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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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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: 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 >>

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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!

SHOP ZAPPOS RUNNING >>

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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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adidas Springblade Drive

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Explosive Energy. That’s what adidas delivers with its revolutionary Springblade Drive. Springblade is the first-ever technology in running footwear designed to move you forward. Its radical design is the product of six years of development by the adidas innovation team.

Each of the 16 super elastic nylon springs are individually tuned to the needs of the runner throughout the gait cycle, harnessing energy and releasing more back to you with every stride.

The rear outside blades are tuned to absorb energy while the inside front blades are tuned to propel you forward, providing Explosive Energy. Designed for the runner looking for speed, the adidas Springblade is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. There is absolutely no traditional midsole foam between you and the blades, creating a never-felt-before ride that’s as fluid as it is fast.

To provide superb breathability, the adidas Springblade features a 3-dimensional engineered mesh upper with zones that provide air flow and other zones that provide support for that great adidas fit.

Add some speed to your fitness and running routine with the revolutionary adidas Springblade!

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Elevate Your Run: Salomon CITYTRAIL

Life’s too short to restrict your runs to the treadmill! Why not embrace the spirit of discovery and exploration of trail running while experiencing your city (or a city you’re visiting) in a whole new way?

That’s exactly what Salomon is aiming to inspire with their CITYTRAIL™ collection.

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1) Salomon X-Scream Men’s

2) Salomon XR Mission Men’s

Discover new running routes, points of interest and roads less traveled through running. In 14 cities across the country (and more being added all the time), the CITYTRAIL mobile app provides routes and points of interest that allow you to leave the mundane and add some excitement and breathe new life into your running routine!

This summer, Elevate Your Run with CITYTRAIL™ by Salomon!