Although we’re all eager for springtime weather, we’re still dealing with the winter chill and need to gear up appropriately for it. For some this just means getting to the gym in style and comfort, while for others it means braving the cold to get those miles logged. We’ve selected a handful of items that combine form, fashion, and function.
ITEM ONE: COMPRESSION CLOTHING
Get on board the compression pants bandwagon. We’re always wary of pseudo-science, and just as with any new supplement, we approach new fitness technology with a dose of skepticism. Research has continued to come out that supports the benefits of compression pants. Are they going to improve performance? That seems difficult to prove. However, according to a 2003 Journal of Sports Sciences study, they can yield improvements to hip flexion angle, skin temperature levels at warm up, muscle warmth, and other benefits that can aid recovery time and reduce the risk of injury. With the added benefit that they are increasingly considered stylish (even for guys), we’d say you should at least have one pair on hand during the winter. A few of our favorites are the Salomon Exo ¾ Tight ($115, available at www.salomon.com) which boasts proprietary technology designed to assist recovery and circulation while providing support to prevent injury. It’s arguably the most suited for off-the-beaten path activities like the trail running it was designed for. On the more recovery focused side of things, we like Nike Pro Combat Recovery Hypertight ($140, available at www.nike.com). With graduated compression designed to reduce post-exercise swelling, and a higher degree of compression than a normal tight, it’s ideally suited for wearing post gym (we even know people who wear them as pajamas). Lastly, we’re still fans of Lululemon’s offerings, in particular their Wunder Under Pant ($92, available at www.lululemon.com) which uses their patented Luon fabric to provide ideal comfort without sacrificing function.
ITEM TWO: VESTS – NOT JUST FOR TOURISTS.
Keeping you warm, holding your stuff, and stylish, vests are the swiss army knife of winter gear. As the temperature outside rises and you don’t need a full jacket, the vest is your answer. We particularly like the Falke Ergonomic Sport System Vest ($300, available at www.net-a-porter.com), as its ergonomic design makes it ideal for running, while a built-in reflective trim keeps you safe. A snug-fitting hood keeps you training, rain or shine. For those reluctant to have running gear with a hood, a simple alternative for the days it rains is the Hood To Go ($30, available at www.hoodtogo.com), small enough to fit in your pocket and plenty capable of keeping you dry.
ITEM THREE: RETHINK SOCKS.
Largely neglected, socks (and our bare feet) are becoming increasingly public with the popularity of specialized classes in the likes of barre, yoga and Pilates, among others. Recent years have led to a surprising amount of sock technology that can have a substantial impact on comfort and support. If you’re exercising outside where it might be damp, we recommend the Injinji Performance 2.0 Trail ($15, available at www.injinji.com) which actually separate each toe to avoid friction and prevent blisters during long runs in wet conditions. For those who have issues slipping when bare-foot, or whose feet get too cold, Toesox ($16, available at www.toesox.com) has created a unique amalgamation of sock and barefoot that incorporates the best of both worlds.
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