Because I have worn exclusively Inov8 Talons for the past 6 years with my mountain running career I will use these as a comparison.  I take pride in seeing if the Reebok “truly” is a better shoe.

First: Fit.  I wear a size 10 and the size 10 was pretty darn close.  If anything I would prefer perhaps a 9 and 3/4 if it was possible because I like a slightly tighter fitting shoe.  Where I noticed this a little was on the traverse wall where I had my feet at a tangent to the wall and I was “edging” my way along.  Overall, not a problem just a thought.

Second:  Weight.  My 10′s came in at 8.7 ounces.  The Reebok has structure and substantiality that dominates any mountain/obstacle shoe I’ve ever worn.  The sole felt solid and exuded confidence as I ran over the rocky and uneven terrain.  The Reebok also, has the rock guard sole, and the rope guard instep that surely have weight associated with them.  In other words, how is the Reebok so light yet more substantial, more structured and overall more of a “real” shoe and not merely a ”slipper” with traction.  So weight:  A+

Third:  Rock Guard.  I really appreciated and know the importance of a shoe that allows me to plunge the down hills without fear of damaging or slowing my pace in fear of stepping on something sharp.  The rock guard was noticed and provides a very confidence boosting advantage.

 Fourth:  Traction.  The lugs were well spaced which allows for great mud-shedding and a stable platform on loose sand.  So much of obstacle racing involves stepping in and out of mud.  Shedding the mud is more important than giant lugs that attract and fill to the level where traction disappears.

Fifth:  Water exiting holes.  Very cool.  As a steeple chaser in college I LOVED my Adidas shoes which had this feature.  Not gimmicky.  Truly was noticed and worked.

Sixth:  Texture and material of shoe.  I like the canvas like durability of the overall shell and outer protection.  It sheds moisture immediately, retains nothing and seems to be durable to the many rocks and barbed wire kicks.

The Reebok All-Terrain series are sweet shoes.  I will be honored to race all obstacle races in them but to also introduce them to the extreme mountain races I do.

 Matt Novakovich “The Bear”

Remember to sign up for your next Spartan Race right here! 

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When it comes to equipment for working out with, one often overlooked item is the humble splitting axe. There are huge physical benefits of chopping wood and the obvious end product also being useful fuel, but which axe specifically should you choose for the task in hand?

In recent times, Fiskars have become immensely popular. Having that balance of being a good, sturdy axe along with being a reasonable price for what it offers, it’s understandable why so many choose it.

So let’s look closely at it.

The Fiskars axe is designed to be as effective as possible in one-strike chopping. What they have tried to do is get that perfect balance of power-to-weight ratio in the same way a baseball bat has. It comes with an extremely sharp blade with a low-friction coating on the head, so it’s ready for use as soon as you get it. Along the blade it has a bevel convex coming out of the head so that it pushes the wood away when splitting. Hence the fact it’s a “splitter”. As silly as it may sound, many people confuse a chopper with a splitter. Two different tools for different purposes. Make sure you understand the difference before you commit to buying!

One claim they make is that it has a “stronger than steel” Fibercomp handle that won’t break through overstriking, ie, missing the head and hitting the log with the handle. They go on to point out that the Permahead insert-molded axe head will not loosen or fly off. If you’ve ever attended the Spartan Death Race in Vermont, you’ll see a graveyard of broken Fiskar axe heads and handles. Now, whether this is through poor striking, bad aim or shoddy quality merchandise is up for debate. The art of chopping wood is something learned over a little time. Not many souls take instantly to picking up an axe and getting right into the groove. Another good thing about Fiskars is their lifetime warranty.

Something else you’ll get with the axe is the head/blade locking case for when it’s stored away when not in use. A nice touch.

Signup today for a Spartan Death Race or 12 hour Hurricane Heat at and don’t forget to bring your axe.

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See the thing about me is, I’m vain. Or rather some of the things I like to get, I like to keep nice and shiny. Yeah I know, sue me. But that’s why you’ll find that if you look long and hard at my shoe inventory (I’m a runner, what can I say), pretty much any shoe I ever lace up with the knowledge that I’ll be going through mud or even lakes and rivers, are all dark in color. Blacks, greys, dark blues. Why?
Because that way the dirt doesn’t show. I told you I was vain.

Then not long ago I became the owner of a rather flash pair of the Reebok One Cushion Trail shoe. They are bright yellow. The kind of shoe that isn’t shy to let you know it’s there. You know that one friend we all have that has no sense of shame that can do that piercing whistle across a 4 acre parking lot and wave at you for your attention? That’s what these shoes are. However they back up their flash with substance with some left in the tank for some to spare.

When I first tried them on a trail, the first thing I noticed was not just how light and flexible they are, but the teeth on the bottom that just won’t quit. Putting them on, they already have that “broken in” quality that your favorite slippers have, but still have the rigidity and support you’d expect. A neat trick if you can pull it off.

So the first trail run, albeit a reasonably flat one with only a few rolling hills, and immediately the first benefit came rushing to the surface. In order to fully test them, I changed my stride a few times. I land almost flat footed, but changed to a heel-to-toe, the impact each time was absorbed so it felt like I was running on balls of cotton. Sprinting on the balls of my feet proved no different. It’s as though the shoe was mocking me, “Oh yeah, think you can trick me? No problem, I’ve got that part of the foot covered too”.

But the real shocker and ultimately, the most pleasant surprise was one borne of my refusal to get my shiny shoes dirty. I tried them out on the sidewalks and roads and despite the teeth on the bottom, the shoes are so well balanced, they are perfect for road running. In fact, I placed so much confidence in them, I used them over my regular road running shoe and they saw me take off over 40 minutes off my PR when I finished the Long Beach Marathon. What’s more, I attribute this to just how good my feet and lower legs felt throughout the course. Impact was getting absorbed, the shoes were snug, yet not tight and gave me that extra little spring we all know we like.

So, whether it was deliberate or not, what you have here is a shoe that is equally at home helping you collect your Trifecta, or tearing up PR’s in road races. A very useful asset to have in your arsenal, wouldn’t you say?

Make sure to try a pair for the next Spartan race that you sign up for at


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