Archive

Author Archive

Win Zensah Tie Dye Leg Sleeves!

October 2nd, 2013

Zensah is a leading brand in compression and support running apparel. Their calf/leg sleeves just got a whole lot groovier thanks to the new tie-dye prints the brand recently added.

Now you can channel your inner hippie when you wear these popular calf/leg sleeves – for free! Choose from one of these 3 great colors:

This contest is now closed. Congrats to contest winners Kathy, Colin, Juwon, Meredith, Tonya and Joe. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Matt Running Accessories, Running Apparel ,

UltrAspire 2013 Vest Rundown

September 24th, 2013

Over just the past 2 years, race vests have become a top choice for carrying hydration and other essentials on longer runs. UltrAspire, an innovator in athlete-inspired hydration products and other running gear, has a complete line of light, fast and comfortable race vests.

For 2013, the entire line receives a few notable updates. The biggest change is the sweat-proof webbing with increased ventilation. This keeps the packs from getting bogged down with sweat as you run and reduces the risk of the vest causing overheating. In addition, packs with bladders and tubing get a new pull out/push in valve for better flow of liquid.

These new features add to the core features runners expect from UltrAspire, such as the contoured pack shape for excellent range of motion, fit that reduces pressure points, and hook strap closures that are more comfortable and durable than snap buckles.

Here are the key features of the UltrAspire vest lineup:

Reservoir Dogs

  • Spry – The lightest weight vest from UltrAspire with a bladder, the Spry gives you a 1L reservoir and plenty of small stash pockets for nutrition or small personal items.
  • Alpha – The Alpha considerably bumps up your hydration and storage capacity over the Spry. The reservoir doubles to 2L, a rear pocket is added, and a rear shock cord can stash packable apparel.
  • Surge – The Surge gives you 2L of hydration along with larger pockets front and rear compared to the Alpha, and still comes in at under a pound total weight with an empty reservoir.
  • Omega – This vest bumps up your storage capacity even more than the Surge, yet adds almost no additional weight. The rear stretch pocket is great for stashing lightweight apparel.

Bottle Rockets

  • Revolution – The lightweight racing vest for runners who prefer bottles. This is a great option if you don’t want to sip from a bladder but do need a comfortable place to stash a spare bottle. Front pockets and the left rear pocket provide several storage options for nutrition and small essentials.
  • Kinetic – Double your bottle storage with the unique design of this vest, which keeps bottles stable, in proper position, and easily accessible. As an added bonus, the Kinetic is available in Small/Medium and Large/Extra Large sizes for a more custom fit.
  • Fastpack – Do some serious haulin’ with this pack. As its name suggests, the Fastpack is designed for fastpackers who spend multiple days running trails. As such, it has enough storage volume for clothing and compact sleeping gear, while remaining light and efficient. You could also add a hydration bladder (not included) in back for maximum hydration on the go.

Midnight Run

  • UltraViz Spry – This nocturnal cousin of the Spry vest is designed for low-light conditions. The Neon Yellow UltraViz color is accented by front and rear reflective detailing for maximum visibility. This vest sports many of the same premium features on UltrAspire’s other vests, including the sweat-proof mesh webbing, hook-design strap closures, and easy-reach front mesh pockets. Though not included, an UltrAspire 1L reservoir can easily fit in the rear pouch of this vest.

Matt Running Accessories , , , , , ,

Mizuno Wave Paradox Sneak Peek (updated 2/4/14)*

September 20th, 2013

The Wave Paradox is an entirely new model from Mizuno that will slot into the maximum pronation support category. That’s right, the Alchemy has been scrapped after 12 years of service in favor of a fresh design that relaunches Mizuno in this popular category that includes models such as the Asics Gel Kayano, Saucony Hurricane, and Brooks Trance (which becomes the Transcend in February 2014).

Among the differentiators for the Paradox will be its weight – just 10.6 oz for a Men’s 9 and 8.6 oz for a Women’s 8 according to Mizuno. The low weight in conjunction with substantial pronation support is exactly the paradox that gives the shoe its name.

What to Watch For

  • Lightest in Class: The Paradox is set to be the lightest premium, maximum support shoe when it is released, especially in the Women’s version, which is expected to be about an ounce lighter than its closest competitor (the Kayano 20).
  • Pronation Control: A Fan Wave plate design is used in the midsole to discourage overpronation and provide a stable ride.
  • Inspired by Zentangle Drawings: Mizuno claims that the graphic on the upper “is made entirely of straight lines.” We’re pretty sure we see more than a couple curves on the shoe, but this repetitive pattern was inspired by the zentangle drawing technique. *(Our original blog post attributed the pattern to a traditional Japanese drawing technique.)

Release Date
January 2014

MSRP
$135.00 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Asics Gel Lyte33 3 Sneak Peak

September 18th, 2013

Since its intro, the Gel Lyte33 has been overshadowed by the Saucony Kinvara and the Brooks PureFlow, its two closest competitors. That’s too bad, especially with the Gel Lyte33 2, the current version of the shoe that has one of the liveliest rides we’ve experienced in quite some time. We expect the Gel Lyte33 3 (that’s a whole lotta 3′s) to build on the positive traits of the latest version and offer the most dialed-in fit and performance of this shoe model to date.

What to Watch For

  • Serious Weight Reduction: Asics lists weights of 6.8 oz for Men’s 9 and 5.5 oz for Women’s 7. That’s down well over an ounce on the Men’s side and almost 2 ounces on the Women’s side.
  • Simplified Platform: The Gel Lyte33 2 combined Solyte and SpEVA midsole compounds to create a responsive yet cushioned feel. In the update, the SpEVA is replaced with a full Solyte platform, which is a big reason for the shoe’s weight reduction.
  • FluidAxis Continues: First launched on the Gel Lyte33 2, FluidAxis midsole geometry returns in this shoe and will be a part of all 33 collection shoes for Spring 2014.
  • Simplified Upper: Asics calls it “nearly seamless,” and it also has practically no overlays. We expect this new upper design to appeal to runners with a broad range of foot shapes.
  • LA Marathon Edition: Asics will again sponsor the Los Angeles Marathon in 2014, and will produce special Men’s and Women’s colorways of the Lyte33 3 to promote the race.

Release Date
February 2014

MSRP
$100.00 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

High-Visibility Running Jackets

September 16th, 2013

We don’t have to tell you that the sun is rising a little later and setting a little sooner these days. And we don’t need to remind you that there are plenty of yahoos in automobiles who are bleary-eyed, distracted, or just plain inattentive. It’s not the best combo for runners who want to brave a run in the early morning or evening hours.

So be smart and wear bright colors when it’s dark, dusky, rainy or any other time when there’s a good chance you may not be seen clearly by motorists. And as the weather cools down this Fall and Winter, it’s nice to have a little extra warmth that can come from a running jacket. Here are a few top choices for runners who want a high visibility running jacket:

Women’s Hi-Viz Running Jackets


Asics Spry Jacket: Reflective details and a bright purple color up your visibility to motorists in low light, and this lightweight shell also protects you from the wind with wind-resistant construction and a mock neck.
Asics Lite-Show Jacket: Get some serious warmth with your visibility in the Lite-Show Jacket. Though the jacket is black, reflective seams in key areas provide increased visibility when you are in motion, and an inner brushed lining keeps you toasty.
New Balance Komen Stride Jacket: Battle the dark and breast cancer with this cute, hooded jacket. The bright pink color accents give you some added visibility while you also show your support for breast cancer research. The cozy hood adds warmth on chilly mornings.

Men’s Hi-Viz Running Jackets


Nike Cyclone Jacket: The red color on this lightweight jacket is bright, bright, bright. The hits of reflectivity further help you to stand out. Because it’s so lightweight, the Cyclone Jacket is a nice option for dark mornings when the sun will come up and temps will rise while you’re out on your run.
Asics Fujitrail Packable Jacket: The eye-popping print on this lightweight, breathable jacket certainly should get you seen. But just in case, you also have 360 degrees of reflectivity. The jacket can be packed securely in the front pocket when temps heat up.
Sugoi Zap Jacket: You’re sure to be seen on early morning or dusk runs with bold neon colors and great reflectivity of this lightweight shell.

Matt Running Apparel , , , , , , , ,

Mizuno Wave Hitogami Sneak Peek

September 12th, 2013


The Wave Hitogami is an entirely new model from Mizuno. In Japanese, hitogami means Human Gods – clearly what we all are when we are racing at our peak.

But what Mizuno giveth, Mizuno also taketh away. The Hitogami is the replacement for both the Wave Musha and Wave Ronin, two popular racing shoes that have built up a pretty good sized fan base over the past few years.

What to Watch For

  • Lightweight: We measured samples at 8.0 oz for a Men’s size 9 and 6.6 oz for a Women’s size 8. That’s a bit heavier than the current Musha and Ronin, but still pretty dang light.
  • Platform Measurements: We measured a 9mm offset with 23mm/14mm heel/forefoot stack heights. That slots right in between the Musha and Ronin, with the same overall offset.
  • New Cushioning Compound: Mizuno’s new U4ic midsole foam provides lightweight cushioning and replaces AP+ across almost all of the company’s 2014 line.
  • Neutral: Though it is technically replacing the Musha, the hitogami does not offer pronation support. The supportive options for race day are getting slimmer and slimmer, but runners who need a touch of support will still have the Asics Gel DS Racer, Saucony Fastwitch and Brooks ST 5.
  • Kabuki Theme: If you put the left and right shoes together so their laces touch, you’ll see the face of a kabuki theater performer. This isn’t just a neat design trick – Mizuno wanted to drive home the point that when you are racing, you can become someone else (like kabuki performers do in their makeup).

Release Date
January 2014

MSRP
$100.00 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Running: Bad for Your Health?

September 11th, 2013

Are You Running Yourself into the Grave?

Pretty regularly here at the ‘House, we get a laugh from the absurd Debbie-Downer-ness of many stories on The Weather Channel’s website (www.weather.com). All too often, they focus on daily scares, dystopias, and doomsday scenarios that clearly have nothing to do with the weather, but apparently are enough to get people in a tizzy and keep coming back for more.

Yesterday we saw an article on 13 Healthy Habits That Can Hurt. For every runner who’s ever been injured (i.e., pretty much every runner), it should come as no surprise that running made their list, along with some pretty questionable inclusions like “drinking water” and “healthy eating.” (Seriously, people, when will you learn that 24-7 beer and Fritos is the way to go??)

So what’s the big deal with running? “Athletes can become addicted to exercise, and run through pain when they shouldn’t,” says James E. Muntz, MD in the article. And even if you aren’t an exercise addict, the article continues, runners are still at risk of heart problems, according to a study published in the European Heart Journal.

Well, duh, folks. Yes, exercise addiction is a real thing and a small minority of runners with this affliction may be harming themselves. And yes, you could cause yourself some serious cardiovascular problems if you’re continually overexerting when you run. We have no problem in calling running a “healthy habit that can hurt” sometimes, because we’ve pretty much all worked through the aches, pains, pulls, strains, tears and other discomforts that find their way into the lives of runners. But in our opinion (and of course we may be a little biased here), running is an enormous positive in the physical and emotional health of those who engage in the sport.

What do you think? Is running harming many people, and what does that mean in relation to the millions of people who feel that their lives are better because they are runners?

Matt Running Sport , ,

Best Running Shoes for Orthotics

September 10th, 2013

If you wear orthotics and you run, it can be a challenge to find a running shoe that fits your orthotics while offering the performance you want. Thankfully, there are several great options from some of our top brands if you’re looking for a shoe to fit your orthotics. What makes one running shoe better than another for orthotics wearers? Read on to find out!

Key Considerations

  • Pronation Support Level – A custom orthotic is designed to provide the right amount of pronation support on its own, meaning that if you add an orthotic into a support or motion-control shoe, you are likely to be over-correcting your pronation (known as supination). This can lead to running injuries such as stress fractures due to the lateral sides of your feet bearing too much of the ground impact forces. For this reason, it’s best for orthotics wearers to select neutral running shoes that do not offer pronation support.
  • Volume of Upper - The thickness and shape of orthotics can vary considerably based on individual needs, but in practically all cases, an orthotic will take up more volume in a shoe than the standard sockliner. This makes it a challenge to wear an orthotic in lower-volume running shoes. The solution: select a shoe that is at least medium in its overall upper dimensions, and perhaps consider purchasing a wide shoe, which will offer additional volume. You’ll also want to check out the running shoes listed below that are specially designed for orthotics wearers.
  • Shoe Size – In a shoe designed to accept orthotics (more on that below), you can generally purchase your standard running shoe size. For medium and lower volume running shoes, orthotics wearers may want to go up a half or even full size for an adequate fit.

Models Worth a Look

Brooks Dyad 7, New Balance 840 v2, Saucony Echelon 3

Brooks Dyad 7 – A highly cushioned, bigger volume shoe with a low arch structure that easily accommodates orthotics, the Dyad is one of the most popular running shoes for orthotics wearers. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but in return gives a boatload of cushioning and a wide, stable platform. This shoe is available in 2E and 4E widths for men and D and 2E widths for women.

New Balance 840 v2 – A top seller for runners who use orthotics, the 840 v2 provides a very high-volume fit along with a comfortably cushioned platform. Need even more room in the upper? This shoe is available in both 2E and 4E widths for men and D and 2E widths for women.

Saucony Echelon 3 – The lightest weight shoe here, the Echelon feels a bit more lively underfoot than either the Dyad or 840. We find the Echelon to offer not quite as much upper volume as those other shoes as well, particularly in the heel and midfoot. This shoe is available in 2E widths for men and D widths for women.

Matt Running Shoes ,

Asics DS Trainer 19 Sneak Peek

September 9th, 2013

A speedy option for the mild overpronator, the DS Trainer is a perennial favorite in the daily trainer category. Nothing earth-shattering for the updated 19th version of the shoe, but why mess with success, right?

What to Watch For

  • Engineered Mesh Upper: The bumble bee upper from the current DS Trainer 18 flies off into the sunset. In its place is an engineered mesh material with fewer overlays and seams.
  • Carryover Platform: No changes to the midsole or outsole in this update, so expect an underfoot feel identical to that of the DS Trainer 19.

MSRP
$120.00

Release Date
January 2014 Read more…

Matt Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , , ,

3D Printed Running Shoes

September 6th, 2013


New Balance stopped by our office last week and among some of the exciting updates they had for us, they shared a few 3D printed midsole designs. In addition to being very beautiful and intricate, these designs represent an enormous potential to change how running shoes are made. We’re pretty impressed with how far along NB is with this technology.

The orange mold above actually has pronation support built into it from the geometry of the design and density of material used. You can feel the difference in material resistance when compressing the medial and lateral sides of the midsole. Pretty cool.

The white mold below creates a firmer shoe with a consistent level of cushioning throughout the platform. Read more…

Matt Running Shoes ,