Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Posts tagged ‘product review’

Aftershokz: Aeropex/Trekz Air – What’s the Difference?

Disclaimer: I received a set of Aftershokz Aeropex headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

If you follow me on social media, then you already know how much I love my Aftershokz headphones!  I literally take them everywhere and recommend them to all my friends (and even strangers, ha!) If you aren’t sure what makes Aftershokz so special, they utilize a unique technology known as “bone conduction”.  Basically this means that the sounds travel by vibrations through cheekbones into the ear.  In other words, the device goes OVER your ears rather than IN your ears which is beneficial in many ways.

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My daughter even loves them and I love that her ears are protected.

I was previously using the Trekz Air model of Aftershokz which I absolutely loved! They stayed in place and I didn’t have to worry about anything falling out of my ears while out running PLUS they have great sound quality and long battery life.  So when I had the opportunity to try out the new Aftershokz Aeropex model, I jumped on the chance because I needed to see how much more awesome these babies could get.

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Each package contains: one set of headphones, two charging cables, ear plugs, instructions, and a sleek carrying case.

So what were the major differences between the Trekz Air and Aeropex?  I couldn’t wait to find out!

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Aeropex on the left vs. Trekz Air on the right

The first thing I noticed was the carrying case was smaller, sleeker, and also magnetic.  It’s much easier to fit into my purse or gym bag!  The other noticeable difference is the charging cable.  It is not a standard cable and it is specific to this model of Aftershokz – BUT the good news is that you get TWO of them!  So don’t worry, you have a backup!  Why is the cable so different?  It’s actually magnetic which allows for the water resistant capabilities of the headphones.  They are given the IP67 rating which means they can be submerged in water up to a meter deep for a half hour.

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Charging magnetically

After I charged them up, I took them for a spin around the track on a super hot/humid day.  Even though I was sweating like crazy, the headphones held up and didn’t miss a beat. Compared to the Trekz Air, the sound quality is definitely louder and crisper.  They also felt smoother and fit more comfortably than the Trekz Air. And “Audrey” is still there to welcome you and let you know when it’s time to charge up. ūüôā

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Jumping for joy over the Aeropex! ūüôā

 

I really like running with Aftershokz because I like to “Be Open”.  In other words, you can listen to your music, podcast, or book and hear your surroundings at the same time.  So my next adventure was to take them on a nature walk!

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Be Open – listen to your music and your surroundings.

Then it was off to the gym!  And not just any gym – the family gym!  This little gadget allows me to listen to some blood-flowing music AND my kids complaining all at the same time! HA!  But seriously, I like that I can enjoy my workout music and be aware of my kids while at the gym.

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They are comfortable to wear with a hat and/or shades, too!

The other thing I love about these headphones is the battery life!  They have an 8-hour batter life or 10 days of standby time.  And that is completely true!  I love that I don’t have to worry about plugging them in each night.  I can leave them in my bag and then charge them up once a week or so.  One less thing to remember is always a plus for me! ūüėČ

Was there anything I felt that needed improvement?  For me, the Bluetooth range for my Aeropex was not as long as my Trekz Air.  They are both advertised to have 33ft of connectivity, but I definitely was able to wander a bit further with my Trekz Air over the Aeropex.  It’s not a huge deal, I pretty much always have my phone close – but just an observation.

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So, what’s the price?  They go for $159.95 plus free shipping AND a 2-year warranty.  Personally, I think this is a great deal as I see it as an investment.  You are saving your eardrums and you will have peace of mind knowing that you have better situational awareness wherever you go!  But wait!  There’s more! ūüôā  Right now you can save $50 on the Endurance bundle with code “BRBUNDLE”. So you basically get free SWAG! ūüėČ Don’t miss out! Go to bibrave.aftershokz.com to save right now!

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Overall, I love the new Aeropex headphones and they will for sure have a permanent spot in my bag.

Have you tried Afterhoshokz before?  If so, what’s your favorite feature??

I’m off to review another product! ūüôā

~SM

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Why You Should Start Zwifting!

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift running pod to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Happy New Year!¬† Maybe you set some ambitious goals for 2019 or maybe your main goal is just to¬†survive the year.¬† Whatever your plans are, I hope you make some time for running! ūüėȬ† And now that the holidays are over, it might be time to slide into a new fitness routine.¬† With the weather getting colder and the days getting shorter, this may seem like a daunting task but that’s where Zwift¬†comes in!

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What exactly is Zwift?¬†Zwift has been available to indoor cyclists for¬†a while, but now it’s open to runners!¬†¬†Zwift is a platform that allows you to run in virtual locations, run virtually with others, and even complete running goals!¬† You just attach the runpod to your shoe, download the Zwift app (and Zwift companion app to join in virtual events around the world), hop on a treadmill and off you go!

Not sure where to begin?  Here are a few tips to get started!

  • Like I mentioned before, you’ll want to download both the Zwift app and the companion app.¬† The Zwift app is where you set up your account, avatar, settings, etc. and also where you do all of the actual running and goal-getting.¬† The companion app is where you will go to browse and sign-up for group runs and other events.
  • You can use your phone, but it’s better to use a tablet so you can see the info on the screen¬†clearly as you run.
  • Calibrate your pod so that your pace is accurately recorded.
  • Make sure your pod is securely attached to your shoe before running.¬† And put your pod away when not in use as the battery drains pretty quickly from any movement.

What I LOVED about the Zwift platform:

  1. The calendar. When you select an event to join, it will automatically be added to your device’s¬†calendar.¬† (I’m a planner and like to be organized so I got pretty excited about this feature.)
  2. You can run with friends from around the world.  Since I live in a different country than most of my running friends as well as my Bibrave crew, I miss out on meetups and group runs.  But Zwift allows me to feel connected to my running friends from around the world.
  3. Unlocking achievements!  The more you run and surpass goals, the more achievements you can earn.  These come in the form of virtual badges or gaining new apparel and accessories for your avatar.  Running on the treadmill can get boring, so any incentive is nice!
  4. New scenery.¬† The main virtual location on the platform is “Watopia”, but the beach view, volcanic activity, and Santa sightings make this a pretty dope place to run.¬† When you join in on other virtual runs (through the Companion app) you can run in various real-world locations.
  5. Competition. If you’ve ever participated in a race then you know the increased adrenaline you feel on race day.¬† Running virtually gave me a similar experience and made me want to push harder so I could receive my “prize” (i.e. a new achievement, passing others in the race, or just knowing that my stats were on display¬†wanting to do my best.)¬† I’m sure there’s some type of psychology behind all this – which also got me excited because I was a Psych major. ūüėČ

With that said, there were also a few things that I didn’t like:

  1. The battery on the pod drained pretty quickly so you can’t really just leave it on your shoe, you have to take it off each time and put it away.¬† It would be better if there was some type of on/off switch for the pod OR if you could just bypass the pod altogether and sync your watch with the platform.
  2. You have to download two apps.  I would prefer if the platform was streamlined a bit so that everything was in one place rather than having to open two separate apps.
  3. I had to calibrate my pod a few times.¬† It takes a couple of minutes to go through the calibration process so it’s a bit frustrating when you just want to start running.
  4. It’s not for walkers.¬†¬† My avatar would only recognize motion if I was running at least a 10:45 min/mile.¬† Those who are new to running would most likely not benefit from this app.

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Since the running aspect of the platform is fairly new, I do think these are kinks that can be worked out in the near future as the app develops.  Overall, I really like the concept of Zwift and plan to use it when I need some motivation on the treadmill!

Ready to try it out?!¬† You can download the app for free on your IOS or Android device.¬† You can also use code “BibRave15” to save 15% on your RunPod (regular price – $29.99)¬†at Zwift.com. (Hurry, this code is only good for 1000 pods!)

Lastly, join me on #BibChat on Twitter on January 8th at 6pm PST where you can ask any Zwift questions and connect with other runners! You will also have the chance to win a RunPod!

Already a Zwifter?  Find me on the app under Amanda TheSwagMama!

I’m off to review another product!¬† Let’s crush some goals in 2019! ūüôā

~SM

Why I’m Sticking With KT Tape

“Disclaimer: I received¬†five types of KT Tape¬†as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

This month, I got the chance to try out KT Tape and it could not have come at a better time! My sample box came with 5 different types of KT Tape: Cotton, Pro, Gentle, Extreme, and Wide.

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Last summer, I rolled my ankle while training for the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon and THEN I rolled it again¬†on the 4th mile of the actual race and kept on going (which maybe wasn’t the best decision)…so ever since then, things haven’t been quite the same with my left foot. I did go to an Urgent Care the day after the race and nothing was fractured.¬† After RICE’ing it for a while, I¬†wore a compression wrap for a bit, but it got kind of bulky and annoying so I pretty much gave it up.¬† A couple of people recommended KT Tape to me over the last few months, but honestly, I was a bit skeptical of it.¬† I didn’t understand how “tape” could help me.

So what exactly is KT Tape and how does it work?

Per kttape.com:

“KT Tape is an elastic sports tape designed to relieve pain while supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments.”

“When an area of the body is injured through impact or over-use, the lymphatic fluid builds up causing inflammation and swelling. This accumulation of lymphatic fluids may cause increased pressure on muscles and tissue which can¬†cause significant discomfort or pain.
It is believed that when applied correctly, KT Tape lifts the skin, decompressing the layers of fascia, allowing for greater movement of lymphatic fluid which transports white blood cells throughout the body and removes waste products, cellular debris, and bacteria.”

In other words, KT Tape does some fancy science-y stuff in your body to relieve discomfort. ūüėȬ† Also, Olympians use it so it must be pretty rad, right?? Well let’s see!

Since I am new to any type of taping of anything, the first thing I did was watch 47 YouTube videos on taping techniques.  Okay, maybe not 47, but it was quite a few.  I also read through all of the tips and tricks on the KT Tape website.  They have some great instructional photos and videos on there!

When I first started taping, I had no clue what I was doing and made a few mistakes. I started out with the basic Cotton KT Tape…

As you can see,¬† I didn’t properly apply the tape…which meant it didn’t last very long.¬† I’ll list my tips for success a little later on.¬† Then¬†I tried a bit of a different technique with the Pro tape…

This ended up lasting longer and I felt like it was a more beneficial taping sesh. And in case you’re wondering what the big differences between the Cotton and Pro are:

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Then I tried out the Gentle tape…

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Surprisingly, I actually really liked the gentle tape.¬† I don’t really have any skin issues, but I thought it was flexible and supportive and I could remove it with no pain or skin-pulling.¬† Then I went on to try the Extreme

The Extreme is a bit thicker and supposed to last longer, so I really liked the idea of using it for my feet since it’s a sweaty and¬†flexible area.¬† Then something life-changing happened! I got on #BibChat (It’s like a Twitter party/Educational session¬†for runners every Tuesday) and I discovered that you can mix up the tapes! Whaaaattttt?¬† I can wear three different tapes at once?¬† Did I mention that I’m really new to taping??¬† Anywho…so I decided to put the Extreme under my foot, then use the Pro on top and then wrapped the Cotton¬†next to that one (where I didn’t need as much support)…

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Since I’m not sure what my ailment is exactly…I sort of combined the wrapping techniques from both the ankle stability taping instructions and plantar fasciitis instructions.¬† I have pain in my arch (first thing in the morning and then while running) and since I rolled my ankle, I like having extra ankle stability.¬† After messing around with some more taping, I finally figured out¬†a good wrapping method that’s been working for the last week!

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And now, after a few weeks of taping, I’m feeling more confident in my methods!¬† And what about the pain?¬† Well, it hasn’t completely gone away and I’m not sure that it ever will…but it has decreased during and after my runs.¬† I think I would need to use it consistently for a few more weeks to see a bigger difference.

How ’bout the Wide tape though?¬† I tried out the wide tape on my hamstring because I do get pain/soreness there sometimes.¬† I definitely need more practice with the Wide, it was a little tricky to apply since it’s so big.¬† Also, removing it was pretty painful (like a lot painful).¬† So next time,¬†I plan to try the Gentle on my hamstring since it’s a sensitive area and use the Wide on my lower back because I have issues there as well.

So here are my tips for beginners!

  • If you have severe/chronic pain, see a doctor (common sense, y’all)
  • Clean the area first
  • Apply 1 hour before your activity
  • Don’t pull too hard on your anchor points or else it will create an “accordion” effect and basically the strip is ruined.
  • Don’t pull too tight on the middle part.¬† The KT Tape website recommends about a 50% pull for many of the methods – just don’t pull 100% – you still want flexibility and blood flow!
  • Putting on too much tape is not going to help you.¬† Again, you want flexibility.
  • Rub the tape after you apply it because it’s heat activated.¬† This is a really important step to get the most out of your application!
  • There really isn’t a wrong way to apply KT Tape.¬† I highly suggest watching the videos and reading the instructions…but you can also test out different methods to see what works best for you!

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with my KT Tape experience and I will¬†continue to use it in the future!¬†Here’s what I liked most about it:

  • Pre-cut Strips– The strips are already cut and easy to pull off.¬† The backing is super easy to pull off too, with no sticky residue.
  • Bright Colors – They are available is super fun colors!
  • Flexibility – I like the support and flexibility they provide without being too bulky, like a traditional brace.
  • Confidence – Something about wearing the KT Tape makes you feel a little bit more hardcore.¬† KT Tape lets people around you know that a little pain isn’t going to stop you from reaching your goals!¬† Also, Olympians use it, remember??¬† You are using something the best of the best use!¬† How cool is that?
  • Containers¬†– With the exception of the Cotton and Gentle tapes, they come in reusable containers!¬† So when you are done, you can save them¬†for tiny things around the house, small toys, etc…it’s especially great for travel!

What I didn’t like:

The only issue I had was that I couldn’t get my strips to last 4-7 days.¬† Mine lasted about 1-2 days.¬†I’m still new to taping so it could be¬†that I haven’t gotten the technique down quite yet.¬† Or it could be that my injury is in a spot that gets wet, oily, sweaty…that it’s not meant to last very long on my foot.¬† But if YOU know of a way to make it last longer, please let me know!!!!

Are you¬†curious about KT Tape?¬† Pricing¬†ranges from $9.99 to $45.99 depending on which product you are after.¬†¬†¬†The Pro, which was my favorite, runs for $19.99.¬† And as a bonus, you can score 30% off your order with code, “BIBRAVE30”!¬† So if you’re interested, now is a great time to try it out!

Go ahead, add a little Joy to your life! ūüôā ūüôā

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Have you used KT Tape before?  What did you think??

~SM

Going Natural

There are lots of natural product lines on the market now, so it can be a little overwhelming to choose the one that fits your preferences.¬† I’ve tried a few different brands over the last couple of years, but I recently had the chance to try out a few¬†items from the¬†Logic Products¬†line!

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As you can see they offer a broad line of products that benefit the home, kids, and even pets!  To give you an idea as to what sets this line apart from other brands, here are a few facts about their products (via logicproducts.com):

  • Plant and Mineral Derived Formulas
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty Free
  • Pthlalate Free
  • PEG Free
  • TEA Free
  • No Synthetic Dyes
  • No Noxious Fumes
  • No Methylisothiazolinone
  • No Benzisothiazolinone
  • No Petrochemicals
  • No Synthetic fragrances
  • No Phosphates
  • Chlorine Free
  • Bleach Free
  • Recyclable Packaging
  • Made In U.S.A.
  • And more!

Wow, reading this list makes we want to check the labels on some of my other leading brand household products under the sink.¬†Overall, it seems that the goal of Logic Products is too keep the ingredients in their products simple and pure.¬† I slowly¬†began switching to natural cleaning products when I started having kids.¬† I worried about them inhaling/absorbing harsh chemicals and of course I didn’t want them ingesting any dangerous cleaning solutions.¬† But depending on where you live, natural products can be in limited supply and pricing can be a little higher compared to average products.

I found that Logic Products are pretty comparable to other natural brands.¬† They usually have a good selection of sale products and they offer free shipping for orders over $49!¬† They also offer a quality guarantee…but this part was a little confusing – You can return “new, unopened items sold and fulfilled by Logic Product Group within 15 days of delivery for a full refund.” But, “new and unopened” would mean that you didn’t get to try out the product so how would you know if you liked it or not? Maybe this applies¬†if you ordered more than product, tried one and wanted to return the rest?¬† Hmmm…

Anywho, here is what I thought about the products I tried!

Barklogic Wipes ($12.00):¬† I liked the tangerine smell,¬† but I don’t think my pets really liked being wiped down. ūüėČ

Totlogic Sunscreen ($16.95): This didn’t really stand out to me compared to other natural sunscreens.

Licelogic Prevention Spray ($16.95): I liked the smell and the concept of this product (especially with little kids), I just had¬†a hard time remembering to take the extra step and actually applying it to my kids’ hair.

Homelogic Dish Soap ($7.95): Loved the scent and it left my hands feeling soft while getting the job done on the dishes.

And my favorite item from this set?!

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Homelogic Hand Soap ($5.95): I really enjoyed the light and refreshing scent!  And the kids loved that it was a foam so they thought it was fun to wash their hands!

I would really like to try more of their products from the Homelogic line, like the Odor Eliminating Spray and the All Purpose Cleaner.  I also would be interested in the shampoo, conditioner, and bubble bath from the Totlogic line.

You can purchase any of their products directly from the website.  You can find the Barklogic products either online or in PetCo stores nationwide.  And you can also Contact Logic Products directly to find the nearest store where their products are sold!

What do you think?  Have you made the switch to natural products yet?!

***Note: I was given free products from Logic Products in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own and no other compensation was provided.

I’m off to review some more products!

~SM

All Day I Dream About Shoes

**Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Adidas Ultra Boost X running shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Finding the right pair of running shoes is usually quite the challenge for me.¬† My second toe is longer than my first toe so it can be hard to find the right fit.¬† From my experience, it seems that Adidas shoes typically work the best…so I was¬†pretty stoked to have the opportunity to try out the new Adidas Ultra Boost X¬†for women.¬† You can find them in three different color combos: grey/white, all black, or black/glow orange.¬† I chose the black/glow orange option!

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I was really intrigued by these shoes because they are shaped differently than any other running shoes I’ve ever seen.¬† The main part of the shoe kind of “hugs” your foot almost like a reinforced sock in order to respond to your stride.¬† And the outsole is super flexible so that it adjusts to your foot strike.¬† They are very lightweight and made to wear in wet conditions as well.¬† Here is a graphic with more info¬†from Adidas:

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I broke mine in by starting with a 2-mile run and then adding mileage over the following weeks.¬† I was also training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in San Diego so I was really excited to start building up some mileage in these babies.

Since I live in San Diego, the weather is usually pretty great for running so I didn’t get a chance to test these out in any wet weather conditions.¬† But I did try them out on the road, track, treadmill,¬†flat, and hilly terrains.¬† It took a little while to get used to the floating arches and lower cut of the shoe.¬† But after running a few miles, I finally found a good stride in them.¬† I really enjoyed running with them on the treadmill and the track.¬† It almost felt like running on a cloud!

If you’ve kept up with any of my previous posts, then you know I sprained my ankle during one of my training runs. ūüė¶¬† But no worries, because it gave me the opportunity to try my Ultra Boost X shoes out with some cross-training, like kettlebell squat thrusts and biking!

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And I even got to hang out in them with a nice view and cute little friends. ūüėČ

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Then Rock ‘n’ Roll weekend came along and I got to really put them to the test!¬† The 5k course consisted of nicely paved streets with a few hills.¬† I took it easy and kept an 11-minute-pace due to my ankle recovery and the fact that I was also running a half marathon the very next day…so I didn’t want to get injured further or totally wipe myself out.¬† I even saw another girl wearing the very same Adidas Ultra Boost X shoes on the course!¬† I wanted to ask her how she liked them, but I figured she wasn’t up to doing a shoe interview during a race. ūüôā¬† At the end of the race, my feet felt great and my ankle didn’t really bother me much. Yay!

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Then, I went home and rested up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.¬† The race started off well, until the 4th mile when I rolled my same ankle AGAIN! Ahhh…it was a physically and mentally difficult moment…but I pulled myself together and managed to walk/jog the rest of the race.¬† Besides my injury, the shoes felt great throughout the run for the most part.¬† When I got home and took my shoes off, I noticed I had a small blister where the shoe was rubbing on the top of my non-injured foot.¬† This could have been because my other foot was overcompensating for my injured foot or I just had the shoes tied a little too tight.

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My overall opinion is that I really liked these shoes!¬† I’m already partial to Adidas so I may be a bit biased, but I think they work well with my feet.¬† I think for these shoes in particular, I would wear them for shorter distances – 10k and under.¬†And I¬†would definitely wear them for track¬†workouts and speed work on the treadmill.¬† ¬†For my feet (and apparently my weak ankles), I think I need something a bit more supportive and less minimal for longer road runs.

Another thing to consider when trying out this model, is that they are cut pretty low and have a sock-like feel.  So you will probably want to try out a few different brands of socks to find out which ones work best for you.  For me, personally, the Feetures socks worked the best.

If you are interested in trying out a pair for yourself, head to your nearest Dick’s Sporting Goods¬†or you can order them straight from the website.¬† The come in sizes 6-11 and sorry guys, this model is only available for women.

Pricing: The Adidas Ultra Boost X run about $180 which sounds kind of pricey.  However, I consider the right pair of running shoes an investment.  If you are in the wrong pair, it can really mess up your feet, legs, hips, etc.  If you are gonna spend extra money on any piece of running gear, I recommend splurging on the shoes.

And don’t forget to stretch!!!¬† ūüėČ

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What do you think of the Adidas Ultra Boost X?¬† Is this unique design something that you would like?¬† I’d love to hear your thoughts!

~SM

Feet in the Clouds

*Disclaimer: I received a free pair of OOFOS footwear to review as part of being a Bibrave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out Bibrave.com to review find and write race reviews!

“Your Feet Earned This!” – That’s the motto from OOFOS footwear. These little babies are not like any other type of footwear you’ve tried in the past.¬† These will literally change your life.

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At first glance they look like foam-platform sandals. Then, you put them on your feet and the magic happens.  It immediately feels like you are walking on clouds. On. Clouds. For real.  So what exactly are these magical cloud sandals?  Well here are some quick facts:

  • They absorb more shock than other foam footwear
  • They reduce stress on knees and back
  • Extra arch support to relieve pressure from hips, knees, and ankles
  • Soft and flexible so your foot keeps a natural stride
  • The OOfoam cushion lasts the life of the sandal
  • Machine washable and safe for showers
  • Super light – they even float!
  • Get more details here!

When I first received the OOFOS sandals,¬†I thought they would be great for recovery after long runs…especially while training for the upcoming Hot Chocolate 15k.

 

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Recovering in my OOFOS and LEGend Compression sleeves!

But then I realized that I never wanted to take them off!  I wore them all around the house and they were great for folding laundry and doing the dishes!

 

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Dishes aren’t so bad in my OOFOS!

I have high arches and occasionally experience lower back pain, so slipping these sandals on felt like a dream!  They especially saved me after a grueling hike up to Potato Chip Rock (Elevation: 1800-2000 ft.)

I don’t think my back and hips would have recovered as quickly without the OOFOS! They were even light enough to throw in a bag for a little relaxation time to soak up some vitamin sea. ūüėČ

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It doesn’t get better than beach time with some OOFOS!¬† Clouds! Really…Clouds!

I also took them along on a trip.  They were perfect for foot recovery after a long day of sight-seeing (almost 6 miles to be exact).

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As a bonus, I liked having comfy sandals to protect my feet from questionable hotel carpet. ūüėČ

As you can see I’m wearing a pink pair of OOFOS with a ribbon.¬† That’s because they are from the Project Pink line.¬†¬†For every pair sold, $10 will be donated to Dana Farber Breast Cancer research.¬† How amazing¬†is that?!¬† You can make an impact on the world while reducing the impact on your feet. ūüėȬ† Check out the Project Pink collection here.¬† And don’t worry guys, there are plenty of options for men too!

Pricing ranges from about $45-$65 with free shipping/returns and they are also available in select countries.  There is also a 6 month warranty.

So if you are experiencing any¬†foot issues such as plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, bunions…then I highly recommend giving the OOFOS a shot!¬† Or if you just want to experience the feeling of walking around on clouds, then order a pair and see for yourself.

They feel just like clouds!

#FeeltheOO and your feet will thank you!

~SM

Shocked by Aftershokz

Before I get into my review, let me¬†tell you a little bit about my relationship with headphones.¬† Our relationship throughout the years has been, well…a bit complicated.¬† It’s usually hard to find a set that fits consistently and doesn’t die out quickly.¬† I’ve also had issues with some not jiving with my iPhone – for whatever reason, some headphones will activate the voice control on my phone and interrupt my music.¬† This is the most irritating thing to ever happen on a run.¬† You get into a zone and then suddenly your music stops and Siri asks, “What Can I Help You With?”¬† Annoying.

This has led to a graveyard of headphones in my junk drawer.¬† It’s quite sad, but I don’t really know what to do with them.¬† I feel bad just throwing them out like garbage when I know they meant well and they tried, they really tried…but the relationship just wasn’t working out and we had to part ways.¬† So I just keep them there for emergencies in case my first string headphones¬†(a popular wireless brand that used to be endorsed by a certain music producer) get injured and I need to call upon a backup pair.

So when I heard there was a brand of headphones that don’t actually fit inside your ears, but rather go on the OUTSIDE of your ears, I was intrigued.¬† I originally thought, No way these will work at all!

Allow me to introduce you to…Aftershokz!

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Aftershokz¬†headphones are different because they are bone-conducting.¬† What does that mean?¬† Basically the sound is transmitted through your cheekbones to your inner ear via vibrations – avoiding your eardrums altogether.¬† Pretty sweet, huh?¬† No more worrying about killing your eardrums with all that loud music and most importantly, you can listen to your music while staying aware of your surroundings.¬† That second part was especially important to me since I run alone sometimes or while pushing my kids.¬† Whether I’m running on a scenic path or around the neighborhood with a lot of traffic, I like the idea of being able to hear everything around me while still enjoying my tunes or a Bibrave Podcast.

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You will first have to charge up your headphones even though they’re wired, but don’t sweat, it doesn’t take too long.¬† The first thing I noticed about the Aftershokz headphones was that they fit really well!¬† Even during a 5-mile run, they didn’t budge!¬† And I could hear the music loud and clear! Now, if you are used to listening to your music at an obscene volume level, these will take a little getting used to…but your 50-year-old eardrums will thank you later.¬† ūüėȬ† I could also hear my surroundings, which is great for trails!

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Then I took my Aftershokz for a spin on the bike in the gym!

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This was both good and bad.¬†The¬†good –¬†I usually watch a Netflix show while I’m on the stationary bike and these headphones really bring your shows to life!¬† If there was a train or a car in a scene, the sides of my head would vibrate – so it almost makes your favorite shows interactive. ūüėȬ† The¬†bad – I could hear my surroundings a little too well.¬† As in…other people’s conversations in the gym.¬† So that part was a little distracting as I like to kind of zone out while I’m cross-training or strength training.

So what about that microphone part?¬† Well, I put it to the ultimate test.¬† I took it outside and made a phone call to an automated service.¬† Gasp!¬† Yes, and guess what?¬† I didn’t have to repeat myself one time and I was transferred correctly the first time, every time.¬† I was…Shocked.¬† Also, when I received a notification on my phone I didn’t get an alert tone through the headphones, but the music did lower briefly and then increase again.

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Can you hear me now?  Just kidding.

How much does it cost?  This model Рthe Sportz Titanium with Mic runs $59.95 and comes in 2 colors.  You can learn about their other products here.  And they always offer FREE shipping!  They also offer a 45-day return period and a 2-year limited warranty.

So here is my overall impression:

Pros:

  • Open-ear concept – I liked being able to hear my surroundings while outside
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Good fit – lightweight and comfortable
  • Reasonable price plus free shipping
  • In-line controls with options to play, skip, and pause
  • 12 hours of music on one charge
  • Good quality microphone

Cons:

  • Being able to hear conversations in smaller areas
  • No option to adjust the headband – while it worked fine for me, I’m not sure these are one-size-fits-all
  • The power source is the heaviest part and is¬†at the bottom of the wire, close to the headphone jack…which makes it a little cumbersome
  • Wired – I’ve sorta gotten used to the wireless life so it takes a little adjusting to go back to wired headphones.¬† However, it’s nice to know that these won’t automatically die after about 2 hours of play.

Overall, I was literally SHOCKED by the Aftershokz headphones!¬† I’m now a believer in bone-conducting headphones!¬† I’ll definitely be using these more often when I’m in an area where I need to hear my surroundings.¬† I think I would invest in a pair of the wireless ones in order to use them ALL the time since the wire gets in the way sometimes.¬† I also didn’t use the microphone feature a whole lot as I prefer to text or just ignore calls altogether while I’m running so it’s not something I would need right now.

But wait!¬† There’s more!¬† My headphones came with….you guessed it!¬† SWAG!

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Yep, they came with a sweet water bottle that I use all the time!¬† I love that it’s stainless steel so it doesn’t hold all the bacteria that plastic bottles do.¬† It also has a screw-top, leak-proof lid and keeps my water super cold all throughout my workout!¬† It’s sleek and fits in most cup-holders and well, I think it looks pretty snazzy. ūüėČ

Want one for yourself?!¬† Order a pair of Sportz Titanium w/mic¬†and score a FREE water bottle (a $14.95 value) of your own!¬† But you must use this link! —>¬† http://bibrave.aftershokz.com

Don’t you want to fall in love with your own pair? ūüėȬ† Happy running!

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And catch me on #Bibchat on Twitter every Tuesday at 6pm PST!¬† You may even win a prize! ūüėČ

***Disclaimer: I received a set of Aftershokz Sportz Titanium headphones with microphone along with a water bottle for free to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro and check out Bibrave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

~SM

 

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