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…
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…
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.
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?
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.
Maybe we’re just getting a little sentimental and starry-eyed here at the ‘House, but as we wrap up the year and start nestling into the holiday season, we can’t help but think how amazing it is that we runners are blessed with so many gifts.
No, we’re not talking about a new set of kicks or the latest Garmin (though of course either one of those can’t hurt). We’re going more…soulful than that. We’re talking about the ability to run itself, and the ability to have the time, resources and health to work on getting better and better at it.
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in shaving a few seconds on your next race or beating yourself up that you logged 47 miles this week when your goal was 50. But take a second and simplify a bit here. Think about the joy you get from running and working toward your next PR. Now think about the basics that go into making that happen:
1. You have to be alive
2. You have to be physically healthy
3. You have to be physically able to run
4. You have to have the time to run
5. You have to have a safe place to run
6. You have to have some decent shoes and running clothes
7. You have to have the support of family, friends and fellow runners
8. You have to have motivation and mental toughness
We don’t know about you, but the fact that we can put all that together and experience the joy that running has to offer is pretty amazing. It’s something to be thankful for. So there you go. That’s our little metaphysical slice of happiness for today. We hope you have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving too.
What are you most thankful for this year? Share in the comments below!
Followers of this blog may have noticed a number of recent posts on why people run (we should really turn this into a series), and this video by Anthony Nicolau does a great job of summing up the reasons. So whether you run for those who can’t, for the cure, or for year-round pumpkin spice lattes, take a look at the video and get inspired have a laugh.
Normally we’d hate to toot our own horn, but we totally called this one: Tera rocked Red Rock this past weekend. OK, we may be a little biased, but she absolutely killed it on this 50 mile race! We caught up with her post race and picked her brain on how she felt the race went.
Overall, how was the race? Did you get “gritty”?
In one word, amazing! We had to say an oath at the beginning of a race stating, “If I get lost, hurt, or die, it’s my own damn fault,” so considering I didn’t get hurt, lost (just confused at times), and lived to run another day, I think I fared well. In all seriousness, I’m thrilled with a finishing time of 10:09, second by 6 minutes (a young lady passed me with gusto about 12 miles from the finish) and 6th overall. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results. I also met my goals by finishing before it got dark and gained some grittiness out there for sure!
What was the hardest/most challenging part of the race?
Two things: 1. Heading downhill for 6 1/2 miles to the turnaround at the halfway point and knowing we had to climb right back up. That section had very technical footing with boulder-like rocks and sand. It never seemed to end. 2. Heading back up took an hour and a half, and my quads started cramping. That’s when I began pounding the salt, which seemed to help.
What was the best part of the race?
Again two things. 1. Having to get our handcrafted Hawaiian finisher’s award at the top of Montecito Peak around mile 22. It was a short scramble that took a total of 10 minutes, but just killer on the legs and we almost had to put our hands to the ground. We had to wear the medal the rest of the race and present it to the finish line personnel in order to stop the clock. 2. When my buddy, Scott, who was also racing, literally stopped in his tracks as we passed by one another and put his hands on his hips to ask me if I was enjoying the course yet! I was laughing inside and thinking, what a goofball, but only managed a wry smile and grunt.
Do you feel like you were prepared? Were you happy with your training?
I was so lucky to have a couple friends prepare me mentally for the climbs and technical footing that the race brought and to get me out on some brutal training runs. I believe I did what I could with the time I had. Working full time with a family only allows for so much in this spot. I don’t have a “normal” social life.
What did you learn from this race?
Always remember that it’s more than a race. It’s an amazing adventure with some of the best company around that I am lucky to be apart of. And there are some truly amazing sights in the Santa Ynez Mountains surrounding Santa Barabara. I definitely want to go back there with my family and do some camping.
What’s up next on the schedule?
Rest, eat turkey, and enjoy Christmas with my family. Western States lottery on Dec. 7th will be the deciding factor of many races in 2014, but regardless of that outcome, I’m seriously looking at Sean O’Brien 50M on February 1st.