11 New Gear Trends To Up Your Cool

Check out the 11 new running trends – all the items you simply have to have in 2017! – By Gear Ed, Ryan Scott

PORTABLE TIME OUT: Air Mate, R649
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Hanging out after the race with your crew is a great time for socialising and recovering for your next run. An air hammock can be taken anywhere with little fuss. Once you’ve inflated it, you can kick back in comfort – no matter where you find yourself.

Air is trapped in two cavities, connected and sealed with a rollback mechanism that firms up to accommodate your bodyweight. It’s made from durable rip-stop nylon, which is anti-tear and watertight.

Get it now > airmate.co.za

VERSATILE SHOES: ASICS fuzeX, R2 100
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Planning to try out multiple types of races this year, from road to obstacle? The varied terrain you’ll encounter will place equally diverse demands on your running shoes. Opt for a shoe that has short, middle and long-distance capabilities, and a neutral set-up ready to take on almost any challenge.

At 263 grams, it’s easy to see why Asics are punting the fuzeX as their ‘most versatile, lightweight running shoe’. The heel still offers generous cushioning – it has gel-infused foam, and an overall 8mm drop to the forefoot. The seamless upper ensures a snug fit.

Get it now > asics.co.za

STATEMENT SOCKS: Stance, Hermosa Crew and Pattern Crew, R350
stance

For decades, the humble sock has taken a back seat, mentioned only in conversations about blisters and foot odour. But the silent hero has now been given a booming voice – the modern sock bursts out of runners’ shoes, with splashes of vibrant colour, creative designs and longer lengths.

If you’re really looking to make a statement, Stance’s creative range of patterns, pictures and colours will suit your zany running personality. They’re made from a mixture of cotton, elastic, and stretch fabric to support the arch. Heels and toes are reinforced for durability.

Get it now > 042 293 2199

PATTERNED PINS: Lorna Jane Electric Boho 7/8 Tights, R1 499
tights

Gone are the days of limited choice and monotone colours – the comfort of tights, and the variety of designs and styles available, has reached a new level. Though it’s wise to keep a staple black pair in your wardrobe that’ll go with anything, there’s something so exciting and motivating about putting on a bold, bright pair of tights on those days when you don’t feel like running.

There’s a lively print on the front, and also on the thin, breathable mesh on the side panel. On the back is a block colour. The detailing is very specific and very classy. All in all, a great look and feel.

Get it now > lornajane.co.za

SUPER-SIZE EYES: Oakley Trillbe, R1 400
glasses

The cross-over to casual eyewear in 2017 is all about going big. Quality lenses will protect your peepers from harmful UV rays.

Made from the lightweight Oakley O Matter, these sunnies feel as light as a feather – and the lenses cover every aspect of your vision. Vintage elements include a keyhole nosepiece design, and a one-piece 144mm-wide shield cover.

Get it now > 0861 486 100

THE MULLET: RVCA Trucker Cap, R350
cap

I suspect many runners will be seen sporting Ryan Sandes’ mullet in 2017. The trucker cap – the quintessential accompaniment to any good mullet – has already gathered momentum in the trail-running community.

A characteristic of trucker peaks is that they maintain their bucket shape themselves, as opposed to relying on your head to fill them out. This means there’s less pressure on the head, but it does compromise the fit. RVCA peaks are made from traditional netting, which is softer than most and is extremely breathable.

Get it now > za.rvca.com

CREW GEAR: Puma Sleeveless Hoody, R1 200

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Unofficial running groups have been springing up all over the world, bucking the trend of traditional running clubs. Millennial runners would rather dictate how they hang out – and who they hang out with – themselves. What the crews wear is usually influenced by hip street wear from their favourite brands.

Lots of attitude and easy to wear – which is ideal for a crew of runners who prefer to mould their own look and feel. As comfortable for a 5km urban run as it is for the beers and burgers afterwards.

Get it now > 021 551 0832

STREAMLINED HYDRATION: Salomon S-Lab Sense MAX, R3 799
hydration

Hydration packs for runners can often feel bulky, as though they don’t move in sync with the body. Packs that are designed as a garment – minus the hefty reservoir – are a lot more comfortable and practical. An added bonus: they make you look like a seasoned adventurer.

The technical aspects of this pack are astounding. The simple, lightweight (125 grams), super-comfortable vest has storage for 2 x 500ml water (in flasks), and additional pockets that are stretchy enough to carry food, keys, a phone, a windbreaker jacket, and a space blanket. It’s made from 37.5% soft Cocona fabric, which means the vest can be worn against the skin without chafing. The pack is machine washable (30°C).

Get it now > Salomon Specialist Stores

BODY MAINTENANCE: Grid STK, R800
roller

The merits of rubbing down certain parts of the hips, legs, and feet – for muscle-sheath relief, scar-tissue breakdown and assisted recovery – have been experienced by many. Applying your own therapy, using one of the many tools available at your local running store, can help to alleviate those pesky running niggles.

The Grid STK is versatile enough to target more areas than a standard foam roller. A spongy middle section is channelled and studded with a two-way spinner on its axis bar, and has a non-slip rubber grip on each end, which allows you to work deep into the tissue. You can also control the amount of pressure applied.

Get it now > takealot.com

SHORT SHORTS: Under Armour Play Up Shorts, R450
shorts

They’ve always been available, but until now were worn only by the super-brave. Short shorts have become more fashionable generally, which has changed runners’ mindsets when it comes to how comfortable they feel about wearing them.

High up on the thigh, but not as ‘body-hugging’ as other options. A thick band at the top is emblazoned with bold branding – one of the major trends for 2017. There is two-way stretch over the buttock – great for women who have ‘thicker’ legs – which feels both light and comfortable.

Get it now > The Athlete’s Foot

BIO FEEDBACK: Polar M600, R5 500
watch

Runners’ appetite for feedback has transcended the basic details previously offered by stopwatches. The ability to measure every aspect of a run has become its own incentive. New technology allows us to delve deeper into tracking – not only of our day-to-day movements, but of our bodies too.

The first attribute to take note of is that this watch is not just a once-off piece of tech – the firmware can be updated anywhere you have internet capability. The waterproof watch works (via Android Wear technology) with your phone to provide: a wrist-band heart-rate monitor, 24-hour activity tracking, integrated GPS, sleep-pattern tracking, training-session metrics, Smart Coach, and rich data-sharing options via your phone and laptop.

Get it now > Sportsmans Warehouse, Totalsports, Due South

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