It used to be that a handful of major brands dominated the world of running gear, but now there are lots of small brands popping up with innovative ideas and products. Here’s a look at six new pieces of running gear making their debut in 2020. By Brain Metzler
LEOMO Run Technology
LEOMO has developed a portable, laboratory-grade motion analysis system for runners (and cyclists, too) with the aim of enhancing running mechanics, improving form efficiency and, ultimately, boosting performance. Utilizing its palm-sized TYPE-S device (that’s about the size of three energy gel packets) and five motion sensors, the system tracks specific aspects of a runner’s gait via five proprietary metrics known as motion performance indicators, it can give cues for real-time form adjustments and long-term development via strength building and form drills.
Atreyu Running Shoes
A few years ago, Michael Krajicek was an out-of-shape, struggling hot dog cart
operator in Louisiana when he discovered running and found his new jam. Now he’s
super fit and lives in Austin, Texas, where he’s a budding running shoe entrepreneur.
He launched his Atreyu brand earlier this year with a unique subscription model that be
believes will allow his company to produce high-quality, lightweight shoes for as low as
$75 (for the customer who buys multiple pairs per year). The first shoes (and
subscriptions) will be available after July 1.
This unique new mouthpiece device is designed to increase an athlete’s performance
and endurance by creating resistance during every exhale. That process is known as
PEEP — positive-end expiratory pressure — and it has been shown to increase blood
oxygen levels in runners and other endurance athletes. Independent lab tests at Texas
A&M University and Houston Methodist Hospital have shown the GO² Device increase
VO2 Max by 4.1 percent and overall endurance by 5.8 percent. The company says
training with this device will help a 4-hour marathoner run 10 minutes faster and a 3-
hour marathoner run 5-6 minutes faster.
MOBO Board is the mother of all strength-building, mobility boards, an ideal tool for
improving a runner’s strength, coordination and running mechanics. Developed by Jay
Dicharry, a Bend, Ore., physical therapist and one of the country’s leading running gait
analysts, it’s uniquely designed to help a runner to strengthen their feet and ankles by
mimicking the axis of pronation and supination in the subtalar joint. By engaging in 20-
plus suggested exercises, the MOBO Board can help a runner to achieve incremental
gains in performance and become more injury resilient.
NURVV Run Insoles
NURVV Run Insoles can analyze your running gait and provide actionable coaching cues based on running from data collected by the 16 built-in pressure-point sensors under each foot. The integrated sensors process data from your motion and then offer audible feedback through the NURVV app on your smartphone, Garmin watch or Apple Watch on how you can tweak your stride length, cadence or footstrike pattern to improve performance and reduce injury risk.
Soul Electronics Blade Earphones
Yes, these next-gen, waterproof earphones can play your favorite music and allow you to take a call, but they can also monitor your heart rate and provide real-time gait analysis and voice coaching prompts. The system uses bio-sensors and the Beflex Biomech Engine to monitor heart rate, cadence, speed and elevation, as well as stride length, stride width, vertical oscillation, stance/flight time, impact shock, maximum leg force and stride consistency. Data is displayed in real-time via the SoulFit app in easy-to-read charts to monitor training progress and evaluate injury risks.
Brian Metzler quite literally wrote the book on running shoes as the author of the very well-reviewed “Kicksology: The Hype, Science, Culture & Cool of Running Shoes.” He is a sports journalist who has tested more than 1,500 pairs of running shoes and has raced every distance from 50 yards to 100 miles. He was the founding editor of Trail Runner and Adventure Sports magazines, senior editor at Running Times, and Editor-in-Chief of Competitor magazine. He has also written for Outside, Runner’s World, Triathlete, Men’s Health, and Men’s Journal.