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Tag: Icebug

Icebug Now4 Review – Bomb (Cyclone) Sneakers

Sneakerhead I am none, more of the techwear-inclined: I like clothing that performs, in looks as well as function.

Shoes for that are actually somewhat hard to find.

Icebug with their Now4 sneakers is a good find also for that, not just for running…

[Full disclosure: They were provided to me by the company, for free, no payment made, to talk about as and even if I pleased, no influence whatsoever exerted.]

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Icebug Acceleritas5 Side View, Slightly Used ;)

Accelerating in Icebug’s Acceleritas5 RB9X. Running Shoe Review

Shoes are at least as exciting for the runner as they are for the stereotypical shoe-obsessed woman – if they are exciting.

Icebug’s Acceleritas5 are.

Where the Nike LunarEpic have an obviously different design and near-extreme sole, and where Icebug’s own Mist have their extreme-mesh upper, the Acceleritas do not immediately look special.

Icebug Acceleritas5 Side View, Slightly Used ;)

Icebug Acceleritas5 Side View, Slightly Used ;)

Lift them up, however, and you’ll notice what makes them special at once:
They are extremely lightweight, but their sole has lugs like hardly any other.

Icebug Acceleritas5 Front Lugs

Icebug Acceleritas5 Front Lugs

Step in, and it becomes clear that they do not only feel lightweight, they are also made to be like racing flats.

Flexible and minimalist, the Acceleritas5 fit like a glove (to the point where they do not even have an insole) and work very much like a “barefoot running” shoe.

Icebug Acceleritas5 Inside

Icebug Acceleritas5 Inside

So, yes, for both better and worse, you will feel every rock and stone and root on the track you take.

Taking these shoes for the first part of the Traunsee mountain marathon, thus, was quite a gamble.

There are very many sharp stones there, the “run” is often more of a climb – except when it isn’t – and this was hard on my feet.

Icebug Acceleritas5 during the Bergmarathon

Icebug Acceleritas5 during the Bergmarathon

 

At the same time, the feel for the ground was tremendously good, and that combined with the low weight of the shoes also provided benefits, making me more mindful and nimble, and thus faster.

Fast is also the key word.

With the “tractor tread” lugs on the sole, all made in Icebug’s highly durable and grippy RB9X rubber, the racing flat profile/cut of the Acceleritas5 isn’t the only thing that accelerates, there is also the “safe grip, free mind” of the sole profile and material.

Sure, I stumbled a bit on the loose gravel we have, had to be careful to try not to hit any sharp stones too directly and powerfully, but I felt and indeed was safe and fast. And it was fun.

It’s definitely not the fun of rolling roughshod over anything on your path, the way “maximalist” shoes allow you to.
For working on speed and agility, conscious of technique, however, these are easily the most special and promising shoes I’ve yet had the fun to use.

For tracks and trails, off the roads, not necessarily going the longer distances but dancing nimbly through forest, across meadows and over mountains, the Acceleritas5 are shoes to try.

I have used them a lot this year, have to thank Icebug very much for having provided me with them to try and review, and can’t wait to speed along in the Alps in them again.

In fact, out to present the Ambit3 Peak’s new route altitude profile and GPS comparison tracks between Ambit3 Peak and Spartan Ultra, even though there was some snow already, I still used the Acceleritas5…

In Acceleritas5 in Snow Under the Grosser Sonnstein

In Acceleritas5 in Snow Under the Grosser Sonnstein

When the weather turns yet “worse”, I might finally get a chance to finish trying out and then reviewing the Acceleritas’ BuGrip-spikes-enabled brethren, the Anima3…

Icebug Mist running shoes

A Summer In the Icebug Mist. Running Shoe Review

Kein Mist! – For a German speaker, the name “Mist” is a bit unfortunate; it doesn’t make us think of light fog, it just translates as “junk.”

Icebug’s Mist are as far from junk as you can get…

I had noticed those shoes already at the ISPO last winter.

They are so lightly built, with a mesh upper that could almost rival a negligee when you see it lit-up like at such a fair, they are noticeable.

Icebug Mist running shoes

Icebug Mist running shoes (“tune” not included ;) )

They also looked rather less interesting, with that mesh and the comparatively thick sole (for a pair of Icebugs, not compared to the Nike LunarEpic of my recent review) making them look odd on top and ordinary below.

Was I wrong.

When I started talking (with their PR person) about Icebugs I should perhaps test this summer (full disclosure: they provided me with them), we finally decided on the Mist and the Acceleritas5, and I have hardly ever been happier…

Not only did those shoes end up being the ones I brought with me to China this summer, where their road running-appropriate sole and sheer upper was excellent for everything from walks to Beijing’s Buddhist Temples to running and strolls in Hunan, on the beaches of Haikou, and in Hong Kong.

Icebug Mist on Haikou Beach

Sandy Beach? Shoes in hand in the surf, wiped-off feet right back in them, all good – just shake out the sand that doesn’t just fall out :)

These were also the shoes I decided to take for the second half of the mountain marathon (Bergmarathon) around the Traunsee lake this year, with its mixture of gnarly trails and simple roads.

The Icebug Mist was even the pair of shoes, which I forgot to mention in the video, which I decided to use on the Hochkönigman marathon trail run, when they were still rather new and untested for me – and they worked out excellently.

A little bit like with the Icebug Zeal before, the only “issue,” e.g. on steep alpine meadow descents through wet grass, was that braking was not a good idea. Letting it run, though, the grip was amazing, and so was the comfort.

Best of all, the downside of feet getting dirtier than in more-closed shoes is quite the plus when they also dry out faster:

You lose the fear of simply jumping through the next puddles and sloshing through trails that are turning into muddy creeks.

It won’t matter, anyways: Your foot soles will be protectively cushioned just the right amount (even for road running sections), and your feet will be dry and warm enough again fast enough – and you’ll get back home to your shower faster, safer, and with more fun than if you’d tried to remain dry.

Icebug Mist and 'starry' CW-X tights, out road running

Icebug Mist and ‘starry’ CW-X tights, out road running

Too bad the summer’s definitely gone now, but I’ll get another season out of those shoes.

And until then, it’s getting time to switch to spikes – and maybe this winter turns out “bad” enough I can finally, honestly review the. Anima3 with BUGrip spikes.

I started that last winter, but it just didn’t have enough snow and ice. What a complaint :-p

at home in… Trail Running, Cradled by Icebug’s Zeal

Time for another (preliminary) shoe review, this time of the Zeal RB9X (“Rubber 9 Extreme”) from Icebug.

Icebug Zeal

Icebug Zeal as presented at the ISPO Munich 2015

The small Swedish brand has been on my radar for a long time; they are pretty much *the* experts when it comes to shoes for running on snow and ice, especially thanks to their different sole designs incorporating carbide spikes (“studs,” as they say, in the OLX and BUGrip technologies, see http://icebug.com/int/grip-tech/grip/ ).

Getting into the snow was not really the intention behind (this version of*) these shoes, even if the GearJunkie tested them on a skiing slope, but they have been handling it quite alright. Feet got wet but not uncomfortably so – and I’ve finally begun running out of the snow, over the rocks and roots and through the mud of spring weather that these shoes were made for.

Rather than spikes, these Zeal “only” use Icebug’s RB9X (rubber 9 extreme) compound which promises very high friction levels and therefore good grip while being as abrasion-resistant as road running shoes.

Furthermore, there is the “Holy Grail Midsole Soft AND Stable – technology” (HGMS²), meant to make these *the* shoes for trail running in tough terrain with high stability and comfort as well as softness and flexibility, well-protected and low to the ground.

So many promises, it made for problems – and then the realization that, oh yes, these shoes are made for running, and that’s just what they’ll do…

*There is also an OLX version of the Zeal with fixed carbide spikes – see http://icebug.com/int/produkter/zeal-olx/

Go and try them out; these are the shoes for racing those trails!

Me, I’ll be out there, too – and then coming back when I can tell you how the Zeal hold up ;)

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