Category Archives: Gear

New Shoes

One thing I like about running is getting to test new gear or products. With my current shoes approaching 600 km in usage I searched the internet over the past couple of weeks for a deal on something similar to the New Balance 890 I have been using.

I managed to take advantage of a closeout deal from Holabird Sports and pick up a pair of Mizuno Wave Elixir6. Incidentally, this was the second Holabird closeout deal I have take advantage of recently as I also picked up a new pair of Mizuno Wave Ronin 3’s for races.

My new shoes came in yesterday but since I ended up coming down with a cold, likely a byproduct of not nearly enough sleep last weekend and a fast half-marathon on Sunday, I did not get to try them yesterday.

It also looked like I would not get out for a run today as I stayed home from work since I was not feeling well again this morning. However, after a day of napping and watching dvds I felt good enough late in the day to head out for a short easy run.

So far the verdict is that I am quite pleased with my purchase. They are as light as the New Balance 890 shoes I had been running in yet like the 890 they still offer some support.

I am also pleased I managed to find such good deals on shoes I was looking for. Taking advantage of the two closeout deals online allowed me to pick-up two pairs of shoes for roughly the price of what a new pair would cost me in a store.

The Science of Running: Running Shoes

If you’ve been running for a while then you are familiar with the current debate over shoes that offer support and cushioning and minimalist footwear. It seems like this debate has become more present over the past couple of years.

The theory behind shoes offering support was that runners needed shoes that offered support based on how their foot struck the ground. Shoes fell into three categories – motion control to provide support for over-pronation, neutral for under-pronators, and stability to provide cushioning and support for slight pronators. The idea behind this type of support was to try and prevent injuries.

In general, the theory behind minimalist running is that it is a more natural form of running and therefore, will enable you to run more efficiently and at the same time reduce by injuries caused by shoes that alter your biomechanics. If you want to read more about minimalist running or barefoot running I suggest grabbing a copy of Born to Run.

I find it hard to find a good article about the different types of shoes without it being strongly slanted to one side of the debate. I did find this blog post which I feel does provide some insight into the benefits of both.

As for myself, when I first started running it was recommended I run in stability shoes based on my gait. As a result, I went through several pairs of New Balance 860 and its predecessors. Over the last year, in an effort to try lighter shoes I have experimented with more neutral shoes and running flats – in my case the New Balance 890 and Mizuno Wave Ronin 3. In both cases I have had positive experiences and for now plan to continue to run in a lighter more neutral shoe that still provides a bit of cushioning and support for everyday training, either the 890 or something similar, and have a pair of flats on hand for race day.

How do you select your shoes? Do you look for support or do you look for something light?


Shoe Brand Loyalty

I am not sure about you but when it comes time to replace my shoes I tend to stick with the same brand/models. Right now that means a pair of New Balance 890 for everyday use and a pair of Mizuno Wave Ronin 3’s for more intense workouts.

In case you are wondering, the reason this came to mind for me tonight is because I just bought a new pair of Wave Ronin 3’s because mine are at the end of the life cycle and I found a great sale online and in a few weeks time it will be time to look to replace my 890’s.

I’ve stuck with New Balance shoes for a while now. After going through several pair of the New Balance 860 stability shoe which provides support over-pronation I decided to look for a lighter everyday shoe which is how I now ended up with the 890.

I gave the Mizuno Wave Ronin 3 a shot last year when I was looking for a racing flat. After wearing them for two marathons last year I didn’t think twice about buying a second pair when the time finally came to replace them this month.

The point I am trying to make with this is that I tend to stick with what I know in terms of shoes. When it comes time to replace my shoes I just go out and buy a new pair of the same shoe I have been sing or I buy the new version if it has been updated. I am not sure that is a bad thing since it has worked for me so far but it just means that I don’t look at other when I go to replace my shoes.

Do you always stick with the same brands or do you try different brands based on price or other features that catch your eye?

Gear Review: ellasport Power Capris

Well my New Year’s resolutions just became easier to keep after my latest trip to the gym to try out ellasports’s new Power Capris. Pam from ellasport asked Patrick if he would be willing to review the capris, and while he doesn’t usually run in capris, they make up a good percentage of my running wardrobe. 

Ellasport's new Power Capris

Here’s the thing: I like capris, but I have had trouble finding a pair that stay up and that aren’t too tight. It seems that they either have a fold-over waist with no waistband and wont stay up, or they fit perfectly right except for the too tight waistband. My last 5K race was a disaster on this front! My pants kept sliding south exposing the tummy that hasn’t quite been the same since my daughter was born. I spent the race doing a funny little run, run run, hop pulling up my sliding running pants.

The ellasport power Capris are mid-rise, which means that they sit one inch below the belly button and they didn’t move at all throughout my entire run. Out of habit I found myself fiddling with the waistband getting ready to hike up my pants but then stopped and realized – I didn’t have to! These capris hadn’t moved at all!

The weight and feel of the fabric is really nice. It strikes a really great balance of slimming and providing compression, without being too tight and causing any type of muffin top. The waistband is flat and sits comfortably at the waist, and there is a drawstring if you need it. There is a nice seam detail on the leg, which made my legs look slimmer and made me feel like I could run faster. The best feature, I think is the handy little cool max pocket at the back. It’s the perfect size for a driver’s license, a gel and it saves me from having to tuck stuff in my bra or carry something. 

In terms of sizing, I usually wear a 12-14 and the large power capris fit me perfectly. Exactly as the size chart on their website indicates. 

ellasport's Gramercy Racerback Tank

I liked the capris so enough that I started checking out the other items on the ellasport website and may find myself ordering the Gramercy Racerback Tank and a Workout Skirt to match once it warms up enough for that.

ellasport's Workout Skirt

That run at the gym in my power capris on the weekend made me feel so great that I kick-started my New Year’s resolutions and tried running home from work! I can’t wait for Spring to arrive so I can start running in capris again outside. And when ellasport adds full length power running tights to their lineup, I’ll place the first order.


P.S. A quick aside, while ellasport provided the capris to test, I have not been paid for this review and the opinions are my own – J.