Thursday, April 30, 2015

Product Reviews: Smartwool Socks, GRID foam roller, and OOFOS

Writing the title of this blog made me realize that I spent quite a bit of money over the last few weeks....  Well, the more to write about, I guess!

Fleet Fleet Sports hosted a SmartWool Perfect Pair fun run challenge earlier this month.  Runners who came to the fun run wore a brand new SmartWool elite sock on one foot and kept their original running sock on the other.  The group went out for a fun run of 3-6 miles and came back to provide feedback on the socks.  You kept the brand new pair of SmartWool socks and even got a yummy breakfast out of it.

The Breakfast Club and their mismatched socks

Final thoughts?  The socks definitely had a squishy, bouncy quality to them and were very comfortable.  Some of my girlfriends mentioned that after the run, the foot with the SmartWool sock was significantly hotter than the other (I didn't really notice that myself).

I am a fan of the thin Feetures! socks and was advised that there is a thinner SmartWool sock available for purchase that may not retain as much heat.  Overall, the socks were totally awesome and solid but weren't enough to make me go running for the shelves.

Okay.  So several months ago, I went cheap and got a basic foam roller from Target ($25).  

Behold the lime green cylinder of foam and pain

I was brand new at foam rolling so it was perfect for what I needed.  Unfortunately, it started to reach the end of its life and started caving in in the middle.  So I went for the next step up and got the GRID.  

I had the chance to try this out in advance because Fleet Feet provides foam rollers for after the fun runs.  On top of that, I had a store credit so this $40 roller became $25.  

The "stiffness" of the roller is perfect.  It really digs in more than the traditional foam log and provides a greater intensity (though that intensity can sometimes make it hard to keep going!).  The grooves are awesome so I can tilt my leg left and right and get a different type of massage.

My only dislike with this foam roller is the width.  There are three size options in this line (mini, regular, long) and I went with the regular.  It is just two or three inches shy of being long enough for the width of my body (to roll both quads at the same time).  Maybe that's not a normal expectation but my green foam roller was long enough for me to roll both quads on and with this, I have to go one at a time.

After running the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I realized that though my minimal packing was pretty amazing, I needed to bring another pair of shoes.  I wore my race shoes at the expo, during the race, after the race, around the park, and on the airplane.  It was a sweaty and uncomfortable mess.  So after some recommendations, I decided to try Oofos.

Oofos currently comes in three styles (clog, slip on-sandal, and thong sandal).  I decided to go with a summer feel and grabbed a pair of lavender thongs.  

The shoe, though squishy, is very supportive, especially in the arch.  The thong was noticeable but did not irritate my toes.  After a day or two, however, I started feeling some aches in my lower legs.  Perhaps from my long run, perhaps from the sandal?

It has been about two weeks now and I do not feel any discomfort while wearing these sandals.  I've worn them after running and on long city walks.  Only time will tell but they have been fantastic so far!  And for $40, it's a great investment.

They do scuff pretty easily but I found out that they are machine washable and for quick cleaning, a wet napkin does the job.

Scuff marks on the left, cleaned sandals on the right


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