The Heartland Running video master Andy Cloud is back at it! This time he is reviewing some smooth shoes from Carson Footwear. All of us here at Heartland Running have been enjoying Carson shoes and think you will too.
Both Andy and Stephen have been rocking the Vest Pack 2 from Orange Mud for several months now. They were both a little skeptical at first but found very quickly that they love it! From the ease of getting the bottles in and out to the secure fit. With a surprising amount of storage given its size, The Orange Mud Hydra Quiver 2 is now their go to pack for runs of 3 hours or less unsupported.
The Trail Talon 275 is a great trail shoe from Inov-8. Rugged, tons of grip and a little cushioning without sacrificing to much ground feel. After 110 miles the soles still look new. these will easily be a 600-700 mile shoe.
So I ran with my Orange Mud Handheld that I won from Heartland Running yesterday. I'm a BIG user of handhelds. I carry one with me on pretty much every run. Over the summer, I carried an Ultimate Direction AMP (designed for their soft flask) with two extra flasks in the Ultimate Direction Stereo. However, carrying a soft flask in a handheld can be strange--it's very floppy. So, I was really excited to win this handheld to try it. I really liked the Orange Mud sleeve, but the bottle, eh. Here's my review (I commented on the pictures as well.
1. It's orange. And that for me is a great thing--my favorite color!
2. It has a very nice feel in your hand. There's a padded, orange "flap" that fits between your hand and the strap that prevents an uncomfortable feeling. I think this "flap" is the reason Orange Mud was able to use such a wide elastic strap.
3. I already mentioned it, but there's a wide, elastic, adjustable strap that really holds the bottle in place. I didn't have to adjust the strap and never felt like it was too tight or loose.
4. They incorporated a very big, elastic pocket opposite of the strap. I'm sure it's designed for your cell phone; however, my Galaxy Note 5 in an Otter Box didn't quite fit. Plus, I don't think I would like having the extra weight of my phone in the same hand as my water. Just a personal preference. But, the pocket would be good for holding other things--maybe gels? It's open at the top, so it's possible that something may fall out, but the material is elastic and I think it would hold items well.
5. Outside of the comfort, this may be my favorite feature! There's a pocket on the outside of the cell phone pocket. This pocket has a flap that goes over the opening to help hold items in. It also has a key clip--which I really like. (I'm always afraid of loosing my key on the run!)
6. The strap that goes across the bottom of the bottle has a nice reflective stripe. I'm not looking for my handheld to be a major part of my "dark running safety," but every bit that glows when car lights hit it is a plus for me!
7. And finally, the bottle itself. It was easy to get into the sleeve and has a nice wide opening. BUT, I did have a little bit of leaking as my run progressed. Not a lot, but enough that my fingers got wet--this would cause an issue for me in the cold (it would dampen my gloves.) And, although I liked the wide spout, I prefer something that is more of a bite valve and can stay open as I run. I tried fitting my Ultimate Direction 20 ounce bottle and my Camelback 24 ounce insulated bottle in the sleeve and they fit well. (The Camelback sticks out of the top a fair amount, but it is a 24 ounce bottle 21 ounce sleeve.)
My overall score is:
Comfort: 5 out of 5. One of the most comfortable handhelds I've used
Features: 5 out of 5. The pockets and key keeper are great!
Color: 6 out of 5. You can't get better than orange!
Bottle: 3 out of 5. If I didn't get the leaking, I would have gave it a 4 because of the open/close valve. But bottles are a huge personal preference.
This will be my go to handheld!!!!
Looking for a pair of good, fast,minimal road shoes at a great price. Look no more. the puma Faas 500's are a great option. They are my favorite road racing shoe for the half marathon or less.