Alton Sports are pleased to post #madonadventure’s first blog of 2017! Euan is our Hoka ambassador, he has been testing the Hoka Speed Goat and below is his in depth, captivating & frank report on this popular off road model.
We hope you enjoy this review as much as we did!
Ultra Runner, Triathlete and Endurance Coach
My name is Euan McGrath and I am an active Ultra Runner, Triathlete and Endurance Coach with over 25 years of coaching experience. Sport has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Whether I am coaching or participating, being involved in Sport makes me smile.
I have competed and coached across a wide variety of sports from Alpine skiing, Windsurfing, Triathlon or Ultra Running to name a few. I have worked as a University Lecturer and Coach Educator and Assessor. I have had the privilege of working with people starting their sports journey through to helping athletes set World Records, complete amazing personal endurance challenges, through to GBR Athletes who have achieved both Olympic and World Champion success.
Hoka Speed Goat Review
Let me be honest, I am a massive Hoka One One fan and through Alton Sports have become a Hoka Ambassador or as they like to call us Hoka Flyers. Now there’s a reason why I am a fan, these shoes really do make a difference. They may look quirky but trust me, after running thousands of miles in them I believe they are epic.
When I was offered the chance to become a Hoka Flyer I decided to run my first ultra last year (2016) in another brand of shoe just to make sure I really did think they were the best. So I strapped on another premium branded trail shoe and set off for a quick 40 miles around the Black Mountains. After the race my legs were battered. Not just from the effort but from the lack of rocker I had become used to. I like every runner trying to improve, I remember the mistakes, discomforts and the challenges I find ourselves in.
Alton Sports have asked me to focus on Hoka One One, this month the Speed Goat model.
When I was presented with my first pair in May last year I got quite excited. The light weight go faster feel could potentially suit me. I am a 6ft, 70kg runner who is happy to admit he will be 48 years old in a few weeks.
Anyway let’s talk about the Speed Goat. Designed by the ultra legend Karl ‘Speed Goat’ Meltzer for running 50km trail races FAST! By the way check out Karl if you are not aware of him. He has won more 100 mile races than anyone else on earth! Bit of a rock star don’t you think. What’s even better is he is a year older than me! That’s pure inspiration………
The Speedgoat shoe has a vibram sole that has proven to me its limpet like grip across all the rocky terrain I have had the pleasure of running on. Whether in Scotland, the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, Lake District, South West England, North/ South Downs or the French Pyrenees & Alps. In mud the 4mm lugs do a reasonable job to a point but they are no replacement for your Inov8 Mudclaws or Salomon Speedcross. On trail it is an accomplished shoe that lets you run. I have just returned from the French Alps where I gave them a spin up the mountains on the snow. Can you believe it, they were mega! It was only when I started taking the more aggressive lines on rock hard polished snow and ice that the micro-spikes had to come out to play.
The feel of the shoe is firmer than many of the other models and the rocker seems more gradual. I have run everything from 5 mile cross country races to the Lakeland 100 (which happens to be 105 Miles) in 2016 across easy to mega technical routes and these shoes just keep me smiling. They inspire confidence and make you push harder. They let you maximise your strengths without smashing your legs through the continual pounding that running can produce.
If you are a fore foot, mid foot or heal striker it does not really matter. Don’t be put off with the super comfy ride as these beauties will not slow you down. Whilst they are a trail shoe you can get away with them on road but the tread will wear much more quickly if you do. The construction puts enough reinforcement in the right place without being cumbersome. The welded synthetic upper lets the water drain and keeps your feet feeling fresh. That all important drop is a happy 5mm so it will not stress those calf’s on your adventures.
So if you want a fast, technical competent trail shoe that will let you run longer than ever before and enjoy your weekends then this is for you. If speed and light weight are not your priority, then speak to Alton Sports and they will get you in a Hoka One One that is best suited to your needs. For me the Speed Goat is truly a great tool that lets me run literally all day and all night and enjoy the best trails the UK has to offer! For that I am truly grateful to Hoka. Happy Running Happy;-)
Georgie Lambert, our co-area manager is a keen runner who recently found her love for Canicross running with our office dog Benson. Below is her recent product blog on Long Compression Socks where Thorlos Experia Energy Socks came out on top.
I was super-excited when I was told to test compression socks for Alton Sports product blog this January! I have always loved running (not fast) but all the time, I was more competitive in my younger days.
I have been saturated in the sporting industry for around 9 years in different job roles, continuously learning and have most recently learnt and taken up the sport of Canicrossing with our furbaby, Benson.
Compression is a huge mine field for every runner but the benefits are beyond your wildest dreams, I’m not lying. I find any compression but in particular long compression socks my secret weapon and the only reason I can still run 30-40miles a week without any strict stretching or strength & conditioning programme. I just can’t find time for it, too busy washing the dog off or making tea!
During the making of this blog I was able to test wear three different brands of long compression sock:
• CEP Run Sock 2.0
• Thorlo Experia Energy
I tested all three brands over two months averaging 30 miles a week of off road running, rotating which sock I wore every time I hit the trails.
While all brands had a huge benefit to both my recovery and performance one really shone for me, the Thorlo Experia Energy compression sock. Thorlo Experia, as a brand is one of Alton Sports bestselling performance socks and I can see why. The sock part of the product was amazing, highly cushioned and breathable in both dry and wet conditions, a totally premium experience. The compression part of the Thorlo Experia Energy was a cut above the rest, with a beautiful hugging feeling before, during and after every run. The comfort lasted all the way to the shower room. I have previously felt restricted and uncomfortable in compression socks, especially when I wear long tights over the top, but this is far less the case in the Experia Energy.
For me, this made the Thorlo Experia Energy sock the best in test. Below are three points that made this sock a permanent go to running accessory for me,
- Fast-wicking sock component with no movement on the run & premium high cushioned pads.
- Comfortable level of compression (I even wore these overnight).
- Many colour options to match your outfit (Highly important to lighten anyone’s mood!).
I hope this has helped anyone who is looking into trying compression products for the first time or anyone who’s looking for something different to what they currently use.
Feel free to pop in stores to ask more about compression products and how they can help with your training & race programme this year! Good luck everyone for 2017.
Take a look at each of the tested socks below.
2XU UNISEX ELITE MCS COMPRESSION CALF GUARDS
Engineered with powerful PWX FLEX (70D), Elite MCS Compression Calf Guards offer unparalleled power and protection against muscle trauma during activity. Graduated compression also offers recovery benefits post exercise.
WMNS CEP RUN SOCK 2.0
CEP has revolutionised the world of running with its legwear. CEP Run Sock 2.0 are equipped with metatarsal compression for excellent support and unmatched comfort. Like other CEP legwear they feature medi compression, which reduces vibrations while increasing coordination. This stabilises muscles and joints and, together with the increased blood flow, helps prevent injuries. They now come in great new range of colours.
12, 15, and 18mmHg triple-zone graduated compression encourages faster recovery with increased blood circulation in the leg. Midfoot compression and arch wrap support the plantar fascia tendon. Stabilizing ankle wrap reduces ankle strain and turn.