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Every week our staff at Triathlete and our colleagues at all our sister brands at Pocket Outdoor Media spend a lot of time living the lifestyle—eating healthy (or not so healthy), strength training, biking, running, swimming, doing yoga, backpacking. And we spend a lot of time testing out gear—both for work and for fun. Here are things we’re actually using in our regular lives and loving right now.
Athleta Venice Jogger
I’m very late to the jogger trend, but I’m very glad I finally made it. I have a few others that are strictly for lounging around, but last month I splurged and got these from Athleta to wear out of the house (though that’s a rare occasion right now). They’re comfortable and just nice enough to make me feel like I put on real pants. The waistband is high, making it easy to wear with any top. I’ve struggled with the comfort of high waists with other pants, but the band on this one is super comfortable. I also appreciate that they offer petite options—something that is not easy to find with more casual pants. The zippers (two in the back and two inside the pockets) are convenient without adding bulk. And I just realized they also offer them in grey and will be ordering those ASAP.
– Liz Hichens, senior digital editor
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080
I’ve definitely still been in holiday break mode when it comes to running this week, but when I have busted out a few miles it’s been in the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080s—and they have been superb. Ultra-cushioned yet lightweight, they’re extremely comfortable to run in and are almost “plush” feeling, like a pair of slippers you don’t really want to take off. The Hypoknit upper is super soft and stretchy, but still offers a decent amount of support, while the outsole is durable, well-constructed, and has good traction whether running on or off road. The women’s shoe is available in four different colors, and the bright blue is most definitely my favorite. This is a great shoe if you’re looking for something well-cushioned, comfortable, and easy to wear for some relaxed run miles.
– Emma-Kate Lidbury, managing editor
Rapha Technical T-Shirt
Though I’m pretty sure I got this top for t-shirted gravel riding, it ended up making its way into my running drawer and then somehow onto my body for a large majority of runs this winter. The bright orange color and grippy reflective flip-up sleeves make it perfect for running at dusk or at night, and the technical material is a good compromise between breathable and some level of chill protection. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite shirt when it gets really hot out, as there are lighter shirts for running, but something about the visibility details and medium wind protection make it literally a perfect choice for the fall/winter/spring. While it’s not exactly a cheap shirt either, the weave of the fabric indicates that it’ll last a much longer time than some of my stretchier or finer-woven favorites.
– Chris Foster, senior editor
Zoot Transition Poncho
I asked Zoot to send me some of their running shoes to test for our upcoming buyer’s guide—and they threw this new terrycloth swim poncho in the box too. As anyone who’s been fortunate enough to swim during COVID times is aware, the pool-deck-changing situation these days is fraught: many locker rooms are closed (and you probably don’t want to go in them even if they are open); often the rules dictate that you have to make a beeline straight from your car to the water and back; add in winter weather, ice and snow in the parking lot or on deck, and it creates a tough and cold changing situation. This warm transition poncho turned out to be the perfect solution. Plus, with the new restrictions likely placed on changing tents at races this year, Zoot’s poncho is designed for in-transition-zone or post-race changing. (Though if you have to pull a sports bra on over your head, you’ll want to do that first, instead of getting stuck.) The only downside is if you run into anyone from work while sprinting between the pool and your car in an oversized towel poncho—but that probably only happens with regularity in Boulder.
– Kelly O’Mara, editor-in-chief