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Category Archives: Design and Tech

Untangling Running’s Shoe Cushioning Paradox

Over the past four years, a new breed of heavily cushioned running shoes modeled on Nike’s Vaporfly line have rewritten the road-running record books. Soft-bottomed shoes, it turns out, can be exceptionally fast. But the hot new debate about the Vaporfly’s performance advantages has managed to push aside an older conundrum that should be of […]

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Rossignol Is Making a Recyclable Ski

As gear gets more technical and higher performing with every season, many sustainability-minded brands are trying to figure out how to keep their old products out of the landfill. Skis, the vast majority of which see only around seven years of use, are no exception—which is why Rossignol’s announcement of a new limited-release 75 percent […]

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What’s the Point of a Soft-Shell Jacket?

Welcome to Ask a Gear Editor, our monthly column where we answer readers’ most puzzling gear questions. Have a burning question of your own? Become an Outside+ member to ask an Outside expert for advice. Dear Gear Team,  What is the point of a soft-shell jacket? Most of the options I’ve seen at stores aren’t really waterproof […]

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A Zero-Drop Super Shoe? Meet Altra’s Vanish Carbon.

More than two years after nearly every other brand entered the super-shoe fray, Altra has arrived on the scene with its unique entry into the modern marathon-racing genre. After ten runs in the Vanish Carbon, my initial assessment is that this light, peppy, comfortable, well-balanced, and smooth-riding shoe was worth the wait. First, some background. […]

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Hot Take: Bike Companies Should Keep Doing What They’re Doing

Bike companies get a lot of crap. Mostly, they get it from their own customers, who complain about things like increasingly expensive products and ever-changing component standards. With regard to the latter, the go-to example is generally the bottom bracket, which in recent years went from a relatively simple threaded affair to a creaky bulbous […]

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The Best Track Spikes of 2022, Reviewed

Whether you’re getting ready for a race or a hard workout, the process of spiking up stirs a familiar excitement and anxiety for what’s to come: your body instinctively knows it’s time to perform. If you want to compete at your best in track and field, spikes are essential—and today’s are better than ever. Designers […]

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Is Fox’s New Live Valve 1.5 System Ready for Prime Time?

The Fox Live Valve was officially introduced to the mountain bike world in 2018, but the rumor mill around Fox developing an electronically controlled suspension system started churning years before then. Fox delayed the release of Live Valve for so long that by the time it landed, the buzz around it had already faded. And […]

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Can Starlink Bring High-Speed Internet to Your Next Camping Trip?

Starlink promises to bring high-speed Internet to rural and remote areas currently underserved by wired Internet. Can it also also bring high-speed Internet along on your next camping trip? This weekend, I embarked on a 1,600-mile road trip to find out.  What’s Elon Musk’s Starlink Device?  Created by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Starlink’s goal is to spread […]

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