Disclaimer: I was invited to The Running Event (TRE) Influencer Day in Austin, TX as part of being a BibRave Pro where I was provided with running related gear for attending. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
In my recent post you learned about the ABC’s of Running Gear where I discussed some of the items I received while attending The Running Event in Austin Texas (Addaday, Arcanum, Brooks, and CEP). Now I will take you from A-Z on the remaining items I received (A – Altra, Incrediwear, Nuun, Vooray, Vuori, Z – Zwift)!
Altra shoes in general are designed to have a zero drop platform meaning that the distance to the ground from the front of your foot is the same distance to the ground as the back of your foot. They are also designed to have a foot shape to the toe box meaning that your toes aren’t scrunched together, but have room to wiggle around. While I was at the TRE expo, the representative from Altra that we were talking to described it like this, If you were falling to the ground, would you fall with your fingers scrunched next to each other, or would you spread your fingers out for balance and stability as you fall? The same thought goes into your feet. You would like to make contact with the ground and have that extra stability by being able to move your toes around.
The Altra Escalante 1.5 Shoes ($130) I received boast both the zero drop platform and the foot shaped toe box, both of which were new to me in an every day running shoe. I have used a more minimalist shoe in the past for races and race condition training, so I am a bit more used to the zero drop than others might be, and I really like it. To me it makes me feel like I am closer to the ground, and for some reason I just feel faster. The foot shaped toe box I was a bit unsure about as I just have never had that much room for my toes, but after taking them on their initial run, that thought was a thing of the past. In going in the straight line forward motion that I do as a mainly road runner, they really felt ‘normal’ to me. I think if I was on a dirt road, or even a trail more, I would see the full benefit of this extra space in the toe box. Don’t get me wrong, I really like it, just haven’t had enough time to fully test yet.
Since getting these I have taken them on a few 3-5 mile runs, and will plan to keep them in my shoe rotation. If I get into trail running more, this will also be the brand I look to as I know they are also known for trail shoes!
Incrediwear is brand that produces active wear that helps with recovery. I received their active socks and a pair of their performance pants while attending TRE. Incrediwear’s technology doesn’t require compression to work. As stated on their website:
Our technology incorporates semiconductor elements within our fabric, which when stimulated by body heat, release negative ions. The negative ions activate molecular vibrations that increase blood flow and speed. Increasing circulation helps bring more oxygen and nutrients to the target area, which optimizes the body’s natural healing process and accelerates recovery. Benefits of Increased Blood Circulation Include:
- Accelerated Recovery
- Reduced Swelling
- Optimized Performance
- Reduced Fatigue
The Incrediwear Active Socks ($13.55) have become my go to every day socks to wear. They are not compressing, but they do feel amazing on my feet. The low cut makes them great for any shoe type, and the semiconductor elements must be working, because I don’t have any complaints on them while wearing them, or after wearing them. In fact, I continually try to get these in the wash so they are ready to wear again and again. My only complaint would be that I wish I had more of them!! They indicate that they can also be worn for running or training, but I am keeping these as an everyday sock so my feet feel good even when I am not at the gym!
The Incrediwear Performance Pants ($69.95) are a base layer that can be worn during a workout or after a workout to enhance the body’s ability to recover (think running tights, but again not compression tights). These have a snug fit from top to bottom, but are not compressing. They were very easy to get on and off, and were comfortable to wear. The breath-ability and moisture-wicking fabric is very soft and moves with my body without feeling restrictive. I wore these as recovery pants after my harder workouts and ended up keeping them on all day. I even wore them as a base layer under my jeans when I went to get my kids from school (gotta keep recovery even when on the go)!
I am very much liking the products I received from Incrediwear. If you haven’t heard of this brand before, or if you are wanting to try an active/recovery brand that isn’t compression based, then give this company a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Nuun is a hydration company that provides the electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to stay hydrated in the form of a tablet that you add to your water. These tablets are sold in tubes that contain 10 tablets. There are three different types of tablets that Nuun sells: Electrolytes, Vitamins, and Immunity ($7 per tube). The electrolytes and vitamins come in caffeinated vs non-caffeinated varieties as well. Each of these three options are used to benefit your body during different parts of the day, and each of which was provided to me while attending TRE.
I would consider the Nuun Vitamins to be your everyday go to drink for overall wellness and vitamins. I constantly have a water bottle at my work desk that is filled with water and Nuun Vitamins. Each tube has a different flavor to it, but none are overly potent in flavor. Its not like you are drinking a glass of juice, but more like a flavored water, which is what you would want from a sports hydration company (don’t want gut rot). My favorite flavor is the Ginger Lemonade…so good!
Nuun Immunity is jam packed with a botanical blend of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, vitamins and minerals plus electrolytes. I would consider this to be the most flavorful kind of Nuun, but when I think of a drink that is to be used to get my body back to being balanced, I think of a stronger tasting drink. The orange citrus flavor tastes great, and the orange flavor reminds me of a drink I would take if I was younger and getting sick (drink your orange juice)!
The Nuun Electrolytes would be your hydration tablet to use while on a run or working out at the gym. This is meant to replenish any electrolytes lost while working out, and keep you from getting dehydrated. I will typically carry water with me on runs longer than 5 miles, and when I do, I always use the Nuun electrolytes in my water. Having a slight flavor to them makes drinking water so much more enjoyable, and to know I am gaining additional electrolytes is a win win!
I have been a fan of Nuun for quite some time now, and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these flavors. My recommendation is to give each category a try and see how you like them. Then branch out and start trying all the flavors (that goes for the Energy (caffeinated) as well)!
Vuori is an athletic apparel brand that started out as a men line, but has since evolved into a men’s and women’s athletic clothing and activewear brand. They describe their style perfectly on their website:
VUORI IS BUILT TO MOVE AND SWEAT IN YET DESIGNED WITH A WEST COAST AESTHETIC THAT TRANSITIONS EFFORTLESSLY INTO EVERYDAY LIFE. BREAKING DOWN THE BOUNDARIES OF TRADITIONAL ACTIVEWEAR, WE ARE A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON PERFORMANCE APPAREL.
The Vuori Kore Short ($68) I received has a built in liner (short style liner) and fit length wise just above the knees on me. They have a nice stripe design on them. When looking at the brand online, they have a lot of cool designed shorts that add that extra something to your workout attire vs the normal black. Don’t get me wrong, I love all black running gear, and they do have black shorts as well, but I don’t see a lot of brands branching out from solid colors to designing shorts with a pattern to them. I used these shorts for working out in the gym (squats, lunges, push ups) and also doing an upbeat cardio yoga class in a 90+ degree humidity room, and these shorts stood up to the challenge. They moved really well with me and stayed in place! Thank you Vuori for adding functionality with a bit of color to my workout attire!!
Can anyone really have too many backpacks? I think not! The Vooray brand has been around since 2015 and is making highly fashionable, highly functional backpacks at a very reasonable price!! They make everything from backpacks and duffels, to totes and fanny packs , and they all ship for free within 48 business hours of ordering! I received the ACE Backpack while attending TRE.
The Vooray ACE Backpack ($39.99) packs a lot of storage into a smaller frame (6.5″ x 11″ x 16.5″). There are two water bottle holders on the outside, a front zip pocket for smaller items that need to be readily accessible, a smaller interior zip pocket for smaller items that need to be secured and easy to find, a 15″ padded laptop pocket (the lining is so soft), and of course the large interior pocket for all the big items!
This bag worked great as my carry on backpack on the plane ride home from TRE (Austin to Minneapolis). The size of it made it the perfect fit for the under the seat storage item on the plane (still had room for my legs next to it). It also worked great as an every day bag as I ran out the door. I used it as my yoga bag to carry my mat cover, towel, workout clothes, and water bottle. With the quality of this bag, and the price point, it would be hard to beat!
Zwift is a running and biking app that is used to create a virtual running/biking experience while on a treadmill or stationary bike. I was able to try Zwift for running on treadmill and was provided with a Zwift RunPod ($29.99) to do so. I will have a full review of Zwift in a separate blog post that I will be referencing here once completed, but for now, just think of Zwift as a great alternative to outdoor running!
If you missed out on reading about my experience at The Running Event Influencer Day (which was amazing), you can find it here (re: The Running Event Influencer Day – Weekend Recap).
If you have any questions on these products, let me know, and once again, I want to say thank you to Bibrave for making this trip to TRE Influencer Day possible for me!!