Saucony Kinvara 5

The Saucony Kinvara 5 has been released so long ago in 2014 and now the latest edition is the Kinvara 8 and believe it or not, I just started wearing my Kinvara 5 this year in April! And it was actually purchased way back in June 2015 at an outlet sale. That made it like 3 years late.

I only took this out to replace my well worn Kinvara 4 and now barely 1 month later, it has clocked almost 100 km. But since it is such an old shoe, there is no point in doing a review suffice to say that I really like it. But there is only 1 problem with this particular edition though.  And that is the topline of the shoe where the shoe meets the ankle bone is rubbing against the foot but only on the left foot. So its either the shoe is not properly aligned or my left ankle bone is lower. And despite that, I raced it in once without any problem so I gonna keep on wearing it. Review online has it that it is not lasting. Let see whether it will break the Kinvara 4 record of 1000 km!

And of course when will I be getting the Kinvara 6. 

What is the Best Shoes for Running?

A friend asked me recently what is the best running shoe to buy. I told her she asked the wrong person. I used to believe that there is such a thing as a “good” running shoes and some brands are better than others but I no longer believe in that. Apart from not believing in so call “branded” shoes, I also do not follow the conventional advice like a shoe is good for only XXX mileage. Cannot buy warehouse shoes because the foam will have dried up blah blah blah….. 

Most people I know will go for the 4 big brand Nike, Asics, New Balance and Adidas. In recent years my choice of shoes have been getting a bit erratic. If I am lucky to get preview shoes, I will wear them. Like this pair of Puma Faas  which was given to me by Puma in November 2014. 

At this point in time, I don’t know any other runners who wear Puma shoes. Me? At of todate, 2 years 5 months later, I have clocked 903 km in it – more than the usual life span of a typical running shoes. Look at its condition now. And I reckon it still good enough for another 100 km or so!

And I wear Skechers running shoes as well. Oh, at least I know one other runner who wears a pair of Skechers. And the only reason I started wearing Skechers was because I read good review about it and I found one going for a discount. But since then, I grown to like it and am now into my second pair after killing my first with over wear.

And just by looking at the above 2 photos, one can tell I really make full use of my running shoes but this last one has broken the record. Tadah! 1008 km on my Saucony 4! Saucony shoes have a reputation of not being very lasting. But I think I certainly got my money worth considering I bought it a discount in 2015!

So long story short. I am not the right person to ask about running shoes. Go ask the people at Running Lab or read the very detailed review of one of our top local runners.

Skechers GoRun 5

In 2015, I bought my first pair of Skechers running shoe, the Skechers Go Run 2. And over the course of 2 years, I like it so much despite it being half a size too small so much so that I worn it to its death. Just look at the condition of the sole after 500 over km. I don’t think the people at Skechers designed their shoes to last that long. But all good things must come to an end and late last year I reluctantly retired the Go Run and replace it with the Skechers Go Run 5 which I got from a kiosk at a mall for slightly over a SG$100.But after slightly over 30 km of baptism I am very disappointed with what I am getting out of it..

But first the run down from Skechers:

Skechers GOrun 5™ is the 5th generation in the Skechers GOrun® series of running shoes. Designed for speed, it’s responsive, supportive and lightning fast.

Details

  • Skechers GOknit™ upper provides security while maintaining breathability and comfort
  • Secure gore construction for a seamless fit that hugs your foot
  • Lightweight, responsive 5GEN® cushioning
  • Integrated inner support strap in the midfoot ensures a stable and secure fit
  • Mid-foot strike zone promotes efficiency in each stride
  • Lightweight and durable parametric web outsole provides multi-surface traction
  • Air mesh tongue with elastic tongue-position keeper straps for stable and secure fit
  • Quick Fit feature for easy accessible on and off
  • Reflective detail
  • Offset: 4mm
  • Forefoot 14mm, heel 18mm midsole thickness
  • Weight: 7.5 oz. per shoe in a men’s size 9

Construction

  • Circular knit one piece upper provides a perfect fit
  • Knit-in design for distinctive look
  • Side S logo
  • Reinforced lacing area with top eyelet for custom lacing options

Look. Skechers must have some very young funky designers. All their shoes are multi-colored with all sort of patterns. Nice to some and yucky to others. The place I went to had only 2 color unfortunately and only this one in my size though. Anyway, since I like my shoes colorful I had no problems with the options available. Apart from the look, there is this Quick Fit feature which is basically a hole in the heel counter. Meant to make it easier to wear and take off the shoe. I don’t find it really necessary but it does separate the GoRun from the other shoes.

Fit. Although I have not tried it on without an insole, this fits like a glove. Unlike other brand with wide version, this one fits very snugly on my foot after adjusting the laces. No movement and no blisters so far.

Cushioning. The initial feel when I put it on was “wow”. It was so soft. Real cushioning. And I feel that I could run and walk on it the whole day. It was that comfortable. Or at least that was the initial feel.

Traction: First run was after a heavy downfall. And grip was good.. There was no slippage even on the smooth concrete surfaces. I suppose this is the result of what Skechers call “Lightweight and durable parametric web outsole provides multi-surface traction”

Water Proofing. I ran a few times after heavy downpour and maybe because I didn’t deliberately run into puddles of water, my foot didn’t get wet.

Flexibility. This is where the shoe fails me. I find the shoe too rigid and too firm. In fact, invariably after just a short run, I can feel the impact on my sole.and my foot hurts. But strangely it is only on the left foot. At first I thought it was the lacing. Next run I adjusted it tighter. Still the same. Then I changed insole. Still same. Change socks. Sighed. So now I am resigned to wearing this for short run. Or hopefully until the shoes is broken in, if it ever happens.

Overall, I like that it is so light. And cushy. And comfortable to walk around. But until I figured out the problem with the sole and how to overcome it, I will have to stick to my Sauconey Kinvara for longer runs.

 

Review – Puma Ignite Dual Bolt

So I finally got some mileage into the shoe. To be precise, slightly over 40 km in 1 week of running and in 4 different circumstances putting the shoes through its pace comprehensively.
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But before going into that, the mumbo jumbo or the technical specs from Puma:
  • ENERGY RETURN: IGNITE Foam midsole has exceptionally responsive, energy-returning qualities to help make you faster
  • FLEXIBILITY: Mesh upper and deep flex grooves at the forefoot provide flexibility
  • CUSHIONING: IGNITE Foam provides step-in comfort and an extremely comfortable feel
  • Breathable and flexible mesh upper
  • Gold upper with Usain Bolt signature
  • Reflective detailing for visibility
  • Lace closure for a snug fit
  • Articulated chevron grooves at midsole sides compress and rebound for extra power
  • Carbon rubber outsole at toe and heel for extra durability
 Of course one always learn to take all these specs with a pinch of salt. As they say, the taste is in the pudding. Ok I not going to eat the shoe but put it through the grinder.
Design & Fit: The shoe is very stylish although the gold top is too outlandish for me especially with the size 12 which makes it very loud and visible. And not having the speed to match the name on it, I feel a bit paiseh when wearing it. But it is really a very stylish shoe and looks more like those limited edition sneakers than a proper pair of trainer.dsc_1785
Like the 2 previous Puma shoes that I had and still have one of them, the heel counter was also just the right size. Not too long to snag on anything and not too low to cause abrasion even with sock liner on only. dsc_1786 The only issue I have so far is that somehow my right ankle bone rubs against the edge of the shoe and cause a hot spot. But is fine on the left foot which probably means either my foot are of unequal height or the outer edge of the shoes are not of equal height.
Other than this, the shoe fits really well. Snug. There was good toe width even for me with my Morton’s toe.
Weight: Coming in at about 500 gm for my size 12, I must say this is probably the heaviest shoes I have in a long long while. And the weight did affect my running although it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought it could.
Cushioning: As this is a traditional shoe meant for heel striker, it has real good cushioning. In fact I will go so far as to say I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed so much cushioning in a pair of shoes. Of course to be fair, I ran mostly in semi-minimalist shoes nowadays so the difference was very apparent.
Traction: So far I did about 40 km in this shoe covering a fairly wide range of surfaces covering asphalt, tarmac, pavement and light sandy road.  Grip is good all round. dsc_1787
Flexibility: Unfortunately the thick cushion sole means the shoe is not as flexible as I like. Understandably as this is a heel strike shoe, it is rather stiff in the middle but there is some sort of groving system between the toes and mid foot which provides for good toe off.
Water Proofing: The upper is covered by the painted gold upper which means that water will probably run off it and not go into the shoe. There are breathable mesh at the side below the gold upper though so that could be entry point for water if running through puddles. Unfortunately for the 4 runs that I did, although it did rained once, it was only for less than 5 minutes, hardly enough to even make the shoe or me wet. So no chance to test this out.

It has been a long long time since I worn a pair of 12 mm drop traditional shoe. For all the runs, I worn it in its original condition – no lock laces and with the original Puma insole. My first run in it was a 15 km easy run in the morning paired with a pair of double layer Karimmor socks. Other than the discomfort on the right ankle bone, the shoe felt fine except that I was always conscious of its heavier weight.

The second run was a relatively short 5 km interval of 8 x 400 metres. This time I pared it with a pair of Adidas sock liner.  The test was to see how responsive it was for higher impact run. I actually quite like the rebound that I get from the shoe. I think this is something that Puma has actively built into the shoe with the Ignite foam and the mid foot grove which gives it the push when toe off. However, me being used to flats or bare minimum for faster training runs, the weight of the shoes dragged me down and overall I clocked almost 3 – 5 seconds slower per interval set.

The 3rd run was again in the evening. This time I have on a pair of Reebok Zig Zag socks. But barely 2 km into the 8 km tempo run, the sole started to burn up. Was it the shoes or the socks?

I switched back to the Karimmor socks for the next 15km hill run and I had absolutely no problem with the foot. So it has to be the socks then. Anyway, the shoes felt really good with the extra bit of cushioning while going down the hill.

One thing I noticed about the Puma Ignite is that it does not have a final eyelets which allow one to do a butterfly lacing to prevent heel slipage,  I suppose the Puma people think that with its snug fit, there is no need for such a feature but it actually can help for those who tend to run with the foot almost vertical when striding.

Overall, due to the 12 mm heel to toe drop and weight, I wouldn’t wear it for long runs or marathons but like my 2 previous pair of Puma, this will be a good reliable training shoes which will probably last me a long long time. By the way, my Puma Fass has clocked more than 800 km and it is still as good as new. The Puma Mobium lasted 734 km so by that logic, I expect this pair of Puma Ignite Gold to last at least 900 km if not more!

Pro: Responsive. Well Cushioned. Snug Fit.

Con: Heavy. 12 mm heel to toe drop. Lack of last eyelet

This shoe review is made possible by the people from Puma Singapore

 

First Look – Puma Ignite Dual Bolt

Wow and then silence. Even my colleagues when quiet when I showed them this shoe. I never have a gold colored shoe before. And certainly not one with the name of a world class celebrity runner printed on it. But this was what I was staring at when I unboxed the shoe after receiving it from the people at Puma.

The Puma Ignite is a 12mm heel drop shoe. This is by far the highest heel drop shoes I have in the past years, the next highest being the 8 mm Puma Faas. How will that affect my mid-foot running? Will I be forced to switch back to heel strike? Will it heat up in our hot humid weather? How will it fare on wet ground?

But all the questions will remain unanswered for the time being. One week after getting the shoes, I have still yet to find time to wear it out for a run. Not that I am not trying but I have yet to find time to photograph the shoe in its pristine look before putting it through the grinder.

Until such time, happy running.

My Saucony Kinvara Collection

I like the Saucony Kinvara shoes so much. Since I first worn the Kinvara in 2011, I have now gone through 3 edition, the Kinvara 1, the Kinvara 2, the Kinvara 3 and currently on its last leg of the first Kinvara 3. I have another brand new pair of Kinvara 4 still in its box bought more than 6 months ago.2-DSC01745

And I just bought a Kinvara 5 yesterday!

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Saucony 4:

Date of Purchase: 1 January 2015

Price: $79.50 on offer

Place of Purchase: Royal Sporting House

Races:

Singapore City Race 2016

Mizuno Ekiden 2016

Craze Ultra 2015

Total Mileage 1004 km

Retired 2 April 2017