Solana Shoe Review

June 16th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Ben Hoffman Racing in the Solana, St. George 70.3

Ben Hoffman, 4-time Ironman winner and Pro Zoot triathlete, shares his experience with testing the new Zoot Solana running shoes.

As a Zoot Sports sponsored professional triathlete for the last 3 years, I have been fortunate to bear witness to some awesome changes in the company’s product line. Some of the most exciting progress has come in footwear, and it has been part of my job to wear new prototypes and help in the development of new technologies, offering input from my constant training and racing. The latest and greatest in the lineup is the Solana, and it scores big on many levels.

I’ve been running in the Solana now for almost two months, and as with virtually every new shoe on offer from Zoot, the first thing I noticed in the Solana is the glove-like fit. The shoe wraps around the foot with incredible comfort, offering ample support while simultaneously allowing it to be where it wants to be naturally. Secure while comfortable. There is no unwarranted restrictive aspect, or excessively overbuilt components.  The seamless bonds and stitching add to the sleeve feeling which is now distinctive in the Zoot lineup. Despite adequate support and comfort, it’s not at a weight penalty: these are lightweight shoes with a very responsive and stable ride providing immediate feedback to the athlete.

Finally, the new Solana ranks high on my shoe choices because of its versatility. Just over a month ago I opted to race in the Solana at Ironman St. George 70.3 for the US Championships, after testing it in a shorter sprint distance event in April.  With such a hilly and demanding run course, I needed the perfect blend of cushioned comfort, lightweight performance, and responsive ride to carry me through the ups and downs of one of the hardest courses around. The new blown outsole and seamless upper delivered, carrying me to a strong 1:13 half-marathon split and 7th place finish against the best athletes in the world.  For my training runs before the race and after?  The Solana, naturally.

To learn more about the Zoot’s newest running shoe, the Solana, click here.

Next up, Ben will defend his title and course record at Ironman Coeur d’Alene on June 29th.

 

 

Zoot Partners with Team Katusha

May 20th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

We are happy to announce that Zoot has partnered with UCI Pro-Team Katusha. We will be providing them shoes for both off bike training and the podium ­– where we hope to see them often!

Zoot – we make shoes so comfortable that even pro cyclists wear them!

Learn more on Team Katusha’s site

New Award Winning Gear? Yep, We’ve Got It!

May 13th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Zoot Gear – Triathlete Magazine "Best in Class"

It’s that time of year and Triathlete Magazine has released their 2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide. The editors and contributors have once again done an amazing job surveying the width and breath of tri gear. As always, certain gear rises to the top and stands out against the rest for pure performance. These items are given the designation of “Best in Class.” This year they have awarded that honor to four items from the Zoot line!

Zoot gear designated Best in Class are:
-        Ultra Tri Bag
-        Women’s Ultra Tri Racesuit
-        Men’s & Women’s TT 7.0
-        Men’s & Women’s Z Force 3.0 Wetsuits

Learn more about this gear.

What Makes a Tri Shoe Special?

April 10th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

When first looking for tri shoes the big question for many is, “Why do I need these?” Well, here is the answer. Tri shoes have specific design details to minimize the time we spend in T2. In fact, we believe so heavily in the need for a tri shoe that we were the first manufacturer to make triathlon specific shoes.

Here is what makes Zoot tri shoes special:
- The liner is designed to be extremely comfortable for sockless wear
- The traditional tongue has been replaced with a single piece upper to make it easier to put your shoe on
- The shoes feature a quick lacing system
- The soles have drainage holes (because who has time to dry off before the run?)
- They are extremely light, so they feel amazing on your feet

Now we hope that doesn’t make you think that our road and training shoes aren’t special in their own right. When Zoot introduced our road shoes, we took all the lessons that we learned from making the most comfortable shoes for the hardest sport on earth, and translated them over to a traditional road shoe.

To find which shoe is best for you, visit your local retailer. We hope you #LoveYourRun!

Spring is Here!

March 20th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

It’s official, can’t deny it, and no matter what the weatherman says… spring is here!

With that, we are happy to announce that the Zoot spring line is available both in stores and online. Here are the highlights.

Run
ULTRAcell AC with Icefil ® run apparel – Icefil ® technology is a multifunctional, intelligent moisture sensitive fabric designed to keep cool when body temperatures rise. ULTRAcell AC with Icefil ®, which combines Xylitol and thermal radiation nano technology, reduces skin temperature up to 5.4ºF / 3ºC. Micro denier polyester yarns create a moisture-wicking textile that is breathable, quick drying, and provides 50+ UPF sun protection.

Swim
Both our men’s and women’s wetsuits have been updated. The Prophet 2.0 (men / women) continues to be our premier wetsuit.

Tri
We have updated the Ultra tri tank (men / women) and shorts (men / women).

Bike
We have introduced sublimated Italian fabric to our Ultra Cycle Team Kit (men / women).

Shoes
We’ve talked about the shoes before but it doesn’t hurt to review what’s new here either.

The Ultra TT 7.0 (men / women) continues the heritage of triathlon greatness. No other shoe has won more podiums than this shoe. It’s universal in feel thanks to the 10mm offset and CarbonSpan+™. New to this year’s model is the top loaded Z-Bound™ that will simply feel even more alive under your foot.

The Ultra Race 4.0 (men / women) is the most advanced triathlon race day shoe. Built with the amazing glove-like fit of UltraFit™ and the Boa Closure System®, this shoe fits like no other on the planet. With its 8mm offset and CarbonSpan+™, you will feel fast.

The Ultra Tempo 6.0 (men / women), with new top loaded Z-Bound™ for a more responsive feel, continues down the line as one of the best guidance shoes you can run in. The 10mm offset gives it a training feel in a lightweight package.

The Ovwa 2.0 (men / women) has the smoothest ride you’ll find. The 10mm offset, CarbonSpan+™ and top loaded Z-Bound™ makes this race day shoe worthy of your training runs. Two lace options and loads of fun await you.

The Kiawe 2.0 (men / women) has that same great 6mm offset and fast on your feet feel, with an improved entry and a more comfortable fit. With two lace options and only 7.0oz of weight, you are sure to reach for this shoe often.

Flashback to March 2008

March 13th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Flashback to March 2008

We are extremely proud of our storied past. For this episode of #ThrowBackThursday we are looking at a huge milestone for the company – the release of the first tri specific shoe. Here is an excerpt from the 2008 Xtri.com article explaining what made the original Ultra line so special.

- – - -

After years of studying triathletes, and further reinforced by athlete focus groups, Zoot Sports identified four inherent footwear problems specific to triathletes:

Speed of Entry – The need to get in and out of T2 as quickly as possible
Sockless Wear – Triathletes don’t want to take the time to put socks on
Water Retention – Studies have shown that traditional running shoes can gain an additional 30% of their weight during a race
Biomechanics – Athletes run differently after racing a bike

The solution to these problems is the ULTRA Line of Footwear. The initial ULTRA line of Zoot Footwear includes four models in both men’s and women’s styles: the ULTRA Race, an 8.4 ounce neutral racing shoe; the ULTRA TT, a 9.2 ounce neutral lightweight trainer; the ULTRA Tempo+, a 9.5 oz. dual-density midsole stability shoe; and the ULTRA Recovery Sandal, a fully customizable and cushioned sandal that helps reduce swelling and promotes a speedy recovery.

 

Keep them Coming!

March 10th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Here at Zoot we really enjoy seeing photos of the Tribe showing off their Zoot gear – be it an unboxing, the first run, competing, or just something fun. They really do make us proud to be part of this company and sport. So please keep taking them and tagging us. We love them!

 

Nice nails! Photo: @twinkleblue81

 

Zoot – Built from the Inside Out

March 6th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

The average #IRONMAN participant takes over 12 hours to complete the event. That works out to a little over an hour for the swim, six and a half hours for the bike, and five hours for the run.

Think about that for a second. 12 straight hours of grueling work in three disciplines. Us triathletes are special people.

Here at Zoot we keep that in mind when designing our running and triathlon gear. We might be able to handle a rubbing seam or a pinch point for a short run, ride or swim, but for half a day? No way.

That is why we are committed to making the most comfortable gear on the planet. You might not be competing at Kona, but why should you suffer at all?

Zoot – Built from the Inside Out.

Photo: @jordanstiewig

Choosing the Shoe for You

March 5th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Finding the right running shoe can be a difficult task. (Of course, we think that once you have decided to buy a Zoot running shoe half the battle is done. – Ed.) With so many options out there it can feel overwhelming. Even once you pick a brand, the shoe selection can still be difficult with each shoe company offering a myriad of choices in their respective line-ups. Yet there is a reason for this overwhelming amount of choices. Zoot offers ten different shoes that cover everything from racing to training and provide different types of support for every running style. Our shoe finder can be found here: Zoot Shoe Finder.

However, picking a shoe doesn’t have to be hard. Follow our shoe selection guide and you will be out the door and running in no time.

The first step when buying a new shoe is to figure out what type of foot you have. Next you need to decide how you will be using the shoe. Do you want a racer, trainer or something in-between? When making this decision it is important to know that the more race orientated the shoe, the less support and cushioning it will have.  This is done to keep the shoe lightweight for race day.

Once you have these two things figured out it’s time to head over to our shoe finder  at zootsports.com. It will walk you through our men’s and women’s shoe lines and help you pick the right shoe for your needs.

Finally, share with us! We always like hearing from the Zoot Tribe about their experiences with our gear.

Happy running!

Born in Kona

February 27th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Zoot Sports was founded by Christal Nylin in 1983 in Kona, Hawaii – the home of the Ironman Triathlon World Championships. She had noticed that the athletes competing in the Ironman needed something more functional to race in. The problem was that the competitors were using the transition points as changing areas and losing valuable time. What they needed was gear that would allow them to seamlessly transition between swim, bike and run. Christal knew that she could do better and decided to make performance apparel that catered to these elite athletes.

Christal began by sewing pads into run shorts, experimenting with swim fabrics, attaching run singlets to bike shorts, and eventually created one and two-piece race suits for triathletes. With innovative designs, such as the padded Tri Brief, the drop tail, the aerodynamically designed Tri Jersey and the 3″ inseam bike shorts, her tri racesuits immediately gained popularity. And just like today, Zoot’s colorful designs were a large hit with the athletes.

All of these ideas were guided by the same principle that Zoot follows today: Innovative product solutions for multisport athletes.