Lets face it, when looking to buy running shoes you've got no shortage of options to choose from in a variety of different categories and brands. Typically most shoes can be split into two major categories- neutral/cushioned, and stability/support. To help narrow down your options and help you decide which category to consider, we need to take into account several factors:Stability/Support- How to know how much support is right for youRunners who should consider stability shoes typically have arches that pronate excessively with each step, and often have flat feet (little or no arch). Runners who have low arches typically over-pronate more than runners with higher arches, although this is not always true. The runner who over-pronates has arches that collapse as their body weight comes down, allowing their feet to roll to the inside (or medial side). To determine if this might be you, take a look at the wear pattern on the bottom of your current running shoes. Over-pronators typically wear out the tread on the outer edge of the heel, and the tread near the ball of the foot. To prevent your feet from over-pronating, stability shoes feature midsoles with supportive features, usually a firmer area of EVA foam called a dual density post. The post is a usually a darker color, and works by reinforcing the medial side of the shoe, allowing the over-pronator to run with their feet and legs in proper alignment, minimizing the likelihood of injury.Another factor to consider is your injury history- if you've ever had knee, shin, lower back, or IT pain while running, you may want to consider trying shoes with more stability features to them. For expert advice into fitting you into the best pair of shoes that work best for your unique gait, visit any one of our store locations for a feee video gait analysis.
By:BoulderRunning | September 16, 2015 | Categories: Running Shoes
Fall is right around the corner with cooler mornings and shorter evenings, which means fall racing season will be here before you know it. If you've picked a target race later in the year, now is the time to make the necessary preparations in your training to make your target race your best one yet. After all the tempo runs, interval work, long runs, and recovery runs are complete, there's only one thing left to do on race day- perform at your best ability. In order to do that, you'll want to make sure you've got the right gear on race day to succeed.On that note, check out our race day gear guide filled with the all the essentials you'll need on race day to ensure you run your best race yet:Must Have Essentials:Let's face it, nobody likes chafing. Period. For the uninitiated, be thankful you've never experienced it. For those who have, you already know how important it is to lube up with Bodyglide. Non greasy and easy to use, Bodyglide can make or break a race.Depending on how long your race of choice is, you may or may not decide to bring some sort of nutrition with you. If you do, follow the golden rule- don't try anything new on race day, period. The general rule of thumb is to show up on race day hydrated, but not over hydrated. You'll want to take in fluids typically every 20-30 minutes, as well as refuel with easily digestible carbs in the form of gels or chews every 30-40 minutes. Make sure you take in a gel with a sip or two of fluids to help them digest properly.The other golden rule on race day is not going out too hard, only to blow up the second half. One of the smartest ways to race is to go out conservatively and finish the latter part of the race strong. A good rule of thumb is to start out at roughly 5-10 seconds per mile slower than goal pace and then cut that down as you progress toward the final few miles. A good GPS watch can really help you monitor your pace and help you make sure you stay within your limits without redlining too much. It's far better to finish strong and on top instead of going out a bit optimistically only to realize your goal of a big PR drift away as you get closer and closer to the finish line as your body runs out of gas.Your race day gear should be something that makes you feel light and fast, but that you've run in before multiple times just to be on the safe side. Choose your favorite pair of shorts that have a pocket or two to stash a key, several gels and an ID should you choose to celebrate with a post race beer. There's nothing like a singlet on race day to make you feel fast, as long as it's comfortable and fits well!Choose something that you've logged a few miles on (not too many though) that's light, and makes you feel fast. Nothing's better on race day than lacing up your favorite pair of flats, it just makes you feel fast and ready to rock. Keep in mind that not all flats are the same, and that sacrificing a bit of weight for a touch of stability can definitely help your legs feel fresher during the later parts of the race.
Trail Running- Everything You Need To Run TrailsRunning on trails is a great way to mix up your training while enjoying the great outdoors. Taking your running off-road lets you enjoy great scenery, and depending on where you go, will give your quads and hamstrings a good hill workout as well. While you can certainly use a good chunk of your road running gear off-road, trail running requires a few gear necessities, that, if you bring them along, will help ensure you get the most out of your off-road excursions. Check out our gear guide featuring top trail running gear below.Jackets and Outer Layers:
Men's The North Face Better Than Naked Jacket Women's The North Face Better Than Naked JacketWeather can change in the blink of an eye on the trails, and warm sunny skies can quickly turn into dark, stormy, and wet conditions. Make sure you've got a lightweight, packable shell jacket that breathes while keeping rain out. The North Face Better Than Naked Jacket packs easily, and the breathable outer shell will keep you warm and dry.Trail Running Shoes- A Must Have: Men's Hoka One One Stinson 3 ATR Women's Brooks Adrenaline ASR 12By far the most important piece of equipment you'll need on the trail is a good, high performance pair of trail running shoes. Weight is a consideration, but more important considerations include outsole traction to ensure grip and traction in slick conditions, as well as an upper that is either water proof or water resistant. You'll also want something that has good inherent stability as well, and don't forget a good pair of socks to go with them.Lightweight, Breathable and Quick Drying Apparel: Men's Smartwool PhD Ultra Light Short Sleeve Top Women's Smartwool NTS Short Sleeve TopWhat you wear on the trail needs to be comfortable, durable, and most importantly not chafe. You'll want to choose something with flat lock seams, moisture wicking fibers (to help keep you dry), and that most importantly, fits comfortably. We love apparel made with merino wool fibers from Icebreaker and Smartwool for performance benefits and pure comfort.Don't Forget to Stay Hydrated: Men's Nathan VaporCloud Hydration Pack Ultimate Direction Jurek Grip Handheld BottleIn hot, dry conditions it's critical to stay hydrated to feel and perform your best. Depending on your preference, you have several options to carry liquids with you on the go, from backpack style carriers to handheld bottles. Some runners have to have their hands free, while others with less gear can get away with carrying a handheld on the go. Whichever way you go, make sure to bring enough water and nutrition with you for the length of your off-road adventures.Must Have Accessories on the Trail: Nuun Hydration Tablets Body Glide Anti Chafing LubricantPiggybacking off hydration accessories, make sure to bring enough sport drink and nutrition to keep you fueled as the last thing you want to do is to run out of gas on the trails, far away from your car. Pocket sized, easily packable products like Nuun hydration tablets, Honeystinger Waffles, and even energy gels will keep you going without adding bulk to your gear. If you prefer "real" food, bring something easily digestible that packs well for your on the go nutrition needs. Lastly, prior to heading out the door, don't forget the sunscreen and Bodyglide!
Top 5 Running Destination Vacations:Running while on vacation can be a great way to explore new cities and places at your leisure. What better way to discover interesting spots to check out later in your day? Whether you choose an international destination or simply the next city in your town, running is one of the best ways to explore new places, meet new people, and see things that you may not have known about had you not taken your daily run. Check out our top five running destination vacations (in no particular order) if you're considering running on your next trip.Cape Town, South AfricaConsistently voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is a trail and road runners dream. Table Mountain is visible from most places in the city, and on a day with blue skies, to see it without its table cloth of low hanging clouds is magnificent. You can choose to take a cable car ride up to the top, or choose the more adventurous trail route from the bottom to the top to be rewarded with one of the best views of the entire city. Other great places to run are up Chapmans Peak near Noordhoek and Lions Head on the other side of Table Mountain. If you're looking to complete your first ultramarathon, you can't go wrong with Two Oceans, a 35 mile race that runs from the heart of the city south, then back up and around through the vineyards of Constantia before finishing at the University of Cape Town. There's also a half marathon option as well, but be forewarned, both races are surprisingly hilly and incredibly competitive- the winning time for the ultra is typically around 3:00 hours which is hammering!New York, New YorkNew York, New York- in the words of Alicia Keys, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. New York City is particularly beautiful in the fall with seasons changing and leaves turning orange. The most well known and popular place to run in the city is of course Central Park, with over 840 acres and several different routes to choose from. The entire perimeter of the park is 6 miles, or you can choose to run the 1.5 mile loop around Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir for some great views of the city. If you're looking for a longer route, head to the west side of Manhattan to hit up the Hudson River Greenway, a 12 mile trek from Fort Tryon park south to Batter Park City near the September 11th memorial. Lastly if you're lucky enough to lottery your way into the New York City Marathon in early November, you're in for one of the best races in the world. Exceptionally well organized with a world class elite field, you'll run through all five boroughs before finishing near Tavern on the Green in Central Park. It feels like the whole city comes out and cheers on the runners on race day as the crowd support is truly world class.Austin, TexasAustin is consistently ranked in the top 10 fittest cities in America, and it's no surprise given the many outdoor and recreation options in the city. One of the most popular trails in town is the Town Lake Trail that runs along the river that starts in downtown, with a full loop of 7-10 miles with the option to cut it short to just over 3 miles if you're short on time. A full dirty trail with two water stops along the way, Town Lake is the trail of choice for many which you'll notice quickly if you decide to go for a run on a busy Saturday morning. Another great option near downtown Austin is the Barton Creek Greenbelt which begins at Zilker Park and traverses just over 7 miles through waterfells, dense foliage, and shady trees.London, EnglandLondon is consistently one of the most visited cities in the world, thanks to world class shopping, history, museums, and friendly, welcoming locals. You won't have too tough a time finding people to run with or places to run. The most popular spot in the city is of course, Hyde Park thanks to open space, and a 4.3 mile perimeter loop that can be increased to roughly 7 miles if you decide to explore the Green and St. James Park. Some of the most famous sites in the entire city are at your footsteps including the Marble Arch, Princess Diana Memorial Garden, and by going just outside Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace. All this aside, the people watching is fantastic especially if you decide to run later in the day. You'll see everything from sunbathers, roller bladers, and unicyclists along with an abundance of cricket and soccer matches. Looking for some company? Check out the Serpentine Running Club; with over 2000 members running socially and competitively, you're sure to find someone running your pace.Reykjavik, IcelandReykjavik is another hidden gem for runners, with gorgeous scenery, friendly people, and fresh, Scandinavian air. You can run around the perimeter of the city fairly easily by taking several connected bike paths for a total of approximately 12-13 miles that offers great views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you'd rather explore the off-road regions of Iceland (which we highly suggest), head 20 minutes outside of the city to Lake Vifilsstadir to enjoy a 2.5km loop of crushed gravel and dirt on top of a small hill top. If you're eager to enjoy the best that running in the Arctic has to offer, check out a guided running tour put on by Arctic Running. You'll get up to three expert guides that can take you on a full day or multi day tour of the best trail and off-road running in the Arctic.
By:BoulderRunning | July 29, 2015 | Categories: Uncategorized
Gait AnalysisAt Boulder Running Company, we are in the business of matchmaking and problem solving for your feet. Whether you’ve got high arches, flat feet, bunions, knee pain, shin splints, or anything in between, we’ve got the expertise, knowledge and tools to find the right footwear for you that suits your unique foot shape best, and keeps your running and walking injury free and fun.Gait Analysis- What is it and what’s in it for you:A gait analysis is a free tool we use to quickly and accurately determine which type and category of footwear will work best for you. A gait analysis involves you recording your lower legs and feet while running or walking on a treadmill at a pace that’s comfortable for you for about 30 seconds to one minute. The camera is set up behind you, and upon playback in slow motion, we are able to analyze each stride to determine what your feet are doing upon initial ground contact, all the way through toe off into the next foot strike.Several factors help us determine which footwear category will work best for you:
- Initial Ground Contact- Typically we see people tend to initially heel strike or midfoot strike, with the majority of runners and walkers heel striking. A significant heel striker will likely have different requirements than a mid or even forefoot striker.
- Arch Collapse- After initial ground contact, when your bodyweight is moving forward during propulsion, the arch of the foot will tend to drop in as it reacts to your bodyweight coming during each step. Depending on how much your arch collapses in will help us determine which type of footwear to fit you with.
- Toe Off- The last step of the gait cycle occurs upon toe off, when your weight is transitioning forward as your opposite foot prepares to contact the ground as you take the next step. Often times we will see late stage overpronation here, in other words we will see your arch collapse in excessively at the last stage of the gait cycle, which indicates that you may do well in certain types of shoes that have stability in the forefoot area to address late stage overpronation.
Make this Summer your best training season yet:Summer's here which means weekend racing, long trail runs under sunny blue skies, and refreshing post run dips in rivers and streams to cool off after a run. While all of this sounds great, running in heat and humidity has considerations to take into account to make this summer your best three months of training yet, and a good part of successful summer running is making sure you're using the right gear. Check out our top gear picks to help you make the most out of your summer training below, and be sure to check out our picks to survive summer successfully here.Lightweight, Breathable, Quick-Drying Apparel:Comfort is king, especially in hot conditions. You'll want to choose apparel that is composed of quick drying, lightweight, and breathable fabrics that pull moisture from your body, keeping you cool and dry while you run. The only thing you really don't want to do is choose clothing that's made out of cotton, because it does the opposite. Cotton absorbs moisture, but does NOT dry quickly, meaning your shirt will feel wet and sticky, and heavy with sweat; ultimately leading to chafing which, let's face it, nobody has time for. Shop Our Apparel Picks Here.Shoes- Stick to what works best for you:If you've found a pair of shoes that you like and keep you injury free and healthy, by all means, stick with it. If you're in the market for a new pair, check out some of the fun, bright colors that have released recently for the summer running season. Weight has become an increasingly important factor for all running footwear brands, so you'll notice that by and large, weight reduction is a big play this summer which is great as it is way more fun running in something lightweight and breathable to get your miles in. Shop Our Footwear Picks Here.
Don't Forget the Accessories- They can make or break your run!The hot sun wreaks havoc by depleting hydration levels, so you'll want to be sure to hydrate on the run. This goes without saying, but water alone won't cut it. Be sure to rehydrate with plenty of sports drink with electrolytes to keep your body adequately hydrated, especially on longer runs. A general rule of thumb here is to sip on something every 15 minutes. You have lots of options to choose from, so try a few different options to see what your body prefers. Some of our personal favorites are Scratch and Nuun, both contain electrolytes and depending on your taste buds, taste really good as well. How you choose to carry your liquids is up to you, some runners swear by hand held bottles, while others choose to wear a belt that holds smaller bottles to keep their hands free. Make sure to use plenty of sunscreen, even on a cloudy (but still warm) summer day. If you're planning on a particularly long run, keep in mind that more than one application may be needed, especially in high altitude. Another crucial yet overlooked accessory is Body Glide, or any anti-chafing lubricant. When applied in key areas, this can often mean the difference between feeling comfortable or cutting a run short- chafing hurts! Shop Our Top Accessory Picks Here.
Tips to get the most out of your summer running:Mix it up- Morning, Noon, or NightWhile some runners perform well in hot and muggy conditions, many of us notice a dip in performance and even easy days all of a sudden feel more difficult in the hot sun. To mitigate this, think about moving the time of day that you run to either early morning or the evening once the sun starts to go down and the temperature drops. It's ok if life gets in the way, and no matter how hard you try to get out of bed when the alarm goes off, or stay motivated to lace your shoes up after work, it just doesn't happen sometimes and that's ok. If the only way for you to get in a run is at lunch in the mid day heat, that's ok, we get it. Regardless of the time of day you run, make sure you're wearing apparel that breathes well and wicks moisture away to keep you as cool and dry as possible.Join a running groupNow that there's all this extra daylight, there's no better time to join a running group. Running in a group is a great way to meet new people, and gives you a reason to get out the door and run when you don't want to if other people are expecting you to run with them, regardless of how hot it is outside.Places- Parks, trails, and moreLonger days mean more hours of sunlight for you to discover new places to run. Enjoy the outdoors as much as possible by exploring new trails, parks, and bike paths in your neighborhood and beyond. Mixing it up like this keeps things interesting with fresh new scenery.
Run Colorado Moving SaleNew Location, New Name, Same Great ServiceThe Run Colorado store’s moving (just a bit), changing our name to Boulder Running Company and continuing to lead the pack with our customer service. As of August 1, the store will be on the back of the plaza in Arapahoe Marketplace Shopping Center.We’re excited to open this new location and join the Boulder Running Company family name. As you’ve come to expect with Run Colorado, we’ll continue to provide you with great service, superior product, expert staff and legendary fun runs. Check us out at boulderrunningcompany.com to get your favorite products anytime, anywhere.Come say hello to us at our new location!Boulder Running Company: Where Fit Happens.
By:BoulderRunning | July 16, 2015 | Categories: Uncategorized
Hoka recently just updated the Rapa Nui, re-naming it the Speedgoat after the Speedgoat 50k and Karl Meltzer, ultra runner extraordinaire and Hokas first sponsored athlete. Along with the updated name, Hoka updated the Speedgoat making it fit and perform better than the previous version, making the Speedgoat an ideal option for your off-road racing and training. The Rapa Nui at the time was the first Hoka shoe that, while still maximally cushioned, was intended to be used as a lightweight trainer and racer, particularly for longer distance races. The Speedgoat takes the best features of the original Rapa Nui with a few enhancements.We noticed with the launch of the Rapa Nui that it quickly became a shoe that people either loved or hated. People loved the weight reduction and trimmed down fit, or hated it because the outsole wasn't quite adequate for technical terrain, and felt much firmer than the traditional plush cushioning runners had become accustomed to from the brand. The Speedgoat, just like the Rapa Nui, is still composed of injection molded EVA, but in a much lighter and softer package. That's the first thing we noticed when putting it on, it's much softer feeling than before without being overly flexible or too cushioned.The other improvement made to the Speedgoat is to the outsole, a great improvement in our opinion. The Rapa Nui outsole, while adequate, just didn't inspire enough confidence on very technical, slick conditions. The Speedgoat has been upgraded with a high traction, Vibram outsole with 5mm lugs, which is about double that of the Rapa Nui; a great improvement. Lastly, the speed laces have been replaced with regular laces, much easier to snug down and really tighten the Speedgoat down to your foot.
The all new Quantum 360 represents a big technological leap forward for Asics. For the first time ever, Asics has created a a shoe that features Gel cushioning throughout the midsole, as in heel to toe, consisting exclusively of Gel cushioning. Asics has long been known to use it's resilient, yet cushioned Gel material in its midsoles, but the Quantum takes this cushioning to the next level. Outside of performance, the comfort factor in this shoe is pretty impressive. Whether you run daily, only run errands, or wear it to the gym, you'll appreciate the comfort that full length Gel cushioning provides. We've decided to bring in all four colorways of the Quantum for men and women, so you're sure to find a color you love.If you're lucky enough to be running in the New York City Marathon this fall, consider this your heads up that Asics plans on releasing an NYC Marathon themed colorway of the Quantum that captures the uniqueness of the race. Colors and cosmetics aside, Asics didn't skip on the technical features of the shoe either, as they wanted it to appeal to a wide variety of audiences, including the technical running market.Review:The initial step in feel with the Quantum is pretty good. The fit is fairly standard, wider in the forefoot, narrower in the heel. Walking around on concrete and sidewalk, you can definitely feel the rebound and cushioning properties from heel to toe. Overall comfort is really good, once we get a chance to put some miles on the road in it, we'll be sure to update this post.
Known as the original brand to bring the revolutionary concept of oversized, maximally cushioned midsoles to the market, Hoka One One is now taking the concept into the hiking and outdoor market with the release of the Tor Ultra High WP boot. Well, thats not entirely true- back in mid to late 2012, you may remember the Stealth boot which was the original two founding partners of Hoka's first endeavor into the hiking and outdoor market. The Stealth was extremely well received and became highly sought after but supply was so low that they were pretty tough to come by; and when the brand took off, resources were allocated to serving primarily the running footwear market and the Stealth was back burnered. Now that Hoka One One is firmly established in the running footwear market, they've decided to reintroduce its innovative concept and technology to the hiking market with it's all new MTN Trek collection, with the Tor Ultra High WP being the premier boot of the line.Before we get into the nitty gritty of our review, let's go over the basic technical features about the product including who it's for, and why you should try it on your next hiking or backpacking excursion:
- Event Waterproof Membrane- The "WP" in the Tor's title refers to it's fully waterproof construction thanks to an Event Membrane with full bootie construction. Event's waterproof material has grown in popularity for several reasons, but mainly due to the fact that it breathes very well and keeps water and moisture out while not causing your feet to sweat profusely.
- Vibram MegaGrip Outsole- 5mm lugs of high traction, maximum grip Vibram outsole provides traction and sure footedness on all but the slickest of surfaces. This was one of the criticisms of the original Stealth boot and has significantly been upgraded in the Tor.
- EVA and RMAT blended midsole- Here's where the Tor really outshines other hiking boots- the comfort and performance factor. Blending proprietary RMAT midsole compound with EVA has created a highly cushioned, stable, yet responsive ride ensuring comfort and performance on all your outdoor adventures. RMAT is a highly durable, responsive substance and when blended with cushioned EVA creates a very comfortable boot for hiking and backpacking both long and short distances.
- Why You Should Try It- The Tor Ultra High is for anyone looking for the utmost in comfort and performance on both shorter excursions and longer backpacking endeavors. It's loaded with industry best performance components that keeps you on the trails all day comfortably. Whether you hike 14'ers, regularly take week long backpacking excursions, or are simply looking for an all day, comfortable boot, the Tor Ultra High WP doesn't disappoint.
Review:Right out of the box, the Tor is noticeably lightweight for a hiking boot, weighing in at approximately one pound, not bad compared to other boots on the market. Upon initial step in and first few steps, the Tor Ultra High WP feels great without being overly soft. The midsole consists of a blend between resilient and responsive RMAT (found in the Conquest) and just the right amount of EVA, found in the Bondi and Clifton. The key takeaway here is that it's very comfortable, but isn't too soft, which is important when considering hiking boots. The upper is composed of an Event waterproof membrane and smooth full grain leather, combined with mesh and textile materials around the ankle collar. The laces extend all the way from the bottom of the toes all the way up to the ankle collar, making it easy to adjust the fit and overall tightness of the boot throughout the foot. On the trails, the Tor Ultra High WP holds up very well. Our wear tester took it out for a quick run/hike along the Mesa Trail in Boulder on an overcast drizzly day and never had to worry about traction or wet feet. While we haven't had a chance to use this to hike a 14'er or longer day hike as they are so new, that is next on the list. The best compliment concerned the weight- it's remarkably lightweight for a boot of its size, while being every bit as technical and more comfortable than most.