At Saskatoon running-shoe emporium Brainsport, owner Brian Michasiw focuses on fit first so his customers can get moving. “We are first and foremost a shoe fitting store and secondly a running store,” he says. In addition to providing technical footwear for runners, Brainsport aims to increase the mobility of customers at all ages and abilities, including walkers and those who can benefit from adaptive designs. “I feel very satisfied doing a shoe fitting that will help someone start running or be able to walk down the hall to get their mail or run a hundred K over the weekend,” Michasiw says.
Established in 1991, Brainsport is housed in a former lumberyard that dates back 100 years. The store stocks all of the gear required for an active lifestyle, including apparel and accessories. And with current safety measures in place, Michasiw says the store’s fit specialists are even better able to connect customers with the best product for their needs.
Ahead of Brainsport’s annual Gingerbread run in support of SaskAbilities (this year’s edition is formatted as a socially distanced 5 km, 10 km, half or full marathon run to be completed between Nov. 25 and 29), Michasiw has plenty of advice for winter runners. “Winter running is really scary and intimidating at the start, but once you do it, most people say it’s really not that bad. In fact, some people actually prefer it,” he says. In addition to finding the best shoes and layering options for your climate, Michasiw recommends starting by running into the wind so the journey back is less chilly.
Brainsport, 616 10th St. E., Saskatoon, 306-244-0955, brainsport.ca.
Salomon Unisex Spikecross 5 GTX, $230.
On Women’s Cloudventure Waterproof, $210.
Billy Footwear Kids' Classic Lace High, $80.
Two fashion brands have recently launched in Canada. Women’s-wear label Siranis Fashion was founded by Fatim Sylla, a Toronto resident of West African heritage who grew up in Paris and London. Siranis uses both traditional materials, such as West African mudcloth prints, and contemporary fabrics including cotton chiffon. And out of Montreal comes 457 Anew, a collection of fashion essentials focused on sustainability. Created by Inder Bedi, who also founded vegan brand Matt & Nat, each piece is made in Canada from conscious fabrics, including materials destined for landfills.
Indigenous-owned beauty brand Cheekbone Beauty has released a collaboration with Métis artist Christi Belcourt. The Cheekbone Beauty x Christi Belcourt Sustainable Lip Trio features three new lipstick shades housed in a gift box decorated with a custom design created by Belcourt in one of her signature floral motifs. The lipsticks are made in Canada using biodegradable packaging, sustainably sourced ingredients and vegan formulations. From the purchase of each set, Cheekbone Beauty will donate $5 to support Nimkii Aazinbikong, a year round land-based language and traditional arts camp.
Ahead of its 50th anniversary, British fashion and leather goods brand Mulberry has rereleased its Alexa bag. The satchel-style bag first launched in 2010 and was inspired by TV personality Alexa Chung. For the relaunch, Mulberry took a more sustainable approach, using leather from environmentally accredited tanneries and producing the bag in britain at its carbon neutral factories. The updated Alexa is available in neutral and neon colours, as well as signature Mulberry hues of green, amber and black. Mini and oversized options have been added to the original trio of sizes.
This month, many brands are looking toward their winter launches. Footwear company On, which is available at Harry Rosen, has debuted the limited-edition Cloudrock Edge Raw, its most sustainably-made hiking shoe to date, created with undyed fabric and recycled materials. Keen Footwear has updated its Revel IV boot to include new design features such as recycled P.E.T. plastic insulation. Canada Goose has expanded its location at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, making it the first store worldwide to offer product personalization. Its second collaboration with Korean designer juun.j debuted on Nov. 11. And for an inward journey, Toronto’s Mahara Mindfulness has created the Human Being Journal, a monthly guided journal to reduce stress and encourage mindful living.
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