Outdoor brands head indoors

The rise of CrossFit and digital fitness workouts has outdoor athletes prepping indoors. See what new items debuted at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2014 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 21 – 25. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

The outdoor industry isn’t all about the trail.

It takes conditioning to be able to accomplish what your customers do on the mountain, whether it’s snowboarding, backpacking or trail running. And as schedules tighten, many athletes are training for outdoors indoors at CrossFit gyms, yoga studios and on home ellipticals. Aiding their efforts are a new wave of digital fitness apps and devices that combine indoor and outdoor workouts, tracking every real and virtual mile.

Outdoor brands increasingly are responding with new apparel and footwear for these indoor endeavors.

“During the week, people are training for what they like to do on the weekends by doing things like yoga and CrossFit,” said Rob Fry, Mountain Hardwear’s global director of product merchandising and design. “The industry is recognizing that as a trend and seeing that’s where people need gear.”

Being fit, added Topo Athletic Spokeswoman Georgia Shaw, “is more than just doing the one sport you like. You have to incorporate different functional movements to strengthen all parts of your body to make your sport more enjoyable, and yourself less prone to injuries.”

People doing functional fitness need durable apparel and footwear to withstand the beatings of rope climbing, heavy weight lifting, carrying bags of sand and quick lateral movements.

Inov-8, which has been playing in the weightlifting and cross training footwear category for several years, enters the apparel space this Winter Market. The company brings the women’s FF Hoody LSZ (MSRP $80) and the men’s FF Competition Short (MSRP $70). Inov-8 began offering footwear for functional fitness and weightlifting when fitness buffs started using its F-Lite trail racing shoes in 2007.

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“This category has been amazing for us,” said Elizabeth Baker, Inov-8 spokeswoman.

Industry giant The North Face released its Mountain Athletics line in spring 2014 and adds for fall ’14 the Quantum Short Sleeve Shirt and Quantum Dual Short (both MSRP $50). The shirt has taping on the shoulders instead of seams to increase comfort and range of motion. Both antimicrobial pieces have minimal seams and are polyester next-to-skin with a nylon face for durability.

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Compression continues to be big for this category to aid in muscle recovery. Skins offers the A400 dynamic compression line including the A400 Short Sleeve Shirt (MSRP $110) and A400 Sleeveless Shirt (MSRP $100).

With all that bouncing and quick motion, women are going to need the utmost support and Moving Comfort has got them covered with the FineForm sports bra (MSRP $50). This bra has a streamlined uni-cup construction, a brushed bottom band that sits close to the body and a strap that converts between a scoop and racer.

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Topo Athletic brings its yet-to-be-named fitness trainer for cross training, which is light and rugged. Inov-8 updates and further lightens its F-Lite series for cross training in the men’s and women’s F-Lite 240.

Outfitting your customers from head to toe for indoor workouts will help them have more successful outdoor adventures.

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