What are some of the cool things coming down the pipe in the running industry? Last week, I attending The Running Event Expo down in Austin, Texas that had more than 150 exhibitors showcasing their running related goods to retailers.
I was fortunate enough to get an entrance pass and felt a bit like a kid in a runner’s candy store when first entering the large convention center hall. Abundant positive energy, excitement, and running goodies abound.
After the initial first pass walk-through, it was time to check out what’s shakin’ in the industry.
Here are a few pics of some of the shoes that caught my attention.
Trail Running Footwear
One word to description the current running shoe industry – Options! From barefoot/minimalist to full featured shoes. The variety of options to find what works for you continues to expand.
(Minimus Lineup – Trail (top), Road (bottom left), Casual)
Low profile, lightweight, minimalist running and lifestyle shoes with a 4 mm drop. You can read all about the concept and design of the shoe on New Balance Minimus page. Extremely detailed review of the trail version by Bryon over at iRunFar.com. Available March 2011.
(Images of the men’s road shoe - The Instinct)
Altra Running is a new company releasing a cushioned zero drop road, trail (The Lone Peak) and lifestyle shoe. Besides the flat sole, the biggest observation is the wide toebox area that allows those little piggies to really spread out.
Their trail shoe, The Lone Peak, is spec’d at 10 ounces for the men size 9 and 8.9 ounces for the women’s. The shoe also provides addition foot protection using StoneGuard. Available April 2011.
You can check out pics of The Lone Peak and lifestyle shoe at Altra Running.
(Rogue Racer – Women’s colors)
Montrail’s new lightweight trail shoe with 10 mm drop (20 mm / 10 mm). (8.8 ounce men / 7.4 ounce women – size 9) – the Rogue Racer. I thought I would provide pics of the female styling since most have seen the men’s version. For added foot protection, the shoe includes a combined external TPU shank and their Trail Shield. You can check out the fun video with Gary Robbins testing a pair. Available Spring 2011.
(Badrock – men’s version)
The Badrock has a 10 mm drop (21 mm / 11 mm) that rides slightly higher off the ground (similar to the Rockridge). The shoe is spec’d at 11.4 ounces (men’s) and 9.4 ounce (women’s). The should also incorporates FluidPost technology which provides an adaptive amount of pronation control by using progressively firmer midsole material on the medial side of the shoe. The shoe also incorporates a forefoot only Trail Shield for added protection. Available Spring 2011.
(Fairhaven – men’s version)
The Fairhaven has a 10 mm drop (20 mm / 10 mm) and is spec’d at 11 ounces (men’s) and 9.4 ounces (women’s). The shoe is being promoted as a road/trail hybrid shoe and includes the FluidPost technology similar to the Badrock. The Fairhaven does not include any additional foot protection (Trail Shield, etc). Available Spring 2011.
(Mountain Masochist – New colors for men and women)
(The Trail Glove)
Merrell is launching their barefoot collection in early 2011 and uses the Vibram outsole. Here is another option if you would like to explore less shoe in your training or grocery shopping adventures. You can check out a cool summary of the entire barefoot lineup at BirthdayShoes.com.
I loved seeing the creative expression within the various styles of shoes. It will be real interesting to see what the shoe line-ups will look like in another five years. Fun times ahead…hell, fun times right now…enjoy the run!
Do you have any thoughts on any of the shoes?
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com