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Shoe Review: Kalenji “Run Support” Running Shoes, White & Black

30 08 2019

Shoe Review: Kalenji “Run Support” Running Shoes White & Black

It took for my Running Friend Jon Las Bruce of Decathlon to post a picture of the said running shoes (White Model) for me to be attracted to the shoes. Maybe it was because of the color White or maybe I need a reason to visit the Decathlon Store for the first time after months that this Sports Store (From France) has landed in the country. But most importantly, it was the price of the said shoes that really nailed the coffin, so to speak, to get a pair of this shoes. With a simple Private Message to JLB, he was able to reserve one pair for my size of 9.5 (US). Once I was in Manila, my priority was to get and buy the said shoes. 

After about one week of running and testing the White Model in my training for the 2019 Boston Marathon which was two weeks before the event, I was surprised on its cushioning, fit for comfort, and lightweight of the shoes. The cushioning is better than the average feeling that I get from my other road shoes. The fit was perfect because the uppers are very light and there are holes or spaces that provide better ventilation for my feet as I can feel air would flow inside the shoes through these spaces. The upper mesh provided maximum comfort because it is stretchable and it has minimal seams. It feels also that I thought I was running with my lighter racing shoes as the shoes weighs 263+ grams for my size of 9.5.

My White Kalenji Run Support Shoes

Later, I found out that there is a Black version of the said shoes and I immediately contacted JLB of Decathlon to reserve one pair of the said color which I will get as soon as I visit Metro Manila. Who would be happy to have two pairs of this particular model of Kalenji Running Shoes when the price is equivalent to 1/3 of the price of the other popular brands of running shoes? Yes, I became a sucker for this particular shoe model of Kalenji. Cheap, durable, comfortable, light, with much cushion and a 2-year warranty of the shoes are enough reasons for me to have these shoes in my Running Arsenal. The price of One Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety Pesos for a pair is a stunner!

Well-Grooved and Sturdy Soles

I am not much of a technical person for me to mention to you the materials  used in the composition of the uppers, sole, linings, shoe laces, width of the forefoot/toe box, and stack height (difference on the thickness of the heel  and forefoot parts of the shoes). I have a feeling that the stack height of this particular model is 8-10 mm which is very good for my old feet. I had been bothered by my Achilles Tendinitis on my right foot when I run long distances on the road and I found out that the higher stack height would relieve the pain during my runs. That is one of bonuses or advantage of this shoes as compared to my other running shoes. The bottom line is that this Kalenji Running Shoes is a WINNER!

Reflectorized Kalenji Logo and Strip on The Shoe Tongue

Wait! Before I forget, these shoes have also reflectorized strips on the back/heel portion and front of the uppers. The Kalenji Logo with a strip on the tongue of the shoes would glow when a light is being directed to the shoes, the same with reflectorized strips at the back of the shoes. With these strips, you can be visible during your night running and thus, gives safety for the user from incoming faster moving vehicles at your front or behind you.

Up to this date, I have already ran more than 200 Kilometers for each of these shoes. Sometimes, I would combine the shoes, White on my right /left feet and the other Black on the other feet while running in my Playground! Yes, I usually use them also in my Trail Loop in my Playground and they give me much comfort and support to my old knees! By doing this combination of colored shoes in my running workouts, I would give them what they deserve on equal basis. After almost five (5) months of running with these shoes, I could barely see any wear and tear on their soles as compared to my Hoka One One “road to trail” shoes. Lately, during my running “stunt” at this year’s MILO Marathon, I used the Black Model of this particular shoes when I finished the MILO Half-Marathon running with a suit and tie.

My Black Kalenji Run Support (I am Size 43!)

It is a regret on my part not being able to decide to buy the RED model of this shoes when I saw it in the Decathlon Store in Mongkok, Hongkong. Maybe, I would buy this particular shoes in the future but how I wish I could buy and try their KIPRUN Trail shoes, too!

I highly recommend this shoes for daily running workouts, as well as, in short distance races. They are my GO running shoes when I decide to hit the paved roads when I do my tempo runs in preparation for my ultra tail events.

Why not? Running With the Kalenji Run Support Shoes White & Black At The Same Time

(Note: Buying my first Black Kalenji “Run Support” Shoes was my first visit to a Decathlon Store in the Philippines and since then I have been going back to the same store at Tiendesitas, Pasig City and when I go abroad, the first thing that I would ask “Google” is the location of the Decathlon Store in the city! Since then, I would buy some of my running attire from Decathlon. They are very cheap and you can get the best quality in terms of durability and comfort. Wow! Thanks to Jon Las Bruce and to the rest of the running staff of the said store for their immediate assistance whenever I visit the place. Of course, I paid for these Kalenji Shoes and I never had thought of getting FREE items in the store for my reviews. And one more thing, all the Decathlon Stores have a customers lounge where one could sit and relax, and also enjoy their Free Wi-Fi. Whenever I visit Hongkong, the Decathlon Store in Mongkok is my favorite “meet-up” place for those Pinoy runners.)

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Why I Love “Onitsuka Tiger” Sneakers

29 08 2019

Why I Love “Onitsuka Tiger” Sneakers

It was in the later part of December last year that the Onitsuka Tiger Page on Facebook appeared in my News Feed and I found out that the famous Japanese sneakers brand had re-created my first ASICS Running Shoes in the early 80s as their California 78 Model (and later as Ultimate 81 Model) which was their new model for the year-end season. The following day, I tried to recall where I stored those old Onitsuka Tiger sneakers that I bought few years ago in the US which had been with me for the past 15-20 years. I was able to bring out two pairs of them, one for trail running and another one is a complete replica/copy of the GT model that was very popular as cushioned running shoes of ASICS with the popular Red and Blue Logo of the brand. I found out that I had these two shoes repaired by stitching the sole with the uppers by a local shoe repair guy making them more durable in the coming years of use. I consider them as my Vintage Collection of Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers.

Vintage OT Mexico 66 (USA)

Vintage OT Mexico 66 Trail Running Shoes

I tried using them in my casual wear for the next few days and they were still comfortable using them with some concerns if I use them for a longer period during the day, like driving and walking in the Shopping Malls. I observed that the cushion of the insoles are no longer the same when they were new and they seem to be in shorter size as I suspect that my shoe size had increased by half an inch for the past years that I have been running ultra trails and roads. So, I decided to look where I could find and buy the latest models of the said shoe brand in Metro Manila. However, to add more curiosity about the brand, I would join the Facebook Group of Onitsuka Tigers users in the Philippines. (Note: I will mention my observation about this group on the later part of this post).

In one of my stays in Metro Manila, I finally decided to visit the Brand Store of Onitsuka Tiger at the Shangrila Mall which is located at the 2nd Floor. On my first visit to the store, I was able to buy two pairs of their classic models: Red California 78 Model, a re-creation of my GMT shoes in the early 80s and their White Leather Mexico 66 with the Red and Blue Stripes Logo. These two models had a great and significant history in the world of running. You can “google” them if want to know more of the details, most specially if you are an average and competitive runner. The Onitsuka Tiger’s Mexico 66 Model became popular as the running shoes of Champions and Medalists in the Olympic Games 1968, 1972, and up to this date. (Note: NIKE would not be in the world of sneakers and running shoes without the Onitsuka Tiger and the rest is history).

The Classic OT Mexico 66 With The Red & Blue Stripes

By wearing these two classic shoes, I thought I was brought back to those years that I was starting to be a runner and being a competitive marathon runner in late 70s and early 80s. Although, I could only muster to have a best time of 17+minutes of 5K; 45-minute plus in 10K; 1:30+hours in half-marathon; and 3:30+hours of Marathon, I did not have any dream then of becoming a faster runner because of my work then in the military service. But at the back of my mind, I tried and failed to reach the qualifying times for my age in the prestigious Boston Marathon. The ASICS shoes and the Brand Logo of Red and Blue stripes were symbols of durability and comfort to all the runners then which I think up to these days are being maintained by the company.

It was in the first quarter of this year that I intently researched on the models of this brand which brought me to buy more of them. Oh, well, I bought more of their classic ones like the “Kill Bill” Yellow Leather Shoes (Mexico 66 Tai Chi) and the OT Shoes (Corsair) that was copied by NIKE which came up as the CORTEZ Model which is more popularly known as the NIKE Forrest Gump Running Shoes. I bought this OT model at the OT Brand Store in Causeway Bay, Hongkong last February 2019. (Note: Only to find out that this particular model shoes was available in the local market after two week from my trip to Hongkong).

OT Nippon Made That I Bought

Not being able to wait to make a trip to Japan this year, I decided to buy a Leather Shoes Made In Japan  (Nippon Made) of Mexico 66 Model at the OT Shangrila Store before I left for the Boston Marathon last April. The price is more expensive than buying this particular model in Japan but I promised myself that this will be my last pair of OT. I have lost count in the number of pairs that I bought before I had this pair that is Made In Japan (Nippon Made). Most the shoes being sold in the local market are  Made In Vietnam but they have the same comfort and durability that the brand is known for.  

The leather Made In Japan shoes that I bought is already my favorite shoes for my casual wear most specially if I am wearing my Red Pants. I used it during my trip in USA & Italy and I found them very comfortable and classy. I will be using them again in my next trips to Europe and the United States.

I broke my promise not to buy anymore of these shoes after I purchased the OT Made In Japan. I think I bought two pairs again two weeks ago.

I have removed myself already from the OT Facebook Group so that I would not be tempted to buy again. It is also irritating to see some members posting their OT finds in “Ukay-Ukay” asking the members if they Legit or not and some are posting Fake ones For Sale.

Wearing Mt OT Sneakers In My Trips

It is my plan to buy another pair of Made In Japan (Nippon Made) among its Classic Models if ever I will have a chance to visit Japan again, maybe by next year. Wearing this brand, aside from its comfort and durability, this brand looks classy on whatever I wear in my casual clothes. And also remember those days that I was a young, faster, and stronger runner. Wow!





Carl Don Rudas, Jr: The Running “Security Guard”

27 08 2019

Carl Don Rudas, Jr: The Running “SecurityGuard”

It is not my style or habit to be asking the personal life of each runner who joins my Running Events even if they become a regular member of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU). However, one of my consistent participants in all my ultra road races for the past two years had been asking from me the permission for him to finish the race in a Security Guard attire and I usually give him the approval. Through these requests and his Facebook posts, it is obvious that he is really a Security Guard.

Carlito Don Rudas Jr is one of the few awardees of the PAU 100-Mile Grand Slam Award since its creation. He got the Award for all the 100 Milers Finishes for the year 2018 when he finished the Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Race; West Coast 200K Endurance Run; Antique 100-Mile Endurance Run; and the 2019 Bataan Death March 160K Ultramarathon Race. He is consistently at the “Back of the Pack” but he makes sure that he finishes his races within the prescribed Cut-Off Time. So many stories and observations about the grit and tenacity of this runner speak volumes of the character and attitude of this guy.

It was in the 2018 West Coast 200K Endurance Run, where I shortened the cut off time from 48 hours to 42 hours, that I personally met his Boss who came all the way from Valenzuela, Bulacan to support and crew for him during his run on the last 100 kilometers. He finished hours before the cut off time and he was a Podium Finisher, Overall 2nd Runner-Up! Through my conversation with his Boss (a Chinese-Filipino businessman in Valenzuela, Bulacan), I found out that he is an all-around “assistant” in a warehouse and is considered and treated as a part of the family. Through his Facebook posts, I could see that there are times that Carl would be in his Boxing Gloves doing some Boxing drills and spars by himself. He would post also some pictures of him carrying heavy loads in bags inside the warehouse where he works. This guy had been busy doing all those Cross Training Workout while he is doing his job and in preparation for his races.

Aside from joining our PAU Races, he is a popular running figure in shorter running distance events being held in Metro Manila because he starts and finishes in a Security Guard attire using the authorized Dress/Duty Shoes, instead, of using a pair of Road Running Shoes. He told me that he ran in last year’s MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations in the said attire but he finished beyond the cut-off time. However, for this year, he came back with a vengeance and he was able to finish the Marathon Race few minutes before the cut-off time of 6 hours. This shows the character and attitude of this guy where failure makes him more motivated to come back and finish the job with flying colors! 

In the first edition of the Manila To Pagudpud 580K Ultramarathon which is now considered as the Longest Footrace in the Philippines, Carl finished the said race with almost 10 minutes before the cut-off time of 135 hours last June of this year. He is one of the 14 runners which started the race in Rizal Park in Luneta, Manila and finished as the last runner among the 6 Finishers of the race. As told by one of his support crew, he wanted to change to his attire as a Security Guard on the last kilometer of the course but he was advised not to do so because of the tight buffer time for him to be able to cross the finish line. He finally crossed the Finish Line heeding to the advise of his support crew.

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In last weekend’s Antique 100-Mile Endurance Race, I saw the frustration in his face for the first time when he finished beyond the cut-off time of 32 hours. He finished this race last year but the course was modified where it started in Guimbal, Iloilo and ended in Culasi, Antique. Last year’s course was more challenging because of the elevation profile (more ascents and descents at the boundary of Iloilo and Antique) and the whole time it was raining and the runners were challenged with strong winds throughout the course. As compared to this year, it was raining hard on the first 15 hours where some sections were flooded until the sky became cloudy as they reached the boundary of Aklan. The last 20K uphill climb from Nabas, Aklan to the Finish Line was a surprise to all the runners. This section is always the “waterloo” for all the runners in this event. 

In one of my conversations with him after he finished one of my races, he told me that by wearing the Security Guard attire in his races, he would be sending the message to all the Security Guards in the country that he is proud to be one and his job does not prevent him from taking care of his healthy body even if he works more than the required number of hours they are being paid on a daily basis. Being an owner and operator of a Security Agency for almost 4 years after my retirement from the service, I know the life and challenges of being a Security Guard. Through my experience and observation, this job and the people in this kind of service need more strict implementation of the Labor Code and better treatment for them to support their respective family. Next time you see a Security Guard, treat him with much respect because they contribute for your outmost safety in the establishments where you work, stay with your family, shop, and to where you bring your family out in public, as well as, in private areas and they remind you that there is orderliness and rules and regulations to follow in places where they are employed to protect.

If you ask me who are our heroes? I can safely say that the Security Guards are my heroes and Carl Don Rudas, Jr is more than special to me because he is an example of one of the best “warriors” that I have as an Ultramarathon Runner of PAU.

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“Running In A Suit” @ The Manila MILO Half-Marathon Race

26 08 2019

“Running In A Suit” @ The Manila MILO Half-Marathon Race

I have seen a runner dressed as a Butler/Waiter when I accompanied and cheered my Son during the time when he joined the New York City Marathon few years ago. I was impressed about him and I was more impressed when one of my running friends informed me that he had been a yearly participant in the said event for the past 10 years or more. Later years had passed, I saw a picture of the Japanese Runner Champion of 2018 Boston Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi, dressed in a Business Suit while running one of the Marathon Races in Japan to show or send a message that he is an elite runner who has no Corporate Sponsor but I am not sure if he is complaining or asking the corporate world of Japan to sponsor him in his participation to marathon events and support for his training. But more than that, I have seen news reports and stories in popular Running Magazines about the Guinness Record for the Fastest Runner In Business Suit.

The said “challenge” about setting the record of the fastest runner in a business suit inspired me to attempt and experience what it is like to run in a suit with a necktie. It is far from my mind to be the fastest in this attire. I just wanted to experience the feeling of running with the said attire knowing that I am already old for this feat. Actually, it had been months before that I planned to do this after I have bought the necessary pants, white shirt, necktie, and jacket/suit. I bought those things that are cheap and readily available to be worn, in short, ready made. I was not too technical and scientific about the materials used in my attire and I did not have to find out if my attire are appropriate by doing some training runs. 

It is not my intention to send the message or have the goal to be in the Guinness World of Records for being the Fastest or Oldest Runner in Business Suit or have the intention for my feat to featured in the traditional media, thereby, making me a popular topic among the runners and the public. I just wanted to experience what it is like to be running with a suit in a half- marathon and through my Facebook account and in this blog, I could encourage those in the Corporate World to embrace and start running as a form of exercise or part of a routine to make everybody healthier and more active.

After I finished the Cortina Trail 48K Ultra in Cortina D’Ampezzo, I decided to join the MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race Half-Marathon distance. I could have joined the Marathon distance but I felt that my body was still weak after I had a flu after I finished my trail running event. Actually, I was still recovering from the run and flu when I ran the half-marathon race.

On Race Day, I purposely entered the starting area few minutes before the start of the race and tried not to be noticed by most of the runners as I was the only one who was not in the usual running attire. I positioned myself at the back of the pack and waited a few minutes for the usual pre-start activities before the race started. It took me almost two minutes to cross the Starting RFID pad to activate my start time.

I walked about a few meters as I crossed the Start Line and Andrew Neri of RunRio Events saw me in my attire and he was surprise. When the runners in front of me thinned out, I started to jog and made sure to maintain a running space all around me. After we left the MOA Complex, the road was very dark that I was not easily noticed by the runners. It was when I was running along the Roxas Boulevard that somebody shouted at me with the word “Attorney” and I just waved my right hand at him.

After running for about one kilometer, I started to feel the hard feeling of breathing through my nose and mouth because of the restriction made by the uppermost button of my white long-sleeved shirt and the necktie. The neck button and necktie were not too tight but as I breath harder with my faster pace, I felt that somebody is trying to grip his hand around my neck and sometimes I felt like I was choking. I have also maintained my suit to be buttoned with my Race Bib being pinned on top of my buttoned suit just to make sure I would not accidentally or have the urge to unbuttoned my suit/jacket. Once my visor was wet with my sweat/perspiration from my head, my sweat went down to my shirt and jacket/suit. In addition of the sweat coming from my upper body and arms, I felt I was running slowly despite the effort that I was increasing my pace.

I was able to finish 10K in 70 minutes and I thought I could maintain the pace until I finish the race even if it was far from my mind that I would be able to finish the race in 2:15 hours. After 12K, I felt that all my attire to include my socks and shoes were already wet and became heavier. My pace slowed down tremendously as if I was running uphill along a trail in the mountains. Once I reached Km 15, I was already mixing walking and jogging just to be able to reach from One Water Station to another for the much needed hydration to replenish my sweat. At Km 18, I was feeling the start of cramping on my calves that I had to stop jogging. And just walked until the cramping would disappear.

On the last two kilometers as it was already sunrise, most of the faster Marathon runners would pass me and greet me. They are surprised that I was wearing a suit during the race. One Kilometer before the Finish Line, I started to walk due to exhaustion and cramping of my calf muscles. On hindsight, I was too confident to finish the race without any problem that I brought only 4 pieces of Power Gels as my source of nutrition during the race. I should have brought twice the number of Power Gels to be able to sustain my pace and try to offset the heavy weight of my suit once they are wet from my perspiration. I crossed the Finish Line at 2:45 Hours and my legs were cramping that I had to stop and stand still for a few seconds.

With the proper training and nutrition, I will be able to pull it off again this stunt in the next running event even if I will be using a dress shoes as my running shoes. There is no need to have a “high-tech” suit to finish a Marathon or Half-Marathon Race  as I am not attempting the goal of having the fastest finish time. Who knows, there might be an Award for the Oldest Runner Finishing The Fastest Marathon Race Wearing A Suit.

As of now, I am the First Runner In A Suit who have finished the MILO Half-Marathon…and also the Oldest One!

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Trip To Hongkong (2nd Trip For 2019)

21 08 2019

Trip To Hongkong (2nd Trip For 2019) August 12-15, 2019

This is my second trip to Hongkong for this year (2019). I was in Hongkong during this year’s Chinese New Year to support the participation of Thomas Combisen in the Hongkong 4 Trails Ultra Challenge on the second week of February. Unfortunately, Thomas was not able to make the cut-off time for him to reach the last leg of the Lantau Trail during the race. I promised to Thomas to bring him back to Hongkong purposely to run the Lantau Trail which has a distance of 70 kilometers.

Weeks prior to our trip this month, news had been around about the Protests and Demonstrations that had been occuring in the different parts of Hongkong. Sine we have purchased and made our reservations for our accommodation weeks ahead, we decided to take the risk and continue with our scheduled plan for this trip.

It was supposed to be a trip for four trail runners, including myself, but two of our companions were not able to make it due to personal circumstances. The overall plan for the trip was to recon the Lantau Trail starting from Original Trailhead and from the End of the Trail going on a reverse route. We planned to do this in one day and the rest of the days will be devoted to food trip, shopping, and side trip to Macau.

We left Manila at 5:50 AM of Monday, August 12 and arrived in Hongkong at 8:00 AM. After loading some money into our Octopus Cards, we took the regular bus to Mongkok, where our regular hostel is located. We had been a regular client/customer in the said hostel since I have started joining trail running events in Hongkong. Although I have stayed in more expensive hotels in Tsim Tsai Tsui, Kennedy Town, and Jordan, I always prefer to stay in Mongkok for the authentic Chinese cuisine which are very cheap and lots of shopping in the nearby streets and Nathan Road.

Another interesting reason for this trip to Hongkong is for my new hobby of Seiko Watch Limited Edition Collection! Before this trip, I have been asking some of my FB friends who are residing in Hongkong as to where to buy these Seiko Watches and they gave me some tips. Earlier this year, I was fond of the Onitsuka Tiger sneakers and I had to look and buy a particular model in Causeway Bay. I am done already with the OT sneakers and now I am crazy with Seiko Limited Edition Watches!

Starting At The Trailhead LT Post 001

On Tuesday morning, Thomas and I took the MRT from Mongkok to Central and then walked to the Ferry Terminal Port #6 for our trip to Lantau. After one hour and half, we were at Mui Wo and walked along the Tun Chung Road going to the Trailhead of the Lantau Trail and it was already 9:30 AM. The distance from the Mui Wo Bus Terminal to the Trailhead is about 2 kilometers which is an uphill road. As we reached the trailhead, we were already sweating because of the hot/warm weather in the area. Thomas and I made an agreement for him to proceed and run the trail as fast as he can while I would hike and jog to the next trail camp and try to follow him. If in case he would determine if his target mileage for the day is done, he can just backtrack along the trail and try to find me. From there we could take the bus in going either to Tun Chung or back to Moi Wo Bus Terminal.

So, that was what we had done. From the trailhead, it was an uphill climb to Sunset Peak and then descend to the next trail camp/rest area and then cross the National Road in going to Lantau Peak. It was a very hard hike for me because of the heat and lack of training. I had to rest for three times before reaching the Sunset Peak and stopped every flowing stream to douse some cold water to my head and body. There is also a water reservoir where there was a faucet on its side that gave me lots of water to fill up my bottles and rehydrate myself. A white guy in trail shorts and shirt passed me on the first 2 kilometers of my ascent; I met two white guys and a lady going down from Sunset Peak; three white guys with big backpacks on my descent from Sunset Peak which I found later that they are from California, USA for some Para-Sailing activity in the area; and two local young guys who were taking selfies on my way down near the trail camp/rest area.

Descending From Sunset Peak

I attempted to start hiking the first kilometers towards Lantau Peak but I could no longer endure the heat of the sun and I was already exhausted due to lack of training. I went back to the waiting shed at the trail camp and wait for Thomas to arrive.

I really don’t know how many minutes I was able to doze off when Thomas arrived. Thomas was also complaining of the heat and humidity but he was happy to recon the place. He was longing for an ice cold Coke that we decided to walk towards the next village along the National Road. But to our surprise, the village was still too far that we decided to stop our hike in a Bus Stop and waited for our Bus Ride to Mui Wo.

In a few minutes, we took our Bus ride and immediately changed to dry clothes at the last row of seats inside the said bus. We went directly to the McDonalds at Mui Wo  for our first meal of the day with a Large Ice Cold Coke and Double Cheeseburger! 

After our McDo meal, we waited for our ferry ride back to Central. This time, the Ferry was an Air- Conditioned with higher fare BUT with NO Wi-Fi as compared with the slower one, cheap with Wi-Fi which we rode on our way to Lantau.

Thomas and I @ The First Resting Camp

It was good to be back to Lantau Island to run and hike after finishing the Translantau 100K for two times in the past. Well, I was then a younger and a stronger trail runner then!





Shoe Review: ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5

16 05 2014

In November 2013, it was a choice of buying an ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 and La Sportiva Vertical K and after reading some reviews and technical specifications, I opted to buy the La Sportiva Vertical K. The main thing that I considered without seeing yet the actual shoes is the WEIGHT. In their weight comparison, obviously, the La Sportiva Vertical is far lighter than the ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5.

Brand New, Out Of The Box

Brand New, Out Of The Box

In last year’s recon runs and actual race in the TNF 100 (up to Km #53), I used the La Sportiva Helios and I was satisfied with its performance. I never had any incident of slipping on the declines of the trail route and it is a very light shoes. Having experienced an excellent performance of La Sportiva Helios on my preparation in last year’s TNF 100, I decided to have the La Sportiva Vertical K as my race shoe for this yea’s TNF 100 which is a bit lighter than the Helios. (Note: In the actual race of 2014 TNF 100, I used the old La Sportiva Helios instead of the Vertical K).

Last November 2013, after I bought my La Sportiva Vertical K, I’ve read and heard testimonies about the ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 which are positive, as well as, negative feedback. I forgot all of these things as I got busy with my trail running training and switched/interchanged one trail shoes to another on a daily basis.

Two months ago, I decided to order a pair of ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 from a local distributor which I believed was “hand-carried” all the way from Singapore. I got a discounted price as a trail runner and a Race Director of local races. This shows that I don’t get a complimentary shoes for Shoe Review or Display on my workout so that my readers have the impression that I favor the use of a particular shoes.

After logging 250+ kilometers after two months of use and a chance to run them during rainy days, I have now a balanced shoe review on the said shoes. I will not be stating those technical specifications that anybody could read on the corporate website in this review. What is important is on how I could feel when I use it and my personal experience whenever I use them.

Wet Shoes After Workout!

Wet Shoes After Workout!

The “zero drop” thing was not noticeable when I run since I’ve been fond of using racing flats in my road runs, road races, and oval track workouts. I am basically a mid-foot strike runner and it was just natural for me not to notice the difference of the “zero drop” thing of the shoes.

The best feeling and experience of using the shoes is the wide toe box. My whole feet are relaxed and comfortable, thus, my toes are spread as if I am barefooted or using my “flip-flop” sandals. This a complete change from my experience of using ASICS, New Balance and ADIDAS shoes. However, my New Balance 101 Trail Shoes has the same “toe box” feeling with that of the ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5.

The next best feeling and experience is the comfort and support cushioning of the shoes. From the heel portion up to the front end of the toe box, the support and cushion are perfect and I never had any pain, sore or burning sensation on my feet’s sole even on hot days. Whether I run them on rocks and other technical terrains (loose gravels and trails covered with leaves, twigs and branches), I could not feel these “bumps” on my feet. It has also a good protection when my feet would bump on roots or rocks on the front part of the shoes.

Of course, the RED color is something that is a plus for the shoes. For me, it connotes, speed, being hot, and full of strength!

The third best thing on the shoes are the lugs on the sole on a dry trail, most especially on the steep descending ones. The lugs can prevent you from sliding on powdery and dusty trails. However, it is a different story if the trail is wet and muddy.

On the negative side, the shoes is heavy as compared from my other trail shoes. Since I would sweat a lot in my trail running workouts, my sweat would flow on my legs and to my socks and ultimately, to the shoes! Almost in my runs, the socks and shoes would be wet and it would place an additional weight to my legs. I have also the habit to cool off my body by submerging my body to a pool of water on a creek or river along the route without removing my shoes. And once I continue to run, the shoes could hardly extract the water it absorbed. This will result for the shoes to attract dust/powder of soil dirt from the trail which makes the shoes to become heavier.

After my workout, I would “air-dry” the whole shoes and it would take forever (at least, 2 days/48 hours) to let the shoes to dry without exposing them direct to the sunlight. As compared to my La Sportiva and ASICS Trail Shoes, they would dry up overnight, and that’s 12 hours!

"Mud Trap"

“Mud Trap”

For three times, I’ve used the shoes on a wet and rainy environment. The lugs on the sole are considered as “mud traps”, the mud would stick to the lugs and they are hard to be removed as one continues to run. The additional mud and wetness of the shoes would put more extra effort for the legs to lift the shoes. You have the feeling that your legs are lifting an addition weight of one pound per shoe! What is worse when the mud is trapped on the lugs, you don’t have any assurance anymore from your shoes to help you or prevent you from slipping from the mud. If you are not careful, your butt will have the tendency “to kiss” the ground. Obviously, this will result for you to stall on your speed and simply be deliberate on your steps on the muddy trails. (Note: I think I remember right when one of the runners in last year’s Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run complained that the shoes could not handle slippery mud on the trails).

Heavy When Wet

Heavy When Wet

The shoes could be lighter if they use lighter materials for the uppers; use a thinner material for the shoe laces and make them a little shorter; remove the “rudder” at the back of the shoes; and come up with more drainage holes for sweat and water that could be absorbed by the shoes. There is no point also of placing a cover for the velcro at the back portion of the heel, let the velcro be exposed. Reduce the number of lugs on the sole and make sure that they are more aggressive for muddy conditions.

Rainy Days Are Here Again!

Rainy Days Are Here Again!

The shoes is highly recommended for dry trails, thus, this shoes should be used during dry season/summer. After testing the shoes during the rainy days, I would not bet a good performance on a race where the predicted weather is wet and rainy.

As of the moment, the ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 is now one of my alternate trail running shoes when my “playground” is dry but they are my favorite trekking/hiking shoes in my regular mountain peak bagging adventures.





Pictures Of The Week #22: Colors Of ARC

18 01 2014

RED

RED

GREEN

GREEN

GRAY

GRAY








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