Product Review: Saucony Xodus ISO 3

Lee Macholz is one of our 2018/2019 RErun ambassadors. She is a stud! After work and family time, she still manages to volunteer and/or run many events through Runners Edge and Run Wild Missoula. We asked her to review the new Saucony Xodus to show how burly this shoe really is! Here are her thoughts below…

I had the opportunity to put the Saucony Xodus ISO 3 to the test last weekend as I ran 22 miles across the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Trail conditions varied from smooth well-worn single track to completely overgrown let’s-play-avoid-the-rocks-when-you-can’t-see-your-feet to jungle-gym-style blowdown to stream crossings and squishy squelchy mud. Let’s just say it was a true Montana wilderness experience! But the Xodus carried me through it all in comfort and definitely helped me trust my feet in some pretty tricky footing. Here’s a breakdown of the features of this workhorse of a trail shoe…

FIT: The Xodus touts Saucony’s ISOFIT, which I was a little skeptical of at first, but after my second run it won me over. There is not a traditional tongue, but rather more of a sock-like upper with flexible side pieces for the laces. I have a very high instep that often prevents me from even getting my foot into a boot or shoe (I can’t even get my foot halfway into a Keen sandal) and many shoes that are not adjustable over the instep will cause my feet to go numb. But the ISOFIT is soft and stretchy and flexible enough that it molds over my foot without cutting off circulation and then you can adjust the laces to keep the shoe tight in all the right places. I really think the ISOFIT will work for all kinds of feet. The other common issue is the size of the toe box. I like a wide toe box and the Xodus was perfect – no blisters, hot spots, or even tenderness on my toes at all (I did end up with a half-size larger than normal).
The back of the shoe and the front tab are both very tall. Neither are stiff so I didn’t have any rubbing or blisters, but I did feel like my tab-style socks were disappearing. My socks were not necessarily slipping under my foot, but I felt like I wanted to keep pulling them up. I think that I’ll wear a higher sock with these shoes next time I’m out for a big day.

Cushion: I’ve also been hesitant to move away from a trail shoe with a rock-plate because I got so used to the protection it offered in my beloved Pearls. I was very pleased with the performance of the extra cushion in the Xodus, it felt more like the level of cushion I like in a road shoe and with the strong sole I didn’t feel the sharpness of any rocks on the trail.

Sole: The rubber sole of the Xodus is really grippy. It was so noticeable that I think my husband started getting annoyed by my comments on how grippy my shoes were! I love to scramble on rocks and the Xodus feels like I can really trust my footing on DRY rocks and wood. I emphasize dry, because I was so confident in my feet that I didn’t pay enough attention when I hit a wet rock and suddenly my feet were sliding sideways out from under me. This is the only real con I have found with this shoe – the rubber is not so great on wet wood or rock. I think it will be ok on wet rock that has some relief to it because the tread is deep, but I slipped around a lot on smoother rocks and wood that were wet.

Overall Performance: Overall, the Xodus is a solid trail shoe. They stood up well to a variety of trail conditions. They were comfortable even after being thoroughly submerged in a creek crossing – they did feel like they held the water in a bit longer than other shoes, but not long enough to be uncomfortable or feel heavy. I really like the flexibility, feeling of the upper, and adjustability of the laces. I think they are definitely Rut-worthy!


Product Review: Petzl Actik Headlamp

Angie Partain is very involved in the Missoula Running Community as both a runner and frequent volunteer despite being a busy mom. You can follow her adventures at @jnapartain. As a RErun Ambassador, and with more dark than light these days, we asked her to review Petzl Actik Headlamp and share her thoughts.

November is here and with it, darkness. I don’t know about you guys, but it can be hard for me to stay motivated this time of year. I can come up with a million reasons to stay in my warm comfy bed in the morning as well as why my afternoon should be spent sipping hot apple cider. But nothing keeps me from running like the dark–it’s my winter running nemesis. I tend to be a bit afraid (or as my 5 year old would say: “ascared”) of running alone in the dark and have been known to rack up to 5 miles looping though lit parking lots while waiting for the sun. Maybe the dark doesn’t bother you, but seeing and being seen is key to running safely in the dark. Alright, enough about me and my fears…let’s talk headlamps!

In the past I’ve used the PETZL TIKKA 2, which I purchased a few years ago and will use to compare with the ACTIK.  


The ACTIK has 3 unique lamps with 5 different modes. I’ve affectionately named them: ‘Glimmer Glow’ (5 lumens–single beam), ‘Holy Buckets’ (100 lumens–2 beams–bright and wide), ‘Pearly Gates’ (300 lumens–2 beams–brighter and wider–seriously find your eclipse glasses to look at this beam), ‘RED-y Steady’ (2 lumens–Fun fact: do you know what the red lamp is for? It retains your night vision! Eyes adjust rapidly to red light in the dark. In addition, it won’t blind your running buddy or attract bugs. Plus, it’s just fun and Christmassy!)  and ‘RED Strobe’ (for visibility–visible up to 700 meters). This is literally a night and day difference from my old lamp, which only ranged up to 40 lumens. I was impressed with how amazingly the light cut through thick fog and made a dark trail feel like daytime. Casting a wide beam up to 90 meters rather than a single focal point, rocks and roots were clearly visible instead of shadowed. I loved it for roads as well, and felt so much safer being highly visible to those around me as well as having more time to be prepared for what was ahead or in my peripheral. On a side note, I wore the ACTIK to the Runner’s Edge Brooks Levitate party (You can find me in the upper left corner of the “L” in the photo taken that night), set on ‘Pearly Gates’ it lit the trail for my whole family on our hike down.  


Lightweight design, coming it at 92 grams, it’s just a few grams more than my old lamp. The head band is reflective with a safety whistle built into the adjusting hardware.  What about burn time?  An impressive 240 hours on ‘Glimmer Glow’, 60 hours on ‘Holy Buckets’, ‘Pearly Gates’ and ‘RED-y Steady’ and 400 hours on strobe. It’s powered by 3 AAA’s, which are included or the CORE rechargeable battery pack can be purchased separately.

Comfort and Style:

The head band fits snugly and comfortably without bounce. Tightness and lamp angle can easily be adjusted while running. As far as color selection goes, I love all things white and chose the Blue/White version. It’s also available in Black/Black and Lime/Black. Here’s my practical plug for the white one: It’s prettier!  Haha, but seriously I worked the headlamp return table at the RUT. The headlamps were nicely sorted by color and the sea of black headlamps was ridiculous.  Finding one’s took forever!  (Also, have you ever tried to sharpie your name onto a black on black item–it’s impossible! My hubby ended up packing his black headlamp on the 50k for this reason alone!) But then there was a sweet little pile of blue and white head lamps–like 5 of them, those 5 RUT-ers were reunited with their bright buddy in a jiffy, instead of wasting valuable hot tub time looking for a headlamp!

Maybe one day I’ll get comfortable with dark, but until then the PETZL ACTIK will get me through and help bring day to my night. It comes with a 5 year Guarantee and you can pick one up at the Runner’s Edge for $45. Seriously, you’ll love it–consider buying 2 of them! That way when your husband commandeers yours (ahem) you’ll still have yours!



Garden Frittata

This recipe is inspired by an evening of entertaining a friend who has many food allergies, luckily eggs and GetAttachment-6vegetables are not on her allergen list.  I have a beautiful cast iron skillet that does not get enough use and loads of kale, tomatoes and basil in my garden so this made for a perfect occasion!  You could think of this as an end of summer frittata as farmers markets seem to be boasting with these ingredients this time of year as well.  This recipe is perfect for a brunch occasion or as my intention, a nourishing dinner.


6 whole eggs
3 tbsp almond milk (unsweetened, plain)
3 kale stalks, stems removed and chopped
1 red or white onion, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6-10 whole basil leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
sea salt and black pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 450.  Place cast iron skillet on stove over medium heat adding olive oil.  Saute onions and garlic until soft.  Add kale and saute 2-3 more minutes.  Meanwhile, crack eggs into bowl and whisk in almond milk until mixed well.  Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet so they are evenly coated and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.  Let this mixture cook for about 4-5 minutes.  Place skillet in oven and bake until eggs are cooked through (this time will vary depending on how well you like your frittata and your oven).  I prefer well done frittatas so I baked mine for about 10 minutes.  Remove skillet from oven and top with sliced tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese if desired.  Slice and enjoy!

Bridget Baxter


11 Miles to Paradise VIDEO

Did you do the “11 Miles to Paradise” trail race this year? Whether you answered yes or no, check out this video.  It’s pretty awesome and will probably inspire you to drop everything and go for a trail run. 😉

Thanks to local filmmaker Bobby Jahrig of Jahrig Media for putting this together! 





Confirmed Light The Way 5k Registrations

Confirmed List as of December 2, 2013, 5pm

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Unbreakable The Film

The Runner’s Edge is bringing World Class Ultrarunners to Missoula for the Screening of Unbreakable, a film about the Western States 100 Mile Endurance race!

Three of the four athletes profiled in the Movie (Geoff Roes, Hal Koerner, and Anton Krupicka) will be attending the screening and will be participaing in a Q and A following the film.This event is going to be a great kick off to another great year of trail running and we will be donating all profits to Five Valleys Land Trust, an organization that is dedicated to protecting our open spaces.

Sunday, April 29th, 6:30 P.M.

The Wilma Theatre in downtown Missoula.

Buy tickets online (Click Here)

Tickets: $10 in Advance and $13 at the door.

See Film Trailer (Click Here)

This event is a Five Valleys Land Trust Fundraiser