Products editor Paul Freary offers up some festive present ideas for the athletes in your life
Looking for some last-minute Christmas gift ideas for yourself or the athletes in your life? Products editor Paul Freary has some suggestions.
Knog – Bandicoot
Price: £29.99 Stockist: knog.com.au
Unlike other headlamps, this streamlined light uses a unique silicone one-piece stretch strap to hold it securely in place. It fits incredibly well and, weighing just 60g you hardly notice you have it on at all.
The strap and lamp body are manufactured from a single piece of silicone and form a unit that looks sleek and
is fuss-free. It’s USB rechargeable, waterproof and has a power of 100 lumens, enough to give it around a 40m range.
Perhaps best of all is the small form factor and light weight meaning it can easily be stashed in your pocket for use as and when required on twilight runs.
Zone3 – Hybrid Puffa Quilted Jacket and RX3 Medical Grade Compression 7/8th Tights
Price: £85.00 and £70.00 Stockist: zone3.com (pictured below)
Zone3 was founded in 2007 by elite triathletes at Loughborough University and has since expanded to offer high-performance kit “suitable for all sports and fitness enthusiasts”.
If you’re looking to get a loved one the gift of kit this Christmas, then the brand’s complete compression and fitness collection provides a great deal of choice, from medical grade compression wear to active wear designed for training, racing and recovery.
Our tester tried the women’s 7/8th length tights and hybrid puffa quilted jacket and found the tights to offer great support and coverage, thanks to the high denier strength material to ensure they don’t go see through. There’s a good-sized back pocket big enough to store a phone. The puffa was great for running or to wear pre and post workout but does come up a little small, so sizing up is recommended.
Kicksology by Brian Metzler
Price: $18.95 Stockist: velopress.com (pictured above)
“The hype, science, culture and cool of running shoes” is this book’s cover strapline and that hits the nail bang on the head. It is a joyride through the history of footwear and the sport as it charts the author’s personal running journey and the various styles of running shoes he’s put to the test. The book is fun and informative, looking at shoes of yesteryear and offering a glimpse of the future.
MP Magic Socks – Antibacterial Socks
Price: $19.00 Stockist: mpmagicsocks.com (pictured below, left)
Using their own ‘magic’ yarn the manufactures claim these socks will remain odour-free for six days! It wasn’t a test we saw through to the end, but the combination of Japanese cotton, Coolmax and Lycra make the socks extremely comfortable, durable and for as long as we wore them, odour-free!
Urbanista – Athens (True Wireless) earphones
Price: £119.00 Stockist: urbanista.com (pictured below)
Offering a wireless solution to listening to music as you train – these earbuds are light, waterproof and offer great sound quality.
Coming complete with their own charging and storage case they will provide up to 32 hours of playtime without the need to reach for the plug socket! Easy to connect and simple to control, they fit well and stay put throughout the most rigorous workouts.
Stance – Cavolo Eye Crew Socks
Price: £15.99 Stockist: stance.eu.com (pictured above, right)
Using the brand’s FEEL360 yarns, these socks are soft, durable and extremely comfortable. Always available in a wide range of eye-catching designs, this pair is inspired by the artwork of Ricardo Cavolo, but there’s lots to choose from.
Inov-8 – Race Elite 3-in-1 Glove
Price: £50.00 Stockist: inov-8.com (pictured above)
As its name suggests, this is more than just a single pair of gloves. Firstly, it’s a regular glove that’s light, moisture-wicking and breathable. The second glove is actually a waterproof over-mitten that provides an extra layer of weather-proof protection when required. These are easily stored within a dedicated pouch, integrated into the back of the hand of the gloves.
When worn together you have double layer warmth and protection that still weighs just 69g in a product which offers versatility and protection in a lightweight design.
Icebug – Newrun RB9 4Seasons GTX
Price: €159.95 Stockist: icebug.com
Known for their spiked shoes designed for grip in the very worst conditions, this new model from Icebug is their first road running offering. It is still a great option for winter as it is packed with features from top to bottom that make the ‘4Season’ name appropriate.
A Gore-Tex upper ensures the feet remain warm and dry, while the use of the famous weather-proofing membrane is well executed, keeping the shoe light, flexible and supple.
The BOA fastening system works well and ensures a secure and close fit, with the gusseted tongue helping to encase the foot for the ultimate in weather protection. A deep midsole offers plenty of cushioning and feels light for such a robust shoe and is combined with an outsole that can tackle most conditions. Not just a shoe for Christmas, it really is a four-season option.
Huawei – Honor Band 5
Price: £29.99 Stockist: hihonor.com (pictured top)
The very latest fitness band from smartphone manufacturer Huawei is probably the most advanced ever created and at under £30 offers remarkable value.
Packed with features usually only found on devices costing hundreds of pounds, the Honor has an oxygen saturation monitor, 24-hour heart rate monitoring and sleep monitor built in.
It’s easy to use and the AMOLED touchscreen provides a crystal-clear display that’s easy to see, even when working out. Around two weeks of battery life is enough to see you through Christmas and New Year and recharging is quick and simple via a USB plug.
Thorlos – Experia Tiger Paws Socks
Price: £14.99 Stockist: thorlos.com (pictured below, right)
The brand’s popular Experia socks get a seasonal makeover with these Tiger Paws edition. The extra padding beneath the heel and forefoot gives the socks a luxurious feel, whilst the instep is highly breathable. Available in a wide range of designs and colours this winter, there’s something for everyone.
Proviz – Classic Hi Viz running Vest
Price: £15.99 Stockist: provizsports.com (pictured above, left)
Be seen and be safe with this hi-viz vest packed with highly reflective “proviz” panels.
Withings – Sleep Tracking Mat
Price: £99.95 Stockist: withings.com (pictured below, right)
Sleep and recovery are just as important as training itself, particularly during winter when the cold weather can put additional strains on the body. This sleep tracking mat provides sleep cycle analysis (deep, light and REM), heart rate tracking and snore detection.
The slim mat is placed under your mattress and syncs via Wi-Fi to the Withings Health Mate app. Here you can track the feedback and learn how to make adjustments that should help you sleep better.
Under Armour – UA Rush ColdGear Long Sleeve
Price: £60.00 Stockist: underarmour.co.uk (pictured above, left)
The mineral-infused fabric used in this garment absorbs the energy your body emits and reflects it back into the tissues and muscles. In short, this creates a garment that is comfortable, moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating and feels incredible to train in.
The design allows a full range of movement and is great for winter workouts.
Price: £69.99 for an annual digital subscription Stockist: pocketmags.com
We couldn’t have a Christmas gift guide and not include a subscription to the ‘bible of the sport’!
A digital subscription to AW is a great option for those who may have left their Christmas shopping until the last minute, as it includes the latest edition plus all regular issues released during the subscription.
Ideal for readers based outside of the UK or those on the go, magazines can be accessed on mobile devices whenever and wherever!
Choose from annual, six-month or monthly subscription options.