Shoe Review: Brand New Under Armour HOVR Sonic

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of  Under Armour HOVR Sonic shoes as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! 

I had the pleasure to test the BRAND NEW Under Armour HOVR Sonic shoes!

The UA HOVR Sonic is a neutral cushion shoe that comes in five different color ways in both connected and unconnected versions.The HOVR Sonic is the first of it’s kind and can digitally connect to MapMyRun or MapMyFitness phone apps. HOVR Sonic is a great speed work shoe that fits great in the heel and toe box. I have wide feet but not wide enough for a wide shoe in most brands so I wear men’s shoes. The HOVR Sonic is just wide enough in the toe box that they fit perfectly and are not too tight at all. I love the seamless upper and that it is super breathable.

UA HOVR Sonic shoes in white after a run

The UA HOVR Sonic is a great speed work shoe. They are lightweight and I do feel an extra spring in my step from the HOVR cushioning. The compression-like feel of the seamless upper also makes my feet feel like they are not wearing shoes. I wore them during My Better Half 10k this past weekend and they held up great. My feet did not feel as tired as they normally do halfway through the 10k.

 

Look at the seamless upper!

Quick facts about the UA HOVR Sonic:

  • Neutral cushioning
  • 8mm offset with a 21mm heel and a 13mm forefoot
  • Midsole is the new HOVR Cushioning with a 60% energy return
  • Outsole is a solid rubber forefoot and a carbon rubber heel
  • Compression-like fit
  • Quick-drying and breathable microthread upper
  • Comes in connected and non-connected versions

Training Data

Overall shoes stats from MapMyRun

The UA HOVR Sonic gives you stride length and cadence with and without MapMyRun GPS. It even measures how far you run without needing to use the MapMyRun app! The stride length is my favorite part of the shoe training data because it really shows how much my gate changes as I get tired over my run.

Overview from a run in MapMyRun with the UA HOVR Sonic

The MapMyRun interface for the training data is great. The overview of each run is super easy to read and the graphs are a cool way to see how your cadence and stride length change during a run. The other nice feature of the connected shoe is that it tells you approximately how many miles are on the shoe. For someone who knows once my shoes hit 300 miles I need new ones knowing exactly how many miles are on them each time I sync the app is helpful.

Overview from a run in MapMyRun with the UA HOVR Sonic

The other great part of the connected shoe is that you do not need to always use the MapMyRun app while you run. You can simply sync the shoes after your run to see your training stats. I’ve run with MapMyRun and without and I prefer to sync the shoes after in order to save my phone battery. If you run on a treadmill or an indoor track there’s no need to turn on a GPS, the HOVR Sonic will tell you how far you’ve run based on your stride length.

I do have two concerns about this shoe. First, the tread. This tread was not made for running on wet pavement. I am a mid foot striker and I slipped a few times during wet and rainy runs especially going up and down hills. I did wear the HOVR Sonic on a rainy commute to work and I the shoes did slip a bit going up and down the steep hill I walk every day to my office. Hopefully that will change on the next iteration of the shoe.

The other bothersome part of these shoes is that the toe box gets dirty quickly.  After one two mile run in slightly damp conditions my shoes were stained. I figured out a way to clean them but they still have a small stain on them. I am hoping the next version of this shoe will have a bigger splash guard.

Overall, I recommend this shoe for people who want a great lightweight shoe for the treadmill or dry climates. The training data is a great addition for people who really want to understand their run. This shoe is a game changer for running industry and I hope other companies will start to incorporate technology into shoes in the future.

Check out the what my fellow BibRave Pros has to say about the brand new Under Armour HOVR Sonic:

Product Review: BOCO Gear Run Hat & 360° Visor®

Disclaimer: I received my BOCO Gear Run Hat and 360° Visor® to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

As fall half marathon training season comes to an end it’s time to talk about two pieces of gear I used quite a bit- the BOCO Gear Run Hat and 360° Visor®.

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I love BOCO Gear! One of my favorite hats of all time is their Technical Trucker so when the opportunity came up to test the Run Hat and 360 Visor I jumped at the chance.

BOCO Gear 360° Visor®

I do use a visor while running but mainly in usually in warm weather. I tend to overheat in anything over 55 degrees. The 360° Visor® was not a fit for me. I really like the design of it but it was not comfortable for me to run in. The sides of my head started to hurt because it was a bit to snug for me. I have a very large head and a lot of hair which makes finding headgear hard.

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Other features of the 360° Visor® are:

  • Lightweight wicking woven or dry tech polyester outside
  • Wicking internal sweatband to move sweat from your forehead
  • Soft brushed elastic back for comfort and fit
  • Relaxed fit front panel for a better performance and comfort
  • Black underside of the bill to reduce glare
  • Curved Bill
  • Machine Washable

I do love the fact that the 360° Visor® can be customized! BOCO Gear and BibRave did a wonderful job at customizing the visor and I really appreciate the printed BibRave logo on the back of the visor. The bill of this visor is also shorter and the front is lined with really nice wicking material which is a nice touch!

Overall, I highly recommend the 360° Visor® to anyone with an average sized head.

BOCO Gear Run Hat

This is quickly becoming my favorite running hat. It has a short bill, is super lightweight and it dries quickly, which is a necessity for Fall running in Seattle. I did find it a bit warm during a 60 degree run but it kept the sweat out of my eyes with the moisture wicking front panel.

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Other great features of the BOCO Run Hat are:

  • Lightweight wicking woven polyester material provides a layer of protection from mother nature on the front and top panels
  • Dry Tech polyester mesh side panels keep your head cool for the length of your workout
  • Soft curved bill that is packable
  • Machine washable
  • Soft polyester mesh wicking sweatband on the inside to help move sweat away from your head keeping you focused on the trail or road.
  • Can be upgraded with sublimated designs
  • Can come with a black underside of the bill to reduce glare

The packable feature of this hat made it easy to stash in my hydration pack and even in the back of my running tights. It is also durable enough to be squashed in my gym bag for the majority of the day before a workout.

I know most companies claim their hats are machine washable but all BOCO Gear products really are! I took my run hat out on a super muddy and rainy run, popped it in the wash and it looked brand new.

I highly recommend buying a BOCO Gear Run Hat if you need a versatile and easy to wash hat.

 

Product Review: Eagle Creek Hauler Duffel

Disclamer: I received an Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

What a week! Just got back from runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon and an amazing visit to Disney World. I will post more about the race and trip in a later post. Not only was it a great trip and amazing weather but it gave me a chance to test out the Eagle Cargo Creek Hauler Duffel 60L.

The Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel is a lightweight, water resistant, and packable duffel bag. It comes in a variety of colors and has multiple hand holds and straps to help you haul your gear around. The packable aspect of the duffel sparked my interest. Living in 600 sq ft with another person and small dog means gear storage is minimal and anything package is a huge plus especially if it’s luggage.

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Other great features of the bag include:

  • Lightweight – the 60 liter bag weighs 1lbs 12oz
  • Made of water-repellent Bi-Tech Armor Lite fabric
  • Three compartments to help organize gear
  • #10 lockable zippers with a storm flap to shield the zippers from the elements
  • Foam padding on the bottom to protect contents against impact
  • Removable backpack straps

Not only did I take this bag on vacation I also used it to commute to work and to running practice. Since the bag is 60 liters I probably overpacked a bit but I was able to shelp everything I needed for the day, clothes, shoes food etc. on the bus to work and on the train to practice. I did get caught in a downpour on my way to practice and even though the Cargo Hauler is made of water repellent fabric, the colored ends of the bag did get soaked. But once I got home the bag dried out quickly.

Eagle Creek Hauler Duffel straps

The other huge plus of the Cargo Hauler Duffel is the backpack straps, which makes it much easier to carry a heavy load. I will note, the backpack straps are nice for heavy loads but carrying over 20lbs on my back during a commute was not the most comfortable. When I checked the duffel in Florida I had to take the straps off of the bag and it took me a bit due to how the straps attached to one side of the bag. Putting them back on the bag was also a bit of a pain too. The nice part is the clips were not damaged in transit. I also found that the straps has a lot of extra length to them, they got caught when I was using the bag and it drove me nuts. Due to these frustrations, this is definitely a road trip or car bag for me, not a commuting bag.

Strap attachment on Eagle Creek Hauler Duffel

I will say for a 60 liter bag, the Cargo Hauler seems much larger than my other 50 to 60 liter bags. This is not carry-on size for most major airlines. If that is important, this is not the bag for you. We ended up checking it on the way home from Florida because it was too long.

Even though the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler is lightweight, it is sturdy. On our way to Florida we threw it in another bag and opened it when we got to our hotel. Since we were there for almost a week we used the compartments to organize our dirty clothes. When it was time to pack up, everything fit in nicely and because of the backpack straps and the sturdy end handles it was easy to get it into the car and to the check in counter. We even checked it and there were no flaws on the bag when we picked it off of the baggage carousel.

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Overall, I recommend the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel for people who need a good sturdy duffle bag for an extended trip. This is definitely a great gift for someone in your life that goes on extended trips or drives long distances for races.

Product Review: 5k Crate

Product Review: 5k Crate

Disclaimer: I received a free 5k Crate as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! 

I got the chance to try out the lasts 5K Crate! 5k Crate is a quarterly subscription box that offers an assortment of gear for the season.

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The best part is they offer gender specific boxes to ensure size of the items. My 5k Crate included the following products:

Misson Vapor Active Short Sleeve T-Shirt – $25 retail

Mission HydroActive Towel– $19.99 retail

Spigen Essential Bluetooth Headphone R12E – $49.99 retail

Zensah Peek Running Socks – $13.99 retail

2 Epic Wipes – $24.99 for 10 pack retail

3 La Fresh Sunblock Wipe – $24.99 for 50 pack retail

This edition of 5k Crate featured a lot of items I was excited to try. My two favorite items were Epic Wipes and the Spigen Bluetooth Headphones. The Epic Wipes are super easy to use and they smell great. I will purchase these in the future for after long runs and hiking. The Spigen Headphones are great! I took them running once and realized I prefer to use them on my commute or walking. They were easy to pair to my phone and the charged lasts for a very long time.

The Zensah socks and Mission shirt were very nice. The socks are not my cup of tea, I prefer taller or no show socks but I am still happy I got to try them out. The fit of my shirt was not my favorite but I will still put it to use during my warmer fall training runs. The La Fresh sunscreen wipes were a lifesaver before my half marathon a few weeks ago and the Mission towel is great after sweaty workout sessions.

One of the other great part of 5k Crate is you get ALOT of for your $59.99 a quarter. The total value of the box I received is about $115, which is an AMAZING deal for running gear. If you want to pre-pay for a year’s worth of boxes you can save a bit too.

 

I highly recommend 5k Crate for anyone who is looking for high quality running gear or wants to give a runner in their life a great gift.

Product Review: Under Armour Horizon RTT Shoes

Disclaimer: I received a pair of UA Horizon RTT as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

What a week it’s been! Seawheeze was last weekend and I am still trying to contain my excitement from it. I am excited to gear up for fall training and trails have been just what I was looking for!

I had the pleasure to test UA Horizon RTT shoe over the past few weeks. They are Under Armour’s best selling trail shoe. They come in FIVE different colors in both mens and womens sizing. Personally, I have my go to trail shoes and trying these was a huge difference.

First, the tread on these are massive. They are much taller than what I am used to and I was afraid of getting rocks caught in them. Thankfully, that did not happen and I was able to get great traction. Second, they are a pretty reinforced in the heel and toes which makes them a bit stiff. Third, they are pretty affordable, you can go here and get a pair for $109.99. That’s not bad for trail shoes!

There were a few things I did not like about them. They do not have a rock plate. My preference is for having a rock plate because you never know when you need extra support while on the trails. The UA Horizon RTT is not the most comfortable, I found it quite narrow and I even sized up a whole size. The other downside is the style, maybe it’s the style of Under Armour shoes in general but these are pretty not appealing to me. They are very masculine and look a lot like basketball shoes.

Overall, if you are looking for a reasonably priced pair of trail shoes and are not running super technical trail I would get these. They are less than $120 and have some great tread for most types of terrain.