The Stick

The Stick

The Stick has been around for a while. I’ve seen guys hawking it at those trade-fair venues set up before marathons and tris for years. Now I finally got one. Been training for another marathon, and for the first time I have a hamstring issue. Thus, I ordered The Stick. The company touts it as an athletic panacea, making “muscles feel better, work harder, last longer and recover faster.” In reality, it’s more or less a therapeutic rolling pin for your legs. . .

Newton Running Gravity Shoes Review

Newton Running Gravity Shoes Review

The long-awaited Gear Junkie column on Newton Running’s Gravity Shoes debuts today in the Billings Gazette, one of my syndicate newspapers. The initial blog and review of the shoes on this site created more buzz than any other write-up this year. Now three months later — and a couple hundred running miles down the road — I’m ready to offer some opinions and conclusions on these $175 shoes. Do the promises live up to the hype? Not to mention the price tag? Read on to see my take. . .

Inov-8 Race Pro 12 Pack

Inov-8 Race Pro 12 Pack

Inov-8’s new Race Pro 12 is an “elite lightweight hydration pack” made for trail running, cycling, adventure racing, and other off-trail excursions where speed is goal No. 1. Indeed, this pack weighs less than a pound when empty (15.5 ounces), and includes a minimal feature set: There’s about 12 liters of capacity in the main compartment; a large stretch mesh pocket on back; hip-belt pockets; reflective piping for nighttime visibility; and a nice harness system that hugs when you run. Oh, and did I mention the horizontal hydration bladder. . .

Kahtoola MICROSpikes

Kahtoola MICROSpikes

Yes, these are crampons. Well, sort of. Pedestrian crampons. But with 10 spikes, each one 3/8-inch long, and made of stainless steel, the Kahtoola MICROSpikes could do real work paired with hiking boots or running shoes to provide traction on snow and ice. A “shoe harness” made of a stretchy rubber flexes as you step in, then cinches tight. And they’re so packable and light that people (me, for example) will be tempted to try and employ them for easy mountaineering. My pair arrived in the mail yesterday, and I can say I am intrigued. . .

Primal Quest gear, part I: Trekking

Primal Quest gear, part I: Trekking

Say a prayer for the Gear Junkie. By the time many of you read this, I will be off into the wild yonder of the Primal Quest adventure race, a 10-day, 500-mile multidisciplinary event taking place in late June this year in the Utah desert. As a member of a four-person squad called Team Bulleit, I’ll go nonstop, day and night, through mountains and canyons, desert plains and deep forests. A map and compass will be our only guide through a vast and unmarked wilderness course.