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RELATED: 2017-18 winter shoe guide.
Here’s what some of the Canadian Running team’s runners say about their favourite piece of clothing, shoes or product from 2017.
Matt Stetson, photo editor
Saucony Peregrine 7
I love the cushy Everun midsole and the fact that these babies never lose grip in wet conditions thanks to the aggressive tread pattern.
The North Face Better Than Naked Long Haul short
The name says it all. These feel like you’re wearing nothing at all. They also have lots of room for your phone, gels and keys for those longer…hauls.
Balega Hidden Comfort socks
I love the soft feeling of these socks inside a pair of running shoes. The padded cuff really helps alleviate pressure from tight laces and obtrusive heel counters.
Suunto Spartan Sport HR GPS watch
It tells time, collects all imaginable data, including heart rate without a strap, it navigates (duh), and looks cool. What more could you want in a watch?
Sinead Mulhern, web editor
Saucony Ride 10
I’m in a pretty serious relationship with the Saucony Ride 10. I tried them for the first time on a trail run in the summer and they’ve been my favourite pair since. I actually ran two half-marathons and a 15K race in them this fall. They’re well-cushioned, durable and have a roomy toe box. They kind of stand out of my shoe rack because they’re currently way dirtier than all my other options.
Hoka One One Ora Recovery Slide
I recently went on a trip without these babies, and let me tell you: I regretted it. The Hoka Slides are meant for proper recovery and I wear mine after every single run. These are like beds for your feet and if one of my hobbies involves accumulating callouses and blisters on my heels and toes, then I should probably have something comfy to slip on afterwards.
Nike Epic Lux Running Tight
I could talk about the quality, the fit, and comfort of these tights – and that would all be true – however what I like most about these is that they’ve made their way into my day-to-day wear. I like that I can do a mini workout in these after work and then wear them to grab a drink with a friend after without looking like I just waltzed in after being at the gym…
Claire Duncan, web editor, Triathlon Magazine Canada
Reebok Women’s Hero Power sports bra
It’s super light, breathable, and provides the perfect amount of support for a smaller-chested woman. It doesn’t have the annoying removable cups that pop out and get lost in the wash. It’s perfect for running and has straps that don’t cut into the shoulder. It sits nicely too.
Specifically, the salted watermelon and margarita flavour. These were the only chewy product I tried in races this year that didn’t give me stomach problems. I’m counting them as a must-have going forward.
Asics DynaFlyte 2
I feel like this shoe gives me an extra spring in my step, which helps in the later Ks of a long run when you’re feeling tired. It provides cushioning in all the right places without being bulky or too heavy. The DynaFlyte were perfect for half-marathons in a 70.3 triathlon when I was exhausted and needed all the help I could get to stay powerful and keep my cadence good on the run. In my large lineup of shoes I find myself increasingly reaching for this one.
Dan Way, Race Guide editor
It’s easy to get hooked on this popular social media meets training log app and website. Strava keeps track of all your running data (think splits, heart rate and cadence) plus analyzes your hardest efforts (workouts and races) all the while allowing you to share your runs with friends and followers. It can not only help keep you accountable and honest about your training, it can be the motivation to get out and run. Because as they say, if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen.
The (Chilly Half) New Balance quarter-zip
A stylish, light, bright and super practical running top that’s suited for cooler conditions. Also semi-formal enough to wear to brunch after and not feel too nerdy.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18
This is an exceptionally soft and well-cushioned shoe to log lots of easy (or not so easy) miles. It has subtle support features for those who need it but feels light and responsive for those who don’t.
Tim Huebsch, staff writer
Epson ProSense 307
I don’t own any super fancy GPS watches and I don’t really have the desire to carry a $700-1000 watch on my wrist for runs. I look at the simple stats – pace, distance, time and heart rate – and anything else is bonus (and often goes ignored unless I’m testing something out). I wrote more about the ProSense here.
Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%
Perhaps the single most-talked about product of the year was the Vaporfly 4%, a variation of the Breaking2 marathon shoes. They feel like a shoe-size bouncy castle on your feet, and are built in such a way that propels you forward even when you’re standing still. I’m actually afraid to wear them in training because – besides the price tag and the fear of having to purchase new ones – most workouts I feel are not worthy of such a fast shoe. I’ll stick to racing in these beasts.
In my opinion, socks are the most underrated piece of gear. I like to switch designs up a bit instead of the simple black and white. Enter Stance socks. They have wild colourways, in various cuts, including the preferred low- to medium-cut versions, which are especially great in the winter in eliminating the skin gap between long tights and socks. I need the Star Wars ones.
Joan Chung, podcast producer
New Balance 1500v3
They are lightweight with a comfortable upper and a smooth ride. The medial post is subtle; it is not invasive but is still effective. I’d run tempos and race half- to full marathons in these.
Lululemon Run On bra
It has front pockets that are easily accessible for storage of credit cards and delicious snacks during long runs and marathons. Not all race shorts for women have pockets and wearing a race belt is not an option for some people.
Michael Doyle, editor-in-chief
Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra
These trail killers live at the cottage, where it’s muddy and gnarly. They are the perfect balance between performance and grit. Each year, I look for one pair of trail shoes to get me through all sorts of nutty terrain; everything from a mountain climb in the Rockies to battling a foot of snow for 35K in February. The S-Lab Sense Ultra were my go-to crazy conditions shoe for 2017.
I had a love affair with these socks in 2017, after discovering them at The Running Event, the annual industry trade show. This small Australian brand uses super high quality Lycra to make one-size-fits-all running socks, that are actually one-size-fits all (I know, as I steal my wife’s pairs all the time; she’s a women’s 8.5 and I’m a men’s 12). They ship for free to anywhere in the world, and have some crazy colourway options. I’m committed to the crew length. Down the no-show socks, and up with the tall boys.
Lululemon Lite Speed jacket
It’s from Lulu, so it’s going to look fantastic. But this minimally designed jacket became my surprising everyday companion as the weather turned this fall. The fabric justifies the price tag alone. I am consistently impressed with its wicking ability and how rain drops just bead off the material. Sometimes, I don’t feel like having the brand logo screaming off my gear, and Lulu get that. It’s the perfect, subtle running jacket.
Apple Watch Series 3 and Airpods
I’ve been on the Apple Watch testing bandwagon since day one, and always knew the day was coming when the Cupertino, Calif. monolith would invade the running tech space in a big way. With Series 3, that day is here. If you don’t obsess over data (as I don’t), Series 3 is maybe the ultimate running watch. The GPS is accurate and immediate, and both the baked-in Exercise app as well as a slew of others (RunGo, Nike+ Run Club) work really well. And, of course, it can make a phone call, which is pretty much useless for everyone except for runners. Think about it: you don’t want to have to take or make that important call while on the run, but having the option to is vital.
Paired with the Airpods, Series 3 also retired my old iPod Mini (the stalwart relic for thousands of music-addicted runners). The bluetooth connection is solid, and you can pack a couple gigs of music onto the watch directly, with no need to drag along your phone. Running without an earphone cord bouncing around is a revelation, and these things just don’t fall out of my ears. And I’ve tried to lose them, trust me. I was genuinely surprised how durable and reliable these earphones have been for me as a runner. And their little “dental floss”-like case means I can get multiple charges without having to worry about plugging them in anywhere