2014 Holiday Gift Guide

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With the holidays just around the corner, we’ve rounded up some of the best products for the endurance athlete or fitness enthusiast in your life. From gear to accessories, you’re sure to find something that will appeal to those on your list who love to stay moving even through the winter months.

 

GU Brew

Why you want it: Designed as a counterpoint to GU’s ultra endurance Roctane line of drinks, GU Brew puts electrolytes before carbs, focusing primarily on hydration rather than carbohydrate delivery. At 70 calories per serving, this three percent carbohydrate solution will help keep you going with flavors such as blueberry pomegranate, lemon tea, watermelon and more.


Where you can find it: Most Chicagoland specialty retailers. For a full list of retailers, visit guenergy.com
How much it costs:
$1.50 per stick, or $20 for a 24-serving canister.

 

RockMyRun

Why you want it: Imagine taking a DJ along with you on your run who changes your music to fit your workout and pace. RockMyRun offers mixes for tempo runs, intervals, 5Ks, 10K, half marathons and marathons, and premium memberships employ myBeat™ Body Driven Music Technology that alters the music’s tempo to biometric data such as steps.

Where you can find it: Google play, the App Store

How much it costs: Free for a standard membership, paid premium memberships available for $4.99 per month, $12.99 per quarter or $35.99 per year.

 

Balega Blister Resist Socks

Why you want it: Keep blisters at bay with Balega’s Blister Resist socks. Available in crew, quarter and no-show lengths, these socks feature a Drynamix mohair footbed designed to keep your feet cool, dry, and blister free.

Where you can find it: Fleet Feet Sports Chicago, Running Excels, Universal Sole

How much it costs: $13 (no-show), $14 (quarter), $15 (crew)

 

ArmPocket Racer

Why you want it: Keep your phone secure while you run with Armpocket. The armband fits phones up to 5.3” in length and features moisture-resistant fabric and three additional storage compartments to hold other loose items you may bring with you on your run.

Where you can find it: The Runner’s Soul (La Grange), Urban Tri Gear, Runner’s High ’n Tri

How much it costs: $24.95

 

Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle

Why you want it: This bottle keeps your beverages at the optimal temperature without sweating all over your gym bag. Cold beverages stay chilled for up to 24 hours, while hot beverages stay warm for up to 12 hours. The bottle is BPA-free, 100 percent recyclable and backed by a lifetime warranty.

Where you can find it: Uncle Dan’s, Athleta, Title Nine, Erehwon, REI, Golfsmith, Kemper Sports, select CorePower Yoga locations, Bikram Yoga North Shore Chicago, Bikram Yoga Rolling Meadows

How much it costs: $33.99

 

Craft Hybrid Weather Glove

Why you want it: With just about everything you could hope for in a pair of gloves, these will keep your hands warm and dry whether you’re on the run or commuting through the winter. The gloves convert into mittens to keep your fingers extra toasty, and the palms feature a silicone print for enhanced gripping.

Where you can find it: Fleet Feet Sports Chicago, Dick Pond Athletics, Naperville Running Company, Running Away Multisport, Barrington Running Company, Runner’s Soul, Trek Highland Park

How much it costs: $34.99

 

Pearl Izumi ELITE Thermal Arm Warmers

Why you want it: If you have yet to experience the excellence of arm warmers, consider putting this on your holiday list and be ready to enjoy spring and fall running in an entirely different way. Arm warmers keep you comfortable and are easy to remove when you heat up, making them a nice alternative to wearing a full extra layer. These Pearl Izumi ELITE Thermal Arm Warmers have wide grippers to keep the warmers in place with less pressure.

Where you can find it: Element Multisport, Fleet Feet Sports Chicago, Geneva Running Outfitters, Naperville Running Company, Roll: Clybourn, Run Chicago, Runner’s High ‘n Tri

How much it costs: $35

 

SKLZ AccuRoller

Why you want it: This massage roller has durable straps to help reach your back if you find yourself unable to lie on the floor. It differs from other stick rollers in that you can adjust the individual massagers to hit different trigger points. We would probably suggest using this one as a complement to other tools, such as a foam roller and lacrosse ball, rather than a replacement.

Where you can find it: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority

How much it costs: $39.99

 

Trigger Point Grid X

Why you want it: If you like intense compression, this is the foam roller for you. With its plastic cylinder center, there’s no way this will lose its shape. It’s big enough to roll out all of those large muscle groups, yet compact enough to pack in a bag if you’re traveling.

Where you can find it: Most Chicagoland specialty retailers. For a full list of retailers, visit www.tptherapy.com

How much it costs: $49.99

 

180s Strobe Earwarmers, Foundation LED Gloves and CRG LED Gloves

Why you want them: Stay visible during your winter workout with 180s’ LED products. The Strobe earwarmers have a row of red LED lights along the back that can shine steadily or flash, while the gloves include integrated LED lights along the knuckles. The CRG glove also features a water-resistant hood to turn the gloves into mittens for extra cold days.

Where you can find it: Uncle Dan’s

How much it costs: $50 (Strobe Earwarmers), $55 (Foundation LED Gloves), $60 (CRG LED Gloves)

 

ThermXRoller

Why you want it: This unique foam roller, created by a Chicago-based business, combines the powers of heat, cold and foam rolling all in one device. The center of the roller features an “X” design to provide targeted pressure, while the cotton cover surrounding the X can be heated in the microwave or cooled in the freezer to provide additional recovery benefits.

Where you can find it: Fitness Experts, Urban Tri Gear, www.korefit.com

How much it costs: $59.99

 

Swiftwick RECOVERY+

Why you want it: Jumpstart your post-workout recovery with Swiftwick’s newest sock, the RECOVERY+. This knee-high compression sock has embedded antimicrobial elements to fight odor and bacteria and wicks away moisture to keep your feet dry.

Where you can find it: Roll: Clybourn, Kozy’s Cyclery, Element Multisport, Fleet Feet Sports Chicago, Universal Sole, Trek Highland Park, Urban Tri Gear, Get a Grip Cycles, Runners High ‘n Tri

How much it costs: $69

 

Zoot ETHERwind Jacket

Why you want it: Stay warm and dry without feeling weighed down with this ultra lightweight jacket. With zippered hand warmer pockets and a back cape ventilation, this jacket will help keep you comfortable throughout the winter.

Where you can find it: Urban Tri Gear, Running Away Multisport, Amphibian Multisport
How much it costs:
$75

 

2XU Active Cycle Jersey

Why you want it: This entry-level jersey has 2XU’s High Fil Mesh on the shoulder and side panels to keep you comfortable on your rides, along with High Fil Cool for moisture management. The jersey also features reflective trim to help increase your visibility while out on the bike.

Where you can find it: Running Away Multisport, Element Multisport

How much it costs: $79.95

 

PoCampo Logan Trunk

Why you want it: Commute in style with PoCampo’s Logan Bike Trunk Bag, now available in a new Emerald Bike Ride print. The bag easily attaches to a rear bicycle rack and features side bottle pockets, a back patch pocket, an interior document pocket, three gathered interior pockets, reflective accents and a waterproof coating for rainy rides.

Where you can find it: BFF Bikes, Roll: Chicago

How much it costs: $85

 

Ibex Women’s Woolies 150 Stripe Zip-T or Men’s Shak Spire

Why you want it: Both the Woolies 150 Stripe Zip-T and Shak Spire are made from 100 percent Merino wool to keep you warm and comfortable during your outdoor winter adventures. Merino wool is naturally odor resistant, allowing you to work out longer without worrying about stink.

Where you can find it: Uncle Dan’s

How much it costs: $90 (Woolies 150 Stripe Zip-T), $175 (Shak Spire)

 

Patagonia Wind Shield Hybrid Soft Shell Pants and Jacket

Why you want it: Enjoy lightweight protection on the trails with Patagonia’s Wind Shield line. Both the pants and jacket feature zippered pockets to stash your fuel or keys, and the jacket has thumbholes and fold-over mittens in the sleeves.

Where you can find it: Patagonia

How much it costs: $99 (pants), $139 (jacket)

 

Blackburn Tech Mag 1 Trainer

Why you want it: Winter weather got you down? Bring your bike inside and set it up on the Blackburn Tech Mag 1 Trainer to keep your endurance up for when the snow melts. The trainer features a compact and foldable design and works with wheel sizes between 26”x1” and 29”x2.3”

Where you can find it: Most local bike stores. Visit www.blackburndesign.com for a full list.

How much it costs: $119.99

 

Craft Elite Run Wind Jersey

Why you want it: Stay comfortable in a variety of conditions with this pullover. The arms feature integrated gloves that you can either fold over your hands or back into the sleeves when you warm up, and a diagonal zipper across the front opens for added ventilation. No need to worry about the jacket flapping around if you unzip it: the collar includes a small magnet that holds it in place when unzipped.

Where you can find it: Fleet Feet Sports Chicago, Dick Pond Athletics, Naperville Running Company, Running Away Multisport, Barrington Running Company, Runner’s Soul, Trek Highland Park

How much it costs: $119.99

 

Karhu Fast5

Why you want it: Neutral shoe wearers looking to experience Karhu’s fulcrum technology can consider the Fast5, one of the brand’s newest offerings. The shoe promises Karhu’s most cushioned ride and works well as a training shoe.

Where you can find it: Running Away Multisport

How much it costs: $139.99

 

Chrome WARM Work Shirt

Why you want it: Stay warm and visible through the winter with one of Chrome’s newest items of clothing, the WARM Work Shirt. This reversible jacket features a quilted black side and a high visibility orange side to keep you comfortable and safe while out on your bike during the winter months.

Where you can find it: Chrome Chicago

How much it costs: $180

 

Polar M400

Why you want it: Tired of crowding your wrist with different devices that all serve only one function? The Polar M400 combines GPS and activity-tracking capabilities all in one water-resistant watch. Available in white or black, the watch tracks speed, pace, distance, altitude and intensity when paired with a Polar H7 heart rate sensor, sold separately. As an activity tracker, the M400 also monitors your daily movement, including steps and sleep. The watch has several other options, including Polar Running Programs based on your personal fitness level and goals, an end time estimator and Back to Start, which will give you directions back to your starting point using the shortest distance possible, and syncs up with the Polar Flow web service and app.

Where you can find it: Fleet Feet Sports Chicago, Running Away Multisport

How much it costs: $199.95