Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nike+ Product Reviews

This fall, I purchased two Nike+ running products. In my fall training, I have been able to go farther and faster than I once thought possible during my weekly base training runs. I think it is largely in part to these two products below.

I'm not being paid or compensated in any way, I just wanted to put out this review of the great running products I've been using this fall!

Nike Lunarglide+
I first read about the Lunarglides in the Runner's World fall 2009 shoe guide. Runner's World seemed to be pretty keen on them, and I saw ads with Kara Goucher and Serena Williams sporting them. I've actually never been a big fan of Nike running shoes in the past, but I knew that I wanted to get a Nike+ SportBand, and to make it work you pretty much have to have Nike+ shoes. So, the starts aligned and all signs seemed to point to the Lunarglides for me. I went to my local running store in late August, but they didn't have the Lunarglides. I also wanted to check out the Lunaracers, but they only had the men's version. I was pretty disappointed with their selection, so I went back across town to Dick's Sporting Goods. They had the Lunarglides in stock and in my size, so after trying them on and walking around a little bit, I decided they were the shoes for me and headed to the cash register.

The first thing I noticed about the Lunarglides is how light they are. I've been wearing Mizuno Wave Creations for the past few years and they weigh about 13oz. The Wave Creations are great stability shoes and they've gotten me through several miles, but it was just time to upgrade to a lighter shoe. Every thing about the shoe seems minimilistic, but they still provide a ton of support and cushioning. One thing I always take into account when buying shoes is how they will work with my high arches. The Lunarglides work just fine - providing plenty of support for my arches.

I've really only experienced two negative things with the shoes. One, I have gotten blisters on the inside of my foot, just down from my big toe. But, I only get these blisters (or aggrivate the existing blisters) when I am wearing my really thin Under Armour socks. As long as I wear a thicker sock, blisters aren't an issue.

The other downside is that the standard laces they come with do not stay tied. I could easily upgrade the laces, but for now I've just been double knotting the laces to ensure that they don't come untied during a run. I hate stopping to tie my shoe during the middle of a run! But, the double knotting has worked so far.

Overall, I give the Lunarglides a 4.5 out of 5 stars!
(I am just making this rating system up - taking mainly comfort and durability into account.)

Nike+ SportBand

My interest was piqued in the SportBand when I found out that it is only $60. I bought my SportBand from Dick's Sporting Goods, as well. The SportBand is fairly basic, in that it only caclulates four things: distance, pace, time, and calories. When not being used to track run stats, it functions as a digital watch.

There are several "pros" to the SportBand:
  • Much cheaper than a Garmin or Suunto watch
  • Slim, lightweight and comfortable design
  • Has helped me with my training immensely
  • Allows me to go "off-route" - I don't have to plan out specific routes before a run, and I can make spur of the moment variations on my standard routes while tracking my mileage as I go
  • If I choose to deviate from one of my standard routes, I can go for mileage now, not just time
  • Tracks mileage more accurately than a car or
  • Holds a pretty good battery charge - I usually can go 5 days or so before I have to charge it
  • The SportBand has really helped me with my training, having my "stats" so easily accessible pushes me farther and faster in my training
But there are also some "cons":
  • No back lighting, so if you run in the dark, you have to be under a street light to check stats
  • The NikePlus software and the Nike+ website are fairly unreliable and clunky
  • The SportBand can only can be used with Nike+ shoes (unless you alter other shoes)
  • Can only be used for running
I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons, as it is a $60 watch. For $60, I feel like it is pretty sophisticated. I could complain about it not being able to track swimming or biking, but let's be is a $60 watch. There are reasons that the Garmins and Suuntos are in the $300 to $400 range. I don't need all of that stuff, so the SportBand is a great item for me. It provides a lot more info than a plain digital watch can, and for not that much more money.

Overall, I give the SportBand 4 out of 5 stars!

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