Lou's Summer Staff Picks

Hi, I'm  Lou

I grew up in Philadelphia, and was lucky enough to become a part of the cycling community. I learned from legends and raced at a high level from the age of 14 until I hung up my competitive wheels at age 40. 

Trail running had been an off season activity for me, but I found myself loving the simplicity. It didn’t take long before that too snowballed and I found myself running ultras across the country and across the ocean in the Alps. I am now a multisport mountain athlete, embracing all that Tahoe has to offer. At Alpenglow, I specialize in bootfitting, and am a great resource for all things trail and mountain running. 

My Story:

My wife, Linn, and I moved to California in 2012. We were newlyweds, so we figured we’d pack up our Subaru and drive across the country, you know, just to spice things up. Well, we never left. We bopped around the state spending time in beautiful Sonoma and Marin, but with every trip to Tahoe, we found it harder and harder to go home.

We both caught the ultra marathon bug and found ourselves driving to run trails many days of the week. I’d taken a job at a running shop in wine country, and loved it on the surface, but I craved a proper trail community. This led us to Marin. I was offered a position at San Francisco Running Co. Brett Rivers was opening a second shop and he wanted me to manage it. It was my DREAM. In my years at SFRC, I did it all. Pancake breakfast fundraisers with the high school cross country team, group runs with Olympians, and less fun days spent putting up flood gates when the creek ran high. I was the GM but everyone in town thought I was the owner because I was there all the time. I would show up to local high school track meets, parents would ask me if I had a child competing, nope just here to watch one of our many of our high school track/cross country runners that worked at the shop. But still I wanted more.

We craved the smell of pine, endless granite peaks and snow. We were ready to make the move up the hill. We’d nearly moved up 5 years before, I’d secured a spot at Alpenglow and was ready to move but my wife’s job transfer fell through, so we didn’t pull the trigger. This time was the same but different. I had an offer at Alpenglow and Linn once again had nothing lined up, but this time we went for it. We would figure it out. Fast forward two years, and we have settled in nicely. Linn is baking at the best bakery in town. Our dog Molly has learned to dock dive at Donner and we just bought our first home. We are here to stay! 

"I’m proud to be a member of the Alpenglow family, the most accomplished and knowledgeable group of goofballs I’ve ever worked with"

- Louis Secreto

My Top Picks:

The North Face Vectiv Sky

This is my go to trail shoe for hill repeats, faster trail runs, and general speed work. The lower stack height gives me more confidence on technical rolling trails especially when I’m doing footwork drills. With the lower stack height, having a plated & forked shoe acts as a rock plate while giving the shoe a very snappy feel. The upper is very breathable on hot days and fast drying when wet, plus the sock like fit just feels amazing.

I’m lucky enough to have run in a wide range of plated shoes over the past few years and there is just something I really enjoy about the Vectiv Sky. I’ve also been using the Trail + SIDAS x Team Salomon insole for a more secure fit and feel. The grippiness of this foot bed ensures my foot doesn’t slide around while bombing down descents.  

Salomon Adv Skin Cross Season Race Flag 15

The same fit I’ve come to expect from all of Salomon’s vests over the years but with the added “dry bag” main storage compartment. The 15 liters of storage is more than enough for either a local adventure or something more crazy. 

Salomon Flask XA Filter 16oz

It enables me to go longer without the need to worry about reliable water sources. Ease of use and cleaning plus it fits perfectly in the front soft flask compartments. The little contoured handle makes getting water less of a hassle. 

Lou's gear philosophy:

I tend to choose my gear based on a few criteria: how light it is, the features it may or may not have, and how well it would hold up on rocky technical terrain. I’m fortunate enough to be able to try out many trail shoes and other gear. I generally don’t use gear just because an athlete is using it. I pick gear by what close friends are using and how their likes and dislikes match what I'm looking for in a piece of gear. A major concern for me is how a company stands behind their product. Having a good warranty program and customer service are vital for me

More Picks:

Storm Safety Whistle

The Storm Safety Whistle is a great added safety piece of equipment that I trust in case something happens and I need to be heard. It’s a little on the larger size for a whistle but this thing is crazy loud!!

SOL Emergency Blanket XL

For one thing, the outside is orange so in the event of something happening I can be seen. It’s multifunctional and can be used in a number of configurations. A huge plus is the fact that it’s very durable.

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife: The Huntsman

I’ve always been an uber fan of swiss army knives. I love the simple features of this tool, the large blade can be used to cut rope or slice cured salame and also spread triple cream brie. The scissors are a useful tool for opening those “hard to open” bags of Tarallini or nuts. The most important feature for me is the corkscrew, having the ability to open my favorite Cab Franc post run.

Trail + Insole

I’ve been using the Trail + SIDAS x Team Salomon insole for a more secure fit and feel. The grippiness of this foot bed ensures my foot doesn’t slide around while bombing down descents. 

All my Picks:

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