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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: Accessories to Help You Go the Distance

Coco Chanel once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Coco Chanel was obviously not a runner. There are certain times, especially on my long runs, that I may be easily confused with a pack mule. Between my hydration, fuel, GPS tracking devices (I use two because I am neurotic), IPod™, hat, sunglasses and any other odds and ends I forgot to mention, it’s a wonder how I’m able to carry it all! While I would love to abide by Coco’s inspiring words, in the world of running, removing one item is just not possible.

This brings us to the wonderful world of running accessories, or as I like to refer to them: little treasures that make running several miles possible, practical and yes, even enjoyable.

As I mentioned, there are several small items that make a large difference when hitting the road for a few hours. Read on to see my head-to-toe list of favorite running accessories!

Starting from the top, it is an absolute must to have sun protection, especially in the overwhelmingly sunny city of Las Vegas.  A moisture-wicking, lightweight hat not only protects your head and face from the sun, but it also keeps your noggin cool. And take it from someone who used to run in an old Minnesota Twins hat: baseball caps do not make good running hats, as evidenced by the still-constant stench of sweat and salt, even after 17 washes!

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1. Arc’Teryx Accelero Cap

2. The North Face Better than Naked Visor

3. Solomon S-Lab Sense Ultra Set

4. CamelBak Ultra 4

5. Tifosi Optics Just

6. Under Armour Perfect Headband

7. Nathan Trail Mix 4

8. Ultimate Direction Access 10

9. Nike Distance Arm Band

SHOP ALL RUNNING >>

SHOP RUNNING ACCESSORIES >>

For a great running hat, you may want to check out Arc’Teryx Accelero Cap or, if you prefer a visor, The North Face Better than Naked Visor is a good option. Even with a hat, the reflection of the sun off of the black asphalt is pretty bright, which is why I like to go the extra mile (pun intended) and throw on a pair of sunglasses. Tifosi Optics Just are super lightweight, polarized and perfect for protecting your eyes from glare.

For runs that you take either before or after the sun has gone down, the Under Armour Perfect Headband is the ideal antidote for disobedient hair that constantly finds its way into your eyes, nose, and/or mouth while running.

While I deeply enjoy disconnecting from the outside world when I’m running, I do take my phone with me as a safety precaution. It is also nice to have in the small chance that I am surprised by an adorable herd of meerkats and need to snap a quick photo. Lucky for me, the Nike Distance Arm Band makes for a great place to store my phone. It’s moisture wicking and so comfortable, I often forget I have it on J

Finally, and most importantly, for long runs (typically considered six miles and over) a hydration belt/pack/vest is a must. My personal preference is the Ultimate Direction Access 10 as it is lightweight and contained to just one bottle. While there are several individuals who prefer to have multiple bottles for different liquids, like the Nathan Trail Mix 4, I like to eliminate the chance of taking a sip of what I think is water only to have it be cherry-flavored vodka and ralph all over (I’m not quite sure how that could happen, but I don’t want to take that chance!).

For even longer trail runs or runs where you may not be around civilization for a while, the Solomon S-Lab Sense Ultra Set and CamelBak Ultra 4 are great companions that can store up to 70oz of water!

Now that you have a fully accessorized running outfit, go out there and make Coco roll around in her grave…maybe even throw on one extra running accessory before you leave the house!

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

--Chelsea

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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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Go the Distance: Running Accessories

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There’s a certain amount of freedom that comes with running. It’s just you and the track. However, the right running accessories can really help every runner make the most of their run sessions.

Here are some of our favorite must-haves as we train for the upcoming Zappos.com Las Vegas Rock n’ Roll Marathon coming up in December!

1. Nike Women’s Dri-FIT Cushion Low Cut Socks (6-pack): Keep sweaty feet at bay with these durable socks. They even have shock-absorbing pads and arch support for a more comfy run.

2. Feetures! Elite Light Cushion Low Cut Socks (3-pack): Feet stay cool and dry while the high-density cushioning keeps high-impact areas cushioned.

3. Brooks Nightlife Hat: Running in low light? Slip on this adjustable cap to help visibility while keeping your hair out of your face.

4. Tifosi Optics Slope™ Interchangeable Lens Sunglasses: Keep your eyes protected from the harsh sun and focus on the road ahead with these anti-fog and shatterproof sunglasses.

5. Saucony Drylete Ponytail Headband: Keep those pesky flyaways and sweat beads from distracting you! This handy headband keeps everything in place.

6. Soleus Chicked: Keep track of your training progress with this sleek and lightweight watch. It has a 30 lap memory and five interval timers for all your sessions.

7. Fuel Belt R20 Revenge Hydration Belt: Stay hydrated and keep your small essentials close at hand during those long runs with this lightweight and comfy belt.

8. Nike + Sportband: Share, keep track and connect on nikeplus.com with this genius watch! This keeps track of your distance, pace, time and calories burned so you can clearly see your progress.

New Trends in Sunglasses at the Eyewear Expo

This week, the Zappos merchandising department held an eyewear expo here at our corporate office. Several of our vendors attended: Oakley , Tifosi , Kaenon, Dragon , Ray Ban , Arnette , Spy , Von Zipper , Electric , Tommy Bahama , Anon , Fox and Revo.

Our blogger Melissa visited the event to show us some the latest styles and trends at the expo. Thanks to everyone in merchandising who helped set up the event, and all the vendors for the great information on their products.