Nyberg's Picks: Best of Outdoor Retailer: Episode 1

There's a lot of great gear coming for Spring 2011, and most of it is on display now in Salt Lake City at the Outdoor Retailer convention—the biannual mecca for gear junkies of all stripes. Here are a few items to keep on your radar:

MorphoDynSole

Alien Cocoon...or Running Shoe?

Something's missing from the sole of the Electron, one of La Sportiva's new trail runners for Spring 2011. Notably: lugs. While just about every trail running shoe on the planet is built to grip gravel, sand, mud and rocks with toothy tread patterns, La Sportiva's designers are going in a radically different direction. The outsole is a smooth, corrugated rubber that sits below a very soft layer of polyurethane (spongy stuff). The material is so soft, that the rubber supposedly wraps around terrain features to grip them. They're calling it MorphoDynamic technology, and according to La Sportiva's North American president Jonathan Lantz, Sportiva's athletes are trilled about the smooth-and-low riding feel, and it performs great in mud and sand. It's one of the more radical recent design shake-ups in trail running, and I can't wait to test them. Oh, the rest of the shoe looks like this:

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