Products and Product Reviews

I am not a typical product reviewer.  I post reviews occasionally as requested by friends or companies I deal with.

1. Timex Run Trainer GPS Watch - seems like a nice lower priced option comparedto the Garmins out there!

2. Vivo Neo trails vs. Merrill trail Gloves:  Read the comparison here

3. A couple blog posts about shoe selection:

4. Vibram Fivefinger Bikila LS First Impressions (by Alex Flint) Picked up some Vibram Fivefinger Bikila LS minimalist shoes today. I plan to use them for everyday wear, around the house as well as running and cycling. I originally had my eye on the KomodoSport LS but for the $20 price difference, I couldn't see the benefit. I wore them for a few hours around my apartment and then took Cora (my Jack Russell) for a run. We did 3km in 18 minutes (with a poop break for Cora...) and I feel good.  Video Review Here

5. Altra Adams

My review here


  • Got webbed toes or don’t like looking like a muppet, then get these in stead of the basic Vibram ffs.  
  • New to minimalistic footwear? This is great running/walking shoe for you - don’t fall in the mistake of getting transition shoes, go for this puppy right away.
  • Uncomfy second strap, may have fitment issues for some
  • Excellent ground feel.

Inov-8 Evoskin

I couldn't wait for these to come out!  Inov8 is a popular shoe brand at my Crossfit gym.  I tried these shoes out the other day.   

  • They only come in small-med-Lg, so the odds of them fitting you well are low-medium
  • They are impossible to get on.  It took me a while to notice you could unsnap the straps, but resnapping them once they're on is a chore.  I really broke a sweat, mainly because of lack of flexibility.  Bending and fiddling with shoes for minutes is a pain.  This would be mitigated through practice
  • I have two worthless smaller toes that would not go in to the proper slots.  I fixed this however by adding a small amount of lotion to my feet- then BAM they fell into fitment. 
  • Note the holes at the end of the toes? Those are for air escaping when donning and sweat escaping when exercising.  
  • Now this is pretty nasty: After doing a crossfit workout, sweat SQUIRTED out of these holes.  It was disturbing to watch.  For a 'shoe' with so much open space, they are very hot.
  • The shoe was very slippery with sweat (even before I figured the lotion thing out).  I tried to do things like 'karoke' and it is dangerous to have feet sliding in shoes.
  • My WOD consisted of box jumps and olympic lifrts, not appropriate due to feet sliding inside of shoe
  • So, no good for sports like crossfit.  The next day, I wore these shopping on my feet for hours.  I was losing circulation in toes and ended up barefoot.  
  • Here's the Good!  what an attention getter, people love the looks.

7. The Dirt Devil: Merrell Trail Glove:Lately, these have been my go-to shoe for roads, trails, and (after this weekend) a pretty tough rock scramble.  I've found this shoe to be great for trail running, hiking, downhill running, sprinting uphills.  They work sufficiently well on fist-sized stones, knotty trails.  The rubber is hard, meaning they'll last a long time, but are not good rock climbing shoes )softer rubber has more friction for sure).  The soles are a good balance of two things:

a.) they offer juuuust enough rock protection to make it comfortable to not micromanage foot placement.

b.) a decent amount of feel and flexibility - your foot knows the surfaces underfoot.

In summary, I plan to wear these until they fall apart.

8. Luna Sandals - The huaraches sold by Barefoot Ted featured in the book Born to Run.  I purchased a pair of the 'Leadvilles' with no leather on top of the sole and leather laces, and a pair of 2mm Lunas for my girlfriend.  Ted provides links of videos to teach you different ways to tie them.  Later I bought additional elastic laces.  They are much nicer, one wrap around the ankle, and less likely to pull through the hole in the toe.   We've biked, walked and ran in them on many surfaces and are big fans!  They are expensive, but go to a good supplier.  Another interesting story re: these sandals, a friend of mine lost ONE while on travel. He was able to buy ONE replacement.  Where else can you purchase just a left shoe?  That's something to consider.  There is a great review here.

<em>Suunto</em> SS014006010 <em>X10</em> Military Digital Unisex Watch9. The Suunto X10 Military, short functionality video review here.  This watch is NOT as easy to use as the Garmin watches that I've become accustomed to.  A Garmin watch seems to be a stop watch that records GPS coordinates as well.  This is more of an orienteering device, when you say 'go' you  are saying 'go find satellites and when you're synched then start telling me my pace.  I have used this watch in the field 4-5 times now and I do not feel it's doing what I want.  During my entire speed workout tonight it never found a single satellite.  While I'm sprint up hills, it's looking for birds in the sky.  I don't know how to better use the device.  I will continue to try and post updated 'in use' vid.  ...stay tuned

:08/01/2011 UPDATE: Took this watch on a long hike this weekend.  VERY disappointed with the GPS performance.  The watch took hours to find the satellites - later we discovered it was due to the fine tree cover.  We had a Garmin 405 with us and by comparison had NO problems acquiring satellites.  The X10 acq'ed enough satellites to  plot our progress only after summiting our hike, then lost it on the decent.