Gear of the Week 8:26.11

August 26th, 2011 in Articles by 6 Comments

In our 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 Travis Hildebrand, general manager of Salt Lake Running Co. sings the praises of Yurbuds:

The Yurbuds Personalized Earphone Series, Hildebrand explains, are the solution to ill-fitting, uncomfortable, or easily damaged headphones. The Yurbuds earbud takes a flawed idea and improves it to an inspired level of function, performance, and appearance. Runners frequently complain that their earphones slip out, irritate their ears, or go on the fritz with too much exposure to sweat. Yurbuds are an ergonomic, agreeable, and hard-wearing answer.

The design/improvement is simple: It is a normal-looking earbud with a modular, silicone attachment to make the bud malleable, snug, and sweat proof. Unlike other earbuds, the Yurbud is engineered with a more ear-specific shape. It fits neatly into the folds of the ear rather than assaulting it with a one-size or one-shape-fits-all strategy, and it funnels sound directly into the ear canal for better acoustiv quality. These earbuds are like enjoying dulcet, articulate speakers in a sound-proof room rather than hearing your neighbor’s clamoring garage band.

The aesthetics of the Yurbuds are pleasing. They are clean, simple and available in multiple color schemes (blue/white; red/black; and all black). In addition to the basic earbud design, Yurbuds also has a behind-the-ear model which combines the inner ear snugness with total ear security. Yurbuds also just released a hands-free accessory to make song-surfing or phone calls more effortless (and in some cases legal). Yurbuds will be viable for as long as running with music does, Travis asserts.

Travis Hildebrand was born in Bakersfield CA, and attended Butte College, where he ran cross country. His initial success landed him a scholarship to the University of Utah where he ran for the remainder of his NCAA eligibility. He was University of Utah’s first-ever Mountain West Conference indoor 5,000-meter champion and outdoor 10,000-meter champion. He stopped running competitively to start a family and focus on his career with the Salt Lake Running Co. He has worked for and grown with the company for 12 years. He still runs for the shear enjoyment of it.

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.

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Author: FasterThanForty


Although I usually don’t run with an mp3-player or iPod, I use it heaps when riding my bike. This new product sounds like a neat way to make the ride more enjoyable and – maybe evwn more important – save.

Thanks for the review!



I always use an mp3 player when I workout. Running, biking, swimming. I have gone through so many headphones that I could start an airline company. I am looking forward to seeing if these work and how long they will last. Also does anyone know if they will work in water.

Well written article thanks for this, really helps!

Brian Wallace


I made the mistake, one time at the Stanford XC Invite, of dumping water on my head while I had headphones in. Not only did the sound travel a lot louder into my head, but I damn near electrocuted myself. I have often wondered what is keeping the accessory industry from producing sweat-proof headphones. Looks like that’s been answered.

Brian, I would guess that these may not be suitable for underwater use. But, then again, if manufactures make water proof ipod cases, they’re bound to make water proof headphones. Maybe these’ll work if you go with the behind-the-ear model. Good luck.



I tried the headphones and love them. My old pair would slip out and change volume the longer i ran, these do niether.


Brian Wallace


I typically only use earbuds when I run on a treadmill, but even then it was difficult to find a pair that would sit properly. Maybe I’ll try these to see if they work any better. I need some way of getting pumped up!



Shocked by how good these are.

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