What's New in Running Gear for Spring 2014
Create-your-own shoes; $100-220 1 of 15
Personalize four types of Nike shoes with an inspiring message printed on the tongue; make your shoes unique by choosing the colors and graphics you want, the amount of flex you desire in your Nike Free, or even the amount of metallic bling you want in your track spikes. Nike says your customized shoes will be shipped to you in five weeks or less.
Neon core-warmer; $180 2 of 15
Layer this men's running vest (also available for women), made with 800-fill goose down insulation for lightweight warmth, over a technical top, and you'll keep your core toasty on those chilly early spring pre-dawn or post-dusk runs. Reflective strips run along the top back and back zippered pocket for added visibility. The perforations encourage the escape of excess heat and moisture to keep you dry and comfortable.
As-you-need-it stability; $160 3 of 15
After the reign of barely-there minimalist shoes over the past several seasons, shoe cushioning is making a triumphant return. The Brooks Transcend is named for what the manufacturer calls "float," or an extra soft midsole material blended with foam. This foam reportedly adapts to the amount of force applied to it—meaning the shoe delivers stability as the runner needs it. The cloud-like comfort isn't confined to the sole; the plush upper encases the foot in softness.
Luxe layers; $48 and $78 4 of 15
The cashmere feel of the poly-spandex blended fabric of the Oiselle Winona Tank and the Lux Side-Zip Top will make you think you forgot to change out of your pajamas before your run. The breathable but fitted cut and long length of the tank will keep you covered and comfortable during your workout. Warm up and cool down in the non-chafing side-zip top.
Minimalism gets a fresh look; price not announced 5 of 15
The minimalist craze of the past couple of years is cooling, but hasn't evaporated. Natural running appears to be the buzzword these days, and Skora Running, a Portland, Oregon-based company that focuses on lightweight performance running shoes, is debuting the flashy FIT training shoe, a zero-drop outsole that hugs the natural curve of the foot and toes. The airy, stretchy upper and asymmetrical lacing provides a comfortable fit over the top of the foot, and an internal arch band provides support. Runners who care about style will appreciate the sleek 3D printing on the upper and the trendy color palette.
Spring forward; $180 6 of 15
You've never seen running shoes like this before. These unconventional soles feature 16 lightweight polymer blades that are angled to absorb shock and propel you forward. If you require manufactured energy to get you going on your morning run, this could be your caffeine-free ticket.
Glow-in-the-dark shoes and clothes; shoes $125-$170 7 of 15
Too many runners have been hit, and sometimes killed, by cars in low-light conditions. If you are unable to run during daylight hours, the new 360- degree reflective elements emblazoned on the Asics Gel-Kayano Liteshow ensure cars, animals, cyclists and any other nocturnal creatures see you. The technology is included in the Lite-Show line of tops, jackets and tights as well.
Eco-gear for the trails; $50 8 of 15
Spend the day playing in the great outdoors in the men's FujiTrail Ecoversatility Short. These dawn-to-dusk shorts feature retro reflectivity, several zippered pockets for storage, and two independent layers: an outer 7-inch short shell and a seamless boxer brief interior. These shorts are made of fabrics that contain more than 50 percent recycled yarns. These are one of several new items in the brand's new eco trail line.
Get-noticed graphics; $88 9 of 15
A fresh take on the multi-colored tie-dye look of yore, the Moving Comfort Switch-It-Up Hoodie and Urban Gym Capris offer stylish, bright urban graphics in soft, high-performance material. But it's not the eye-catching prints, but the details that make these items standouts. When you feel like being less flashy, reverse the hoodie to its solid color side; the layer also includes 50 UPF, thumb loops and dri-layer lace inserts along the spine for breathability.
Performance-meets-urban-style capris; $60 10 of 15
The Urban Gym Capri tights feature a wide, stay-put waistband, hidden key pocket in the waistband, 50 UPF and adjustable drawcords at the side hems.??
Lightweight cushioning; $109 11 of 15
Is it possible to have a lightweight, "natural" running shoe that's also plush? New Balance thinks so. Their newest launch, the Fresh Foam 980, combines a natural drop—reportedly 4 millimeters, which is pretty minimal when compared to standard trainers with a 12-millimeter heel-to-toe drop—with soft foam strategically placed along the sole in the highest-impact areas.
Race-ready trail shorts; $79 12 of 15
Ideal for trail marathons and ultras, the Soleus Shorts for men provide five back pockets to stash gels, bars, fluid bottles and easy-to-crumble layers. Made for fast racing on the trails, the side slits and stretchy fabric are ideal for runners who want functional racing shorts without the short-short feel of traditional road racing shorts. Other features include a brief liner, ventilation and a waist tie for a snug fit.
Wispy wind-resistant outer; $80 13 of 15
Essential for windy days on remote trails, where carrying any extra weight aside from nutrition isn't ideal, the S-Lab Light Jacket withstands rain, light snow and billowing winds. If the weather clears and warms up during your run, remove the jacket, crumple it, and stuff it into the pocket of your hydration pack. The ripstop nylon material is so thin that it's almost transparent.
Shop for More Running Essentials
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