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First impressions: Nike Zoom VaporFly 4% || Yes, they’re pretty different

By Andrew Skurka / January 9, 2018 /

Twice per year I attend the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow, where I’m told about dozens of products that are the best thing since sliced bread and where I’m bombarded with increasingly stretched marketing hype to match these supposed earth-shattering advances. When I first heard about the Nike Zoom VaporFly 4% road racing shoes, I applied this same…

Review: Hoka One One Cavu || Light, responsive & fast road trainer

By Andrew Skurka / December 3, 2017 /

The Houston Marathon is less than six weeks, and for all of my tempo workouts and hard long runs — including multiple 10K’s at race pace and distances up to 24 miles — I have been wearing the new Hoka One One Cavu. The Cavu is a neutral lightweight road trainer that is moderately cushioned, responsive, and…

Review: Salomon Odyssey Pro || Hiking shoe with strong running pedigree

By Andrew Skurka / October 16, 2017 /

The Salomon Odyssey Pro was introduced to me at Outdoor Retailer as “a thru-hiking shoe with running shoe design cues.” That sounded interesting and right up my alley, so I asked for a review pair to test while leading trips this summer in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. Our routes were…

Review: Hoka One One Clifton 4 || Reliable road trainer, but not characteristically Clifton

By Andrew Skurka / August 27, 2017 /

The Clifton 2 was my first shoe from Hoka One One. I loved it: its plush midsole was wonderful; its last fit my narrow-ish feet; its reinforced upper provided good control, to the degree that I occasionally used it on moderate trails; and its weight was feathery, all things considered. (Read my full review.) But…

Help me decide: Hoka Speedgoat 2 or Salomon Sense Ultra for UTMB?

By Andrew Skurka / August 22, 2017 /

On Friday I leave for France and UTMB, so much of this week is dedicated to race preparation. One decision with which I’m struggling is my footwear. I have narrowed it to: Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 (read my review; buy now), and Salomon Sense Ultra (read my review; buy now). Ultimately, I may be obsessing…

Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 || Light, plush, grippy & surprisingly stable

By Andrew Skurka / August 14, 2017 /

On my first three outings with the second-generation Hoka One One Speedgoat 2, I took it out for 13-, 11-, and 25-mile trail runs with nearly 10,000 vertical feet in cumulative climbing. That’s rare for a shoe with which I had no prior history — normally, I start off slowly, with short and low-risk runs…

Preview: Salomon S/Lab Ultra || Tweaks to a best-seller

By Andrew Skurka / August 6, 2017 /

Originally posted August 6, 2017. Updated January 25, 2018. If I was forced to choose just one shoe for all of my runs, I would pick the current Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra (read my review). Most importantly, it fits my small-volume feet. Beyond that, it excels on most surfaces and for most distances: from cruiser…

Long-term review: La Sportiva Bushido || Perfect for high routes, if it fits

By Andrew Skurka / August 6, 2017 /

Update: A second-generation Bushido II was released in spring 2019. I have posted a long-term review of it after wearing it in Alaska and Yosemite. Last summer on the Glacier Divide Route, Dave raved about the La Sportiva Bushido. I made a mental note, and as I geared up for my yo-yo of the 77-mile…

Preview: Vargo Pocket Cleats v3 || Sub-3 oz traction for early-season backpacking

By Andrew Skurka / July 28, 2017 /

The third-generation Pocket Cleats from Vargo have undergone significant revisions since v2, which was tweaked from v1. They will be available in October or November in stainless steel ($40, 2.9 oz) and titanium ($60, 2.1 oz), each in just one size that will fit most running shoes, hiking shoes, and hiking boots. Problems with v1 and…

Review: Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra || All-purpose trail running shoe

By Andrew Skurka / June 6, 2017 /

Last month Amanda and I took a “normal person vacation” to Scotland. In my luggage I had room for just one pair of running shoes, and therefore needed a well-rounded model that would be comfortable for a week straight and that would perform well wherever and whenever I could get out for a run, whether…