The Running Event: Best of Show
This past week we took a bit of a road trip down to Austin, Texas for this year’s Running Event trade show to test out and see the industry’s newest brands and gear. Here is a list of what we considered to be the Best in Show for 7 different categories: Outdoor All-Weather shoe, Performance Running Shoe, Running Socks, Running Apparel, Accessory, Gadget, and Endurance Nutrition.
Best Outdoor All-Weather Shoe – On-Running Cloud – Cloud Venture Series
What is it? One of the most comfortable outdoor all-weather shoes we have ever tried on with “state-of-the-art” CloudTec shock absorption technology.
Why it matters? This shoe feels like it was custom-made for the foot. It looks chic and stylish, it’s crazy comfortable, and you can take this shoe on any terrain in the world. Whether running on the beach, on a rocky trail, or up the mountain, this shoe can take you where you want to go. The CloudTec soles allow maximum cushion when landing, but give one the feeling of a “barefoot” takeoff as well as reducing the chance for unnecessary injury. Tech Specs: Coming soon in June 2016. www.ON-running.com
Best Socks – Point 6 Running Extra-Light Cushion socks
What are they? -Perfect fitting comfortable running socks made out of superior Merino wool that won’t smell or itch and are guaranteed for life. What more can you ask for?
Why they matter? Point 6 takes a step ahead by knitting with compact spun merino wool yarns instead of conventional ring spun yarns. This ensures a lesser amount of loose fibers which increase durability while still allowing breathability. Point 6 stands behind their product enough to offer a lifetime replacement guarantee on any socks that break down; a plus for those of us with tight wallets. We were promised that even after days of wearing the same pair of socks they would not carry odor. Sure enough after three days they still smell fresh.
Tech specs: Crew and Mini-crew in all sizes. Additional nylon in the heel and toe for maximum durability. New Zealand Merino wool. Lifetime guarantee. www.Point6.com
Best Apparel – Janji –
What is it? Janji is an up-and-coming running apparel brand that provides clean drinking water to people around the world for every article of clothing that is sold.
Why it matters? There were numerous companies at the running show that were providing “TOM’s-like” charitable bonuses as part of their business model, but Janji may have been the most impressive. For every article of clothing sold, one individual will have a year’s supply of clean drinking water. Furthermore, it is country specific. If an article of clothes that was made in Kenya sells, then a Kenyan will get access to clean drinking water. If it were from Haiti, a Haitian would have clean drinking water. Etc, etc. The charitable aspect of the company is impressive, but so is the style. They are quite “hip” to wear even if one is not wearing it specifically for running. Specifications: Men’s and women’s running tops, bottoms, and everything in between. RunJanji.com
Best Accessory – SPI H20 Venture Series “Bounce-Free Hydration Belt” –
What is it? SPI’s newest product combines the ability to carry up to two 8oz. waterbottles, a large smartphone, as well as keys, ID’s and other essentials on a secure belt that will not bounce or shake when running.
Why it matters? One of the biggest issues for runners is the best way to carry water while they are running. Do they carry it in their hands or in a small backpack or try to hang it on their own shorts? This new belt is perhaps the best solution to this problem and offers the extra ability to carry everything else they may need in a secure location that will not affect their running ability. The quality is top-notch and the water bottles are easy to attach/detach. Tech specs: Can carry up to 16oz. of water. The mini-pack can fit the Iphone 6S plus or a Samsung Galaxy Note with space left over for essentials. www.spibelt.com
Best Gadget – RunBell –
What is it? A new inventive way for the runner to be able to alert people they are approaching from behind. Like a bicycle bell for a runner except on your finger.
Why it matters? When a new idea comes around, even if seemingly trivial, it is worth taking a second look. In high density areas, running can occasionally be a perilous journey, especially around some individuals who may be cautious of crime or fast-moving objects. Instead of constantly calling out “coming through!” or “watch out!” a product has come to the market that can alert bystanders instead. Since the bicycle bell is generally well recognized, people will already be aware that someone is trying to come through and will move out of the way. Tech specs: Lightweight. Easy to use. Loud, but subtler then yelling. www.Run-Bell.com
Best Nutrition – Tailwind Endurance Fuel-
What is it? – An all-in-one energy, endurance, and hydration mix that claims to be all a runner will need, all day for their endurance running.
Why it matters? For those who have had gastro problems and gut bombs on race day because of the sticky goo mixes laying un-digested at the bottom of the stomach, a new product was developed that would ensure this does not happen. Unlike other endurance hydrating products, Tailwind’s new Endurance Fuel does not utilize any energy from the body to break down the energy that is stored in the product. This ensures that maximum energy is obtained without energy loss which can happen when consuming products in other forms. The mild, subtle flavors also makes it easy to drink all day. Specifics: All-natural. Nothing artificial added. Gluten free. Vegan. No soy/no dairy. Mix in a pack with water to obtain all the calorie, electrolyte, and energy needs for running. Just drink a bottle an hour and you can run all-day! www.tailwindnutrition.com
Best Performance Running Shoe – Pearl Izumi EM Road H3 V2
What it is? – This is your go to Running shoe, whether for running on the road, track, or treadmill this shoe is awesome. It felt like you were wearing a sock, but with really nice support.
Why it matters? – It is incredibly light at 12.2 oz and it is specifically created to support overpronation. It also has a great look to it and comes in 2 awesome designs. I personally prefer the light on dark blue color (same as in the pic below).
- Sizing: Standard running shoe length
- Heel: Medium
- Midfoot: Medium volume
- Forefoot: Medium
- Toe-Box Height: Medium to low
- Arch Structure: Medium
- Shoe Shape: Semi-Straight
- Check it out here
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