Are Product Reviews Legit? How to Evaluate Expensive Gear & Tech with Ashley Mateo

Runners love their gear and gadgets. Whether it’s the newest running watch or shoes to help you run faster, runners are on the lookout for the latest and greatest products. Product reviews can help you make decisions about what gear and technology is right for you.

Although running is often cited as a simple, inexpensive sport – “just put on your shoes and head out the door!” – there is plenty of technology aimed at improving your experience. Tech clothing is a vast improvement over soggy cotton tee-shirts, and shoes have evolved in a multitude of ways for better comfort and longevity.

Running watches have practically become ubiquitous in recent years, with a wide variety of models to suit all types of runners from newbies to marathoners to ultrarunners. Technological advances have made it possible to measure just about anything, which can be both a blessing and a curse.

When evaluating any new technology and whether it will help your running, product reviews are typically our first means of learning about the pros and cons of a product. By learning how to use these reviews to your advantage, you’re more likely to make better decisions about which products work best for you.

Ashley Mateo on evaluating running gear and technology

This week’s guest on the podcast has reviewed just about every type of gear imaginable, from clothing and shoes, to recovery tools, to watches and smart rings. Ashley Mateo is likely a familiar name, as she has written for just about every major media outlet including Runner’s World, Bicycling, Women’s Health, Health, Shape and  Self. 

In addition to her writing and prolific product testing, Ashley is a RRCA and UESCA certified running coach and an accomplished marathoner. She also publishes one of my favorite running newsletters, The Rundown, which is available on Substack.

With her extensive experience testing a variety of products, Ashley has unique insights into using product reviews to help you search for new gear. By learning how to think more critically about these reviews, you can evaluate gear before making an investment, and know how to get the most out of your purchase.

Ashley and I talk about her background in the sport and then dig into the product review process, including:

  • How Ashley was introduced to running through triathlon
  • Her favorite products to review
  • Ashley’s critical process for reviewing different types of products
  • Why wearing a smart ring has changed how Ashley uses her running watch
  • What consumers should pay attention to in reviews
  • Ashley’s dream product to review

Our discussion will show you how to get the most out of your next running purchase!

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Thank you BetterHelp!

Thank you to our newest sponsor, BetterHelp. BetterHelp is the world’s largest therapy service, and it’s 100% online. I’ve been speaking more openly recently about my own mental health struggles last year as I went through a divorce. And while running was certainly an outlet, it could never replace actual therapy to help me process everything I was going through at the time. 

If you’re struggling with any kind of mental health issue right now, it’s certainly impacting your running and I want you to be as healthy as possible – both physically and mentally. Improving your mindset is a powerful lever to pull to improve your relationship with running.

With BetterHelp, you can message your therapist at any time, schedule live sessions when it’s convenient for you (or use text), and change your therapist at no extra charge.

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Thank You AG1!

We’re also supported by AG1, the greens superfood mix. This is a category-leading greens mix that has 75 vitamins and minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, and adaptogens. It’s recommended by professional athletes and has over 7,000 positive reviews.

One scoop per day is what I’ve been doing to help me fill in any nutrition gaps in my diet. It also provide a nice boost of energy and focus throughout the day. With all 3 of my kids in school, I know I need to support my immune system or else I’m getting sick and can’t train.

I also love that AG1 has changed over the last decade. They’ve made 53 improvements to the formula based on the latest research to make these nutrients more absorbable and rigorous with the 3rd party testing that they do.

For our listeners, they are offering a year’s worth of free Vitamin D and 5 free travel packs of AG1 with your first purchase. You can sign up for single shipment or for a monthly drop – the choice is yours. Check out AG1 to redeem your offer today.

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