Every year we reflect back and pick our favorite gear from the past year. 2017 had a lot of exciting running news.
- The Breaking 2 Project
- Shalane winning the New York City Marathon.
- Jordan Hasay becoming the 2nd fastest American female Marathoner with a 2:20:57 in Chicago, months after having the fastest American female marathon debut in Boston earlier in April with a 2:23:00.
- Our own Meaghan Murray winning her first marathon last February.
One thing they all had in common, they were all wearing Nike. 2017 was Nike’s year. We will see a ripple effect from Nike’s innovations throughout the running industry. It is no wonder that Nike takes our top spot this year.
BEST IN GEAR OVERALL
Nike Vaporfly 4%
Both Meaghan and I agree that this shoe is like nothing we have ever run in before. The Nike Vaporfly 4% is light, cushioned, and just makes you want to pick up the pace. An Independent test has proven that the Vaporfly is genuinely 4% more efficient than other trainers. We loved running in the VPF 4%.
BEST SHOE UPDATE
Hoka Clayton 2 & Saucony Kinvara 8
Meaghan: Everything I loved about the original HOKA Clayton stayed true with Clayton 2. However, (and most importantly) no more blisters! The original Clayton caused blistering under the arch from issues with the Foot Frame where the upper and insole merge. HOKA eliminated this issue and added a new, thicker Ortholite insole. Now if only they listened to us about the Clifton… <cough> go back to the original <cough>.
Thomas: The Kinvara has always had a particular spot in my heart, however versions 5, 6, 7 had me questioning my feelings about the shoe. When we got the Kinvara 8, I didn’t have high expectations but ended up falling back in love with the trainer.
Hoka Clifton 4 & Nike Vomero 12
Meaghan: Even though I hate on the Clifton 4, I wear it ALL the time. It’s comfortable, it’s easy on the feet and it’s my go-to for long runs. I’ve gotten hundreds of miles out of mine.
Thomas: When you are doing long miles and recovery runs, you can sacrifice speed for comfort. The Nike Vomero 12 was there for me on days when I needed a little extra cushioning. Although the Vomero 12 isn’t the lightest trainer, you can still pick up the pace. If you only want one shoe for all your workouts, the Vomero 12 might fit the bill.
BEST TRADITIONAL/DAILY TRAINER
Saucony Kinvara 8 & Asics RoadHawk FF
Meaghan: I love the Saucony Kinvara 8. It’s one of those shoes I feel comfortable recommending to just about every runner. The fit is perfect. The ride is softer than it’s predecessor but it doesn’t lose the bounce. The first few runs reminded me of the HOKA Clifton’s. All the cush without the ridiculous stack height.
Thomas: The RoadHawk FF was a welcome surprise. I haven’t been the most significant fan Asics in the past, so I never expected to like the RoadHawk as much as I did. The Roadhawk FF is a shoe that fits the bill for all of your workouts, a jack of all trades per say.
Nike Zoom Rival 6
Meaghan: This shoe is a keeper! A simple, sleek design with a little more structure than your typical racing flat. If I were you, I would buy a pair.
Thomas: I love fast light shoes, and the Rival is both of those things. Amazing that the same company that put out the $250 Vaporfly 4% also has a speedy shoe that started at $80 and is now available in some colorways for as little as $63.88! For most of us that have no chance of Breaking 2, this speedster is enough to grab some PRs.
AUSTIN’S TOP SHOE 2017
Though it arrived in late October, the Salming Distance D5 is my Best in Gear shoe for 2017. The low weight, low drop, and snappy but cushioned ride make this a versatile trainer suited for any distance (or race). The bold, Gecko Green upper is ideal for runs that commence at sunrise or sunset when being seen is critical from a safety standpoint. In summary, Salming’s market share in the running shoe industry is small right now, but their “No Nonsense” approach to design, which is inscribed on the D5 upper toe cap, is going to widen their reach in the coming years. Keep your eye on Salming. For more of my musings on the intersection of running and pop culture, check out www.runlore.com.
OTHER GEAR WE LOVE
Why we love Tracksmith
Meaghan: The best way to describe Tracksmith gear is: simple perfection. No frills. Just really good looking performance wear.
Thomas: The gear looks and feels great. My favorite running shorts of all time are the Van Cortlandt.
Why we love Under Armour
Meaghan: I basically live in UA gear.
Thomas: It is hard to find a day when I don’t have at least one piece of UA gear incorporated into my running outfit. I wouldn’t make it through winter running without a full closet of UA Coldgear.
Why we love Goodr
Meaghan: Who doesn’t love Goodr?
Thomas: Goodr = affordable sunglasses that don’t slip, and look good on most faces. With the starting price of $25, you won’t worry about damaging or losing them on gnarly trails bruh. Use Believe2017 to get free shipping and $5 off your purchase.
Why Meaghan loves Handful Bras
Meaghan: Regardless if I’m running, I’m wearing a sports a bra. So it’s nice to find a brand that not only designs gear for performance, but also that looks great. Not to mention, these are some of the most comfortable bras I’ve ever worn AND I have yet to get any chaffing. #WINNING
Why we love Running Warehouse
Meaghan: If it’s running related, chances are, they have it.
Thomas: Running Warehouse has impressive customer service. Order multiple pairs of shoes and try them on in your house, after picking your favorite pair(s) send the others back. Shipping is free both ways! It is like having a shoe store in your house. Use the code BELIEVE10 to save on your next order.