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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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Gear We Love: Curvy Girls Gettin’ Fit

Happy Spring! I hope you are all enjoying warmer days with more daylight and waving goodbye to the snow.  Can you believe that 25% of 2015 is almost gone?  How’s it going with your ONE goal this year? 

Great gear makes all the difference, and this week I’ve enlisted a little help from two amazing women who are working towards their ONE goal of getting healthy while kicking butt. Madison is another Agent of WOW here at Zappos who convinced me to do Tough Mudder with her, and Meli runs our social media recruiting efforts, bringing in new members of the Zappos family. 

#WellRoundedWednesday, #WRW, black diamond, camelbak, columbia, crosscountry, curvy, curvy girl clothes, fit plus, hiking, Injiji, nike, osprey, plus fashion, plus stylish, running, tough mudder, under armour, vasque, Well Rounded Wednesday, Zappos Plus

My gear choices focus on the important things while hiking- staying warm and keeping hydrated. I stay prepared with a combination hydration bag & daypack by Osprey filled with hike essentials like sunscreen. Durable hiking boots by Vasque offer support and comfort all day and Injiji socks keep my feet extra happy. This sock may look a little different, but trust me, once you try them, you’ll wonder how you ever hiked or ran without them!

1. Black Diamond Women's Ultra Mountain Pole

2. Osprey Verve 13 Hydration Backpack

3. Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX

4. Columbia Plus Size Fast Trek II Full Zip Fleece Jacket

5. Black Diamond Gizmo Head Lamp

6. Injiinji Run Original Weight Mini-Crew Coolmax Socks

#WellRoundedWednesday, #WRW, black diamond, camelbak, columbia, crosscountry, curvy, curvy girl clothes, fit plus, hiking, Injiji, nike, osprey, plus fashion, plus stylish, running, tough mudder, under armour, vasque, Well Rounded Wednesday, Zappos Plus

Meli G.’s crosstraining essentials:

“From the light and flowy Nike Extended Size Miler Tank to the sleek and beautiful Nike Victory Gym Tote, this plus size gym wear combo is the perfect choice for my daily workout. The vibrant colors, perfect fit and comfort these picks provide make me feel and look great during all types of workouts. From running to lifting and everything in between, these gym go-to pieces are perfect!”

1. Nike Victory Gym Tote

2. CamelBak Groove Insulated Water Bottle

3. Nike Flex Supreme TR 3

4. Nike Extended Dri-FIT Essential Crop Pant

5. Nike Extended Size Miler Tank

6. adidas Supernova Energy Full Support Bra

 

#WellRoundedWednesday, #WRW, black diamond, camelbak, columbia, crosscountry, curvy, curvy girl clothes, fit plus, hiking, Injiji, nike, osprey, plus fashion, plus stylish, running, tough mudder, under armour, vasque, Well Rounded Wednesday, Zappos Plus

Madison J.’s running essentials:  

“I'm training for Tough Mudder this year, so I'm always on the lookout for gear that will go the distance as well as hold up to all the crazy obstacles in my path.  That was my primary reason for all of my picks. The Under Armour Bra and compression shorts are both quick drying and moisture wicking. The Asics running shoes are designed to hold up to a triathalon and are the most comfortable pair I've ever owned! The Zensah compression socks help with shin splints and muscle fatigue, and they look adorable on.  To really go the distance, you need to hydrate, and the hands-free Camelbak is perfect for that. Lastly, you need a way to carry your gear around and I love the functionality of a Nike bag that reminds me to run every day.  I know I can accomplish all of my goals with the right equipment to help me along!”

1. CamelBak Charm 50 oz. Hydration Pack

2. Nike Max Air Pursuit Duffel Bag

3. Zensah Argyle Compression Socks

4. Under Armour HeatGear Alpha Long

5. Under Armour UA HeatGear Alpha Printed Bra

6. ASICS GEL-Noosa Tri 9


SHOP PLUS-SIZE ACTIVE CLOTHING >>

Rocking some amazing looks you’ve seen here on the blog? Tag us in your photos on Twitter and Instagram using #WRW- we would LOVE to see your style!

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New Fitness Gear for a New You

One of the most common resolutions is to lose weight, but I think it is time to change the way we look at numbers.  Ladies, I want to challenge you NOT to make a resolution focused on a number on a scale when it comes to your health. Instead, I challenge each of your to set a goal with a number that is more to you than something that can change throughout the day.  Instead, I challenge you to set a very important number as a goal: One. 

Walk or run ONE 5K. Climb ONE mountain.  Learn ONE new yoga pose. Dance ONE night with your friends, no matter what. Complete ONE biathlon or triathlon. Take ONE new class. Read ONE great book. Make ONE amazing memory with your kids. It takes 28 days to break a bad habit or form a new one- enlist ONE amazing friend to help you achieve your ONE goal.

To achieve all these singular and lofty goals, you’re going to need a few basics. First thing's first: the most important thing you need is one AMAZING bra; Moving Comfort’s Maia bra changed my life to the point I’ve become quite the advocate for them. 

I am always sharing their amazing products with every woman I see at 5Ks or walks that is obviously in need of Moving Comfort's excellent support. In addition to their incredible bras, I’ve also included additional items to help you on your road to that ONE goal you set for yourself this year. Grab a great pair of supportive sneakers, a bag for all your gear, a water bottle to keep you organized and hydrated--and ONE great friend to join and support you on your road to achieving ONE.  Have a great time celebrating tonight- the work starts tomorrow!

#Eyezapp, #resolution2015, #WellRoundedWednesday, #WRW, asics, brooks, Columbia Plus, curvy, curvy and fit, curvy girl clothes, hiking, manduka, merrell, moving comfort, nathan, nike, plus comfort, plus fashion, plus size running, plus size workout gear, plus stylish, spanx active, Well Rounded Wednesday, yoga, zappos, Zappos Plus

1. Columbia Plus Size Heather Hills Full Zip

2. Moving Comfort Fiona Bra

3. Moving Comfort Maia Bra

4. Moving Comfort Plus Size Foxie Full Zip

5. Spanx Active Plus Size On-the-Go Pant

6. Nike Filament Capri

7. Manduka Go Free Yoga Mat Backpack

8. ASICS GEL-Craze TR2

9. Brooks Addiction™ 11

10. Nathan Quick Draw Plus Water Bottle

11. Merrell Azura Hiking Shoes

 

Rocking some amazing looks you’ve seen here on the blog? Tag us in your photos on Twitter and Instagram using #WellRoundedWednesday- we would LOVE to see your style!  

To keep the folks in our legal department happy: Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. Have fun and be safe out there!

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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!

SHOP ZAPPOS RUNNING >>

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Fitness Accessories: 5 Zappos Employees Share Their Favorites!

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Well, we 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 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!

SHOP ZAPPOS RUNNING >>

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Fresh Picks: Work it Out

No matter how you choose to work up a sweat and burn off those calories, one thing makes those workouts a little bit more appealing—the recent crop of cute workout clothes that goes beyond the gym and yoga studio! 

We love the whole “workout gear as everyday wear” trend not only for its comfy mobility but also for that little added motivational boost it gives us to carve out time every day to get the heart pumpin’---while looking fabulous, of course!

Check out a few of our favorite stylish gym-and-beyond pieces below:

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1. ALO "Cinder" Longsleeve Top

2. New Balance Classics WL501 in New Purple

3. Trina Turk Mid-Length Leggings

4. ALO "Goddess" Ribbed Leggings

5. C&C California Shape Loose Cropped Tee

6. C&C California Printed "Velocity" Tight

7. Nike Dri-FITPro Pool Capri

8. Hurley Dri-FITMesh Bra

9. Nike Dri-FITPro Pool Bra Top

10. Moving Comfort "Hot Shot" Bra

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New Year Workout Starter Kit

Getting back into a fitness routine can be almost as challenging as getting your car started in the midst of a polar vortex. With the recent holiday festivities and a good chunk of the country in the grasp of a record-breaking winter freeze, it may seem like the universe is conspiring to keep you on your couch! But don’t let weather, procrastination or just plain old lack of motivation keep you from your ultimate fitness goals this year. It’s time to zip up those track jackets and lace up those running shoes and keep your eye on the prize!

Start the year off on the right track by treating yourself to a fitness gear update. From women’s workout tops, men’s athletic tops, women’s workout bottoms to men’s athletic bottoms, we’ve got everything you need to get re-energized and recommitted to your health in 2014. Looking to get back into sports or trying out a new fitness routine? We’ve even got fitness accessories and sports equipment to give you that edge.

Check out some of our picks for the gym, the track, the yoga studio, or wherever your fitness endeavors may take you:

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Women's:

1. Moving Comfort “Fiona” Sports Bra

2. CamelBak Eddy Glass Water Bottle

3. Nike Pro Hyperwarm Dri-FIT Max Hoodie

4. ASICS Gel-Kayano® 20

5. Lucy Hatha Pant

6. Under Armour Shatter Gym Bag

7. Lucy Crossback Yoga Tank

8. ASICS PR™ Pant

9. ASICS Tatum Tank

10. Manduka PROlite™ Yoga Mat

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1. Nike Team Training Max Air Medium Duffel

2. Brooks Heater Hog Long-sleeve Tee

3. ASICS Thermopolis® Thermal Hoodie

4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14

5. Brooks Utopia Thermal Tight II

6. CamelBak Podium Big Chill Bottle 25oz.

7. Under Armour UA Tech™ ¼ Zip Long-sleeve Tee

8. Nike Free Trainer 5.0

9. ASICS PR™ Pant

10. Prana Mojo Short