Intersport Elverys is delighted to partner with the VHI Womens Mini Marathon for 2023.
For the last 19 years we have been offering unique product, advice and benefits to marathon participants.
We absolutely love sport! From grassroots all the way to the very elite, supporting Irish athletes and sporting organisations dates back to our very origins and is part of our ethos.
We’re one of the biggest supporters of Irish sport in the country and we’re at the heart of sport.
During your mini marathon journey make sure to check out our socials and blog for advice, competitions and more.
For all your running and sporting needs make sure to visit your local Intersport Elverys store or explore our range on Elverys.ie
Between now and the big race day, we will be giving you tips and advice on how to get yourself ready and on the road to the VHI Womens Mini Marathon.
Below, we have some really important advice from chartered physio Michelle Lyons, while we’ve also gone to the trouble of picking out some of the best running shoes, leggings and sports bras for you.
VHI Womens Mini Marathon: How to Be your Best
Chartered physiotherapistMichelle Lyons talks to us about how to be at your best for the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon and how to ensure your training continues smoothly!
“By now, hopefully your training is well underway as June is only around the corner!
“I’ve worked with lots of female athletes (both professional and beginners) and there are often a couple of niggly problems like back pain or a bit of leaking when you run….that may be holding you back.
“Often it can be an issue with your pelvic floor – did you know that 1 in 3 women have some sort of pelvic floor problem? But don’t panic, there’s a solution!
“Your pelvic floor muscles run like a sling from the front of your pelvis to your tailbone and they have a number of jobs, like giving you control over your bladder and bowel and keeping your pelvic organs where they are supposed to be.
“But they are also really important when it comes to preventing low back pain, as they provide stability for the joints of your lower back and pelvis.
“The muscles can become stressed during pregnancy and childbirth or if you have chronic constipation, which can lead to problems with low back pain, some leaking from the bladder or bowel or even a dragging feeling as if things are moving down and out.
“For many women, leaking when they run is a very common problem. I say common, but it’s really important to remember that leaking is NEVER normal and there is almost always something that can be done about it!
“Probably the best way to address the issue is to check in with a women’s health physio who also works with athletes; she will be able to not only help you address your pelvic floor issues but also look at your running form.
“Remember: most women don’t need pelvic floor strengthening (no more kegels!) but they do need to re-learn coordination of the pelvic floor with the breath.
“In the meantime, here are some tips to help you get started”
VHI Womens Mini Marathon Tips
Know your floor!
“Your pelvic floor muscles do a number of jobs, including controlling bladder and bowel function.
“Find your pelvic floor by taking a deep breath in, and as you exhale, relaxing all the muscles in and around your pelvis.
“Take another breath in, and this time as you exhale, close your anus and lift up and in, (as if you were trying to stop gas escaping) Count to 5 out loud (to make sure you’re not holding your breath.
“Then (this is the most important part!) fully relax your pelvic floor.
“Congratulations! You just found and activated your pelvic floor muscles!”
Coordinate with your breath.
“Now that you know where the muscles are, practice coordinating with the breath. This will give you more stability during your run and may help with your endurance.
“Take a breath in and feel how both you lower tummy expands a little and your pelvic floor drops a little.
“As you exhale, your tummy should gently move back in by itself and your pelvic floor rises a little.
“This cycle should happen with every breath but if you are worried about leaking, you may not be fully relaxing the pelvic floor, which might be making the problem worse!
“Try this exercise standing, sitting or lying still, and as you get the hang of it, try to incorporate the breath and pelvic floor muscles into your running.”
Watch your alignment.
“Keeping your ribcage over your pelvis when you run can help manage the pressures of running on your pelvic floor.
“Wearing supportive clothing like a good sports bra and EVB shorts can really help improve both form and function when you run in my experience.
“If you are worried about leaking or painful breasts when you are running, that can actually make the problem worse by causing extra tension in the body and can lead to other mechanical problems or injuries.
“Set yourself up for success and enjoy your run!”
VHI Womens Mini Marathon Running Shoes
A good set of running shoes are going to be absolutely crucial for this event.
Regular Comfort + We would recommend for anyone just starting off or don’t require a large amount of cushioning.
Extra Comfort ++ Perfect for those longer runs, for those wanting an increased shock absorption.
Maximum Comfort +++ These are best suited for those who are looking for best shock absorption, with extra or maximum comfort.
Runner Review: Stability Shoes
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 (Extra Comfort)
The Brooks Adrenaline is back and better than ever with an upgraded midsole and a redesigned upper.
The latest version of the Brooks Adrenaline features a 100% DNA Loft midsole, which creates a softer, smoother ride.
Brooks’ reliable GuideRail support system keeps you moving efficiently kilometre after kilometre.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is a great everyday training shoe for runners seeking a stable and supportive shoe.
They’re cushioned enough to provide generous impact absorption without feeling heavy or clunky.
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 (Maximum Comfort)
The GEL-NIMBUS™ 25 shoe’s soft cushioning properties help you feel like you’re landing on clouds.
This neutral trainer is revamped with new materials that create a softer and smoother running experience. A soft knit upper comfortably wraps your foot while supplying advanced ventilation.
Its updated knit tongue construction provides better flexibility and extends around the ankle for a more luxurious fit and feel.
The midsole is packed with the most cushioning that the series has offered to date. By adding more FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning and using our new PureGEL™ technology, this trainer creates a lighter and softer cushioning experience.
This is the perfect shoe for runners seeking the best shock absorption with maximum comfort.
Runner Review: Neutral Shoe
Brooks Ghost 15 (Extra Comfort)
There’s no wonder the Ghost 15 is a go-to for runners looking for a reliable, every day running shoe.
Not only is it Brooks’ first carbon-neutral shoe but it offers cushioning like no other, ensuring a comfortable, easy-going ride no matter what running style or foot type you have.
The standout feature in the Ghost 15 is that it has Brooks’ 100% DNA LOFT cushioning tech in the midsole.
It’s the addition of this that gives the shoe a super soft feel, offering superb comfort for the heel every time your foot strikes the floor.
The Ghost 15 is a great, all-round running shoe that’s perfect for anyone looking for comfort and equal levels of support in their runs.
ASICS Gel-Cumulus 24 MK (Extra Comfort)
The GEL-CUMULUS™ 24 shoe is a versatile trainer for different runners covering different distances.
From the upper to the foam underfoot, this shoe feels softer and more responsive.
The upper has a heel fit for extra comfort. Engineered mesh enhances breathability to keep your feet cool throughout your run.
This sleek, long-distance trainer has also been updated with our FF BLAST™ cushioning. This keeps the shoe light and provides a softer landing and more energetic toe-off.
Brooks Glycerin 20 (Maximum Comfort)
The story of the Glycerin begins in the late 1990s — the name was actually inspired by the song “Glycerine” by the English band, Bush.
The newest version gives runners ultimate softness underfoot in every stride thanks to the specialized nitrogen-infusion process used to create DNA LOFT v3.
As we continue to grow options through support and fit, we see the Glycerin line continuing to be a favourite among runners.
Give your feet a break even on the toughest days.
The women’s Glycerin 20 neutral cushioned running shoes are the final word on comfort thanks to new, supremely soft DNA LOFT v3 cushioning, an updated, improved fit and silky smooth transitions.
With the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon just around the corner, and the bright summer evenings approaching, now is the time to get yourself the perfect running shoe.
Don’t forget about other important pieces of equipment you might need too.
It’s estimated that 80% of women are wearing the wrong type/size of sports bras which can result in breast pain, soft tissue damage, chafing among other issues.
Choosing the right sports bra is essential for women of any size, shape or activity level. It’s important to make sure you have adequate support so you can lead an active lifestyle without unnecessary discomfort.
Read below or find our latest blog on this topic HERE
Light gym work
Active gym work
Sports Bra Size Guide: Support
Light Support Bras
Usually, low energy activities will consist of little sweat.
Activities such as walking, yoga, or stretching would be considered low energy. For these workouts, you won’t need as much support as high energy exercises.
Choose lightweight sports bras with narrower straps and bands. An adjustable strap is not necessary for support during low energy workouts.
Medium Support Bras
These workout activities will be in between low and high energy, like gym sessions or cycling.
Unlike low-energy workouts, you’ll need a wider strap, and since you’ll be breaking a sweat, you need a bra that restricts breast movement more than low-support bras.
High Support Bras
Any high intensity activity, like running, will require a high support sports bra, as your body will constantly be in motion and you’ll need to make sure everything stays comfortably in place.
Find high support sports bras with wide bands and adjustable shoulder straps to adjust while you’re working out or after.
What size should I choose?
You should stick to the size that you wear in a standard bra (once you’re confident you have been fitted/measured properly). Various brands will offer size conversions either on in-store signage or on the product packaging.
Sports Bra Size Guide: Features
The main source of support comes from the band, which forms the foundation of a sports bra. The band should be snug around your rib cage, but comfortable. If it feels too tight, it is.
If you can fit two fingers between your body and the band (but not more) that’s the sign of a good fit.
Shoulder straps should feel secure and provide minimal stretch to reduce up-and-down movement.
Straps that fit properly should not slip, and they should also not dig into your skin.
Adjustable straps allow you to fully customise the fit of your bra.
Some bras are pulled on over your head, some have a back closure with hooks.
Bras with back closure are easier to get on and off, and gives another option to further adjust/customise the fit.
The benefit of underwire in a sports bra is that it supports each breast individually and can help to minimize movement.
Wicking fabrics move moisture away from your skin and keep you comfortable.
The more supportive a sports bra is, the less effective it will be at wicking away moisture because of its sturdier fabric and construction. Look out for moisture-wicking technologies.
Please note, thin straps are generally easier to hide, however wider straps offer more/better support.
Tank top: This style is most similar to a “normal” bra. The straps are often adjustable so you can customise the fit.
Criss-cross: These straps cross over each other and usually provide good support. The straps are often adjustable so you customise the fit.
Racerback: Sports bras with a racerback have shoulder straps that come together between your shoulder blades to create a Y-shape. This style is more suited for medium- to high-impact activities, but they are typically not adjustable.
It’s recommended that you re-assess/update your sports bra every 6 months to 12 months as over time the fibers, elastic and other components weaken, which compromises support.
Love them or hate them, sports leggings are a staple in the wardrobe of any active person – so having a leggings size guide is super helpful.
This year Intersport Elverys is delighted to partner the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon for 2022 and like the last 18 years, we;re committed to offering the best advice and the leading products to all participants.
So whether you’re going to run, walk or jog the marathon.
Or if you’re not taking part at all and are just committed to a sport, training for your own fitness journey or simply wanting to look good, feel good and perform good, then this guide will help you.
Because we know leggings aren’t all about sporting performance, they are a great way of expressing your personality thanks to all the unique styles.
Leggings Size Guide: Where do I start looking?
There are a few things to consider when trying to find a great pair of sports leggings.
Don’t forget, every sport and every body has its own individual needs, so deciding on a few main factors before you start your search will help pin down the perfect leggings for you.
Choosing the best leggings for your sport
If you’re dedicated to one sport and looking to invest in the perfect pair of leggings to improve performance, our quick guide will point you in the right direction.
Many running leggings offer higher compression, designed to help reduce muscle fatigue and speed up recovery.
They usually use temperature-regulating fabric technologies and tend to have a lower waist band to avoid any chafing.
Low-rise gym leggings, in contrast, provide virtually no tummy support, but can be much more comfortable for those that don’t like feeling constricted. They’re particularly great for running, as they won’t chafe your midriff.
Unsurprisingly, mid rise leggings are a great middle ground, and the best bet if you’re really not sure which fit you’ll find most comfortable.
Leggings Size Guide: Choose your leg
There are a few different lengths to choose from for your gym leggings:
• Full length leggings: These gym leggings cover the entire leg, ending just under the ankle.
• 7/8 leggings: Very slightly cropped, 7/8 leggings cover most of the leg, ending just above the ankle.
• Capri leggings: Capri leggings end just below the knee, covering the entire upper thigh.
A great place to start when choosing leg length is by examining your workout environment.
Outdoor workouts like running will often benefit from full length gym leggings to keep you warm throughout the seasons, whereas something indoors and sweat-inducing like HIIT will be more comfortable in capri leggings.
7/8 leggings are great all-rounders for all sports and environments.
Leggings Size Guide: Consider material
Leggings or pants made for sport will offer breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you cool and dry, which is what sets them apart from the everyday leggings you might use as loungewear.
When it comes to leggings, fit is everything.
Whatever the workout, you want to be able to give it every ounce of your energy and attention; you definitely do not want flapping legs or sagging waistbands ruining your performance.
A well-fitted pair of leggings can go beyond the gym, too – you might find you’re so comfortable in them, you just can’t take them off!
High compression vs low compression gym leggings
The compression level of your leggings is the biggest contributing factor to how supportive they’ll be.
Compression basically refers to how thick and tight gym leggings are, so they usually come in high compression or low compression options.
High compression gym leggings are thicker, tighter and generally best suited for sports with a lot of movement, like running, pilates or HIIT, as they don’t tend to shift as you move.
High compression leggings can also be used for lower impact sports like yoga, but if you find a looser fit more comfortable, low compression works well too.
When choosing low compression, go for a sports leggings with a drawstring waistband to avoid any sagging or twisting while you work out.
Leggings Size Guide FAQs
Can you run in normal leggings?
Running in normal leggings isn’t advised, as they don’t offer the same support and benefits as running leggings and can cause chafing and other discomforts.
Running leggings are made from specially designed fabric that wicks sweat away from the body and allows skin to breathe during long runs, which will help keep your body at a comfortable temperature and avoid chafing.
Running leggings are also usually made of high compression fabrics to provide maximum support.
Should I wash my gym clothes everyday?
Yes, it’s best to wash gym clothes after each use. Your gym leggings are constantly absorbing sweat while you work out, so can harbour all sorts of bacteria and other nasties.
If you need to deep clean a pair of sports leggings after a particularly hot and sweaty session, try adding some anti-bacterial detergent to your normal washing detergent and wash your leggings on the highest temperature setting stated on the care label.
How tight should gym leggings be?
This really depends on what you want to use them for.
Yoga benefits from lightweight, low compression leggings to allow for bending and stretching, whereas high impact training and running will be much more comfortable in tighter, high compression leggings that give you the best support possible.
As a rule of thumb, if your leggings are too tight on the waist and causing bulging, size up. If they’re saggy at the crotch, size down.
Why do my leggings roll down at the waist?
This can happen for a few different reasons.
First, your leggings could simply be the wrong size. If your leggings are a little loose all over, then sizing down should fix your problem.
Your leggings might also sag if they’re not the right fit for your body shape. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, so finding a pair of gym leggings to fit waists, bums and tums can take some trial and error.
Try out different rises to see which one prevents your leggings falling down at the waist.
Finally, it could simply be that the elastic has worn out in your leggings. Invest in a new pair, and make sure to follow the care instructions to the letter to make sure they last as long as possible.
No matter what you wear, the most important thing is staying active, and feeling comfortable doing so.
To help stay motivated, connect with us on social media where we’ll offer daily advice and content to support your workouts at home.
Intersport Elverys is one of the biggest supporters of Irish sport in the country and we’re at the heart of sport.
Make sure to check out our amazing full range of leggings below.
Expert and trustworthy advice can be difficult to come by, but when it comes to Killian Byrne of the Irish Runner magazine, it doesn’t come much better in the world of running.
That’s why we recently entrusted Killian with reviewing eight of our best-selling running shoes, from which he will share his experts tips and advice to help you before you buy.
He will be looking at the women’s Brooks Glycerin 19, adidas Ultraboost 21, ON Running Cloudswift, Hoka Mach 4, Under Armour Hovr Machina 2, women’s Asics Gel Cumulus 23, women’s Puma Velocity Nitro, Nike Pegasus Trail 2.
Here’s what he said.
Irish Runner on the Brooks Glycerin 19 (Women)
Fit & Comfort
The Glycerin 19 is the max cushioned shoe in the Brooks range and with the withdrawal of a number of lines in their stable, this trainer now stands out as the frontrunner in a neutral stability shoe. Formerly super comfortable but considerably ‘clunky’, this new version goes some way to fixing what many considered was a boxy and unresponsive design.
The tweaking of the DNA Loft foam has gone a long way to transforming the Glycerin 19 into a smooth and cushioned ride, almost ‘bouncy’. This moves the lycerin into a category that you’d be comfortable chasing your speedwork, but they feel light and comfortable enough to also throw on for long runs.
We felt these were a little tight in initial testing and a very firm heel and supported ankle actually might make you consider buying a size up before you head out on the road. When you’re buying, make sure you try these shoes when in your running socks and check with your retailer if they’ll accept a return if the fit isn’t quite right before making a final decision. Many will be happy to exchange within a specific timeframe.
If you’re a Ghost wearer then the Glycerin 19 might suit you too. You’ll get a soft, balanced stable run and it’s a shoe that might just suit you for that everyday work the summer will bring.
Slightly unremarkable when out of the box, the Glycerin 19 is a neutral, cushioned trainer with a 10mm drop. A double mesh upper can make things very plush and there is plenty of ventilation to offset any excess heat. The heel cup is super firm and padded giving a very secure fit. The ubiquitous Brooks DNA Loft foam that allows good cushioning but isn’t too soft to affect your run.
A shoe that is on the expensive side but worth it for the plush feel. We’d have some concerns about the longevity as wear and tear might take its toll sooner than hoped.
Irish Runner on the Adidas Ultraboost 21
Fit & Comfort
The Ultraboost is one of the most popular shoes in the Adidas range and it has jumped the fence to sit very comfortably between technical running shoe and fashionable trainer. But the Ultraboost 21 is working very hard with a complete redesign to make its way back to being a leading performance running shoe.
If it’s possible for a running shoe to look both clunky and fast then Adidas have made it. The Ultraboost aren’t light, and a simple 8k ‘out of the box’ run around the park wasn’t the best of experiences. The snug elastic-like upper allowed for too much movement for your reviewer to feel comfortable on fast corners and no matter how tight we tied the laces there was still plenty of reticence to ‘open up’ on any kind of technical running terrain.
If you’re an Ultraboost wearer you know how plush and comfortable these shoes are and a redesigned midsole foam provides great cushioning and energy return because there is 6% more boost ‘capsules’ and they all seem packed into the heel.
The tongue-less sock design means laces thread through a stiff plastic ‘cage’. This hugs the mid-food while anchoring things in place, but we felt this just serves to enhance the loose and roomy toe box. The runner’s ankle and heel are well boxed in with extra cushioning but things still seemed loose, and in fact, there was some uncomfortable chafing two or three runs into our testing. One real bonus we liked was what adidas call their ‘LEP’ – Linear Energy Push – or the sole of the shoe to you andI. This provided stiffness and grip that allowed real push off and energy return on each step.
A completely redesigned cushioned shoe with 10mm drop that comes in a little heavy at 340g. adidas LEP system allowing 15% increase in stiffness and the addition of 6% more Boost capsules allowing a greater energy return
The Ultraboost still doesn’t know if it’s a running shoe or fashion trainer. 2021 updates make it better for running, but the fact that it’s available in up to 16 different colours says a lot. If you run in long straight lines at a comfortable pace then the Ultraboost might be for you, but for most people there’ll be other shoes that will do what you want without the fear of worrying about what’s on your feet.
Irish Runner on the On Running Cloudswift
Fit & Comfort
Out of the box, all the On Running shoes impress on design, which continues to draw looks from those that aren’t used to the bouncy ‘tube’ design and the Cloudswift are no different. The denim/midnight colour design we trialled impressed even more and added a style to the shoe that is hard to beat in this reviewer’s eyes.
It is interesting though, that we opened this review with commentary on colour, style and looks, as outside of that the technical aspects of the Cloudswift are so understated as to be almost unnoticed outside of the still revolutionary ‘cloud’ design across the soles of the On Running range.
Let’s deal with that first.
We’ve reviewed On Running before at Irish Runner and while they’ve been comfortable, we still can’t get over the design of the sole that continues to gather the detritus of Ireland’s roads and parklands in the ridges. making the shoes grip much less effective. To their credit, On Running have addressed this and the issue is less of a concern today.
On the flipside, the spring of the cloud design provides a smooth ride on hard surfaces and for a trainer that is the very opposite of plush this provides great comfort and a super energy return on each step. The design of the sole allows for both horizontal and vertical flex, allowing for multi-directional cushioning no matter how you run.
The double mesh layer is very soft but durable and while On Running recommend you look at a half size up when buying, we found it roomy. You know your feet better than anyone, if you think you need extra space in a running shoe then bear this in mind. The Mid-foot strap holding the lacing system is very firm and at times we felt the laces were ‘digging in’ – loosening them just made our foot slip a little more.
A 7mm drop with a very rocker like sole on a shoe that can’t really be designated as a ‘stability’ shoe. Luxury double mesh upper provides a lot of comfort and room.
The CloudTec sole design and lack of deep cushioning makes the foot, shoe and ground almost act as one unit. You feel every step on a good way and that makes for an enjoyable experience when out on the road, you are always in control.
Irish Runner on the Hoka Mach 4
Fit & Comfort
We are HOKA fans and were very happy to see a pair of the new Mach 4 come through the letterbox for testing. HOKA, despite their reputation for unusual design, make great shoes for different runners and the Mach4 didn’t do anything to dampen our enthusiasm for the brand.
Comfort, cushioning, stability, smooth – all words we associate with the brand and depending on the shoe, they’re all there in every design. With the Mach 4, we seem to have dialled back on the extreme cushioning to ensure that the run is a lot more responsive than previous versions of the trainer.
I’ve described HOKA shoes in the past as being great for long comfortable runs, but I’ll flip that on its head for the Mach 4s and call these for quick, responsive racing and training. There is more feel between runner and ground than you would expect, making for a very reactive run. The firm mesh upper doesn’t allow for any slip or elasticity meaning your foot stays in place in comfortable surroundings. The solid but wide heel cup allows plenty of room and whether you feel the high back is to protect the achilles or provide a pull tab when putting on your shoes it does both with aplomb.
The Hoka ProFly cushioning does its job very well, like the bowl of porridge for Goldilocks, it is just right, allowing comfort but enough feel for the runner to control the movement rather than constantly sinking into the foam.
Are these the best HOKA shoes ever?
HOKA themselves call the Mach 4 a ‘soft and lively up-tempo daily flyer’ and I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Irish Runner on the Under Armour Hovr Machina 2
Fit & Comfort
Many years ago Nike linked up with Apple and we were all wearing ‘footpods’ embedded in a little compartment hidden under the insole of our shoes. The idea died out with the emergence of the fitness ‘wearable’ and now we get all the metrics under the sun from a wristwatch.
But fast forward a few years and Under Armour have persisted with the technology, fine tuning things for it to be a real threat to the computer on our wrist. Straight out of the box I had to connect to my phone and update my trainers – a new experience for me I’ll admit! But it works. Connecting to the Under Armour owned ‘MyFitnessPal’, you will get all the running metrics you need broadcast from a chip in your shoes.
As a trainer, the Machina 2 is a comfortable ride. Solid energy return and cushioning form the UA Hovr foam allows for a responsive run and the now obligatory internal ‘plate’ gives enough spring to propel, without you actually feeling your stability affected like some other brands. The engineered mesh upper allows for plenty of breathability without things feeling too stretchy, but I really felt the overall design was unremarkable.
Technically, this shoe is all about the technology. The manufacture and design makes for a reasonable trainer but this shoe is all about connectivity. It shines.
Don’t want to bring your phone?
Then connect and upload when you get home. Bring your phone and the shoe will train you when out on the run with personalised coaching tips. According to UA, runners go 3% further and 7% faster using this technology.
It’s hard to see past the fact that UA have hung their hat on chip technology rather than faster shoe design. I’m certainly not naïve in thinking everyone cares about % drop and foam density, but it matters. For a beginner with no interest in these things, then an embedded chip might just swing your decision to these shoes.
Here’s the kicker.
If your shoes know all about how well you run, how far you run and where you run then Under Armour and Map My Run know it too. Be careful with your data.
Irish Runner on the Asics Gel Cumulus 23 (Women’s)
Fit & Comfort
‘Hello old friend, it’s good to see you again’ is what you’d say to these shoes if you could talk to them.
If there was a template for a dependable, middle of the road, everyday running shoe then the Asics Gel-Cumulus are it.
That’s not a bad thing.i
In fact, it’s probably the best recommendation you can get for a trainer because where some shoes excel in parts, they fall short in others. As a beginner or experienced runner that’s not what you want. You want a shoe that will bring you around the park for a walk or a run, one that will bring you on your couch to 5k or see you through your marathon plan or a shoe that will sit in the wardrobe while your motivation wanes, but be there ready and waiting when you find that mojo again.
Priced very competitively, the Gel-Cumulus have all the technology you can get with the might of Asics design team behind them.
The Cumulus are light enough and not too narrow but the mesh upper adds support in targeted areas and is firm without being constricting. If you feel you need a wide shoe for more room or have wide feet then try a half size up. You’ll not swim in the larger size but it will benefit your comfort.
Talking about comfort, the shoe really benefits from both the Asics FliteFoam and its Lite rubber improves durability. Every step is both cushioned and secure. The Gel cup in the heel works impeccably and with both male and female specific design the shoe works with the mechanics of all types of feet.
A stable and neutral runner with a low 7mm drop. But really this isn’t a shoe about the technology, it is about comfort, fit and just getting out running.
Theses trainers will do what you want when you want it without causing a fuss. They’ll easily get you to a marathon but are probably best suited to someone that enjoys their running and likes to go long one day but grabs 20mins on another.
They are probably the ‘best in class’ everyday running shoe.
Irish Runner on the Puma Velocity Nitro (Women’s)
Fit & Comfort
Puma have launched five new running-shoe styles this year, all with their new Nitro foam technology for increased comfort and running efficiency. I was really interested to try them; Puma used to be a very popular choice with runners but I haven’t seen them on a start line in years.
These are neutral, cushioned shoes and I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they were. They felt very cushy underfoot – like wearing slippers – but at the same time you can feel the road. Though they’re lighter, they have a similar feel to the Saucony ride – soft, but still responsive and bouncy.
The sizing is similar to other well-known brands, and the fit comfortable, with enough space in the toe box. I found I had to experiment with lacing to get the shoe to fit snugly around my ankle, but after that they felt good on the run. The knit upper has a silver puma leaping majestically across the big toe, which I liked, and a comfortably padded tongue that doesn’t slip out of place (thanks to an elastic link to the shoes’ sides).
Puma also design their male and female shoes on separate lasts for a more specific fit.
I haven’t tried them in the wet – thanks in part to our run of fine weather and in part because they are such a light colour that they’re unsuitable for rain and muck! But on paths and park trails the grip was good.
My only con was the colour: I trialled electro peach/silver, and while I loved their box-fresh, springtime look, they are just impossible to keep clean in Irish weather!
Neutral, cushioned and light with a 10mm drop
At €120 these are priced at the mid-range for road running shoes, which represents good value for money. I’ll definitely keep using these as neutral, everyday runners across a range of distances
Irish Runner on the Nike Pegasus Trail 2
Fit & Comfort
The Pegasus 2 is built to take on the best of what the trails have to offer.
We brought them to the Wicklow mountains to see how they performed.
These shoes are good to go out of the box, they are very comfortable, the React foam provides excellent cushioning and they feel like the type of shoe you would be happy in for long easy days out on moderate trails. There is room in the forefoot and the mesh upper is accommodating and the React foam provides plushness. On more rocky sections, I did find that I could still feel some rocks through the foam but for those who still like some ground feel in their cushioned shoes this is no bad thing.
It is a big shoe and on the heavier end of the scale weighing in at 343g for a size 10.
On rolling moderate hills, road sections and forest paths, this shoe is in its element. However, in my opinion, this is not a shoe for more technical mountain trails. I tried different lacing set ups, but I just could not find one that kept my foot feeling supported and secure.
Despite the plushness of the React foam and the flexibility of the upper material. I would describe the feeling on all surfaces as running ‘on’ the shoe as opposed to ‘in’ it.
The shoes performed well on a wide variety of surfaces and I only felt a little slippage on a wet rock section that challenges all shoes I have worn. The lugs are small enough that these shoes are also perfectly at home on tarmac roads. After 80+ km there is no visible signs of wear and the outsole looks to be very durable. I like the cushioning and comfort on easy to moderate trails, and I found the grip to be good on all but the wettest of rock.
With a 10mm drop this enters the territory of a ‘maximalist’ shoe. There is a full NikeReact foam midsole and a full rubber outsole with a lug design that resembles a mountain bike tyre tread.
If you already like Nike, their fit, and you run a mix of both road, parkland, trail, forest, or easy hills, this could be your shoe.
If you want a shoe capable of carrying you in comfort for anything from a short run up to a marathon or ultramarathon, then this is a shoe to check out.
There’s plenty of food for thought in Killian’s shoe reviews, after his extensive testing of each product.
Make sure to let us know if you found this helpful when you’re trying to pick a new running shoe.