It’s time for the first StrideBox review of 2018. StrideBox is a subscription box for runners. For $15 a month, you get a sampling of the latest gadgets, gizmos and nutrition for runners. The value almost always exceeds the price, as it does this month. It’s a great way to try out new products, and it makes a great holiday gift for the runner in your life – or for yourself.
Here are the contents of the January 2017 box:
Health Warrior Chia Bar (Mexican Chocolate): Vegan, gluten free and all proceeds from this bar go to Operation Farm and Run, created to restore farms and create financial support for the Tarahumara, made popular by Christopher McDougall’s epic Born to Run. I’ve tasted and loved other Health Warrior Chia Bar flavors. Unfortunately, this flavor is not one of them. But hey, everyone is different and they are supporting a fantastic cause.
Clif Energy Gel (Strawberry): Strawberries plus 25 mg of caffeine. And vegan, too. Clif shots are not my favorite – it’s a texture thing for me, but in terms of performance, they work great to fuel long runs. I’ve taken them in races
Barnana Banana Bites (Peanut butter): Holy doodle! These are DEE-licious, organic and so unusual in a good wat. They reminded me of Reese’s pieces, but they are better – crafted from real ingredients and sustainable palm oil. You HAVE to try them. The label says they are vegetarian, but in scanning the label, I can’t for the life of me discern which ingredient(s) is not vegan. Since these are high in potassium, refueling with these little gems after a race or a long run would be optimal.
Spring Energy McRaecovery (Chocolate): Most gels are designed to be taken during a long run or ride. This gel is designed to be taken after. It contains protein, potassium, and ingredients like dried cherries that are proven to boost recovery. Such a simple idea that I’m surprised it took so long for someone to bring this to market. Often after a long run or hard workout, you really don’t have much of an appetite but you do need to refuel to boost recovery. In scanning the ingredient list – which is quite clean – this appears to be vegan. I could not find verification on the site, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now
All Good SPF 15 Lip Balm (Chai): I hate-hate-hate dry lips and go through lip balm like water, so it’s a product I can never have enough of. This balm goes on super smooth and gives your lips a nice little tingle, thanks to chai ingredients like clove oil and cinnamon (which, incidentally, are often used in lip-plumping products). This lip balm contains beeswax, so it is not considered vegan.
Stride Lock No-tie Elastic Shoelaces: No-tie shoelaces?! I was SO excited about these. Only problem is, you need to actually lace your shoes with them first – and roughly every inch, the shoelace is punctuated with a raised knob making lacing up, well, impossible, in my case. I tried lacing them through 4 different pairs of running shoes and the knob would not penetrate the eyelets in any of them. I tried the Nike Air Zoom Elite: a no-go not only because they would not fit in the eyelets, but because this particular shoe has 2 additional sets of thin elastic loops around the eyelet- part decorative, part functional, making it even trickier. I then tried them on a pair of Nike Zoom Flys, and I experienced the same issue as in the Air Zooms. I thought the laces would work in my Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes since the design is pretty straightforward, but alas, they would not fit through these eyelets, either. Finally, I went for my old reliable Mizuno Wave Riders because the eyelets looks rather large, but I still could not wedge these suckers in.”Three 3 strikes and you’re out,” goes the old axiom. I gave these laces a bonus turn at bat and they are still out. It’s a shame, because they look super cool.
I’ve reviewed more than a dozen StrideBox boxes now, and fortunately, these laces were only the second or third dud out of the hundreds products I have sampled.
This value of this month’s Stridebox is $20.91, exceeding the $15 subscription price by a significant $5.90. You are definitely getting more than your money’s worth, and are getting useful stuff.
- Health Warrior Chia Bar (Mexican Chocolate): $1.07
- Clif Energy Gel (Strawberry): $1.39
- Barnana Banana Bites (Peanut butter): $2.00
- Spring Energy McRaecovery (Chocolate): $3.00
- All Good SPF 15 Lip Balm (Chia): $3.50
- Stride Lock No-tie Elastic Shoelaces: $9.95
Total value: $20.91
Previous StrideBox reviews
- Holiday (several boxes) (2016)
My favorite product in this month’s box is hands-down, the Barnana Banana Bites. What is your favorite item?