Disclaimer: I traveled to The Running Event and received products products from Addaday, Altra, Arcanum, Brooks, CEP, Handful, Incrediwear, Nuun, Vooray, Vuori and Zwift as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! I have reviewed Aftershokz and Orange Mud in the past but the products featured in this post are my own.
Inspired by my recent trip to The Running Event Influencer Day as BibRave Pro (which I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about) and the 12 Days of Christmas, here’s part 1 of a list of 12 awesome last-minute gifts for the favorite runners in your life:
Handful founder, Jennifer, and her partners wanted to design products that support active lifestyles and make women feel great. No more sports bra uni-boobs! I received the Y-back bra and capris at The Running Event and LOVED them so much that I immediately ordered the full leggings as well. When my wallet is looking a little healthier after the holidays I plan to purchase more Y-back bras and the Flippin’ awesome tank.
The product materials are so soft, I’ve had no quality issues with multiple washes, and the sports bra DOES NOT CHAFE! Halle-freakin-lujah! The leggings and capris are mid-to-high waisted so they create an awesome silhouette, and the sports bra is super cute for fitness or just a daily wear bra (I use it for both) since it makes the sisters look so great (no smashed tatas). If you have an important women in your life, pay attention, because a gift from Handful is guaranteed to please.
The best part is that Handful supports some amazing breast cancer programs. Breast cancer survivors are eligible for a 30% lifetime discount through the Breast Friends Forever program, and they provide free additional pad sets that can be stacked as lightweight prosthetic for anyone who has lost all or part of their breast to cancer. In addition, 12.5% of all revenue from sales of the Battle Cry Pink bras are donated to the Young Survival Coalition. Even men appreciate Handful! Check out BibRave Pro Corey’s “review“.
Built by yoga/surf aficionados from the west coast town of Encinitas, CA, the brand was initially men’s active and leisurewear with a west coast style. When women friends of the brand started wearing the smaller size men’s pieces, they eventually expanded to include women’s specific product as well.
I received the Omni Performance shorts at The Running Event. The material feels great and the moss color is a nice change from the typical black running shorts. These are definitely a short running short, so I recommend sizing up if you like things a little more flowy. I can’t run in running shorts (I typically need tights to cover these thunderthighs) but I like the shorts for gym workouts and changing out of wet clothes after a run. Other BibRave Pros, including Vanessa, run in the shorts and have liked them. The guys have had great things to say about the men’s shorts as well, and I noticed at The Running Event expo that they were made from the same amazing, high quality materials. One Vuori product that’s definitely on my shopping list is the Performance Joggers; they look amazing and are so so soft and cozy. Santa, please!
From the Incrediwear website: “The Incrediwear Sports Socks relieve aches and fatigue when spending long hours on your feet or participating in multipurpose activities such as tennis, hiking, training, etc. The Sports Socks are anatomically designed for left and right footing with cooling toe box and heel cups to provide maximum comfort throughout the day.”
One of the common themes I’m noticing with products lately is the improvement in quality of materials used, particularly in sportswear. Incrediwear definitely fits this new trend with incredibly soft, comfortable materials that are still built to withstand repeated use over long miles of endurance activities. I’ve been wearing these socks multiple times a week with many washes and there’s no sign of wear or stretching. Incrediwear products fabric blend is embedded with semiconductor elements for improved comfort and durability.
We received the thin active socks in no show, the regular active socks, and the thin active socks in a knee high cut. The tall socks are too tall for me since I’m only 4’11” but they’ve made great recovery socks and I wore them during our road trip from Atlanta to NH for improved circulation sitting in the car for long stretches. My shoe size falls in the middle of recommended sizes. I ended up with a size small and I still wish they were a bit smaller, so if you’re not sure about size then you might want to go to the smaller size. Just FYI.
Do you want to run in shoes built by passionate people? Do you want to possibly improve your run form? Do you want to feel like you’re running in slippers? Do you want to run in shoes like Kara Goucher? Then Altra’s are for you! I received the Altra Escalante 1.5, Altra’s best-selling shoe of all time.
Altra focuses on “the difference of three”: footshape, fit4her, and zero drop technology. The Footshape (TM) Toe Box allows the toes to spread out in the normal shape of a foot and gives more space for powerful toe off. This also reduces overpronation and enhances stability. The toe box plus the zero drop platform put the heel and toe equal distance from the ground and allow for natural alignment, better form, and low-impact landing. I find that the ultra soft upper plus the amazing cushioning of the sole makes the ride feel like running in slippers or even barefoot with just enough protection. You’ll definitely have to break in the zero drop running with shorter miles at first if you’ve never used it before (your calves and quads will thank you) but the transition is completely worth it! Bonus: the women’s models are actually designed for the unique biomechanics of our feet rather than just making a smaller product: narrower heel and midfoot, a higher instep, a longer arch and unique metatarsal spacing.
I didn’t receive Aftershokz as part of The Running Event Influencer Day but BibRave and Aftershokz has a longstanding partnership. I’ve been lucky enough to try several pairs as part of being a BibRave Pro but have become a lifelong customer as part of the process because of how much I love the products. I have gifted many pairs (including several this holiday season) and have spread the word to many more friends who have purchased for themselves and the Aftershokz word has continued to spread from there…
The Trekz Air uses the same awesome bone-conduction technology of other Aftershokz products in a 20% lighter design. The technology and open fit design allow for maximum situation awareness. I use mine for solo runs, listening to music and podcasts at work, and making hands-free phone calls while driving. They literally travel everywhere with me! For more, check out my previous review of the Aftershokz Trekz Air. I’m not officially a member of the #ShokzSquad but I consider myself a valued lurker lol.
I received the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 (some BRPs received the Ghost 11s) and the LSD jacket at The Running Event Influencer Day. Side note: Brooks also throws an awesome dance party. I’ve never run in Brooks but always heard great things from my many running friends who swear by their products.
I was really happy to receive the Adrenalines to round out the two pairs of running shoes (along with the Altras) every runner should have in their rotation. The Adrenaline GTS 19s are Brooks most popular road stability shoe (as opposed to the Ghosts which are a neutral shoe). I don’t usually run in stability shoes but I was pleased to feel that the Adrenalines are surprisingly lightweight and responsive, not something I expected from a cushioned stability shoe. I first wore them at the BibRave run around Austin and it seemed they quickly adapted to my feet with an extremely comfortable footbed, and allowed for responsive, punchy stride. I always assumed that cushioned, stability shoes would absorb too much of the stride and feel “clunky” but these were quite the opposite. Within a week of receiving them I ran in a wet 10 miler with no further break-in period and they still felt awesome, stayed dry for most of the run, and didn’t turn to bricks when I ended up sloshing through several bad puddles.
Next up is the absolutely awesome-sauce LSD Jacket! Good things really do come in small packages and this jacket is no joke indeed. The ultralightweight LSD jacket is windproof and (I found) somewhat water resistant against misty or light drizzle winter runs. Have you ever had trouble planning what to wear for a long morning run when the temperature difference between the beginning and end of your run is more than 10 degrees?? The LSD is the perfect jacket to grab for those cold morning runs and then it packs up really small once the temps warm up. It also includes a nifty armband so you don’t have to worry about where to stash it for the rest of your run!
Meridith also loves her Brooks gear!
Check out more reviews from more great gear from The Running Event Influencer Day: