I've been running in the New Balance Vazee Pace since I reviewed them a couple of years ago so I was delighted to update my trainer collection and test the new Fresh Foam Zante v3 reflective.
These trainers look exceptional and really stand out from the crowd. I love the solid reflective detail that just looks like part of the shoe. These trainers are great for running in the winter months as they are impossible to miss and reflective detailing on winter training apparel is really important.
A flash photo captures the reflective detail on the New Balance trainers
These are a really modern, fresh pair of trainers and could be worn just as well as a pair of fashion trainers for every day activity as well as being a high spec pair of running trainers.
Sundried Running Socks are the ideal liner
Unfortunately, I found the ankle really stiff. After a month of wearing them they really started to cut into my ankle and cause some discomfort. I haven't heard this from any other runners so it's possible it is just my foot anatomy. I've not had this issue from any other New Balance trainers but they do really seem to cut in. I will explore more because everything else about this shoe is great.
One great thing about these trainers is that there is plenty of room for your foot and they do not feel restrictive on the forefoot. After road testing the Adidas Adizero Adios 3 Running Shoes for review and continuing to run in them after testing, I found the Adidas quite narrow and restrictive. I could have definitely done with a size up, but maybe they would still be restrictive. Side by side, you can see how much more space there is in the forefoot of the New Balance trainers. This is a big plus as having a toe box that is too tight can make for some really uncomfortable runs, but the New Balance shoes have it just right.
The sole of the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 men's running trainers is actually quite stiff, but the grip on the road is amazing. When I run on wet concrete I can usually feel and hear a slip under the foot, but this is definitely reduced in these shoes which is a big bonus.
The RRP of these men's running trainers is £95 although they are currently on sale from the New Balance website for £66. I think this is a really reasonable price for such a responsive and attractive pair of shoes. Nike running trainers can cost you well over £100, so the New Balance price point is really competitive in comparison.
Tested with the Sundried Men's Training Tights Roteck 2.0
Sundried Grand Combin Long Sleeved Training Top
The Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow shoes are Adidas' latest addition to their ever-growing fashion trainer collection. The design of these shoes is a fusion of their famed tubular '93 runners and an updated, fresh style. These trainers take a classic and revamp them for modern tastes to compete with their contemporaries. The two-tone knit upper and contemporary wrap-around style is very popular at the moment making them one of the most popular trainers on the market right now.
The thick, rubber sole means that these trainers stay comfortable even when you're on your feet all day. The enclosed 'booty' style that is found on most trainers these days prevents rubbing and chafing and the specialised sock lining stops blisters from forming.
The knit-style upper is flexible and comfortable and makes these shoes feel like you've barely got anything on your feet at all. While not necessarily suitable for long-distance running, these trainers will certainly be your best friend for a tough gym session or more functional workout.
Adidas has clearly tried to specifically bring their classic 1993 runners into the 21st century. They've stayed true to Adidas style as these are fairly similar to the Boost trainers that proved to be very popular after the release of Kanye's Yeezy trainers. The knitted upper follows in the footsteps of something Nike has been doing for a long time in their fly-knit collection and is possibly a fashion that will fall out of favour in a few years. That said, they're a very chic, subtle pair of trainers with not too much going on and definitely very minimalistic branding. This means they'll go with most outfits and will add a stylish twist to any workout. The trainers are available in a range of monochrome colours like black, white, and grey, but the two-tone design means they're eye-catching and stand out from other standard monochrome shoes.
The price of £79.95 is actually very fair, considering a lot of trainers these days can set you back well over £100. These are fashion trainers after all as opposed to functional technical trainers, but it's still a very reasonable cost for such stylish, modern shoes. This price is direct from Adidas, and you'll find them even cheaper from other distributors.
The Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow shoes are a modern twist on a classic and stay true to the Adidas brand. They stay on trend perfectly and would not look out of place in any scenario. The comfort of the trainers is exceptional, even if you have particularly wide feet. They may not be the most technical trainers, but they do the job and look great while they do it.
These fresh, stylish trainers are available at £79.95 on the Adidas website
The new Topo Athletic Runventure trail shoes are your new companion to let you tread lightly on the roughest trail. Featuring a very low, firm heel and flexible body, these trainers will keep you comfortable while you put your body to the test.
The Runventure trainers have the Topo signature wide toe box, allowing for the toes to move naturally and freely. This is particularly useful for the additional balance required in trail running as well as the agility to avoid sticks, stones, and other debris.
The Runventure has a 19mm platform which is partnered with a Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) midsole plate for extra protection. TPU is more dent-resistant than metal as well as being lightweight, shock absorbent, impact-resistant and flexible even in colder climates, making these trainers absolutely perfect for everything that the trail throws at you. The heel-to-toe drop is 4.7mm which is one of the lowest you will find.
The Runventure trainers have a completely unexpected classic look, unlike my first pair of Topo trainers the Speed Trainer, these trainers have a mainstream design and come in two colour variations, black/turquoise or wine/grey.
The trainer slips on easily thanks to the large loop on the heel and is a snug fit, hugging the foot nicely through the heel whilst allowing a loose fit to the large toe box. Where the Runventure boasts a neutral ride there is no arch support which some runners may be more adapted to, however, the laces are easy to fasten tighter over the arch of the foot to add a little more support. The TPU through the centre of the sole means the trainer lacks flexibility from the heel to the arch, however, the ball of the foot and toes offer more flexibility and are capable of moving freely. The lugs (indentations in the bottom of the trainer for added traction and grip) are fairly small with just a 2mm drop which is unusual for a trail shoe, seeing as you would want more grip than ever during this sport. My foot feels very sturdy in the shoe, sturdy but not cushioned. There is minimal padding as Topo stick to their barefoot roots, the aim being to give the runner just enough protection whilst not detracting from their minimalist feel. Time to get them dirty.
Being a trail shoe, the Runventure is designed for technical terrains like mud, rocks, grass, woodland, and even mountains. During my adventure in the shoes, the first thing I realised was that when Topo say their 19mm platform doesn’t ‘sacrifice feel’, they really weren't kidding. When wearing these trainers, your feet are not very far off the ground, so you can really feel every bump and rock on your path, although the TPU protects your foot from any real discomfort this may cause. When it comes to getting down and dirty, the strong mesh upper protected my foot from getting a soaking through puddles and was fairly dirt resistant. Having said earlier that the lugs on these trainers are relatively small for a trail shoe, they still did their job and stood up to the test.
Are these shoes for you?
If you're into trail runs, yes. It will take a bit of getting used to the lack of cushioning, but that fits with Topo’s principle to get you running more naturally. Due to their barefoot style, it may take a while for your body to adjust and you may feel some pain/aching in your shins and calves after running in these trainers. It’s not quite the cushion you would expect from a trail shoe, but it's more than Topo’s other barefoot style trainers. It would be the perfect transitional trainer to take a barefoot runner into trail running or a trail runner into a barefoot stride.
The best thing about Topo is that their brand is evolving. This isn't their first trail runner and it certainly won't be their last. I look forward to seeing what improvements the Spring collection will bring.
It's that time of the year when suddenly it is a good time to go off road. Maybe you switch your road bike to a mountain bike. And maybe you hang up your trusted road shoes for some trail running shoes. If you have not spent anytime running off road then it is definitely a great experience. We recommend you give it a go.
We review Adidas Kanadia 7 Trail Running Shoes. And if you care the colour is Indigo/White/Yellow and they look like this:
Firstly let's get the price out the way. You can pick up a pair of these trainers for about £50 and you get a lot of shoe for your money.
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The sole and grip
The outsole features a special Adidas mud guard and their own high-grip Traxion technology. The grips feature a lock technology designed to offer a tight grip in all conditions. They have taken into account running on hard surfaces by somehow staggering the lugs for higher ground penetration and tight locks for soft ground. So what does that mean? Well on wet, slippy grass how we tested the trainers, you can be running at a strong pace without the slipping and sliding feel; enabling you to push harder and move faster than usual. Up and down hills on soft ground. They really do stick to the floor.
On man made flat surfaces however the stability is lost. If you are running a course that is on and off road then these trainers may not be the best choice. It is very hard to get the stability on and off road from a single pair of shoes. These are very much trail shoes and on a stony trail they are ideal.
The sole is very firm and stony ground is not a problem. If you are used to taking a road shoe on the occasional off-road run then the stability and protection from uneven ground will be a welcome surprise.
Overall it is a lot of shoe for not much money. And if you can stretch to a dedicated off-road shoe this is definitely a contender. But if you do need to have a multi-purpose on and off-road shoe for very occasional trail running then a softer soled pair of trainers that work better on road conditions may be a more appropriate choice.
These trail shoes are developed to offer support and performance on all the typical surfaces you will come across. From grass and typical gravel tracks. TO the beach for the ultimate stability test on loose shingle. Watch our short YouTube video to see some of the surfaces we test the shoes on.
An update as we test more
When you test a new product you always find things at a later date. You may find problems with something, or hidden gems that you really like. Here are a few post review features we would like to share.
Beach / Shingle
Most runners will steer clear of running on lose shingle, or the beach. Running on compacted sand is typically quite nice, but on very lose shingle the return with each stride is completely lost. Great HIIT training as your feet sink into the surface. Also good if you have injuries caused from heel striking. As long as you are careful you can build your muscles with almost no impact at the knees. But you will need a good pair of trail running shoes with plenty of ankle support. If your ankles are not appropriately supported it would be easy to twist your ankle from placing your foot down at an angle. The Adidas Kanadia trainers offer plenty of support and really help injury prevention.
A lot of trail running in on grass surfaces. But grass running itself is such a broad topic and so closely related to the weather. The Kanadia on dry grass are completely fine. But then most shoes on dry grass are fine. The real test is on wet grass. And apart from getting a bit soggy, they grips offer enough support to really provide a solid run.
Some shoes on gravel seem to pick up every stone and when you switch to a solid surface you clip clop away and risk sliding and falling. These do not pick up stones like some training shoes do, but the same is not said for wet mud
When running on concrete you really notice the change from the natural cushioning of the grass for example. I would defiantly not like to run too far on the road in the Kanadia. Limited cushioning and your feet seem to search for a safe place to root. Fine for a few K but anything more switch to road shoes.
Running shoes typically have a thick, circular lace, or a flat lace similar to the Adidas Kanadia 7 trainer. I have found the laces are very textured and although not highlighted as a feature by Adidas, they really do grip once tied. That means without any double knots or extra tight bows these trainers stay put once done up. That certainly is not a bad thing for any runner, especially when you are off road and may not actually see a lace that has come untied. The last thing you want when running down a steep hill in the rain is to discover your laces and flapping in the wind. Not only do they seem to be super functional, I have really grown to like their two tone colouring.
The magical Loop
Most trainers do not bother with the loop at the back to help put on your shoes. Unless you are in a triathlon speed is not normally a consideration for getting your footwear on in a hurry. The loop on heel to help put on your trainers I do think is missing from some footwear and for a pair of trail running shoes it is very useful. You may have driven to an off-road spot, and you are standing in the rain switching from your 'car shoes' to your 'trail shoes'. For me, it has certainly got some use.
So the mesh in these shoes is going to hold your feet still and let them breathe. But it certainly will not keep out the water. Some off-road shoes do offer a certain amount of waterproofing - but I typically find they end up holding the water in as your feet turn to water weights. Your feet will get wet in soggy conditions, but they will also dry out nice and quickly. And at the moment, it seems we can not escape the rain!
Adidas technical infoOne of the most beloved all around trail shoes is back lighter and more comfortable than ever. These women's running shoes are ready for any trail with a high-grip TRAXION™ outsole. They feature a waterproof mud guard and a ventilated mesh upper for comfort in any conditions.
- Weight: 238 g (size UK 5.5)
- Air mesh upper for maximum ventilation
- Waterproof bottom mud guard helps keep water and mud out
- Comfortable textile lining
- Engineered 3-Stripes panel for optimum linear and lateral support
- TRAXION™ outsole for maximum grip in all directions
Adidas Kanadia 7 Review
It is certainly thumbs up and feet down on the ground for these trainers. Nice quality, stylish and fast. Well as fast as your legs can move. They stick to wet ground enabling all that power to drive you forward.
As we move into the dryer months you may be looking for a trail shoe that does not work as well on wet ground. The versatile Kanadia with its grip to tackle multiple surfaces is an all year round appropriate pair of trainer.
The Ultimate Test
Mud runs... There are many of these out there now under various names. Tough Mudder. Nuclear Races. Bear Grills. Etc. A mix of very wet, boggy ground and obstacles. The perfect place to test the grip. On almost vertical wet mud banks straight into boggy water.
Two things that I was happy with. When walking through, well dragging your limbs through, waste-deep mud water the shoes stayed on. Excellent. I saw plenty of people with their footwear missing.
And secondly when climbing out of the bogs via a rope, or some kind person boosting you from below not sliding straight back in. Seeing someone sliding like they are ice skating is not uncommon. Many people opt for old footwear so they do not ruin their favourite running shoes. I say buy some new trail shoes for the occasion. They will wash up just fine and may just save your sliding face first into a ditch.
Topo Athletic is an up-and-coming sports brand that Sundried has reviewed a few times now. Their intelligently designed trainers are perfect for the more serious runner and their trail shoes have technical features that make them stand out from the crowd. Read our reviews of other Topo shoes here.
Features of the Terraventure Women's Trail Shoes
The drop of a trainer refers to the height difference between the heel and the forefoot. A conventional drop would be considered to sit at around 10-12 millimetres but more trainer brands are now adopting a more minimal design with a lower drop. Topo is one of these brands and their Terraventure trail shoe features a very low drop at only 3mm. Advocates for the low heel-to-toe drop claim it can reduce the risk of injury as it discourages a harsh heel-strike. A low drop also encourages a more natural running style and a low heel stops you from being pushed forward while running, which is an important aspect when running on uneven ground like a trail.
Minimalist shoes with a low drop can often offer less cushioning, but that is not the case with these Topo trainers. It is also important to have well-cushioned shoes when you're heading out on the rough and uneven surfaces of the trails. The Topo Terraventure shoes feature extra cushioning to provide a smooth ride.
Wide Toe Box
The ergonomic toe box is one of Topo's flagship features. It is more anatomically-friendly than classic trainers and allows your toes to spread out naturally and comfortably. If you have wide feet, it can be tough finding trainers that are comfortable, but these shoes with their wide toe box have got you covered. I often suffer from squashed toes, especially when running downhill outdoors, so this feature is very important to avoid that.
Rock Protection Plate
Having a rock protection plate in your trail shoes is a must if you want a pain-free run. Running over gravel and stones can be hazardous and having shoes with a specialised rock plate will prevent you from injuring your foot on rocks. Stepping on a jagged edge, especially on the ball of the foot, can cause a lot of pain and can lead to metatarsal issues. These Topo shoes feature the classic ESS rock plate which can be found on many trail shoes these days and should be a standard feature that you look for when choosing this type of trainer.
Suffering from sweaty feet can lead to more than just some discomfort. Running in damp shoes for too long can lead to skin problems and will end up distracting you from your run. Finding a pair of trainers made from breathable materials is a must, and these shoes feature just that. The lightweight design offers a '2nd skin fit and feel' according to Topo, although this isn't quite the feeling I got when I wore them. They're quite chunky and bulky, definitely not smooth and light like a speed trainer, but that's not what I'd expect from a trail shoe anyway.
Testing the Topo Terraventure trainers out on the trails
Trail running is very different from running on paved roads and you want a trainer that's going to be able to keep up. The 'aggressive' lug design on these trainers means that you have fantastic traction and the supportive rock plate prevents bruising and damage from stones and other debris which are inevitable on the trails.
I did find that they started to rub my little toes after a while and my feet were slipping around in the shoes because of the roomy design. When running up and down hills, especially on very rough terrain, I like my feet to feel like they're totally secure so that I'm not worried about twisting an ankle. These shoes could perhaps offer a little more ankle support to put my mind at ease.
Support and comfort
The foot support from these trainers is good and it doesn't seem to matter if you run with a forefoot or heel strike, they'll give you everything you need for a comfortable ride. If you have flat feet like me, it can be tough finding trainers which give adequate support, so I was a little dubious when trying them for the first time. I did get some ankle pain after the first few miles due to the limited arch support, and the low drop meant I ended up plodding a little towards the end. The roomy toe box does do the job well with regards to not squashing the toes so this is a big bonus.
The trainers are pretty much true to size. I did get a half size up from my usual size as I anticipated they might be a little snug and I'm glad I did.
The cushioning is great as is the roomy toe box. The rock plate definitely does the job of preventing painful bruises from jagged edges and stones.
The stability is good and the lugs on the bottom of the shoe certainly provide plenty of traction. I felt that my ankles were a little exposed, though, so there could have been more support and stability there.
I personally don't like the colour of this particular pair of shoes but that's certainly subjective. They also come in a choice of light blue or purple. The colour is a little garish so I would've preferred a more subtle colour, or even just plain black. The actual design of the trainers looks good, though, and for a pair of trail shoes, they definitely don't look too bad. I struggled to match them with any of my Sundried kit, though!
The price of these trainers is £115. This is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum and puts the shoes on the same level as trail shoes from big brands like Asics and Hoka One One. Considering Topo is still relatively unknown in the UK and is quite a new brand, this seems a little steep, especially considering you can buy Karrimor trail shoes at a price of around £35 and those boast being water-proof. However, these are good quality trainers and feature everything you would expect as standard from a pair of trail shoes so I definitely don't think it's unreasonable.
I'm pleasantly surprised by these trainers as I often struggle to find ones that are comfortable enough to run in for an extended period of time. Topo is a brand that knows what it's doing and this shines through in these trainers. I'm looking forward to taking these shoes on more adventures and seeing where they take me next!