We are now just a month away from the first game in The Ashes series as the under achieving Aussies face the mighty England team at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. If all goes to plan it will be business as usual with the England team notching up their third Ashes series win in a row. But then again when has it ever gone to plan?
Oddly enough there’s a bit of trend in cricketing garb at the moment. Maybe it is just our penchant for white canvas style shoes or possibly the revival of Great Gatsby era flannels, but there is plenty of cricket influenced fashion in both indie stores and on the high street as well as specialist cricket emporiums.
Here then is what to wear this fabulous cricketing summer. Howzat!
The cricket jumper isn't just for sporty types. It is a Mod wardrobe staple. This 'Bart' Mens V-Neck cricket jumper by John Smedley comes in a cool Vintage ice cream (beige) colour way. Chunky Retro tipping to the low V-neck in purple and Vintage plum. Sixties Mod style fine cable knit detailing throughout. Made from Sea Island Cotton.
Did you make a resolution to get fit this year? For a lot of you, the answer is yes. According to a blog by The Independent, to get fit or lose weight is the third most popular New Year’s resolution for 2013. It sits just behind people’s aims to save more money and get out of debt. But, how many people go on to fulfil their resolutions? Men’s Fitness magazine claims of the people who give up on their fitness resolutions, the majority do so after six weeks.
The secret to achieving your fitness goals is being consistent. There’s no point going to the gym once a fortnight and waiting for results to appear. In the same way, regularly doing workouts but eating whatever you want will be no help either. It’s all about maintaining a routine until it becomes a lifestyle.
A lot of people believe that the hardest part is getting started. This is often the case, but even the fittest people lose motivation at some point and struggle to get back to the gym. It’s just a matter of finding ways to tackle the problem and getting yourself back on track to success.
Photograph your progress
One of the main reasons that people lose motivation to exercise is that they’re not seeing results. When it comes to getting fit, it’s a slow process and results don’t happen overnight. It usually takes 12 weeks to notice a substantial difference in your body, but along the way you’re always changing, even if you don’t notice it. Taking a before picture and then subsequent monthly snapshots will show your body gradually changing and help you to realise that your hard work is paying off. It’s best if you wear your underwear or tight-fitting clothes for these pictures as then you’ll really be able to notice the changes.
In a similar fashion, documenting your progress through measurements is another solution. Take initial measurements of your upper arms, chest, waist, hips, thighs and calves and then re-measure yourself every week or two. Writing these numbers down will give you solid proof that your body is responding to the exercise. Just make sure you always take the measurements from the same spot or your figures could be misleading.
Look the part
People go to the gym to look better and a lot of our motivation comes from looking good while we’re there. Wearing old and unflattering exercise gear isn’t going to inspire you. But investing in some fashionable workout threads can get you going to the gym more often. Where else are you going to show them off?
Dressing right not only makes you feel better, it also aids your work out. Although they look good, the gym is one place where both women’s and men’s denim jeans are not acceptable attire. They inhibit movement, can get caught in equipment and aren’t designed to handle immense sweating. You need something designed specifically for exercise which gives you a full range of movement and absorbs sweat.
The right footwear is also vital. For most exercise, your foot needs to be stabilised and supported to ensure you don’t injure yourself. Nike are one of the leading brands in sportswear simply because they provide immensely researched and rigorously tested trainers to give wearers the best support while exercising.
Make it social
A lot of people enjoy going to the gym for its social aspect. Exercise is an opportunity to work off the stresses of your day to day life and being surrounded by friends while you’re working out is a great way to take your mind off work.
Having a gym buddy is a fantastic motivational tool as the other person expects that you’ll be there to workout with them. But if you’re going alone, remember, everyone who goes to the gym is there for the same reason as you – to get fitter – so you’ll have some
Happy New Year everyone. Hope is it a great one for you all. 2012 was pretty special wasn’t it! Even if you don’t really like sports you couldn’t possibly fail to be moved by the events of the Olympics and the Paralympics and the amazing stories they generated.
And as for the Jubilee, even as person who isn’t much of a royalist, I couldn’t help but think it brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people. 2012 will be remembered then as the year in which Britain wore a smile on her face.
But 2012 is gone and it is time to move on and one thing I want to see as lot less of is the fashion industry constantly recycling the Union Jack flag. Throughout 2012 it has been everywhere. From Stella McCartney’s Adidas sports wear through to Clarks shoes (and million T shirts on the way) the Union Jack has been ubiquitous. And let’s not even get into stuff like this.
So why should we stop wearing it? Well it is not that I am not patriotic, or even not appreciative of the flag’s design (surely only the Stars and Stripes runs it close in iconic flags) It is just that last year we had very good reasons to be donning the colours – this year there’s hardly any sporting events that merit it as the key ones (like the cricket Ashes, World Cup football qualifiers) feature the home countries sides rather than Britain.
Of course the Union jack has been purloined by all sorts of pop culture magpies from The Who in the 60s through to Shane McGowan (yes you read that correctly in the late 70s. But they were arguably sporting the flag in an ironic way that reflected the pop art movement and punk respectively. There’s very little irony in anyone wearing the flag today. Even Noel Gallagher and Geri Halliwell with their Union Jack guitar and dress in the 90s at least did something surprising. No one would ever look twice at a musician donning the flag today.
What I’d hate to see is the Union Jack turn into another Stars and Stripes and become some weird ubiquitous emblem that’s emblazoned throughout the world from Argentina to Zambia on hats, t shirts and more but really is little more than cheesy fashion. It is better than that. Also we have seen so many permutations on the flag - green, light blue and more, that re-inventing it is neither clever or interesting now.
So it is 2013, the Union Jack was so last year. Time to move on.
Bit of a late one last night? So the best summer of sports ever continued with the amazing comeback by the European Ryder Cup team in Medinah. Inspired by quite words from the fella in that big clubhouse in the sky the European team staged the most amazing recovery to retain the Ryder Cup in the most dramatic of circumstances. Nothing, not Bradley’s TDF, Chelsea’s Champions League win or even the Mo-bot at The Olympics came close to this in terms of agonising tension and excitement.
Yet while Team Europe celebrated whacking the Americans in their back yard, they didn’t exactly do it in style. Sure wearing the Seve Ballesteros famous colours of navy and white on the last day proved to be both an inspiration and a smart fashion move, but what was going on with those jackets they wore to the winning ceremony? Presumably manufactured by Glenmuir they featured a startling naff grey check that were last seen sported by characters in bad 80s sitcoms.The navy trews did them no favours either.
I know we are all channeling the late 80s these days, but Glenmuir really seem to have picked the worst of that decade – and that is some achievement.
Previous to that the team had been wearing Glenmuir polo shirts in a range of rather tacky colours.
Compare this with the Americans who looked on the money in their Ralph Lauren gear from the practice day with the natty pin stripes through to the classy polo with the red twist they wore on their last day.
Davis Love iii might have presided over a losing team, but at least he did it in style.
Btw you can already get the Gleneagles 2014 look here courtesy of the same teams – Glenmuir and Ralph Lauren. You might also fancy this gear too.
Team GB really lucked out when they managed to bag Stella McCartney’s superb skills for the design of their Adidas Olympic kit. But for some nations, the Olympic catwalk has not been so kind. Forget the empty seats at many events – for Brandish it’s been far more distressing spotting the sportswear sins some nations have forced upon their top athletes with their official kits. Here we highlight our pick of the worst five, including Team Russia, Team China and Team Germany. Scroll down to check out our picks!
The red and white squiggles of Team Russia's kit are supposed to be inspired by Moscow's street art. But these kit catastrophes couldn't be any further from the cutting-edge wit of street art if they tried. Perhaps they're a cast off from axed KGB camouflage gear from the seventies. You'd have blended in with Cold War-era wallpaper with ease in one of these tops.
Team GB have already picked up one London 2012 cycling gold medal thanks to Bradley Wiggins’ dominating performance in the time trials yesterday. This week sees the doors to the velodrome open, where Team GB’s Victoria Pendleton is well placed to grab another top podium place. We caught up with her last week to discuss the new sportswear innovations from Adidas that are driving here and the rest of the Great Britain cycling team forward.
When it comes to Great Britain’s gold medal chances at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Victoria Pendleton is a name that springs straight to mind. At the peak of her career, she’s cycling’s golden girl. Winning gold at the Beijing Olympics and coming off the back of great successes at the World Championships, her rivalry with fellow cycling sprinter Anna Meares of Australia promises to deliver some of the most nail-biting action of the games.
Looking for every advantage they can get out on the velodrome, Pendleton and the rest of the Team GB cycling team (including Chris Hoy, Laura Trott and Geraint Thomas) will be using a unique training aid – Adidas “Adipower” trousers.
Dubbed the “Hotpants”, the custom-fitted trousers are battery powered and are designed to be worn after an athlete’s warm-up. Heated filaments in the trousers direct heat to the core muscle groups in the legs, maintaining an ideal 38C temperature, meaning that Team GB’s legs should be limber before each event even if they’ve had a lengthy wait between their warm up session and the competitive races. There are even quick-release zips, letting the athletes get the Adipower kit on and off in seconds.
“We’ve had them for a couple of months now,” Pendleton explained to Tech Digest.
“They’re really easy to use and heat up almost instantaneously; you can really feel the temperature going up on your quads and hamstrings. For me as a sprinter, I have lots and lots of short events that are spread out over a day so it’s essential my muscles maintain their temperature after warm up.
“In cycling we talk about ‘marginal gains’ all the time; we’re training to the best of our abilities and have so many experts working with us. You want to make sure every detail is taken care of, and that we have every advantage possible. These trousers are another example of how Team GB is achieving that.”
Designed over the course of four years with input from Team GB and other top cyclists from across the globe, Adidas’s innovation spokesperson Udo Mueller stated that the Adipower trousers were exploring an area where few other sportswear manufacturers were venturing:
“There is a clear lack of garments being made where we do nothing illegal to push athletes to do their best. There’s a marginal gain to be made by using these ‘hotpants’ and we have to capitalise upon it. We did the same within the new swimming regulations and created a swimsuit lighter and faster than ever before. These new innovations should encourage and inspire other countries in the long haul to take advantage of that.”
And what of Pendleton’s chances against Meares? Will the “hotpants” give her the edge she needs to grab the gold?
“Anna and I are both competitive, determined, tenacious individuals. People who know us say we’re quite similar in character, and I’d expect that from someone of the same sport as me.
“I have huge respect for Anna Meares and I know she has a lot for me too. We’re just both hugely competitive individuals, and our form has converged at the same time.
“When it’s all over we’ll probably have a sit down and have a good laugh over all the hoohah we’ve read in press about each other over the last ten years!”
But the time for friendship comes later. For the rest of these games at least, we hope Pendleton remains fired up by the rivalry that could lead to one of Great Britain’s key gold medal wins.
Can you feel the love tonight for these new Adidas animal-themed track tops? We’re finding it a bit tough. Part of the Adidas Originals range which the brand are pushing heavily ahead of one of the busiest summer’s of sport in recent history, they’re emblazoned with animal prints relating to different sporting nations.
So, us Brits for instance get a red and white top with one of the three lions splashed over the front, while Germany’s equivalent has their eagle.
Is it just us, or are they a bit naff? They’re less patriotic than they are cast offs from Steve Irwin’s wardrobe. Watch it Adidas; you’re a few short steps away from “Three Wolf Moon” here.
Perhaps the prints look good when seen in real life, but there’s none of the retro subtlety that we usually associate with the line. To us they look like the sort of knock-off crap you’d find on a market stall.
Still, if you’re interested, you can click here to find out more.
With all the hype surrounding this year’s London 2012 Olympics, it’s easy to forget that there’s also a major football tournament going on too this summer in the shape of the Euro 2012 cup.
Adidas, key sponsors and kit designers for Great Britain’s Team GB, would have more excuses than most if they were to forget the fact. But quite to the contrary, they’re putting out their retro-inspired Euro Cup Collection as part of the Adidas Originals line to mark this summer’s footie highlights.
The unofficial collection includes reworked old-skool designs of England, France, Germany and Poland kits, with the Poles hosting the tournament.
Track tops, windbreakers and jerseys for each nation round out the collection.
On the lookout for a new pair of basketball shoes, and still want to look the buisness on the court? Check out these limited edition trainers from Nike.
The Nike LeBron Elite 9 Varsity Maize launched over the weekend alongside the Air Jordan 4 Cav and Zoom KD IV Aunt Pearl, and come with a seriously eye-catching yellow upper. All eyes will be on your feet, not the ball as you weave around in these.
Elsewhere, the trainers sport Max and Zoom Air cushioning and Pro Combat-style padding, along with inset carbon fiber wings.
However, you’re going to have to move faster than Jordan himself if you want to bag yourself a pair. A limited edition, they’re not even available at Nike’s own online NikeStore.com shop. Instead, you’re going to have to head instore to grab a pair while stocks last. There will also be a scant few pairs over on the FootLocker web store.
Expect to pay around the $250 mark on import for these beauties, not including shipping. See them from all sides in the gallery above.
Sure, so we’re still in the doldrums of April showers, but the summer sunshine is surely just around the corner now, so it’s time to whack out your pasty forearms and dive into some short sleeve tops.
Comfy yet flexible enough to work in both formal and casual occasions, men’s staple the polo shirt is a must-have in any wardrobe. Leading the charge in the cut this summer are French brand The Kooples, whose new Sport range has a superb selection of polo shirts in all manner of styles and shades to suit practically all tastes.
From primary colours to pastels, short sleeves to long, ribbed colours to embroidered trims, The Kooples have probably the best range of polos from any brand this year we’ve seen so far, and are doing well to push their wares.
Indeed, their pumping plenty of cash into the marketing campaign for the range, enlisting ex-Manchester United madman and sometime-actor Eric Cantona and his wife Rachida (pictured top). As pretty much the most recognisable French sports personality on UK shores (aside perhaps from Thierry Henry and his va-va-voom) they’ve got the campaign pitched pretty much spot on in our opinion.
If we were to pick one stand-out item, we’d go for the red “Very light cotton pique polo” with white colour. We can see Cantona knocking a few past Peter Schmeichel on the training ground wearing that one!
Prices start at £80 and go up to £120 for long-sleeved polos.
British Gymnast Louis Smith (top) poses on a pommel horse as Adidas unveil the British Team Kit designed by Stella McCartney during a photocall at the Tower of London, London.
Forget going for gold. Team GB will be decked out in indigo as they take to the track and field for the London 2012 Olympic games.
Inspired by the Union Jack flag, the Olympic and Paralympic sportswear will feature predominately blue hues paired with red footwear as they compete across the summer.
Designed by Beatle offspring Stella McCartney in partnership with sponsors Adidas, over 900 British athletes will be kitted out with a total of approximately 175,000 items of clothing from the range during the games.
“All eyes will be on the British athletes when they take the stage at the Games,” said Adidas UK Marketing Director Nick Craggs.
“We wanted to ensure that they would be the best equipped team through a combination of leading technologies including PowerWEB and Climacool and a unified and striking team identity.”
So what’s the rough verdict on the kit? While the public seem a little sceptical on the actual “Britishness” of the clothing, it’s garnered unanimous praise from the athletes themselves.
“It is very blue and that is nice and subtle but, at the same time, it does what it needs to do,” BMX cyclist Shanaze Reade told BBC Sport.
“You can often blend in with French wearing red, white and blue but this is completely on its own and makes us feel very British. As females it is all about what it looks like and if you feel good it makes us perform even better.”
110 metre hurdler Will Sharman was equally chuffed, noting that the kit was functional as well as fashionable:
“It needs to be lightweight, which it is, it needs to be aerodynamic and it is. There is no flapping about so, from a performance perspective, it’s exactly what we were looking for. The colours are different but it’s definitely British. I get excited putting it on. It has the Olympic rings on and that gives you pride.”
So what do you think? Will you be sprinting down to your local sportswear dealer to get a piece of McCartney’s Olympic designs, or has one of the UK’s leading fashion designers missed out on a medal this year? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Let’s face it; most of us amateur runners live in urban environments with limited access to unblemished cross country paths and tracks. That said, once we do manage to skip our way through the traffic and bypass the concrete highways, many of us like to get as close to cross country running as we can – even if a jog around the local park is stretching the term a little. Personally, I like to get onto the softer ground as soon as possible and having had to pull out of a recent 10K run after my knees took too much of a pounding on the London streets I was keen to try out the new K-Swiss Blade Max Trail trainers and quite literally put them through their paces.
The first thing that struck me about them was their solid base. I certainly felt confident looking at them that these would give me a more robust tread out on the wild pathways of Tooting Common. As I set off the sky was grey and there had been a fair amount of over night rain – water which as I would discover had left the ground soft and slippery. I was interested to see how the trainers would cope with these relatively treacherous conditions.
I took a deliberately difficult route that I would knew would take me across soggy fields, dangerous branches, hills and the obligatory inner city dog poo. I hit the soft wet ground first and have to say that my new footwear definitely gave me superior grip. Nobody likes running through wet mud but after a few paces I found that my confidence had grown and I no longer needed to run delicately as you do with standard running shoes, rather I was bouncing over the mushy ground. My only concern being what my wife would say when I returned home covered in mud. Next was a more cross country section through the trees. Many an ankle has been left sprained by stray roots popping out from hidden crevices but again the trainers stood up well and I felt comfortable that my knees and ankles were in safe hands (metaphorically speaking of course). Finally I headed down a shale pathway full of rocks that can often poke through less robust footwear, leaving you either off balance or with sore feet. Not a problem anymore as the solid sole made light work of the uncertain terrain.
I certainly give the K-Swiss Blade Max Trail a big thumbs up. Wherever you run, you’ll likely find yourself traversing across a range of different terrains, from concrete streets, to soggy marshes, or bumpy ground. The K-Swiss Blade Max Trail gives the right amount of protection combined with a soft running action. They’re not necessarily the quickest trainers out there but then that’s not what they’re designed for.
The NBA lockout may have been extended until November 30th, but that hasn’t stopped Nike from rolling out their new campaign “Basketball Never Stops’”
The ad features some of the finest players in the game including: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki and Amar’e Stoudemire, with cameos from Questlove, J. Cole and Duke’s Coach K. All focusing on their undying love, passion and dedication to the game of basketball.
With fans the most hurt by the lockout… the campaign plays on emotions and works as a bit of a PR job to protect the NBA’s public image. It will be interesting to see what happens if the entire season does go down the drain.
Last week a good friend posted a video explaining the benefit of Vibram Five Finger shoes, made entirely by fans. At first I was hugely cynical, after all they do look completely ridiculous. However, my friend is a bit of a fitness fanatic and I figured he probably had some good reasons for converting to “barefoot running.” With this in mind I began to do a little research and discovered there might actually be something to this whole Barefoot thing. Below I have put together a guide on how to get started. Personally I plan on picking up a pair to try it out for myself, but we would love to hear if any of you give it a try too.
Since the 1960s athletes have been competing in races barefooted and, with the recent increasing wave of interest in barefoot running, many people have raced to purchase minimalist shoes and jumped, quite literally, feet first into the sport. The reason being that with natural, ‘shoeless’ running, the lateral edge of the human forefoot is the part which strikes the ground with the most force. Running in padded shoes typically alters this as more emphasis is placed on the heel and the area towards the back of the foot – which has been claimed to cause more stress on the heel, knees and hips. Therefore many athletes became interested in the sport to strengthen the foot and help improve speed.
Although not strictly a shoe-less sport, there are various ways of tackling barefoot running; some runners wear specially adapted socks, some opt for running moccasins (like outdoor bedroom slippers) and some use minimalist shoes that resemble ordinary running shoes but are constructed from very thin, unpadded materials and have a flat sole with minimal tread. It isn’t, however, as simple as changing your running shoes.
It’s Not ‘Ready, Steady, Go’….
Going from padded, structured running shoes to minimalistic ones is quite a physical change for
your feet and not one which should be presumed easy or natural. It is essential that you train the foot and leg muscles gradually to run in such minimalistic shoes to help reduce injuries and lessen metatarsal stress. Due to the design of barefoot running shoes it is actually recommended that you alternate; training in barefoot shoes whilst running in your specialised running shoes. As Daniel E. Lieberman*, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University states, “If you’ve been a heel-striker all your life you have to transition slowly to build strength in your calf and foot muscles.”
Choosing Your Minimalist Shoes
The first consideration when choosing your first pair of minimalist running shoes is the thickness, or profile, of the sole and heel as you want your feet to immediately sense and communicate to your brain the type of terrain you are on, adapting to a natural running style. Avoid shoes which have a built up heel as these encourage you to over point your toes when running, which could lead to foot damage.
Secondly, think about the flexibility of the sole and check there is no arch support. Barefoot running is all about training your foot arch to naturally flatten so a stiff sole and arch support will only preventing the muscles from acting in this way. A good way to test this is by seeing if you can twist and bend the sole of the shoe with ease. Obviously it needs to protect the sole of your foot from the environment, but flexibility allows your foot to become more familiar with the ground.
Thirdly, remember that the lighter the shoe the better. If the shoes weight is distributed unevenly
(i.e. heavier at the toe or heel) it will cause a bias tendency in the way the foot moves with the shoe and go against its natural movement.
It is advisable to go for a mid-sole level to begin with. The Nike Free Run range has a helpful 10 point number scale which helps identify the thinness of the soles – for example models with a 3 in the name will be more flexible than those with a 10 (which is the thickness of an average running shoe), making the range a good starting point for first time minimalist shoe buyers. Alternatively, Saucony have the Kinvara or Mirage shoes which are also mid-point shoes.
For the more extreme, hardened barefoot runner, the Saucony Hattori shoe claims to be Saucony’s lightest general purpose running shoe ever, or try out the Vibram 5 Fingers shoe which was the first of its kind on the market and the shoe of choice for many barefoot runners. Sportsshoes.com has a large range of minimalist shoes and is a good place to compare models if you are unsure.
First Steps ‘Barefoot’
As is normal before any running, stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles. Lieberman also suggests that it is a good idea to massage the arches of your feet as this helps in the breaking down of scar tissue and healing.
To begin barefoot running, it is a good idea to try it first on a hard, smooth surface such as a tennis court or running track – rather than a bumpy street. Your feet will naturally adjust to moving on this surface by forefoot striking, rather than the heel striking we tend to do in padded running shoes.During your first barefoot run do not exceed more than a quarter of a mile as your foot muscles will tire more rapidly. Leave a ‘rest day’ between each training session and remember that training your feet to run in this way will take time so build up distances by no more that 10% each week. If at any point you experience pain, stop!
Due to the focus on footwear padding and support in today’s shoes our feet have adapted to these luxuries as ‘the norm’, making barefoot running almost an unnatural, new feeling for us. Our feet have evolved to run in specialist shoes, so it will take time for them to adjust to minimalist running and they will be in discomfort to begin with. Sore, tired muscles are normal, but bone, joint, or soft-tissue pain is a signal of injury and if any of these occur, stop running immediately and see your chiropodist.
It is important that you continue to wear your padded running shoes when running long distance
or partaking in any race whilst you train your feet to run barefoot. Only when you feel 100%
comfortable running barefoot and experience no discomfort at all can you start to run in minimalist shoes more often.
Running shoe specialist Saucony highlight that minimalism is isn’t an end, it’s actually a means – and many footwear retailers agree. Brett Bannister, MD of Sportsshoes.com, believes that, “Minimalist shoes can be built into your training regime to help strengthen your feet and leg muscles, but you still need to pick the right shoes and be careful to make the transition slowly.”
Minimalist shoes are very much an excellent training aid which can be incorporated into your
running routine to great effect, but not the be-all and end-all of your running routine. Going back to basics with barefoot running is an exhilarating experience and definitely one you should embrace – just remember to play it safe!
While training for my Triathalon one of the most useful pieces of kit had to be my goggles.
It might seem a bit strange, but when you are fighting your way through the water surrounded by what seems like hundreds of other swimmers… you want to be able to see where you are going.
I am in no way new to swimming, in fact throughout school I worked as a lifeguard. So it is probably fair to say I have spent a lot of time in the water and been through my fair share of googles. As they can really impact your experience and performance it is important to get a good pair. One of my favourites have to be the Kayenne by Aqua Sphere. Made for open water and pool swimmers, the wide-angle lenses are scratch/fog resistant and offer swimmers 180 degree peripheral vision. If you are planning on doing any swimming this summer make sure to check them out.