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The Running Event 2013: On The Expo Floor - Day Three

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The Running Event (TRE) is a conference and expo for running specialty store buyers held annually in Austin, TX. TRE 2013 runs from December 3 to December 6. The last TRE day is usually quiet and last minute deals are finalized between buyers and vendors.

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Asics Running

The message from Asics Running for SS '14 is 'Mix Up Your Run'. By using different types of running shoes, the body tends to react positively to multiple types of stimuli. So mix up your running with lower profile and more flexible products. Some new models to mix it up with that might be of interest to minimalist runners are the GEL Hyper Speed 6 and GEL LYTE33 3, both 6mm drop.

The GEL Hyper Speed 6 is back from the grave in the U.S. market and reemerging with gender specific versions. The use of welded overlays minimizes stitching within the shoe to reduce friction on the foot and subsequent blistering and discomfort.

The GEL LYTE33 3 gets serious about the weigh by shedding almost 2 ounces for a truly lightweight natural running experience. It is also updated with a nearly seamless upper.

Brooks Running

Major updates or re-design in the Brooks Pure Project collection includes PureCadence 3, PureFlow 3, and PureConnect 3. Includes:

  • Sculpted medial midfoot and integrated new, wider Nav Band for a streamlined fit.
  • Reversed the direction of the tongue wrap to flow across the foot naturally.
  • Repositioned Toe Flex to empower the first two toes as a unit.
  • Increased beveled IDEAL Heel on the lateral side to better your forward foot strike.

Their latest maximalist (super-cushioned) shoe is the Transcend. This premium support shoe has Guide Rails on both sides of the shoe to provide on-demand support right where you need it. It also include a squishy DNA midsole material with turbocharged Super DNA that claims to provides 25% more cushioning compared to BioMoGo DNA. It also borrowed the IDEAL Heel from the Pure Project collection to promote a more natural foot strike.

ECCO Running

ECCO is adding a Pro version to its BIOM EVO Racer and Trainer with seamless, open mesh upper and integrated anatomical support to provide superb fit, ventilation and comfort. Features for the BIOM EVO Racer Pro and BIOM EVO Trainer Pro includes:

  • Single component direct-injected PU midsole
  • Natural anatomical last
  • Biomechanical low-to-the-ground sole construction
  • Bonded seamless fit frame upper construction
  • Open light-weight mesh upper

ON Running

The all-new Cloud of Swiss sports brand On Running is the lightest cushioned running shoe on the market and brings a new lightness to running. The combination of maximum comfort and minimum weight makes running a whole new experience: land soft as on sand, take off firm as on the race track. Just like the other On shoes, the Cloud is equipped with the unique, patented CloudTec sole. 16 clever Cloud elements formed from a superlight material are directly attached to a semi-transparent Speedboard – no bulky midsole needed. The Cloud stays superlight, flexible and responsive.

Patagonia Footwear

The Patagonia EVERlong was launched in November and we were fortunate enough to get early access and wear tested this trail minimalist running shoe. No other low profile trail shoes in the Patagonia pipeline but what also caught our eye is the ROVER. The ROVER combines the best qualities of a minimalist trail runner with a lightweight approach shoe. Built to feel the terrain, the Rover utilizes a to-the-toe variable lacing system to improve footing for vertical endeavors and comfort for long, jarring descents. The proprietary dual-zone outsole uses climbing rubber in forefoot for high performance grip combined with deeper lugs, and burlier rubber in the mid to rear foot for increased traction on loose terrain as well as increased durability. The abrasion-resistant air mesh and synthetic leather upper wraps the foot, while a self-centering stretch gusseted tongue keeps debris out. A soft-flexing 4mm drop midsole provides a natural foot strike and an ESS forefoot plate protects the foot from rugged terrain.

SCARPA

The SCARPA TRU trail runner is an ultra light race shoe with a featherweight chassis that still offers a solid level of support and trail protection. The uppers are built with a non-stretchy, very lightweight monofilament mesh with synthetic leather welded into key structural areas. Along with offering excellent support, this design also makes them exceptionally breathable.

Skechers Performance

Skechers is expanding the GOrun and GObionic collection with lots of new upgrades and new models. The new GOrun Ultra is a 4mm drop shoe for runners from long distance to novice looking for maximum cushioning and flexibility. It also has 65% more Resalyte cushioning than the GOrun Ride plus dual density layers offering stability and support.

The updated GOrun Ride 3 still has a 4mm drop but with a sleeker, faster look with repositioned GOimpulse sensors and pillars for optimized experience. The GOrun 3 is updated for more breathability/coolness while maintaining structural flexibility. It also has a power-prene mesh allowing for forefoot support while allowing toe splay.

The new GObionic 2 is the only zero drop running shoe and updated with a power-prene upper offering more breathability while maintaining structural flexibility. It is also a lightweight 6.5 ounces but has a thicker insole than the original GObionic for added support and stability.

The GOmeb 2 is updated with a new printed mesh upper pattern.

Topo Athletic

Topo Athletic Speed Trainer (ST) and Mountain Trainer (MT), lightweight and versatile, are designed for athletes. The ST features a breathable mesh upper and a detachable ethylene vinyl acetate antimicrobial footbed. The MT has a rugged high-traction outsole, 2 density ethylene vinyl acetate footbed and breathable mesh.

I ran with the Speed Trainer on the track, asphalt, and non-technical cross country trails for the past few weeks and have been very pleased with them. I'm also happy to say that it is the best shoe I have ever tested thus far for Fall/Winter ’13 and maybe even Spring/Summer ’14!

Under Armour

Three new Under Armour models in the SpeedForm collection: the SpeedForm Apollo, SpeedForm XC, and SpeedForm XC Mid. The 8mm drop UA SpeedForm Apollo is built to withstand the longer miles for a more cushioned, supportive ride. It's outsole is also much wider than the original SpeedForm and the uppers only has the first metatarsal toe molding rather than all five.

The 8mm drop UA SpeedForm XC delivers incredible fit with details that keep you dialed in when you're on rough terrain. This trail shoe has a different camouflage-like laser-perforated upper with durable ultrasonic finish for enhanced breathability while keeping debris out. The midsole also include a rock plate. The new outsole a full length off-road inspired rubber that provide for lightweight traction. Aggressive rubber extends along the side of the midsole wall for increased traction in all elements.

The 8mm drop UA SpeedForm XC Mid is an extension of the UA SpeedForm XC with a midcut supportive upper built to take on the most challenging courses like the Mud Run. IT also has a gusseted tongue to keep stuff out and a UA STORM upper for water- and mud-resistance.

Day One at TRE 2013

Day Two at TRE 2013

For detailed reviews of minimalist shoes, please visit Minimalist Running Shoes for the 200+ minimal shoes or barefoot-style shoes that we have wear tested.

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