The Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0 is an affordable, lightweight and versatile everyday trainer built for runners with a neutral gait pattern. It’s light and springy enough to run moderately fast, cushy enough to run long and durable enough to hold up for an entire summer of running.
The new engineered mesh upper is the biggest upgrade. It really changes (and improves) the fit, feel and ride of this shoe. The laces have also been improved and there’s a new heel flare to accommodate the Achilles tendon.
The single-layer Floatride Energy Foam is light and responsive. This gives the shoe a mildly energetic vibe in every stride even if nowhere near the lively pop of some higher priced shoes.
It’s cushy and moderately soft, but it tends to feel slightly more firm than some softer, bouncier midsole compounds. More than anything, it gives the shoe a do-everything, agile demeanor.
The new upper is durable, breathable and helps bolster the secure fit. When you lace it up and start running in it, you get the idea that your foot is anchored to a lightweight shoe ready for whatever type of running you plan to do.
The outsole is reliably grippy with a mix of firm, durable rubber and a section of softer, tackier rubber. This gives it the ability to provide good traction on wet and dry pavement. It also adds some softness and spring to the ride.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The fit of the Floatride Energy 3.0 is a bit long, you should consider a 1/2 size smaller than normal. The medium-volume interior feels sparsely cushioned and modestly comfortable inside, but it’s not notably plush or luxurious like some other shoes.
There’s a reliable locked-down feeling from the lacing system. Also, it has a partially gusseted tongue, which allows for an engaged, connective feeling out on a run. The firm heel counter and heel counter padding helped round out the fit and feel, providing a touch of comfort and confidence in every stride.
The midsole foam feels compliant and resilient even if slightly on the firmer side and not at all bouncy. It allows for smooth heel-to-toe transitions and is similarly comfortable running slow and moderately fast.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
New and novice runners will love this shoe for its relative simplicity and versatility at such a budget-friendly price. The Floatride Energy 3.0 can certainly be the only shoe in your quiver, a model capable of handling your long runs, up-tempo workouts and recovery runs.
It’s not especially dynamic or comfortable or fast, but it’s definitely sufficient for running every day of the week if that’s what you’re looking for in a running shoe.
PROS: REEBOK FLOATRIDE ENERGY 3.0
Let’s be honest, there aren’t high expectations for a $100 shoe, especially with so many shoes in the $130 to $160 range or much higher. But the reason you should be interested in this shoe is what it offers for that price.
And quite honestly, yet it excels at everything our wear-testers asked it to do — it runs well and feels good and has the durability to get you through a season of running — so ultimately this shoe is a worthy purchase.
Looks aren’t everything, but the aesthetics of the Floatride Energy 3.0 looks much better than its predecessor. The improved engineered mesh upper gives it a speedier and more stylish look, a shoe that will inspire you to lace up and run more.
The tradition 9mm heel-toe offset make this shoe feel a bit chunkier in the heel than some shoes, but that just allows it to better accommodate for heel-striking gait patterns. That also makes it more conducive to slow and moderate paces, but the springy properties of the midsole foam also allow it to run faster.
CONS: REEBOK FLOATRIDE ENERGY 3.0
This shoe isn’t a glamorous top-of-the-line model. Compared to higher-priced shoes in the performance trainer or premium cushioned trainer categories, the Floatride Energy 3.0 isn’t as light, plush or energetic. But it’s still reliably functional as an everyday training shoe.
Welcome to the JackRabbit Journal, a digital (for now!) publication where we’ll be taking some deeper dives into what it means to be a runner, how to support your running lifestyle and exclusive interviews with runners from all walks of life.
This week, let’s talk running coaches with our resident journalist, Brian Metzler.
RUNNING COACHING FOR THE EVERYDAY ATHLETE
Do you have a running coach?
You’re a runner, which means you’re an athlete. And it’s well-known that athletes in all sports benefit from having coaches guide them to better performance. So yes, if you’re a recreational runner of any ability level, you should consider hiring a running coach to assist you on your journey.
No matter how long you’ve been running or how fast you want to run at your next race, hiring a running coach can be a huge benefit on the way to achieving your 2021 goals. You might be a first-time marathoner or an experienced trail runner or someone who wants to improve your personal best in the half marathon.
In any of those cases, a running coach can provide you with assistance in ways you might not expect — for example, assigning proper workouts, avoiding injuries, reducing stress, providing day-to-day support and assuring your body is optimally recovering.
You might be a new runner or a novice runner and are wondering if any of this applies to you. Should you get a coach if you’re just starting out? You can certainly benefit immensely if you do and avoid first-timer mistakes and challenges. If you were new to golf or tennis or skiing, you’d very likely considering taking lessons to get started, right?
Think of a running coach in the same way and you’ll be able to get through some of the unforeseen challenges that no one talks about when you buy a pair of running shoes or sign up for a race. At the other end of the spectrum, if you’ve been running for years and have reached a plateau in your training or just haven’t reached the goals you have hoped to, then you should definitely connect with a coach for your upcoming running objectives.
Sometimes as runners we tend to get complacent or are adverse to making changes or are afraid to try new things. “And those are the things that might be able to make a difference in your training,” Diboun says.
2. WEEKLY GUIDANCE
Why hire a running coach? “Because a running coach can help you reach your goals better than you’re able to on your own,” Mohror says. “They can assist you and guide you with workouts, advice and things can come up.” Unless you’re a veteran runner who’s been training for years — and heck, even if you are — a running coach can help you smartly build your fitness, inspire you to train to your fullest, keep you motivated during difficult lulls and help you avoid overtraining. Y
ou might think training for a marathon is a tall order — and it is! — but having a coach guide you can take some of the pressure off, especially on a long-term basis. The guidance and training plan you get from a coach can help turn your long-term goal into short-term tasks that can be approached day by day, piece by piece.
3. RUNNING SMARTS
Hiring an experienced running coach will allow you to benefit from his or her experience. Those coaches have been through all sorts of scenarios in their own training, but also with the many runners they have already coached. That coach understands they type of workouts and mileage you should be running in your fitness build-up and can adjust for your own personal needs as injuries, fatigue or work stress impedes your training.
Without a coach, you’ll likely do your own types of runs and workouts based on whatever you feel like doing or based on what your friends are doing or, gulp!, based on workouts you read about on your social media feed. “An experienced coach knows what works and how to adapt workouts to your personal fitness and abilities,” Fitzgerald says. “That’s so much more effective than a trial-and-error approach on your own.”
4. INDIVIDUALIZED TRAINING
How much you spend per month and what you get out of the coach you hire depends on the level of service you want or need. Generally speaking you might pay as little as $20 and as much as $250 per month for a coach. (Or you can pay even more for truly personalized training if you have the budget for that.)
At the more affordable end of that spectrum, you’ll get training plans and coaching input that’s generally geared toward a group or a specific goal race (for example, the Chicago Marathon) in somewhat of a one-size-fits-all approach with a limited ability to reach out to that coach with questions.
But if you’re paying slightly more every month, you should be able to get more individualized coaching that includes weekly adjustments and adaptations based on your fitness or fatigue levels and the ability to have direct interaction with that coach (even if it is by email). The best way to ensure you’ll get personalized coaching and some sort of individualized attention is to hire a coach in your region that has a training group you can run with on a semi-regular basis.
Having a coach watch you go through workouts and the ability to engage face-to-face can provide numerous benefits. Going with a local coach instead of an online coach shouldn’t necessarily increase the fees you’re paying.
When you’re training for a big goal like a marathon, you sometimes need an extra bit of accountability to keep you focused and motivated. When you’re training on your own or even with friends, it can be relatively easy to inadvertently reduce hard workouts or shorten a long run without any recourse.
But when you hire a coach, you give yourself an extra layer of accountability. Sometimes it’s necessary to adapt workouts (and a coach can help you do that), but hiring a coach can create a certain pride and accountability tied to following a training plan.
It’s natural that sometimes you might wake up feeling unmotivated or perhaps you’re having a hard work day or traveling. “Having a coach to report to and a training plan to follow can help you get through those challenges,” Mohror says. “I tell all of my athletes, ‘I’m here to help, support and keep you going!’”
6. IMPROVING PERFORMANCE
If your goal is to break 3 hours in the marathon or run a sub-40 minute 10K or qualify for the Boston Marathon, a running coach can help immensely, Mohror says. Not only can the coach provide a good training plan that provides both long-term and short-term development markers, but he or she should be able to guide you to a proper training vs recovery balance, she says.
Having a coach will keep you in check from working out too hard too often and overtraining with too much volume. But a running coach will also make sure you rest and recover so the proper training effect can take place. Your muscular, cardiovascular and neurological system adapt to training during rest when your body is recovering, Diboun says.
The continued stress of training without proper rest breaks will lead to overtraining, fatigue, illness and injury, he adds. “There’s a basic equation for growth, whether you’re an athlete, artist, or businessperson, etc., and that’s Stress + Rest = Growth,” he says. “I like to take on challenges and make myself uncomfortable (stress), and then follow those challenges with recovery & reflection (rest). Then rinse & repeat, with a slightly greater or different challenge or goal.”
7. REDUCING INJURY RISK
As runners, we often keep on running despite small bouts of soreness or pain. While sometimes that’s OK, sometimes it’s not, Fitzgerald says. And when it’s not, it can lead to serious, long-term injury.
Having a coach to talk to about those bits of soreness or pain can be helpful to understand how to proceed. Should you keep running? Should you see a physical therapist? Are there additional things you can do — for example, icing, stretching, cross-training — to help keep a serious injury at bay? How do you know when and what to do? Those are all things your coach can advise you about to keep you as healthy as possible.
Overuse injuries are common for runners but often they can be avoided or reduced in scope and intensity. A coach isn’t meant to be a doctor or medical professional, but their experience and understanding of running injuries can be a valuable resource, Mohror says. Sometimes it might just come down to taking more rest and seeing how your body reacts in a few days.
A good coach will sometimes have a better long-term perspective than an athlete because it’s not vexed by the eagerness to reach goals, she says. Avoiding those injuries and staying healthy is a key factor in the ability to make it through your training plan to the starting line of your goal race. “The ability to understand what a runner is going through during any given week is one of the key benefits of having a coach,” Fitzgerald says.
8. RACE-DAY PREPARATIONS
Are you already nervous about the race that you just signed up for, even though it’s still months away? That’s normal, no matter if it’s a 10K, marathon or an ultramarathon like a 50-mile trail race, Diboun says. The ability to manage that stress and excitement is important as you start to train toward that goal, he says.
If you hire a coach who has a lot of races under his or her belt, you’ll be able to benefit from their personal experiences and reduce the stresses of race weekend. Getting tips and insights about tapering, rest, travel, nutrition and preparation will go a long way to achieving your racing success, Diboun says.
Even if you’ve been through the motions before and have run several half marathons or marathons, having a coach serve up those reminders can be a huge benefit. (The nerves and excitement of race weekend often cloud our thinking!) Most of all, having your coach help you develop a smart race strategy appropriate to your level of fitness and expected race-day conditions will be enormously helpful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.
As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”
Pro Triathlete Nick Chase takes a deep dive on the HOKA Mach 4. Watch his video review showcasing his experience with the Mach 4 (spoiler alert, it’s good!) and why he considers it to be a great new edition to add into the rotation for training.
One of the classic legacy shoes in the ASICS line, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 is a neutral everyday trainer with sufficient cushioning, a comfortable ride and a versatile, do-everything vibe. It’s been updated slightly from the previous edition, with a slightly softer feel and a more forgiving ride.
The previous edition of this shoe was pretty good, so ASICS smartly didn’t change it too much. The biggest changes are that there is little bit more Flytefoam cushioning in the midsole and a new gender-specific construction. The gender-specific construction allows the shoe to more optimally flex and adapt to men’s and women’s footstrike patterns.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 has a classic ASICS fit. It is perfectly true to size length-wise and not too narrow and not too wide. The step-in feel is comfortable and moderately cushy, but not overly plush.
It has an easy-flexing demeanor in the forefoot, but the slightly lower-to-the-ground forefoot provides good feel for the ground. The shoe feels slightly firm as you transition to the toe-off phase of a stride. That allows it to run at moderately fast speeds, although it isn’t quite as plushy and comfortable as a result.
The ride is smooth, semi-soft, natural and consistent, but not exceptionally energetic or bouncy — especially compared to other shoes out there with more advanced foam midsoles.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
This is a great entry-level shoe for new or novice runners, but it can also be a reliable everyday trainer for experienced runners who log modest mileage every week. It’s one of those shoes that does everything pretty well without having one exceptional feature, and that’s a good thing.
Its wheelhouse is slow and moderate paces, but it’s versatile enough to handle faster paces for shorter distances, though not quite peppy enough for speed workouts or racing.
PROS: ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23
The new, one-piece engineered mesh upper is smooth, soft and comfortable, wrapping the forefoot while accommodating for a wide variety of foot shapes. It really helps dial in a connective, comfortable fit and makes up for the lack of a gusseted tongue.
The rear of the shoe is comfortable, secure and supportive. This is thanks to a rigid internal heel counter and copious amounts of padding around the heel and ankle collar. Also, it has a slightly softer, and more shock-absorbing GEL component.
The outsole has been reconfigured with more segmented narrower bands or soft rubber in the forefoot and a lateral decoupling groove pattern of firmer, more durable rubber in the rearfoot. The new configuration contributes to the softer more accommodating ride without giving up traction or sturdiness in every stride.
CONS: ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23
This shoe actually got slightly heavier — by about a half ounce — compared to the Cumulus 22. That might not seem like a lot, but it was enough to put at the higher end of the everyday trainer category. It’s not heavy, just heavier than last year’s edition.
One size does not fit all when it comes to sports nutrition. Just as its important to find a running shoe that is specific to your individual needs, the same goes for nutrition.
As runners and endurance athletes, sports nutrition is an essential part of your success in training and racing.
With literally hundreds of different sports nutrition options available, it can be an overwhelming process to figure out which one is best for you. We have provided a breakdown of some of the top rated nutrition products from fellow JackRabbit runners, broken down by type.
When you sweat, your body loses vital minerals and electrolytes that need to be replaced for healthy recovery and lasting performance. Nuun Sport provides a great balance of ingredients for mineral replenishment and optimal hydration before/during/after your workout.
Created for high-intensity and demanding activity, Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Drink packs more electrolytes and carbohydrates than your average electrolyte drink. Each serving is packed with branched chain amino acids to decrease muscle damage. Taurine is also added to improve cardiac output.
Get buzzin’ on your bicycle with Honey Stinger’s Classic Energy Gel made with pure honey. This versatile pocket of energy is packed with sodium, potassium and B complex vitamins to aid fat and protein absorption, breakdown carbs and provide maximum energy output with full recovery.
The GU Energy Stroopwafel is a delicious addition to your nutrition plan that’s rich with essential nutrients, light on the stomach, and easy to digest before or during activity. It tastes great with pre-ride coffee, during a gran-fondo or ultra-marathon, and anytime you are looking for an alternative energy source to power your performance. Not your average waffle, this syrup-filled creation has the nutrients that make GU products great like essential amino acids, electrolytes, and carbohydrates.
The Skratch Labs Anytime Energy Bars are powerful enough for endurance workouts but tasty enough for a snack any time of day. They’re made with real ingredients, like oats, nut butter, sea salt, brown rice crisps, and quinoa crisps. The folks at Skratch Labs don’t like putting extra junk in their bodies and they don’t want you to either, so these are free from anything artificial or unnecessary such as artificial sweeteners, coloring, or flavoring agents.
Now the GU you can chew comes in a convenient sleeve with two-servings per package. Created for daily training and competition, GU Energy Chews pack energy-dense calories in a portable packet to help sustain energy demands of long duration activities. With 80-calories per serving (two servings per packet), Energy Chews contain carbohydrates to keep you fueled while delaying bonking by sparing your glycogen stores.
Honey Stinger Energy Chews are made with 95% natural organic ingredients for a low glycemic index. Pop a few of these tasty chews for a dose of carbohydrates and electrolytes before or mid-run to help get you going
Sport Beans Energizing Jelly Beans are formulated to help fuel the body during intense exercise. Clinically proven to maximize sports performance, each bean is loaded with carbs for fuel, electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance and vitamins to optimize energy release and protect cells against oxidative damage. Flavored with real fruit juices and other natural flavors, they come in a convenient resealable bag that you will love.
It’s time for you to Find Your Fit with nutrition. A big part of finding the right nutrition is trial and error. This involves using different products throughout your training to determine which is the best fit for your specific needs. Tell us what nutrition works best for you!
Brian Metzler rounds up the best of the best for your virtual race months.
There still aren’t many races in the U.S., but they’ll be back! However, you can still create your own opportunities to run fast on your own — either through virtual races, personal time trials or simulated race efforts with your running pals.
To run your fastest, you’ll need a lightweight, speedy pair of shoes. Here are five of the best shoes in a variety of price categories that will keep you on pace for fast times and inspiring new goals for 2021.
The HOKA Carbon X returns after the successful first edition won races and set records. It proved itself among the best of the initial crop of long-distance racing shoes built with carbon-fiber plates embedded in thick, cushy midsoles.
The Carbon X 2 is a maximally cushioned neutral-oriented speed shoe. It has a staunchly rocker profile and an energetic vibe that promotes fast-cadence running ready for race day and tempo runs ahead.
A $100 running shoe? For racing a half marathon or marathon? Is that a mistake? Heck no! The Brooks Launch 8 is an energetic and well-cushioned shoe that also comes with an affordable price tag. With a relatively light and snappy demeanor, the Launch is somewhat of a unique ‘tweener. It falls between the category of performance trainers and the wide range of high-mileage trainers that are about a full ounce lighter. But if your race goals are modest or just want to complete a 10K, half marathon or marathon at your own goal pace, this can be an ideal shoe is for you.
Plus, it can also double as an affordable, do-everything trainer shoe that’s versatile enough to endure long runs and also quick enough to run faster, shorter workouts like tempo runs, fartlek runs and track intervals.
$115 While Hoka One One’s Carbon X is an exceptional long-distance racing shoe, we’ve chosen to focus on the fast and light Rincon model for this roundup of racing shoes instead.
Why? First, it’s a great shoe for running fast over all distances from 5K to the marathon. It’s also because it’s much more affordable too. The Rincon 2 is unfettered and fast, but it still has a lot of cushioning in every stride thanks to the full-compression EVA midsole.
The Rincon doesn’t feel like a stripped-down racing flat, but the soft, smooth and energetic demeanor allows it to perform like one when you want it to. It’s light and fast enough to be an energetic performance trainer for fast workouts. It also enough cushion and protection to be a long-run shoe or even an everyday trainer.
$120: New Balance has several racing shoes with carbon-fiber plates embedded in their midsoles. But the 890 is the brand’s tried and true featherweight performance-oriented trainer/racer. It has always been known for its light, agile and very energetic vibe.
The New Balance 890 has been overhauled in recent years. It now includes a high-rebound FuelCell midsole, a supportive yet comfortable knit upper and a gusseted tongue for a snug, race-day fit. It has a semi-firm feel and a slightly lower to the ground geometry. This gives it excellent feel-for-the-ground proprioception and a lively feel in every stride. The 890 is fast, light, versatile and capable of taking you race-day goals. Even if your race is a virtual event or your own personal time trial!
$200: The Saucony Endorphin Pro is a top-tier long-distance racing shoe. It features a carbon-fiber plate embedded in a soft, very resilient midsole foam. It debuted on the feet of Saucony pros at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in February in Atlanta, including women’s second-place finisher Molly Seidel. It represents the best of Saucony’s engineering and design efforts. It’s built on SpeedRoll technology, a forward-leaning geometry that propels you forward. It has a feeling of continuous momentum, so you can run faster and more efficiently without running harder. It feels light, firm, energetic, efficient and smooth, especially at faster speeds.
Weights: 7.5 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 6.3 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Maurten sports fuel is easier to tolerate for athletes. The pioneering sports-fuel company has found a way to encapsulate high concentrations of carbohydrates in hydrogels.
Anyone who has experienced ‘gastric distress’ due to excess sugar in an endurance event will know nutrition is key to how a race will unfold.
Incidentally, the winners of the last twenty major marathons have all grabbed a Maurten bottle at on-course drinks stations. Think they might be on to something? With the mantra, never try anything new on race day, pick up some Maurten hydrogels and sports drink mix and give them a try during training.
Former NCAA All-American and 2016 Olympic trials qualifier, Ce’Aira Brown joins Ali on the Run to talk about her running journey and her career.
From the Podcast: Ce’Aira Brown wants you to know that she’s still running. She’s still training (alongside Ajeé Wilson), and she’s still staying true to her “talk less, grind more” mentality. (And when she’s not on the run training for the 800m or 1500m, she’s on the runway, modeling.)
So why don’t people think she’s running? Because you’re pretty unlikely to see a lot of running “content” on her Instagram feed. But Ce’Aira promises, she’s more in it than ever.
In honor of International Women’s Day, she talks about the women who inspire her, and she talks about being a role model herself. She explains why, after running a 2:02 season opener in Austin two weeks ago, she’s “not satisfied, but hungry,” talks about the power of positivity and hard work, and talks about how she’s built mental strength and confidence.
ABOUT ALI : Ali is the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. Ali is also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia!
In observance of International Women’s Day 2021 the United Nations is celebrating with the theme ‘Women In Leadership’.
With that in mind, we’re honored to showcase some of the bold female founders and leaders in the running industry and the thriving companies they lead.
WOMEN-LED BRANDS AT JACKRABBIT
The companies these amazing women have founded, the organizations created and the activism they champion, all contribute to adding gender equity to an industry where everyone has the right to lace up, show up and run equally.
RABBIT RUNNING APPAREL
With a name like Rabbit, we knew we had to be BFFs with a brand that shares our name and our philosophy of serving up runners the best.
Let’s meet Monica Devreese and Jill Deering, the founders of Rabbit running apparel. Monica has been in the running business for 20 years and as experienced and, let’s admit it, badass runners, they had some experience to bring to the table. As lifelong competitive runners they came to the apparel business like others before them; they never found anything they really loved.
Monica and Jill considered their own needs as well as those of other runners when it came down to the most complex of running garments, the running short. Having added up the pros and cons of every short they could get their hands on, they believed they could create something better. And so they did.
Founder and CEO of MOBOT Nation, Lani Cooper patented the first combined foam roller and environmentally sustainable water bottle. With a call for society to be more conscious and sustainable, MOBOT has delivered an innovative product that teaches us to constantly reimagine our perspectives.
Each foam roller water bottle is made from 100% recycled stainless steel and non-toxic, high density EVA foam. Since their inception in 2013, they have already saved over 180MM+ single use plastic water bottles from landfills and waterways.
Two of the most necessary practices for health and wellbeing, hydration and massage, are actually sometimes the most neglected (by everybody). So check out MOBOT at JackRabbit to get your body back on track.
BALEGA RUNNING SOCKS
Tanya Pictor is co-founder of Balega Running Socks. In a recent interview, she championed the power that running has to bring us together. ‘Running is a sport that does not see gender, color, it is all inclusive, forgiving and keeps us grounded.’
Balega stands out in the sock world for its commitment to giving back. Since the beginning, Balega has sought meaningful ways to pay tribute to organizations via their company culture and commitment to quality in everything that they do.
Tanya’s advice for women considering following a career path similar to that of hers? “Be yourself, be authentic, and respectfully unapologetic about who you are and what you bring. Follow your passion and remain true to your calling.”
President of Performance Lifestyle at HOKA ONE ONE, Wendy Yang has set the running world on fire with supporting innovative performance lifestyle campaigns that have helped to shape the running world as we know it – beyond the shoes.
“I’m most proud of the teams I’ve built and the work those teams have done, which have made a lasting impact across the multiple companies and brands I’ve had the good fortune to steward over the course of my career.” – Wendy Yang, Footwearnews 2019
From working with Reebok, New Balance, Timberland and more, Wendy has found her place to grow with HOKA. Beyond the sale numbers, Wendy has placed a special focus on equality in the workplace. Starting the first Deckers Women’s Leadership Summit in 2018, to having hired 75% of current employees, Wendy keeps equality and equity at the forefront.
HOKA continues to be a brand that empowers movement for everyone, everywhere, any kind.
Britt Olsen is the GMM at On Running North America. A brand that has shaken up the industry, On is leading the way with innovative cushioning and a sleek look that has been a hit with runners and street walkers alike. Britt joined On in the US as employee number six and now she is leading a team approaching 200.
Of the experience of leading the North American team of this entrepreneurial company she comments, “I know that we can help influence and shape sport culture in a very positive and impactful way. That feels really good.”
A brand that is smart and dialed in having recently founded the On Running Group hoping to launch and support the Olympic careers for their members as well as a new technical tennis-inspired sneaker with Roger Federer.
On Running continues to challenge the norm, supporting professional runners and inspiring the rest of us to be a little bit better every day.
Senior Vice President of New Balance Athletics for North America, Melissa Worth is a savvy and respected leader. During 2020 New Balance navigated the unknown by calling up on their commitment to civic duty and serving others. They seamlessly pivoted production to create personal protective equipment for front line workers via the New Balance Foundation.
Talking about the challenges of 2020, Melissa told Footwear News “We have been able to rethink the way we use our inventory, how we drive our digital business internally as well as with key partners and how we communicate and connect with each other.”
Melissa has committed to a culture of empathetic leadership amid the pandemic and supporting diverse leadership.
“As leaders we need to commit to diversity and inclusion goals to change the face of the industry and hold ourselves, and each other accountable to achieve positive systematic change. We need to get comfortable talking about the problem, and we need to give a platform to associates of color, listen to what they have to say and act on it.”
Anne Cavassa is the President of Saucony. A brand with an unapologetic focus on empowering Her and inviting slogan of “Run for Good,” Anne has worked alongside many others in the company to have these words and meaning brought to life.
Most recently, through the Saucony x Prinkshop collaboration this past Fall. With the goal of helping to encourage women to run – however that may be – Anne, prinkshop founder and creative director Pamela Bell, along with Saucony marketing director Jessica Newton and director of apparel Sarah Clark created a line dedicated to the cause.
“With this collaboration, we are taking a stand to further support gender parity and encourage women everywhere to find their personal pathway to leadership. We invite everyone to join us as we rally behind the women who are committed to the race with their eye on the finish line. When women run, we all win.” – Anne, Running Insight
Along with of-the-time campaigns and company follow-through, Saucony continues to be a great leader in the running space through continued footwear innovation across road running, carbon fiber plates and trail running shoes as well as inclusive marketing and partnerships.
In the world of running how we act, support, challenge and how we speak are powerful tools. We are privileged to have bold women creating organizations and support systems as well as media committed to reporting on women’s running news.
A grassroots, Indigenous-led foundation by Altra runner Jordan Marie Brings Three Horses Daniel that works to “dismantle white supremacy and racism, rebuild a better future and elevating Indigenous, Black, Brown, Asian, Immigrant, Muslim, Jewish, Two Spirits, LGBTQ+, & Non-binary voices and relatives with disabilities.”
The Rising Hearts Foundation has also worked hard to provide resources for the community regarding wellness, COVID-19 relief, running with purpose and has been a leader in providing education for external communities about what it means to run on Native Lands.
Jordan is an Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier, Project Manager and TIN Liaison, outdoor enthusiast. Jordan is also well-known for her Prayer Runs and bringing light to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Find ways to support and participate with the Rising Hearts Foundation here.
Based in New York City, Latinos Run is a running group focused around serving the Latino population through fitness and providing access to running information, education and community. Founder, Maria Solís, has created this in-person and online community to meet needs and create space that was not initially there. Taking it one step further – she expanded Latinos run to create a more specific group for women called Latinas Run.
“Latinos Run and Latinas Run are two running platforms that promote running as a way to improve physical and mental health within Latino community. I created these groups as a safe space for runners to feel welcome in the running community.” – Maria Solís, Your Sole
Now in 2021, Maria has developed an audience of 25,000 people – newbies to running all the way to elites. She provides for an online community and uses her visibility to partner with others to provide things like her all women’s trail running summit.
Women’s Running Magazine has come into its own in the media space covering women’s running. They have matured into a leading voice focused on reporting on the talent and breadth of women’s running.
They cover everything from the latest news from pro athletes to training techniques, advice from female athletes who have navigated path particular to female athletes. The publication is an advocate for a healthy approach to running. They tap into professional athletes, science and experiences of others to further a positive future for the next generation.
Alysia Montaño is an Olympian, national champion, activist, author, and mother of three. In 2014 she famously ran an 800m race while 8 months pregnant
Alysia is the founder of the non-profit &Mother.org the organization dedicated to breaking the barriers that limit a woman’s choice to pursue and thrive in both career and motherhood. She also hosts the podcast ‘Keeping Track’ alongside Molly Huddle and Roisin McGettigan with the mission of giving more media coverage of women’s sport.
Not only an activist, Alysia brings her A-game to social media and well worth the follow.
Mechelle Freeman is 2007 World Track and Field champion, and a 2008 Olympian in the 4×200-meter relay. She founded the organization TrackGirlzin 2015 as a way to provide exposure and access for girls to the track and field world that so often gets left behind after college.
JackRabbit is so proud to be working directly with TrackGirlz in 2021 offering financial support for their grant program to grow the sport of track and field for female athletes.
“I want to get more Black, Indigenous and people of color involved to expand the conversation,” she says about the future of the organization. “I want to bridge the gap between track and the rest of the running community. I want to bring out all different body types to show just how inclusive this sport is.”
Follow TrackGirlz and help spread the word about their mission. Learn more about Mechelle and their grant programs here.
Tested for over 11,000 miles, the UA Flow Velociti Wind is the latest chapter in running innovation. With a disruptive design and all-in-one cushioning system that eliminates the rubber outsole, it’s a snappy new addition.
THE UA FLOW TECHNOLOGY
After three years, over 17 rounds of raw material testing, 9 rounds of biomechanical testing, 15 rounds of shoe testing, and over 11,000 miles of weartesting the UA Flow midsole was born.
UA Flow is a responsive, grippy, and supportive singular-foam compound that eliminates the rubber outsole. This enables Under Armour to create an innovative, high-traction running shoe. The new Flow disrupts the design of a traditional running shoe by completely eliminating the rubber outsole. This reduces the 2-3 ounces of weight that it adds, on average, from a traditional running shoe.
UA Flow is the lightest midsole technology in UA’s current running lineup, bringing unparalleled lightweight cushion and long-lasting technology to the run category. The foam has naturally sticky traction, so traditional bulky overlays of the past aren’t needed.
“Flow is smooth in every sense of the word. It’s a smooth experience while running in the shoes. It’s a smooth feeling when going through the entire gate cycle and foot strike. And it also feels smooth in the sense that it is lacking distraction. There’s nothing there that is getting in the way of you and your flow state.”- Tom Luedecke, Creative Director of Footwear Innovation
THE UNDER ARMOUR FLOW VELOCITI WIND
The UA Flow Velociti Wind is designed and engineered to provide great responsiveness and energy return. It features grippy traction so you can run with confidence. Add to this a groundbreaking super-engineered upper solution, UA Warp, that molds perfectly to the human form to unlock performance.
The UA Flow Velociti Wind is dialed in for speed over longer distances. With that in mind, it will suit runners with mileage and racing on their calendars.
UA Flow debuts in the run category with the UA Flow Velociti Wind. This is a lightweight performance running shoe suitable for runners who seek a neutral platform with a go-to fast feel.
At just 8.5oz (men’s size 9), this shoe is a solution for runners looking for speed and support in their tempo workouts, fast-paced long runs, and longer road races.
The UA Flow Velociti Wind helps runners grip the surface better and run with confidence, with unparalleled traction. Flow’s rubberless outsole provides higher traction than traditional compounds to grip the surface better. Even without a traditional outsole, wear testers found that UA Flow performed in any condition they faced. It worked from wet cement to uneven gravel and variable roads.
The great thing about running is all of the different ways you can go about it. You are able to find which type of running (indoor, outdoor, trail, road, track, the list goes on) fits you best and easily tailor activity around that.
For those who want to ‘find their fit’ in trail running, this one is for you.
We share the best trail running shoes for the rugged and smooth trails of 2021.
BREAKING DOWN THE TRAIL RUNNING MYTH
Daily summits on local mountains, hitting trails to get thousands of feet of vertical gain, jumping on, off and over rocks and roots. These things are all cool, and yes are the experiences of some runners who have access and time to commit to The Trail™, however, the reality of trail running is that these experiences don’t need to be everyone’s experience nor are they a prerequisite to being considered a trail runner.
Breaking down this trail running myth is essential to entering the sport. So what is daily trail running? It’s your local trails, your local bike paths, the one-foot-long span of dirt you have in your neighborhood. It’s running up the hills in your neighborhood and conquering those local summits.
These two worlds do have one common intersection – shoes – and this is where we’ll breakdown the best trail running shoes for you.
Sunrise summits on rocky and uneven trails? Sign the Altra Lone Peak up. The Lone Peak is a trail runner’s dream using Altra EGO midsole for a responsive yet soft ride and a MaxTrac™ outsole to give you that grippy and secure feel on the trail.
Road shoes, meet trail shoes. Trail shoes, meet road shoes. The HOKA Challenger ATR combines the best of both shoes to make the doorstep to trail a smooth and seamless transition. All Terrain is in the name, afterall.
This neutral trail running shoe was designed with broad, closely spaced zonal lugs so you can stay in control on the trail and still have a soft landing while on the roads.