Not only is Salt Lake City swathed in warm temperatures, the outdoor industry has also arrived en masse for Outdoor Retailer 2010 Summer Market. Tomorrow, Outside editors (myself included) will start to scour the showroom floor for spring 2011's hottest new products by visiting booths like the North Face, Sierra Designs, C4 Waterman, Patagonia, and many more.
We've already gotten wind of items that are considered to be "heros" of the showroom floor. Interested in what we've gotten word of? Here are a few things that I personally can't wait to see in person.
I'm betting Teva's Gnarkosi ($100) is the answer to river guide feet. After days of boating, my feet can get pretty nasty if I spend too long in the water with sandals on. The hydrophobic shoes don't only ward of water to begin with--the drainage holes makes sure it stays out. Spider rubber keeps your outsoles sticking to slippery rocks and are durable and toothy enough to go for side hikes. And at the end of the day, wearing shoes that encase your feet will keep them from getting beat up.
Outdoor Research's Cirque Jacket ($125) comes in a men's and women's version (pictured, at right). This adorable soft shell hits stores in Spring 2011 and comes with all the bells and whistles you need for a late spring ski tour or a chilly morning hike. Features include a Napoleon pocket for your cell phone and ID, soft fabric on the inside of the neck, and stretchy fabric for your every move.
I have to be honest about this last one. I've actually had the chance to test the women's version of Lafuma's Speed Trail shoe ($110). These trail runners are meant for short to medium distances but I've actually hiked 15 miles in these bad boys. They're stable, breathable, lightweight, supportive, and protective. My only gripe? I've had pebbles work their way into the ankle. But the grippy outsole gets the job done (very well) and the lacing system doesn't snag (as one might think).
Stay tuned for more gear tomorrow. We'll be blogging live from the trade show floor, giving you updates on the hottest products as we come across them.