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Avia Avi-Stoltz Trail Shoes PDF Print E-mail
Running Product News - Running Shoe News

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.


Garmin Forerunner 310XT PDF Print E-mail

I have long been a fan of the Garmin Forerunner 305.  I got one back in 2006 and have used it steadily since then.  It is a great tool for both the runner and triathlete.  There was no better device for monitoring your workout and for keeping track of your training history.  (See the recent article on RunningAhead.com's ability to upload Garmin data.)

That may no longer be true.  Garmin has recently released an upgrade to the Forerunner 305: the Forerunner 310XT.  On paper, this new GPS unit offers some serious advantages over the 305.  For those with limited attention spans, here is a list of features:
Hammer Perpetuem's New Flavor PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 January 2009 03:35

The best ultra-distance fuel, Hammer Perpetuem, will soon come in a new flavor: Caffe Latte.  Does that mean we are going to start seeing a bunch of teenage girls drinking Perpetuem?  Well, I wouldn't know about that, but it does address the primary complaint people have about Perpetuem...its taste when warm.  Personally, I've never had a problem with the taste of Perpetuem, whether it was cold or hot, but I think this is flavor worth a try.  Given Hammer Nutrition's history of producing subtly flavored, not-to-sweet products, I'm confident it will go down easily.  I'll report back as soon as I get my hands on some.

In the meantime, don't forget that you can save 15% on your first order of Hammer products by using any Hammer Nutrition links on this site.


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.


RunningAhead.com Training Log PDF Print E-mail

Running Ahead has always had one of the best free training logs available, but recently they added some new features that make it even better.  First, a few month ago, they made it much more multi-sport friendly. 

You can now customize your summary page to include all kinds of summary stats and graphs.  For example, in the left column of my summary page I have weekly bike and run statistics.  The weekly statistics displays the most recent 6 weeks of data.  In the middle column I display monthly statistics, also for the past six months.  Finally, in the right column, I display 7 and 30 day rolling totals as well as year-to-date and all-time totals. 

You can also add graphs and calendars to your summary page.  

Of course, the RunningAhead log already had the most user friendly interface for adding runs, shoes, and courses to your log.  The google maps feature is particularly slick.  I know plenty of sites have mapping as part of their log, but Running Ahead's interface is easier and faster than most.

Their newest feature is an integration with the Garmin Forerunner.  I tried using this lately and it is pretty easy to set up...even on a Mac!  I do wish I could add the course name, equipment used (my shoes), weight and other data when reviewing the uploaded data rather than going back in and editing these records later, but that is a small price to pay for an otherwise slick tool.  


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