In the past I before I bought a trail shoe, hydration pack, or supplement, I would search the web for reviews. I always end up on a blog somewhere reading a detailed review on that gear. I would think wow, now that sounds just like me; I need that shoe to improve my running. I need that pack cause I can carry more, and it will not bounce. None of it worked. The shoes did not make me run better, they made my knees hurt because I wanted my running stride to be something it is not. The pack bounced, made my back sweat, and was heavy. Those supplements did not help my performance, they just cost me money.
I noticed in my search for reviews that there are not many negative reviews on blogs. Most of the negative reviews I found were on store sites, and were on products that did have a specific problem. For example, battery life on GPS watches, bladders that leak, and shoes of a very poor design are all things I have found on store websites. This is good information that you can use before making a purchase. With all of that said, I will not review specific products. I will try to explain solutions, and training that works for me.
My conclusion? You have to do what works for you. Those shoes are not going to improve your running. You have to work on your form, and put the miles in before you can run better, and without pain. Any pack is going to be hotter on your back. The more stuff you carry the heavier it will be. If you bounce when you run, anything you wear is going to bounce with you. You can still learn from others around you, but you have to try to see what works for the given run whether it be an ultra, training run, or 5k.