Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Road Runner Sports

Going into "long runs" means having nutrition while you run... or that's what all the running magazines & blogs tell me. I tried to order from Amazon, but many of the storefronts wouldn't send the products to me in Italy. So I decided to try out Road Runner Sports for the first time. I've browsed the web site quite a bit, but never really had a need to buy anything from there. But since they were willing to ship nutrition to an APO address, I was willing to try it.

The box arrived today & I was very excited. The box was clearly marked. The box was also perfectly sized for carrying. And it made it all in one piece, which is often a challenge when shipping to APO.

Exclaiming to the world: I am a Runner!
Now it's time to pop the box open. I was pleasantly surprised.
Bubble wrapping!

Very well wrapped! And the bubbles in the bubble wrap were huge... made for good popping action after the fact. All of the nutrition was packed into the bubble wrap, so it arrived intact & in perfect condition. A side view of the packaging:

To call Road Runner Sports a comprehensive running store would be grossly understating the amount of merchandise they carry. Since I'm sizing down all my clothing, I decided to give the Women's RSS Velocity Capri Tights. These are my first pair of tights & I think they run a bit small; I ordered a size up based on the reviews. This is what they look like:
Size Large
Reviews said the calves were pretty small... after trying them on, I must agree. These are also lined, so that's nice. The size sticker left a nasty glue residue that I'm not sure will come off in the wash; I imagine it melted in the heat. No one's fault, but still annoying. I am a bit miffed there are no pockets. Where, exactly, am I supposed to put my phone? They might end up as gym-wear due to lack-of-pocketses (damn you, Gollum). 

All that aside, Road Runner Sports appears to have many great options in running shoes, apparel, hydration, watches, recovery, fitness gear... well, you see where I'm going with this. A bit of everything. Road Runner Sports even offers a "Daily Treat," very similar to Amazon's Deal of the Day, on whatever products they've decided to put on special-sale.

And finally, the actual nutrition I purchased. Taking the advice of the numerous blogs/magazines, I purchased a variety of brands & styles.
Nutrition: I haz it!
I tried to pick a lot of variety, not knowing what I'll like the most. And this isn't even all of it; there are some more of the Honey Stinger brand coming (chewies). As you see, this is the problem with ordering this stuff online. Sampler packs simply don't exist... or at least they don't where I was shopping. So I picked up a bit of everything. I was glad to find the Gu Sampler; at least it gave me options. I have high hopes for the Jelly Belly Sport Beans. After all, who doesn't like jelly beans? I chose Clif Bars & Honey Stinger because of the all natural aspects of each; I've read they're easier on some people's stomachs... hoping that'll work for me (stupid gall bladder).

Still on the way from Road Runner Sports in a separate package: more Honey Stinger stuff & some visors. I <3 visors.

My biggest challenge now is to figure out how to use nutrition. I don't want to overdo it. I'm sure I'll figure it out.

As for Road Runner Sports: all I can say is "Holy Running, Batman!" They've got absolutely everything & will ship it all to APO. As a military family member, that alone gives me a happy. There's also a "VIP Family" program; for $1.99 (the first year, $25 the following year), you get free shipping for the year, special VIP pricing (listed on the products, next to the regular price for comparison), & 90 day money back on any product you try & don't like. The only issue I have with that is the program is on "auto renewal," so you have to manually cancel it should you want to withdraw. But honestly, if you're a running & ordering nutrition online, why would you? Take it from me: shipping costs are a bitch. If you know you're going to order multiple times, even a $25 membership fee will pay off in the end. 

So far, I'm very happy to shop Road Runner Sports. They offer a wide range of everything for runners. They ship everything APO. Free shipping for a year at a membership fee of $1.99 (for the first year). I will definitely be shopping again!

2 comments:

  1. I've been ordering a lot from there too. I especially like being able to actually USE the shoes and then if I don't like them, still being able to send them back. However, I've found a few products that must ship from a different warehouse or something and do NOT ship to APOs. Random shoes mostly. So far, I've been thrilled with their service too and returns are easy.

    Good to know about the VIP thing. I have it, but missed the fine print about manual renewal. I do think it's worth it and I like being able to order one little thing and still get free shipping.

    Can't wait for a Jelly Bean review.

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  2. @Becca: Really? I'm surprised considering they ship food. Wonder if they'd ship if you called directly... I'll review the Jelly Bellys when I use them. I've got so much to choose from w/different degrees of "nutrition," so I'm sorting it all out now.

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