Finally, a lightweight racing shoe suitable for runners who pronate
Nike have been very busy. Between Eliud Kipchoge's failed 1:59 marathon attempt back in 2017 and his history-making successful attempt in 2019, Nike have released a wide range of high-end, scientific, tech-heavy running shoes which are all designed to help us run faster.
The Nike Zoom Fly running shoes feature some of the same technology as Kipchoge's record-breaking ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% at a fraction of the cost, making them accessible to the everyday runner like you or I.
Not only am I your everyday, amateur runner, like many other runners I suffer from over-pronation, which means I have to be extra careful with my choice of running shoes. Thankfully, the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes did not disappoint.
First, the upper. I chose the Flyknit design because I've had success with it in the past (on Free Runs) and I love the way it shapes, expands, and moulds to your foot. I've suffered from numb toes with other running shoes in the past due to a cramped toe box as well as rubbing and blisters from shoes whose upper was too rigid. I was hoping the Flyknit technology would prevent all of that (spoiler: it did).
On first wear, I found that my ankle was slipping out of the back of the shoe so I tied the laces extra tight. Unfortunately, this meant my toes went numb after 2 miles of running. I spent the rest of the run stopping and starting to readjust the laces. In the end, I decided it was actually my socks that were super slippery so on my next run I wore different socks and found my ankle stopped slipping and I could loosen the laces, which fixed the numb toes.
On my third run, my toes didn't go numb at all and I was able to really enjoy the comfort of these shoes. The Flyknit does exactly as you'd hope and moulds to your foot, giving plenty of wiggle-room for your toes.
Now onto the sole. When I first put these shoes on, I was amazed at how soft, squidgy, and bouncy they felt. The sole is extremely thick and I felt like I was wearing platforms. Despite being very squidgy, they are simultaneously rigid and firm thanks to the high tech carbon fibre plate and give great support.
Overall, these are extremely comfortable running shoes and you shouldn't get blisters or experience any pain from rubbing or chafing.
I find that Nike is one of the only running shoe brands that comes up True To Size. My ASICS shoes have to be larger than my normal shoe size (1.5 sizes) and I've had to discard/send back Hoka, On running, and other brands due to them coming up way too small (like, 3 sizes).
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit running shoes are definitely true to size and I'd only recommend sizing up maybe half a size, if at all. It does depend how thick and padded your running socks are. Thankfully, Nike are generous enough to offer free delivery and returns so if they are the wrong size you can swap them for a different one.
This is the important part, because Nike have spent a lot of time, resources, and money on designing a huge range of running shoes which are the best performers in the world, if not in history. As mentioned above, I over-pronate so I usually have to buy stability shoes and as such don't have a lot of options. I've always stuck with ASICS as they have the largest stability shoe range, however I decided to take the plunge with these Nike shoes and I wasn't disappointed.
The super thick sole, although not designed to provide stability to pronators, does exactly that. The shoes are banana-shaped which encourages your feet to curve slightly inwards and create an artificial arch, which helps ward off the effects of pronation.
The incredibly bouncy, responsive soles really encourage you to spring off your toes instead of plodding along with a heavy heel-strike and I found my running form was instantly improved when wearing these shoes. They definitely helped me to run faster and more efficiently and I even got a new 10k PB on the third wear without really trying! They are super lightweight and feel great on your feet.
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes feature the same carbon fibre plate as the iconic Nike Vaporfly shoes which is designed to help propel you off the ground and I'd say this certainly works for these shoes. They're very bouncy, springy, and help you to run faster.
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes look very similar to the now legendary Vaporfly 4% shoes as well as other Zoom and Fly shoes in the Nike range. I personally think they look awesome and I feel great when I wear them.
They look very 'professional' in my opinion and when racing in them I think you'd definitely feel the part. They're sleek, clean-cut, and come in a range of great colours.
This is the fun part. Nike's shoes have been getting increasingly expensive over the past couple of years, first exceeding the £200 mark and now the ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% shoes will set you back an eye-watering £239.95 at full RRP. The Zoom Fly 3 shoes are £139.95 and the new Joyride shoes are £159.95.
However, these incredible Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes are currently on sale, down from an RRP of £139.95 to £97.47 - which actually is a very reasonable price for their performance qualities, great appearance, and unrivalled comfort.
What can I say? I'm in love with these shoes. I've been cursed for many years to wear clunky, oversized, heavy stability shoes because of my over-pronation issues and being greatly restricted in which shoes I can buy.
Until now, brands like Nike have only really offered very barefoot style shoes like their Free Run range, however these new offerings with much thicker soles, carbon plates in the soles, and other incredible technology means the Average Joe runner can lace up and hit the road in attractive, performance-enhancing shoes and feel like a real pro.
I haven't experienced any pain running in these shoes and I have now worn them for well over 100 miles of running. Go forth and buy yourself a pair, you won't regret it!
At Sundried, we're always on the look out for our next healthy snack or awesome training fuel. We were really excited to try these almond snack bars by KIND and test them out on some long runs and bike rides. Here's our verdict!
Dark Chocolate Almond Mint
I was really excited to try the dark chocolate almond mint bar from KIND as I adore anything chocolate mint flavoured and I am a recent convert to dark chocolate – especially as it has some real health benefits.
This snack bar is comprised of mostly nuts (60%) so it is a wholesome, healthy snack to be enjoyed in a number of settings. It is also gluten- and dairy-free so is suitable for those on free-from diets or who suffer from a food intolerance. At only 200 calories per bar you can certainly say it is 'guilt-free' and is fairly low in sugar at only 5g – which is 40% less than some similar snack bars. That's the same amount of sugar in 100g of strawberries to put it into context.
As soon as you open the packet, you're met with a glorious minty aroma which is really fresh and inviting. The almonds are held together with a dark chocolate coating which is chewy but not too harsh on the jaw, which can be a pitfall of some nut-based granola bars. The dark chocolate is not too bitter and the whole bar is really tasty. This bar is really moreish and as soon as I finished it I found myself wanting more! However after about 10 minutes I actually felt really full and satisfied which is perfect for that mid-afternoon slump at work. This bar gets a big thumbs up from me!
Caramel Almond & Sea Salt
The caramel almond & sea salt KIND bar was my favourite out of the three flavours I was sent to try and I absolutely loved it! The generous chunks of sea salt dotted amongst the nuts add a delicious, tangy bite while the caramel gives a luxurious, decadent texture. As with the dark chocolate mint bar, this healthy snack bar contains only 5g of sugar and is only 200 calories, making it the perfect afternoon snack or fuel for adventure.
I ate this bar while on a 12-mile hike along the South Downs Way and it was the perfect treat to perk me up when I was starting to lose energy after an hour of brisk walking up tough hills in the blistering August heat. KIND pride themselves on only using 'ingredients you can see and pronounce' which is certainly true of this bar, which is 64% nuts as well as being high in fibre – something a lot of the population could benefit from!
I absolutely love the taste of this delicious bar and with such great health benefits, it's the perfect indulgence when you're feeling peckish or in need of a pick-me-up while exercising or out on an adventure. Thanks to the nuts, it's really filling and left me feeling satisfied for hours.
Crunchy Peanut Butter Protein
Having a quick, easy grab-and-go bar that packs an impressive 12g of protein is really useful for an athlete and I found this bar was perfect for a post-workout protein hit as well as refuel. The smooth and creamy peanut butter coating is really delicious and the crunchy yet chewy texture was easy to devour even during or after a tough training session when your stomach is feeling a little delicate.
Each 50g bar contains only 250 calories so it's definitely a guilt-free snack if you are just on-the-go or at your desk working, but it contains a high amount of protein and fibre so is excellent for athletic performance. It contains 8g of sugar which is perfect for refuelling after a draining workout and it is completely plant-based and unrefined so you know there are no nasty surprises.
The sweet yet salty taste is deliciously moreish and this versatile bar is perfect for all number of occasions, from a quick breakfast to afternoon snacking to popping in kids' lunch boxes.
I have truly fallen in love with these KIND bars and they will definitely be my go-to snacks from now on for all number of occasions, from fuelling adventure and stashing away for long runs and bike rides to snacking on at my desk for a guilt-free mid-afternoon snack.
KIND snacks are available in the UK in Tesco, Boots, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, and WHSmith.
Doughlicious is a new cookie dough brand that is breaking barriers and changing everything you thought you knew about cookies. This sweet treat is now, thanks to Doughlicious, suitable for everyone from vegans to Coeliacs to athletes and beyond.
If you love cookies but hate dry, tasteless supermarket brands and crave a delicious, warm American-style cookie fresh from the oven without ruining your diet, Doughlicious is for you. We were lucky enough to get to review their amazing flavours and give our verdict.
Make sure you scroll to the end for a special discount so you can try them too!
What makes Doughlicious special?
Doughlicious has two big USPs that I can identify: the first is that the ingredients used are only of the highest quality with no nasty artificial chemicals and only ingredients you'd find in your own kitchen, making this otherwise naughty, unhealthy food really not that unhealthy at all and something everyone can enjoy guilt-free – even if you're on a diet or training for a sporting event.
The second is that the product is delivered as ready-to-bake cookie dough. Each box contains 6 perfect cookie dough balls so all you have to do is pop them on a baking tray and put them in the oven. This means you can bake them exactly how you like them; less time if you like them gooey and soft or more time if you like them crunchy. It also means that people who don't have time to spend in the kitchen baking from scratch can produce a delicious sweet treat for family and friends in a flash without the hassle of washing up afterwards. Being able to have warm, gooey cookies fresh from the oven in less than 15 minutes is a real luxury and something that will surely attract a lot of people.
Doughlicious pride themselves on using only the finest quality ingredients and offer something for everyone with vegan flavours, dairy-free flavours, and all of the flavours on offer are gluten-free. These cookies are like nothing you've ever had before and are perfect for those who care about what they eat but still want a treat on occasion.
How it works
The product boxes are delivered in a cold package with portable freezer bags to keep them cool. Store the cookie dough in your fridge until you're ready for your delicious treat, it's that easy. You can even freeze them and they have an expiration of about 3 months so there's no rush. Although, chances are you'll devour them all within days anyway!
Making the perfect cookie dough can be a real hassle, but nothing compares to having cookies fresh from the oven, so Doughlicious is the perfect solution. I have to say that cookies are my number one sweet treat; I could eat them endlessly. I find that a lot of commercially-available cookies are tasteless, dry, and really disappointing. So discovering the Doughlicious cookies which are completely flawless was a revelation. I'm hooked!
As far as I'm aware, there aren't any other brands in the UK that offer ready-to-bake cookie dough balls on delivery so Doughlicious are onto something really special. You can even use the cookie dough balls in other recipes to take them to a whole new level.
The cookies bake very quickly – in under 15 minutes – so you can quickly and easily whip up a batch for unexpected guests or if your kids get hungry (which is always!) The smell of freshly baked cookies is truly heavenly and tempting. Your guests will be very impressed, even if you can't bake!
There are nine tempting flavours to choose from and with vegan and dairy-free options, there's something for everyone. There are classic flavours as well as some which are more adventurous so you'll be sure to find one you love – but it's more likely you'll love them all!
Per cookie: 128 calories, 8g fat, 10g carbs, 4g sugar, 2g fibre, 3g protein
Ingredients: Carrots, oats, coconut oil, dates, almond flour, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, salt.
This is an impressively short ingredients list and they are all foods you'd find in your own kitchen with nothing artificial or unhealthy. Making use of flax seed instead of egg so that the cookies can be vegan is very clever and is something a lot of food bloggers are now doing. Making a flax egg can be a nuisance and very difficult to master, so I think a lot of vegans will love having the option of baking ready-made cookie dough which uses this ingenious idea.
This recipe is naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup which contain more nutrients and antioxidants than refined sugar. Maple syrup is three times as sweet as sugar with fewer calories so these cookies are definitely healthier than commercial cookies, maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than sugar too so it could even be better for diabetics.
The kitchen smells absolutely glorious when you bake these cookies! The spices work perfectly and come through well without being over-powering. I really loved the texture of the pumpkin seeds and real grated carrot, it made the cookies taste very authentic and organic. These cookies are definitely reminiscent of carrot cake, which is one of my all-time favourites. All that’s missing is the fluffy cream cheese frosting; maybe there's scope for a recipe using the cookie dough balls which incorporates some sort of frosting to really elevate the taste experience.
Per cookie: 142 calories, 6g fat, 18g carbs, 9g sugar, 2g fibre, 2g protein.
Ingredients: Oat flour, coconut oil, unrefined brown sugar, unrefined cane sugar, cashew dairy-free alternative, potato starch, natural colours and flavours, salt, flax seed, almond extract, vanilla extract.
The Sprinkles cookies also feature a short ingredients list of mostly things you'd find in your own kitchen cupboard. Even the ingredients that might sound a little industrial, such as 'raising agent', are really just bicarbonate of soda and baking powder which all home cooks will be familiar with. Impressively, even the colours and flavours are natural, making use of ingredients like paprika extract and lemon juice instead of harsh chemicals and artificial additives.
The use of plant-based cashew dairy-free alternative and flax seed means these cookies are suitable for those who need a dairy-free diet and there are no eggs or milk to be found.
TasteI'll be completely honest: I wasn't hugely excited to try this flavour as I thought it might be a little plain compared to some of the others, but I was so surprised at the delightfully delicate flavour of these cookies! They are truly moreish and absolutely delicious, I couldn't get enough. The cookie itself is almond and vanilla flavour while the sprinkles add fun and extra sweetness. As soon as I put this cookie in my mouth, I was transported back to my 7th birthday party; I think that's possibly the last time I ate something with sprinkles on it! These cookies are sweet without being sickly and have a fantastic flavour.
Per cookie: 158 calories, 9g fat, 14g carbs, 8g sugar, 1g fibre, 4g protein.
Ingredients: Peanut butter, butter, oat flour, coconut sugar, unrefined cane sugar, eggs, rice flour, tapioca flour, maple syrup, salt.
I love the use of coconut sugar and maple syrup in this cookie for the sweetness, which is far better than refined white sugar. Coconut sugar contains healthy fats that are known to help prevent high cholesterol and heart disease as well as inulin, a type of dietary fiber that helps keep your gut healthy and balance your blood sugar. The refined sugar used in most commercially-available cookies is pure sucrose, whereas coconut sugar only contains about 75% sucrose.
I also like that there is no trace of nasty palm oil or any type of oil which you'd often find in a peanut butter cookie. The ingredients list is, again, wonderfully simple and allows you to enjoy this cookie without the guilt or otherwise inevitable sugar crash.
Peanut butter is the main ingredient used in these cookies, accounting for 25% of the total, and it really shows. The taste is smooth, authentic and everything a peanut butter lover could want. The flavour is delightfully simple but really delivers on the delicious peanut butter flavour and is a real winner for me.
Matcha and White Chocolate
Per cookie: 153 calories, 9g fat, 16g carbs, 10g sugar, 1g fibre, 2g protein.
Ingredients: Butter, oat flour, white chocolate, unrefined sugar, eggs, coconut sugar, rice flour, tapioca flour, matcha green tea powder, salt.
The use of matcha green tea powder in this recipe is pretty adventurous, but matcha is very good for you and this is a great way to add it into your diet. This is another short ingredients list which is very simple and they are still all things you'd find in your own kitchen.
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this cookie as it's such an unusual flavour combination and nothing like anything I've ever had before. All of the other flavours that Doughlicious offers are fairly traditional, so the Matcha and White Chocolate cookies really stand out. I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle yet sweet flavour of these cookies as I was worried the matcha would make them too earthy.
However, the combination of the super sweet white chocolate and earthy matcha works perfectly and I couldn't get enough. These cookies don't taste like matcha as you may otherwise know it, especially if you drink a lot of green tea or use matcha powder in smoothies. They are subtly sweet with a grounding earthiness and are tantalisingly moreish and delicious.
Chunky Oat Chocolate Chip
Per cookie: 140 calories, 7g fat, 16g carbs, 7g sugar, 2g fibre, 2g protein.
Ingredients: oat flour, coconut oil, dark brown sugar, Belgian dark chocolate, cashew dairy-free alternative, unrefined sugar, rolled oats, flax seed, vanilla extract, salt.
The Chunky Oat Chocolate Chip cookies are the second of the vegan flavours that Doughlicious offers, the first being the Carrot Cake flavour. The main ingredient in these cookies is oat flour which provides the delicious oaty base as well as real rolled oats which give the lovely texture.
The use of flax seed in place of egg, cashew dairy-free alternative instead of cow's milk, and coconut oil instead of butter is very clever and means that these cookies are just as delicious – if not more so – than traditional cookies. Anyone can enjoy these cookies and they don't compromise on flavour or texture.
This was my favourite flavour from the Doughlicious range as I love an oat biscuit and these take it to the next level. The double-dose of oats in the form of rolled oats and oat flour gives amazing taste and texture while the Belgian dark chocolate chips add an element of luxury and indulgence. These cookies are so soft and gooey in the middle with the perfect texture. Just like a naughty cookie but without the guilt!
Chocolate and Vanilla
Per cookie: 150 calories, 8g fat, 18g carbs, 10g sugar, 1g fibre, 2g protein.
Ingredients: Butter, oat flour, dark brown sugar, eggs, unrefined cane sugar, rice flour, Belgian dark chocolate, cocoa powder, tapioca flour, vanilla extract, salt.
TasteI love the clever idea of having both chocolate and vanilla in one cookie, and these look really impressive with the perfect half-and-half design. The Doughlicious Chocolate and Vanilla cookies were a real showstopper when I had family visiting for Christmas, especially as I would never attempt to achieve this cookie design from scratch. Everyone loved the rich chocolate flavour balanced by the light, subtle vanilla and it's a classic flavour combination perfect for anyone who doesn't know which they like best. Perfect for adults and kids alike!
I love that Doughlicious is not pretending or trying to be a super healthy brand and therefore compromising on taste. By simply using whole, natural ingredients which are of a high quality and that you would use in your own kitchen, Doughlicious have managed to achieve the perfect balance between taste and healthiness. In my opinion, that's far better than stuffing a product full of sugar alcohols and artificial chemicals so that you can say it's low in sugar.
The taste of these cookies is simply unbelievable and you really have to try them to find out for yourself. The texture is flawless; so gooey, soft, and indulgent. The range of flavours on offer is varied, interesting, and imaginative and there's definitely something for everyone. The fact that all the flavours are gluten-free and there are vegan and dairy-free options available is truly impressive and means these treats can be enjoyed by everyone and also means you can offer friends, family and guests something that they will definitely be able to eat without compromise or missing out.
These are proper American-style soft cookies, instead of other health food and healthy cookie brands which are dry, flaky, and just not really cookies! These are actually tastier and a better texture than any 'normal' unhealthy cookie I've ever eaten.
If you want to try Doughlicious Gourmet Cookie Dough for yourself, enjoy a special 20% discount when you buy 6 boxes or more. Just use code DOUGH20 at checkout when buying from doughlicious.co.uk (offer expires 07/03/2020)
The non-alcoholic 'spirit' sector is growing rapidly, with new offerings of zero alcohol drinks intended to make 'not drinking' more fun and inclusive for those abstaining from alcohol for whatever reason. We were sent a bottle of Caleño to try and give our verdict.
Founder of Caleño Drinks, Ellie Webb, was disappointed with the lack of exciting and adventurous non-alcoholic drinks on offer when out dancing. Inspired by the colourful, energetic, and vibrant lifestyle of her Colombian homeland, Ellie set out to develop her own 'free-spirit' made with botanical and tropical flavours and the mission of bringing fun to 'not drinking'.
At Sundried, we fully support anyone who chooses not to drink for whatever reason, especially as alcohol is detrimental to athletic performance! We think it's very encouraging that there is a new movement of trendy, exciting non-alcoholic drinks emerging and we love Ellie's idea to draw from her heritage and bring something so interesting and enticing to market. We couldn't wait to try a few mocktails!
Caleño is described as "a tropical infusion of juniper, citrus and spice botanicals, steam-distilled in stainless steel drums". Juniper is the flavour that gives gin it's distinct taste and this particular spirit is definitely enjoying a revival at the moment.
As soon as you open the bottle, you're met with the most delightful fruity sweet aroma and it makes you want to dive straight in. You can really taste the botanicals without them being too overpowering and the flavour is very light and delicate. Considering there is no alcohol in this product, it is still very enjoyable and definitely comparable to regular gin.
Why not try some 'mocktails' using Caleño to entertain party guests without the hangover?
Caleño & Tonic – 50ml Caleño, 200ml tonic
Topi-ca-leño – 50ml Caleño, 10ml lime juice, top with pineapple juice
Passionfruit Party – 50ml Caleño, 20ml passion fruit syrup, 20ml lemon juice
Caleño explain on their website that the price of £24.99 for a bottle is because the team source botanicals from all over the world and founder Ellie spent a lot of time crafting this drink and perfecting the recipe. As there is such a long production process for this drink and it is so well thought out, the price tag seems more than reasonable.
Caleño is a delicious drink that can be enjoyed by both alcohol-lovers and teetotallers alike. It's the perfect opportunity for the designated driver or people abstaining from alcohol for any reason to still enjoy a cocktail and drink with their friends and family. The taste is sublime and easily comparable to any other gin on the market.
Blonyx is a global sports nutrition brand that aims to deliver high quality sports nutrition products that are enhanced by science. We were sent a sample of their new Egg White Protein Isolate to try, here's our verdict.
Having tried quite a few different protein powder brands in the past, it's safe to say that they can range from absolutely delicious to completely undrinkable. It seems to be a gamble with flavours sometimes and some brands are going out there with all sorts of crazy flavours such as "Rainbow" from Myprotein (what could that possibly taste like!?)
With this in mind, we were really excited to try the new Blonyx protein supplement as it claims to taste exactly like chocolate milk! You really can't go wrong with chocolate, keeping it simple, and chocolate milk is always a winner. The instructions tell you to mix the powder with water but this made the drink a bit thin and, well, watery. However, it does taste like chocolate milk! In future we would mix this protein powder with milk (either dairy or an alternative like our favourite almond milk) in the hopes that it would taste richer, thicker, and even more delicious.
All that said, this is a really great tasting protein powder supplement and it went down an absolute treat. We wouldn't think twice about choosing this as our protein powder of choice and it would be well received after a tough training session.
As with taste, the texture of a protein powder can make or break it as some can be very grainy, not mix well, or just be completely unpalatable. Thankfully, the Blonyx Egg White protein isolate mixes really well even with water and the texture is perfect – it's not lumpy or grainy and it turns into a great drink.
The powder itself is really quite fine and you don't need a heavy-duty shaker with filters and metal balls in order to get a good result. Just a quick shake and you're good to go!
Once you've got past whether or not you can actually stand to drink the protein supplement, the next most important factor to consider is the nutrition. There's no point ruining all your hard work and progress by drinking a bulky supplement with lots of unnecessary carbs, sugar, chemicals, and not much protein content.
The Blonyx Egg White protein isolate contains 20g of protein per serving which is a very good amount, although it's pretty average compared to what other protein brands offer.
This supplement contains added organic cane sugar, and at 11g per serving this ends up being quite steep. We usually choose protein supplements that have minimal carbs and definitely no sugar. Save that for the cheat days and occasional treats!
Putting the relatively high sugar content aside, we absolutely love this protein powder! It mixes well and tastes fantastic. If you love a glass of chocolate milk just like us, you'll really enjoy this protein supplement. Whether you train a lot or not, many people could benefit from getting more protein into their diets, and so this easy-going supplement could be perfect for you.