Archive for the ‘Running Accessories’ Category

Win currexSole Insoles!

November 7th, 2013

When was the last time you got excited about insoles? If your answer is “never,” that’s OK (and perfectly healthy). But we have a new insole brand here at the ‘House that’s getting quite a bit of buzz, and to help fan the flames we’re giving away a couple pairs for FREE!

CurrexSole RUNPRO insoles are specially designed to add structure and stability for running footwear. Key features include a decoupled heel to reduce the velocity of pronation, rebound pads in the forefoot for optimal propulsion, and a reinforced stability plate to reduce foot and arch fatigue. Several RW staffers have been testing out the insoles for the past month and you can read tester comments to learn more about what makes these insoles a cut above.

The currexSole Insole contest is now closed. Congratulations to our contest winners: Ryan K. from KS, Heather K. from CA, Jake C. from ND and Jennifer G. from IL.

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Introducing currexSole Insoles

November 6th, 2013

When looking to add cushioning and/or structure to your shoes, replacement insoles are a great option. Stock running shoe sockliners generally offer limited cushioning and support. Custom orthotics, though they are made to meet the runner’s individual needs, can be very expensive. The solution for many folks is to purchase a set of “aftermarket” insoles, and to our collection of structured insoles we recently added currexSole.

CurrexSole insoles are designed to provide structure and support in a lightweight, comfortable and breathable package. Each currexSole insole has a decoupled heel design, to reduce the velocity of pronation, and strategically placed rebound pads in the forefoot that provide optimal propulsion at toe-off. For support in the arch, a reinforced nylon stability plate adds structure, reducing foot and arch fatigue, and a triple-layer moisture management system helps to absorb moisture and prevent blisters.

In their RUNPRO line, currexSole offers three profiles: High, Med, or Low. To determine which profile is best for your particular feet, CurrexSole has developed a two-step process that looks at both foot type and leg axis (you can watch the product video to learn more about the process of selecting the right insole). The High profile tends to work best for neutral runners. The Med profile is the choice for slight overpronators, while the Low profile is best suited for runners with moderate to severe overpronation.

Tester Feedback

Several RW employees have had the opportunity to test these insoles. Here’s what they think:

Bonnie (Low profile): The insoles are responsive and a little “springy.”  I have a custom set of orthotics because I am an extreme overpronator, and I feel like I could trade out those prescription insoles for a run up to about 4 miles. Anything longer than that and I’d stick with my orthotics, but I’ve never been able to use a pre-packaged insole for even short distances before.

Cortney (Low profile): The insoles were very comfortable upon initial step in. I can feel the structure, but I’m not sure if the insole itself is providing a lot of correction. It does give the appearance of an arch without feeling to invasive, which some runners with lower arches might appreciate. The rebound pads are definitely noticeable and are super soft and comfy.

Juli (Med profile): I like them. They don’t feel as plushy or cushioned as other cushioned insoles that I’ve tried. To be honest, I couldn’t even tell that they were in my shoes! I put them in my Merrell’s, just for fun and see how they fit, and they actually worked out fine in such a low-profile shoe.

Tera (Med profile): I haven’t had a chance to run in them yet, but I have been walking around a lot in them. I don’t even notice that I have them in my shoes. They don’t feel rigid and match my arch perfectly, which is pretty impressive for an out-of-the-box insole. I’ve been experiencing some arch pain lately due to too much running, and I’ve been wearing these at work and they’ve been helping to relive the pain.

Nicole (High profile): I’ve only been able to test these out in one pair of shoes, and I didn’t love them. They fit well and were comfortable in the heel and forefoot, but when I was running in them I actually felt too much of the arch plate. On a run over 4 miles, the insoles would have bruised my arches.

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Stay Safe with Nathan Reflective & Illumination Gear

October 15th, 2013

is known for a wide range of performance-driven products that help dedicated athletes run stronger and longer. Their laundry list of helpful accessories includes race vests, belts, bottles and waist packs. The brand has just introduced a new line of reflective gear and broadened their range of LED lighted accessories. These items can help you be seen and give you added peace of mind as the nights get longer.

TorchLight: Reflective to the Max

This collection uses highly reflective material to bring attention and added visibility to some of Nathan’s most popular products. According to Nathan, the line “uses the most badass, lightweight, and durable reflective 3M material that exists.” The result? Ultimate visibility.

LED Accessories: Shine a Little Light

Add these items to your reflective accessories to call even more attention to your presence on the side of the road. Adding to the Nathan Photon LED Vest (a bright, easy-to-wear piece that can give you up to 4 football fields of visibility), the new illumination products light you up beyond your core. Stay warm and bright with a headband, beanie or gloves, and extend your visibility up to 2,400 feet with the LightBender, which can be worn on the arm or leg.

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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!

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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…

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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.

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