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The New Balance 980 Trail Takes Fresh Foam Offroad

January 17th, 2014

New Balance 980 Trail; M 10.2 oz, W 8.1 oz, 4mm offset, $110*

The release of the New Balance 980 is upon us, and with it we will see the introduction of the company’s new Fresh Foam midsole material, which promises a super soft & pillowy ride, keeping in with the trend of increasing cushioning between you and the road. The 980, which features a flexible, 4mm offset to keep your stride uninhibited, is starting to get some buzz going for it and should be a good option for those who want a plush ride without the look of an oversized midsole. Read more…

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The Brooks PureGrit 3 Ups the Grittiness

January 15th, 2014

Brooks PureGrit 3; M 9.9 oz, W 8.1 oz, $120*

In its third iteration, Brooks’ PureGrit gets redesigned from the ground up, giving the shoe a beefier look and feel while sticking true to the concepts of low weight and a natural, uninhibited ride characteristic of the PureProject collection. Read more…

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Hoka Goes Lighter with the Huaka and the Clifton

January 14th, 2014

Hoka Huaka; M 8.9 oz, W 7.5 oz, 2mm drop, $150*

Over the past couple of years, Hoka One One has without a doubt carved out its niche in the running shoe marketplace, with many runners trying and sticking with their ultra-cushioned footwear models. One glaring drawback to their offerings, however, has been their weight – with their lightest models sitting well above the 10oz mark. Not very appealing to the runner seeking the benefit of lightweight. Read more…

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The Brooks Ravenna 5 is a Rave-Worthy Shoe

January 9th, 2014

So the Brooks Ravenna 5 recently showed up on our doorstep, and upon initial try-on, we must say that we’re seriously raving over this shoe. It may only be a couple of weeks into 2014, but we think Brooks’ latest update to their moderate support trainer could be a strong contender for our favorite shoe of the year. Read more…

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Running Footwear Predictions for 2014

January 7th, 2014

We’re in a midst of an exciting time for running shoes. If you follow the running shoe industry closely, you are aware of the different trends, innovations, and design philosophies that have come (and gone) over the past few seasons. Luckily for footwear-geeks (like ourselves), we don’t see these changes in trends going away anytime soon. Here are some of the things we think will make a splash in the running shoe world over 2014. Read more…

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5 New Years Resolutions for Runners

December 23rd, 2013

Hit the trails in 2014. Be a happier runner in 2014.

So the New Year is around the corner, and for many, its time to think of how to be a better person in 2014 than in 2013. You know, New Year, New You and all that.

Fitness-related resolutions amongst the masses are typically short-lived (just look at your local gym on January 2nd vs. February 2nd), but as runners, we can do better. So we put together five small suggestions on what we think will make a positive impact on your running, your enjoyment of running, and/or your hardcore score over this next year. Read more…

Taro Running Sport

Mizuno Goes Trail: Introducing the Wave Kazan & Wave Hayate

December 19th, 2013
Mizuno Wave Kazan, M 9.5oz, W 8.0oz, 12mm drop, $120*

Mizuno’s trail offerings in recent years have, for the most part, been limited to a single shoe, the Wave Ascend. And while the Ascend was a good performer, it was never really an attention-grabber in terms of offering a novel running experience. A more recent model, the Wave Evo Ferus quickly fell out of vogue with the decline in popularity of near-barefoot shoes and the subsequent end of Mizuno’s Evo collection.

Enter the Wave Kazan and the Wave Hayate. Designed around on the concept of adapting to uneven ground rather than simply going over it, the Kazan and Hayate were both built from the ground up to offer a flexible platform that can mold over the trail, resulting in a more nimble ride.

Mizuno Wave Hayate, M 8.8oz, W 7.2oz, 9mm drop, $110*

These two shoes aim to be a protection/performance power couple for Mizuno trail, similar to what Asics offers with the Fuji Trainer and Fuji Racer. The Kazan is, in a way, a rethinking of the Ascend, combining a nimble and flexible ride with a traditional geometry, while the Hayate is the lower weight & slightly lower profile little brother for the efficient runner looking for a little more speed.

While we are excited to see Mizuno expand within the trail category, we would like to see shoes with a lower heel-to-toe offset, especially with the Kazan. At 12mm, the design of the Kazan sits outside of the sub-10mm offset that is so hot in trail right now. The 9mm offset of the Hayate does fall within this category, but still, offerings in the 4-8mm range will be much more in touch with the trail world at this time.

What do you think of Mizuno’s latest foray into trail? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

*Footwear specs are supplied by Mizuno.

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Get Acquainted: Mizuno Fall 2014 Footwear

December 17th, 2013

So we’re getting close to the calendar season of winter, which means it’s time to start planning and looking at product for this upcoming summer and fall. Is it hard to think about the warmer seasons when going outside requires several layers, minimum? Absolutely, but sometimes you gotta deal with it.

First in the spotlight is Mizuno, who has a few things coming our way – namely, a new focus on the trail category as well as the first update to the performance-oriented Wave Sayonara.

For more info on these new models and thoughts on Mizuno’s complete Fall 2014 running footwear collection, as well as for first looks at the Fall 2014 offerings of other manufacturers, be sure to stay tuned to our blog over the next few weeks.

Taro Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks

Happy 10th Birthday, Inov-8!

December 13th, 2013

Inov-8 turned a decade old this year, and to celebrate, founder Wayne Edy takes a look back at the first 10 years of the company and the inspiration behind their footwear.

It’s interesting to see that over the years, Inov-8 sticks true to their original design philosophies, allowing the company to carve out its spot in the running marketplace and find success as a niche brand. Since the beginning, Inov-8 footwear has been about allowing the foot to control the shoe and not the other way around, while also providing a strong emphasis on lightweight performance and confidence-inspiring grip on a variety of surfaces, traits that we still see in their shoes to this day.

Be sure to check out our selection of Inov-8 footwear and accessories for men and women.

[via Inov-8]

Taro Running Shoes, Running Sport

Using the Garmin Forerunner 620

December 12th, 2013

Posted by Taro, Thursday December 12, 2013

The new Garmin Forerunner 620 is one of the more hyped pieces of running tech to come across these parts this holiday season. Honestly, this GPS watch is so loaded with features that it’s hard to keep up just reading about it online – if you dare to try, you may read on its tech details here – it’s best to actually use it to get a full sense of its capabilities.

Luckily, our very own Dan, a key member of our customer service team and noted Phil Collins fan, had picked up a Forerunner 620 during a recent trip to the Big Apple and has been putting his new watch to good use. So I decided to hunt him down and get his thoughts on how his new watch has changed his running experience. Here’s how that encounter went down:

Hi Dan. Ooohh!! Look at that Garmin Forerunner 620 on your wrist! Mind if I ask you a few questions about it?

Taro! Absolutely dude. Fire away!

Word is you’ve had the 620 for a few weeks now. How much have you used your shiny new 620 so far?

So, I used it in the NYC marathon, and a half marathon on December 8th. It’s been with me on a couple runs in the last week or so, and I’ll be cranking up the mileage for a 50k in February, so it’ll get plenty more use soon.

How easy is using the 620? Could a toddler figure it out?

Well I haven’t handed mine over to a toddler yet. It all depends on how complicated you want the experience to be. If you want the watch to only track time, pace and mileage, it is as simple as pressing the run button. However, if you want to get hardcore and get your VO2Max, vertical oscillation, ground contact time and other heart rate-based metrics, the setup time takes a little while.

What is your single favorite new feature of your 620? Yes, you have to pick just one.

The coolest feature is the ability to track your friends when you run. People sometimes ask me if they can track me when I run, so now they have the ability to do so! The only drawback is that you have to carry your smartphone so that Garmin can use the phone’s signal to convey your position. For those who don’t want to carry very many things while they run, this could be a total bummer for them.

That’s pretty cool, but let’s not forget the most important feature of a watch. Does it tell time too?

Surprisingly, yes! Better yet, it even has a button that you can press to display time. Pure genius if you ask me.

How has using your 620 affected your training?

After doing a side-by-side comparison with the 610, I’ve noticed that the connectivity is better with the 620, which gives more accurate data readouts. The way the data is displayed is concise and easy to understand, which has allowed me to make changes to my training and workout routines.

Would you say that the 620 makes you a better runner?

I would say that the 620 could help those who really rely on data to improve performance. However, I rely on trying new running techniques to improve my efficiency.

How about a better person?

Well, the 620 did make me a pretty popular employee for a while since everyone wanted to check it out. However, since RW got them in stock, I’m not as cool as I use to be.

If you had to choose between running with a friend or running with the 620, which would it be?

This may be a toss up, but I’m gonna have to say running with a buddy.

Now that you’ve run with a 620, will you ever be able to go back to running without one?

Even though the 620 is pretty awesome, I still really enjoy running without a watch.

On a scale of one to awesome, what score would you give the 620?

Does awesome to the infinite power count?

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