In the second of our reports from the recent ISPO outdoor trade show in Munich, we bring you our list of the best mountain running products available next autumn/winter…
Winter mountain running is demanding, complex and challenging, for both athletes and gear designers alike. Products need to be lightweight and breathable yet warm, durable and capable of standing up to brutal winter conditions. Freezing temperatures, slippery terrain, shin deep snow and relentless rain are all on the agenda in the winter months but judging from the gear on show at this year’s ISPO, alpine runners should be able to take next year’s winter running season in their stride.
Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas? Probably but who cares? Here are some of our favourite products for next winter:
1. SCARPA ATOM TECH OD
The Atom Tech OD is basically a scaled down version of the ISPO award-winning lightweight boot, the Ribelle, optimised for alpine running. The Vibram FIXION TECH sole is built to withstand burly terrain and winter traction and stability is delivered via Vibram Megagrip technology. The Sock-Fit Plus inner with OutDry technology makes this an exceptionally light, breathable and waterproof shoe designed for mountain runners and ultra athletes at the peak of their game.
2. LA SPORTIVA WINTER RUNNING SHOES
They often say the best things come in threes but when it comes to the new winter running line-up from La Sportiva, we’re looking at four great bits of kit. The big dog of the bunch is the Crossover 2.0 GTX – an updated version of the original with a breathable, water-resistant gaiter, FriXion outer sole, Impact Brake System and GORE Flex construction. The super flexible, slip-on Uragano GTX is the middle option in terms of protection whilst the Tempesta GTX is the one to turn to for every day winter training when there’s no real need for a high gaitered waterproof shoe. Last but not least – the Akyra and Akyra GTX are basically a more rugged version of our favourite shoe from last summer – the Akasha. The Akyra is an aggressively lugged shoe with a 9mm drop compared to the Akasha’s 6mm.
3. THE NORTH FACE HYPER AIR GTX JACKET
The 135g Hyper Air GTX jacket is part of TNF’s Flight Series – their premium running collection – and uses GORE-TEX’s brand new Shake Dry technology which performs just exactly as it sounds. Shake Dry is the lightest and most breathable GORE-TEX fabric around and has been added to the Hyper Air GTX to put an end to that toe-curling sensation of your jacket sticking to your skin when it gets wet. Like a horrible shower curtain in a cheap hotel. Yuck.
4. BERGHAUS HYPER 100
If you can’t wait until next winter then there’s one product that you can get your hands on in the next couple of months – the seriously impressive, highly breathable and uber-light Hyper 100 from Berghaus. At less than 100g, the Hyper 100 is the lightest 3-layer waterproof on the market, which puts it smack bang on the radar of every fast and light athlete on the planet. The fact that it has picked up awards at both ISPO and OutDoor just reinforces the message – get one. As fast as you can.
5. CAMELBAK QUICK STOW CHILL SOFT FLASK
Soft water bottles are excellent for mountain running – they’re easy to carry, they’re collapsible so easy to store in your race vest and most importantly, they’re light. The only problem is that in wintertime, they’re prone to freezing up pretty quickly if you’re running in a seriously cold environment. Enter the new ISPO award-winning Camelbak Quick Stow Chill Soft Flask – the only insulated soft water bottle that prevents your sports drink from turning into a ice lolly.
REPORT BY SOPHIE NICHOLSON