New Gear and Apparel for Spring 2014

by Blake Schaefering

If you haven't spied your new gear wish list for this spring, then here you go...


Black Diamond Alpine Start jacket- 

Simple, convenient and stylish. It is lightweight and impregnated with a nano-level treatment that keeps it clean and you dry. Plus, a breathability rating that allows for some high tempo hiking.

Rapha Hooded Wind Jacket-

Cyclist or not, this jacket is number one on the wish list this spring. Streamlined and slim cut, asymmetric zipper and muted colors makes this look great on and off two wheels. It also features "micro-drilled holes in the rear of the hood and under the arms for ventilation, and is finished with high-contrast tabs and reflective piping for visibility" and is keeps the wind out like a jacket should when worn zipping around back country roads. 


Under Armour Speedform Apollo Running Shoe-

If they made an all black colorway of this shoe, I'd be all in. It's no secret I'm a Nike junkie but Under Armour is making some serious strides in the performance game. This new release has a light upper and smooth ultrasonic seams to enable a sockless wear, much like the Nike Flyknit. Probably not the best road shoe but as a training shoe that includes some short to mid-distance runs, it looks pretty damn good. 

Nike Kobe XI-

They look a lot like the VIII's, but that's not a bad thing. I've worn Kobe's almost exclusively as a trainer the past couple of years and I doubt I'll change that soon. The weight and stability combo is unparalleled. They clock in at 9.7 oz (275g) which is just over the Flyknit trainer (8.4oz or 238g) and simultaneously provide the stability needed for elite level basketball play. For a trainer working with a wide range of athletes, that means I have to wear a shoe adaptable to demonstrate sprints, agility and plyometrics as well as maintain stability through main lifts like deadlift and squat. Plus, with the never ending parade of colorways, patterns and Nike ID options, you always find a combination (or ten) that tickles your fancy.


Push Strength Device-

Seriously, I'd skip all of the above extras this spring just to get my hands on one of these sooner, rather than later. The new Push device is the latest in a trend of wearable devices that measure your performance. Nike has theirs. Under Armour and Adidas have theirs. But those measure heart rate, steps taken and distance travelled. This measures what most of us (and especially us in the strength and conditioning community) really want to know: STRENGTH. Using a bunch of tech that I vaguely understand (but you can try here), the device measures reps & sets, force,  power, balance, speed, explosive strength, 1 rep max, volume load and tempo. As if that's not enough, as a coach you can use the web portal to track an entire team's metrics even if you're not present and even provide training programs through their system. It does look to have some detailed manual entry necessitated to properly customize and unfortunately, each player will need their own individual unit. But the information received out of it (and the possibility of what to do with that info) are well worth the investment. I put in my pre-order last week and will probably order more units once I get my hands on the first one...