Question: What’s the single best designed piece of running equipment?
Answer: It’s a pair of gear you already own—your bare feet.
Most running shoes, it turns out, do more harm than good. The problem is that these shoes are designed to “protect” your feet in a way that they weren’t meant to be. When encased in an excessively built-up running shoe the muscles, tendons and ligaments of your lower extremities will atrophy. That’s because your shoes are doing the work that your legs and feet should be doing.
The other problem with running shoes is that they encourage you to run with the wrong form. Your body is designed to run on the ball and forefront of your feet. Try going for a run barefoot and you’ll experience this yourself—your heels will barely touch the ground. In contrast, most running shoes will cause you to land on your heels in a way that won’t only slow you down but will inevitably lead to knee and back pain.
Shoes, of course, do serve a purpose. They keep your feet cleaner and drier than bare feet, not to mention being useful when there’s a sharp rock or nail under foot.
So what’s an athlete to do? Get a pair of running shoes with a design that mimics the advantages of your bare feet. Here are our two favorite:
At best, a mosquito bite is an itchy annoyance. At worst, it can kill you (via malaria or any number of unpleasant inflections). In either case, being bit by a mosquito is sub-optimal.
When in a mosquito-infected area the single easiest preventive measure you can take—so easy that no spray, lotion or net is required—is this: wear Insect Shield clothing.
We write these words while wearing a pair of underwear that we’ve had on for the last week. That’s more information than I wanted you are likely saying to yourself. But these are the lengths Spot Cool Stuff goes through to test products for our readers.
The underwear we are wearing, they are part of the Give-N-Go line by cool travel gear manufacturer ExOfficio.
For traveling Spot Cool Stuff loves clothes with pockets. Deep pockets that things won’t fall out of. Pockets with strong zippers where we can stash a passport, cash and credit cards knowing they will stay there securely.
Travel-worthy clothes with such pockets are hard to find, especially in woman’s fashions, which is why we are such fans of the clothes offerings from Scottevest.
Spot Cool Stuff can get geeky when it comes to airport codes. Those three letter combinations unique to every airport, used on all manner of airline documents from tickets and checked bag tags, are familiar to every frequent air traveler. So it was only a matter of time before some one incorporated those codes into the design of travel gear.
That some one turned out to be Jason Solarek, a former journalist and diplomat in South America. Solarek apparently shares our love of airport codes because he’s made them central to his Airwear collection of products.
Shopping for a traveler you really can’t stand? You should click on over to our collection of the worst travel gear. For everyone else—those of you hoping to, you know, find a present that will make a traveler happy—we offer you these 10 suggestions, a cross section of products that will appeal to a variety of travelers from geeks to frequent fliers to travlelers of the armchair variety. If none of these are appealing, you can always purchase some one gallon zip lock bags to help them get through security!
And remember—there’s no reason you can’t give any of these items to yourself too.
We are surprised how often we meet people heading off on a nice, reasonably expensive holiday with cheap sunglasses. Their logic goes something like this: I’m afraid of something happening to my sunglasses, and I might loose them, and since all sunglasses are basically the same I’ll just get cheap ones.
Well, besides the fact that most cheap sunglasses are usually also cheap looking, the problem with skimping on your sunglasses is that they will certainly cause more damage to your eyes than not wearing sunglasses at all.
What’s the best blanket you can have on an airplane?
Hint: It isn’t the blanket the airlines lend to you. Or, used to lend to you. Several airlines have stopped offering blankets on their domestic flights. Of those airlines that still have blankets an increasing number are charging for you to use them!
So what is the best travel blanket. The answer is . . .