Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Shoe Review

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Full disclosure, I was provided the opportunity to review the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 through FitFluential. This is a sponsored post with FitFluential for Mizuno, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Wave Rider 18

In early October, Mizuno sent me the newest version of their Wave Rider neutral running shoe, the Wave Rider 18. My first thought was that this was a very sharp-looking shoe. My wife agreed, and actually wanted me to use these shoes for my everyday sneaker rather than running. And since the look of a running shoe is not as important as the function of a running shoe, I opted to use these shoes for running to gauge their quality.

Wave Rider 18 in Box

Shoe Specifics

Color: White/Dress Blue/Vibrant Orange (Shown), also available in Black/Silver/Classic Green and Chinese Red/Silver/Black in the men’s category.

Weight: 9.2 oz.

Drop: 12 mm

Suggested MSRP: $119.99

Wave Rider 18 Laces

Mizuno advertises a balance between fit and performance with the Wave Rider 18, and I would agree with this notion. The shoe fits true to size, and feels very light on my feet. Even on my first run, the shoe felt good on my feet. I have not gone on a run longer than six miles in the shoe yet, but I anticipate this shoe being my choice for the St. Jude Half Marathon in December.

 Wave Rider 18 Back

The Wave Rider 18 has a high level of responsiveness, shock absorption, and provides a smooth ride. It is a light feeling shoe while still providing the needed support to log my miles. Mizuno is able to keep the lightweight feel while also providing a shoe that feels supportive and able to sustain the rigors of a runner’s weekly mileage. The shoe feels very durable on your foot, and seems to be constructed well. I cannot wait until I take these shoes out for a half marathon because I feel that I will be able to see some benefits on those last couple of grueling miles.

Wave Rider 18 Top

Verdict: I would buy these shoes for my running needs in the future. Honestly, I am purchasing a second pair of these shoes, in this exact color, to wear on a normal basis. The comfort is outstanding, and I find the design to be very sharp. Having a quality pair of shoes is always a good thing, and I feel that these shoes fit that description. This is a great shoe for those neutral runners like myself out there that get frustrated with the limited options that we have when it comes to quality running shoes.

Wave Rider 18 Box 2

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One Year of Blogging

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Today marks the one year anniversary of me starting this blog.  Over the year, this blog has taken shape and I have learned quite a bit about running, gear, and gained valuable insight into my running ability.  This blog originally was started to hold me accountable for my 2013 goal of running at least one race in each month of the year, and continued to evolve from there.  I had some posts that I thought were great, some that were not that great, and a reference to help improving my running.  I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of my subscribers because without you, this would just be a personal journal and an odd one at that.  And since today is the one year mark since I launched this blog, I thought that I would look at some of the posts and stats from this first year.

tumblr_m61uyec7p31rqfhi2o1_500Most Popular Posts: My most visited page was obviously my home page, but besides that, my three most popular posts were as follows:

  1. Platinum Sombrero Virtual 5K – this is the page for my virtual 5K that I used as a fundraiser for St. Jude.
  2. Warrior Dash Mississippi 2013 – this is my wrap-up post from my first Warrior Dash event back in April.
  3. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Cancun, Mexico 2013 – recap of Susan and I’s Mexican vacation from the summer which focuses on what we did and how I kept my running streak in tact while on vacation.
This is the first race photo that I have actually purchased.

This is the first race photo that I have actually purchased.

How People Find My Posts: WordPress provides stats about how people stumble across posts on your site, whether it be from Facebook, Twitter, emails, or search engines.  And if someone comes to your page via a search engine, they provide the search term used to find your post.  Often, these search terms are quite random and even absurd.  The following are some of the most random:

  1. Adult Race Car Bed – I have no clue
  2. Susan Guess Inside Out & Me Too Shoes Susan – random juxtaposition of words in various posts on this site
  3. Got My Period on Warrior Dash Day – ummmm
  4. Nutrition Month Sumbrero Design – no clue what this person was actually looking for
  5. Warrior Dash Chair Run – I am unaware of this obstacle, but I have generated several search results via people looking for Warrior Dash information, so that is a positive.
This is my medal rack thus far - it was a busy year

This is my medal rack thus far – it was a busy year

Country Breakdown: WordPress also provides breakdowns of where site visitors are from.  This is a very neat site feature and some of the countries seem made up to me.  For example, Brunei Darussalam cannot be a real place (it is on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia).  The rest of the country stats are kind of boring with the United States being first, Canada second, United Kingdom third, and Mexico fourth.

FlipBelt Review and GIVEAWAY

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A couple of weeks ago I was presented with the opportunity to test the FlipBelt out on my runs.  I was also given one FlipBelt to giveaway to a lucky blog reader, but more about that in a few moments.  What is the FlipBelt exactly?  It is advertised as “the world’s best running and fitness belt workout belt.”  I cannot with 100% accuracy say that it is the world’s best running belt, but I can say with 100% confidence that it is the best running belt that I have ever tried.  Currently, there are eight colors available on their website and five different sizes to help guarantee a perfect fit.   I have included the size chart so you can get a better idea about the fit of the belts.  As you know, I am a larger runner, so finding a good fit can be a bit of a challenge for me.  I went with the extra size option and it fits perfectly.  For reference, I wear a size 36 in pants and I have had zero issues with the belt.  I chose black because it is a basic color and since the belt would be concealed by my shirt most of the time anyway, I did not need a color that would standout too much.

*Unisex Size Guide
Belt Circumference Unstretched
**Max 
Stretch
Circumference
 
Waist
Womens
Mens
XS
22”-25”
0
23-26
25”
33”
S
26”-29”
2-4
26-30
26”
36”
M
29”-32”
6-8
30-32
28”
38”
L
32”-35”
10-12
32-36
31”
43”
XL
35”-38”
14-16
36-41
34”
48”

Shipping was lightening fast from the FlipBelt.  I ordered my belt on a Tuesday afternoon and it was at my house by Friday of the same week!  It is hard to top that, especially since shipping is free inside the United States!  I went on a run with the belt on the first day that I got it and I have used it in the bulk of my runs since.  In fact, one of my first runs with it was in the Midsouth Championship Half Marathon, and it definitely did not slow me down in that race!

This is what it looks like

This is what it looks like

The belt is very comfortable and you barely know that you are wearing it.  My first run in it, I had my house key, iPhone, and three GU packs (just to see how it felt) packed into the belt.  After five miles of running, nothing had fallen out or shifted into an uncomfortable manner.  Furthermore, the belt did not bounce up or slide down once during my run.  And that is still true to this day.  I have run several times now with some hefty items, and the FlipBelt still stays securely in the place that I place it in.

An idea of how it works (taken from their website)

An idea of how it works (taken from their website)

The belt has slits around it in which you slide your items into it.  You can then flip the belt so the slits face your body, thus further securing the items inside the belt.  There are no snaps, ties, Velcro, or any of the such fasteners.  I have not had any issues with hot spots or chaffing from the belt or stored items as of yet either.  This has been true for a 5K that I have run in it as well as a half marathon and a sixteen miler last weekend.  The only issue that I have had with the belt is that my iPhone 5, in its Otter Box, is very snug in the belt, which makes it difficult to use during a run without stopping to pull out the phone.  Also, when running with your phone, place the screen of your phone so that when you are wearing the belt, the screen will face outwards.  This helps with condensation and allows you to use it a little easier as well.   And since the belt is a spandex-Lycra blend that is worn close to your body, you might want to invest in two belts unless you want to do laundry a little more frequently than you current belt.

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • No bounce
  • Stores several items
  • No chaffing (as of yet)
  • Items stay secure
  • Multiple sizes & color options
  • Cheaper than several other options out there

Cons:

  • My iPhone with its case fit a little snug into the belt
  • I am curious to see what happens with the belt in the extreme heat and humidity of the Memphis summer

The Bottom Line:

I wish that I would have bought this belt months ago.  It is very comfortable and performs as advertised every time.  I am going to purchase at least one more so that I can wear a FlipBelt on consecutive days without worrying too much about its cleanliness.

The FlipBelt has been kind enough to offer all of my readers a 10% on the FlipBelt by simply using the coupon code RunLrg upon checkout.  They have also been kind enough to allow me to give one lucky reader a FlipBelt of their own.  You can enter the giveaway here.

I was not paid or compensated in for this post besides being provided one FlipBelt for the review.  All opinions and observations are my own, and have not been influenced by an employee of FlipBelt or any other outside sources.

Perky Jerky Review

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About two weeks ago I was afforded the opportunity to try a beef jerky snack that I had never even heard of prior, Perky Jerky.  Now, being a guy of generous proportions, I have enjoyed some beef jerky in my day.  My friend Derick and I even bought some from a stand on the side of the road in rural Tennessee once upon a time.  But, in my efforts to try to eat a little healthier and take better care of myself, I have abstained from all dried and packaged meat snacks.  That period of abstinence is now over.

Perky Jerky packaging

Perky Jerky packaging

Rather than paraphrase the background of Perky Jerky, I was just use their own words so you can get an idea why this is a different sort of company.  Their story is as follows:

Our story – like most good stories – begins with two Jerks in a ski lodge.  After a long, hard night of energy-drink-cocktail-fueled libation, these jerks settled in while the winter storm raged outside.  The next morning they awoke, loaded up their gear, and headed out to the mountain.  Amongst this gear was an open bag of peppered beef jerky, which had, unfortunately became drenched in some of he energy drink that had been carelessly spilled the night before.  On the first lift up, it made no difference.  To these jerks, jerky was the only breakfast they needed, altered or not.  Much to their delight, the jerky had retained its original flavor, but was more tender by the accident.  What’s more, as they floated their way down the mountain through bottomless powder, they realized they’d been given an extra boost – the jerky had taken on some of the pep of the energy drink.  On the next lift ride up, the greatest innovation in jerky since cracked pepper was born.  Since then, these Jerks developed a very sophisticated process for making Perky Jerky.  The result?  Just the best tasting, most tender jerky around.  The bonus?  Perky Jerky is now the ultimate snack to get you up the mountain, down the slope, or off on whatever adventure you decide.

After reading that, I was even more excited to give Perky Jerky a try.  These two guys would have fit in with my fraternity quite well, I am sure.

Perky Jerky nutrition

Perky Jerky nutrition

Perky Jerky is an all natural, gluten-free snack, with no nitrates, preservatives, or added MSG.  The marinade for Perky Jerky consists of seven natural ingredients, with Guarana helping with the tenderness, providing a little flavor, and adding that boost to Perky Jerky that you would expect from an energy drink.  The result is a snack high in protein, low in carbohydrates and fat, and all while coming in under 100 calories per serving!

Turkey Perky Jerky nutrition

Turkey Perky Jerky nutrition

Perky Jerky sent me two samples to try, their regular beef jerky, and their turkey variety.  I could not wait to try both, and let’s just say that the samples were not long for this world!  In two days time I devoured both samples throughout the course of the day.  Day one I tried the beef jerky and day two I tried the turkey jerky.  Honestly, I could barely tell a difference in taste between the two which is a great testament to the flavor of the marinade.  Both had tons of flavor, and were noticeably more tender than traditional beef jerky.  Honestly, I did not notice a significant boost in energy, but I usually do not from these sort of things.  I will say unequivocally, I will be purchasing Perky Jerky in the future.

Perky Jerky has a total of eight flavors available, and I will sample them all to determine my favorite, I am sure.  The flavors are Original, Hot & Bothered, Teriyaki, and Sweet & Spicy.  The reason they advertise eight flavors is because these four flavors are available in both the beef and turkey varieties of Perky Jerky.

And if the taste, tenderness, and energy boost Perky Jerky provides did not convince you, consider the next positive for Perky Jerky.  A portion of their proceeds from the sale of Perky Jerky is used to help support the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  The owners have a personal connection to this disease and an intense desire to do whatever they can to fight it.

I also have two side notes on Perky Jerky.  One, it amuses me that Home Depot and Best Buy are two of the select retailers for Perky Jerky.  Two, I love following their Facebook page.  They have several giveaways on there and they definitely seem to have fun with what they are doing.

PB Lean Review

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A couple of weeks ago I posted my review of My Oatmeal (revisit here) and at that time, I mentioned that I also received a bag of their peanut butter powder called PB Lean.  PB Lean is a gluten-free, dehydrated peanut butter that is a much healthier alternative to traditional peanut butter.  I have used PB2 in the past, and PB Lean is the same thing, just from a different company.

Nutritional information

Nutritional information

The numbers for PB Lean are quite staggering when you compare them to traditional peanut butter.  PB Lean contains 45 calories, 1.5g fat,  and 5g protein per a two tablespoons serving.  Now compare that to Jif, the most popular peanut butter in America, with its 180 calories, 16g for fat, and 7g of protein per two tablespoons serving!  That is a significant difference in the two products, and becomes quite noticeable when you eat peanut butter a few times a week, like I do during training months.  I like to have some peanut butter on wheat toast or with a banana before my runs over seven miles, so a healthier option is a major plus.

Inside the bag of PB Lean

Inside the bag of PB Lean

So, we have determined that PB Lean is obviously healthier than traditional peanut butter, but how does it taste?  PB Lean could be the healthiest substance on earth, but if it tastes like the actual earth, no one is going to eat it.  MY honest taste assessment is that the taste is acceptable.  The absence of the fat, oils, preservatives, and so on is noticeable the first time you try PB Lean.  It is not going to cause the average person to spit out their first bite nor should it, but there is a difference in taste.  There is also a slight difference in texture since it can be difficult to mimic what machines do in factories with a spoon and water.

Toast with PB Lean

Toast with PB Lean

To make a serving of PB Lean, regardless of size, I used a 2:1 ratio of powder to water.  This ratio holds up if you are prepping two tablespoons or two cups of peanut butter.  The PB Lean bag did not give me these instructions, but I borrowed them from a leftover jar of PB2 that I had.  You just add the water and stir.  The longer you stir, and the more water you add, the creamier the peanut butter becomes.  I have found that for a normal serving, adding one tablespoon plus one teaspoon of water to the two tablespoons of PB Lean makes a consistency that I really like.  The piece of toast above was prepared using this ratio.  But, obviously, if you overdo the water, you are going to have a peanut butter soup rather than your desired substance.  You have been warned.

Mud Cookies w/ PB Lean

Mud Cookies w/ PB Lean

Since I had so much PB Lean, I decided to try it in a few ways in addition to eating it in a traditional manner.  One way was simply adding a tablespoon or two to my oatmeal in the morning.  It was a very easy way to add a new flavor to my breakfast that did not cost me too much in the way of fat or calories.  There is a machine called Yonanas that makes ice cream from frozen bananas!  I got it as a wedding present and despite not using as often as I would like, it is a valuable kitchen tool for a struggling fat man.  You put one or two frozen bananas into the machine, add any other frozen fruit, chocolate chips, or the such to it for different flavors.  I used PB Lean and added a little peanut butter flavor to my banana ice cream.  A third, and tastiest, was adding it to one of my all time favorite deserts, mud cookies.  Mud cookies are a major weakness for me, so anyway to make them healthier is a major bonus.  So, with that in mind, I am going to include the first ever recipe in Running Large history!

Mud Cookies

3 Cups Uncooked Oats

1/2 Cup Skim Milk

1/2 Cup PB Lean

1 Stick of Butter

2 Cups of Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

3 Tablespoons Cocoa

1. Mix sugar and cocoa in a pot until there are no clumps.

2. Add in butter and milk, and bring to a raging boil for 2 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the PB Lean and vanilla.  Mix well.

4. Stir in oats.

5. Quick drop spoonfuls onto wax paper.

6. Let cool and enjoy!

This recipe does not work well on very humid days and do not overcook the ingredients in the pot.  Also, it works better to mix the PB Lean before adding it to the recipe.  That way you have a true 1/2 a cup and not an abundance or shortage of peanut butter.

I wanted to substitute a healthy alternative for the butter and sugar, but Susan did not want me to experiment too much with the recipe.  We had already been using skim milk, and then I added the PB Lean.  Next will be a healthy butter alternative and then a healthy sugar substitute.  Honestly, the flavor of the cookies was great, and if you did not know that I had used PB Lean, you would never have known the difference in taste.  The downside is that the cookies do not firm up quite as well with PB Lean.  There is a slight stickiness to them, but they still stay together and are very edible.  I am going to do some experimenting with the formula and cook times to see if I can solve the consistency problem.

For peanut butter lovers that are trying to watch their weight, PB Lean can be a very valuable dietary asset.  You can enjoy peanut butter without wreaking you entire diet.  Plus, since it takes a little bit of work to prepare the peanut butter, you are more inclined to watch your portions and you will burn a couple of calories while mixing it up.  I have tried PB Lean and PB2, and honestly, there really is not a difference between the two.  I will say that being able to buy PB Lean in a one and a half pound bag is plus in my book.  The cost for a bag of PB Lean was $13.99, and the cost of a six and a half ounce jar of PB2 is $5.99 on amazon.  You do not have to be a math major to see the cost benefits of PB Lean!  And actually, that price point is even competitive against the generic brands of traditional peanut butter in the grocery store!  So not only are you saving you waistline, you are saving you pocketbook as well!

My Oatmeal did provide me with a free sample to try and review, but this fact did not influence or alter my opinion of the product.  All views in this post are my honest assessment of the product and I am not being financially compensated for these views.

My Oatmeal Review

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A few weeks ago I was presented with the opportunity to review some products from My Oatmeal, a new company that specializes in customized oatmeal, as well as powdered peanut butter (that review will come at a later date).  Being that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that I am always willing to try something new, I decided to give My Oatmeal a shot.  I was given a discount code that provided me a bag of PB Lean as well as a bag of my custom blend of oatmeal.  I also decided to purchase a second bag of oatmeal from their mystery bag selection to maximize the amount of healthy oatmeal at my disposal.

All 3 My Oatmeal products

All 3 My Oatmeal products

The process of building you oatmeal is very straightforward and hassle free.  First, you chose how much oatmeal that you want.  You have the options of 1, 2.25, or 4 pound bags, depending on your needs.  Since I was creating my own bag and the really, this is all the discount code covered, I found it prudent to order a one pound bag of oatmeal.  Next, you chose the type of oats that you want to use.  There are five varieties to choose from, but I went with the five grain rolled oats and flax.  Then, you chose a flavor to add.  There are forty-eight different flavors to experiment with, so you should probably never get bored with a particular flavor.  I chose dark caramel, but I was very tempted to roll the dice and give key lime pie a shot! Maybe next time.  Next, you add dried fruit to your mix if you so desire.  There are seventeen fruits to choose from and you can request light, regular, or heavy amounts of any fruit you chose.  I went with the dark raisins in a regular distribution.  The next step is to add sweetener to your mix, and this is a suggested step for any mix in which a flavor was added.  I chose to add brown cane sugar to the mix.  After that, you may add nuts and seeds to your mix.  There are ten varieties here, including the PB Lean.  I went with one of my personal favorites by adding sliced almonds to the mix.  Finally, you name your mix.  I went with a boring title of Caramel Delight.  When I order again, I vow to be more creative!

Caramel Delight

Caramel Delight

Pricing works by the quantity of oatmeal you order and by what you add too it.  The more fruit, flavors, nuts, and such you add, the higher the price of the oatmeal.  The oatmeal that I created would cost you about $9.  There are also price decreases when you order multiple bags of oatmeal, so once you discover what you like, you can buy in bulk and save.

Caramel Delight

Caramel Delight

You can also buy some premixed oatmeal recipes on the site, and honestly, I almost bought a couple of these flavors.  They have Todd’s Forrest Blend, Dirty Banana Oatmeal, AppleDoodle Oatmeal, and Wood Smash Peaches and Cream.  After reading the description for each, I was certain that they were good, but I decided that I wanted to create my own for my first time out of the gate.

There also is a mystery blend option that you can choose.  This is a crapshoot bag of oatmeal.  Basically, when the company creates flavors for customers, there are leftovers that would go to waste unless My Oatmeal figured out a way to utilize the excess.  So My Oatmeal takes these leftover oats and mix them in one pound bags and sell them on the cheap on their site.  You and the company have no clue what exactly you are getting.  You may get one flavor, you may get five flavors!  All that can be guaranteed is that you will get some combination of oats, dried fruits, flavors, sweeteners, and nuts.  After reading this, I decided to give it a shot and ordered a bag out of my own hard-earned cash.

One serving

One serving

First, let’s review my custom blend, Caramel Delight.  The first time that I opened the bag, I immediately could smell caramel, which was a great thing.  I also noticed raisins and almonds mixed throughout, another great thing.  I could not wait to give this blend a try, so that is what I was determined to have for breakfast the following morning.  Of course, I did not read the preparation directions so the next morning, after completing my four mile run, I was a little pressed for time when I grabbed the bag of oatmeal.  As I began to rad the instructions, I realized that this was going to be a little more involved of a process than your usual bowl of oatmeal.  And this is something that I should have known being that this is 100% natural ingredients, but I just did not consider that.  Despite the time constraints, I stubbornly forged ahead with my oatmeal breakfast.  After microwaving, stirring, covering, microwaving, stirring, covering, microwaving, stirring, and such, I finally had my first taste of Caramel Delight.  It was good, just with very little caramel flavor.  I tried a few more bites, and the same result.  I am sure that my nose was tricking me because I smelled the caramel, and I honestly was expecting to be overpowered by the flavor, but I was not.  But I did enjoy the bowl and the plethora of raisins and almonds.  After a couple of days of eating this oatmeal, I would definitely order the same recipe again, but it will be awhile until I get back to it since there are so many more recipes that I want to experiment with first.  I will say that the microwave instructions call for one cup of water and half a cup of oats.  I cut the water down to three-fourths of a cup after my first bowl, and I had much better results for my preferences.

No clue what is in here

No clue what is in here

Now, let’s tackle the mystery bag.  The first thing that I noticed was that the bag had no nutritional values and no cooking instructions since there was no real recipe of what was in the bag.  In fact, there is just a question mark on the back of the bag!  This made me chuckle.  I decided to prepare this oatmeal just like my bag of Caramel Delight, and the results were perfect.  For what is in the oatmeal, I am not entirely sure yet.  I know that whatever sweetener was used is sweeter than the brown cane sugar in Caramel Delight, there are raisins, mangoes, blueberries, pecans, seeds of some sort, and oats, but honestly, I have no clue had to determine what kind of oats.  Also, I cannot pinpoint any specific flavors as of yet.  But I will say that each bowl that I have had of the mystery blend has been great.  Honestly, it has been a pleasant surprise.  I will be buying another mystery bag in future when I get bored with creating my own custom mixes.

A look into the mystery bag

A look into the mystery bag

My first couple of pictures of the oatmeal did not come out in the most appetizing of manners.  I guess I should have hired one of those photographer that take pictures of fast food items for their menus.  They can make a $1 cheeseburger look gourmet and then when you get it, it looks like you drastically overpaid by paying $1.

My bottom line for My Oatmeal is that it is a cool and healthy concept.  You do not have to add all of the options to each blend, so it is very affordable as well.  I cannot comment how beneficial the product is for weight loss, but I would imagine that it is better than a per-packaged packet of oatmeal from the store.

I have been trying the PB Lean as well, and that review should be posted towards the end of this week and the beginning of next week after I can use it a few different ways, including in my oatmeal.

My Oatmeal did provide me with a free sample to try and review, but this fact did not influence or alter my opinion of the product.  All views in this post are my honest assessment of the product and I am not being financially compensated for these views.

Early Lock Laces Review

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After having a couple of shoe lace issues during my last race, Zoom Through the Zoo, I decided that I needed to hurry up and try out Lock Laces.  Lock Laces is a race sponsor and has a generous race promo for free shipping with 20% of the sale being donated to St. Jude.  They also donated ten pairs of Lock Laces to be raffled off to race participants.  I had been delaying purchasing some laces of my own since I am going on vacation soon and didn’t want to spend the extra money (they are only $8, but I can be a tad frugal at times), but with my shoes coming untied twice during the event, I could wait no longer.

Sponsor #10

Sponsor #10

I ordered three pairs of Lock Laces for my current group of shoes, but I have only added them to one pair of my running shoes.  We shall consider this a controlled group experiment.  I added the laces to my newest running shoes, the Saucony Grid Cohesion 6’s that I was wearing when I ran my latest race.  I chose black for these shoes since that is the color of laces already on the Saucony’s and I only ordered one pair of lime green ones (for my Nike+ Lunarglides).

Packaging for Lock Laces

Packaging for Lock Laces

I do believe that this is the old packaging for Lock Laces, but I didn’t grab a pair from my race stash with the updated packaging.  The new packaging says “Win. Never tie.” across the front, which is a great slogan for their company.

Installation for these is quite simple.  The website gives three steps for installation, but I decided to simplify it even further here.  The following are the steps needed for installation:

  1. Remove your previous laces (obviously)
  2. Lace the Lock Laces cord through eyes of your shoe like normal laces
  3. Put your shoes on your feet
  4. Squeeze the lock and thread the cords through it
  5. Pull the cords tight
  6. Cut off the excess cord at 2-3 inches above your shoe
  7. Insert the cord tips into the clip and close

Installation was quite simple and as long as you know how to lace shoes, you can add Lock Laces to your shoes.

Lock Laces vs standard laces

Lock Laces vs standard laces

Honestly, the aesthetics of Lock Laces take a minute to get used to, simply because they look different to the laces that we are accustomed to.  The clip seemingly floating above your shoe is odd the first time you look down, but after that, it is barely noticeable.  But do they work?  So far, my answer is yes.  My first run with them last Saturday was a four miler and I did not have a single issue with my shoes sliding off of my foot or becoming loose.  I have run in them two other times this week for a total of seven miles, with zero incident.   Also, it is very easy to put your shoes on and off with Lock Laces.  Just loosen the lock and slide the shoe on and off your foot then tighten.  It is that simple.  I know it is still early in the process of using Lock Laces, but my shoes have stayed tight, have been comfortable, and fit my shoes perfectly.  And for a person like me who ties their shoes too tight often, they probably provide a positive health benefit to my feet as well.  I will do a follow-up post in a few months, I’m sure, but as of today, I think that these laces are a must for runners.  Also, with the lack of laces flopping around everywhere and the ease of putting on the shoe, Lock Laces would be perfect for triathletes since the shoe goes on easily and you have no excess of laces to get caught while cycling.