Shoes and Gear – Your Online Source for Running Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:49:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Shoes and Gear – 32 32 A First Look At The New TRX Home2 System With Strength Exercises For Runners Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:00:24 +0000 We review the new TRX Home2 suspension system, TRX's updated app and the 4 best TRX strength exercises for runners.

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Product Opener Shot
Photo: Courtesy of TRX

The TRX suspension system—which enables you to train functional movement patterns using your own body weight—is a complete home gym in a 1-pound box. It’s managed to pierce a lot of runners’ inner shields exactly because it builds light, lean muscle; can go anywhere your sneakers do; and brings total-body benefits—without the bulk.

What exercises best complement your running regimen is up for debate: “Do I do body-weight, HIIT, yoga, weights, TRX, or what?! True: There are almost too many choices. But TRX simplifies that—with a free 1-year subscription to their updated fitness app. Here is a first look at the new TRX Home2 System ($199.95, available for purchase today, the updated TRX app, plus the 4 Best TRX strength exercises for runners.

What’s New

Lighter than ever, the TRX Home2 weighs only a pound and packs really small, so you can take it anywhere. Out of the box, you can easily anchor this total-body training tool to sturdy tree limbs, roofing joists, pullup bars, ceiling anchors, or over doors. What stands out is the continued simplicity of the device and its attachments despite its wide range of uses.

Adjustable Foot Cradles: This new feature accommodates a greater range of foot sizes. Whether you wear a women’s size 5 or men’s size 14, you can adjust the Velcro foot cradle to fit, so your foot doesn’t slip. Yet, it’s still easy to get your foot out too. That quick change comes in handy when going from exercises like TRX Lunges (with a secure toe cradling) to a TRX Hip Bridge (with a stable heel platform).

Padded Straps System: The strap area just above the handle gets a lot of wear and tear, but with the added padding of the TRX Home2 System, your hands and wrists don’t. This makes for a more pleasant hand-feel as you’re pressing and pulling your body weight with each repetition. The foot cradles are padded as well.

Loop Stop Up Top: Depending on what suspension system you’ve tried, you may have encountered the dreaded not-quite-even straps. So you find yourself fiddling to get the handles even when you should be training. The TRX Home2 System attaches the straps to a shorter loop near the top that doesn’t allow as much play on each side. So even though you can adjust the strap length easily and quickly, the anchoring point has a smaller radius that keeps the straps in just about the same position, allowing you to get to work faster.

RELATED: How To Integrate Cross-Training Into Your Running

TRX App Updates

The TRX app has also been updated to provide new workouts for the TRX Home2 buyers, who get a free 1-year subscription to the app (normally $4 per month for more than 80 workouts in running, cycling, yoga and HIIT).

Throughout the training, you can view integrated video demos of the moves, making it easy to glance at your phone, tablet or computer and then follow along. The coaches give encouraging cues and really helpful form tips so you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And if you’re wearing a heart rate monitor, the coaches prompt you with “custom” in-ear heart-rate-based pacing tips so you get the most out of your workout, as if you were working with a real trainer.

Only got 10 minutes? Or want to train slow and strong today? Want a running/cycling sprinting interval, or a TRX/strength combo workout that kicks your bum? The TRX app lets you scroll through workouts based on the time you have and the type of workout you want to do. You can also schedule workouts with reminders, record your own moves, and grow as an athlete with in-app progression algorithms to help you track your stats and exceed your fitness goals.

4 Best TRX Strength Exercises For Runners

TRXPhoto: Courtesy of TRX

These 4 TRX strength training exercises for runners will help power up your core, train under-exercised muscles, and strengthen your lower body all over so you’re running lighter (and longer) than ever before.

Side Lateral Lunge to Hip Hinge

  • Adjust the TRX strap to mid-height. Stand facing the anchor point with feet wider than shoulder width, about 4 feet apart, lightly holding a handle of the TRX in each hand, arms slightly bent. Step back so straps are about 45 degrees to floor.
  • Push your hips back and down and lower hips into a side lunge until your right thigh is about parallel to the floor, keeping your right knee tracking over your right toes as you lower; and keep your chest up throughout. The left leg should stay straight the entire time as the right leg bends.
  • Keep feet planted but press up to center until both legs are straight and your arms are straightened and lowered in front of you to about hip level.
  • Hinge forward at the waist, pushing your hips back and keeping your core tight, as you lower your chest until your torso and arms are parallel to the floor. Use your glutes and core to return to center.
  • Grip handles and return to a right lateral lunge. Do all reps on one side and then repeat on opposite side.


TRX Lunge

  • Stand facing away from a low anchored TRX strap, about 1 foot away from it, with the top of your right foot secured into the adjustable foot cradle. Place hands lightly behind head.
  • Lower your right knee back and down toward the floor until your left thigh is parallel to the floor, making sure your knees track over your toes and don’t go past your toes.
  • Fire through your left glutes to press back up to standing. Repeat.


Forward Lunge with Y Flye

  • Stand beneath a TRX with the straps adjusted to their shortest point. Face away from the anchor point, with your arms straight in front of you parallel to floor, lightly gripping the handles. Straps will be at about 45 degrees to floor and feet should be hip-distance apart.
  • Lunge forward with your right foot until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your back knee nearly touches the floor. As you lower, lift your arms out into a Y position to activate your back.
  • Press through the heel of your front foot to return to standing.


2-Arm Row

  • Stand facing the anchor point with the straps adjusted to short- or mid-length. Step away from the anchor point so that the straps are at a diagonal to the floor. And lean back so that your body forms a diagonal line to the floor, with arms straight, as you lean back holding the straps in front of you. Toes up. To make it harder, lower the straps and lean back farther.
  • Row both of your arms in to your sides, tucking elbows into sides and pulling your torso up, keep toes up still. Keep body strong and activated throughout.
  • Lower under control to start, with body at a diagonal to the floor.


RELATED: Strength Training Is Good For You, Runners—Here’s Proof

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10 Awesome Car Decals for Runners Thu, 12 Oct 2017 17:00:57 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=18454 These decals express exactly how it feels to be a runner.

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We’ve all seen (and maybe even own) the common car decals proudly displaying race distance accomplishments—5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2, etc.

If you’re a little bored with those, change it up with these great decals for runners!

car decals Custom Distance Car Magnet, $5 Runner's High Car Magnet, $5 Eat Sleep Run Repeat Car Magnet, $3 27.5 (I Got Lost) Car Magnet, $5 Toe Nails Are For Sissies Car Magnet, $4 Rather Be Running Car Magnet, $4 0.0 Car Magnet, $5

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10 Pieces Of Running Gear That Give Back To Charity Wed, 11 Oct 2017 17:12:28 +0000 We have rounded up the top pieces of gear that give back to charity—all while giving runners the best performance possible.

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We have rounded up the top gear that gives back all while giving you the best performance possible. Want to take it further? Make daily runs count, too!

The app Charity Miles allows you to select from more than 30 specified organizations to donate to, and it uses your phone’s GPS (if outside) or your accelerometer (if inside) to log physical activity (running, walking, biking, shoveling snow). To date, the app has earned more than $2.5 million for the National Parks Foundation, Ironman Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, (Red) and more.

RELATED: 5 Products Made With Eco-Friendly Runners In Mind

GracedByGrit Chelsea Legging, $118 MPG Eden 2.0 Run Tee, $44 Handful Y Back Bra, $54 Marc Pro Plus, $950 charity running gear Cotopaxi Veloz Hydration Pack 3L, $119 Janji Landon 2-in-1 Shorts, $52 Columbia OutDry Eco Jacket, $199 Givida Give Hat, $30 Pro Compression Blue Vertex Calf Sleeve, $45

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9 Runners Share Their All-Time Favorite Pair Of Running Shoes Wed, 04 Oct 2017 23:58:00 +0000 We asked our readers to divulge their all-time favorite running shoes and you delivered in a big way. Here's what you had to say.

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We asked and you responded…What is your favorite pair of running shoes ever?

“Altra Torins for women because I like a shoe that protects yet lets me feel the ground. No plantar issues either. Great toe-box for my wide feet. I usually wear men’s.” —Amy K.

“New Balance 5000 racing shoes. You feel like you are flying in them.” —Camelia M.

RELATED: The Secret To Pairing Your Training Shoes And Racing Shoes

“Hoka One One Challenger 3 for trail and road usage. Plus, they fit my feet perfectly and have great traction on sketchy conditions.” —Dave M.

“Nike Air Waffle Trainers, circa 1980, 1981. As a kid, I never had name-brand sneakers. When I joined cross country going into 10th grade, we got a free pair. They were blue with the yellow swoosh. They were great and I was so excited to have a pair. I wore them out!” —Mary Beth G.

“I have run in Adidas Supernovas for over 15 years. Adidas changed up the fit about five years ago and I stopped wearing them as much until they switched to the Boost soles. Now I won’t run in anything but Adidas Supernova Boosts.” —David Z.

“Favorite ever? ASICS Gel-Blur 2.0. Made as if they were made just for me, perfect ride.” —Chris T.

“All of my PRs have been run in the On Cloudsurfer model.” —Justin A.

RELATED: Do The Shoes You Wear While Not Running Matter?

“Saucony Hurricane 17s. They were purple. They are retired now, but instead of throwing them out, I have kept them as a reminder. They were the shoes I put on when I ran my very first time after cancer surgery. I was so unsure of myself and my abilities after being sidelined. Those shoes got me through the slowest 3K I have ever done. But it was the best run of my life. I’ll never forget being grateful for the power of movement.” —Gail P.

“Newton, Newton, Newton! Comfortable right out of the box whether I’m on the road or on the trails. Got them for my first Ironman and haven’t looked back!” —Julie H.

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5 Pieces Of Special Edition Chicago Marathon Gear Wed, 04 Oct 2017 18:12:21 +0000 A collection of special edition shoes and apparel for the 40th running of the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8.

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With all the training and effort invested in a momentous event like the Chicago Marathon, participants feel the need to commemorate it with more than the post-race labored stride and finisher’s medal. That’s where special edition shoes and apparel come into play, allowing runners to show off their accomplishment the way a varsity athlete sports a letter jacket. Check out what brands are putting out for this year’s Chicago Marathon.

RELATED: 5 Things To Know About The 2017 Chicago Marathon

Newton Chicago Fate 3 Saucony Kinvara 8 Chicago Fleet Feet Sports Chicago Collection Nike Zoom Fly SP Chicago Nike Chicago Marathon Apparel 2017 Chicago Marathon Pixel Map Mug

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10 Best Road Shoes To Take You From Fall To Winter Running Tue, 03 Oct 2017 23:40:47 +0000 In our latest shoe spotlight, we have reviewed the latest and most updated kicks to carry you from fall into winter.

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This fall’s running road shoe lineup is about as consistent as a pile of autumn leaves: varied with something for everyone. You can find anything from flyweight supple racers to sturdy and waterproof trail stompers. Some are bare-bones with zero drop. Others are thick and pillow-like. Here’s our take on the best of the season’s offerings.

RELATED: 10 Best Trail Running Shoes Of Fall 2017

Brooks Revel Under Armour Charged Bandit 3 Altra Escalante On Cloudrush Adidas UltraBoost All Terrain Mizuno Wave Sonic 361° Spinject Icebug DTS3 RB9X GTX ASICS Dynamis Hoka One One Clayton 2

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What Amelia Boone Can’t Run Without Fri, 29 Sep 2017 19:49:15 +0000 Amelia Boone, one of the most decorated obstacle racers of all time, is competing in the Spartan World Champs.

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amelia boone

Amelia Boone is one of the most decorated obstacle runners in history. She is a three-time champion of the World’s Toughest Mudder, a Spartan Race World Champion and an accomplished ultrarunner. When she isn’t training, Boone works full-time as a corporate lawyer for Apple. Her next race is the 2017 Spartan World Championships on September 29th. You can stream the event live on Facebook at Spartan Live.

Ahead of her race this weekend, Boone shared the five items that power her over obstacles and across miles.

RELATED: What Clare Gallagher Can’t Run Without

HumanN BeetElite Hyperice Hypersphere Rocktape H20 Bizzy Coffee Shots Aquaphor

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This Earpiece Can Connect Runners Anywhere In The World Thu, 28 Sep 2017 17:51:54 +0000 This new earpiece technology could change the way runners communicate with one another on the road or trail.

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Can you hear me now? Runners aren’t a super chatty bunch—every breath counts—but this new earpiece technology could change the way we communicate with one another on the road or trail.

How does it work?

The Bonx Grip earpiece ($140) enables group communication with up to 10 users anywhere in the world. It uses Bluetooth technology on your phone, and the Bonx app taps into your cellular reception to connect everyone in the same chat room. Precise voice detection helps distinguish human voices from outdoor noises. And because the earpieces are meant for active users, its hand-free design is both shock-resistant and waterproof. A grip-like ear hook ensures it stays on your ear during the roughest activities.

RELATED: 3 Apps Helping Runners Stay Connected And Inspired

Why should runners take note?

This device could be particularly helpful for runners who need to stay connected. For example, during ultras and marathons, runners and their support crews can check in throughout the race. Running groups can chat away with ease without having to stay on pace with one another. It could even be used as a training device for coaches on the track, providing live—and private— feedback. We’re buzzing with creative ways to use it.

RELATED: 3 Tips To Run Safe With Headphones

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3 Apps Helping Runners Stay Connected And Inspired Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:09:16 +0000 These three apps are making it easy for runners to keep up with each others' progress, find new running spots and even have GIF wars.

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Staying current with fellow runners has never been easier. Whether you are looking for a new running crew or already have a steady group, these three apps can help you fi nd workouts, training partners and trails both close to home and when you’re on the road.

RELATED: 3 Apps That Help Runners Stay Mentally Strong


This social network for athletes has recently rolled out new features to help users find others and stay connected. Runners in search of some company can easily locate a group in their area through the app’s club search. Those clubs can post announcements, share routes, create events and send out other content to their members’ Strava feed. And if you run by someone who looks like a potential new training partner, you can always try to find out who they are by using the service’s Flyby feature.
Free, iPhone and Android; premium membership is $8/month or $60/year.


If your running group is tired of meeting at the same places, it is time to try this app to search by location for new-to-you trails. Each trail has a detailed map, difficulty ranking, directions to the trailhead, photos and reviews by fellow users. You can share the map with your running group via text, email or Instagram. You can also follow other AllTrails users to view their favorites and see where they’ve recently run. Like most apps, expect updates, rollouts and additional features in the coming months to increase usability.
Free, iPhone and Android; pro membership is $30/year.

RELATED: Can Social Running Hurt Your Training?


Instead of resorting to endless text messages or countless email chains to make plans, many runners are turning to Slack. The messaging app has been mostly used to easily communicate in work environments. But some runners have created private channels to keep in touch with a running group. Share the details of your next run, drop in a link to a race or discuss that last workout—all in a place that is invite-only. And let’s face it, Giphy wars are the best!
Free, iPhone and Android.

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The New Brooks Levitate Promises To Give Runners More Energy Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:26:29 +0000 The new Brooks Levitate running shoe claims to have the greatest energy return in the industry thanks to new DNA AMP technology.

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Photo: Brooks Running


Brooks Running is launching the all-new Levitate—a shoe engineered to provide the most energy return of leading performance running shoes. The Levitate took seven years of research to perfect. It is the first Brooks shoe to feature the brand’s new DNA AMP midsole.

DNA AMP is a polyurethane (PU) foam that naturally expands, returning energy to the runner with every stride. Brooks encased the foam in a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) skin that resists horizontal expansion. This means the shoe is able to deliver energy directly back to the runner. Brooks describes the feel of the shoe as flexible but firm.

Photo: Brooks Running

Photo: Brooks Running

The upper is made with Fit Knit material that moves and expands as a runner’s foot is in motion. The bottom of the shoe has an arrow point pattern, which is meant to promote a smooth and quick heel to toe strike.

Photo: Brooks Running

Photo: Brooks Running

What does all of this technology add up to? A shoe that promises to return energy back to the runner with every step. Brooks claims that the Levitate is one of the most responsive and springy shoes in the industry.

“We’re pushing the limits of energy return with the new Brooks Levitate and are excited to unveil a shoe that has been engineered from the ground up to provide runners with an infinitely energetic experience,” said Carson Caprara, director of global product line management, Brooks Running. “The Brooks Levitate features our revolutionary new DNA AMP midsole technology that releases energy straight back to the runner, making the experience so fun they might feel like running forever.”


The Levitate is available for pre-order now and will release on September 30. The shoe is $150 and comes in two colors each for men and women.

RELATED: The 10 Best Trail Running Shoes Of Fall 2017

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What Clare Gallagher Can’t Run Without Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:24:52 +0000 Fresh off her victory at the CCC Ultra 100 (Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix) Clare Gallagher shares her go-to fuel and gear.

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Clare Gallagher is fresh off her victory at the CCC Ultra 100 (Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix). It was a 13-minute win (12:13:57) that many considered an upset over Maite Maiora of Spain. Now she shares with us the things she definitely won’t hit the trail without!

Trail Shoes:

This may be obvious, but if this list had to be one item, it’d be a pair of North Face Litewaves. I could run without clothes, food or water, but I can’t run trails without good shoes. My feet would be very sad.

RELATED: 13 Tips For Buying Trail Shoes


I don’t drink any electrolyte mix because I prefer salt pills and Coca Cola while racing. Water is the foundation. I’ll drink potable or non-potable water depending on the severity of my thirst.


Practically more important than my pre-race coffee or even pre-race meal is HOTSHOT. I take it roughly 20 minutes before every race (including skimo races!) and big workouts and I never cramp. In long ultras, I’ll preventatively take HOTSHOT starting four or five hours into the race and continue to take it every few hours until the end.


Whether in the form of Frost’d frosting, Honey Stinger gels and/or Sour Patch Kids. Glucose is life.

RELATED: Allow Us To Introduce You To Running’s First Lady Of Frosting

My Ultimate Direction Pack:

Can’t bring your HOTSHOT, water and frosting without a place to put it!

A Hair Tie:

I’m not the “run free with your hair down” type of runner.

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The Three Most Important Running Shoe Terms To Know Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:34:55 +0000 It feels like winning bingo when you understand all the running shoe terminology and can buy shoes that are right for you.

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Those dedicated and understanding footwear salespeople really want to help you find the best shoe. But it may seem as if they are talking another language. Here are some key terms and explanations that will help you talk the talk to better run the run, so to speak.

Neutral or Motion Control

The Basics: Pronation is a natural part of a runner’s gait cycle, but for some that motion is more pronounced and causes instability, leading to repetitive motion injuries, especially in the knees. A shoe can have motion control or be “neutral” to allow you to go through your natural gait cycle uninfluenced.

History Lesson: Stability shoes of the past were blocky and forced the foot’s cycle. The modern approach is a less intrusive, gentler and suggestive technique.

Extra Credit: Motion control, also known as stability shoes, uses various strategic mechanical devices like posts, plastic or midsole zone construction to minimize the foot’s lateral movement.

RELATED: The Secret To Pairing Your Training Shoes And Racing Shoes


The Basics: This section between the outsole (which is the tread part that comes in contact with the ground) and insole (which is the liner on which your feet rest) is where the magic happens. It is where all the cushioning, protection, rebound and dampening occurs.

History Lesson: Midsoles have been made from ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and/or polyurethane (PU). EVA tends to be light and flexible, but loses those qualities faster than PU, which is heavier, firmer and more durable. Shoe companies vary the EVA densities and hardness—which is called “durometer”—and mix in PU and a compression molding process to extend the midsole life. Now encapsulated foam technologies (like in the Adidas Boost) allow for even more midsole variations.

Extra Credit: Manufacturers also place air, gel and other cushioning units as well as new support and motion-control technologies in the insole.


The Basics: This is the height differential, measured in millimeters, between the shoe’s heel and forefoot.

History Lesson: It used to be standard to find 9–12mm offsets, but thanks to the “minimalist” movement, the norm these days is closer to 6–8mm, but some shoes are “zero drop”—closest to the angle of being barefoot.

Extra Credit: The total measure of the thickness, or “stack height,” may include the outsole and insole, but it will always encompass the midsole.

RELATED: What To Do When Your Running Shoe Is Discontinued

The ‘Last’ Word

Shoes are built around a mold, or last. The old industry standard was a men’s size 9 and then other shoes, including women’s, were built by scaling up and down. But it is worth noting that companies are— finally!—taking an approach that is more gender-specific. ASICS makes men’s and women’s lasts and Altra makes a different mold for every single shoe.

Once carved from wood, lasts have evolved dramatically over the years—and so has the science behind them. Materials now include metals and plastics, and with engineered woven uppers, pre-formed construction and 3D printing leading the way, lasts could quickly become things of the past.

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A Sneak Peek At New Balance’s 2017 NYC Marathon Shoes And Apparel Wed, 13 Sep 2017 20:38:44 +0000 New Balance gives us a sneak peek at their new apparel and footwear collections that are designed for the 2017 NYC Marathon.

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New Balance has unveiled its two new collections for the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon. The apparel, accessories and footwear include both running pieces and lifestyle silhouettes. They are designed for runners, as well as their spectators.

Launching first is the New Balance TCS New York City Marathon Collection. Graphic tees, tanks, half zips, shorts, and performance jackets will be available in a variety of colors, all featuring the famed marathon’s logo. New Balance is even releasing an updated version of their original Marathon Windcheater Jacket. The Windcheater was part of New Balance’s first apparel collection in 1978.

The smaller, limited edition Marathon Capsule Collection will be released on Oct. 18. This launch features premium apparel that takes its inspiration from the city that never sleeps. The apparel and footwear is black with gold embellishments, representing the twinkling lights of New York City. The collection includes tanks, tees and long sleeves with 40 UPF to protect runners from the sun in every season, as well as tights and a winter running jacket.

Four limited edition running shoes will also be available to celebrate the 48th running of the NYC Marathon. New Balance chose a few of their most popular models—860v8, 1400v5, Fresh Foam Zante v3 and Fresh Foam 1080v—and added design elements and logos representing the marathon and New York City. The 860v8, 1400v5, and 1080v7 will become available on Sept. 15. The Fresh Foam Zante v3 will launch with the smaller collection on Oct. 18.

All apparel and footwear will be available at New Balance retailers, the NYRR RunCenter in NYC, at the New York City Marathon expo and

Take a look at the collection below.

RELATED: The Top Americans Running This Year’s NYC Marathon

Women's Marathon Precision 3-in-1 Jacket, $250 Women's Marathon Impact Premium Print Tight Women's Marathon Seasonless Tank Grey, $55 Men's Marathon Precision 3-in-1 Jacket, $250 Men's Marathon Impact Premium Print Tight Men's Marathon Seasonless Short Sleeve Grey, $60 Fresh Foam Zante v3, $110 1400v5 Marathon, $110 860v8 Marathon, $140 Fresh Foam 1080v7 Marathon, $165 Women's Marathon Windcheater Jacket, $130 Women's Marathon Windblocker Hybrid Jacket Women's Marathon Seasonless Long Sleeve Women's Marathon NB Heat Pullover Women's Marathon NB Ice Short Sleeve Women's Marathon Novelty Tank Women's Marathon Perfect Tank Men's Marathon Windcheater Jacket, $130 Men's Marathon Windblocker Hybrid Jacket Black Men's Marathon NB Heat Half Zip Men's Marathon Seasonless Long Sleeve Red Men's Marathon NB Ice Singlet Mens Marathon Impact 5 Inch Short Black

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3 New Stylish GPS Run Devices To Get Your Hands On Tue, 12 Sep 2017 17:02:00 +0000 We review three different GPS run watches released this month, Garmin Vivosport, Suunto Spartan Trainer, and Fitbit Ionic.

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2017 is shaping up to be a year of fitness wearables with deeper on board GPS run capabilities and serious run wearables with more style. Three products just released this past month exemplify the trend: The Fitbit Ionic—the brand’s first and long overdue smartwatch with GPS, the Garmin Vívosport—the smallest GPS enabled band style watch to date, and finally, a stylish smaller and lighter version of Suunto’s all sports capable Spartan, The Trainer.

vivosport family

Garmin Vívosport


Highlight: The practically invisible GPS/HR Watch

Who is it for: The runner who wants full on board GPS run capabilities in an unobtrusive fitness, HR, sleep, activity, music control, and notifications band that can be worn 24/7.

The Vívosport is the smallest and lightest fitness band with integrated GPS from any major brand to date. It is a great choice if you also wear a regular watch or bracelets. At 25 grams, it’s about the same weight as the popular Fitbit Charge HR, but slightly wider. But it is lighter and considerably thinner than its predecessor the Vívosmart HR+. Despite the small size, battery life does not suffer with up to 7 days in watch mode and 8 hours in GPS mode. It not only packs in all the features of an up-to-date activity and HR band but also includes GPS run, walk and cycle tracking. The screen is more than adequately viewable in bright sunlight on the run. And for such a tiny surface with no buttons, the touch screen is very intuitive and reliable to operate even with sweaty fingers on the go. Run data fields are customizable and include average pace, and elevation via its barometric altimeter. A full activity band, it also tracks HR 24/7, sleep, estimates V02 max, calculates and displays stress levels via HRV (heart rate variability) and provides phone notifications and music control.

Suunto Spartan Trainer

Suunto Spartan Trainer

$279 or $329 with metal bezel,

Highlight: Rugged multi-sport GPS/HR watch in a compact, fashionable format

Who is it for: The adventurous runner who wants a compact size, stylish multi-sport and all-day watch that isn’t heavy, big or overly pricey.

The Spartan Trainer joins its larger, pricier cousin the Spartan Sport Wrist HR as a smaller, lighter yet solidly built fashionable option at a great price. Training battery life is 10 hours—extendable to 32 hours with less frequent sampling. But it has a strong 14-day battery life in time mode. The data screens with 4 to 5 fields each are somewhat hard to see in sunlight due in part to skinny small digits for secondary data fields and a comparatively dim screen. Highly customizable via the Movescount site, a multitude of Sports Modes and data fields can be configured to the watch. Unusual for the price point, but a staple for mountain-focused Suunto, the Trainer can save points of interest and do a breadcrumb navigation of route files uploaded to the watch. Suunto recommends a warm-up to improve go time wrist heart rate accuracy. An impressive feature of this watch is the GPS-based elevation readings, although as the Trainer does not have a barometric altimeter such readings take somewhat longer to lock in. A decently featured smart watch, the Trainer includes phone notifications, activity, basic sleep tracking, and can graph and display your heart rate over the last 12 hours, including minimum HR, all presented in an elegant modern fashion.

FitBit Ionic Smartwatch

Fitbit Ionic


Highlight: Fitbit’s first smartwatch with GPS, contactless payments and music on board

Who is it for: Fitbit health insights fans and on-the-go runners who want to leave the phone, music player, wallet, and even personal trainer behind.

Fitbit is going all in with the Ionic. Priced $60 less than the Apple Watch Series 3, it has a GPS for phone-free running, hiking and cycling, an oxygen saturation sensor and a barometric altimeter. Of course, Ionic includes the Fitbit app’s rich suite of easy-to-understand and act on health insights, including its excellent Sleep Stages and Insights and cardiac fitness data from its continuous Pure Pulse heart rate monitoring. The Run mode includes auto pause and auto lap as well as the ability to customize the three-field screen for run essentials such as average pace, lap and full distance, and heart rate. The battery life spec of up to 10 hours in GPS mode and 4 days in watch mode doubles that of the Apple Watch Series 2 and is competitive with other GPS run watches. An app platform will allow developers to extend the watch’s utility. The colorful, high brightness LCD touch screen displays personalized, guided workouts, and the watch even suggests a more intense workout after a restful night. SmartTrack automatically detects the start of runs and even swims (the seamless watch case is water resistant to 50M). Ionic can even coach you through personalized workouts with its on-screen animations. Up to 300 songs can be stored on the watch including curated Pandora Plus or Premium workout stations. Listen to them on wireless BT earphones including Fitbit’s new Flyer ($130). Fitbit does not forget style and versatility, offering a variety of interchangeable bands including leather, classic, and sport.

RELATED: What To Look For In a GPS Running Watch

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What Amy Cragg Can’t Run Without Fri, 08 Sep 2017 22:43:55 +0000 Amy Cragg recently became the first American woman to bring home a marathon medal at the World Championships since 1983.

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2017 World Championships-London

American distance runner Amy Cragg recently became the first American woman to bring home a marathon medal at the World Championships since 1983. Last month in London, she posted a 2:27:18 to claim the bronze. But she couldn’t do it alone! These are the things she simply can’t run without.

HOTSHOT, $65 for 12-pack Nike Shield Flash Jacket, $297.95 Trigger Point Massage Ball, $20 Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, $150 GU Energy Hydration Drink Mix, $36 for 24-pack Zamst IW-2 Icing Compression Set, $80

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Balega’s New Sock Collection Honors Inspirational Runner Thu, 07 Sep 2017 23:28:56 +0000 The company honors the founder of We Finish Together–Kim Stemple of Baton Rouge, La,—with their new collection out this month.

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So many runners rely on inspirational messages to keep going. Sometimes it’s written on a hand or bracelet and you can look down for a boost. Or it’s a race sign that your family holds along the road as you soldier on. It can even be a mantra you repeat or a text from a friend that you recall mid-run.

RELATED: The Magical Powers Of Mental Mantras

Balega offers a new option this month for your feet. Choose among these three sayings (and many other color options) to leave your own personal foot note with the Grit and Grace collection ($14 each, with $1 benefiting Breast Cancer Prevention Partners). The maxims are printed on Balega’s Enduro for women—a mid-weight sock with extra cushion on the bottom and arch support.

But the story doesn’t end there. This new collection is dedicated to Kim Stemple of Baton Rouge, La., a runner who understands how much of a difference kind words can make. After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, she founded We Finish Together to pass along medals and words of love and support to people going through challenges.

RELATED: This Act Of Kindness During A Half Marathon Is Going Viral

Thousands of people have been cheered through her efforts so Balega wanted to take the opportunity to honor her: “Living large every day and giving her all, Kim is an inspiration for so many to keep going, and above all, to offer a comforting hand when needed, as a reminder that kindness matters.”

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Why Everyone Needs A Local Running Store Thu, 07 Sep 2017 22:17:11 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=9143 Everyone should have a local running store and not just for the products, but the assistance that comes along with it.

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Photo: James D. DeCamp

Everyone has their favorite store. That place where you know you can get exactly what you need, receive good service and walk out completely satisfied. In my running-obsessed life, of course my place is a running store! More specifically, it’s my local running store, Fleet Feet Sports in Gaithersburg, Md.

I’ve been running for almost 12 years. When I started I was totally clueless. I picked out shoes off of the sale rack at a store and called it a day. I embarked on my running journey with what I hoped were running-specific shoes and trained for my first 5K. Soon thereafter, I decided to sign up for a 15K race with a friend. I took an online questionnaire and self-diagnosed my running style. Soon after I ordered what I felt were the correct shoes online.

After shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and multiple other issues, I finally learned my lesson. I wandered into a running-specific store to get fitted for shoes for my first marathon. Finally my shoes that fit right and are suited towards heavy mileage!

When I moved home to Maryland nine years ago, I quickly sought out Fleet Feet Sports. And over the years, I’ve been a regular customer—from shoe fittings to bra fittings to advice on gifts for family members. I’ve always received excellent customer service that keeps me coming back.

RELATED: How To Buy Your Next Pair Of Shoes

Even though I’m not a beginner anymore, I still get fitted for each new shoe. Many things can change over years of running. What kind of mileage I’m doing now, how my feet may have changed with pregnancies and the impact of running long distances over the years all factor into the choice of a new shoe.

Recently I went back into the store with fairly new shoes on my feet. I had been fitted for the shoes at Fleet Feet that had just taken me through the Philadelphia Marathon. I asked a question about a seam fraying on the shoe. According to the store, the shoes should not have fallen apart so quickly. They replaced my shoes immediately with a fresh pair. That’s great customer service.

Fleet Feet has grown their training programs, becoming a part of the fabric of the running community here in Maryland. They have always offered a couple of “fun runs”, but through the years I’ve seen them expand their training programs. It always seems as though something new is popping up on their calendar. In fact, they served nearly 900 participants in their training programs in 2014. How impressive is that?

The advice at Fleet Feet Sports Gaithersburg flows freely. The time they’ve spent with my hard-to-fit feet has been impressive. And after I lost 50 pounds, a bra fitting was a life-saver too!

I’ve noticed them become a part of the community and a go-to resource for all things running and athletics. I found my my go-to place for all things running.

Read about Cynthia’s running and other adventures at You Signed Up For WHAT?! 

RELATED: 10 Best Trail Running Shoes Of Fall 2017

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Kara Goucher Launches Recovery Apparel With Oiselle Thu, 07 Sep 2017 20:56:42 +0000 Made in partnership with Oiselle, this recovery line by Kara Goucher includes five pieces of gear made to rest and relax in.

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Olympian Kara Goucher has partnered with her apparel sponsor, Oiselle, to create a five-piece recovery line focused on post-workout apparel. Goucher signed on with Oiselle back in 2014 and the exclusive styles were designed from concept to completion with Goucher at the helm.

The line features muscle tanks, sweats, sleeveless hoodie and a sweater all made with technical fabrics including a premium, lightweight fleece and an ultra-soft, pre-shrunk poly-cotton using water-based inks. The line is available starting today on

RELATED: 13 Pieces Of Street-Style For Fall Running

Recovery is an essential component to every athlete’s regimen,” said Goucher. “I wanted this collection to reflect that core principle while simultaneously adding a unique twist of style and comfort.”

Here’s a look at the recovery line, all on sale now exclusively through Oiselle.

Kara Goucher Oiselle Kara Unrelenting Muscle Tank, $42 Oiselle Kara You Belong Boatneck Tank, $42 Oiselle Kara Pants in Heather Charcoal, $84 Oiselle Kara Pants in Heather Ghost, $84 Oiselle Kara Sleeveless Hoodie, $82 Oiselle Kara Sweatshirt, $96

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13 Pieces Of Street-Style For Fall Running Wed, 06 Sep 2017 17:58:44 +0000 Check out our picks for both men and women to inject some street-style into autumn athletes and stay cool all season long.

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Our picks for men and women inject some street-style into autumn athletes.

The North Face Runners Shinsky, $30 Roka Vendée, $210 Brooks Distance Long Sleeve Shirt, $44 Ten Thousand 9” Cross Training Interval Short, $58–68 Patagonia Houdini Vest, $55 Adidas AlphaBounce, $110 Sweaty Bands, $16 ASICS FuseX Flow Tank, $40 Outdoor Voices ⅞ Springs Leggings, $95 New Balance CoreFleece Full Zip, $65 Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Gold, $549 APL Techloom Phantom, $165

RELATED: 10 Best Trail Running Shoes Of Fall 2017

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What Mirinda Carfrae Can’t Run Without Fri, 01 Sep 2017 17:55:21 +0000 Though she makes her bones as a triathlete, Mirinda Carfrae—or Rinny—is known as one of the best runners in the sport.

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Though she makes her bones as a triathlete, Mirinda Carfrae is known as one of the best runners in the sport. She gives us a peek inside her closet and mind for the things she can’t run without.

  • A great pair of shoes. My go-to favorites are the New Balance Vazee Pace and the Hanzo. Great fit, awesome colors.
  • A plan. Unless I’m running for the pure joy of it, which I also do sometimes. I set goals early and everything I do is centered around these goals for the middle of the season leading into IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. Regardless of your goals, I urge you to have them and use them to  help guide you for your racing or fitness goals. Training is the journey and racing is the gauge. Give yourself milestones and fun rewards!
  • Focus and intention. I pride myself with always having focus and a set intention for every day I run out the door. This could mean working on cadence or rhythm with some efforts or focusing on the little details. Imagining that my competition is also doing the extra work always inspires.
  • My Polar watchThe Polar M430 keeps me honest at all times. Very easy to read and fully customizable. I personally love how it sits on my wrist.
  • A good recovery snack. I love knowing there is chocolate milk when I finish, especially after my the longer runs. Recovery is my secret weapon and I always can count on a tasty and cold chocolate milk to get the right mix of protein and carbs for recovery.
  • Sun protection is vital. My Oakley Radar Prizm sunnies or my TYR visor are absolute must-haves for when I’m going out on longer runs. They sit ready at the front door ready at all times.
  • Fuel (for the body and brain). I don’t head out with my chocolate peanut butter GU and of course my favorite playlist. My favorite playlist including the Foo Fighters, Selena Gomez, Adele and Rihanna.

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