Our Editors’ Favorite Gear in March
Are you there spring? It’s me, running. Here’s all the gear our editors loved last month.
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In the transition from winter to spring — which has been decidedly slow in many regions — we’ve been fortunate to be able to wear-test and sample a lot of new gear. But we’re all more than just runners. The wide-ranging personalities and interests of our editorial team found us delving into interesting books, music, pods and other stuff, too. Here’s a collection of our faves that were high on our list in March. Take a gander and see what you think!
Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 – $170
OK, late to the game here, and I know this superstar has already been recommended on many lists, but I’m here for additional reinforcement. One of the largest shifts in my shoe quiver this past year was to revisit Saucony’s line, which I’d drifted from, for no real reason, over the past decade. After really falling in love with the stable and energetic Tempus, I finally picked up a pair of Endorphin Speed 3s, to see what all the hype is about, and, well, they live up to the buzz. Perfect cut, comfortable upper, slipped right on out of the box, and is adaptable for all sorts of runs and races. When I look at my shoe rack for the day’s road tempo, this is the shoe I reach for now. – Nicholas Triolo, Senior Editor, Outside Run and Trail Runner.
Craft Pro Endurance Trail – $160
Craft continues to delve deeper into the trail running footwear space and the new Pro Endurance Trail shoe is its best all-around model yet. It’s a cushy, near-max cushioned shoe that’s light enough to be fast and cushy enough to run long distances. The secret sauce of this shoe is the low-density Px Foam midsole, which provides both shock-absorbing protection and a boost of energy return, plus the manufacturing process has a legitimate green backstory. There’s no plate — and that’s good because a plate can be too much on trails sometimes — but it still offers a bit of responsive pop in every stride and is very stable. It has a moderate midsole stack height (34mm in the heel, 25mm in the forefoot), which allows it to offer an ideal between proprioceptive feel for the tail and protection from sharp rocks. – Brian Metzler, Contributing Editor, Outside Run and Trail Runner
Speedland GS:TAM – $275
I haven’t always been a fan of Speeldand’s shoes, which have previously felt ill-equipped for the less technical, smooth and long mountain miles I’ve been logging. The GS:TAM is a welcome entry into the Speedland line-up, with a maximalist approach to bespoke trail shoes, the super-stack of responsive foam is made even springier with a removable Carbitex plate. This is a great shoe for longer training runs and races, particularly ultra distances. If you’ve been skeptical of Speedland’s approach or price point, this could be a tipping point shoe for runners looking for something that is definitely performance-oriented but doesn’t have unnecessary bells and whistles. It’s a higher-performing maximalist shoe, and if you’ve liked offerings like the HOKA Speedgoat Evo or Altra Mont Blanc with BOA, this could be another great shoe to add to your quiver. You can read our full review here. – Zoë Rom, Editor In Chief, Trail Runner
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie – $285
Wool? Puffy? Tell me more. Recently, I’ve found myself not only hiking and cruising town with this ultralight merino wool puffy – I’m calling it my safety blanket – but I’ve started to sleep in it. Is that weird? It’s not, and let me tell you why. I’ve never owned a puffy jacket so versatile, so soft and yet so warm. The weight-to-warmth ratios are getting ridiculous these days, and Ibex nails it with this piece. Its athletic fit isn’t too baggy, and its proprietary insulating merino wool fill just feels…right. Can’t recommend this piece enough. Really, you can’t go wrong with Ibex. – NT
Daehlie Performance-Tech Long Sleeve – $70
Throughout the winter, I mix my endurance training time between skate skiing and running, and lately, I’ve relished in doing each in Daehlie this long-sleeve baselayer top. Daehlie is a top-tier Norwegian brand founded by former Nordic ski ace Bjorn Daehlie. The brand started in Nordic skiing, but has since evolved into running because the key performance elements – moisture-wicking materials, body-mapping technology, smart designs conducive to dynamic, high-energy movements – are the same for both activities. This long-sleeve shirt is an ideal layering piece for colder winter days, but also perfect on its own for spring skiing and trail running. – BM
Path Project Muir Cap – $30
There are two things I unashamedly collect: books and hats. The amount of hats I own is verging on hoard-status, but I’m OK with that. Because it’s a day-by-day choice – some days call for a lightweight athletic hat, and others call for more of a lifestyle casual brim. The hat I end up reaching for most these days, however, is Path’s Muir Cap. I’ve run 50Ks in the jungles of northern Thailand, as well as a 24-hour race, in this lid, and it just shows up. Fits right. It’s lightweight, and doesn’t look too tech-dorky, even with its 94 laser-cut perforated holes to keep it breathable and lightweight. – NT
Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show – $14
So our favorite toe-sock folks at Injinji just revamped their RUN collection, and I’ve been loving these no-show lightweights, even during Montana’s winter/spring conditions (sometimes I double up on socks, using these as a liner sock). I don’t like bulk when it comes to socks, and these deliver the goods every time. I guess what I’m saying is, a sock that wins my heart is the sock I never have to think about, a sock that just performs, keeps blisters away, and doesn’t get too swampy. With their COOLMAX eco fibers and the texturing around the arch, Injinji keeps leading the charge, and I’m here for it. – NT
Patagonia Strider Pro Shorts – $79
Shorts season is finally here! These have quickly become my favorite pair for long runs. A generous waistband prevents pinching and has three pockets for epic snack storage. The seams are smooth and prevent rubbing and chafing, and the fabric is made from 90% Prevented Ocean Plastic™ recycled polyester. Stretchy, quick-drying, and light as air for comfy, all-day running wear. – ZR
Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Hoody – $299
This hybrid jacket is a perfect do-it-all for high-output adventures. As the seasons transition from chilly winter, to slightly-less-chilly-but-still-objectively-cold Colorado spring, this hoody has protection on the front and arms where you need it, and ventilation at the back and underarms where you don’t. – ZR
The North Face Race Day Vest 8 – $149
When I’m ramping up spring mileage, I want a vest that can carry a couple of flasks and some snacks but doesn’t have a bunch of superfluous storage or weight. I’ve been loving the Summit Run Race Day vest because of its simple, lightweight construction. The front pockets are easy to get snacks in and out of, even with cold hands, and the simple front closures are easy to take on and off. The only drawback is that I don’t love the narrow-necked flasks that TNF provides, and I swapped them out for my own, preferred HydraPak flasks. – ZR
You need another neck gaiter in your life. This summerweight Buff is the perfect transitional piece for shoulder season. I’ve been rocking it as an ear-warming headband for windy days, or a bandana/neck gaiter on dusty desert runs. – ZR
Scarpa Spin Ultra – $159
This is a well rounded shoe for mountain adventures (which could not come any sooner). I love the Scarpa fit, generous but precise. It has enough cushion for the long run but more stable than the five-inch stack heights that have become the norm. A Vibram outsole provides grip that is good in most conditions, and it’s built like a tank, a light, maneuverable, sporty tank. – Gordon Coates, Digital Producer, Trail Runner
Having and Being Had – Eula Biss
I’ve only started on this nonfiction book by Eula Biss, one of the smartest writers in the biz, and am really loving her approach to the page. As someone who is nearing a decision to finally be a homeowner, her examination of capitalism, accumulation, property, and everything else in between has been offering some wonderful nutrition. – NT
Last Night at the Lobster – Stewart O’Nan
I love a short novel, especially when it involves drama and love at a Red Lobster, especially when it’s written by an author considered “the bard of the working class.” Given to me as a gift by artist, writer, and Outside Semi-Rad columnist Brendan Leonard, this short story is for anyone who has worked in service jobs, anyone who has waited tables at some franchise restaurant. I once served tables at Red Robin, as well as several other restaurants, and this one really hit me. So fun. So real. So human. – NT
After Sappho – Selby Wynn Schwartz
Part love letter to Virginia Woolf, and poet Sappho, and partly literary criticism and partial speculative biography, this is a mind-expanding read that flits between the perspectives of multiple female characters. While it’s described as a novel, this story crosses genres to weave together into a work of what one reviewer called a work of “critical fabulation.” – ZR
The Broken Earth Trilogy – N. K. Jemisin
What would the world be like if every few hundred years Father Earth decided to try and remove its residents? What would society look like? What choices would individuals make? What if, on top of all that, some people had magic that could simultaneously save and destroy? This trilogy is a wonderfully unique fantasy story that will suck you in with its stakes and keep you there with Jemisin’s gorgeous prose. – GC
10 Percent Happier Podcast – Do You Feel Like An Imposter?
You know it. I know it. Imposter Syndrome. That feeling of fraudulence. That feeling I’m having right now as I write this, that someday someone will sniff me out, that I’m unworthy of being here, that I know so little about anything, that I’m unworthy. But maybe Imposter Syndrome is more complicated than that, and maybe there are some really easy ways to confront it and move beyond it. (Like, in this podcast, the advice: “Contextualize more, personalize less.” I found this conversation both honest and enlightening, and I hope you do, too. – NT
Death Cab For Cutie – Asphalt Meadows (Acoustic)
Full disclosure: I have had the great fortune of becoming friends with this band, which I’m humbled by any time I get the chance to spend time with them, and their brilliant music. I’ve been an avid Death Cab fan, though, long before I ever found out that Ben Gibbard crushes trails, and this latest album totally hits the mark. I have found their recent unlocking of acoustic versions of the record incredibly moving. These tracks hit to the heart-center of the band’s talent – the songwriting, the bass lines, the precision of rhythms. Try “Pepper” and go from there. – NT.
RELATED: What’s the Connection Between Running and Playing Music?
In anticipation of their forthcoming album, Boygenius, aka Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus have released a four-song sampler. This amuse bouche is just enough of a tease to highlight what makes Boygenius one of the most exciting supergroups of all time: specific lyrics that point directly at universal truths. – ZR
Other Good Stuff
Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters Recipe
If there’s one recipe I keep turning back to this past winter, it’s been this healthy granola recipe from Oh She Glows, a wonderful plant-based recipe book that’s been a go-to for simple, clean-eating solutions. Nothing too arduous or time-consuming, or pricey in this cookbook. I’ve probably made this granola recipe 25 times, to fuel runs and recovery. In fact, I’m going to make a bowl right now. – NT
Honey Stinger Oat + Honey Bar – $33.50 (box of 12)
I found my new favorite snack bar and I’ve literally eaten a dozen of them in the past month! For years when I would head out on long trail runs or peak-bagging trips up and down 14ers, I often packed PayDay candy bars because they didn’t melt a bit of protein. But the new Oat + Honey Bar is all of that and more. Made from crushed peanuts, oats and honey, each 1.48 oz. bar serves up 190 calories and a smart blend of carbs, fat, sodium, plus 6g of protein. They’re easy to pack, easy to eat and come in two tasty flavors (original and chocolate chocolate chip). – BM
Gnarly Nutrition, Endurance Box – $10
A nice sample flight of all Gnarly’s offerings, specifically for endurance athletes. All of my favorites that I use, in one box, catering to my activities, so I don’t have to think about it. I’m always scrounging to find a packet of recovery protein, or a powder for my flasks on 2-plus hour runs, and now they’re all positioned in one place. And hey, Cherry Cola flavor? Yes, please. – BM
Roll Recovery R4 Body Roller – $59
I’ve unfortunately spent most of March grimacing on the floor of my apartment inching back and forth on this roller while my eyes water and muscles twinge. We’ll do anything to get back to running again, right?… right? If I had spent a bit more time on this roller in December, January, and February, I’d be in significantly less pain now. This one is firmer than a traditional cylinder of foam so be careful, but if you want a roller that can really get in there and provide a bit more deep tissue relief, this is the one. – GC
RELATED: What Our Editors Loved in February 2023