Running gear and apparel continues to evolve with new designs, new materials and new construction techniques. In this photo gallery, we highlight some of the notable form-follows-function trends and performance-oriented innovations we came across at the Jan. 22-25 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show in Salt Lake City. Look for these features and products to debut at running stores near you between late summer and early fall.
Hoka Clifton, $130
Maximalist, or high cushion, shoes will be a big trend in running shoes this spring, but some of the biggest game-changers will appear when fall shoes hit stores in July and August. The Hoka One One Clifton will be much lighter (7.7 oz. for men's 9.0) and less expensive than previous Hoka models, which should allow more runners to consider maximalist shoes. Competitor has yet to wear-test this shoe, but trust us: it's super-light.
New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail, $110
Several brands are releasing maximalist shoes in 2014, both for road running and trail running. The New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail is one that caught our eye at the show. It uses a slightly different configuration of the midsole foam in the Fresh Foam 980 road running shoe. It has a 4mm heel-toe offset, weighs 10.2 oz. (men's size 9.0) and a unique directional lug pattern for optimal traction and braking capabilities.
Mizuno Wave Hayate, $110
Mizuno is revamping its commitment to trail running this fall with the release of two new trail shoes. The fast-and-agile, easy-flexing Wave Hayate uses Mizuno's Wave Spring technolgoy in a concave configuration, has a moderate heel-toe offset (9mm) and tips the scales at just 8.8 oz. (men's size 9.0). It has a seamless TPU-reinforced upper stylized with the look of an ancient Japanese battlefield print.
Altra Instict Everyday, $130
Many brands have incorporated some of the key elements of the minimalist movement into everyday shoes. Altra, a company known for having a zero-drop profile in all of its running shoes, debuts this stylish, lightweight nubuck leather casual shoe (10.5 oz. for men's size 9.0) with 23mm of foam and rubber under the foot.
Tesh 5T Sleeve + Twitch 1.0, $110
One of the more interesting concepts at the trade show was this two-in-one system from Tesh, a new company to the market in 2014. The 5T Sleeve is a lightweight form-fitting inner shoe ideal for indoor training, drills and yoga. It slips into a nest-like fit of the Twitch 1.0 zero-drop shoe (12mm in the forefoot and heel) that's suitable for moderate running, training and everyday wear.
inov-8 Race Ultra Vest, $120
Made of stretchy, breathable and durable meshes, the super-light inov-8 Race Ultra Vest weighs just 6.8 oz. empty and has a body-contouring, no-bounce fit ideal for long trail runs. It has a large stash-cord security area and seven pockets, including one on the back for a large hydration reservoir and two on the lower front designed for 500ml bottles.
Brooks Men’s Sherpa Shorts, $45
Several brands have incorporated smart pockets into shorts, pants and capris this year. Smart pockets are hidden in plain sight for there-when-you-need-them utility and no-bounce performance during a run. This pair of shorts has drop-in splash pockets to keep electronics and electrolyte capsules safe from sweat. In honor of its 100th birthday, Brooks used a map of Seattle to create the fabric print.
Saucony Sonic Reflex Jacket, $110
Built-in reflectivity doesn't mean you have to wear bright, day-glo colors. This water-resistant jacket (men's shown) has a stylish and subtle urban gray appearance in daylight, but when a car's headlights hit it, the woven fabric's 360-degree grid of reflectivity appears in full glory.
Banjees Wrist Wallet, $16.50
Face it, most of us carry several things on a run. Offered in a wide variety of solid colors and stylish prints, these lightweight two-pocket polyester and nylon wrist wallets are ideal for carrying keys, gels, credit cards, IDs and even a smartphone. (There is a version with a see-through nylon mesh that allows touch-screen interaction with a smartphone.)
Skechers Nite Owl Collection
Skechers unveiled one shoe with its glow-in-the-dark Nite Owl technology last fall. This year, it will implement that technology into its GoRun Ride 3, GoRun 3 and GoRun Ultra shoes.
Brooks Nightlife Pack
Brooks is adding shoes to its highly successful Nightlife after-dark running collection with three models in high-visibility yellow (men) and pink (women) colors and reflective laces and accents. Pictured here are the Glycerin 12, Ravenna 5 and Pure Flow 3 that will debut this fall.
Nathan QuickShot Plus BlackLight, $30
This popular 10-ounce handheld hydration solution gets a sleek makeover in reflective fabric that’s matte by day, but shines brightly when it’s caught in a vehicle's headlights.
Moving Comfort Just Right Full Zip Jacket, $125.
Functional fashion is on the rise in running apparel, especially because many pieces are being designed to be worn during the run and after the run (while at a coffee shop, on errands, etc). In this Moving Comfort piece, jacket accents look like leather, but are soft, wicking and ready to run.
Roxy Mix It Up Bra, $54
Running apparel continues to take fashion and function to the next level. Available in several bright, colorful designs, the medium support, reversible racerback Mix It Up Bra is made from a combination of soft, breathable and moisture-wicking polyester, Lycra and Spandex.
The North Face Illuminated Jacket, $199
This reversible jacket is all about high visibility running on one side and city chilling on the other, for two covet-worthy pieces in one coat.
Salomon S-Lab Hybrid Jacket, $275
Super light and packable, this new running jacket has a built-in headband. The integrated, soft-stretch band fits around your head to hold the hood in place without the use of cinches or pull-tabs.
Saucony Razor Hat, $38
From having high and low ponytail ports, to sides that cover ears, this unisex waterproof hat let’s users decide the best way to wear it.
Leki Micro Vario Carbon Poles, $199
Trail running poles will never be as popular in the U.S. as they are in Europe, but they've been catching on as ultrarunning has continued to grow. Leki's newest running poles are adjustable and collapsible, yet have extra-long steel connectors for improved rigidity. They men's version adjusts from 110cm to 130cm and weighs just 7.8 oz. per pole. The women's specific model adjusts from 100cm to 120cm.
Zamst HA-1 Run Support Socks, $35
Prehab and rehab running gear is on the rise, but the black, white and gray clinical look is starting to disappear. The HA-1 is designed to keep the heel in a neutral position and lift up the arch and prevent it from leaning inward, functions aimed at reducing the stress of repetitive impact to the plantar fascia.
Skechers Bolt + Sonic, $80
Nike debuted the concept of fully knitted uppers in 2012-2013, but now Skechers has stylish and functional models (they're breathable and supportive) with its KnitFit upper built on its GoRun Ride 3 midsole/outsole construction for half the price of the new Nike Flyknit Lunar 2.
The North Face Tri Climate Glove, $45
The Tri-Climate Glove System has three options that can be purchased separately or as a collection—a high-visibility water- and wind-resistant glove, a thermal glove and a waterproof shell mitt.
Saucony Kinvara 5 RunShield, $110
The new Kinvara 5 RunShield debuts this fall with a lightweight water-and wind-resistant upper. It's heavier than the regular Kinvara 5 (7.7 oz., men's size 9.0) but still fairly lightweight (8.5 oz., men's size 9.0) for a weather-resistant trainer.
Ice Bug Spirit 4, $159
The v3 version of this all-weather shoe has become popular among obstacle course racers, both because it's waterproof and it has 14 carbide spikes in its aggressively lugged outsole. But it's also great for trail running and running in snow, ice and wintry weather.
Vibram Bikila Evo WP, $150
Minimalism continues to evolve with new designs focused on functionality. This waterproof model has an above-the-ankle design with a seam-sealed interior and a sticky rubber outsole with a tread like a snow tire. It's not insulated, but wearing this shoe with a pair of merino wool Injinji toesocks could be an option for more warmth.
La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX, $179
You might never need the amount of weather protection this shoe affords, but if you've skipped an outdoor run this winter because of the cold and snow maybe you really do. Underneath the zip-up Gore-Tex gaiter covering is a lace-up waterproof shoe with an aggressively lugged sticky rubber outsole. It has an 8mm heel-toe offset and is relatively light for what it offers (13 oz., men's size 9.0).