Testing the Reebok Z Strike Elite AND the Reebok One Distance 2.0

This is a slightly unusual review since it deals with 2 different Reebok shoes, one of which I had to return due to a flaw.

On 28 June 2016 I bought a pair of Reebok Z Strike Elite shoes from the Reebok store in DLF Mall, New Delhi, India.

This was my first Reebok purchase & I was impressed by the knowledgable sales staff (despite it being sale time, so busier than usual) and I bought a lovely blue pair of shoes:

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I now possessed 3 pairs of running shoes (#takingmyrunningseriously) and since I was part of a #100daysofrunning challenge, and therefore running every day, I rotated between my reeboks and 2 pairs of Adidas shoes.

I was running an average of 10k per day, but not wearing any pair of shoes on 2 consecutive days.  From the very first run, these shoes felt comfortable, great and cushion-y (is that a technical term?) and very light.  No teething problems, no blisters, nothing.

From Day One I loved the Z Strike Elite, and instagrammed to that effect.

Here you go, just a few images.

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Took my shoes to Borneo:

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And to Kuala Lumpur:

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But…at 162 km (I log my usage on mapmyrun.com) holes suddenly appeared in the heel area of both shoes.  Like so:

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I contacted Reebok –  and this part of my review now covers their customer service.

5 August: I email Reebok, sending the photos I have just shown you (above).

6 August: Reebok Customer Care replies, apologizing and asking for details, including a scan of the original invoice, which I didn’t have to hand, so on the

7 August: I sent a copy of my credit card statement.

9 August: Reebok replies asking me to get a duplicate invoice from the store.

OK.

10 August: I went back to the store in DLF mall, where they kindly printed out a duplicate invoice in no time at all, which I emailed to Customer Care.

11 August: Reebok email me to say I could go ahead and claim my replacement shoes.

 

Score card for Customer Service?

10/10.

They were quick, polite and efficient, as indeed were the staff in the shop.

BUT sadly the much-loved Z Strike Elite were no longer in stock, & so I had to get a different shoe, and pay around Rs3000 on top, since the sales are over.

So, with some regret – it’s out with the Z Strike & in with One Distance 2.0

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I did my first run in these shoes this morning, and first impressions?

I like them.  A lot.

I like the tag at the back when you put them on:

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Love the lime green.

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They felt as cushion-y and bouncy and comfortable from the word go as the Z Strike Elite.

Now, though, I shall watch the heels like a hawk, hoping there isn’t a repeat performance.

Has anyone else experienced this?  The inner lining wearing out so quickly?

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The store manager suggested it might be because I kept my shoes laced and pushed my feet in and out.

I absolutely don’t, and told him so.  So I actually have no explanation as to why the Z Strike Elite wore out so soon.

Anyway, onwards & upwards as they say – and let’s see how the One Distance 2.0 perform.

I’ll post a follow up review in a few weeks.

Neither Reebok nor the store knew that I blogged and I paid for the shoes myself.

Want a good running shop in London?

I live in India, where I haven’t yet been able to track down the gels that I am told are vital for running a marathon.

So on a recent trip to London I was thrilled to find a specialised running shop in East Sheen, just a few minutes drive away from Barnes, where I was based.

Aptly called ‘Up & running”, the shop has a quiet, unpushy air of professionalism about it.

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When I explained that not only was I new to running, but was also thinking about transiting from half to full marathon, the young woman in the shop could not have been more helpful.  A marathoner herself, she answered all my questions in great detail, explained about gels, gave me several (free) to take home and try, and was totally charming.  No hard sell, nothing but relaxed friendly service.

Just wished I’d needed more stuff…would happily have spent hours in Up & Running.

I paid my bill (a very snazzy belt to hold said gels) and did not tell them that I blog and write reviews.

Recommended, from one very pleasant interaction.

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Which sports bra?

Although I am going to review a sports bra here –  the one I use for running –  I really would appreciate feedback and input from women readers, please, not only for this bra but other makes, too.  It would help to make this post more inclusive.

Please?

So, ever since I started running in September 2013, I have experimented with different sports bras, and the one that suits me best is the Nike Dri Fit.  It is firm without being too constricting, and it seems to last and last.  I bought 2 last February –  so 11 months ago, give or take –  and they have been washed constantly, yet show no signs of wear and tear.  I then bought 2 more in October, and other than the thick wedge of labels which I had to cut out of all the bras (are so many labels really necessary, Nike?) I have no complaints whatsoever.

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See what I mean about the labels?

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I couldn’t actually find these bras in Delhi so bought them overseas, but I would love to hear from you if this style is indeed available locally in India.  Hope so.

And as I said at the outset, I welcome your recommendations of other bras.

Total bead heaven in Delhi

As I fossicked through the hundreds of necklaces and beads and yet more necklaces in Lall’s in Delhi’s Sunder Nagar, I remarked to Catriona, my fellow fossicker, that the shop reminded me of Lurgan Sahib’s antique shop in “Kim” –  only with electricity. Remove the lighting from Lall’s, and without too much imagination you could be in Lurgan Sahib’s amazing treasure house, sifting through mounds of objects and statues and jewellery from all over India.

Catriona had taken me to Lall’s especially to look at their Naga jewellery, and that was to be the beginning of an afternoon spent looking longingly through amazing necklaces, literally trunks loads of them, and we never even got started on the fabrics and the statues and the bronzes….

A true modern day treasure house, worthy of Rudyard Kipling.  Except it’s air-conditioned.

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The tribal jewellery from the North East –  especially Nagaland – is what fascinated me, and there are some truly lovely things on offer.  And, oh joy of joys, they mostly have price tags, which makes a poor haggler like me feel instantly more relaxed :

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See, I told you, price tags (below).

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And when I said there are trunks full of treasures, I bet you didn’t believe me…

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There are statues and fabrics and brass objects and…and…and…

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The staff were polite and (another joy of joys) totally un-pushy.  I can’t abide shops where the salesmen try and entice you in, and then follow you round the shop, stuck to you like iron filings to a magnet.  Nothing like that here.

I didn’t tell them that I blog and write reviews.

Obviously we shopped.  And obviously we paid our own bills.

A good find.  To be re-fossicked.

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They take credit cards but, like so many shops in Delhi, charge you an extra % for using them.

 

Clock Heaven in South Africa

For years, Dullstroom has been a constant fixture on our drives to the Kruger Park.

We always stop there.

We always eat there.

And we always shop*** there.

From a pretty but small stop-over in the late 1990s, we have seen Dullstroom grow into an increasingly sophisticated little place, complete with smart shops and smart places to eat.

One of the fun shops we always visit in Dullstroom is The Clock Shop, which sells clocks (obviously) but in quantities you never knew existed, in every shape, size, design and colour of the rainbow.

To wit :

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There are theme-based clocks:

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Music…

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Sport…

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There really is something to suit every taste and budget, from cheap ‘n cheerful, to kitschy, as well as seriously expensive.

By expensive, think fabulous old grandfather clocks:

 

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There are some clever designs:

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There is a repair shop :

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So yes, all in all, pretty much clock heaven, I’d say.

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Oh come on, watch the video clip below, and then tell me – who doesn’t secretly rather like a cuckoo clock?

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Oh yes, those *** up top.

This is what we bought last month in The Clock Shop :

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We bought the bird song version, which I promptly hung up in my Delhi study, and once an hour I am transported back to Africa.

 

The shop is on the main street.  Just ask anyone where it is.  It’s that kind of place.

Gorgeous DOSAIL bags in Shanghai

If I describe myself as a bag lady, it might conjure up the wrong kind of image, so I’ll rephrase that statement shall I, and rather say that I absolutely love handbags.

So, when on a holiday in Shanghai in March this year, I came across an amazing boutique (with an even more amazing name) I was in handbag heaven.

 

I give you “Dosail”.  A range of luscious bags manufactured by the fabulously named Shanghai Dreamlike Fashion Industrial Co. Ltd

 

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I was restrained and bought “only” two.  One for myself and one for daughter dearest, but left to myself in a no-limit-to-shopping-budget-world, I would have gone crazy and shopped up the proverbial.

These were our 2 bags…

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Dosail 2

 

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There is a huge range of bags for sale, prices are steep-ish but there appears to be a 15% standard discount if you haggle, which I did.

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Between my limited Mandarin and the assistant’s equally limited English, I understood that the bags are pre-waterproofed.  Each bag I looked at, they would instantly pour some water onto the canvas, so I presume it’s true.

Personally recommended –  I put my money where my mouth is!

I have had so many compliments on the bag since I got back to Delhi, which is always nice.

Obviously I didn’t tell them I blog or write reviews (hey, I battled enough with getting a discount, so there was no way I was going to try and go down the blogging vocabulary route…)

But I do so love my bag, and on a return visit to Shanghai, will be making a bee line for the closest Dosail shop.

They have a website which is only so-so (has a translate button for bits of it) but you do get to see some photos.

 

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JENNI BUTTON – classic, elegant South African clothing

On a recent return visit to Johannesburg, South Africa, where we lived for many years, I was looking for Western smart formal wear for my daughter. We now live in India, and office appropriate Western clothing isn’t always easy to find.

I was pointed in the direction of Jenni Button, and found a shop where I could have bought just about every item of clothing, so elegant and so smart and so classic are her designs.

How is it possible that I lived all those years in South Africa, in ignorance of this talented designer?

Ah well, better late than never is my mantra.

Loved the look and feel of the shop in Sandton City, with the colour co-ordinated displays.

Ms Button has simple formal wear and cocktail dresses, for example, all hanging together, by colour, tempting you to mix and match.

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As an aside:  I found small size clothes difficult to track down on my earlier not very fruitful shopping trips through the better known stores in SA.  I needed Size 6, and very few stores had this size on offer.  Jenni Button did.

Personally recommended.

I didn’t tell the staff in the shop that I blog or review.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tsonga. Fabulous South African shoes

I have been a devoted fan of Tsonga shoes for years now, ever since we lived in South Africa. Their shoes are, without question, the most immediately comfortable shoes you will ever buy.
Let me explain.
I now live in India, in New Delhi.

In late May Delhi is hot.

As in 46C hot.

And when I stepped out for a day long shopping trip and wandering around with a house guest who likes to visit in the heat, I put on a brand new, never-before-worn pair of Tsonga sandals.
“Foolish woman,” do I hear you cry?
“Blisters guaranteed,” do I hear you mutter?
Not a bit of it.

These sandals (below) felt as comfy as slippers, the second I put them on, and after a long (very long) and hot (very hot) day wandering through Delhi, my feet felt just great.

No blisters, no chafing, no soreness.

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I don’t know how Tsonga does it, but every single pair of their shoes, loafers, sandals that I have bought over the years has been like this – comfortable from the very second you slip them on.

And it’s not just womens’ shoes.  My husband is also a firm believer.

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It was this claim that I used to persuade friends on their first ever visit to South Africa to buy at Tsonga in Dullstroom, and they reported back enthusiastically.
I shopped, as usual, on my trip earlier this month to South Africa, and came home with yet more Tsonga loafers.

Red ones, this time, to make a change from my standard blacks and navy blues.

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A part of my Tsonga collection (below).  An investment, say I…

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They are not cutting edge stylish – no killer heels, ladies –  but for traditional, classic, elegant loafers and brilliantly comfy sandals, Tsonga is your place.  They also had fab looking boots in their Dullstroom shop, but I had absolutely no justification for buying any, sad to say.

Personally recommended, without hesitation.

I have never mentioned in any of the shops visited over the years – Cape Town, Dullstroom, Hazyview –  that I blog or write reviews.

Where to eat in Delhi’s Shahpurjat? Les Parisiennes, perhaps?

Nearly every time I go to Shahpurjat, which is usually to see my friend the designer Sonam Dubal, we end up at the charming cafe-boutique “Les Parisiennes”.

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A delightful space, elegantly and quirkily furnished, selling a mix of vintage and retro must-haves (think dresses, jewellery, accessories), and serving typical light French bistro style fare (think quiche, salad, gateaux – that kind of fare).

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I ask you what’s not to love?

I have been there with friends who went in for just for lunch and came out with a butter dish. Or stopped by for an afternoon cool drink and emerged with a glass cake stand they never knew they absolutely had to have.

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There is always retro style music playing, all vaguely Edith Piaf-y. The bathrooms are delightfully spotless.  The menu is written, bistro-style, on a blackboard.

I repeat, what’s not to love.

On a recent visit 2 days ago, on a broilingly hot Delhi summer afternoon, it was blissfully cool inside, and as I say every time I go there, “I could live here in Les Parisiennes”  – for it is a village house that had been beautifully transformed, but still feels like a welcoming home.

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I was very politely asked not to take photos on my last visit, so I didn’t, but on former visits I wasn’t stopped, so here is a quick look at a charming place that should be on everyone’s Shahpurjat To Do List.

 

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5-B, Dada Jungi House,

Shahpur Jat,

Delhi 110049

+91 88 26 51 89 43

+91 11 26 49 67 54

 

??? Personally recommended

I rate Les Parisiennes 10/10 for atmosphere.  8/10 for quality/portions/affordability of their food.  Have never shopped there, but friends have and love their crockery and glasses especially.

Open daily 10am-7pm

Sanskar Studio, in Delhi’s Shahpurjat

For the many loyal devotees and fans of Sonam Dubal’s couture, there is brilliant news afoot.

Sonam has recently opened Sanskar Studio in Shahpurjat, a cosy welcoming space where you can view his designs, as well as shop for clothing and accessories from a Calcutta based NGO, “Sasha”, an organisation very dear to Sonam’s heart.

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Up a tiny staircase, onto a little veranda, through the iconic red door, and you have arrived.

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The studio has only just opened, and so by the time you visit (and visit you should, you must) Sanskar Studio may well have evolved a little more, since it is being created slowly and lovingly, with new designs and products being added all the time.

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(Oh, by the way, this outfit, above, has my name on it.  Be warned…seriously, isn’t it gorgeous?)

Sanskar Studio is elegant, airy, welcoming and showcases the best of Sonam Dubal’s designs.

What’s not to love?

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