It’s the last day of 2018. I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on seven of our favourite products from this past year.
Okay, so the first couple of products actually predate the start of 2018, but we brought them last winter, so we’re still including them in the list. The first is the Salomon Speedspike. This was a game changer for a lot of runners here in the Orillia area. With 15 carbide tips on the bottom, combined with the Contagrip sole, traction on hard-packed snow and ice is much less of a worry. Additionally, the ClimaSalomon protection will keep your feet dry and warm.
Another winner from last winter is the Stabilicers snow and ice cleats. We have carried these in both walking and running styles. We really like the Stabilicers because, unlike some of the other attachments that fit over your running shoes, these have cleats embedded in a strong, snug-fitting rubber base. There are no coils or metal chains, so you don’t get a build up of ice and snow between your shoe and the attachment.
One of the top performers this year had to be the Ultra Raptor from La Sportiva. A holdover from the previous year, we had customers report on how well it performed, from trekking on glaciers in Iceland to long hikes in BC’s coastal forests across the country to hiking in Gros Morne Park to hiking in the Himalayas. With incredible support, excellent traction and rugged design, the super comfortable Ultra Raptor works as well as a hiking shoe as it does a long-distance trail running shoe.
Our number-one selling shoe of 2018 was the Fli-Lyte 2 from Topo. Technically a road shoe, we had one person use it for running a 50-mile trail race (!), while many others bought it for running on the road or one of the many hard-packed trails in this area. Others reported how well it performed as a treadmill shoe and even for working 12 hour shifts in the local hospital! The Fli-Lyte 2 incorporates Topo’s 3 design elements – lightweight, wider toe box and low drop – to deliver a really comfortable, well-cushioned shoe.
New to us this year were the amazing compression products from EC3D. Our personal favourite is the Twist sock. Canadian design and manufactured, these socks offer graduated medical grade compression with the added function of being able to “twist” them after exercise to add even more compression for post-run recovery. They’re also extremely comfortable. We’re really looking forward to bringing in even more products from this great Quebec-based company!
Although technically not new in 2018, Kula and Ziggy insisted we give some kudos to our Non-Stop Dogwear products. We’ve had great feedback on our recommended starter-kit package, which includes the Half Harness for the dog (in different sizes), the 2.0 or 2.8 metre elasticized lead and the versatile and super-comfortable, one-size Trekking Belt for the human.
Perhaps Robb’s personal favourite product this year was the Roclite 320 GTX from Inov8. This lightweight, waterproof, high-cut boot proved to be a real game changer for Robb: “I love this shoe! It allowed me to ditch my ankle braces because the boot cut offers enough protection that I don’t have to worry about rolling my ankles. However, it’s light and responsive, so it feels like a runner, not a hiking boot.” The versatile design means you can run with it on muddy to hard-packed trails, even in the snow.
Wishing you Happy Trails and Happy Tails in 2019!