Fitness products for specialty retailers found at outdoor show too

Sometimes interesting products for fitness retailers to consider aren’t just on a fitness show’s floor and aren’t just made of steel and iron. SNEWS cruised the 1,000-plus booths at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and picked out a few items that could have easily been on a fitness trade show floor. Take a look at what caught our eyes.

Sometimes interesting products for fitness retailers to consider aren’t just on a fitness show’s floor and aren’t just made of steel and iron. SNEWS cruised the 1,000-plus booths at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and picked out a few items that could have easily been on a fitness trade show floor.

From heart rate monitors to scarves, from hydration to rollers, products we found in all corners of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Aug. 4-7, 2011, could fit into a specialty retailers offerings. No sizes required for most, but they could fit into a fitness enthusiast’s arsenal, benefit their workouts, and add few sales too.

Foam rollers on steroids

>> RumbleRoller – The creator told us “it hurts so good,” which made us stop for a closer look. Imagine a foam roller but with little nubbins all over it for a truly deep-tissue massage. The message is that smooth-surface rollers compress tissue while one with bumps manipulate and massage it (MSRP $45-70).


>> Moji 360 palm roller -- If rolling around on foam doesn’t cut it – or you can’t get to some places, then Moji has the 360 for you. The palm-sized massager stays securely on your hand and lets you massage as hard as you want, depending on the strength or tightness of the muscle. Ball bearings roll along for the ride and the backing helps it conform to your muscles. Plus the size allows you to take it along with a tagline noting, “Can you run with a foam roller?” (MSRP $25)

Measuring your heart rate

>> Gaiam by Oregon Scientific
– A heart rate monitor that is actually cute, yeah really. And it’s functional too. No more complicated buttons, this is totally “tap n’ toggle.” Each quadrant of the watch face can be tapped to make the watch function as if you were using the buttons that were normally in those places. No more learning a new way to control a watch. You can quickly change modes and adjust settings. Geared more for the female fitness user, there are two models – strapless with a button for heart rate, and one with a transmitter belt. Both offer heart rate, time of day and chronograph with the strap model also offering calorie count (MSRP $99, strapless; $109, strap)

Finding your balance, lighting your way

>> EFX hologram gear
– Hologram-based technology is embedded in both bracelets (MSRP $30) and shoe insoles (MSRP $30-$50). The hologram is a chip embedded with low-wave energy frequencies. We were told that this energy – the same that is in the body normally – is zapped by electronics. Wear one of these to get it back and, we were told, increase strength, stability and flexibility, and improve athletic performance.

>> NIte Ize bottle clip – Ever have a bottle in your hand and nowhere to put it? Yeah, no kidding. Nite Ize has the coolest little stainless steel item that is like a whack upside the head, like DUH. It slips tightly around the neck of most bottles with about a 1-inch neck diameter and then secures to belts, pockets, straps, suitcases, you name it. No more juggling a bottle then putting it down and forgetting it at the gym. At MSRP $3.49, it’s a no-brainer to buy. A tiny little carabiner (not shown in photo) at the bottom of the clip allows you to clip it to something when you aren’t using it so you ain’t losin’ it.

Going along for the ride

>> iFitness Belts
-- Fuel and gear belts for long workouts are tricky things. The pockets are never big enough, and when they are you really can’t put many things in them because the bounce will drive you crazy, but iFitness Belts just might have the solution. Several hydration belt models and sizes have neoprene pockets that have room for up to two iPhones (or a smartphone and an iPod, for example), and a special pocket for ID, credit cards or a club ID, as well as a slot for lip balm or a few slots for munchies. Nicely compartmentalized and neat (8-ouncer, MSRP $39.95; 6-ouncer, $36.95). A mini Lycra pouch on the company’s original Mini is compact but stretches to fit what you need for indoor or outdoor workouts, sans bottle (MSRP $19.95).

>> UltrAspire belts – Don’t be misled by the name: The brand-new company has a new line of modular carrying and hydration belts called the “Molecular Belt System.” A customer picks the belt size and pocket quantity and arrangement desired, as well as the preferred bottle carrier, and – voila – a personally customized carrier for water, ID, music and whatever you need for a workout, long or short, indoor or outdoor (MSRP $50-$75).

Hair, head, neck and feet

>> Bondi Bands
- For men and women who find themselves dripping sweat during workouts (or who have bangs/hair constantly falling in their faces) there are Bondi Bands -- no-slip headbands and hats that serve many purposes. The product’s slogan is, “No slip, no drip.” A moisture-wicking material keeps sweat and hair outa da face, and they fit under helmets and hats too. And now the company has bands and hats with slots for ponytails or earbuds (MSRPs $8-$20).

>> Buff USA – Buff has long been known for tubular, seamless, microfiber scarves that serve as headbands, hats, wristbands, or neckbands – and they are in a multitude of colors and patterns. Plus, businesses can do runs with their own design and logo. What a way to get your store name out. Now the company has a new Infinity Scarf that looks dang cool. Made of soft Tencel from Eucalyptus wood, you can wrap it any number of ways, including around the neck, across her shoulders or over the head. A great yoga piece for going to and from class, or a shoulder wrap for after class or workouts (MSRP $37-$57)

>> Inov-8 Crossfit shoes – Long known as a “barefoot” or minimal running shoe line, Inov-8 surprised itself when one of its shoes, the AirFlight 195, became one of the main shoes of choice, virally speaking. So the company decided to come up with a true Crossfit shoe, the Bare-XF 210 (MSRP $120). No drop from heel to forefoot but with protective TPU overlays made for running, rope-climbing, weight-lifting and all those other rugged Crossfit changing maneuvers.


-- Therese Iknoian with Ana Trujillo