I Love Gear

Not for the first time, I’ve been inspired by Brandon of http://brandonsmarathon.com/ to post.  This isn’t a serious post, but is an “I love all things running-gear post.”  Way back when in high school, my favorite reading used to be the Runners World shoe buying guide because I got to read about all the new technologies coming out for sneakers.  Some turned out to be keepers (Saucony 3d Grid cushioning) and some turned out to be mostly flops (Reebok DMX cushioning).  Heck, I even had one of Puma’s first pairs of running sneakers, which I don’t think ever got more than 10 miles total on them.

I’ve always been somewhat of an early adopted when it has come to gear, particularly clothing.  I’m proud to say that when everyone I knew on my XC team was still wearing 100% cotton t-shirts, I was experimenting with a new fabric from an upstart company named Nike called Dri-Fit.  My life would never be the same.  Now it seems like you can’t even buy athletic gear that’s not made from “technical” fabric.  Of course, it doesn’t take much in the way of stones (sorry for my readers with delicate sensibilities) to wear a tech-tee as a high-schooler.  What really put it all out there, so to speak, was being the first guy on the indoor track team to don tights for our outdoor workouts.  The other guys were still swishing around in track pants, which I cannot stand.  Of course, I did wear shorts over them, as most men are wont to do.  Except for the one time where I forgot shorts and so ran with a long sleeve extending just past my waist and looking decidedly feminine, which I have not lived down since.

Fast forward 8 years when, after a long hiatus from running I got back in the game and had to re-gear up.  Man, was I behind in the times!  What was the deal with Newtons? Karhu?  Zoot?  Puma is still making running sneakers??  I ended up getting a pair of Saucony Grid Hurricane X’s because I liked my last Hurricanes…the II’s.  As Lam of http://therunninglaminator.blogspot.com/ has commented, you can’t just assume the sneaker that worked for you at one point continues to work for you now.  Turns out I could have done with a little less stability control, and ended up with replacing them with the Guide IIs later on.  More daunting was getting winter gear, where I noticed the biggest advances, particularly when it came to thermal tops.  Luckily the good folks at the Bill Rogers Running Center in Boston helped me out and got me kitted up with a Mizuno BreathThermo half-zip top that I absolutely love.  It’s even got the great thumb holes!  A close second is my Nike winter running cap that is fleeced lined and has flip-down ear flaps so I can easily adjust for thermal regulation.  I also went with “running pants” that are slightly looser than tights, but still tapered, and with pockets.  These I don’t feel the need for shorts with.  Finally, I learned to love winter rundwear, basically compression shorts but with a built-in windblocking panel to keep everything nice and toasty that should not ever be frozen.

So what was the point of this entry?  I’ve got no idea really other than to share the things I like, the material ones at least.  This may or may not transition into a post on my thoughts on the barefoot running craze and the book Born To Run, which I just finished.  I’m sure it will provoke even-tempered responses!

Happy trails to you all!


One Response to “I Love Gear”

  1. The Laminator Says:

    Wow, never knew you were so innovative back in the day. I’m glad to hear you find gear that you like because I think that’s the hardest part of winter running.

    Anyway, I look forward to hearing your even-tempered review of “Born to Run” and barefoot running. Haha!

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