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Archive for May, 2012

Saucony Kinvara 3 – Our Take

May 29th, 2012

Saucony Kinvara 3 Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

With a familiar fit and feel for Kinvara fans, the Saucony Kinvara 3 sports a fantastic new look and smoother ride.
(View Men’s Kinvara 3 and Women’s Kinvara 3)

Big Updates

  • More Durable Sole: Based on wear testing feedback on prior Kinvaras, Saucony added XT-900 rubber on the lateral midfoot and forefoot areas of the outsole.
  • Smoother Transition: The Kinvara 3 remains geared toward a midfoot strike, but is now more welcoming for heel strikers thanks to a decoupled, beveled heel and added flex grooves in the heel.
  • Redesigned Upper: Look for a streamlined upper with improved fit thanks to the use of FlexFilm™, a thin material bonded to the upper to secure your foot to the sole a little better throughout your gait.
  • Widths Now Available: For those of you with a wider foot, Saucony is producing 2E widths in the Men’s version and D widths in the Women’s version.

Road Test

So how does one of the most buzz-worthy shoes of 2012 measure up on the road? Our testers say that the Kinvara 3’s updates make for an even more intuitive, natural-feeling ride. And that’s saying something, given how many runners felt right at home in prior versions of this light and fast shoe.

We compared the Kinvara 3 with the Kinvara 2 side-by-side (or left foot vs. right foot). Our testers often struggled to remember which shoe was on which foot, without looking down at their feet. Many testers noted an even more responsive, springy feel in the forefoot compared to the Kinvara 2.

The platform feels remarkably similar, but the consensus is that it has been firmed up ever so slightly. Right out of the box, don’t be surprised to note a firmer ride, but in our experience it softens up after a few runs.

We found a lot to like in the new upper. For starters, it just plain looks great, with many testers giving high marks to the “fade out” color schemes in particular. The FlexFilm overlays help the Kinvara 3 hug your foot and provide more structure than in prior designs. Breathability is great and testers reported no hotspots. Flexibility in the forefoot is impressive and the material reacts better to foot flex with less crinkling.

Testers were split on how they liked the lacing design on the latest Kinvara. It’s nothing fancy – just a traditional eyelet design – but it replaces gillies that were on the first two versions. The gillies prevented puckering of the shoe at the base of the tongue, which can happen with the new design when the laces are cinched tight. On the other hand, most testers felt more situated in the midfoot and better able to control the fit with the latest lacing system. It also puts less pressure on the top of the foot because there are more crossing points across the tongue.

The Kinvara 3 looks and feels like a very well-built shoe. Material quality is high as is the build quality. You can tell that Saucony put some serious effort into the research and design of this shoe, creating a package that should remain popular with fans of the Kinvara series and expand the fan base as well.

Runners Say

“The ride feels just a bit firmer to me than in version 2, but softness and smoothness are still dominant.” – Jonathan

“The Kinvara 3 makes me feel like I’m getting the most out of every step. The energy return is amazing.” – Lindsay

“The latest Kinvara is more accommodating than past models when I heel strike. But really, it still feels best for mid and forefoot strike patterns.” – Matt

Matt Running Shoes , , ,

Running Hairstyles: Find a New Favorite

May 25th, 2012

When you hit the road or trail, you don’t want your hair to distract you from your run. Check out some of the styles we like to keep stray strands from sticking to you during a sweat sesh.

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1. French Braid Bun
A braid is the tried and true way to keep your hair securely in place on a run. We spiced it up with a hybrid of a French braid and a low bun, to keep hair off your forehead and snugly in place as you log the miles.

2. Low Pigtails with Headband
Not-quite-shoulder-length locks are cute and flirty, but can be a challenge to control on a run. We like to keep hair from sticking to sweaty skin with two low pigtails and a wide headband. We like the Buff High UV Protection Buff.

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3. Wide Headband for Bangs/Super Short Hair
If you’re going short and sexy for summer, it can be tricky to find ways to keep your locks off the back of your neck. Slip on a wide headband to keep hair out of your face and off your neck. We like The North Face Tadasana Headband.

4. Hat
For a shaved head, protect your skin from the sun’s rays with a moisture-wicking running hat. In warm summer weather we reach for versions with mesh for great ventilation to help us stay dry and comfortable. You can also slip long hair through the back hole to save your hair from breakage caused by an elastic band. We like the Brooks HVAC Infiniti Mesh Cap.

Browse Our Selection

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5. Twisty Ponytail
For ladies with super thick tresses, this twist on the classic pony offers a snug hold. A few extra elastics help keep layered hair from slipping out while you run…and it’s super chic! Check out how to do it here.

What style tip have you found that works on your runs?

Alice Running Accessories, Women's Running , , , , ,

Nike Lunarspeed Lite+ – Our Take

May 22nd, 2012

Nike Lunarspeed Lite+ (Feather Not Included)

Our Tweet

The name says it: the Nike Lunarspeed Lite+ is a lightweight, fast-feeling shoe that can be used for training and racing.

Big Features

  • Supportive Cushioning: Lunarlon cushioning inside a supportive foam carrier provides lightweight, responsive cushioning, with layered Dynamic Support for a touch of pronation control.
  • Light, Structured Upper: Engineered mesh on the upper provides lightweight breathability. Synthetic overlays wrap the upper around the foot for a snug fit.
  • Durable Outsole: A combination of BRS 1000 carbon rubber and Duralon blown rubber in the forefoot under the metatarsal area makes for a durable, comfortable ride. A rubber dot pattern and forefoot sipes provide increased grip and flexibility.

Road Test

We weren’t sure what to expect when the Nike Lunarspeed Lite arrived in stock, but after just a couple runs we knew we were in for something special. Our testers felt at ease putting these blazing blue beauties through their paces on long runs and appreciated the shoe’s responsiveness during speedwork.

Like most racing flats, the Lunarspeed Lite doesn’t give your foot a whole lot of room in the upper. Thankfully, the streamlined fit suited our testers well, and the upper strikes a nice balance between structure and stretch. Given the low volume throughout the upper, you’ll want to wear a thin sock or even go sockless when you’re wearing the Lunarspeed Lite.

The shoe’s platform is designed for slight overpronators, but the added pronation support in the medial midsole was not detectable to our testers. The outsole held up well after many miles of pavement, with only minimal signs of wear. A further boon to forefoot strikers, the outsole features a slightly raised pad toward the front of the shoe for a bit of added cushioning.

A bold shoe that’s quick but still feels substantial, the Lunarspeed Lite is a good choice for the slight pronator who keeps a quick pace.

Runners Say

“The shoe feels particularly good when midfoot striking, and holds up as a durable flat for the longer-distance racer.” – Daniel

“The accommodating upper on the Lunarspeed Lite held me in place but never cramped my foot. Just what you want in a close-feeling shoe.” – Matt

Matt Running Shoes

Asics Gel Nimbus 14 – Our Take

May 21st, 2012

Asics Gel Nimbus 14 Women's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

A highly cushioned daily trainer for neutral runners, Asics Gel Nimbus 14 treats your feet to a luxury ride.
(View Men’s Gel Nimbus 14 and Women’s Gel Nimbus 14)

Big Updates

  • Lighter Weight: The Men’s Nimbus 14 drops a half oz compared to the 13, while the Women’s version falls by 0.3 oz.
  • Straight Lacing: Asymmetrical lacing from the Nimbus 13 has been replaced by more traditional lacing.

Road Test

The Nimbus has long been known as Asics’ premium trainer for neutral runners. Our testers found that the latest version of the shoe carries on the tradition of offering a luxurious, protected ride. It’s plenty cushioned, but remains very stable and smooth at a running pace.

Due to an increase in forefoot stack height, the Nimbus 14 has a lower offset than the prior model, but the change in offset was not perceptible to our testers. The additional material under the forefoot created a more cushioned feel at toe-off.

The upper of the Nimbus 14 really shines, with a nice balance of structure and padding, along with stretch mesh that offers good breathability. Testers found a bit more room width-wise in the latest Nimbus compared to prior versions, but runners who don’t need the extra space can easily tighten the shoe up without any sloshing around.

Overall, heel strikers who pound the pavement have a lot to like in the Nimbus 14. It offers plenty of cushioning front and rear, a smooth and stable ride, and a premium upper with a little more room than the prior model. Count on this shoe’s cushioning and cozy upper for miles and miles of comfort.

Runners Say

“I’m a heel striker, and the cushioning in the Nimbus 14 is just what I need to feel comfortable on longer runs.” – Alice

“If you’re considering the Nimbus, of course you want a padded ride, and you’ll get that. But don’t forget how important it is to have a comfy upper. My favorite part of this shoe is the plush upper that holds you in but never strangles your foot.” – Matt

Matt Running Shoes ,

Run the Pozo Saloon 5K!

May 21st, 2012

Independence Day. Be There.

The 20th Annual Pozo Saloon 5K happens this Fourth of July in “downtown” Pozo, California. Come out for a flat, fast course, amazing outdoor breakfast, awards ceremony, and prize raffle. Proceeds benefit the Chris Jespersen Memorial Society, a non-profit organization supporting student programs run by the SLO County Office of Education.

Running Warehouse gift certificates will be awarded to the top 3 overall Men’s and Women’s runners, along with the first overall master finisher. The top 3 finishers in each age category also will receive merchandise awards. And if you do a truly outstanding job of converting your patriotism into forward momentum, there’s an extra $100 prize if you best the course record for Men (14:11) or Women (16:59).

You can register race day morning from 7:00-8:15 a.m. for $40.

Race Details

  • Who: You, about 200 other runners, and plenty of friends and family
  • What: 5K race
  • When: Wednesday, July 4 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Where: Parking lot of the Pozo Saloon (90 West Pozo Road)
  • Why: A super fun event to get your July 4 started ‘on the right foot.’

Want more info? Drop us an email at info@runningwarehouse.com or call 800-606-9598.

Matt Running Sport , , , ,

5 Ways to Stay Fresh at Your Day Job

May 17th, 2012

Behold...the Power of a Yoga Break

You wake up in the dark for your morning run, and are back for breakfast before most people hit snooze. You are a runner – by design if not by trade. So what can you do to stay active during the day if your 9 to 5 gig chains you to a desk?

Here are 5 of our favorite ways to keep the blood moving during the workday:

1. Yoga

Moving through just a few yoga postures (or asanas) can wake up your muscles and your mind. Many yoga poses can be done without a mat or yoga props, making them easy to fit into a quick work break.

Joanna says: “My few minutes of yoga stimulate so many muscles and make them feel more relaxed. I always feel calm and clear-minded afterwards. Basically, it’s wonderful.”

2. CEP Progressive Compression Socks

The day after a hard training run, give your calves some love with the CEP Progressive Running Compression Socks (Men’s/Women’s). Slip into a pair while you work to help facilitate recovery.

Lindsay says: “Wearing CEP Progressive Running Compression Socks at work after a hard workout helps me feel like I’m rejuvenating my legs…you beat yourself up and then you treat yourself well!”

3. Pro-Tec Roller Massager

Help loosen up tight muscles and relax with the Pro-Tec Roller Massager. This versatile gadget can be used to roll out tightness or to provide trigger point release.

Randy says: “I use the Roller Massager to help my sore calves and quads recover from a hard workout. The soft foam pieces are less harsh than plastic rollers, but firm enough to get the job done.”

4. Pro-Tec Plantar Fasciitis Massage Balls

If you’ve been plagued by plantar fasciitis, try the Pro-Tec Plantar Fasciitis Massage Balls. Rolling these wooden balls under your bare feet can help alleviate pain and promote foot flexibility.

Daniel says: “Using these at work actually helps me to fidget and stay active. My plantar was a problem spot for me, and these offer a soothing, relaxing massage.”

5. Stand Up!

Simple, we know, but just by standing up you can engage more muscles, help increase blood flow to your brain and ward off stiffness. Try standing while on the phone or completing other tasks that do not require a computer.

Alice says: “I feel more in touch with my body when I’m able to move around during the day. Standing while I work helps keep my muscles fresh and my mind limber.”

What are your top tips for staying training-session ready even with a desk job?

Alice Running Accessories, Running Sport , , , ,

Join Our Thursday Night Run!

May 16th, 2012

We Are the Champions, My Friends

For all you SLO folks out there, did you know that our retail store puts on a heck of a good time in the form of a group run every Thursday night? Ditch the iPod for an evening and come join your fellow human beings in a 5-6 mile run around San Luis Obispo.

Weekly run routes and pace are totally up to the group. Don’t worry, no one will get left in the dust, and you won’t be bored stiff either. It’s a good workout and great conversation with other local runners. Runs start at our retail store on Suburban Road at 6:00 pm. In recent weeks we’ve done a loop up to Madonna and back on Los Osos Valley Road and a trail run on the Irish Hills.

It’s easy to get a reminder about the run each week and find out about special events, like our Timex GPS run a few weeks ago (group shot above). Just send an email to info@runningwarehouse.com letting us know you’d like to be added to our email list. Or, sign up for our list by the register at our retail store.

The Details

  • Who: You, other hip runners, some of our retail staff
  • What: A 5-6 mile group run
  • When: 6:00 p.m. Thursdays
  • Where: The RW retail store at 181 Suburban Road
  • Why: Fitness, Fun, Camaraderie

Hope to see you soon for a Thursday Night Run!

Matt Running Sport ,

Asics Gel Cumulus 14 – Our Take

May 11th, 2012

Asics Gel Cumulus 14 Women's and Men's Running Shoes

Our Tweet

The Asics Gel Cumulus 14 is a solid daily trainer for the neutral runner who wants to rack up miles in comfort.
(View Men’s Gel Cumulus 14 and Women’s Gel Cumulus 14)

Big Updates

  • Weight Fluctuation: The Men’s Cumulus 14 comes in about a half ounce lighter than the outgoing model, but the Women’s Cumulus 14 is actually an ounce heavier than the prior model. The lighter Men’s weight is likely due to a more sculpted midsole and slightly reduced Gel cushioning. We have not been able to determine the source of the weight increase on the Women’s model.
  • Full Length Guidance Line: This line, now running the length of the outsole, is designed to improve gait efficiency.
  • Firmer Ride: The Cumulus 14 offers lots of cushioning but has been tuned to deliver a more responsive ride than last year’s model.

Road Test

All right, kids – time for Latin 101. Did you know that cumulus means “pile” or “heap”? Betcha didn’t. But now you do. And while our testers found plenty of cushioning in the latest Cumulus, it feels dialed back a bit from the “heap” of cushioning in prior generations.

That said, the Cumulus 14 certainly is not a firm shoe, but the updated ride helps to make it feel more stable. Though the Cumulus weighs about the same or even a bit more than the Nimbus 14, Asics’ top-of-the-line neutral trainer, several testers reported that it actually feels lighter than that model.

The upper received lots of positive remarks, with testers commenting on the fantastic heel fit and slightly closer fit in the forefoot compared to recent generations. Those of you who have been fans of this shoe for many years might feel that the latest version harkens back to the closer fit of versions 8 and 9. If you’ve purchased the Cumulus in the past for a more generous fit, definitely give the new model a thorough try-on to see if you might need to bump up to a wide width.

The latest Cumulus carries on its mission of high-mileage comfort, but takes a bit of a different direction by becoming a touch more responsive and closer-fitting for a more connected feel with the road.

Runners Say

“Really smooth transition in this shoe. I think the full-length Guidance Line helps to keep the shoe moving forward fluidly.” – Matt

“The ride of the Cumulus 14 is firmer than I expected, and the upper feels a bit more streamlined than the prior model.” – Moe

“Great landing for heel strikers. It’s pretty good for a midfoot strike too, but I’d probably go with a different shoe if I regularly landed on my forefoot.” – Daniel

Matt Running Shoes , , ,

Introducing 2 New Sunglass Brands

May 10th, 2012

Running Warehouse already carries Ryders and Tifosi sunglasses, two well-known names in running optics. And now we’re adding two more big brands: Smith and Nike. These new brands give you a full range of choices for improving and protecting your vision on the roads and trails.

Smith Optics

A company known both for performance and lifestyle sunglass models, Smith Optics produces several models geared for optimal vision during sports and exercise.

Smith Pivlock V90, Parallel, and Parallel Max Detail

Models We Carry

  • Smith Pivlock V90 ($139.00): This well-known model features a frameless design that helps improve ventilation and gives you the widest possible field of vision. You also get a ton of lens tech, including distortion correction for an accurate vision of the road ahead and full-spectrum UV protection. Hydrophilic nose and temple pads hold the glasses firmly in place.
  • Smith Parallel ($129.00): This feather-light model offers all the same lens tech features as the Pivlock V90, except you get a polarized grey lens. Like the Pivlock, the Parallel also comes with clear and red tint interchangeable lenses for cloudy or mixed light conditions.
  • Smith Parallel Max ($129.00): The Parallel Max sports the same frame as the Parallel, with a slightly larger lens shape that extends lower on the cheek and further backward toward the temple for additional coverage.

Nike Vision

Sunglasses from Nike Vision are much more than just regular old shades with a Swoosh on the side. The company is known for producing high quality performance eyewear.

Nike Impel Swift, Impel, and Tailwind12 Detail

Models We Carry

  • Nike Impel ($179.00): These top-of-the-line running sunglasses are loaded with goodies, including durable magnesium temple arms, lens distortion correction and a scratch-resistant lens coating. Ventilation is maximized via the “flying lens” design and an adjustable, ventilated nose bridge. Other features include hinges that spring open and full UVA/UVB protection.
  • Nike Impel Swift ($179.00): Enjoy all the features of the Impel, but with a different lens cut that’s more rounded on the outside edge.
  • Nike Hyperion ($139.00): With the same lens technology as the Impel (distortion correction, scratch resistance, UVA/UVB protection), the Hyperion trades out to a full-nylon frame for a lower price tag.
  • Nike Tailwind12 ($99.00): The model you’ll see on many Olympic athletes in London this year, the Tailwind12 offers a bucketful of features, including distortion correction, flying lens to prevent fogging, cam-action hinges and a durable full-nylon frame.

Matt Running Accessories , , , , , , , , ,

Nike Free 4.0 v2 – Our Take

May 10th, 2012

Our Tweet

Nike Free 4.0 v2 may be the Goldilocks of the Free family – it strikes a balance between the Free Run 3 and Free 3.0 v4 for great runnability.
(View Men’s Free 4.0 v2 and Women’s 4.0 v2)

Big Features

  • 6mm Offset: The Free 4.0 slots in between the Free 3.0 (4mm heel-to-toe offset) and the Free Run 3 (8mm heel-to-toe offset).
  • Lightweight, Durable Platform: The midsole material is designed to provide a bit of padding with enough durability to double as an outsole.
  • Increased Flexibility: Diagonal flex grooves in the midfoot and deep cuts (sipes) throughout the platform allow for ultimate flexibility.
  • New Upper: The NanoPly overlay material is used where extra structure is needed in the shoe, while still permitting the upper to breathe and stretch. The upper also features asymmetrical lacing for a more comfortable midfoot and a fold-under tongue for easy entry and exit.

Road Test

Even if you’re a big fan of the Nike Free concept, chances are good the Free 4.0 v2 might not be on your radar. The original Free 4.0, appearing briefly in 2006, had a laceless upper that wasn’t a big hit with runners. After 6 years in limbo, the Free 4.0 reappears as a thoroughly re-envisioned model that received wide praise from our testers.

The Free 4.0 sports a 6mm heel-to-toe offset. Testers found the shoe to feel very level, and the platform cradles the foot. And while every shoe in the Free collection offers a very smooth and flexible ride, testers repeatedly commented that the Free 4.0 struck a nice balance of protection, flex and responsiveness. One tester noted that the shoe felt less padded toward the very front, forward of the metatarsals. All testers noticed a fairly high arch in this shoe, which actually helped them feel a bit more anchored in place.

The attractive upper of the Free 4.0 strategically uses Nike’s new NanoPly overlay technology. Our testers are mixed on the NanoPly material in general – some like the huggy fit it gives, others feel it’s a bit too restrictive – but the 4.0 strikes a good balance of using NanoPly and traditional mesh. Testers noted some crinkling of the fabric up front during toe off, due to the use of NanoPly by the big toe, which doesn’t allow the mesh in the toebox to fold freely. The crinkling did not cause hotspots, but may be a bigger concern for sockless runners. On the plus side, all testers felt the Free 4.0 offers a bit more toebox height than either the Free 3.0 v4 or Free Run 3.

Overall, we found the Free 4.0 v2 to be an adaptable shoe that could do duty as a foot strengthening tool, daily trainer or race-day shoe, depending on a person’s needs and running style.

Runners Say

“I think the tongue that’s stitched only one side is the perfect design for the Free. It’s easier to slip the shoe on and there’s a really snug fit once you’re laced up.” – Matt

“Even though it doesn’t have the Dynamic Fit system that is being added to many Nike shoes, the Free 4.0 feels very secure in the midfoot without ever feeling too tight or pinching my foot.” – Daniel

“I would have liked a little more room in the midfoot. I didn’t get a hotspot or anything because the interior is nice and soft.” – Lauren

Matt Running Shoes , ,