Archive for the ‘Products’Category

#OwnTheRun To Win GORE-TEX Running Shoes

Own The Run with GORE-TEX Running Shoes

Running DC’s Lincoln Park in my GORE-TEX Saucony Ride 9 GTX shoes (RunKarlaRun.com)

This post is sponsored by GORE-TEX. Why? I love their running shoe liner and want everyone to have the chance to win a pair of GORE-TEX lined running shoes.

What does it mean to you to “Own The Run?” For me, it means enjoying the day, no matter what my run brings. Sometimes I feel great and crush it, sometimes I’m sluggish and struggle to get through three miles checking my watch every minute, sometimes the weather is perfect, and sometimes it’s too hot, too cold, too wet, too humid, like I’m the Goldilocks of running.

Own The Run With GORE-TEX Running Shoes

Washington DC’s Rock Creek Park (RunKarlaRun.com)

But when I #OwnTheRun, I embrace whatever the day throws at me, happy that I get to run, that I can slog it out, rain or shine, good or bad. It’s my run and I own it, no matter what happens out there.

How do you #OwnTheRun? Between now and November 8, 2017, you can enter to win GORE-TEX shoes and gear at gore-tex.com/owntherun. In addition to weekly GORE-TEX lined shoe giveaways, one winner will receive head-to-toe gear—shoes, running shorts, running pants, a jacket, headphones, and more—to help them #OwnTheRun in any weather. Enter at gore-tex.com/owntherun.

Own The Run With GORE-TEX Running Shoes

Running NYC’s East River path in Saucony Ride 9 GTX shoes (RunKarlaRun.com)

GORE-TEX lined shoes have been a staple of my running closet since I first tried them in 2014. I’m on my third pair with the Saucony Ride 9 GTX, given to me by GORE-TEX. Read the rest of this entry →

04

Nov 2016

Ampla Fly Carbon Fiber Running Shoes Review

Ampla Fly Running Shoe Review

The Ampla Fly carbon fiber running shoe. (AMPLA)

AMPLA 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. I only share products I think readers might find interesting.

Ampla Fly, the first shoes from nascent running company AMPLA, are so far outside the proverbial (shoe)box that I had to try them for myself. I put them to the test on the road and the treadmill.

When I first heard of the new Ampla Fly carbon fiber soled shoes, I assumed they were cycling shoes. Carbon fiber soles are de rigueur in the cycling and triathlon world. Simply, the stiffness of the soles helps transfer more force from your legs to your pedals than a softer material that loses energy when it flexes. The result? You pedal farther and faster with the same amount of effort.

But au contraire mon frère. The Ampla Fly are not cycling shoes. They’re running shoes. Yes, you read that right: carbon fiber running shoes. Predicated on the idea that “Force is your friend,” Ampla Fly aims to use force to train you to become a more efficient runner. They sell for $120 in men’s and women’s sizing and in two colors, red and black. If you want to try a pair, use code RunKarlaRun for 10 percent off at AmplaSport.com.

Ampla Fly Running Shoe Review

The Ampla Fly running shoe collection (AMPLA)

Ampla Fly Design

Why carbon fiber? “When a runner lands on the ground the force can equal upwards of 8x their body weight; we needed a material that could handle that weight, absorb that force and return the energy. Carbon fiber was our only choice.”

Folks not familiar with carbon fiber cycling shoes might worry that a “plate” in the midsole might make them heavy. Worry not. Carbon is both stiff and lightweight. Weighing in at 10.1 oz. in the men’s shoe and 9.8 oz. in the women’s shoe, the Ampla Fly are comparable to the Asics Gel-Nimbus or Brooks Glycerin weight wise.

This isn’t a minimalist shoe; it isn’t a maximalist shoe, but something wholly different. The 4 mm drop might lend itself more toward the minimalist end of the spectrum. But when you consider that drop comes from a 20 mm heel to a 16 mm forefoot, you realize this is an elevated shoe.

The seamless mesh and micro-suede upper are pretty standard. The Ortholite sockliner, EVA sub-sockliner, and EVA Lite top midsole provide a nice, but not overly soft, amount of cushioning.

Ampla Fly Running Shoe Review

Ampla Fly’s design (AMPLA)

The Amply Fly midsole, however, is what makes this shoe unique. The carbon fiber plate stretches the full length of the shoe, sandwiched between the single piece top midsole and EVA foam bottom midsole. But it’s not just a uniform piece. The plate includes a tab or tongue that moves with each footfall—effectively, a spring.

The EVA foam bottom midsole is then split into two pieces to cover the plate. The foam heel is fixed in place to cover the rear of the plate. The foam forefoot covers the toe off and tab of the plate.

What does it all add up to? The design promotes a midfoot strike, gathering the force of your step, and then channeling the energy into your forefoot at push off, AMPLA says.

No, heel striking itself isn’t bad. But studies show that overstriding—often a result of heel striking—might lead to more injuries. That midfoot strike encourages runners to shorten their strides and land with their feet beneath, not way in front of, their bodies.

Does the Ampla Fly work? I slipped them on to find out.

Ampla Fly Running Shoes Review

Karla tries Ampla Fly (RunKarlaRun.com)

Ampla Fly Performance

Wearing the women’s size 9, I took the Amply Fly on the road and treadmill.

Fit & Feel

First, the toe box is on the snug side. This is a common complaint of mine about many of the running shoes I try, and the Ampla Fly is no exception. Overall, I’d call this a close-to-the-foot fit. The heel is locked in place and ball hugged, even if the toes are a bit squished. Sizing is comparable to Nike or ASICS. Read the rest of this entry →

CardioGlow Fit Fashion Giveaway

CardioGlow Fit Fashion Giveaway

Fit Fashion: Courtesy of CardioGlow (RunKarlaRun.com)

It’s giveaway time, thanks to CardioGlow! CardioGlow is a new online boutique filled with stylish, curated, and affordable fit fashion, brought to you by none other than my sister, Kathleen.

You’ve seen CardioGlow curated looks all over my Instagram feed. And now you can nab some too.

CardioGlow Fit Fashion Giveaway

Running in CardioGlow curated gear. (RunKarlaRun.com)

To celebrate the opening of her online shop, we’re giving away four full outfits—including top, sports bra, bottoms, and hoodie—to four lucky winners. I’ll choose two winners at random from here on the blog and two winners from Instagram. The giveaway is open now through July 4, 2016.

Winners will pick between these two looks.

CardioGlow Fit Fashion Giveaway

CardioGlow capris look (RunKarlaRun.com)

CardioGlow Fit Fashion Giveaway

CardioGlow Skirt look (RunKarlaRun.com)

Read the rest of this entry →

24

Jun 2016

5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

Running plantar fasciitis free in Central Park (RunKarlaRun.com)

Oh, plantar fasciitis. It’s real pain the foot. Many runners will deal with it at some point in their careers. In fact, it’s so pernicious that 1 million people seek treatment for plantar fasciitis every year. Plantar fasciitis accounts for nearly 8 percent of all running injuries, making it the third most common running injury behind patellofemoral pain syndrome, aka “Runner’s Knee,” and iliotibial band friction syndrome, aka “IT Band Syndrome,” according to a study from the University of British Columbia.

I struggled with plantar fasciitis for four months—October through January—missing training, missing races, running through it, and then missing training some more. I’ve now been well-heeled (get it?) for 3.5 months, ran a 10-mile personal best at the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run in April, and ran my second fastest half-marathon ever (and an age-group personal best!) at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in May. These are the tools that helped me get back into fighting shape by giving plantar fasciitis the boot.

Of course, I’m not a doctor, and you should always consult with yours, preferably as soon as possible. I saw a podiatrist to diagnose and treat my plantar fasciitis right away.

5 Plantar Fasciitis Fighters

 

5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

WalkFit Platinum Inserts (RunKarlaRun.com)

WalkFit Platinum Inserts, $20

I truly believe wearing orthotics is what helped me turn the corner. After months of trying (at various points) rest, massage, stretching, taping, and a night boot, I still couldn’t shake plantar fasciitis. It would get better, then return same as before.

I finally bought these over-the-counter shoe inserts while taking 17 days off from running. Why did it take me so long to try an orthotic? My doctor told me try all the other things first. I finally bought the inserts that worked for my mother when she had PF. I figured we have the same feet, so why not?

I wore them whenever humanly possible. I work from home, barefoot. No more, I wore shoes with the inserts all day long. Bye-bye plantar fasciitis. It only took a few weeks. Wish I had tried them from Day One. I still wear them much of the time when I’m out and about, except when I’m running, to keep the old PF away. I’ve never been so thrilled with an “As Seen On TV” product.

5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

KT Tape (RunKarlaRun.com)

KT Tape, $13-$25

KT Tape, how do I love thee? There is no way I would have made it through those four months, including the Honolulu Marathon in December and GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon in November, without KT Tape on my foot. It’s pretty simple: Without KT Tape, my PF hurt—a lot. With KT Tape, it either didn’t hurt at all or hurt much less.

Will KT Tape cure your PF? No, but it’s a great tool to give you extra support when you need it. I’ll continue taping my foot for long runs. Seriously, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this stuff is like voodoo.

They even have a bunch of new products I learned about and sampled at a press event in March. KT Tape Pro Extreme is for wet, humid, or ultra hot conditions. You can even swim in it. Hello triathlon! KT Flex has targeted support specifically for knees, and is also water resistant. KT Recovery+ is a drug-free patch to reduce swelling and inflammation. The new KT Recovery+ Ice/Heat Compression Therapy System includes a microwaveable heat pack, freezable gel pack, and adjustable wrap for use throughout your body. And if you want to get in the Olympic spirit, Pro USA KT Tape in red, blue, or black screams “USA.”

5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

Zensah PF Compression Sleeve

Zensah PF Compression Sleeve, $25

Zensah’s PF Compression Sleeve is the newest tool in my plantar fasciitis kit. I received it two months ago at a Zensah media event and I’ve been absolutely blown away. I wear it Every. Single. Day. I’m wearing it right now as I type. The second I feel any arch ache, I pop the sleeve on for instant relief.

Much like KT Tape, it gives your foot that extra bit of support. The sleeve uses compression to stabilize the fascia. And the squeeze? Oh so good! It’s way more comfortable than my night boot, which I never wear any more because it didn’t really seem to do anything for me. (And notice: the boot is not on this list.)

Plus, the sleeve is much more packable when you travel. I carried my darn boot for nearly three weeks around Hawai’i. Wish I’d had this sleeve instead! I brought it with me to Florida in April and California in May. So convenient, easy, and comfy. I also love that it really, truly stays stink-free thanks to silver ions woven into the fabric. Read the rest of this entry →

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Running Shoes Review

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit

Updated 3/10/16

The Nike LunarEpic Flyknit will certainly turn heads. With its high-top bootie design, the running world hasn’t seen anything like these neutral, cushioned running shoes.

The newest entry to Nike’s “Run Easy” category, the LunarEpic Flyknit shoes are meant for going long, running easy, or kicking it up with a progression run. In other words, this is a cushioned trainer designed with comfort in mind. The men’s size 10 weighs 8.3 oz and the women’s size 8 weighs 6.55 oz. Both have an 8.5 mm drop from heel to toe, with a retail price of $175.

I first tried the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit shoes, courtesy of Nike, during an interval workout with Nike trainers. I’ve since taken them on the road and trail. Here are my initial thoughts.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Testing the shoes, far left (Nike)

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Design

If the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit embodies one buzzword, it’s “sensation.” Inspired by Nike soccer boots that earned great feedback from players, Nike Running’s design team set out to create a shoe the evoked a similar sensation. Namely, a sense of seamlessness from toe to ankle. Where does your body end and your shoe begin? The Nike LunarEpic Flyknit wants to erase that transition. Nike calls it a “virtually vanishing fit.” Is it? Yes and no.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Shoe or bootie?

Upper

The shoe’s upper is a single-piece of Nike Flyknit, featuring the material’s signature support, with a closer fit at the forefoot, arch, and heel, plus FlyWire cables to cinch the fit midfoot. The ankle collar, sewn more elastic than the boot, exists to anchor the shoe to your leg. The cuff might also eliminate some pressure points around the heel.

The laces? They may seem redundant, but actually help to perfect the fit, a Nike designer said at the shoe’s New York City launch I attended.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Rear view

Midsole

This is a glue-free shoe. Instead, Nike used heat to fuse the Lunarlon foam to the platform, thereby eliminating some weight and hardness. The platform itself is contoured, not flat, with laser-cut grooves on the side for flexibility. They collapse when you land, cushioning each foot strike.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Outsole

Outsole

The Lunarlon foam outsole is completely rubber-free, with laser-cut pads placed at high-pressure points. Each pad moves independently, depending on how your foot falls. How precisely? You can actually feather the grooves with your fingertips. Combined with the foam of the midsole, the outsole pads help make the ride smooth and soft.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Liking them so far (Nike)

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Feel

I’ll start with this. I’m a huge fan of Nike Flyknit. I wore my Nike Flyknit Lunar 2 shoes ragged and Nike Free 4.0 are one of my go-to pairs.

At first look, these might be my favorite Nike shoes I’ve tried in the last two years, and I’ve worn the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32, Nike LunarTempo, Nike Flyknit Lunar 2, and two iterations each of Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit and Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Review

Post-workout debrief (Nike)

Fit

This is a shoe you really need to try for yourself, simply because it is so different from anything you’ve put on your feet before. Certainly, some runners will hate the high ankle collar. Like the first iteration of the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit, some folks will find it too tight or too constricting. Thankfully, Nike.com offers a 30-day trial period, during which you can return worn shoes, “dirt and all.”

I actually like the fit and the feel and the ankle bootie. If you surf or do triathlons, the ankle collar is more comfortable than the ankle strap of surf board leash, a triathlon timing chip band, or even a wetsuit cuff. When you first slip the shoes on your feet, the collar feels a little strange. But it’s incredibly stretchy and elastic. Once I got moving, I didn’t notice it all. I was too focused on the workout. Read the rest of this entry →

Running Tights & Capris For The Long Run

Running in Hawaii

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (RunKarlaRun.com)

Keeps your legs rockin’ in style with these 10 running tights, capris, and warm-ups from seven different brands. They range from $20 to $120, so there’s something for every price point.

If it’s on this list, I officially own it and love it. Companies send loads of samples my way, many unsolicited. I try them all so you don’t have to. And I only keep, wear, and post about the ones I love. For each pair of running tights you see here, there’s another pair (or two) that didn’t make the cut.

Many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available and among my go-to faves. (Gore Running Wear Mythos 2.0 Windstopper Soft Shell Tights, I’m talking to you.) So here are my gift guides from 2014 and 2013, which also have some of my perennial favorite running tights and capris. You’ll find affiliate links in this post to help keep RunKarlaRun.com running.

Happy Shopping!

Running Tights & Capris

Nike Epic Lux Tights, $79-$120

Epic and lux is right. I’ve long been a Nike running tights evangelist and these are the best of the best. Yes, you’ll pay a pretty penny, but the quality is top of the line. Silky, second skin fabric, a wide flattering waistband, mesh panels behind your knees, these are the tights I wear again and again and again. Plus, I get compliments every time I wear them. Solid or print, you can find them in both in a range of colors and prints. I can’t say enough good things about these tights—and most Nike tights in general.

Running Tights & Capris For The Long Run

Nike Epic Lux Tight

Running Tights & Capris For The Long Run

In action in Oslo

2XU Elite MCS Compression Tights, $120

If you want to werk it, these compression tights are uh-may-zing! I wear them on long runs and tough workouts all the time to help reduce soreness the next day. Targeted compression reduces muscle vibration where you most need it. The waistband is a touch tight, but oh so worth it! These are the next level of compression from the 2XU Women’s Compression Tights I wrote about last year. You can’t go wrong with either pair. I wear both of them just about every single week. Plus, they come in tall sizes too. Cue angels singing. Read the rest of this entry →

Running Jackets & Vests To Go The Distance

Running Jackets & Vests To Go The Distance

Running with Rella in Canada (RunKarlaRun.com)

Running through winter? Here are my favorite running jackets and vests I’ve tried in the last year.

Companies send me loads of samples. So I didn’t buy most of what you see here. But I also don’t keep most of what I receive. For each item here, I’ve sampled another one that didn’t make the cut.

So if it’s on this list, I officially own it and love it.

Many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available and I still love them. (Nike Aeroloft 800 Running Vest, I’m talking to you.) So here are my gift guides from 2014 and 2013, which also have some of my perennial favorite running jackets and vests. And some of these have affiliate links to help keep RunKarlaRun.com running.

Happy Shopping!

Running Jackets & Vests

New Balance Beacon Vest, $108-$126

Get your glow on. Glow in the dark, reflective, wind, and water resistant. I basically lived in this during the New Balance Reach The Beach Relay, and it was comfortable mile after mile.

Running Jackets & Vests To Go The Distance

New Balance Beacon Vest

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Finished! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Champion Marathon Printed Packable Jacket, $22-$58

So light, so cool, hooded, packable, with thumbhole sleeves and a long hemline. This wind breaker traveled to Sweden and Norway with me and carried its (light) weight. Love it. Just wish the packable inner pocket had a carry strap. Read the rest of this entry →

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Ariel Vazee Pace (RunKarlaRun.com)

“Up where they walk, up where they run…” at runDisney, of course! The Little Mermaid’s Ariel is now part of the New Balance runDisney world as the star of the latest shoes in the 2016 Limited Edition New Balance runDisney Collection.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Ariel! (RunKarlaRun.com)

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of New Balance shoes. “Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl…the girl who has everything?”

Well, now I do! New Balance generously sent me a pair of the Ariel Vazee Pace runDisney shoes to preview!

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

My precious (RunKarlaRun.com)

Look at that stuff! Isn’t it neat?

I love this limited edition New Balance packaging for the runDisney shoes and the goodies inside.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

New box (RunKarlaRun.com)

This isn’t any ordinary shoe box. The shoes rest within a Snow White-style sleeping case.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Unboxing (RunKarlaRun.com)

After unboxing the kicks, I find an Alice in Wonderland-style “Open Me.”

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Open Me (RunKarlaRun.com)

What does it reveal? More goodies! Read the rest of this entry →

How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2016

How To Buy New Balance runDisney Shoes in 2016

2016 New Balance runDisney Collection (New Balance)

2016 New Balance Disney Running Shoes Revealed

They’re finally here! New Balance announced the 2016 line of New Balance Disney running shoes, which will debut at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna from January 6-10, 2016.

After releasing a single teaser photo of a feather, a yellow bow, and seashell necklace via Twitter and Instagram, New Balance has revealed the 2016 Limited Edition New Balance runDisney Collection feature Dumbo, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and The Little Mermaid’s Ariel.

The Dumbo and Ariel Vazee Pace are $124.95, while the Red Carpet Minnie and Mickey 860v6s are $139.95. And they didn’t forget the kids. Dumbo and Ariel 860v6 shoes are $79.95.

Read on to find out how, when, and where to buy them, along with pics of each shoe.

Ariel Vazee Pace, $124.95

How To Buy New Balance runDisney Shoes in 2016

Ariel Vazee Pace (New Balance)

The New Balance Vazee Pace shoes are a lightweight neutral trainer, available in women’s sizes 5 to 12.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Ariel in person (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Ariel-inspired kicks are shades of sea foam green with purple and red accents. The Ariel shoes come with purple shell clip-ons and a picture of Ariel on the heel.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Ariel (RunKarlaRun.com)

Check out New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look for a close-up view of the Ariel Vazee Pace.

Dumbo Vazee Pace, $124.95

How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2016

Dumbo Vazee Pace (New Balance)

The Dumbo shoes are also the neutral, lightweight New Balance Vazee Pace available in men’s sizes 7 to 14.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Dumbo (RunKarlaRun.com)

The homage to Dumbo are gray with yellow and peach accents, with a picture of Dumbo himself on the heel. They also come with Timothy Q. Mouse clip-ons.

How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2016

Dumbo Vazee Pace (New Balance)

Red Carpet Minnie 860v6, $139.95

How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2016

Red Carpet Minnie (New Balance)

Each year New Balance releases a pair of shoes styled after a different Mickey and Minnie persona. In 2103, we saw classic Minnie in her red dress. 2014 brought us Pink Polka Dot Minnie, and 2015 was Retro Minnie, harkening back to her black-and-white years. For 2016, we have Red Carpet Minnie Mouse in her yellow evening gown.

How To Buy New Balance runDisney Shoes in 2016

Minnie front and back (New Balance)

The Red Carpet Minnie shoes are 860v6s, a New Balance stability shoe in women’s sizes 5 to 12. They also come with clip-on bows.

Read the rest of this entry →

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Giveaway time!

Why celebrate Christmas on one day when you can celebrate for 12 whole days? It’s time for my 12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway! Sure the 12 Days of Christmas traditionally start on December 25 and conclude on January 5, otherwise known as Twelfth Night, but let’s get the party started early.

For the next 12 days, I’m giving away an array of running goodies that could fill Santa’s sleigh. I’ll feature one prize per day in social media. Enter via the widget below or on Instagram. Enter as many times as you like on as many days as you like; all entries are eligible for any prize. I’ll choose all 12 winners randomly at the end of the 12 days, which conclude Tuesday, January 5 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Check out these awesome prizes—some culled from my own personal cache and others generously gifted from the companies below. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

1) On the first day of Christmas my run bud gave to me…

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

Boston Marathoner Map by JHill Design

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

NYC Marathoner Map by JHill Design

An 8 x 10 Marathoner Map by JHill Design.

These gorgeous maps have had me drooling all over their Instagram feed: @jhilldesign. One lucky winner will choose from 25 marathon and 13 half-marathon maps. Customize it with your name, time, bib and race date. Want to snag one yourself? Use code KARLARUN for 15% off jhilldesign.com through January 16, 2016.

2) On the second day of Christmas my run bud gave to me…

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

Spartan Race

A Spartan Race entry.

Pick a race. Any race. This entry is good for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental U.S. That’s worth up to and upwards of $150. Tackle a Sprint (3+ miles, 20+ obstacles), Super (8+ miles, 24+ obstacles), or Beast (12+ miles, 30+ obstacles). With 40 races on the current schedule in the continental U.S., it’s up to you! Read the rest of this entry →

Brooks Running Gear Rundown & Giveaway

Brooks Running Gear Rundown For Fall & Winter

In the Dash 1/2 Zip & Streaker Capri at Runner’s World 5K

Now that the days are shorter, it’s time to bust out my all-weather running gear. I had a sneak peak at fall elements while running in Norway and Sweden in late August and early September, and winter running while shivering at the Runner’s World Half & Festival in October. Running in temps between 40 and 70 degrees— with varying degrees of sun, cloud, wind, and rain—reminded me that fall running can mean anything and everything.

Brooks Running Gear Rundown For Thank You Thursday

Streaker Capri & UpRise Bra carried me through Sweden (RunKarlaRun.com)

These Brooks Running pieces (all freebies) have become a go-to part of my wardrobe. They’ve traveled the world with me in the last few months. I brought them with me to the Turkish desert—where the days were hot and the nights were cold. They carried me through Sweden and Norway. And most recently, they kept me warm at the unseasonably cold Runner’s World Half & Festival. Why? They perform and wash well, and they’re crazy cute.

Here are my picks from top to bottom, and scroll all the way down for a chance to win some Brooks Running winter gear for yourself!

Brooks Dash 1/2 Zip

Brooks Dash 1/2 Zip

Dash 1/2 Zip, $75
Available in 5 colors

This is my new fave long sleeve. You’ve seen me wear it in Sweden, Norway, and Pennsylvania. Basically, I take it with me everywhere I go. Why? First, the zip has a really cute geographic pattern that gives any running outfit a pop. I even pair it with patterned tights.

Second, the thumbhole cuffs and sleeves are actually long enough for me. In long-sleeve tops and jackets, I usually need to size-up to get the arm length I need, but then the fit is often too boxy. This fits perfectly; no sizing-up needed.

Third, a small flap pocket in the back is big enough for a credit card. (The website says it’s a zip pocket; it’s not.)

Finally, it’s the perfect weight to cut the chill without making me hot—lightweight and soft. Honestly, there isn’t a thing I don’t love about this one.

A photo posted by Karla Bruning (@runkarlarun) on

Brooks Running Gear Rundown For Fall & Winter

LSD Jacket

LSD Jacket, $98
Available in 5 colors

This is the windbreaker that has it all. Most notable? It packs into its own pocket with an elastic strap to slide onto your hand or arm while you’re not wearing it. Cue angels singing! In September, I ran the Fjord Norway Half Marathon–which crossed a series of windy bridges—in a different windbreaker. The windbreaker packed into a pocket but was missing a strap. Once through the worst of the wind, I ended up carrying the darn thing in my hand and kept thinking, “I really wish this had a strap.”

The LSD Jacket is also crazy light and has an adorable split side-hem that looks like overlapping flower petals, allowing for a free range of motion. Throw in front and back reflectivity, a zipper pull that locks headphone cords in place, and water-resistant fabric, and you’re ready for just about any element night or day.

My only complaint is that, unlike the Dash 1/2 Zip, the sleeves are a tad short for my long, monkey arms. In my perfect world, the LSD Jacket would also have longer sleeves with thumbholes. But when I pair the two, it isn’t a problem. Either way, I’ll be wearing this beauty for many a run to come.

Brooks Running Gear Rundown For Fall & Winter

Fly-By SS VNeck

Fly-By SS VNeck, $60
Available in 4 colors

I’m not a big running tee wearer. Nine times out of 10, I reach for a tank instead. But I appreciate that the Fly-By short sleeve is much more than a basic tee, with two different strategically placed performance fabrics.

The coolest feature is a fitted bottom band that keeps the tee in place when you run—no bouncing or wind blowing up your shirt. In the fall, that’s half the battle for me.

The cut is on the boxy side. So if you like a more fitted top, this might not be for you. But if you’re looking for something to split the difference between a tank and a long-sleeve, the Fly-By fits the bill. Read the rest of this entry →

05

Nov 2015

New Balance Releases Donald Duck Disney Shoes

New Balance Releases Donald Duck Disney Shoes

Donald Duck Fresh Foam Boracay (Photo: New Balance)

“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” New Balance has revealed yet another pair of Disney shoes, this time modeled after Disney’s favorite duck. The Donald Duck Fresh Foam Boracay is coming to Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna in honor of Disneyland Resort’s 60th Anniversary celebration. The shoes will be available at the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo starting September 3.

New Balance Releases Donald Duck Disney Shoes

Red bow tie (Photo: New Balance)

Donald’s signature look is woven throughout the shoe, from his red bow tie to a black heel tab evocative of the ribbon on Donald’s hat. The Donald Duck kicks will sell for $140.

New Balance’s Fresh Foam Boracay is a neutral cushioned shoe meant to carry runners for many a mile. I tried and reviewed the new kicks; read all about them here:

Testing 3 New Balance Shoes: Zante, Boracay, 890v5.

New Balance Releases Donald Duck Disney Shoes

Donald’s signature (Photo: New Balance)

Along with Disney shoes for adults, New Balance is also releasing kids versions of the Donald Duck Fresh Foam Boracay and Tinker Bell Fresh Foam Boracay. They will also debut at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.

Here are a few more views of the new Donald Duck Fresh Foam Boracay Disney shoes. Read the rest of this entry →

New Balance Releases Tinker Bell Disney Shoes

New Balance Releases Tinker Bell Disney Shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay Disney shoes

UPDATE 8/25/15: New Balance has announced a pair of Donald Duck Fresh Foam Boracay Disney shoes. Check ’em out here:
New Balance Releases Donald Duck Disney Shoes

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New Balance and runDisney are at it again! New Balance announced the release of another pair of Disney shoes for the 2015 New Balance runDisney collection, debuting at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA jewelry at Disneyland in California from Thursday, May 7 to Sunday, May 10.

The Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay Disney shoes in green and yellow are inspired by the pixie of Peter Pan fame. New Balance’s Fresh Foam Boracay is a neutral cushioned shoe meant to carry runners for many a mile. The Tinker Bell kicks glow in the dark and will sell for $140. I tried and reviewed the new kicks; read all about them here: Testing 3 New Balance Shoes: Zante, Boracay, 890v5.

New Balance Releases New Disney Shoes For Princess Half

The 2015 New Balance runDisney Retro Collection

The Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay are the third pair of New Balance Disney shoes to debut this year. New Balance previously launched the 860v5 performance shoes and 990v3 recovery shoes, part of the 2015 runDisney Retro Mickey and Minnie collection modeled after Mickey Mouse’s 1928 debut in “Steamboat Willie.” The performance 860v5 Disney shoes are $135, while the recovery 990v3 kicks are $180.

Buying New Balance Disney Shoes

New Balance Releases Tinker Bell Fresh Foam Boracay Disney Shoes

Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay in action.

You can get your hands on a pair of the Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay Disney shoes at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend expo in Anaheim, California from May 7-9.

But don’t just march to the expo. Runners can sign up at NBvirtualqueue.com using their bib number starting Thursday, May 7 at 6 a.m., and all other guests can sign up Friday, May 8 or Saturday, May 9.

Visit NBvirtualqueue.com for all the details about buying procedures, inventory availability, and updates throughout the weekend.

After the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA, the New Balance Disney shoes will be available at other runDisney race expos throughout the year. You can’t buy them online or in stores. Read the rest of this entry →

Testing 3 New Balance Shoes: Zante, Boracay, 890v5

Testing 3 Neutral New Balance Shoes For Spring

The Fresh Foam Boracay and Zante in action (Photo: New Balance)

New Balance shoes have been a part of my running shoe rotation for two years now. Last fall, I included the 890v4, 1400v2 and Fresh Foam 980 in my Guide To Neutral Running Shoes. In the last few weeks, I’ve been trying out the three newest New Balance shoes in the neutral running category: Fresh Foam Zante, Fresh Foam Boracay, and 890v5. How does each pair stack up? I’m happy to report that these are three excellent updates that will suit different types of neutral runners.

The shoe vitals are as listed by New Balance for the women’s version. I tried each pair in a women’s size 9, courtesy of New Balance, and listed them from lightest to heaviest.

Testing 3 Neutral New Balance Shoes: Fresh Foam Zante, Boracay + 890v5

Fresh Foam Zante

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

MSRP: $100
Weight: 6.4 oz
Drop: 6 mm
Colorways: 3 standard

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante is for folks who want to run—or feel—fast. The lightweight shoe rivals the New Balance 1400 in responsiveness, but with feel-so-good cushioning and an insole that cradles your arches like your favorite pillow. The Fresh Foam’s midsole design of interlocking convex and concave shapes means the shoe gives where you need flexibility and holds firm where you need support, much like the Fresh Foam Boracay. But New Balance used biomechanical data from faster runners to build the Zante.

Testing 3 Neutral New Balance Shoes: Fresh Foam Zante, Boracay + 890v5

Fresh Foam Zante

The result? A shoe that rides like a dream—a dream where you’re setting PR after PR. You may not run a 5-minute pace, but you can imagine what that feels like in these shoes.

Springy and speedy, the Zante promises a quick heel to toe transition with an “aggressive toe spring.” It delivers. The shoe is light, supple, and downright fun to run in.

The upper is a soft and flexible mesh bootie that hugs in all the right places—at the heel, arch, and outer ball of the foot—while leaving breathing room in the toes. In short, this shoe fits like a glove and responds like a race car.

The stripped down design has just what you need and nothing more. Best of all, it has enough cushioning to take you on long runs too.

I love everything about this shoe, and don’t have a singe critique for it. I totally see why Competitor Magazine named the Fresh Foam Zante the 2015 Road Shoe of the Year. It’s earned a spot in my personal shoe rotation and might even be my favorite pair of New Balance shoes yet.

Will you love it as much as I do? Yes, if you like to feel the road under your feet in a light and soft ride. Maybe not if you prefer a beefier or more plushly cushioned shoe. Read the rest of this entry →

Testing Nike LunarTempo Shoes at Mile High Run Club

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

The Nike LunarTempo Shoes (Photo: Nike)

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

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

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 →

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