Ok... so maybe it's not exactly like this, but those of you that get out into the elements and continue running, even during a harsh winter can identify. Not only are you battling just logging the miles on your feet, but you are taking on old man Winter's worst. Some of you may be in Spring time now, but here in Colorado, we have more winter to go.. I hope! So, for those of you that must warrior on, this review is for you! I've got a great review on cold weather gear from Pearl Izumi and Injinji!
For cold weather running, my go to thermal compression pants and gloves are both from Pearl Izumi. As my long runs extended in December/January before my marathon, these were invaluable in keeping me warm!
|Infinity Thermal Tight|
I own several pairs of compression tights, from a variety of brands, but the Pearl Izumi's are by far my favorite. The quality of construction is terrific, and they are really comfortable. I really like the zip up ankle with a small flap to tuck the zipper end into. Makes them really easy to get in and out of.
Here are the list of features as noted by Pearl Izumi:
ELITE Thermal Fleece fabric provides superior moisture transfer and warmth
- 8" lower leg zipper with zipper garage
- Elasticized waistband with flat stretch drawcord for unrestricted belly breathing
- One zippered back pocket
- Internal brief for added support and comfort
- Reflective elements for low-light visibility
- 27" inseam [size medium]
- Form Fit
As you can also see, the reflective markings on these work really well so I can be seen when running in the dark mornings along the road. Also, the tag notes that the temperature range is from 20F-40F, however I ran several times in these around 5F and had no issues keeping my legs warm.
There are reflective markings on both the back and front which is great. I also really liked the compression in these... not too loose or tight. They give a sense of spring to your legs which I am certain makes me run way faster... ok, maybe not so much... but they feel great!
|Select Series Soft Shell Glove|
Now, for the hands. I'm running in the Select Series glove which has a lot of great features. Again, good reflective markings on the hands, and a great grip pattern and stitching on the inside. And, the design of the wrist band allows for easy pulling on and off without any straps etc. And yes, I'll admit that I used my teeth a few times on super cold mornings.. but I don't recommend it!
Here are the features:
SELECT Softshell Gloves feature insulated, windproof, water resistant construction that will keep your hands warm on the coldest, most blustery days.
- SELECT Softshell sets the benchmark for functional wind and water protection
- Synthetic leather strategically placed in high-wear areas
- Fleece lined for warmth
- Soft windproof fleece wiping surface
- Silicone screened palm for a performance grip
- Simple pull-on design
- Reflective elements for low-light visibility
My only struggle with these gloves was that my hands/fingers got cold on occasion. But, to be clear, I was greatly exceeding the recommended temperature range of 25F to 45F. In those temps, the gloves work superbly. Pushing it to 5F into headwinds was not smart on my part.. especially without any liners or hand warmers! But other than that, a great running glove.
The Elite Series pants retail for $90, and the gloves for $45, but my guess is you can find some deals online or at stores for a better deal. Regardless, they are both great investments to stay comfortable and outside this winter! Now... if Pearl Izumi could just get a zero-drop minimalist trail shoe on the market, that would be great!
Ok, so if you've been following my blog, you know how much I LOVE Injinji toe socks.. And recently, Injinji released the 2.0 versions of their socks, and they are amazing! Stick with me through this review and you may be rewarded with a few pairs to try out!
Besides the obvious color options you see above, the structure and design has changed quite a bit from the original Injinji's. I was a little concerned at first, because I love the fit and performance of the originals, so was hoping they didn't mess that up! Well, I'm happy to report that everything they did just made them better. I love the softer feel of the sock, and some of the different stitching they've done just complements the fit and performance. I got these in two days before my marathon in January, and I ran in the Performance Run in the medium weight. Perfect sock for that day, AND the compression socks were a life saver afterwards... felt so good! The Light weight version of the Run works superbly with the VFF XC Speeds, Spyridon, and Lontra's (review coming soon) too.
Just had to put this in here too.... love this song:
But.. I digress... this was supposed to be a Winter Warrior post! So, from that perspective, the Performance 2.0 Trail sock (far left in pic) is an amazing winter sock. It's a heavier weight sock, with a bit more padding, and are made from Coolmax Xtralife Nylon/Lycra, so they stay pretty warm, even when wet. I'm guessing they should stay reasonably cool as well, but hasn't been warm enough yet to see. These could be the ideal sock for my first trail ultra, where I think I may want a little bit more protection.
So, the bottom line is, Injinji has hit a home run with their 2.0 line of toe socks! But if you want to find out for yourself, just enter below to win 2 pairs in the style/weight of your choice! I'll run this contest until 10PM MST on March 11, 2013. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. Oh.. and stay tuned for Winter Warriors Part II...Featuring the VFF Lontra, and YakTrax Run! Coming soon to theaters near you!
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