk to one of the founders, Tor Swenson of Salming Running USA, I realized that we had a lot of connections and a lot in common. He was familiar with the area in NJ that I currently live, and the headquarters of Salming is in Gothenburg, Sweden - the town I used to live in before I relocated across the pond. From what I heard about the brand and the shoes, and from my conversations with the founders, I couldn't wait to test out the shoes. I tried out the Speed model (expect a review soon), which is their mid range performance shoe, and I realized this might be my next step for running. Salming calls themselves the "athletes brand" and I have to say I felt welcomed from the start. It wasn't an easy decision for me to leave the team at Skechers, but I believe in the cliche that 'everything happens for a reason' - and this felt like the right fit.

Now it's been almost two months since I transitioned to Salming. I feel more motivated then ever to run faster and longer. Every step I take, I can look down at the Swedish flag on the tongue of my Salming shoes, and it makes be proud to be Swedish (or maybe I can say Swedish-American, after living here for almost 7 years!) ... And proud to be part of this Scandinavian company starting to make it on its own here in the States, much like I am!