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New | Running | Accessories Participants in the Ultra-Trail Cape Town in October made use of plenty of running accessories to counter the wet and cold at the start, and misty trails along the way. Photos by Sportograf.
November 2015

The latest in

running accessories

Accessories are useful products to recommend to your customers who are preparing for races or want to add safety or comfort features to their training runs. YAMKELA MKEBE finds out what new and exciting running products suppliers have to offer

Accessories add more details to a runner’s look while also providing the necessary needs during the run. It takes more than just shorts, vests and shoes for a runner to have a complete running look. Accessories like watches, caps, visors, LED lights, socks, laces and arm bands are just a few items designed to make running more convenient. Such items ensure that a runner enjoys his run with ease as they either provide navigation, safety or comfort when on the run.

Adidas accessories

There is a wide variety of running accessories available from adidas, such as caps, bottles, a waistbag, media arm pocket, and running light.

The two caps feature the climalite and climacool technologies that keep the wearer cool and dry by pulling sweat away from the body.

The climalite 3-stripes cap is designed to help keep the sweat out of the runner’s face. It’s made with moisture-wicking climalite fabric and features UPF 20 UV sun protection. Reflective details on the adidas logo at the back and on the three stripes on the front keep the wearer visible.

The cap is made of 90% recycled polyester and 10% elastane dobby.

The ventilated climacool running cap helps to keep the wearer cool and dry. It features breathable mesh vents, UPF 20 UV sun protection and reflective details.

Both caps feature medium pre-curved brims and adjustable back straps.

For those times when your customer has to carry items with him, but he has no pockets, recommend he tries the run bottle waistbag, which allows him to keep essentials in one easy place. The product features a sleeve to hold a water bottle as well as two zip pockets for smaller items. The waistbag also has a handy adjustable strap and is made from 100% polyester.

A smartphone offers a runner several handy functions while on the run. Your customers can carry theirs in adidas’ media arm pocket, which is built with a secure hook and loop elastic strap to help attach a smartphone like the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. The reflective arm pocket is made of 100% silicon.

For low light runs, adidas recommends their running light. The light has three settings allowing a user to adjust the brightness. The interchangeable battery-operated light is designed with 100% polyester plain weave.

The dishwasher-safe and BPA-free water bottle is designed to help keep a runner hydrated during training. The 750ml bottle features a pop-up top and is made of 100% injection moulded polyethylene. This slim-design bottle fits in most bike bottle holders.

ASICS caters for women

With its women-sized Mad Dash Visor, ergonomic and lightweight 2PPK Pulse and 3PPK Lyte socks, and their handy duffle bag, ASICS has your customers’ running accessory needs covered from head to toe.

The Mad Dash visor, which has been sized smaller for a woman’s fit, is a worry-free lightweight performance visor that will keep your customers comfortable with its moisture management and ASICS’s Dry technology that removes sweat from the skin and cuts down on irritation.

The 100% Polyester visor also features handy design elements such as a reflective and easily adjustable back, and a black underbill.

The ergonomically designed 2PPK Pulse socks have been designed for comfort and to help the runner. They feature flat toe seams, which mean less skin irritations and a more comfortable run. The design also helps to absorb shock, which is especially useful for those running on hard surfaces. In addition, the moisture-wicking yarn keeps the feet cool and dry.

With the 3PPK Lyte socks your customers can hit their goals three times a week, says Dawid Visser of ASICS. The socks allow a wearer to give 100% during his training sessions. “It’s all about high performance, with a sock that adds almost nothing to the total weight of the wearer’s gear,” he adds.

The fabric releases sweat fast, making every step a little more comfortable. Each of the socks also has a training-friendly flat toe seam that helps with keeping away blisters. They keep weight right down and are low-cut, therefore only peeking out slightly over the top of the shoe.

ASICS’ medium sized duffle bag allows a runner to store all of his training gear in one place. It’s easy to transport with comfortable removable straps and padded handles, and is designed to store all the user’s training gear in a big and secure area. It also features a separate mesh pocket, which is useful to secure valuables.

Black Diamond gives light

Black Diamond offers a number of lighting solutions that will prove useful to a user when running in low light. The Ember Power flashlight is one of the two new products in Black Diamond’s lighting range. Not only does it illuminate the trail ahead, it also charges hand-held electronics through its USB port.

The sleek 150-lumen light “masters hand-held lighting while adding charging capabilities.

With an integrated USB port, keeping hand-held electronics alive is possible even miles from the trailhead,” explains Deidre Pieters from local distributor Ram Mountaineering. It features a swipe-activated TriplePower LED and a rechargeable lithium polymer battery with power meter and lock mode for increased shelf life to eliminate a user’s lighting worries.

With its double- and singlePower LEDs, the highly compact and powerful Ion headlamp (above) packs up to 80 lumens of power into a small package for those just-in-case lighting situations and ultralight missions. Its touch-control housing allows a user to switch between full power, dimmed, strobe, and red night vision mode at the swipe of a finger. Other settings include full strength in close and distance modes, and lock mode. The modern touch-control housing operates on two AAA lithium, standard alkaline, or rechargeable batteries that come with lithiums for lightweight cold-weather performance.

This is “the smallest, lightest and most fully functional headlamp that runs on AAA batteries,” says Pieters. “The Ion features powerful LED’s and touch-sensitive housing for ultralight outings and emergency use.” The headlamp has an IPX 8 water submersion rating, which means it can withstand half an hour of submersion up to 3m below water — great news for someone caught unexpectedly in rain.

The USB rechargeable Sprinter headlamp is designed for everyday use, including pre-dawn and post sunset runs. The lithium polymer battery recharges through a USB port in 5 hours. “With a sleek rechargeable design and excellent fore-aft balance, the 130-lumen Black Diamond Sprinter headlamp is a versatile, all-weather light that’s ideal for high-impact use on the trail or the skin track,” says Pieters.

A red taillight strobe in the rear, with on and off switch, adds visibility, the stormproof design keeps the lamp going strong in any weather, and the regulated design provides constant illumination through the battery life.

The lamp also features an IPX 4 rating — it can withstand splashing and sprayed water from any angle.

The Icon headlamp is their most powerful headlamp for people who demand high-output lighting, says Pieters. It features a powerful 320-lumen QuadPower LED, is waterproof up to 1m, and has a balanced batteries-in-the-back design. It’s prepared for everything a run might entail.

Icon features four modes: its red night vision mode can be accessed without cycling through the white mode first to protect a user’s night vison, while the dimming, strobe and lock modes offer different options for all conditions. It features one QuadPower LED spotlight, two SinglePower white LED’s and two SinglePower red LEDs. A handy feature, the power meter shows the remaining battery life for three seconds after switching on the headlamp.

Bridgedale socks

Bridgedale socks, locally distributed by Adventure Inc, is made from a variety of technical yarns that offer softness next to the skin, while also providing thermal and moisture control properties.

The men’s Speed Demon and ladies’ Speed Diva socks are light and breathable. For impact protection, they feature mapped T2 anti-shock cushioning and targeted ventilation that keeps the feet cool.

For a barely-there experience, the Na-Kd sock offers cool comfort and a low cut. Its SlingShot heel fit and elasticated construction add up to stay-put comfort, while the high-performance microfibres combine into a cooling and fast-wicking overfoot mesh.

Elastic Lock Shoelaces

SBR Agencies now distributes a new user-friendly brand of Elastic Lock Shoelaces laces under their own SBR name.

These easy-to-tie and —lock laces are durable, resistant and comfortable to use and are ideal for use with most fitness activities. They are 120cm long, repel water and the matching lock and laces are available in 11 vibrant colours.

With the new product comes a new packaging, which features a stylish design in the SBR colours.

Hickies responsive laces

The Hickies responsive lacing system, locally distributed by Boardriders Asylum, is made from a memory-fit elastomer that moves with the wearer’s feet.

The wearer can customise the way this one-size-fits-all product, which is available in 18 colours and can be used on any adult’s or kid’s shoe, fits on his shoe by making use of different lacing patterns or mixing several patterns. Hickies eliminates the need for a wearer to tie his laces and offers a consistent fit throughout training.

Medalist offers wide range

Medalist offers a wide range of running accessories to keep your running customer hydrated and visible in low light conditions.

For runners who prefer to use bottles for their hydration and nutrition needs, a retailer needs look no further than Medalist’s Hydro Grip, Hydro Flow, or the Hydro Gel 2 and Hydro Gel 4. The Hydro Grip handheld bottle holder is available with a 600ml bottle with handy finger grips. The holder features a zipped pocket for small essentials, a key clip, a padded, moisture-wicking, fully-adjustable hand strap, and has a high visibility reflective trim.

The fully insulated Hydro Flow hip bottle holster holds its 550ml hydration bottle at an angle for easy access. It also features a padded moisture-wicking back.

“Hydro Gel 2 is a nutrition belt with moulded holsters for simple and easy bottle access,” says Kevin de Wet of local distributor De Wet Sports. It features two 300ml water or gel bottles and a reflective trim for safety. The Hydro Gel 4 is similar to the Gel 2, but is able to carry four bottles instead of two. The Hydro Flow, Gel 2 and Gel 4 will fit 66-107cm waists and feature handy zipped pockets that will hold small essentials.

Being seen is an important safety aspect for runners who train early in the morning and late afternoon when visibility is low and Medallist offers several high-visibility products.

  • The Lunar Glow is a reflective wrist band with a wicking mesh back for comfort that features a zipped pocket for small essentials.
  • The super-stretch mesh pockets on the Speed Lite runner pack are designed to hold items securely. This pack has a comfortable belt with clip and its reflective highlights are designed for night safety. With its reflective elements, the Super Nova runner’s pack offers ultra-high visibility for night safety. Its super-stretch mesh pocket holds items securely and the pack is held securely with a comfortable belt with clip. Lunar Glow, Speed Lite and Super Nova feature a handy ID card pocket, which contains a pull-out card where the runner can include his vital information.
  • For increased visibility, the new LED runner’s pack features an ultra-bright LED with two modes: continuous or flashing. The pack is ultra-lightweight and breathable, and features an easy-to-adjust elastic belt.
  • The Shoe Pocket is a reflective pocket that easily and securely attaches to any laced shoe. It can hold a sensor pod, cash, keys, etc.
  • The Flux LED arm band is comfortable and lightweight, designed for use when running, walking and cycling. It is fully adjustable, fits on an arm or leg, and is available in two high visibility modes.
  • The Reflective Snap Bands are easy and effective ways for your customers to make themselves visible in low-light conditions. Each easily attaches to a wrist, ankle or the strap of a pack and comes in packages of two bands. They are available in yellow or pink.
  • The high visibility, safety elastic Reflective Belt is fastened with a heavy duty clip, is fully adjustable and fits a 61-107cm waist.
  • The Reflective Vest is designed with an anatomical shape that allows for a full range of arm motion.

The Medalist Sport Band arm band is handy for the runner who wants to take his phone or music with him without the hassle of holding onto it. It is designed for use with most touch screen MP3 players or phones and features a touch window, enabling full use while the device is in the arm band. It also has a handy earphone stash pocket and wicking back for added comfort.

Also new to Medalist’s running accessories range are the Race Number Magnets and Race Number Belt. The Race Number Magnets magnetically position the race number on the runner’s clothing, without causing damage. The Race Number Belt can be attached with lace locks, and features elastic loops for gel packets, reflective details, and is fully adjustable to universal sizing.

New in Medalist’s running headwear are the Tailwind Visor, Fast Track Cap and the Air Vent Cap, which are fully adjustable. The Tailwind Visor features a moisture management inner sweat band, reflective details for increased visibility, and is available in four colours: black, blue, pink and red.

The Fast Track Cap is made entirely of moisture management fabric and has mesh inserts for optimum ventilation. The cap features a reflective logo and is available in three colours (charcoal, blue and pink).

The Air Vent Cap is also made of the same fabric as Fast Track Cap. In addition, it has high visibility reflective details and is available in black, blue and red.

The new Volt gloves are touch screen compatible and keep the runner’s hands warm while running, walking or cycling. They have silicon palms for better grip and feature reflective details for visibility.

New Balance headwear

The technology used in New Balance’s headwear creates a more comfortable wearing experience: their Dry technology releases moisture away from the body and is fast drying.

Their three options in the Accelerate range (two caps and a visor) currently on offer for runners feature reflective details — ideal for when your running customer might find himself out in low light conditions — are made from a textured polyester weave, and feature an adjustable back.

The two Accelerate caps also provide added ventilation with the help of laser cut holes The Impact visor is foldable — ideal for easy pocket storage. It is made of a textured polyester knit that features screen printed polka dots, which will help your customer stand out from the crowd. To help him stand out in bad light, there are also reflective details.

These headwear options are popular staple options for New Balance. “They are a consistent part of our ranges, updated with seasonal colours and prints,” says Keri Sabatta, Apparel Coordinator for New Balance SA.

SmellWell

With the SmellWell bag, locally distributed by Boardriders Asylum, your customers’ odour problems are a thing of the past.

The SmellWell bag removes bad odour by absorbing moisture and neutralising the pH levels in problem areas — thereby destroying the environment bacteria requires to grow. Just place the bag inside the affected item and let it work overnight. The bag can be reused.

The colourful bags are environmentally friendly, last up to three months and are ideal to use on any sport equipment that comes into contact with sweat.

The SmellWell pockets are available in six colours and are sold in assorted boxes of 24 units.

Suunto trail watch

The Traverse wrist watch from Suunto, locally distributed by Ultimo, allows trail runners to go off the beaten track and explore, filling them with that extra bit of confidence through its route planner (via Movescount.com) that features topographic maps that can be uploaded to the watch, and keeps runners on course with GPS navigation.

With Traverse, your customer is able to follow his progress with statistics such as distance and altitude. He can also save points of interest while on the route, which will allow him to retrace his route if needed using the automatic breadcrumb trail. The digital compass will also quickly re-orientate him in unknown terrain.

The altitude graph on Movescount allows a runner to identify the optimal ascent and descent already when planning the routes. A runner is immediately ready to go after uploading the route to the watch. The settings can be customised either on the Movescount website or with the Movescount app, which is available for iOS and Android.

The watch — designed, tested and hand built in Finland — is water resistant to 100m, has a stainless steel bezel that protects the recessed screen, and the GPS timing and automatic DST adjustment help a runner to be on time wherever he is. The watch also allows a runner to track his daily activity with steps and calories.

The watch also keeps a runner up to date with incoming calls, texts and push notifications from his smartphone to his watch.

Traverse uses both GPS and GLONASS (the Russian satellite navigation system) to calculate speed and location. FusedAlti measures altitude, vertical speed and total ascent, where barometric pressure information is combined with satellite altitude.

Traverse also won’t suddenly run out of battery. It features a powerful battery, with up to 100 hours of battery life, that will keep your running customers outside for hours.

Through the use of Barometric trends, Traverse predicts weather changes and the storm alarm alerts a runner when to find shelter. Sunrise and sunset times keep a runner informed of the available daylight hours. The backlight in flashlight mode helps with finding essentials or check a map when it’s dark.

The watch is easy to use, with quick access to important features and it allows a runner to quickly cycle through relevant information on-the-go.

The vibration alerts are noticeable and keep the noise disturbance down.

After the run, the recorded information can be wirelessly transferred to Movescount through the app on a smartphone. The Movescount App allows a runner to turn his run into a Suunto Movie — a visualisation of the track on a 3D map with key metrics. A runner can also add pictures to the movie bringing the run to life. The recording can then be shared through the SuuntoMovie YouTube channel. Through the Activity Feed on Movescount, a runner can follow his friends’ activities and allow friends to keep track of his moves.

TomTom watch

With TomTom’s accessories, your running customers will be able to stay trendy while tracking their performance.

With their new changeable straps, a runner can match his watch to his training gear, says Chantal Grobler of TomTom SA.

Their current gear range is still dominated by the Runner Cardio and MultiSport Cardio, which has the built-in heart rate monitor, says Grobler adding that they are launching new products in 2016. The cardio range allows a user to set and track heart rate zones to get the most from every run.

The GPS multisport watch, with built in heart rate monitor, allows a user to get accurate heart-rate information without the need for a separate chest strap. The user is exposed to real-time training information including distance, time, pace, speed and calories burnt at a glance and can analyse stats on training sites.

Thule baby jogger

With its lightweight, aerodynamic design, the high performance Glide sports stroller from Thule allows a running parent to get the most out of his run, on any terrain, while taking the little one along.

The sports stroller features a fixed front wheel that provides increased stability when moving at a fast pace, an ergonomic handlebar that has a range of heights for the parent’s comfort. It can extend to ensure a generous kick stride, and has a rear suspension that allows for a smooth and comfortable ride, and a multi-position canopy with view-in roof port for added protection for the child while still allowing the parent to see inside.

“It has a padded seat with vented top that reclines to a near flat position for on-the-go naps,” Jamie Owen of local distributor Thule Sport & Cargo SA points out. “It can be folded with one hand and stores compactly, which also makes it easy to transport. Additionally, the hand-activated front brake increases braking control on steep terrain.”

Children younger than six months can be placed in Thule’s Car Seat Adapter inside the Glide stroller. Children 6 months and older (up to 34kg) can use Glide as is, but if your customer plans to run, or stroll off-road, the child should already be able to freely sit and hold his own head upright unaided.


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