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Archive for April, 2012

Asics GT-1000 Sneak Peek

April 30th, 2012

Asics GT-1000 Men

As we wrote a few weeks ago, the popular GT-2100 series is getting a revamp this fall and relaunching as the Asics GT-2000. If you follow the Asics lineup closely, you’ll know that the company currently also produces an 1100 series. So what’s happening with that?

The 1100 series is also set for a retake, launching as the GT-1000 this October. The GT-1000 will continue to be a cushioned support shoe with many of the characteristics of the 1100 series. We’re fans of the current 1170 and think that the new GT-1000 will deliver a very similar ride and strong value.

Launch Date

October 2012

MSRP

$100.00

What to Watch For

  • Completely New Design: Though it retains many traditional Asics design cues, the GT-1000 sports a new platform and upper.
  • Guidance Line: A full-length guidance line helps to keep the transition smooth from foot plant to toe-off. This is a feature being added to most of Asics’ new models, and from what we’ve seen so far, it works as advertised.
  • Pink Ribbon Edition: Asics has partnered with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women foundation, which provides assistance to women who are at an increased risk for breast cancer. The Pink Ribbon edition of the GT 1000 highlights the partnership, with $2 of every sale in October going to the foundation (up to $100,000).

Asics GT-1000 PR Men

Men’s Colors

Women’s Colors

Matt Running Shoes , ,

Introducing HOKA One One

April 27th, 2012

HOKA Bondi B and Stinson B Running Shoes

It’s not every day that we bring in a new footwear brand, especially one that stands out like HOKA One One (that’s pronounced “o-knee o-knee” to all you uninitiated).

When we recently asked our Facebook fans which products they wished we carried, HOKA footwear led the list. After seeing the company’s lineup in person and hearing more and more rave reviews for their trail and road models, we were impressed enough to start stocking this brand.

HOKA’s core idea is to help runners “fly” through their runs with supreme shock absorption and a nearly effortless transition. The company makes trail, road and hybrid models designed to enable a natural, fluid stride while maximizing grip and stability.

By the end of summer, we expect to carry 4 HOKA models. In stock now are the Men’s Stinson B and Men’s Bondi B.

HOKA Bondi B Running Shoe

HOKA Stinson B

Classification: Road/Trail Hybrid
Stack Height: 39mm Heel/33mm Forefoot
Weight: 12.6 oz (size 9)

Take one look at that large, bright green platform and you will start to get a sense of what this shoe is all about. Below your foot in the Stinson B is a pile of EVA foam, providing soft, springy cushioning. So all that cushioning weighs a ton, right? Not really. The shoe comes in at a similar weight to traditional trail shoes like the Brooks Cascadia and Asics Gel Trabuco.

The Stinson B is a hybrid shoe designed for both on and off road use. You’ll have a good amount of grip uphill and stable, soft support for descents. The shoe’s outsole design gives a smooth feel on the road with enough tread for a range of terrains.

HOKA Bondi B Running Shoe

HOKA Bondi B

Classification: Road Running Shoe
Stack Height: 35mm Heel/29mm Forefoot
Weight: 10.6 oz (size 9)

Though the HOKA brand began on the trails, a road-specific model is a natural extension of the company’s commitment to comfort, stability, and a smooth ride. The Bondi B features a multi-patterned outsole built for durability on road surfaces. It also sits slightly lower than HOKA’s trail models.

Like the Stinson B, the Bondi B is surprisingly lightweight for how much running shoe is wrapped around your foot. The Bondi B’s outsole is designed to remain durable over some serious miles of pavement pounding. Runners can use the HOKA Bondi B as their daily trainer and/or race day shoe of choice.

More Models to Come

These additional HOKA models are scheduled to be available in July and August:

  • Women’s Bondi B (with a light grey upper and light blue midsole)
  • Women’s Mafate 2 (an update to the Mafate trail shoe with improved traction and wider forefoot)
  • Men’s Mafate 2 (an update to the Mafate trail shoe with improved traction and wider forefoot)
  • Men’s Stinson B Evo Trail (a race-oriented model with a narrower base, streamlined upper and speed laces)
  • Men’s Stinson B (new Blue/Silver/Orange color)

Matt Running Shoes , , , , , ,

Crafty Colors

April 27th, 2012

Craft Men's and Women's Apparel

Bold or boring? Savage or safe? We’re not going to choose for you, but c’mon. I mean, we love our basic black run shorts and grey run tees as much as the next guy, but you have to mix it up every now and again.

This spring we were excited to see Craft include some bold colors in their already performance-forward Men’s apparel and Women’s apparel collections. The sport-loving team at Craft has always delivered when it comes to fit and fabrics, and now they’re stepping into the world of color.

Many manufacturers have been playing with color for a few seasons now, but this is a new step for Craft. They may be late bloomers, but it was worth the wait with the great aesthetics available from Craft this season.

Alice Running Apparel , , , ,

Asics Gel Blur33 2.0 – Our Take

April 24th, 2012

Asics Gel Blur33 2.0 Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

With a new upper designed to move more freely with your foot, the Asics Gel Blur33 2.0 furthers its mission of being flexible and nimble.
(View Men’s Gel Blur33 2.0 and Women’s Gel Blur33 2.0)

Big Updates

  • MONO-SOCK Upper: The upper is now constructed with a stretch mesh that holds the shoe on the foot with a slipper-like feel.
  • External Cage: Material surrounding the MONO-SOCK wraps the midfoot for a secure and comfortable fit.
  • Carryover Mid/Outsole: No changes were made to the looks or functionality of the Blur33’s platform.

Road Test

Less than a year after the original Blur33 was launched, the Blur33 2.0 hits the market with a redesigned upper. Just some new style and new colors, right? Not according to our testers, who found the change in the upper to create a shoe that feels very different from its predecessor.

No changes were made to the midsole, cushioning tech or outsole. That means you still get a responsive ride that’s on the firmer side for an Asics shoe. Heel strikers will continue to find a good amount of rear Gel cushioning to ease their landing, combined with a springy forefoot. Testers that prefer a midfoot strike found the platform to be firm overall with a nice amount of energy return at liftoff.

The new and noteworthy update is the upper. The Blur33 2.0’s stretch mesh upper fits very differently from the fit of the original shoe. Gone is the close, hug-your-foot feel. In its place, you get a more traditional fit and an upper material that stretches a bit so your foot can do its thing.

Testers found just the right amount of wiggle room up front, but had to do some work to get the lacing tightened up just right in the midfoot to feel secure without being scrunched in. What testers really wanted was a narrower heel or the ability to adjust the heel fit with an additional eyelet on the heel collar. But attention runners with a wide heel: this shoe should be on your list. The Blur33 2.0 is a solid choice for runners who want the benefit of Asics’ core technologies along with a more stripped-down feel compared to traditional running shoes.

Runners Say

“The only update is to the upper, but the transition feels smoother than I remember in the original Blur. I’d choose this over the Cumulus for a firmer ride.” – Daniel

“Up until the midfoot, this shoe fits me almost perfectly. But the laces were a little difficult for me to adjust and I had too much room in the heel.” – Matt

Matt Running Shoes , ,

Sheer Genius: Brooks D’Lite Tank Giveaway

April 20th, 2012

Brooks D'lite Mesh and Micro Mesh Tank Giveaway

Summer sexiness is at your fingertips in the Brooks D’lite Mesh and Micro Mesh Tanks as temps rise. Slip into the Brooks D’lite Mesh Tank and flaunt a glimpse of your sports bra through the soft, semi-sheer fabric. The D’lite Micro Mesh Tank offers even more “sheer” pleasure, making a fun, feisty statement when layered over a sports bra or a D’lite Mesh Tank. These beauties provide superior ventilation to keep you running all summer long.

Added bonus? We’re giving away one of each to 5 lucky winners. This contest is now closed. Congrats to Janelle in Michigan, Kali in Ohio, Stephanie in Oklahoma, Lisa in California and Taulsa in Virginia – winners of our Brooks D’Lite Tank Giveaway. Thank you to everyone who entered and stay tuned for more great giveaways!

Matt Running Apparel , ,

Race Day Ready

April 20th, 2012

Train. Eat. Rest. Repeat. You’ve done it. Day after day, rain or shine you’ve been hitting the roads or the trails hard so you can beat the competition or set a new PR. Now all you need is a race day kit that’s as fast as you are. Check out our top three race day picks below.

Asics TIL Collection

Asics TIL

Fuel your podium dreams with the Asics Top Impact Line (TIL) collection. Moisture-transfer fabrics, flat seams to prevent chafing, and aggressive design lines make this race kit an excellent choice for running elites. Gold aesthetic details demand attention, and keep you focused on the goal.

Men’s 2012 collection includes:

Women’s 2012 collection includes:

Mizuno Aero Collection

Mizuno Aero

When it’s smokin’ hot outside, the Mizuno Aero race day kit is a fantastic option. Even the bold red-orange color of this top is fast and furious to give you an added punch of race day energy. The synthetic fabric facilitates rapid moisture-transfer to keep you dry and comfortable. High tech burn-out mesh on split shorts, singlets and tees offer superior ventilation, and feather- weight fabric means nothing will hold you back on race day. Throw on this kit and bring the heat from the gun to the finish line.

Men’s 2012 collection includes:

Women’s 2012 collection includes:

Adidas AdiZero

Adidas adiZero Collection

Go into battle with triple stripe pride in the adidas adiZero race day kit. This singlet is made entirely of lightweight synthetic mesh that breathes extremely well and swiftly wicks moisture to keep you dry. Aggressive split short offers elite performance with a generous half split for full range of motion, and lightweight fabric that will move as swiftly as you. Competitive aesthetic details add an athletic touch.

Men’s 2012 collection includes:

Women’s 2012 collection includes:

Check out these race day kits and more at Running Warehouse, so you’ll be ready to destroy the competition (and your old PR) on race day.

Alice Running Apparel , , , , , , ,

Today In Running History: First Woman at the Boston Marathon

April 19th, 2012

Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb in 1966 (photo credit: BAA.org)

46 years ago today, Roberta Gibb became the first woman to race in and complete the Boston Marathon. Gibb’s story is one of determination and liberation. See, the Boston Marathon didn’t open officially to women until 1972. So what was Gibb doing when she ran in back in 1966?

Blazing a trail. At the time, race organizers didn’t believe that a woman could run a marathon without risking death or serious injury. (Back in the 60’s, people also didn’t believe in hydrating during longer runs. Times change.) But Gibb proved them wrong and opened minds to what women athletes really can accomplish. She finished in 3:21, better than well over half of the field that year.

Gibb ran the Boston Marathon “unofficially” for the next two years. In 1967, Katherine Switzer also ran the race, prompting the famous photos of Jock Semple, Boston Marathon race director at the time, trying to pull her from the course (learn more and see the pics here).

For more info on Bobbie Gibb and her epic 1966 run, read Gibb’s firsthand account of the experience, along with her inspiring take on how running can change lives.

Matt Running Sport, Women's Running , , ,

Brooks Glycerin 10 Sneak Peek

April 18th, 2012

Brooks Glycerin 10 Men's and Women's Running Shoes

And you thought the Glycerin 9 had some style… The new Glycerin 10 is a fresh design that bumps up the plush. This latest version is all about enhanced flexibility and cushioning. And if you ever forget the name of the shoe you’re running in, just look down at your pinkie toe and all will become clear.

Launch Date

June 2012

MSRP

$140.00

What to Watch For

  • More Cushion: Brooks added more cushioning on the lateral side of the shoe for a softer landing.
  • Revised Arch Bridge: The midfoot arch bridge that extended all the way across the shoe in the Glycerin 9 now only extends about halfway across on the medial side. This helps the shoe hug your foot while creating a smoother transition.

Men’s Colors at Launch

Women’s Colors at Launch

Matt Running Shoes , ,

New Balance 1400 – Our Take

April 17th, 2012

New Balance MR1400 Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

With more squish than you’d expect in a racing flat, the New Balance 1400 is a great option for training and race day.
(View Men’s MR1440 and Women’s WR1400)

Big Features

  • Lightweight Upper: Open mesh covers the upper, which also features no-sew overlays.
  • Midsole Cushioning: The RevLite midsole foam delivers responsive cushioning without the added weight of additional cushioning technology.
  • Grippy Outsole: The blown rubber outsole provides durable grip and gives some added cushioning.

Road Test

When it arrived on the scene in summer 2011, the New Balance 1400 offered bold looks and colors. Now, with every manufacturer stepping up the hues, it might get lost in the loudness. But our testers found the 1400 to be a versatile, lightweight shoe that can easily do double duty on training and race days.

The upper of the 1400 is just what our testers expected in a racing shoe. Pliable, open mesh gives the shoe a breathable feel from heel to toe. The overlays on the mid and forefoot are welded on, providing a nice amount of structure without any detectable seams or hotspots. As you can see, there’s not much room in the toe box, both in terms of height and width. None of our testers felt scrunched in, partly because the shoe runs about 1/4 a size long. We don’t recommend sizing down because testers felt they needed the extra room for a comfortable toe box fit.

The platform of this shoe is what really impresses. Testers found that they could heel strike in total comfort, given the cushioned feel in the rearfoot. Some testers preferred to midfoot strike in this shoe, with a landing that feels a bit firmer. The transition to toe-off is seamless, whether you land on your heel or midfoot. Overall, the 1400 favors softness over responsiveness compared to other racing flats.

Runners Say

“Soft and smooth transition when I heel strike, and a very comfortable ride when midfoot striking as well.” -Lauren

“The midfoot fit is mixed for me. I feel very locked in place but had the thin tongue bunching up on the sides every time I slipped on the shoe.” – Matt

“I haven’t run in a flat with more heel cushioning than the 1400. Would be a nice choice for someone who wants the comfort of their training shoe on race day.” – Daniel

Matt Running Shoes , , ,

Nike Free 3.0 v4 – Our Take

April 16th, 2012

Nike Free 3.0 v4 Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

Now lowered to a 4mm drop, the Nike Free 3.0 v4 lets your foot do its thing with an upper that hugs close but still gives you room to flex.
(View Men’s Free 3.0 v4 and Women’s Free 3.0 v4)

Big Updates

  • New Upper Tech: A seamless, ultra-thin upper material called NanoPly covers most of the stretch mesh upper, providing additional structure in key areas.
  • More Flex: Even though the v4 has tighter gaps between the siping of its platform, it improves on the flexibility of the prior Free 3.0 with the addition of a Transtarsal Flex Groove that runs the length of the shoe.
  • Lower Drop: Nike lowered the heel-to-toe drop of the Free 3.0 v4 by raising up the forefoot stack height by 3mm.

Road Test

The Free 3.0 v4 continues in the tradition of the Free series to provide outstanding flexibility that lets your foot move naturally. But don’t confuse this with a near-barefoot shoe – all of our testers reported feeling fairly separated from the ground in this Nike. That’s a benefit if you want to save your feet from the grit, grime and other hazards the roads have to offer.

The flatter platform of the Free 3.0 v4 helps mid and forefoot strikers get into their groove a little better, but since Nike did not lower the heel stack height, testers found the shoe to work just as well as prior models for heel strikers. No matter how they landed, testers appreciated the very linear progression to toe-off.

The more streamlined look of the Free 3.0 v4 carries through to the fit of the upper. The shoe doesn’t give your foot a whole lot of wiggle room. The snug fit contrasts a bit from the Free 3.0 v3, which had a more stretchy upper material that felt close but never constricting. Testers liked the look of the NanoPly overlay, but for the most part wished for a bit less structure, particularly in the forefoot at the base of the laces. The shoe also feels more anchored in place in the heel than the prior version. Overall, the fit is a good match for runners with narrow, low-volume feet.

Runners Say

“Amazingly lightweight and pretty responsive for a mid or forefoot strike.” – Lindsay

“It’s definitely not a barefoot experience, but the degree of flexibility and softness is hard to beat.” – Matt

“Imagine a sock with padding on the bottom and you have the Free 3.0 v4. The NanoPly allows varying degrees of flexibility and structure in the upper.” – Jonathan

Matt Running Shoes , ,