On Running Cap

 

Founded in recent years, Swiss brand, On, have developed quite a niche in the running market – the Cloud shoes. Armed with an arrange of small springy pillows, or clouds if you will, the shoes supposedly bounce you along the road. Now, I say supposedly because in all honesty I only ever tried them once, at Write This Run, on a little jog with Scott Overall. The shoes were super comfy, and although I tested them on a grassy path I could tell there was something kinda cool about them but I wasn’t in need of new shoes at the time (I certainly don’t use that excuse anymore!!) so I never got round to actually buying any. Hop forward a few years, and the postman recently bought me a new #onrunningcap to play with.

Now, a hat is a hat, I know you were thinking it – but this is definitely a little different to anything else I had tried before. First thing I realised as I pulled the hat from the packaging was that it was incredibly light. I am pretty sure the attached tag weighed more than the cap itself. I have had a few other hats in my time, most recently one from Salomon, which I thought was pretty light; I was wrong.  With its tear-proof (that’s as in ripping and tearing, not getting all emotional and teary) fabric, that is welded rather than stitched together, laser-cut air holes on the sides, and a soft but minimalist headband, this hat is CRAZY-LIGHT.

One might typically think that a cap is to be reserved for days when the great golden orb illuminates the sky, but as he has been well hidden during the 2017 UK ‘Summer’ I gave it more use protecting me from the rain. At first, I was slightly annoyed that despite trying to add a bit more curve to the peak of the cap it kept bouncing back to place, however it soon became clear that this worked in my favour as the peak certainly keeps a lot of the water out of my face; throw in a pair of Sunwise glasses with a light lens on and you are good to go!!

When running at night, the cap also comes with the benefit of super reflective logo’s to keep your head safe from oncoming traffic; a good feature!!

onrunningcap
shine bright!

uses for a hat

At the end of the day, this On Running Cap is super light, but what else can you say about that? Over on instagram I was trying to come up with other uses for the cap, and some of my tips were quite handy. Others probably um, less so!

No squirrels were actually harmed, or indeed touched, by the cap! Gross!!

£32 quid might seem a little pricey for a hat, especially one that is so light you can practically forget it exists!  However, if you are a hat person, or if indeed you are not but fancy giving one a whirl, then you would not go wrong parting with a bit of a dosh for this hat.  You can find a link to the On Running Cap here

 

Disclaimer

I was sent the cap free of charge via a request for reviewers on the Freestak platform.  At no stage have I been told what to say – the thoughts above are my own!

Compressport R2 Calf Guards

compressport logo

I’ve covered a couple of the lovely bits of kit I have received as a member of the Trail Running Team on the blog, but today I am here to talk about the one bit of kit I am genuinely reluctant to take off.

The Compressport R2 Calf Guards.

hills, glorious hills beastly on the calves!
hills, glorious hills
beastly on the calves!
copyright Roy Belchamber

I was first introduced to compression gear very early on in my running career and had a pair of (wiggle’s own-brand) DHB compression tights which I would use on occasion after a strenuous run. I was somewhat skeptical about the effects that they had on my lower limbs, so although I resorted to using them from time to time I couldn’t possibly tell you whether they genuinely made my legs feel better or if it was a psychosomatic thing. And for that reason I never bothered spending any more dosh on compression stuff.

Roll forward a couple of years, and there I was about to ascend the biggest bloody hills I’d ever seen in my life, in Chamonix, and I eagerly rolled up my calf guards. I wasn’t sure what to expect but they were easy to pull on and although the main section of the guard feels compressive, it’s not excessively tight; the looser, stretchy fabric cuffs at each end ensure that the guard sits comfortably both just under the knee and over the ankle. The many sizing options and accurate measuring system should ensure that you can find an equally pleasing fit!

I’m not gonna lie, the hiking up those mountains hurt, and my calves tightened up, I would hate to think what they might have been like if I hadn’t be wearing the guards. And that’s not some pie in the sky idea, because since having the calf guards I have worn them on almost every run I have done. Now that I have begun to use them, I am aware when I do not!!

The guards do a grand job of holding my wobbly bits in place and residual tiredness and aching takes far longer to build up than it did previously. Not only do they stop any muscle oscillation, but my nettle sting ratio per mile has dropped dramatically and they stand up really well to brambles etc too and two months later and miles on the trails and they still look brand new!

When my knee issues really flaired up, the first thing the physio pointed out almost as soon as I walked into his room was that my calves were insanely tight and flinging the rest of my body completely out of alignment. With some stretching and foam rollering to ease them back to length, I now use the calf guards and have had zero issue at all with tightening back up.

Another plus point of the guards is their usability. Three days spent in the Alps, and on every one of those days I rolled (stumbled) out of bed and pulled up my calf guards. Every day they went on dry, and every day they continued to provide the same, lovely, leg-hugging feeling!

And now, I barely run without them as they have made a significant difference not just to my comfort during a run, but by ensuring my calves don’t struggle as much in my running means that everything else works much better too!

Calf guards