The Best 10k Races in London

If, like us, you spent Christmas living like you were in some sort of fortnight-long eating contest, you’re probably starting to devise a plan to get back on track. It’s around this time that we plough through the various races coming up in an attempt to gain a bit of fitness focus. Sure, going out for a run is all well and good, but it makes it a lot more likely to happen if you actually have something to train for.

That’s why we’ve pulled together our list of favourite running events taking place in London over the next twelve months.

RunThrough Events

RunThrough Wimbledon Common Half Marathon

As London races go RunThrough are damn good value for money. They’re also really good at organising races that have a sort of friendly camaraderie. Great for beginners who are a bit nervous about taking part in their first race as well as veterans. Amazing medals as well. Seriously they’re next level.

Where: All over London

When: All year (like seriously, there are loads of events)

Distance: 1 mile to half-marathon

How Much: Between about £10 and £25

Website

Adidas City Runs Fulham 10k

The second race in the adidas City Run series heads east for what is set to be one of the flattest races you’re going to find in London. Some ruddy nice pubs to go to afterwards as well. You also get a sweet free t-shirt that you’ll actually want to wear.

Where: Fulham

When: Sunday March 18th

Distance: 10k

How Much: £40

Website

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10k

12321286_323255807798411_2281516466725001676_n

If you’re looking for a no frills 10k that’s easy to get to, then this Stratford event is one of the best. A three lap loop of the Olympic Park isn’t the most scenic route in the world, well, at least not after the first lap, but it’s pretty much pedestrian free.

The nicest thing about the QEOP 10k is the fact that it starts and ends at the restaurant cafe next to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, so even in winter you can sit in the warm before it all kicks off. If you’ve got any spectators coming along they’ll thank you. It also runs every month, so no need to worry about missing it.

Where: Stratford

When: First Saturday of every month

Distance: 10k

How Much: £18 (£16 club affiliated)

Website

Cancer Research UK London Winter Run 10k

cancer-research-winter-run-2016

Central London races are pretty rare due to the difficulty in closing off the roads. So we were pretty chuffed when they launched the Winter Run last year, especially considering we much prefer running in the cold.

It may be a bit too soon for some people, but starting off the year with a race is a nice way to get into the right mindset. Even if it does mean you realise you may have had a bit too much fun over the festive period.

Where: Central London

When: Sunday February 4th

Distance: 10k

How Much: £45

Website

The Fix Event Series

A great series of no frills events that take place all across London. We’ve done a fair few of them now and we’ve never had any complaints. Our favourite by far are the Richmond and Bushy park ones. What can we say, we like deer. They also run the hugely successful MoRun series in support of Movember.

Where: All over London

When: All year

Distance: 5k, 10k

How Much: From about £14

Website

Energized Sports Event Series

energized-events-the-allrounder-1050x700

Some great little 10ks and half marathons largely focussed in south-west London. The kind of races that are perfect for if you’re preparing for a big event and need something affordable to test your progress.

Where: All over London

When: All year

Distance: 10k to half-marathon

How Much: From about £20

Website

Regent’s Park 10k Summer Series

A race series that runs over a six month period in the summer. This 10k is a three lap route around Regent’s Park which is perfect for anyone from beginners to veterans. Aside from the obviously nice scenery, they often have home-cooked flapjacks at the end. And, if you’re lucky, you may get to see the giraffes as you run up the final kilometre past London Zoo (not guaranteed though).

Where: Regent’s Park

When: April 1st, May 6th, June 3rd, July 1st, August 5th, September 2nd

Distance: 10k

How Much: Price: £18 (£16 club affiliated)

Website

Tower of London Run

Bit of a weird one this, but great if you’re not confident with a specific distance. Essentially you run laps around the grounds of the Tower until you want to stop. So you can finish at 1k or 10k, it’s up to you. You still get a medal for any distance. Also great for testing your 1k speed.

Where: The Tower of London

When: Wednesday May 2nd

Distance: As much as you want

How Much: £20

Website

Richmond RUNFEST Marathon/ half marathon/10k

richmond-running-festival-the-allrounder_1-e1441832707288-1050x585

This was our favourite half marathon of 2015 for a number of reasons and a damn fine marathon in 2016. Firstly, the start is located in the grounds of Kew Gardens, which in itself is pretty cool. The first few kilometres of the course take you through the various tree-lined paths before you head out down the river to Teddington. It’s a hell of a nice route and ends at a little festival ground in Old Deer Park. You’d also be hard-pressed to find a finishers T-shirt and medal as good as these anywhere else.

Where: Richmond

When: Saturday September 15th (10k), Sunday September 16th (Marathon and half marathon)

Distance: Marathon, half marathon, 10k

Price: TBC

Website

Salomon Richmond Half Marathon and 10km

richmond-half-marathonpthe-allrounder

If you were to tell us we were allowed to pick one place in London to run for the rest of our lives, it would probably be Richmond. You’ve got the river, the architecture, the scenery, and that’s not to mention all the bars and cafes you can nip into after you’ve finished.

This is the fourth year the race has taken place, and it’s been growing in popularity since it started. Great organisation, great location, and perfectly timed for anyone doing the London Marathon.

Where: Richmond

When: March 18th

Distance: 10k, Half Marathon

Price: From £25 (10k)

Website

ZSL London Zoo Stampede 10km

london_zoo_stampede-01_0

If, like us, you’re the kind of runner that gets a bit bored during a race then this is the event for you. A 10km that not only takes you for a lap of Regents Park, but also around the zoo itself. Trust us, you’ve never ran a race until you’ve been cheered on by Gorillas and Llamas.

Where: London Zoo

When: TBC (sign-up for updates)

Distance: 10km

How much: TBC

Website

Vitality London 10,000

london-10000

The other big 10k in the city is always ridiculously popular, and rightly so. It’s an awesome route, has great organisation and the crowds love it. Much like a mini London marathon.

Where: Pall Mall

When: Monday May 28th

Distance: 10k

How Much: From £28

Website

Did we miss anything? Let us know if you think there’s a race that should have been included. Send us a Tweet or an email and we’ll take a look.

Picture Credits: RandR Photos, The Race Organiser, The Winter Run, Virgin Sport, RunThrough, Human Race, The Fix Events

Video Review: Hoka One One Clifton Edge Running Shoe

When it comes to interesting running shoe designs Hoka’s Clifton Edge is one of the most head-turning of the year so far. A heavily cushioned piece of kit that features a noticeably extended heel, the Clifton Edge is a shoe that claims to offer a smooth transition throughout each stride.

Hoka previously released the TenNine trail running shoe earlier in the year. The heel on that is significantly larger but it’s clear that the Edge takes a modicum of learnings from it.

The TenNine was a shoe built to offer comfort, support and cushioning when heading down a steep incline, and although the Edge has obvious benefits for a heel striker, it’s meant to be worn by any type of road runner.

I’ve covered about 80km in the Clifton Edge so far and I’m struggling to pinpoint who it’s aimed at. At 253 grams it’s a surprisingly light shoe for its size. That large surface areas does, however, make them feel bulky when running.

They’re best suited to long slow miles, as you’d expect, but at £140 there are better options out there.

Here, I run through my thoughts on the Hoka Clifton Edge, along with Kieran and Nick. As always, shoot use a message in the comments with thought or questions.

Price: £140

Weight: 253g

Video Review: Polar Grit X Outdoor Watch

Polar is perhaps best known best for being one of the leading brands when it comes to fitness tracking. The brand has been synonymous with heart rate since the 80s and as a result it has launched some of the best devices we’ve seen when it comes to running.

The Grit X is a step outside the normal product realms for Polar, offering an outdoor focussed device aimed at those users that are more likely to hit the mountains than the gym.

Along with the other three Run Testers, I’ve been doing some fairly comprehensive testing of the Grit X over the past few weeks and trying to get to grips with a host of new features that have been included in the launch.

In brief, it’s a great watch, not only for outdoors but also as a general running and fitness watch. There’s some great tracking and analytics features, it looks nice and it’s fairly well priced in comparison to something like the Garmin Fenix 6 range.

In this rather lengthy video, you can hear me and the team talking in detail about all of those features, along with battery life, GPS quality and a whole heap of other aspects of the watch. Any questions, let us know in the comments.

Polar Grit X price: £379

Video Review: The Asics Metaracer Tokyo

Another day, another carbon plate race shoe. This time in the form of the eagerly anticipated Asics Metaracer Tokyo.

I’m not going to lie, I get pretty excited when I get to try a new carbon plate shoe. There’s a sense of the unknown about the whole thing – like you’re about to experience something incredible.

Read more: The best running shoes of 2020

To be excited about a shoe just because it has a carbon plate is nonsense though. The plate doesn’t automatically make a shoe perform in a certain way, it’s a just a piece in the puzzle. Not all carbon plate shoes are designed to feel like the Vaporfly.

The Metaracer is a very good example of that. In fact it feels more like a conventional lightweight racer than a springy Vaporfly or Endorphin Pro. Is that a bad thing? Not really, unless you wanted a Vaporfly experience – then you’re going to be very dissapointed.

The Metaracer is a fast shoe. It has significantly less cushioning than most, if not all the current carbon plate shoes and feels a lot harder. If you like racing shoes with minimal cushioning then it may well be a great option.

At £180, I feel like there are a lot more shoes out there that deliver a similar experience for significantly less (maybe the New Balance Rebel or the Hoka Adidas SL20). However, if you’re a fan of the Asics style and fit, it may be exactly what you’re looking for.

For a full review on the Asics Metaracer Tokyo, have a watch of the multi-tester review here. Any questions or comments, leave us a message.

The Best Running Shoes 2020

Over the past year there have been some major releases in the world of running shoes. There seem to be new launches happening every week with brands aiming to take the lead in the fastest and most comfortable shoes out there today.

Some, like the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% or the Hoka Carbon X, have sat at the top of the pile where speed is concerned, with many of the world record times currently held by athletes wearing them.

Other running shoes, like the Hoka Rincon or the Nike Pegasus Turbos have seen widespread popularity for being amazing all-rounder shoes. Not particularly excelling at any one thing but a great option for daily use.

Here’s my breakdown of the current shoes that I think are leading the way across various use cases, from the fastest options to shoes perfect for long, comfortable training runs.

For some of these shoes you can watch full video reviews via the Run Testers YouTube channel. If we’ve made a video you can find the link under the shoe. If you want to see us cover any that don’t have a video then let me know.

The best running shoes for racing

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike Vaporfly Best Running Shoes

Up until a couple of weeks ago I’d have said the Nike Pegasus Turbo for this, but since then I’ve bought myself a pair of Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% and my running world has been turned upside down.

From the first time I ran in these, I realised what all the hype was about. Not only are they ridiculously light, but the ZoomX foam combined with the carbon plate produces a ridiculous level of bounce that has such a noticeable effect as you run.

In the first 5k I raced with them I knocked over a minute off of my recent best times and about 30 seconds off my all-time PB – and they’re not even meant to be that valuable over shorter distances. My heart rate was lower and I didn’t feel like I was putting in as much effort as I normally do. It’s a phenomenal shoe.

The only major downsides are the cost and the durability. If you’re serious about your racing and you need an edge on top of your training, they’re the best I’ve ever used.

Price: £239.95

Weight: 217g

New Balance FuelCell Rebel

New Balance Rebel Best Running Shoes

Before 2019 I was never a big fan of New Balance’s range of running shoes. However, over the past few months, they’ve released some really nice shoes covering a wide range of different types of runner.

The Rebel is New Balance’s race shoe. An extremely lightweight, comfy option with the perfect level of cushioning for comfort and race day speed. In many ways, it’s similar to the Nike Pegasus Turbo in feel and purpose, albeit with slightly less cushioning.

At £120 it’s a great option if you’re looking for a fast shoe that’s cheaper than some of the big names and, to be honest, the only downside is the outsole durability isn’t great.

If you’re looking for one pair of shoes for multiple purposes, the Rebel isn’t going to cover you for training runs, in terms of both comfort and durability. For 5k to half marathon races, it’s well worth a look.

Price: £120

Weight: 208g

Hoka One One Carbon X

The Carbon X was one of the earliest Carbon plate shoes to appear on the market in the wake of Nike’s domination over the last year or so. I’m a big fan of it for a number of reasons and I’ve used it for many races over the last year.

There’s an incredibly thin, light upper that covers the bulk of the shoe. It’s extremely comfortable and feels almost as thin as the material you’d find on a t-shirt. That makes it noticeably breathable and it really is a joy to wear.

The midsole has, as you’d expect from Hoka, a fair bit of cushioning whilst still retaining the lightness of a high-performing race shoe. The carbon plate offers a noticeably level of energy return, although it’s still a long way off what you’re getting in the Vaporflys.

Overall it’s a great shoe for racing: comfortable, cushioned, bouncy and lightweight, and it’s a very enjoyable shoe to wear. For me, it’s a bit too chunky to be as fast as the Vaporfly or the New Balance Rebel. But if you want a carbon plate racer that has a more substantial midsole, it’s a great shout. There are also some really nice colorways coming out for it (the white ones can get pretty dirty).

Price: £160

Weight: 247g

Saucony Kinvara 11

The Kinvara range has always been popular with runners looking for a race shoe that offers a lightweight ride but doesn’t skimp on comfort and responsiveness.

I was a big fan of the Kinvara 10, but the improvements made to the latest model have significantly improved on it. As well as a new design, which is by far one of the best looking shoes I’ve seen for ages, Saucony has updated the previous EVA midsole to use its own PWRRUN foam.

Essentially it’s a fantastic race shoe that has a surprising amount of cushioning and comfort. If you’re a faster runner, it’s a perfect option if you need a speedy training shoe as well and the new foam offers a nice level of durability, so it’ll last longer than a lot of speed shoes.

Price: £115

Weight: 251g

Adidas SL20

The SL20 is probably the most exciting shoe that adidas has released for the past few years (until the Adizero Pro appears). Featuring the new Lightstrike cushioning, it’s one of the lightest shoes you’re going to find out there at 222 grams – and it really does deliver.

It may lack the soft, bounciness that you’ll find in something like the Carbon X or the Rebel, but for race day it’s a great option.

It may be a bit hard for training runs and for many runners it’s probably going to lack the cushioning of a marathon shoe, but for 5k to half marathons, it’s one of my top choices. Especially considering you can pick them up for under £80.

Price: £79.99

Weight: 222g

Full video review

361 Degrees Feisu 2

If you haven’t heard of the running shoe brand 361 Degrees, they’re a big deal over in China with an extensive range of running shoe for all types of runner.

I’ve tried out a couple of their shoes in the past and although I liked them, they didn’t blow me away. The Feisu 2 is the recent update to the fastest shoe across the full range. It’s designed for one thing: speed.

In a world that’s dominated by carbon fibre plates, it’s quite nice to see new shoes appear that offer a great experience for speedy runners but still keep it simple. The Feisu 2 is one of the best examples of that I’ve seen recently. Like the adidas SL20s they offer a light, snappy ride but without the noticeable hardness.

That’s not to say the Feisu 2 are heavily cushioned, they’re definitely not. So if you do want some bounce then these aren’t for you. But, they have a bit more than the SL20, making for a slightly more comfortable ride.

I actually took these out after a few runs and took two minutes off of my 10kb (38 minutes now). So they do the job pretty well. Design-wise they look superbly retro as well.

Price: €119.99

Weight: 204g

Full video review

Salomon Sonic 3 Accelerate

Salomon isn’t a brand that most of us would associate with road running, with its widespread appeal largely focussed around the trail running and hiking worlds. As a result, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with the Sonic 3 Accelerate. I’d previously heard nothing about the shoe – which meant my expectations were low before testing them out.

The Sonic 3 Accelerate is a neutral shoe that works best when it comes to speed, coming in at a nice 223g for men. It feels hard like a minimal race shoe but does actually have a fair bit of cushioning in the form of the dual-layered OptiVibe midsole. For the first few kilometres, it feels slightly clunky and I was concerned that they would be too hard for me, especially in training runs.

That soon wears off and you realise that it’s actually a very comfortable shoe for faster training miles and for racing. In comparison to some of the other race options out there, it offers a surprising amount of cushioning against impact without feeling soft or sluggish.

Price: £99.99

Weight: 223g

Full video review

The best all-round running shoes:

New Balance FuelCell TC

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Just because a shoe has a carbon plate doesn’t mean it will make you run faster. The reason why Nike’s Vaporfly shoes are so good is not because they have a plate in them. Yes, it contributes to the overall shoe but there’s a lot more to it than that from foam to the materials used in the upper.

The FuelCell TC, like most carbon plated shoes being released at the moment, is inevitably going to be compared to the Vaporfly. To do that is just wrong, though. The TC is not a shoe specifically made for really fast times on race day. It’s an all-round shoe that’s built for pretty much everything, offering beautifully enjoyable training runs as well as a lot of speed in races.

It’s bouncy, comfortable, has a lot of energy return and has significantly more durability than a focused race shoe. I’ve been wearing it for pretty much every run since I’ve got it and I’m an enormous fan. May well be my favourite all-round running shoe ever… I won’t make that claim just yet though. We’ll give it another few weeks.

Price: £180

Weight: 264g

Full video review

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2

Nike Pegasus Turbo Best Running Shoes

I first ran in the Nike Pegasus Turbo back in 2018. I wore it for every major race I did over the next year and I beat all of my existing PBs wearing it. It’s not only an incredibly light running shoe but it has a lot of cushioning in the form of the same ZoomX foam that’s in the Vaporfly.

To be honest there was nothing about the original Pegs that I didn’t like. They’re comfy, the rocker shape works really well for momentum and they work just as well for training runs as they do for racing. They’re pretty much the perfect all-round running shoes.

The Nike Pegasus 2 has had some updates made to the upper to make it lighter. With that comes a few minor issues in terms of fit and slightly less support. It’s still by far my favourite all-round shoe though and I’ve never found anything that’s impressed me so much. The new version also has loads of really nice new colorways.

Price: £159.95

Weight: 233g

On Cloudflow

The Cloudflow has seen an upgrade in the most recent version of the shoe in the form of a new softer and more responsive Helion foam midsole. A really good thing as the original version was an extremely hard shoe to run in – to the point where my flat-footed slow running made me sound like a horse clopping.

Despite that, I did run in the original versions a fair bit a few years back and found it to be a great all-round running shoe. The new version is a significant improvement on that shoe and sits very nicely between a faster training shoe and a race shoe.

The Helion foam is nice and springy without being overly chunky and the lightweight upper is supportive and comfortable. There’s also Speedboard in there, which is a bit like a carbon plate and designed to give an extra kick off with each step.

A great option if you want one pair of shoes to take you from training runs to races. If you’re after cushioning and support it may be a bit on the thin side though.

Price: £130

Weight: 235g

Full video review

Nike Zoom Fly SP Fast

To be honest, I’m a bit late to the table when it comes to the Nike Zoom Fly. I actually bought a pair because I enjoyed running in the New Balance Fuelcell TC so much I wanted to see how Nike’s cheaper Vaporfly alternative compared with it.

Most of the people I’ve spoken to that have bought a pair of Zoom Flys seem to have done it because they wanted a cheaper carbon plate alternative to the Vaporfly – before 2020 it was one of the small selection of shoes that had one, and considerably cheaper than it’s record-breaking older borther/sister.

Although it does take some design features from the Vaporfly, the similarities are largely minimal. It doesn’t really feel like the Vaporfly and the carbon infused nylon plate (it’s not fully carbon) is largely unnoticeable as a feature.

To compare it to the Vaporfly is fairly pointless. To judge it as a great all-round shoe that offers an affordable and lightweight ride is far wiser. It’s a great, snappy shoe that lacks the sort of bounce and responsiveness of the Vaporfly but still offers a nice level of comfort, bounce and energy return thanks to the React foam. Well worth a look if you want a shoe that’ll cover you from training runs to race day. You can also find versions of it significantly cheaper if you search around.

Price: £149.95

Weight: 232g

The best running shoes for training

Hoka One One Clifton Edge

Like the previous Clifton iterations, the Edge is a shoe designed to offer a comfortable, lightweight and cushioned ride. As you’ve probably noticed, the “Edge” is in reference to the addition of an extended heel section, a feature intended to add extra support and improve heel to toe transition.

Now, I’m not a heel striker, so to test this shoe I did a fair bit of running downhill. In that capacity the extra foam does make a noticeable difference when landing. Whether or not that translates to a heavy heel striker, I’m not so sure, but it definitely doesn’t have a negative affect if you don’t.

The main thing that surprised me about the Edge is that despite its bulky appearance (it looks enormous compared to another shoe in the same size), it’s actually fairly lightweight at 253g. For training runs it delivers a soft, comfortable and enjoyable ride, however I don’t think the extra foam does a great deal to improve on the normal Clifton model.

If you are a heavy heel striker and want stability and support without sacrificing weight and comfort, it may be a good option – it definitely won’t be counterproductive.

Also wort noting that the shoe does size slightly small. So aim for half a size to a size bigger.

Price: £140

Weight: 253g

Mizuno Wave Skyrise

Mizuno Wave Skyrise Best Running Shoes

When I first got the Mizuno Wave Skyrise, I wasn’t really a fan of them. For me, the design looks a bit dull and they appear too clunky from an aesthetic perspective.

When I started wearing them for long training runs I didn’t really warm to them either. Nothing about them really impressed me about them, but for some reason, I kept wearing them.

After wearing them for dozens of runs I started to realise that they weren’t there to impress me with features, and what I actually wanted was a comfortable shoe that I didn’t think about. I don’t think I’ve ever come home from a run and had any issues with them, or wished I’d worn another pair when I’m out on the streets.

They’re just a really comfy, reliable pair of training shoes that has a lot of support in the upper, a heap of soft cushioning in the midsole and a really durable outsole. They’re not fast though, so don’t expect to get these and run races in them.

Price: £99.99

Weight: 300g

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10

I was never a fan of the previous Fresh Foam models from New Balance. I found them clunky, not very comfortable and a bit underwhelming. With a load of design updates, I’ve been turned around and I really like the new v10 model.

It’s the first time I’ve actually liked the look of the Fresh Foam series and a lot of work has clearly been put in to make these accessible to the fashion audience. Luckily those developments are not all cosmetic and, for me, the shoe is a vast improvement on the previous design.

First of all, there’s a new Hypoknit upper which offers a sock-like fit. It’s comfy, looks nice and fits my feet very nicely (size 8 – average width) – although my little toe does press into the soft knitted upper slightly (doesn’t feel uncomfortable). The Fresh Foam X in the midsole is cushioned but still feels slightly hard and there’s a spattering of rubber on the outsole to protect the thick wedge of foam.

For me, it’s a nice shoe for short and long-distance running where you want a comfortable ride but still want a bit of a kick to it. I’ve seen a lot of people racing in it and I’ve tried it out at a 10k and a half marathon. Although it feels fine, at my pace, it’s not a fast shoe. I found myself getting annoyed with the sluggish feel of it towards the latter stages of the distance and I wouldn’t advise using it for racing. For faster training runs, it’s fine.

Price: £135

Weight: 281g

Full video review

Asics Novablast

When I first picked up a pair of Asics Novablasts and put them on I wasn’t initially very keen. The upper felt a bit loose and flimsy and I struggled to tie the laces comfortably. I was also worried that the overly thick cushioning and drop of 10mm would make for a slow and unenjoyable run.

After a couple of kilometres, my first view of the shoe was completed disproved as I found them to be surprisingly responsive and enjoyable to run in. Yes, that cushioning is soft, but it has a fair kick to it when you’re picking up the pace.

I tend to use them for training runs where I want to flexibility to go slow or pick up the pace and they do a great job. That loose upper doesn’t cause me any issues either.

The one downside is that they’re not the most stable of shoes, so if you want to strap your feet in and feel like they’re locked in place, these probably aren’t the shoes for you and that added height can make them feel a bit precarious.

A great shoe for comfort and training across distances, but probably not a good race shoe.

Price: £119.99

Weight: 260g

Full video review

ASICS Glideride

When I first tested out the Glideride, I really didn’t like them. They’re one of the most rigid shoes I’ve ever tried and that curved structure, twinned with a thick and slightly restrictive upper, feels like it’s forcing your feet to move in a very specific way.

I used them a few times then put them in the cupboard to gather dust – until a few weeks later when I decided to give them another go. There’s a definite wearing in period with the Glideride which can take a good 40km or so to loosen them up. I’ve since found them to be a great shoe for longer training runs, offering a nice fluid motion as a result of the pronounced rocker.

They’re probably a bit pricey for a training shoe for most people, so I wouldn’t advise getting a pair unless you can find them cheaper somewhere.

Price: £145

Weight: 281g

Full video review

The best running shoe for value

HOKA ONE ONE Rincon

Hoka Rincon Best Running Shoes

I’m a big fan of the Hoka Carbon X running shoe as an all-round option for racing and faster training runs, but it’s a bit pricey if you’re on a budget. Luckily Hoka released a significantly cheaper option in the form of the Rincon shoe.

It’s an impressively lightweight piece of kit that performs brilliantly as a training shoe or as a race shoe, much like the Carbon X. There’s a lot of bounce in the midsole as well as a nice, soft landing that offers a competent level of energy return.

At £105 (cheaper on some websites), it’s a ridiculously high level running shoe for the price and one of my favourite options for every type of run.

Price: £105

Weight: 218g

New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon 2

When it comes to value for money, there isn’t one shoe I’ve tested that’s as impressive as the New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon. When I first tested the previous model I was amazed by how much I enjoyed running in it, especially considering you can pick a pair up for less than £50 on some websites.

At 207 grams it’s an incredibly light shoe that offers a high level of cushioning whether you’re heading out for a long slow run or aiming for some faster miles. The upper is lightweight, but still gives a nice secure fit and the heel section is designed to hold the foot in place as you run.

Like the Hoka One One Rincon, it’s not the most durable shoe. There is some rubber covering on the outsole but don’t expect the Beacon 2 to be with you for years to come.

If you’re looking for a great all-round shoe, whether you’re saving the pennies or you want something cheap to add to your shoe collection to save some of your pricier models, it’s a great option.

Price: £90

Weight: 207g

The best running shoe for day wear

On CloudSwift

What I mean by ‘day wear’ is a shoe that you can leave the house in, wear at the gym, wear it to the shops and, if you fancy it, head out for a run. Should the mood arise.

The On Cloudswift is that shoe for me. I wear it all the time for pretty much anything I’ve got going on. It looks great, it’s really comfy and it works very well as an all-round running shoe.

The sole is made from On’s Helion foam, which offers a really soft yet responsive level of cushioning. It’s great for gym workouts, whether that’s weights or a HIIT class and it’s really durable so I don’t worry about it wearing down quickly (I wouldn’t wear many of the shoes in this list to go shopping in).

Price: £135

Weight: 240g

Other shoes out there

Asics Metaracer

As you’ve probably noticed, there are a hell of a lot of carbon plate shoes being released over 2020. There’s also a tendency to compare every one of them to the Vaporfly – I know because I always do it as well.

Although it has a carbon plate, the Metaracer feels nothing like the Vaporfly. In many ways that’s a bad thing, especially if you’re after a new race shoe that delivers the same sort of benefits. In actuality, if I didn’t already know there was plate in this shoe I would have told you there wasn’t. It’s so unnoticeable in comparison to the Vaporfly or the FuelCell TC.

Now, that isn’t a negative. Just because a shoe has a carbon plate doesn’t mean that it needs to feel the same as another shoe. The Metaracer is more like what you’d expect from a standard lightweight race shoe, just with a little bit extra energy return. To be honest, I much prefer the Vaporfly or the FuelCell TC, but that’s just me. Some people don’t actually want a really bouncy shoe.

As a fast race shoe the Metaracer does a very good job, it is, however, not a training shoe. For slower miles – like with most race shoes – it isn’t enjoyable.

My main issue with the Metaracer is the price. At £180 it’s way too expensive for what it is, considering you can get a very similar feeling shoe – without a carbon plate – for a lot less.

Price: £180

Weight: 190g

I’ll continue to update and add to this list as I try out more shoes. If you agree, disagree or have something interesting to say about my choices, shoot me a message on Instagram.

You can also see an in-depth video of me discussing some of my favourite running shoes with The Run Testers here:

The 16 Best CrossFit Workouts to Test Your Strength and Fitness

If you’re looking for some ideas on training sessions to push yourself to the limit then you’ll be needing the best CrossFit workouts.

Whether you’re a fully-fledged CrossFitter or someone who’s looking for a few new workouts to try out at the gym, the world of CrossFit workouts is a great place to start getting some challenging ideas. Many of the formats used aren’t specific to CrossFit gyms and you can do most of them without the need for any special equipment.

Why are CrossFit workouts, or WODs (workouts of the day) as they’re known, so popular? Well, they tend to use a range of simple formats that mean the same workout can be replicated by anyone. That means that you can easily compare your efforts with people around the world doing the same workout.

As well as being designed to test a range of fitness skills, they’re also made to be scalable. So you can do the majority of them regardless of what level of advancement you’re currently at. That might mean using significantly lighter weights or modifying an advanced movement completely.

I’ve done my fair share of WODs over the past couple of years. Some I’ve come out of looking like I can barely move, others I’ve just had lots of fun doing. Here are some of the best Crossfit workouts I’ve tried out.

The Best CrossFit Workouts: Murph

Murph is by far the most famous CrossFit there is, largely because it’s such a simple series of exercises that make up the core basis of any functional movement. That simplicity doesn’t make it easy though and it’s one of the most demanding WODs you can do.

Depending on how you’re doing it, you can carry out the exercises in order or break them up. The workout is for time, so as soon as you’ve finished the list, you’re done.

For time:

  • 1 mile Run
  • 100 Pull-ups
  • 200 Push-ups
  • 300 Squats
  • 1 mile Run

The Best Crossfit Workouts: Fran

Fran is where it starts to get ever-so-slightly technical with the inclusion of thrusters (probably the exercise I hate the most). The workout itself looks relatively minimal on paper. All you need to do is 21 thrusters and 21 pull-ups, then 15 of each and then 9 of each. Doesn’t sound like much does it?

Don’t let the simplicity fool you. It’s horrible, and by the end, your arms, back and legs will be wrecked. Extremely fit people tend to do it in around 5 minutes, which feels like a very long time.

21-15-9 reps for time of:

  • Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • Pull-Ups

The best CrossFit Workouts: Annie

Another reps for time workout that seems relatively simple, Annie is an absolute killer for the core and the legs. Basically the main challenging element of the workout is the double-unders because there’s a hell of a lot of them in it (if you can’t do double-unders stick with singles).

The sit-ups may seem like an easy addition, but that’s a lot of repetitions focussing on your stomach, and trust me, it’s going to hurt very quickly.

50-40-30-20-10 reps for time of:

  • Double-unders
  • Sit-ups

The Best CrossFit Workouts: Helen

Helen is actually one of the enjoyable CrossFit workouts I’ve ever done. The main reason for this is I actually really like running. However, for a lot of CrossFitters, that’s often the worst part.

The number of each reps in each block is actually fairly manageable without seeming like an impossible effort, although by the third round it’s going to start hurting. The key is to focus on the form of your kettlebell swings as it can be dangerous if you start doing them incorrectly as fatigue appears.

3 rounds for time of:

  • 400-meter run
  • 21 kettlebell swings (1.5/1 pood)
  • 12 pull-ups

The Best CrossFit Workouts: Angie

The nicest element of Angie for me is the fact that you do 100 reps of each exercise, which makes it really easy to remember whilst you’re doing it. You also only need a pull-up bar, so you can do the WOD pretty much anywhere – it’s a favourite of mine if you need a quick session outdoors that works pretty much every major muscle group.

If it’s too difficult, all you need to do is drop the number of reps down and build-up over time. You can also switch out the pull-ups for something easier like inverted rows if you need to.

If you’re sticking to the rules you need to do each exercise in order before you move onto the next one. But as a training session, I tend to mix it up.

For time:

  • 100 pull-ups
  • 100 push-ups
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 100 squats

The best CrossFit Workouts: Grace

Grace is training at its most raw. One incredibly taxing exercise done as quickly as possible whilst maintaining an excellent level of form throughout.

The clean and jerk is by far one of the most advanced movements in CrossFit and if you’re carrying out the RX weight for it, you need to be fairly advanced. At 135lb for men and 95lb for women, it’s going to push muscles across the whole body to work at the max – and you’ll be slowing down very quickly.

If you can do 30 clean and jerks with good form, lower the weight significantly as it’s a demanding movement and injuries are likely. If you can do it, you’ll need to pace effectively to stop yourself burning out completely.

The workout:

  • 30 clean and jerks for time

Men: 135 lb

Women: 95 lb

The best CrossFit Workouts: Cindy

If you look at it on paper it sounds pretty easy. No technical moves, no heavy lifts – no weights at all actually. But 20 minutes of this killer workout and you’ll know why it’s one of the CrossFit staple workouts.

It’s all about strategy. Play to your strengths and pace yourself. Burn out too quickly and your speed is going to grind to a halt – and 20 minutes is a long time to rep out when you’re heavily fatigued.

The workout:

  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats

As many times as possible in 20 minutes

The best CrossFit Workouts: Arnie

Not going to lie, Arnie is only for the advanced CrossFitters. Turkish Get-Ups are really tough when you’re doing them on their own as a standard repped exercise Throw in a competitive element and you’re just asking for injuries if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Basically, if you’re looking at this thinking “right, I’ll give this a go, those Turkish Get-ups don’t look too hard”. Stop. Get yourself a light kettlebell, get someone who knows what they’re doing and give it a few weeks or months. Then come back here and consider it.

Oh yeah, there’s kettlebell swings as well. A lot of them. Enjoy.

The workout:

  • 21 Turkish Get-Ups, Right Arm
  • 50 Kettlebell Swings
  • 21 Overhead Squats, Left Arm
  • 50 Kettlebell Swings
  • 21 Overhead Squats, Right Arm
  • 50 Kettlebell Swings
  • 21 Turkish Get-Ups, Left Arm

For time.

With a single 2 pood kettlebell.

The best CrossFit Workouts: Chelsea

Chelsea is a great workout for beginner or advanced CrossFitters. Actually, based on the fact you don’t need any equipment and there are no technical moves, it’s a great training format for pretty much anyone.

The format is an EMOM, which means you do all the reps ‘every minute on the minute’ – whatever time you have left over in the minute you can have a rest. See how long you can get to without needing more than a minute to complete the three exercises.

The key to Chelsea is pacing yourself. It may seem logical to do it as fast as you can to gain more rest time, but go too fast and you’ll be struggling to recover and crash out earlier.

If you can’t go for the full 30 minutes. Take a break for a full minute and carry on afterwards, then count how many full minutes you manages.

The workout:

  • 5 pull-ups,
  • 10 push-ups
  • 5 squats

EMOM – every minute on the minute for a maximum of 30 minutes.

The best CrossFit Workouts: Clovis

It’s not often you see real endurance training in CrossFit but if you’re looking for a WOD to really test your staying power, Clovis is the one to go for.

To be honest it’s a completely ridiculous workout and not one that’s at the top of most CrossFitter’s list of priorities. On it’s own, a 10-mile run is more than enough exercise for one day, throw in 150 burpee pull-ups and you’re looking at one hell of a session.

You can split up the two exercises to make it easier, although regardless of how you do it you’re looking at one of the longest CrossFit WODs out there. On average the 10 mile is likely to take well over an hour – so don’t expect to do this one in your usual CrossFit session.

The workout:

  • Run 10 miles
  • 150 burpee pull-ups

For time

The best CrossFit Workouts: Bert

If you like long lists of exercises then Bert is the guy for you. The workout includes a complex series of strict exercises and reps to complete for time. There’s a lot of running, a lot of push-ups and a lot of walking lunges. Oh yeah, and it’s all nicely sandwiched between two sets of fifty burpees.

Don’t expect to bang this one out in 10 minutes. It’s a full-on endurance challenge that could take you the whole afternoon. Maybe just try a bit of it out first and see how you go.

The workout:

  • 50 burpees
  • 400m run
  • 100 push-ups
  • 400m run
  • 150 walking lunges
  • 400m run
  • 200 squats
  • 400m run
  • 150 walking lunges
  • 400m run
  • 100 push-ups
  • 400m run
  • 50 burpees

For time

The best CrossFit Workouts: Karen

Yes, you’ve read that correctly, the Karen WOD is just 150 wall balls – sounds easy, right? Wrong. 150 wall balls is an incredibly difficult workout to do in one go, hitting an enormous range of muscles and joints extremely hard.

The first 20 or so may seems simple. You’re reps are perfect, you’re hitting the target every time and nothing is hurting. Get to 40 and things change significantly. Things start to burn, the target seems to be further and further away and as soon as you miss a couple you start to get frustrated.

Karen is about pacing. You can’t rush it as you’ll burn out way too quickly and the reps almost become impossible with any sort of flow or momentum. Take breaks, get your breath back and keep steady.

The workout:

  • 150 Wall Balls

Men: 20lbs

Women: 14lbs

For time

The best CrossFit Workouts: Nancy

Absolutely nothing about Nancy is fun, save for the joy of going through it with your favourite training buddies. On paper, it looks relatively simple, but essentially it all boils down to how good you are at overhead squats.

If your mobility is seriously lacking then 150 reps of legitimate squats is going to feel like pure hell. To be honest, if your overhead squats aren’t competent enough then I wouldn’t even suggest you attempt Nancy. And that’s before I’ve even mentioned the five 400m sprints.

The workout

5 rounds for time of:

  • 400-meter run
  • 15 overhead squats

Men 95lb

Women 65lb

The best CrossFit Workouts: Jackie

If you rearranged the exercises in Jackie things might be different, but there’s something about the format that really pushes you to the limit. Assuming you go all-out on the 1000m row (and why wouldn’t you?), banging out 50 thrusters and then 30 pull-ups is enough to take down any human out.

Expect to be stood looking up at those pull-up bars with anger and defeat as you realise how much effort rowing and thrusters puts on your upper body.

The workout

For time:

  • Row 1000m
  • 50 thrusters (45 pounds)
  • 30 pull-ups

The best CrossFit workouts: Erin

Two exercises, five rounds, 180 reps. Simple. Well, yes, but not easy. First of all you need to get you split cleans on point. Slightly less tricky due to the fact that you’re using dumbells instead of a barbell, but it does need a higher level of coordination, especially considering you’ll be using some fairly heavy kit.

And then there’s 21 pull-ups. Let’s be honest, 21 is a lot of pull-ups anyway. By the time you get to the third round your arms are going to be in a world of pain. Pace well, practice with lighter weights and focus on form, especially on the split cleans.

The workout

5 rounds for time:

  • 15 dumbbell split cleans
  • 21 pull-ups

Men: 40lb. dumbbells

Women: 25lb. dumbbells

The best CrossFit workouts: Nick

Twelve rounds – sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Well, trusts us, it. is. Not only are you repping out some fairly heavy hang clean squats, but the fact that you’re meant to be doing 72 handstand push-ups in total is almost Herculean.

That’s an enormous amount of effort to put on the shoulders in one session so make sure that not only can you do them safely, but also that you can handle the weight. Maybe start off on something lighter until you’ve worked out your pacing.

The workout:

12 rounds for time of:

  • 10 reps – 45 lb dumbbell hang squat clean
  • 6 handstand push-ups on dumbbells

Video Review: Salomon Sonic 3 Accelerate Running Shoes

When it comes to the best running shoes, Salomon is a brand you probably associate more with trails than hitting the pavements. It does, however, have a handful of road shoes designed for a range of different runners, including the Sonic 3 Accelerate.

I’ve never tested a Salomon road shoe before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with the Sonic 3 Accelerate. It’s a shoe that sits within the Sonic 3 collection of shoes and takes on the role of lightweight racer.

Read more: The best running shoes of 2020

At 223 grams (for men in a size 8), it’s not the lightest shoe out there but it clearly sits within the speed shoe block of shoes. There’s a bit more to the Accelerate than just lean speed though.

As well as a fairly creative upper design built to add an extra level of support and cushioning around the heel section, the main feature of the shoe is a special dual-layer midsole designed to minimize impact but also add a high level of responsiveness.

I’ve run over 100km in the shoe so far and I’m finding it offers a nice balance between faster tempo runs and all-out speed on race day. To hear my full review of the shoe, check out my video for The Run Testers below.

Price: £99.99

Video Review: New Balance Fuelcell TC Running Shoes

As you’re probably already aware, there are a fair few carbon plate running shoes being released in 2020. Some, however, are more eagerly anticipated than others. Of those that are exciting the running community, the Fuelcell TC are pretty damn high on the list.

New Balance has had an impressive run of great shoes over the past couple of years. Shoes like the Fresh Foam 1080v10 and the Rebel have become staples of my shoe collection and the brand is clearly putting some major effort into technical features as well as aesthetics.

Read more: The best running shoes of 2020

I’ve know about the new carbon plate shoes for a while now, having the opportunity to see a prototype model a while back. Since then I’ve been desperately waiting to get my hands on the first release: The Fuelcell TC.

Comparisons with the Nike Vaporfly range are inevitably, but just because a shoe has a carbon plate doesn’t mean it’s designed for the same purpose. The Fuelcell is the first shoe I’ve seen to really make that point clear, taking carbon plate technology and applying it to a more general use shoe that delivers for both racing and training.

To say I’m a big fan of the shoe is an understatement, it is in fact probably my favourite shoe of the last couple of years and definitely my favourite of 2020 so far.

For training runs it delivers a comfy ride that is so full of energy with each step that each trip out is an absolute joy. For speed, it’s no slouch either. It’s not as light or as fast as the Vaporfly Next%, but it isn’t meant to be. It’s an all-round shoe that can be used for training or racing, which, for most of us runners, is exactly what we need. If you’re just looking fr a race shoe then the Fuelcell RC should be hitting stores at some point in the near future (hopefully).

It’s a shoe that you can wear for pretty much any sort of running and get the benefits of high performance features, without the fear that you’re significantly diminishing it’s life span with every step – I wouldn’t ever take my Vaporfly Next% out for anything other than a race.

Here, myself and Nick run through our thoughts after testing the FuelCell TC over a few weeks.

If you have any questions or thoughts, leave us a message.

Price: £180

Weight: 264 grams

Drop: 8mm

Video Review: 361 Degrees Feisu 2 Running Shoe

When it comes to racing shoes, the focus this year has largely been on carbon plates and new foam technology. The Feisu 2, however, is less about new features and more about taking a running shoe back to simplicity.

This is the first time I’ve tried one of 361 Degree’s faster options and the Feisu 2 is the updated version of the lightest shoe in the range.

Read more: The best running shoes of 2020

Everything about the Feisu 2 is focused on stripping down a shoe to deliver a lightweight ride that’s designed solely for races. It comes in at 204 grams, leaving out some of the technical features you might find in some of the brand’s weighted options.

I’ve trained in the Feisu 2 between 5k and about 15k and I’m a big fan, managing to knock one and a half minutes off my 10k PB when I pushed as hard as I could (managing 38 minutes) – so I’ve definitely felt some positive benefits from the shoe.

Aside from the obvious benefits of the weight, the Feisu 2 actually has a surprising amount of rubber on the outsole for durability, and the upper section has a fair bit of support across the heel and the midfoot.

In terms of cushioning, it’s limited, but there is a bit more than you might expect from a race shoe. Add to that the 9mm drop and you’ve got a lightweight speed shoe that makes a good option for anyone looking to invest in a fast shoe, but isn’t interested in foam and carbon plates.

Overall, I’m a big fan of the Feisu 2. It’s light, it’s fast and it looks great. For me, it’s probably a good choice for races between 5k and half marathon, but I’d definitely want something with a bit more cushioning for a full marathon.

You can see me talk about the Feisu 2 in full in the video for the Run Testers.

The Feisu 2 will cost you €119.99.

Video Review: The Best Headphones For Runners 2020

As runners, there’s a lot more we look for in a pair of headphones than just great sound. We sweat, we jump about a lot, we stay outdoors for hours on end and we get annoyed by even the slightest bit of rubbing.

Over the last couple of years there have been some really impressive headphones released from brands like Jaybird, Jabra and Beats. And whilst some of them excel in one areas like size and comfort, others are pushing the boundaries of long battery life and safety.

The Run Testers have tried out dozens of pairs of headphones over thousands of miles of running. We also have quite individual needs when it comes to what exactly is ‘the best running headphones’.

For me, the Jaybird Vista are at the top of the list when it comes to a really impressive balanced piece of tech, but I’m also a big fan of the Aftershokz Trekz Air for racing. The other guys have different views.

In this video we run through the best headphones out there for runners at the moment, covering everything for sound quality and price to those that deliver when it comes to safety features.

Have you got a view on. the best headphones? Leave us a comment.