It’s kinda hard to believe that we have the scoop on Stephen Colbert, but we’ve found a race that will raise the flag of any genuine America-lover. We’re talking, of course, about the Run to Win America.
This ain’t your ordinary 5K. No, the reputation of the entire state in which you live is at stake. See, the Run to Win America is pitting all 50 states against each other (so much for the “United” part of United States) to see which state is the “fastest.”
As it says on the Run to Win America website, this race is “an experience and event that captures what America was founded on and what has made America the greatest nation in the world.” Who knew you could capture all in a 3.1 mile run? But here’s one thing that we can all agree does make America great: a national fascination with overblown generalizations and unchecked hyperbole.
In all seriousness, America does have many things to be proud of as a nation, one of which is the enormous amount of charitable giving to other countries each year. So it makes sense that a portion of proceeds from the Run to Win America series will be donated to Project Hope Worldwide, an organization devoted to improving the lives of orphans in developing nations.
Races will be taking place in all 50 states (though Arizona, Texas and Kentucky have already been run). Seven more states will have races before April is through.
If you’re really red, white and blue enough, head over to runtowinamerica.com and register today.
Air is to Nike what DNA is to Brooks, Gel is to Asics, Grid is to Saucony, and the Wave Plate is to Mizuno. When it was released in the 1979 (in the Tailwind), Air technology made Nike a powerhouse in running footwear. Since then, the company has introduced several updates to Air, with the goal of providing lightweight, long-lasting cushioning. The version currently used in many Nike running shoes is called Zoom Air.
So What Exactly Is Zoom Air?
Released in the late 90’s, Zoom Air went by a few names at first and some are still used as nicknames. One of these names is Tensile Air. All you engineers out there are probably scratching your collective heads over that one – how can a gas have a property associated with solids? We answered that riddle by chiseling out a Zoom Air unit from the midsole of a Nike Pegasus 29.
Cross Section of Heel Zoom Air Unit
What We Found
On the surface, a Zoom Air unit looks a lot like any other Air unit released by Nike over the years, except maybe a bit cloudier. That cloudy look actually is from a fabric piece glued inside the unit. These units are relatively lightweight for the volume they take up in the midsole. The Zoom Air unit is certainly not as pretty as its Air Max brother, which is probably one of the main reasons why Nike hides it away deep in the recesses of the midsole.
Attaching one side of the Zoom Air unit to the other is an army of thin fabric strings held in tension from the pressure inside. Like the cables on a suspension bridge, the strings appear to reinforce the exterior shell of the Air Unit. This allows the Air Unit to be pressurized to ideal levels without the worry of shape deformation over time.
The tension that holds the unit together permits the low profile that makes it possible to hide within a shoe but still offer seemingly endless cushioning. By lashing two ends of what is in essence a balloon, Nike has made Air tensile and a way to provide long lasting cushioning while remaining light. It’s actually a pretty accomplished piece of engineering.
Talk to Us: What shoe should we hack at next to see the technology inside?
The Mirage 3 is a fast and flexible shoe for the mild overpronator.
You’re forgiven if you haven’t paid much attention to the Saucony Mirage. After all, the Kinvara series has received most of the limelight, and the first and second versions of the Mirage had a bit of a stiff, heavy feeling ride. That’s changed with version 3. A lightweight trainer with high mileage cushioning, the Saucony Mirage 3 is a great choice for the slight overpronator looking to run with efficient form.
Brand New Tooling: A new midsole gives the shoe softer cushioning in the heel and a smoother transition through the forefoot.
Seamless Upper: Welded overlays provide a snug fit while offering a seamless interior environment for reduced friction on the foot.
Reduced Weight: We measured the Mirage 3 at 8.7 oz for a Men’s 9 and 7.7 oz in a Women’s 8, both close to an ounce lighter than their predecessors.
Unlike Saucony’s highly successful Kinvara, the first couple versions of the Mirage weren’t quite a homerun. So the company decided to give the third version of this lightweight, minimum support trainer a complete top-down redesign. The result: a much more flexible and satisfying running shoe.
Utilizing heat-transferred film overlays, the upper provides a snug but flexible fit that conforms to the shape of the foot. Testers did find the fit slightly narrower than previous versions, but it was never constrictive or too tight. A seamless interior limits irritation and blistering for a comfortable run.
Where some runners found that previous editions of the Mirage were a bit clunky, softened heel cushioning in this update guides the foot forward, making for a very smooth transition. The forefoot remains fairly responsive, for a lively toe-off and an electrifying run.
Despite the changes to the Mirage in this update, the shoe holds true to its core design philosophy of providing a fast feel for runners who need a touch of pronation support.
Video Road Test
Tired of all these words? Check out our video review of the Mirage 3 to get the lowdown in less than 90 seconds.
Not gonna lie, we’re kinda hyper about how good the new Saucony Virrata is. Justin Bieber has his Beliebers, and the Chicago Bulls have their Superfans, but here at Running Warehouse, we’ve got our own little club forming: the Virratamaniacs.
Turns out, Pete Larson over at Runblogger is a card-carrying member of the Virratamaniacs as well. In his Saucony Virrata running shoe review, he found many aspects to love about the shoe, including the well-cushioned platform and streamlined upper fit. He makes a lot of comparisons to the Kinvara 2, and we think that’s a fair comparison in many respects (though of course the platform of the Virrata is level and the Kinvara is and has been at a 4mm offset.
Not to pile on the Virrata resources, but our superfan scrapbook also includes:
Pearl Izumi Ultra Inside-Out Singlet & Ultra Split Short
Endurance runners like you face many challenges as the miles rack up. Pearl Izumi’s Ultra running apparel line is built to solve some of the biggest annoyances out on the trails and roads. Here are a few highlights from the collection:
Ultra Split Short
The Ultra Split Short (view Women’s) is no ordinary split. For starters, the Gel Flask Pocketing System secures nutrition in an anatomic position on the back hip for maximum mobility and minimal bounce. A back zippered pocket offers additional storage. A welded hem, roll-over waistband and fully integrated liner combine to highlight the comfort story.
Ultra Inside-Out Singlet
With the Ultra Inside-Out Singlet (view Women’s) you can count on a distraction-free run. The Transfer Dry fabric is highly breathable and offers optimal moisture transfer with a quick dry time. And, as the name suggests, the inside-out seams minimize the risk of chafing. This singlet even sports a shoulder abrasion print to give you extra grip for your pack or vest.
Pick the Ultra Vest (view Women’s) for those cool, windy days when a jacket is just a bit too much. This vest allows you to start your run in comfort, then pack it into itself and store it on your arm or in your hand. Like the singlet, the Ultra Vest has an abrasion print on the shoulders for exceptional pack traction.
CEP, the premium compression technology company we all know and love, has just expanded its lineup to include recovery-specific compression pieces. Here’s the lowdown:
CEP Recovery+ Pro Sock
If you’ve been longing – dare we say, yearning – for a recovery-focused sock from CEP, then rejoice! The CEP Recovery+ Pro Socks (view Women’s) use graduated compression to increase blood flow to muscles post-workout, helping you recover more quickly. They’re different than the Progressive+ Socks due to having consistent gradation over the calf muscle, since their is no increased demand on this muscle post-run.
To experience the greatest recovery benefits from these socks, put them on within one to two hours after exercising, and leave them on for at least six hours. It’s okay to take a break post-workout to shower up and refuel, since Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) typically takes several hours to develop. The sock is constructed of a breathable knit for a comfortable all-day wearing experience.
The Recovery+ Pro Knee High Open Toe (view Women’s) gives you the benefit of the recovery-specific design while letting your tootsies hang out. They’re a great choice if you want to wear a compression sock and sandal at the same time, of if you just like letting your feet breathe easier.
We also brought in a few new braces designed to stabilize and protect common injury areas for runners. We stock the RxOrtho+ Knee Brace (shown below) for stabilization and support of the knee joint, the RxOrtho+ Ankle Brace (shown below) for the support and treatment of mild ankle injuries, and the RxOrtho Achilles Brace (not pictured) to support and treat injury and discomfort in the Achilles tendon.
CEP Recovery+ Pro Knee High Open Toe, RxOrtho+ Knee Brace and RxOrtho Ankle Brace
As any middle child will tell you, it can be tough to be wedged between two siblings. Such is the fate of the Nike Free 4.0, soon to be released in its third version. Still, it does a great job of standing out and making its own name for itself. The Free 4.0 v3 will slot between the Free 3.0 v5 and the Free 5.0+, offering a blend of the benefits of each shoe.
Like its siblings, the Free 4.0 v3 carries over the platform of the prior model, and focuses on improvements to the upper design. We expect weights to remain almost identical to the current model.
What to Watch For
New Upper: Breathability is increased thanks to large mesh panels, while welded overlays continue to provide lightweight, seamless structure.
Carryover Platform: The Free 4.0 v3 keeps the mid/outsole of the Nike Free 4.0 v2, with its 6mm heel-to-toe offset.
Nike’s most minimal Free option in the run speciality category, the Free 3.0 enters its fifth update with a new engineered mesh upper. Gone is the NanoPly wrap from the Free 3.0 v4 that provided structure but also felt a bit too hot for some runners.
In its place, Nike adds engineered mesh as seen on the Air Pegasus+ 29. This lightweight mesh offers built in support where you need it and plenty of open areas for enhanced breathability. We expect weights to remain almost identical to the current model.
What to Watch For
New Upper Mesh: Engineered mesh is designed to provide structure in areas such as the midfoot and heel, while remaining breathable in other parts of the shoe.
Bootie Construction: Underneath the engineered mesh is an integrated bootie for a sock-like fit.
Carryover Platform: The Free 3.0 v5 keeps the mid/outsole of the Free 3.0 v4, with its 4mm heel-to-toe offset.
This April, we’ll see a fresh take on the most popular Nike Free in the run specialty market. The first big change is to the name: gone is the Nike Free Run moniker, replaced with a new name that helps clarify where the shoe sits in Nike’s numerical designation of Free models. The shoe will now be known as the Nike Free 5.0+, meaning it is at the midpoint of Nike’s 0-10 scale between running barefoot and running in a conventional trainer.
This is a name change only and does not affect the performance or design intent of the prior Free Run model. For those of you who looked closely at your Nike Free Runs in the past, you may have noticed a “5.0” stamped onto the midsole by the heel. And in fact, the new Free 5.0+ carries over the platform of the prior model. All the changes to the shoe for 2013 occur in the upper. We expect weights to remain almost identical to the current model.
What to Watch For
Dynamic Fit: The improved Dynamic Fit system using integrated Flywire helps to hold the foot in place.
Goodbye NanoPly: The previous bonded overlays are replaced with new, no-sew construction and increased mesh areas.
Bootie Construction: The stretch-mesh upper provides a next-to-skin fit.
Carryover Platform: The Free 5.0+ keeps the mid/outsole of the Free Run+ 3, with its 8mm heel-to-toe offset.
If you’re a student athlete or school coach, 2013 is your year to get GPS-connected for improved training performance. Garmin’s going to help you do it with a $50 rebate offer on top-selling models. Until October 31, 2013, this leading GPS running watch maker is offering student athletes and school coaches a $50 mail-in rebate for the Forerunner 210 and Forerunner 610.
How do you get the rebate? All you have to do is purchase an eligible model from us and send in the Garmin Mail-In Rebate Form along with the product UPC barcode and copies of your receipt and student/school ID. It’s that simple to get a little extra cash in your pocket.
Rebate Model Rundown
Forerunner 210: The 210 is one of Garmin’s most affordable, easy-to-use GPS watches. It’s available on its own, with a heart rate monitor, or with a heart rate monitor and foot pod bundle. Big features include:
GPS with HotFix to sync up with the satellite quickly
Live pace and distance data with totals when your finish your run
Custom Interval Training for speed work
Ability to compare and analyze data with Garmin Connect and Garmin Training Center
Forerunner 610: In addition to all the features of the 210, the Forerunner 610 adds these key features:
Touchscreen interface that works when wet or when wearing gloves
Vibration alerts for time, distance, and run/walk breaks
Virtual Racer to compete against previous course PR’s
Virtual Partner feature to train alongside a digital person
Auto Pause stops/starts timer for you based on speed
Wireless data transfer to your computer with included ANT+ Stick