MagazineOctober 2009Runaway Favorites

Runaway Favorites


Running Gear 1. Black Diamond Spot Headlamp Don’t let its diminutive size fool you: the Spot packs a powerful punch. Its intense, one-watt beam illuminates the entire trail, and in cool weather, its large buttons enable even gloved hands to operate easily. Best of all, it weighs in under 3 ounces, barely noticeable on long treks. $40;

2. GoLite Wisp Wind Jacket A favorite of adventure runners, the Wisp is an ultralight shell that repels water and wind, but still breathes well enough for runners. At 3 ounces, you can roll it up tightly (it fits into its own pocket) and stick it in your pack or shorts in case the weather turns. Because this is the Southern Apps, where the weather always turns. $50;

3. Patagonia Wool 1 T-Shirt This very lightweight, thin performance shirt blends 63 percent merino wool with 37 percent recycled polyester for a buttery smooth fiber that’s barely noticeable, even for those of us with easily irritable skin. $80;

4. Brooks Infiniti Notch Short This longer runner’s short comes with a built-in compression boxer to reduce chafing and rear holster pockets for keys or gel. The boxer doesn’t provide much compression but it does help reduce chafing, and the shorts are so light, our tester didn’t notice their longer length on several long training runs. $44;

EXPERT FAVORITES Expert FavoritesBalega Socks: “The pill count in them is so high, they feel like butter. And they got it right with the seam-free toe. You don’t feel any lines whatsoever, even on long runs.”

—Aaron Saft, who placed third in the U.S. Trail Running 10K Championship, and 8th in the U.S. Mountain Running Championship in 2009.

RUNNING NATURALLY Why should you bother returning to a natural running gait? To help build key muscles in your feet and legs, reduce painful heel strike, and in the long run, minimize the number of injuries you get from your favorite sport. Here are four shoes that mimick the barefoot stride. Caution: gradually build miles in these shoes.

VibramVibram Five Fingers KSO Trek Five Fingers was the first shoe to be used by barefoot running pioneers. It is simply a thin rubber sole that wraps around the feet and toes with snug mesh. The KSO Trek is sturdier, grippier, and more rugged than previous versions. $125.

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