Well, I’m only one run in on them, but I wanted to give some quick feedback on my first impressions…
I primarily got the Hoka ATR 4 in hopes that I would find a trail running shoe that would give me some of the knee/back forgiveness that seems to be at the core of Hoka’s fame. After the first session on them I am really digging them. I had to resort to the treadmill for my run due to all the snow on the trails right now, but I think that might actually be a better cushion test than a trail run since I seem to have a heavier strike on treadies over natural surface. I noticeably felt like my body took on a bit less stress and I came away with a smile. As someone cautiously making my way back into running with normally aggravated responses post-runs, I was stoked to find what might be just what the doctor ordered to keep me rolling!
This morning I took out the Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles for a spin on the local trails. Here are some first thoughts. UPDATE – After a little over a year now with these poles and putting them through the paces on many climbing/hiking trips, I’m happy to report that these poles have held up extremely well and have been reliable and up to the task. Super happy with the performance!
Easily adjustable (both shaft length and wrist straps)
Cool red/black color combo
Solid feel on non-technical ground
Adjustable screw allows effective “dial-in” repair of poles if they start to collapse.
Felt a little “weak in the knees” when using them as support while descending technical terrain
The shock felt overly stiff, like a locked out MTB fork. (Although too much rebound can be detrimental on tech sections.)
All-in-all, a solid first go with these poles, they’re a good choice. Neither “whoa!” nor “blech!”, just kinda living in that world of “these will work.” If you’re someone who is regularly fully-loaded in long, steep, super technical terrain, where you’re placing tons of weight on the poles for support, you might want to choose something a little more burly (but that will likely come with a significant weight penalty). If you’re like the other 95% of backpackers, adventure racers, climbers, hikers, etc, these will likely be an excellent choice for your needs. More to come as the mileage increases!
It seems the Relive app is popping up in convos more and more, so we’re going to give it a shot. In essence, this app allows the user to create a visual representation with topography, imagery, and data of a completed ride, run, hike, etc. We received a Relive link from an athlete and the thing that stood out most to us was the ability to include memorable media at the point in the activity where things occurred. It’s pretty cool to see the exact location along the route where that amazing rock formation was, or photos of the natural spring where the shoes were kicked off and everyone dove in. Relive makes sharing the stories of our events even more rich than what words can do alone. It’s available on both the Google Play Store and the App Store. Check it out and send us some links!