The Boston Marathon expo is one of the running industry’s premier exhibitions for new and exciting products and services. This year features 200 exhibitors showcasing their latest and greatest in endurance sports. Among some of the bigger brands in attendance are Asics, John Hancock, Brooks Sport, Gatorade, lululemon athletica, New Balance, Skechers Performance and the official Boston Marathon sponsors adidas.
The event attracts over 100,000 attendees each year including the over 30,000 Official Boston Marathon Entrants. This year, we browsed through the various booths and talked with exhibitors, and found nine products that are definitely worth checking out.
New Balance: This is Boston
Hometown brand New Balance featured a very limited series of singlets celebrating each of Boston’s many distinct neighborhoods as part of its new “Fearlessly Independent” global marketing campaign. The lead designer said, “Everyone jokes about how streets are a mess. They have personality. A signature, people love to tell the story of Boston, but rarely do you hear the stories from around town. That’s what inspired the singlets.” Currently, Southie and Dorchester are leading the way with the most sales.
Saucony X Dunkin’ Kinvara 9
In a brilliant move, Saucony and local icon Dunkin’ Donuts collaborated on a special edition Kinvara, packaged in a donut box. The lines were huge with many buying more than one pair. Pictured above are first-time Boston runners Siobhan and Julie from Chicago show off their “sweet” new kicks. The limited-edition Sauconys are only available at the expo and are selling pretty quickly, so hurry over if you want yours.
Polar showcased striking new colors of its light and small GPS/HR watch, now an even greater value at a lower price. The M430 and its companion free Polar Flow app is a complete run training system. It will track your heart rate 24/7, your sleep through its new Sleep Plus feature, activity, training load and fitness and recovery status providing valuable actionable insights. Free adaptive race training programs and phone notifications are included. A favorite among elites, you may just see Molly Huddle donning one this coming Marathon Monday. The Polar M430 is available for $199.
UK based Runderwear launched in the US this week with a line of performance underwear for men and women focused on run comfort. The bras, briefs and boxers have 360-degree seamless construction, are highly breathable with strategically-placed perforations, are moisture-wicking, and chafe-free. Rundwear apparel begins at around $20.
Possibly one of the most popular booths at the expo right now is the Rapid Reboot loungers. The Rapid Reboot sleeves use dynamic compression and are said to speed up the body’s natural healing processes by enhancing blood flow to the muscles to facilitate cellular repair and protein-synthesis while helping flush out and relieve inflammation and swelling. Rapid Reboot loungers start at $995.
At first, the power-tool-like sound and look of the Theragun can seem a bit intimidating. But after a quick demo on our sore shoulders, we couldn’t help but want more. Using a percussive therapy approach, multiple interchangeable heads tap away using frequency, amplitude and torque at up to 2,500 times per minutes. The Theragun claims to release muscle spasms, decrease lactic acid, break up scar tissue, improve flexibility, and increase blood flow. Theragun is priced at $599.
Tracksmith: Race Pack
The Boston brand Tracksmith is offering registered runners (while supplies last), a free kit at their Trackhouse and store on Newbury Street. The yellow kit focuses on the running benefits of bananas in its accompanying Meter marathon guide. Tracksmith also featured a collection of Boston-inspired run apparel for men and women.
Skechers Performance is showcasing their GOrun Ride 7 and GOmeb Razor 2 Boston Editions this year. The men’s and women’s shoes come in a black and blue colorway with a splash of gold added in. Skechers told us that 2014 Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi will wear a pair during his run Monday but the exact model is yet to be decided upon. Keflezighi will pace the three-hour group while raising money for the Martin Richard Foundation. Martin was a victim of the 2013 bombing and Team MR8 is dedicated to advancing sportsmanship, inclusion, kindness and peace in his name. The GOrun Ride 7 is priced at $90 and the GOmeb Razor 2 is priced at $110.
Oofos, the recovery sandal and now recovery shoe brand is displaying their latest Boston slides and sandals as well their new OOmg Shoes. To highlight the shock-absorbing characteristics of their OOfoam they presented a video of dancers set on a modern stone plaza in Portugal using the shoes. OOmg shoes begin at $119.