What a week. There has been so much going on in the running world that we’ve barely had a chance to look up from our screens. From Shelby Houlihan shining at the USATF Outdoor Championships to Jim Walmsley winning Western States, Des Linden leaving the Hansons Team and Tori Franklin breaking her Oiselle contract and wearing Nike over the weekend, there’s been a lot to process. But thankfully, our runs have been nothing but simple and fun. As we took to the pavement these last couple of weeks, we found five things from apparel to shoes, gear and nutrition products that we really loved. Here’s what we’re currently digging:
Suunto Spartan Collection Watch – $549
This Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR watch in gold is great for serious runners who also value stylish design. To start, it has a big watch face, so it’s easy to read your stats while in motion. It also features GPS, wrist heart rate monitoring, daily activity tracking and is 100m water resistance. On our first run, the watch felt a little bulky since it’s bigger than other options such as Garmin, Forerunner and Fenix watches. But it wasn’t really a deal breaker and felt more comfortable on later runs. What’s nice though, is that, although it’s touchscreen, you can use the side buttons to maneuver through its screens which can be helpful in rain or snowy conditions. The watch works with the Suunto Movescount mobile app and Bluetooth technology that syncs workouts when your phone is nearby. For those using it to improve performance, there are plenty of training insights and virtual communities to interact with via the app and website. It’s a smart buy for any competitive runner.
Koia Plant-Based Protein Drinks – $3.99 each
Thanks to our colleagues at Women’s Running, we got to enjoy some samples of this plant-based protein drink in the office. To say we loved them would be putting it mildly. Once we tried one, it was hard not to go back for seconds throughout the day. Available in five flavors: Cacao Bean, Cinnamon Horchata, Vanilla Bean, Coconut Almond and Cold Brew Coffee, the drinks are made with natural ingredients such as brown rice, pea and hemp proteins. Each bottle contains 18g of plant protein and only 4g of organic cane sugar. Although some are sweeter than others, we didn’t find them to be overly sugary and they had just the right amount of flavor without tasting chalky.
Body Anti-Chafing Balm – $9.99/1.5 oz.
Chafing is pretty much the worst. And with summer heating things up, avoiding it is essential to be able to get in longer runs on warm days. We tried out the Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm on a few midday runs (between the thighs specifically) and were pleasantly surprised. It goes on smoothly and doesn’t feel waxy, so you almost immediately forget you applied it. The great thing about the balm is that it’s also allergen free, made with plant-derived ingredients, vegan-approved and never tested on animals.
Reebok Fusion Flexweave – $120
Reebok has been making moves in the performance department over the last couple of years. And we’re really enjoying what they’ve been putting out. In the last month, we’ve put some miles into their neutral Fusion Flexweave kicks and haven’t been disappointed. The first thing we noticed is their width—the toebox is roomy enough for runners with wide feet but still feels snug around the foot. Good for any type of surface, the outsoles can take a beating and still offer good traction weeks later. As far as cushion goes, the shoes use Reebok’s Floatride foam which is impact-absorbing and responsive, so you get a good bounce on runs. The shoe’s upper is made with a figure-8 pattern which allows for more flexibility and stability. As far as looks, we enjoyed their airy light grey and teal colorway. These shoes are great for short and mid-distance runs, but be sure to order your true foot size rather than sizing up. They run a little big.
Hoka One One Jacquard Tank (W) – $44
The Hoka One One Jacquard Tank has quickly become one of our favorite running tops. Made with 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex, the material is comfortable, breathable and quick-drying—which was noticeable after a pretty sweaty run. We also enjoyed its tailored fit that offers a more feminine look. We rocked the Deep Ultramarine color but the tank also comes in White, Safety Yellow, Pink Glo and Black. For sizing, we wore a small which was more form-fitting; so if you prefer a looser fit, maybe consider one size up from your regular choice. Lastly, it’s made right here in California so we’re pretty stoked about that.