Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Women's PowerSox Giveaway Winner!

There were 58 comments, along with 5 bonus entries for guessing where we were headed for Spring Break. Noone got it, but I appreciate the efforts!

Proving that the early bird gets the worm, the winner was comment #1,

 Kate said... "I'm a follower! I'm always getting blisters, so I'd love to try some socks that helped prevent that.

SuperKate, send your address to womensendurancegear@gmail.com and we'll get the socks to you faster than you can complete an adventure (non)race! Thanks to all who entered and be on the lookout for more reviews and giveaways.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Fluff

Although I really wanted to post a review today to stay on schedule - it's not happening.  We (the 4 kiddies and I (no Kovas)) are leaving for vacation crack of dawn (hopefully earlier) tomorrow.  It's going to be a long day with plenty of "Are we there yets", I'm sure, but we're ready to make the best of it!  

Upcoming reviews:
Darn Tough Ski Socks
Icebreaker Run Rush LS Crewe + 3/4 Tight
Zensah Compression Socks

Couple more days to enter the PowerSox giveaway!  *Extra entry*
if you can guess where we're going - leave a comment below.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PowerSox Product Review + Giveaway

PowerSox® Coolmax® Women's Tab Lo-Cut
Like a sophisticated piece of equipment, the PowerSox® brand is engineered for exceptional performance. We combine the latest technology and construction innovations with the finest fibers and sport specific designs to create the best performance sockwear for your athletic activities. We utilize moisture management yarns, contour fit, selective cushioning, flat toe seams, ventilation panels and arch support to meet performance goals and exceed expectations.
The complexity of the human foot is a marvel physically and mechanically. No body part is more important to exceptional athletic performance, making your choice of sock critical to results.
What good is a great pair of shoes if the socks you wear with them give you blisters?  I was recently given the opportunity to try out some PowerSox Coolmax Women's Tab Lo-Cut socks.  Features of these socks include:  hand linked with seamless toe, moisture management fiber, ventilation panel, arch support, and spandex for better fit.  They're made of  38% Coolmax Polyester, 38% Cotton, 16% Polyester, 6% Nylon, and 2% Lycra Spandex.

I wore these PowerSox for treadmill and outdoor running, short distance and 2+ hours of hiking and also for walking.  Throughout all the activities, the moisture management fibers kept my feet dry and comfortable.  There was no slipping or rubbing.  In addition, these socks are reasonably priced ($10/3pairs).  If you're looking for great, reasonably priced performance socks, I recommend these!


Interested in trying some?   You could win a 3 pack of PowerSox® Coolmax® Women's Tab Lo-Cut (size M) here!   How to enter:
1.  Be(come) a follower.
2.  Follow Women's Endurance Gear on FB
3.  Follow WEP on Twitter
4.  Retweet, repost on FB, or mention on your blog

Leave a comment for each thing that you do. Contest will run through Monday March 28, 2011.  Winner will be chosen using random.org, and posted Tuesday, March 29.

(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog - courtesy of Jennifer at Maguire Public Relations, Inc and GoldToeMoretz, LLC. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give it a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.) 
Have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at womensendurancegear@gmail.com.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Product Review: Brooks Running Nightlife Jacket and Adapt Glove

When spring is near, I can't wait to get off the treadmill and head outdoors to run.  Unfortunately our winter drags on, and so dressing appropriately helps make running outside a more safe and pleasant experience.  For my early morning, early spring runs, I borrowed some of my husband's running items - the Brooks Running Nightlife Jacket and the Brooks Adapt Glove.

The restyled NightLife Jacket comes armed with 360 degrees of 3M™ Scotchlite™ 500 candle-power retroreflectivity and loads of features. It offers enhanced visibility and peace of mind for you—or someone you love.
• Fit: Semi-fitted
• Water- and wind-resistant
• 360 degrees of 3M™ Scotchlite™ retroreflectivity
• New Brooks retroreflective “See Me” logo on back
• Moisture-proof internal MP3 pocket
• Invisible chest pocket for lip care and I.D.
• Secure side zip pockets to stow essentials
• Full front zip with storm guard with zipper garage

Back in the fall, Brooks sent my husband, Kovas this jacket to try.  He suggested that I wear it for safety for my early morning runs outside.

With flash/headlights

No flash/headlights
This jacket is bright! Although I am not usually a fan of neon, this item is a must for early morning runs.  It provides high visibility and is a good weatherproof shell.  Based on the performance of the men's version, I would guess that the women's Brooks Essential Run Jacket would be just as great  - just a bit more flattering:).

The Brooks Adapt Glove is another great shoulder season accessory.  These gloves have a removable mitten which provides a weatherproof and windproof barrier.  When not needed the mitten can be stowed in its own pocket.

Obviously these items were sent to Kovas in his size, so they are quite roomy on me.  The jacket, however still provides the weatherproof barrier and more importantly the high visibility for safe early morning runs.  The gloves (Kovas says they run small) are probably a size or two too large for me, but at 30-40 degrees the two layers keep my hands comfortable.

Disclaimer: These products were sent to Kovas for review purposes, courtesy of Brooks Running. We were not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the items a positive review, and all opinions are our own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hi-Tec Boot Review

According to their website:  Hi-Tec almost singularly focuses on developing attractive, comfortable, lightweight high-quality shoes at a fair "true value" price. They apply high technology build processes and leverage innovative materials to ensure the ultimate in comfort, whether your needs are performance-oriented, or more leisure wear centric.

Hi-Tec sent our whole family (except the baby, who's not quite walking yet:)) hiking or snow boots.  

My pair was a snow boot - the Park ParkCity Sport 200 in black / clover.  
This boot features:
  1. Waterproof synthetic nubuck and mesh upper
  2. Thermo-Dri® waterproof/insulated construction
  3. 200g Thinsulate™ insulation
  4. Slip-on design with hook-and-loop system
  5. Faux fur lining for warmth and comfort
  6. Waterproof bootie construction
  7. Women’s-specific last for fit and comfort
  8. Comfort-Tec sockliner
  9. Board lasted with steel shank for added rigidity and support
  10. Winter Traction, rubber outsole design
Testing Conditions
The boots were worn for running errands, playing outside, and shoveling the driveway during Chicago’s Snowmageddon (until our wonderful neighbor came with his snowblower).  I also tested them during hikes with the family during several outings to forest preserves.  

Overall Impressions
The boots are lightweight, comfy and fit true-to-size.
As stated I wore them during the winter in various conditions for a lengthy amount of time.  My feet stayed warm and dry.  Made for hiking, they had great traction on ice, packed snow and gravel trails.
Final Thoughts
These are well-made, light weight comfortable hiking boots, but are more appropriate for use as snow boots.  They performed well running errands and on the trail and kept my feet warm.  
Only change I would suggest, is to make the velcro around the ankle tighter, for an even better fit.

For hiking maybe the Sofala Mid WP in Old Moss/Sand/Blush would be a good hiking boot to try:).

Look for Hi-Tec reviews by Kovas at Midwest Multisport Life and the kids at Kids Try Gear.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Hi-Tec.  I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give it a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company's website.

Would you like your product reviewed? Contact me at womensendurancegear@gmail.com. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Run Like a Mother Review

Run Like a Mother - How to Get Moving - and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity, by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea is a fun motivational read.  Although it seems more geared towards a runner just beginning to run (again), the humorous anecdotes and tips appeal to runners at any level.   The two authors’ essays are interspersed with interviews and inspirational quotes from many other running moms who recount real life running experiences.  It’s written in an honest voice that is easy to relate to.  The topics covered range from training and gear, to potty talk and rut busters.  
The book, as the title states, also gives tips on how to balance being a runner, wife and mother.  It addresses both the guilt and pride that mothers feel when taking time for themselves for running. Kids either hate when mom goes out for a long run or want to emulate mom.   Husbands can be the same - happy that wife is keeping/getting back in shape, but also a bit resentful of added child care and household chores (one of Sarah’s training tips: always include some intimate cross training).  

In addressing keeping things in perspective, the book touches on exercise obsession and body image.  There’s a “fine line between being committed to exercise and needing to be committed.”  Even though running “alternately challenges and calms, makes us feel alive and proud...” it’s okay to skip a run or race.  Some things are way more important than running.  Athletic discipline, on the other hand “has an admirable, authoritative presence.”  Athletes “simply move through the world in a way non-athletes don’t.  Some swagger, and some are more quietly secure.  Either way, they talk with authority and walk with purpose...”       
I read Run Like a Mother during my 5am nursing sessions.  It has made me laugh and encouraged me to get out of bed and on the treadmill instead of crawling back under the covers. 
Thanks Jill for including this autographed book in the care package!  (Jill, of Run With Jill sent our family a box of goodies including clothes for our oldest son, Running With the Buffaloes for Kovas, and Run Like a Mother for me).
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