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Newton Running: Buy a Shoe, Grow Healthy Kids!

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When you buy the special edition Learning Garden shoe from Newton Running, you're planting the seeds of a better tomorrow. Through outdoor hands-on classrooms, at-risk students are connected to real food, strengthining their roots in the community and providing healthier choices to their families and neighbors.

With each pair of shoes purchased, The Kitchen Community offers one child access to a Learning Garden in his or her school, impacting 100,000 students daily.
Now is your chance to make a difference with the purchase of Newton Running's Learning Garden shoe, available exclusively at Zappos.com!

BUY THE LEARNING GARDEN SHOE >>

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The Running List: Top-Ranking Running Shoes

Welcome back friends! Now that you are all experts and know what type of running shoe is best for you, I have made some selections for the best specific running shoe for each category: Netural, Trail, Stability, and Track and Field. For those that may need a little refresher of last month’s blog, please check it out here!

As I mentioned before, I wish there was one shoe that I could recommend that would be the best running shoe for you. Unfortunately, there is no magic shoe that is right for everyone. I suppose it isn’t such a bad thing, as then I would have nothing to write about and be out of a job just kidding, they don’t pay me for this gig, but I digress…

In reality, there are actually thousands of possible running shoes for every type of runner. It may seem like a daunting challenge, but think of it as a fun way to start with a few umpteen shoes in your virtual shopping cart, knowing  you get to whittle down the general selection to just  a few choice pairs - sort of like The Bachelor, but for running shoes!  

Now that we have made our Rose Selection, or whatever it is that they do on The Bachelor, (sorry, I actually do not watch the show but have heard good things) it is important to keep in mind exactly why these shoes will be important. For anyone serious about running,  (generally characterized by running three or more times a week) a good running shoe will be able to provide support in the correct places and spaces, cushioning where needed, motion control, and flexibility. In short, the perfect running shoe will act as an extension of your individual foot, hopefully allowing you to run longer, farther, and to places you have never been before!

Without further ado, I provide you my top three selections of running shoes based upon customer ratings, overall technical features, best sellers and functionality in these specific categories:

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Neutral:

1. Under Armour UA Speedform Apollo GR

2. Inov-8 F-Lite™ 240

3. Nike Flex Experience Run 3

 

Trail:

4. Salomon XR Mission W

5. Montrail Bajada™

6. La Sportiva Vertical K Men’s

Stability:

7.  ASICS Gel-Kayano® 21

8. Newton Running Kismet

9. Brooks Addiction™ 11

Track and Field:

10. Puma TFX Spring v5

11. New Balance Spike

12. Saucony Carrera XC

Until next time, happy trails, roads and other unchartered terrains! :)

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The Running List: 4 Rules for Finding Your Perfect Running Shoes

I have a distinct memory of my first pair of running shoes, mostly because up until six years ago I am pretty sure running shoes in my size only came in three colors: blue, black and/or white. Having a shoe size of 11 female makes finding any shoes, let alone running shoes, rather challenging. So when I found my very first pair of pink, black and lime green Nike running shoes, I was beside myself.

These were the first pair of running shoes that made me feel like a badass. They were sporty, and super stylish…but unbeknownst to me, they were NOT at all what I needed in a running shoe. During a training run with my old running team in Reno (shout out to NSET!) , one of my teammates spotted my spiffy kicks and told me I really needed new running shoes that supported my overpronation. My heart was broken. I somehow managed to pull myself out of my mild depression and face the cold, hard truth that my adorable running shoes were just not right for me. With that, I had to start from square one and find a new pair of running shoes.

I did, however, find a compromise by wearing my Nikes on weight training days – score!

Finding a good running shoe may seem like a simple task, but with so many options available, it can become quite daunting. Have no fear my dear friends; I have created this simple how-to guide to help you find the best running shoe for you!

Rule #1: Always remember that your feet are like snowflakes – no two are the same. I always welcome recommendations, but just because someone absolutely loves their own shoes, that doesn’t mean it’s a good match for you. This leads me to my next rule…

Rule #2: Before purchasing any shoe, it’s worth your while to have a qualified professional look at your stride. This can easily be conducted at your local running store, OR just watch the video below where one of our running buyers shows you how to determine your stride!:

Rule #3: Do not purchase a shoe based solely on aesthetic features. Sure, the pink and neon yellow, double laced, light-up sneakers with the glitter sole appear to be heaven sent; but beware, just because they look amazing does not mean they are functional or practical for YOUR feet.

Rule #4: Just like cars, go ahead and take your shoes for a test drive. It is important to try on several different shoes and walk around the house with them to see what works best for you. Remember, with Zappos' free and easy returns, you can order as many as you’d like and return the ones that don’t make the cut!

Be sure to stay tuned for my next "The Running List" post, where I will break down the best running shoes for those that need a little support, neutral runners, track athletes and trail blazers.

Until next time, happy trails, roads, and other unchartered terrains!

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Fitness Accessories: 5 Zappos Employees Share Their Favorites!

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Well, we've made it! A whole new year is upon us, and with it comes a universally renewed enthusiasm towards our fitness goals. A few of us here at the Zappos headquarters are just as excited about all great possibility 2015 has in store—new hiking trails to discover, personal records to break, new breakthroughs in our yoga practice. It’s certainly a great time to recommit to a healthier lifestyle!

Below, five Zapponians, including yours truly, open up our gym bags to share our most essential fitness gear that help enhance and improve our favorite physical endeavors. 

Read on to take a peek inside our bags and fitness routines!

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1.  SunCloud Polarized Optics “Standby” Sunglasses – “Having sensitive eyes, polarized shades are a must! They cut glare and just makes everything around me look prettier.”

2. Columbia Arcadia II™ Jacket“This folds up nice and compact. Makes a decent extra layer in case of rain or wind—or both!”

3. Salomon XR Mission W – “I prefer trail runners for their flexibility, and this one has great grip!”

4. Thorlos Experia Socks – “As dorky as they may look, I prefer a higher-cut sock so my shoes don’t rub my ankles.”

5. Under Armour UA Perfect Headband  – “I have short hair, and this one stays in place.”

6. Mountain Hardware Mountain Abbey Scarf  – “I like a scarf that’s big enough to wrap around me to keep in warmth when I need it.”

7. Osprey Viper 9 Hydration Backpack “This holds three liters of water plus it’s big enough to hold all the necessities for a short day hike.”

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1. Osprey Verve 9 Backpack – “This one is great for trail runs and hiking. It holds all the essentials and then some.”

2. The North Face Standard Issue Ear Gear – “I love this for those cold outdoor runs. It keeps your ears warm and your hair in place.”

3. Nike Pro Indy Bra – “This offers great support and comfort. Everything stays in place even during long runs.”

4. New Balance W1400 – “I love this shoe for my shorter runs!”

5. Nike Pro Capri – “These stay put and are super comfortable!”

6. Saucony Isoseries Triumph – “This one’s my go-to shoe for long-distance running.”

7. Zensah Running Headband – “Cute enough to wear after running and keeps your hair off your face.”

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1. Manduka Go Free Yoga Mat Backpack – “I love that this backpack holds a yoga mat vertically! And it's super roomy, so it can hold a change of outfit, too!”

2. Manduka Waterfall rSkidless® by yogitoes – “When things get sweaty during ashtanga practice (and they usually do!), a yoga towel is downright essential to keep from slipping in the poses. It also helps during restorative floor poses so you're not lying down in a puddle of sweat!”

3. ALO Brook Long Sleeve Top – “Oftentimes, I have to run random errands right after class, so this cute sweater is perfect to layer over my yoga outfit.”

4. Gaiam Sol Shakti Rubber Yoga Mat 4mm – “I love this mat because it’s so durable yet light.”

5. Manduka Yoga 10’ Strap – “A yoga strap is a great tool for working on flexibility as well as stabilizing & strengthening your shoulder girdle during arm balances.”

6. MPG Sport Charisma Pants – “Printed yoga pants are not only great for on the mat, but they look great off the mat with some cute sneakers.”

7. Nike Core Hydro Flow Water Bottle – “Staying hydrated before and after practice is so important, especially when you've been doing a lot of detoxifying twists!”

8. Manduka Cork Yoga Block – “Whether it's gaining more length during half moon pose or increasing the depth of forward stretches, a yoga block can be your best friend during practice.”

9. Prana Reversible Headband  – “Focus (or "drishti") is paramount in any yoga practice, but a few sweaty strands over your face can break the concentration of even the most seasoned yogis...so a headband is always a good idea.”

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1. Nike Legend Track Tote – “This has a handy adjustable strap with a convenient two-way zip AND it’s water resistant!”

2. Louis Garneau X-Lite Helmet – “The air vents on this helmet keeps you cool and I love the pink and black colors!”

3. Nathan SpeedFeed Box (Race Day) – “This is a great way to keep your nutrition source within a short reach.”

4. Nathan Icon 24oz Fire & Ice Bottle w/ SpeedLock Race Cap – “This bottle keeps water nice and cool, so you stay hydrated throughout your ride.”

5. Shimano Cycling Shoes – “These are great lightweight road shoes and perfect for spin class.”

6. Suunto Ambit 3 Sport Heart Rate Sport Watch – “This watch has everything you would need in a multisport watch and is great at logging all of your training goals online.”

7. Tifosi Optics Tyrant™ 2.0 Fotobec Sunglasses – “If you start riding early in the morning and the sun isn’t so bright, you can wear these glasses. As the sun comes up, they darken to block the light!”

8. Pearl Izumi ELITE Gel Glove – “I love the cushion these gloves offer with great venting.”

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1. Under Armour UA Gotta Have It Tote – “This holds everything I need and more. It can even go from the gym to the office or works as an overnight bag!”

2. CamelBak eddy™ 1-Liter Bottle – “I have gone through more water bottles than I can count, and CamelBak is the best. They never leak and can take a beating if you are like me and prone to dropping or tossing your bottle.”

3.  Saucony Kinvara 5 – “Lightweight with just enough support. A reliable runner for speed-work days.”

4. inov-8 F-Lite™ 240 Sneakers – “Rope climbs can tear through your road runners or training shoes. The rope tech on the F-Lites really works to keep your shoes intact!”

5. Under Armour UA Reflective Mini Headbands – “Essential for keeping your hair out of your face mid burpee.”

6. Feetures Elite Ultra Light No Show Tab Socks – “These super lightweight socks offer great support. They are no-show socks but never slips off the heel! They’re anatomically fitted for each foot and the seams never bunch or rub.”

7. Trigger Point the GRID – “This is an essential for keeping your muscles going and off the injury list. The size is perfect for your duffel bag.”

8. Chaco Flip EcoTread™ – “Nothing beats a Chaco flip flop post workout. It offers more support than a regular sandal, and it feels like a foot massage while it allows your toes to stretch!”

9. Under Armour UA Escape Coldgear® Infrared Glove – “These are great for those cold warehouse gyms or outdoor workouts.”

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The Running List: Cold-Weather Gear

post by: Chelsea B.

It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s 5:30 in the morning and I have a scheduled five-mile midweek run before I head into the office. Two months ago, jumping out of bed and hitting the pavement was no problem at all. That was when it was warm, bright, and birds were singing. 

I have to admit that as much as I love running, I hate running in cold weather. I was born and raised in Las Vegas where anything below 65 degrees is grounds for a “hard freeze warning.”

Now, despite my strong distaste and overall inability to function in cold weather, I absolutely hate running anything over two miles on a treadmill. Unless a volcano is erupting, there is a sharknado warning, or a pack of wild dingoes is on the loose, I will always choose to run outside.

With that, I know that I must suck it up and start layering up. Like any normal, slightly OCD runner, I like to have my gear laid out and ready to go the night before so all I have to do is literally roll out of bed and put them on. While getting ready for a run this time of year is a little more labor intensive than the good ol’ days of throwing on shorts and a tank, the good news is that there are tons of amazing cold-weather running products available to help stave off the frigid air that winter brings Woohoo!

From your oh-so important feet to the top of your head, Zappos Running has you covered (literally) so you can get those miles in through the coldest of days.

Below are some of my favorites in cold-weather running clothing & gear:

 Cold-Weather Gear for Running

1. Under Armour UA Qualifier Knit Pants

2. Under Armour Coldgear® Infrared Leggings

3. adidas Techfit Cold Weather Long Tights

4. Mountain Hardwear Momentum Running Gloves

5. Moving Comfort Fiona Sports Bra

6. Nike Running Elite Hyper-Lite No-Show Socks

7. ASICS Favorite Long-sleeve Top

8. New Balance Accelerate Long-sleeve Top

9. Brooks Essential Long-sleeve Half Zip Top

10. Salomon Active Beanie

11. Brooks Utopia Thermal Hoodie III

Until next time, happy trails, roads and other unchartered terrain!

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New Brand Spotlight: SKORA

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SKORA believes in manufacturing running footwear with an approach that is practical, honest, and realistic to a runner’s needs. For this reason, the entire SKORA shoe line is designed for real runners in the real world.

After a blown IT band, 18 months of physical therapy, and an exorbitant amount of money spent on orthotics and shoes, founder and CEO David Sypniewski came to the realization that if he wanted a running shoe that allowed him to both run and enjoy running, he would have to make one himself.

In a search to be pain free, Sypniewski discovered the benefits of barefoot running. He found that when his foot was able to strike the ground naturally, striking at the mid-foot instead of the heel, he was able to run longer with less pain and a greater sense of natural stability. As a result of this pursuit, SKORA running shoes became a labor of love, culminating in 12 years of working endlessly to craft better running footwear.

Each SKORA shoe is built with the principle of combining the benefits of natural-inspired running with the best, and necessary, enhancements that technology has to offer. Instead of continually seeking out new features and technologies to add, SKORA looks for unnecessary features to remove. The driving belief behind the brand is that the best running shoe is one that complements the body, without hindering its natural performance.

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The New Balance Fresh Foam

Technology is amazing. It has the power to transform everything from the ground up. Literally. When New Balance designed their Fresh Foam 980 line, they started with the idea of intelligent geometry. Using computer software to create the geometries that make up the innovative single-piece midsole, Fresh Foam is a lightweight running shoe that is truly unlike any other.

Providing the runner with a lower, more natural underfoot feel that’s like floating on air, the Fresh Foam delivers a soft yet stable, smooth ride every time.

See for yourself what the science of soft is all about and take the New Balance Fresh Foam out for a nice, long run this summer!

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New Brand Spotlight: On Footwear

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In January 2010, David Allemann, Olivier Bernhard, and Caspar Coppetti collaborated to found On™ running footwear. Their mission was simple: to bring awareness to the highly enjoyable side of running instead of focusing solely on the healthy-for-you aspect of the sport. Together the three cofounders worked to craft a running shoe that would boast superior cushioning without sacrificing efficiency. The Swiss footwear company has since come a long way from the brand’s very first prototype, which involved slicing and adhering garden hose to the bottom of a shoe’s outsole.

July 2010 saw the brand’s premier launch, when the Cloudsurfer became the very first On running shoe to hit the shelves of European specialty running stores. Today, whether you are a seasoned runner or a newbie to barefoot-inspired running, you are sure to find your sole mate among the brand’s five core styles: Cloudster, Cloudrunner, Cloudsurfer, Cloudracer, and Cloud. On footwear provides its wearer with all of the benefits of natural-inspired running, without compromising comfort or protection against injury.

Each and every On shoe features CloudTec™ technology; it is a revolutionary cushioning system that activates during the foot’s landing phase, then becomes firm to encourage an effective toe-off. With each foot strike, the highly adaptive rubber “cloud” outsole pods provide both vertical and horizontal cushioning for a soft landing. Once on the ground, the clouds interlock, forming a solid foundation that promotes a natural, powerful takeoff.

Embrace a new running experience that is fast, light, and agile. Embrace the innovation of On running shoes.

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