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Best in Gear Awards and Runners Gift Guide

Every year we go through our favorite gear and pick winners for the BIG (Best In Gear) Awards. Here are our picks for 2015!

Running Shoes

Best in Gear (B.I.G.) Running Shoes: Overall

Hoka One One Clifton 2

Thomas: Light-weight and super cushioned, the Clifton 2 spent lots time and miles on my feet this year. When it came to picking an overall winner for this year, there was a lot of competition, but throughout the year I kept coming back to the Clifton 2.

Meaghan: I’ve run three marathons this year, all in the Cliftons (Boston in the original Clifton). It’s hard not not to love a shoe that can provide so much awesome cushion in a light-weight package.

Read our review


B.I.G. Running Shoes: Fast Days

New Balance Vazee Pace

Thomas: Definitely my favorite shoe this year for pure running. The Vazee Pace disappears during your workouts.

Meaghan: Fast, light, fun. The miles melt away in this shoe. The Vazee Pace offers a comfortable, snug fit that is perfect for speed work, but can also handle long-distances.

Read our review


B.I.G. Running Shoes: Work Horse

Nike Pegasus 32

Thomas: If you could only have one shoe in the rotation, the Nike Pegasus 32 would be the shoe I would pick. The Pegasus can handle running, the gym, and taking care of errands. The fact that it can handle just about everything and is a joy to run in, makes the Pegasus 32 a phenomenal choice for runners at all levels.

Meaghan: This is a solid neutral trainer. The Pegasus 32 is durable, light (W7.5 = 8oz) and happens to look great on your feet. It was refreshing to put on a daily trainer with lots of cushioning that weighed well under 9oz.

Read our review


B.I.G. Running Shoes: Traditional Trainer

Saucony ISO Triumph 2

Thomas: This late comer released in November is a winner for pure comfort.

Meaghan: I named this shoe BIG after a single run. Pillowy comfort meets solid durability for an all-around awesome running shoe.

Read our review


B.I.G. Running Shoes: Waterproof Trainer

Saucony Ride 8 GTX

Thomas: Great trainer with waterproof breathable GORE-TEX® keeping your feet warm and dry on crappy running days.

Meaghan: Heading out into the rain can be challenging when the alternative is staying in a warm, dry house. The Ride 8 GTX helps you get out the door by keeping your feet dry through the worst of it.

Read our review


Running Gear

B.I.G. Running Shorts

Mizuno Phoenix Print 4.0 Shorts 

Meaghan: These are some of my favorite shorts ever. They hug the waist, but not the thighs. They’re 100% polyester, built with a wide waistband and a 4″ inseam. The material feels really soft but has this amazing ability to wick away sweat. It’s simple goodness.

Mizuno Rider 5.5 shorts

Thomas: Great shorts are tough to find, when I do find a cut that works they are reserved for speed work and long runs. The Mizuno Rider 5.5 shorts were always saved for my favorite runs. They feel great on and they are the perfect length.

Read our review


B.I.G. Reflective (Winter) Gear

Pearl Izumi BioViz Apparel 

Meaghan: This line focuses on being seen out on the run (or ride) during all hours of the day. Every piece is comfortable, fits well, and is highly visible. From color choices to reflective placement, Pear Izumi’s attention to detail is apparent in this line of apparel.

Thomas: The fit is superb and the visibility is undeniable. You’ll be safe outside in this gear.

Read our review


B.I.G. Running Jacket

Lululemon’s Best Vest Jacket

Meaghan: The Best Vest jacket is one of my favorite things ever. It can easily be converted from a full rain jacket to a light vest, mid-run. The removable jacket/sleeves fit in the back pocket of the vest. Ah-mazing. And ladies, this is a super flattering design. The bad news: I don’t see it on Lululemon’s website anymore…

Air GORE-TEXr Active Jacket

Thomas: Whether running or standing still I feel like a badass in this jacket. It has a very simple cut that is really flattering. Oh yeah, it is great protection from the elements as well.


B.I.G. Compression Gear

Opedix Women’s Dual-Tec 2.0 3/4 Tight

Meaghan: These tights are amazing! The Opedix 3/4 tight has all the right support in all the right places. It’s almost as if you have an extra set of muscles taking the pressure off your joints. In the words of Opedix, “the DUAL-Tec 2.0 ¾ optimizes joint function, allowing you to do the things you love longer, better and with less pain and fatigue.” I agree.

Men’s CWX Pro Tights

Thomas: “The CW-X patented Support Web targets the hip flexor, quads, hamstring, and calf muscles, while also stabilizing the pelvis for lower back support. The Web also offers a suspension system for hamstring and sartorius muscle support, and gluteus maximus support reduces fatigue and increases power during your run. COOLMAX within a 4-way Stretch body fabric will keep you dry, cool, and comfortable by wicking moisture away from the body.” When recovering from tougher runs I loved the extra support the CW-X tights offered. These might be on me during The North Face GORE-TEXr 50 miler.



B.I.G. Workout Accessory

Aurorae Resistance Bands

Thomas: For 20 bucks, you basically get a home gym in a bag.


B.I.G. Hydration Pack

Nathan Zeal Hydration Pack and Zelos Hydration Pack

Thomas: Light weight and comfortable, the Nathan pack is easy to get used to on long runs.

Meaghan: Comfortable, relatively light-weight and no signs of chafing! The Nathan Zeal hydration pack offers tons of storage space and doesn’t bounce around on your run. It’s going to be on my back for TNF 50 miler Dec 5th.


B.I.G. Running Hat

Run Believe Trucker & Forever Forward Visor

We are kind of biased on this pick, but still a great one!


2015 was a great year, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannuka, and a FANTASTIC 2016!


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