This review is about the new Takumi Ren Boost, which is effectively the Takumi Ren 3. This is the first of the Takumi series to feature adidas’ new Boost cushioning compound.
If you have known me for a while, you will know that it has been many moons since I owned a pair of adidas shoes. You would have to go back to the original adidas Rocket. You might also know that I have not been a fan of the Boost cushioning. Having said that, I have actually only ever worn a pair of shoes with Boost around the adidas store for a few minutes. But even then, there was something about it that never grew on me.
Some have commented that this is hardly the most exciting pair of shoes to look at, but I actually like them quite a bit! I put them on and they were extremely comfortable right away. Being an adizero shoe, this isn’t a particular wide model. However, most runners will probably find the toe box sufficiently wide. If you have a lower arch, you might find the midfoot portion on the narrower side, but it is not a deal breaker. The upper is very supple and breathable, and while it is not seamless, the Tirrenina suede overlays ensure comfort is not compromised. The heel cup of the Takumi Ren Boost is very secure and not as rigid as the one on the Takumi Ren 2. Overall, big thumbs up in terms of fit!
Claimed weight of the Takumi Ren Boost according to the adidas UK site is 170g for a UK8.5. Unless I got an unusually fat pair of shoes, the Takumi Ren Boost weighs a little bit more but is still very light when pitted against other lightweight trainers.
The outsole utilises a combination of Continental rubber and Quickstrike (those little red dots) for excellent traction. I ran after a slight drizzle and even over some wet patches, there was never any slipping or sliding around.
There is very little information about the Takumi Ren Boost at the moment but it looks like adidas stuck with a traditional heel drop this time. One website stated that the heel drop was about 10mm which would make it the same as the adios 2. The last two versions of the Takumi Ren have gone with a 6mm drop instead. As with the adios 2, I can tell you that you don’t notice the heel drop at all when you are running. In fact, the Takumi Ren Boost has great ground feel. The shoes are close to ground, not overly stiff even with the new Torsion system and fit like a glove. Forefoot, Midfoot, Heel Strike, do whatever you want, the shoes are up to the task.
My only complaint is that the Takumi Ren Boost isn’t the most responsive shoe out there. With its combination of excellent fit, good feel and light weight, I thought that this pair of shoes would be doing the running for me! Once I got over the initital disappointment (it only lasted a few minutes), I really enjoyed running in the Takumi Ren Boost. The way the Takumi Ren Boost utilizes the Boost cushioning is great, allowing the shoe to deliver more cushioning than any other in it’s weight class. So while you won’t get that instant acceleration of a racer, the Takumi Ren Boost offers all the other things you love about a lightweight shoe but with enough cushioning for the long run. You might never use your thick daily trainers again.
The Takumi Ren Boost runs true to size and comes in a regular width. It is available now and retails for $199 while stocks last.
Could Singapore actually be ahead of the new-shoe-release-curve for once? As unbelievable as it might seem, this looks to be true! A quick search for “Asics Hyper Tri” either turns up a list of unrelated links or an “Available in Jan 2015” message. So here’s a quick heads-up on Asics’s new triathlon specific offering for Spring 2015 – the Hyper Tri.
At first glance, the new Hyper Tri bears a striking resemblance to the 2014 Hyperspeed 6. The outsole is almost identical, down to the drainage port. Heavy sweaters rejoice! While the Hyper Tri is a neutral shoe and has the same 6mm heel drop as the Hyperspeed (according to Running Warehouse), the Hyper Tri packs more cushioning than the latter (4mm more to be precise). You feel the additional cushioning immediately, making this feel far more like a all-purpose lightweight trainer rather than single function race day shoe.
The men’s Hyper Tri is unlikely to win the “Best Looking Shoe” award, although the women’s model does fare better. However, the Hyper Tri certainly runs better than it looks. It also features a different overlay pattern than the Hyperspeed. Some of the stitching over the toe box has been moved to make it even more suited to sockless use. Asics users will find the Gel cushioning familiar and the shoe is fairly responsive.
In some ways, it reminds me of the New Balance RC1400. The Hyper Tri has a fair amount of cushioning and is firm underfoot for the longer runs. It is also nimble enough for your speedier workouts.
Just to drive home the message that Asics is serious about triathlon, the shoes also come with a pair of elastic laces. The addition of the heel and tongue loop should make transitions a breeze. If you’re familiar with the Hyperspeed 6, you can think of the Hyper Tri as the beefier cousin that spent a lot of time working out in the gym. They are more cushy, in the upper and in the midsole, making the Hyper Tri a bit more comfortable as compared to the stripped down Hyperspeed 6. The toe box is pretty generous as well. It’s a nice, fast, lightweight addition to the Asics triathlon line up that for so long, only offered the fairly chunky Gel Noosa Tri.
The Hyper Tri runs about a half size small (I am a US 8.5 in almost everything but will wear a US 9.0 in these), even if you’re not going to wear any socks. They are available in men’s (US 7.0 – 11.0) and women’s (US 6.0 – 9.5). The Asics Gel Hyper Tri is available in store now and retails for $169.
We’re on a reviewing overdrive here at the moment.
The next shoe we’re going to talk about is the New Balance RC700.
This pair of shoes probably hasn’t registered on the radars of many athletes out there. The RC700 is a take-down model from the RC series and is predominantly meant for the Japanese market. Simply put, this is a lightweight trainer (LT) without all the latest New Balance bells and whistles.
We still see the use of Revlite in the midsole, but it is different version of the cushioning compound that is found on the higher end shoes. The outsole is largely blown rubber, which should make this shoe a bit more durable and ideal for training. The addition of the Stability Web will provide a light amount of support and runners will appreciate that as the workouts get a bit longer. It feels like the heel drop might be about 8mm. As with many traditional LTs, midfoot strikers might feel the shoe is a bit close to ground but heel strikers are offered a good amount of cushioning.
The upper of the RC700 takes on a more traditional approach. No visible heatbonded Fantomfit overlays that you find on many of NB’s newer offerings. What you get is still a breathable mesh upper with some traditional sewed overlays and a snug heel cup. With many of the ‘lower tier’ shoes, you often feel that they’ve cut corners and smudged over the details especially when it comes to fit. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the RC700. The fit is snug in the right places, there didn’t seem to be any excess material where it was not needed and even the extra bit of support in the arch wasn’t obtrusive.
The RC700 feels like a throwback to a time before the different brands starting coming up with all these fancy names for their fancy new technologies. The RC700 is not super fancy and certainly not cutting edge in it’s use of materials. It is instead, a well put together workhorse of a lightweight trainer. Compared to the recently review RC1600v2, the RC700 feels like it lacks a little something and is surely not as responsive, though I’m sure it is not meant to be. The RC700 will slot into your current shoe line up as a “go to” LT, one that isn’t afraid of getting dirty. It is simply a shoe that gets the job done.
The New Balance RC700 is in store now and retails for $129.
We might be nearing the end of the traditional racing season, but that’s no reason not to check out the latest racer that New Balance has to offer.
This isn’t a new shoe, it’s actually an update to the RC1600 that was launched a couple of seasons ago. This version isn’t wildly different, but then again, why change a good thing right?
For you eagle-eyed runners out there, you would have noticed that the outsole has remained unchanged from the original. The high traction studs and carbon plate in the outsole are still there, as of course, is the Revlite cushioning compound. It feels like the heel drop remains at 6mm as well. The RC1600v2 claims to be a shoe that can take you from a 5k race up to the marathon. At 145g, this shoe is pretty feather-weight, but I have to say that that might not be an empty claim. Even after a couple of steps, you feel that this shoe packs more cushioning than it’s thin outsole would have you believe it has.
The big updates to the RC1600v2 are in the upper. The upper remains light and breathable with it’s open mesh construction. The FantomFit upper has been redesigned, improving the level of comfort as well as the fit. The original RC1600 was already super comfortably, but the v2 goes a step further in locking your foot in without being overbearing. Inside the shoe, it is virtually seamless so sockless running is definitely an option.
The RC1600v2 is New Balance’s premium racer and it proves itself well worth of that title. The use of premium materials in the upper through to the outsole combine to deliver a shoe that ticks all the boxes when it comes to weight, fit, performance and though some might disagree, looks. The RC1600v2 run true to size and have a spacious toe box that is often sacrificed in many of the other racers out there. This is still a shoe that might be best suited for distances up to the half marathon for most, but biomechanically efficient runners will be able to take this through to the marathon with little issue.
The women’s Ironman World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae, recently wore the RC1600v2 to a swift course-record breaking 2hr50min marathon in Kona.
The RC1600v2 retails for $199 and is available in store now!