Our URM team was on the scene at The Running Event, an industry showcase in Austin, TX. Here is a preview of the items that caught our eye which you’ll be reading more about in 2020. This installment is focused on shoes and apparel, and our next one will be hydration vests and accessories.
The Italian company founded in the Dolomites has historically been known for its climbing shoes, but recently they have entered the trail running shoe market. The Spin Ultra is designed for moderate- to ultra-distance running, with more cushioning than previous SCARPA models, but without a significant tradeoff in weight.
Last year, Topo Athletic filled out the max-cushioned end of their trail shoe lineup with the Ultraventure. This fall, they fill the same slot in their road lineup with the Phantom, a new maximum-cushion shoe that has the same stack heights and geometry as the Ultraventure, with a lighter and more breathable upper that is well-suited for road running.
As the intensity of training peaks and races conclude for the season, the allure of sitting down with a good book can’t be denied. Fortunately, there are a number of new ultrarunning-inspired books that will keep even the most exhausted runners entertained and dreaming about a future race. Here are a few of our staff picks from this summer.
We tested UltrAspire’s new Lumen 650 Oculus Headlamp along with an update to a popular favorite, the Lumen 600 Waist Light, which has been streamlined with an improved fit.
A lightweight, fully waterproof and windproof shell that stuffs into its chest pocket for easy storage. Fit is slim through the torso, and well-proportioned at the waist and arms. The incorporated hood is especially useful for versatile protection without getting in the way.
Built in collaboration with Rob Krar and Stephanie Howe Violett, Nathan’s VaporKrar and VaporHowe pack lineup offers a minimalist 4L option for traveling light, and a larger 12L pack for longer durations or conditions that require a greater assortment of clothing and gear.
The second member of the COROS global watch family (along with the Pace), the Apex is best known for its hefty battery life. Compared to the Pace, the Apex has been given a facelift sporting a sleek new design in addition to new features such as navigation, fitness tracking, and sleep tracking.
In the past, the MT has been equally comfortable on the road or trail, but updates to the new version shift it more squarely into the trail category. Two key trail-specific updates are additional cushioning in the midsole, and a redesigned upper with increased durability and drainage capacity.
Raidlight, a French based-company that has recently started to expand its US presence, makes several products that support the trail running experience, including apparel, hydration packs and shoes. Among their shoes, the Responsiv line is geared to tackle a variety of terrain types.
Two gender-specific, generously cut shorts to help you transition from legging weather to warm, summer days.
A great all-purpose trail shoe for moving fast and light on all manner of trails. Their spec weight is among the lowest you’ll find in trail shoes, but there’s enough traction, comfort, and durability to use as a minimalist trainer or an outstanding race shoe for distances up to about 50k.