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!

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.

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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.

 

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!

#LoveYourRun Recipe: Chickpea and Cherry Frittata

February 18th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

One of our favorite things about Sunday morning workouts is the breakfast waiting for us on our return. With abundant carbs, protein and antioxidants, this amazing frittata recipe from Runner’s World is the perfect recovery meal.

Via Runner’s World (http://www.runnersworld.com/recipes/recipe-chickpea-and-cherry-frittata)

Ingredients
8 eggs, lightly whisked
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped fresh cherries or 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup loosely packed, torn fresh mint leaves for garnish

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, mix the eggs, chickpeas, cherries, goat cheese, almond milk, thyme, agave nectar and cream of tartar. In a medium ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes without stirring. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake till the eggs are puffed and set in the middle, about 20 minutes. Let the frittata cool for 5 to 10 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently work the frittata out of the pan and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve garnished with the mint. Serves four to six.

Nutrition Information

Calories Per Serving: 395
Carbs: 25 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 22 g
Fat: 22 g

Introduction to Building your Training Base

February 12th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

It is hard to believe that we are already two weeks into February 2014. As we plan our training and races for the year we can’t forget to look at the fundamentals, especially building our preseason base.

Aptly titled, the goal of the base phase portion of a training plan is to create a strong foundation for us to build our harder workouts and races efforts off of. Why is this so important? Not only does a proper base phase help minimize the potential for injury, more importantly it builds the muscular, cardiovascular and bio-chemical processes that our bodies need to reach our full potential.

The principle component of a proper foundation is the LSD (Long Slow Day). The goal is to get out and put the miles in while keeping our efforts aerobic. Think conversational pace. In fact, this is the perfect time to do group runs and catch up with friends. If you can’t carry a conversation, you are going too fast!

As our foundation becomes stronger we can start throwing in limited efforts, such as a fartlek once a week, to spice things up and prepare the body for the higher intensity work down the road. However, these types of workouts should be saved for the latter portion of the base phase. For example, if we have planned our base phase to last a month (the minimum time period required to build a proper base) the first three weeks would be made entirely of LSDs, with the third week having a workout with an effort.

The secondary component of preseason training is to hit the weight room and work on muscular deficiencies that we might have, specifically our core and upper body strength. This is the perfect time to do this because as the season develops, and our training becomes sport specific, we won’t have the time to work on focused strength training. Again, here it is important to add weight slowly. The goal is not to build explosive power, but consistent strength.

These are just the basic fundamentals for developing your preseason base training. For additional information on how to plan your training cycle we recommend contacting a USA Triathlon Certified Coach.

2014 Spring Footwear

February 11th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

With the cold weather that we have suffered through this winter in the U.S., it sometimes felt that spring would never come. But now, looking at the calendar, it’s almost here. It’s time to start digging through our training and race gear to see what we need to update and replace. Let’s start with our feet. Check out our new spring footwear, online now

Ultra TT 7.0 – (Lightweight / Neutral / Racing & Training)
The Ultra TT 7.0 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.

Ultra Race 4.0 – (Lightweight / Neutral / Racing)
The Ultra Race 4.0 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.

Ultra Tempo 6.0 – (Lightweight / Guidance / Racing & Training)
The Ultra Tempo 6.0, 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.

Ovwa 2.0 – (Lightweight / Guidance / Racing & Training)
The Ovwa 2.0 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.

Kiawe 2.0 – (Lightweight / Neutral / Racing)
The Kiawe 2.0 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.

#LoveYourRun Playlist

February 7th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Sometimes the right music is the key to dominating a workout.  Here are the songs that help us – we hope it will help you with yours.

#LoveYourRun on Rdio - http://rd.io/x/Rl5WIrUvKVku/

  • Always On The Run – Lenny Kravitz
  • Keep On Running – The Spencer Davis Group
  • Stand Inside Your Love – Smashing Pumpkins
  • Run Through The Jungle – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Run To You – Bryan Adams
  • Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Love Me Till The Sun Shines – The Kinks
  • When Love Comes To Town – U2
  • Fox On The Run – Sweet
  • Run Run Run – The Who
  • Finding Out True Love Is Blind – Louis XIV
  • Lovely 2 C U – Goldfrapp
  • Runaway – Andy Caldwell
  • Love Generation feat. Gary Nesta Pine – Bob Sinclar
  • Better Run – Tocadisco, Nadia Ali
  • The Fields Of Love (ATB Featuring York) – ATB
  • Love Will feat. Duane Harden – Ferry Corsten
  • Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina
  • Say Hey (I Love You) feat. Cherine Anderson – Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Run On – Moby

Our Key Warm Up Tips

February 5th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Like any machine, the human body needs to be warmed up before we use it. Not doing so increases our chance of injury while also limiting our potential out of the starting gate. It is hard to #LoveYourRun if our bodies are seizing up on us.

We all understand the idea of getting our blood flowing and loosening our muscles, but a proper warm-up also activates the bodies various systems so that we can perform at our best level. Here are our three favorite tips to get us ready for that big workout or race.

Static is Out, Dynamic is In
Traditionally stretching was static. It was based on the idea of holding various poses for 30 seconds to a minute to make us limber. However, while studies have shown that this is still useful to help you relax and calm the nervous system, it does not help us train.

Instead, prior to exercising we should be stretching dynamically. This has the benefit of improving power, strength and performance. When we dynamically stretch we move our muscles through their full range of motion in a repeated and smooth fashion. The goal is to activate the muscles that we’ll be using during the workout. It is important that we don’t overextend our muscles or be forceful, because this will lead to injuries.

Start Slowly
Because we all have limited time to get our training blocks in, we can be easily tempted to skip the warm up and jump right into the workout. We have to ignore that impulse and slowly ramp up our exercise. Our bodies need time to become aware of what we are about to ask of them. This is especially important if we are tired or sore. By not giving the body enough time to wake up, we are only asking for injury.

Listen to Your Body
We ask a lot from our bodies. We train continuously so that we can compete in three distinct sports. In return, it is important that we listen to what our bodies have to say. There will be days that a minimal warm up is all we need before we hit the trail. On other days, we might have to run several miles on the track before our bodies start to respond. By listening to this feedback we can keep our bodies healthy and strong and needlessly miss training days through easily avoidable injuries.