Friday, January 26, 2018

Winter Outdoor Retailer 2018 Day One Previews-Running Sunglasses: Julbo, Bolle, Zeal, Smith, Oakley. Sole Insoles. Balega. Merrell, LaSportiva, Salomon

by Jeff Valliere

This was my first trip to a trade show and though it was Winter OR and heavy on ski and snow, there were still more running related items of interest than I could possibly fit into one day.  So I will go back tomorrow for more!

Of interest on today's visit...


We'll soon be putting together a roundup of the best running/outdoor sunglasses being offered in 2018

Heading up those options is the new Julbo Aerospeed.  Building off of the already crazy light Aero and then Aerolite (review here) with their super effective any light conditions Zebra Light photochromic lenses , the Aerospeed offers a variety of Zebra and Spectron lens options to accommodate a wide variety of lighting conditions.  The Aerospeed is larger for larger faces or for those looking for more protection when cycling or windy conditions.  Though larger, they feel as light or lighter than previous siblings and have a nice adjustable nose bridge and anti fog.
Update: Read our full review of the Aerospeed here

Aerospeed Spec Sheet:

Smith also has a really nice option we plan to include with the Attack Sunglasses.  The Attack with similar design to the Pivlock, has a new magnetic lens swap system to nearly eliminate the possibility of wear when swapping.  Comes with 2 Chromapop lenses shown below, plus a photochromic lens available for an additional $100 (on top of the $249 base price).

Oakley joins in with the EVZero, similar frameless design for unobstructed view of the trail with Prizm lens for high definition clarity.  $173.

Zeal Optics has quite a few offerings and are made of plant based environmentally friendly materials, with photochromic options combined with polarization.  Zeal Optics has more lifestyle based designs that transition well to everyday use without looking like the dorky runner or cyclist that we really are, yet while still maintaining athletic performance.

Also included in the sunglasses round up will be Vuarnet and Bolle, but I failed to get any good photos.  Of cross training/run injury recovery interest from Bolle, we'll be checking out the new Trackdown Mips helmet with removable visor and sunglasses garage and of course the added safety feature of Mips that helps protect from rotational forces upon impact.  I mentioned that this helmet suspiciously looked like a POC, where I learned a former POC designer has something to do with this.

Sole - Custom Molded Insoles - Now including models made of recycled cork for various athletic or casual endeavors and even models shaped to fit the wider forefoot Altras, we look forward to giving these a go on the roads and trail soon.

Balega Socks - Manufactured in South Africa using yarns from the US, including a non pilling and comfortable Mohair model to avoid blistering.  Supportive, durable, varying lengths from mid calf to no show and the company is environmentally and socially conscious to boot (or sock).


Merrell is featuring their new Agility Synthesis Flex which at 9oz. and $110 looks like a great new addition to their varied line of trail shoes.  This colorway looks really sharp as well.

La Sportiva
We are really eagerly awaiting the (hopefully soon) arrival of the Unika, Lycan and Lycan Gore Tex.  The Lycan has a low profile tread for faster running on moderate trails with the Gore Tex version featuring the typical deep lugs/lug pattern normally found on the Mutant for maximal traction off trail and in snowy conditions. See our detailed Spring 2018 LaSportiva preview here.

Men's Unika

Women's Unika

Men's Lycan, fast, light and sleek.

Women's version of the Lycan

Gore Tex Lycan, I really can't wait to get this shoe out in the hills.

More details on the upcoming LaSportiva Spring 2018 line including Unika, Lykan, and Vertical K at Sam's The Running Event article here.

Sam has covered most of the Fall 2018 details in his The Running Event post here, but Salomon is just killing it, with a wide array of new shoes that are sure to have an impact.  Though their naming and re-naming conventions totally make my head spin, we are getting very close to reviewing.

S/Lab Ultra
Stack Height: 26mm/18mm (8mm drop)
Weight: 10.6 oz./300g (US 9M)
MSRP: $180. Available March 2018

UPDATE 4/18: Read our in depth review of the S/Lab Ultra here

Ultra Pro ($150)
Weight: US M9 10.3 oz/292 g, US W8 8.8 oz/251 g
Stack Height: Coming soon but similar to S/Lab Ultra
$150. Available Fall 2018

Sense Ride GTX 
The Sense Ride GTX has its Gore membrane laminated directly to the upper instead of the more conventional inner Gore bootie. This leads to a lighter upper and a more flexible one with less chance of dirt abrading the membrane and moisture accumulating between outer and inner layers.

Sense Pro 3
Weight: US M9 8.9 oz/255 g, US W8 7.9 oz/226 g
Stack Height: Coming soon
MSRP: $130. Available August 2018

Lug depth could not be confirmed, but I am going to declare them 6mm, as they definitely seem deeper and more aggressive than the 5mm lugs on the XA Elevate.  I am at least as excited for these as the Ultra shoes above, especially for the off trail chaff I often get myself into.


Dogs - OR is a totally dog friendly trade show. I have a fifteen year old Aussie mix and seeing these two Aussies at the show was a highlight.  The 12 week old pup was so cute, I almost picked one up on the way home (except that I took the RTD bus, so that idea was out).  If anyone is considering putting up an Aussie pup for RTR mountain run reviewing, please let me know!

Jeff Valliere is a former pro cyclist who now runs and climbs the mountains of Colorado. He has been top 5 Masters, top 25 overall, at the Pike's Peak Marathon several times, finishing 2d Masters in 2015. Jeff loves vertical accumulating more than 500,000 vertical feet per year, has climbed all the Colorado 14's and 200 of the 13's and has held FKT on several. 

For Reviewers full run bios see our Reviewers Bio Page here.

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Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does the Sense Pro 3 just seem like a modified version of the Sense 6 Softground with a slightly wider lug? Don't get me wrong, I think it will be a great shoe, I just worry about differentiation.

Sam Winebaum said...

I think Sense Pro 3 more like as far as fit like 2017 SLab Sense Ultra than Sense 6 SG. With bigger lugs than 2017 Ultra
Sam, Editor.

Jeff Valliere said...

Not sure on fit until I actually try one on, but the shoe seems to have more overall substance than the S/Lab Sense 6 SG and the lugs appear to be much more durable and aggressive. Can't wait for this one!

Chad said...

Will there be a new version of the Salomon Sense Max? Also, I noticed the Sense Pro 2 and Sense Max are made in India instead of China like the rest of the Sense line. These don't fit me as well as the Pro 1 (was made in China) or other China made Salomon shoes. Not that I care what 3rd world country they're made in, but is this continued for the Pro 3 or any other Salomon shoes?

Jeff Valliere said...

Unknown, I have not heard any rumblings of a new Pro Max. As far as which shoe is built where, I don't think that topic has actually ever really hit my radar, or if is has, only slightly so. Perhaps Sam may have some info, or a good question for Salomon directly.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Unknown, The Salomon Fall Winter 2018 catalog shows the Pro Max continuing as is. Changes if any likely would occur for Spring 2018
Sam, Editor
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