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From early man to today’s bionic beings, humans have always been on the go. Thanks to technology, evolution and imagination, modern day runners are hitting the streets – or trails – in much more than a pair of shoes and shorts.

Technology applications combined with light, futuristic materials, and the latest nutritional and physiological advancements have resulted in a plethora of products intent on making you a fitter and faster athlete.

Here are a few noteworthy products and trends – with a faithful following – based on proven function, performance – and overall good looks.

Give Yourself a Boost

Are you ready for blast off? Supercharge your running with Adidas’ Boost technology, a new lab-tested foam developed in tandem with chemical manufacturer BASF. Unlike the standard EVA foam found in most running shoes, Boost is made from polyurethane capsules fused together with high-pressure steam.

Take your running to new heights. The famous German footwear company claims its foam is resilient in a range of extreme temperatures, and provides more energy return than any other shoe on the market.

 Blast off with Adidas “Boost”

 The Right Gear For You

Ask any female runner what her most important piece of equipment is, and she’ll likely tell you, “my sports bra.” Since the sports bra was first introduced 40 years ago, it has made leaps and bounds in technology and performance.

Fast forward, today’s sports bras are marvels of engineering. For countless athletic women, especially runners, the importance of wearing these garments during strenuous activity is supported by science. Research by England’s University of Portsmouth found excessive breast movement can result in “heavier, injury-promoting landings, which can damage the breasts.”

Runner’s World tested 49 of the top rated sports-bras for women of all sizes and gave rankings based on comfort, support, style, breathability – and most importantly – ease of use. Today’s science and sports technology has discovered the right kind of sports bra for you to improve performance and help prevent injury.

Modern day sports bras are marvels of engineering

 Main Squeeze

There were days in the past when a runner rocking a pair of knee socks would have been snickered at, labeled a fashion pariah and left off the group run invitee list. However, the once dubious apparel item seems to be making lots of lower leg appearances at the starting line these days, as no self-respecting runner strides anywhere without their Flash Dance-inspired compression socks. But do they really work?

Manufacturers claim compression socks (and tights) increase oxygen delivery, reduce lactic acid retention, prevent cramps, and minimize fatigue. Evidence supporting these claims dates back to decades of compression garment usage to combat deep vein thrombosis, and increase circulation in bedridden patients.

Here are 5 reasons why you should wear compression socks.

Sometimes all you need is a little squeeze – compression socks for peak performance

 Watch Out!

When it comes to wearable computers for runners, Garmin is the brand to “watch.” Now, runners of all abilities (and price points) can monitor their performance – distance, pace, time, heart rate and more – while staying connected with the Cloud.

A computer on your wrist, the Garmin Forerunner Series provides live tracking, audio prompts, smart notifications and, of course, social media sharing. No doubt, James Bond would approve of these stylish, easy to use wearable devices.

Garmin Pathfinder Series – Dick Tracy approved

 Expand Your Fashion Sense

Anyone who runs or exercises regularly is probably already sporting “athleisure.” Think - dressed up yoga pants that double as office wear, shiny track suits, or performance leggings paired with ready-for-anything, statement making tops.

In case you didn’t know what to call that fine line between workout clothing and kickin’-at-the-coffee-shop clothing, add this new term to your lexicon – Athleisure.

But, is it really acceptable to wear yoga pants all day long? Kate Hudson, the creator of Fabletics, sure approves!

Image by David Waldman Cinematography

 Flashy Footwear

If you’re one of those runners out on the road at hours most of us would consider absurd, a pair of reflective running shoes could save your life. And, if you like your fashion flashy, you’re in luck. Consider Nike’s reflective “Flash Pack” series, the Adidas “Boost,” ASICS’ “Light Show,” or the super lightweight Vazee Pace “Beacon.” 

Reflective footwear minimizes the gear needed for nighttime runs, while increasing your visibility. Pair your twinkle-toes with some eye-catching reflective garments, and fluorescent compression socks, for a bold look that says loud and clear “SEE ME.” Then kick up your heels for some crazy moon shadows.

Nike’s “Flash Pack” reflective running shoes say “SEE ME”

 Flipped Out, Not Flapping About

This clever, minimalist “pocket” is the perfect alternative to bulky armbands and bouncy waist pouches. The FlipBelt fits all the niceties – from phones, food, water bottles and wallets, to the necessities – like inhalers and EpiPens. Renowned for its comfort and innovation, Amazon calls FlipBelt the “World's Best Running & Fitness Workout Belt.”

Stretchy, colorful and comfortable, FlipBelts takes the headache out of where to put your stuff when hitting the pavement (or trails) – without it bouncing around – or out – of your pockets.

When you see how much gear a FlipBelt can hold, well, don’t flip out. It’s one of those oh-so-simple solutions you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it first, but the Colorado-based startup has grown to over $4M in sales since 2012.

Leave the kitchen sink at home

 

We hope this article provided some good ideas for new and improved fitness gear that is not only stylish, but specifically designed to enhance your workouts. If you’re looking for an opportunity to show off your new goods, take a look at our fitness class schedule and get to challenging yourself and achieving your goals!

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