- Footwear continues to embrace the natural running movement and also incorporates weatherproof materials to stand up to not-so-great weather, as seen in models like the New Balance Winter 110 training boot (pictured). Similar to the brand’s minimalist MT 110, the lightweight boot has a 4mm drop and a waterproof softshell upper with a flexible, water-resistant gaiter that you can fold down or up in changing conditions. Over on the trails, Salomon showcased the XR Mission trail shoe that uses a Sensi-fit technology to address swelling and injuries. They’ve updated the model in the forefront for a better spring return and uses breathable and waterproof materials in the exterior.
- Typically found in its apparel collection, Columbia’s thermal reflective Omni-heat technology is now being used in the brand’s footwear line, such as in the Master Fly multisport shoe. Omni-heat is used on the exterior and interior lining of the shoes, particularly in areas where the foot gets coldest the most. A waterproof bonded laminate is also attached to the shoe to block incoming water.
- Saucony redesigned its best-selling minimalist shoe, the Kinvara 3, by decreasing material on the upper and beefing up the outsoles. Designers implemented a web-construction that holds the foot secure while giving more cushioning to the outsoles in order to give first-time minimalist runners more support without sacrificing the shoe’s minimal weight.
- More brands are putting on their fashion-forward thinking caps and creating running apparel lines based on the studio-to-street concept in which runners are able to wear their performance gear out to lunch with friends after logging in some miles. Ladies, expect wide waistbands and an emphasis on the backside from retailers who’ve taken cues from female-minded brand Lululemon, as well ruching and pleated detailing, such as in Athleta’s performance dresses and MPG's jackets. Also, more discreet storage pockets with easy access zippers are being used, as well as thumbholes and attached gloves for extra warmth.
- Keep an eye out for rich colors, particularly in wine hues and greys, heathered and tweed-type treatments for both men and women, and striking prints resembling casual lifestyle wear, such as in the Brooks Utopia Thermal Hooded Jacket (pictured).
- In the gadgets arena, Magellan unveiled its first-ever training devices: Switch (for runners) and Switch Up (for multisport athletes). The Switch features nine customizable profiles, eight hours of battery life, GPS, 50-meter water resistance and specialized sensors, while the Switch Up boasts the same features in addition to a barometric altimeter for elevation data. For cyclists, Timex introduced the Cycle Trainer 2.0, which lets users track speed, distance, slope, altitude and other data, and comes with a free account on TrainingPeaks so cyclists can upload their rides and monitor their training.
- Suunto showcased the $500 Ambit watch with a technology called “FusedSpeed” that combines GPS frequencies and accelerometer wireless technology to provide an optimized signal with precise speed data.
- Nutritionally speaking, new flavors for Clif include citrus for its Clif Shot Energy Gels and peanut honey pretzel for its LUNA bars.
Get a sneak peek at some of the hottest gear you’ll see in stores later this year!
The holidays may be over, but it was Christmas morning for three days to more than 20,000 curious gear junkies who invaded snowy Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market show from Jan. 19-21.
The twice-annual industry tradeshow, which highlights the latest innovative products for the upcoming season, set an all-time record high in attendance with its largest winter market crowd ever since 1996. Held at the Salt Palace Convention Center, the not-open-to-the-public show welcomed 950 exhibitors who filled the ballroom, hallways and entire 679,000-square-foot main floor, hoping to entice hungry gear enthusiasts and retailers.
Scott Beck, president and CEO of the Salt Palace, says the show generated an estimated $20 million for the local economy and that roughly 10 to 12 percent every year are new exhibitors, which is what has given the show great relevance.
The show, held every winter and summer, featured a celebrity appearance by Bear Grylls, star of the television series, “Man v. Wild,” who was promoting his new outdoor apparel line, Craghoppers. Top honors went to The North Face who took home the coveted “Gear of the Show” award from Outside magazine for its $1,300 lightweight inflatable vest meant to keep skiers afloat in an avalanche.
Most of the products showcased in the photo gallery above won’t hit retailers until the summer, but scroll through it to get a sneak peek of what to expect next season.