A fresh running season makes for a good excuse to equip yourself with new goodies – and this year’s colourful crop looks bold but feels barely there.
Garmin Forerunner 10: This entry-level GPS watch is lighter and less expensive than other models and comes in classic black as well as on-trend pink and green. Use it to track distance, speed/pace and calories burned, to help you stay on target pace or to guide you through timed run/walk intervals. Upload runs to the Garmin Connect community to track them over time and analyze your progress. $129.99 at running stores including Running Room.
Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Neutral Trail Running Shoe: Tired of stop lights and pavement? Head off-road – but pick up a trail-specific shoe first, which will keep you more stable on uneven surfaces while protecting tender feet from sticks and stones. This “door-to-trail” model is meant for drier conditions – you’re trading water resistance for greater breathability – and higher mileage, and features neutral cushioning and a Quicklace system that means you can tighten shoes with one pull. $129 at MEC and other retailers.
Nike Flyknit Lunar 1+: Light and bright are the keywords this season, says Peter Butler, co-owner of Vancouver shop Forerunners. “Bright colours are prevalent” and “people are still going lighter” with their gear. The game-changer here is an upper that’s knitted from one thread rather, meaning no seams and less waste. Steam the shoe before the first wear (a service available in select stores) and the fabric will conform to your foot for a sock-like fit. Paired with ultra-soft Lunarlon cushioning, the lightweight Flyknits feel like nothing in the best way. $194.95, at Nike stores across Canada, Foot Locker and Running Room.
Merrell Road Glove 2: The barefoot ethos has had a major impact on shoes of all types. The hottest footwear, says Butler, is “not necessarily minimalist, but lightweight.” Created in response to customer feedback on the barefoot-inspired Road Glove, this rendition still counts as minimalist – it features a 0-mm heel-to-toe drop, 9.5-mm stack height (the distance from foot to ground) and soles made of durable Vibram rubber – but offers basic arch support and a slightly stiffer ride. $120 at retailers across Canada, $109 at MEC.
Lululemon Run: Tame Me Tank: The Vancouver company known for yogawear also offers an impressive running collection, including a selection of spring apparel in emerald green, Pantone’s 2013 colour of the year. This running tank, styled for the well-endowed, is designed to fit over your favourite sports bra and features a flattering empire waist and cinched hem. $58.