Marathon gear 2010
What to look for in this year's running gear.
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Whether you're running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this year, entering another city’s big race or just making jogging a serious part of your fall fitness routine, one thing is for sure, you can’t be a slouch in the gear department these days. There are just too many options—and running is no longer one of those sports you can be content to look silly doing.
Take shoes, for instance. You should know whether you are a pronator or a neutral runner, whether you anticipate doing high mileage, hitting the trails or just light miles on pavement before you plunk down for shoes. Why? Shoe technology has stratified the offerings from the big brands. Most shoes are aimed at a niche these days, be it fashionable light workouts (Stella McCartney for adidas), nighttime trail running (adidas Nightfox) or big burly miles (New Balance 1226). Don’t be intimidated: Some websites like finishline.com will let you try a shoe for 15 days to see if it works for you. You can always hit a local running shop and have your form analyzed. But if you’re like me, finding the right running shoe is a lengthy process of trial and error. And in the meantime, why not look good and go fast?
So what’s hot this year? Depends what you’re into.
Performance? Haile Gebrselassie set the marathon world record in adiZero Adios. ASIC’s GEL-Tarther Diva claims to be the first women’s specific racing flat—its design, with minimal “hot spots,” is emblematic of a new less-is-more concept in running shoes that you’ll see everywhere this year.
The latest technology? Nike’s attention-grabbing Lunarglide+ 2 has the latest in breathable, lightweight high-tech fabrics but also cushioning tech for stability. New Balance’s new 870 is another lightweight stability shoe. ASICS Gel Nimbus has an asymmetrical lacing design for a better upper fit.
Style? The new graphic running shirts from Puma won’t do you wrong, and when I paired them with some baggy shorts (a nice alternative to the slit-style running shorts that you save for your race), I already felt like I’d upped my commitment to fitness, or at least my commitment to looking like I cared about fitness. Female runners now have the running skirt option—which Puma has embraced. Stella McCartney’s fashion-forward collection for adidas looks amazing.
Cold and windy-weather running? Chicago gets windy, wet and cold. I’m partial to the NBx line of running jackets from New Balance, which utilizes a breathable, stretch fabric that is both wind and waterproof in its jacket, half-zip and tight. Opt for the New Balance 360 Degree Jacket for added visibility.
Colors? Blues and neons are huge this season, but not for everyone. Embrace at your own risk. Our advice: Ease into it with neon shoes.
Textures? Many of the big brands have developed their own patented feels-like-cotton wicking materials for long and short-sleeve running tops. So you get that buttery-soft cotton feel without sacrificing the technical bells and whistles we've come to expect in running gear.
Gadget-friendliness? Speaking of bells and whistles, it seems designers are decking out their apparel and jackets with more and more hidden pockets, soft zippers, magnetic closures, bigger pouches (for gels and iPhones and whatever else you want on the road).
Skirts? Puma has one, lululemon is doing loads of them. We used to think they were sooooo dorky, but they’ve gotten cute—they're now legit training and racing pieces.