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Gear & Beer: Hoka Mafate Speed 4 + Athletic Brewing Free Wave Hazy IPA

It's Friday and that means it's time for Gear and it's time for Beer here on THE ROCK FIGHT (an outdoor podcast that aims for the head) and on today's edition of Gear & Beer we're getting athletic!

The waves are free but the brew will cost you $13.99

Justin has recently gotten back into trail running so today he and Colin break down the Hoka Mafate Speed 4 and go deep into the trail running category before rating the shoes on the STUFF-O-METER!

Then to cool themselves off after burning up the trails our friends at Athletic Brewing have donated a few brews to THE ROCK FIGHT including the Free Wave Hazy IPA which Justin and Colin try for the very first time during this podcast.

These shoes are thicc.

They wrap up this epic episode by rating this NA brew on the Gear & Beer beer scale.

Please follow and subscribe to THE ROCK FIGHT and give us a 5 star rating wherever you get your podcasts.

Have a question or comment for a future mailbag episode? Send it to or send a message on Instagram or Threads.

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Episode Transcript

Colin (00:08):

Welcome to the Rock Fight where we speak our truth, slay sacred cows and sometimes agree to disagree. This is an outdoor podcast that aims for the head. I'm Colin True and today we are back with another piece of gear, another beer. That's right, it's your weekly dose of gear and beer with me as always. It's Justin Hausman. What's up

Justin (00:28):

Justin got back from a run.

Colin (00:29):

He's just sweating. Dude, you're sweating. Just

Justin (00:31):

Got back from a run. Oh man. It's just like 15 miles.

Colin (00:36):

You must have been really hammering out

Justin (00:37):

There. 40, 45,000 feet of elevation.

Colin (00:39):

Today we'll be reviewing a piece of gear the way you would expect gear to be reviewed on the rock fight. We don't talk about stack height actually today we might talk about stack height geometry or with underfoot we talk about the experience, the likes and dislikes. And because we're the only gear review show that actually cares about the world, we'll rank each product on the stuff barometer a scale where the best score means humanity and society would actually be losing something if this thing went away. And the worst score means that this thing, regardless of performance and just like puff and drinkware, probably shouldn't exist in the first place. Do you want to pitch puffing again or are you good on them this

Justin (01:14):

Week? I think we're good. Okay.

Colin (01:17):

And because Justin is the official cone, not just of the rock fight but of the entire outdoor community, we will then follow up the gear review with the perfect post activity beer pairing. Don't know what a cone is. Justin, what is a cone?

Justin (01:30):

It's a term I made up about a month ago for the podcast.

Colin (01:33):

That'd be amazing if you've been fooling me this entire time.

Justin (01:36):

Google it. Just long. Never Google. Really?

Colin (01:39):

No, I can't think I did. But anyway, so what is the cone?

Justin (01:42):

Just a beer expert?

Colin (01:43):


Justin (01:44):

Certified. Proven.

Colin (01:45):


Justin (01:46):

In court. Had to take a test

Colin (01:47):

I to take a

Justin (01:48):

Big old, a big old test. Big

Colin (01:50):

Old test. How long did it take

Justin (01:53):

The test itself? I don't know, three hours, but it was like a year of studying for it. It was a big deal.

Colin (01:57):

So the bottom line is here, you'll get the pairings that matter most gear and beer. Alright Justin, what are we reviewing today?

Justin (02:05):

Well, as you could tell from my breathless entrance, I've been doing some trail running lately and okay, so it's 2024. You have to have Hokas, right? If you're going to get a trail running, what else are you going to go with?

Colin (02:20):

And you're a dad

Justin (02:22):

And I live in Marin County. There's actually before, okay, so there's an Instagram account. This is actually pretty, this is worth sharing to the listeners out there. There's an Instagram account called Marin dad and it's very inside baseball. You would have to know Marin and you'd have to know the kind of people who moved here recently from San Francisco to really get it, but he's probably in his mid forties, I'm assuming he's a dad. He kind of looks like me sort of. And most of it is him just kind of being a bit ridiculous about like, well, I'm a Marin dad so I have to do X, Y, and Z. All these things that are very, again inside baseball, but I don't really like him. I don't find it that funny, but people are constantly sending it to,

Colin (03:00):

You're a Marin dad. Kind

Justin (03:01):

Of like the guy that's like, Hey, my name's Cloudbreak and I just learned to surf or whatever the,

Colin (03:06):

Yeah, Matt Lyons, I think his name is.

Justin (03:08):

Sure. Same deal. I get that guy's stuff all the time too. Anyway, Marin dad, well he's

Colin (03:11):

Funny though. I

Justin (03:12):

He is funny. I like him a lot. Marin dad the other day does one and first of all he's wearing the same flannel I have, which is a local Marin company. I'm just like son of a bitch. But two, the whole episode is about him trying to decide what to wear and of course he's going to wear Hoka and I'm just like, God

Colin (03:27):

Can't win.

Justin (03:28):

Anyway, we're doing Hoka and I think, okay, I'm going to go to their site to confirm. I've never really known if it was Hoka one or Hoka on.

Colin (03:39):

It's on

Justin (03:40):

Now what does that mean?

Colin (03:41):

I don't know. Okay. I probably knew at one point, this isn't to do with flying. I don't know.

Justin (03:46):

I guess because isn't fly their tagline. I think so. Which is actually pretty sweet. So mean I didn't really, I was like, okay, I'm going to get into trail running. I guess I got to try some because I hadn't really had them before. That's not true. I had one pair a long time ago and they seemed fine, but I'm not a trail runner expert. I mean as we've talked ad nauseum on the show, I don't really like trail runners. Did you

Colin (04:08):

Need to say something to your boot fans out there? You're banning them for this episode? No,

Justin (04:12):

Because I was using these for their intended purpose, which is trail running. I'm not hiking in 'em. I'm not backpacking in 'em. I did lock all my boots in the garage so they can't hear any of this. I do feel like my boots are my friends

Colin (04:23):

That what that noise was. Yeah.

Justin (04:25):

Justin? No, but yeah, so I went out and got some Hokas. I thought about some other brands on running, which is huge and I don't know if they're really into the trail running space or just the kind of athleisure. I'm wealthy and I have athletic shoes on space. I don't really know. I'm sure

Colin (04:42):

They'll work if you run in. They

Justin (04:43):

Might be super hardcore. I really don't know. I thought about them. I thought about Brooks. I thought about Ultras. Although do people actually run an ultras?

Colin (04:54):

That's mean come on now. No,

Justin (04:55):

I'm dead serious. I think of them purely as a through hiking shoe, but I mean primarily they are a running shoe. Oh

Colin (05:01):

Yeah, it's a running brand.

Justin (05:02):

Yeah, but I have those, I've had several pairs of those, but purely for trying them out as hikers and I do not like how those feel on my feet. So I wasn't going to run in those. That seems like a nightmare frankly, just because of how soft and loose I always felt in T ultras. So I would not want to run in those anyway. Picked up some hokas. So that's what we're talking about today. Specifically the ho mafa speed fours

Colin (05:28):

Just rolls off the tongue.

Justin (05:30):

Yeah, which you have to assume. There's also a ate speed three, two and one. But these are the speed fours. They are not necessarily brand new. It looks like they've had, they've been out for at least a year, so there's probably, I'm sure they're on the way out. That's the nature of capitalism these days. I'm sure the five is just about here.

Colin (05:47):

It's going to be so much better.

Justin (05:49):

They look like hocus. They got a big giant foamy midsole. They have that weird thing that all running shoes have now, which is that giant on your Achilles, which I don't know what that's for. The big flared out lip thing, what I'm

Colin (06:03):

Talking about. Yeah, well the Ultras always had one of those coming off the bottom of your heel. It's supposed to help stabilize you going downhill and all felt like every to

Justin (06:12):

Me up at the top, this is it. Literally where your Achilles is. It's almost like a tongue that's like, I don't know, I have a feeling so you can slip 'em on and off easier. It looks kind of funny

Colin (06:21):

To me. Oh yeah, I see what you're saying. That's ease of entry.

Justin (06:24):

But that's like a big thing now it seems like in these running shoes they look like standard hokas and the things I do like about them right out, right out of the box, they're pretty comfortable. They have a wide toe box but not super wide like the ultras, but big enough it you put a pair of hokas on, you instantly realize why everybody wears 'em around just walking around. I mean they're very, very comfortable shoes.

Colin (06:45):

They look great. In terms of Hokas, I've never been a huge fan. I definitely have some Hoka experience I'll talk about later, but I'm looking at the picture you have on AJ's blog and it's a good looking shoe. I mean especially for considering the amount of midsole it has and all that kind of stuff. It's a good looking shoe.

Justin (07:02):

Yeah, so I got a few pair to see which one I like the best. This one is by far the most wearable. Some of the other ones are very much like Hoka, marshmallow man shoes, really giant stack. I don't know how big, but these ones are definitely the most kind of normal looking even though they are fairly bright. But yeah, I had to pick 'em. They just seem like they dominate the space right now. I don't necessarily know if they do for sure sales wise, but I mean they're billion dollar brand. Yes, they are. So I couldn't really ignore them. So that's what I've gone with. I was surprised to learn that they consider themselves a little small upstart brand because they only have 440 unique styles.

Colin (07:42):

That's so many shoes

Justin (07:44):

And women's, but holy smokes. And I don't know if they consider a style to be different colorways or actually 400. I mean that could just be 440 skews. I'm not sure. It's probably

Colin (07:53):

Skews, but did you say that Nike has though

Justin (07:56):

Over a thousand?

Colin (07:57):


Justin (07:58):

That was from a New York Times article, but

Colin (08:01):

Yeah, we'll come back to this when we get into the stuff ome, but it's kind of crazy how much they make.

Justin (08:06):

Yeah, I mean that's the thing is if you go to the website and start scouring over them, I mean a lot of them don't really look that different. The reason that I picked these and the reason that I really like these is the virum soul, which to me means that, okay, this is really meant for trails. So I mean most of their shoes don't have that, but these do and that was the selling point for me on these. They're 185 bucks. Is that a lot

Colin (08:32):

That's up there? That's

Justin (08:34):

A lot to me.

Colin (08:35):

I feel like you get a Brooks or more established, they're a billion dollar brand. So Hoka is established but more classic I guess trail running shoe. Usually you're more like that 1 30, 1 40 range, but 180 is a lot. But I feel like you probably are getting a little bit more for your money. I would think they're

Justin (08:52):

Pretty, they feel nice when you them you're like, okay, these are well-made, they feel really wellmade. The weight feels right, the balance feels right. I mean you know how it is when you have something, any kind of product you can kind of tell right off the bat. Okay, this feels solid. They do. I don't think I would be that bummed. Yeah, 180 5 is a lot. I mean things you can get boots for 180 5. I am trying out the new Keen targe fours right now and I think they're like one 70 and they're like burly and gnarly. They're actually pretty nice. We'll talk about them later in a later episode. So yeah, that seems like a lot for a shoe that isn't going to last that long.

Colin (09:32):

Yeah, I mean I imagine the projected mileage is somewhere between 350 and maybe 4, 450 miles. I mean usually if you're getting 300 miles plus per pair of shoes, that's pretty good.

Justin (09:46):

So we should also mention, hopefully I made it clear when I said I've been getting into trail running, we are entering a space that this is not where my expertise is. And Colin, I dunno if you know, but he's won many ultra marathons, isn't that right Colin?

Colin (09:59):

Yeah. Like world champion six times in a row. Yeah,

Justin (10:01):

Exactly. Yeah. And so he knows, don't Google that folks. He knows a bit more than I do about the running shoot game by the way. The thing is called a vamp, what I was talking about that little

Colin (10:12):

Ease on and off.

Justin (10:14):

Yeah. So anyway, yeah, 180 5 seems like a lot to me, but they feel like they're worth it. I guess if you're going to spend that kind of money you made a scrunchie face. I don't think Colin agrees, but it's

Colin (10:25):

A lot of money. I mean 200 bucks basically once you add tax of anywhere you live, I mean that's a lot for a running shoe. And I think that going back to the range and I don't know. Oh,

Justin (10:34):

That's what I was going to ask you. So that's a thing, right? Apparently. So 350, 400 miles, is that a known

Colin (10:41):

Thing? Yeah, usually people are like, yeah, everybody says right, you can expect three to 500 miles. We've seen some clocking 400 miles. So generally speaking, running we get that. We'll say you can go about three to 500 miles in them now there's also some debate around then around that because it all comes down to the health of your midsole. How does that compress out and is it going to do what it was built to do? And there's plenty of people who will go way beyond that. I look at health of the outsole and the thing I think that's interesting about the Ate having a Vera outsole, that's my biggest beef with Ultra over the last few years and why I'm going to start looking at some different shoes as well is wear out the outsole real fast. And I feel like I definitely have had pairs of my loan peaks from Ultra that have not gotten to maybe 3 50, 3 50 miles. That's a

Justin (11:29):

Shockingly short lifespan to me. I mean if using them, if you're an actual backpacker for real and you go on half a dozen trips a summer, that's like maybe three years or four years, right,

Colin (11:42):

Tops. Yeah. And it might be different because running impact versus hiking impact and like I said, I think some people would definitely stretch that way further than that. But you're

Justin (11:51):

Going I don't think it would be that. I mean it's got to be a mileage thing, right? I mean you take fewer steps while running than you do while walking. So that's a good point. If you do 10 miles and

Colin (11:59):

Without a big pack on your back.

Justin (12:01):

Exactly. I would imagine it's pretty similar. So that's a bit shocking to me. I will say that if you look at their price points, these are the most expensive of the ones I'm just kind of thumbing through. So I'm guessing that probably a lot of that is the vbr soul I would suppose.

Colin (12:16):

It definitely makes it more for sure.

Justin (12:17):

What else? There are 10 and a half ounces roughly. I'm guessing that's a size 10. I wear a 12, so mine's going to be a little tiny bit bigger. I feel like. I dunno if hokas are known for being relatively shallow drops. I dunno, is it shallow? Do you use that term shallow? Like a minimal

Colin (12:33):

Drop you call like the heel to toe drop? Yeah.

Justin (12:36):


Colin (12:36):

It's usually in that four mill range

Justin (12:38):

And that's what these are, which is what I like. I know I like that I know enough about trail shoes to know that I, I've worn some zero drops and I didn't like that. So I like a little bit all in all for someone who's like, okay, I'm going to give running a shot again after not doing it for a while. Don't love the price right off the bat, but do love pretty much everything about this shoe right off the bat, getting it, taking out of the box, putting it on my foot. So far all all of that was good.

Colin (13:07):

The mileage thing's. Interesting. And we can talk about the category a little bit too. For someone like yourself it's actually, I think it's a pretty wise investment. If you want to have a pair of trail running shoes, you're not running every day. I'm sure it's a little bit more of a fitness add-on for you. Right. So these should last you for some time I imagine. Yeah, I

Justin (13:24):

Would expect them. I would expect them to. I mean I've had 'em now for a couple of months. They look pretty much the same. And I will say what's interesting is so Zebra mega grip is on a lot of stuff and I'm assuming that mega grip, I don't know if that's the compound or the pattern of the tread, but a lot of my danners have zebra mega grip on them. There's something unique though about these. They feel like little plastic cleats unlike which is interesting. I want to say they're five mil lugs. I think that's right. Unless I'm thinking about a different shoe. They feel way more pronounced than a hiking boot lug. Would you feel like you're walking in cleats and they have a tackiness to them at least when they're new, but they still kind of do. So if you walk around on the street on pavement with them or on my runs, I run to the trailhead, so I'm running on about a mile of pavement before I get to the trail and you can kind of feel 'em wanting to grip the pavement, which I mean to me they feel solid.

(14:25)But also I'm wondering each time I'm taking a step, am I wearing these little nubs? Am I going to wear these into the little nubs? I can feel 'em just feel on the ground.

Colin (14:34):

Yeah, I'm looking at them now. It is pretty cool. I mean it is having just burly grip machine on the outside. Imagine I'm thinking about running on slick rock or something like

Justin (14:42):

That. So they feel great. I wore 'em yesterday on a run and it was raining and you have a ton. One of the reasons I don't like trail runners particularly compared to boots for hiking is I don't have confidence in them. I could feel my foot moving in them and I don't want that ever. These feel pretty dang solid in the rain. They're really grippy. The trails are still kind of wet here from the winter and a lot of the trails I run are really hilly and so going downhill just I sit back on the heel and I swear to God, you can feel the lugs gripping and you can feel 'em digging in cleats. So I like that. That's cool.

Colin (15:21):

The whole maximalist thing, the thicker midsole, this is your first time running in something like that, right? Since this thick.

Justin (15:26):

This thick, yeah. The hokas I had before, I don't remember what kind they were, but they were very minimalist because Hoka also does that or they did. Yeah. What do you

Colin (15:34):

Think of that? What do you think of the thick midsole?

Justin (15:36):

I like it. I like it a lot. I also had a pair of ultras a few years back and I can't remember what the style

Colin (15:42):

Was, the Olympus maybe

Justin (15:44):

They were super minimalist.

Colin (15:46):

Oh, minimalist,

Justin (15:47):

Yeah. They may have been a zero drop.

Colin (15:49):

They're all zero drop ultra

Justin (15:50):

Zero drop all ultra zero. But these ones in particular were super super. There's nothing to the outsole and I hated it. I understand why somebody would like it. They wrote for me, which is funny. I like minimalist sandals oddly enough. But although as I'm learning with the new bedrocks, which I'm sure we'll get to that I just recently got that are a little bit thicker than the previous ones I guess I have to admit I do kind of like the

Colin (16:12):

Cushion. I got mine on the way. I'm excited.

Justin (16:14):

They're nice. But yeah, these are my first big foamy shoes like this and you only have to go on one run to understand it. Well I will say one thing that is nice in my experience testing out other trail runners as hikers, if I'm doing that, the ultras I'll run in them, I'll break into a run

Colin (16:34):

Just to see what their intended use is, right? Yeah.

Justin (16:36):

And so some of the other shoes I've had have had, I've had some Nike trail runners and I don't remember which ones I didn't like them. But without the grippy outsole, I feel like that thick foam is dangerous to me. Again, in trail running it feels like you're almost as a delay. You hit the ground and the foam is moving and you can kind of feel like a little delay. Again, I don't like that. The nice thing about these is those lugs grip so well that they do a really good job of balancing out the lack of feel that you have from the super cushioned midsole.

Colin (17:14):

Hoka becoming this sort of ascendant brand has always been fascinating to me because when they debuted, I mean I first heard about them from folks I worked with who were older who had not been running because their bodies were

Justin (17:26):

A little beat up. They wanted the soft, they wanted

Colin (17:28):

The soft too. And it was the soft against the ground kind that absorption that like, oh, this is allowing us to run again. And also they came out right on the heels of the Barefoot craze and that ultra also came out of and Ultra was zero Drop always with midsole, but then quickly also added their own Maximus version. And it's one of those a thing where a trend or an answer to a trend with a new trend kind of also had its own place. It just was fascinating to me that it has moved now into, and I don't know if they just did a really good job with color and design that all of a sudden made it. So this is the brand that people want. And I think I texted you or somebody, I was at an airport a few months ago and I was like, God, everyone here is wearing hokas. And it's like, wow, really? And that's usually the marker. You can get some, you're not going to see Las Sportivas and running shoes like that in an airport typically. And if you do, you might be like, oh cool, you're an outdoorsy person too.

Justin (18:21):

Exactly. So oh, you're going to or right, or you're in Colorado or Alaska within which you will. But that is true. So Marin County is, it's a pretty big trail running place. I mean the Dipsey race, the oldest trail run in the country is in Mar County. That is true. Lots of trail runners around here and lots of hokas around here. Hokas Ultras and Brooks. That's what you'll see. So yeah, I mean even we talked about on I don't see on nearly as much. Yeah, and it's interesting. They're all bright unless you want black, there's not an option that isn't bright. Even the black is black.

Colin (18:57):

Well, the category is having a moment. I mean it was a year ago, but Peter Vari from Footwear News is one of the first guests we had on the rock fight right around the same time that you came on for the first time. And that was right off of Rihanna wearing Solomon's for the Super Bowl halftime show. And it's like the category still continues to defy what else is happening in sort the outdoor space. Trail runners and running and general running always tends to kind of just do well because people like to wear this wear around running shoes. I mean,

Justin (19:22):

Yeah, well they're comfortable to walk around in.

Colin (19:24):

Yeah, it's either like no matter what your source is, you're going to see 75 or 85% of running shoes sold are never running.

Justin (19:31):

Right. It's funny, actually, we should do an episode where I talk about the keen walking shoes, which I bought probably almost a year ago. The wk four hundreds, and they've just come out with a WK four fifties. I'm not on contract with Keenan anymore, so I can say whatever I want, but they're actually great. And it's funny because you get 'em and you're like, why aren't there more? I mean I know that there are walking shoes, but they're geared toward nurses or people that are on their feet all day. But I mean, as far as I know, if you're a nurse, you have to wear Asics. Have you ever noticed that you go into a hospital and everyone's wearing asics or Crocs? Well, yeah, but it's interesting that there aren't more dedicated walking shoes where you're just like, well, I mean a running shoe is built for a very specific purpose. Walking isn't the same as running, right? So I'm surprised there aren't more. But I mean get why people wear these things around all the time. They are. They're very pleasant. They're very easy to put on. They're very comfortable. I totally get it. You don't have to untie 'em if you don't want to. Lots to

Colin (20:29):

The thing I just keep coming back to with the running category and look, you can say On's coming on, there's Nike, all the numbers we're quoting about the amount of stuff being made. And this kind of maybe segues into talking about the speedometer. These are disposable items. And I did a thing this week about ingredient brands and solving for apparel innovation to fix our apparel situation in terms of how we make stuff. I don't know of anyone who's leading on footwear because there is, yeah, I can go buy right now a PFAS laden jacket made from virgin polyester and you can tell me why that's a bad product, but I also know I can probably wear it for the next 30 years and choose. To our point, let's say you get 500 miles out of it. Let's say you get 600 miles out of it, whatever, what do you do with it? And that's the biggest issue I feel like when it comes to the running category.

Justin (21:18):

Do you remember a couple of years ago, Solomon, for all I know it still exists, they tried to do a subscription service with a recycled,

Colin (21:25):

A take back kind of thing

Justin (21:26):

Sort of. But they actually, I think the idea, I'm fairly certain the idea was the shoes were recyclable, they would make 'em into other shoes. Yeah. How or something. I mean I hadn't thought about it until I wrote an article about it and this is the second time I've thought about it two years later. I doubt it's going on. I just don't think people will do that. My wife is constantly bringing home bags. There's one, it was just behind me. Maybe she took it filled with old clothes that we can't really, we could just donate it or you can send it back to this company and they'll turn it into something else. There's all these things like that, but they're so hard to wrap your head around to use. So I don't know. Yeah, just don't

Colin (22:00):

Like that. There's no conversation around it. Maybe I got to, I'm actually having somebody who works in footwear design on the show in a week or so. I'm going to ask him this question because I don't know, this just seems like a thing where sustainability recyclability and then it's like it's

Justin (22:15):

The window. Not for running shoes. Not for running shoes. What's interesting, have you ever worn the danner? Like 26 fifties? So they're low cut I guess. I don't know if they would call them. They probably just call 'em hiking shoes, but they're like new buck or suede. They probably make some in synthetics too. The first ones I had, I think I've had two pairs and they're both new Buck and they're super lightweight. You can run in them. I did. They last a really long time. But they have Zebra Mount Sos. And again, the material, I mean they're a hiking shoe really, I guess so they're way more robust, but they're perfectly fine as they're running shoe. I am kind of surprised, I guess if you're serious about trail running, you're probably serious about your time, right? Absolutely. Right. And so you're serious about wearing something that's the best performing thing out there and it's not going to be leather, it's not going to be new book, it's going to be something like this. So I don't know. I mean a lot of things like that, like surfboards for example, nobody really rides eco boards.

Colin (23:14):

Yeah. How's Almond doing? Are they still around?

Justin (23:16):

Yeah. Yeah, they are. But don't own other than the board I made that's made out of wood. I don't own a board that anybody thought anything other than here's the make a surfboard most toxic shit in the world. Here we go, put it in surfboard. It's a lot of ways Mike hair for the environment breaks down when it comes to if I need something to perform at a certain task. And I'm assuming that's the same thing with running shoes

Colin (23:41):

And I know there are challenges. I get it. And we are past the point of no return. You're not going to say, well, we're just going to go back to TPU Midsoles or whatever. What was in Chuck Taylor or is in Chuck Taylors pure rubber? No, I understand that's not going to happen. But then I was talking with somebody last week about Adidas made a single use marathon show shoe. Literally it was designed to use one

Justin (24:02):

Time. I got to think that if you're a pro marathoner, aren't all your marathon shoes single use

Colin (24:08):

Probably. And I get it if you're like, Hey, we're making this single use shoe for our a hundred sponsored athletes or whatever, but why do I need to be able to buy a single

Justin (24:16):

Use marathon? Make me feel that would make me feel really guilty and weird. I mean, I would think that you could recycle all of this shit into new shoes.

Colin (24:23):

Well, this comes down to it when you start looking at money and you're like, well, you just pumped a bunch of money into solving this problem, you probably could do it. It says no one wants to do it. Right. Who's going to be the first one to do it? What's

Justin (24:33):

The benefit?

Colin (24:33):

Yeah. Well I think what's the things that stack up in my house between I get frustrated or that drawer full of batteries I have that. I know I'm not supposed to throw my batteries away, but I also don't take them wherever I'm

Justin (24:43):

Supposed to take. What are you supposed to do?

Colin (24:46):

I guess if your transfer station, aren't you supposed to do something there?

Justin (24:51):

What are you? Pennsylvania. Dump dump. What's a transfer station? Dump The dump. Is that what you guys call it out there?

Colin (24:56):

Isn't that what it's called? Officially a

Justin (24:57):

Transfer station. Transfer station Transfer from what? What? It doesn't go anywhere. It just sits there forever. Literally forever. It'll be there. The transfer station, that's the most optimistic name for a dump I've ever heard in my life.

Colin (25:14):

I swear to God. A transfer.

Justin (25:15):

I believe you dude. But that's not what we call it here. I'm sure that's what they're called in.

Colin (25:20):

Oh, you had another lame name for your dump, didn't you?

Justin (25:22):


Colin (25:24):

That is lame. Actually it's call it a dump.

Justin (25:25):

Come on. I mean, yeah, landfill sounds nicer. Alright,

Colin (25:28):

So let's talk about actually going out and running in the shoe. So like you said, you've not been much of a trail runner up to date. You've ran a little bit in the past, but now you're kind of getting back into it from fitness point of view. How was the shoe actually out on the trail?

Justin (25:39):

Okay, so it's interesting that I don't like to hike hiking in trail runners because I like the security of a boot. But when you're running, I guess I don't care. It's like, well, I'm not going to run into boots, so I'll accept a little bit of the whatever it is. I don't like about the softness, pliability of a running shoe. When I'm hiking in it, I'm going to accept that as a runner. The stiffness of the lugs on these I think alleviates a lot of that problem for me to where they just feel really planted. They feel they're confidence inspiring 10 and a half ounces per shoe doesn't seem particularly light, but

Colin (26:22):

But that sounds about right though.

Justin (26:23):

Okay. They feel great. They feel fine. I mean, one of the things I like about these, and I'm guessing that any high end running shoe is going to give this sort of feeling to it, but they have a feeling of propulsive momentum. They just feel like you want to take another step. And I don't know if it's the drop, if it's the way the lugs are shaped, if it's just, I don't know what it is, but it just feels, you feel like you're moving. You feel like they make it easier to run. I mean it is just as simple as that. They make it easier to run. But I will say

Colin (26:53):

It's like a suspension bike

Justin (26:55):

For drugs. Yeah, and I get it. I what they, that's the thing too. It's you hiking something like this and you're like, okay, cool, I'm hiking, whatever. But when you're actually doing what it's intended to do, you feel the benefits a lot more.

Colin (27:08):

This is where giving the running scene grief in terms of too much stuff and we don't have a plan for recyclability or whatever. Running shoes are awesome now. They're incredible what we've been able to do through the design and execution of running shoes. Yeah,

Justin (27:20):

They feel great. I can run at practically full speed over wet rock downhill uphill and they just work. They just grip amazing. They grip, they don't slip. My feet don't get sore. I do have issues with, I used to run a lot on pavement, but I had to kind of stop. I had a random left knee pain, just probably some kind of tendinitis or bursitis or Lord no oris could be knee cancer runs in my family, but I don't get that with these. And I don't know if it's, I obviously part of that's the trail and not running on pavement, but they just make running easier. And frankly, I don't have any doubt that any other top end like hiking or trail runner would feel like that. But if you are a noob like me or a reluctant trail runner like me, I couldn't be happier with the performance. I mean just exactly what you wanted them to do to the point where you go 185 bucks is a lot. I dunno if I'll even have these in five years. That's a lot of money. But I kind of get it. They perform like they should for a shoe that costs that much. And also trail running is fun, folks. It fun.

Colin (28:26):

It's trailing rules. It

Justin (28:27):

Really does. It's really fun. It's really fun. Great. I wrote this in my AJ article, it's great because it's like, okay, I don't have an hour and a half, maybe I have 30 minutes and it's like I can still get all the joy of being on a trail. It does kind of feel like flying, especially around here where you're weaving through trees and a lot of the trails are really narrow. It does kind of feel like you're flying. It's really fun. And I do think you get a little bit of what you get with mountain bikers where it's a bit of a suffer fest. So if you see someone on the trail, you're always like, Hey, how's it going? If you're stopped for some reason, people will check up on you. There's a little bit of that aspect too that I really enjoy, but I get it. And I'm fortunate enough to live in a place where there's kind endless amounts of these sorts of trails.

Colin (29:14):

I'm looking forward to it. Alright, you've reached a quota for praising Marin. Sorry,

Justin (29:17):

Sorry. But I think it's probably going to, I'm going to stick with it. It's pretty Dang With

Colin (29:22):


Justin (29:24):

Oh, trail running. Trail running. I don't really have a choice on the ladder or the former. I always get that confused.

Colin (29:32):

So let's talk about stuff. So we have running shoes, which we've talked about. There's a lot of them and a lot of them being made and a lot of brands. And then we have new brands coming into the scene constantly. And now we have things like, what's the one up we were talking about before we hit record up in Canada. Oh, speed. Oh, speed.

Justin (29:48):

Speed, speed, speed.

Colin (29:50):

Georgie speed. No, but that's a super high end, expensive brand, but I'm sure,

Justin (29:55):

I'm sure those are like $300.

Colin (29:56):

They're insanely expensive. I've always been curious because they're $300 I would like to put, I don't even need to run, just put one on my foot. I want to see what it feels like. So even though you have this perfect fit of what the Ate is matching up with what you would want out of a running shoe on a scale to one to 10, 10 being like this thing, we can't get rid of this thing. Awesome. One being like this is completely replaceable and borderline useless. Where does this fall on that scale? Because even though you liked the Mte, if it went away tomorrow, you have plenty of other things to go try out.

Justin (30:28):

Yeah, I mean it's tough for me because I haven't tried that many pairs of

Colin (30:33):

Water. Well get on that trail

Justin (30:34):

Rudders. I should, and I always struggle with this because it's like as a category, these should exist, but this particular skew, fuck, I don't know. I mean, honestly, I would be really surprised if I couldn't have the same experience with another brand. I mean, I'm sure I like these, I 'em better than Ultras. I would put 'em higher than Ultras on this. But I don't know. That's a tough one. I mean I

Colin (31:00):

Think it'd be pretty easy to replace them.

Justin (31:02):

Yeah, I guess it probably would. So I don't know. I mean it depends on what you like. I mean, I want to say five because it's, I'm kind of indifferent.

Colin (31:10):

That sounds

Justin (31:10):

High, but I knew you would say that I'm kind of indifferent towards, but I don't know. I mean, that's the thing. They could be the best ones. I don't know. I don't even know if trail runners like these. I mean, that's the thing. I didn't really like Google what other people have had to say. So I don't know. I mean you could probably say one and not be wrong.

Colin (31:28):

Got to take a stand. You got to give us a number. What

Justin (31:30):

Is it? I'm going to say five just because I don't know enough. I don't know. I don't know enough. I

Colin (31:35):

Can't Why you hate the environment.

Justin (31:37):

Well that's true. That's true. I

Colin (31:40):

Think we can make up the rules too. If we do another trail runner, maybe one that you and I both try out and then we can always be like, holy shit, these are way better Joka, you've just got knocked down to a two. What I mean? But for right now, five, that

Justin (31:51):

Makes sense. I mean five, that's, it's right in the middle because I don't know.

Colin (31:55):

Okay, let's turn our attention to after the activity at the break, the put in the trail head, we're going to crack open the cooler and IBI a beverage so we can celebrate our wins and losses in the backcountry. Let's have a beer. So what are we drinking? We just finished our run. We're hot, we're sweaty, we're parched. What have we spent those last few miles knowing that this was waiting in the cooler at the car?

Justin (32:19):

Well Colin, we discussed we're not allowed to call it a beer.

Colin (32:22):

Oh shit. Yeah, you're right. It's a brew. Sorry. This is Gear and Brew Today.

Justin (32:30):

Gear and non-alcoholic beer. Well, I could not think of a better pairing for something like a Trail Runner's shoe, which is obviously for the fittest among us. I couldn't think of anything better than an athletic brewing. Now if you've, I guess it's possible there's people out there that dunno athletic brewing, but they are the second biggest in terms of sales. Non-alcoholic brewing company in the country. Heineken oddly number

Colin (32:59):

One. Oh, no kidding. Well that makes sense. And

Justin (33:00):

Heineken makes an excellent non-alcoholic beer. I will say before I crack open this bad boy, which is the free wave hazy, IPA, Heineken makes a pretty dang good na. And I've said this before, probably not on this podcast, but maybe on this podcast that I don't drink a lot of That's not true actually. I do drink a decent amount of Andy Beers. I'm always curious. But the big boys make the good ones. Heineken's good. Stella's really good. Budweiser still bakes my favorite. The Bud Zero.

Colin (33:26):

You did say it. We have these because our boy Mason, I think it's Mason Crab. Oh, that's why Athletic Brewing. Brewery Brewing. Excuse me. Said you guys got to try this. So they've donated a few cans to the cause here.

Justin (33:44):

Well, it's a cool story. I mean they're obviously all over the outdoor community. I remember, I think the first time I saw Athletic Brewing was, oh my God, I hadn't even thought about this. I think the first time I saw Athletic Brewing was at a Hoka event.

Colin (33:59):

Get out of

Justin (33:59):

Here. I swear to God there's a PR firm outside pr. They're pretty big. They're based in Marin and Gordon Wright. Hey Gordon, if you're listening, put together a Hoka trail running event. And I'm pretty sure they had athletic there. If not, I guess it could have been another Na beer. This would've been like five years ago, six years ago,

Colin (34:20):

I think split. They're kind of bi coastal eggs. I think they are based down here. And then San Diego, they started in

Justin (34:24):

Connecticut. They started in Connecticut.

Colin (34:26):

Oh, no kidding. Okay.

Justin (34:27):

And they have a brewery in Connecticut and they have one in San Diego. They two founders. One of 'em was a hedge fund guy who I guess got tired of being in hedge funds, lived in New York, got an endurance running or endurance rate sports and wanted something that was not beer afterward. Well,

Colin (34:46):

This is a perfect one to line it up with the Hoka. I guess before we crack this, I've never tasted, this is my first sip ever of an athletic brewing. Really beer. Yeah. I've never tried it. So put on the Cerone hat now, right? As the guy who knows beers, what should we be expecting? What is line it up for me. We're doing the, it says it's a hazy hazy now I feel like there's always good hazy and bad hazy, right? There's that.

Justin (35:11):

It depends. Well, okay, so the thing is, non-alcoholic beers usually have kind of a funky taste because typically the way you make a non-alcoholic beer is you brew a normal beer and then you boil it, or at least break it up to a temperature at which ethanol boils. I don't know, which is the alcohol that you're drinking when you drink booze. I don't know what that temperature is, presumably less than water because it doesn't boil the water away. But anyway, you boil the ethanol away, which kind of changes the, I mean, hops don't like heat, so that's probably part of the weird taste that you get with a beer. Heat will destroy the taste of hops really fast. Part of the reason you're not supposed to leave beers in the sun. So that's a bit weird. So non al beers tend to have a flat strangeness at the backend, and I believe it's probably because heated so much to get the ethanol boiled off. Now athletic doesn't do that. They will not say how they make their brew, how they make their non-alcoholic. So

Colin (36:05):

Maybe they do do that.

Justin (36:07):

Well, they say they don't. They figured out this hedge fund guy hired a guy who's making regular beer for a long time and they spent apparently like a hundred hours or a hundred batches trying

Colin (36:17):

To crack the

Justin (36:18):

Code, trying to crack the code and it's patent pending. And they say they have some, it's sort of natural processes or something like that. But they say they only use hops, barley water, and yeast. So they're not adding anything to it, but they apparently make their beers in a slightly different way. I've had a lot of athletic brewing. I don't think I've had the free wave hazy IPA before. They still taste like non-alcoholic beers to me. I mean, people really like these. I mean, people really dig these a lot. What else is there to say?

Colin (36:53):

Nothing. I think let's crack em

Justin (36:54):

Open. Nothing. Yeah, let's crack her cold. Let's do it.

Colin (36:58):

Alright, you ready? 3, 2, 1. Oh, I think we are right in sync with each other. It

Justin (37:04):

Smells like hops. Boom hops right, right

Colin (37:06):

Off the bat. Yeah. No, actually that smells like that. Smells like

Justin (37:08):

A beer. Smells like a beer. Yeah.

Colin (37:10):

All right, you ready? Cheers.

Justin (37:11):

Cheers. Okay. Yep. There's that tea taste. Do you get that?

Colin (37:24):

Yeah, there's a little tea taste.

Justin (37:25):

It tastes like tea. I don't understand what that is. Lemme

Colin (37:30):

Have another sip here. I like it.

Justin (37:34):

It's good. I mean it's good, but there is something on the backend that reminds me of tea. I

Colin (37:40):

Agree with that. I get what you're saying.

Justin (37:42):

There's an astringent bitterness on the back end that you don't, there's a

Colin (37:44):


Justin (37:44):

Often get in irregular beer. What's interesting is astringency is an off flavor in beer. This is one of the things you learn in cone tests. Something happens, and I think it's with the hops that will cause an astringent taste and astringent is an unpleasant bitterness. Obviously beer is pleasantly bitter stringent. Is that deeply tannic? Not sour, but mouth puckering, unpleasantness.

Colin (38:07):

No, I'm getting that at the end. There's

Justin (38:08):

A touch of that. I'm describing it that way so that people know what I'm talking about. That's not the overwhelming thing, but there is a touch of that and I'm wondering if that's got to be a byproduct of however they remove the alcohol,

Colin (38:18):

However they're removing the alcohol. I'm actually surprised. So I've not drank a lot of non-alcoholic beers. I was not really anticipating liking this, I'll be

Justin (38:26):


Colin (38:28):

And it's very cold because when we decided to, I realized I hadn't put any of these in the fridge. So about two hours ago, I put it in our ice bin in the freezer, so it is ice cold.

Justin (38:38):

So you want to drink these cold. That's by the way, that's very important with an alcoholic beers because the beer is carbonated both naturally and with forced carbonation. So typically when you brew, if you brew at home, you don't do forced carbonation. It'll just do it itself. But really big quantities when you're brewing beer carbonation is of course a natural byproduct of the fermentation cycle, but usually brewers will also pump carbonation into the beer just to make it a little bit more bubbly, just to make it uniform. Because these aren't fermented like a regular beer, at least not to the same level. They don't produce much carbonation. And so it's forced carbonation probably exclusively, I would guess, in non-alcoholic beers. And they lose the bubbles really fast. So you want to drink 'em really cold. You don't want to drink 'em warm. I keep coming back for more taste. It's good. It is good. I don't think I would, I guess this is the highest praise you could give a non-alcoholic beer. I don't necessarily think I would be able to tell that this was a lower calorie beer. It's pretty light mouthfeel, 70 calories. I mean, that's nothing. That's

Colin (39:40):

Pretty damn good. I like that.

Justin (39:43):

I think if you just gave me this, I'd think this was just a low calorie beer, but you didn't, I don't think it would occur to me it was non-alcoholic at first. I think eventually that aftertaste, I would figure it out.

Colin (39:55):

But to think about put it in the scenario and pairing it with what the gear, right? So if you and I finish a run and we have just,

Justin (40:03):

It is really good actually,

Colin (40:05):

And you crack open the back of the car and there's an ice chest in there filled with these. You didn't think about it. Just put one in your hand that this would taste pretty good in that scenario. This would taste good. Yeah.

Justin (40:16):

Yeah, it would. What's interesting is in the, I was looking into this, so athletic donated a few different beers to us, and I've been trying a couple of them, but not this one, but they're other ones. We have a Rattler, which is, we'll talk about these later, but that's a beer that has lemon lime soda in it, so it kind of masks the flavor. Anyway, but it was interesting when I was looking into them, I'd have one at lunch and I'd think, huh, I feel like I had a beer.

Colin (40:49):

Oh yeah, you posted about this.

Justin (40:51):

Oh, I did. That's right. I started looking into it and it turns out there is kind of a placebo effect where if I drink a lot of beer, my brain when it tastes, this is like, oh, it's beer time and it just releases dopamine, which is fascinating. And so I do think that you get a little bit of the, I just finished a ride. I'm going to crack a beer and it's going to be one of these, you get a little bit of the sort of relaxation that you get with a regular beer, which is pretty cool. I don't know if that is the case. If you don't drink normally, maybe. I don't know.

Colin (41:21):

Well, okay, so now we got to rate these, right? So last week we started to rate them. So Budweiser, I gave a 6.2. You gave a 7.1.

Justin (41:28):


Colin (41:30):

I'm going to go with this because if I'm calling a Budweiser, a 6.1, which is just Budweiser, we agree, is an all time beer, right? Yeah. It's a great book. Mean this, I'm kind of, I think in a four nine potentially. Oh, wow.

Justin (41:43):


Colin (41:44):

Well, maybe 5.1. I'm not calling it yet, but that's kind of where the range I'm in. Where are you with this?

Justin (41:50):

It's really hard to separate the alcohol from the beer. I don't mean physically. I mean, I hadn't really thought about this aspect. So it's a better beer than Budweiser. Taste wise, I think it tastes better, but if

Colin (42:05):

I love next to each other, I'd probably choose the bud.

Justin (42:08):

Well, it depends. Do you like IPAs? I

Colin (42:10):

Love IPAs.

Justin (42:12):

I do too. I think it's a better beer. It has taste. It has more flavor. It's a better It does.

Colin (42:17):

It has a lot more flavor. Okay. All right. You're talking me into this. Sorry. Keep going. All right.

Justin (42:21):

But I think what you're struggling with is what I'm struggling with, which is that I appreciate, and at the end of this, I've been kind of planning on talking about this whole time, but this tastes good. It tastes better than a bud. I would say taste wise, it's at least an eight. Oh wow. The mouth feels good. High, honestly. Yeah. I mean really of the other athletics I've tried, this is definitely my favorite, which honestly I'm kind of shocked, but I thought usually I feel like it's easier to make a non-alcoholic pilsner versus an ale because ales have a lot more, I don't know why. Actually, it should be easier to make ales, because ales have a lot more fruitiness to them, a lot more body to them. You can mask weird flavors with ales better. I don't know. I thought, yeah, anyway, point is, it's better than I expected, but I drink a beer for the alcohol. I mean, you're lying to yourself. If you don't, that's why you have it, right?

Colin (43:18):

Yeah. You're not wrong. It's a weird question for you to answer. I don't drink to get drunk anymore. I don't either. Right? But it is, you're right. I'm not being fair with my four nine because there is a thing. I'm thinking about it, and there's a weird mental block I think I'm struggling with, because again, if you put same scenario, we're done running in our hokas and there's a cooler and there's these sitting next to a Budweiser, I'm probably going to grab the Budweiser.

Justin (43:47):

You're probably going to grab the Budweiser,

Colin (43:48):

And you're like, this does taste better than a Budweiser. It does.

Justin (43:50):

It tastes better, but I don't, there's anything I don't think you need to beat around the bush. I think that America has a weird relationship with alcohol. We'd love to drink, but you're not supposed to. And I drink a lot of beer, but I'm never really drunk. You get that relaxation. I mean, alcohol is a depressant. You get a nice kind of mellow vibe, and that's part of the charm of a post run beer. So it's tough to isolate that. You're not going to get that from it. So at that point, honestly, I don't know that I wouldn't just choose like a LaCroix

Colin (44:22):

If the Waterloo LaCroix was in the cooler.

Justin (44:25):

Yeah. I'm like, I don't know. It

Colin (44:27):

Depends. I might just take that too. Now that being said though, am really enjoying this. So tomorrow for lunch very, and I have a sandwich there. There's a dope deli down the street. If I walked down and got a sandwich, this would be really good with a sandwich at lunch tomorrow, and it's, that's even

Justin (44:42):

Better. It's a non-alcoholic beer for beer drinkers. I mean, that's what it is. There you go. It's a good way to have. I had had one with lunch yesterday, and it's a really good way to have some beer if you can't have beer, but I don't think I would ever choose it over even a bad beer that has alcohol. If I'm in a place where it's fine to have a beer,

Colin (45:00):

I went six two on the Budweiser. That's one of my all time favorite beers. It it's a utilitarian beer. We talked about it. It's a staple. So you've talked me into it though, and talking this through. I'm glad we talked it through before. Just putting a rating on it. I'm going to go five nine.

Justin (45:14):

Okay. Yeah, I think that's fair. I think that's fair. I've had plenty of much worse IPAs that are just regular beers.

Colin (45:22):

I've had much worse. Yes, a hundred percent. Sometimes you get a really bad IPA. You're like, what would these people doing?

Justin (45:27):

I like their vibe. I mean, the vibe is great. The whole energy behind them and the cans look cool, and the names are cool, and they're all very outdoorsy. I'm into it. I mean, I'm into it. I'm into it. I'm definitely into it. It's tough though. They cost the same as beer, so it's like six pack of this is probably $13. That's

Colin (45:45):

Okay. So let's put our biases on why we want to drink a beer aside. And I think I'm still good with the five nine. What do you think? You're going to give it an eight?

Justin (45:53):

Yeah. Honestly, I do think it deserves that. I really do.

Colin (45:56):

All right. So to summarize this episode of Gear and Beer, we have the Homa Fate speed four, which we rated a five on the St. Oter. And after you get done ripping around on your local trails refresh, we suggest refreshing yourself with a frosty cold athletic brewing free wave hazy. IPA. It's a mouthful. It's a mouthful. Come on now. Free wave hazy. IPA with Justin, rated a eight on the beer scale. I gave it a 5.9 and all. Any last thoughts?

Justin (46:27):

I'm impressed with both of these products,

Colin (46:29):


Justin (46:30):

Both of these things are things I would normally like to make fun of them in my daily life. But you know what? Good job, Hoka. Good job. Athletic.

Colin (46:36):

Good job. Honestly, another great pairing by our sister room because kind of conflicted on both. The Ho is a great product, but it's also like, yeah, we don't really need it. And then the beer, it's like, this is not what the experience. I was really going to be bummed out. They're like, I don't really like this very much. I am genuinely

Justin (46:52):

Enjoying this. It's impressive. It's impressive. It is easily the best alcoholic beer I've ever had. There's there's no question.

Colin (46:58):

High praise. Yeah. All right. That's the show for today. What did you think of this edition of Gear and Beer? Do you have a suggestion for a future edition of Gear and Beer? Or do you simply just like gear and beer, send an email to my rock Let us know what you think. The rock fight is a production of rock Fight LC for Justin Hausman. I'm Colin True. Thanks for listening and here to take us out. He's taking what he's making and spending it on a Saturday night. It's Krista Makes with the Rock Fight Fight song. We'll see you next time. Rock fighters Rock.

Chris DeMakes (47:33):

We go into the bike where we speak our truth, stay sacred cows, and sometimes agree to disagree. We talk about human power, outdoor activities, their big bites about topics that we find interesting, black by culture. Music The latest movie reviews ideas in for the Head. This is where we speak truth. This is where we speak truth through. Welcome to the.


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