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Avia Avi-Stoltz Trail Shoes PDF Print E-mail
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We've all been told that first impressions can be deceiving.  Rarely, however, do I find that to be true with running shoes.  In the old days, it might take 30 to 50 miles to break in a pair of shoes, but that isn't true anymore.  Consequently, I'm pretty good at sizing up a pair of shoes after one run.

In my First Impressions of the Avi-Stoltz trail shoes I wrote that I found the shoes harsh on paved roads.  Yes, these are trail shoes, but many of us have to run on paved roads to get to the trails.  (Driving someplace to go for a run is just lame, except in extreme situations.)  After a dozen or more runs in these shoes, I no longer find them to be harsh.  Perhaps the shoes or I (more likely the latter) were having a bad day.  I find these shoes to be a delight, on the trail and on paved roads.

As for their weight, 12.2 oz for a size 11, they are actually fairly light for a sturdy pair of trail shoes.  Yes, my NB 790s weigh in at 9.4 oz (also size 11), but those shoes are minimalist shoes not appropriate for rugged trails and didn't give me the confidence that the Avi-Stoltz shoes give me.  The Avi-Stoltz shoes provide all the confidence one would need at a weight that isn't much above that of a light weight trainer.

Finally, as for their looks, these shoes have grown on me.  Whereas I at first considered them ugly, I now like their looks.  So much for first impressions!

Summing it all up...the Avia Avi-Stoltz trail shoes are great trail shoes.  They provide excellent traction in all kinds of trail conditions: they shed mud, cling to rock, grab loose dirt, and generally provide runners with an aggressive tread.  These shoes provide a reasonable amount of support without altering your stride on smooth surfaces by offering a wide foundation.  They provide an ample amount of protection from harsh trail conditions.  They are comfortable and flexible, and so far appear to be durable.

Ed

 
Avia Avi-Stoltz First Impressions PDF Print E-mail
Running Product News - Running Shoe News

I managed to get out on a new pair of Avia Avi-Stoltz trail shoes.  My first impressions are generally good with some concerns that I'll pay close attention to in future runs. 

First, the good stuff...The tread on these shoes is pretty aggressive.  I was able to run in these shoes on a variety of surfaces: pavement, hard-packed trail, sharp rocks, slippery roots, and slimy mud.  (Yes, all that in one run.)  In all situations, the traction was good.  The shoes channeled and shed the mud, and traction was pretty good on all other surfaces.  I did feel the sharp rocks, but given these rocks, that is what I would expect.  Only boots would protect ones feet from these rocks. I also found the stability to be solid, which is important on a trail where the surface can be loose or hidden.  The shoes provided plenty of room (perhaps too much) for my wide, flat forefeet.  

At 12.2 oz. for a size 11 shoe, these are not light shoes, but then they aren't overly heavy either. 

Now for the concerns.  While running on the short stretch of pavement that takes me too the woods, I found myself wishing these shoes had more forefoot cushioning.  This from somebody who generally leans towards ultralight shoes.  Perhaps I just need to break them in a little more or give them more time.  Finally, these shoes are also downright ugly, but then that really shouldn't matter.

I'll update this review once I get some more miles on them.

Ed

 
Brooks Ghost 2- First Look PDF Print E-mail
Running Product News - Running Shoe News

I received a pair of Brooks Ghost 2s a few days ago.  I've long been a fan of Brooks running shoes, so maybe I have some bias, but if I am biased it is because I've run on dozens of pairs of Brooks over 20+ years and almost always been happy with the shoes. 

My first impression of the Ghost 2s is a very positive one.  I'll need to spend some more miles in them to draw any firm conclusion, but they are very comfortable.  That was my first impression when I put them on, "wow, these shoes are comfortable".  This from somebody who spends his whole day in running shoes, so it wasn't as if I just pulled of some uncomfortable pair of tight, leather business shoes. Much of that comfort comes from the fit, so its likely that if your foot isn't shaped like mine, you won't find it as comfortable as I do.  Still, the Brooks last is fairly accommodating.  Brooks doesn't call it a "Universal Platform" for nothing.

The Ghost 2s are very flexible, both in the forefoot, and laterally.  This means that this shoe isn't going to provide you with any support: over-pronators, stay away. Runners with a neutral stride, will find this shoe appropriate.  The shoes weigh in at 11.7 oz. each for my size 11 shoes. They aren't light shoes, but that weight is typical of other shoes in this category.

I'll spend a few more weeks in these shoes and report back.  In the meantime, I think Brooks has another winner.

Ed

 
Brooks T6 Review PDF Print E-mail
Running Product News - Running Shoe News

I always get nervous when I hear that a favorite shoe is going to be upgraded, so you can imagine my apprehension when Brooks announced that their fabled T5 Racer was being replaced by the T6 Racer.

Fortunately, I had little to fear. The T6 Racer is, without doubt, the better shoe...mostly because Brooks made only minor changes and only to the upper. The sole, the heart of this shoe, is essentially unchanged.

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Brooks T6 - First Look PDF Print E-mail

Last week I got a pair of Brooks T6s out for their first test run.  I have been running in size 10.5 T5s and T4s for many years, but they are now a bit small for me, so I picked up a pair of 11s.  They are barely bigger than the T5s at size 10.5…almost like they were size 10.6, if there were such a thing.  Even though they are bigger, they weight less.  My T6s (size 11) weigh 14.1 ounces per pair. 

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