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Everybody’s got their favorite players that they like to believe can do no wrong. Unfortunately, social media outlets like Twitter have proven that some athletes are more unsavory than others. There are, however, still a multitude of athletes worth following. Here are a few. 

1. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers QB


A true fan of sports himself, Rodgers would otherwise be one of the guys, aside from the fact that he’s an All-Pro quarterback and has a Super Bowl ring. Obviously during the season, his tweetage might diminish, but when he has some downtime, he tends to give his followers a treat.

2. Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson – NFL WR

 

One does not simply change one’s last name to “Ochocinco” and proceed to be taken seriously. Chad Johnson is aware of this and therefore can be a bit careless with his tweets, to his followers enjoyment. 

3. Kevin Love – Minnesota Timberwolves Center

 

It can’t be easy being holed up in Minnesota, especially with the woes his team has experienced in recent years, but Love still manages to make the most of his time in the North Star State. 

4. Lolo Jones – Track & Field

 

One of the beauties of Twitter is the transparency and coming to the realization that some of our idols are actually human beings. Lolo never ceases to reveal her down-to-earthness as you can see from her candid tweets and frequent usage of the Vine app. 

5. Nick Swisher – New York Yankees

 

When you’re one of the biggest prancers in the major leagues, it often translates well when chronicling your daily escapades.

There’s no shortage of boring and mundane tweets, but as we’ve come to realize, that just comes with the territory that is Twitter. Who are some of your favorite athletes to follow?

The adidas Springblades are just as visually appealing as they are performance appealing. But don’t take our word for it, check out what sneaker enthusiasts nation-wide captured with their new ‘blades.

 

Check out all the adidas Springblades on finishline.com, grab yourself a pair, and snap your own cool photos. Don’t forget to tag us @FinishLine.

Probably one of the most talked about performance running shoes of the year so far is the Brooks Transcend. Brooks set out to redefine the way a running shoe can work, as it is caters to every type of runner by providing stability only when needed and enough cushion to appease both efficient and bigger runners.

Overview

For 2014, the Transcend will replace the Trance as their most cushioned shoe within the Brooks line up. The Transcend focuses more on the float side of the spectrum, where the Pure Project shoes focused more on the feel side.  

Tested Terrain

For my test run, I took the Transcend through city streets, neighborhoods, and the Boulder Creek Bike path to make sure I was putting it through the rigors of a typical urban runner.

Brooks Transcend

First Impression

It’s been fun watching the hype around this shoe. There have been many photos and videos of the “Space Shuttle” box with with automatic bay doors opening to reveal the shoes touted as “otherworldly”.

Right out of the box, you notice how different the Transcend is. Starting with the shape of the sole; a narrow, rounded heel toe provides a snug fit, then widening through the toes provides a more natural foot shape. The sole is flatter than traditional stability shoes and is designed with ideal pressure zones. The pressure zones distribute the stress of running, providing an adaptable float for each runner.

It weighs in at 12.5oz, a bit heavy for an everyday trainer, though it feels much lighter than that on your foot. I can also appreciate it’s subtle 8mm drop (measured from heel to toe), which means that it feels more natural for the mid-foot striker as well. 

Stability and Cushioning 

Although I did not immediately feel a big “a-ha” moment after heading out the door, I soon appreciated the subtleties the shoe offers. The new carbon guide rails on the outside of the shoe replace the standard posting found under the arch, and adds stability where needed. As a neutral runner, I didn’t notice it so much, but along with the rounded heel, it promises to help smooth out heel strike transitions.

The midsole is the true hero story here. Made of their Super DNA, it delivers 25% more than their BioMoGo DNA foam found in the Pure Project line. The Super DNA adjusts to body weight and force applied to it so that the ride adapts to runners of all body types.

Brooks Transcend

Upper

The upper is soft and plush, providing plenty of room in the toes for a natural stride while providing a stellar fit via the No-sew tunnels and integrated laces. I really like when a shoe feels comfortable from the moment I put it on.

Last thoughts

The Transcend hovers nicely as a hybrid between a “maximilist” shoe and the concepts honed by the minimalist movement. It will be a great choice for your daily running trainer–especially on those recovery days. Just one more way to #RunHappy.

The Brooks Transcend will be available February 1st on finishline.com.

Todd Straka is a regular contributor to BoulderRunning.com and the Examiner, is a competitive Master’s Runner, and loves running from the mile to the marathon with the Runners Roost team. Give Todd a follow on Twitter @BoulderRunner.

Smooth, light weight, ultra-plush…not phrases generally used to describe supportive running shoes. Brooks has found a way to defy the clunky, heavy, and stiff reputation of this shoe category with their debut of the Transcend.

Claiming to have a cushioning and support system that adapts to each runner’s specific needs, I was skeptical of what this shoe could offer a neutral runner. If I don’t need a lot of motion control, my initial questions was, Won’t this shoe be too much control for me? I couldn’t wait to put the hype to the test and see if the Brooks Transcend could perform for me!

Out of the box, it was exciting to see pink hotness before my eyes. Even if the shoe doesn’t work, at least I will look cute! In all seriousness though, the color of the shoes, along with their reflective accents, will allow cars to spot me coming at them before the sun rises. At first glance, I also noticed they had a ton of midsole cushioning, so I was surprised how light they felt while them tossing around.

With a smooth upper, free from heavy materials and plastic, the Transcend had a snug fit, giving my feet a secure feeling without much bulk. As soon as the shoes hit the ground, I noticed the wide platform and soft, but not too soft, cushioning.

Brooks Transcend

From road to trail, mountain to valley, I put the Transcend to the test in sun, sleet, rain, and snow. Very responsive cushioning kept my feet feeling great without sucking the energy out of my steps. The wide base of the shoe felt extremely stable, offering a large surface area for shock absorption.   This platform even performed well on rocky trails. Feeling agile and balanced in rough terrain is hard to accomplish with a high cushioned training shoe!

The Transcend features a smooth design on the outsole that doesn’t pick up rocks or mud. I don’t need anything weighing me down! As opposed to traditional medial posts, the Brooks’ new “guide rails” sit on top of the midsole foam to control your movement if you move too far from the way your body is expected to travel. This new technology left me feeling supported but not over-corrected.

As I continue to put these shoes to the test, they continue to exceed my expectations. The lightweight, soft cushioning keeps me coming back for more without fatigue or foot pain.  Constructed with the highest quality materials and newest design technology, this shoe has been made to make all runners run happy. Put the Brooks Transcend to the test yourself!

The Women’s Brooks Transcend will release February 1st on finishline.com.

Not many kicks are handcrafted. New Balance is proud to be the only major company making athletic footwear in the USA.

With craftsmanship comes premium quality. The 990 epitomizes this attention to detail. From a luxe pigskin upper to a stability-enhancing ABZORB® midsole, it’s perfect for running five miles a day or cruising to class in style. The look is timeless, just like New Balance’s heritage.

American artisanship is nothing new for New Balance. For over 75 years, they’ve been committed to creating quality products in America. Purchasing materials from local suppliers helps maintain a premium quality, while also creating jobs.

When you step into a pair of New Balance, you’re not just wearing regular old sneaks—you’re keeping the torch and tradition of American style alive.

Head over to finishline.com to check out all the New Balance Classics

The official Best Shoes of 2013 countdown has finally made its way to the #1 spot! The Best Shoe of 2013 is (drumroll please….):

#1 – Nike LeBron X “Cork” 

“Nike’s capability of creating an upper of cork is what got my interest in these, not the exclusivity. Their creative use of unique materials for uppers over the last few years offers up many surprises…and ammunition for the hypebeasts.”@krvanch

“The Lebron X Cork is one of the most unique Nike shoes ever. These earned the reputation for being extremely fragile, but I still can’t help but applaud Nike engineers for pulling these off. I mean…they’re a performance shoe wrapped in a cork upper? What?!”@AndyOliverWPG

“The Lebron X cork is a shoe you apprecite in pictures, in hands, and on feet.”@DeadstockNYC

“A high performance basketball shoe turned into a casual silhouette with an entire cork upper… crazy.”@EricMatenaer

#2 – Air Jordan I “Royal”

#3 – Air Jordan III ’88 “Cement”

#4 – Nike FlyKnit Racer “Multi-Color”

#5 – Concepts x New Balance 998 “C-Note”

#6 – Nike Tech Challenge II “US Open”

#7 – Bape x Undefeated x adidas Originals ZX 5000

#8 – ASICS x Ronnie Fieg GEL Lyte V “Volcano”

#9 – Air Jordan V “Doernbecher”

#10 – Air Jordan I “Black/Red”

#11 – Alfreds x ASICS Gel Lyte III

#12 - Nike Lunar FlyKnit Chukka

#13 – Air Jordan XX8 SE

#14 – Nike Air Python

#15 – Nike Free Flyknit

#16 – ASICS x Ronnie Fieg Gel Lyte III “East Coast Project”

#17 – Nike Zoom Flight Glove

#18 – Air Jordan I “Black Toe”

#19 – Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 1600 “Daytona”

#20 – Nike Inneva Woven

#21 – atmos x Nike Air Max 1

#22 – Air Jordan III “Fire Red”

#23 - ASICS Gel Lyte III “Urban Camo”

#24 – Nike Kobe VIII “Area 72?

#25 – Air Jordan 5 “Fear”

Let us know which was your most coveted pair of the year in the comments, and if you agree the picks.

 

What were your favorite shoes that came out in 2013? We asked all of our Sneak Geeks the same question. Based off each of their rankings, Finish Line has equated an official Best Shoes of 2013 countdown. Stay tuned throughout the month of December as we get closer to the #1 spot.

“The sneaker world had developed a serious thirst for the Royal 1s over the last 10 plus years, and that combined with a pretty small distribution list made these one of the harder shoes to grab this year. I came up empty, so here’s hoping they don’t wait another 12 years to drop them again.”@AndyOliverWPG

“The Royal I was another supply and demand shoe EVERYONE wanted, but not enough to go around. I don’t EVER let allocations dictate if I love a shoe or not, but sadly I slept on these.”@DeadstockNYC 

“The best Jordan 1, hands down.”@EricMatenaer

#3 – Air Jordan III ’88 “Cement”

#4 – Nike FlyKnit Racer “Multi-Color”

#5 – Concepts x New Balance 998 “C-Note”

#6 – Nike Tech Challenge II “US Open”

#7 – Bape x Undefeated x adidas Originals ZX 5000

#8 – ASICS x Ronnie Fieg GEL Lyte V “Volcano”

#9 – Air Jordan V “Doernbecher”

#10 – Air Jordan I “Black/Red”

#11 – Alfreds x ASICS Gel Lyte III

#12 - Nike Lunar FlyKnit Chukka

#13 – Air Jordan XX8 SE

#14 – Nike Air Python

#15 – Nike Free Flyknit

#16 – ASICS x Ronnie Fieg Gel Lyte III “East Coast Project”

#17 – Nike Zoom Flight Glove

#18 – Air Jordan I “Black Toe”

#19 – Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 1600 “Daytona”

#20 – Nike Inneva Woven

#21 – atmos x Nike Air Max 1

#22 – Air Jordan III “Fire Red”

#23 - ASICS Gel Lyte III “Urban Camo”

#24 – Nike Kobe VIII “Area 72?

#25 – Air Jordan 5 “Fear”

Let us know which was your most coveted pair of the year in the comments, and if you agree the picks.

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