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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Product Review: Altra, Brooks, Incrediwear, CEP, Vuori

Disclaimer: I received  products from Altra, Brooks, Incrediwear, CEP, and Vuori  as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

In this blog post I will discuss my reviews of the apparel that got from The Running Experience. 

Altra Escalante 1.5

From the first time I put these on I could feel the difference they had from other shoes I have worn in the past. If you look at most shoes they the vertex at the tip of a shoe is in the middle of the shoe about the middle toe. Altra shoes have that vertex at the point of the big toe, where a foot is the biggest. To put is simply, they are made for feet based off feet.

The zero drop feature, meaning that the toes and heel are on the same plane, felt so natural to run in. It you look at other shoes the heel tends to be more elevated than then toes. When my feet strike, it's usually half heel and half center of my foot. Having that zero drop made it feel like I was running in bare feet. They are shoes that are designed to complement your foot and have less resistance. Their lightweight design is also designed for speed. You could call them a minimalist shoe.

I loved them so much that I even bought the limited edition NYC Marathon Escalante 1.5. These road shoes make me feel like I'm running so much faster, I can't wait to run my next race in them!

They are also pretty sleek looking shoes too. I usually don't like to wear my running shoes as casual shoes so I don't put too many extra miles of them, so I can run in them more. However I can't help wearing them as casual shoes because of the comfort but also because they look amazing!

Brooks Ghost

When I got back from Austin winter was in full swing in NY. So I haven't had too many opportunities to run outside. Most of my running has been on the treadmill using the Zwift app (see my review of that here). I have been using my Brook's Ghost shoes for those treadmill runs.

I was excited to try them out and see if I could feel the difference that the plate makes on your step. It wasn't something I noticed right away. However after running for 45+ minutes on the treadmill, then going back to regular shoes I noticed the lack of spring. So I made it my focus during my next run. Again I felt like it was hard to notice on the treadmill, so I went to the indoor track at my gym and then I really noticed it. I really felt like each step was exploding as I ran and maintained my momentum. Reflecting now I noticed that it would have been hard to notice that on a treadmill since the speed is set. That's why it took free running to notice the extra kinetic energy in each step.

A few things that I really liked with these shoes was the sturdy ankle support. I had a bad experience years ago with a lightweight shoe that didn't have much ankle support and since then it's something I'm super cognizant of. The shoe is also true to size which is important as well. My foot doesn't have any extra space to slide around which can be the downfall of some shoes.

All in all it's a sturdy ride and I'm patiently waiting for warmer weather to take these babies out on the road.

Incrediwear

So I got several products from Incrediwear: compression pants, knee socks, angle sock, and no-show socks. The socks are active wear and the pants are for recovery.

What's unique about the socks is that they are lined with a carbonized charcoal that reacts to the warmth from your body to increase blood flow thus increasing performance. I love running in them because they are so light and thin while still being compressive that I wear them to work sometimes after a workout.

I've noticed during some of my longer runs, without wearing these socks that I need to keep rolling my shoulders and shaking my arms to keep the blood flowing. When I wear these socks, I haven't had that problem at all.

The recovery pants are a new favorite of mine! I like to wear them under my dress pants at work, first off because it's cold and they are an extra layer, but also after a morning run. I can feel the difference in the afternoon as opposed to when I don't. I have more energy and less fatigue in my legs after working all day.

Just from these products alone I have been sold on the fact that I want to try their other products as well. I even bough the open-toed ankle compression socks for my sisten-in-law since she is pregnant, and she love them too since it help reduce her swelling.

CEP

Much like Incrediwear I received an active pair of socks and a recovery pair of socks. The recovery socks have been so versatile that I wear them all the time. I first used them on the plane ride home from Austin to help with the several hours of sitting. I totally noticed the difference in my legs and how much better they felt than usual.

I like to wear the recovery socks to bed since they cover the foot and calf. If you only wear a calf sleeve you run the risk of swelling in your feet since the ankle is so much tighter from the sleeves. Being a full foot and calf sock means that it helps keep the circulation up without any build ups. I can feel the difference in my sleepy pattern when I wear them to bed after a hard workout opposed to when I don't. I toss and turn less and get a more restful sleep.

The Merino Trail Socks are so comfortable. I fell in love with merino wool a few years ago in Hawaii since the wool is made for temperature regulation whether it's hot or cold outside. Since these are a compression sock they help keep my calves warm and protected from the cold, while also helping with circulation. All of this is especially important in the winter, so I'm looking forward to feeling the different in the warmer months.

Both socks have their uses and the only problem I have is that I only have one pair of each currently. I just need to buy more so I can have the benefits more often.

Vuori




I've only recently gotten into the lined running shorts, and I have been kicking myself for not getting into it sooner. I love how you only have to pack the one piece of clothing for your waist. The shorts are super soft and made of a water-repelling material. The inside lining is a softer tech material that wicks away moisture to prevent chafing. I especially love the deep pockets that they have. I can run with chap stick and not have to worry about them falling out.

While they are made for running I also like to use them for strength training too. Their stretchy material works great with squats, lunges, and even yoga poses like pigeon.

From a style viewpoint they are pretty much unmatched. The colors are trendy for casual events as well as athletics. I'm very tempted to buy some of their pants for the same reasons. They are stretchy, and still look sleek enough to wear to work where I do a lot of lifting. I've gone through three pair of pants in my one month at the new job from ripping the crotch. So I think it's time to invest is some quality pants from a company that I have had the opportunity to test their products from already.

Conclusion

I throughout the past month I have had the opportunity to test out several different apparel companies through their gear. All of the products I have loved for their reasons and they have made me a loyal customer in the future