Archive for January, 2012

9.10 Reasons You Need a Garmin Forerunner 910XT

January 23rd, 2012

The Forerunner 910XT has generated a lot of buzz over the past few months on several blogs and forums. Given the amount of technology the company managed to pack into this model, it’s no wonder that plenty of people are talking it up.

The Garmin 910XT is in stock at Running Warehouse, so it’s time to generate some buzz on our blog too. The 910XT offers several innovations to improve an athlete’s performance during a triathlon. The triathlete is the target audience and inspiration for the 910XT.

But don’t be fooled…this watch is also pretty awesome for the runner who wants an all-in-one device that can handle long distance running events, the occasional cycling trip or a serious water workout. In fact, it has a few features that are making it particularly enticing to ultra runners who crave highly accurate measurements in a watch that can go the distance.

9 Fantastic Features…

Some of the many reasons the 910XT is worth a look:

1. Barometric Altimeter: For real-time, highly accurate elevation data, a barometric altimeter leaves GPS measurement in the dust. GPS can get pretty inaccurate in mountainous terrain – the barometric altimeter is ideal for ultra runners who want to know exactly where they are on a climb or descent, along with their total elevation gain and loss.
2. 20-Hour Battery: A feature designed for Ironman competitions, the long battery life is a big plus for long-distance trail runners as well.
3. Virtual Racer: Introduced with the Garmin 610, this feature lets you race against your own PRs for a course or download someone else’s workout on the same course. You’ll know in real time how you stack up to the virtual runner.
4. Sleeker Fit: The 910XT is only 0.6 inches deep, meaning it protrudes out from the wrist less than the 310XT (0.8 inch depth) for a less-obtrusive look and better feel on your wrist.
5. Swim Features: Good for open water or the pool, the 910XT has an AutoLap feature that allows you to select from standard pool lengths or enter in a custom length. Also, thanks to the built-in accelerometer, it can keep track of your stoke count and analyze the efficiency of your swim stroke.
6. Run/Walk Alerts: Designed for runners who pace themselves by alternating between running and walking, these alerts can also be used as a reminder to eat or drink at regular intervals. Comes in handy for endurance events.
7. Training Effect: Also available on the 610, Training Effect measures exercise intensity level to help you train more efficiently.
8. More Bells & Whistles: Garmin had to cut back in other areas to make room for the new features, right? Nope. The headline features of the 910XT have been added to the many other features runners have come to expect in Garmin products, including calorie computation, fully customizable screen, multi-sport mode and many more.
9. With or Without HRM: Like all Garmin Forerunner models, you can purchase the 910XT alone, with a heart rate monitor (HRM), or add an HRM down the road (purchased separately).

…And a Little Something Extra

So what’s the extra 0.10 reason to consider the 910XT? The flexible plastic band can be traded out for a velcro strap (sold separately here) for increased comfort and a more customized fit. As you can see, the features of the 910XT are going to help a lot of runners and triathletes hit new heights on the road, the trails and in the water.

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Website Feature of the Week – Product Vlogs

January 23rd, 2012

First off, we get the sense that at least a few of you out there are asking, “What the heck is a vlog?” It’s not a new genetically engineered animal species or an alien race from an old Star Trek episode. No, vlogs are our video blogs…get it? They help us showcase the features and highlights of upcoming shoes, apparel and running accessories.

Every week, we put out a vlog geared toward Men’s or Women’s products. If you haven’t watched one of our blogs before, click on the tiles in this post to go directly to the vlog archive. You can also find a quick link to the latest vlog on the right-hand side of the Men’s or Women’s homepage. Click on the video and get ready for an in-depth look at the latest shoe models and new running gear.

Whenever you’re on the site and would like to check out some older vlog episodes, you can scroll down below our current vlog to see videos in the archive. The vlogs are also accessible from our Learning Center, under the Video Vault. Basically, they’re all over the place – we do that because we want to make it easy for you to find information on the latest running gear.

More Videos to Watch

And while we’re on the topic of video, our Learning Center offers plenty of video clips, with many more on the way in the coming months. Click on the Learning Center for:

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Saucony Endorphin MD3 – Our Take

January 20th, 2012

Saucony Endorphin MD3 Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

Move over Nike Zoom Victory. Saucony Endorphin MD3 is stiff competition that will be on the feet of many mid-distance runners this spring.
(View the Men’s MD3 and Women’s MD3.)

Runners Say

“This is a pretty impressive spike by Saucony. The weight is a huge achievement but I give them a lot of credit for the spike plate design too. It’s comfortable and really puts you on your toes.” – Daniel

“This spike feels more like a 400m spike. The spike plate is a little too rigid for me for anything over 800m.” – Jonathan

“The MD3 fits me like a good mid-distance spike should – snug but not too tight, heel cup feels solidly locked in, and no immediately apparent hotspots. Kudos to Saucony for bringing some real competition to this category.” – Matt

Big Updates

  • Way Lighter: The MD3 drops to 3.4 oz from the MD2’s 5.0 oz weight (Men’s size 9). Saucony achieved weight reduction throughout the shoe, including a new upper with barely-there FlexFilm overlays and the use of SSL (Saucony Super Lite) EVA foam in the midsole.
  • Redesigned Spike Plate: Saucony added a new Pebax spike plate to the MD3 with improved torsional rigidity, grip and comfort.

Track Test

Well, well, well. Looks like the number of ultra-lightweight middle distance spikes just increased by 100%. The Nike Zoom Victory, introduced over 3 years ago, was pretty darn close to a revelation with its low 3.4 oz weight, snug fit, and aggressive spike plate. Nothing else on the market came close to its light weight…until now.

Enter the Saucony Endorphin MD3. This middle distance spike matches the Victory’s 3.4 oz weight thanks to redesigns throughout the shoe. A big part of the weight reduction comes from the upper, which now uses synthetic FlexFilm overlays. The redesigned spike plate is also lighter, while Saucony claims increased torsional rigidity.

Strapping this shoe on, we can attest to the light weight. Heck, you can tell that just by picking them up from the box. But a mid-distance spike has to fit and perform well too. We’re divided on the fit of the MD3, with some saying it felt like there was a bit too much wiggle room in the shoe and others finding the fit more comfortable and sock-like than the Zoom Victory. We suspect that runners with a wider foot in particular may prefer the MD3’s fit.

What we enjoyed most about this shoe is the redesigned spike plate. The shoe just begs you to get up on your toes and start going fast. The spike placement felt good too.

The bottom line is that before you head out on the track this season for an 800m to 1500m race, the Saucony MD3 deserves a try-on.

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2012 Top Running Trends – High-Tech Apparel

January 20th, 2012

With so many advancements in running apparel technology in recent years, it can be hard to imagine what’s on the horizon next. From what we’ve seen from our manufacturers so far, 2012 is shaping up to be a year of refinements to existing technology, rather than a revolutionary year of product innovations.

  • Lighter Weight Materials: Manufacturers continue to innovate with synthetic materials that are both lightweight and durable. Of course, every ounce counts when you’re racing for a new PR, but lighter weight materials are also beneficial for keeping you comfortable and light on your feet during training days as well.
  • Improved Fabric Quality: Synthetic fabrics will continue to be softer and more durable in 2012. Wicking technology is still improving, and more materials are being offered with built-in water resistance, rather than a durable water repellant (DWR) coating. As an example of fabric innovation, when Mizuno first introduced its Breath Thermo warming fabric, runners liked the thermal properties of the material, but noted that the fabric was a bit rough on the skin. A few rounds of improvements have made this fabric softer and more comfortable while retaining the innovative heat-generating properties.
  • More Features Per Item: The use of lighter weight materials has another advantage: it allows manufacturers to add more features to a garment without weighing it down too much. That means extra zip pockets for storage, more reflective elements, and the strategic use of more durable, stretchable or breathable fabrics in key areas.
  • Purpose-Driven Design: Many of our athletic brands have differentiated their running apparel to provide both highly technical, performance-oriented styles for race days and competitive athletes, along with selections that focus a little more on style for versatility and comfort.
  • Visibility and Reflectivity: Last Fall’s Nike Vapor Flash Jacket made a big splash with its complete reflectivity. We expect to see more reflective elements on garments this Fall and Winter. We’ve also seen a lot of interest in apparel items that integrate lighting, such as the Asics Reflector Jacket.
  • Sustainable Materials: Manufacturers have been incorporating recycled elements into select running garments for several years now. We’ve seen a few more pieces for Spring ’12 and Fall ’12 that use recycled or sustainable materials such as wool. Wool may be a big story this year, with the fiber appearing in socks, base layers and other garments from brands including Nike, Mizuno, Smartwool, Icebreaker and Sugoi. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that 2012 will be the year when many more runners demand more environmentally friendly features in their running garments.

Want to see some of the latest in run apparel and technology? Click on the apparel finder on the right-hand side of the Men’s or Women’s homepage, or view apparel collections by brand from the menu on the left of our site.

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Saucony Peregrine 2 – First Look

January 19th, 2012

Saucony Peregrine 2 Men's Trail Running Shoe

The Peregrine falcon is a bird of prey known for its blazing speed, capable of speeds of over 200 miles per hour. The Saucony Peregrine ain’t that fast, but it’s plenty quick and nimble in its natural environment on the trail.

The original Peregrine was a popular trail shoe, in large part because it ticked a number of the boxes on today’s trail runner’s list, including light weight (9.7 oz Men’s 9), low heel-to-toe drop (4mm), rock protection, and a sticky outsole.

Knowing it has a winner on its hands, Saucony went easy with the updates for the Peregrine 2. They didn’t touch the mid/outsole, but made some key changes to the upper to reduce materials and make the shoe more “minimal.” Saucony claims a weight of 9.9 oz for the Men’s 9, but we expect a lighter measurement than that when we get a chance to weigh the shoe.

As you may have heard, Saucony also will be coming out with a Kinvara TR, a trail running shoe inspired by the popular Kinvara road shoe. This shoe will come in a little lighter than the Peregrine 2, and slots in as a competitor to the New Balance MT110/WT110 and Asics Fuji Racer (Men’s and Women’s). It will have a much more minimal feel than the Peregrine for those runners who prioritize being fleet of feet in the trail setting. Many more details to come closer to the Kinvara TR’s launch in July 2012.

The Black/Green Men’s shoe you see above is scheduled to arrive in our warehouse in mid-March, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day (along with a few other colors – Grey/Black/Red for men and Purple/Blue for women).

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Nike LunarFly+ 3 – Our Take

January 19th, 2012

Nike LunarFly+ 3 Women's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

The Nike LunarFly 3 is a daily trainer with big cushion and big style. A good choice for runners needing just a touch of pronation control.
(View Men’s LunarFly 3 and Women’s LunarFly 3.)

Runners Say

“I don’t regularly run in Nike shoes, but these fit very comfortably. The upper moves well with my foot and they have a smooth transition from first impact to toe-off. The shoe feels a little thin in the forefoot in terms of cushioning, but that could be because the heel of the midsole is so padded.” – Joanna

“I ran comfortably in these, despite the sensation when I first put the shoe on that the arch spanned the width of the shoe, which was a bit awkward. The Grey/Lime colorway is very bright – you almost wouldn’t need reflectivity on a night run!” – Matt

“It’s got old school 70’s styling, 80’s colors and modern tech. The upper was comfortable but I found the contour of the footbed to be a bit off at first, but this went away when running. Bouncy, bouncy is how the shoe felt. Too bouncy for my tastes, but I know some runners love this type of feel.” – Jonathan

Big Updates

  • Lowered Stack Height: The height of the midsole drops by 4mm in the heel and 3mm in the forefoot to get the runner closer to the ground. But don’t worry, the shoe is still plenty cushioned.
  • A Little Heavier: By our measurements, version 3 of the LunarFly bulked up a bit compared to version 2. Likely, the added weight is from more durable materials used in the upper construction. Still, the shoe comes in pretty light, at 9.6 oz (Men’s 9) and 8.3 oz (Women’s 8).

Road Test

The LunarFly+ 3 is one of those shoes that feels heavier in your hand than it does on your foot. That’s largely due to the fact that the Lunarlon cushioning technology gives the shoe such a bouncy, light step. Joanna mentioned, “it feels light, especially for how squishy it is.” A few testers noted that the heel-to-toe transition seemed awkward when walking in the shoe, but felt good at a running pace.

Though we certainly wouldn’t consider the LunarFly+ 3 to be a narrow or snug shoe, it has a slightly more streamlined fit than some other Nike running models, especially in the mid- to forefoot. The heel was just a bit wide for most of our testers, but the overall fit got widespread thumbs up.

Another feature worth pointing your thumb skyward is the price point. This shoe offers a lot of features for its $85.00 MSRP, including the aforementioned Lunarlon midsole, Dynamic Support for stability, and a well-built upper. And can you really put a pricetag on retro style?

With the LunarFly+ 3, Nike did a nice job of releasing a daily trainer with comfort, cushion, and go-fast capability.

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Adidas adiZero Boston 3 – Our Take

January 18th, 2012

Adidas adiZero Boston 3 Men's Shoe

Our Tweet

On paper, the changes to the Boston 3 are minimal, but the redesigned package fits us in all the right places and feels better underfoot.
(View Men’s Boston 3 and Women’s Boston 3.)

Runners Say

“I really like the responsive, low to the ground feel, which Adidas achieves without the leg-shattering harshness of some lighter racing shoes. The prior model felt kind of like a beefed-up Adios, but the 3 is clearly its own shoe.” – Daniel

“I have a tough time describing the midsole of this shoe. On one hand, it doesn’t feel as thin as it looks. The ride is on the firm side, but there’s also a base layer of cushioning that’s always looking out for you too. On the other hand, the shoe feels even closer to the ground than the height of the midsole would suggest. I don’t know how Adidas did it, but I like the result.” – Joanna

“The Boston 2 fit me pretty well, but the Boston 3 fits even better. I really like the way the shoe hugs your foot – I felt especially cinched down in the midfoot. I also enjoyed the smooth ride, though if I was searching for a complaint I’d say the heel strike feels just a bit too heavy.” – Matt

Big Updates

  • A Bit Lighter: By our measurements, the Boston 3 drops to 9.8 oz (Men’s 9), a healthy 1/2 oz lighter than its predecessor.
  • Lower Stack Height: Both the heel and forefoot have dropped 2mm. Your foot sits somewhat closer to the ground for a more connected-to-the-road experience.
  • Slimmer Upper: In particular, the heel and forefoot of this shoe feel narrower than the Boston 2, and the toe box height has dropped a bit too. The result: a more huggy fit overall.
  • Runs Small: Based on our try-ons, we’re recommending adding a 1/2 size to your standard running shoe length.

Road Test

Every now and then a shoe model makes a big leap in the real world even though it looks pretty much the same as its prior model on paper. Adidas made no earth-shattering changes to the adiZero Boston 3, but a few tailored updates result in a fit and ride that pleased pretty much every one of our staffers who tried out the shoe.

Adidas adiZero Boston 3 Men's Shoe Top View

Before even taking your first step in this shoe, you notice the snug fit. The fit manages to give you a secure feeling without any claustrophobia or immediately apparent hotspots. We didn’t detect any hotspots, and weren’t at all worried about heel rub since we were locked so securely in the heel cup. You can get a sense of the slim fit by looking at the top of the shoe (shown to the right).

Another thing we’re pleased to report is solid build quality. This shoe looks and feels well put together from heel to toe. We hope that translates into long-lasting durability.

The shoe rides on the firm side, but impact is never punishing or harsh, thanks in part to the decoupled heel and adiPRENE cushioning. There’s plenty of responsiveness at toe off as well. The shoe fulfills its purpose as a neutral, lightweight trainer good for daily workouts and tempo runs, and it can also do dual duty on race day as well.

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2012 Top Running Trends – Fitness Apps

January 18th, 2012

So you’ve got an iPhone or smartphone. And you’re really trying to kick your addiction to Bejeweled, Words with Friends, or another must-have game. Well you’re in luck – there are a bunch of fitness apps for runners that can help you turn your phone from a time waster to a time chaser.

We think the many app stores and markets will be selling oodles of apps in 2012 to help runners perform a little bit better. Here are just a few of the many worth a look:

  • RunKeeper Pro: The cream of the app crop in our opinion. See real-time stats on your run distance, speed and calories burned, plus monitor your progress with saved run stats. (Free – $9.99 depending on version)
  • iMapMyRun: The popular MapMyRun site goes mobile, helping you track pace, distance, calories and more while viewing a live route map. (Free)
  • Nike+ GPS: This popular app allows you to track your run, record your pace, and analyze your performance. A Nike+ sensor is not needed. ($1.99)
  • Runstar: A top running app in the Android Market, runstar gives you four run modes, audio feedback, and the ability to upload your workout to or so you can track your progress. (Free – $4.99 depending on version)
  • miCoach: Providing you personal coaching through real-time motivational audio feedback and daily planned workouts, this app also supports intervals. (Free)
  • iTreadmill: Turn to this app for a highly accurate measurement of step count and distance. It works using the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer. ($1.99)
  • Fitnio: Display time, pace, distance and calories burned. Cool feature: Emergency Contact button to speed-dial a friend ($4.99)

We think a lot more people will be downloading these apps in the coming year. Which app keeps you motivated on your runs?

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We’re Top 20

January 17th, 2012

Thanks to Healthynomics for naming us a Top 20 Running Blog for 2012. (Read the post here.) We’ve got big things in store for the coming year and we’re excited to be a part of the run blog community.

We’ll keep the sneak peeks and shoe reviews coming. If there’s any news or topics you’d like us to cover, don’t hesitate to drop us a comment or send your suggestion to

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New Asics Models Revealed

January 17th, 2012

Yesterday we showed you a mountain of new shoe samples from Asics and challenged our Facebook fans to name the new models. We had many good guesses and several correct responses, including the new Noosa Tri 7 and the Gel Blur 2.0. As promised, here’s a list of all the shoes from the photo.

More pics and first impressions to come so stay tuned!

New Asics Shoes (Left to Right)

  • Gel Blur33 2.0 Men’s (Black/Orange)
  • Gel Lyte33 Men’s (Red/Black)
  • Gel Lyte33 Men’s (Blue/Green)
  • Gel Lyte33 Men’s (Gray/Blue)
  • Gel Extreme33 Women’s (Neon Pink/Rainbow)
  • Gel Noosa Tri 7 Men’s (Light Blue/Orange)
  • Gel Landreth 7 Men’s (Silver/Red)
  • Gel Neo33 Women’s (Purple/Pink)
  • Gel Cirrus33 Women’s (Silver/Pink/Turquoise)
  • Gel Blur33 2.0 Women’s (Black/Neon Pink)
  • Gel Noosa Tri 7 Women’s (Yellow/Rainbow)
  • Gel Nimbus 14 Women’s (Pink/White)
  • Gel Neo33 Men’s (Orange/Black)

Lots to Look Forward to from Asics

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