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By 5 September 2012 | Categories: feature articles

 

With Sleekgeek.co.za proving that geeks, like us, should not be satisfied with a hunched back and pot belly from disappearing behind a PC (or Xbox, iPad, PS3 or smartphone) all day, TechSmart went to find the best gear for any outdoor challenge.

Puma Faas 250 TrailTrail running is set to take off big time locally, as more and more weekend warriors are sacrificing smooth tarmac for the rocks, streams, branches and fresh air of the veld. This of course means changes to gear, with a more rugged and well supported shoe needed to deal with more demanding circumstances.

Puma's Faas 250 Trail is well adapted, impressing us with its weight (a low 255 g), rugged traction and a water repellent upper. There's also no tongue present, allowing an almost slip-on feel. R1 000, available in black-ribbon red, dark shadow-vivid blue-warm olive or flame orange-dark denim-vivid blue (pictured).

 

Hi-Tec Para BootThe Hi-Tec Para boot is like nothing you've ever seen before. Instead of the regular leather upper, the Para is made from rubber, providing next-level waterproofing and protection for hardcore ramblers.

The Vibram outsole would not look out of place on a mining truck, while we're sure the rubber duck yellow will allow quick spotting from the rescue helicopter in case you get lost.

R1 300, but only available locally next year.

 

Nike+ SportWatch GPSWe've been waiting for this watch for more than a year, and finally it has arrived. The Nike+ SportWatch GPS, powered by TomTom, sees a running giant team up with a mapping giant to produce certainly one of the coolest sport watches around.

The Nike+ SportWatch GPS keeps track of your location, calories burned, pace, laps and distance, and while it won't push you out of bed in the morning, it cheekily reminds you that you need to hit the road.

R1 900.

 

Oakley RadarLock sunglassesSo which sunglasses did Oscar Pistorius wear during London 2012? Oakley's RadarLock sunglasses allows you to change lenses thanks to Switchlock Technology, which not only makes the process very fast, but also holds the lens firmly in place without uneven pressure.

Each frame comes with two lenses and two sizes of nose pads. R2 650 still won't make you half as cool as Oscar though.

 

Adidas Adizero Feather 2At 190 g the Adidas Adizero Feather 2 running shoe won't burden your feet too much. In fact, Adidas believes it's the lightest everyday running shoe, also featuring their Sprintframe platform for optimum forefoot propulsion.

For us it's the inclusion of the MiCoach Speed_cell that's exciting, seeing that it records up to eight hours of performance data which, unlike the Nike+ system, includes extras such as number of sprints, and time and distance in speed zones.

It retails for R1 200, plus R1 000 for the Speed_cell.

 

Nike Flyknit SpikeIn what can be described at certainly one of the best ambush marketing strategies ever, Nike, who was not an official sponsor of the Olympics, stole the show with their marker pen yellow shoes.

For previous Olympics, the company designed shoes to fit in with each nation's kit, but this year, Martin Lotti, Nike's global creative director for the Olympics, went for something different. After lots of research it was decided that Volt, as the company dubbed this shiny bright yellow, would attract the most attention.

He certainly was right to just do it.

The Nike Flyknit spike will set you back R 1 800.

 

Endomondo tracking appThere are a number of fitness apps available for smartphones these days, but Endomondo remains a firm favourite in the office. Available for all the major smartphone platforms, this app tracks your route, distance, pace and duration of your activity (walking, cycling, running etc.), and saves your history to the cloud.

Endomondo has recently hit 10 million users, tripling their number of users in a year, which may be as much a testament to the growth of smartphones as it is to the app's popularity.

 

LED Lenser X7RWe're big fans of the LED Lenser range of flashlights, joining an ever growing list of converted in admiration of its Advanced Focus System for either clear wide coverage or spotlight illumination.

The new LED Lenser X7R provides a beam range of up to 320 m, is rechargeable, and with a luminous flux of up to 500 lumens, is certainly one of the brightest flashlights for its small size.

R1 850 from www.ledlenser.co.za.

 

This article first appeared in TechSmart 108, September 2012.

 

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