Merrell All Out Peak Review

Merrell All Out Peak
4 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Features
Durability
Grip
Water Draining
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The Merrell All Out Peak are the 2nd pair of shoes in the “All Out” line, that we have reviewed. Previously, ORM reviewed the Merrell All Out Crush, which was the first true “OCR shoe” by Merrell. The All Out Peak are a more traditional trail shoe and do not have holes for water drainage, etc.

merrell-all-out-peak

Merrell All Out Peak Features

High heel  – At 32mm, the heel is actually higher than the Hoka Challenger ATR 2 (29mm). This makes for a super comfy run.

Great Grip Without Aggressive Looking Lugs – The Merrell All Out Peak’s lugs are 6 mm (just under 1/4 inch) tread. While this “Vibram Megagrip” compares in depth to popular trail/OCR shoes, they don’t have the appearance of being “super aggressive”, and allow these to be everyday shoes.

merrell-all-out-peak-tread

Merrell All Out Peak Usage

I began running on some of my favorite trails near my house such as The unfinished Atlanta BeltLine and Sweetwater State Park. The Beltline is a flat trail with mostly loose dirt, gravel, and some mud. Sweetwater is far more technical traditional trail where you must watch your step as you run over pine needle and hidden roots. I found these shoes handled all this terrain with no issue. In addition, the shoes are so comfy, I began wearing them around as my everyday shoe. I realize I am shortening the running life of these by doing so, but so far it is really worth it.

Merrell All Out Peak Durability

I have not had an issue with Merrell durability in the past, no signs so far that it will be an issue down the line.

Merrell All Out Peak Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Super comfortable.
  • Great for technical terrain.

Cons

  • Not an OCR shoe.
  • Poor drainage.

Similar Products

Merrell All Out PeakMerrell All Out CrushReebok All Terrain ThrillVJ Sport Irock 2
Weight295g227g320g240g
Heel Drop6mm6mm13mm6mm
Grip1/4"3/16"3/16"3/16"
Metal StudsNoNoNoNo
Price$69.00$100$125.00$99.00
ORM Review Yes YesYesYes
BuyAmazonAmazonAmazonPending

Merrell All Out Peak Conclusion

Merrell has figured out how to transfer the comfort of their working shoes  over to a trail shoe, without losing stability or traction. These are the some of the most comfortable shoes I have worn to date, and they tackle the trails with tenacity. If you are the type of runner who enjoys a good Hoka, the Merrell All Out Peak is right for you.

 


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Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.

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Hylete Insignia Racer Top Review

Hylete Insignia Racer Top
3.6 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Features
Durability
Fit
Wicking
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Hylete- Insignia -Racer -Top-matched -with -Serenium -Zip -Shorts

I came across the Hylete Insignia Racer Top when I was browsing the website for products to review. This was the first shirt I picked out. I wish I could say there was some gimmicking or fancy feature that drew me to the shirt, but it was the simplicity of the shirt that first caught my eye. The cut was attractive, and the material appeared to be a light and wicking. Sometimes less is more, and this top proves that point to be valid.

 

Hylete Insignia Racer Top Product Features   

It’s already an oven in Atlanta, and this shirt has consistently wicked away my sweat no matter what workout I’ve done. The material is light weight and breathable. The style is practical and simple, but also flattering. Not only does the narrow t-shape cut in the back allow full range of motion in the arms, it also shows off your shoulder and back muscles. I’ve had no issues with under arm chaffing while running distance or having the iatrogenic back boob effect secondary to the shirt cutting into my lats/ traps.

Hylete -Insignia- Racer- Top- and -Serenium -Zip -ShortsThe other notable style feature is the V shape front. The V shape prevents the shirt from rolling up at the bottom. The rolling effect is a big pet peeve of mine and 100% avoidable with the Hylete Insignia Racer Top. On formal measurement, the front length is about 2 inches longer than the sides. I was surprised that the difference was that large, but its not really visibly noticeable. There is also a mesh dart on the left side. This dart helps keep the slimming shape by avoiding the “Is she pregnant or just bloated?” look.

The cut of the shirt allows for a full range of motion in the arms and didn’t cause arm chaffing when running. Not only is the cut functional, its also flattering. The narrow t- shape in the back shows off your shoulders and back muscles.  You might as well look good while working out right?

Finally, the shirt is tagless. Tags are annoying. End of story. The shirt comes in sizes x-small to x-large, and it is also available  in four colors- mint, coral, black, and gray. I picked the coral because it works well with my skin tone. It makes me look sorta tan. We all know that tan fat= muscle. Duh.

 

Hylete- Insignia -Racer- Top- T-shape -Back

 

Hylete Insignia Racer Top Product Usage

The Hylete website has the models wearing this top while doing  inverted rows on rings, stretching to go for a run, and standing around looking all intense and hot. The close up pics show that the material is meant to be wicking and light weight. When I picked out this shirt, I envisioned myself using the shirt for HIIT classes, running, riding my bike trainer inside, or doing yoga. ( and of course standing around looking all intense and hot). I’ve used this shirt at least three times a week for the last month. Some of the high use is a reflection of me avoiding putting away laundry. Seriously, I  will keep wearing the same things straight from the dryer over and over and over again.  Mostly, the high utility is because this shirt seems to be the appropriate choice for most activities I’m doing. The only thing I didn’t wear this shirt for was soccer (only because we have jerseys) and riding my bike outside. There are no pockets for my gels and keys. Disclaimer, I have ridden this shirt while riding my bike on my wahoo kickr and in computrainer classes. I don’t needs pockets for gels or keys to train inside.  So, I basically used this shirt for everything.

Sizing

The shirt is meant to be a little flowing in the abdomen. I ordered a small to avoid it being tight in the belly. I was initially nervous that it may be a little large , but I’m happy with my small. My chest is a 31.5 and my waist is 25 -26 depending on the amount of Mexican food I ate the night before, so I tend to be in between x-smalls and smalls in tops. I wanted this shirt to be loose in the belly, and fitted enough in the shoulders to avoid excess material in the armpits that leads to chaffing on long runs. Their size chart does not even make sense if you look at chest width. I would just look at the women’s sizes to the far right to determine your size. I normally wear a 2, and its listed as the xsmall and small. Also, I didn’t want the shirt rolling up on me at the bottom, so I thought the extra ½ inch in length in the small would be helpful. On the small, from the lowest portion of the neck line to the lowest portion of the shirt is actually only 17 inches. So, basically, use your brain instead of their sizing guide.

 

Front Length Chest Width Women’s Sizes
X-Small 19½ 27½ 0-2
Small 20 29½ 2-4
Medium 20½ 31½ 4-6
Large 21 33½ 8-10
X-Large 21½ 35½ 10-12
measurements are in inches
Front Length – Measured from strap point
Chest Width – Measured 1″ below arm hole

              

Hylete Insignia Racer Top Durability

The material 85% Polyester  and 15% Spandex. I’ve been using this shirt pretty consistently for the last month. I’ve already noticed two areas of pilling/ fraying on the front. I even have a front load washer and dryer, so I can’t really blame it on the washing technique. You can barely see them, and I honestly wouldn’t have even noticed if I wasn’t going over everything meticulously for the review.

 

Pilling-on -Hylete- Insignia- Racer- Top

 

Hylete Insignia Racer Top Pros and Cons

     PROS

  • Simple, Flattering Design
  • Breathable and lightweight material
  • Cut that allows free range of motion in the arms
  • No back boob problems or chaffing
  • Tagless
  • Universal Design applicable to most activities
  • Hylete offers direct pricing without a middle man
  • The more you buy the more you save

  CONS

  • Already pilling after a month
  • No pockets
  • Use of brain required for sizing

 

Hylete Insignia Racer Top Conclusion

I love the Hylete Insignia Racer Top. I like it enough to get the other colors to add to my collection of athletic wear. The material is breathable. The cut is flattering and accommodating for all athletic endeavors. It looks good with shorts, long pants, or ¾ pants On the other hand, if it continues to pill up, Im gonna be super annoyed. I’ll update the review if it continues to happen.

 

 


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Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.

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RockTape RockWrist Wrist Wraps Review

RockWrist Wrist Wraps
4 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Features
Durability
Cost
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For a while I had been thinking about buying wrist wraps for weightlifting, but after spending money on lifters and knee sleeves, amongst other (expensive) things, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy anything else. Naturally, when I was given this product to test and review, I was more than excited. Now it has become a staple in my gym bag! RockTape’s RockWrist Wrist Wraps provide excellent support when lifting and working out & have proven to be quite durable.

rocktape-review

RockTape RockWrist Wrist Wraps Features

Elastic Band  – Keeps the wrap in place. Has a good amount of elasticity without being loose.

Velcro Closure – Works for a wide range of wrist sizes & allows you to tighten/loosen as necessary.

Motivational Phrases – Keeps you going throughout your entire workout!

rockwrist-wrist-wraps-review-1

RockTape RockWrist Wrist Wraps Usage

Just about every time I snatch or clean & jerk, I grab my wrist wraps. When it comes to putting weight overhead, I prefer the added support they provide. If I’m doing a workout with lifting as well as other movements, I may keep them a little bit looser to allow more flexion in my wrist, but overall have never had an issue keeping them on while doing pull-ups, push-ups, etc.

rockwrist-wrist-wraps-review-2

RockTape RockWrist Wrist Wraps Durability

I have doused them in oodles of chalk, sweat in them, and ripped them off very quickly, but despite the past two months of repeated abuse, they haven’t come apart in the slightest. As of right now, I see no reason to be concerned about the durability of this product.

RockTape RockWrist Wrist Wraps Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Provide excellent support
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Elastic band may become irritable during sustained usage
  • Expensive in comparison to Rogue and Harbinger

Similar Products

WOD Wear WristWraps and Harbinger are two of the most common wrist wraps I see in CrossFit gyms, but RockTape is definitely a competitor when it comes to quality. Unfortunately, RockTape RockWrist Wrist Wraps are $25, which is $8 more than WOD wear.

RockTape RockWrist Wraps Conclusion

Overall, I would definitely recommend the RockTape RockWrist Wraps. I use the wrist wraps just about every time I lift and have no complaints about durability, which is often one of my main concerns since I am pretty rough on my gear. RockTape has always been and continues to be one of my favorite brands when it comes to products that provide superior support and stabilization.


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Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.

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Obstacle Course Racing Holiday Buying Guide

Coming up to another years holiday season when you think, what do I buy my OCR loving friend/spouse/relative/booty call for Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Other Winter Holiday?

We at Obstacle Racing Media are here to help.

Check out our holiday buying guide and let us know in the comments if we missed a must buy.

Stocking Stuffers: Under $25

obstacle-course-racing-gift-guide-1

 

Under the  Tree / Menorah: $25 – $100

obstacle-course-racing-gift-guide-3

 

Video Humblebrag Moment: $100 and up

Rock concert

 

 

VJ Sport Irock 2 Shoe Review

VJ Sport Irock 2
4.4 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Features
Durability
Grip
Water Draining
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The VJ Sport Irock 2 is a model made popular as the shoe worn and endorsed by the 3x OCR World Champion from the UK, Jon Albon. He originally represented Inov-8 brand shoes and parted with them for VJ Sport. That in itself says something, and I wanted to know what the appeal was. If you’re familiar with UK OCR social media groups, you know the VJ Sport/Icebug debate rivals that of the US OCR group Inov-8/Icebug/Salomon loyalty split. It wasn’t easy to obtain a pair of these as they currently have one U.S. based retailer that has a very limited stock and buying overseas increases cost and delivery time with customs holds. So when I finally received a complimentary pair direct from the Finland home office, I couldn’t wait to lace up.

VJ Sport Irock 2 Features

Fitlock  – In my opinion, it should be used by every brand possible. This lacing system is flat out amazing. Most shoes tighten straight down the middle when laced up. With this particular system you can feel as though the entire shoe is conforming to your foot for a personal fit, exact to your foot shape.   According to VJ Sport ” It is important the shoe feels snug and fits your foot so that you can safely move and turn where ever and whenever you want with a stable feeling”.  Someone recently said they looked narrow when seen on a racers foot. That tells me that user has a narrow foot. I couldn’t wear the Reebok All-Terrains because of the narrow fit. I couldn’t wear the Icebug Acceleritas4 for more than a 5k because of the narrow fit and reduced comfort. To me the most comfortable shoe brand is Altra with the wide toe box, though I don’t consider myself to have a wide foot. But regardless of foot width, this lacing system will allow a near universal perfect fit.
IRock2-Feature-Photo
Great Grip – The VJ Sport Irock 2 employs a “Superior Contact” tread technology that, according to VJ Sport “guarantees you the best grip imagined”. I prefer the RB9X tread(outsole) of the Icebug Zeal2 to be honest. The Irock tread provided a very secure feel, void of any slippage, on multiple terrains including technical trail, steep inclines and sharp turns on both terrains. The preference on the RB9X stems from obstacle grip. I always felt a very high level of confidence on incline walls and other shoe grip related obstacles in the icebugs as opposed to IRock 2’s. I felt more slipping and less security on this tread than the Zeal tread.

 

IRock-Heel-TreadVery Durable Material – Much like all 2016 model OCR shoes utilizing Kevlar in their shoe fabric, VJ Sport Irock 2’s use “Schoeller-Keprotec”. “Schoeller-Keprotec contains Kevlar, an armide fiber which is five times stronger than steel, is tear and temperature resistant. Schoeller-Keprotec is waterproof “.  As far as drainage goes, the statement above makes the same claim as 2016 Icebug Models which are not the most popular for drainage qualities. Which stake claim to expelling water through the seams after several foot strides. Of course not as efficient as the Reebok drainage system but they don’t become bricks, similar to Salomons, if wet. I also noticed, despite the aggressive tread pattern, mud/dirt does not accumulate within the tread throughout a race.

IRock-Logo-Side

VJ Sport Irock 2 Usage

To provide the most accurate information on these shoes I tested them in multiple OCR events, with varying terrain/weather/obstacles.  Savage Race MD was a 5.9 mile course ran 2x.  Through those 12 miles in the rain the grip to ground was fantastic.  I encountered zero slipping on wet grass, mud, and dirt trails which you’d normally expect some grip issues.

Savage Race Maryland featured a flat course that sent you through cornfields, wooded technical trails with sharp turns and the 25 world class obstacles featured in a Savage Race including warped walls, mud, ice water, swim sections various hanging rig grips in which your shoes were fully engaged, on a day that it rained providing ample opportunity to test in varying terrain.

While running on technical trails I experienced minimal awareness of rocks or roots under my feet.  Able to change direction on a dime with optimal ankle support thanks to the Fitlock lacing providing a secure fit and support.

Also used during Goliathon Obstacle Challenge that also featured warped walls, balance obstacles, dirt, sand and trails.  The outsole material didn’t give way to allow sand in the shoe, experiencing minimal accumulation.  The removable insole stayed in place on downhill running and the lug spacing wicked away any dirt/mud accumulation allowing the tread to do its job.

VJ Sport Irock 2 Durability

As previously mentioned the VJ Sport Irock 2’s are made of a waterproof, Kevlar material(Schoeller-Keprotec).  Kevlar materials are used in many popular OCR shoes released in 2016.  Reebok All-Terrain Super OR, Icebug Acceleritas4 and Icebug Zeal models utilize a Kevlar blended material.  The VJ Sport Irock 2’s are not narrow like the reebok models so durability/tearing is a non issue and the material provides an adequate amount of ankle support to reduce any buckling on downhills and rough terrain.

IRock-Lace

VJ Sport Irock 2 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fitlock lacing provides superior fit
  • Flexible material
  • 8.4 oz that stays light when wet
  • ample ankle support

Cons

  • Tread slips on wet walls
  • water drainage lacking
  • Better in dry conditions

Similar Products

VJ Sport Irock 2Salomon SpeedtrakReebok All Terrain Super ORMerrell All Out Crush
Weight240g245g219g227g
Heel Drop6mm6mm5mm6mm
Grip3/16"3/16"3/16"3/16"
Metal StudsNoNoNoNo
Price$99.00$99.00$120.00$100
ORM ReviewYesYesYesYes
BuyPendingAmazonReebokAmazon

VJ Sport Irock 2 Conclusion

The VJ Sport Irock 2 is a great shoe, and you guessed it, not perfect. I will certainly be using these for future events because of the amazing fit from the lacing system. I requested 1/2 size up from what I normally wear but you should be safe with true fit sizing. Speculation has these becoming available in the U.S. from a preferred OCR retailer, but nothing is set in stone at the time of this review. We will update this review with a link to a US retailer when available.

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Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.

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Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 Preview

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-4

Reebok has allowed us to preview their latest iteration of the Reebok All-Terrain Super line up that is due for release in the next 2-4 months. They have gone back to the numbering convention after the recent Reebok All-Terrain Super OR – which you can think of as 2.5. With that said we have the Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 here for preview. We will come back with a more in-depth review after we have put a few hundred miles on them.

Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 Updates

First up the first thing you notice is that they weigh almost an ounce more than the previous version thanks to the reinforced upper. You can see some of the changes in this photo –

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-9

There is a rubber coating around the entire toe box area. The “Dura-Grip” continues to the inner arch area where it is called “Rope-Pro”. The “Rope-Pro” is supposed to help with rope climbs and provide durability on the ropes.

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-8

That same rubberized coating continues up to the lace area and is actually the structure that holds the laces to the shoes. This is a little worrisome since normally laces go through the entire fabric of the shoe. By laces going through the shoes, it makes ripping out a lace hole nearly impossible. The laces here are just looped under the rubber and are shielded from the inside. The upside to this is that the this feature helps keep debris from the inside of the shoe.

More along the lines of isolating the inside of the shoe, they have made something close to a one piece upper with a completely new tongue design. The new tongue is connected on one side as you see but the other side connects near the base of the foot with a thin mesh that goes inside the shoe. This should keep more debris out as well as letting the shoe fit a larger range of feet widths. With one piece uppers if you aren’t within a certain range it can be too tight and if your feet are too small when tightening the material will bunch – this looks to solve that while still having the same effect as a completely one piece upper.

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-2

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-7

Another change to the Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 is the heel has an added amount of padding. This should help keep the heel more locked in to help prevent losing your shoes in the mud pits. This is speculation on it’s effectiveness but that appears to be the purpose of the added padding.

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-12

Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 Similarities

There are a two main things that are completely the same and with good reason, they work. The sole is completely unchanged and will continue to provide amazing grip while running in the mud. Water drainage ports remain on the side of the front of both foot to keep this as the fastest/best draining shoe you can use for OCR.

One thing that hasn’t changed, that some people won’t be happy about, is that the width is the same. The last for this shoe is the same as all the previous versions. It remains to be seen if they will release a wide version but we won’t hold out breath on it since they haven’t in the past 3 years of releasing this shoe.

Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 Wrap-Up

Reebok continues to try and hit the sweet spot between performance and durability with this beefed up version of the shoe. They have completely changed the thin synthetic upper to a more durable feeling material that shouldn’t rip from normal running. The only thing that appears to have gone in potentially the wrong direction is the way the laces are attached. We will post a full usage review in the coming months with the full rundown of wether or not these will hold up under the rigors of OCR.