Review: Stridebox

Last summer I splurged and bought myself a sample gift box from Runnerbox (you can read my review here). Anyone who’s read this blog knows I’m a gearhead, and a box full of goodies was just too hard to pass up. I was so tempted to jump on the subscription box bandwagon, but wanted to give it a test run before I signed my money away.

As I wrote in my review, there were two running-themed boxes to choose from – Runnerbox and Stridebox. I chose the sample of Runnerbox because, at the time, Stridebox didn’t offer a one-time gift option. Well, I don’t remember how I found myself on the Stridebox website recently (honest!) but it turns out they now offer a one-time gift box! Hurrah!

Not being able to contain my curiosity at how Stridebox stacks up to Runnerbox – and having a PayPal balance big enough to cover the cost, thanks to a recent ebay sale – I signed up for the gift option and eagerly awaited my delivery.

The Stridebox was roughly the same size as the Runnerbox - 8" x 5 1/4" x 2 1/2"

The Stridebox was roughly the same size as the Runnerbox – 8″ x 5 1/4″ x 2 1/2″

Like Runnerbox, Stridebox includes a motivational quote on the box

Like Runnerbox, Stridebox includes a motivational quote on the box

"Gift from Dana" - I have to admit that made me laugh!

“Gift from: Dana” – I have to admit that made me laugh!

That card sitting on top of the box’s contents is the “Stride Guide,” which explains each item in the box. I love this feature! Runnerbox didn’t have one in the box I ordered.

Flip side of the Stride Guide and the cute sticker beneath it

Flip side of the Stride Guide and the cute sticker beneath it

All the contents

All the contents

Here’s a list of my spoils:

-Chike high-protein iced coffee (Coffee? Gooooooood.)
-Vitalyte Chia Surge gel (I’m a little wary but always willing to try new forms of energy.)
-Stridebox sticker (The 8-year-old in me is so happy about this.)
-Picky Bars cookie dough energy bar (Cookie Dough? Goooooood.)
-Nuun tab (Gooooooooooooood. (#stayhydrated))
-Joshua Tree organic lip balm (It’s winter and my lips are sad. I’m looking forward to trying this.)
-Skratch Labs apples and cinnamon hydration mix (Says it’s best served hot. I’m intrigued.)
-iGlove tech-friendly running gloves (So goooooooooooood.)

To sum up:

Gooooooood. (source)

Gooooooood. (source)

Okay. Now that I’ve had the chance to explore both types of box, let’s do a quick run-down of which product wins in the following categories – price, design, number of items, and value for money:

[Disclaimer: I was not asked to write this review, nor was I provided either product for the purpose of a review. These are all my own opinions, and I wrote the review purely because I was curious.]

Price – Stridebox

Runnerbox is $19.95 bimonthly (plus $6.95 shipping) for a “perpetual” subscription; price jumps to $21.25 per box for a 1-year subscription, or $22.25 for 6 months. Gift box was $24.95, plus $6.95 for shipping.

Stridebox is $15 per month (free shipping) plus a $15 sign-up fee*, which I don’t remember seeing back in June when I first investigated these boxes. Gift box was a flat $15.

I’ve got to hand it to Stridebox… even if you look at the costs bimonthly, Stridebox just makes the whole thing simple with its flat rate and free shipping.

*EDIT: After I posted this review, the founder of Stridebox reached out to me to explain the $15 sign-up fee. It turns out that $15 fee pays for your first box, which is shipped to you within 5 days. Before, some subscribers would have to wait almost a month to get their first box, and doing things this way ensures that you get your gear sooner, no matter what time of month you sign up. In my original review, I said that the signup fee was “a little lame,” and, now that I understand why it exists, I felt the need to retract that statement!

Box design – Stridebox

Alright, this is a silly category that doesn’t really matter. However, the design on the Sridebox made me smile, whereas the Runnerbox was purely utilitarian:

photo(1)Number of items inside – Runnerbox*

I got 13 items in my Runnerbox, and 8 in my Stridebox.

*There is an asterisk on this winner because, if you subscribe, Stridebox comes every month, whereas Runnerbox comes every two months. Runnerbox is also roughly twice as expensive. So, if you look at what you get in two months’ worth of Stridebox, you’re essentially getting the same number of items, or slightly more, as Runnerbox, for roughly the same price spread over the two months.

Value for money – Stridebox

When you look at the rough cost per item, Stridebox wins. 8 items at a cost of $15 comes to about $1.88 per item, whereas Runnerbox’s was $2.45 for 13 items at a cost of $31.90 (when you include shipping). Even if you look at the cost per item of a Runnerbox with a perpetual subscription ($26.90 including shipping) the cost is still higher at $2.07 per item.

It gets complicated again when you factor in that Runnerbox comes every two months and you get Stridebox every month, but all the math started to make my head hurt. To keep it simple, as far as the one-off gift boxes go, Stridebox does give you better value for your money.

On top of all that math nonsense, Stridebox gives you some value-added features that I feel definitely provide more value for the money. For one, the Stride Guide. Yes, Runnerbox was crammed full of goodies, but there were no explanations for anything (granted, they were mostly self-explanatory). The Stride Guide not only gives a helpful little description of each item, but it also shares the retail price and lets you know if the items are intended for before, during, or after workouts, or anytime.(Disclaimer: I’m not sure if Runnerbox includes a guides in their usual subscription boxes… does anyone know?)

Another value-added feature doesn’t seem to be working yet, but has the potential to be pretty cool. In addition to the other information on the Stride Guide, there’s also a URL provided for each item that I assume will someday go to the StrideShop, which is “coming soon.” According to the Stridebox website, the shop will either let you buy the items directly “for a great price” or will direct you how to procure the items elsewhere, possibly with a discount from Stridebox. I love this idea of a StrideShop, because many of the items I received in my gift box are things I’ve never seen in shops near me, and I’d love to know that I have a place to go to buy more if I really like something.

EDIT: Since posting this review, I stumbled on the (open!) StrideShop. The products available right now are a little limited, but I expect it will continue to expand.

To sum up:

For me, Stridebox wins the battle of the running-themed subscription boxes. The cost is less of a headache, I like that I’d get a box every month, I appreciate the Stride Guide, and love the idea of the StrideShop, if it ever opens. Plus, to be totally subjective, I like the goodies I got in the Stridebox better than what I got in the Runnerbox. I’d rather get a few energy gels/bars and some kit than a ton of packets of granola and nuts, but that is my preference.

For people wanting more snacks – and a wider selection of box types – Runnerbox might be the way to go. In addition to the regular Runnerbox, they offer Cyclebox and Tribox plus limited-edition boxes like the race day survival kit or “new year’s fit in 15.” When I looked at their website last summer, they included gluten-free boxes, but I can no longer find that option.

It’s been several months since I last asked… do you subscribe to any boxes (running-themed or not)? What are your thoughts? Stridebox or Runnerbox? (Or other?)

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20 thoughts on “Review: Stridebox

  1. I have done the Runnerbox before, but I thought it was kind of pricey as well. But I only buy them infrequently. Maybe once a year. I think I will have to try the Stride box. Thanks for sharing!

    • You’re welcome! I love that both boxes offer the gift option… you can still get the benefit of trying new samples without having to commit to a subscription if you don’t want to.

  2. okay, now I want a stridebox! Everything in there looks so good. I’m particularly interested in hearing how the coffee and the skratch labs mixes are. I’ve never gotten either this or runnerbox, but now I’m considering it.

    • It was hard not to dive right in and try everything as soon as I opened the box! I’m hoping to do a review of the items I got once I have the chance to try them all out 🙂

  3. I’ve though about the boxes but never followed through. I am so weird about what I like I figured I would end up wasting half of it. Yay, that your box included Skratch, I love that stuff. Never tried that flavor though, sounds yummy. I do subscribe to a Graze box though- it gets delivered to work so everyone can snack.

    • I don’t think you’re weird… you like what you like and that is a risk in signing up for a box of unknowns every month. That is one thing that is keeping me on the fence about subscribing too. Glad to hear you like Skratch! I’m looking forward to trying it. I’ve also thought about getting Graze sent to my work… it’s a little tricky because we can’t have food at our desks, but I like your idea of sharing… that way I wouldn’t have to keep it at my desk. Hmm, thanks for that inspiration 😉

    • Hmm, I’m not sure about the shipping cost for Alaska. I know they don’t ship outside the US, but the site doesn’t say anything special about Alaska or Hawaii. Might be worth an email if you’re really curious! 🙂

    • The gloves are fab! I have a pair of really warm ones that are tech-friendly, but these will be great for the days that are just a bit chilly 🙂

  4. I still haven’t bitten the bullet and subscribed to one of these. I’m just too commitment phobic. And while it sounds good in theory, I think getting a box every month might actually be too much. Gear head though I may be, I only have so much space for storage, and can only use so many things at a time. For instance, I already have two pairs of tech-friendly gloves, so a third pair would be useless for me. Anyway, thanks for the side-by-side comparison!

    • I think that’s totally fair, and honestly something that I didn’t even think about (blinded by my gearheadedness I guess!). One good thing is that everything in the box will be pretty small, so it won’t take up *too* much space, but stuff every month would add up. I feel you on the commitment-phobe side too… this is why I haven’t subscribed yet either 🙂

      • Just stumbled upon this while wanting to compare running boxes. A lot of times I keep the stuff I already have or similarly have and save them. Then for Christmas or birthdays I make a goodie bag for friends, nieces, sister or mom. Some of the smaller items make great stocking stuffers. This way I know it won’t go to waste & I’m not permanently storing items.

  5. Hey guys, it’s James from StrideBox… great review!

    I just wanted t clear something up, we recently changed our charging, so we can ship your first box immediately. You pay a $15 sign up fee, which is for your first StrideBox which ships the next Friday. Then you are charged on the 25th for the next month’s box.

    Before, some people had to wait a month for their first box, but now all new subscribers get it in about a week. We just wanted to get the runner goodness out to you quicker.

  6. I just purchased two Runnerboxes as gifts. Both parties (one a male age 20, the other a female age 29) loved their boxes. They both expressed liking the contents included in the boxes. I also loved the fact that Runnerbox has EXTREMELY good customer service!

  7. I like Stride Box and have been very pleased with the products I received. I even email the companies to let them know I received a sample of their product and if I can where I can buy it..I would recommend this to anyone that likes to try new products without a high cost. Another company I tried Gear Geek Box was good. To good to be true. I don’t know if they are still around and have not received anything from them in a while.

  8. Thanks for this comparison review! I stumbled upon it while looking for reviews on StrideBox. I just ordered my first one this morning as I have started walking/running. I’m hoping to be able to try some new products from gels to accessories I’m a little clueless about. This looks like a great way to do that all at once. Super excited for my box to get here and what an awesome price point.

  9. I know this review is a bit old, but I read through it when deciding between run and stridebox and went with runnerbox just because I thought getting a box every other month would suit me better than every month. My expectations were pretty low since it didn’t sound like a hit, but it seems like they may have had some upgrades. The outside of the box has cool graphics and a card inside detailing all the products (with some great discounts). Plus, about half food and half accessories. Didn’t end up being like anything described here. Maybe they’ve stepped up their game!

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