Get on Your Feet with OOFOS – OOmg Low Shoe Review

Disclosure: I received a pair of OOFOS OOmg low shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

For quite some time I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a good casual pair of athletic shoes to wear on the weekends when I want the comfort of a full shoe, without increasing the mileage on my Brooks. When I saw that OOFOS, a company specializing in recovery footwear, was coming out with the OOmg, I thought the shoe might fit the bill.

What’s so special?

For runners especially, pounding the pavement all the time can cause a lot of wear and tear on your muscles/joints, especially if you’re not being smart about it. Sure, having the right running shoe helps, but what you do when you finish running – be it foam rolling, eating protein, whatever – can also help prevent long-term damage by helping you recover.

That’s what makes OOFOS different from other footwear. OOFOS are designed to help you recover faster, with a proprietary foam technology that is lightweight, while absorbing the shock of walking around and staying active after a long run or race. From OOFOS’ research, their OOfoam absorbs up to 37% more impact than regular foam. They also have arch support, while remaining squishy and soft, which is excellent for those tired, swollen feet and helps keep you walking smoothly.

These shoes, in particular, are designed as a “lifestyle shoe” – meaning you can wear them anywhere and they go with clothes other than running gear.

Why I’m a fan

Both trendy and comfy, I have found myself wearing these even more often than I thought possible. I love that they are so breathable that I don’t even have to worry about wearing socks with them. They can also be worn in wet conditions because the foam doesn’t soak up moisture, which keeps them from getting stinky.

They have officially become my new dog-walking shoes, which helps me get a head start on getting rid of the lactic acid build-up. I’ve been experiencing less soreness lately, and I think that’s a large part of the reason why. It’s also nice that I have some shoes I can throw on when I’m running errands after the gym – no more putting excess miles on my running shoes.

They are even washable. Simply regular ‘ole detergent and cold water. Leave the bleach, fabric softener, and use of the dryer for other stuff – no need to use them here.

However…

…with all of the awesome things about these shoes, there are some trade offs. One thing I’m not keen on is the price point ($120). I get that they are priced highly because it’s a unique technology, but I still think they are a little high because they aren’t meant to be worn working out. Competitors in that price category the casual footwear market are comfortable and still make good cross training shoes. I also wasn’t crazy about the white soles. They seemed to pick up dirt far more easily than other white-soled shoes I’ve owned; however, OOFOS does offer the OOmg in other colors (grey and lime green) with dark soles.

Curious to try for yourself? Head on over to the OOFOS website, oofos.com, to purchase your very own pair. Gents, if you’re under a size 10, they also have some available for you, too!

Today’s question: how do you recover from an intense workout?

Cheers to staying active and on your feet.

For the Runner on the Road: Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Review

Disclosure: I received an Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

I often find myself squeezing a workout into the most random places, whether it’s an early morning, Saturday afternoon, or Friday evening before hanging out with friends. Usually, I’m going somewhere before or afterward, and sometimes, I’ll remember a plastic bag to put my wet clothes into when I change. However, I have to admit, I’ve totally forgotten about them before, which results in stinky, smelly clothes. When I heard about the Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport products, I was so excited because I knew they could remedy some of the issues I have with stinky clothes. Whether or not it helps with forgetfulness is to be determined. 😉


At first glance, I thought the Active Set that Eagle Creek sent me had a backpack with an insert to put your clothes into. Once I realized that this was actually a Foot Locker and Wet Dry Fitness Locker for your workout clothes, the wheels started turning. The set so versatile! 

The Foot Locker is simple – just put your shoes inside and go. For those of you with big feet, there is a larger size available. The Wet Dry Fitness Locker has a pocket in the front that is lined to avoid having your wet clothes touch your dry ones. It’s pretty breathable, and there is also a dry pocket on the back side where you can slide in an extra set of clean clothes. 

I knew I could use this for so many more occasions than just back and forth to the gym – I could also use it when traveling! Especially after seeing pictures from the London Marathon this weekend, I’m thinking a runcation is in my future.

However, travel, especially when packing light, means you have to limit the number of bags you take/stuff it all into one bag. I personally dislike having to put my shoes in the same bag as my clothes. They always have dirt, grass or any number of germs on them, and it simply makes me nervous. Now, I don’t have to be.

The other challenge when traveling (especially between multiple cities, like European travel) is either:

a.) not enough space to hang dry clothes right away, or
b.) not being somewhere long enough to let the clothes dry.

Again, theWet Dry Fitness Locker can be utilized to keep the dirty, wet clothes away from the others, until you get somewhere you can dry them. I used this when I was at my parent’s over the Easter holiday weekend; after a hot, humid run, it was super convenient to tuck away my sweat-soaked clothes and unpack them when I got home. 

Only con is that the Wet Dry Fitness Locker doesn’t hold that much. I was able to fit a jacket, tank top, sports bra, socks and capris, but if you have multiple outfits, you may want to consider purchasing an extra pack. 


Have a run-cation planned soon?

The Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set is $40 normally. If you would like to purchase this set, or different items, they’ve offered us the code SPORT15, which you can use for 15% off any of the Pack-It Sport products. You can view all these products here: http://shop.eaglecreek.com/pack-it-sport/l/1505

Cheers to traveling the world as seamlessly as possible!

Where will you go for your next runcation?

Falling in Love All Over Again: UV Reflective Half BUFF® Review

Disclosure: I received a UV Reflective Half BUFF® as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

I’ve written about the UV Half BUFF® before, and was so excited when I found out BUFF® would be sending me a new one – this time with reflective material!

Here’s why I’m in love with the BUFF® all over again.

What makes the UV Reflective Half BUFF® stand out from other BUFF® headwear is that it is half the length of the original BUFF®. This is the perfect weight for summer, and it’s even better for summer mornings and evenings when trying to beat the heat. It’s so important to make sure you are wearing some sort of reflective equipment in low light conditions. No one wants to get run over!

You can also enjoy the same key benefits that are synonymous with BUFF® brand products, including superior odor control. For something that ends up soaking up all your sweat, I can’t stress how important this is. I don’t have a single piece of clothing that’s done as well as BUFF® products have.
I love the versatile, fun, solid colors available. I received the citron color, which is nice and bright. Also love that they are unisex, which is nice if you’re buying as A gift.

As I’ve stated, the UV Half BUFF® was a little stretchier and seemed a little more slippery, but I didn’t have that issue here. 

The versatility of BUFF® Products is another benefit. The UV Reflective Half BUFF in particular offers a method to guard your face from dust and wind, as well as a headband or hair tie. My favorite way to wear is as a headband. It soaks up the sweat and keeps hair off my face during workouts, and it keeps the hair off my neck if I’m wearing it down. Pro tip: during the blistering summer heat, you can freeze your UV Reflective Half BUFF for about a 10 minute cool blast.

You can check out past reviews of the UV Half BUFF®UV BUFF®, Merino Wool BUFF® and BUFF® Hoodie.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – I never met a BUFF® product that I didn’t like.

You can purchase one for yourself at www.buffusa.com for $14.99! It’s comparable in price to so many other headbands I’ve used, but is so much more versatile. 

What’s your favorite BUFF® product?

Cheers to another great BUFF product! 

Currently Wearing: XX2i Brazil1 (Plus a SPECIAL Discount)

Disclosure: I received a pair of XX2i Brazil1 Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Does XX2i sound familiar to you? That’s because I reviewed the XX2i USA1 awhile back. XX2i recently came out with a new line of causal sunglasses, the Brazil1, so I wanted to give them a shot.

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To refresh your memory, I loved that the USA1 was fairly comfortable and that the quality seemed great for the cost of the glasses. The Brazil1 sunglasses are different because they’re meant to be worn as casual sunglasses. That is, they are not for running specifically like the USA1.

What I noticed right out of the box is that the Brazil1 comes with many of the accessories that accompany the regular running sunglasses. This includes a nice case, a soft, microfiber pouch, croakies and a set of stickers.

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Another benefit is in the lenses themselves. These are nice lenses, and they are also polarized. That’s awesome for those who spend a lot of time outdoors (it reduces glare), like myself. Prescription sunglasses are also available from XX2i. For people like my husband who hate contacts, but are blind without glasses, that’s also wonderful!

Other things I liked about the XX2i Brazil1:

  • The classic silhouette. It’s still on-trend, but a simple style that will be stylish for years to come.
  • There are also a variety of colors available (
  • Unisex design means that, were he wearing contacts, my husband could wear these, too.
  • Lightweight design means they don’t weight my purse down.
  • 365 day return policy: I love that XX2i stands by their products, especially because sunglasses are such a personal purchase.
  • Another example of their commitment to their products is their outstanding warranty. If you break or scratch them, send them back for a replacement. No questions asked (there is a small shipping/handling fee).

img_0169Despite all the positives, there were a few aspects that I was less than enthused about. While on their website, these are listed under women’s specific glasses, these are not made specifically for women. They’re also listed as a men’s style. Like the XX2i glasses before these, the glasses were very large on me because they are unisex and I am a small woman. They fit my husband, but don’t fit me half as well. I would totally recommend them for guys, but the style is very large on me, personally. The frame material also felt inexpensive, and I don’t know if I would pay full price because of that. However, it could be that matte black color has an odd texture/feel.

img_0162Overall, these glasses would make a good gift for a special guy in your life that is constantly outdoors. Today, XX2i has given us a great discount code, bringing the cost for these to $39.99 when you buy them at xx2i.com. The code is BRAZIL1, and it will get you 60% off through midnight Tuesday, November 22. I do think that you get a solid pair of glasses for that cost. The value is definitely there for $40. Who says all the best deals come after Thanksgiving?

Cheers to

Stuff-Stasher for Endurance Athletes – SPIbelt Performance Series Review & Discount

Disclosure: I received a SPIbelt Performance Series running belt as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I purchased a running belt to house my essentials in during races. I got it at TJ Maxx, it cost me $20, and I used it for a couple of months, basically until I started getting sick of putting all my fuel in my pocket and having to fish it out during races. That was before I tried the SPI H2O Venture Series early in the summer (you can view my full review here). After trying this hydration belt and realizing better hydration solutions existed, I wanted to try one of their running belts to see if I felt the same way. When I received the opportunity to test out the SPIbelt Performance Series, I couldn’t wait to come home to my new SPIbelt in the mailbox.

Showing y’all everything that fits inside. Sometimes, I like to take my Buff and loop it on the outside of my belt.

As I have mentioned, SPIbelt was designed by a woman who needed a place for her essentials – ID, phone, keys, etc. – that wasn’t her sports bra. Can’t we all relate? Using the tension of what’s in the pouch, combined with a high-quality elastic, the SPIbelt functions as a stuff-stasher with a smooth ride.

The key difference here between the SPIbelt Performance Series and the Venture Series that I’ve tested previously is that the Performance Series is lighter-weight. The elastic is thinner, and the belt has 4 gel loops. Personally, if you are running around ample water stations, the SPIbelt Performance Series is an excellent choice for long runs and races. So far, I’ve taken the SPIbelt Performance Series on all of my long runs lately.

The SPIbelt is meant to be worn at the hips. I normally wear belts at my natural waist, so I was unsure how well this would work. To my delight, this results in a seamless and comfortable ride. The belt also carries just enough fuel for an 18 mile run. I have been able to fit two Gu’s in the gel loops for marathon training long runs. Note: this is probably not recommended by the company, as you might stretch out the elastic. However, the elastic seems pretty sturdy from my experience; if you don’t double up all the time, your SPIbelt should last.

I also like that you can purchase bottles to use with this SPIbelt, meaning it can be worn with or without a hydration option. The same is true of the Venture, but the belt is thicker, offering stability for the two water bottles. Personally, I would opt for the Performance Series if you plan to solely use the belt more often. Which option you choose solely depends on how you plan to use it.

Other pros include:

– Water resistant pocket, which should protect your belongings from most sweat and light rain.

– A spacious pocket that fits larger phones, like the iPhone 7 Plus.

– Bounce-free (even on the hips)!

– Highly adjustable on both sides, to fit a variety of shapes, sizes and body types.

– Thin elastic band that is very comfortable!

– Economical (I spent nearly the same cost on a simple running belt, without loops for gels, that was mesh/not water resistant).

Cons? Well, nothing structurally. Because of where it rests, I am slightly nervous about putting my phone in the pouch, leaving it on to listen to music. Call me a worry-wart, but I am wary of the potential effects. That’s more of a preference than reason not to purchase, though.

Overall, I’ve been super happy with the SPIbelt Performance Series. For just $26, it offers such useful features that comparably-priced belts do not.

The SPIbelt without the Gu’s – Still comfy and free of bouncing!

You can purchase your SPIbelt Performance Series for yourself at www.spibelt.com. AND with code “bibchat2016” you can take 20% off through 11/18! That makes this belt less than $21 before tax.

Thanks as always for reading and cheers to not carrying your phone in your sports bra!

Today’s question: what do you carry with you when you run?

Half the Fabric, Twice the Cool: the UV Half BUFF®

Disclosure: I received a UV Half BUFF® as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you may already know just how much I love BUFF® products. But as much as I love BUFF® headwear (you can check out past reviews of the UV BUFF®, Merino Wool BUFF® and BUFF® Hoodie), I have never had the opportunity to test out their UV Half BUFF® until recently.

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Basically, what is different about the UVHalf BUFF® from other BUFF® headwear is that it is half the length of the original BUFF®. This makes it perfect for summer, when every ounce of fabric on your body seems 10 times hotter! 

Other than that, you can expect the same benefits as you would the UV BUFF®, as well as most of the other BUFF® brand products.

One of my favorite parts of the BUFF® product line is the superior odor control. Case and point: I have worn mine nonstop running in the heat this past month and haven’t had to wash it yet due to odor (though I probably should now that I think about it, because germs still exist… oops!).

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It also keeps the sweat out of my eyes when I wear it as a headband as any other BUFF® does. I was a little worried that the UV Half BUFF® wouldn’t keep the sweat off my face because there is so much less fabric; however, now that my head is able to be so much cooler while experiencing my favorite things about BUFF® products, these will be my go-to for summer running.

You can also freeze your buff for extra cooling effects and the UV protection is also perfect for covering your forehead and scalp (because no one wants skin cancer!).

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I have the Petrol UV Half BUFF® and I love the color – the pictures online do not do it justice. Not that I like to match too much, but it complements a large majority of my running and workout clothes. I also love the Tie Dye Lace and Berry options; you can check out all the options here.

Now, less fabric means it’s a little stretchier. We all know I have a small head; while an Original BUFF® is less stretchy/stays in place really well on me, this one was more prone to slipping. I would rather it be slightly too loose though than give me a headache from being too tight. While you still have several ways to wear it (headband, t is also not quite as multifunctional as some other BUFF® products, but it is a trade-off. In the summer, the less fabric you are wearing, the better, so those are sacrifices I will gladly make when it comes to surviving the scorching Texas heat!

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Basically, I’ve never met a BUFF® product that I didn’t like.

So where to buy? You can purchase one for yourself at www.buffusa.com for $14.99! Considering how much some running headbands cost these days, I feel this one works a lot better than so many others I have tried. Looking forward to seeing all of the great running gear the BUFF, Inc. comes out with in the future.

What’s your favorite BUFF® product?

Cheers to finding a product line you truly love! Be sure to check out some of my other favorite BUFF® products here, here and here.

“Summer Runnin’, Had Me a Blast” – SPI H2O Venture Series Review

Disclosure: I received a SPI H2O Venture Series hydration belt as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Summers in Texas are hot! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, you can understand that hydration during summer runs is not just important, but a non-negotiable to continue running throughout a season of temps as high as 110°F. That’s where SPIbelt’s SPI H2O Venture Series comes in!

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For both my first marathon and half marathon, I was training through very warm parts of the year, having a blast, of course. I wisely invested in a hydration belt. However, I quickly discovered that this particular hydration pack was very bouncy… and I hated wearing it! My midsection would actually get sore from wearing my hydration belt. When I researched the SPI H2O, I realized there were better-designed hydration belts out there (thank goodness), so I was excited to give it a go!

pouchypouchSPIbelt was born out of one woman’s needs for a place to store items during runs, other than her sports bra. The elastic nature of the SPIbelt’s design drastically reduces bounce, even with the added weight of full water bottles, essentially using tension to keep your stuff secure at your waist. You can adjust the elastic to your preference; I wear mine at my natural waist because it stays in place very well (and it’s most flattering). Another fun fact is that SPIbelt is located in Austin, like me, so you know they have to understand how to beat the heat!squirt

When you test this belt, you can tell much thought went into design (it was designed by runners, after all). The water bottles themselves holster anywhere on the belt, and they carry up to 8 oz. of water. You can also purchase extra bottles, if you need them. The water bottles are leak-free, thanks to the Jet Nozzle; you have to press them to release the water. While being wet doesn’t matter in the heat – you’re soaked in your own sweat – I am hesitant to use sports drink with other hydration belts for fear of a sticky waist. I have no reservations about doing that with my SPIbelt H2O because smart design prevents this issue.

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Other notable features include:

WeatherGuard fabric design keeps small amounts sweat and water out of the pocket (though it’s not waterproof, so don’t dunk it).

Energy gel loops save space in the pocket for your phone/keys.

Wide mouth bottles allow you to add ice. 

– Includes race bib toggles (so you don’t have to safety pin bibs to your shirt).

Reflective trim helps keep you visible during early morning/evening runs.

Buckle design is nice because velcro wears out and gets stuck to things!

Versatility: during cooler months, you can use the SPIbelt on its own.

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With all of these fantastic features, there are a couple of things that I would modify, if I could. First, I found the holsters on the bottles to be a little loose. While this isn’t problematic when I’m standing/running, when I bent down, the bottles slipped off. While this makes sense, because physics, it is something that I wouldn’t worry about with other holster methods. and I’d be the clumsy person to drop my bottle mid race because I needed to tie my shoe and not realize it. While I also liked the color from a design standpoint, I wish they offered lighter colors for practical purposes. I try to stay away from it as much as possible when the sun’s out.

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I am so thankful to have this new piece of gear, as I will likely start training for another marathon towards the end of the summer and will NEED it. Thanks to the SPI H2O, I am looking forward to wearing a hydration belt for the first time!

The SPI H2O Venture Series is also reasonably priced at $44.99 and they offer free shipping at www.spibelt.com. And get this – you can take advantage of 10% off with the discount code “sarah10”! Seriously, go get yourself one before the heatwave hits, because it is the best hydration belt I’ve ever tested, and it offers the most bang for your buck.

What’s your hydration routine during the summer?

Cheers to good design and better runs because of it!

The Accessory Every Active Girl Needs – UV Full Buff Review

Disclosure: I received a UV Full Buff as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

The Buff is one of my favorite running products of all time, so I was jumping for joy inside when I found out I’d get to test the UV Full Buff. In fact, I have been using mine nonstop since it arrived. It’s regularly in the 90’s, now that it’s almost summer, and I needed something light to keep the sweat out of my eyes. It’s no surprise to me that the UV Full Buff delivers.

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Despite having a lot of fabric to work with, this Buff is lightweight and wicks moisture efficiently. You’d think it would feel bulky, but it doesn’t. Among other things, Buff is known for their fabulous fabric that does not stink, called Polygiene®, and it totally works! That’s super important going into the summer (seriously, why does my sweat smell so much worse during the summer?).

Runner friends: you won’t just use this Buff for running. The biggest benefit of the UV Full Buff is the versatility. I’ve worn it as a headband, a head wrap and on my wrist; there are more than 12 ways to wear it – plenty of options. It also keeps the hair off of your neck much better than an elastic headband, making it a smart choice for basically any workout.

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And now, a story. Back in college, a friend taught me the most ingenious way to use a bandana – just wrap it up and wear it as a headband with the knot tied on top. This trick upped the look of my casual outfits, turned my bad hair days into good ones, and most importantly, kept the hair off of my neck. Whether I was walking to class, playing powderpuff football, or running around with kids at camp, I often wore my hair like this, because I needed my long locks off my neck, but I hated wearing it up… until I got a Buff! The Buff replaced my bandana, and made it though a couple of summers at camp with no stink, and it was cooler in temperature than cotton.

Recently, I’ve been wearing a Buff just like I did in college, because the Otoe print goes with so many things in my closet. I even styled it below with one of my fave casual outfits as of late – the colors pull the whole look together for me!

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The moral of the story: if you are constantly running from activity to activity, the UV Buff  keep your hair looking great.

Enough about style, though (this is a running blog, after all. If you live in a dusty and dry area, you can use it as a face guard (you can also use this if you’re going skiing or doing cooler activities), and it will protect your skin from harmful UV rays! And, if you’re a guy, you can use it as a cap or do-rag, to protect your head from the hot sun!

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I’m also really excited to use it this summer with ICE! I got the idea from other Bib Rave-ers to put ice cubes in the fabric for an added chill. I have problems with my head getting really hot on warmer days, so I’ll definitely be trying this soon.

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Any cons? For the sake of total honesty/journalistic integrity, the ivory and brown tones on the Otoe design didn’t look the same in person as on the website. Obviously, that’s really nitpicking it, and is a normal expectation when shopping online. It certainly hasn’t stopped my from wearing my UV Full Buff!

The UV Full Buff is available at www.buffusa.com for $25! The Otoe seems to be out of stock, but I’d totally wear the Starburst and Moxie prints. If flower and lace prints aren’t your cup of tea, there are a variety of other designs.

What’s your favorite use for a Buff?

Cheers to staying cool and feeling great this summer!

Currently Wearing: 2XU Performance Calf Sleeves and Vectr Socks (and a Discount)

Disclosure: I received a pair of 2XU Vectr Socks and Performance Run Calf Sleeves as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and Check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Since I started running, part of my journey has included figuring out what gear is actually essential. That is, if I invest in a specific piece of gear, am I going to receive an adequate return on said investment? Runners often rave about compression gear and foam rollers, claiming that they help speed recovery time. When I was invited to test our the2XU Vectr Socks and Performance Run Calf Sleeves as a set, I was genuinely curious to see what the fuss was about and decide if they were essential to incorporate into a routine.

2xu_IMG_5490As for those that attest to the benefit of compression socks, I can definitely say that I was pleased using these products together. By having the socks and the sleeves, you’re afforded more versatility in how you choose to use them. If it’s super hot, you’re not bound to the sleeves, and can simply slip them on after you finish your workout to gain some of the benefits of compression.

However, these are two separate pieces of gear, and testing them at the same time I think highlighted their differences. Here are some key featuress that I noticed with each of the pieces of gear:

First, the Performance Run Calf Sleeves. These are meant to fit tight – I ordered a small based on the size guide and felt that they fit just right. They were not constricting, but they did fit securely. The sleeves were also well-made. Though I did not test them in cold weather, they felt thick enough to keep my legs warm (they were a little hot in 70 degree weather, but I’m sure that’s normal). As a testament to the durability, my dog, Daisy, managed to get ahold of these a couple times and they are still in good shape. No holes or anything – though I did take them away from her quickly.

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She may look innocent, but she’s actually plotting the right time to sneak over and steal my socks and sleeves once I take them off.

Despite running less since the Austin Half, my calves and feet have not been sore since wearing them. In my (unprofessional) opinion, the sleeves could possibly help prevent shin splints. I’ve been advised to wear a soft calf sleeve in the past to rehab shin splints and the calf sleeves reminded me a lot of them.

However, putting on these calf sleeves is kinda confusing. The outline on one side looks like it should go over your calf, but it actually goes over your shin, which is counter-intuitive. Truthfully, I didn’t realize I was wearing them wrong for a while, but the good news was that, even when worn incorrectly, they still feel good. Just take note and pay close attention when you are putting them on!

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In contrast, the Vectr Socks were very lightweight, definitely lighter than what I normally wear, and VERY breathable. Overall, I really liked this! I did feel my shoes rub and slip a bit in places they normally do not, which I think was due to the lighter fabric and composition of the fabric. Another pro is that they are foot specific, meaning the socks are built for each of your feet to give the optimum fit at every point. I also recommend sizing down for the Vectr Socks, if you are remotely in between sizes. In running shoes, I wear a size 8. In street shoes, I am a 6.5 or 7. In running socks, I usually wear a medium, and after consulting the size guide (link here, click “size chart”), that’s what I ordered. However, they did not fit as snugly as other socks I wear. They were comfortable, but compared to the calf sleeves, I did not feel the same amount of support.

Using both items has helped me recover more quickly than if I were wearing regular ‘ole socks, and I definitely think they are worth investing in if you’re serious about improving your running. I actually had my eye on a similar pair of 2XU socks, so I am so glad I was able to test them (thanks, 2XU)!  Both the calf sleeves and the socks come in a variety of fun colors! Make sure you hide them well from your dog (or cat) and hand wash them in cold water with no dryer, to ensure they have a long, happy life.

If you’d like a pair for yourself, 2XU will give you 15% off full price products with the code TRAIN15 (cannot be used with any other offer, valid until April 30, 2016). With the discount, the pre-tax/shipping cost comes out to be roughly $51 (normally $60). This is comparable to other options on the market, with the added benefit of versatility.

Have you tried compression socks? What did you think?

Cheers to trying new techniques to become a better runner!

Currently Wearing: Merino Wool Buff

Disclosure: I received the Merino Wool Buff as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and Check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! 

SXSW is here in Austin and springtime came with it! It’s currently in the 80’s, which has me missing the cooler days of winter. At some point, another cold front will probably blow through and we’ll have a slight reprieve sometime before Memorial Day weekend. If and when this happens, I’ll be prepared with my new Merino Wool Buff. I’ve raved about Buff products before, and hoped that their new Merino Wool Buff would live up to my expectations based on prior experiences – and it certainly has! If it comes across that I’m a huge fan from this review, that’s quite alright with me.  

FTRbuffneckComfortable and cute, this Buff is one of the simplest, most versatile running accessories I own. It’s made of 100% natural Merino wool, which is soft-to-the-touch and warm, but also highly breathable. It can be worn from temperatures ranging from roughly 30 – 70 degrees, which is a pretty wide range! It doesn’t smell either. I wish all of my running gear had this property, haha, but Buff seems to be the only brand I have worn that has perfected the art. It can also take care of so many needs – headband, sweatband, scrunchie, hood (for those of you chilly weather runners), beanie, etc.

FTRbuff logoBecause it is so versatile, I can see myself changing after a run and keeping it on as a headband, because it looks great with my hair, and doesn’t give away the fact that I just worked up a sweat at the gym.

And I LOVE the color; if you can’t tell from my photos, I like purple. The Wild Aster Dye was just enough of a print to be a unique accessory, without being too bright or loud to go with anything else I wear for working out or in my day-to-day activities.

FTRbuffheadband
It even plays right into the athleisure trend.

Case and point: I recently traveled to Chicago for work, where there was actual snow on the ground (news flash: that never happens where I live). I brought my Buff and I ended up using it as a beanie almost the entire trip – It was just the right amount of warmth, and compact enough to be stored in my purse while I was walking around at the trade show. So yeah, it’s definitely not just for running, and that’s one of the best aspects of it! All you have to do to make it a beanie is twist it, fold one side over, and put it on… see below!FTRbufftwist

FTRbutfhatThe only con for me was that it was a little loose at times, but I am pretty petite and tend to run into this issue with headbands in general. It stayed on, even on windy days, but it was just a little more slippery/loose than my other Buffs, probably due to the material. This will not stop me from wearing it, though, and I have a feeling it will be in my rotation of running gear for years to come.

You can purchase one for yourself at www.buffusa.com for $32. Trust me, it is worth every penny! I will be buying more for myself in the future (and one for my little dog, too). And, if you’re sold on it, be sure to join me on #BibChat Twitter Chat this Tuesday, March 15 at 8:00 PM CT with Buff! You may even win one for yourself.

Have you found any other uses for the Buff that I haven’t mentioned? I’m all ears – feel free to share!

Cheers to simple things with so many uses!