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Man trailrunning in Nnormal Tomir 2 shoes

Gear We Are Excited About - Spring/Summer 2024

Trails are drying and although there is still skiing to be had, we cant help but look forward to longer, warmer days and alpine summit pushes. With the change in season comes some new and refreshing gear options. Here are a few of our favorites:
The brainchild of legendary mountain runner Killian Jornet, the NNormal Tomir 2.0 is a workhorse of a shoe designed to handle the Terrifying 25 and beyond. Updated in the 2.0 is a new and more durable nylon upper, lower stack height, and a 360 degree midsole stitch. The new stitching pattern allows for the shoes to be resoled, further contributing to their noteworthy durability. A drawback of the durability is that their ability to drain water is not the greatest. After a quick dip in the river I felt the shoes held onto more water than other trail runners that consist of a lighter upper material.
I used these on a recent Moat Traverse along with a few hikes up to Tuckerman Ravine and they have held up exceptionally well to the myriad of conditions those trails have to offer. With a softer sole and moderate cushioning they would feel right at home on more modest terrain as well. However, the sole remains stout enough to provide the torsional stiffness needed to prevent heel slipping on slanted rocks or trails.
Deep Vibram sole lugs (5mm) allow for superb grip on slippery rocks and roots without a huge sacrifice to the ground feel while running or hiking. They offer the support one often seeks in a hiking boot while also being light and nimble enough to pick up the pace if speed is your goal. 
Coming from a minimalist race shoe and a zero drop hiker, these felt like a great change of pace and I can't wait to put them through the ringer on longer outings this summer. 
As someone who comes well prepared no matter the occasion, I seek a running pack that has enough room for all the essentials. Enter the Distance 15, the perfect blend of running function and hiking storage capacity. At 361g with a 15 liter volume, it checks all the boxes for your most epic White Mountain adventure. I've been able to fit all safety equipment, two jackets, plenty of snacks, and extra water with room to spare.
The pack was redesigned this season with a new and much more breathable harness system, highlighted by the form fitting side panels that contoured my ribs quite nicely. The bottom chest strap is also dynamic elastic instead of a static nylon - further enhancing the close to body feel while picking up the pace. A ladies specific fit can be found here. I found the pack maintained it's snug fit even when not fully loaded or when water was running low up front.
The two soft flask pockets are quite long and skinny, so a taller flask (think Salomon style) works best. The pack contains two stash pockets up front along with a zippered pocket on the left side. I did find the stash pockets to be quite shallow - while the pack was off some snacks would fall out. That being said the pockets contained everything I stuffed in there, even my phone, while the pack was on.
The main compartment also features a zippered valuables pocket with a key ring and a back panel to store a water reservoir. This compartment closes via a drawstring with a more durable ripstop outer panel that wraps over the top and is secured by an elastic loop. This contributes to its weather resistance although I have my hesitations taking it out in a summer downpour. 
The Distance pack comes in an 8 liter capacity for the light and fast crew or a 22 liter capacity for the aspiring fastpacker.
Man running on trail with NNormal Tomir 2 shoes and Black Diamond Distance 15 pack
The Tomir, Distance 15 and CEP Run Socks in action on Iron Mountain
A piece that lives in my pack year round, the warm1 is my go to for any activity where temperatures may fluctuate. As someone who runs warm (no pun intended), I love the two way zip hood this piece has. The ability to vent while keeping the hood up blocking the wind sets the warm1 apart from other "normal" fleeces. It comes in clutch on windy alpine summits and sunrise missions that start a bit chilly. The hood fits well under a ski or climbing helmet and can offer a bit of warmth in the dead of winter. Like all Norrona products this is a thoughtfully crafted item that provides pinnacle performance day in and day out. The warm1 comes in both men's and women's options.
Man Standing on Ridge with Norrona Senja Warm1 Hood
The warm1 (and more CEP socks) on the summit of Mt. Adams
A tight fitting and lightweight run sock that staves off the blisters even on the hottest of days. Their poly spandex blend contours the foot preventing friction and hotspots. With larger calves I often have troubles with socks drooping down after a while but never with the CEPs. I've logged big days in these socks and never felt the need to swap after trudging through puddles and stream crossings. Unisex sizing allows you to go for the color your heart desires most. 
Xact Nutrition Fruit Bars:
Last but not least are snacks; the 11th essential. Tasty snacks that go down easy are hard to come by, and can make or break a hard effort on the trails. The Xact fruit bars are a great alternative to your standard gel when you need something solid in your stomach. With four great flavors (Black Currant, Strawberry, Orange, Apricot) your palate will never get tired and beg for the next best thing. I've been reaching for these more often than not when I lace up the shoes and head out the door.
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