Entries in General (145)
Our annual picks for our favorite product of 2014 will be released next week. We have reviewed more great products this year than in any year in recent memory so the "chosen ones" promise to be absolute winners! Follow us on Facebook and you'll never miss a review, including next week's bests!
Source: Sports Product Review
We were approached by the folks at Synergy who asked if we'd like to try out their line of therapeutic braces and supports. We said yes, but also secretly wondered if there would be any new angle we could provide. Isn't one brace just like another? Fortunately for us, Synergy took care of the angle for us with their FIR-Inside technology.
For those of us who don't know what FIR means, here is some information from the Synergy website: Far Infrared Rays (FIR) are natural waves of light energy produced by the sun, totally invisible to the naked eye. Infrared light generates the warmth we feel on bright, sunny days.
FIR light energy activates the water molecules in the blood increasing the blood flow and oxygen in the bloodstream. As the far infrared light energy is absorbed, the body’s cellular metabolism improves resulting in enhanced cell regeneration and tissue repair.
Far Infrared Therapy may be safely used by almost anyone suffering pain from injury or disease. FIR Therapy has been found to help athletes recover from injury and provide relief to individuals with diabetes and other common circulatory problems such as Arthritis and Raynauds Syndrome.
Their therapeutic braces and supports are made with an activated bamboo charcoal with far infrared rays woven directly into the fabric. Synergy’s technology allows far infrared rays to penetrate deeper into the tissue, reducing swelling and pain while accelerating healing.
Synergy claims that their braces and supports improve blood circulation, alleviates pain, reduce swelling and increases mobility. And their fabrics combine bamboo fiber and Poliyou material to prevent bacteria from growing. This results in anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, neoprene-free braces and supports that keep you dry and odor-free.
My son, who is a baseball player, began throwing again for the first time this off-season. The same day he went to the gym and banged his elbow on a weight machine. He came home complaining of a little arm soreness, which is never what you want in your throwing arm. I asked him to try the adjustable elbow brace. He's usually not eager to try new things like this out but he put in on in the evening and even slept with it secured to his elbow. The next day I asked him how the elbow felt. He was more than pleasantly surprised that there was no more pain, just a little stiffness from being in the brace for twelve hours. I guarantee you that if he ever has elbow pain again, he'll put this thing back on in a heartbeat, and for him, they guy who rarely thinks anything new works, that's saying something.
Synergy makes a whole line of braces and supports that are worth checking out. If you're skeptical about the FIR technology, take a look at their website and look at the research that's been done on the topic. Even without FIR the braces are high quality and can prevent or provide relief to injuries. And if the far infrared therapy does work as my son suspects it does? Then that's the real deal.
One of the most exciting aspects of doing what we do is when we encounter products that are the result of someone looking at an ages-old device or contraption and wondering if there is a way to do it better. Sometimes changes are made due to advancements in technology. Other times, a minor tweak or two leads us to say, “Why didn't I think of that?” And once in a great while we see something that is so revolutionary and so different that we know we'd have never thought of it. In a million years.
Take crutches, for instance. Crutches have been handed out by doctors for injured femurs, knees, ankles and feet for generations and they've remained virtually unchanged. Most people would assume that must mean nothing better can be created. Someone else looked at them and said, “What if we did this instead?” That someone would be the folks at Forward Mobility who designed the incredible Freedom Leg. The Freedom Leg takes those oldest of medical devices people have been hobbling around on for decades, and makes them virtually obsolete.
They sent us one to try out. Everyone, whether they've had a real need or not, has at least tried out a pair of crutches at one time or another. We all know how quickly the arms and underarms get tired and sore, and that the necessity of keeping the leg up off the ground is a nuisance. Not only are you down a leg, but both hands as well. It is nearly impossible to carry anything or walk up stairs using the handrail. Essentially, if you have an injury or surgery that requires no weight to be put on your leg or foot for weeks or months, you've been sentenced to a protracted period of non-mobility and discomfort. That is, unless your doctor knows about the Freedom Leg.
We strapped it on and will admit it took some getting used to, just like crutches do. But within minutes it was obvious why this is going to take the medical and sports injury world by storm. We went up and down stairs, moved around on carpet, wood and tile floors and got pretty nimble in no time. You'll feel safer, knowing that hands-free means if you were to stumble, you'd be more likely to catch yourself. Plus because the leg is suspended in place there would be no risk of you landing on it and re-damaging the injury.
The bend in the brace and knee naturally lifts the foot, allowing you to walk with it above the ground while both hips remain level. Advanced composite beams transfer the weight from the thigh to the ground ensuring there is zero weight on the leg from the knee down. The foam shin pad ensures the foot cannot move forward of the brace and touch the ground. It is compatible with a cast or boot. With your hands free you can accomplish all your normal day-to-day tasks without assistance, including walking up and down stairs. Maybe most importantly,you still use your upper leg muscles on the injured leg to walk. This will reduce the atrophy normally associated with extended periods of off-loading which can, in turn, significantly reduce your rehabilitation time. This is especially important to athletes. It is the perfect solution both before and after surgery, and because it is lightweight and durable, (only weighs 3 lbs.) you don't feel like Frankenstein going from place to place.
The Freedom Leg is not inexpensive, but most insurances will cover it. And even if not, wouldn't you pay a couple bucks a day to be able to move around at will instead of being non-ambulatory? After all, you can't put a price on freedom.
Source: Forward Mobility
So I don't know, maybe I have weird ears. Or maybe I just can't figure out things like ear buds. Ever since headphones went from ear muff, over the ear style to the tiny, unobtrusive in-ear version, I've struggled. Whenever I put them in straight, they fall out, as if my ear canal is too small. So I resort to turning them on their sides, which looks silly and distorts the sound. My kids and my wife, who apparently either have bigger ears or know how they are supposed to properly wedge these things in, shake their head in disappointment whenever they see me struggling with ear buds. And even if I can get them to stay put any length of time, its not long before they cause so much pain I've got to take them out. anyway I've resorted to just wearing an old pair of over-the-ear headphones I've had since college.
Thank goodness SOL REPUBLIC makes RELAYS, an award-winning ear bud style head phone that is designed with patented FreeFlex technology. This seamless, adaptable fit makes them easy to put in, and unlikely to fall out. They sent us a pair to try and as soon as we opened the package we knew they were special. They come with four different sized ear tips to fit in any size ear comfortably and snugly. I tried a couple different sizes and found the ones that were perfect, and cranked it up. The sound is amazing and, maybe even more incredibly, I could walk around, exercise – do whatever and never once did I feel so much as a slip. You may never want to take them out, but if you ever do they come with a handy carrying pouch for easy transportation and storage.
My oldest son is in the gym 3-4 days a week and he burns through ear bud style head phones like they're made out of styrofoam. RELAYS are water and sweat-resistant so you can wear them even during the most intense workout. He needs a pair more than I do.
Even if you aren't “ear bud challenged”, as I am, I would be surprised if you didn't find these to be tremendously superior in comfort and in performance to anything else you've worn. Whether you use them for work, play, relaxation, or an active lifestyle, one thing is for sure. Once you try them, you and your ears will always be plugged in.
"You'll Be Glad We Found It For You." That's the motto of a unique new sporting good company you should know about, Upstart Sports, (upstartsports.com). What makes them different? Take a look at their product line and see how many you've seen on television commercials or on the end-caps of major sporting goods stores. Upstart's mission is to scour the landscape so as to bring exposure, credibility and, ultimately, lots of business to a selection of hand-picked products that are big on qualty but small in name recognition. At least for now.
Their plan is to develop a network of territory distributors who will market the Upstart product line directly to schools, colleges, youth sports leagues and end consumers. The companies that have "made the grade" and had their products included in the catalogue usually do not have the marketing budgets to hire large sales forces or advertise nationally. Thus, they tend to depend more on "word-of-mouth" and organic growth, which can be effective, but also slow. By creating a "co-op" of products all housed under one roof, distrbutors will have the advantage of being able to represent a diverse mix, making them more appealing to a broader spectrum of potential buyers.
Check them out and see what you think. Their mission is to bring you products from up-and-coming companies with a passion for what they do. You'll be glad they found them for you.
Source: Upstart Sports