It's that time of year when Outdoor Retailer is upon us. We were invited to test some gear on a trail run at Memory Grove with shelter dogs from Best Friends Animal Shelter. Sadly due to rain and lightning the dogs didn't get to join us. We did however get to try out some awesome gear including running shoes from local company Altra Running.

 

K. Golden Harper founder and product developer for Altra Running discovered by putting a pair of shoes in the toaster oven (to remove the sole) the benefits of a zero drop running shoe. The toe and heel are even verses a traditional running shoe that has a much higher heel and incline to the toe. By having a zero drop sole and a much wider toe box you can have the benefits of a barefoot shoe (less injuries and better running form) with the padding that is needed for running on rocky trails, especially for distances of 50 to 100 miles.

How was the shoe: Felt like running on a cushion of air, I'm used to a barefoot shoe- it was very nice to not feel every rock underneith my foot. My personal preference is a little less cushion and more of a trail based sole, I will be trying out the Superior model which should be more my style. If you do a lot of road running however these would be ideal.

We tried out the new weightless wool line from Ibex. I'm a big fan of merino wool but it tends to be very warm, this new line is combined with nylon. The result: a lightweight shirt that has all the benefits of wool (wicking, doesn't smell, super soft) but is great for hot weather because its light and cool.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening was the samples of backpacking food from Good To Go. Founded by Chef Jennifer Scism- co-owner of New York restaurant Annisa, she wanted healthy backpacking food that actually tastes like food. Winner of the Iron Chef against Mario Batali she is no stranger to cooking challenges. The result: her gluten free pasta was incredible. With more calories and half the sodium of other brands this is definitely a brand worth trying for your next backpacking adventure.

Go Motion was nice enough to show us the latest gear in their line up including this lightweight 1.0 liter hydration pack. It has 100 Lumen led light at chest level, reflective strips, and a flashing red light on the back of the pack. This pack would be perfect for those that run races in the dark, think Ragnar.

Nemo introduced many products ranging from picnic blankets to tents, but my favorite had to be the Nemo Helio Pressure portable camp shower. When you are camping with a dog they get muddy, and a muddy dog in the tent is no fun. Having a high pressure pump shower to hose off the dog, that is brilliant.


Big thanks to Kate for setting up this event and inviting us to tag along.

And a big thanks to Ruffwear for hosting this event. I will be covering more of Ruffwear's upcoming dog gear in my OR dog roundup. This cute beagle from Best Friends is modeling the Slackline leash which can be worn around the waist, which is exactly what you want when running with a dog.