Sunday, August 27, 2017

under armour horizon rtt trail shoe review

Disclaimer: I received the UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Finding the right shoe for you can be hard, let alone finding a trail shoe that works not only for your running style and foot, but also to the trails you run. I generally run some tame trails, but sometimes I head over to more technical trails to run with my trail loving friends (and on the rare occasion, by myself).

I had the opportunity to try a pair of Under Armour Horizon RTT Trail shoes. Choosing a color was tough, but in true Heather fashion, I went with one of my favorite colors — the teal ones (official color is Marlin Blue / Neptune). Picking a shoe size can always be iffy too, but I took the 'what size fits me best test', which resulted in the same size I usually wear. 

When I got the shoe, I was intrigued by the traction on the bottom. They looked like they would be great for the really technical trails where you would need good traction to get up some of the trickier hills or to stay on your feet in a muddy situation. I never got to test the latter, as the trails in the area aren't supposed to be run on when they are muddy (to preserve them, and I do my best to follow the rules), but they did work great on getting up hills where I needed a good foothold (better than my usual road shoes).

I am in full marathon training mode, so I was weary of trying them on my long runs, but I did wear them for short/medium runs up to 6 miles. I didn't have any issues with blisters and the fit was great. I'm glad I went with the size that was recommended. I found it was true to size, but sometimes size can be relative, so I'll say the shoes I usually wear for running in the two brands I wear are both the same size, and the Under Armour RTT Trail Shoes are the same.

They were a little heavier than the shoes I'm used to, but I feel like that is standard for a trail shoe – I think they are made a little more sturdy and durable. It didn't bother me, it's just something I initially noticed, but quickly got used to. I felt they moved well with my foot when running and didn't notice any heel or knee pain (something I've been dealing with lately, which I think has to do with running in shoes that aren't a great fit for me, so I am usually pretty weary of new shoe models I haven't worn before for running).

There were a few instances where I was running on rocks that I noticed my ankle rolling a bit, but I honestly think that's just me and my lack of gracefulness and being a bit on the clumsy side. This didn't happen when it was the dirt, tree roots, grass, etc. Just when on the rocks. Nothing got stuck in the bottoms. I felt the cushion wasn't over the top, but there was enough that my heels weren't bothered in them.

I love getting out to the trails; though they are more difficult, which means I'm even slower than usual, I always feel accomplished and I enjoy my time out in nature. Having a shoe that fits the terrain better gives me the excitement and energy to make the trek out rather than just running around the neighborhood (which gets pretty boring).

I would have liked to get out to the trails more, and I did try, but sometimes life gets in the way. I was able to get out there 5 times to test these shoes out for 5–6 miles each time. I tried another day – I got everything ready to go so I could go straight from work and I was so proud and later in the day at work I realized I didn't pack a sports bra... that's not really negotiable, and by the time I got home from work I didn't have the time to get out to the trails before making it to BibChat at 8pm CT that night. I did go the next day, but it just wasn't the same haha. 

Some info on the UA Horizon RTT Shoe from the website:

These were made for the runner who makes the trail their second home. With superior cushioning & incredible durability, they‘re are ready to put in some serious miles.

Product DNA

  • Durable PU & textile upper for breathability & reliable protection
  • Reinforced welded synthetic material in critical areas for increased durability
  • Mesh heel with dual protective welds
  • Molded collar foam package for added comfort
  • Charged Cushioning® foam puck placed under the heel for responsive comfort
  • Lightweight, full-length EVA midsole for optimal cushioning
  • High traction rubber lug outsole for dependable traction on a variety of conditions
  • Offset: 7mm
  • Weight: 9.2 oz.
  • Imported
  • Colors: 

    • Marlin Blue (300) / Neptune

    • Black (001) / Steel
Raisin Red (916) / Black Currant

    • Midnight Navy (410) / Mediterranean
    • Pomegranate (693) / Gray Matter
  • Cost: $109.99

I would recommend these for anyone looking for a trail shoe that is sturdy and durable. I heard a few of the other BibRave Pros even ran through streams and puddles in them and had no issues. Everyone is different, but for me, they were comfortable and worked well for the trails that I was running. 

Under Armour has also started up a running series and you can join one of my best running friends Amy at Copper Mountain. They have a ton of distance options: 50k, marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, vertical challenge, 10k, and 5k. I love when a race has so many options to choose from; just about something for everyone. It looks really challenging, but that's what we love, right? It takes place September 9 and 10 and you can save 40% on any distance using code BIBRAVE40.

Connect with Under Armour:
website | facebook | twitter | instagram

Read what the other BibRave Pros had to say about the UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoe:
Mel | Tedrick | Lindsey | Jessica | Fallon | Casey | Vanessa | Angie | Frank | Amy

Friday, August 18, 2017

pack run cap review

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF® Pack Run Cap to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I wore the BUFF® Pack Run Cap for the Chicago 10k.

Are you one of my amazing follower on Instagram or Twitter? If you are, then you’ll notice that almost all of my running photos feature a hat or visor. Even on a cloudy day, I usually wear one, because I have sensitive eyes and need to block the sun (along with being pale and I like to protect my face when I can from the sun. If there isn't a hat or visor being featured, it's mostly likely because I took it off after my run before I took the photo (and if you look closely enough, you'll see the line on my forehead haha).

In the summer (and really, anything over 50 degrees), I’m usually in a visor. My head heats up pretty quickly, so I like to have that top vent haha. In the winter, I can wear a hat… though even sometimes I’ll take that off to cool down.

Anyway, I often add new hats and visors to the collection so I have more variety. Most recently, I was able to test the BUFF® Pack Run Cap. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but when I received it, I noticed how super lightweight it was, along with being super bendy. I use really technical terms here. I hope you can keep up 😂

I can’t say exactly what color mine is, as it isn’t available on the website at the moment, but it’s a fun pink and orange combination (based off of the UV Arm Sleeves, I believe the color/design is called Akira). Nice and bright, which you’ll also notice is something I love. I don’t feel the need to match, just be bright. Not only do I feel that being in bright colors gives me more visibility out on the streets, but also it makes me happy to be in bright, fun colors.

The BUFF® Pack Run Cap is easily adjustable with an elastic cord at the back so you can get a secure fit. I love how easy it is to adjust and that it can actually fit my smaller head. I often have trouble with hats, feeling sometimes foolish in trucker hats because they make my head look super small haha. This adjusts to my head shape and then I can tighten it to a good spot and not have to adjust it again. I wore it on some windy days. I have some caps that a windy day means it's blowing off, or I'm constantly grabbing at it, patting it down, to make sure it doesn't go flying. The BUFF® Pack Run Cap stayed on, no problems.

Another great feature is that since the fabric is so movable, I can rinse it with water after each run to get all of the sweat out, wring it out, and not have to worry about its shape. The brim always snaps back into place and doesn’t bend weird or get jacked up from doing this. Even after a 4-miler. I am dripping sweat. So that hat needs to get washed out and hung to dry haha. Another bonus: doesn’t take long to dry.

The BUFF® Pack Run Cap includes a low profile sweatband that helps to keep perspiration out of the eyes and the side panels wick away moisture. Obviously, I still had some sweat dripping down my face towards m eyes, because I don't wear hats at my eyebrow level haha – so there was still some face wiping on my end. I’m also someone that has to constantly wipe my face anyway (my eyes burn so bad if sweat gets in there – is that just me? Does it have to do with wearing contacts? Or maybe what I eat makes the sweat burn? ha). Just something I like to note, in case you sweat a lot like me... a hat can only absorb so much 😂

Another bonus of the fabric being so streamlined and compressible is that you can easily fold it up and tow it in a pocket during a run if you don’t want to wear it anymore. It’s also great for travel. Trying to only pack a carry on? This is the hat to bring as it’ll barely take up any space and only weighs one ounce. Awesome sauce.

Here’s some information from the website:

Ultralight and ultra smart, the BUFF® Pack Run Cap is built to go the distance. Super streamlined, exceptionally light and highly compressible, it’s comfortable for the long-haul, but can easily be folded and rolled to stash in a pocket. The four panel design and stretch materials hug the head for a secure fit that doesn’t bind, while a low profile sweatband provides moisture control without added bulk, and the polyester materials wick away perspiration. The crushable polyurethane brim snaps back to shape and combines with the UPF protective materials for sun protection on long races and extended training days.
  • Exceptionally lightweight, weighs only one ounce
  • Packable design with crushable brim that regains its shape for reliable sun protection
  • 4-way stretch fabric for comfort
  • Upper panel provides UPF 50 protection
  • Fastwick fabric side panels wicks away moisture and improves breathability
  • Low profile sweatband keeps perspiration out of eyes
  • Adjustable elastic cord at back for a secure fit
  • Reflective tab on back, logo on front add low-light visibility

I think this hat will be great for me in the fall/winter months more so than summer. While it is lightweight and breathable, I still like to have that air vent up top that a visor can provide when it’s 70+ degrees and high humidity. It works fine for the shorter runs, but once I’m at 8+, I need as little fabric on me while still wearing clothes that are supportive and protect my eyes and skin. I struggle in the summer, so I need all the help I can get haha.

The cost of the BUFF® Pack Run Cap is $32, which I believe to be very reasonable, and comes in 4 colors at the moment. BUFF® usually has some pretty good sales, too, so I'd sign up for their email list so you know when those are happening. They make a lot of great, quality products. You'll see me in the summer sporting a BUFF® half on my wrist to wipe away all the sweat on my face and in the winter, I love the Merino Wool BUFF® around my ears or I use it on my face when it's super cold or windy. 

Join #BibChat over on Twitter Tuesday night (August 22, 2017) at 8pm CT for a chance to win one of your own! It's a great piece of gear to add to your collection. Honestly, I really like it. In order to win the chat, you must follow both BibRave and BUFF® on Twitter and answer the 6 questions during the hour. It's also a great chance to chat with other runners and get some new training, nutritional, or recovery tips. Hope to see you there!

Connect with BUFF®:

website | twitter | instgram | facebook | pinterest | youtube

What the other BibRave Pros had to say:
Meredith | Janelle | Angie