Altra’s Vanish Carbon 2 Unites Speed and Comfort 

Altra earlier this month launched the second iteration of its Vanish Carbon road racing shoe, featuring a full-length carbon fiber plate that, paired with Altra’s Slim Footshape and zero drop, delivers a 14 percent increase in asymmetry to allow natural foot strike.

“After years of working with elite athletes, we were beyond excited to launch the original Vanish Carbon back in 2022”, according to Altra Running co-founder, Brian Beckstead. “Now, two years later - we are thrilled to launch a more durable, full-plated race shoe. Additionally, by increasing the percentage of Altra Ego Pro and adding a full carbon plate, the Vanish Carbon feels softer than before underfoot, while also allowing for increased asymmetry — and thus, a more natural stride.”

Additionally, a stack height increase from 33mm to 36mm allows for a more cushioned, yet responsive ride. This stack height bump-up paired with a 32 percent increase in Altra Ego Pro midsole cushioning gives the Vanish Carbon 2 a softer feel underfoot for miles and miles of racing.

The Vanish Carbon 2 is available in one white/coral colorway for both men and women with an MSRP of $260.

Currex Insoles Signs USWNT’s Horan

Insole manufacturer Currex recently signed a sponsorship agreement with Lindsey Horan, midfielder and captain of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT).

Under the agreement, Horan will wear Currex’s Cleatpro insoles for cleated footwear “to enhance performance, improve fit and help prevent injuries.” Currex has been the official insole of the USWNT since 2022.

“The benefit of Currex that helps me most is the grip and having an insole specific to me and the way my foot fills in a shoe,” Horan says. “Anything that can assist with improving my game and help with comfort on the field and recovery afterward is exactly what I want, and Cleatpro does exactly that for me.”

Horan joined the USWNT in 2013 and has scored at least one goal every year since 2015, the longest streak of any player on the team. She received multiple honors while playing with Portland Thorns FC.  Horan, the 2019 Women’s World Cup champion, was named U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year in 2021. 

Nike Turning to Air for New Running Product

Air has always been Nike’s most revolutionary and versatile cushioning platform and now it’s at the center of a new supercycle of product innovation rolling out this summer. Nike scientists, researchers and designers had the most advanced tools at their disposal as they explored complex geometries and configurations of Air like never before. The outcome: The next generation of Air, offering new creative possibilities and unparalleled performance for athletes. 

For Kathy Gomez, Nike VP NXT Footwear, the Pegasus Premium is significant not only for its technological breakthroughs, but also for the access it presents to all runners by bringing them world-class cushioning systems — along with a brand-new way to unlock Air Zoom. 

“Air is Nike’s separator in the footwear industry — no one can create cushioning innovations like we can,” says Gomez. “In running, when we combine Air with components like midfoot plates and with platforms like our proprietary foams, we create superior systems for performance. For the Peg Premium, we wanted runners to get the most energy return possible out of the sculpted Air Zoom unit. Not only does it double as a spring-like mechanism, the Air unit is also designed to engage with the entirety of your foot, no matter your gait pattern or stride length.”

Leading the charge in the running space is the Nike Pegasus Premium, scheduled to be released Spring 2025 and featuring features Nike’s first sculpted, visible Air Zoom unit in a running silhouette, leading to a smooth, propulsive ride that delivers more energy return than any other Pegasus. The details:

• Harnessing its proprietary Air technology, Nike debuts the Nike Pegasus Premium, taking the cushioning that runners love from the Pegasus franchise and adding Nike’s first sculpted, visible Air Zoom unit.

• Contoured to the natural profile of the foot, the sculpted Air Zoom unit carries a runner’s power through their transition from heel to toe. The result is a springy, smooth sensation never felt in an Air Zoom unit before. The midsole features ZoomX foam and the heel features ReactX foam, adding to the smooth, propulsive ride mile after mile.

• With its visible sculpted Air Zoom unit and strategically placed foam, the Pegasus Premium returns more energy to the runner than any other model in the Pegasus franchise to date.

• Both a signal of Nike’s innovation supercycle and proof of the power of its proprietary Air, the Pegasus Premium embodies the company’s ability to listen to and serve athletes.

• The Nike Pegasus Premium releases in spring 2025.

Dynafit Drops Four Styles for Spring/Summer 2024

For Spring/Summer 2024, Dynafit is introducing a range of high-performance shoes for trail running. All of the models boast a significant performance-to-weight ratio as well as dialed-in comfort, grip and feature sets.

• Ultra DNA shoe. MSRP: $219.95

The new Ultra DNA shoe stands at the apex of Dynafit’s mountain running footwear line. Developed with the help of ultrarunner Hannes Namberger, the Ultra DNA weighs only 280 grams but doesn’t sacrifice protection or grip. Complete with a 35-millimeter stack height at the heel and an underfoot rock shield, which protects your field while maintaining ground-feel, this shoe is designed for quickly and efficiently running long distances over alpine terrain. The 3.5-millimeter-deep lugs on the Vibram Litebase Megagrip sole will ensure confident steps no matter the trail, and a double speed lace snugs everything down.  

Alpine DNA 2. MSRP: $200

This high-performance alpine running shoe is made to take on the roughest, toughest trails while remaining more than light enough for huge days. A full-length Pebax plate underfoot dials in stability and combined a rock shield offers ample protection when you’re charging up and down technical terrain. The Vibram Megagrip sole with Litebase Technology and grippy 4-millimeter lugs ensures grip and traction, while the Alpine DNA 2’s upper and padding is pared back to a minimum to save weight. A knit collar to keep out debris rounds out the feature set of this shoe.

Ultra Pro 2. MSRP: $180

New for Spring/Summer 2024, the Ultra Pro 2 is DYNAFIT’s cushiest mile-eating shoe for long-distance mountain runners. This is the Cadillac of ultrarunning footwear, offering Dynafit’s maximum combination of cushioning and protection, without sacrificing speed. With a 35-millimeter stack height in the heel and a beefy midsole, the Ultra Pro 2 is made for long runs in the alpine that will test your limit. A Vibram Speed Lite sole with Megagrip compound ensures confident footing no matter the terrain. The Ultra Pro 2 will allow you to focus on the trail ahead of you, and not worry about your feet.

• Alpine Pro 2. MSRP: $180

The Alpine Pro 2 is the all-rounder in Dynafit’s Spring/Summer 2024 lineup. Designed to meet the performance needs of both weekend warrior and elite trail runners, this shoe offers a blend of cushioning, weight and stability. Dynafit’s new Speedlite midsole wins points with high cushioning and for absorbing impacts, offering long-lasting comfort and pain-free running. At the same time, the Pebax plate gives great stability so you can confidently cruise on demanding trails. Finally, a Vibram Megagrip outsole sticks fast to undulating terrain in wet or dry conditions.

Alwrld Making Earth Day Commitment

As a testament to its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, fashion and running apparel brand Alwrld will be covering the carbon footprint for shipping orders placed on its website from April 21-27 in celebration of Earth Day 2024 .As a brand, Alwrld strives to maintain a sustainable DNA and is dedicated to setting the benchmark for sporty apparel that not only looks good but also does good for the planet.

At the same time, Alwrld has launched a premium Alsprt tee in its World Collection. The premium tee features the fabric science of SeaCell, a plush, moisture-regulating, comfortable fabric made with an organic cotton and seaweed blend. SeaCell fabric is developed with SmartFiber AG in Germany and is made using a seaweed and organic cotton blend. The plush fabric is skin-friendly and naturally moisture regulating, with the tee designed for style and comfort.

Alwrld also announced that its spring collection uses recycled water bottles and fishing nets in its luxe Italian fabrics.

“We make clothing for the dynamic life. We will continue to set the benchmark for beautiful design and innovation,” says Alwrld founder and CEO Philip Pavkov. “We blend style and substance and push to offer the best fabrics for a luxurious feel, engrained with the highest quality and performance. We’re B Corp certified and everything we make has a sustainable story.”

Craft Xplor Merges Gravel Tire Technology with Running

With the running market mirroring the gravel phenomenon in cycling, Craft Sportswear, the Swedish outdoor apparel brand, and Vittoria, the Italian bike tire company, have partnered to create the Craft Xplor, a trail running shoe that merges gravel tire technology with running innovation. The shoe is inspired by the performance of Vittoria’s Terreno Mix and Terreno Dry gravel tires.

The shoe is set to launch for the 2024 spring and summer season.

The outsole design integrates aggressive arrow lugs using Vittoria gravel tire tech, specifically from the Terreno Mix pattern, for off-road performance, while fish scale treads, inspired by the Terreno Dry tire, grip the road and in wet conditions. Thick and thin flex grooves enhance traction, and strategically placed cut-outs reduce weight, promising performance across diverse terrains and changing weather conditions.

The Craft XPlor is the first time a gravel-specific tire design is being tested on a running shoe. The men’s shoe weighs 300g while the women’s is 240g. Heel drop is 6mm on both models.

OrthoLite Receives Extended Patent Protection

OrthoLite, the make or comfort and performance footwear insoles, has received extended patent protection for the speckled appearance of its OrthoLite Hybrid Technology line, including Hybrid, HybridPlus-Bio and HybridPlus Recycled.

Every OrthoLite insole, since the company’s founding in 1997, has included at least five percent recycled rubber. In addition to the strict performance qualities of OrthoLite insoles, this was an early commitment to reducing the use of virgin materials. This is the origin of OrthoLite’s distinctive speckled appearance. OrthoLite Hybrid is GRS certified and blends OrthoLite’s standard inclusion of five percent recycled rubber with a select range of 15 percent to 43 percent production waste foam.

To the more than 550 footwear brands OrthoLite works with, the speckled appearance indicates OrthoLite quality. In the case of the OrthoLite Hybrid line, these patents protect the colored foam speckled design that represents quality, comfort, and the inclusion of at least 20 percent recycled materials. 

As of April 2, 2024, OrthoLite holds three design patents protecting the visual aesthetics of the Hybrid line.

“For OrthoLite Hybrid, the distinctive speckled aesthetic is inextricable from our proprietary chemistry and, therefore, is inextricable from the function of the product,” explains Glenn Barrett, founder and CEO of OrthoLite. “The patents ensure that no other insole supplier can imitate the visual design and try to confuse or obfuscate buyers around the product they’re selling.”

Tailwind Nutrition and Big City Mountaineers Go Grape

Tailwind Nutrition, the provider of sports nutrition products for athletes, has launched The Grape Outdoors, a limited edition flavor of Tailwind Endurance Fuel that benefits Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a nonprofit that provides transformative experiences through connections to nature that strengthen life skills and build community for youth from disinvested communities. Tailwind’s efforts in recent years have funded numerous expedition outings and day trips for BCM participants. 

The grape-flavored sports nutrition drink mix offers nutrition with the combination of calories, electrolytes and hydration for athletes “while sparking joy thanks to its classic, nostalgic grape flavor that is delightfully refreshing on the tastebuds mile after mile.” Ten percent of the proceeds of Tailwind Limited Edition Grape Outdoors will be donated to Big City Mountaineers, whom Tailwind has been working with since 2021. The Grape Outdoors flavor will be sold online at and is available in four-pack bundles for $10. 

Kane Collaborating With Brianna Cope

Kane Footwear is collaborating with professional surfer Brianna Cope, a Kane athlete, and the launch of the Kane x Brianna Cope Revive, a shoe that represents Brianna’s home and her love for the ocean. The off-white upper of the Kane x Brianna Cope Revive represents the sand of Kauai and the blue marble swirled sole represents the ocean waves she has been surfing on since she was young.

“Being born and raised on the beautiful island of Kauai, I was always drawn to the ocean. From a young age, I was a water baby, finding my happiest moments while surfing the waves,” says Cope. “Surrounded by so much raw beauty, water, and sand, it became my sanctuary – my safe place. My Kane shoe symbolizes my deep connection to the ocean and my island home.”

As part of Kane’s 1% for the Planet commitment, a portion of sales from the Kane x Brianna Cope Revive collaboration will go toward the Changing Tides Foundation, which empowers women to protect the planet. Their Women’s Outreach Mentorship Program works with teenage girls to use the ocean and surfing as a tool to build self efficacy, self confidence, leadership skills and an increased understanding of the importance of protecting the planet. This collaboration furthers Kane’s support of athletes who recognize the importance of recovery,

The Kane x Brianna Cope Revive (MSRP: $85) is made with bio-based RestoreFoam, created from Brazilian sugarcane, and integrates principles of active recovery to renew the body through stimulation, circulation and blood flow.

Inov8 Expands Outdoor Specialty Sales Network

Building on its sales network in the U.S., Inov8 has appointed two U.S. independent sales agencies to its network of outdoor, running and sports specialists. 

Joining forces with John Swartz, of JMS Enterprises, and incumbent agency Midland Sales, Inov8 aims to capitalize on their expertise and regional insights to drive growth and strengthen brand engagement across the South, Southwest, Rockies and Midwest regions of the US.

 "We are excited to welcome John and Midland Sales to the INOV8 family," said Mike Snell, CEO at Inov8 (in photo above). "Their established track record and understanding of their respective markets make them invaluable additions to our US team. Together, we are poised to reach our ambitious growth targets and better serve our customers."

JMS Enterprises is a manufacturer representation firm for multiple markets throughout the Southern Rockies and South-Central United States. 

Keen Launches Targhee IV

In a world where planned obsolescence is rampant, Keen has introduced the Targhee IV — a boot made to be the last hiking shoe a consumer will need, thanks to Keen 's Delamination-Free Lifetime Guarantee.

One of the most common issues in the footwear industry is delamination. This is when the glue used to adhere the rubber sole degrades, causing the sole to peel off the rest of the shoe. Traditionally most shoes are made using cement construction. Although some steps have been taken to address this problem, the industry hasn't yet found a successful solution.

To solve this problem, Keen developed Keen.Fusion to create a mechanical bond stronger than glue by using heat and pressure to fuse the sole and upper of the boot together into one piece. Keen says it is so confident in its construction method that it's introducing a first-of-its-kind guarantee, promising shoe bonds that won't break. The Delamination-Free Guarantee ensures that any shoe under this warranty is eligible for a replacement or store-issued credit in the amount of the original purchase price should the outsole separate from the midsole or the midsole separate from the upper shoe. The Targhee IV (MSRP: $145-165) will be the first shoe backed by this claim.

In line with KEEN's mission to reduce the impact its shoes have on people and the planet, KEEN put the Targhee IV to the test. In Keen’s Test Lab, the Targhee IV did not break down after 1000 miles of use or after Keen 's "pull machine" attempted to force the shoe apart. This enhanced longevity is a result of Keen.Fusion construction, a Luftcell midsole, and an abrasion-resistant outsole that's twice as durable as rubber.

Targhee IV's direct-injection process eliminates the need for glues and solvents, which are among the six classes of the most toxic chemicals in consumer products. As a result, customers can keep wearing their boots, rather than replace them down the line.

Other key features of the Targhee IV include:

  • Shock-Absorbing CushioningLuftcell midsole to support every step. After repeatedly dropping a heavy weight on the heel, the Luftcell midsole was 2x better at resisting compression as EVA foam.
  • Environmentally preferred leatherEthically sourced leather tanned by Leather Working Group gold-certified tanneries reduces the use of chemicals to help preserve and protect our water.
  • Abrasion-resistant outsole: Features a rugged outsole that is twice as durable as rubber. In material abrasion testing, a puck of Keen.Rugged outsole material was bounced around inside an abrasive wheel to measure material loss.
  • Reinforced lacing: Redesigned webbing ghillie creates a secure fit with less risk of tearing.
  • Room-for-your-toes fitOriginal Fit secures your heel with plenty of room in the forefoot for toes to splay.
  • Waterproof protectionWith a Keen.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane inside and PFAS-free water repellency outside, feet stay dry in any weather.
  • PFAS-free water repellencyKeen has been tackling the elimination of PFAS chemicals since 2014. Today, all of its shoes, including Targhee IV, feature safe alternatives that repel water just as well as forever chemicals without harming the planet.
  • Pesticide-free odor controlEco Anti-Odor uses natural probiotics that are safe for the environment.

Keen Celebrates 10 Years of Uneek Open-Air Sneaker 

In other news at Keen, the brand is also celebrating 10 years of the Uneek, the “original open-air sneaker.” In Spring/Summer 2024, Keen will host a series of “Global Experiences” in collaboration with Mita Sneakers, Only NY and End in Tokyo, New York and London. For a global launch, Keen will also feature the Uneek collection in key cities and retailers worldwide.

To round out the celebration, Keen will introduce three new variations of the Uneek open-air sneaker, available in  men’s and women’s styles. 

  • The Uneek II Convertible features an adjustable heel strap that the wearer can pull forward and secure around a bungee to wear as a slide. 
  • The huarache-inspired slip-on version, Uneek II Harvest, is made with natural and recycled materials. 
  • Uneek O3 is a lightweight sneaker-inspired version with a lightly cushioned heel back.

Roark Debuts Jean-Michel Basquiat-Inspired Collection

Roark has launched its Basquiat x Roark collection, a collection of active apparel and accessories that pairs Roark’s premium, purpose-built silhouettes for running, surfing and adventuring with artwork inspired by the renowned artist Basquiat. 

The 17-piece collection pays homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, an enigmatic composer of art, music and advocacy and includes key silhouettes, all reimagined with bold pops of color and Basquiat’s signature abstract works. Through the collection Roark hopes to expose a new audience to the inspirational work of this iconic artist. 

Key styles include a range of premium running apparel including Roark’s pinnacle run short the Alta, made from a lightweight four-way stretch nylon, and the Secondwind, an ultra lightweight packable run jacket featuring stretch ripstop fabric with a no-shine dry feel and durable water-resistant finish. Also look for Roark’s best-selling Chiller and Passage boardshorts, Bless Up and Gonzo wovens, a new women’s fleece and hybrid overall, plus tees and caps — distinctive pieces for runners and art fans alike, as well as anyone who prefers stylish, technical active apparel.

Zamberland Expands Apparel Collection

Zamberlan, the third-generation, handcrafted Italian bootmaker, has launched two approach shoes, the El Cap and The Nose. Built and tested in Zamberlan’s factory at the base of the world-renowned trails and fixed climbing/hiking routes in the Dolomite Mountains, the new styles combine Zamberlan’s hiking performance with more technical elements to give mountain guides, climbers and alpine hikers the ideal blend of comfort and capability. 

The El Cap is an approach shoe designed to handle demanding technical hikes, summit scrambles and via ferrata routes thanks to a Vibram Ferrata Megagrip outsole that combines underfoot traction with a highly-tactile climbing zone at the toe. A Hydrobloc suede upper is cut for maximum ankle protection against rock, while to-the-toe lacing and the tapered toe and snug heel of the last provide increased precision for technical adventures. MSRP: $260.

The Nose is a lightweight, more generalist, approach shoe for the crag, mountain approach and trekking. Designed for comfort and versatility on a variety of surfaces, it’s tactile and sensitive yet stable, with to-the-toe lacing and Zamberlan’s comfortable X-Active Fit last. MSRP: $240

Nnormal Launches Tomir 2.0

NNormal, the sports gear brand founded by Kilian Jornet and Camper in 2022, recently launched its Tomir 2.0, an improved version of its original Tomir that features a more durable shoe, with an improved midsole and more cushioning.

“In launching Tomir 2.0 we are improving on three key aspects raised by our community, for which our product team has found solutions. We remain committed to launching new products only when we’ve improved key aspects of the shoe,” explains Sito Luis Salas, NNormal’s CEO.

NNormal has made three main changes to the upgraded version of the shoe: durability, as some of its components have been improved; the width of the base, as the geometry of the sole has been slightly changed; and energy savings, as the cushioning has been improved to encourage the feeling of effortless running. MSRP: $170.

Carbitex Adds Two New Hires

Carbitex has appointed Filippo Sartor to VP-global sales and Sam Gardner to the role of VP-engineering and operations. 

With more than 20 years in the footwear industry, including nearly 11 years at JV International, official worldwide licensee for Michelin Soles, Sartor brings sales expertise within performance footwear and material innovation. With extensive focus on building new business in the US and Far East, and based in Milan, Italy, Sartor is positioned to help propel Carbitex globally into the next chapter. 

Gardner, based in Renton, WA, will manage product development and manufacturing at Carbitex. With time at Square One Distribution - a long-time Carbitex brand partner in the wake and waterski segment - and most recently as VP for Union Aquaparks, Gardner has experience designing new products and managing sourcing, logistics and supply chain. His background will help Carbitex strengthen both factory and brand partner relations and push product innovation. 

“Filippo and Sam fill key roles with expertise that seamlessly aligns with our vision," says Khan. "Their backgrounds in sales, product design and manufacturing solidify a complete team poised to drive Carbitex's next phase of growth.”

These recent hires position Carbitex to better serve strategic brand partners, achieve forecasted growth in the short and long term, and expand global market presence.

Selkirk Sport Welcomes New Leadership

In a significant move to bolster its position as a leader in the rapidly expanding world of pickleball, Selkirk Sport has added four key executives to its leadership team. Joining the company are Jason Dunlap as Chief Financial Officer, Doug Thielen as Chief Marketing Officer, Anthony Saraceni as Creative Director and Ali Carlile as Head of Soft Goods.

As the sport of pickleball surges in popularity – with 13.6 million playing in the U.S. in 2023, an increase of 52 percent since 2022 – Selkirk Sport continues to see remarkable growth. The company expanded from 10 employees in 2020 to more than 100 today and continues to innovate top-of-the-line paddles made in the U.S.

"Our growth is a testament to the surging popularity of pickleball and the decision to welcome four new executives into our leadership team is a strategic move designed to harness this momentum and steer our trajectory to even greater heights,” says Mike Barnes, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Selkirk Sport. "The ability to attract executives of such high caliber and extensive backgrounds to the pickleball industry is a clear indicator of its lasting power,” Barnes adds. “This movement speaks volumes about the industry's growth, dynamism and the increasing recognition of pickleball as a significant sector within the sports world.”