Today’s athlete is a mixed bag of nutrient-rich, polyunsaturated nuts. He balances the squat rack with hill repeats, the bench press with bikram, the protein shake with a mixed green salad and a slab of still-bleeding red meat. Cross training is daily training. Multi-sport is the pinnacle of sport. He is a spartan renaissance man, a conglomeration of multi-faceted fitness culminating in one fine-tuned machine ready for whatever the world will bring.
The modern athlete requires diversity in gear — something to guide him to excellence in all of his athletic follies. And so we’ve culled the best of the myriad worlds of exercise and sport and assembled the best essentials that will take the athlete that one step beyond. Because as sports adapt to include obstacle racing, ultra marathons and cross fit rallies, one thing remains constant: the will to win. This gear will help the athlete cross the finish line first, whatever that finish line may be.
12 Guys of Christmas
The Dapper Man
GoStak Twist n’ Lock Jars
Supplement Your Supplements: Powders and pills are the mortar of the brick muscle base. The only catch: a five-pound jug of whey protein’s a pain to tote around. Blender’s GoStak offers easy portability for supplements, vitamins and snacks with a stack-style setup and an easy-to-carry handle. They’re mix-and-matchable and fit inside classic BlenderBottles, allowing all the pre-, intra-, and post-workout supplements to pair with that shake without the excess gym bag bulk.
Plot Your Progress: The athlete is a data geek by nature; distance and speed are just the gateway. Suunto’s Ambit3 pulls out all the stops with GPS navigation, altitude, Bluetooth compatibility, and all the requisite speed, cadence, and distance tracking for your run, bike, or swim. Conveniently, it also tracks general movement and recovery time—to track when you’re most and least active. All the data syncs to Suunto’s App and website for viewing, sharing and caring.
Nutri Ninja Pro Blender
Gift Them This Choppa: The Nutri Ninja is well named: stealthy good looks, sharp blades, and the capability to take down everything in its path. It’s the perfect countertop counterpart for an athlete’s cuisine, offering easy chopping, blending, mixing, and — most importantly for the modern athlete — nutrient and vitamin extracting. The Ninja breaks down seeds, skins, stems, and whole foods into a smooth, drinkable consistency, all without the help of liquids that would water down the flavor.
J.Crew Athletic-Fit Crosby Suit
Fit for the Fit: A good cut is hard to come by — on the bod and with a suit. J. Crew took notice, and designed a suit specially tailored for the built gentleman with the help of NYC’s rugby squad, the Knights. They studied the athlete’s body, and built an Italian wool suit around it: variations from the average suit include an extra inch at the thigh and chest, a 3/4-inch wider shoulder, a half an inch of room for the biceps, et al. The Greeks competed in the nude, but at the awards ceremony, they’d have pined for this.
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph
Swing Like a Champ: The racket scientists at Wilson Labs have been testing propulsion as of late. Using Roger Federer’s personal input and swing, they designed a more powerful racket that utilizes a larger head size and bigger sweet spot for maximum launch speed and optimal spin. It’s a boomer for court attackers, and it follows the golden rule of tennis: if it’s good enough for Federer, it’s good enough for you.
Brooks Pureflow 3 Men’s Running Shoe
A Pep in the Step: Running’s about feel: the feel of the shoe on your foot, and the feel of the road, trail or track through your shoe. Brooks Pureflow is a minimal runner with a 4mm toe-to-heel drop and fine-tuned features. A sculpted medial side and reposition toe box better aligns your stride, and a rounded heel and increased forefoot flexibility allow both security and freedom throughout the footfall.
Odyssey Tank Versa #7 Putters
Strengthen Your Short Game: The putter’s the most often-used club in the bag, so it should be the most trusted. Odyssey’s inspiring confidence with the Tank Versa #7, a putter that’s designed with two key elements in mind: more stability and clearer alignment. A heavier head and heavier shaft neutralizes hands and increases MOI (moment of inertia, or the “forgiveness factor” of the club). And the black and white high-contrast alignment system keeps your visual in line with the club face, which translates cleanly to: “more putts in the hole.”
SportCrafters Omnium Trainer
Take the Road with You: For the long of winter or the pre-race warm-up, the trainer comes as an invaluable ally to a cyclist. But still, it’s often besmirched—too cumbersome, too loud, too time-consuming to set up. The Omnium solves those issues, giving incredible portability, advanced magnetic resistance (a step up from traditional rollers), and an ease of assembly that allows for a quick spin before the crit, or an apartment sweat session mid-winter. Only downside: it erases the excuses.
Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road
Tales from the Tour: L’Equipe took over the organization of Le Tour in 1947. Philippe Brunel, the author of this book, is the chief cycling writer for the paper. To say these pages run deep with cycling’s history is an understatement. Rapha’s restored the seminal text with duotone photography printed on Fedrigoni paper stock, bound in high-quality Buckram. A must for any velo aficionado.
Aqua Sphere Kaiman Exo
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: It can be tough to buy for swimmers: speedo? goggles? cap? wetsuit? That just about rounds out the list. But any merman can benefit from improved goggle comfort and increased visibility — something the innovative new Exo does, well, swimmingly. The key is the EXO-core bi-material frame that offers extra stability, complimented with a Softeril gasket that offers comfort and a secure seal. They’re light, airtight, and fit just right.
The Mini Masseuse: Like a massage therapist shrunken and rolled into a tight sphere, the AccuBall offers personal muscle relief to reduce soreness and accelerate recovery. Unlike the archaic lacrosse ball, AccuBall features a dual-density design and a yellow “knob” that imitates a massage therapist’s knuckles or elbows. It’s a tight, versatile package, designed to target and release tense areas effectively. That, and it’s deliciously painful.
Nike Tech Windrunner
Stay Dry, Be Seen: The Windrunner’s something of an unsung hero in Nike’s sporting past. It first appeared on shelves in 1978; since then the colors have muted, but the tech’s only become more bright. An evolved Iridescent Windrunner now features a water-repellant exterior to help athletes cut through the wind and rain, while a mesh interior allows for breathability near the body. It also looks fresh, with throwback diagonal bonded seams on the front. The jacket is fit to wear before, during and after a quick jog.