Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Running Apparel (Product Review)

RUNNING SHOES

NEW BALANCE 660 (v1)  
My very first pair of running shoes. 
The very first time I wore "real" running shoes

When I had my gait analysis, I was advised to wear "stability running shoes."  
I bought my first pair of running shoes at Athlete’s Foot in Robinsons Galleria since they were on sale and I was not yet sure if I would be consistent with running, so I decided to look for the cheapest pair that had my size.
L-R: My New Balance 660 v1; Husband's New Balance 660 v1
(OUR FIRST PAIR)
My first runs as an “amateur runner” was with this pair of NB 660s. 
I would say they were comfortable although a bit heavy and stiff. I did not know about running shoes then because prior to the time I bought my NB 660, I just used a pair of sneakers for “running / jogging.”  I did not have any basis for comparison. Although after some time, I had to replace them since they were worn out already because I did not have any alternative for it.

WHERE TO BUY: We got ours at Athlete's Foot Robinsons Galleria
(Also available in New Balance concept stores, Athlete's Foot branches, Planet Sports branches, Sports Warehouse) 

ASICS KAYANO 19
L-R: Husband's Kayano19, My Kayano 19

When the ASICS Store in Bonifacio High Street, BGC opened in 2013,  I was so eager to buy a new pair of running shoes (I waited for sooo long and was just so happy to visit their branch in BHS). 
One of those days anticipating for the Asics BHS branch to open

I had my gait analysis by one of their staff, and was still advised that I should get “a pair of stability running shoes.” 
Gait anaysis - Asics BHS - The staff who guided me was very knowledgeable and patient;
The other staff there were all accommodating and they were "not pushy" that I should get my pair right away.

ASICS stability running shoes to choose from (at that time) were GT-2000 or Kayano19. I wanted to get a pair of GT-2000 because I wanted one of the color options they had (bright pink).  I did not want to try the Kayano19 because for me it was too much (in terms of price) since I was just a “beginner” runner. But the husband convinced me to try them on. I don’t know if it was a good thing or not that he made me try the Kayano, because when I laced up, they were just wrapped around my feet, I was just SOLD! When I tried running on the treadmill, I did not want to take them off. My feet never felt that "cushioned" ever in my entire life. So that's why the husband got me a pair of Kayano 19 and this was what I used when I trained for my first marathon, until I crossed the finishline of my first 42k.  I did not have any alternative to my Kayano 19 (I used it for all my training runs and races). Because of that, I just had to get myself a new pair since it was not as comfortable anymore, the edges of the soles were worn out. They did not provide much support to my feet after running with them for several hundred kilometers.  If only I could get myself several pairs of the Kayano19, I would. That’s how much I loved it. When the Kayano 20 was released, I knew I had to get myself a new pair.

WHERE TO BUY: I got mine at Asics Bonifacio High Street, BGC
(Also available at other Asics stores, Athlete's Foot, selected Planet Sports branches, Runnr stores)

ASICS KAYANO 20




I read some reviews regarding the Kayano 20 and was a little hesitant whether to get another pair of Kayano 19 because I was just very satisfied with them. Some reviews said that the Kayano 20 was heavier than the 19 – so I had second thoughts back then whether to get the 20 or still the 19.  After some time, I decided to get the Kayano 20 – and I made the right decision. I was so blessed to get an Asics Kayano 20 from my cousin, Jerrick, who went home from the US weeks after my full marathon (just in time to get me a new pair of running shoes). The very first time I tried them on, it did not disappoint. They were just snug and it felt like they were made for me. When I tried running with it, it felt like they were molded to my feet. It has a wide sole which makes my feet feel very stable and secured everytime I land it on the road. Up to this day, my pair of Kayano20s is my main running shoe, and it’s still as comfortable as how it was when I first used it. I still use it for my weekend long runs and most of my races. 

WHERE TO BUY: I got mine as a gift - bought from Foot Locker
(Available at Asics stores, Athlete's Foot, selected Planet Sports branches, Runnr stores)


K-SWISS Kwicky Blade Light (KBL 2) STABLE


I got myself a pair of K-SWISS Kwicky-Blade Light (KBL 2) Stability because I needed to have an alternate running shoe. When I tried running with them around the store, they were comfortable. For me it provided a fair amount of cushioning but after running with them for several kilometers, they expanded and became too wide for me - I have very narrow feet so I don't need shoes with a wide forefoot area.  Since the toebox (forefoot area) is too wide for me,  they cause minimal slipping. The tongue of the left shoe also often go to the side of my left foot which make it uncomfortable especially during runs over 10k, that's why I use them now for my weekday short runs only. They provide good stability and are comfortable but slightly bulky, nonetheless, it’s a good alternate shoe... even better since I got them at 50% off!

WHERE TO BUY: I got mine at Planet Sports, Bonifacio High Street, BGC at 50% off
(Also available at other Planet Sports branches, Athlete's Foot)

RUNNING SHORTS
To give you a brief idea, I like running shorts that are short in length and I like shorts that will give me enough breathing room around my thighs due to the lightweight feel.

MIZUNO RUNNING SHORTS
Chix wearing purple Mizuno running shorts (post-workout at home)
Chix wearing pink Mizuno running shorts (Boracay Skyathon 2014 10k race)



They're lightweight, and very comfortable.  I got all the colors available since I love that its fabric is so "low maintenance" and they dry quickly, plus they're relatively cheap too.  I am comfortable running with short shorts – I feel like “I run faster” with them, but of course that’s just my personal preference. The material of this pair of shorts is soft, lightweight “breathes easy” and dries fast too. It doesn’t have a back pocket though, and its internal left pocket at the left hip area is just enough to store a key, and that’s it.
Overall, I would say, it is best for short runs, if you do not need to bring any “nutrition” (energy gels) otherwise you might need to have a belt where you can store your energy gels. What I love about this is I can use them as "casual shorts" when I want to leave the house wearing a pair of shorts, tank top and slippers.

WHERE TO BUY: Mizuno shops (SM Aura BGC, Bonifacio High Street BGC, Eastwood City, Robinsons Galleria, Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Laguna)



NIKE TEMPO TRACK WOMEN'S RUNNING SHORTS
Photo grabbed from www.academy.com

My first "real" pair of running shorts were the Nike Tempo Track shorts.  They are very comfortable and lightweight, too.  It also dries quickly.The lining inside is not distracting during runs although not so much for me when I workout. It causes a bit of chafing when I use this for my workout at home. I also find the length a little "long" for me.  I now prefer the shorter running shorts that I find more breathable. It also does not have a back pocket (which is now one of my main considerations in choosing a pair of running shorts) so I only wear them for my short runs. But overall, this is recommended for runners who want versatile and lightweight running shorts.

WHERE TO BUY: Nike Park / Stadium, Planet Sports, Runnr

NIKE 3.5" EPIC RUNNING BOYSHORTS
Photo grabbed from store.nike.com
Chix wearing the Nike 3.5" Epic Running Shorts during the Insurunce 2013 - 10K race
(Photo courtesy of Without Limits Philippines)
I tried this because I was curious how it felt running with tight shorts. Plus, it had a back pocket too which made it more interesting.  I also thought they were flattering, so I got my self a couple of pairs. I used this once during a 10k race and it was not so comfortable because I was too conscious, it felt like it was too short for me so I kept on pulling the shorts every so often while running during the race.  I also tried this during my workout at home, unfortunately, I didn't like it especially when I used it on my bench, it caused some chafing.  I now use my pairs only after run and not anymore during workout or even short runs. I realized I was not meant to wear "tight" shorts for running.

WHERE TO BUY: Nike Park, Planet Sports, Runnr

NIKE 2" RIVAL RUNNING SHORTS
Photo grabbed from nike.com
Chix wearing printed Nike 2" Rival running shorts
NB Power Run 2014 - Photo Courtesy of iCloud Running Group
Chix wearing printed Nike 2" Rival running shorts
RU3 2014 - Photo Courtesy of TJ Taburico Photography


I now prefer using the  Nike 2" rival shorts. I got myself several pairs of these ever since I used my first pair during my first full marathon (and had no problem with it, whatsoever). I now use them during my long runs and races.  For me they're very comfortable, lightweight and length is just right for me.  I find them flattering since it's as though they were customized for me because of its snug fit. The size plus the quality of its waistband are just perfect. I use them even for my workout at home because even if you're all sweaty, it doesn't look "damp."  These shorts are on the "shorter side" so it might take some getting used to when you wear them (especially of you prefer longer shorts). I love that they have several colors and printed versions that you can choose from.  The back key pocket is just enough for my energy gels too. Overall, I'd say, I would love to have all the colors (plain and printed) of the Nike 2" rival shorts, if only they're a little cheaper.
WHERE TO BUY: Nike Park, Planet Sports, Runnr

VISOR

For me a running visor is a necessity since I always run in the morning and I get annoyed easily when the sun shines on my face and I don't want to exert extra effort running while squinting at the same time.

NEW BALANCE VISOR
NB 25K Power Run 2013 Coach Mike and Chix (wearing her pink NB Run Visor)
Thanks Red Knight Runner for the photo

This was my first running visor. It took me a few short runs before I got used to it. I find the visor too wide for me.  It definitely does its job in protecting your face from the sun, but it blocks my vision at times since the visor is too wide.  I realized that it's not too lightweight and I feel abit uncomfortable with it when I use them during long runs. Although it keeps sweat away from my face, its fabric is not that breathable and I find myself adjusting it once in awhile when I perspire.

WHERE TO BUY: I got mine at Planet Sports BGC. Also available in other Planet Sports branches and New Balance Concept Stores (Glorietta 4, SM Aura BGC, Festival Mall Alabang, Robinsons Place Manila)

2XU RUN VISOR

I love the 2XU run visor because it is highly breathable and lightweight.  I get bothered with sweat trickling down my forehead during long runs but this visor just does its job in providing sun protection, absorbing sweat (because of its sweatband) and allowing my head to be "cool" all throughout a long run.  I love its fit especially since it has an adjustable velcro strap. It's also easy to clean, dries fast and doesn't get distorted even after being in the washer several times. I've been using mine for over a year now and it still fits well.

WHERE TO BUY: I got mine in 2XU Glorietta 3. Also available in Planet Sports BGC


SUNGLASSES

SALICE 006 SPORTS SUNGLASSES
Chix wearing Salice 006 Sports Sunglasses
Takbo.ph Runfest 2014 - Photo courtesy of KB Runner (Photo-Ops)


I got myself a pair of Salice 006 sunglasses because they're lightweight and price is reasonable (when I tried researching online).  I am very much satisfied with my running sunglasses.  It took a while before I got used to the lenses, they're polarized so when you wear them for the first time, everything seems to be in "high definition", all the colors are vibrant and just alive.  I use it even when I drive or almost everytime I need to wear a pair of sunglasses.  When I wear it on my visor during races, you wouldn't realize you're bringing a pair of sunglasses with you - it's definitely lightweight.  When I wear it, they fit well and are comfortable and the lens quality is just excellent and really provides protection from the bright light rays of the sun without the glare. The nosepiece is detachable though, so be careful since you might lose it.  I lost mine once, but thanks to the excellent after sales customer service of the exclusive distributor of Salice here in the Philippines, I got a replacement right away.  Overall, I would recommend this for runners who need good quality, stylish and reasonably priced pair of sunglasses.  I definitely got my money's worth when I bought my pair of Salice 006.

WHERE TO BUY: I got mine at their sales office in A. Arnaiz Ave. Makati ("Like" Salice Philippines on Facebook for more details); Planet Sports BGC, Runnr, Secondwind


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