Posts Tagged ‘product review’

Mizuno Wave Sky Review

June 14, 2017

Ever since adidas introduced their Boost cushioning system, there has seemingly been a wave of new shoes from companies looking to have their own version of a highly cushioned, but responsive/springy shoe. It’s not often that Mizuno releases an entirely new model, but the Wave Sky seems to be their entry into this new category.

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The Wave Sky features Mizuno’s new Cloudwave cushioning system “paired with an articulated U4icX midsole and Strobel lining.” No, I’ve got no idea what any of this means, or how it works, but what it amounts to is the softest, plushest Mizuno you’ll ever lace up, especially compared to the typical firm Mizuno ride.

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According to Running Warehouse, the Wave Sky comes in at 11.1 oz. for a men’s size 9, which is definitely on the heavy side for me, but it runs lighter than its weight, like a heavyweight boxer dancing around the ring. That may be a bit of a stretch, but it’s not often I get to wax poetic in a shoe review. The drop is 10 mm.

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Now, how about the actual running part of the shoe? I honestly didn’t expect to like this shoe all that much. Highly cushioned shoes aren’t really my jam, as a rule. I generally lean more towards lighter weight shoes with good road feel. That said, I am a fan of the Wave Sky through my early runs in them. While not quite as bouncy as an adidas Boost shoe, the Wave Sky did have a surprising amount of noticeable rebound without feeling squishy or sacrificing responsiveness.

I’d note that the forefoot seems to be fairly roomy, even for someone like me who has a wider forefoot. So, if you have a particularly narrow one, this may not be your shoe. Take note of the right lacing I had to do to get cinched in.

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I think this is going to be a winning entry in the Mizuno lineup, offering an option to those who prefer a softer rider than Mizuno is known for. I will keep updating this entry as I put more miles in the Wave Sky!

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Disclaimer: I received these shoes free of charge for my review. As always, all opinions expressed are my own and are without influence.

 

 

 

 

 

XX2i Sunglasses Review

August 4, 2015

It is with great excitement that I can say I am now a part of the Rudy Project/XX2i team!  If you’re into the cycling or triathlon world it’s a virtual certainty that you’ve heard about Rudy Project before.  Their helmets dominate the Kona field year after year and their sunglasses are a superb combination of technical features and style.    XX2i is distributed by the same company as Rudy Project, Running And Cycling Enterprises (R.A.C.E.) and has been making a name for itself alongside Rudy Project at race expos as a more affordable entry into performance optics.  There are a wide range of options available in different frame styles starting at $59.99, putting the sunglasses at the same price point, or cheaper, than Tifosi or Optic Nerve, which occupy the same space.  The difference?  XX2i glasses are plain and simple better.

For my review, XX2i sent me a pair of the France2 glasses with the crystal frame, green tips, and green flash lenses.  The lenses on this frame are interchangeable, with replacement lenses only costing $24.99.  The glasses come with a great case that keeps your glasses well-protected with foam while not taking up too much space in a bag.  Also, it looks much cooler than competitors’.

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Here are the glasses themselves.

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I seriously love that green, and it just so happens that it matches my bike, which is super-important!  You can see the nose piece looks a little misshapen, but that’s just because it’s adjustable and got bent a little before I took the picture.  The ear tips are also adjustable.

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Now, of course, sunglasses for running and biking aren’t just about looks –   what matters is how they perform.  I first took the glasses out on a commute ride, about 24 miles, on a hot, humid, sunny morning.  As you can see in the picture above, one of The Rules I adhere to when pure road riding (as opposed to triathlon racing) is ear pieces over helmet straps.  I found the glasses to be very comfortable on my face, with no discomfort in the nose or ear regions.

You can see just how much face coverage the France2 provides.  I haven’t experienced any eye tearing with these sunglasses as the lenses do a great job of providing both sun and wind protection.  The clarity is also excellent, better than my Tifosis, giving me confidence when going from sunlight into shade and not worrying as much about seeing road imperfections.

The coolest feature of the sunglasses though is how they shed sweat.  I didn’t notice this feature until I felt a cool stream on my face and couldn’t figure out why.  With my other sunglasses, sweat would streak the lens and dry, making it hard to see.  Not so with the XX2i’s.  Even on hot, sweaty rides, I haven’t had any issues with the lenses staying fairly dry, a huge plus during a New England summer.  Similarly, I had zero issues with fogging while riding.  If I stopped long enough at a light the lenses did fog up, but that went away immediately when I started back up again.

Two other important features to note from the XX2i website:

WARRANTY: Lifetime Warranty! No questions asked, you break or scratch them, send them back to be replaced for a nominal shipping and handling fee!

RETURN POLICY: 365 Days! We know it may take some time to try on and get comfortable with a pair of sunglasses bought online so that’s why we give you a full year to do so! That’s right, take up to 365 days to determine if you want to keep them and if not, send them back for a full refund less any shipping and handling fee.

You can call me an XX2i convert, which I suppose is a good thing if I’m going to be on the team.  Though I was sent these glasses free (that’s my obligatory blogger disclaimer), these opinions are all mine and completely uninfluenced by RACE, Rudy Project, or XX2i.  Silly though it sounds, I want to ride more so I can wear these sunglasses more.  Feel good, ride good.  Here’s the best part, if you’ve made it this far in the review you can be rewarded with a 50% off discount code for Rudy Project.  How’s that sound?  To get the code, leave a comment with your email address and I will send you directions forthwith.

Happy swimbikerunning!

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