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Brooks PureGrit – First Look

August 17th, 2011

Brooks PureGrit Men's Shoe October 2011 Color

Runners seeking a more natural foot motion inevitably should find themselves running on trails. The natural terrain of the outdoors is more forgiving on the body compared to the paved world. As such, reductionist running shoes have taken hold of the trail running market. A reductionist shoe has at least one of the following attributes when compared to a traditional running shoe: sits lower to the ground, has smaller heel-toe offsets, greater flexibility or lower weight.

For Spring 2012, Brooks is providing a new trail shoe within the reductionist arena. The PureGrit has a 4mm heel-toe offset, is light weight (men’s size 9.0 is 8.9 oz, women’s size 7.0 is 7.6 oz), utilizes a split-toe outsole to better engage the stabilizing nature of the big toe at toe-off and has a round heel to promote a more forward landing position.

A unique feature of the PureGrit is the slightly concave shaped outsole, which splays out under ground contact for a stable and smooth ride. A broad base further promotes stability and the lug pattern keeps the runner connected to the ground. The PureGrit will compete directly with the Saucony Peregrine and New Balance MT110/WT110 (a January 2012 update to the MT101/WT101).

Brooks PureGrit Women's Shoe April 2011 Color

The Brooks PureGrit has an MSRP of $100 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.

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Brooks Adds GORE-TEX To Their Shoe Line

August 2nd, 2011

Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX Women's Shoe

In an effort to keep runner’s feet more comfortable on a year-round basis, Brooks is introducing waterproof versions of their two most popular shoes: Adrenaline GTS 11 and Ghost 4. By fashioning GORE-TEX GTX uppers into the same patterns used on the breathable mesh versions, Brooks is able to provide its familiar, great fit in a package that keeps water out . While shoes with GTX uppers will be warmer than the mesh versions, the GTX upper is breathable and should provide foot comfort, in damp or cold conditions, from Autumn through Spring.

Brooks Ghost GTX Men's Shoe

The Brook Ghost GTX is simply the Ghost 4 with a GTX upper, while the Adrenaline ASR GTX is a GTX version of the Adrenaline ASR 8, which is a trail/road version of the Adrenaline GTS 11. By incorporating the more aggressive outsole from the Adrenilane ASR 8, The Adrenaline ASR GTX, is a worthy shoe for snow, wet and dry streets and all but the toughest trail conditions.

The GTX shoes come with a $20 premium over their non-waterproof brethren and are both priced at an MSRP of $120. Availability is August 2011. Get direct online access to the shoes at Running Warehouse: Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX Men’s Shoes, Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX Women’s Shoes, Brooks Ghost GTX Men’s Shoes, Brooks Ghost GTX Women’s Shoes.

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adidas adiZero Feather – First Look

August 1st, 2011

adidas adiZero Feather Men's Shoe (September 2011)

Currently, an adidas shoe with the new-look, horizontal three-stripes, signifies a fresh product that is all about speed. This certainly applies to the adiZero Feather (pictured above). By stripping down the upper to its bare essentials, reducing the shoe’s foot-print through strategic cutouts and utilizing a super light midsole foam, this shoe comes in at a reported 6.2 ounces (men’s size 9.0). Combine the low weight with a propulsive underfoot plate and you have got a speed demon. The specs suggest this shoe should excel during interval training, but we will have to get our hands on a pair to determine its best use. Look for the limited edition adiZero Feather to be available at Running Warehouse in September 2011 (MSRP is $115.00).

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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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Asics Top Impact Line 2011

May 10th, 2011

Asics Women's TIL IM Bra Top & CB Sprinter and Men's TIL Singlet & Split

Lightweight, supportive and radical in design, this year’s Asics TIL pieces are crafted to realize the Asics motto: Sound Mind, Sound Body. Just like the 2010 Collection, this year’s rendition of the global Top Impact Line is truly technical, providing innovative fabrics and exceptional racing-specific designs. With reflective wing accents, superior fabrics and a dramatic, hard-core appeal, the TIL collection demonstrates Asics function at its best.

But function isn’t all that Asics has mastered with this year’s Top Impact Line. In 2011, Asics is clearly tapping into the competitive spirit and pride of runners … and it’s working. The prints are bold and the fabrics are eye-catching. Take the TIL Jacket, for example. With a visually-textured sheen and lots of reflectivity, this piece is making a statement: Imagine race day, you’re scoping out the competition and the game of intimidation has already begun. But as the tensions mount, you realize you’ve got your lightweight black and silver armour on and you’re ready for battle. This essential piece will be a shield against unpredictable pre-race conditions, but it will also show off your confidence. It’s water resistant and semi-fitted with stretch panels around the shoulders to allow for unhindered arm movement and great speed.

Read more…

Jonathan Running Apparel

Mizuno Global Elite Apparel

February 10th, 2011

Men's 2011 Mizuno Aero Split Short and Aero Singlet

In the past, you may have seen an elite athlete wearing a fantastic apparel item and said to yourself “I want that”, but the product was not available to the general public. Times are changing. In the last few seasons, adidas and Nike have made their respective elite level adizero and Race Day collections available to consumers. Last year Asics got into the game with their Total Impact Line (TIL). The latest player to join the fray is Mizuno, with their Global Elite collection.

Mizuno has long been known for advanced technical apparel, and the Global Elite Collection is their latest showcase. The collection is highlighted by a race singlet and split short and also includes an Aero Tee and the super light Cabrakan Jacket. The Aero Split Short is nearly as light as air and offers a modified half split for great range of motion. The short also offers a laser cut pattern for ventilation and reduced weight. Up top, the Aero Singlet demonstrates great attention to detail. Using a 4-needle flat lock stitch, the Aero singlet provides great comfort. It also has a burn-out mesh back for superior ventilation.

The Global Elite Collection will be available for men and women and is expected at Running Warehouse in early March, just in time for a Spring marathon. For those interested pairing Mizuno’s elite racing shoes with their race apparel, the Wave Ronin 3 ties into the Global Elite Collection and is now available in Antrhacite/Orange for men and White/Orange for women. The updated Wave Universe 4, Mizuno’s lightest racing shoe, will be available in Orange/Antrhacite in July 2011.

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New Balance RC 1400 – First Look

February 9th, 2011

New Balance Men's and Women's RC 1400 Racing flat

After years of hit and miss in the racing flat arena, New Balance finally nails it with the RC 1400. Fresh looks, a no-sew seamless upper and a rev-lite midsole firmly place the 14oo in the “must be considered” category of neutral racing shoes that, based on the runner’s ability, can span distances from 5K to Marathon. At a reported 7.1 oz for a men’s 9.5 (5.7 oz for a women’s 7.0), the 1400 comes in lighter than The Asics Hyper Speed 4, adidas Adios and Mizuno Ronin 3. The Nike LunaRacer is still lighter, but the 1400 is clearly on target to take on the big guns in the elite marathon world. With the upcoming lightweight 890 and Minimus line set for release in February and March, respectively, and now the 1400 coming in July, New Balance appears to be in the middle of a revolution and the right guys are winning. The 1400 has a list price of $100 and will have men’s and women’s specific fits.

Men's only color of the RC 1400

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Inov8 Road-X Lite 155 – First Look

December 28th, 2010

Inov8 Road-X Lite 155: final product may differ slightly from image

February 2011, Inov8 is coming to market with three minimalist road shoes all with a suggested retail price of $110. The three shoes will compose a line of “X” minimalist road shoes that will expand to five in Fall 2011. The initial three shoe offering will address runners of various needs who are seeking to transition from normal 12mm heel-toe drop running shoes to lower drop shoes. A 9mm drop, 6mm drop and 3mm drop model are scheduled to be available at first release.

The Road-X Lite 155 is the most minimal of this initial offering. It has a 3mm heel-toe drop and a simple upper with welded TPU overlays. By eliminating the use of a traditional outsole, Inov8 uses a Fusion midsole/outsole combination, the shoe should come in around 6.0 oz (US men’s size 9.0). Fusion consists of rubber and EVA blended together. This technique was first seen in mass distribution with the Reebok 3D Areeba, in the late Nineties, and is still applied today by various manufactures. Although this technique does not produce the most durable shoe, it has proven to hold up to daily use and provides a great feel for the road while still delivering some protection from ground reaction forces.

The other two shoes that will join the Road-X Lite 155 in the Fall of 2011 are the Road-X 233 and Road-X 255 and these shoes will incorporate very thin rubber outsoles that provide a bit more durability but still retain a minimalist approach. The Road-X 233 should come in under 8.3 oz and will have a heel-toe drop of 6mm and the Road-X 255 should come in around 9.0 oz with a heel-toe drop of 9mm. So the idea here is to start with the 255 and progress to the 233 and then finally get into the 155. By the time you are ready to progress to a zero drop shoe, Inov8 should have you covered with the Bare-X Lite 150 and Bare-X 200. Check back later to learn about the Bare-X Lite 150 and the Bare-X Lite 200 that are scheduled for a July release.

Jonathan Running Shoes , , , , , , , ,

Inov8 Bare-Grip 200 – First Look

December 21st, 2010

Inov8 Bare-Grip 200

Now available at Running Warehouse

Inov8 was making minimalist trail shoes before it was hip to be minimal. A UK company, Inov8 (pronounced: innovate) was founded on the principle of providing trail shoes that would be engineered to work in extreme conditions. Unhappy with the unstable, high-off-the-ground trail shoes that were available in the market, Inov8 set out to provide trail shoes that were close to the ground and thus inherently stable. Furthermore, trail shoes needed to be able to provide excellent traction and shed mud. Think about the damp landscape of Great Britain seen in the movie Braveheart, and you get a good idea of the conditions that Inov8 sought to conquer with its first trail shoe.

The first shoe produced by Inov8, was the Mudroc 290. This award wining shoe is known as the original Fell Racer. Fell racing involves racing from here to there, without a course, and undoubtedly over some hills (fell is a word used to describe a hilly landscape in parts of England). As such, Inov8 trail shoes were originally designed to provide supreme traction on steep climbs and descents, while also being able to shed mud. Inov8 now has a full spectrum of trail shoes designed to tackle a variety of terrain, ranging from hard packed ground, to loose covered trail and soft, mushy fields.

Read more…

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