Thursday, February 26, 2015

I have a job that requires me to wear dress shoes at least 4 days a week.  Since I started running I found it very difficult to find comfortable dress shoes that did not compress my toes or have a heel drop that was too high.  I was told about a company that makes zero drop shoes with minimal cushioning and a wide toe box.  That company is called Lems.

Lems is a 100% family owned company that started designing their shoes in 2008.  After three long years of making prototypes, they sold their first shoe in 2011.  Lems believes in only including materials that are needed and eliminating the rest, “…no gimmicks, no fluff.”  From their first design, their goal was to develop a shoe that considers the foot and what it needs; a flat, flexible shoe that fits the natural shape of the foot.

While Lems has a full line of casual shoes, boots, and dress shoes, I am only reviewing their dress shoe today.  The Nine2five comes in Black, Mocha, or Coffee&cream.  I tried the black shoe because it is typically what I wear to work.  These shoes are incredibly light, weighing in at around 8.6 ounces.  They are so flexible that you can literally fold them in half!  The Nine2five is made with 100% genuine leather and looks great.  The shape is a little different than most dress shoes because they have that wider toe box, but I like the look.

I have been wearing them for almost 2 months now because I wanted to see how they would feel and wear before I posted a review.  What I found was that after the first day or two, which they felt kind of weird, I fell in love with the shoes.  My initial uncertainty came from not being used to a zero drop dress shoe with a wide toe box, since most dress shoes fall on the other end of the spectrum with a high heel drop and very narrow toe boxes. 

Lems uses top of the line materials and it shows.  My old shoes used to come apart between the upper and the outsole from bending down and playing with my kids after work.  These shoes look just as good today as they did the day I got them, and they keep feeling more comfortable with every use. 

If you are looking for a comfortable dress shoe that is great for your feet, give the Nine2five a try.  You can buy them at the Lems website for around $125.  They have great customer service and even sent me an email asking how I liked the shoes a few weeks after they arrived in the mail. It was a personalized email too, not a canned one.  Now that’s customer service!   I love Lems and I am sure you will too.    

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Skechers GOmeb Speed 3 Review

I have been wearing Skechers for almost a decade.  When I started hearing about their push into the performance running shoe game, I was very skeptical.  I contacted Skechers to try the GOmeb Speed 3 after seeing reviews about how it is a great shoe.  My thoughts were that a newcomer in the running game is probably going to put out a mediocre shoe at best. 

I got the GOmeb Speed 3 in the mail and had to take them out of the box immediately because my curiosity was killing me.  I slipped them on and was floored.  They fit like a glove.  I have never put on a pair of shoes that felt so comfortable.  My next though was how light the shoe was.  It weighs in at around 8 ounces.  The shoe is very flexible and well put together.  I had to wait a few days to test them out because I wanted to save them for a speed run.

Fast forward to my first test run...  I put on the GOmeb Speed 3’s and headed out for a 5k sprint.  The first thing that I noticed was that it was more of a minimal shoe than I was used to.  It has enough cushioning to get the job done, but I am not sure if it would be enough for me to run a half marathon in.  After the first mile, I started to really think about how the shoe felt.  Even though there wasn’t as much cushioning as I was used to, I found it to be very comfortable and allowed me to focus on my form.  I was able to improve my push-off and ended up setting a new 5k PR.  

The upper material is very airy and looks great.  I got the black and neon yellow shoe, which looks awesome.  The only negative thing I can say is that some of the black paint on the outsole was a little sloppy, but you would only notice that if you were taking a close look.  It is nothing that you would notice out on a run.  The lugs on the bottom of the shoe provide plenty of traction and the outsole flexibility is perfect.

While many of my shoes have a wide toe box and zero heel drop, I found the narrower toe box and 4mm heel drop in the GOmeb Speed 3 was still comfortable and I didn’t notice the difference.

All in all, this is a great shoe and I was utterly surprised with Skechers performance shoe program.  They have really produced a winner in the GOmeb Speed 3.  This is a great shoe at a great price, costing around $120.  If you are looking for a great speed shoe that will help you bring out your best, give the GOmeb Speed 3 a try.

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Update on Noxgear Tracer 360 Review

 I wanted to revisit one of the best pieces of running gear out there in my opinion.  I reviewed the Tracer 360 from Noxgear in November (click here for the review) and have been using it on a regular basis, whenever I do a night run.

It is extremely comfortable and is vital to make sure that traffic sees you when you are out on your night or early morning runs.  I have only had to replace the batteries one time so far and there has been no wear on the unit that I have been able to see.

This is still a product that I would recommend to anyone who runs when it is dark out.  I have worked out a deal with Noxgear where you can get 20% off plus free shipping if you use the code "RWI20" at checkout.  It is good until June 30, 2015.  Get yours today.

Also, Noxgear is coming out with a lighted dog harness in May.  I will hopefully be reviewing that as well and think it will be a great product to keep your four legged friend safe as well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

CompressionZ Product Review

In the world of compression gear, there is no shortage of companies.  CompressionZ is based out of Sydney, Australia.   Their co-founder, Peter, set out to develop high quality compression gear that would be affordable and effective.  His initial frustration with compression gear is that it is typically very expensive, or does not provide enough compression to make a difference.  CompressionZ takes pride in getting feedback from athletes and customers on what can be improved with their products, which I find extremely refreshing.

I received calf compression sleeves, a compression shirt and compression pants to test out.  You can purchase their products from their website or at Amazon (which I found was cheaper when I did my research). 

The compression long sleeve shirt is great for a base layer or for recovery after your runs.  I found that the shirt was a little itchy at first, but that quickly went away.  I found that there was the right amount of compression and the materials should hold up for quite a while.  The compressionlong sleeve shirt starts at $29.99 at Amazon.

The compression pant is also great for a base layer or for recovery.  These pants were extremely comfortable from the moment I put them on and they too should hold up for quite a while.  The amount of compression was perfect and this is my favorite product that they sent me.  Nothing is better after a race than to throw on a pair of compression pants to help reduce the pain and get you back out on the road sooner.  The compression pants start at $44.95 at Amazon.

The one product that I felt fell a little short were the calf compression sleeves.  Let me say that there is nothing wrong with them and they are a great value for the money.  I felt that compared to some of the really high end calf sleeves (which I have used), the CompressionZ sleeves didn’t have as much compression.  When I asked Peter about it, he said that most people preferred this level of compression, which I can totally understand.  I tend to want a lot more compression than most people.  The CompressionZ calf sleeves start at $19.99 at Amazon, which is far cheaper than many of the competitor’s sleeves. 

CompressionZ provides a great product at a cheaper price point than most of the competition. I feel that the materials and quality of manufacturing are good and you get a great bang for your buck.  Give some CompressionZ gear a try and let me know what you think.

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.