Archive

Archive for the ‘Running Accessories’ Category

Running Shoelace Overview

August 20th, 2013

Running is beautifully simple: you just lace up and head out the door. But wait…what’s the deal with all the different types of shoelaces out there? Shoelace styles differ in more than just appearance, with each type offering a unique benefit. Figuring out which shoelace style is your favorite can enhance your training and racing experience.

Flat laces

Flat laces are the most common type you’ll find as standard equipment in your running shoes. They’re also one of the easiest styles to lace up, so if you’re putting a new set of laces in your trainers, you might opt for this style. Flat laces tend to stay very securely tied, which is why many of the runners here at the ‘House prefer these both for training and race day. The flat lace also spreads pressure more evenly across the top of the foot.

Round laces

If you’ve found that you have a hard time getting your stout double knot untied after your run, round laces might be just the ticket for you. Since the lace is round, the knot isn’t able to cinch down on itself as much as it can with flat laces. Round laces also tend to give a shoe a more “minimal” look, which is why you’ll find them on shoes like the Brooks PureProject line and the Nike Free Flyknit+. You can try a pair of round laces in your everyday trainers for easier on/off.

Specialty laces

For ultimate convenience try a specialty lace designed to give your shoe a more custom fit and provide easy on/off. For a lace that cinches down instead of tying, take a look at Yankz! Sure Lace System or Lock Laces. For an even more streamlined lace experience, grab a pair of Xtenex X300 Shoe Laces. Just lace up your shoes and pull these laces snug (no knot necessary). The laces stretch enough for you to slip your foot in without readjusting them, so your trainers will always be ready to go when you are.

BOA Laces
The BOA lace closure system is comprised of steel lace, nylon guides and a mechanical reel. You simply twist the wheel to find your preferred level of tightness, and then pull the wheel up to release the steel wire when you want to remove the shoe. There aren’t many shoes with this technology (Zoot is the only brand we carry that currently offers it), but for runners who want a quick, easy way to “dial in” the fit of their shoes, this system hits the spot.

Alice Running Accessories , , , ,

Treats for Trail Runners

August 2nd, 2013


More and more runners are trying trail running, and manufacturers are taking note by creating some pretty rad gear for offroad duty. We caught up with a few of our own trail runners around the RW offices to see what gear they’re stoked on right now. Here’s what they had to say:

Top Picks in Shirts

“[For a recent 100 mile race] I chose The North Face Better Than Naked Short Sleeve Top. I chose The North Face top because it’s so ridiculously light and really felt like I wasn’t wearing anything (hence the name), but at the same time I wanted to have something to protect from the sun’s rays.” – Tera

“I just bought the Gore Women’s Air 2.0 Shirt, and I had to justify spending so much on a shirt, but it’s AWESOME! So comfortable, and it fits really nicely under a pack.” – Juli

Top Picks in Shorts

“It is all about the Pearl Izumi Ultra Split Short. Welded hems for ultimate comfort and minimal chafing, comfortable waistband, holster pockets that carry the right amount of product [a few gels]. This shorts are comfortable when you are in them all day.” – Erik

“The Nike Rival Skirt offers an internal short brief, which works really well against chafing. I like the idea of a skirt over the short brief, so you don’t have to bare all and can still look cute.” – Tera

Top Picks in Footwear

“I’m finding more cushioning is becoming my best friend, and an offset of about 8 to 10 tends to be the sweet spot for me without risking potential injury. I’m currently very fond of the Asics Gel Scout and the New Balance WT1210.” – Tera

“I really enjoy the New Balance MT1010. It is highly responsive, has solid protection for the downhills, and it’s very flexible. It’s a great shoe for technical trails and for those who enjoy feeling the trails underneath their feet.” – Dan

Top Picks in Hydration Gear

“The UltrAspire Surge has been my go-to pack. 2L of liquids, easy to reach pockets in the front, comfortable fit and feel. It’s also easy to adjust and there’s room to carry an additional bottle if needed.” – Erik

“I use the Nathan Intensity Pack. I love that it has a 2 liter bladder, and it fits really well. I tried on a lot of packs, and only this one and the Salomon S-Lab 5 Set Pack fit. It’s great for smaller people, and it’s women’s specific, which is awesome.” – Juli

Top Picks in Extras

“The Brooks Hat all the way…very comfortable and durable.” – Erik

“For any long run over two hours, Bodyglide is a must. I don’t leave home without it!” – Tera

“When I do [wear sunglasses], it’s a pair of Tifosi Slip. They’re lightweight, have an interchangeable lens, and are a good value for the price.” – Erik

VFUEL! (Peach Cobbler) So awesome. Tastes great, very light and doesn’t leave you feeling like you have to drink 5 gallons of water to wash out the residue. It’s one of the only gels I really like.” – Juli

Alice Running Accessories, Running Apparel, Running Shoes , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Run-deroos: Men’s Running Underwear

July 29th, 2013

Running shoes are undeniably your most crucial piece of gear, but what ranks second in your book? The perfect split short? Or maybe an aggressive pair of sunglasses? What about running underwear?

Do not underestimate the power of this little piece of running equipment for your running equipment. Running underwear can enhance your run and they may even be your new favorite on rest days too. If you haven’t experienced the security, comfort and excellent moisture management of athletic underwear, you’re missing out. But don’t worry: we’ve got you covered with a great selection of men’s running underwear. Take a look at a few of our best-in-class options.

Seamless: Asics Men’s ASX Boxer and Brief

The seamless design of the Asics Men’s ASX Boxer and Asics Men’s ASX Brief provides chafe-free support on your run. An anatomical support system gives you stabilization during activity, and moisture-transfer fabric helps keep you dry and comfortable.

Great Stretch: Nike Men’s Core Compression Short

If what you seek is supreme stretch, reach for a pair of Nike Men’s Core Compression Shorts. The four-way stretch fabric of these underwear will move with you for a freedom of movement as you run.

Secure Support: Saxx Kinetic Boxer and Brief Fly

You can be your own Sexy Sax Man in these run-deroos. The Saxx Kinetic Boxer and Saxx Kinetic Brief Fly bring a whole to meaning to the word support. An internal articulated pouch with side panels provides secure…storage on your run.

Lightweight: New Balance Men’s 6” Trubase Short

If you want a lightweight performance piece, throw on a pair of New Balance Men’s 6” Trubase Shorts. The lightweight fabric and minimal design of these boxers makes them a great option for race day.

Ventilation: Under Armour Men’s 6” Boxerjock

The Under Armour Men’s 6” Boxerjock sports a breathable mesh fabric in the crotch area to enhance ventilation and keep you dry on your run. A wide flat waistband sits snugly on your waist without digging in, and moisture-transfer fabric pulls sweat away from your skin to eliminate chafing.

Alice Running Accessories, Running Apparel , , , , , , ,

Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves Review

July 18th, 2013

Salomon never ceases to amaze us with their groundbreaking technologies, and the Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves are no exception. Sometimes, you don’t know how much better a run experience could be until you try a new piece of run gear. Innovations like flat waistbands that don’t dig in and lace pockets on trail shoes can take your run from good to great. These gloves are one of those innovations.

The Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves are available in small, medium and large sizes to provide a nearly custom fit to a variety of hand sizes. The pair of gloves even includes a single 8oz Salomon Soft Flask to fuel your hydration needs. We sent Randy – our hard goods accessories buyer and a genuine gearhead – to test the gloves on the roads and trails, and here’s what he had to say.

RW: Overall, how would you describe the user experience?

Randy (R): I generally don’t want anything in my hands while running, but the Sense Hydro Gloves didn’t bother me. I also liked how you can take small sips. If I drink too much while running, I’m really prone to getting cramps. The bite valve was nice and soft, really easy on the teeth. I was also able to still use my fingers – I could re-tie my shoes without taking the flask out of my hand.

RW: How is using the gloves different from using a standard handheld bottle?

R: Standard handhelds are prone to sloshing around, and you always have to grip the bottle no matter how tight you get the hand strap. With these, you can still keep your hand relaxed and there was no sloshing because the soft flask reduces in volume as you use the liquid.

RW: Does the flask stay secure even if you don’t hold it with your hand?

R: The flask does stay secure with the strap and bungee alone. I never felt it was going to fly out of my hand.

Read more…

Alice Running Accessories , , ,

New Oakley Running Sunglasses Models

July 15th, 2013

We’re stoked to be expanding our lineup of Oakley running sunglasses. These new shades protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, help diminish distracting glare and will get you psyched to run hard with an aggressive aesthetic.

Flak Jacket XLJ Transitions® Sunglasses

If you run in the mornings or evenings (or from morning to evening), you likely experience changing light conditions. That’s where the Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ Transitions® Sunglasses come in. The lenses in these frames adapt to changing light conditions so you can continue to see clearly. The semi-rimless frame offers lightweight coverage and the secure grip coating on the nose pads and ear stems keep these frames in place.

Half Jacket 2.0

If you want sleek, straightforward performance and some style from your running shades, the new Silver/Fire Iridium and Pearl/Violet Iridium colorways of the Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 deliver a semi-rimless design and rubber grips on the nose pads and ear stems so they stay securely in place.

The Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 suits a wide variety of face shapes, but the Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL makes it accessible to even more runners. The XL offers all the benefits of the standard size, and is best suited for medium to large face shapes.

Women’s Commit SQ Polarized

The Oakley Women’s Commit SQ Polarized Sunglasses offer exceptional visual clarity and cut down on glare. These lightweight frames stay securely in place thanks to rubber grip coating on the nose pads and ear stems, and a hydrophobic lens coating keeps them free of water and oils.

Alice Running Accessories , , ,

New GU Energy Gel Flavors!

July 12th, 2013

If you think there’s nothing like the sweet taste of your favorite GU to help you push through the final miles of your long run, GU just gave you a few new reasons to love their tasty little gels.

  • If you’re looking for a caffeine-free option, try new Strawberry Kiwi Roctane GU for a tart taste and plenty of energy on the run.
  • New Salted Caramel GU (yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds) has extra electrolytes, which is a great choice if you sweat heavily.
  • The Passion Fruit Roctane GU flavor goes beyond great taste because it supports the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which works to provide opportunities to athletes with physical disabilities.
  • Be a kid again when you mix it up with the GU Peanut Butter & Blackberry Split 10-Pack. Bonus: the special $10 MSRP makes these a buck each. We keep daring each other in the office to make a full-on PBJ sando with this blend. If you do it, send us a picture!

Alice Running Accessories , , , ,

Ultimate Direction Jurek Collection

July 11th, 2013

Ultimate Direction designs and builds state-of-the-art hydration gear – they deliver products designed and tested by top athletes who truly understand the demands of elite training. Their new Scott Jurek Collection was designed by (you guessed it!) seasoned ultramarathoner Scott Jurek from first sketch to final testing.

The packs and belts in this lineup feature streamlined construction intended to give you easy access to what you need most on the run. Add one or more of these tools to your arsenal and attack the trail with confidence.

SJ Ultra Vest

The Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest is a featherweight champ, tipping the scales at just 7.5 ounces (13 oz with bottles) while offering 9.2 liters of storage space for apparel and other essentials. Pack dual 20oz bottles in the front pockets for quick access to hydration. This pack is available in small, medium and large sizes to help you get a more custom fit. (Watch a video on the SJ Ultra)

Jurek Grip Handheld 20oz

If you seek the simplicity of a handheld bottle, try the Ultimate Direction Jurek Grip Handheld 20oz. The bite valve is the truly genius part of this product. Bite and sip on the soft, medical grade silicone Kicker Valve for fast hydration. Kick the valve to the side with your teeth after drinking to securely stop the water flow. (Watch a video on the Grip)

Read more…

Alice Running Accessories , , , , ,

Anti-Chafe Products for Hot Days

July 5th, 2013

Running in hot weather is enough of a challenge. Moisture-transfer fabrics can certainly help pull sweat away from your skin, but when that isn’t enough, it’s time to bust out the secret weapons: anti-chafe products. Here are a few of our favorites.

Bodyglide 2.5oz

The ease of using Body Glide 2.5oz is a win in hotter weather. Keep one at home, one at work and one in your gym bag so you’re never caught without chafe protection. This balm glides on easily, with no mess. Swipe it onto chafe-prone areas before you head out for your run, and enjoy more miles in comfort.

Bodyglide Liquified Powder 1.6oz

We appreciate the non-greasy feeling of Bodyglide Liquified Powder 1.6oz. The creamy formula turns into a dry shield against chafing and blisters after application. Apply this cream to chafe-prone areas or to feet to prevent blisters.

2Toms SportShield Roll-On 1.5oz

Easily prevent chafing with the 2Toms SportShield Roll-On 1.5oz. The formula gives you a smooth and invisible layer of chafe prevention that will not rub off. This silicone-based, non-staining product washes off easily with soap and water after your workout.

Alice Run Training, Running Accessories , , , ,

UltrAspire Spring 2013 New Products

May 29th, 2013

We’ve been thirsty for more innovation on the hydration front, and UltrAspire delivered with a quenching line of products in their 2013 line. Working with their team of pro athletes, the company has developed some truly extraordinary products to equip you for your run.

Based on feedback from some UltrAspire athletes who reported that their hydration systems felt heavier over the course of a run, the company found that sweat and salt were being absorbed by the webbing. They addressed this problem by introducing the sweat-proof webbing that can be found in all of their 2013 packs.

Each product in the 2013 UltrAspire lineup is designed to fill a specific need, so whether you’re a runner who likes handhelds or hydration packs, UltrAspire probably has something for you.

Alpha 2013

For a long trek on the trails, gear up with the UltrAspire Alpha. A two-liter bladder allows you to bring ample hydration with you, and a large bottom back pocket is easy to access via magnet closures on either side. A small moisture-proof pocket on the right shoulder strap lets you stash electrolyte capsules, and three additional front pockets give you fast access to gels or chews. This pack is available in two sizes (SM/MD and L/XL) so that you can enjoy a more custom fit.

StemCell

Yes, this is a peculiar-looking bottle, but don’t get judgey just yet. The UltrAspire StemCell brings you sleek technology that’s been popular in Europe for years. This slim, ergo-angled bottle is designed to fit into most vest front pockets, and a kink-resistant, 16-inch drink tube allows you to sip while you run. If you stash this 16 ounce bottle in a front pocket, you can even sip hands-free. Maybe they’re onto something across the pond…

Quantum Belt

Bring a few more essentials along for the run with the UltrAspire Quantum Belt 2013. The stretch mesh and compression strap provide such a secure fit that this belt doesn’t even need a snap buckle to stay in place. The large front stretch mesh pocket gives you enough space to stow a smartphone and some keys, and two back elastic pockets let you carry nutrition and electrolyte caps. There’s even a pair of race number clips so this belt is ready to go for your next event. Read more…

Alice Running Accessories , , , , , , , , ,

Recovery Drink Supplements Compared

May 17th, 2013

In the 30 minutes following a workout, your body is hormonally primed to absorb nutrients and deliver them to cells for rapid recovery. Since it takes you several hours to digest solid food and benefit from the nutrients, a drink mix can be a more effective way to refuel immediately following a workout.

Each recovery drink mix is a little different when it comes to carb and protein makeup, and some include other components that are beneficial for recovery. If you don’t have time to try out all our brands, don’t fret. Our staff members have tried out plenty of recovery drinks, and here’s what we think:

For a hefty dose of carbs:

If you’re looking for a drink mix with a high carb count, try Endurox R4 (52g carbohydrate per serving) or GU Recovery Brew (52g carbohydrate per serving). Carbohydrate needs will vary from person to person and depending on the duration of your run. Play around with your post-run carb intake to figure out how many grams of carbs you need to fully recover and be ready for your next run.

For generous protein:

All of our recovery drink mixes include protein because it is critical for muscle recovery. If you want a drink mix with more protein, try Hammer Recoverite (10g protein per serving) or Endurox R4 (13g protein per serving). Remember that it’s important to limit use of recovery drink mixes to post workout, because protein can be difficult for the body to digest if consumed just before a workout.

For a little fat:

If you want a recovery drink mix with a little fat, try GU Recovery Brew Chocolate Smoothie (2g fat per serving) or Endurox R4 (1.5g fat per serving). Adequate fat in the diet can actually help to decrease muscle soreness and inflammation, and can also help your body to keep its glycogen stores intact. Read more…

Alice Running Accessories, Running Sport , , , , , , ,