Disclaimer: I received a pair of AMPLAsport AmplaFLY shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!
I’m willing to try anything to gain some speed in my training. Working on getting to a 2-hour half marathon goal is TOUGH (and slow, whomp) — but I’m adding in the speed workouts every week and figured a pair of speedy shoes could probably help. As part of the BibRave Pro ambassador program, I got the opportunity to find out about an awesome brand – AMPLAsport — who designed a speed shoe called the AMPLA FLY.
First impression: LOVE THE COLOR (duh)! I’ve never seen a split sole shoe (besides those tiny ballet flats that you roll up and keep in your purse when you’re partying). They’re really light (hello, carbon fiber foot plate!), despite looking a little bulky (perhaps because of the split sole?).
Watch more first impressions:
Fit: Size 9.5 (side note: am I the only one whose running shoes are WILDLY larger than regular shoes? I am nearly consistently across brands a 9.5 in running shoes, and almost always in a size 8 regular shoe.) Toe box room is excellent. I found them comfortable and the fit comparable to my “everyday” running shoes. I tied them using my usual heel-lock lacing, as most shoes with a roomy toe box tend to have heel slippage for me.
First try-on: Comfortable yet weird; obviously, this is a WAY different shoe. They feel like you want to bounce around in them. I definitely felt intentionally forward propelled — but not in a way that feels unnatural or off-balance — and I felt like my stance changed quite a bit. They actually reminded me a lot of what it felt like standing in my short-forward-mounted roller skates (although, without all of the squatting).
I’ve been trying this “science shoe” out for the the last month on some of my speed-focused runs, and while it hasn’t made an immediate impact on my time goals, it has really helped me focus on my running stride (I’m one of those infamous heel strikers). They worked well for my training days where I could break them in a bit by doing a mile or two and note the differences between the AMPLA FLY and my other running shoes. I certainly would have liked to get some more mileage on them, but… THE COMMITMENT TO CHANGE IS HARD! I’m impressed so far as to how they aid in pushing forward in my sprint work. The most impactful run was when I decided to change into when I noticed my running form breaking down when I was feeling tired. I noticed immediately the chain-reaction effect of being more upright, thereby relaxing my tensed muscles all the way up to my shoulders.
Lasting impressions: That said, these aren’t really meant for me for long-and-slow easy runs; to be honest, I didn’t find them the most comfortable when doing my cool downs or walks home after my workouts. I MUST also note: these are NOT meant for trails — do not take these on gravel or other types of rough terrain, as the side-to-side stability is not there. So, these have a very distinct purpose and will fit into a shoe collection as a great 2nd pair (or 3rd or 4th, if you’re like me and legit have a shoe for every sport and occasion).
Most of my running friends know that I am not a fan of change when it comes to my athletic gear — once I find something that I like and FITS, I stick with it and buy up all the new-old back stock all over the Internet. In July, I finally broke my pattern by purchasing a new shoe model (AND a new brand!). It’s helped me step out of my own way in trying new, better things. This was exactly what I was hoping to experience with the AMPLA FLY.
How it works: The AMPLA FLY encourages the efficient use of force — by way of a full-length carbon fiber plate guiding your foot-strike, and maximizing big toe push-off. The AMPLA FLY is more than being about speed — it’s about giving you the right FORM to make your running better.
Side note: I’ve had to do a lot of treadmill runs this cycle because of the humidity (UGH!), and admittedly, I was terrified to wear these on the treadmill.
About AMPLA: Founded by a sports scientist and athletic industry innovators committed to engineering footwear that amplifies athletic ability (SCIENCE!). Harvard-trained Dr. Marcus Elliott has tested and trained elite athletes through his P3 Sports Science Institute in Santa Barbara, California — and has utilized advanced technologies to capture more than 30,000 hours of athlete data over the last eight years. This knowledge, combined with experience in the athletic footwear industry, is an opportunity to create breakthrough one-of-a-kind products. The AMPLA FLY is AMPLAsport’s first product.