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Tim Mosbacher is a staple in the Missoula running community. He is currently trying to run a marathon in every state and has experience with a variety of running products. As a RErun Ambassador and connoisseur of technical short sleeve shirts, we asked Tim to review the lululemon Metal Vent Tech SS. You can follow more of Tim’s adventures here.

Reviewing the lululeman Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeved shirt has made me reflect a little on my wearing of t-shirts. I just love the feel of a good t-shirt, and it is always so difficult in the morning to pick the one I am going to wear that day. 

Back in 1978 I took my first date to the movie Grease. I asked the girl when making the arrangements if we should dress up, and she said yes. I was a little embarrassed when I picked her up and she came out of her house wearing a long, fancy white dress and I was wearing my best bell bottom jeans and my favorite t-shirt.   

This still happens today. My wife will invite me to a gathering and I am faced with the tough decision about which t-shirt to wear. Needless to say, they are all “free” t-shirts from various runs. But is the gathering one where I can wear a 5k shirt or marathon shirt, or is it one where I bust out the Bighorn 100 mile shirt (which I dropped out of, but I have no shame)?

All of this will change with the lululeman shirt. It is a shirt you can run in but also is so swank you can wear it to most Missoula gatherings. If you really want to test out the shirt’s advertised anti-stink technology, you can even go for a run and then go straight to your party. If you smell, don’t blame the shirt. 

The metal vent shirt is very sharp looking. It is so comfortable due in part to its “four-way stretch.” I have never worn a shirt with so much elasticity, which just adds to the luxury of the shirt. The sizing runs slightly larger than most-shirts. 

The one downside to the shirt is the price. Maybe it will last two times longer than a normal shirt and will make up for the cost, which is my hope. There is no logo on the shirt, so if it does last that long it will be excellent. I sometimes wonder if I should still be wearing a shirt that says “1996 Shack 10k.”

If you see me around town, there is a good chance I won’t be wearing my typical running garb. Feel free to come up and touch the shirt, or better yet, try one on at the Runner’s Edge and tell them Tim sent you.

Tim Mosbacher is a staple in the Missoula running community. He is currently trying to run a marathon in every state and will be hiking the Montana portion of the CDT this summer. As a RErun Ambassador, and because he’s spending a lot of time on his feet, we asked him to test the new Ultimate Direction FK Gaiters and share his thoughts. You can follow more of Tim’s adventures here.

I am planning a 1000-mile backpacking trip this summer, and Forrest from Runners Edge said gaiters are a must for this long trip.  Since that initial conversation, most of the thru-hikers I have conversed with have backed up Forrest’s statement.  One slight problem is that I have never worn gaiters running or hiking, only cross country skiing. 

My experience with cross country gaiters has been positive but sweaty.  Since they go up the leg so high, my lower legs tend to sweat – a lot.  I had feelings of trepidation upon getting the Ultimate Direction FK gaiters for that reason.  Boy, was I wrong.  I have worn the gaiters on quite a few runs and rarely am aware that I have them on.  I have worn them with different heights of socks (low crew and quarter), and with both heights I have no feeling of sweatiness even in 75+ degree runs on the beach.  Even with shoes not built for gaiters (no gaiter lace hook at the end of the laces), the FK lace hooks worked great with all of my shoes.

As with all gaiters, it takes some practice and some initial setup time.  The FK gaiter comes with a replaceable hypalon strap that slips below the shoes so the gaiter does not move up and down.  If it wears out, the replaceable strap retails for only $2 (mine have no visible wear after all of my test runs).  The strap is adjustable, but it is a little bit of a struggle make it secure.  I needed to adjust the strap to its lowest setting to fit my shoes. 

 The top is velcroed together and stayed secure during all my runs.  There is no debris coming through the front or back of these gaiters.  I did on one run, due to operator error, not affix the Velcro together evenly and had Velcro chaffing, which can dig a nice hole in your skin in no time.  Once I attached the sides correctly, it was no longer an issue.

If you are a person who routinely kicks their ankles or calves while trail running (leading to materials sifting down into your shoes), the Ultimate Direction FK gaiter would be a great purchase.  Head down to Runners Edge and tell them Tim sent you.

Tim Mosbacher is a staple in the Missoula running community. He is currently trying to run a marathon in every state and has experience with a variety of running products. As a RErun Ambassador we asked him to test out the Nathan VaporKrar Waistbelt and share his thoughts. You can follow more of Tim’s adventures here.

One of the many reasons I like Run Wild Missoula training classes is that there are usually aid stations involved. Without aid provided, packs are a necessary evil. I hate carrying water and gels.  So when the classes end, I, like many people, create my routes based on where I can stop and get water.  So many loops will involve the River Front Trail due to the drinking fountains. Once they shut off in the fall, I am even more challenged. The Nathan VaporKrar WaistPak is going to change that.

I have owned a number of Nathan products in the past (two vests, water bottles, water belt, hipster belt). I hated carrying water bottles in my hand while running roads (I prefer it on the trails), and the water belts in the past had too much movement for me, even with the tiny bottles. Vests are the same as bottles: they work well on trails, but are uncomfortable when running on pavement. The VaporKrar has none of these inconveniences.

The VaporKrar is a combination Nathan Hipster with a water belt, albeit composed with a different material. It has a zippered front pocket large enough to carry a cell phone, two velcroed side pockets to carry gels, and a velcroed back pocket with a compression system that is made for an 18oz soft water flask or a light jacket. 

I love how the VaporKrar feels while I run. That is, I do not feel it even with 18oz of water. The compression system, which is made to tighten on both ends of the pocket, makes the pocket not move at all. The literature says that it provides a “bounce-free ride, even at Rob Krar’s speed.” Well I never ran at Rob Krar’s downhill speed, but I’m pretty sure I did some miles faster than what he can run up a 20% grade, and I can attest it was bounce-free!

The 18oz soft flask is designed to be used with the Exodraw Handle, which I have not tried. But I have heard from other trail runners that carrying soft flasks on long runs is a lot nicer than carrying hard bottles. Combined with the Waistpak, this seems like a great feature.

I have worn the VaporKrar on most of my runs the last month. It just doesn’t bounce on me, so even on shorter 10 mile runs I have worn it just in case I get thirsty. The one negative complaint I have is one that people would have with any compression system. It is pretty easy to remove the bottle even with some compression applied with the straps. To get the bottle back in is a little more difficult, and I have found that is easier to release all of the compression, insert the bottle, and then recompress. And all of that can pretty much happen only when you are stopped.

The pack has an elastic waist band. This makes it form fitting. I am not sure how long the elastic will last. It does tend to get twisted on removal. When it is empty it has a tendency to fold over (might just be my extra stomach muscles) but it is not noticeable while running.

I highly recommend the Nathan VaporKrar WaistPak. It is perfect for runs where you only need 18oz of water at a time. Stop into the Runner’s Edge and tell them Tim sent you.

Tim Mosbacher is a staple in the Missoula running community. He is currently trying to run a marathon in every state and because of this runs thousands of miles every year. He recently tested out the Brooks Sherpa 7″ 2-N-1 Shorts for us. 

What makes a good running short? As I prepared to do a review of the Brooks Sherpa 7” 2-in-1 running short, I pondered this question. My preference for length of short has changed over the years as I age and get slower, and it also differs depending on the type of run. 

I used to always buy “short” shorts, believing if you look and feel fast, you run fast. Unfortunately, not everyone shares that opinion. An old running partner from Anaconda joked that he was “uncomfortable” running with me when I wore my “short” shorts. Twenty years later, he still teases me about it. I still wear them if I have a big race and want to have that “fast” mental advantage.  (I last bought a pair because Vicky from Runner’s Edge said they would look cute on me.) I now tend to buy longer shorts, mainly because it seems they chafe a little less.  Something in my stride rubs my thighs together, which makes using an anti-chafing product a must on longer runs.  That was, until I discovered the Brooks Sherpa 7” 2-in-1 running short.  2-in-1 means the inner liner is not the typical mesh brief, but a mesh boxer brief liner. The boxer brief liner is tighter, almost like a compression boxer brief, which provides a tighter material over the upper thighs.

This extra material is light and breathes as well as the traditional mesh brief, but with more chafing protection.  If the run is going to be longer than around 18 miles, I still will put on an anti-chafing product. The Sherpa short fits true to size. It does ride a little lower (shorter inseam). The only problem with this for me has been when I add gels to the pockets. The weight tends to pull the shorts down, when they are already running a little low. But the pockets are one of the short’s strong points.

The shorts have three types of pockets. On the rear outer hips there are pockets or “holsters” on each side. These pockets are not enclosed with zippers or Velcro, but with an elastic band. They are great for gels or other items that don’t really matter if they accidentally fly out. There is an additional zippered back pocket across the middle. This pocket is excellent and is lined on the inner side with a moisture-free lining, so it is a great place to secure money, toilet paper, keys, etc. It is large enough to fit Clif Bloks and smaller cell phones. An additional pocket is located on the right leg of the boxer brief liner. This pocket is held tightly against the leg and is great for larger gels or even a larger phone (fits my Galaxy S8 with a case). The only other disadvantage of this short, besides the short inseam, is the seam that goes across the bottom of the boxer brief liner. At times, especially in the rain, this seam can chafe your perineal area, which makes for a painful run. 

To be honest, I love the shorts so much I always wonder why every other runner is not wearing the Brooks Sherpa 7” 2-in-1 running short. Purchase a pair at the Runner’s Edge and tell them Tim recommended them.

 

Tim Mosbacher is a staple in the Missoula running community. He is currently trying to run a marathon in every state and because of this runs thousands of miles every year. He recently tested out the brand new Saucony Triumph ISO 4, the first version with a complete Everun Midsole and shared his thoughts. 

I have run in over 50 pairs of shoes in the last ten years.  I wonder if the cost of those shoes was cheaper than a gym membership.   All but one pair were acquired through the Runner’s Edge (I earned a pair of shoes when I won the Bozeman Half Marathon).  Many I have loved, some I have tolerated, and some I was miserable in.  It is always hard to predict when trying them on in the store what my experience with a shoe will be.  Shoe companies also make it difficult when they tweak their shoes every year.  By looking at the chart at left, it is easy to tell that Brooks shoes and my running seem to go well together.

Brand
Brooks
Mizuno
Adidas
Saucony
Hoka
New Balance
Karhu
Shoes
33
10
3
3
3
1
1
 Mileage
~13,500
~4,400
~2,300
~1,300
~1,000
~250
~400


Even though I favor Brooks shoes, I try to run some miles every week in different brands or styles of shoes.  These past few months I have been giving the New Balance 860 a trial (and loving it) as well as assessing the newly released Saucony Triumph ISO 4.  The rest of this review will focus on the Triumph.

I have worn two other pairs of Saucony before, both being Saucony Exodus trail shoes.  Saucony has a good fit.  They are just comfortable the minute you put your feet into them.  The Triumph is no different.  The heel area of the shoe is extremely comfortable and ultra-padded.  It does feel like it runs slightly lower in height (much like Adidas) than many of my Brooks shoes.

Saucony boasts of an ISOFIT which consists of a glove like fit once you insert your foot into the shoe.  The tongue has comfortable padding and is part of the shoe.  The shoe has an 8mm drop compared to the 10mm drop of most of my other shoes.  The EVERRUN sole is soft, providing a smooth ride. 

The Triumph is a comfortable, padded shoe.   This added padding provides comfort, yet adds weight.  At nearly 11 ounces, it is a heavy shoe.  Despite this weight, it feels light.  The shoe feels like it propels you forward.  I have worn it during interval workouts and have enjoyed the shoe.  I cannot say this about my favorite heavy shoe, the Brooks Glycerin.  I would never wear the Glycerin on an interval workout.

The Triumph runs large.  I traditionally purchase a shoe that is a size 9.5.  In the Triumph I wear a 9.  The shoe runs a little narrower than what I normally am comfortable with.  It took a couple of runs before I could get the lacing adjusted correctly for the width of my foot.  This led to some discomfort on those initial runs, but the soreness has gone away as the adjustments have been corrected. 

Go into Runner’s Edge and try on a pair of the new Saucony Triumphs. Tell them Tim sent you.

 

Tim Mosbacher is a staple in the Missoula running community. He is currently trying to run a marathon in every state and has experience with a variety of running products. Tim does a majority of his running outside most of the year so we asked him how he stays on his feet. You can follow more of Tim’s adventures here.

Reviewing running accessories is always interesting because it is such a departure from my running background.  When I was young and broke, I would simply run out the door wearing shorts, a cotton shirt, and whatever shoes I could rummage up.  Many days I was miserable but I considered that part of the sport.  I did not worry about headlamps, visibility, technical shirts, traction, etc.  As I have gotten older, wiser, and have a little more money, I buy more accessories, which make running more enjoyable and definitely safer. A prime example of my newfound respect for accessories as a necessity would be on a dark and cold night last year.  The workout for the night was a tempo run on the Riverfront Trail with a couple of people from Run Wild Missoula’s spring marathon training group.  I showed up not wanting to run with spikes, just like the good old days.  Everyone else had brought spikes, but seeing me without them, they hesitated and put them back in their cars.  We made it one block from the Runner’s Edge before the first person fell.  It got icier and icier as we made our way to the Riverfront Trail, and not one member of the group made it fifty yards on the trail before falling. We gingerly made our way back to the store.  Everyone grabbed their spikes, and Meg Brooker outfitted me with a new pair of Due North’s Everyday Pro shoe traction aids.  We again left the store, but this time, we had a great run, with zero slippage.  That is how much of a difference using spikes can make. 

 A few years back I had purchased the Due North Everyday spike.  They worked well when they stayed on, but they would slip off in deeper snow.  I would also mistakenly (like an idiot) put them on upside down and have to reinstall.   So, even though I appreciated them when they worked, they did not work as well as I would have liked.

The Everyday Pro version is similar to the simple Everday model, but it has more extensive webbing to fit over the front of the shoe.  I have never had the Pro version come off.  Because of this webbing there is no mistaking which way to put the spikes on.  A majority of the time, I am unaware that I even have on a traction device.  The exception to this is when I hit dry pavement and hear the clanking of the spikes.  On dry surfaces, I may start to feel the spike under the ball of my foot if the device is not centered correctly.

The carbide spikes are replaceable but last for a good number of uses.  I tend to not want to take the spikes off and on during a run, so I will sometimes wear them on areas of dry pavement. When I hear that clanking sound, I find myself looking for ice and snow! 

The Due North Everyday Pro shoe traction aids are a must have for Missoula winter running.  You know you cannot go wrong with a winter product whose headquarters are in North Dakota.