The running industry is no stranger to innovation. In the past few years, running gear has gotten more and more specialized, catering to the different needs of different runners. Today, in honor of the second annual National Running Day (a “holiday” created by running associations nationwide to raise awareness for running and its benefits), we’ve decided to share some running innovations to outfit you, from head to toe:
- Runners have many headphone options. Some prefer the ipod type earbuds, while others like the ones that hook over your ears for added stability. This year, Sennheiser won the prestigious Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Award in the headphone category for its new CX680 sports headphones. These headphones combine top quality sound and sturdiness with ergonomically-minded design for a better fit and stability, even during strenuous exercise. As an added bonus, they are also moisture repellent. This is a unique partnership between a personal audio company, Sennheiser, and a leading sports brand, Adidas – creating a perfect harmony of sports design and audio quality.
- Being outdoors for a long time under the hot summer sun isn’t highly recommended and we’re told to lather up on sunscreen before doing so. But when you’re running, it’s equally important to consider your clothing choice. Some of the light weight running gear out there doesn’t provide enough UV protection. GoLite, an athletic gear and shoes company, has a product to solve this problem. They have developed a lightweight, quick drying fabric top that is also fully equipped with UVF50 protection (blocks 98% of the UV radiation), so you won’t need to worry about getting a nasty burn under your running outfit.
- There has been a lot of innovation in the running shoe industry – stylish designs, mesh/sporty materials, cushioning for overpronaters, etc. Recently, some people are considering the idea that these additions may actually be to the detriment of the runner. Christopher McDougall, a journalist and runner, related the story of a tribe of Tarahumara Indians who are able to run over 100 miles a day, all without any fancy running shoes, in his book Born to Run. One company, Vibram, is latching onto this back-to-barefoot approach. Their product, Vibram FiveFingers, is a minimalist’s dream shoe. Looking at it, it seems more like a glove for your foot than a “sneaker”, complete with separated toes. These shoes claim to offer you all the necessary support and protection, while allowing you to feel the sensations and freedom of being barefoot.
Do you know of any other interesting running innovations? Share them here! Happy National Runners Day!