Gear

I literally started this page on the 9th of May, 2009 and I’ve been editing it ever since ignoring updating this page! It’s been 5 years since its last update and I’ve definitely gone through several pairs of shoes, gear, et cetera. I’ll still work on it but for now, please forgive the dated reviews below.

Last updated: 28 April 2010 10 December 2015

Footwear

Ultramarathon

Altra Superior 1.0 – 3 pairs: Prime, Part Deux, Thrice (circa 2012 to present)
Can you tell how I LOVE this shoe? 3 pairs and counting*! As of 12/10/2015, Prime has 192.2 miles, Part Deux has 367.2 miles, and Thrice has 183.9 miles (including my first ultra marathon). I wear a woman’s 6.5 in these and love the size of the toe box, the zero drop profile and low stack height. *This model has been retired by Altra and I am currently testing the waters with 2.0 (see below).

Altra Superior 2.0 (circa 2015 to present)
I wore these to my 9-mile run. 2 miles into it, I wanted to cry and chuck the shoe over the trail. My knee began to hurt and it forced me into a walk. I didn’t want to waste my new acquisition so I actually ended up taking out the insoles and ran on the rock guard. VOILA! I was able to complete my training run; no knee pain. I have to get used to the higher stack height but it makes sense to have more cushioning if I want to do an ultra around 50 miles and beyond….  O_o

Half through Marathon

Shoes I wore between 13.1mi and 26.2mi. Descending order.

Brooks Ariel (circa 2004, retired)
I wore this shoe once, which happened to be my first half-marathon. It was clunky, stiff and too heavy for my tastes. Ironically, I got fitted for it! Since it got soaked in the rain, anyway, I stopped wearing this and went for the Nike Pegasus.

Nike Pegasus (circa 2005 through 2009, retired)
I loved the Pegasus because it was lighter than the previous Brooks and it had a neutral footbed which enabled me to use my insoles. My first two pairs were free because of my association with Nike Club Run LA. I bought subsequent 3 pairs. The cushioning was just right, at that time and I only retired this shoe because I found the LunarGlide. I would return to using this shoe, though.

Nike LunarGlide (circa 2009 through 2010, retired)
When this shoe first came out, I was ogling at the ‘new’ technology they used with the shoe. Most of all, though, I liked how it was lighter than the Pegasus and had minimal stability correction and a neutral footbed — a perfect recipe for my slight over-pronation and my correcting insoles.

Saucony Grid Type A4 (circa 2010, retired)
Trained, and raced in these pair for one season until I decided it was too narrow for my tastes. When did I come to that realisation? At mile 8 of the Marine Corps Marathon. lol. Retired at 143 miles. I did use them as Tri shoes for a while, too.

Saucony Kinvara (circa 2010 through 2013, retired)
I LOVED this shoe. Even when I began training in minimalist footwear, I decided this would be my go-to marathon shoe. In fact, after I messed up the first shoe (can’t remember how, but I know I retired it at only 107 miles), I got another pair and only got up to 129mi before I had to retire that one. Oh, I should note that I ended up getting the men’s version (M 4.5 / W 6.5) because of the wider toe box.

Nike Free 3.0 v4 (circa 2011 through 2014, retired)
This was my go-to half marathon shoe. I can technically still wear them but they already have 345 miles.

Nike Free Flyknit (circa 2013, retired)
I thought these would replace my Nike Free 3.0 pair, but it was just too tight for my tastes. I only gave it 11 miles of love. They now belong to my mother. LOL

Saucony Hattori (circa 2013 to present)
Wore this to my half marathon PR! I still have the pair but hardly wear them anymore because I’ve been doing more and more trail runs.

Skechers GoBionic (circa 2012 through 2013, retired)
This was my go-to marathon shoe. I retired it at only 255 miles because the sole got too worn. Their newer running shoes have not compared to this one.

Shorter Distances

There were literally a bunch more that I got for free from Nike during my stint in Club Run LA, but I forget what else they gave us. LOL. Don’t worry, I donated the pairs I hardly/didn’t use to charity

Nike Shox 2:45 (circa 2006 thru 2008, retired)
This was my favourite short-distance shoe. I got it for free working for Club Run LA and thought it was the sweetest thing. The weight was just right, I actually did NOT use insoles. I particularly loved the way the shoe fit like a glove.

Nike Air Max 360 (circa 2007, retired)
This is one of those freebies (via Club Run LA) that was cool looking but too springy for my tastes. I ended up giving the pair to my mum, who loved it cos of its looks (not necessarily its features lol).

Vibram Five Fingers (circa 2010 to present)
I had a couple pairs of the KSO, beginning with the first pair reviewed here. I retired that pair after 309 miles because it developed a hole in the ball of my foot! lol. The second KSO had 448 miles before I retired it (also because it got too worn down, i.e. holes). I’m now using the Vibram Five Fingers Speed (boys model, due to my small feet size!)

New Balance Minimus WT10 (circa 2011, retired)
I wanted to love this shoe. It had a wide toe box, zero drop and low-to-no stack height. Why did I only use it for 1 season? It hurt the back of my foot (around the ankle area). The material there was so stiff, at one of my training runs (15mi) it rubbed it so raw the first few miles, I walked the majority of the run. +_+ I tried to go out on it on another run but still couldn’t stand it. Retired at only 19mi.

Xero Shoes (circa 2013 to present)
I purchased a do-it-yourself kit and went for a 3 mile run in them. I haven’t used them since as I wasn’t happy with the nylon laces (or with the way I laced them). I did keep the pair and will hack it to have more comfy laces (possibly leather) and a different lacing pattern.

Nike Eclipse (circa 2012)
Technically this is more like a lifestyle shoe but I ran 2 80’s themed races in them because the pair completed my Jane Fonda-esque outfit.

Triathlon

Saucony Grid Type A4 (circa 2011 as triathlon shoes, retired)
After I retired these pair from road racing, I decided to wear them in my (sprint) triathlons.

Skechers GoBionic (circa 2012 through 2013, retired)
My go-to marathon shoe was resurrected as a triathlon shoe!

Altra The One (circa 2013 to present)
These are not really tri shoes, but love them for their low profile and (what I thought) drainage holes. I did get a blister in these after doing an Olympic tri and wore these without socks. Lesson learned.

Insoles

  • Sof Sole Stability Insole (circa 2002 through 2008, retired)
    The one and only insole I would use, until early to mid-2008 when it was failing me. I suspect poor subsequent quality control methods — it wasn’t the same, anymore, when I began using it in 2002
  • ALINE Foot Suspension System (circa 2008 through 2010, retired)
    Rather pricey but customised to your foot/legs. I got these at the San Diego Marathon Expo and have been using them ever since. I like it because once my legs become stronger, and perhaps I correct my slight over-pronation, I can use the same insoles but for a few parts I need to replace to make it a neutral insole. Their website is www.aline.com

Laces

  • EZ Laces Stretch Lace (circa 2006 to present)
    I couldn’t find Yankz! back then at my local running store so I settled for these. They’re not bad and now that I think of it, I sort of like how they’re flat stretchy laces, rather than Yankz!’ rounded ones. I may actually return to these because of the ease of attaching my Garmin Footpod, timing chips, etc.
  • Yankz! Sure Lace System (circa 2008 through 2011, retired)
    When my sisters and I found this at a race expo on sale, we jumped on the deal. I’ve since laced two pairs of shoes with Yankz! and I like their hold and elasticity. However, because the laces are rounded, I had trouble clipping my Garmin Footpod onto it. It’s somewhat of a challenge to slide D-Tag racing chips onto them, too. Now I’m considering if I should go back to the EZ Laces or find another brand of elastic yet flat, laces. Until then, I find my stretchy laces to be invaluable.

Socks

  • Nike Dri-Fit No Show (circa 2002 through 2008, retired)
    I have small feet and it was rare if I found socks on the market that could fit my feet snugly (cos not-snug socks = blisters). I also did not like too much cushioning in my socks and the Nike Dri-Fit pairs met my needs.
  • Wigwam Ultimax X-Static Silver (circa 2007, retired)
    I thought these were a great concept: silver-infused socks — silver having natural anti-microbial properties. If the sock had smaller sizes, I would’ve stuck with them. I got blisters, though so I stopped using them.
  • 2XU Compression Race Socks (circa 2008, retired)
    I did quite a bit of research (i.e., it wasn’t just an impulse buy) before I got my first pair of compression socks. Actually, because of their cost, I did NOT buy this pair — it was a gift from my sis, Minel. They worked great for literally a year, when they began to break down — as in, the elastic of the sock degraded that it was slipping down my calf! Hahaha. So much for compression.
  • WrightSock Lite Double Layer Coolmesh Low Cut Tab Sock (circa 2008 through 2011, retired)
    Now wasn’t that a mouthful? LOL. I love this sock. I like how it’s double-layer and thus works to protecting your feet from blisters. What I don’t like about it, though, is how quickly it degrades — again, because I have small feet, I need socks that fit snugly. After a few washes, the sock stretches out a bit. I’ve gone as far as washing them in a lingerie net, so that they don’t get too stretched. Eventually, though, they stretch out and I have to get a  new set.
  • CEP Running O2 Compression Socks (circa 2009, retired)
    Much better pair of compression socks that did not lose their elasticity after several washes. I would not have retired these had I not found… injinji!
  • Injinji (circa 2011 to present)
    MY GO TO PAIR OF SOCKS. In the beginning, injinji made a cotton-blend pair that I loved but because of the size of my feet, didn’t fit too well. When they released the “performance” socks (i.e., compression, Run 2.0, Trail versions), I haven’t worn any other sock since… Well, maybe I lie. I have to wear a different pair of socks for triathlons. xD

Compression

  • Nike Short Sleeve Compression Shirt (circa 2003, semi-retired)
    I honestly began wearing compression shirts because I wanted to keep my now-growing Buddha belly in. It was only a few years ago when I read about how compression therapy actually help speed with recovery, so that’s a plus on top of my vanity
  • Nike Sleeveless Compression Shirt (circa 2003, semi-retired)
    Again, initially used as a pseudo-girdle for my belly. LOL
  • Under Armour Short Sleeve Compression Shirt (circa 2007, semi-retired)
    My two Nike compression shirts were getting worn out so I decided to get fresh pairs. I lucked out with these as they were on clearance. You get what you pay for, though, because the compression on this shirt was not as tight as I wanted them to be, especially compared to the Nike brand.
  • Under Armour HeatGear Long Sleeve Compression Shirt (circa 2008 to present)
    Going off on the research I found out about how compression helps with recovery, I found this product called SKINS (from Australia). It’s got graduated compression technology and UPF (sun) protection. Unfortunately, a long-sleeve compression shirt was over $100! Eek. Enter UA’s Compression shirt — has UPF, too and though not as tight as I want it to be, it still does its job with protecting my arms from the summer heat and sun. Tip: If you’re petite, go for the boys’ compression shirts in white. They’re cheaper and have shorter sleeves, albeit it’s not V-neck.
  • Foot Smart Graduated Support Calf Stocking (circa 2009 through 2012, retired)
    I bought these to help recover my left calf sprain sustained in March of ’09, yes, a mere month before my Camp Pendleton Hard Corps marathon! I remember doing more mid-week training runs than I’ve ever done because I did not want a repeat of my marathon failures (’07 and ’08). Freaking out, I got this support stocking and laid off running for two weeks. I was able to rehabilitate myself (through swimming and walking) and ended up getting a personal best at the Hard Corps marathon! I used these until the elastic gave out. I’ve been meaning to get a new pair at Footsmart but have 2XU as a fallback.
  • 2XU Compression Sleeve (circa 2011 to present)
    It’s a bit tight and the silicone leg gripper is a bit annoying but the compression works and I’m happy with it. 🙂

Arm Warmers

  • Sheila Moon DryFit Arm Warmers (circa 2009)

Monitors & Watches

  • Garmin Forerunner 201 (circa 2004 through 2010, retired)
  • Nike + iPod (circa 2007 through 2010, retired)
  • Garmin Forerunner 50 with Heart rate monitor and foot pod (circa 2009 through 2010, retired)
  • Garmin Forerunner 305 with Heart rate monitor (circa 2011 through 2014, retired)
  • Garmin Forerunner 310xt with Heart rate monitor (circa 2014, semi-retired)
  • Garmin Forerunner 910xt with Heart rate monitor (circa 2014 to present)

Hydration Packs, Bottles and Holders

  • Amphipod Full Tilt Velocity Waist Pack (circa 2008)
  • SPIbelt (circa 2008 to present)
  • Nathan HPL 2.0 Hydration pack (circa 2013 to 2014, retired from running used for trekking now)
  • Nathan Intensity Hydration pack (circa 2014 to present)

Physio Gear

  • The Stick – Marathon model (circa 2007)
  • Foam roller – size: 6″ x 36″ (circa 2008)

Therapeutic Stuff

  • Kool ‘N Fit – Sport Conditioning Fluid (circa 2005)
  • Kool ‘N Fit – Pain Relieving Liquid (circa 2006)
  • KT Tape (circa 2009)
  • Skin-On-Skin Blister Kit Blister Prevention (circa 2009)
  • Phiten Star Titanium Necklace (circa 2009 through 2011, retired)
  • Phiten Air Titanium Necklace (circa 2009 through 2011, retired)
  • Phiten Titanium Discs (circa 2009 to present)

Nutrition

Bars

  • Powerbar (circa 2003, retired)
  • Luna Bar (circa 2003, retired)
  • ClifBar (circa 2005, retired)
  • Hooah!/Soldier Fuel Energy Bars – chocolate (circa 2006 thru 2008, retired)
  • Power Crunch – Triple Chocolate (circa 2008)
Drinks

  • Gatorade (semi-retired)
  • Nuun – Citrus Fruit, Tri-Berry (circa 2008)
Gels

  • ClifShot Gel (circa 2005, retired)
  • ClifShot Bloks (circa 2006 thru 2007, retired)
  • JellyBelly Sport Beans – Orange (circa 2007)
  • GU Chomps – strawberry (circa 2009)

…to be continued. I can’t believe there’s so much crap that I use/have used! Ahhhhhh.

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