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The Running List: Warm-Weather Running Clothes

Welcome back! My how things have changed since the last time I was here – the flowers are blooming, the days are longer and the temperatures are on a steady incline. This can only mean one thing: spring has officially sprung! Being a native resident to Las Vegas, we have the pleasure of enjoying about two months of this glorious time before temperatures reach the “don’t come out of your house our you will melt” zone. Knowing my days are numbered, I try to take advantage of these temperatures as much as I can. I insist on driving with my windows down, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on my back patio, and, of course, running outdoors as much as possible.

It is no coincidence that this will be the third San Diego Marathon that I have trained for – no, not because I am huge fan of running on freeways and large hills, but because the race is typically either the last week of May or first week of June. This means that peak training just happens to coincide with the optimal Las Vegas weather! For some reason, waking up to the sounds of birds chirping and the sun shining makes it exponentially easier to roll out of bed, put on my clothes, and hit the road.

It also helps that I now only have to put on four articles of clothing rather than the 74 layers I was putting on in the dead of winter (this may be a slight exaggeration; however when you factor in gloves and head warmers, things get crazy).

Three, yes, just three articles of clothing: running shorts, a sports bra, and a running top. As I have previously mentioned, I am slightly neurotic when it comes to planning out what I am going to wear when I run. I like to have everything ready in the morning so I can literally roll out of bed, hopefully not hit my head on the nightstand (though it has happened more than once), put on my clothes, and head out the door.

Truthfully, I am usually not fully awake until two or three miles into my run, just the right amount of time and distance so that I can’t second guess my decision and crawl back in bed. With that, laying out my running wardrobe in the spring is quite shocking the first few times I do it, mostly because I feel like I am missing 71 articles of clothing. However, now that I am accustomed to only having the essential three, I am more inclined to pick pieces that work well with each other. 

Gone are the days of layering, covering, and hiding any semblance of a cute running outfit. Now is my time to shine and since I only need three, yes, just three articles of clothing to run in, you better believe that they are going to be the cutest, hottest, and most functional outfits of all my running apparel. With that, I bring you my spring-summer apparel running list:

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WOMEN'S

Outfit 1:

1. Nike Dri-FIT Balance Tank Top

2. CW-X Versatx Running Bra

3. Under Armour UA Armour Vent Moxey Short

Outfit 2:  

1. Under Armour Fly-By Stretch Mesh Tank Top

2. adidas Supernova Racer Bra

3. Brooks Infiniti Capri III

Outfit 3:

1. ASICS Fit-Sana Graphic Tee

2. Moving Comfort Fiona Bra

3. The North Face MA-X Short

Outfit 4:

1. MPG Sport Encourage

2. Champion Spot Comfort Full-Support Sports Bra

3. New Balance Accelerate Printed Capri

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MEN'S

Outfit 1:

1. PUMA PT At Cool Nov Tee

2. ASICS Woven Shorts

Outfit 2:

1. Under Armour UA coldback Run Tee

2. Brooks PureProject Woven Shorts

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The Running List: Let's Talk About (Running) Socks...

Welcome back friends! Now that you have all found the most perfect running shoe, it is time to pause for a moment, reflect, and think about what exactly we are putting in those shoes. For a runner, the feet are perhaps the most important parts of our bodies, which means it is essential to take care of them in any way we can.

While shoes are of the upmost importance, there is something that is equally important and often overlooked: running socks. That’s right, something that is so tiny and elusive (I must have nine currently floating around somewhere in the 4th dimension of my laundry room) can make a world of a difference in terms of comfort and relief.

When I first started running, I had no idea about all the various running socks. In fact, I’m pretty sure for a long while I ran in socks that were purchased in bulk next to the checkout register by the discounted gum. Needless to say, halfway through training for my first half-marathon my blisters were out of control!

For me, the first round of blisters appeared under the arch of my foot, towards my heel. This was when I first discovered Thorlos lightweight, no-show socks. There are also blister-preventing socks available that are great at providing the correct amount of padding in just the right places.

Soon after switching out of my tightie whities, my arch blisters subsided. For those that are just starting out or for moderate runners, you may want to try a pack of Wigmwam mid crew socks or a couple of pairs of Nike Lightweight Anti-Blister socks as they are a great value and do an amazing job at protecting the feet!

It wasn’t until training for my first full marathon that I started to get blisters in between my toes. In. Between. My. Toes. Frankly, I am not sure how this even happened, but let me just say, it was as awful as it sounds. At one point, one got so big and bad that I named him Hank and would give him a nice pep-talk before venturing out on a long run, hoping that he would comply and behave himself. Hank never listened and proceeded to just get larger and more unruly. This was when I found the joy of toe socks. Sure, they may look funny but boy did they make a difference! Toe socks are specifically designed to reduce the friction between the toes while running and tremendously helped reduce the size of my nasty blister (RIP Hank).

Finally – there is the compression sock. Compression socks are a great way to keep the blood circulating in the lower part of the legs and feet. They not only enhance blood circulation, but they help regulate skin temperature and fight bacteria. Similarly, compression socks can be worn after a run to help circulate blood flow and subsequently reduce inflammation.

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Anti-Blister Socks

1. Thorlos Lite Running Micro-Mini 3-Pair Pack

2. Drymax Sport Running Lite Mesh No-Show 3-Pack

3. Nike Running Anti-Blister Lightweight Socks

4. Wigwam Marathon II 6-Pair Pack

Toe Socks

1. Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show Coolmax 3-Pack

2. Injinji PED 3-Pack

Compression Socks

1. Powerstep Recovery Compression Socks

2. Zensah Tech + Compression Socks

3. 2XU Compression Recovery Sock

4. CW-X Compression Support Socks

While all of these socks can help reduce blisters, please note that some blisters are still inevitable – much like spilling red wine on a white shirt or the fact that every time I go to the bathroom at work,a Maroon 5 song will be on the radio. Some things we just have to prepare for and not get upset at when they happen. Personally, I like to think of them as little badges of honor…and I must remind myself that every time a new one inconveniently rears its ugly head.

Until next time, happy trails, roads and any other unchartered terrain.

SHOP ALL RUNNING SOCKS >>

SHOP ZAPPOS RUNNING >>

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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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Bright & Bold Running Shoes

You’re fast asleep in your warm, cozy bed, then, like a rude jolt, the alarm clock buzzes in your ear. It’s time to hit that morning run you’ve been putting off for weeks…

If this scenario is part of your new fitness routine, consider rewarding yourself a dose of lively color with bright running shoes! There’s just something about a cool pair of shoes that makes even those pre-sunrise runs a little more fun and vibrant.

Check out a few bright and colorful picks from our great selection of running shoes for every type of runner.

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Women's: 1. Reebok DMXSky Run in Party Purple, 2. ASICS GT-1000 in Lite Bright/Grape/Pink, 3. Under Armour Women's FTHR Radiate in Poison/White/Black

Men's: 4. ASICS GT-1000 in Highlighter Yellow, 5. New Balance M890V3 in Green/Yellow, 6. Zoot Sports Ultra TT 06 in Blaze/Safety Yellow/Black

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The World's Most Versatile Trail Shoe: The TevaSphere from Teva

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When challenged to design a trail running shoe specifically for the modern adventurer, Teva spent four years developing and perfecting the TevaSphere, the only trail shoe you will ever need.

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Its execution starts with the drastically different back heel. By replacing the squared off blocky heels of traditional running shoes with a more natural curved point of impact, the TevaSphere allows contact to the ground in various angles.

The unique “pods” located on either side of the arches give pinpoint support when you need it most. TevaSphere brings a harmonious balance between the freedom of a minimalist shoe with a supportive platform to avoid lower leg injuries and fatigue.

To learn more about the amazing technology and thoughtfulness in design of what Teva deems “the world’s most versatile trail shoe”, check out the informative video below!

Now see for yourself why the TevaSphere will eliminate the need to fumble through a closet full of shoes on your next trail run. Experience what four years of trial and error and extensive research by the Teva team feels like out there on the trail where it matters most!

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Holiday Gift Guide for the Runners on Your List

Feel-good endorphins. There are a couple of good ways to get them pumping; you can catch a brisk morning run before work OR you can give great gifts that make the runners on your list very happy.

These gifts should put everyone in a great mood! Now that’s a win-win situation!

Check out some of our top gift picks that’ll put a spring in any runner’s stride:

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Women's: 1. Muzuno Wave® Rider 16, 2. Brooks Utopia Thermal Hoodie II, 3. Newton Running Women's Terra Momentum, 4. inov-8 F-Lite 215 (also ideal for CrossFit!), 5. Nike Skapri  6. adidas Running Thrasher TR W

Men's: 7. Under Armour ColdGear® Fitted Longsleeve Mock, 8. Merrell Bare Access 2, 9. Brooks NightLife Essential Run Jacket II, 10. Tifosi Optics Radius Interchangeable Sunglasses, 11. Mizuno Wave ® Rider 16, 12. Nike + Sportband

For more running shoes, clothes and accessories, visit the Zappos Running Central page!

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Vivobarefoot: A Sole for Every Terrain

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Break free of that old treadmill rut and take your runs on a more scenic trail this season with Vivobarefoot’s patented minimal trail runners. From the beach to rocky riverbeds, trail running with one of their lightweight shoes allows for a more natural range of motion with maximum sensory feedback-- all while staying protected from the elements.

Styles featured: Vivobarefoot Neo Trail, Vivobarefoot Achilles, Vivobarefoot EVO II, and Vivobarefoot Ultra

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The adiZero Boston 3

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Hailed as an Editor’s Choice by Endurance Sports Media Group in their Spring 2012 Shoe Guide, the adiZero Boston 3 is a lightweight neutral trainer that’s built for speed. The lower heel drop gives it that racing-flat feel but with enhanced cushioning and wider toe box. It’s perfect for every type of training—from long runs to tempo runs.

For even more adidas- including adidas workout clothing- check out the Zappos Running page!