4/3/2023 2023 Running Gear Overview
Here in Salt Lake, it seems somewhat difficult to think about trail running as the Wasatch Range approaches the 800” snowfall mark for the winter. Yet, there are more spaces out there to run than in the Utah mountains. In that spirit, we are offering up our Spring and Summer 2023 SkyRun Season Overview. There are lots of new products to get excited about, and hopefully for you, lots of new adventures we can support. In our best impression of a brief overview, meet the new kids on the block for the Spring and Summer 2023 trail running season.
Shoes – Dial It In: The BOA system has officially gripped the running world and La Sportiva is all in. Their Jackal BOA II men’s and women’s may be the most well-rounded shoes on our wall. For a bit of winter fun, La Sportiva also has their Cyklon Cross GTX shoe featuring a BOA closure. This gaitered go-getter will no doubt be in your footwear rotation deep into the spring. Altra is also on board with a BOA version of their race shoe, the Mont Blanc. This sector of the trail shoe category has you covered from all-day outings to wintry runs, to the hardcore race scene.
Shoes – Love Where You Run: These days, environmentalism is on the minds of many manufacturers. In an attempt to mitigate our collective impact on the planet’s ecosystem, SCARPA has released its Spin Planet shoes, with an EVA midsole made of 45% recycled materials. The up-and-coming NNormal brand also has a serious approach to environmentalism with long-lasting shoes that break down when retired. They supported a fantastic short documentary on where our shoes may end up when we stop grabbing them from our closet.
Shoes – Local Legend: When it comes to local legend, the WURL has the Wasatch running community contemplating the perfect shoe for a hellacious day. Salomon may have created the ultimate WURL shoe with the highly protective Genesis. SCARPA also has rights to filling this mythical footwear space with its Rapid shoe, a crossover piece that is competent on trail and on ridgelines. As the WURL becomes more popular, we strongly encourage anyone considering it to do your homework, understand the risks, and let humility, not bravado lead your decision making.
Running Vests and Packs – The Name Game: Vest or pack? Where’s the line? Well, we don’t know either, so we just go with whatever each brand calls its product. For example, CAMP refers to their entire Trail Force series as packs, ranging from 2L up to 20L. With an all-new design these “packs” are looking comfy and highly functional. On the opposite side of the fence, USWE refers to their Pace 2 and Pace 8 as “vests.” Whatever you want to call them, their No Dancing Monkey Technology is highly intriguing. Playing the sizing game, Black Diamond has 3 different sizes with their Distance 4 vests. The Most Improved award in the running vests/packs category goes to Dynafit. They started over and have really nailed it with their Sky 4 and Ultra 12 vests. Our goal is to have whatever you may need from a simple running band to a full-on, full-day pack so you can self-support any distance your legs are willing to take you.
Tagged Products: CAMP Trail Force 2, CAMP Trail Force 5, CAMP Trail Force 10, CAMP Trail Force 20, USWE Pace 2, USWE Pace 8, Black Diamond Distance 4, Black Diamond Distance 4 – Women, Dynafit Sky 4, Dynafit Ultra 12
Accessories – The Devil Is In the Details: Kilian Jornet is everywhere. Not just because he’s the fastest human on the planet, but because he is collaborating with so many brands. In honor of the G.O.A.T., COROS has added a Kilian version of the Apex 2 Pro watch to its collection. HydraPak is a new brand for us this season, and with a multitude of ways to help you carry and filter your water, we are happy to add them to our shop. Since some will inevitably be kicking off their running season in snowy conditions, we have the Black Diamond Distance Spikes and La Sportiva Hobnails ready to keep you upright on tricky trails. The shop fave brand Dynafit is expanding into a new category, ready to protect your peepers with its Sky Pro sunglasses. Since daylight hours aren’t necessarily our only window for running, we have a few bright ideas on how to light up the trail. Petzl has the uber-comfortable Iko, or uber-powerful Nao RL headlamp to keep you burning the midnight oil. Throw Maurten and Spring Energy products in the mix for good measure and I think we are ready to wrap up this incredibly important section of your gear needs.
Tagged Products: COROS Apex 2 Pro – Kilian Jornet Edition, HydraPak Filter Cap, HydraPak UltraFlask Speed, HydraPak Velocity Reservoir, Black Diamond Distance Spike, La Sportiva Hobnails, Dynafit Sky Pro sunglasses, Petzl Iko, Petzl Nao RL, Maurten Gel, Spring Energy Gel
Poles – To Bring or Not to Bring: Leki continues to be the pole story for SkyRun so we decided to add one more option. The Neotrail FX One Superlite is impossibly light (as the name suggests) and more simple than the Ultratrail FX One line, with a nylon band and foam grip. Black Diamond is bringing a unique approach to differentiating men’s and women’s poles by offering a women’s specific pole in shorter lengths with a smaller diameter grip – it's not just a color change as is too often the case.
Apparel – Function Over Fashion, but Why Not Have It All? We needed to bring in some Euro flair to match the spirit of Skimo. A favorite piece is the Karpos Lavaredo rain jacket. Keeping you wind and waterproof with clever zippers giving you access to the front of your running vest (or pack) we are excited to add Karpos to our mix of apparel. In that same category is the Pedroc 2.5L PTX Light jacket from Salewa in both a men’s and women’s option. This is another water and wind-proof piece that is lightweight and packable, truly a jacket we all would love to have in our arsenal on bad weather days. From Dynafit we are bringing in some running tights. While we are all dreaming of those perfect days in the mountains, our reality may be colder outings early in the running season. On the race-specific side, we will have a nice selection of the DNA line from Dynafit. To “top” it all off, La Sportiva has the perfectly named Skyrun visor that we just couldn’t resist.
Tagged Products: Karpos Lavaredo Rain jacket, Salewa Pedroc 2.5L PTX Light jacket, Salewa Pedroc 2.5L PTX Light jacket - Women, Dynafit Ultra Graphic tights, Dynafit DNA Tank – Women, Dynafit DNA Wind Jacket, La Sportiva Skyrun visor
2022 proved to be an impressive season for US athletes on the trail running scene. Some firsts, some repeats, some moments of mixing it up with a strong international crowd. With live streaming, professional commentary, and more full-time professional athletes there is no doubt that this sport is on the rise. Records will continue to fall and race fields will become more competitive as trail running evolves into a mainstream sport. 2023 is shaping up to be an exciting season with so many big races on US soil drawing racers from across the globe.
Time to stop reading and start running. Or shopping before running, we can support that too. Thanks for being the best part of SkyRun, we are excited to be with you every step of the way during the 2023 season. All the best to all of you.