The Benefits of Soft Gel Flasks for Running Nutrition

Posted on April 6, 2016 in Gear Nutrition Running Accessories

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Photo courtesy of GU Energy Labs’ Instagram: @guenergylabs

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.

Soft gel flasks…

  1. save packaging. Filling a reusable gel flask with gel that you can buy in bulk eliminates the packaging waste that happens when you consume each gel individually. You could also fill the soft gel flask with a bunch of individual gels, but who has time for that?! Save time and waste and just buy bulk. If you consume a lot of gel, this will also save you money.
  2. help you avoid littering. Even when you’re careful, it’s easy to lose pieces of the gel wrapper as you run. Disposing of the empty gel wrappers in your pocket is also messy and sticky. With a gel flask, it just cuts out the issue entirely.
  3. can hold a lot of gel. Instead of filling all of your pockets with individual gel packets, you can just carry one soft gel flask, filled with up to 5 packets worth of gel. This streamlines your nutrition process and gives you easy access gel whenever you need it.
  4. can hold as much or as little gel as you need. Just need one gel? That’s fine. Need 4? Add that amount. The quantity can be exactly what you need (up to 5), helping to eliminate more waste, and also helping to regulate your nutrition.
  5. are now easier to squeeze. As I mentioned above, this makes it much easier to get out more of that precious gel when you’re on the run. The Salomon Soft Flask and the GU Flask that we carry both can hold approximately 5 servings of gel.

Shop all Energy Gel Bulk Packs & Flasks

Best New Running Hydration Packs of 2016

Posted on April 5, 2016 in Gear Running Accessories

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.

Best New Pack for the Trail Junkie

UD_SJ_Ultra_Vest_30Ultimate 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.

Best New Pack with a Women’s Specific Fit

ud_w_jenny_adventure_vestaUltimate 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.

Best New Pack for the Minimalist

UltrAspire Spry 2.0 Vestultraspire_spry_20_vest_lrg – 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.

 

Best New Bang For Your Buck Pack

nathan_fireball_race_vestNathan 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.

Best New Pack for Adventuring

salomon_slab_peak_20_set_packSalomon 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

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Best Selling Running Shoes of 2016 – First Quarter

Posted on April 4, 2016 in Gear Running Shoes

2016 Q1 Best

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.

Men’s Best Selling Running Shoes (and one throwing shoe) – Q1 2016

  1. ASICS Gel Hyper Speed 7 MSRP $85.00
  2. adidas Ultra Boost MSRP $180.00
  3. Nike Zoom Victory 2 Spike MSRP $120.00
  4. HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 2 MSRP $130.00
  5. New Balance 1500 v2 MSRP $110.00
  6. Nike Zoom Superfly R4 Spike MSRP $120.00
  7. Nike Zoom Rival SD 2 Throw MSRP $75.00
  8. Altra Olympus 2.0 MSRP $150.00
  9. adidas adizero adios MSRP $110.00
  10. Saucony Kinvara 6 MSRP $100.00
  11. Altra Lone Peak 2.5 MSRP $120.00
  12. Merrell Vapor Glove 2 MSRP $85.00
  13. Brooks T7 Racer MSRP $85.00
  14. Nike Zoom Matumbo 2 Spike MSRP $120.00
  15. HOKA ONE ONE Clayton MSRP $150.00
  16. ASICS Gel DS Trainer 21 MSRP $120.00
  17. Nike Flyknit LunarEpic MSRP $175.00
  18. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2 MSRP $ 100.00
  19. ASICS Gel Kayano 22 MSRP $160.00
  20. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v6 MSRP $150.00

Women’s Best Selling Running Shoes – Q1 2016

  1. ASICS Gel Cumulus 17 MSRP $120.00
  2. ASICS Gel Kayano 22 MSRP $160.00
  3. Saucony Kinvara 6 MSRP $100.00
  4. Brooks Ghost 8 MSRP $120.00
  5. Saucony Guide 9 MSRP $120.00
  6. Brooks Launch 3 MSRP $100.00
  7. HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 2 MSRP $130.00
  8. ASICS GT 2000 4 MSRP $120.00
  9. Saucony Zealot ISO MSRP $130.00
  10. Brooks Glycerin 13 MSRP $150.00
  11. Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 MSRP $120.00
  12. Nike Zoom Pegasus 32 MSRP $110.00
  13. Brooks Ravenna 7 MSRP $120.00
  14. ASICS Gel DS Trainer 21 MSRP $120.00
  15. Saucony Ride 8 MSRP $120.00
  16. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 MSRP $120.00
  17. Mizuno Wave Rider 19 MSRP $120.00
  18. HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 4 MSRP $150.00
  19. Saucony Triumph ISO 2 MSRP $150.00
  20. HOKA ONE ONE Clayton MSRP $150.00

*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.

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Honey Stinger Protein Energy Chews for Running

Posted on April 1, 2016 in Nutrition

Honey Stinger makes some delicious nutrition for running, from their famous waffles to their energy chews, energy bars, and gels. They have produced the kind of running nutrition that you find yourself craving even when you’re not on the run.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.37.44 AMLet’s bee honest (sorry, couldn’t help myself…), we know and love Honey Stinger for their Waffles (and now their Gluten Free Waffles, as well). Honey Stinger has also become known for their Energy Chews. They don’t stick to your teeth, and they are the sweetest energy chew on the market. The Honey Stinger Energy Chews are great for moderate effort runs of 90 minutes to 4 hours. For strenuous efforts or runs longer than 3 hours, it can be beneficial to take protein with your carbohydrates. So, Honey Stinger decided to add to their arsenal of tasty nutrition, and created a new product – their classic energy chews, but with a twist.

With 5g of protein, Honey Stinger Protein Energy Chews combine protein with carbohydrates and electrolytes to help minimize the negative effects of ultra strenuous activity. When taken in combination, carbohydrates and protein may increase endurance capacity. Additionally, monocalcium phosphate is added to help the body with growth and maintenance of cells damaged by strenuous activity. Calcium along with sodium is necessary to help maintain proper muscle and nerve function, and since you lose these electrolytes while you sweat, these protein chews help to replenish your stores. This helps to negate the damage done to muscles during a long run.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.32.16 AMBeyond protein, these chews also provide you with 100% of the daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C and Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) for optimal energy absorption into the body before and during activity. Honey Stinger Protein Energy Chews maintain the same size and similar texture of the original Organic Energy Chews.

Honey Stinger Protein Energy Chews are made with 82% natural organic ingredients. They contain pea and algal protein, so they are safe for those with dairy allergies and those who follow a vegan and gluten-free nutrition plan. These non-animal based proteins also contain all of the essential amino acids that your body requires from food.

 

Shop Honey Stinger Nutrition

 

 

 

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New Balance Vazee Summit Review

Posted on March 28, 2016 in Gear Running Shoes

VazeeSummitRevTrail

A 10mm offset trail shoe that runs like a 4-6mm offset. It’s light, grippy, nimble and fairly protective.

The New Balance Vazee Summit was designed to be a do-anything trail shoe. The concept was to make a shoe that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. That was a lofty goal. The shoe needed to be light and flexible, but rugged and protective and ready to take on different elements.

Starting with the upper, there is a lightweight, minimal construction that uses welded overlays to create a mud guard around the perimeter of the shoe, just above the midsole. We actually had some rain in California, so we were able to put it to the test. The mud guard did work and kept the mud away. The finely woven mesh kept out debris while being quite breathable. The upper did allow water from stream crossings to enter the shoe, but it drained quickly, which was a surprise considering the existence of the mud guard. There is a toe bumper to protect the ends of toes and the round toebox creates plenty of room around the toes.

Moving down to the midsole, there is Revlite, the same midsole foam used in the popular long-distance 1400 racing shoe. In fact, the Vazee Summit is built on the same last as the 1400. Unlike the very firm Revlite execution of the Vazee Pace and Vazee Prism, the Vazee Summit midsole is more compliant, just like the 1400. It’s not really soft or firm feeling. It simply dampens impact and quickly sets you up for your next step. We ran on hard packed dirt, through creeks and mud, over rocks, and also did some road running. We did runs from 45 minutes to 2 hours and 45 minutes and found the underfoot comfort to be consistently good.

Under the Revlite is a thin Rockstop rock plate. It allows the shoe to remain very flexible and adds a touch of propulsion. We found the rock protection to be adequate. It’s not a robust plate, nor is this a robust shoe. This is a light, low to the ground shoe that does an admirable job with rock protection. There are more protective shoes out there, but not ones that are as light and dynamic as this shoe. The Salomon Sense Pro comes close. It has better rock protection, but it is stiffer and doesn’t feel as nimble as the Vazee Summit.

The lugged outsole is made of hydrohesion rubber, which is supposed to provide good traction over a variety of terrain. Our experience confirmed this as we kept good footing over dry and wet rocks and loose and hard packed terrain.

If you’ve worn the New Balance Trail 101 you will be glad to know, the Vazee Summit is somewhat similar. In comparison, the Vazee Summit upper is much more comfortable, the outsole grip is better over more surfaces and the underfoot comfort is enhanced. While the Vazee Summit is about an ounce heavier than the 101, it doesn’t feel like it, and the improved comfort is worth the increase in listed weight.

What we like:

  1. The lugged outsole is fantastic. It grips rocky surfaces, feels good on hard packed dirt trails, sheds enough mud to maintain traction, and offers decent grip on wet rocks.
  2. The tongue is sock-like. A modified stretch-bootie tongue is attached to both sides of the midfoot and the toe-box. It’s light and thin with a minimal feel, but comfortable and keeps out debris.
  3. It doesn’t feel like a 10mm drop. A few of us prefer to run in lower offsets, especially on the trail, and this shoe felt much lower than its measured 10mm offset. This is a great example of why you should not limit your choice by specs alone.
  4. VazeeSummitRevOutsoleIt maintained grip in California mud. Normally when we encounter mud on our local trails, you have to stop and kick off the mud or you will quickly be on your back side. The Vazee Summit shed enough mud to be able to maintain traction. I was surprised to find some mud still on the sole of the shoe, because it didn’t feel like the shoe had gained mud weight and my footing remained excellent.

What we would change:

  1. While the overall fit was good, two of us with lower volume, narrower feet, wished the midfoot had more lock down. But that might add weight and change the overall feel of the shoe. So sometimes what you want is not what you want.
  2. The insole could be improved. During most of our runs, we had no issues. But on a long run with a decent amount of wetness, Erik found the insole moved around and it had to be re-positioned. The insole is thin and flat, and the lack of any sidewall makes the insole susceptible to movement. We found this happened only in wet conditions during a long run (2+ hours).

How it Fits:

  1. Length: falls into the standard running shoe size and is just a touch long. But not long enough for us to size down.
  2. Width: a true medium fit and is also available in a wide.
  3. Heel: a medium fit and will work for all but the narrowest heels.
  4. Midfoot volume: best fit for medium to low volume feet.
  5. Toebox: the height falls between medium and low and the shape is fairly round with plenty of room near the smaller toes.
  6. Shape: this shoe has a curved shape and thus tends to be better fit for medium and higher arched feet.

Specifications:

Vazee Summit – MSRP $100.00 – March 2016 Release | Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s|

Stack height: 27mm heel, 17mm forefoot, 10mm heel-toe offset

Weight: 8.8 oz (men’s size 9), 7.6 oz (women’s size 8)

Competing Shoes:

Salomon Sense Pro- MSRP $130.00 | Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s |

Merrell All Out Crush – MSRP $100.00 | Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s |

Inov-8 Terraclaw – MSRP $130.00 | Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s |

 

 

 

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New Balance Vazee Summit Q & A with Katie DeSplinter

Posted on March 25, 2016 in Gear Running Shoes

SanGabriels_cropped

We heard from Dominic Grossman earlier this week, and now we are getting the low-down on the Vazee Summit (women’s, men’s) from Katie DeSplinter. Katie also happens to be a footwear tester for New Balance, and she told us all about why she is so pumped about the Summit.


How long have you been running? What’s your running background?

I started running 5ks with my dad way back in 5th grade, and then I did the whole high school track star thing. Hilariously enough, I ran 4’s and 8’s and while I also ran cross-country, I thought three miles was a horrendously long way. I opted for the dance team scene in college over track, but picked it back up after graduation as a hobby, running road marathons. It wasn’t until I moved from Missouri to California that I discovered the trails, which lead me down an internet wormhole to discover ultras. I ran my first ultra in 2009 and have been on the dirt ever since. Big, high, steep mountain terrain is my preference. The nastier the better.

What was the inspiration behind the Vazee Summit?

The New Balance 110 was our “trail racer,” but we saw the v2 move into way more of a shoe that just didn’t feel fast for most of us. The New Balance 101 (women’s, men’s) was a fine flat, but we’ve been wanting something with a thicker sole and actual lugs, while staying light and letting you feel the ground a bit. There was a definite hole in the line between the 110 and the 910.

How does this shoe compare and expand upon the NB 110v2?

Not even on the same planet. I have an extremely narrow foot, so I really couldn’t wear the 110v2 at all. Instead, developer Michael Buzon had some hybrids made for me of an 890v4 2A-width upper on a 110v2 sole, since I wanted the rockplate and grip of the trail shoe but with the fit of the road shoe. In essence, what I wanted all along was the Summit, but I didn’t find that out until I had it on my feet. It was definitely a Cinderella moment for me.

TheRut50k_BigSky-Montana

What terrain and distance is the Summit best suited for?

If it’s a trail, you can use it! I’ve raced a 50k in the sharp talus of Montana (The Rut) and just completed a 70 mile race in the Appalachians (Georgia Death Race), which threw everything from rocks and roots to long stretches of jeep roads, and the Summit was bomber (see “one word to describe your favorite features of the Summit” below). Perhaps for a race that was all fireroad or “Cali carpet” I might choose a cushioned road shoe, but for everything else – the Summit is all I want to wear. I plan to use it for everything from a 5k to a 100 miler this year, and am stoked that it’s truly a shoe that can handle it all. The 100 miler will take me on everything from gradual jeep roads to super rocky talus to snow and ice, and I’m glad I’ll have a shoe I can trust.

What was the testing process like?

I’m far off from sample size, so Dom usually enters the testing process a little sooner than I. While I’m normally jealous, this time it worked out (seeing that he had some issues with the fit being loose, and it would have been ten times worse on my narrow foot). My only contribution before the move to the 1400 last was subtly begging for it to be on the New Balance 1400 (women’s, men’s) last. I’ve actually been using the 1400 v3 a lot on the trails – even for a mountain 100, mainly because the fit is just so dialed.

When I got into my first pair, I was happy to hear that my thoughts on some minor things like the tongue were echoed in other’s thoughts and by the next version were fully solved. The rest of the testing process consisted of Dom and I continually telling each other how much we loved this shoe and then tweeting or texting brand manager Brendan Murray or Buzon to make sure that it all wasn’t a dream and the shoe was, in fact, being produced.

Where did you test the Summit and how many miles did you put in them?

I’ve put well over 600 miles in the Summit, most of which were in the coastal Santa Monicas and higher San Gabriels of Southern California. But this is great, because boy do we have a variety of terrain out here! I have plenty of groomed fire road miles, plenty of rocky, technical single track and even some snow and ice. I’ve also taken them to talus fields of the Eastern Sierra and was pleasantly surprised how protective they felt underfoot. The grip was fantastic, as a lot of my running eventually turns to scrambling up high. The Summit really echoes the reasons why I love living and training in California – the diversity of terrain that is here, and this shoe can cover it all.

If you could use one word to describe your favorite features of the Summit, what would it be and why?

Well, the one word that I’ve been using every time I describe this shoe to anyone is “bomber,” so I suppose I’ll stick with that. The combination of the snug fit, toothy lugs, rock plate and just enough underfoot to go the distance makes it the shoe I want to choose from my arsenal every time. Plenty of traction for grinding the ups, enough underfoot to bomb the downs – locks my foot in place so I don’t end up with weird foot and ankle stress after putting in big miles.

MtJuliusCaesar_EasternSierra

What sets this shoe apart from other trail shoes on the market?

The fit. I’ve always been amazed at how the 1400 fits such a variety of foot types, and the Summit carries on this great tradition. At a regular women’s B width, it fits better than any shoe I’ve ever had in a 2A. Yet, it’s also perfect for my fiancé (Dominic) who has a wider foot, particularly in the forefoot area. I have noticed a legitimate improvement in my downhill running simply from having a shoe that locks my foot in place.

What are some of your other favorite NB trail shoes?

There will always be a place in my heart for the 101. The 100 was the first trail shoe I ever loved, and I still enjoy taking it out for hill repeats. On recovery days, I’ll often throw on the cushioned New Balance Fresh Foam Hierros (women’s, men’s).

Shop the New Balance Vazee Summit now: Men’s | Women’s

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UltrAspire Running Vest Technology Update: The Max O2 Strap

Posted on March 24, 2016 in Gear Running Accessories

Anyone who runs with a hydration vest knows the importance of being able to move freely while wearing it. If you have a pack on, chances are pretty high that you’re on a long run. When it comes to long runs, comfort is key, because even the smallest issues build up and can become bigger issues as your run progresses.

ultraspire_alpha_20_vest_1Most hydration packs and vests come with an adjustable strap of some sort in the front. Various belts and clips work together to fasten your vest in the front, enabling you to get the vest on and off with ease. The issue with many traditional front fasteners? They can cause problems. Clips can cause irritation as you run, rubbing up and down if the pack doesn’t fit just perfectly. And another issue is getting it to fit just perfectly, as your chest’s volume fluctuates throughout your run… even from breath to breath. So how can you keep your vest securely fastened with just the right fit, while also ensuring that there is enough room for you to breathe and adjust throughout your run?

The Max O2 Sternum Strap System

ultraspire_alpha_20_vest_3UltrAspire has come up with a vest closure that helps solve these issues. The Max O2 Sternum Strap is an innovative solution that UltrAspire is using on all of their new running vests. The elastic bands provide connection in two places, allowing two points of adjustment instead of just one for an accurate fit. Because of this design, you can adjust the straps with one hand, which makes on-the-run adjustment a cinch. And the genius part about these elastic straps is that they allow for a little bit of stretch as you run – just enough to account for your breath and to allow you a comfortable range of motion and chest volume variability while also remaining secure around your body.

UltrAspire Vests with the Max O2 Sternum Strap

ultraspire_spry_20_vestUltrAspire Spry 2.0 Vest – MSRP: $70.00

This vest is all about going fast, and is perfect for races and shorter runs. With a minimal construction and a lightweight design, the UltrAspire Spry Vest 2.0’s design contours to your body and comfortably carries essentials, lightweight apparel, and has enough room for a 34 oz (1L) hydration reservoir (sold separately).

ultraspire_revolt_vestUltrAspire Revolt Vest – MSRP: $80.00

This vest was designed specifically for Magdalena Boulet, with the idea to keep the water bottle in back. Designed with a unique rear holster near your center of gravity for a stable feel, this vest holds a 550ml UltraFlask bottle with access from both the right and left sides for easy access. An additional elasticized over-the-shoulder pocket can hold an additional bottle, or offer a quick stash storage option for gloves, a jacket or other essentials. This vest works well for both men and women.

ultraspire_w_astral_vestUltrAspire Women’s Astral Vest – MSRP: $130.00

This is a vest designed specifically for women, and is a great everyday, go-to vest. This vest is shaped to fit a woman’s curves, and stays comfortable on long or short runs. The amount of storage allows you to carry whatever you may need for a variety of runs, and thanks to the new Max O2 Sternum Strap design, this vest is highly adjustable for comfort around the chest area.

ultraspire_revolution_20_vestUltrAspire Revolution 2.0 Vest – MSRP: $140.00

The Revolution 2.0 is a “do-it-all” vest – good for races or adventure runs, whatever your pleasure. It is designed to carry a single ergonomically shaped 26oz water bottle at your back for on-the-run hydration, and with several front pockets and dual front elastic pockets, you’ll find a generous amount of storage for any gear you may need. Dual compression straps secure the ride as the contoured vest shape distributes weight to eliminate pressure points.

ultraspire_velocity_vestUltrAspire Velocity Vest – MSRP: $129.00

Going on a big adventure? This is the pack for you, thanks to its large capacity. Developed using feedback from elite ultra-athlete Jeff Browning, the UltrAspire Velocity Vest is built for the runner looking for a lightweight pack designed for longer trail racing but with sufficient capacity for your essential trail or adventure run gear.

 

Shop now: UltrAsipre Running Accessories

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New Balance Vazee Summit Q & A with Dominic Grossman

Posted on March 22, 2016 in Gear Running Shoes

Dom in Summits

Dominic Grossman is an ultra runner and footwear tester for New Balance, and he’s giving us the scoop on the New Balance Vazee Summit (men’s, women’s) which will be landing here at Running Warehouse in early April. He seems to be just as excited about the shoe as we are.


How long have you been running? What’s your running background?

I started running road races when I was 13 (16 years ago). I ran my first 5k with a program called “Students Run LA” which provided race entries, coaching, and transportation to races leading up to the LA Marathon. After running my first Marathon at 14, I ran cross-country and track in high school and college, before finally transitioning to ultras 8 years ago

What was the inspiration behind the Vazee Summit?

We had multiple inspirations: the seamless fit of the New Balance 110 v1, the protective and balanced forefoot plate of the New Balance 101 (men’s, women’s) and the racing last of the New Balance 1400 (men’s, women’s). Everyone involved has run thousands of miles in these shoes, and it was our goal to meld these attributes into the Vazee Summit to make a true trail racer.

How does this shoe compare and expand upon the NB 110v2?

It’s not similar at all, other than being made of rubber, foam, and mesh! One of the great things about New Balance is how much they’re willing to completely re-invent a concept over and over. I would say the fit is much more precise and naturally shaped (using the 1400 last), the cushioning is more durable, the grip is increased (bigger and toothier lugs), and the all-around performance is on a world class level that excels in everything from Skyraces to mountain 100 milers to trail half-marathons.

vazee_summit_1

What terrain and distance is the Summit best suited for?

Folks all over the world will enjoy the shoe just based off its fit and outsole. Its lugs are at home on the snowcapped peaks of the Rockies and Sierras, but if you run more firm hard-pack trails, you’ll find that the lugs are made of soft rubber and naturally break in to adapt to the terrain you run most.

What was the testing process like?

I am lucky to get to run all over the world testing shoes for New Balance, and I had some great miles in the Summits across the American West and the European Alps. However it’s not always as glamorous as it sounds. When we started with the initial prototype it was so heavy, loose fitting and stiff that when I took it out on a group run up Mt. San Gorgonio, I rolled my ankle so badly that I had to walk the last 6 miles off the mountain while my friends ditched me for food and beer. So, after that we tried thinning everything out, but the shoe still felt off and clunky. Eventually our dedicated brand manager Brendan Murray came to the rescue and made the argument to his bosses to go to the 1400 last. That singular move drastically changed the shoe and gave the developer Michael Buzon the ability to dial in the fit and make magic happen on a proper racing platform. The 3rd prototype that we did came out amazing (no more rolled ankles, see picture below from the first run), and we knew we had finally achieved our goal of creating a high performance trail racer.

dominic_grossman_jump

The inaugural flight on June 11th, 2015.

Where did you test the Summit and how many miles did you put in them?

The San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California were the main proving ground. I spent hundreds of miles running steep and technical single-track, fast cruiser trails, big sustained climbs/descents, and even fire roads. Once we were on the 1400 last, I’d run something at breakneck pace and then text Mike some new ideas. We’d incorporate some minor tweaks as we learned more about the shoe, and eventually got to a very clean and precise design. I ran around 200 miles in my first pair, 450 in my second (100 of those at UTMB), and another 250 on my most recent pair, so I have personally put in almost a thousand miles in all together.

If you could use one word to describe your favorite feature of the Summit, what would it be and why?

Fit. I’m a much better runner when I’m flying down a trail in a shoe that locks my heel down, hugs my midfoot snugly, and still allows my toes to naturally splay. This is a shoe for people that want precision more than sheer volume.

What sets this shoe apart from other trail shoes on the market?

The conventional definition of minimalism has been in desperate need of reinvention, and this shoe does that very well. Minimalism used to mean just enough shoe to be able to finish a race, but not necessarily prevent injury. Instead, this shoe has a full 10mm drop that still allows natural proprioception (spoiler alert: these aren’t mutually exclusive concepts in the Vazee Summit). Since I’ve been running in the latest prototype, I’ve just been enthralled by running wild and free without knee, arch, ankle, hip, foot, etc. problems. I think this shoe redefines minimalism as the least amount of shoe to run well today, and tomorrow.

I do try out other shoes besides New Balance to see what other brands are doing, and I think that this shoe is the best at doing both day to day training and high performance racing.

What are some of your other favorite NB trail shoes?

I’m also really excited about our Fresh Foam Gobi coming out in the next few months which uses our Fresh Foam Zante (men’s, women’s) platform and adds some much needed lugs. I also have been known to do recovery runs in our stable and plush Leadville (men’s, women’s).

Shop the New Balance Vazee Summits now: Men’s | Women’s

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Brand Spotlight: Salomon S-LAB Running Products

Posted on March 21, 2016 in Gear Running Accessories Running Apparel Running Shoes

©SALOMON.PHOTO.JordiSaragossa_SA_4469_hi_148748

Those who are no stranger to trail runs are certainly no stranger to Salomon. As one of the foremost brands in the trail running industry, Salomon has blazed the trail (pun intended) in brilliant innovation and design.

S-LAB designated products take Salomon trail running to the next level. S-LAB stands for “Salomon Lab”, which alludes to the research lab at Salomon’s headquarters in Annecy, France. This is where the magic happens. Designers and developers at Salomon work to create the pinnacle products for elite athletes of the trail running scene.

©SALOMON.PHOTO.JordiSaragossa_SA_1761_hi_148498Product development

The usual progression for developing product in the running marketplace (or any marketplace, for that matter) is to figure out what attributes a product should have, and what the price will be. Then, choices are made to produce the given product within those price constraints. Salomon took that idea and threw it out the window with their S-LAB products. They approached the innovation and design of their products with a different standard – each product should be made to the highest quality and lowest weight without consideration to price. Once they nail it, achieving a premium performance product, they determine whether or not to make that product available to the public.

©SALOMON.PHOTO.JordiSaragossa_205_hi_148589Elite Inspiration

While this elite product is being developed at the lab, it is tested by athletes and tweaked accordingly. This ensures that the product is made with the athlete’s needs in mind. Many S-LAB products are started with a specific athlete and event in mind. And through that process, they set goals. If a certain athlete is planning to run a given race, what could make their experience better? What could make them run faster? How could the products they use enhance their running experiences, allowing them to run better? Ergonomics, fit, weight, and protection are all taken into account, and real-life situations are applied in order to find solutions to problems the athlete may face. Then, the S-LAB product is produced and made available to the public.

Trickle-down product development

What about all of the Salomon products that aren’t S-LAB, then? Are those products for the dogs? Well in one word, nope. Salomon takes the things they learn through innovation in the lab and applies it to all of their products. The difference lies in the premium quality of the materials. For example, if in the lab Salomon comes up with a new pocket design that is convenient for runners to access, they will carry that design through to all of their packs, not just S-LAB. The difference between a regular Salomon jacket and an S-LAB Salomon jacket would be that the S-LAB version will be made of lighter materials. Both jackets will be durable and made with excellent quality, but at different price points to reflect the weight difference and the cost of making something lighter while maintaining durability.

From shoes to apparel to packs, S-LAB has developed the foremost product on the market and made these elite quality pieces available for trail runners who want their running products to be as uncompromising as they are when they’re running.

©SALOMON.PHOTO.DROZPHOTO_Kilian Classik_48461_hi_148668

S-LAB apparel

With their S-LAB apparel, Salomon asks their athletes, “What do you find problematic with your running apparel as you run? How can we make it better?” One example of this concept is the Salomon Men’s S-LAB Hybrid Jacket. Problem: Finding a good place to stow your jacket on the run. Solution: Stow it in itself in a comfortable band around your waist.

S-LAB shoes

The S-LAB Wings Shoe and forthcoming S-LAB Speedcross Shoe are examples of where Salomon took an existing product and gave it the S-LAB treatment to make it lighter. The S-LAB Sense Ultra is an example where Salomon started at the top and then produced the more mainstream Sense Mantra and Sense Pro, so that a broader range of the public would have access to a low-offset Salomon trail shoe.

S-LAB packs

The XT Wings S-LAB Set pack redefined the hydration pack category. It was leaps and bounds ahead of anything ever produced before. The low weight, ergonomic fit, access to pockets, and adjustability made the pack perform as an extension of the body. And as great as that first one was, the current line-up is even lighter and better.

 

Shop the Salomon S-LAB Apparel Collection: Men’s | Women’s

 

 

 

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Apparel Spotlight: Saucony Women’s Daybreak Series

Posted on March 17, 2016 in Gear Running Apparel

Daylight Savings Time came this past weekend, giving us all a slight sense of jet-lag. Morning runners lost the bright morning hours that they had started to become accustomed to, and evening runners gave a collective “wahoo!” as evening runs became lighter, warmer, and safer. Regardless of which time of day you prefer to run, one thing is for sure – Spring is coming. And it will be here this Sunday. Lighter, longer, warmer days are ahead, ladies, and we need to prepare accordingly!

Saucony is back at it for this Spring’s line of their Daybreak series of women’s running apparel. The Daybreak apparel collection has always brought unique, eye-catching looks to the table, and this Spring is no exception. These four gorgeous prints make their appearances on the Daybreak Tank, Daybreak Long Sleeve, and Daybreak Hat, too.

saucony_daybreak_series_spring_16

What makes Daybreak special?

Burnout pattern – The unique look of the burnout pattern provides a visually interesting texture and design while also adding enhanced breathability.

Soft hand – The buttery, silky, and smooth fabric provides you with excellent next-to-skin comfort and efficient moisture-management.

Vibrant colors – What could be more appropriate as we run into spring than some brightly colored pieces of running apparel? The color combinations are eye-catching and the print patterns are unique.

Versatility – Don’t let the chic design of these pieces fool you. Sure, pair the tank with your favorite cutoff jeans on your next beach day with the gals, but don’t forget that the Daybreak series stands up to your most demanding runs, too.

Feminine detailsA hat with a ponytail hole and a feminine fit, a tank with a twist in the back for added fashion, a long sleeve top with a female shape and thumbholes for comfort… Saucony wanted these pieces to shine for more reasons than just the bright colors.

 

Shop all Saucony Women’s Apparel.

 

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