Bend is still an undiscovered runner's paradise. From sprinting up Pilot Butte to exploring the Deschutes River Trail, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of exciting options. Whether you are training for a marathon or simply jogging for fun, here are some locally available gear choices that will keep you looking and feeling good.
Craft PR Shorts
Craft, the venerable Swedish apparel company with a reputation for design and quality, has designed the perfect running short. The PR short, with its three-inch inseam, provides fashionable coverage without impeding movement. The surprisingly soft synthetic fabric is both windproof and breathable. Perfect for hot days on High Desert trails, the short has airy mesh panels to ventilate sweat zones, reflective mesh striping and a key pocket. SRP $39.99; Foot Zone, 845 NW Wall St., Bend; 541.317.3568; www.craft-usa.com.
Point6 Ultra Light Mini Running Socks
Made with 100 percent spun merino wool, the 1-¼-inch cuffed socks fit better than any synthetic or cotton model we've tested. Advanced knitting techniques make possible woven-in arch and ankle braces for support and fit, plus ventilation panels across the instep for added breatheability. The heel and toe are reinforced with nylon for durability, and toe seams are hand-looped, meaning there's no irritating ridge under or above your toes. They are machine washable, but we recommend hang drying. SRP $14.95; Birkenstock of Bend, 836 NW Wall St., Bend, 541.389.4688, www.point6.com.
Saucony ProGrid Kinvara Running Shoe
Catering to the cheetah in all of us, the ProGrid Kinvara is the poster-shoe for fast and light. This minimalist running shoe weighs just 14 ounces per pair (men's size 9) and provides excellent cushion and stability. The Kinvara has a thin EVA footbed to maximize rebound, and heel that's slightly (4mm) lower than the forefoot - providing the quicker transition of shoeless running without the increased risk of knee pain and plantar fasciitis. $90, Fleet Feet Sports, 1320 NW Galveston, Bend, 541 389.1601, www.saucony.com.
Patagonia Overhead Sports Bra
With an excellent fit (it's not cut too high under the arms) and good support for high-motion sports, the Overhead Bra is terrific for running, lounging, climbing or biking. The quick-wicking material is 69 percent recycled polyester. The yarn includes blended nylon and lycra for durability and stretch. The Overhead comes in traditional black and white colors, but the rose and blue colors are best if you're planning on wearing this jog bra sans shirt. Sizes range from XS-XL, but we recommend it for A to C cup sizes - anyone more full-figured will want something with increased support. SRP $45, Patagonia of Bend, 920 NW Bond, Bend, 541.382.6694, www.patagonia.com
This lightweight ball-style cap has an easy-to-adjust sizing strap and soft sweat absorbing, cushioning inner band. The polyester shell material is waterproof, windproof, and machine washable. Best of all, the cap has highly reflective stripes and logo - garnering it a rating of "high visibility" according to the European Standard, EN71 (Europeans have ratings for nearly everything). SRP $25, www.headsweats.com.
Timex Ironman Sleek
Training watches are generally too complicated, but this isn't the case with Timex's new TapScreen technology. Rather than requiring you to grope for micro-buttons, the watch reacts to a quick tap on the face. Our tests like the large-digit display and curved lens, as they are easy to see on the go. Features include audible alerts that let you know if you are on pace or doggin' it. SRP $89.95, www.timex.com.
New Balance Minimus Trail
Barefoot running is glamorous and trendy, but the bottom line is that it's not very comfortable. No matter how much we improve our stride, sticks and stones still prevail. The Minimus Trail is advertised as a "better-than-barefoot" experience, and we have to agree. Weighing in at 8.5 oz.
(men's 9), the shoe has significantly less drop from heel to forefoot position, promoting a more neutral stance and natural stride by encouraging a mid-foot landing (rather than the traditional heel strike). The shoe has a stretchy synthetic/mesh upper that provides protection and support without excess weight. SRP $100, Fleet Feet Sports, 1320 NW Galveston, Bend, 541 389.1601, www.newbalance.com
Kaenon Hard Kore Sunglasses
Sunglasses are becoming increasingly more sport-specific. We like ones that adapt to a variety of sports. The Hard Kore is highly functional - with ergonomic rubber temples and nose pad. And the lightweight, du
rable frame appeals to our sporty nature, but doesn't scream "Olympic wanna be." The polarized lenses are "8 Base Curve," which in lens-lingo means that they maintain their optics, despite a "wrapped" shape. The lenses are dark enough for bright sun, but have sufficient light transmission so that you'll not stumble in dark conditions. Hard Kore is Rx adaptable utilizing SR-91 Rx lenses. $214-$224 (depending on color); Eyes on Wall St., 822 NW Wall, Bend, 541.382.4756; www.kaenon.com.