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Archive for July, 2011

GORE Running Wear

July 28th, 2011

GORE X-RUNNING AS Jacket, GORE X-RUNNING AS LADY Jacket, GORE X-RUNNING Gloves

GORE Running Wear has had great success in Europe, and it is now charging full-force onto American shores. Top-notch and innovative, just like the original GORE-TEX fabric, the 2011 GORE Running Line boasts excellence. Building on 30 years of experience with everything from astronaut suits to medical products and rainwear, GORE as an overarching brand has consistently earned the title “best-in-class”. Thus, this Fall’s GORE Running line is unlikely to disappoint.

Through extensive product testing both in the lab and outdoors, GORE provides impressive running designs and unparalleled weather-protection. The X-RUNNING AS Jacket (pictured above) is a stellar representation of this.  It has striking lines, a totally unrestricting fit and WINDSTOPPER protective fabric, making it “a lifesaver for all long distance runners” who face windy and weathered conditions (GORE).  Another stand-out piece to be on the lookout for this fall is the one-of-a-kind ¾ length waterproof short – the AIR GT AS Short. Uniquely designed with GORE-TEX’s triple-laminate fabric, it can provide ultimate protection from downpour and an ideal length for running in warmer, rainy climates. Even with more “basic” products like tights and tops, GORE demonstrates exceptional attention to detail and fit.

Additionally, the GORE Running accessory selection is all about quality. For example, GORE’s X-RUNNING Gloves provide the best warmth-to-weight ratio in the industry. They utilize a cutting edge design and WINDSTOPPER barrier, providing essential protection in a sleek, non-restricting fit. In addition, the Mythos Socks and the AIR Socks are products worthy of note; they have fantastic fabric, a great fit and obvious quality.

An array of GORE Running Wear apparel and accessory items will be available at Running Warehouse beginning in October 2011.

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Saucony ViZi-PRO Pink

July 18th, 2011

Saucony ViZi-PRO Pink Collection

After the tremendous success of Saucony’s ViZi-PRO orange selection, Saucony has broadened its offering to include an absolutely unavoidable, bright and fabulous, neon pink.

Saucony ViZi-PRO Pink Drylete Arm Warmers and Loose-Fit Beanie

Recognizing that visibility is always a concern for runners, and that women have an obvious lure to pink, Saucony is providing a great new fray of high visibility pieces for female runners. Just like the original ViZi orange, Saucony’s ViZi-PRO Pink line branches out beyond jackets and vests, adding hints of fun and brilliant color to everything from tights to hand mitts. The new Pink collection will include favorites such as the Drylete Sportop and the Ethereal Jacket, in addition to cool accessories like arm sleeves and beanies. ViZi-Pink is going to be a big hit this fall.

The Saucony ViZi-PRO Pink Collection is expected to be available at Running Warehouse in late August 2011.

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Saucony Triumph 9 – First Look

July 13th, 2011

Saucony Triumph 9 Women's Shoe November 2011 Color

Big changes are coming from Saucony. Over the last few seasons, Saucony has introduced new shoe models or updates with a 4mm heel-toe drop (see: Kinvara, Kinvara 2, Mirage, Type A4, Fastwitch 5). The thinking is a 4mm heel-to-toe offset puts the foot in a more natural position and  better enables a midfoot strike compared to the traditional 12mm differential. By providing shoes with a 4mm offset, Saucony has sufficiently answered the call for “natural running” footwear. Taking the movement one step further, Saucony introduced the zero drop Hattori in May 2011. This thin, level shoe provides essentially no cushioning, but protects the skin of the foot to allow for running on man-made surfaces.

While the 4mm and 0mm selection of Saucony shoes has provided solutions for some, many runners still seek a traditional feel or want to move toward a more natural platform, but find a 4mm offset to be too drastic a change. The Saucony solution, as evidenced by several updates for Spring 2012, is to provide runners with shoes built on a platform with an 8mm heel-toe offset. This platform will work for heel-strikers, and at the same time it won’t interfere with a midfoot strike. Another debatable benefit is, as the midfoot-striking runner fatigues the foot-strike will move toward the heel, thus the platform will provide better function at the end of long runs.

Leading the way in the 8mm revolution is the Saucony Triumph 9, and the 8mm heel-toe drop is not the only change with this dramatic update. In addition to the 8mm platform differential, the Triumph 9 swaps out ProGrid cushioning in favor of PowerGrid with PowerFoam, which is being introduced in the new Saucony Cortana (July 2011). The advantages of the technology shift are reduced weight and a softer yet responsive feel. Furthermore, the Triumph 9 moves to an injected molded foam construction that further reduces weight and increase softness. While these changes may alienate some of the current Triumph loyalists, this is not the first time the Triumph has undergone radical changes. Saucony reinvented themselves with a very fresh and polarizing Triumph 4, that was lighter, softer and more colorful than previous models. The change resulted in a hugely popular shoe that changed the look of future Saucony shoes. Over the years, the Triumph has crept up in weight and firmness and thus has had hard time competing in the premium neutral-cushion category. With the Triumph 9, Saucony becomes relevant again.

The Saucony Triumph 9 has an MSRP of $130 and the weight specifications indicate 10.9 ounces for a men’s size 9 and 9.6 ounces for a women’s size 8, which is over an ounce lighter than the Triumph 8. However, and this has happened before with Saucony, the production weight will probably come in a tad lighter. The Triumph 9 has a projected release date of November 2011 and will be available online from Running Warehouse.

Saucony Triumph 9 Men's Shoe November 2011 color

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Brooks PureConnect – First Look

July 12th, 2011

Brooks PureConnect Men's Shoe April 2012 Color

To address the current trends toward “barefoot” and “minimalist” running, more and more shoe companies are providing options to meet the demand. Where on the barefoot-to-traditional shoe continuum product offerings fall varies from company to company. For Spring 2012, Brooks is introducing a line of shoes, under the heading PureProject, that slot between the midpoint of the continuum and the barefoot end. While the PureProject shoes may not be nearly barefoot (think Merrell Trail Glove or Saucony Hattori), they certainly reflect the less-is-more concept and provide a unique foot-fuction philosophy that should resonate with a lot of runners.

With the PureProject, Brooks brings forth 5 innovations to enhance the sensory aspect of running. 1. Ideal Heel uses a unique heel geometry, which reportedly results in the initial ground contact point occurring 2cm forward compared to traditional shoes. 2. Toe-flex utilizes a split-toe midsole/outsole configuration to better engage the big toe’s natural stability function at toe-off. 3. Nav Band hugs the midfoot with an elastic band for a secure fit. 4. Anatomical Last allows for the toes to splay during ground contact and allows the shoe to better follow the contours of the foot. 5. BioMogo DNA is a midsole blend that truly adapts to different ground forces, so the running experience is unique to the pace of the run; a softer feel exists at slower paces and a firmer feel is present at faster paces.

Leading the way in the PureProject is the PureConnect. This shoe is the most minimal of the shoes in the PureProject launch. With a 4mm heel-to-toe offset and a reported midsole height of 14:10 (14mm in the heel, 10mm in the forefoot), The PureConnect puts the runner close to the ground and delivers a great feel for the road. Specifications indicate a weight of 7.2 ounces for a men’s size 9.0 and 6.5 ounces for a women’s size 8.

The low weight, small heel-toe differential and adaptable midsole that firms up as the pace quickens combine to provide a unique sensory experience that is sure to hit the sweet spot for runners that seek a touch more protection than the nearly-barefoot shoes provide. If you love the Saucony Kinvara but find the Saucony Hattori to be too minimal, chances are good that the Brooks PureConnect will be in your closet next Spring.

The Brooks PureConnect has an MSRP of $90 and is expected to be available in our Running Warehouse, San Luis Obispo retail store in October 2011, while the online release of the shoe, www.runningwarehouse.com, is January 2012. Learn about the other shoes in the PureProject line (PureFlow, PureCadence, and PureGrit) in future blog posts.

Brooks PureConnect Women's Shoe October 2011 Color

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