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.

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