In December the Texas Active team attended the annual The Running Event at the Austin Convention Center. The Running Event is a convention for shoe retailers and all products related to the sport of running. We attended the Expo portion of the show which featured shoe brands such as Brooks, Nike, Adidas, 361 Degrees, Saucony, Hoka One One, New Balance, Sketchers, ON, Salomon, Altra and more. Also, at the event were multiple sock brands, fitness and compression clothing brands, gear, and of course hydration and nutrition. As you can imagine it can all be a bit overwhelming, but it was our intent to learn as much about new products as possible.
Some of the cool new high tech products we saw were items like running compression wear with build in lights from MAS Innovation, for night or early morning running. This company would then sell the products to other brands for marketing. I can see how this would be a great add for the winter months. One new product impressed me with it's design, good looks and great use of coconut husks. Remodeez is an Oder-eating pod that can be easily placed in your shoes, closet, gym back, locker, trunk or anyplace things get a little stinky. And they work! I loved the non-toxic, hypoallergenic and long lasting simplicity of the product. Along the lines of removing odor we met with Sweat X sports detergent, this stuff gets rid of the built in stink out of your workout clothing stat!
Of the newer brands in nutrition or hydration were Slopeside Syrup Untapped and Endurance Tap which feature the newest trend of Maple syrup as a fuel source. Then we met with Vital Proteins which makes tasteless, easily digestible, protein powder that features collagen. After trying it in my water bottle it is completely tasteless and colorless and a great way to get in 20grams of protein in a serving. Of course all of the regulars like Clif Bar, Nuun, Gatorade, Hammer Nutrition, GU Energy Labs were there and some newer hydration companies such as UCAN, Tailwind, Kramp Krusher, & Pickle Juice. It all comes down to taste and what your stomach can handle during intense training sessions.
Another hot category is anti-chafe products. I visited with brands like Body Glide, Chamois Butt'r, Blue Rub, Squirrel's Nut Butter, Pjur and Tri Slide. I'll be testing these products over the next couple of weeks to see which one holds up the the active lifestyle of an endurance athlete. The primary difference between these anti-chafe products is they are either silicone based or wax based products, If you have an allergy to either, that would reduce the amount of products you could use in half.
Who knew that socks were so competitive? The sock industry is huge! Whether it's compression socks, wool socks, fashion socks or run specific socks the choices are endless. I was super impressed by Stance and their whole attitude towards design, purpose and lifestyle. Then there is a newer smaller company called Lilytrotters which makes compression socks for women's specifically. These are super cute, affordable and give great support. For your everyday running socks you can't beat Balega and Swiftwick.
There were so many other products we learned about, like the amazing technology at Hydra Pack with their collapsible bottles and hydration solutions. Gore and it's incredible water resistant technological fabrics that keep you dry and warm in wet climates. Aftershockz with the bone conducting headphones. We were totally exhausted by the end of the show!
Next year, we'll go back and go deeper with a lot of these companies and more.