This year, April showers have brought interesting findings on how muscles might recover after hard workouts — in addition to the eventual May flowers.
As reported by The New York Times, scientists in Japan conducted a study on how icing might aid or hinder recovery and found that, contrary to what we all learned in elementary school gym class, a cool compress might not be the best thing for a sore muscle. In the study — which, let's note, was conducted on mice — they found that icing could actually hinder recovery.
Thankfully, full-length compression "boots" are among the best new fitness gear releases of the month — more on those and a bunch of other things below.
Asics MetaSpeed Sky
Ever since Eliud Kipchoge ran the first sub-two-hour marathon in October 2019, Nike's Alphafly NEXT% has been widely considered the pinnacle of running shoe tech. But with the MetaSpeed Sky, Asics is angling for the top spot. Like most new super-fast running shoes, the MetaSpeed Sky has a carbon fiber plate, but Asics is applying new findings from its Institute of Sport Science in Japan. Namely, as runners increase their speed, many extend their stride length, so that's what the company built this shoe to facilitate. Other runners increase their cadence, and Asics has another shoe coming in June to amplify that approach.
Aer Sling Bag 3
Aer's sleek, feature-loaded gym bags have long been among our favorites for toting around workout gear. The San Francisco-based company recently revamped its entire line with updated shoe compartments, a new antimicrobial interior lining and exterior fabrics. The Sling Bag 3 is a best-in-class example of how these bags can hold and organize all your stuff while remaining low-profile. Check out the complete collection here.
Nobull Reflective Knit Runner
Nobull's new running shoe is all black but subtly knit with reflective yarn. That means you can run with minimal flash during the day and max it out at night, when being seen is critical to safety.
Dynafit Alpine DNA
If you plan to take your runs trailside this summer, give Dynafit's new trail running shoe a look. The company aimed to minimize weight while amping up features for fast movement. The mix includes an adaptive lacing system and a rockered sole — and tips the scales at a slim 9.5 ounces per shoe.
As awareness of the positive impact of recovery on performance increases, so does the number of tools to facilitate it. Therabody, best known for its percussion massage guns, recently revealed a set of medical-grade boots that reduce muscle fatigue and inflammation through pneumatic compression. Read more about how these fancy (and pricey) boots work here.
Ten Thousand Distance Kit
Ten Thousand's thoughtful approach to workout apparel already earned some of its shorts and tees approval among runners, but its latest collection is dedicated to them. The line includes shorts available with five- and three-inch inseams, a tank and socks.
Price: $16 to $72
In 1978, William "Boston Billy" Rodgers won the Boston Marathon for the third time (he nabbed a fourth victory two years later). That same year, he founded Bill Rodgers & Company, a running apparel brand that took a thoughtful approach to materials and cuts at a time when nobody else was. Runners today are accustomed to high-quality apparel, but there are still brands that consistently take the approach a step further. Tracksmith is one, and its most recent collection is an homage to Bill, consisting of items that bring his brand's style to its contemporary fabrics.
Price: $38 to $188