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Foot for your sole

Breakthroughs: Vulcanized Rubber Soles

At the start of the last century, mountain climbers wore what essentially amounted to wooden clogs on their feet. Soon, the first “tricounis” climbing shoe was developed, which featured a leather sole outfitted with steel cleats that improved traction on ice, but did little for rock climbers. To learn about how Vibram changed the footwear…

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2 Coats, 18 Days

Tale of Two Jackets: Canada Goose, Helly Hansen and 18 Days in Europe

Seasons are something you can take for granted when you live in LA — I do — rarely giving you an opportunity to truly test cold weather gear. Granted our desert climate can create temps in the high 30s on winter nights, but it’s still not the right environment for challenging the winter gear that…

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Clothes that keep up

Nonetheless Garments

Nonetheless Garments is a new Chicago clothing brand dedicated to creating stylish menswear that can also withstand the fluctuating weather conditions of commuting. The magic all starts with using advanced materials like Polartec NeoShell, which has twice the airflow of comparable waterproof materials, without looking like it was shorn from a Paratrooper. Like any good…

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Be fleet of foot, swift of fleece

Helly Hansen Swift Fleece

If you’re looking for a solid technical mid-layer fleece that stands apart from the rest, take a look at the Helly Hansen Swift Fleece ($130). We tried one on for ourselves this winter and found it easily more than capable for cold-weather activities and casual goings on, as well. The body is slimmer than most…

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Light Trail

Hands On: Adidas Outdoor Terrex Fast R Hiking Boot

Taking the road less more traveled, Adidas Outdoor (think: an athletic approach to getting outside) has unveiled a lineup of gear for 2012 that has us ready to shed the parkas and hit the trails. Namely, the Terrex Fast R Hiking Boot ($195). Featuring a high-tech Traxion sole developed in conjunction with Continental — yup,…

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Puff Daddy

Ortovox Piz Linard Vest

Most people who spend time in the high latitudes own some sort of insulated jacket or vest. And most of these ubiquitous puffy garments are filled with goose down, the undisputed king of insulation. But while it’s true that down has the best warmth to weight ratio of any batting, fall through the ice and…

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It takes two to tango

Nike Zoom Kobe VII System Supreme

Speed or power? That’s the decision you’ll need to make before you don a pair of Nike Zoom Kobe VII System Supreme ($140-$180, Dec. 22). Two interchangeable inserts provide either full-length Cushlon midsole and ankle cuff for a power bias, or a Phylon midsole with Nike Zoom units and a low-cut power-stretch cuff for aiding…

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The fabric of active lives

Breakdown: Gore-Tex Active Shell

Outdoor activity is unpleasant when: A). you are wet; B). your pack is too heavy; or C) when you are not wearing and Outdoor Research Axiom Jacket with Gore-Tex Active Shell (which, conveniently, solves all of these problems). Gore-Tex –- a name that needs no introduction — recently unveiled the latest advancement in its long…

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Glove Affair

Helly Hansen Leather Gloves

Leather usually doesn’t hold up well when Ol’ Man Winter puts on the hurtin’. Our recent tests with Helly Hansen’s Leather Gloves ($100) proved they are an exception, even in wet weather. Armed with Primaloft insulation, Helly Tech Protection fabric and rich goatskin leather, these durable mitts warm up quickly and keep moisture out. Don’t…

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Hat evolved

Breakdown: GORUCK GR TAC

We’re long overdue for a breakdown so what better candidate for a part-by-part analysis than the GR TAC ($35) — the new tactical hat from the deft hands of GORUCK. It’s quite possibly the last hat you’ll ever need or want. Hit the jump for our breakdown.

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Shagtastic

Triple Aught Design Shag Master Hoodie

Looking like the long haired hippy twin of the Ranger Hoodie LT the Shag Master adds Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft fleece to the already excellent Ranger. As such, it has ergonomically placed chest and arm pockets, integrated thumbholes, aero hood, as well as a cut that provides superior mobility. The high loft Polartec fleece…

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Mafioso look no more

Icebreaker Boulder Hood

Working in the city and working in an office doesn’t give a man myriad outerwear options that look just as good on casual Friday as they do during the rest of the week, especially when the thermometer starts to drop well below seersucker weather. And wearing your double-breasted black wool overcoat doesn’t work everywhere, pal….

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Sta-Puft

Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket

Light is good. Light, warm and water-repellent are just that much better, especially when it comes to outerwear. No doubt this fall will bring the kind of weather where you want to be prepared yet mobile and versatile. The new Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket ($279) will allow you to do just that with its lightweight…

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System of a Down

Nau Down Load

Totally waterproof and completely tailored, the Nau Down Load ($440) packs a one-two style/utlity punch. Just in time for your dashing fall wardrobe. The weather-resistant shell features premium touches including taped seams, mini-storm skirt, removable hood, ribbed wool cuffs, breathable laminate exterior, and a warm yet breathable interior comprised of bulk-free 650-fill down. A bounty…

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Kicking & Thinking

2011 Adidas Adizero f50

Judging by how quickly terms like “smartphone” and “smartTV” steamrolled into our vernacular, we may soon be uttering “smartcleats” (or smartboots for readers across the pond) if Adidas has their way. The first generation Adidas Adizero f50s made a splash earlier in 2011 by weighing a mere 5.1 ounces and claiming the title as the…

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Chart a New Start

Fitbit Ultra

The Fitbit Ultra ($100) sits in an interesting spot on the competitive spectrum of workout computers. The original was essentially a pedometer for the 21st century, and recorded users steps to calculate distance traveled and calories burned over a day. This new incarnation provides the same features and adds the ability to distinguish other calorie…

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Watersheep Down

Icebreaker Sierra Hood

Fleece has a tendency to be clammy against the skin when it gets wet, but wool’s natural properties prevent that not-so-pleasant feeling by keeping moisture away from your skin. If you’re searching for a full zip secondary layer that’s both protective and comfortable, look no further than the Icebreaker Sierra Hood ($200), which we had…

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Wearable bug zapper

Craghoppers NosiLife Shirt

Repelling bugs in the outdoors usually means hiding in your tent, smearing mud all over your exposed skin or dousing yourself from head to toe with a noxious chemical that comes out of a bottle with lots of skulls and crossbones on it. Recently, some clothing companies have started selling insect repelling shirts and trousers,…

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Far from the bare essentials

Adidas Adipure Trainer

When it comes to gear reviews, you often find yourself asked to test products that challenge personal biases. My opportunity came in the form of the new and soon to be released Adidas Adipure Trainer ($90). Simply put, I couldn’t see myself wearing, liking or even needing a barefoot trainer — despite being convinced it’s…

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Pressure to be better

Adidas Recovery Compression Apparel

You may not be aware of it, but everything you do (or don’t do) after a workout prepares your body for the next. From stretching, to nutrition, to hydration, your body immediately starts rebuilding what you’ve broken down. The new Adidas Recovery compression apparel takes it to the next level. Here’s how: Recovery reduces muscle…

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See socks differently

Dahlgren Socks

Socks are often the red-headed stepchild of a man’s wardrobe. Abused, overlooked, and unappreciated they’re often an afterthought. That is, unless you buy the right socks. These are the right socks. Dahlgren is a small, family-run sock company based in Oregon that knows the value of focusing on one thing to get it right. And…

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Finally, a casual technical tee

Sport Science Smarter Heather T-shirt

Yeah yeah, another technical t-shirt. Do we really need another wicking, breathable tee? If it’s from Sport Science ($22), the answer is yes. And here’s why. While this shirt does a fine job of pulling sweat off the skin to keep you cool but not clammy, that’s not what makes it special. No, what we…

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Stand Tall

Intelliskin Foundation Shirt 2.0

Posture is an often overlooked element in any training or athletic environment. The premise is simple though: better posture leads to more efficient muscle engagement and cuts down on fatigue. What you may not realize is that those benefits can help in your day to day life as well. Intelliskin’s Foundation Shirt 2.0 ($95) provides…

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Hoodie 2.0

Lululemon Pacific Beach Hoodie

For many, a good summer can hinge on being by/on the water. Lululemon says they made the Pacific Beach Hoodie to “wear up the mountain, and to and from the gym”, but we’ve found it’s perfect for the cool nights and crisp mornings that come along with waterside locales. It features some of the softest cotton fleece…

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Pucker up

Horny Toad Seersucka Shorts

This summer, ditch the tech shirts and shorts in favor of nature’s original microfiber: cotton. Breathable and airy, cotton performs well on steamy days and looks a helluva lot better than your outdoorsy running togs. Seersucker is cotton fabric woven in such a way that it puckers to stand away from the skin for maximum…

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Dashing while dashing

Road Holland Den Haag Cycling Jersey

Inspired by classic European cycling jerseys, Road Holland has revealed the new, US made, limited edition Den Haag Cycling Jersey ($120). The jersey offers classic looks with modern accoutrement like a breathable soft Merino wool/polyester blend with long-lasting moisture wicking properties, three large rear cargo pockets and a waist gripper. Offered in 7, distinctively GP-esque…

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Look Out Nike Plus

Beat Workout Watch

We love a good mechanical watch, but when it comes to workouts, our obsession with analog craftsmanship takes a backseat to functionality. The Beat Workout Watch ($TBD) checks all the boxes of the ultimate exercise companion. Pairing a shoe based sensor with a chest strap heart rate monitor and a 16GB portable music player isn’t…

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High Tech Hoodie

Triple Aught Design Stealth Hoodie LT

Triple Aught Design continues to swing for the fences this year. This time with a comprehensive update of their already rock solid Stealth Hoodie. After ten years of excellent service TAD went back to the drawing board and put a decade’s worth of product testing to good use.

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By the Skin of Your Cleats

Cleatskins

The term Cleatskin rolls off the tongue in a strangely unsettling way, but we won’t knock a company for being blunt about their product’s purpose. Made from a unique formulation of compression molded rubber called Skintek, they’re essentially galosh’s for your spikes — dare we use such a foppish term in the same sentence as…

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Stay tight, stay cool

110% Play Harder Transformer Shorts

It’s common knowledge among athletes that muscle compression is good during hard efforts. It’s also well known that icing muscles immediately after a workout makes for faster recovery. The two concepts have always been mutually exclusive though. Compression wear is all the rage, those snug tops and tights favored by pro football players and, regrettably,…