The Best New Gear According to the 2019 Shape Tech Awards
Slip On, Zen Out
Meditative bliss still eluding you? The Muse 2 headband uses real-time feedback from your brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movements to let you know when you’re in the om zone (scoring these 17 health benefits of meditation). Dulcet nature sounds will waft through your headphones as you’re tuned in to a guided meditation from the companion app. If your thoughts drift, you’ll hear a storm brewing, signaling you to redirect your attention.
Flip It Like Phelps
You’ll feel like Mike in these augmented-reality Form Swim Goggles as you race the clock that’s visible in your left or right eyepiece. The smart goggles track elapsed time, lap split times, stroke rate, and more, displaying the key metrics you choose. Plus, they automatically sense which stroke you’re using. Check the app as you towel off to see how you fared, then set your sights on besting those times next round. (Next time, try one of these swimming workouts for every level.)
These Bluetooth JVC headphones (HA-ET65BV model) analyze every aspect of your running form via the companion app—head tilt, posture, stride length and width, leg stiffness, how hard you strike—and then process it into real-time coaching in your ear. Just lace up and run! (Also check out these running apps that are like having a coach in your pocket.)
Those tiny beads of plastic and rubber in the footbed of the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit sneaker are more than eye candy. There are loads of beads in the heel to absorb impact and fewer in the middle and front for a smooth transition to maximize forward motion. The result is a personalized fit that propels. (Read more about the new Nike Joyride Run sneaker and what makes it special.)
Stroke of Genius
This NordicTrack RW900 rower is as row as you can go without the water. Its iFit technology adjusts the resistance on your strokes to reflect water and wind conditions of the location (River Thames, anyone?) you’re streaming on its high-definition touch screen. Or choose from hundreds of studio sessions. And when you’re done, the machine folds up!
Beneath the smooth surface of the Naboso Mind Body Mat 1.0 is a sheath of rubbery nubs to stimulate the nerves on the bottom of the feet and hands. That subtle boost in proprioception is meant to translate into more postural control and stability as you plant your pose. (Read more about the benefits of barefoot training right here.)
Sights and Sounds
Bose Frames Rondo audio sunglasses have the look of premium shades. But those are no ordinary earpieces—they’re a wireless headset with voice command. Wearers can stream music, make calls, and access virtual assistants. And they’re all private: The sound travels through wafer-thin speakers directed toward the ears, not blasted out.
A Nanospin on Gear
The North Face’s new Futurelight fabric will change your waterproof activewear. It uses nanospinning technology to boost the breathability of waterproof pieces, like this Women’s Summit L5 LT Jacket, while keeping them soft and quiet. Next stop? Maybe waterproof T-shirts, sweaters, and even denim that you can’t tell from the analog versions!
Reset Tired Muscles
Charge up a pair of Spryng calf wraps, then sit back and let them work their compression magic—the squeeze slowly increases from ankle to knee, and you can add a pulsing pattern on top of that. The massage aims to help circulation and decrease swelling, thus speeding recovery and helping you get after it the next day at the gym (no foam roller required!).
More than a facial massage, Jillian Dempsey’s Gold Sculpting Bar sends 6,000 minipulses per minute to the skin, helping to increase blood flow and aiding lymphatic drainage. Use gentle upstrokes along the neck, jawline, and cheeks for five to 10 minutes twice a day to de-puff and plump. (Need more convincing? It's one of the secrets behind Jennifer Aniston's ageless glow.)
Beyond Skin Deep
We looked no further than our beauty director’s desk to find a smart mirror fit for skin-care devotees. The HiMirror Mini 16G scans your face to keep tabs on skin quality, then tracks the efficacy of products you’ve listed in “My Beauty Box.” (Related: 4 Signs You're Using Too Many Products) Date night? Ask the built-in Amazon Alexa for a makeup demo.