Testing my new TNF winter running gear on a snowy trail
Photo credit: Jon Gilbert
A little back story. This past July I received an invitation via my website from The NorthFace to join a three day press trip at the 2017 Run the Rut in Big Sky Montana, all expenses paid. I was thrilled and honored. I would be joining elite runners, testing spring 2018 TNF products, and attending a Flight Series presentation. I was super excited. Then I saw the date of the event - September 1-3. Shucks! I was already registered to run the Wildcat 100 mile ultramarathon in Penscola, Fl. the same weekend. My husband and I had reserved a Cruise America RV and purchased our airplane tickets to Florida. Biscayne and Everglades, our 18th and 19th national parks, were part of our itinerary.
I had to decline the invitation. I was disappointed. I love Montana. We were there a few years ago while hiking in Yellowstone. But all was not lost. I offered to test products and write a review in my blog. Last week I received some winter running gear. On Saturday and the first snowfall of the season, I sported and tested the Flight Series Touji jacket, tights, and short sleeve shirt. I laced up my Endurus TR trail shoes. I slipped on my Runners Etip gloves. I went out for a 9 mile trail run. My husband joined me. I never run alone on trails. Snow was falling. The temperature was 32 degrees at the start of my run. By the end of the 9 miles, the temperature had dipped to 29 degrees.
TNF winter running gear
Photo credi: Miriam Diaz-Gilbert
FLIGHT TOUJI JACKET
I love this light weight insulated water repellent slim fit jacket. The sleeves are perfect for my long arms. My backside is pretty flat but if you want your backside covered, this jacket is for you. Even though I'm a pink kind of gal, I like the jacket's eggplant color. It complements a scarf I knitted a couple of years ago, my pink headband, and my pink, purple, black and white wool hat. The jacket's two front zippered pockets are very roomy. In one pocket I zipped in my iPhone; in other, my prescription Oakley sports glasses. There's plenty of room for much more. The hidden mitts inside the jacket sleeves are a nice touch. The only problem I experienced was unzipping the front zipper. It kept getting caught in the inner fabric. The zipper needs to zip smoothly. Or maybe, I'm just zipper-challenged.
FLIGHT TOUJI TIGHTS
My other brand of running tights are size medium. I like my running tights close to skin-tight. When I was asked my size for the test products, I indicated a M or L. The size depends on how the item is made. My Touji tights are a large. They are not skin-tight. They were baggy around my legs. I wore a layer underneath and I still had lots of room around my legs. I don't have big hips. These tights make me look hippy. I really had to pull the draw strings in the waistband tight to secure the tights in place. I think medium tights would have been a better fit. However, these Touji tights kept me very warm and dry. My legs never felt cold. I recommend these tights but, if possible, try them on for size and fit.
Head-to-toe in TNF winter running gear,
minus my scarf and headband
Photo credit: Jon Gilbert
FLIGHT TOUJI SHORT SLEEVE RUNNING SHIRT
This light weight large short sleeve running shirt, also eggplant color, is so comfortable. Because it was short sleeve, I layered it with my black long sleeve winter compression top and wore it underneath the jacket.
ENDURUS TR TRAIL SHOES
I love these trail shoes! I must confess that ever since I fell shoveling snow back in February 2014 and suffered a left humerus fracture a month before the NJ 100 mile ultra, I have been leery about running in snow. I worry I might slip and fall. I showed up anyway with my arm in a sling and my hiking pole in my right hand just to complete one 10 mile loop on a cold trail peppered with mud, frozen snow, and icy patches. But I digress.
Wish I had been shoveling snow with these Endurus TR trail shoes! I'm a size 10 shoe. I like my running shoes a half-size or one full-size bigger. I like room in the toe area. My Endurus TR shoes are size 11. The fit is great. They are very comfortable. I ran smoothy on the snow. No slipping or sliding. The bright orange Vibram soles provide great traction. At about mile 5, I had to cross the road to get to the other side of the trail. I could not avoid a slush puddle. I felt two big slush drops find their way into the inside of my right shoe. My sock got wet. But in no time, it was wet-free. When I got home, both socks were dry. It was as if I had not been running on snowy trails and wet pavement. I can't wait to run in my Endurus TR trail shoes again!
RUNNERS 2 ETIP GLOVES
These size M unisex gloves failed to meet my expectations. I have piano fingers. I like my running gloves nice and snug. These Etip gloves were too big. When I first slipped on the right hand glove, two of my fingers found themselves in the big index finger of the glove. Because the gloves were loose, my fingers did get cold during my run. To remedy this problem, next time I wear these gloves, I will layer my hands with a set of my snug gloves A smaller pair of these Etip gloves would fit better. I like running gloves that clip on to each other when not in use. This helps me not to misplace and lose them. I suggest including clips instead of the yellow pull-on loops. I don't find the loops practical. However, the touchscreen capability make using the thumb and index finger of the Etip gloves super easy on my iPhone.
My TNF Flight Series running gear and Endurus TR trail shoes
will keep me warm, dry, and moving forward on the trails this winter
Photo credit: Jon Gilbert
Click here to check out the Flight Series winter running gear, trail shoes, and gloves on
The North Face website.