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Ditch the hulk for some helpful tech

Mobile Motivators: Best Fitness Trackers for a Smarter Workout

Most of us are out of touch with our bodies. We clueless about calories, how much we’re walking in a day, or even how to check our own heart rate. Luckily, there’s a host of new fitness trackers that make training truly personal. Strap them onto your wrist or toss them in your pocket and they’ll track your every move — every step you take, every minute you sleep, every calorie you inhale or burn off. Read on for our five best bets for prying you off the couch — and tracking your efforts.

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Today in Gear: May 8, 2013

IMAX Private Theater Maybe you’re a sheik, maybe you bought into APL early; regardless, you’re a movie buff, so this is a no-brainer. IMAX designers work with your architects (you have those right?) to offer their expertise, and once the in-home theater is done, IMAX continues to monitor and service your system 24/7/365. imaxprivatetheatre.com Smoke:…

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Bowers' Essentials

Staff Favorites: Ben Bowers

Our third installment of Staff Favorites turns to Mr. Ben Bowers. Second aboard the GP express and the reticent co-founder of Gear Patrol, Mr. Bowers is first and foremost an inquirer — using his battle-hardened eye of skepticism while monitoring the pulse of the internet, et al.; typically, he does so while reading a pantheon of feeds and bookmarks on his mobile device du jour.

At GP HQ, Ben is also the catalyst, and prizewinner, of often heated culture debates, where his insatiable appetite for music, movies and other media provides him with a panoply of pop-culture knowledge, particularly in early hip-hop and independent films. Beyond the walls of media and analytic thinking though, Ben’s interests are far less studious. A fair-weather sailor, patron of cocktail mixing and a die-hard Nets fan, Ben is also a proud Baton Rouge native — undoubtedly the reason behind his occasional son-of-Creole outbursts in an otherwise self-composed nature.

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Meet the concept cars of the sneaker world

Design Spotlight: Nike Elite Series 2.0

Nike has been a dominant force in basketball for years, equipping some of the game’s biggest stars with footwear both on and off the court. Recently, we had the chance to sit down with Nike Basketball Design Director, Leo Chang, to discuss the second generation of the Elite Series, a limited collection of kicks designed for Nike’s premier athletes just in the time for playoff season. Given the stakes, the series which originally launched last year, provides a unique opportunity for Leo and his team to push what’s possible. It’s about designing the best for the best, when limitations have left the building.

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Kicking It Old School

100 Years On the Pitch: Nike’s Centennial U.S. Soccer Kit

Soccer has never held our collective national attention like other sports — with Landon Donovan’s goal in extra time against Algeria during the 2010 world cup and Brandi Chastain’s sports bra celebration being the two possible exceptions. So who knew that 2013 represents the 100-year anniversary of the birth of U.S. soccer, originally established as the United States Football Association, a not-for-profit, governing body of soccer in America? Nike’s Centennial kit celebrates this notable milestone with throwback duds for players and fans alike.

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Today in Gear: March 25, 2013

Minox 14 DCC If what you really prize is compactness, Minox’s latest pea-shooter — weighing in at 4 ounces — should be on your radar. The 14MP version of their Digital Classic Camera has a retro spy look, a 2-inch LCD display and a Galilean-style optical viewfinder. $239 World Chess Champion Official Set Just in…

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Today in Gear: March 22, 2013

Nike Lunar Control Nike’s popular springy Lunarlon sole has now migrated over to golf, combining stability and comfort with a Power Platform to improve a player’s transition from backswing to impact. That’s assuming you can hit the ball in the first place. $160 Wacom Cintiq 13HD File this under stuff we desperately want but will…

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You wish you were this flexible

Nike Free Trainer 5.0

The Nike Free Trainer 5.0 is the latest generation of the footwear company’s ultra successful Free (no, not that kind of free) line and was inspired by Chinese finger traps. Yup, you read that right.

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Now you're ready for some Football

Nike Vapor Laser Talon

The Nike Vapor Laser Talon was designed from the start to shave time off a critical combine metric — the 40-yard dash. Given that goal, Mr. Golden Shoes himself (a.k.a. Michael Johnson) was brought in as a consultant on the project and emphasized the importance of the “Zero Step” in determining an athlete’s propulsion and acceleration.

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Nike Lunar Flyknit Chukka

Nike’s Flyknit technology that shook the sneaker world earlier this year has now migrated onto a chukka. This particular versions boasts an understated knitted black upper, highlighted by neo turquoise flywire and a white Lunarlon sole. Like many great releases from Beaverton, though, this shoe will only only be available in limited quantities at select retail outlets. German shop Inflammable is one online retailer that’s at least posted a product page and a waiting list notifying hungry fans when they’ll go on sale. Start practicing your “bitte schon” now.

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12 gift ideas for the fitness obsessed

12 Guys of Christmas: The Athlete

The fitness fanatic is the man that puts in a quick 5K before the rest of us have even tossed the beans in the burr grinder. His body fat is measured in fractions, and biceps in feet. His dinner conversations involve things like basal metabolic rate; his pecs flex, noticeably, when he passes the pepper….

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Wound tight

Nike Free Inneva Woven

Nike has always pushed limits in the innovation department and their latest Nike Free Inneva Woven shoe is no exception. The “woven” brand was originally introduced in 2000, and this iteration is defined by a new 360-degree hand-woven system that unifies the laces with a nylon webbing upper made from various strand widths — to…

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Refined but not reformed

Nike SB Challenge Court

Of all the sport cross-pollinations we could think of, tennis and skateboarding aren’t at the top of the list, but then again football players are doing yoga, so all bets are off. As an avid tennis player and fan of the sport, Nike Skateboarding team rider Gino Iannucci had always been inspired by the original…

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How considered design is impacting the future of the beautiful game

Reboot: An Inside Look at Nike Soccer

Everybody knows Nike. How could you not? The global sportswear company is ubiquitous, thanks to decades of developing gear and sponsoring athletes competing in every sport imaginable (seriously, they even sponsor Curling). But while marketing savvy has unquestionably assured the brand limitless time in the spotlight — there’s an equally innovative half to Nike’s success…

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Competition meets innovation

Breakthroughs: 10 Technologies Changing the Olympics

It’s hard to believe the 2012 summer Olympics are already upon us. While this year’s events will feel familiar, the athletes and venues have unquestionably evolved. The same holds true for the technology used to capture, record and share their feats with the globe. Long gone are the games of stark naked athletes, replaced by…

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From field to foot

Nike GS Football Boot

Fresh off the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, which showcased the most insolvent talented European nations, comes the Nike GS Football Boot ($300), Beaverton’s greenest, lightest, and most innovative soccer boot to date. Most of the material is derived from renewable castor beans, which require less water to grow and reduce environmental impact. That green material…

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Style Pick: Nike DWR Chambray Vapour Jacket

Nike likes its innovations. Case in point, the DWR Chambray Vapour Jacket (~$80). Performance-oriented runners with a penchant for a stylish fit in particular will want to pay attention. Originally designed as a lightweight, wind, and water-resistant outerwear, this contemporary incarnation bridges the gap between casual and sportswear, serving as either a swank, lightweight jacket,…

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Game Friendly Forged

Nike VRS Forged Irons

If you’ve sought out a set of game improvement irons, then you’ve likely encountered reviews laden with enough technological jargon and marketing spin to befuddle the mind. Today however, as we look back on our time testing the Nike VR_S Forged Irons ($1,000), we instead turn our attention to something that is usually reserved for…

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Kick'n it up a notch

Nike Team USA Soccer Jersey

The world cup is still a couple of summers away, and the Olympic-level soccer competition may not be the international stop gap U.S. men’s fans had hoped for, but Nike’s new US National Soccer Team Kits are still enough to get our inner footballer stoked. Both men’s and women’s jerseys are identical, and are modeled…

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Float like a butterfly

Nike TW Ultra Polo

Spring is here, well close enough, and that means new product lines for golf apparel. The 2012 iteration of the Tiger Woods polo shirt focuses heavily on being lightweight. The entire garment has been über engineered for maximum playability. Nike has mixed and matched materials throughout to give the TW Ultra Polo ($90) an amazing…

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Form following function

Nike Method Concept Putter

This is not the first, uh how should we put this, uniquely shaped putter we’ve reviewed from Nike Golf. And, while others may scoff at Nike for some truly bizarre shapes, we commend their commitment to pushing the proverbial performance envelope. The Method Concept Putter ($240) was born from an exercise of turning the club…

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Ground Control to Major Tom

Nike Lunar Ascend

The first generation of golf flats were more or less repurposed technology. Now that it’s apparent the fad is becoming a movement, all the shoe gurus have started throwing serious R&D behind next-gen offerings. Case in point, the new Nike Lunar Ascend ($100). Built with Lunarlon cushioning and the Nike Power Platform the Lunar Ascend…

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New Jerseys

Design Spotlight: Nike Hyper Elite Platinum

Take a trip down memory lane and look at the unis worn by Bird and Magic, vs. Jordan and Isiah Thomas, vs. Lebron and Kobe, and you’ll see just how much the style of basketball has changed. The same trends have flowed through the college game. Yesterday, Nike unveiled what it expects to be the…

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Monitor your movements, compete against the world

Nike+ FuelBand

Nike has finally decided to compete directly with startups like Fitbit to help consumers keep track of how much energy they’re burning throughout the day. To do it, the sports leviathan first had to develop a consistent measuring stick for comparing various activities (and people) head to head. So-called NikeFuel is the metric they came…

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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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Bulk in regulation

Nike Full Zip Wind Jacket

With just enough fleeting warmth to squeeze in a few final rounds, late Fall golf is all about layers and preparation. The latest from Nike Golf, Full Zip Wind Jacket ($85) is the perfect outer layer solution for moderate weather. Windproof and water-resistant the jacket weighs in slighty over a feathery 5 oz. The real…

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Their playability is anything but limited

Nike VR Pro Limited Edition Driver & Fairway Woods

Nike Golf’s latest metal wood offerings have just been released and while the “Limited Edition” moniker caught our eye, an upgraded face technology is what grabbed our attention. Nike is unveiling its own multi-face thickness technology with NexCOR and when coupled with an enhanced compression channel results in a hotter club face and higher ball…

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A method to the Madness

Nike Method Core Drone Putter

Following up on the success of the Method Putter, Nike Golf aims to expand their beachhead, quite literally, with a larger mallet. Building off the Method Core platform, the new Drone ($200) boasts some of the highest MOI (face stability) of any flat stick on the market. More stability means more forgiveness on mishits and…

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4 out of 5 dentists recommend

Nike VR Pro Cavity Irons

There is a moment during club testing when you know: love ‘em, hate ‘em, or total indifference. One shot sways your opinion. For this author, it came on my first swing with the 4-iron. I knew as I watched the buttery smooth baby fade that I was happy, very happy. Why exactly? I never felt…

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Regulators... wrist up

Nike+ SportWatch GPS

The brainchild of Nike and TomTom, the Nike+ SportWatch GPS uses data from Nike+ shoe based sensor and the watch’s built-in GPS to accurately track data from your runs. The usual data suspects: heart rate, pace, distance and calories burned can then be uploaded to Nikeplus.com where you can track progress, see your routes and…