The 50 Best summer sports gear
Whether you’re hitting the hills, pounding the pavement or firing up for the Games, Sophie Morris chooses the most stylish and practical kit to help you get in shape
Friday 20 July 2012
Stella McCartney swimsuit
The beautiful and the practical rarely co-exist when it comes to 'proper' swimsuits but this jungle-green number is on the money in all respects.
Newton Terra Momentus
Newton makes 'guidance' and 'performance' trainers, depending on your ambition. They provide the much-needed bridge between high support and barefoot running.
Vulpine Cotton Rain Jacket
Style and performance each meet their 'twain in Vulpine's slick collection of cycling gear. The rain jacket in navy and red - the details are impressive - is my current favourite, and Jon Snow wears one too. Watch out for the dedicated women's collection launching this month.
Wilson Six One Tour BLX tennis racket
Roger Federer's racket of choice, and a precise tool with a well-weighted head.
Nike Men's Sphere Zip Top
It's simple, it's smart, it's functional. Don't let your gear get in the way of your enjoyment with this wicking running T-shirt. The design aims to maximize comfort so along with the hi-tech fabric there are ventilation pockets and flat seams to minimize chafing.
Patriotic Panache sports bra
Great support is a must for female exercisers. This Olympic-themed bra reduces bounce by up to 83 per cent. Matching shorts are available.
Stella McCartney designed the GB team's kit but these casual pants in marl grey or ink blue for Addidas are rather more chic with a low key look to them.
Easy tennis dress
Don't let those Williams girls take all the fashion glory on the court. This cute drop-waist dress comes in a stretchy, lightweight fabric with sweetheart neckline.
Men's Adizero Climaproof Top
A high-viz running jacket such as Adidas's Climaproof is very useful for evening and early morning training – on your feet or two wheels.
Workout vests tend to ride up or go saggy, but the Aegle cami from Sweaty Betty has seams and ruches in all the right places, in-built bust support and adjustable straps.
Rab Baltoro Alpine Jacket
Rab products are brilliant. Weighing less than 500g, this women's shell is wind and water resistant, soft to touch and snug to wear. Time to open an online shop, guys...
Zone3 Advance triathlon wetsuit
Zone3 is a homegrown tri brand aimed at the growing amateur market. Beginners will love the flexibility around the shoulders of the stonkingly good value suit.
Rampart short (in graphite)
You'd look fine wearing these in a city centre park but that might be a waste of the subtle technical details which create a pair of very breathable and pleasingly lightweight shorts.
Women's Filament Running Tight
The key test for running tights is how quickly they lose their elasticity and go see-through. Nike has my vote at present, plus a small pocket for an iPod, keys and bus money.
Brooks Equilibrium LS (in black and white)
This hard-working shirt is light and breathable with a slim fit. Nominally intended for running, wear it for football, cycling, climbing, walking and as a thermal underlayer too.
Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail
The latest barefoot technology in an all-purpose trail shoe. The tread maximises grip while staying resistant to punctures. Good looking too.
Vivobarefoot have designed a running sandal. The Achilles comes in six colours and is as close as you'll get to the real barefoot experience without actually going shoeless.
Asics Nimbus sock
Regular runners often forget to wear good socks after finding the right shoes. The Nimbus sock offers ventilation through thin knitted layers and is spun from anti-bacterial yarn.
Saucony Hurricane 14
If you're after a moderate level of support in a well built shoe, try the Saucony Hurricane range. The updated 14 is top of the range and provides good support in a light shoe.
evoSPEED 3FG football boots
The evoSPEED 3FG is one of the lightest football boots available, because of the soft microfibre upper. Suitable for games on hard or soft surfaces.
Vibram Fivefingers Spyridon
These funny-looking shoes are bound to provoke some mirth, but you'll win out in terms of comfort and performance.
FitFlop Super T Sneaker
If you're not much inclined towards exercise, pad about in these cute sneakers instead. The comfort factor will make you build more activity into your day, promise.
Scarpa Kinesis GTX
A three-to-four season walking boot made with Gore-tex waterproof and a Vibram sole. Scarpa puts time and money into fashioning really great lasts (foot moulds).
Asics Gel Kayano 18
The Asics Gel range are a firm favourite among serious runners. The Kayano 18 model is both cushioned and structured, good for mid to moderate over-pronators.
Salomon Women's X Ultra GTX
Salomon has good previous in hiking boots. If you want to downsize to a pair of walking shoes for less challenging hikes, try the X Ultra GTX.
110% Blitz knee sleeve
Keep your aches and pains on ice while you're exercising, to reduce the agony and improve healing time. Compression garments are a hit among athletes; add in the ice sheets and you double the protection.
Aqua Socket Mirror Goggles
A bit of a splurge on swimming goggles will save your eyes in the long term. This sleek pair comes with interchangeable nose bridges and the mirror finish reduces glare.
Don't overlook your hands when exercising. Like a wicking top, these silk gloves will keep your mitts warm and reduce dryness and irritation by drawing away the inevitable sweat.
Heliocare advanced SPF50
I push Heliocare sun cream onto everyone. Oil-free, sinks into skin instantly, doesn't sweat off and smells nice. Wear it every day, especially when exercising outdoors.
Raylor S sunglasses
With sports sunglasses you usually have to forgo any pretentions towards style. Adidas's slick bronze Raylor S design finds some middle ground while still protecting your precious mince pies.
Unisex Aquacoach Watch
The Aquacoach will count your stroke, laps, distance and calories burned, and can be set to work with tumble turns and pushing off the wall.
Sennheiser Sports MX680i
The Sennheiser/Adidas range of in-ear headphones works in the cold, in the heat and in the rain, and they switch between music and phone calls.
Kettle Bell Fat Loss Workout App
With a new piece of home workout kit, an accompanying app can help you make the most of it. And they are usually very cheap.
Bobble Filter Water Bottle
Plastic water bottles soon turn grotty and tap water is full of nasties. With a Bobble bottle the replaceable filter cleans the water each time you fill up.
Team GB Olympic Lux Barrel Bag
This Team GB leather bag goes small on the logo and big on the space for sports gear, with a comfy cross-body strap and a zip pocket on the front.
Q4 Strike Premier League Hi-vis football
There's less chance you'll lose this bright yellow football in a bush, and it's easier to see than a white ball at night-time.
Manuka wobble cushion
A compact and versatile alternative to a large exercise ball. This cushion can be used for stability, balance, strength and flexibility exercises.
TRX Force Kit: Tactical
This home kit is expensive but focused – three DVDs cover a 12-week programme on mobility, strength, agility and conditioning. The whole kit weighs less than 1kg.
Ampro Skipping Rope
Boxers traditionally use leather skipping ropes and this one with alloy handles is very smart. A simple skipping rope is cheap, fun and easy to store.
Eco Yoga Mat
The eco bit is that it's made out of recyclable non-toxic plastic, which makes it a good choice if you suffer from allergies too. The carry-strap doubles as a yoga strap.
powerhouse-fitness.co.uk, from £12.49 for 2.5kg
Free weights are effective and easy to store at home, but with a dynamic kettle bell workout you'll see far improved results. Just be careful not to clock a lamp or a loved one.
Single Speed Tokyo Bike
Tokyo Bikes have come to town and they look the business. London is the first European city to be graced with a store – kick off with the special edition fluoro orange.
Once called trampolining, "rebounding" has now become an exercise craze in its own right. Well made rebounders are supposed to offer better support with little to no impact on your joints.
Weighted walks – with the weights on your legs, arms or around your waist – are incredibly effective because your heart rate will rise considerably but you're unlikely to sweat.
Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak
Ignore the full cycle of training and recovery time at your peril. A long soak in a hot bath with a product such as this aromatherapeutic remedy will relieve body and mind.
Underwater dive sticks
A brilliant pool game to make water babies of your children. Each stick has a different weight so they sink at varying speeds, while users jump or dive in to retrieve them.
2012 Mascot Backpack
Much cheaper than tickets to the Olympics and something with a guaranteed legacy come the new school term – a simple rucksack with a front zip pocket and adjustable straps.
O'Neill Colourblock Swimming Skins
johnlewis.co.uk, from £16.99
Make covering up an attractive option for your children. O'Neill makes this bold red and blue T-shirt for ages six through to 14.
Boys' New Balance 610
New Balance's trainers for girls and boys are impressive, and the 610, in navy with a lime green trim, has a tough outer to survive playground antics and wizard fighting.
Beach Bat and Ball Paddle set
You don't need a beach for a great game of bat and ball. By all means tell the kids this one is for them, but they'll cotton on when you want a turn.
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