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The Top Fitness Gear of 2012

by
author image Lindsey Emery
Lindsey Emery is a health and fitness writer based in Portland, Oregon. She was the senior fitness editor at "Fitness" magazine, and now writes for "Fitness," "Runner's World," "Self," "Shape," "Bicycling," espnW, "Details," menshealth.com and other publications. Emery has a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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The Top Fitness Gear of 2012
Saucony

A lot of things happened this past year: Jay-Z and Beyonce had a baby, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston both got engaged (not to each other), London hosted the Olympics, Obama was re-elected president, and exercisers everywhere fell in love with some pret-ty cool stuff. So all you runners, cyclists and gym goers, rejoice… as we take a look back at a few of our favorite fitness products from the past 12 months.

Nike+ FuelBand
Nike

NIKE+ FUELBAND

Finally—something that gives you credit for everything you do! The slim wristband uses an accelerometer to track all of your activity (running errands, actually running, etc.), and converts it into NikeFuel. You set a daily fuel goal, and then do whatever it takes to reach that number before bedtime. The band displays time, calories burned, steps taken and total fuel with the tap of a button, and lights up when you hit your goal. You can also download stats to nikeplus.com. $149.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Adidas Clima Tempest
Adidas

ADIDAS CLIMA TEMPEST

You can officially kiss your cold feet goodbye this winter. The water-resistant ClimaWarm upper on these stability sneaks has a thermal lining to keep your tootsies warm and dry during cold, damp runs. The durable, rubber outsole will keep you steady on most any terrain, too. Available in men’s and women’s. $90.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Saucony Sonic HDX ViziPRO Jacket
Saucony

SAUCONY SONIC HDX VIZIPRO JACKET

It is now safer to run in the dark, thanks to this high-tech outer-layer. In addition to being blindingly bright (pink or orange) and reflective, the wind- and water-resistant Sonic HDX ViziPRO Jacket also features LED piping in front of your shoulder and across your back for the best visibility possible when out on the road. Available in men’s and women’s. $110.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Garmin Forerunner 10
Garmin

GARMIN FORERUNNER 10

A GPS-enabled watch without all the fuss, the water-resistant Forerunner 10 accurately tracks your pace, distance and calories burned while you run, walk or ride. It also has a virtual pacing feature that helps keep you steady as you stride. This simplified, heart rate monitor-free model allows you to download and manage your workouts on Garmin Connect as well. $130.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Rejuvenation Wrist Assist Gloves
Rejuvenation

REJUVENATION WRIST ASSIST GLOVES

Practice yoga or Pilates comfortably wherever you go, with or without a mat. This glove features an ergonomic gel pad in its palm to help reduce strain on your wrists, extra traction to improve your grip on any slippery surface, plus a moisture- and odor-eliminating liner. $30.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Oakley RadarLock
Oakley

OAKLEY RADARLOCK

Changing out your sunglasses’ lenses for various activities and light/weather conditions just got a whole lot easier. Oakley’s Switchlock Technology, featured on the RadarLock sports performance shades, allows you to swap out high-impact, high-definition lenses in seconds, with the click of a switch. Once they’re back in, the lenses are held securely in place by the frame. $220 (non-polarized); $300 (polarized).

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Spri Kettleball
Spri

SPRI KETTLEBALL

Reap the total body benefits of working with a kettlebell, without the risk of bruising your forearms in the process. This new tool is basically a medicine ball with a handle attached, and you can perform all of the kettlebell swings, snatches and Turkish Get-ups you want with it. Bonus: If you drop it on the floor, the Kettleball won’t leave a mark. $47 to $120.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Injinji Run Series Toesocks
Injinji

INJINJI RUN SERIES TOESOCKS

We should’ve known when the barefoot running trend took off, that socks would soon follow suit. And… here we are. The Run Series Toesocks are made with a breathable, moisture-wicking material and a single-toe design that helps eliminate friction, reducing your risk of blisters. We also like the Yoga Series Toesocks, which have extra grip on the bottoms. $12.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Trigger Point Performance Therapy Cold Roller
Trigger Point Performance

TRIGGER POINT PERFORMANCE THERAPY COLD ROLLER

The Cold Roller combines the benefits of a foam roller and an ice bath all into one. Place this stainless steel tool in your freezer for at least two hours, and then roll out with it post-workout. The Cold Roller helps your muscles actively recover (through cold compression) while relieving some of the kinks in your connective tissues (fascia) at the same time. $110.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Vapur Element Anti-Bottle
Vapur

VAPUR ELEMENT ANTI-BOTTLE

Carry water around without all of the extra weight. This reusable, BPA-free polyethylene and nylon container is freezable, flexible and dishwasher-safe. Plus, it folds flat when empty (perfect for traveling) and features a leak-free cap. $14 (1L size).

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Pearl Izumi Ultra 3/4 Tight
Pearl Izumi

PEARL IZUMI ULTRA 3/4 TIGHT

Designed with the distance athlete in mind, these sweat-wicking bottoms are buttery soft against your skin, feature breathable mesh behind the knees, and, our favorite part, have two angled back pockets that are perfectly sized for stashing energy gels (or flasks filled with them), eliminating your need for a fuel belt. There is also a large zippered back pocket. Available in men’s and women’s. $75 (or $80 for print, shown).

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Moving Comfort Jubralee
Moving Comfort

MOVING COMFORT JUBRALEE

Offering incredible high-impact support for B to E cups, this sports bra was carefully designed in a biomechanics lab to drastically reduce both vertical and horizontal breast movement/bounce while you exercise. The breathable, chafe-free Jubralee features seamless cups, comfy, adjustable straps, and hidden side and under-bust support. $54.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

ProForm Tour de France Cycle
ProForm

PROFORM TOUR DE FRANCE CYCLE

Using Google Map technology, this one-of-a-kind bike allows you to ride any course, anywhere in the world, including all 21 stages of The Tour De France, indoors. With a motorized incline and decline (up to 20 percent either way), integrated handlebar shifting with 24 gears and an interchangeable/adjustable saddle, it truly (fabulously) simulates a real road cycling experience. The bike’s console displays watts, speed, time, gear, RPM, heart rate, percent incline/decline, distance and calories. $1,500.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Speedo FastSkin3 Cap and Goggle System
Speedo

SPEEDO FASTSKIN3 CAP AND GOGGLE SYSTEM

You’ll look like a pro in the pool with this cap/goggle duo, developed specifically for the Olympics (both Phelps and Lochte sported them during the Games). The FS3 Cap ($40) and leak-proof FS3 Elite Mirrored Goggles ($75) were designed using 3D head mapping data to ensure the perfect fit and improve hydrodynamic performance. When used together, full body drag force could be reduced by almost 6 percent.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Specialized S-Works Trivent
Specialized

SPECIALIZED S-WORKS TRIVENT

This triathlon-specific design could drastically cut down your transition time. The lightweight, water-resistant S-Works Trivent shoe uses a Boa dial closure system that opens up at the heel (rather than in front), so you can literally hop on your bike, slip your bare foot in, twist the dial to close your shoes back up, and go. Bing, bang, boom. It also features a super-stiff outsole and a foot-contouring insole for a fast, efficient ride. $400.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Lululemon Back on Track Tank
Lululemon

LULULEMON BACK ON TRACK TANK

A running top inspired by yoga and great for any gym activity, the Back on Track Tank is a prime example of fashion meets function. Made with a sweat-wicking, anti-stink Silverescent fabric, this flattering tank features flat, chafe-free seams and a cinchable cord that prevents it from riding up while you run. It also has built-in pockets for removable bra cups. $64.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Sony Walkman W Meb Edition
Sony

SONY WALKMAN W MEB EDITION

Yup, we said Walkman. This compact wireless, water-resistant mp3 player rests comfortably behind your neck, allowing you to work out to your own motivating playlists without any distractions. It has 2GB of memory and accepts music from both iTunes and Windows Media Players. This model also comes with audio tips from one of our favorite Olympic marathoners, Meb Keflezighi. $70.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

New Balance NB Minimus Zero Collection
New Balance

NEW BALANCE NB MINIMUS ZERO COLLECTION

An extension of the original NB Minimus 10 series, this collection eliminates the drop from heel to forefoot altogether, giving each shoe a completely neutral, barefoot-inspired last that encourages a midfoot strike. It’s available in road running, trail running and wellness styles. The road shoe (shown) features a durable Vibram rubber outsole, a thinly cushioned midsole and a breathable mesh upper. $110.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Natural Fitness Warrior Mat
Natural Fitness

NATURAL FITNESS WARRIOR MAT

A new studio staple, this sleek, eco-friendly mat provides medium-density cushioning, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis alike. It’s also not too heavy or cumbersome to carry around and offers excellent traction for your hands and feet. $40.

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

Icebreaker Realfleece Nano Collection
Icebreaker

ICEBREAKER REALFLEECE NANO COLLECTION

This full collection of zip-ups, hoodies and jackets introduced the concept of water-resistant merino, so you can now experience the coziness of wearing a fleece-like outer-layer during your favorite outdoor activities (running, hiking, etc.), without worrying about getting wet. Each top has been treated with an eco-friendly textile finish that makes it water-resistant and causes liquids to bead up and roll right off. Men’s and women’s available. $250 to $290 (Arctic Zip, shown; $250).

Related: For more info or to purchase, click here.

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