Gear of the Week 8:08.11

August 8th, 2011 in Gear of the Week by 4 Comments

In our new column, “Gear of the Week,” Faster Than Forty drops the dime on the trendiest running products straight from the people who know – the buyers and retail managers at the nation’s best specialty shops. This week Tim Schenone, owner of The Running Revolution, says the following items are moving quickly off his shelves.

The Nike SportWatch GPS is this season’s big seller. With its easy and intuitive interface and low-profile display – and altogether sleek design lines – this product is frequently finding its way to the register. Shenone, an advocate of the product, is amazed at how many people purchase the watch without having come in to do so. It catches the eyes of customers who are just there to buy shoes, and in some ways it has become a $200 impulse buy. It is sexier and slimmer than, say, the Garmin Forerunner 610. It does not have all the capabilities of the Garmin, but what it lacks in computing power it makes up for in basic usability and looks. At the end of the day it just looks really good on the wrist.

The Minimus is the New Balance’s latest addition to minimalist running vogue. It comes in three styles – forming something of a spectrum from minimalist to mainstream – but all three styles adhere to conventional running shoe aesthetics, trail and road alike. The shoe is a more likely candidate for individuals curious about “barefoot” running but wary of purchasing shoes that depart so radically from the norm. The Minimus is something of a gateway shoe. It has the basic structuring of a minimalist shoe – minimal heel to toe drop, wider toe box, and spare cushioning – while maintaining the semblance of a traditional running shoe. The item sells for around $100.

Schenone is the owner and operator of The Running Revolution stores in Santa Cruz and Campbell, CA. He is a long-time runner and coach and was a member on the formidable cross country team at the University of Colorado, where he studied kinesiology and communications. He has since consulted with major running companies on product development and assumed the role of head coach for the Silicon Valley Team in Training. According to Schenone, Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas have some of the best running trails in the country, and people appreciate the energy we bring to customer service in both the store and running options in the area. Schenone continues to train and run competitively.

Gear of the Week columnist Carlyle Eubank is a graduate of Amherst College, where he ran track and cross country. He is now a scriptwriter living in Los Angeles, and he continues to run competitively. If you have a suggestion for Gear of the Week or need to contact him for any reason, drop him a note here.


Author: FasterThanForty


Good article,

I love my Garmin, but it is big, heavy and doesn’t stay charged for very long. Also it is not intuitive at all. I am looking forward to trying the Nike watch, but every time I go to a store to check it out they are sold out.

Runnig Coach

Brian Wallace


Not sure which Garmin you have. I just got the 305, and while it looks HUGE on my wrist, I don’t find it weighs too much… I have — however — been too damn lazy to install the SW on my laptop yet and really get the benefits from it as they are intended.




If I was able to wear neutral shoes, I’d be interested in trying them out. The ads are amusing!

As for the Nike watch, I think it’s a great design; very trendy. I hope it can live up to the satelite reception accuracy that Garmin uses. If it does, I’ll jump on board.



[…] models that are finding their way to the most feet are the prodigious Vibram Five Fingers, the aforementioned New Balance Minimus, and Nike’s Free […]

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