Sep 18, 2016

Tech Tied to Your Foot: AMPLA FLY Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the AMPLA FLY running shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Like most runners, I love a new pair of shoes. Being the geek that I am, I also love technology. Throw new, innovative tech into my running gear, and you'll have my interest. Tell me is supported by the research of a Harvard trained sports scientist and more than 30,000 hours of athlete data, and you have my full attention. That is what you'll find behind the AMPLA FLY.

What's the shoe?

The AMPLA FLY is a shoe designed to help you run better. They want to help you run more efficiently and have better mechanics. There are a lot of layers in the design of this shoe, all working together to deliver on these goals. The one you'll first notice is the FORCEPOWER plate, a 100% carbon fiber plate. This plate helps guide your foot into better contact as well as helps push you off into your next stride.

It definitely catches your eye the first moment you see the shoe, and you know it's going to be something different. It's not just some crazy idea though, it's backed by so much athlete data.

Want to see more? Check out my album with many views of the shoes.

Here's a short video describing a little more on the technology of the shoes.

How does that actually feel?

From the first time I laced them up and stepped around my living room... they felt weird. Didn't see that coming, do you? The first thing I always do in a new pair of shoes is walk them around the house some to help break them in. Doing so in these shoes just felt weird. It reminded me of walking around the house in baseball cleats. Of course, baseball cleats aren't meant for carpets and hardwoods, they're meant for grass and dirt. On those same lines, these shoes aren't meant for walking around, they're meant help you run better. I realized this meant I'd just have to break the in on the road.

On the run, they felt much better. It still took a little to get used to, but they felt fine pretty quickly. You look at them and you almost expect to bounce. In your mind, it may be illogical, but you almost wonder if they're be like moon shoes as you run. This is not at all the case, though you do feel just a little more lift, and little more push as you're going. On my first run, I felt quite a bit of heel slippage. It didn't cause any discomfort, however it did worry my that it may lead to some. After talking to some of the team from AMPLA, they assured me that is usual, but it gets better as the shoe is broken in. they also still feel a little bit, but have never suffered even a single blister. That eased my worry some. On my subsequent runs, I used that extra little hole with some fancy lacing which greatly cut down on the slippage. In the last run, I felt none on the left and only a little on the right foot, which leads me to think I just need to do a little better on my right side.

Are they comfortable to run in?

The shoes are stiff. That is frankly to be expected when it has a carbon fiber running the full length of the shoe. For running on the track or on a paved path, this is no problem. However, if you run anywhere that you encounter some gravel, it doesn't work as well. First, the obvious problem is you could get some small pieces up in there, which you wouldn't want. Second, because of the stiffness, you don't get any give on those uneven surfaces, so it makes the running fell a little more unsure. It's not designed for this, but should be a consideration in planning the run. I also felt the stiffness made them a little rougher on my feet. I'm not a tiny guy. I can admit that. The carbon fiber held up just find against me, but the bottoms of my feet would be just a slight bit sorer in these shoes after a couple of miles. It would feel comfortable on the run, but I'd feel it later. Nothing bad, just a little more soreness on the bottom, the impact of being big.

I've recently in my training been taking a larger attention at striking with my mid foot. I'm a more natural heel striker (thanks all those years of marching band with that roll step). Before these shoes, I had been working to correct that in myself as a part of my prep for the Dopey Challenge and to improve my overall running. These shoes came at the perfect time to help me with that. They really do help you to strike more mid foot (because it feels "not right" otherwise) and helps you push all the way through off the step, with that little extra something thanks to the carbon fiber plate.

I'm also a big believer of the Jeff Gallow Run Walk Run method. You would think these shoes may not work for someone who runs and walks, especially after what I mentioned the first time I wore them. Walking feels a little out of place in the shoes, but it was in no way difficult nor did it hurt my feet. In fact, part of the run walk run method is about helping your muscles be more efficient due to the walk breaks, so they almost fit together. So far, I notice no real extra wear on the back edge of the carbon fiber plate, but I'm watching out for it, out of nothing but curiosity. I did notice a little bit of extra wear on the toe of the shoe than I normally have this early in a shoe, but after reaching out to AMPLA, they were already making adjustments to account for it. They really are in the business of making the best running shoe they can.

The Takeaway

The shoes are definitely cool to look at, but they are more than that. The ultimate result of the test for me is "will I continue to run in the shoe?" The answer is yes. They have some people that use them solely for speed work and others that have run several marathons in them. I find myself to be more in the first group. The raw stiffness of the shoe I think would be too hard on me for more considerable distances, but it feels good with working on my form. I'll definitely continue to AMPLY FLY my run, and hopefully help myself to "stop not running right".


This week's #bibchat will be featuring AMPLA. Stop by on Tuesday, September 20th at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the team from AMPLA, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. As an added bonus, there will be a giveaway of TWO pairs of AMPLA FLY running shoes. All you have to do to win is participate.

Are you an early adopter of new tech?

Sep 12, 2016

The Many Ways to Wear a UV BUFF® | #BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the UV BUFF® to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

It is no secret that I love my BUFF® headwear. I own full, half, headbands, bandana, hoodie, polar, UV... maybe one or two BUFF® products. Today, I don't have a review for you (for that, see the end of this post for more links). Instead, I want to talk about one of the best things about them, that there are so many ways to wear them. The Original BUFF® (or in this case UV BUFF®) has more than 12 ways to be worn. I'd like to give you a look as just a few of them.

The Headband

Are you livin’ on a prayer on your runs? Well don’t stop believing that you can keep the sweat off your face on you run. BUFF® headwear will rock you like a hurricane, keeping you cool and protected from the sun. Whether you’re back in black or if pink is your favorite color, you can be a sharp dressed man and beat it when it comes to your run. So come on Eileen, it’s the final countdown, so jump, and run to the hills. Rock on!

The Pirate

Yo ho ho! I’m the Dread Pirate of BUFF® headwear. I sail the seven seas, plundering, but staying cool thanks to the COOLMAX® Extreme fabric and protected from the sun blocking 95% of harmful UV rays.

The Hood

You may think I’m just a heroic outlaw of folklore, but the modern Robin Hood needs to keep his cool in Sherwood Forest. That’s why my new hood is a UV BUFF®. The 100% microfiber polyester is so comfortable, while the COOLMAX® Extreme fabric wicks away sweat as I rob the rich and give to the poor. Be your own hero.

The Neckerchief

The safari can get hot out on the savanna. The solution: UV BUFF® headwear. Wearing it as a neckerchief, keeps 95% of harmful UV rays off my neck, while the COOLMAX® Extreme fabric keeps cool and the sweat away. Don’t be caught by the watering hole unprepared. Make sure your gear includes BUFF®.

The Balaclava

Ready to hit the fresh powder? Shred the slopes and keep your face and head covered with a twist and a turn, your BUFF® headwear becomes a balaclava. No sun, nor snow will ruin your day on the mountain when you trust BUFF®.

The Facemask

Howdy! When I’m riding the trails, I keep the dust from my face and the sun from my neck thanks to my UV BUFF®. With the Polygiene® Active Odor Control, my BUFF® stays fresh on the trail while I stay cool.

The Reviews

As I mentioned, this was not a review post. Lucky for you, I have several you can take a read over.

Beat the Heat: UV Half BUFF®

More BUFF® for You: Full BUFF®

Warm Up! BUFF® Thermal Hoodie

Naturally Awesome: Merino Wool BUFF®


This week's #bibchat will be featuring BUFF®. Stop by on Tuesday, August 16th at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the BUFF® team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway, as always, so there's always that added bonus.

What do you wear for the sweat? What's your favorite way to wear a BUFF® product?

Sep 1, 2016

Be #AwareWithPink: Trekz Titanium Pink | #BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the Trekz Titanium Pink to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

It's time to go Pink! I'm excited to be a part of a campaign with AfterShokz. If you're a regular reader, you may remember that company name. They make the Trekz Titanium wireless headphones I have previously tested. They have just released a limited edition of these headphones and the #AwareWithPink Campaign.

So what's details?

AfterShokz is joining the fight against breast and ovarian cancer. They've taken their great wireless headphones and made them pink. Starting today September 1st through October 31st, for every pair of the Trekz Titanium Pink sold, they will donate 25% of the proceeds to Bright Pink. Bright Pink is a non-profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness and action. They are some fantastic headphones for physical activity, but more on that below.

Even if you don't need some headphones, you can still help. Every time the #AwareWithPink hashtag is used on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, AfterShokz will donate an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink. Sharing this hashtag will fund Bright Pink's ongoing efforts to educate and drive awareness about how being proactive can make all the difference.

Tell me more about these headphones.

These are amazing headphones for outdoor activities. I suggest you go read my full review if you haven't before, but I'll give you the highlights here. First, these are bluetooth headphones, so no wires to worry about. Second, the are IP55 certified, which means they're safe from sweat, dust, and moisture (though not completely waterproof). Third, they have great battery life. They're rated for 6 hours of continuous music and calls, but they also hold their charge really well, meaning you don't have to remember to throw them on the charger the night before your run every time. Lastly, what makes them different from other bluetooth headphones are their bone conduction technology. They sit in front of your ears and delivery the music through your cheekbones. This means your ears are completely open, and can hear the world around you. This is their true differentiator from other headphones when it comes to running (or your outdoor activity of choice).

But wait, there's more!

So, every one can help out the non-profit Bright Pink by spreading the love and spreading the hashtag #AwareWithPink. I ask that you try and find a way to share that at least once, please. Second, if you like what you've read, you can buy a pair for yourself, where the proceeds will also benefit Bright Pink. If you are going to order a pair, I have one last thing for you. Use the discount code PINK and you'll get a free small portable storage case to go with your headphones. I have this case and it really nice. It actually has a lot of room so you can fit more than just your headphones with it, so it can be pretty useful. Just add the case and apply the code PINK at checkout.


This week's #bibchat will be about "Beating Boredom" with the team from AfterShokz. Stop by on Tuesday, September 6th at 9pm EDT to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the AfterShokz team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway of two pairs of these safe headphones, as always, so there's always that added bonus.

Do you run with music? What's your go to song?

Lastly, I'll leave you with this: