REVIEW: Nike Zoom Vomero 13

REVIEW: Nike Zoom Vomero 13

By: Matt Setlack

Overall Rating:  81/100

Ratings (out of 10):

  • Comfort: 8.5
  • Fit: 8.5
  • Responsiveness: 8.0
  • Speed: 8.0
  • Ride Quality: 7.5
Nike Zoom Vomero 13 - Matt Setlack - 1.JPG

The Good

  • Flywire lacing system
  • Good arch support

The Bad

  • Fairly stiff
  • Minimal ground feel
Nike Zoom Vomero 13 - Matt Setlack - 2.JPG

Price

MRSP: $140 USD

Specs

  • Heel Drop:  10mm
  • Weight (oz):  10 oz (Matt Setlack’s Men’s US Size 10.5 were measured to be 614g per pair)
  • Heel Height:  31mm
  • Forefoot Height:  21mm
Nike Zoom Vomero 13 - Matt Setlack - 4.JPG

THE VERDICT

The Vomero 13 is a soft feeling neutral shoe with ample cushioning designed for mid to long runs. The shoe held up exceptionally well and the outsole treads dug into the snow fairly well. A versatile shoe for roads, dirt, light snow and treadmill running. The robust cushioning left the shoe feeling moderately bulky with minimal ground feel.

Nike Zoom Vomero 13 - Matt Setlack - 3.JPG

FULL REVIEW

Comfort

A very highly-cushioned mid-sole with bottom-loaded zoom air in the forefoot and heel. Improvements in the flywire lacing technology were made as Nike got rid of the thinner flywire and replaced it with thicker loops to lock laces in place. This made for an adjustable fit and I liked the feel of the added support in the medial side of the shoe. I am a huge fan of the flywire lacing system, it really gave my foot a “locked in” feeling.

Nike Zoom Vomero 13 - Matt Setlack - 5.JPG

The texture of the tread looked similar to a camping sleeping pad. I was initially concerned that this tread material would wear down very quickly but it actually ended up holding up well.

Fit

The toe box provided ample toe splay and there were no issues with rubbing or blistering.  The forefoot was a bit on the loose side but didn’t raise any major concerns during runs. My heal felt locked in and there were no issues with heal movement or displacement. The arch support in this shoe was exceptional, it felt like it fit my arch perfectly.

Nike Zoom Vomero 13 - Matt Setlack - 6.JPG

The width of the Vomero 13 forefoot felt a little narrower than the Brooks Glycerin 14 and New Balance 1080 V8. The forefoot felt slightly wider than the Brooks Launch 3 and 4 forefoot. The heel cup was definitely lower than the Glycerin 14 and 1080 V8. It felt similar to the height of the Brooks Glycerin racing flat.

Responsiveness

I felt like this shoe was a little less responsive than the Brooks Launch 3 and 4. The foam felt a little “dead/flat” to me and I didn’t get a feeling of popping/bouncing back up after each footfall.

Nike Zoom Vomero 13 - Matt Setlack - 7.JPG

Speed

The Vomero is not a fast shoe; it is somewhat sluggish and inflexible. I would not wear this shoe for fast intervals or tempos.

Nike Zoom Vomero 13 - Matt Setlack - weight.JPG

Ride Quality

Although the Vomero 13 had a relatively springy toe off, it was very soft feeling. A neutral shoe with ample cushioning good for long easy running. If you like a cushioned shoe with minimal ground feel, this shoe might be for you.

Nike Zoom Vomero 13 - Matt Setlack - 8.JPG

REVIEW: New Balance 1080 V8

REVIEW: New Balance 1080 V8

By: Matt Setlack

Overall Rating:  73/100

Ratings (out of 10):

  • Comfort: 8.0
  • Fit: 8.0
  • Responsiveness: 7.0
  • Speed: 7.0
  • Ride Quality: 6.5
New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 1.JPG

The Good

  • The New Balance 1080 V8 has a very plush, soft, underfoot feel. None of materials broke down after use and the shoe generally held up quite well. New Balance successfully improved breathability from the v7 to the v8, good air flow throughout the shoe kept my feet dry and comfortable for most runs. If you prefer a cushioned shoe when striking the ground, you will love these shoes.

The Bad

  • The 1080 V8 felt very bulky and underfoot feel was minimal. In addition to the bulky feel, the ride was inflexible and stiff. It almost felt as though the mid-sole Fresh Foam was old. If you prefer running in a minimal shoe, this probably isn’t the shoe for you as there was little to no ground feel.
  • In terms of the look and craftsmanship of the 1080 V8 tread, the transition between the three colours on the tread (lime yellow/grey/black) is not a clean line. The transition between the colours looks sloppy. Perhaps this particular shoe was one of the first batches? This may seem like a minor thing but for a $150 USD pair of shoes, I was expecting cleaner lines and a higher look of quality of the tread.
New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 2.JPG

Price

MRSP: $150 USD

Specs

  • Heel Drop:  8mm
  • Weight (oz):  11.1 oz (men’s size 9), 9.3 oz (women’s size 8) (Matt Setlack’s Men’s US Size 10.5 were measured to be 658g per pair)
  • Heel height: 27mm
  • Forefoot Height: 19mm

THE VERDICT

The 1080 V8 is considered New Balance’s premium high cushioned neutral shoe. Although it had plush cushioning and a soft underfoot feel, it felt rigid and stiff. Minimal changes from the V7 to the V8 were made. New Balance kept the shoe almost exactly the same to the V7. Additions to the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V8 resulted in a 0.5 ounce increase in weight of the shoe. A TPU heal clip for added heal support. While New Balance markets this shoe as soft and highly cushioned, other shoes on the market currently offer a more cushioned ride at a lower price point. Alternatively, if you prefer minimal shoes, this is not the shoe for you.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 3.JPG

FULL REVIEW

Comfort

As the name suggests, Fresh Foam was designed for comfort. The Fresh Foam mid-sole cushioning provided good shock absorption on the roads with low energy return. Although these shoes are marketed as Fresh Foam, I personally did not notice any difference between the Fresh Foam and the regular eva foam running shoes that I have worn. The improvement of the engineered mesh provided good breathability, my feet stayed cool and dry on almost every run.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 4.JPG

I am not a big fan of the flat laces because they flop around while running and your opposite shoe wacks the laces as you run (compared to the circular cross section of the Brooks Glycerin 14 laces). Not a huge deal as this can easily be fixed with a pair of scissors.

Fit

For me, the 1080 V8 had a good fit lengthwise and widthwise. The heel cup seemed to keep a relatively snug fit. Fit was true to size and my foot splayed nicely in the toe box with no issues of any rubbing or blistering. The engineered mesh upper had a good wrap around my mid-foot leaving my foot feeling secure and snug. The New Balance 1080 V8 reminded me of the Brooks Glycerin 14 but the 1080 V8 feels a little lighter. The toe box width feels similar to the Glycerin 14.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 5.JPG

The 1080 V8 had a lot of volume. I felt like I needed to tighten the 1080 V8 a little more than usual to get the proper fit. I did not use the heel lock shoelace holes. The 1080 V8 were the same size I always wear (10.5 US men's) but there is a lot more volume in the 1080 V8 compared to another training shoe like the Brooks Glycerin 14 and Brooks Launch 3 and 4. I felt like the 1080 V8 had a similar amount of volume as the Hoka Clifton 2. The fore/aft length of the hole where you stick your foot into the shoe is longer than the foot hole in the Glycerin 14.

Responsiveness

I didn’t find the shoe to be very responsive, energy return was quite low and my foot felt a bit lost without the feel of the road underneath me.

Speed

Definitely not designed for speedy days, this shoe is ideal for long steady grinds at a slower pace. Weighing in at 11.1 oz, which is a 0.5 oz increase from the 1080 V7. The weight of the shoe and lack of ground feel made it difficult to get a good energy return and toe off.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - weight.JPG

Ride Quality

Maximum cushioned shoe designed for general mileage. The Fresh Foam mid-sole was very inflexible, it was difficult to enjoy the cushioned ride due to the weight, bulk of the shoe and inflexible midsole.

The very first thing I thought after running the first 100 meters in the 1080 V8 was that the heel felt “flat” (very little shock absorption). I'm predominantly a heel striker (for easy runs) and the 1080 V8 did not provide a smooth transition from the very back of the heel to the midfoot to the toe off (unlike the Glycerin 14, which I found was kind of like a rocking chair that your grandparents would sit on; The Glycerin 14 has a nice smooth rolling/rocking motion from the very aft part of the shoe to the midfoot and then toe). The flat shape of the heel of the 1080 V8 and the fact that the Fresh Foam felt hard caused discomfort in my heels while running.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 6.JPG

The pair of 1080 V8s that I received looked new but they felt very old while running in them, like these shoes have been sitting in the back of a warehouse for several years and the foam has hardened. My other shoes that have 500+ km on them feel more springy/bouncy than these. Initially, I thought that maybe my feet were feeling uncomfortable because of my running mileage so I went for a run in the Brooks Glycerin 14 and all of a sudden, there was no discomfort at all (night and day difference).  

NOTE: I have NEVER had this bottom of heel discomfort issue with other running shoes and I run 5,000 to 6,000 km per year.

The honeycomb tread pattern picked up one or two small pebbles while running on the road.

REVIEW: Mizuno Wave Shadow

REVIEW: Mizuno Wave Shadow

By: Matt Setlack

Overall Rating:  85/100

Ratings (out of 10):

  • Comfort: 8.0
  • Fit: 8.5
  • Responsiveness: 9.0
  • Speed: 9.0
  • Ride Quality: 8.0
Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 1.JPG

The Good

  • A good lightweight shoe good for easy days and longer tempo runs
  • Good ground feel

The Bad

  • Not a lot of padding under the foot. Felt a bit too minimal for longer runs
  • A bit firm. The wave plate felt a bit bulky and inflexible. Quite a stiff ride.
Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 2.JPG

Price

MRSP: $110 USD

Specs

  • Heel Drop:  8mm
  • Weight: 7.9 oz (Matt Setlack’s Men’s US Size 10.5 were measured to be 552g per pair)
  • Heel Height: 25mm
  • Forefoot Height: 17mm
Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 3.JPG

THE VERDICT

This is a brand new shoe by Mizuno that replaces the Mizuno Wave Sayonara. It is a moderately cushioned shoe, faster and lighter and best used for the runner that prefers a shoe that is slightly bulkier than a racing flat. It provided firm support in both the forefoot and the heel of the shoe, it didn’t have a springy feel upon landing but it did provide very good ground feel. The tread gripped well and worked well for road, treadmill and lightly dusted surfaces (dirt, snow). Ideal for longer tempo runs and longer race distances.

Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 4.JPG

FULL REVIEW

Comfort

Fairly comfortable and fast ride. For me, it was slightly more comfortable than a racing flat but not nearly as comfortable as a heavier cushioned shoe like the Brooks Glycerin 14, Adidas Aerobounce ST and even the Brooks Launch 3 and 4.

Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 5.JPG

The tongue is quite thin and if I tightened the laces up too tight, I could feel them through the tongue while running.

In colder temperatures it felt like the plastic piece that Mizuno uses (Technology plate insert) froze pretty quickly and contributed to the rigid and inflexible feeling of the shoe. The wave plate insert was designed to add more support to the shoe. The Wave Shadow provided exceptionally good breathability and comfort in the toe box and I really liked how Mizuno used one piece of mesh to wrap around the forefoot of the shoe. It provided greater stretch fit.

Out of the box, they fit quite well with good lock down in the midfoot, heel and forefoot. The toe box was spacious and there were no issues with chafing or blistering.

Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 6.JPG

Fit

The width and snugness of the toe box feels similar to the toe box in the Brooks Launch 3 and 4. These shoes also share a very similar mesh-like material in the toe box.

The heel cup is relatively low compared to other shoes. The height of the heel cup in the Mizuno Wave Shadows felt to be a similar height as the heel cup in Nike running shoes such as the Nike Pegasus 32 and Nike Zoom Vomero 13. The laces provided a good lock down.

Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 7.JPG

Responsiveness

The Wave Shadow was a very responsive shoe. The sole felt quite stiff and seemed to spring back during toe off. The Wave Shadow provided a responsive and fast ride with minimal cushioning.

Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 8.JPG

Speed

The Wave Shadow is a very lightweight daily trainer and it was easy to run fast in these shoes. I would consider maybe doing a tempo or marathon paced session in these shoes.

Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - weight.JPG

Weighing in at just 7.9 oz, this shoe is fast. The forefoot provided good flexibility but the mid-back portion of the shoe felt stiff and rigid. Good heel to toe off transition and the minimal feel of the shoe made it fast.

Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 10.JPG

Ride Quality

I really liked the zig-zagged groves in the forefoot, I think it enhanced the ride quality in the forefoot by providing greater flexibility.

Mizuno Wave Shadow - Matt Setlack - 9.JPG

REVIEW: Altra Duo

REVIEW: Altra Duo

By: Matt Setlack

Overall Rating:  88/100

Ratings (out of 10):

  • Comfort: 8.5
  • Fit: 7.5
  • Responsiveness: 9.0
  • Speed: 9.5
  • Ride Quality: 9.5
Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - 1.JPG

The Good

  • Very lightweight
  • Underfoot cushioning is excellent

The Bad

  • the inside of the toe box has a lot of volume, which some runners with a more traditional foot shape may not like.
  • if you are used to wearing a shoe with 10mm heel drop such as the Brooks Glycerin 14, then you may not like the 0mm heel drop on this shoe.
Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - 2.JPG

Price

MRSP: $130 USD

Specs

  • Heel Drop:  0 mm
  • Weight:  8.4 oz (Matt Setlack’s Men’s US Size 10.5 were measured to be 516g per pair)
  • Heel Height:  26mm
  • Forefoot Height:  26mm
Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - 3.JPG

THE VERDICT

The Altra Duo is a brand new shoe built to be a hybrid lightweight, fast and cushioned shoe. Altra designed this shoe to be versatile for racing anything from 5km to 100km ultra races to long training runs. It packs a lot of high quality for a racing shoe. It was aesthetically pleasing with bright orange highlights and contrasting navy engineered mesh. It felt like a beefed up version of a racing shoe while still maintaining a light and fast feeling that most racing flats have. I was very impressed with the technology Altra used to design a faster shoe with ample cushioning. They have more cushioning than most shoes and responsiveness was in line with competitors.

NOTE: This is the 1st pair of Altra shoes I have worn.

Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - 4.JPG

FULL REVIEW

Comfort

This Altra Duo was incredibly comfortable and one of my favourite shoes to run in. The upper was very light and breathable and my feet were comfortable and dry on all runs. The tongue of the shoe was made of nubuck suede to prevent lace bite and added comfort to overall fit of the shoe.

Looks like Altra was looking to save weight by making "lightening holes" in the bottom treads of the shoe. Interesting concept/design and I've never seen this done before. The outsole feels stiffer than I was expecting and springs back nicely.

Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - 5.JPG

The Altra Duo has a really wide forefoot. The tongue is the lightest tongue I have ever seen. There are a bunch of holes punched in the tongue, which I believe makes the shoe slightly more breathable. Similar (or maybe even thinner/lighter) than the Nike Zoom Streak racing flats that I have and those tongues are super thin/light. The Altra Duo heel is really bulked up and flared out/buttressed in the heel area.

The quality of construction of the Altra Duo looks to be top notch. It looks like the panels are bonded together throughout the shoe (for the upper).

The thing that is really different about this shoe (one amongst many things) is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of stitching visible. Mostly glued panels (to save weight).

Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - 6.JPG

Fit

Tight, snug heel fit. Toe box had a lot of room and excess fabric/mesh was notable from lacing up shoes tight to get a better snug feel. If you like a shoe with a wider toe-box, you would probably really like the fit of the Altra Duo.

The length of the shoe definitely runs small. My toe touches the end and that rarely ever happens in a 10.5. They feel almost like a 10 US Men's even though the box and shoe read 10.5 US Men's. Oddly enough, although the length of the shoe ran small, the internal volume of the shoe was massive. The Altra Duo is designed for people with really high volume feet.

Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - 7.JPG

After tying them up (not using heel lock holes), laces are excessively long. I had to double knot and sometimes triple knot the laces. They initially reminded me of Hoka Clifton 2's. Very light upper kind of similar upper to Saucony Kinvara. Reminds me of this.

Stiff ankle upper area. I like that. In a lot of other shoes I have seen really weak/not stiff ankle areas. Platform shape (shape looking down) is not as unusual as I was expecting from an Altra shoe. Very similar to Hoka Clifton 2. The black/orange colour scheme looks sharp. I like it.

Very angular heel/ankle cutout for the side bones in your heel. The angular lines and black/dark blue colour reminded me of the F-117 Stealth Nighthawk aircraft.

Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - 8.JPG

There is definitely extra dead space (open space) past the ends of my outer toes (the area that's not open on the tradition platform shoe).

I think the nice thing about the wide toe box is that it allowed my forefoot/toes to splay out/spread out while running without the sides of forefoot rubbing/chafing against the inside of the shoe.

The upper is very lightweight and flexible. When walking, sides of ankle area flare out. There is a lot of of extra room in toe area even though length is perfect for my foot. The security on the foot is good.

Responsiveness

Excellent responsiveness and good heel to toe transitions, would be good for longer workouts. They have a lot of cushion and yet are quite responsive. They feel like I’m wearing a thick yoga mat under my feet.

Speed

I was really surprised by how quick and nimble this shoe felt. It not only provided ample cushioning, it also had exceptionally good flexibility and ground feel. The almost web like cut outs of the sole added to the flexibility in addition to keeping it light and fast.

The Altra Duo is incredibly lightweight. Just as light if not lighter than a racing flat (Brooks Hyperion, Brooks T7, NB1400).

Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - weight.JPG

They made me feel like I was running faster than I actually was because of the 0mm heel to toe offset. This caused me to run in a more forward leaning posture rather than upright posture, like while wearing a racing flat. In these shoes, my foot strike is a lot more flat footed than heel/midfoot/toe rounded shape.

Ride Quality

Interflex technology within the shoe provided very good flexibility and a smooth ride. The flex grooves in the midsole gave a natural and smooth heel-to-toe transition.

The laces are REALLY long. But better to be too long than too short because you can cut them shorter with a pair of scissors, if necessary. The laces are much thinner and lighter than most laces I have seen, even compared to racing flats. The Altra Duo has a really nice forefoot rocker in the front end. They cause you to foot strike more in the midfoot compared to the heel.

Altra Duo - Matt Setlack - 9.JPG

I wore the Altra Duo on sand and on snow and they perform really well. They float a little higher on sand/snow compared to a traditional running shoe that has less surface area footprint. Unfortunately, the grooves in the bottom of the shoe would occasionally pick up little rocks/pebbles. I thought that the large footprint/flared buttress like bottoms would graze the inside of my lower legs/ankles but they didn’t at all.

I really like the Altra Duo.

REVIEW: Adidas Aerobounce ST

REVIEW: Adidas Aerobounce ST

By: Matt Setlack

Overall Rating:  92/100

Ratings (out of 10):

  • Comfort: 9.5
  • Fit: 9.5
  • Responsiveness: 9.0
  • Speed: 8.5
  • Ride Quality: 9.5
Adidas Aerobounce ST - Matt Setlack - 1.JPG

The Good

  • Lightweight upper
  • Toe box is nice and snug, feels like a sock fit
  • Comfortable and cushioned ride
  • Appearance. I LOVED the colourway and the blue/white contrast of this shoe.
Adidas Aerobounce ST - Matt Setlack - 2.JPG

The Bad

  • Minimal ventilation. Breathability could be improved upon as my feet were quite warm.
  • Weight comes in at 312g, which is slightly heavy
  • Tread/outsole performance was not sufficient and lugs did not grip well on anything other than a dry, clear road.
Adidas Aerobounce ST - Matt Setlack - 3.JPG

Price

MRSP: $110 USD

Specs

  • Heel Drop: 10mm
  • Weight (oz): 11oz (Matt Setlack’s Men’s US Size 10.5 were measured to be 658g per pair, which is exactly the same weight (to the gram!) as the New Balance 1080 V8)
  • Heel Height: U/K
  • Forefoot Height: U/K
Adidas Aerobounce ST - Matt Setlack - 5.JPG

THE VERDICT

The Adidas Aerobounce ST is a cushioned, neutral running shoe ideal for dry roads, track or treadmill. The Aerobounce ST has an EVA midsole using BOUNCE, which provides a springy, stable and cushioned feel. I really loved this shoe, with each step my foot felt like sprung back up. I felt like the Aerobounce ST was noticeably superior than pretty much every other running shoe I have ever worn. This shoe is a game changer.  

FULL REVIEW

Comfort

The Adidas Aerobounce ST is plush and spongy shoe. While the Aerobounce ST had a flexible and cushioned mid-sole it provided moderate ground feel. The Adidas  “Pro-Moderator” added to the heel for medial support gave balance, comfort and minimal stability. Engineered lightweight mesh provided moderate breathability and my feet were quite warm. The upper felt warmer than the Brooks Glycerin 14 upper while running indoors. However, while running outdoors, I could definitely feel the wind coming through the upper.

Adidas Aerobounce ST - Matt Setlack - 4.JPG

Fit

While the forefoot may be too snug for those that prefer a wider toe box it provided a nice snug, sock-like fit, similar to a high performance racing flat. There were no issues with blisters or chafing.

Adidas Aerobounce ST - Matt Setlack - 6.JPG

Responsiveness

The BOUNCE mid-sole cushioning technology, supported my foot well, popping back from heel to toe off. Upon landing the Bounce provided a really comfortable plush feel, while at the same time providing a really nice springy and bouncy return. The toe area is flattened with minimal volume compared to most shoes I have worn.

Adidas Aerobounce ST - Matt Setlack - 7.JPG

The BOUNCE mid-sole cushioning is the softest, most responsive running shoe material that I have ever run on. An interesting thing happened while running in these shoes; while running easy/slow, the sole provided a soft cushion but as I ran faster, I felt like the sole cushioning stiffened up and gave me a more responsive return (it was kind of like running on a swimming pool filled with starch and water). I am extremely impressed with this sole material.

Speed

A good lightweight, versatile shoe that held up well for mid to long runs. I wouldn’t wear this shoe for tempos or intervals; it is designed for easy runs. I was surprised at how speedy the shoe felt given the cushioning and weight. Although the tread was good on dry surfaces like the road and treadmill, it did not perform well on mud, snow and sandy surfaces. The lugs (or lack of lugs) are too minimal resulting in a less versatile shoe. The tread did not have a lot of grip and the shoe easily slipped while running on anything other than bare dry pavement.

Adidas Aerobounce ST - Matt Setlack - weight.JPG

The weight of the Aerobounce ST was measured by Matt Setlack to be exactly the same as the New Balance 1080 V8 (658g per pair for Men’s US size 10.5). However, the Aerobounce ST felt A LOT lighter on the foot while running. Also, the weight of the Aerobounce ST was more heavily distributed towards the heel area compared to a more “traditional” shoe, which seem to have a more forward center of mass (right in between the forefoot and heel).

Ride Quality

The Aerobounce ST had an extremely smooth ride and moderate ground feel. Heal comfort was springy and plush and felt very nice on landing. The outsole features minimal updates to the previous year’s model, with minimal outsole treads that gripped well on dry roads. However, running on even a little bit of snow caused the treads to immediately fill up with snow and the shoes lost almost all grip. When this happened, it felt like I was wearing curling sliders on my feet or running on a treadmill with the belt slipping on the rollers. The cushioned ride gives a springy and stable feel upon landing. There was a very fluid movement (flow) while running in these shoes from the point of landing to the toe off.

Adidas Aerobounce ST - Matt Setlack - 8.JPG

These shoes were the quietest shoes I have ever worn and I believe this is a result of the efficient design for the heel to toe transition. I could barely even hear my own footsteps, even while running on concrete.