With the Holidays in full swing we wanted share with you some of gifts Santa dropped off for us here at TAUR to review. Pick up the perfect gift for your running friends or add them to your wish list!
Perhaps our favorite was Epson SF-810 GPS watch. Yes, that is right, Epson, the printer company has entered the world of GPS watches with a BANG!
Santa brought us an early gift of the SF-810 and we were thoroughly impressed with its functionality and versatility. To start, the SF-810 only weighs 52 grams and records for roughly 20 hours, give or take. That alone would be enough for most GPS nerds to start drooling, but the added features of Wireless uploading and heart rate monitoring make this a no nonsense watch for our TAUR fans. Some of the standard programmable features and training modes, such as numerous screen settings add to its versatility. We were generally impressed with the watch, but did see some obvious disadvantages. First, most folks who seem to be interested in a longer lasting battery life seem to lean toward watches with navigation features like the Ambit and Fenix, the Epson does not include these. Additionally, some elements of the watch interface were not intuitive and even our tester had to call costumer support (who was very helpful). As with many of the wrist heart rate monitors, some variability did occur in the recording of heart rate, which we have found is pretty standard among competitors. Overall, the heart rate feature was fairly accurate, although we did see that it consistently measured one of our testers high.
Adidas Terrex Fast J2 is designed for hard efforts on the trails and mountains. FORMOTION technology allows for free movement and full range of motion. GORE Windstopper technology makes this jacket completely windproof and rain/snow resistant while remaining breathable. The jacket is very lightweight and easy to stuff in a pack.
Adidas Terrex is a perfect companion on cold windy days. The jacket provides a great shell for winter runs. It has a great form fitting feel and it feels very comfortable during short and long runs. However, the price point of this jacket is very high that it might turn some people away, but also a good reason it would be a great Holiday gift! This jacket works wonders in the dry fall/winter conditions, but is not waterproof, so in areas where there is a lot of rain, it would not be the best choice.
This jacket was made with intention of comfort thorough and thorough. It has a full zipper with two additional zipper mesh pockets and one more on the left side for additional storage. Full size sleeves with a built in elastic sleeve that when needed (which can be used to cover your hands when temperature drops). It is lightweight and very comfortable to wear on chilly and windy days. The lavender was a lovely touch. I can not emphasis on how comfortable this jacket feels just to wear around town. Multi use wear is huge bonus. This jacket is great looking piece to wear it out on a casual night out. A sure addition to my friends holiday wish list.
I used these leggings for very few short runs, walking around town doing errands and hiking. I liked to color pattern and I often got compliments from friends. I love how they feel and I would definitely buy me a pair but extra small. Leggings are made out of a very stretchy and breathable material that I would definitely use them for yoga. They were very comfortable but the sizing seemed a bit off. I usually wear a small and had to keep pulling them up (readjusting) often as they kept coming down to my hips. This limited my ability to run in them. I would love for Santa to bring me a pair just a slightly smaller.
The Soto Half Zip is a really nice light weight base layer (it can be used as a base layer if temperatures are freezing cold) to bring along on your chilly runs. I noticed that while running it retained quite a bit of heat along my core and my arms, which is good if weather is cold. There are features that I liked about the Soto half zip, one is that it has thumb holes – which is a great thing if the weather temperature drops and don’t have any gloves in hand. The other is that on one side of the arm sleeve it has a little pocket, which it can be used to put your mini iPod or a key. The Soto Half Zip has many uses, from your day to day runs, a walk in a park or just running errands on a cold day. It is very comfortable to wear and does not carry a lot weight. However, it is not very compact if you want to carry it on your running vest. I would love to get this for the holidays.
The All Out Trail shoe by Merrell is by far one of the best shoes that I’ve tested. I was very impressed with the overall look of the shoes, although I was skeptical about the built in sock liner. This skepticism quickly eroded, and I grew an appreciation for it. It did an excellent job of keeping dirt, rocks, and debris from getting inside of my shoe. The All Out Trails were made with gnarly, rocky trails in mind, with an outsole providing excellent traction and stability on trails. It is also very light and flexible, which in return, made it comfortable every time I took them out. The upper is very breathable, or at least it felt like that every time I ran in them. As result, my feet were kept from collecting moisture and prevented blisters. The toe box was in general ok, not narrow, but I felt it could have a little more room. I never had a problem with shoe laces coming undone which was a plus for me. It almost seems that this shoe was custom made for my feet, the fit of these shoes and comfort could had not been better. I love them!!
These shoes are made for running on ice. They have a Vibram rubber outsole with 6 mm lug depth and Tungsten Carbide spikes to grip into icy trails. Overall, the shoe is pretty stiff and not extremely comfortable, but it is mostly meant to run in icy conditions and it does a pretty good job of that. This is not intended to be a great all purpose trail running shoe and not very comfortable to run in. However if you are going to climb a peak or be on a trail in icy conditions. It is probably the best shoe that I have ever tried for gripping ice. The shoe is also waterproof and it does a fairly good job of keeping your feet dry, gaiters would be advised.
I was very impressed with these pants. They are more of a mountaineering type of pant, but they work very well on runs where you will be in snow, wind, or harsh weather. I would not recommend these as an all-purpose trail tight, however when going into inclement weather the pant worked fantastic. I had these pants on an 11,000 ridge with 50 mph winds and they were incredible. They have a little bit more insulation and protection then your standard running tight. They have reinforced fabric on the lower leg which provides extra protection when traveling off trail or in snow. The pants definitely kept the wind out and the heat in. I was very impressed with the overall performance of these pants and I will be adding them to my peak bagging and mountain running wardrobe rotation.
Every runner has a foam roller, but not every runner has an Evofit roller. This is a unique roller that adjusts to your needs with a simple twist of the wrist. It is the most adjustable roller we have ever used. Great for isolating single muscles, changing the intensity pressure, positioning of rollers. etc. One great feature is its ability to be a traditional roller, as well as a stick roller. Users beware, the roller is certainly versatile and will require some education for you to use it accurately and beyond traditional roller functionality. Once you check out the informative videos, you, and your muscles will be happy and ready to run.
The perfect addition to your cold weather run, the Migo Outdoor neck gaiter can be used in a variety of configurations to protect your head, neck, face and ears from the elements. These are a hot item and have been restocked just in time for the holidays!