THE BEST IN FITNESS TECHNOLOGY

You've got the best athletic apparel around (I think we all know that), but it's time to up your fit-tech game. Here are three items that you should splurge on this holiday season.

 
Garmin Fenix 3

This here is the absolute best GPS watch on the market and has held that spot since early 2015. With previous models of the fenix watch Garmin focused on the outdoor segment, but the fenix 3 takes things to another level--a rogue warrior of sorts.

 

This is a GPS multisport watch, meaning it is designed for indoor/outdoor running, swimming, and cycling as well as triathlons. Even more, you can create custom sport profiles on the fenix 3 to monitor anything from strength training to yoga, plyometrics, climbing, hiking, etc. As far as workouts go, the fenix 3 has it all covered.

 

But Garmin isn't done yet. The fenix 3 also is an activity tracker, cataloging your all-day steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and sleep. It has programable daily alarms, inactivity reminders, and a daily steps goal to boot. Essentially, the fenix 3 comes with most of the features of your standard fitness tracker. It has Bluetooth Smart built-in to sync your data across to the Garmin Connect mobile app (iOS & Android). From the app, you can view and analyze all of your activity and workout history, connect with friends, and setup various training regiments.

 

And lastly here, the fenix 3 is a smartwatch, relaying all of your phone notifications (emails, text messages, phone calls, etc.) and showing you the weather and your calendar. This is a hugely useful feature as it allows you to see your messages without having to consult the phone that's in your pocket or gym bag. You can't interact with those messages like you can on the Apple Watch and other proper smartwatches, but I found those features more cumbersome than useful to be honest. Having alerts on my wrist and being able to read those messages is enough for me and I think you will find it wonderfully helpful as well.

 

Of course, I am glossing over dozens of features that Garmin would probably have my head for omitting, but the point with the fenix 3 is that it's the only watch for the ultra-active; As far as I'm concerned, it should be the official sports watch of Rhone. I bet you won't catch me without mine.

 

Wahoo Fitness TICKR X

If you want to train hard, but smart, you should probably get a heart rate monitor. And the Wahoo Fitness TICKR X is the best of the bunch, though admittedly Garmin makes a few HRMs that are tempting as well (check out the HRM-Swim, HRM-Tri, and HRM-Run).

 

The TICKR X is a beast of a device for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's a chest-based heart rate monitor and therefore most of the brains of the operation are housed in a 2.75 inch module that would sit in your chest cavity. In tandem with the electrodes built into the straps, the module sends your heart rate data to whatever device it is connected to. That's pretty standard stuff. Most chest-based HRMs do this and only this.

 

Where the TICKR X takes the biscuit is in the 'Extras' category. It compatible with both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ products and therefore will work with most smartphone applications (MapMyFitness, Strava, Runtastic, etc.) and Suunto, Polar, Garmin, and Timex devices. This alone is a tremendous selling point for the TICKR lineup of HRMs.

 

The TICKR X though, also adds running dynamics into the equation. Assuming you're using the Wahoo Fitness app or RunFit app, the TICKR X will collect your cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time (alongside HR, pace, distance, route, and calories) while you run. These are key metrics that seasoned runners use to adjust form, stride length posture, and more. In addition to that, the TICKR X has a programable 'Double Tap' feature that allows you to mark a lap, end a workout, or adjust music all simply by tapping twice on the face of the receiver module on your chest. This is a very unique feature.

 

The other big selling point with the TICKR X is that it has the ability to count your reps during workouts started on the RunFit app or WF 7-Minute app. Let's say you're doing a quick, living room workout administered by one of those two apps, the TICKR X will record your progress and each new workout you can see how your fared against your previous results. For days that I just can't get myself to workout--whatever my excuse--I try to jump into the WF 7-Min Workout app and start a quick workout. It's better than nothing and I don't have to worry about tracking my sets or comparing my results, Wahoo Fitness does this for me.

 

And last up with the TICKR X is the fact that it has internal memory, meaning you can workout without your phone just using the HRM and your workout will be recorded. You can later sync your workout data to your phone and view your results.

 

All-in-all, the TICKR X is a tremendous heart rate monitor and it should be in your arsenal of fitness gadgets. 

Adidas ULTRA Boost Running Shoes

Most people don't consider running shoes in the fit-tech category, but I do so here goes nothing. I've tested out dozens of running shoes from pretty much every brand out there and I keep running back (pun intended) to the adidas ULTRA Boosts. Yes, they're expensive, but the technology in these shoes is second to none.
 

The outsole alone is unmatched by most running shoes. adidas calls it Boost Foam and it really is a breakthrough in the running shoe game. It is constructed of thousands of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) pebbles fused together. As a whole, the outsole is flexible and durable, but it really excels in terms of energy return and impact absorption. It's unlike anything I've experience before. When you run with a Boost shoe you can feel the spring-like nature of the foam taking some of the impact away from your joints. The Boost foam is a revelation. Now to be fair, adidas has made several shoes in the Boost lineup (and I own several of them), but what separates the ULTRA Boosts is that they eliminate virtually all of the EVA foam and go primarily with TPU pebbles. If you don't want to shell out the $180 for the ULTRA Boosts, the Energy Boost 2 will do the trick as well.

 

The other big selling point with the ULTRA Boosts is the Primeknit Upper, which like the Boost Foam, you simply have to experience. It is flexible and breathable yet does a surprisingly good job of locking your foot into place. Your feet won't overheat and they won't wiggle around too much. It's the perfect upper.

 

If you're looking for new running shoes, the adidas ULTRA Boosts should at minimum be on your list of kicks to check out.

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