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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s crazy to think that we’re already approaching the 5th version of the Saucony Kinvara. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that the original Kinvara appeared, accompanied by the hype of a cushioned trainer with a low heel-to-toe drop. Yet in the five years since its release, you can’t deny this iconic shoe’s influence on running shoe design.
The 5th iteration of the Kinvara (launching in May 2014) is one of the more staggering updates to the shoe that we’ve seen thus far, featuring a beefed-up aesthetic that seems to borrow design elements from Saucony’s more premium models. But the shoe is not actually bulked up – according to Saucony, the Kinvara 5 will tip the scales at the exact same weight as the current model. Saucony’s main goal with this update is to increase the shoe’s durability through the use of a higher quality upper mesh and increased high-abrasion rubber on the outsole, something we think many fans will appreciate.
Though we haven’t had a chance to check out the Kinvara 5 for ourselves here at R-Dub yet, we’ll be sure to provide more information when the samples start rolling through the office. In the meantime, please refer to Saucony’s blog for more details on this exciting update.
Posted by Allie, Friday November 22, 2013
Thanksgiving is next week, Hanukkah starts on Wednesday, and Christmas will be knocking on our doors really soon. Christmas songs are on repeat on my ipod and my shopping is done, so basically Christmas is tomorrow in my mind. You might say I’m crazy, but I say, have fun with those crazy crowds, and I’ll enjoy my hot chocolate by the fireplace!
For those of you who aren’t as holiday-nuts as I am, waiting for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, we’ve put together some of our top picks for 2013.
Taro, our resident blogger, tweeter and video personality, went for a footwear-apparel combo pack.
Nike Tailwind SS V-Neck – Once reserved only for the fashion elite, v-necks deserve to be more prominent in running apparel. The neckline of this Nike Tailwind tee sits perfectly – deep enough to give you some Euro-flair, shallow enough to be accessible to those switching from the lesser crewneck. In addition, the poly-cotton blend might be confused for the fur of a pubescent otter (though of course no otters were harmed in the making of this fine piece of apparel). Intelligently positioned air holes grace the armpits to keep you as a cool as a Klondike bar, and a rear zipper pocket gives you a place to store the compliments awarded when wearing this shirt.
Salomon Snowcross CS – Full disclosure: I don’t live anywhere near the snow. I’ve never lived near the snow, and because of my fragile and sensitive body (it truly is a temple), I will go out of my way to avoid the white stuff. But the Salomon Snowcross CS could make me reconsider. Dude, just look at it! This thing is a weapon. With the underfoot spikes, you will laugh in the face of ice. Look at the hightop design! All the snow will try to get in your shoe but the built in gaiter will block every attempt. This shoe is ready to do battle with snowmobiles, avalanches, and Santa Claus himself.
Tera, our retail store manager, took a little more, ahem, realistic outlook on her gift choices for 2013.
Hoka Kailua Trail – I have so many ultra-running friends that use and absolutely love Hoka trail shoes. I have a road shoe right now, the Bondi 2, but really want to experience the reduced pounding and less leg fatigue on the trails. This one in particular has a reduced midsole height compared to the other Hoka’s so hopefully it won’t make me feel so vertically challenged on the trails.
Nathan VaporShape 2L Vest – I’m in desperate need of a new pack for trail outings. My current Nathan Intensity has seen better days. I’m interested in the VaporShape for the comfortable fit and reduced bouncing of the 4-point strap system. Also, it’s pretty cool that it has a front holster for a water bottle if you need one. The little electrolyte compartment on the chest strap is also a plus! I’d probably go for the white one since it has a really fresh look.
Erik is a footwear buyer here at the ‘House and like Tera, his wish list has a couple trail goodies on it.
Petzl NAO – When you are heading out for a long night run and you want to light up the trails, the Petzl NAO will light the way and then some. Long lasting and high powered, the NAO is fully customizable to meet your needs. Among the many cool features of this headlamp, the REACTIVE technology automatically adapts light output while you’re running, turning down the brightness when you are focusing up close and cranking it back up when you need to see distance. It’s more efficient and improves battery life.
UltrAspire Alpha 2013 – With 70oz of hydration in a rear bladder and a minimal design, the Alpha will keep you set on the trails for the adventure of your choice. This pack is designed to disappear – they’ve added a sweatproof webbing this year so that the pack doesn’t absorb moisture and get heavy. There are also larger holes in mesh to reduce pack weight and increase breathability. I’ve been really impressed by how good UltrAspire products were right out of the gate and how much thought they put into making them better and better with athlete input.
Juli, one of our Customer Service Representatives and Live Chat operators, has her eye on an apparel/electronic combo.
North Face Impulse Active 1/2 Zip Hoodie – This is the perfect piece for San Luis Obispo winters. Because it’s rarely below 45 degrees around here, all you really need for fall and winter is a great long sleeve. (Yeah, we know. It’s awesome). The material is thin and breathable, yet still warm enough that you won’t dread setting out on an early morning run. The 1/2 zip allows you to remain cool when the temperature rises, and the hood adds a bit more protection from the wind. But the best thing about this piece is the fit. It’s perfect for me. This also makes it an ideal piece for those of you who might need to put a bit more thought into layering than we do around here.
Garmin Forerunner 220 – What can I even say? This definitely goes without explanation. We are as excited about this update around here as you are. No one could knock the 210, and here Garmin comes along and introduces another revolutionary run watch. We’re talking about a lighter watch with fabulous functions such as a built in accelerometer, vibration alerts, autopause, personal record tracking, a hinged wristband and live tracking. Oh and it looks GREAT. Basically, this watch will do everything except run for you. Maybe that feature will be added to the 230!
Lastly, Dan, another of our Customer Service Representatives, is going for a footwear/apparel combo pack this holiday season. He’s training for his first 50 miler; follow his training here: @DanHerronRuns
Merrell Ascend Glove – So, I’m a minimal guy. I’ve been looking for a zero heel-to-toe drop shoe with a little cushion underfoot! I’ve been a New Balance guy when it comes to my trail shoes…but it looks like I am going to have to cheat on New Balance with Merrell…sorry I’m not sorry! I really like how the shoe fits. The heel collar is snug, but the toe box is wide, allowing some room for my toes. I’m a big fan of the Vibram outsole, which provides solid protection and a decent amount of traction. The shoe is super nimble and will allow me to handle the trails pretty well. Also, since I’m training for a 50 miler with Juli, I’ll need a new pair of shoes to train in.
Pearl Izumi Fly Reverse Jacket – If you haven’t seen this jacket in person, it’s kind of hard to comprehend how cool it is. You can’t beat the reflectivity for the price of the jacket. Plus, who doesn’t want a reversible jacket? The fabric is extremely comfortable and breathable, which is a big deal for me. Also, since I do my training runs at 5am, it would probably be a good idea for me to have a reflective jacket that hopefully prevents me from having a brutal encounter with a car. Even more, on the trails, the vibrant color will help me stay visible to other runners. It’s important to let people know you have style!
For more gift ideas, check out our complete Holiday Gift Guide (Men’s and Women’s) and our Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide. If all else fails, give a Gift Card to your favorite online running retailer! Happy Holidays from all of us at the Running Warehouse!
With the changing of the seasons comes rain. With rain comes mud. It’s a fact of life that we must live with, but as runners we aren’t about to let a little slop slow us down. Running in muddy conditions can be fun, but it requires some extra consideration when it comes to your shoes, as your choice in footwear can be the difference between actually going on a run and a several mile slip n’ slide.
Before we get into the best running shoes for mud, it’s important to note that running on muddy trails may actually be harmful to the trail, and that more sensitive trails may suffer lasting damage with use in wet conditions. Be sure to know your local trail conditions and when in doubt, stick to the roads during and after any rainy weather.
The main feature to consider when choosing your muddy run kicks is the outsole. Deep outsole lugs (look for 4-6mm or more) will sink into the mud, anchoring your foot and reducing the likelihood of slipping backwards upon toe-off. Equally important is the spacing of the lugs; lugs positioned farther apart from each other will allow mud to shed off the bottom of the shoe, preventing mud from accumulating on the shoe and weighing you down.
Though less critical, the material of the upper is worth paying attention to. A closed mesh upper, though less breathable than a traditional open mesh, will help keep mud and other debris out of your shoes for a more enjoyable running experience. Also, look for a shoe with a low profile platform (outsole lugs not included), which will bring your foot closer to the ground and offer increased stability over uneven and soft ground.
A Few Mud Masters
- Inov-8 Mudclaw 265: This shoe, as its name suggests, is intended solely for use in muddy conditions. It features a large, 8mm average lug depth and a synthetic, Ripstop-like closed mesh upper. For those who want a lower and lighter option from Inov-8, the zero-drop Bare-Grip 200 is a good alternative.
- Salomon S-Lab Fellcross 2: Like other S-Lab offerings, the Fellcross 2 is tuned for performance. Salomon’s patented chevron-shaped lugs provide unrelenting grip while a debris-free upper keeps your foot protected from the trail. Another nice option from Salomon is the Fellraiser, designed to perform well over soft ground.
- La Sportiva Anakonda: Likely the most versatile shoe in this list, the Anakonda features v-shaped lugs that will grip pretty much any terrain, while a forefoot rock plate provides additional protection when the trail transitions from mud to something more technical.
- New Balance Minimus Trail Zero v2: Though not available until April 2014, the Zero v2 looks to be a good choice for muddy conditions, featuring a low profile midsole and an average lug depth of 6mm.
New Balance has an update in the works for their ultra-minimal Minimus Trail 00, however the second iteration of the shoe bears little resemblance to its predecessor. Rather, the design of the Zero v2 was more inspired by the RX Terrain, a fell-specific shoe popular in the UK during the late 2000’s, complete with aggressive outsole lugs and synthetic suede overlays that give the shoe a throwback aesthetic. Read more…
When more “minimal” footwear was on top of runner’s minds just a few short years ago, Saucony delivered a powerhouse performer with their Kinvara. It stripped away a lot of structure and offered a nearly level platform, but was still enough shoe for runners coming from a traditional trainer who wanted to play around with the whole minimalism idea.
Now, the pendulum is definitely swinging, and while the Kinvara continues to be a go-to shoe for thousands upon thousands of runners, Saucony is investing their energy in polishing up their already-accomplished traditional running footwear models.
Earlier this year, we saw a well-conceived refresh of the Ride, Saucony’s popular neutral daily trainer. The new Guide 7, their traditional support shoe, officially launches November 1, and over on the Saucony Blog they have a great post detailing the nitty gritty of the changes from the prior model. We love the design highlight sketches that Saucony has been including in their blogs on recent product, such as the ones shown to the right.
Read the blog for more information and more sketches showing off what makes the Guide 7 such a flagship model for the Saucony brand.