Saucony Liberty ISO OG – 50 Mile Review

The Saucony Liberty ISO OG after 50 miles. Yeah, another shoe that version 2 has been released already. However, this is also a post that back in May I never thought that I would write, but here it is October and they finally made it to that magical 50 mile mark.

This review is too long for most readers, so if you don’t want to read a small book, here is the executive summary:

After about 25 miles of less than impressive runs in the Liberty ISO OGs back in May, I retired them to the closet and figured that I wouldn’t be running again in them anytime soon. After sitting in the closet for about 4 months, I decided that I would try the same operation on the inner bootie that I did on my Zealot 3s and it seemed to help a lot. I also changed the lacing pattern to get a more consistent fit each time I put them on and changed out the stock insole to an Ortholite one. These changes made a huge difference in how comfortable the Liberty ISOs were for me to run in and I have added them back into my regular running rotation.

Back to the long version. Continue reading “Saucony Liberty ISO OG – 50 Mile Review”

A Nice 7.0 Miler – RunLog 10-7-18

Well there, the weather cooperated nicely. Overcast, upper 50’s, a nice breeze on the way out, with just a touch too much humidity. It seems that Fall is pretty much here based on how much the leaves are turning, even with the higher than usual temps for October.

I decided that I was going to do a comfortable run out to Goodhue and either finish up with 7.0 or 8.0 miles, depending upon how the feet were feeling at the end.

Now after yesterday’s 5.0 miler my left ankle was a little sore in the place that bothered me a lot back in the Summer of 2017. Nothing serious, but for the first mile, the ankle was a little stiff and sore.

It never completely went away during the run, but it also wasn’t all that bad either, so I just kept plugging along

The first half of the run was against that little breeze and actually felt pretty good. Coming back I did pick it up slightly, but I didn’t push, it is more because it is a lot of downhill while on Tiffany Road and I like downhill running.

I slowed down in the usual places.

At about the 6.0 mile mark, my right forefoot pad started to bother just a little. A lot like the RunFasts do, but it didn’t start until a couple miles later, so it wasn’t really a big deal. Plus when I looked at the callous pad when I got done, I could see where I needed to scrape some callous off my feet (one of those constant things that I deal with on a fairly regular basis).

It was also the maiden voyage of the Saucony Breakthru 4s. No ISO Fit bootie to worry about and it was a big difference and for a first run being 7.0 miles without any shoe issues was a nice change. The only thing I wasn’t impressed about was the colorway – Purple and Black are not “my” colors, but the price was right.

Saucony Zealot ISO 3 – 50 Mile Review

Have you ever had a shoe that you bought, loved the initial step-in fit and feel that you decided that your first run in them was going to be your weekly long run. After about 3-4 miles in you go to yourself “you really are stoopid aren’t you!” Then you suffer more than you want for the rest of the run.

That is pretty much how I introduced myself to the Saucony Zealot 3’s a few weeks ago and since then I have been struggling to find that happy place of being able to run in these shoes without forefoot discomfort. Now to be honest, some of my discomfort with the Zealot’s is a function of how I run and how the Z3’s reward a slightly different running style – probably not really a bad thing.

However, there is just something that is “right” about the Zealot’s that I want to keep tweaking things to help me run more comfortably in the shoes.

Disclosure: These are a personal purchase through Amazon, all opinions and observations are definitely my own. Continue reading “Saucony Zealot ISO 3 – 50 Mile Review”

Windy and Figuring Out Saucony Liberty – RunLog 5-11-18

Boy was it windy this morning with pretty steady breezes over 20 mph, but at least the temps were reasonable in the mid 40’s or so and 51*F by the time I got to Fred’s Coffee. Did I ever mention that I really dislike running in the wind – because I really do.

Enough moaning and groaning about the windy conditions, you can whine about the weather some other time Harold, because the weather is what it is.

I didn’t feel like the Middle Road loop, I wanted something a little longer, but didn’t feel like beating myself up on the hills around the house and also wanted to go a little longer.

So I went into Waterville and did the Colby Loop for just over 7.0 miles. The run itself was good and nothing to write home about other than I ran well, managed to accomplish everything that I wanted and didn’t get injured along the way.

One of the things that I wanted to accomplish was to figure out whether I liked the Saucony Liberty ISO or not. My first run in them around Back Cove in Portland didn’t really impress me all that much. Today I had originally planned on running in something else, however, when I got to Planet Fitness to change up, I got to thinking that I wanted to learn more about the Liberty’s and decided to use the them at the last moment.

When putting the Liberty’s back on my feet, (I had worn them over to the gym), I noticed when I retied that they felt a LOT more snug and I had to re-loosen the laces considerably and then be careful to not snug them up too much. I attribute this to the lace hole style and the ease with which the laces slide through the loops – a problem that I have had with other shoes with similar style of lacing.

Something that I had noticed in my first run is that the Liberty’s felt completely different to me on tar than they did on the dirt path section. Today on the roads I really liked the way the shoes felt and they do not pick up grit, pebbles or other road crap, which is nice.

To be honest the Liberty’s felt like they were a completely different shoe today on the roads.

They still felt fairly firm to me despite the Everun midsole and even though they are over 10 ounces, they run lighter than that. At about the 3.0 mile point, the bottom of my forefoot started to bother a little, not nearly as bad as the Zealot 3’s did in my first run at that point, but I was starting to think this wasn’t going to be good.

The Liberty’s do have ISO Fit and a sock liner, which is a bit looser than the Zealot in the forefoot, but still noticeably snug on my forefoot.

So I tried different things to see if I could alleviate or forestall the discomfort in the forefoot that I have experienced so often in the past.

  • Changing my stride length
  • Purposely altering how land
  • Running with my feet as straight as possible versus my usual duck run and toe off

When I started doing that last one, almost immediately the bottom of my feet stopped feeling as if they were going to bother. MMMMMM that’s was interesting.

So I kept running that way and found that my feet felt fine and the Liberty’s felt good as evidenced by the way I was able to pick the pace back up. Also the Liberty’s also let me know when I lost focus and started running more with my normal duck style, by starting to experience discomfort on the bottom of my forefoot.

When I ran with my feet straight, everything felt good as you can see by the mile splits above. Mile 3 and 4 was when I was experiencing some discomfort with my feet the rest of the way things cleared up pretty well.

Now I am not saying that a simple change to my form fixed everything with these shoes, but it was a good run and made a much better impression on me than my first run in them gave me.

Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come in the Liberty’s and they become a running shoe that I can rely on for my recovery and longer runs.

A good day today.

I might even get some practice at running without a duck-walk running form.

Back Cove Portland Loop – RunLog 5-8-18

Okay, I am a glutton for punishment, I admit it. After leaving New Hampshire, stopped off in Portland and ran Back Cove. It was more I just couldn’t sit in the truck any longer, the port-a-potty called my name (that darn Starbucks medium coffee came back to haunt me) and I love running Back Cove.

So with those three factors going on, I decided why not take a break and do a lap around the Cove. Continue reading “Back Cove Portland Loop – RunLog 5-8-18”

A Good 5.0 Miles in Zealot 3’s – RunLog 5/4/18

Finally, the run that I have wanted in my new Saucony Zealot 3’s!!!

No, I didn’t set any world land speed records today, although I did have my best time on the Middle Road Loop for 2018 and the big thing was that the bottom of my forefeet didn’t feel like they were on fire at any point during the run.

Both very good things.

For the first time I ran comfortably in the Zealot 3’s.

I did make a couple of changes to the Zealot’s after yesterday’s run and reading more about metatarsalgia. First I put in a lot thinner insole, which gave me more room in the toe box and second I put in a different pair of laces that were not as long or as stretchy as the stock laces.

When I laced up the Zealot’s I also didn’t crank down the laces to make the shoes super snug, I simply kept the lace loops as far apart as possible and then loosely put the laces in. I also used the last lace hole on the left foot and second to last lace hole on the right to see which works best.

These small changes don’t seem to be all that major, but they were just enough to make the Zealot’s much more comfortable.

Let’s get back to the run.

I wanted to do my regular Friday Middle Road Loop today and to see if the changes I had done to the Zealot’s had made a difference. However, while it was a bit muggy, it wasn’t horrible, but I also knew that I didn’t need to go out and hammer the course today with a race probably on Sunday and testing out the changes I had done.

So I started out pretty easy and going down Philbrick Hill I was glad that I wasn’t going hard when traffic got a little crazy. I made it past that fun section without loosing life or limb and didn’t even have a single horn tooting at me.

After that bit of fun, I did speed up a little.

However, with the mugginess, that did not last too long, but I maintained a pretty steady pace through 3.0 miles. Once I got to the Town Office, those last three hills took their toll.

By the time I got to Stevens Hill, the legs and my focus were pretty much gone. Although my feet still felt really good, even though I was hyper-aware of any little niggle, tightness or even how my socks felt.

I will be changing the lacing to the last hole on my right foot as well. It felt just a bit more secure on the heel cup.

Yes, while the time was the best time on this course in 2018, it was nothing spectacular, but for a run where I was not attempting to run fast, I was happy with the results. The most important thing about my run today was that the Zealot 3’s did not bother either of my feet and the smallish changes that I made yesterday seemed to have made a huge difference in how they felt during the run.

Good run.

Also a bit of throw-back with my wearing a race t-shirt from 2012.

Saucony Guide 9 – 20 Runs Review

A bit of a change in how I decide when to review a pair of running shoes. Since I went away from basing my running on miles and started using time, having a 50 mile review seemed odd. When I thought about it, something that seems a little more accurate for me, is the number of runs that I did in a pair of running shoes.

Twenty runs seems to be a nice round number of times to run in a pair of running shoes. It is typically over 70 miles, but not quite to the 100 mile mark. I feel a little more comfortable reviewing shoes, with this level of experience than I do the lower bar of 50 miles.

Getting back to the review.

Well I have 20 runs in the Saucony Guide 9’s for a total of 12 hours and 30 minutes of running, plus more than a little time walking around in them. So I have a pretty good idea of how they are working for me and I am pretty sure they are broke in fairly well.

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They are dirty, because they have been run in

In my journey into the world EE-width running shoes, I wanted to see if I could expand my options beyond New Balance’s offerings, to another brand that I have always loved – Saucony.

In the past the biggest issue I have had with Saucony shoes has always been the width of the toe box. So it seemed like a great idea to give their EE-width running shoes in my actual size 8.0’s a try. Continue reading “Saucony Guide 9 – 20 Runs Review”

Goat Head Sole Spikes Review

Last week I was on Twitter “bragging” or was that complaining about having just run in snow/ice and how slippery it was. Matthew from Goat Head Gear asked me if I was interested in reviewing a set of their SoleSpikes on my blog.

Since doing product reviews is one of the things that I really enjoy doing, I said sure, as long as he didn’t mind an honest review of his product.  The product was sent with the understanding my review would be my honest opinions of how their product worked for me.

When I got home from the The 33rd Annual January Thaw 4.5 Mile Road Race yesterday, there was a package on the table for me. The package was from Goat Head Gear and inside was this:

It was a package of the Goat Head Sole Spikes and driver to install the spikes on my shoes, this kit costs:

After I got them and looked the SoleSpikes over, I got very interested, because during the race yesterday, a couple of the guys had sheet metal screws in the bottom of their shoes and hadn’t had the problems slipping and sliding around, like I and many of the other runners did.  Here is a picture of the road conditions yesterday.

The first thing TheWife said when she saw them was “you aren’t walking around the house with those things in your shoes”, I didn’t argue a bit, these spikes would really screw up (okay lame) the laminate floors we have.

Close-up view of the Solespike // from Goat Head Media gallery

This morning before our walk, I decided to put the Sole Spikes in my old Saucony Pro Grid Propel Plus shoes.

Instead of using my cordless drill, which would have made the job really quick and easy, I used the provided driver.  It only took about 10 minutes to do it by hand.

Pretty quick and easy. With a drill it might take 2-3 minutes.  While I was doing that TheWife brought her shoes over and said “if there are any left over put them in my shoes”.

She had been watching and looking at what I was doing pretty closely and got pretty interested. There were not enough left over for her shoes and I have some plans for hers and these shoes too, which I will talk about later.

Nope didn’t walk on the floor – I know better than to do something stupid like that, especially with TheWife watching me like a hawk ;-).

Initially walking around outside with the SoleSpikes in the bottom of my shoes felt weird, but once I got on the driveway, I immediately noticed that I was walking on it instead of slipping and sliding around – so far so good.

TheWife put on her YakTrax and we decided to go down back and really check them out and see how they worked, here is the testing area:

This is the road down back – lots of ice.

As people have driven on it, the road has several sections of ice and snowy ice. When it gets this way, we often choose to walk someplace else, not a good place to fall and hurt yourself in when it is -2 with the wind chill.

In this picture I had just tried to spin around, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

This picture is where I tried to see how quickly I could scuff up the ice, while keeping my other foot still.

Here I was dragging my foot backwards a few times about 4 feet to see if any of the spikes came out – they didn’t.

I was very impressed with how the SoleSpikes worked!

The only problem I had with them was on the clear/hard ice sections, they slid around a little then (crampons would work good on that ice), but as long as I stayed in the white ice/snow ice, I had no trouble or issues with slipping or sliding around. I did like – when I walked on the tar, it didn’t feel unnatural and I was able to walk normally, although a little louder than usual – the SoleSpikes didn’t change my gait.

Goat Head Sole Spikes worked as advertised.

This quick test also answered a bunch of questions that I had about putting the SoleSpikes into my shoes:

Would I feel the spikes through the sole? – Not a bit with these shoes. However, they might bother on a thinner soled shoe, so that is something to consider when you are putting SoleSpikes into the sole of your shoe.

How would they do on tar? No issues, but I would think that they would wear a lot more quickly with wearing them on tar/concrete.

Can I take them out? Yes without a problem, but it does compromise the sole of your shoe (puts a hole in it) so probably will affect how long you could use those shoes.  I chose an old pair of road shoes, so that I would have a good platform for the screws, but almost any shoe would work if you are careful with spike placement.

The biggest question I have and my wife asked while we were walking, was why pay for the Solespikes when you can just go down to the hardware store and buy sheet metal screws for a lot less?  According to the Goat Head Gear site the reason is:

Sole Spikes made from cold-forged, heat-hardened, corrosion resistant stainless steel for maximum durability

This is the other part of the test. Tomorrow I plan to go down to the hardware store and get some sheet metal screws. Then take the Solespikes out of one of my shoes and put them in one of the wife’s shoes and then put the sheet metal screws in the other shoes. This way we will have an unscientific way of comparing how Sole Spikes wear versus sheet metal screws after a few weeks of wearing them outside.

Looking outside with all the snow, ice and the nastiest weather of winter still to come, I know that these shoes will get a lot of use and time to see how this simple test works out.

So far I have been very impressed with how well the SoleSpikes worked. I would not have dared to go walk down that road this morning in running shoes without having something else on them. I will be interested to see how the wear test goes.

I do know that if I had these before my race yesterday that my time would have been a few minutes faster, than it was.

This is an initial product review post, where I give my first impressions of a product and then within a month, I plan to do a follow-up review of the same product to tell my thoughts about it after actually using it for while.

FTC Disclaimer – I was provided this product free of charge to review it on my blog and received no other forms of compensation to do this review. My opinions about this product will be my honest observations, based upon my experience while I am using this product.

Saucony Peregrines – After 200 Miles Review

Over the course of the past three months, I have steadily increased my running, both the distance and the speed. Part of this story is the shoes that I have worn – Saucony Peregrines.

I did a lot of research last fall, both on the Internet and in my running logs to figure out what type of shoes that would best fit my personal running style, as well as what I ran in when I wasn’t injured.

What it finally came down to for me at least, was that I didn’t get injured as often in low heel height, light weight shoes that help promote forefoot striking.

I may be all wet, but I strongly believe that when a runner is mismatched to a shoe style that is at least part of the reason that running injuries happen.

There were several shoes that fit that description, but I also run in Maine during the winter, run a few trail runs, as well as running on the roads and dirt roads. I have used trail shoes in the past for winter running with very good success, so I was looking for a lightweight trail shoe with somewhere between a zero and 8mm drop.

After looking at and trying on different styles and other trail shoes, I settled on the Saucony Peregrines. They felt the best in the store (they didn’t let me run outside in them) and I have had good luck with Saucony’s in the past, so I bought them.

How have they done?

They are a great shoe! They have done everything that I have asked of them and below is a quick video review of my Saucony Peregrines:

Sometimes a video and pictures give a better idea of how these shoes look after the 200 miles than me writing and rambling on and on about them.

For a pair of running shoes with over 200 miles on them the Peregrines have held up extremely well. I am not easy on shoes, the soles tend to wear out rather quickly and the uppers tend to get ratty as well. In all of my other Saucony running shoes, my left foot wears the fabric/cushioning inside of the heel down to the cup and makes it so I can’t wear them for running anymore (blisters). This has not happened with the Peregrines, which means I can keep running in them :-).

From what I can see now (unless they have an auto-destruct sequence built-in at a set amount of miles), my Peregrines should be able to go another 200-300 miles, before they are retired to less strenuous duty.

Now is the time to start researching, to figure out what my next pair of running shoes will be.  Especially since they have to be put in the budget and planned for. After all I am starting to put more miles on my shoes and should have another pair to rotate in when these have 300 miles on them.

I do know that I will start with the Saucony Peregrines at the top of the new running shoe list. For me to choose something different, I will have to have my socks blown off.  There are the newer zero drop or 4MM drop shoes that have piqued my interest from Altra, Skora, New Balance and Brooks. Even the Vibram Five Fingers are a possibility.

However, if I had to choose one pair of shoes today, a new pair Saucony Peregrines would be back for round 2. They have done everything I want from a running shoe on roads, trails, dirt roads, snow and slush. Plus they are a nice looking shoe.

FTC Disclaimer:  I have not received any sort of compensation for doing this review. These running shoes were a pair that I purchased and have personally used.  The views posted in this blog are my thoughts on a product that I have used and liked.