Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

 

As much as I loved the Hoka Evo Jawz and the Hoka Challenger ATR 2, it is a mystery to me why I took so long to finally get a pair of Speedgoats. I had heard so many good things about them from friends, but I suppose the focus has been OCR shoes with massive lugs for deep mud like the VJUSA Family or the Inov8 MudClaw.

However, I often run on regular trails and streets near home, and need something that can handle a lot of miles.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 Features

Mesh Upper  – Makes upper more breathable than previous version.

Wider Forefoot and Toebox– For those that need a wider shoe.

The Meta Rocker Style- A reason runners typically buy this brand of shoe. From the Hoka website “Meta-Rocker geometry, or wheels for your feet, drives the runner forward and complements the runner’s normal gait cycle”

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 Usage

Took this shoes everywhere from the streets in front of my house to some of my favorite state parks. I also brought them down to Jacksonville, for the Spartan Containment Trifecta of the SpartanTrail, OCR, and DekaFit.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 Durability

After 300 miles, the only part that has worn down is the back corner of the heels. I am a heel striker, so that happens with all of my shoes if I am running on lots of concrete. However, the rest of the shoe is holding up fantastically. No major wear and tear damage to upper, lining, or midsoles.

Hoka SpeedGoat 4 Review

After 310 miles, these shoes are dirty, but still sturdy.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can go “both ways”. It’s a great trail shoe and lugs that can be run on street if need be.
  • Width is dare I say perfect. I almost always have to go 1/2 size up in running shoes, which can often cause problems with the rest of the shoe. Got this in my “true to size” of 11 and simply love the feel.
  • Balanced Cushion – Like Goldilocks said “These are jusssst right”. In the middle of the Evo Jawz and The Bondis, we get a great middle ground of cushion.

Con

  • Not ideal in super wet conditions. The Florida swaps were bad news for this shoes. However, there is a waterproof GoreTex version, I am looking to get my hands on.

Similar Products

Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0Reebok All Terrain SuperSalomon Speedcross 3Inov-8 X-Talon 212
Weight234 g229 g310g280 g
Heel Drop5mm5mm9mm6mm
Grip3/16"3/16"3/16"1/4"
Metal StudsNoNoNoNo
Price$100.00$75.00$80.00$120.00
ORM ReviewYesYesYesYes
BuyAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 Conclusion

I love these shoes. They are my current favorite trail shoe and I will be ordering a new pair as soon as possible.



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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Mud Titan 12 – Another Race Coming Out Of Covid-19 Hibernation

OCR is back! Yes, you read that correctly. The State of Florida has opened up and allowed a pair of races to take place on the weekend of June 13th. I traveled all the way down from Illinois to Plant City, Florida to take on the Mud Titan 12 course and it didn’t disappoint.

This was one of the first post Covid races to take place so I’ll explain some of the things that have changed before getting into the course breakdown. First thing I noticed was that in the festival area everything was spaced very far apart with hand sanitizer stations situated throughout.

Secondly, the race packet you received had your medal inside, saving someone from having to get close to you after the race to put it around your neck. Post-race refreshments were self-serve to further limit personal interaction. I even think they spaced the parking out some on purpose. In fact, the only two times people were packed together was while waiting in line to retry failed obstacles, and at the starting corral.

Since the race was chip timed I solved the social distancing problem in the corral by waiting in the back and letting everyone leave before I did.  But once you started the race there was nothing placed along the way to disinfect your hands until you finished, although I’m guessing that if you were concerned about getting sick you wouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Mud Titan released racers out onto the marshy trail for about half a mile, where the only obstacle encountered was a set of hurdles. This served to thin out the herd before crossing a creek and heading into the woods which was thick with mosquitos and Spanish moss. A rope traverse over that same creek provided the first of numerous agility tests. A set of over/under/through barriers was then placed along the soft trail leading up to the first wall climb of the day. This wall was a 10 footer with a few feet of rope dangling down over the edge for assistance. A 10 rep box jump onto a tractor tire was the next functional movement along the trail followed up by an inverted cargo net traverse.

I personally found this much more difficult than the normal inverted wall because the net moved, leaving you nothing solid to brace your feet against. Still in the woods now, Titan then suspended ropes down from a tree branch and placed boxes on each side. The goal being to grab the rope and “Tarzan” from one box to the other while sticking the landing. This was tougher than it looked and ended up being fun!

Balance tests made up the next two obstacles, the first being a teeter totter, the second made up of board’s zig zagging and laid on the ground vertically. After the balance test Titan decided to test your grip. First, by making you traverse from one side of a wire placed horizontally between two trees to the other. Two rings were placed on the wire, requiring you to torque your body in different directions to get the rings to slide while a rope climb made up the second grip test.

The trail now lead back into the festival area where racers were greeted by a giant warped wall. Your way down was made wet and slippery by a water slide, and having wet hands was not what you wanted at that point in the race as the Titan rig was next up. This rig set-up proved to be difficult even with dry hands as a mixture of rope, balls, straight pipes, and monkey bars tested even the most experienced racer. Hope you had some skin left on your hands because the next obstacle was another rig, this one using only rings.

The last three obstacles not only tested whatever grip strength you had left, but also your agility as the next traverse consisted of a series of low rings and suspended planks with tiny foot holds at the bottom. This reminded me of obstacle Savage Race has, only this one was made tougher because there was two support beams in the middle that you also had to negotiate your way around.

A side to side hop, like you would find on American Ninja Warrior’s floating steps, led you to the last obstacle of the day. This was a type of stairway rig with a rope and ring placed at the top to get you from one side of the stairs to the other, and it was suspended over a pool of water. Most of us just stumbled to the finish line after that, luckily it was placed just a few yards away.

Mud Titan offered a Competitive wave with awards, an Open wave, and a small kid’s race. I found the 5K course to be extremely challenging. With all the overhead rigs and no heavy carries I felt it was a course that benefited smaller, lighter weight athletes.

Not that larger athletes wouldn’t enjoy it, because I certainly did. I also feel this was one of the better permanent OCR facilities that I have been to and would come again. All obstacles felt sturdy and were manned by volunteers, and plenty of photographers were on hand to film your physical battles. So, if you are looking for a smaller race that offers you plenty of bang for your buck I’d highly recommend this one!

Results can be found here and here.

KitBrix CityBrix Review

CityBrix Review Before

I first became aware of Kitbrix back in 2016, where I gave the standard Kitbrix Bag a glowing review, and published this hilarious and informative video.  I’ve been using these bags ever since, and got another one for my wife to use as her gym bag.

Since I had such success with the sport version of the KitBrix, I wanted to give the “business end” of the brand a try with the KitBrix CityBrix.

KitBrix CityBrix Features

Large Laptop Carrier  – Separate side loading section for laptop/tablet up to 17 inches.

Gym Locker Section – Ability to keep your hardware (work) separate from your software (play). If you know what I mean. And I think you do.

Sturdy AF – Just like it’s predecessor, it’s a workhorse that stands up to race day abuse. The outside materials are made from ballistic nylon outer material. The aqua seal zippers never leave me with a doubt, and the base is actually waterproof.

CityBrix Review Packing

KitBrix CityBrix Usage

I often carry this bag with me to race locations. I need a bag that can hold all my gear, and allows me to stay the nimble fairy that I am. It has the ability to store my laptop, chargers, extensions, podcast recording equipment and more on any given day. You may have even seen me wearing this on race day, zipping by to grab a mid obstacle Instagram post or snag a finish line interview.

Since it’s black and sleek, I can also use this bag for everyday office use.

KitBrix CityBrix Durability

Kitbrix products are nothing if not solid. As stated in the features, these things are built to last. Even with everyday use, I predict this bag lasting a long time.

CityBrix Review With Laptop

KitBrix CityBrix Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Lots of roomy compartments. If in a hurry, I can shove everything in at once, or if I take my time, I can organize like crazy.
  • Work and play capability. Can leave your house for 12 hours and would have everything you need for a physical activity, plus all of your work stuff.
  • Even more compartments. Yes I am listing this twice, as there are so many ways to separate and keep track of things.
  • Standup waterproof base. It can stand up on its end, rather than laying flat. This is safer for my equipment, and also saves room when need be.

Cons

  • Can think of something I don’t like about this bag. I suppose if you want a color other than black, it’s not for you.

KitBrix CityBrix Conclusion

I love the CityBrix, and it has been my go to “work bag” since I first received one two years ago. At $135, its $130 less than a GR1, a bag that many in the OCR/Ruck community use for similar situations. It will be going on our next “Gear To Have List”.

Check out all of the KitBrix products at KitBrixUSA.com.

CityBrix Review Walking

 

Disclaimer: Some of the links that ORM uses are affiliate links. They help pay for our operations. However, all race and product reviews are independent, and our opinions are our own.

Hyrox Dallas 2020

Hyrox Dallas 2020

A New Type of Fitness Competition

Hyrox is the new hotness of the fitness world in the United States. Though it may be new to us, the team behind Hyrox certainly has a lot of experience behind it. The popularity of the event overseas is quite high. After my experience in Dallas, it’s easy to understand why.

“What is Hyrox?” you may ask? Hyrox is a fitness competition involving a mix of running and functional workouts. This competition is always held indoors, at the same distance, with the same workouts, in the same order. Divisions are split into open men, open women, doubles women, doubles men, mixed doubles, pro women, and pro men.

The differences between these divisions being that, in doubles, teams are allowed to split the workouts as they please, but must run together. Otherwise, weights and or reps simply increase depending on which division a participant chooses. The order of the event is always as follows:

1km run

1000m ski erg

1km run

50m sled push

1km run

50m sled pull

1km run

80m burpee broad jump

1km run

1000m row

1km run

200m Kettle bell Farmers Carry

1km run

100m Sandbag Lunges

1km run

75 (women excluding pro)/100 wall balls

Finish

Organization

At first glance, the maze of barricades, rigs, and stations can seem to be chaotic. Countless thoughts run through your head. How will we know where to go? Where do we run? Will enough stations be open? As for Dallas, Hyrox was a graceful ballet of controlled chaos and every staff member and volunteer seemed to be on their A-game.

From the briefing to wave send off, to on course aid. Hyrox staff seemed to always know what their purpose was and how to most quickly and efficiently relay that information. This is key to running a good event. No matter how much stuff you have, no matter what great venue you have, if you do not run a tight ship it can all far apart and leave a sour taste in the mouths of participants.

Is Hyrox Really for Everyone?

Is Hyrox for OCR athletes? Maybe it for Crossfitters? Can everyone really complete a Hyrox event? The answer to all of these questions is: yes. Just like any other fitness endeavor, training is necessary if you would like to perform decently. It will push you to limits and test your grit. This is the reason that people participate in such events.

However, claims such as Hyrox being for everyone have no ground if the staff does not treat everyone equally and hold them to the same standards. From the beginning of the day with the open waves to the end of the day with the last pro waves, volunteers and coaches motivated every single participant in the same manner.

Establishing a Sense of Accomplishment

Everyone should have left feeling as if they accomplished something great. That is the core of what these type of events are about. The goal is to change people’s lives. It does not matter if you are Hunter McIntyre finishing the pro wave in 58 minutes and some change or if you are an open lady competing in your very first competition. The goal is to make you want to keep coming back and to keep improving! Is Hyrox for everyone? No. Can anyone do Hyrox? Yes.

Hyrox brings together a blend of spectacle, personality, and difficulty to create an empowering experience for each participant. It is quite obvious that they have planned and they have had plenty of practice. If any athlete had questions during the powerpoint briefing on their heat, they were quickly answered and explained. There was no “oh wait I don’t know let me see.” Of course, the fact that the event is the same every time attributes to this efficiency. This is often a gateway to success for many: pick a focus and execute it really well.

How Can it Work?

The Hyrox staff has developed quite the efficient technique of calculating exactly how many participants can be released in each wave to ensure that there is no backing up at workout stations. Though things can get slightly hectic in the running loop, the “fast” and “slow” lane separation helps. Ideally, faster runners hug the inside lane allowing them to pass slower runners on the right.

Of course, after all of the brutal workouts the occasional runner would be straggling in the middle of the lane, but skirting around them was never a huge issue. I did not see many runners get hung up even during the doubles waves.

Will I get Lost?

What if I forget where to go? I will fully admit it was completely possible to forget which workout you were on when your brain starts to shut down and you are just trying to keep moving. Hyrox takes every possible measure to ensure that racers stay on track though. Every workout station is manned by a knowledgeable volunteer. Every workout station has a giant blowup gateway with a readout of what number the workout is as well as the name of the workout, i.e. “ 08 Wall Balls 08”.

A large screen on the running course displays the names of participants as they cross a timing mat.  This screen displays what run lap you are on or what workout you should enter the “in” section of the course and complete before moving on. MANY times I was scatterbrained and not sure of what to do, but this screen and volunteers kept me on track. Is it possible to run an extra lap? Absolutely. Is it possible to skip a workout? Absolutely. However, Hyrox cares enough to take as many measures as possible to keep everyone on track.

Aid Station

There was only one aid station and it was the only one truly necessary. It was well manned and well serviced. This station was stocked with both water and the event sponsor: Refix (basically water and sea salt, doesn’t sound tasty, but when you’ve wept yourself dry of all electrolytes it’s pretty nice.) It was located at the “out” section of the workout area so that runners could fuel up before their running loops.

Equipment and Warm-up Area

Though the warm-up area was just a tad small, it was a far better warm-up area than I have seen at most CrossFit competitions. The area had every implement that would be used in competition. It was well stocked with plates and two sleds to practice the dreaded push and pull complete with a strip of that devil carpet. The warm-up area also contained: bike ergs, ski ergs, self-propelled treadmills, concept 2 rowers, kettlebells, mats, and wall balls. Each of these pieces of equipment was in tip-top shape, and a water station was in the warm-up area as well. Chalk was also readily available at each and every workout station.

If anything used by Hyrox is really going to incite participants’ frustration, it is going to be the carpet. Sled pushes and pulls are bad. Sled pushes and pulls on turf are bad, but sled pushes and pulls on this carpet are a step into hell forcing you to summon your own inner demons to escape its momentum breaking wrath. While the carpet never bunched on me, I could see it being a possibility. The carpet adds an element of difficulty which some may like or dislike.

The “Festival” Area

The stage was clearly visible and offered a seating area for awards. Vendors were set up nicely along with a cool little Michelob Ultra booth. The Puma store was nice and sales went through without a hitch. The workout zone for those spectators interested in learning how to prepare for Hyrox was a very nice touch that I wish other races and CrossFit competitions would incorporate more often. The goal is to get more people involved in these events and Hyrox seems to do a very good job of keeping that in mind.

So It Isn’t Perfect

The set up does have some drawbacks. Crosswalks over the running track were the only way in or out of the arena housing the event as well as the only avenue to the restroom. This caused security to have to perform the task of super decisive crossing guard especially as the faster runners got onto the course. Although this simple act of having to wait to cross was not a big deal for me, I could certainly see it getting stuck in the craw of some spectators.

Hyrox is not the perfect fitness event. It may not be up the alley of some athletes. It may deter strict endurance athletes. Is it the “World Series of Fitness” as its branding claims? Well, that depends on your personal definition of fitness. What Hyrox is, is a great bridge between the gap of CrossFit, OCR, and other realms of athletic performance. What is most important is that Hyrox does what they claim to do and they do it very well (or at least did in Dallas this February).

They treat every competitor exactly the same and they motivate each and every person to be their best. Hyrox does not just claim to be what will force you to dig deep. Hyrox does not drop you off in the well and leave you to find your own inner strength. It provides you with the tools to do so, and they jump in the well with you holding a light and saying “come on, you’ve got this.” If they stick to this type of passion and attention to detail in each and every event, Hyrox will become a much bigger attraction in the United States next year.

https://obstacleracingmedia.com/podcast/hyrox-explained-with-christian-toetzke-and-mintra-mattison/

https://obstacleracingmedia.com/podcast/hyrox-miami-2019-corrina-coffin-and-matt-kempson/

Valentine’s Day Massacre

We all compete in OCR because of the obstacles, right? If not, we’d all be signing up for road races. What if you learned there was a race out there where 50 obstacles were packed into a 2-mile course? Did I manage to get your attention? What if I also told you that this race would take place in the Midwest in the middle of February basically guaranteeing a frozen track? Well, Team Hydra and the Hazelwood MO. Park District pulled off such an event this past February 15th and I was lucky enough to take part in the brutality. This was year two of the St. Louis area event, and I felt honored to have covered both. This gave me the opportunity to see how the team drastically upped their game from year one to year two. There is a certain down-home hospitality feeling that you’ll notice at any event run by Team Hydra, the community really seems to get behind them. They actually had a volunteer at each and every obstacle giving instruction and praise along the way which is unheard of. Photographers were all over the place taking action shots and the concession stands were opened up offering anything a racer or spectator needed. Oh, and the shot shack! Yep, this event offered free shots to all racers post-race! This perk was an awesome idea as that Fireball shot I took after the race helped warm me back up quickly!

The race itself started at 10;30 a.m. by releasing the elite waves first, three racers at a time, three minutes apart. This proved to be a great way of keeping racers separated along the course while getting everyone out onto the course quickly. Athletes started out by racing out of the parking lot at the Hazelwood Sports Complex, crawling over a few picnic tables, and climbing under low crawl tubes.  Wooden pallets served as your ladder leading racers up to the top of the baseball dugouts, the landing pad for your descent was borrowed from the high jump pit. The baseball field backstop was also well utilized and brought into play as another climbing obstacle. Large plastic tubes were buried in the ground and provided the next “hurdle” along the course, followed up by the semi tire drag. Bucket carry, yup, placed right here. Team Hydra built some unique mid-sized walls and topped them with a 55-gallon plastic barrel that spun, they set two of these along the course and required athletes to haul a car tire with them as they traversed the obstacle.  Atlas Stones on a rope provided the resistance during the farmer carry while a short distance away heavy tractor tires were stationed for multiple flips. The last challenge on this third of the course was the triple rope climb. The three ropes were separated by two high jump style landing pads requiring an athlete to hop up onto and over a pad between rope one and two adding to the difficulty.

 

The second section of the course started out rather tame, as a few wall climbs and an empty 55 gallon barrel roll were all that were required. But this is where things turned nasty. After scooting up a warped wall a 50-foot rig traverse was looking you right in the eye. Now this was no ordinary rig, there were ropes suspended down, a wall of skulls to cross, rings, a low hanging wooden suspension bridge, AND to finish it off a series of the ever-popular Gibbons. Now, I don’t know if anyone actually finished this rig or not, but it was the toughest rig configuration I’ve seen in over 100 races, and there was a 40 burpee penalty for those who didn’t finish. If you managed to have any grip strength left or gas in your tank after all those burpees you were going to need it as a four-section of floating wall was the next obstacle up. Team Hydra did nobody a favor by moving the grips and footings closer together than in their previous races, making finishing it much harder. A 20 burpee penalty was the failure requirement here. A sandbag weighted Herc Hoist led racers away from the floating walls along a track featuring a series of 4-foot walls. Team Hydra then lined up some functional tests for athletes starting out with the yoke carry. The yoke consisted of a wooden plank with sandbags suspended off each side. Now, this wasn’t a very heavy carry, but it did take quite a bit of core strength to balance it out as you walked the required distance. A car tire and sledgehammer were waiting for you next, an athlete used the sledge to smash the car tire a short distance before moving on to an Atlas Stone carry.

 

A spear throw started off the third and final section of the course, multiple attempts were allowed here thank goodness! A Spartan Race style Olympus traverse followed leading to a cargo net low crawl. One last rig and a fire jump were all that now stood between you and that precious medal! But once again the rig was no joke, consisting of ropes, bungee cords, and a section of twister with a 20 burpee failure penalty. This led to many a racer doing burpees just a few yards from the finish. I found the Valentine’s Day Massacre to be a truly badass event, although it was geared a little more towards the competitive level racer. Team Hydra used everything at the park to their advantage giving racers a ton of bang for their buck. The race swag was great and who wouldn’t love free shots at the end of a race? The Hazelwood community did a great job supporting the event, everyone was cheerful and helpful despite wind chills in the 20’s.My final word on the event is if you like racing during the winter months than you must leave the middle of February open for the next Valentine’s Day Massacre.

VJ Shoes Xero 5 Review

 

VJ Shoes exploded on to the OCR scene in early 2019 with their incredibly popular XTRM shoes. With a signature design and color scheme, super grippy butyl rubber (#thebestgripontheplanet isn’t just a hashtag) and athletes with names like Albon, Webster, and Woods wearing them, it’s easy to understand why they because so popular.

VJ Shoes haven’t slowed down yet, though. Next up they brought the MAXx to the masses, with a wider toe box, and cushioned heel. Then it was the iRock 3, with a precision fit on a lighter design.

As we closed in on the winter months, VJ shoes has just released their 4th US design – The Xero 5. The Xero is an all-weather studded shoe with aggressive treads, and 20 carbon-carbide studs for traction in all conditions. The Xero 5 also has enough cushion to make any terrain feel like you’re running on tiny little clouds.

Xero 5 Features

Poron Cushioning  – The first thing I noticed when strapping the Xero’s on was the cushion and padding around my foot. The XTRM and MAXx shoes are definitely more “rigid” and less forgiving than the new Xero 5’s. I felt like my feet were wrapped in thick comfy socks.

20 Carbide Studs – Being know for amazing grip and traction is sort of VJ Shoes’ modus operandi. The Xero 5’s are no different. I took them out in the dead of New England winter on frozen dirt, ice, and snowy trails. I quickly realized that I could trust in the grip, and confidently gazelle my way through the woods focused on speed instead of footing.

FitLock – In the previous two models of VJ Shoes that I’ve worn, a 12.5 fit either perfect, or a bit snug. The Xero’s had some extra space in the toe box and mid-foot. I could probably have sized down without much issue. The Xero’s had a wider width in all 3 parts of the shoe, which is great for winter running. You’ll be able to wear some extra layers without any issue or crowding of your toes.

Xero 5 Usage

As I walked through the parking lot, sounding like a golfer wearing spikes heading to the 19th hole, I was eager to get some miles on these shoes considering the terrain. I went out and put a handful of miles on my Xero’s which included some ice covered fire roads, harder than cement frozen muddy sections, and some fresh snow pack through the woods. The water-repellent membrane in the upper will help keep out any errant water, snow or slush you plow through.

If you’ve never run in a shoe with studs before, they can take some getting used to. I could feel the studs on the bottom of my feet as I landed on the frozen trail. The focus on that quickly shifted to how easily I could run over questionable terrain with confidence, thanks to those same 20 studs on the shoes.

Studded shoes may have a place out on the frozen trails of New England, or the snowy mountains of Colorado but the one place they may not have a place? Your favorite OCR course, as most races will rule out running in studded shoes for its competitors. For training though, no longer do you have to take a day off because the ground is a little too treacherous, unless you would rather just stay inside and enjoy some grilled cheese and tomato soup.

These shoes are a perfect addition to your closet to ensure that you can conquer any terrain and any weather that you come across while getting miles in. But when it comes to race day, keep them in the trunk and opt for VJ’s core models – the XTRM, MAXx, or iRock.

VJ Xero 5 Review
VJ Xero 5 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Incredible cushion and fitting. The most comfortable VJ Shoe model I have worn, by far.
  • 20 carbon-carbide star studs make your grip almost invincible even on the sketchiest terrain.
  • Waterproof membranes protect your feet against moisture while out in the snow and mud

Cons

  • The first obvious con – is an inability to wear these on course. Studded shoes are banned from most races.
  • Landing on studs while running can be uncomfortable to some, or at least take some getting used it.
  • With a 19mm stack in the heel and 11mm in the toe, and 8mm drop is larger than other shoes offered from VJ.

Similar Products

Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0Reebok All Terrain SuperSalomon Speedcross 3Inov-8 X-Talon 212
Weight234 g229 g310g280 g
Heel Drop5mm5mm9mm6mm
Grip3/16"3/16"3/16"1/4"
Metal StudsNoNoNoNo
Price$100.00$75.00$80.00$120.00
ORM ReviewYesYesYesYes
BuyAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon

VJ Xero 5 Conclusion

I’m slowly acquiring a small arsenal of shoes in my closet. Much like machines at the gym, each has a function. The Xero 5’s have a spot in my training regimen – these winter months when I am trying to avoid running outside due to weather or temperatures, the Xero’s give me a little bit more courage to get out on the trails. Just because they may not be allowed on every course, doesn’t mean they won’t have a spot in your lineup as well.

While I wouldn’t normally go out and hunt down a pair of studded shoes, now that I have them, I’ve noticed my runs in inclement weather have gotten better just due to the fact that I’m not worried about footing as much as I would with my more worn down trail shoes.

If you need a shoe that won’t relent on the most atrocious of conditions, offers a cushioned landing, and can survive the elements, the Xero 5 is for you and your feet.



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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Other VJ Shoe Comparison Video