Tag Archives: training

Review: AMPLA Fly Shoes

Disclaimer: I received one pair of AMPLA Fly women’s sneakers 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!

I’m always looking for ways to improve my running form and cadence, so I was really excited to try the AMPLA Flys. They are supposed to make it uncomfortable to heel strike, so they keep you on the front of your foot. The plate that sticks up is supposed to give you extra power and boost. They come in red and black, so I went with red (and was not disappointed).

What I received to review

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What’s so special about the AMPLA Fly?

Right away, you’ll notice that they look a little different than other sneakers.

According to the website,

The AMPLA FLY is a running shoe that encourages the efficient use of force and provides the most powerful running experience possible. The full length carbon fibre Forcepower plate technology guides upon foot-strike and releases stored energy at toe-off. Dual density AMPLA EVA provides lightweight cushioning and a seam free Diamond mesh and Micro-Suede upper provides comfort and support.

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The Good

I went with a half size smaller than I usually wear, and it fit perfectly. I typically wear a 9.5, so I have a little extra room in my running shoes, but a 9 fit great. The upper was thin but felt like a glove.

The AMPLA Flys definitely keep you moving forward on your toes. I tried to wear them out and about and it’s tough to walk in them. I thought they were great for speed training on the track. Note: If the shoes feel comfortable, you can technically wear them on longer runs. Cassie wore them on a 5-miler and felt fine. I kept it to the shorter speed sessions.

If you aren’t sure about the plate technology, AMPLA is planning to release two more styles before the end of year—AMPLA Cushion (better for long distance) and AMPLA Light (super lightweight without the carbon fiber plate).

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The Not-So-Good

They are not designed for long runs or casual wear, which kind of stinks because they feel great and they look great.

The Bottom Line

The AMPLA Flys are great for speedwork and practicing your form. They are a relatively comparable to higher end shoes as far as price goes ($120), but they are a smaller company that deals directly with the customer, which is another plus for me.

Join us and AMPLA for #Bibchat on September 20! I can’t guarantee that they will be giving away a pair, but there are often sweet giveaways during #Bibchat, so come hang out with us on Tuesday at 7 pm MST!

Review: UV Half BUFF®

Disclaimer: I received a UV Half BUFF® 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!

If you’ve seen any of my other reviews, you may have seen me post about the Hoodie Thermal BUFF® in January, and the UV Full BUFF® in May, and you also may know that I love them. I love the colors and the function, but they can be a little bulky for the summer, so I was excited to try out the half version and compare the two!

 

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From Buff, Inc.:

“Shorter than the Original BUFF® , the UV Half BUFF® offers style and sun protection without weighing you down. It wicks away perspiration to keep you comfortable in the gym, on the road, at the yoga studio, or on the trails. Cyclists especially love the way it sits comfortably under a helmet without bunching. “

The Good

I love all of the features that my UV BUFF® offers:

  • 100% Seamless. We can all agree that tags and scratchy seams are the worst.
  • Breathable & moisture-wicking. The Half BUFF® is even lighter than the full.
  • Odor resistant. I’ll be honest. I don’t wash my running accessories as much as I should, so the longer they go stink-free, the better.
  • Stretchy. It’s easy to get over your head, and the Half BUFF® doesn’t scrunch or get bulky.
  • Wind resistant. Not as much of an issue in the summer, but man do I hate wind when it’s cold.
  • UV protection. The UV BUFF® blocks 95% of UV radiation.

I think I’m a bigger fan of the Half BUFF® than the Full BUFF® for the summer. It’s lighter and easier to wear as a headband (my favorite way to wear it). It’s also easier to lose, as I thought I had almost lost my first one!

Even though it’s smaller than a full-size BUFF®, it still stays in place, which is important, too!

The Half on the left and the Full on the right.

The Half on the left and the Full on the right.

The Not-So-Good

Nothing – I love it!

The Bottom Line

I’m already a huge fan of BUFF® products. You can wear them all kinds of ways in any type of weather. The Half is perfect for summer activities because it’s smaller.

Like I said in my Full BUFF® review, living at altitude in Colorado means an increase in the strength of UV rays, so I will take all the protection I can get!

The UV Half BUFF® retails for $15, has a ton of cool designs, and they last for years.

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Review: SPI H20 Venture Hydration Belt

Disclaimer: I received a SPI H20 Venture Hydration Belt 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!

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I am always looking for things that will make my run easier, or make a necessary part of my run easier, like staying hydrated. I’ve used the same waist belt hydration pack since 2006 (seriously), and I have a regular SPI belt that I use on shorter runs, so when I jumped at the chance to try something that combined the two.

For full transparency: I’ve been dealing with a quad strain since my half marathon last month, so I didn’t get out with the belt *too* much, but I did get to try it a couple times and feel the review is an accurate reflection of how it works.

What I received to review

Photo from SPI website.

Photo from SPI website.

From the website:

The SPI H2O™ Venture Series hydration belt is bounce-free, easy to use, and eliminates cumbersome bottle holders. The SPI H2O Venture Series is a unique product because the two, 8 ounce bottles that can be placed anywhere on the elastic allowing runners to maximize comfort. This running belt is built for durability and can keep up with your longest runs. Go for a hike, run a marathon, go mountain biking. The Venture Series will effortlessly keep your water and other essentials right where you need them! The belt pocket is big enough to hold the iPhone® 6S Plus or the Samsung Galaxy Note 5® as well as keys, ID, and more.

The Good

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Like I said, I’ve had the same hydration belt since 2006, so I was excited to see how they have evolved since then, and I was pleasantly surprised. I wear my belts low and on my hips anyway (which greatly reduces bounce to begin with), but I found that the SPI H20 belt was bounce-free, as promised. I varied my speed from walking to a brisk run and it stayed put (and didn’t leak, either!). 

The band is pretty wide, so it’s really comfortable, and fits waist sizes from 27″-48″, so it will probably fit you, too!

I love that the bottles just slide on AND there’s not lid to pop up! They are no-spill, and then only work when you squeeze them. And the mouth of the bottle is big enough to fit ice cubes!

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The plastic part that the bottle connect to the belt with is connected to the bottles, so it’s super easy to wear it as just a SPI belt, too. The stretchy pouch has enough room to hold a cell phone, key, and headphones.

While it’s not water proof, it does have a WeatherGuard design to keep out dirt, dust, and the occasional raindrop.

The Not-So-Good

There are two 8 oz. bottles, for a max of 16 oz. of hydration. While this probably isn’t a bid deal to most, and I don’t usually consume more than that on my longer runs, if you were heading on a lengthy adventure, you might want to have more water.

There are two loops on either side of the pouch that are supposed to be for gels. I couldn’t stretch either one out very far at all, so there was no chance that I was getting a gel in there. The good news, is that I could probably fit the gel in the main pouch with everything else.

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The Bottom Line

If you like hydration waist belts, this is a great choice. You can wear it with or without the bottles, and it holds just about everything you would need for a decent run. I definitely recommend checking it out and snagging a discount on one below!

The SPI H20 Venture Series SPIbelt retails for $44.99. You can get 10% off and free shipping with the code “abbie10” until the end of May!

Check out Christine’s review, too!

Join us on Twitter for #Bibchat on Tuesdays at 7 pm MST!

Review & Giveaway: UV FULL BUFF

Disclaimer: I received a UV FULL BUFF 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!

***THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED***

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You may remember that I reviewed the Hoodie Thermal BUFF in January (and loved it). I’ve also worn BUFFs when I travel, because they are great to keep your hair back, keep dirt out of your face, and I have sprayed bug spray on mine so that I didn’t have to spray it on my neck. For whatever reason, I hadn’t tried a BUFF in the warmer weather at home, or on a run, so I was excited to try out the UV BUFF.

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From BUFF:

“No more excuses for sunburns. No more hiding in the shade. UV BUFF® headwear keeps the sun fun while blocking 95% of harmful UV rays*. Hour after hour, COOLMAX® Extreme fabric wicks away sweat to keep you cool and Polygiene® Active Odor Control neautralizes odor. Now that’s cool.”

The Good

I love all of the features that a BUFF has:

  • Seamless. Nothing is worse than a pesky tag or seam.
  • Breathable & moisture-wicking. The BUFF is so light, you don’t even notice it is there.
  • Odor resistant. We know how stinky our running stuff gets, so enough said.
  • Stretchy. It’s easy to get over your head and wear one of the many ways you can wear a BUFF. I think the stretchiness also helps with the comfort.
  • Protects from cold & wind. So not only does it block UV rays and help on those hotter days, you can wear it on cooler days, too.
Photo Credit: BUFFUSA.com

Photo Credit: BUFFUSA.com

The Not-So-Good

Literally, nothing. See above.

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The Bottom Line

I’m a huge fan of BUFFs. You can wear them 12+ ways in any type of weather. I’m especially excited about this UV BUFF for hiking and running in the mountains in the summer. Living at altitude in Colorado means an increase in the strength of UV rays, so I will take all the protection I can get!

The UV Full BUFF retails for $25, and they last for years.

I loved my BUFF so much that I wanted to give one away, too! And next week is my birthday, so it’s fun to give things away for your birthday 🙂

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It’s for a basic black FULL UV BUFF. This contest is only for US Residents, and a winner will be chosen on Wednesday, May 18.

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