It’s a tough time to test new fitness products over the summer, what with all the beer gardens, picnics, weddings and general “too hot to go running” weather. But we’re troopers, and we don’t like to let you down. So we knuckled down and put this month’s choices through their paces, you know, to make life a bit easier for you.
Bridgedale Speed Demon Technical Socks
Price: Around £12
Where to buy: Various (try Amazon)
We’re incredibly lazy when it comes to running socks, mainly because we normally end up losing them. So when we actually have the opportunity to test some out we notice the difference straight away. The addition of Merino wool to the Speed Demon socks means they’re good against moisture i.e. your feet don’t feel sweaty. They also have something called a T2 Anti-compression loop, which, as far as we understand, means they have additional padding for impact protection. We didn’t really notice any difference on the T2 front, but as running socks go they did a good the job. We used them for the British 10k and ended up wandering around central London for a couple of hours afterwards with minimal sweat issues.
Sony Smartwatch 3
Price: Around £120
Where to buy: Various (It’s £112 on Amazon at the moment)
We’ve been testing the Smartwatch 3 and Xperia Z3 for a while now so we’ve got a pretty good grasp of how well the latest Sony smartwear performs. Design-wise it looks great, we actually prefer it to the Apple watch. However in these early days of wearables the world is still trying to work out exactly what to use them for. It’s relatively easy to set-up with your Android phone and there’s a nice range of apps available. However, for the most part you still need to rely on your phone to do anything actually useful on it. So really it’s just a fancy notification system. Or a nice looking watch with a customisable face.
That said, at £112 it’s a steal if you’re looking for a fitness tracker and there are some nice Android wear games appearing that make it an enjoyable piece of kit. You need to charge it a lot though, which kind of defeats the point.
Kitsound Outrun Wireless Headphones
Price: Around £50
Where to buy: John Lewis
We’ve been dreaming about finding a good pair of wireless headphones for years. Partly due to the upsetting fact that we keep trapping our headphone wires in car doors, but mainly for running. We tested the Outruns out on a 15k run home one summer evening and we were largely impressed. With our phone in a running backpack we were happily using the remote control on the wires to change songs all of the way. Which beats holding it in your hand and trying to operate the touch screen whilst running – we like to skip tracks a lot.
The only issue we found with the design is that the remote on the wire is quite bulky, which means it bangs against your neck as you run a bit and starts to yank the opposite earbud out. The second issue, which is always going to be the case with wireless devices, is that you have to remember to charge it, we rarely do.
The ear buds are a really nice fit though, and for wearing in the gym or on the tube they’re perfect.
SiS Advanced Isolate
Where to buy: SiS
There’s a fair share of protein vendors out there nowadays, and most of us will probably just go for the cheapest one – after all, it is just whey protein and most of us have no idea what the difference is. However if you do really care about the taste then SiS is our top choice. It basically tastes like a nice milkshake from some American diner (obviously not as nice but as protein shakes go, it’s pretty close). It’s Mint chocolate – which works surprisingly well.
For nutrition fans out there, this premium version of the SiS protein uses whey isolate instead of just your normal whey. Benefits are apparently that it has the highest-known protein digestion rate, and has a high BCAA content. Each serving also has 31 grams of protein. You can read more about it on the website, they probably explain it better.
Dr Zak’s Protein Bagels
Price: Around £3 for 4
Where to buy: Various (try Muscle Food)
Protein food is getting a little bit heavy at the moment. People are trying to put protein into pretty much everything. If you came up to us tomorrow and offered us a protein After Eight mint we’d probably just nod and take one.
But, we love bagels at The Allrounder, way more than we should do. So if somebody comes to us with a legitimate excuse to eat more of them we’re going to take it. And luckily for us, these are a legitimate excuse. 24 grams of protein, 40% less carbs than a normal bagel, high in fibre and low in sugar. Perfect, we’re sold. Great for a breakfast in a rush when you haven’t got anything other than butter in the house.