Sony Xperia Ear Duo £249
The Xperia Ear Duo offers runners a new listening experience. You can enjoy music, make calls, listen to forecasts, check train times and much more – all while still being able to hear the sounds around you. You can connect to voice assistants such as Google and Siri, while the ergonomic design leaves the ear canal open for extra comfort. Even better, the volume automatically adjusts depending on your surroundings for an optimised audio experience – so you don’t have to faff about with controls. This clever little unit can even switch seamlessly between music, calls and news without you ever touching a button. Daily Assist uses multiple sensors to understand where you are and what you're doing, so it can give you what you need, when you need it.
BT Sports Earbuds £50
Runners will love the secure fit and
sweat-resistance of these popular
sports earbuds. With Bluetooth built
into a flexible around-the-neck collar, they offer comfort and functionality and are lightweight at only 32g.
Nine hours of battery life and 33ft
of connectivity means they're great
for all-day active wireless listening. They're sweat resistant too, which
is always a bonus. Available in
men’s and women’s versions.
SanDisk Clip Sport
Plus MP3 Player £49
Listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts, and anything else that takes your fancy with the SanDisk Clip Sport Plus. Great for anyone on the move, this lightweight gadget clips to your shirt or wristband, which keeps your hands and pockets free. It's water-resistant and durable, making it ideal for trail runs.
It stores up to 4000 songs and also has an FM tuner if you get sick of listening to your own music. The battery lasts for up to 20 hours and comes with its own earphones.
Jaybird Run £170
Excellent wireless sports buds that sit flush in your ears. At 15g they’re as unobtrusive as it gets with a selection of wing tips and gels that create a snug fit. They deliver deep, rich sounds, which can be fully customised. You can take calls thanks to a mic built into the right earbud, with responsive controls on both buds for skipping tracks, answering calls and summoning Siri or Google Assistant. Battery life is four hours, plus another eight hours back-up in the charging case. If you do run out of juice, there’s also a five-minute quick charge that provides an hour of listening time. They're sweatproof, water-resistant and available in three funky colours.
Aftershokz Trekz Air £150
The next generation of bone conduction technology is inside these light, organically designed open-ear headphones. Bulk has been cut and titanium added to ensure they fit securely with better sound quality. They're lightweight and comfortable, sitting outside the ear to avoid buds popping out. The flexible neck band
means you can drop them to your shoulders and run unencumbered at any point. The sound isn’t as full as with more traditional headphones, but Trekz Air are designed to let you hear what’s going on around you too – a big safety plus that also makes them a good choice for marathons and races where you want to hear the roar of the crowds. Controls are simple with one large multi-function button on the left bud that also summons Siri, and two smaller volume controls behind the right ear. Battery life is six hours from a single two-hour full charge; and they’re IP55-rated to repel sweat, rain and dust. Available in grey, blue and green.
Montane Via Fang 5 £110
By and large runners tend to be a polite bunch - you know, the types who will open the doors for old ladies, escort pensioners across the road, that sort of thing. Commentating on overpowering body odour would not be on the agenda for most.
Like-minded endurance types at Montane have recognised this and called on the amazing properties of Polygiene to make sure the latest range of Via Trail Series kit, in store right now, won’t ever whiff again. If the combined power of the 12 noses in our test are to be believed, Polygiene is so effective, you no longer have to wash your kit every day. Once a month will suffice, which is actually quite handy when it comes to a vest pack. We all wash kit fairly regularly, but packs? Yearly? Ever? Did you wonder why friends congratulated you on a great run from afar? Packs, let’s face it, can stink. But not if you own a Montane model from the Via Trail Series, the first such product ever to feature such smell-defying powers. Also available in the clothing range.
Give it a go, and your friends’ noses a break. www.montane.co.uk
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CEP outdoor Light Merino Mid-Cut Socks £18
50g (men’s IV) www.cepsports.co.uk
With a background in compression wear for the medical industry, CEP produces socks that pack serious technology. This merino version, with added nylon for durability and elastane for stretch, is made in Germany. The sizing is based on individual ankle measurements (in cm) so they’re a great fit, reducing the likelihood of blisters or chafing. They’re fantastic to run in, with supportive compression, zoned cushioning and a temperature-regulating weave.
Verdict Precise fit, supportive socks
for all-day running comfort.
Get close to nature with our natural fabrics feature in the September-October issue of Trail Running - out now
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Garmin International, Inc today announced the Vicoactive 3 Music, a GPS smartwatch with integrated music that lets users bring along their favourite tunes to every workout or activity. It features Garmin Pay contactless payments and thousands of ways to customise with free watch faces, widgets, data fields and apps through the Garmin Connect IQTM store.
Featuring the same fitness, wellness and smart connectivity features first introduced on the Vivoactive 3, the Vivoactive 3 Music gives users an extra pep in their step with on-device music storage of up to 500 songs. Download offline music playlists from select music-streaming services like Deezer (coming soon), or transfer music from a computer directly to the watch. Once the music is loaded, pair the Vivoactive 3 Music with a set of compatible bluetooth headphones (sold separately) and go.
Garmin Pay means Vivoactive 3 Music wearers can leave their cash and credit cards at home and still stop for a coffee, pop into a store, or grab a bite to eat throughout their day. Utilising their Garmin Pay wallet, users have the same rewards and benefits of the physical cards, with the convenience of having them right on the wrist for contactless payment.
With ElevateTM wrist-based heart rate and over 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps including yoga, running, strength training and more, the Vivoactive 3 Music is packed with features to keep up with a varied active lifestyle. The always-on Garmin Chroma Display is easy to read — even in direct sunlight. Like all of Garmin’s wearables, it is safe for swimming and showering and has a battery life of up to seven days in smartwatch mode and five hours in GPS with music mode.
Customisation has never been easier with thousands of watch faces, widgets, data fields and apps available to download from the Garmin Connect IQ store. Keep tabs on when your ride is arriving with Uber ETA, turn on the lights at home with the SmartThings app, or check the AccuWeather MinuteCast app to find out when the rain is going to start.
The redesigned Garmin Connect makes it easier than ever to beat yesterday with colourful activity cards that give users an at-a-glance to the most important stats. Simply scroll down to compare today’s totals to past results or tap in for more detailed information. Activities and other stats captured by the device are presented in vivid detail with data customised and filtered so that the user is only seeing what is most relevant to his or her goals. Users can connect with friends and family to motivate one another, join challenges, engage in friendly competitions and score colourful new Garmin Connect badges when goals are crushed.
The vívoactive 3 Music comes with a black silicone 20mm quick release industry standard band and has a recommended retail price of £229.99 and is available now. Accessory bands in different sizes are available for purchase separately for £27.99. To see more of what the vívoactive 3 Music has to offer, check out this feature benefit video or visit Garmin.com/vivo.
The vívoactive 3 Music is the latest innovation from the ever-expanding Garmin fitness segment that develops technologies to enhance and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Whether users are runners, cyclists, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, or simply looking to stay active throughout the day, there is a Garmin product that can help them reach their health and fitness goals.
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Our May issue has a great section devoted to curing minor irritations – you know, blisters and that sort of thing.
So this great piece of kit caught our eye - Lifesystems’ Camping First Aid Kit.
Obviously, it has all you’d need for a minor running emergency, but we particularly liked Lifesystems’ finely-honed Quick Find System which guarantees that the required item is quick and easy to locate. Handy when time is of the essence!
Plus, all Lifesystems first aid kits come with a handy Primary Care Leaflet with guidance for treating minor ailments and injuries, but make sure you read our next issue for the full picture on that one!
Lifesystems Blister First Aid Kit
Lifesystems Camping First Aid Kit
The best sunglasses for runners in different weather conditions
Whether you’re running for fun or you’re a competitive athlete, sometimes you need a little extra help to stay protected against the elements. Sun, rain, wind or dust can impact your performance, so it’s important that you protect your eyes from whatever Mother Nature sends your way. From the levels of UV protection, to the durability and suitability of the frames and lenses you choose for your run, we’ve tried and tested a selection of popular running eyewear choices to see which ones offer the best levels of eye safety, comfort and performance.
Weather Forecast: Sun
Many people relish the appearance of a sunny day to dig out their running shoes, but bright weather conditions can often hinder your progress. If you’re heading to a hot climate or planning a series of summer runs, we recommend eyewear that can adjust to changing conditions.
Overexposure to the sun can be extremely damaging and you need to ensure that the eyewear you choose for sunny runs protects you against harmful rays. Choose a sturdy frame with comfortable temples and secure ear grips that won’t become loose with sweat. If running outdoors, polarised lenses will help eliminate the glare that comes from roads or concrete, while a photochromic lens will help combat rapidly changing light conditions.
Bloc Eyewear is a firm favourite with athletes and The Titan is a great choice for those looking for versatile, high-performance glasses. The innovative lens replacement system makes it easy to switch between lenses whenever you need to, with XTR Karbon8 lens technology that optimises vision in virtually all light conditions. The frames and temples are light and comfortable, making this a great option for those taking part in outdoor sports. The Titan boasts maximum protection against UVA/UVB and harmful blue light up to 400nm.
Weather Forecast: Rain
Just because the sun isn’t out doesn’t mean that you can leave your eyewear at home. When pounding the pavement in the rain you need to be aware that rain can reflect UV rays off the ground, so it’s just as important to opt for running sunglasses that provide top UV protection.
In the rain, runners need to consider lens colour as well as the technology needed to stop your eyes being pelted with rain. A pair of lightly tinted or clear glasses is ideal here as you will maintain a good level of vision even in a low light. Look for lenses that offer a strong anti-fog cleaner, this will ensure that any moisture that collects inside the lens with clear quicker, leaving you with clear vision to continue your run. As with sweat in the sun, you need to make sure that your glasses are fully secure, ideally in a wrap-around style to get your eyewear in place. A strong, durable frame will also combat any accidents if you do happen to drop your glasses mid-run.
For runners on a budget, we think the Endura Anti-Fog single lens sunglasses are a great buy. The high definition, low distortion polycarbonate lenses come with an anti-fog finish and the ergonomic wrap-around style will also help protect from wind.
Fully UV compliant, these lightweight sunglasses are ideal for when you’re facing adverse weather conditions and will ensure your vision stays clear even in the heavy rain.
Weather Forecast: Dust
If you’re heading to very dry conditions, dust can severely impact your experience. Wind, dust and flying debris can make eyes dry, irritated or even cause injury so it’s important to keep your eyewear close when heading out on a run. Opt for wrap-around or very close fitting styles that will shield your eyes physically, and strong lenses (such as polycarbonate lenses) to protect them optically. If conditions are hazy or overcast, look for sunglasses that have yellow or orange tinted lenses, these will filter out any blue light and give you a sharper focus on the road.
The polarised Radarlock lenses are designed to completely shut out dust and curve right round to offer a wider than average peripheral view. The ear grips are designed to keep your eyewear safe and secure on the face, regardless of how much you may sweat plus, the O-Matter stress-free frame is durable and ideal for long distance runners looking for comfort and protection. With top UV protection as well as filtering out all UVA, UVB, UVC and blue light up to 400nm, these are a great option for a serious runner
Weather Forecast: Wind
One of the biggest problems for a runner facing windy conditions is finding sunglasses that fully protect the eyes. Windy conditions can leave eyes feeling dry, sore and watery, not the ideal situation for anyone out on the road! As with dusty conditions, you need to look for frames that are designed to stay put, whatever the weather. Wrap-around styles are great here, but similarly a sturdy close-fitting frame will help block off areas where wind can sneak in around the face.
The Revo Baseliner is a fantastic choice for windy conditions. The 8-base wrap design performs in even the windiest conditions, offering solid coverage for the runner. As well as being a great choice for wind, the Baseliner has a stable, solid fit that stays in place when running. These polarised lenses are engineered to absorb 89% of visible light and eliminate 99% of glare - a great way to ensure you have enhanced definition when out on the road or trail.
Naked Runner Blue Streak £40
Tested over ultra-marathons, these good-looking sports sunglasses are supremely lightweight and flexible, allowing them to contour to your face for maximum comfort. The frames are made from TR90 composite material making them incredibly robust, and the design ensures they don’t bounce on the nose as you run – handy when on rough terrain. And they won’t break if you drop them either. Air ducts placed around the frames stop them from misting up and the non-slip nose pads allow for a snug fit. The lenses are made from Polycarbonate and give the very important 100% UV-400 protection.
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This week we've been testing the TheraPearl hot and cold therapy packs - from £8.00.
These blue packs may look a bit space age, but trust me, they are very much of this planet! Sometime before Christmas I had the bad luck of slipping on a pesky bit of ice and twisted my knee slightly. Whenever I hurt my knees (also being a snowboarder, that's pretty often) I seem to always wobble over onto the same one, so it's a bit vulnerable now and it doesn't take much to make it feel bashed. This time the knee was puffy and painful but not too bruised - I knew though that I was out of action for a week or so. Fortunately for me, a TheraPearl therapy pack had arrived in the office just before the slip and I had it at home to try. It was the knee pack - how lucky was I? These packs are described as the drug-free way to relieve pain and inflammation, using pearl technology and delivering either hot or cold to the affected area depending on what you need. I used it cold for the first day while the trauma was still fresh, then switched to hot. The pack was held in place by easy to use straps. It was comfortable to wear and I could move around while doing so - it conforms to the body, making it less bulky than some packs. To use it cold, it goes in the freezer for two hours. For hot, just pop it into the microwave for however long it says on the instructions - it differs depending on which one you're using due to size. I found it very useful - alleviated the pain and helped with the swelling pretty quickly. I was running again within a week - if this was down to the pack, I'll never really know, but with injuries like this I'm usually out of action for a bit longer. Definitely better than using frozen peas that's for sure! I'll definitely be taking it to the Alps with me this year.
You leave the pack on for 20 minutes then re-freeze or re-heat and use again if needed. The are not only used for injuries - they can be used hot before activity to warm the muscles and stimulate blood flow and after activity to lessen wear and tear. They are not particularly expensive, can be used over and over and are easily cleaned, so worth the investment in my book. You can get them for all parts of the body.
To get your hands on one (or two) head to www.boots.com
This week we have been testing……..the Odlo fast and light cap £18
OK, so a hat doesn’t seem the most exciting thing for us to be writing about. But when the weather is as changeable as it is at the moment, a good one can be extremely useful. And this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s lightweight and form-fitting with good breathability and an integrated sweatband. An adjustable Velcro clasp closure gives a great fit and it’s unisex, which is always a bonus. I’ve been caught out in a number of showers wearing this cap, and one or two downpours, and on all occasions, my head has been perfectly dry when I’ve stumbled back across the threshold, dripping like a leaky tap. Worth the money.