I don’t know about you, but the entire fate of my run can be determined by what I’m wearing up top.
I can hear you rolling your eyes, so hear me out! There is something to be said about the positive psychological affect of wearing something that makes you feel powerful, fast, and super fly – it’s a big confidence boost, if nothing else. Personally, I never run better than when I feel sure of myself, and usually the foremost component of my running outfit is my top.
These running tanks are new for Spring 2016, and they are going to be key in some of your best runs this season. Check out a few of our favorites.
New Balance Women’s M4M Seamless Tank – MSRP: $45.00
This. Feels. Amazing. The buttery smooth fabric feels luxurious next-to-skin, and the seamless construction ensures that you won’t get chafed by any pesky seams. A subtle engineered jacquard pattern adds a touch of style, while mesh panels in key areas allow for extra ventilation and keep this tank feeling lightweight and airy.
The North Face Women’s Better Than Naked Singlet – MSRP: $45.00
Let’s face it, running a race naked is generally frowned upon. So the next best thing is to find a lightweight tank that feels so effortless, you can almost forget it’s there. Enter, the Better Than Naked Singlet. It’s incredibly lightweight design with ultra silky soft fabric is body-mapped to provide enhanced breathability. The sleek lines of the construction add a feminine flair.
Oiselle Women’s Lux Shimmel – MSRP: $60.00
What would you do without your sports bra? Uhhh, probably not run, that’s for sure. Well, some days you need a little extra support, and this is where the Lux Shimmel comes in. The built-in shelf bra with removable cups provides added support and modesty when paired with your high-impact sports bra, and while the support of the shimmel alone may not be enough for your run, it works well independently for post-run errands or your cool-down yoga sesh after a workout.
Janji Women’s Ethiopia Patterned Tank – MSRP: $42.00
Running tank, or fashion tank? Do we really have to choose? Nope. Not with this tank. The strappy back adds a unique detail, and the vibrant pattered fabric will really pop with your gym shorts, or your favorite cut offs. You’ll enjoy this fashion statement even more knowing that in the purchase of this piece, you’re helping provide one year of clean water to a person in Ethiopia who needs it. I’m hip to that.
Lucy Women’s I Run This Tank – MSRP: $55.00
A veritable kaleidoscope of colors, this Lucy tank is not one for the timid. If you’re wearing this piece, you’re definitely not trying to blend in, but why should you? With all the technical features you crave in a running tank (including a mesh panel in back for added breathability, racerback design for freedom of movement, and moisture-wicking fabric), you’ll stand out for all the right reasons.
adidas Women’s 3-Stripe Performer Tank – MSRP: $22.00
This daily training running tank top is all about value. You get all the basics you need for a quality, technical running piece, without the bells and whistles that jack up the cost. And you don’t need to sacrifice style, either, because this tank is full of it. With a flowy design with a scoopneck, and fun, striped elastic straps, you’ll feel like a million bucks.
Shop all Women’s Running Tank Tops.
It is true that gels are a great way to get a dense amount of fuel in a quick-absorbing manner while on the run. It is also true that gels are an acquired taste. For those who don’t like gels, energy chews are a great alternative that provide a different taste and texture.
Chews are basically gummy blocks that provide the nutrition (carbohydrates and electrolytes, even protein sometimes) of a gel but in a different, more universally pleasing consistency. It’s this “gummy-bear” texture that helps make chews a popular choice for fueling. Yet, some runners don’t like to chew while running, so to use a gel or chew is up to you.
How do you tell one chew from another, though? It’s really a personal preference, but here are a few of the chews we carry and their standout features.
Clif Shot Bloks are the OG chew. They are also the best easy-access chews, designed with “Fastpak” packaging for easy intake on the run. Simply snip the end before you take off and when you need a chew, squeeze one block at a time out of the top. Fold the end of the wrapper over for easy stowing until you need another dose.
Honey Stinger Energy Chews are the sweetest chew around, so if you enjoy a sweeter flavor for your nutrition on the run, this is the chew for you. These chews are also known to resist sticking to your teeth.
Honey Stinger Protein Energy Chews provide the same carbs and electrolytes as the original Energy Chews, plus a dose of protein. These chews are ideal for runs of 3-hours or more, because when it comes to strenuous efforts or runs longer than 3 hours, it can be beneficial to take protein with your carbohydrates.
Gu Energy Chews come in smaller packets, providing a serving size similar to a typical gel in terms of calories. This is nice for portion control or if you’re going for a shorter run.
Shop all Energy Chews.
For a few years now, shoe companies have been creating limited edition shoes for key running and triathlon events. Whether it’s the ultra competitive Boston Marathon, the hugely attended NYC Marathon, or the extremely selective Hawaii Ironman, at least one company is producing a special edition shoe inspired by the event.
This year Brooks and Saucony have produced special edition shoes inspired by the Boston Marathon. Brooks drew inspiration from nearby Nantcuket for a wild-looking, plaid Adrenaline. Saucony looked to the Boston transit system for inspiration and has two Green Line shoes with the Kinvara 7 and Triumph ISO 2. The Boston Marathon is America’s oldest annual marathon and the subway system is also America’s oldest, so it’s a natural fit.
Check out all three special edition shoes below. Available at Running Warehouse for a limited time.
Our stance on Stance socks? These running socks might just steal the show from the rest of your outfit. But you won’t mind.
Stance’s founders come from a unique place – they were in search of a market that was lacking pizazz. When looking at socks, they saw black, white, solid colors, and very little creativity. And so they set out to not only create a product that shook up the sock design status quo, but also to create the highest quality sock on the market. Stance was born.
Stance provides us with an appealing blend of art and science. Art? Because they are just plain stylish. Science? Because these socks are built to perform while you run, and have the technical features you demand in running socks. If running socks went to high school, Stance socks would definitely be the cool kids. So artsy, but in an accessible way that somehow matches brilliantly with any pair of running shoes, Stance has found that art-to-science balance that makes them hip without sacrificing what makes them run worthy.
With a proprietary process called INprint, Stance sublimates images directly on to the yarn, allowing for crisp lines, striking designs, and a distinctly unique look from other brands. This process includes a 360-degree direct sock dying process that permeates the fibers on a deeper level, so when you stretch the fabric, you don’t see the elastic on the inside. Their manufacturing does not include the process of heating the sock material to the point where the fibers become brittle and stiff. This not only makes the aesthetics more brilliant and bold, but also increases the elastic fit of the socks.
If there’s one thing besides their looks that Stance is known for, it’s for their high quality construction. It’s the type of thing you kind of have to feel to believe, but slip on a pair and chances are you’ll never go back. When Stance began developing product, they purchased two thousand socks to try on, picking and choosing materials and designs they liked as inspiration. They fine tuned what makes a good sock and worked from there.
Stance makes socks for a wide variety of activities, but the ones that we carry here at Running Warehouse are designed specifically for running. Built with an anatomical, left foot/right foot specific design, mesh panels, arch support, breathable vents, and moisture-wicking materials, these socks will stand up to your toughest runs.
Hoka One One now has four lightweight shoes in their line-up: Tracer, Clayton, Clifton 2 & Odyssey. While they may seem similar in some respects, there are subtle and major differences.
For starters, the Clifton 2 and Odyssey are built as very similar shoes. Both shoes use essentially the same midsole, with only slight cosmetic differences. However, the outsole rubber/EVA configurations are different between the two shoes. The Odyssey has more rubber outsole coverage than the Clifton 2. As a result, the Odyssey feels a touch firmer than the Clifton 2. It’s still on the soft side, but seems to have a little less give underfoot than the extremely soft Clifton 2. The fit is nearly identical between the two shoes, as is breathability in the upper.
Moving onto the Clayton and Tracer, the differences are much greater. The Tracer is the first Hoka shoe to be built without an Active Foot Frame. The Active Foot Frame is a design feature in which the midsole material wraps up above where the foot sits and thus creates a “cup” that the foot sits in. So, in essence, the foot is being cradled by the midsole, which adds inherent stability to Hoka shoes using an Active Foot Frame. Another big difference with the Tracer is the base of the shoe is not nearly as wide as the base of other Hoka models, including the Clayton. Since the Tracer has a lower stack height than other Hoka shoes, it was not necessary to incorporate the stability features of a wide base and Active Foot Frame.
So what makes the Tracer a true Hoka shoe? It’s the cushioning-to-weight ratio. Hoka has always been about covering a given distance as fast as possible. What many people don’t know is the distances Hoka shoes were initially designed for were ultra marathon distances, like 100-milers and 100k races over varied terrain and gradients. When it comes to the Tracer, the race distance is the marathon.
So like all Hoka shoes, the Tracer delivers a great amount of cushioning material relative to its weight. The Tracer is more than a half ounce lighter than the popular adidas Adios and New Balance 1400 v4 marathon racing flats, but is 5mm thicker in the forefoot than either of those shoes. However, the Tracer has a 4mm heel-toe offset compared to the 10mm offset Adios and 1400. This means the Tracer is best suited for forefoot and midfoot strikers. A low heel-toe offset is a common theme through all Hoka shoes and it makes sense that the Tracer is also built this way.
Since the Tracer is really intended as a racing shoe, the fit is quite snug. The narrow fit keeps you connected to the shoe, so the foot stays secure when rounding corners in a race course. And while the name Tracer is a combination of the words trainer and racer, the shoe is mostly a racer, just like its name is 5/6 “racer”.
With the Tracer, Hoka has introduced a new construction concept called Pro2Lite. The design has a softer heel that blends into a firmer forefoot. This results in a much firmer feel for forefoot and midfoot strikers than that found in the much softer Clifton 2 and Odyssey. If you are a rear midfoot striker the shoe feels semi-soft, but not as soft as the Odyssey. Regardless of footstrike, the forefoot firmness is great for fast propulsion.
Moving on to the Clayton, we find elements of both the Tracer and Clifton/Odyssey. Like the Tracer, the Clayton also uses the Pro2Lite design concept and thus feels soft then firm, from heel to forefoot. At just around one quarter ounce heavier, it would seem the Clayton could be used just like the Tracer. But there are differences that make the Clayton better suited to training, albeit uptempo training.
For starters, the Clayton sits higher off the ground than the Tracer. The Clayton has the same forefoot stack height as the Clifton/Odyssey. Offsets are nearly identical as well, with the Clayton at 4mm and the Clifton/Odyssey at 5mm. And like the Clifton/Odyssey (and most other Hoka shoes) the Clayton uses an Active Foot Frame and wide base for inherent stability. However, because of the Pro2Lite, the Clayton has a firmer feel in the forefoot.
In conjunction with the Pro2Lite design, the Clayton has an RMAT sole. The RMAT has more rebound than the EVA/rubber sole combination of the Clifton/Odyssey. Also, the forefoot matrix pattern of the RMAT enhances the dynamic aspect of the material. So the Clayton feels more lively underfoot, and with the Pro2Lite design, it has more propulsion at toe-off than the Clifton/Odyssey. On the other hand, the Clifton 2 and Odyssey maintain their respective underfoot feeling no matter where you land and throughout the entire time the shoe is on the ground. Compared to the Tracer, the Clayton is more relaxed. Overall, the Tracer feels taut like it has been wound up and ready to pounce. The Clayton is 4mm thicker than the Tracer, the RMAT has more give than the thin rubber of the Tracer, and the result is the shoe is more compliant under foot than the Tracer. This makes the ride better suited for tempo runs than pure speed.
The fit of the Clayton is much more accommodating than the tight fitting Tracer, making it suitable for faster efforts. In fact, I argue the Clayton is the best fitting Hoka shoe to date. The midfoot fit is a true medium volume, which means it fits a broad range of foot shapes. Older Hoka shoes had really high volume midfoots. However, many Hoka models have moved to this type of fit. Where the fit of the Clayton shines is the toebox. It’s more open (rounded) than the Clifton 2 and Odyssey but it’s not sloppy like some shoes. There is plenty of room for toe splay and the medium-low height feels just right.
In summary, the Clifton 2 is the softest feeling of the bunch followed closely by the Odyssey. And no matter where you strike the ground, the Clifton 2 and Odyssey will feel consistent underneath the foot. The Tracer and the Clayton have softer heels and firmer forefoots. The Tracer is the lightest, closest-to-the-ground, snuggest-fitting, firmest and fastest shoe. And the Clayton sits between the Odyssey and the Tracer, but leans closer toward the Tracer.
If you owned all four models, here would be the recommend use: Clifton 2 – recovery days. Odyssey – daily training. Clayton – tempo runs, fartlek. Tracer – long races and intervals.
If you only want to own one pair of shoes, you should change your wants (smiley face). But here are some additional recommendations. If you’re all about soft, then it’s all about the Clifton 2. If you want a versatile racing shoe that could do double duty as a trainer for an efficient runner, get the Tracer. If you want just one shoe for a broad variety of paces, get the Clayton.
Some call it squad goals. Some call it crew love. No matter what you call it, when you have a group of coworkers that become more like family, the possibilities are endless. Friends that run together, stay together, and here at Running Warehouse we take that to heart. To celebrate that unique bond we have, we do things together outside of work. Happy hour, group runs, book club – and sometimes, a road trip to a super beautiful national park.
When four of our lovely RW ladies (Becky, Kaitlin, Moe, and Jasmine) decided to run the Zion Half Marathon together, we knew it would be one for the books. If you’re feeling a little envious, hold up. You, too, can make this dream a reality! Here are a few things our ladies learned from Zion.
Embrace your running differences. Becky, Kaitlin, Moe, and Jasmine all come from different running backgrounds, and that’s awesome. Kaitlin and Moe ran track in high school, while Becky and Jasmine are relatively newer to the game (both discovering a passion for running within the last 10 years). It doesn’t matter the experience under your belt, in fact, racing with runners of different speeds/abilities will help you push yourself without even knowing it.
Train together. With everyone’s schedule being different, sometimes the struggle is real. Becky and Jasmine did their long runs together on weekends. Find ways to make it work, because running with friends is fun and motivational. You’re less likely to flake out on a long run if your running buddy is depending on you. Also, when it comes time for the race, if you’ve trained together, you are more in tune. Jasmine noted, “My training partner (Becky) was my rock throughout the race, urging me on and staying by my side till the finish!”
Anything can happen on race day. Living on the central coast, we’ve all become accustomed to running at sea level in almost always perfect, sunny weather. When preparing to race in a place like Zion, you have to take into account the high elevation, the change in weather, and the season. Let’s face it, weather can be unpredictable.
As Jasmine recalled, “We all knew going in that elevation may play a slight role in our performance. However, we also heard that because the elevation was low, we’d probably be fine. Not the case. Around mile 3, my breathing became labored and my legs felt like lead. My pace slowed and I started to feel disappointed and frustrated. Around mile 8, we decided that instead of stressing over our pace and finish time, we were going to enjoy the wonderful views and atmosphere.”
With regards to weather, Moe commented, “The weather was crazy prior to the start of the race. It rained the night before and where we were supposed to park was muddy and all the racers had to be shuttled to the start line, unless they had 4 wheel drive. The race organizers had to send out text messages to all the racers to let us know about the change in plan. Although, the start line was super muddy from the rain, I found the temperature to be perfect once we got started; slightly cool but not too cold.” Always pack for a variety of conditions!
Make memories. And I don’t just mean on Instagram. Running races with pals strengthens friendships and forms a lasting bond. Group running is great for that in general, so when you add in a beautiful destination race, you have a recipe for something unforgettable. When asked what some of her favorite memories from Zion were, Becky said “crossing that finish line with Jasmine, and seeing Kaitlin waiting for us!”
Stop to take it all in. Don’t forget to enjoy a destination race for what it is! As Kaitlin commented, “Appreciate the experience over the outcome.” The opportunity to run in a beautiful or exotic place can be lost if you are focused too much on the run itself. Instead, focus outward and really take it all in – chances are, you won’t even be thinking about your pace! All four of our gals say that the Zion Half is a race they would do again, and one they can’t recommend enough. Moe reflected on her favorite sights: “Seeing all the cows and emus along the way… the mountains were gorgeous and there was something beautiful to look at every step of the way.” Becky remembers, “The course and views were so serene, breathtaking, and inspiring. We spent the last few miles trying to soak it all in.”
Suns out, guns out.
Here are some of our top new singlets for Spring 2016 that are sure to have you looking and feeling fast.
Brooks Men’s Elite Beast TC Singlet – MSRP: $70.00
This singlet gives “beast mode” a whole new meaning. As part of the Brooks Beast Track Club Race Kit, this singlet redefines the word “lightweight”. With taped and welded seams throughout, there is no stitching in this piece, minimizing any point of irritation. Laser perforated ventilation is throughout the design which provides breathability without any added thickness. When it comes to the utmost in quality, nothing is sacrificed to maintain this singlet’s light profile.
BOA Men’s US Flag Singlet – MSRP: $32.00
Land of the free, home of the brave and bold. This singlet takes patriotism seriously and literally. The US Flag gradient print is a great way to express your American pride. It is an Olympic year, after all, so why not represent with a piece of flag swag (shop flag singlets | flag shorts)? With its classic racer-back style and lightweight design, this BOA piece is a stand-out race day look.
New Balance Men’s Ice Singlet – MSRP: $40.00
Ice, ice, baby (couldn’t help myself). This singlet is more than your average race top. Lined with NB Ice, a cooling technology that is activated when you perspire, it promotes better air circulation and cools your skin as you sweat. And you will smell so fresh and so clean (again, couldn’t help it…) thanks to the NB Fresh antimicrobial treatment, which helps the fabric resist odors, keeping you fresher for longer. The subtle graphic print on the front looks as cool as you will feel.
Janji Men’s Ethiopia Tank Top – MSRP: $32.00
Across the board, Janji is nailing this hip thing. Their pieces are fashionable and the fabric is so soft that you’ll want to wear it even when you’re not running. With possibly the softest fabric we’ve felt, it isn’t the most technical singlet we offer – but it still provides a decent level of moisture-wicking. The asymmetric panel with contrast pocket is as at home with your pair of jeans as it is on the track. You can feel good about buying it, too, because the purchase of this singlet will help provide one year of clean water to someone who needs it in Ethiopia.
Craft Men’s Precise Racerback – MSRP: $39.99
Craft is known for highly technical pieces, and this singlet is no exception. The mesh back provides added ventilation for your hardest efforts, and the lightweight fabric pulls sweat away from your skin to keep you dry and comfortable. Rolled seams help to prevent chafing on race day, and the eye-catching geometric pattern in front will help you stand out for all the right reasons.
Nike Men’s Dri-Fit Miler Singlet – MSRP: $30.00
You can race in comfort and style without a huge price tag, and Nike is offering this value singlet for that very reason. Lightweight fabric wicks sweat away from your body to keep you cool and dry as you race, and the bright, vibrant colorways look sharp on race day.
Shop all Men’s Running Singlets
They say there are two kinds of people. Those who put toothpaste on their toothbrush by squeezing the middle of the tube, and those who roll the tube from the bottom. I’ve always been the rolling type – I hate the idea of wasting perfectly good toothpaste just because it’s stuck at the bottom of the tube. And, I’ll be honest, the OCD part of me is really satisfied with the whole process.
Maybe this is why the improvement to the structure of gel flasks resonates with me. There is something so satisfying about making sure that you are getting all of the gel out of your flask. It feels more efficient, which is the whole purpose of having a gel flask in the first place.
Soft gel flasks are pretty great because they do a few things that improve upon the traditional method of consuming gels. Let’s take a look at all of the benefits.
Shop all Energy Gel Bulk Packs & Flasks
If you’re considering purchasing a hydration vest or pack for your running, this year’s new styles are well worth the investment. These new hydration accessories come with a round of improvements, providing innovative solutions to past hydration pack issues. Lightweight designs, better materials, and enhanced fitting all provide the trail runner with a better pack than ever. Here are a few of our favorite new packs for this year.
Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 3.0 – MSRP: $124.95
In the trail running world, runners who are always out on the trail are affectionately referred to as “Dirtbags”, and it’s a title of honor. If this describes you, you need a pack that can keep up and work for a variety of trail runs. Meet the SJ Ultra Vest 3.0. It is light enough to race with, and also has a high enough storage capacity to hold whatever you might need during you’re training. With the sleek construction and features designed in a collaboration with Scott Jurek himself, this elite quality vest comes built with dual 500mL (17 oz) soft body bottles in front, allowing for comfortable, easy access to hydration. Side straps provide easy fit adjustment for a variety of body types.
Ultimate Direction Women’s Jenny Adventure Vesta – MSRP: $149.95
Women aren’t just small men – women’s bodies tend to have a fundamentally different shape and size than men’s bodies. So why should women have to wear the same gear? Thanks to women’s specific packs like the Jenny Adventure Vesta, women have options that provide them with comfort that is built for their bodies. And with adjustability that allows for a variety of women’s body shapes, this pack isn’t just for one shape of women. The soft Body Bottles are located in-front, which conform to the body more easily for comfort. If you’re looking for a women’s specific fit, the Jenny Adventure Vesta is a new option that is already catching fire in the running world.
UltrAspire Spry 2.0 Vest – MSRP: $70.00
If you’re looking for something sleek and lightweight, allow me to introduce the Spry. If you’re not looking for bells and whistles, just the essentials and nothing more, this smaller pack is perfect for your needs. The design contours to your body, and you can fit the compact 1L UltrAspire reservoir, and/or dual bottles/soft flasks in-front. We recommend the new soft, flat profile UltraFlask.
Nathan Fireball Race Vest – MSRP: $100.00
This vest is all about value. At a reasonable price point compared with similar high end running packs (that average around $20 more), the new Nathan Fireball Race Vest gives you options for a variety of running needs. It’s lightweight construction keeps the bulk down, while the main zippered pocket expands to offer up to 7L of storage. This is enough storage to hold your food and water for the day, as well as any other essentials, like your camera or phone. The internal pocket provides space for a 1.5L bladder, and two insulated flasks are housed strategically in the front pockets for a secure ride with little bounce. These two insulated flasks are included with your purchase and add to the value price of this pack because each one retails for $12 when sold separately.
Salomon S-LAB Peak 2.0 Set Pack – MSRP: $225.00
This pack is built for more than just your average trail run. It’s designed to be adventure ready, built for your multi-day, overnight excursions. With a large, 20L capacity in its main compartment, you can stow large gear and clothing that you need for multiple days on the trail. A spot for two soft flasks in front (flasks not included) allow for easy on-the-run hydration. This is the largest capacity “run-able” pack we’ve seen, and that’s a big deal.
Shop all Running Hydration Backpacks & Vests
The year 2016 is already one quarter gone. That means spring running and racing are here. So today we look back at the 1st quarter of the year to see what shoes are resonating with the most runners here at Running Warehouse.
The HOKA ONE ONE Clayton charged out of the gate. It is a fast, responsive shoe best-suited for long tempo runs and is the best-fitting Hoka shoe to date. Amazingly, the Clayton cracked the top 20 for both men and women after being available for only one week. The Nike Flyknit LunarEpic caught the interest of men, as it made the list after only being out for one month, while women have largely ignored this shoe. The “mid-top” Flyknit cuff is a love-it-or-hate-look. And while the upper is what is grabbing attention or polarizing people, the dynamic ride is the real story. It has the best underfoot running feel of any Lunar shoe since the original Lunaracer/LunarTrainer shoes.
Nine brands make up the men’s top 20 list, while the women’s list is concentrated among six brands. Interesting to see Mizuno with two models on the women’s list and zero on the men’s. The men’s list is dominated by faster shoes (including four T&F models), but the well-cushioned, ASICS Kayano and New Balance 1080 v6 sneak onto the list. The women’s list consists of many traditional shoes, with ASICS, Saucony, and Brooks dominating the top 10.
Early signs indicate the ASICS Nimbus 18, New Balance Vazee Summit and Saucony Kinvara 7 will make their way onto the second quarter lists.
Below are our top 20 best seller* lists for the first quarter of 2016.
*Best seller is based on the number of units sold in the best selling color of a model, in the medium width. Units sold on clearance have been excluded.