I’m a runner who loves ultra lightweight running shoes and ultra soft cushioning. I want to feel like I’m running on clouds and I want my shoe to weigh something in the range of clouds. So I was excited to try the new Nike LunarTempo shoes at a media workout at Mile High Run Club, a treadmill studio in New York City. Nike has billed the Nike LunarTempo as a shoe with “ultralight cushioning for high-speed miles.” The workout at Mile High Run Club would put that tagline to the test.
Nike LunarTempo Shoes
Nike LunarTempo in action. (Photo: Nike)
When I arrived at Mile High Run Club, a locker with my name on it was waiting for me, filled with complimentary running gear, including the new Nike LunarTempo shoes.
How did they fare in one treadmill run? The neutral shoe is a bit like running on clouds.
Nike used their Lunarlon foam midsole, which is indeed one of the cushiest rides in town. I currently wear the Nike Flyknit Lunar2 with Lunarlon. That oh-so-soft landing under the heel is one of my favorite things about that shoe, and the Nike LunarTempo didn’t disappoint.
But this time around, Nike has re-engineered the Lunarlon foam to make it even lighter at 6.2 oz for a women’s size 8, more responsive and just as supportive. After a few short wears, I can confirm that this shoes feels fantastic underfoot if you love a soft ride like I do. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2015 New Balance runDisney Retro Collection (Photo: Disney)
New Balance and runDisney are at it again! New Balance announced the release of another pair of Disney shoes for the 2015 runDisney Retro Mickey and Minnie collection.
The new 860v5 are a performance shoe meant to compliment the previously released 990v3 recovery Retro Mickey and Minnie shoes. Steamboat Willie, Mickey’s Mouse’s debut character in 1928, was the inspiration for both styles, along with New Balance’s classic styling. Using black, grey, and white like the original black-and-white film, the shoes also feature musical notes and images of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
The 860v5 is a stability shoe with soft cushioning for runners who overpronate moderately. Two levels of foam make up the midsole with a lightweight TBeam for stability and arch support, along with an asymmetrical heel counter for added stability. The upper is a stretch air mesh with no-sew overlay for lots of wiggle room in the toes. And mono mesh paired with an underlay create a secure mid-foot wrap. Read the rest of this entry →
Koss Fit Series featuring Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres
Like many runners, I love listening to music when I workout. While I don’t always run with music—leaving them at home for races, track workouts, and busy roads—I’d say I run with them most of the time. I do the bulk of my running in parks, car-free rec paths, and the treadmill.
But I’ve blown through many different earbuds for running—earbuds that don’t fit or constantly pop out, earbuds with clips that hurt or tug on my ears, earbuds that soak up my sweat and stop working, getting crackly or cutting in and out. I’ve never fallen in love with a pair of earbuds for running or included them in my annual gear roundup—until now.
Enter Koss FitClips and FitBuds, headphones made for women, by women in five fun colors and two styles. I stumbled upon the Koss Fit Series at a press event for a different product. But after trying each of the FitClips and FitBuds, it was love.
The FitBuds are just six millimeters in diameter, 33 percent smaller than most Koss earbuds. With three included ear cushion sizes, Koss’s earbuds for running fit my ears perfectly and stay put during sweaty runs.
Plus, they’re comfortable. I barely notice they’re there, even the clips around my ears. The key? A soft and very flexible clip that hugs in the right places and doesn’t squeeze where it shouldn’t. And they’re super light too with a sweat resistant coating.
Once I got the Koss FitClips and FitBuds, I handed my old black and red headphones to my husband with a, “Here. You can have these.” FitClips are it for me now!
Giveaway: Koss FitBuds and FitClips Earbuds For Running
I’m excited to give away two sets of Koss earbuds for running, courtesy of Koss. Two winners will each get both the Koss FitClips and Koss FitBuds, which each retail for $29.99.
The giveaway is open now until 9 a.m. Eastern on Friday, February 6. Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below! Enter via the options you want and skip the ones you don’t. You get one entry for each. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2015 Retro Mickey and Minnie shoes (runDisney)
UPDATE 2/14/15: Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
Runners can sign up at nbvirtualqueue.com using their bib numbers starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, February 19 for an early chance to buy the shoes at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. Everyone else (and runners too) can sign up at 6 a.m. on Friday, February 20 and Saturday, February 21. The queue is first come, first served. Scroll down for more info on buying the New Balance Disney running shoes.
UPDATE 1/14/15: Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend
Runners can sign up at nbvirtualqueue.com using their bib numbers starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, January 15 for an early chance to buy the shoes at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo. Everyone else (and runners too) can sign up at 6 a.m. on Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17. The queue is first come, first served. Scroll down for more info on buying the New Balance Disney running shoes.
2015 Disney Running Shoes Unveiled
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna from January 7-11 is just around the corner, which means the arrival of the 2015 New Balance Disney running shoes!
2015 Retro Minnie Shoes (runDisney)
New Balance announced they’re releasing a new limited edition runDisney shoe for 2015: Retro Mickey and Retro Minnie 990v3 inspired by Steamboat Willie, the black and white film that introduced the iconic mice to the world in 1928. The new pairs of kicks (above) debut at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo starting January 7.
The black and white shoes in men’s sizes ranging from 7 to 15, and grey and white in women’s sizes ranging from 5.5 to 12, have musical notes on the front sole, images of Mickey and Minnie, character signatures and Mickey heads on the liners. They will sell for $185. Check out a 360 degree view of the shoes and scroll to find out how to buy them.
The 2014 shoes
2014 Disney Running Shoes Return
Didn’t get your hands on any of the 2014 shoes? Not to worry! New Balance is bringing them back to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna in Florida and Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation from January 15-18 at Disneyland in California. That includes the stability 860v4 Sorcerer Mickey & Pink Minnie Disney running shoes and the neutral 890v4 Goofy & Cinderella Disney running shoes.
How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2015
Want to snap up a pair of the 2014 or 2015 Disney running shoes? They’re only available at runDisney race expos throughout the year. Your first chance is coming up soon at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
The only way to get a spot to buy the shoes is through NBvirtualqueue.com. At Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, two of the four expo sales days are reserved exclusively for runners, with the general public able to make an appointment to buy shoes during the other two days. Read the rest of this entry →
Running in some of my favorite gear of the year. (Phil Hospod)
Christmas is right around the corner and New Year’s isn’t far behind. Putting together a wish list for your running resolutions? Still need a gift? Here is my favorite running gear of 2014.
The products on this list are the best clothes, gadgets and running gear that I’ve tried this year. There are more than 50 items from more than 25 brands. For every item here, I’ve sampled another two or three things that didn’t make the cut, including products in every category. Companies send me loads of samples, many unsolicited, and I often receive products in swag bags at races and events. So I didn’t buy anything you see here. I also don’t keep most of what I receive.
But if it’s on this list, I officially own it and love it—I don’t list anything I haven’t used myself. In clothing, I’ve tried the women’s versions, but many come in men’s options too. And I’ve included the list prices, though you’ll find many items for less than that.
Also, if it’s been in a past gift or gear guide of mine, I didn’t include it here. But many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available. So here are my gift guides from 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2009.
Bia is a new two-piece device consisting of an ultra-light, slim wrist piece paired with a GPS “Go Stick” that clips onto your top, waist-band, visor or anywhere else you want to wear it. The Go Stick is the brains of the operation with an SOS safety alert, fast-connecting GPS, automatic uploads to your training log, and multi-sport functionality.
Run, swim, bike or do all three in one workout. And with live tracking, your friends and family can follow you on race-day or when you’re along in a remote area. I tested it while I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, and it worked wonderfully. Best of all, Bia comes in six fun colors. I have it in purple. Stay tuned for my full review.
Are you looking for a small, simple, and streamlined GPS watch? Look no further than Timex Run x20. In three bright colors plus basic black, this watch is the antidote to the big, bulky, expensive GPS watch with features you never use.
Instead, you get the features you really need: reliable GPS workout timing with speed, pace, and distance; run/walk timer; interval timer; stopwatch; automated pace alerts; night-light; alarm; and water resistance up to 50 meters. The interface and menus are supremely easy to use. Plus, it’s really easy on the eyes.
The Nike+ Fuelband SE is the first fitness tracker that I’ve tried, so I have no basis for comparison. That said, I love it (and I’ve tried a few other watches and gadgets this year that I can’t say the same about).
I work from home, so I don’t take nearly as many steps in my daily “commute” as most folks. In other words, if I’m not running, I barely move from my desk chair. Wearing the Nike+ Fuelband has shown me just how little activity I really have in a day unless I make a conscious effort to get up and move more. Thankfully, the Fuelband reminds me when to move, tracking my steps, Fuelband “points,” calories, and more. It’s motivated me to make my days more active outside of my workouts. That’s a win!
Headphones made for women, by women in five fun colors and two styles—clips or buds. With three different ear cushion sizes to choose from, Koss FitClips fit my ears perfectly and stay put during sweaty runs. The FitBuds do too. Plus, they’re comfortable. I barely notice they’re there, even the around-the-ear clips. And they’re super light too. Once I got these, I handed my old black and red headphones to my husband with a, “Here. You can have these.” FitClips are it for me now! Read the rest of this entry →
Runners, your last chances to buy the 2014 Disney New Balance shoes are here: Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World in Florida from November 7-8, and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland in California from November 14-15.
The procedure for buying the Disney New Balance shoes will be the same for each race. Registered runners have the chance to get an appointment at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo on Friday of each race weekend. The general public can march straight to the expo on Saturday. Runners can also go to the expo on Saturday.
How To Buy Disney New Balance Shoes At Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
Registered runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, November 7 to get an early bird appointment to try on and buy Disney New Balance shoes.
2014 Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse Shoe
You can reserve one style and size through the virtual queue, and pick up to five more pairs at your appointment.
Spectators and other shoppers can buy the Disney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.
After you sign-up, you’ll get a text or e-mail confirming your group letter and a time to return to the expo. Then you’ll get a second notification when it’s time to high-tail it to the expo for your appointment. Head to the New Balance tent to check in near the West Entrance to the Jostens Center. They’ve got a queue that tells you when it’s your turn. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2014 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2 is here! I’ll be at the finish line in the announcer’s booth all day, cheering runners in. The race’s motto this year is “Get Your New York On.” You can, quite literally, with some of the running gear inspired by the town so nice, they named it twice.
ASICS NYC Marathon Map Long Sleeve
ASICS 2014 TCS New York City Marathon Collection
As the official running gear sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon, ASICS’ line of tanks, shirts, shorts, pants, socks, hats, shoes and more has the official marathon logo and seal of approval.
Lady Liberty is the star of Brooks’ Adrenaline Freedom GTS NYC ($130) limited edition shoes, available in select stores and online. Inspired by Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, the shoe borrows the oxidized copper color of the Statue of Liberty with orange accents, representing her flame. Throw in black-and-white photos of the gal herself, and you’ve got one inspiring pair of shoes.
Brooks sent me a sample of these puppies; they’re even more beautiful in person. This New Yorker says, “It’s love!”
Available only in New York City stores while supplies last, lululemon’s NYC Marathon Capsule Collection says “been there, run that.” As a New Yorker and three-time New York City Marathon finisher, I love it!
lululemon gave me the Run: Inspire Crop ($96), which features the NYC skyline from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building and beyond. The Home Stretch Crew ($198) in gold and black with a color contrast skyline and NYC2014 logo is also available. But hurry. This running gear will be gone in a New York minute.
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante NYC
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante NYC
New Balance releases a New York City-inspired shoe every year, but this time around they’re pre-releasing their newest line with the Fresh Foam Zante NYC. The city’s concrete sidewalks inspired the grey upper and the skyline graces the liner. Tie them up with the the state motto, Excelsior, written on the shoelaces. Read the rest of this entry →
New Balance Fresh Foam Trail shoes in action at Machu Picchu in Peru. (Phil Hospod)
One of the most common questions people ask me is: “What are the best running shoes?” Variations include: “What running shoes do you wear?” “What’s your favorite brand of running shoes?” and “Who makes the best running shoes?”
My answer is always the same. There is no one best kind, or pair, or brand of running shoes. What works for one runner might not work for someone else. And what worked for one runner a year ago may no longer work for them now. We all have different foot shapes, sizes, gaits, body weights, stride lengths, form, muscle weakness, imbalances, strengths, injuries and all the other things that affect how we run. And even then, it’s good to rotate your shoes and wear different types of shoes for different types of workouts. Brian Metzler at Competitor wrote a great column about it: Why You Should Have A Quiver Of Running Shoes.
And yet, we’re all on the quest for the perfect shoe. I’m no exception. I was once fiercely loyal to Mizuno’s Wave Rider, until they dramatically changed the shoe and it was no longer my personal glass slipper. Since then I’ve worn other pairs of Mizuno, ASICS, Nike, New Balance, K-Swiss and Saucony searching for that perfect pair. Here’s what I’ve found in 2014.
New Balance 890v4 runDisney Cinderella shoes
Karla’s Best Running Shoes of 2014
I’ve tried 30 pairs of running shoes in the last year. What can I say? I really like shoes. I am a Cinderella runner after all. Athletic companies sent complimentary pairs of some for me to try. Others I purchased myself. Some I took for a treadmill run or two only to return them because they didn’t work for me. Others, I kept to test on the road. Among those, I give some away once I decide they’re not for me. But I keep the best of the rest.
These are the 10 best running shoes of the bunch for me. Keep in mind that these are all neutral shoes and I am a neutral runner with high arches. If you have low arches, wear a stability or motion-control shoes, these may or may not work for you. (Need to learn more? Read: Gait Analysis For The Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF)
All the shoe vitals are for the women’s version as provided by each respective manufacturer. I tried each pair in a women’s size 9 and I’ve listed them by brand. Happy shoe shopping!
Coming out of the water at the Wild Dog Triathlon. (Phil Hospod)
As I stare down my sixth triathlon— Triathlon Valleyfield in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec on Sunday, August 24—I realize that I have fully fallen down the multi-sport rabbit hole. In that hole is an assortment of athletic equipment that I’ve accumulated to help me swim, bike and run my heart out. Before every race, I write out a triathlon gear list to be sure to pack for race day.
Biking my second triathlon. (Capstone Photography)
Unlike running, triathlon is incredibly gear intensive. All that “stuff” is the main barrier to entry for runners who are interested in dabbling their toes in the open waters of the sport. Buying everything at once can be intimidating and expensive. I’ve staggered my purchases over the course of three years, reached out to sponsors, and still don’t have all the gear a truly competitive triathlete calls their own, like a tri-specific bike, areobars and the like. But that hasn’t stopped me from getting into the sport and it shouldn’t stop you either.
So here is my triathlon gear list. Some of these items are essential, some merely nice to have. But once you know that the sport of triathlon will be part of your regular racing routine, you’ll want each of these items in your gear bag.
I’ve listed the full price for each item, but in many cases I found them on sale or got them for free, and have indicated where that was the case. Where gender specificity is a factor, I’ve listed the women’s gear. But most items are available in men’s options too.
Triathlon Gear For The Entire Race
Your tri kit is the outfit that takes you through all three events. Ideally, you can swim, bike and run in it. You don’t have to buy a fancy tri kit. I certainly didn’t. Here’s what I use to race and train. Both of my kits have two things in common: 1) They’re designed and tested by female triathletes for female triathletes, and 2) They’re from American companies that manufacture the majority of their products in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry →
But if you’ve got your heart set on one of Tutu-Da-Loo’s magnificent creations, use code “Karla” to get 15% off your next purchase at Tutu-Da-Loo. I’ll be wearing a Tutu-Da-Loo design, courtesy of Tutu-Da-Loo, at an upcoming race.
Elsa Frozen Tutu (Tutu-Da-Loo)
Whether you’re looking to run as Elsa from Frozen, Lilo from Lilo & Stitch, Captain America or some other character, Tutu-Da-Loo has an inspired design. Enter the coupon code at checkout for a 15% discount off any running tutu in the shop. Tutu-Da-Loo’s tutus normally range in price from $30 to $45. The code is good through Sunday, July 27. I don’t get compensated for your purchase in any way. Just want to pass along some savings.
WorkoutLabs compensated me for the time it took me to test their product, write about it, and share it on this blog. Compensation I receive from any company is not compensation for my good opinion. Consider this an advertorial where I have complete editorial control.
I travel a lot. And while I do my best to squeeze in runs wherever I go, sometimes I’m traveling in an area or at a time when I don’t feel safe running alone; can’t stomach the tiny, windowless gym in the hotel basement; or might not have access to a gym at all.
I’m also a fan of calisthenic workouts. I’ll often roll-out my mat in front of the TV to squeeze in 30 minutes of exercises while I watch an old Friends or Seinfeld episode. But my rotation of exercises often gets stale, and I’m constantly losing the pages of exercises I’ve clipped from magazines over the years.
The concept is simple—a deck of cards, the size and shape of playing cards, depict an exercise or stretch per card. Each deck has 40 exercises that don’t require any equipment, nine stretches and five workouts plus a stretching routine. A blank exercise card and workout card are also included, so you can create your own favorite routine among the included exercises or add an exercise of your own. Read the rest of this entry →
Registration opened today for the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida, from February 19-22, 2015. The Glass Slipper Challenge, Princess Half Marathon and Enchanted 10K are already sold out as of 6:30 p.m., while the 5K is 52 percent full and the Kids Races are 50 percent sold.
In honor of the occasion, I’m thrilled to give away a custom-made running tutu courtesy of Tutu-da-loo! One winner will receive a handmade tutu of their choice, perfect for running any themed or costume race. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post.
Tutus are 9 inches long with a crocheted elastic waistband and two layers of tulle. Sizes range from X-Small to 3XL to cover women’s sizes 0-24. All of Tutu-da-loo’s tutus are custom-made, and they fill special orders as well. For an additional cost, runners can order a 12-inch length via Tutu-da-loo’s Etsy shop.
The winner of this giveaway can pick any basic multi-colored tutu of up to 3 colors, like the one pictured at right.
If you’re a SHAPE Magazine reader, flip to page 86 of the May issue where you’ll find me!
SHAPE May 2014
SHAPE and EAS Sports Nutrition brought me on as a hired gun for the 2014 SHAPE Diva Dash series. I had so much fun at the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash that it was easy to say yes. I’m sharing training tips in ads for EAS and the race in the April and May issues.
I’m also running the SHAPE Diva Dash in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul on May 31, 2014. Want to join me?
Last week, I popped over to Niketown in New York City to try a pair of the new Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes. They’re an update to the Nike Free 3.0, a shoe that previously did not have a Flyknit upper. Nike gave me the shoes to keep and a spot in one of the Nike Free Stride treadmill sessions taking place at Niketown in New York City.
I’m warming up in the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit shoes. (Photo: Nike)
The 32-minute Nike Free Stride workout focused on curating a more efficient and natural stride in the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit shoes. A gentle warm-up and mini-stride clinic preceded a butt-kicking hill interval workout, as a DJ pumped throwback jams into the multi-story atrium of Niketown.
I’m not usually one for exercising on a stage while shoppers watch, but I was curious to try the shoes.
Nike had previously given me a pair of Nike Free Flyknit+ shoes, which came out in summer 2013. They were similar to the Nike Free 5.0, but with a Flyknit upper. I ended up not reviewing them and not including them in my Holiday Gift Guide for one simple reason: I didn’t love them.
I found them too tight around the ankle, to the point of being constrictive. Another runner I know even cut his Flyknits to reduce pressure on his Achilles tendon. While I like my shoes to fit well, I like my laces tied loosely. With no functional laces, the Flyknits are more like a supportive sock. With a tight top, they just weren’t the shoes for me.
That’s me giving the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknits a try. (Photo: Nike)
So I’m happy to report that the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes have a much more comfortable fit in this newest version of the Flyknit upper.
Altogether, Nike made three major changes to the 2014 Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit from the previous versions of both the Free 3.0 and Free Flyknit. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!