When we were asked to review the Speedgoat, an improved Rapa Nui, we knew that it would fit in perfectly. Not only does it come in ‘Merica’s colors of red, white and blue, but the shoe is the brainchild of one of the most inspirational ultra runners in the USA, Karl Speedgoat Meltzer. For the sake of time, we will not expound on the construction details of the shoes, since lots of folks, such as here and here, on the internet have done so already. What we will focus on is the out of the box and on to the trail test.
Initial impressions and things to consider when purchasing.
- Sizing – The testers found that the sizing seemed about a half size large, be aware of this and adjust accordingly
- Width – The shoe was narrow. Which caused the testers some hot spots. Later wear, and some insole adjusts made this less prominent.
- Hoka Stack height – With a minimum stack height of 28mm, the shoe has a tendency to feel topsy on technical, ankles beware!
- Cushioning – As is to be expected, the cushioning from the Speedgoat is amazing.
Our testers put almost 300 miles of the shoes before submitting a review. The Speedgoat was very solid in a variety of terrine, including grimmer trails, technical rocky and rooty trails, and wet and sloppy. The Megagrip outsole was going strong at 300 miles, even after road miles and rocky summits. Concerned initially about stability, the new Speedgoat was much better and less likely to cause ankle issues than other Hokas. Not only a really attractive shoe, the upper was one of the most breathable uppers our testers have worn, as well as reasonably lightweight. One aspect the testers were impressed with was the durability of the new construction and overlays on the upper. The upper showed no decomposition and seemed to go another 300 miles. *the colors bleed
Wanting to see if the promises of Polygiene were true, we acquired some Patagonia shorts with Polygiene Odor Control Techonology. Our main idea for including these in the test was a focus on increasing exposure of products that create a more sustainable environmental impact on the trail running community. Who doesn’t want to save water and wash those shorts less. However, we couldn’t just take their word for it. So out testers literally wore these shorts for weeks, GROSS!!!, before putting them in the wash. It was almost to much, but we really put these shorts to the test and they PASSED with flying colors.
The polygiene was the real stand out here though, although the shorts were nice also. We’ve tried several options for antimicrobial and odor free products in the past and while they all seem to work in their own way, none of them were as comfortable and moisture managing as synthetics. Patagonia really got down the ability to offer the best of both worlds. Through the toughest conditions and with multiple uses, the runners funk was definitely kept at bay. The shorts/briefs showed no signs of wear after 3 months of regular use and still had their magic. It made it’s way through every type of run; long runs through the dusty desert heat, daily runs through the mountain trails of the Wasatch, spring showers and mud, climbing through mountains and peaks, road and trail, and even a track work out.
Who doesn’t agree that not smelling like a yeti after your run is a good thing?!? This really is a synthetic that acts like a merino piece with the longevity of a synthetic. The only downfall was that each tester only had just one pair. And many of their friends made note on how socially unacceptable it was for them show up to every run wearing the same shorts. That being said buy multiple pairs!
This Boco Visor was a game changer for us. So much so we decided to brand it and get them out to our friends here at TAUR. Very rarely, are we so impressed with a product, that we want to put our name on it. Need we say more.
Not only is it good looking, we found it to be very comfortable, more so than any other visor we’ve ever worn. The sweat barrier also worked very well. We liked the consistent elastic band around the back and the sweatband on the front was just perfect. The headband fit a wide variety of head sizes, including those with smaller heads.
In fact, the visor was such a hit in the Llyod household that after Craig had worn it for a while, his lovely wife pilfered the visor. As you can see above, she has yet to return the visor, and it has become a sort of ‘My Precious’ One Ring in the Llyod household.
Ahnu is another USA based company that incorporates Ethical Supply Chain Guidelines in their partnering international manufacturers. Ahnu insists on establishing and maintaining ethical and human working conditions and rights of individuals equivalent of those in the USA. Yearly audits assess these working conditions and their compliance with fair labor standards.
In addition to having high standards, Ahnu is making a solid product. Our testers all agreed, that these were a great choice for TAUR runners looking to enjoy the active lifestyle during the off hours. Grab a pair of the Simeons and enjoy a post race beverage of your choice. Or dress it up a little more for a casual dinner in a pair of the Karmas and Serenas for the ladies.
We couldn’t help ourselves with this last inclusion to the review. While not necessarily a seasonal product for the 4th of July, the Pearl Izumi Fly Softshell fit in perfectly with the Patriotic Products. The jacket really stood out for its color scheme and we were happily impressed with its performance. Just like the good ole American flag, we know this jacket will stand the test of battle in the harsh winter months based on our wear testing.