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10 Best Field Hockey Sticks : Defenders, Forwards, & Midfielders

Field hockey is a fast-paced game that requires skill, accuracy, and determination. Field hockey as we know it today was first created in Britain during the middle of the 19th century and is more popular amongst former colony countries such as Australia, India and New Zealand. In the United States, it is actually one of the oldest college sports courtesy of its colonial heritage. It is far more popular amongst women at the college level and is often viewed as a women’s sport, despite it being played by a large number of men worldwide. In fact, the USA has had men’s field hockey teams playing at the Olympics since 1932.
Top Field Hockey Stick Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. STX Field Hockey Surgeon XT 901 Field Hockey Stick $$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. STX Surgeon RX 401
$$$Check Price on Amazon

3. Malik Field Hockey Stick Gaucho X-Treme Design 2019
$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Harrow Revel Field Hockey Stick
$$$Check Price on Amazon

5. STX Field Hockey Stallion HPR 401 Field Hockey Stick

$$$Check Price on Amazon

6. Grays GX1000 Composite Hockey Stick
$$$Check Price on Amazon

7. Grays SURF 500 Junior Field Hockey Stick
$Check Price on Amazon

8. STX Field Hockey Rookie Starter Pack with 2See-S Goggles
$Check Price on Amazon

9. Grays GX6000 Micro Composite Field Hockey Stick
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

10. Carbon Tech Field Hockey Stick
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

Like most sports, your field hockey game can be affected by the quality of your equipment. Every player on a field hockey team requires a stick. These sticks may appear similar to the untrained eye, but in fact they can vary greatly depending upon the position played as well as personal preference. The one thing that is the same in all field hockey sticks is that they are all right-handed. This isn’t to say that left-handed athletes cannot play, but it does mean that they are required to do so with the same style stick as their right-handed counterparts.
Choosing the right hockey stick can be a slow process, especially if you are still growing and learning the game. It is advisable to try a few sticks out before deciding what works for you. If you are in a sports store, make sure you get a really good feel for the stick. Where possible, try borrowing from teammates or your coach and experiment with how the stick feels. The wrong stick will not only inhibit your play and progress but can also cause pain in your back and wrists, therefore creating a higher risk of injury. The position you play may help you decide on the most appropriate type of stick for you.
Field Hockey Stick Buying Guide
Stick Requirements Based on Position
Defenders
as a general rule, defenders require a sturdy stick for tackling. They also need to be powerful to help clear the ball. To obtain both these features, they will typically choose a stick that is longer to help reach in for tackles, and heavier to provide greater hitting power, than those who play other positions
Forwards
forwards are constantly on the attack and therefore need accuracy, speed and ball-handling skills. Their sticks need to be more lightweight than defenders as it will help with maneuverability. Power is also important, and sticks with a high carbon content can help with this without adding unwanted weight.
Midfielders
players in the midfield need to have quick ball-handling skills and the ability to make good tackles. They don’t want their sticks to be too heavy, but they need to be durable. A midi toe design is well balanced and will cater for the needs of a midfielder. A stick that contains aramid will help a midfielder keep control while trapping and dribbling.
If you are still undecided, check out our buyer’s guide and hockey stick reviews. We have done the research for you, all you have to do is buy the best stick for you and get out there and get playing!
 
 
Before we look at various aspects to consider when buying a field hockey stick, it is important to understand the parts of the stick. Some of the names are useful terminology, whilst some parts will play a significant role in helping you decide which field hockey stick is best for you.
What are the parts of a field hockey stick?
Shaft / Handle / Grip
the top part of the stick where the player mostly grips the stick. It is often covered with some kind of high-tack grip or sports tape to avoid slipping when swinging and maneuvering.
Head
the part of the stick that makes contact with the ball. It is flat on one side (the side that hits the ball) and curved on the other. This is the part you use to shoot, trap and pass the ball.
The end of the field hockey stick that makes contact with the field and the ball. The head is flat
Heel
where the head bends and joins the toe of the stick.
Toe
where the head turns. This creates a striking area. The toe varies in size with each version offering different benefits for players based on their skill level and position.
Scoop
 the small groove in the head of the stick. It helps with ball control, cradling and maneuvering.
Bow
the slight curve in the stick between the handle and the head. 
Length
Field hockey sticks come in a variety of lengths to match the varying heights and needs of players. There are two basic ways to measure if a field hockey stick is a suitable size, both using your body as a guide. The first is to measure the stick against your legs. An appropriately sized stick should reach 1-2 inches below your waist. Alternatively, you can place the stick under your armpit and if it reaches to the middle of your kneecap, it is suitable for you.
A long stick often provides more power but can cause undercutting and therefore frequent raised balls. Using a long stick can also lead to wrist pain and fractures in the stick due to the hard contact with the playing surface. A shorter stick is easier to maneuver as you are lower to the ground, but this can also cause back pain. A short stick limits on the amount of power you can achieve.
If you still have some doubt when it comes to length, or find that your ideal size is between stick sizes, it is worth considering the position you play. Generally, defense players will opt for a longer stick and offense player will use a shorter stick.
Weight
Whilst the weight of your stick may be relative to your own size and strength, it really comes down to personal preference. A lighter stick, which weighs between 535 and 545 grams, allows for quick wrist movement and quick backswing and stick skills. If you opt for a heavier stick, in the range of 550 and 560 grams, you will benefit from more power and durability. Once again, if you are in some doubt over the most appropriate weighted stick, consider your playing position. Defenders will typically use a heavier stick and and forwards will generally use a lighter one.
Material
Field hockey sticks can be made from a range of different materials. The material you choose will depend not only on how you like your stick to feel, but also on your budget and skill level.
Carbon
Carbon offers stiffness and power. The higher the percentage of carbon, the more powerful the stick. However, carbon sticks can be a little on the heavy side and do require more skill to maneuver.
Fiberglass 
When used on its own, fiberglass is a material that provides power. It is most commonly used in field hockey sticks to reinforce durability and strength when combined with carbon. It is also more economical than carbon, therefore when fiberglass is used in conjunction with carbon it brings the cost down.
Wood
Wood field hockey sticks may seem a little dated, but they are still in existence. They are cheaper and make great beginner sticks.
Aramid
 Aramid is a great balancing material that helps to absorb vibrations, making the stick more comfortable to use.
Toe Design
The are a variety of shapes when it comes to toe design, each coming with various benefits and will cater for different skill levels and playing positions.
Shorti
this toe design allows for quick turning of the stick over the ball and is a very common toe length for offensive players due to its maneuverability, balance, and control.
Midi
 a midi toes design provides a larger surface area for hitting, making it great for beginners. It is a common design amongst midfielders, hence the term ‘midi’. Flicking, receiving and reverse play are all quite easy to perform with a midi toe design stick.
Maxi
this larger toe design allows for wide striking and power. These elements make it the toe design of choice for defensive players.
Hook
 as the name suggests, this design has quite a J-shape to it. There is extra surface area that allows for increased ball control, better drag-flicks and reverse stick play.
Best Field Hockey Stick Reviews
 
1.  STX Field Hockey Surgeon XT 901 Field Hockey Stick
I almost hate to lead off with this one because of its restrictive price compared with decent alternatives.  However, in this case, I just have to tell you that this elite level stick (though it runs close to $350), is “all that” and really can add a dimension to your game which just may kick you over the edge from an Advanced player to Elite (no promises, but oh the possibility).  You see, STX designates its sticks into 4 categories; Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Elite.  The Surgeon XT 901 is most definitely an Elite level stick.  That doesn’t mean you can’t handle it as an Intermediate or Advanced player.  The specifications are impressive;
It features an extremely low bow (bow height of only 24mm), a balance point of 39.5 cm and an insane 90% Carbon compound with 10% Aramid.  The 530 gram weight also puts it in an Elite category above nearly every stick on the market.  It’s preferred by Dutch Olympia Jeroen Hertzberger and many other Elite athletes worldwide.
Pros:

Has a tapered toe and heel for quick moves on the ball
Extremely low bow shape for the drag and flick player
Lighter than any other stick we could find

Cons:

$$$$$$$$$

2.  STX Surgeon RX 401
This stick is officially classified by STX as an intermediate level stick, but you wouldn’t be too far put off using it as an advanced player.  The Surgeon RX line of sticks has a line of very advanced features that, cumulatively, give the player a significant advantage.  Each stick has a proprietary product/process called “Nano Enhanced Resin System” which minimizes cracking and ensures the stick will remain responsive throughout its life.  They feature an increased receiving area and an emphasized sweet spot, which are excellent for reverse stick control.
The feature list continues with a control channel along the edge and bottom of the blade area which adds ball control for precise and accurate stick work, allowing players to get under the ball more easily.  We could go on, but honestly, check it out for yourself and read the reviews.  We know you’ll like what you see!
Pros:

A durable and lightweight stick.
Stylish color scheme.
Available in a selection of sizes.

Cons:

It is more expensive than many other field hockey sticks.
This stick is only available in one color scheme.
The size selection really only caters for taller players.

3.  Malik Field Hockey Stick Gaucho X-Treme Design 2019
Malik makes our list with the Gauch X-treme because it is a VERY able competitor to our #1 choice but it comes in significantly less expensive (which is rare for a good competitor).  This stick is absolutely an Elite or Pro level stick with its 90% Carbon, 5% Aramid and 5% Fiberglass.  It’s durable and has precise and consistent performance.  It features a tapered toe and heel for quick ball skill, a comfortable grip for better stick handling and backswings, and it’s perfect for guards, forwards and attackers.  
It’s an outdoor stick that can take you to another level if you are an advancing player who is looking for every advantage and opportunity to improve your game without killing your bank account!
Pros:

Elite Level stick at an Intermediate price
90% carbon for ultimate lightness and control
100% satisfaction guarantee (not sure exactly what this is but I’m curious to try it out!)
 

Cons:

Ummm….

4.  Harrow Revel Field Hockey Stick

The Harrow Revel field hockey stick is a durable stick made from carbon and fiberglass. The midi toe design provides great control and you will look good whilst playing courtesy of the silver, black and blue color scheme. Maneuverability is easy with this stick due to its lightweight nature and standard bow design.
Pros:

This stick is priced lower than many other, similar products on the market.
It offers a professional color and design.
The combination of fiberglass and carbon make it a great stick for those wishing to transition from wood to composite.

Cons:

This stick is only available in two sizes.

5.  STX Field Hockey Stallion HPR 401 Field Hockey Stick
The HPR 401 is a serious stick and the price jumps from around $50 for the Stallion model one level lower, to nearly $140 for this intermediate level stick.  It features a balanced bow shape catering to a upright style player and STX promises it has an optimal balance point for providing power as well as a light feel.  It’s infused with 40% carbon composition.
There are 4 Stallion models ranging from Beginner and moving to Intermediate, then Advanced and then Elite.  The HPR 401 is squarely in the Intermediate category with its weight and carbon content.  Any Stallion stick is a joy to play with, but just for reference, here is how the levels spec out:
Beginner – Stallion HPR 101 with 10% Carbon and 580 gram weight
Intermediate – Stallion HPR 401 with 40% Carbon and 560 gram weight
Advanced – Stallion HPR 701 with 70% Carbon and 550 gram weight
Elite – Stallion HPR 901 with 90% Carbon and 540 gram weight
Pros:

Available in 3 lengths
It is very reasonably priced for a higher end stick.
The high Carbon content, as well as aramid, makes the stick very forgiving and easy to use.
The weight of the stick provides great power.

Cons:

It is only available in one color.

6.  Grays GX1000 Composite Hockey Stick

Grays offer a professional looking field hockey stick in either blue or black. Made from a combination of fiberglass, carbon and aramid, it offers durability as well as keeping vibrations to a minimum. The maxi toe design is great for players who need to be hitting with power, such as those in defensive positions. Grays is a reputable brand and you know you are paying for quality, even though the price is very reasonable.
Pros:

The stick is available in four different sizes.
Vibrations are absorbed due to the composite material, making it pleasant to use.
A great, powerful stick for defense players.

Cons:

Whilst it is reasonably priced, there are many cheaper products on the market offering similar properties.
The two color choices are very similar and dark, which may not appeal to some users.

7.  Grays SURF 500 Junior Field Hockey Stick
This junior field hockey stick is made from durable fiberglass-reinforced mulberry wood and is a great, inexpensive stick for those just starting to learn field hockey. It is responsive and flexible, as well as being thin and quite light.  It’s excellent for reverse stick control and drag flicks.  There are more color options for this stick on Amazon than any other I’ve seen, and it has ELEVEN length options as well!   A 1-year warranty is standard.  It may not have all the finessed features of a pro stick, but for less cash than you’d spend on a trip to McDonald’s, this is a great deal!
Pros:

This field hockey stick is far cheaper than many other products on the market.
It provides great power without feeling too much vibration.
This is a durable field hockey stick.

Cons:

Just a basic model to get you in the game

8.  STX Field Hockey Rookie Starter Pack
This STX Rookie Starter Pack is the only one on the market that contains an ASTM certified goggle (American Society for Testing of Materials).  It includes an RX 50 stick ($36 on its own) along with a stick bag , adult reversible shin guard and the 2See-S adult goggle.  It’s available in 34″, 35″ and 36″ lengths (the stick that is) and altogether the items in this package would be significantly higher in price (around $100) if you bought them separately (I know ’cause they’re all on Amazon!).  This deal is $20 less at least!
Pros:

The package is value for money.
Choice of two great colors.
Available in a range of sizes to suit the needs of any beginner.

Cons:

If you are only looking to purchase a stick, you can do so for cheaper if you do not need the included extra accessories.
The size options do not cater for taller field hockey players.

9.  Grays GX6000/GX7000 Composite Field Hockey Stick

The GX6000 is a more expensive field hockey stick from Grays, but it is one of superb quality. It offers a newly designed micro toe design which is great for flicking and lifting the ball. It also allows you to turn the stick over faster which means you will have better ball handling skills. The composite materials of carbon, fiberglass and aramid allow for a greater combination of flexibility and durability. The handle is an Energy Reduction Handle which helps eliminates the feeling of vibration.
The GX7000 is a very stiff stick made of Carbon and Kevlar (Aramid) with a 20mm bow and an Ultrabow blade profile.  The GX7000 is an Elite-level stick, so that may or may not appeal to you!   The GX700 is a high carbon and low bow combination, and that really helps generate great ball speed and lift when shooting.  It features a thermo-rubber sleeve which helps reduce vibration and absorbs impact energy.  Because of its Elite-level status, the GX7000 features crazy details like an Improved feel area to absorb initial ball contact. The softer feel allows a player to ground the ball quickly and quickly gain control.
You can see the Elite GX7000 stick HERE
Pros:

Grays is a well-known and trusted brand.
New technology in the toe design allows for more speed of movement.
The composite material ensures forgiveness in the stick as well as durability.
Available in four sizes.

Cons:

It is more expensive that many other field hockey sticks on the market.
It is not suitable for shorter players, or those who prefer a shorter stick.
There is only one color option available.

10.  Malik FRESH Carbon Tech Field Hockey Stick
The Fresh makes our list as another elite level stick like the Grays GX6000, only a few bucks cheaper.  It’s the best stick for the player who like to drag flick.  There is excellent stiffness which enhances control over the ball.  It has a round shaft and a thin stretched U-hook for 3D skills.  Even with the stiffness factor, it still has a soft feel!  Strikers and drag-flickers will find this Malik to their liking for sure!
Pros:

It is priced a little lower than other, similar field hockey sticks at an elite level.
Great, balanced ratio of materials –  50% Carbon – 5% Kevlar- 45% Fiber Glass

Cons:

Only comes in a Silver/Black combo
Only available in 37.5″ length

Tips on Purchasing a Stick

Conclusion & Recommendations
 
Choosing the right stick can be a daunting task. Hopefully our guide has taken the guesswork out of the equation and made the selection process and little more straightforward. We can highly recommend the Grays GX6000 for its high quality material. It is on the upper end of the price scale, but worth every cent. It’s power and durability are second to none, and vibrations are kept to a minimum making it really comfortable to use. If budget is something you need to consider then the STX Stallion 200 is a great mix of durability without breaking the bank. Junior players should definitely try out the Grays Surf 500 2016 as it offers a large range of sizes meaning that there will be one to suit the size of any young player.
It is important to take into consideration many factors such as weight, length, what the stick is made from, the position you play, your own size, your skill level, and of course, it has to look good! It is perfectly normal for two players of similar size, skill and position to use very different sticks. When it comes to choosing your preferred stick, there are suggestions only. In fact, the most important factor is that you feel comfortable using it. If you can maneuver as you need, hit with enough power, tackle your opponents and comfortably trap balls, then you are on the right track. As your game progresses, don’t be afraid to experiment with the type of stick you use. All you have to do now is grab your new stick go and enjoy some field hockey!
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The Best Adult & Youth Lacrosse Helmets of 2020 : Protection, Comfort, & Style

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Lacrosse is is one of the more demanding physical sports around, and it requires a lot of quick thinking, muscular fitness, and endurance. Having the proper protective equipment can make the difference between a serious injury and no injury at all. It is very important to get the right size in order to stay properly protected and it is also important to get something that is made of good quality material so that it will be able to absorb some of the physical impact which will definitely come your way if you are serious about this sport!  A helmet is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can get for lacrosse and could mean the difference between a concussion, no injury, or another serious head injury.
Top Lacrosse Helmets Comparison Chart

PictureNameSizePriceWhere to Buy?

1. STX RIVAL Black
Adult$$$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. Cascade CPX-R Lacrosse Helmet
Adult$$$$Check Price on Amazon

3. STX Stallion 100 Helmet
Youth$$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Cascade CS-R Helmet
Youth$$Check Price on Amazon

5. Cascade Cs Junior Lacrosse Helmet
Adult Women’s $$Check Price on Amazon

6. Cascade R Lacrosse Helmet
Adult$$$$Check Price on Amazon

7. Cascade CPV-R Helmet
Adult$$$Check Price on Amazon

8. STX Lacrosse Stallion 500 Helmet
Adult$$$$Check Price on Amazon

9. Warrior Burn Jr 19 Lacrosse Helmet
Adult$$Check Price on Amazon

10. Bauer IMS 5.0 Helmet Combo
Adult (Hockey)$Check Price on Amazon

Lacrosse Helmets Buying Guide
Here is a breakdown of all of the most important helmet components so that you can have a better idea as to what you need to look for in a helmet and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of component that is a part of the helmet.
A lot of research has been coming out lately about the effects of concussions from sports’ injuries, and helmet manufacturers have been making a real effort to make sure that helmets offer as much protection as they possibly can. There are some things to look for when deciding which lacrosse helmet is right for you to ensure you’re being as safe as possible. This guide will cover youth helmets, as well, as it’s equally if not more important to protect our kids from head injury. Before we give our choices for top adult and youth lacrosse helmets, let’s consider all the factors that go into choosing the right helmet. Then, you’ll be able to confidently choose the helmet that will give the protection you need.
Safety
It’s very important to make sure that the helmet you choose has been tested and approved by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). The NOCSAE has high standards and does very thorough testing to make sure every helmet meets or exceeds specific guidelines. There are full details about all the testing and standards available on their website. You should keep in mind that even if a helmet looks like it’s strong and solid if it doesn’t have the NOCSAE seal of approval, it’s still better to look for one that does. That approval will tell you for sure that your helmet meets the recommended safety standards and requirements.
Helmet Cage/ Facemask
When you are looking for a helmet, one of the most important things you can get to add protection is a helmet cage. It is important to make sure that you buy the right size of cage so that it properly fits on your head and that your chin is tucked in properly so that your head doesn’t move around when you get hit or when you are running around. A proper chin guard is a must have on a helmet cage so that you don’t hurt yourself. One major thing to take into account when you are buying yourself a cage is that you should always check to see how big the holes in the cage are. If you buy a cage that has too large of holes you may run into an injury when something squeezes through it. The end of some player’s lacrosse sticks aren’t super bulky so this is definitely something that should be taken into consideration when you are purchasing.
Helmet adjustment
Helmets adjust in all sorts of different ways. The traditional helmet is normally adjusted using a screwdriver and then after the adjustment is made, screwed back tight to fit onto the head properly. Some newer helmets incorporate their own adjustment methods that require no tools to adjust. This makes adjusting so much easier and you don’t have to worry about taking a screwdriver around with you everywhere.
Fit

Helmets have to fit correctly or they won’t be effective. The helmet should sit ½ to 1 inch above the eyebrows. It shouldn’t tilt too far in either direction as it could result in injury to the chin and neck. The chin piece should follow the jawline and straps should be tightened so there’s no slack. You want just enough pressure on your head to keep the helmet in place while still being comfortable. Everyone has a different head shape and so you’ll need to find the best fit for yours. Some brands sell “one size fits all” helmets which come with different sized foam inserts to adjust and personalize the helmet to fit any player correctly. These types of helmets work very well, especially for younger players who aren’t done growing yet. Most youth helmets come with a lot of ways to customize fit because kids grow so fast and their helmet has to keep up. Pay special attention to fit after haircuts. If a child has a lot of thick hair and then shaves it off or cuts it very short, it could affect the fit. Make sure to adjust the helmet appropriately or get a new one if need be.
Brackets and Adjustment Straps
Believe it or not, this is actually something you should be looking at fairly carefully when you are looking to purchase a helmet. Generally speaking, the brackets will be either made of plastic or metal. Metal brackets can cut you and be hard on your hands, while plastic brackets generally don’t have issues besides potentially breaking. As for the adjustment straps, they come in a variety of different materials but you will generally want to stay away from rubber straps because they snap and wear out the fastest. Most will be made of some kind of fabric or plastic coated material.
Chin Strap
Without a proper chin strap, you will be unable to wear the helmet as it was intended to be worn. It is a good idea to make sure that the helmet straps are both easy to adjust, and that they are comfortable to wear. Your chin strap is likely going to be the only strap that actually touches your skin, but it is a good idea to make sure that everything buttons in properly before you make your purchase. Make sure that your chin rests comfortably on the chin strap because this strap actually is one of the many impact resistant points built into a helmet and it is very important that this piece is placed correctly.
Size
The actual size of your helmet is probably one of the most important aspects of buying a helmet that there is. You want the helmet to be comfortable and you want it to protect your ears, face, and head. Most helmets are capable of adjusting and this could be an important factor for you if you are still growing. It is important to keep your helmet tight fitting so that it can better absorb impacts and also so that it doesn’t end up flying off while you are playing. A helmet that is too small for you can cause you to get a headache and it can cause things like redness, itchiness, and pain for hours after wearing.
Foam
Foam may not seem like that important of a thing when you are buying yourself a helmet; except it is actually one of the most important parts of a helmet. Generally speaking, Helmets actually have an expiry date because the foam in them is not as good a quality after a certain length of time, and will not protect your head from impacts as well as it should. Foam is also a major comfort factor and if you have bad allergies it may be a good idea to check what kind of foam and material is incorporated into the helmet that you are thinking of purchasing. Some helmets have removable foam built into them.  This is great if you play lacrosse often and you want to keep your equipment from smelling too bad.
Brand
As unimportant as it may seem, the actual brand of your helmet does matter. Buying an off name cheap helmet can mean less protection from injuries, overall less comfort and it likely isn’t going to last you for as long as a quality helmet will. Although buying a helmet with a big name brand may be a bit more expensive, just know that this little bit of extra expense could end up saving your life. It is always important to look into each helmet you are interested in purchasing, in order to see if it is made of quality material and rates well for safety.
Price
Just remember that although the price may be a large factor in your overall decision; it should not make the decision for you. Your head is one of the most delicate parts of the body and lacrosse is a high impact sport. All it takes is one hit and you could be brain damaged, concussed or have a serious injury. It is never a good idea to just buy the first helmet that you see; you should always take a look around and make sure that you get the proper size, the proper cage, quality straps and strong impact resistant foam. It is also a good idea to take into account what kind of lacrosse you will be playing. If you are playing professional lacrosse you are probably going to buy a more expensive helmet that offers really good protection, than someone who just plays in the field for fun with his friends.
Vents & Foam Placement
Although the majority of people will not think that this component of a helmet is a big deal; it can mean the difference between comfortability and pain. Having proper ventilation and space between the pads of your helmet is important so that your head gets some air and so that you aren’t boiling hot while you are running around and wearing your helmet. Things like removable foam and adjustable foam give you lots of things that you can play around with in order to make the helmet more safe, secure and overall more comfortable on your head.
Where to Purchase
It can be difficult to decide where you should purchase a helmet because there are actually a lot of options available. You could go to a store and try on a bunch of helmets until you found one that was comfortable and that fit properly. Another thing you could do is properly measure your head, or try on a helmet in a store and see what size of helmet you are and then order a helmet online. If you are doing it via this method it is always a good idea to check and see if there is some kind of return policy in case the helmet doesn’t fit. Something else that you may want to look into is to see if there is some kind of warranty for the product so that you can have some peace of mind when you are purchasing. Just remember that if you decide to buy your helmet second hand it may not protect you as well as a brand new helmet would.
Warranty
This is always something you should have a look at when you are purchasing equipment. Obviously when you buy a helmet used you run the risk of damage and not having coverage. The benefit of buying new, and from a well-established company is that most of the time they have some kind of a manufacturer’s warranty in place that can cover anything from accidental breaks to only manufacturer defects. It is always a good idea to look into the warranty of the helmet you are thinking of purchasing to see what exactly is covered.  It can really help to give you some peace of mind.
Reviews
This is one of the most important things that you can look at when you are buying a product. First of all, it is a good idea to investigate the seller a bit to make sure that they are legitimate and that they are not going to try and send you a faulty or fake product. The next thing reviews are good for is looking at actual customer reviews. Someone who has previously bought the product can really help to open your eyes up to see any faults in the product as well as some of the benefits and what they thought of the product overall. If after reading product reviews you are still unsure if you like the helmet you are looking at and want some questions answered, it never hurts to contact the seller and learn some of the specifications or get in touch with the seller and see if they can answer your questions for you.
 
Best Lacrosse Helmet Reviews
 

STX Rival Black

It’s almost too easy to start with this awesome feature but here it goes …. IT LOOKS DOPE!  … ahem, I mean it looks sharp and quite aggressive!  This new shell and mask design incorporate lines and design angles that (aesthetically) accentuate your speed.  That’s just so you can play mind games with your wimpy competition!  It also offers an improved field of vision. 
As expected, it offers superior ventilation through the whole shell, and it offers the athlete an extra comfort liner which is an additional layer of padding to the interior so your mind is on the game, not on the mild pain in your skull!  The Sure-Fit air system feature allows players to adjust fit on the fly with a built-in air pump.  No detachable pump is needed!  Of course the Sure-Fit air system also allows for quick deflation and helmet removal.
This is the highest-end helmet we recommend and of course, the price may give you sticker shock (unless you’re a billionaire!)
Pros:

Has leading-edge features that improve field awareness and lines of sight
Intimidating looks
Top-end safety features

Cons:

$$$$$$$$$$$

 

 

Cascade CPX-R Lacrosse Helmet

The CPX-R is a bit more of an expensive helmet but it has a lot of nice features built into its design to make the helmet more impact resistant as well as more comfortable for the wearer to use.
The helmet of choice for Cornell, the Cascade CPXR helmet featured the brand’s SEVEN technology. Seven years in the lab working on safety and impact absorption which effectively manages the energy transfer that occurs with direct impacts to the head during play. Upon impact, this triple-density memory foam liner system quickly displaces energy and resets so it’s ready for the next hit. It has the brand’s SPRfit, too, with allows you to make fine adjustments to the fit. The visor, mask, and chin strap are light and simple so you can keep your eyes on the whole field. This is an aggressive-looking helmet that offers top of the line protection.
Pros:

The inner lining of this helmet actually compresses to absorb impact and is ready to take on a second impact momentarily.
Chinstrap is included with this helmet and it matches the color of the helmet for some added style.
Chrome mask and white helmet will make you stand out amongst other players.
More bars on the mask than some other lacrosse cages will help protect you from sticks and other debris that you may come across while playing.
Metal screw brackets help to hold the cage in place and are much more likely to hold up longer than plastic brackets.
Superior energy displacement
Meets NOCSAE standards
Can make fine adjustments to fit

Cons:

Unfortunately, this helmet only comes in one size and therefore may not fit everyone even though it is supposed to be a “one size fits all” type of helmet.

 

 

STX Stallion 100 Helmet

This youth helmet is mid-budget range and offers a variety of features that may help outclass some of its competitors. This helmet looks a little different than the majority of lacrosse helmets, but offers a wider field of vision that other helmets are lacking.
This youth helmet is the perfect choice for a young player just starting to get into the game. STX partnered with Schutt, the company that makes football helmets for hundred of professional players in the NFL, to tap into their knowledge and create a top of the line youth lacrosse helmet. This helmet has an ABS shell with impact modifiers to strengthen its protection system. There are two liners for added protection. This helmet can withstand some really hard impacts. The adjustable elastic system is built into the helmet and allows for a more individual, snug fit. This is a perfect feature for youth players as they will undoubtedly grow throughout the season and need a helmet that can grow with them.
Pros:

This helmet not only has an ABS shell which is great for taking an impact, but it also has impact modifiers built into the plastic to better take on the force.
This helmet has an elastic strap so that you can adjust the helmet to fit your head properly; this also allows this helmet to fit on players of a variety of different sizes.
Adjustable foam pads allow you to scrub down your helmet easier and give you a much more custom fit.
Meets NOCSAE standards
An adjustable elastic system so the helmet can grow with the player
Double Padding

Cons:

Unfortunately, this helmet is only available in extra small and small and only comes in white.
This helmet doesn’t have a ton of ventilation except for the massive cage.

 

 

Cascade CS-R Helmet

This helmet requires a modest budget to purchase. Available in a range of colors, this helmet is both appealing to the eye as well as good at protecting heads from physical damage.
This is the first Elite Youth helmet from Cascade, one of the top brands for lacrosse gear and equipment. It’s designed to take the hits that an under 12 player would face during a game. There’s a foam liner on the top of the helmet and memory foam on the sides to disperse the impact. The CS-R also comes with an adjustable pivot system. This will make sure the helmet fits the anatomy of the young player as they grow. The rear third of the liner moves so it’s snug to the bead, ensuring a good fit. It has a one-piece shell and visor design which make the helmet more rigid. The three-bar cage design helps young players get a full view of the field while they are running and looking for the ball.
Pros:

This helmet comes in a range of colors such as white, silver, scarlet, black as well as navy.
The mask of this helmet is designed in a way that helps to extend your vision and attempts to keep the center bar out of the way of your eye’s main line of vision.
Adjustable straps with brackets allow you to customize the fit of this helmet to get it sitting correctly and securely on your head.
Proper ventilation built into this helmet will help to keep your head cool while you play.
Poron XRD foam allows for better impact absorption and more overall comfort than many competing helmets.

Cons:

The face mask does open up a wider field of vision, but it is more likely that something could fit through the bars. 

 

 

CASCADE LX Women’s Lacrosse Headgear

This helmet represents a whole new frontier as women’s’ lacrosse headgear becomes mandatory across the country.  It’s already mandated in Florida with other states to follow.  
Cascade is leading the pack (so far) in this new (and SAFER) trend.  This helmet is a holistic solution with an integrated goggle that meets new ASTM standards (American Society for Testing and Materials).  This helmet is very specifically designed for a woman’s/girl’s head and it offers a customizable setup.  It features a lightweight design that’s ventilated and helps keep your head cool while dramatically increasing the level of protection on the field.  
The Poron XRD foam in the helmet offers maximum impact protection and the LX steel mask is engineered with open sightlines and an ergonomic shape.  The integrated goggle system mentioned earlier is made to relieve facial pressure that is caused by a separate stand-alone goggle that is standard in women’s’ lacrosse.  
We love the dual hair slots and interchangeable cheek pads which allow the Cascade LX to fit perfectly (with some customization) on any player.
Pros:

The extensive adjustment system built into this helmet offers very fast adjustments so that you spend less time getting your helmet ready and more time playing.
This lightweight helmet makes it easier to run around with and still offers an appealing looking design.
Open cage will give you a good view of the playing field.
Made specifically for women.

Cons:

Sticks and other debris can fit through the larger holes in the mask a lot easier than that of one with smaller holes.

 

 

Cascade R Lacrosse Helmet

One of the most stylish helmets on the market. The R helmet is by a noticeable margin, the most advanced impact management system Cascade has ever created. It is a relatively expensive helmet but it comes in a ton of different color combinations. You will not see very many helmets that come in this many colors available on the market; while still providing you with quality protection from impacts.
The R helmet has the most advanced impact protection system that uses Cascade’s SevenTech and PoronXRD liner systems for management of both high and low impacts. SevenTechnology was developed to manage high, direct impacts while the PoronXRD Foam is a newer addition to the Cascade brand. PoronXRD is a pliable material that not only makes the helmet more comfortable but also helps distribute energy from lower force impacts. This aggressive looking helmet also has Cascade’s SPRfit system plus three different jaw pads to use, so the fit can be micro adjusted. The shell and visor are one piece and it has vents for cooling.  Here’s a neat feature; On impact, the Seven Technology liner system compresses to laterally displace energy and within seconds, it completely resets to ready for the next impact.
Pros:

The black mask and colored helmet combination looks great and maybe even adds some intimidation factor to the helmet.
Available in a ton of different colors including black, green, navy, Gold, chrome and black combination, maroon, a chrome and navy combination, blue, red and even white.
This helmet is only available in one size but it is highly adjustable and capable of fitting the average person.
This helmet incorporates compression technology in order to take away the energy that is created from an impact.
The one-piece shell and visor now offered in an R design with increased ventilation. This design creates a more rigid system to better manage frontal impacts and also moves the balance point closer to the center of the head for a lighter feeling high performance helmet.
New sight lines for better vision and reduced weight.
Chin protection technology provides added rigidity along the jaw and by the ear.
Amazon price is WAAAYYY better than we could find with National Chain Sports Retailers and other online sellers.

Cons:

This helmet does not come in a variety of sizes and may be somewhat of a risk to buy since you won’t know if it fits without trying it on.
This helmet has been criticized for not being a very wide fit, which is something that you may want to take into account before purchasing.”

 

 

Cascade CPV-R Helmet

This youth helmet is quite budget-friendly (still it’s closing in on $140) and offers a very comfortable fit. A good quality build, this helmet is sure to help protect your head from potential injury.   It features an adjustable ratchet system to make micro-adjustments even during a game while they’re on the field!  It’s the first helmet in the R-series to offer an EPP liner system for pro-level protection and comfort.   
The Chevron style mask provides enhanced downward vision (ie. ground ball advantage) and the chin and visor are engineered to fit a wide range of head styles.  Did we mention that there are over 10 color options available?  I didn’t think so, and that’s good, because there are actually at least 16 color options!
Pros:

This helmet has a fairly open cage to offer the user better vision.
Built like an adult helmet this helmet has good overall construction and uses quality materials.
Cascade labeled straps make this helmet stand out amongst others.
One year warranty with no conditions attached can give you some peace of mind when you are buying this product.
Lightweight helmet is easy to remove and adjust as needed – even on the fly.
HDPE case offers a hard shell to help with impact resistance.
16 color options

Cons:

Ummmm…..

 

 

STX Lacrosse Stallion 500 Helmet

One of the most expensive helmets out on the market. This super comfortable, flexible helmet is impact resistant and looks good when you are wearing it. Although this helmet is not for everyone due to the fact there is only one size option. This is a helmet that is built for impact and will greatly help to prevent you from getting head injuries.
The Stallion 500 is reminiscent of older helmets while still providing top of the line safety. The facemask is a little lower and therefore cuts out any option to tilt. Tilt is something that player will do for many reasons, including keeping the sun out of their eyes. This loss of tilt can also make it a little difficult to see in the field. The throat guard is solid and can take a hit without flexing. This helmet has a variety of sizes and will work great for players who have a hard time finding one because they’re heads are too big. With adjustable airbeds and inflatable air bladder, fit can be easily customized. The liners in this helmet use five different technologies and they manage to make them all work together well.
Pros:

Highly adjustable helmet with air pump technology that you can use to form fit the helmet to your head’s shape.
ABS shell provides good impact resistance.
Sophisticated jaw pad provides excellent impact absorption and keeps your chin comfortable while wearing the helmet.
A variety of vents built into this helmet help to keep you cool while playing and add some style to this helmet as well.

Cons:

This helmet is only available in size medium.
This helmet only comes in the color white which may be seen as a negative to some people.

 

 

Warrior Burn Jr 19 Lacrosse Helmet

Lacrosse players under the age of 12 are the primary target for this make and model.  Warrior is a well-known brand and trustworthy in every sense for safety, compliance and quality.  
This Burn Jr 19 helmet is not short on features starting with the vinyl nitrate foam liner for energy-absorbing impact protection.  There’s a quick and very easy Velcro pull-tab system for adjusting the fit to any developing young player.  The Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) liner (yes, another liner in addition to the vinyl nitrate) adds to the already ample impact-absorbing protection.
Of course, as expected, the helmet meets or exceeds all NOCSAE standards (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) and it’s also SEI certified.
Pros:

Padded foam and adjustable straps make this an easy helmet in which to get and be comfortable.
Tightly fitted cage will keep other players from getting their sticks and things through your mask.
Made especially for a young player (under 12)

Cons:

Metal adjustable brackets on the straps are uncomfortable to use as well as difficult.

 

 

Bauer IMS 5.0 Helmet Combo

Although not recommended by some lacrosse players, you can use an average hockey helmet as a lacrosse helmet if you want. The benefit of using a hockey helmet is that it is cheaper, has less spaces in the cage and they are more commonplace than the average lacrosse helmet is.
Pros:

Made by a popular brand, this helmet is made of high-quality material and should last you for a long time.
Ear protection helps to protect you from slashes or if the ball catches you on the side of the head.
This helmet comes with a cage as well as straps so that you are ready to go out and play straight off the bat.
Most helmets require a tool like a screwdriver in order to adjust the size, this helmet can be adjusted by hand.
Adjustable straps are easy to use and this helmet has a built-in chin guard so that you don’t have to buy one separately.

Cons:

A hockey helmet cage has more protection from jabs than a lacrosse helmet does, but it also takes up a lot more of your viewing area.
If everyone on your team has a proper lacrosse helmet a hockey helmet is going to look out of place.

 

 
Conclusion & Recommendations
Buying a helmet is a lot more complicated than it initially seems. It is important to make sure you are buying something that is of good quality so that you can use the helmet for a long period of time and so that your head is protected properly from impacts. Make sure you buy something that is the proper size for your head and please be sure that the cage is fitted properly to your face and not wobbling around as you move around. Failing to buy a helmet that fits properly or buying something that is of poor quality could end up making a lasting impact on your life. Make sure you take this into account with your purchase and hope that you find something that you like.
 

 

The post The Best Adult & Youth Lacrosse Helmets of 2020 : Protection, Comfort, & Style appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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The 10 Best Basketball Shoes of 2020

Our 10 Best Basketball Shoe Reviews
 
Okay, for starters, let’s clarify what this post is and what it is NOT! 
It’s NOT…
… a complete guide to the absolutely “best” shoes you could ever buy to play basketball this year!  There are simply too many good shoes out there, and too many variables (like the shape of your foot) to conclusively tell you any particular shoe is the “best”.  Furthermore, what does the “best” mean?  Is it the best shoe for durability and longevity, or the best shoe for comfort?  What about the best shoe for the price?  You see where I’m going with this line of reasoning right?
Also, note that not every shoe is the absolute latest, since the latest doesn’t always mean it is “better” than last year’s model.  Shoe companies (especially basketball) are under pressure to come up with new designs that look cool and perform well, but the “improvement curve” can’t always rocket upwards just like your stock chart cannot always move steadily upward with no declines.  Some of the shoes listed here are from 1 or 2 years ago, but they are reviewed each year so our chart of recommendations is always no more than 12 months old.
It IS…
… our best overall choices (top 10) of shoes that fit the profiles of being AMONG the best in value, comfort, durability, style and relative “newness”.  As good as they are, most shoes from 2009 or 2013 don’t make our list because we’re assuming you’re looking for the latest (or thereabouts) basketball shoes.  It’s our “best shot” at giving you a good starting point to begin your research and hopefully helping you ultimately decide on what basketball shoes to buy for this season!
Get the Most Out of This Review
When reading the guide make sure you list what the most important priorities are to you, for example,  traction, comfort, breathability, high top/low top, durability, and much more. This guide should help you find the best combination of these things, as well as the best price.
In this article, we’ll begin by detailing some of the biggest names and releases out there in the world of performance basketball shoes. Then, we’ll rank the shoes by different factors to help you get a better sense of which shoes are best fit for you. Then, there will be a bonus section on how to jump higher with your shoe purchase, as well as a secret shoe not made by NIKE or any other popular brand that may be the key to helping you jump higher. We want you to maximize your knowledge about basketball shoes and make the best decision for the best basketball shoes for you!  Let’s get into it now!

UA Curry 7 (6)
Curry 6
Curry 7
This is a bit of an unusual pick for #1 because we’re featuring the Curry 6 (available on Amazon) for a great price, compared to the Curry 7 (not on Amazon as of the writing of this review).  The 7 is the latest iteration of Steph Curry’s shoe, but the 6 is (practically speaking) just as good but for a smaller “investment”!  We’ll touch on both for good measure!
The Curry 6 has a relatively good sole with good grip.  It’s interesting to note that Under Armour wanted to incorporate as much of “Steph” as they could in the shoe by including a cross-thatch pattern on part of the sole which is reminiscent of the stucco on Curry’s home where he grew up in Charlotte, NC.
The insole of the Curry 6 consists of full-length HOVR cushioning and it’s included in the entire midsole.  For those who care, some past versions didn’t have enough cushioning for lots of players and others had a bit too much so your foot felt like it was moving a bit too much on a hard stop.  The Curry 6 has a very good happy medium between those extremes, and that’s a bit plus for this shoe.
The shoe itself is knit front to back but there are areas that are reinforced (ie. the toe) so there’s not much foot movement or wear in areas prone to it.  The knit material mimics leather in its ability to mold well to your foot and retain memory after repeated use, so that feature gets high marks from us.
Without boring you with exact widths of soles and all that other technical stuff other reviewers load into their reviews, let’s just say we found traction and stability to be about as good as it gets.  Some of the LeBron models have double layers of mesh (of varying degrees of stretch) to offer still more support, but the difference between the two shoes is not that big as far as stability goes.
As expected, the Curry 6 is a tongue-less one-piece construction and it retains its flat laces to increase surface area (for better snug-ness) and eliminate any potential sore pressure areas.  
The Curry 7’s are every bit as good as any previous version (especially regarding support, cushioning and stability).  Micro G cushioning makes sure of that!  It features a synthetic leather on the upper with a translucent layering that’s very cool-looking.  The outsole has a herringbone pattern for ultimate floor grip.
The 7’s a tad bit heavier at 13.2 oz. compared to the 12.0 oz. of the Curry 6’s.

 
Nike Men’s Kyrie 5 Nylon Basketball Shoes

While not exactly “inexpensive”, the Kyrie 5’s fall in around the lower end of the signature series of shoes offered by nearly every company.  The shoe’s namesake Kyrie Irving is not only one of the most well-known players in the NBA, but in 2017, the Kyrie was THE number one selling performance basketball shoe on the planet – PERIOD!  So, the Kyrie’s have been popular over the past few years, but here’s the kicker:  They haven’t really changed much over the past few years!
Cushioning has been a problem for the Kyrie in the past and only decent cushioning is used in the heel rather than the ball (front) of the foot.  The 5’s now address that problem and the feedback has been very positive!  
Ankle support, while being quite ample, is somewhat restrictive given the high supportive collar at the back of the shoe, which offers lots of stability but little in the way of flexibility and that limits comfort.
The Kyrie is not a low-cut shoe and may not be your best choice if you’re into low-cuts, but the tradeoff is outstanding stability and resistance to ankle-turning with the extended outsole.

Nike Jordan Jumpman 2020

We like the look of simplicity mixed with modernity as seen on the Jumpman 2020.  We’re happy to see the traditional herringbone tread which is still one of the very best designs (we believe) for overall indoor hardwood court performance.  Sure, we use our sweaty hands to wipe dust just like the rest of you, but even compared to other sole tread designs.
The sheer height of this shoe (A.K.A. “sole volume”) is significant.  It sits higher off the floor than most basketball shoes and that due in large part to Nike Zoom outsole design features.  The shoe feels solid enough so the extra height of the sole doesn’t significantly affect the performance of the shoe in a negative way.  The clear “gel” style section in the forefoot of the sole is a bit “stickier” than the rest of the shoe and that helps for traction.  It seems there’s a negative for every positive because for the extra traction this “gel” features offers, it also attracts more dust and needs to be cleaned more often (if only with a sweaty palm).
The heel is not overly-cushioned but does have a “landing zone” which is the indented part just under the heel on the sole of the shoe.  This allows for a slightly “softer” landing for the heel in the absence of serious cushioning.
The mesh upper and overall design make this a less expensive and very functional shoe with very little “flashiness” but overall good value.

Adidas Men’s Dame 5

The Dame 5 is of course, named for its player, who, in this case is Damian Lillard (point guard for the Portland Trailblazers).  They’re officially a “low-cut” shoe, but I’d call them mid-cut at least!  The sole is a bit harder than many other models and that means they’ll fare better on an outdoor court than most.  Of course, that comes at a price.  The harder sole makes it less “sticky” on an indoor court, and combined with the fact that the herringbone pattern (which we like), is flat (ish) along the surface (as opposed to a “wiper blade” edge hitting the floor), this makes the shoe slide on a hard stop (especially on a dusty floor).
We like the real tongue (no one-piece construction) and we like that even though there’s a lot of padding, the shoe does not feel as puffy as it looks.  That’s a good thing as far as performance goes.  The suede upper doesn’t really serve any special purpose other than breaking up the look (visual aesthetics).  It’s not a great material for performance (holds heat and wears poorly) and we’d like to see a full mesh instead, but what the hey – you can’t have it all!
The midfoot is wide but very stable and these shoes fit tightly and feel like you’ll never get them off – all the while being very comfortable!

Nike Men’s Lebron 17

While nowhere near the lower price point of some very good shoes, the Lebron 17’s are very funky to look at and have some excellent features – especially for a player like its namesake – a big man!
The Lebron 17’s offer up something pretty darn good given the issues we find in nearly every other shoe.  The price point is one of the higher in the industry, but if you either have the money or wait til the price drops a bit through the rest of the year, you may get a good deal!  Let’s see what Nike says about them:
The LeBron 17 harnesses LeBron’s strength and speed with containment and support for all-court domination. It features a lightweight mix of knit and heat-moulded yarns that gives each one a durable look and feel. Combined cushioning provides LeBron with the impact support and responsive energy return he needs to power through the long season.
Okay, so there’s a huge blurb about them on their website but what do normal testers think about them?  Let’s unpack our thoughts!
The notable feature is the height of the zoom air, air-filled sole.  It makes your foot sit way higher from the surface of the court than a foam shoe.  Our first thought was that the excessive height on top of air would decrease lateral support and make the shoe feel “gushy” and “sloshy”, but in fact, we were pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case.  Stability was very good.  A bonus was that we just gained an extra inch over our competitors’ height!  Even Nike boasts about how these shoes have extra cushioning, but they don’t sacrifice “give” or responsiveness during quick, explosive accelerations.
Here’s another quote from Nike that outlines their love affair with performance:
The LeBron 17 combines first-of-its-kind Max Air in the heel with two Zoom Air pods in the forefoot for comfort and responsiveness. The LeBron 17 also features an innovative, incredibly lightweight Knitposite upper for ultimate movement and flexibility.
Both Flyknit (uppers) and Foamposite (outsoles) have been staples in the Nike design arsenal, but this shoe combines them by offering something called “knitposite” which features a lightweight, sock-like upper, with a hard shell in key areas.  Nike says that will increase your aggressiveness since you’ll have “no fear” to crash the boards and get in the middle of a scrum.  I think that if you play that aggressively, you may have other problems like a black eye, elbow to the head or a fat lip!  Try and stop that NIKE!!
Overall, we found very little to criticize about this shoe other than the price!  Fit, performance, comfort, and all that good stuff received high praise from our team, so it’s a two thumbs up (if you can stomach the cost).  I keep bringing that up don’t I?

Nike Zoom KD 12

The KD-12’s are, of course, named after Kevin Durant whose career is well-documented and colorful!  He’s quite a personality, but do his shoes live up to the hype?  Let’s see!
Starting at the sole, we find it’s clear and translucent.  We’ve found that most outsole materials (whether they fully or partially cover the sole) are softer and grippier if they’re clear.  I’m guessing it’s because of the chemical composition that is used for clear and colorless rubbers.  This sole is probably the absolute grippiest sole of our entire recommended list.  As usual, with that positive comes the inevitable negative, and that is that they wear out stupid fast!  After only a few games, there is evidence of breakdown on the highest spots of the ridges ont he sole.  It’s grippy because it’s soft, and because it’s soft, it wears down quickly!  Oh the joys of living in a world where scientific principles never really change!!
The Zoom Air cushions are coveted by many players and touted as the best type of cushion offered by Nike.  It features a FULL-LENGTH Zoom Air cushion directly beneath your entire foot.  For those of you who care, that’s not what you would normally expect from a Nike basketball shoe, but here it is!  It’s a VERY good thing!
The shoes themselves feel quite tight when you try on your size in-store, but they do conform nicely to your foot as you play.  The mesh and fuse exterior doesn’t feel overly premium at all, but the shoe plays like a premium shoe without a doubt!  
The KD’s feature a “Quad-Axial Flywire” which is like a finger-trap mesh material under the main mesh exterior.  It’s there for extra snugness and it works!
The shoe does not have an “outrigger” or flare on either side of the forefoot and while some may view that as lacking in lateral support, we like it because it allows you to be far more nimble and minimalistic in your approach to the game.
Finally, we have to chuckle at the variety and customized approach to this line.  There’s a KD-12 colorway that pays a “tribute” to Kevin D’s YouTube channel.  Not only do the colors smack of YouTube (red and white) but little heel tags contain quotes and quips you’d see while watching like “Skip Ad” and “Video will Play After Ad”.  And did I mention, the label on the tongue of the right shoe actually says YOUTUBE with the little arrow.
KD-12s have a colorway that recognizes Kevin Durant’s YouTube channel.
Overall, it’s a tighter shoe than many others but fits true to size and is a bargain anywhere south of the $150 price point.

Adidas Harden Vol 4

Adidas rolls out yet another signature shoe for NBA star James Harden.  It’s seriously one of the most unusual shoes on our list.  From some angles, this low-cut shoe looks more like a casual shoe meant for style than a performance basketball shoe.  It appears to have very little sole volume but in fact it’s quite adequate.  The look of the sole is rather like something futuristic and meant to impress the eyes of the buyer rather than perform well.
The shoe itself is low profile which can help faster, more nimble players (ie. point guards) feel like they should perform – quickly and nimbly!  
The synthetic (super-thin) skin fuse upper laid over primeknit material is unsurprising and performs relatively well.  There is a mid-foot lockdown strap and the lacing system is geared toward making the shoe fit very snugly to avoid any sloppiness or movement in the mid-foot, for-foot and heel.
Adidas says the outsole has something called “generative traction” (crazy all these made-up terms to make your innovations look better!) which is supposedly inspired by, and tailored to the actual, physical movements of James Harden.  How they know that is a mystery to me, but what do I know about modern tech and magic?
The general consensus among quite a number of reviewers and customers is that this shoe is the best of all previous Volumes of the Harden.  If that’s true, Adidas really hit the sweet spot on this one.

Nike Kobe AD NXT FF  (FF = “FastFit”)

Welcome to one of Nike’s insanely-priced signature shoes!  At over $100 more than most other signature shoes from Under Armour, Adidas and yes, even Nike, the Kobe AD NXT’s are a cut above any competition – if only in the price category! 
The sole of the AD NXT is a bit unusual.  It features a scaled pattern rather than a herringbone or really anything we’ve seen recently.  Once again, we see a clear and colorless rubber which typically means it’s quite grippy, but also tends to gather detritus (that means dust and dirt and junk) which is usually taken care of with a good swift wipe from a sweaty palm.  
The entire shoe (but specifically the insole, outsole and footbed construction is very pliable which maximizes comfort. Nike’s React cushioning is used through the full length of the shoe and it works nicely in this pair (though some examples of React were not so great like the 2017 Hyperdunk).  React is a cushioning foam material that is a result of over 400 attempts at combining various compounds to come up with a cushioning system that returns energy very effectively instead of just cushioning and NOT bouncing back (ie. your feather pillow on your bed – great cushioning but lousy return of energy).
The “laceless” fast-fit system is almost gimmicky, but it works as advertised no matter what else you might think of it.  The strap across the top is for you to just grab and pull.  It tightens all the laces for a firm fit.  You won’t be able to tight each section of the shoe separately, but after feeling the result, I’m not sure anyone really needs to pull each section separately.
The shoe itself is made much like a sturdy sock and the synthetic mesh and other materials along the top are so thin you can pinch and pull them up with your fingers.  The ankle strap is needed to secure the top of the shoe since the laces don’t go that high.
The Kobe AD NXT FF is an unusual shoe for a number of reasons but one thing I can’t say is that they’ll hinder your game.  They fit snugly and move with no sluggishness at all.  Hovering around the mid $200’s, we’re not sure this is worth the price when compared to all the great alternatives closer to $150, but it is a good shoe and I’d love to get some feedback from anyone to grabs a pair and gives them a chance to prove their worth!
Features at a Glance

An internal 4-way mesh material stretches over the contours of your foot for a locked, snug feel
Open-hole mesh on the inner side of the shoe exposes the interior
Adjustable strap crosses over the tongue to secure your ankle
An external plastic clip provides stability
Thin rubber outsole with multidirectional tread provides traction

Jordan Air 34

If you thought the Kobe AD NXT’s were expensive, get ready for yet another bout of sticker shock.  Weighing in at $300 (ish) is the Jordan Air 34!
Here’s a generally well-made shoe with a unique heel cup design that is so sturdy (and a little bit bulky) that it tends to cause discomfort on many an ankle bone!  We suspect that may not be a problem for every player, but it is for many.
One of the only other negatives for this shoe (besides the scary price) is that the laces have a hard time staying tight as you’re lacing them up.  It can be frustrating to see your efforts undone every few seconds!  Still with lacing, players with a wider foot may like these given that the “default” position of the material on the top of the shoe is set for a wider foot and it buckles as it gets laced tighter for a narrower foot.
We like the look and performance of the herringbone pattern that has a fan shape to it rather than just a plain herringbone look.  We’re not sure that actually helps performance or not, but it looks kinda cool and aggressive.
Zoom Air cushioning is included in most of the foot bed, so that’s a big plus.  More than previous versions with Zoom Air, this shoe feels like it’s propelling you forward with each step – especially if you’re aggressively accelerating.
Screen mesh makes up the main body of MOST Air 34’s (some will have a different material).  This makes the shoe really light.  Better still is the performance material (another mesh – basket weave style) in the forefoot for lateral stability.  The mesh tightens as you put pressure on it laterally so it keeps your foot from rolling over the edge of the sole.
One last comment about the exterior material/design; the back half of the shoe (near the ankle) is just a see-through mesh with virtually no support at all and that does not inspire confidence for aggressive lateral moves all day long in spite of the better performance materials on the front of the shoe.
Overall, it feels good and generally performs well, but in this man’s opinion, the $300 price tag is not worth it.  I’d stick with the Kobes or the KD-12s.

Under Armour Men’s Lockdown 4

Okay, now let’s go WAAAAAYY down the price scale from $300 (the Air 34s) to a whopping $65-ish for the Lockdown 4’s. 
Full disclosure here – when I first laid eyes on these I did like them, but when I saw the price tag, I started to like them a whole lot more!  It’s truly amazing how price mixed with quality can affect your views.  It was like someone offering to sell me a 2019 Volkswagen Beetle in excellent condition for a “good price”.  I likely wouldn’t be interested and I would politely decline because I’m not a huge fan of the VW Beetle.  However, if he told me the “good price” was $150 bucks, then I’d suddenly become very interested and I’d probably start liking the Beetle a bit more.  Well, this is JUST like that.
The Lockdown 4 has a modern, sleek look not unlike a Nike or Adidas design and they’re quite light. The tech is not overly-amazing, but it’s a good all-around shoe that will suit you well at your skill level.  It won’t make you better or worse than you actually are! 
It features a traditional lace design with a molded synthetic upper, and it has a pretty beefy injection molded EVA midsole/outsole with a good degree of flare around the edges to minimize the chance of an ankle rollover.
The tread design is adequate though not overly aggressive with deep grooves or super-soft rubber.
If I were to compare the features of this shoe to a premium signature brand, I’d say the price difference shouldn’t be so huge.  That’s another way of saying this is a good deal for just about everyone other than an actual pro or semi-pro player.
Features at a Glance

Molded synthetic upper for a snug fit & very cool look
Perforated leather for enhanced breathability
Lightweight, super-breathable sock liner provides underfoot cushioning & support
Injection molded EVA midsole offers a lightweight & responsive ride
Rubber outsole with multi-level adaptive traction patterns to provide exceptional on-court movement & control that won’t wear down
Weight: 13.2 oz.

NOT on our list, but decent shoes from a few years ago!
 
Nike Lebron XI

 
“Cushion” is the word to describe this shoe more than any other feature!   The Lebron XI has what some would say is an excessive amount of bounce, which can be a good thing for wear and tear prevention on sore knees, but as with any great advantage, there’s usually an equal and opposite disadvantage.  In this case, court “feel” or responsiveness is sacrificed when the sole is soft and “bouncy”.   The good news is that given a bit of time (approximately 5-10 good, hard practice sessions or scrimmages) they do “break in” to give you a better court responsiveness.
Another cool feature is the full-length zoom along the bottom of the shoe which absorbs a whole lot of the impact of landing and running (works as advertised)!
I’d go out on a limb and say these are one of the very best and most balanced cushions Nike has created to date!  If you decide to grab a pair of these, you’re in the ballpark of one of the best shoes on the market, but as you’d expect, the price tag is no bargain.
The materials are also a notable feature.  The iconic foamposite (material that supports and surrounds much of the exterior of the shoe) has received some new chemistry, and now a newer material called Hyperposite (merging of Nike’s foamposite and Hyperfuse) takes center stage on this shoe.  That brings us to the next feature;  Ventilation.  The ventilation is decent, but the Hyperposite needs heat and moisture to help it mold to your foot’s specific structural features.  Too much ventilation means a longer break-in time, and the Lebron XI has (in my opinion) just the right amount of ventilation.
The shoe’s support score is pretty high given that it’s designed to support a big player.  In this particular case, the designers got it right when they allowed for excellent support AND great mobility range.  Kudos to Nike designers here (or maybe it was just dumb luck!).  The best part about this is that while it supports a big center, this shoe is just as good for a point guard.  You won’t feel like your feet are laced into concrete slabs since they are delightfully ….. well, light!  They look good and perform well on every count.  I’d say you can’t go wrong!  Top marks from us!

Nike Lebron Soldier XI

The shoes made for the best player in the world are built for a player with extreme power that needs to move fast and play explosively. The high top style is equipped with a velcro strap that will fasten the foot and prevent ankle sprains as you take off for dunks and contact layups. The shoe is revolutionary because of its shocking lightweight in contrast to its bulky experience. The Lebron XI is the obvious choice for bigger players that like to run and play fast. If you are a shooter, this may not be the shoe for you, but if you attack the basket and like to run up and down the court, this is the shoe for you. Inspired by the greatness of Lebron James, this shoe is one of the greatest performance basketball shoes ever produced.  Is it one of the best basketball shoes on the market today?  Ummm…. well, just maybe!
This shoe is one of the premium high top shoes on the market. If you are looking for a sterling level of ankle support, this is the shoe to buy. In addition to the high top structure, the shoe has a very solid velcro strap that will further fasten your ankle. Having increased ankle mobility like this will help you spin and turn quickly. However, at the cost of this ankle support is a slightly heavier shoe. Although the Lebron Soldier XI is amongst the lightest high top shoes ever created, by NIKE or anyone else.
The consensus is that the shoe has a very nice design and style. The Lebron XI is known for great traction, it is comfortable, and is very breathable. It is very important that the shoe is breathable because this makes sure your feet don’t sweat too much in the shoe. Some people complain that the colors on this shoe bleed. Some have reported that the color bled onto the white after only wearing them a few times. It’s possible for sure, but we’re looking at the bigger picture here.  Hopefully, that won’t be a deal killer issue!
Not everyone is a fan of the aesthetic and prefer basketball shoes that avoid using a velcro strap. Personally, I think that the velcro is optimized to tighten the grip of the shoe on your ankle, however, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Nike Kyrie 4

 
The hottest name on the streetball courts has surged ahead and built on its successful debut of the Kyrie line.  Inspired by the craftiness and speed of superstar guard and NBA Champion Kyrie Irving, these shoes are designed to help players plant and change direction quickly and to take advantage of their exceptional light weight.  In order to execute deadly crossovers and spin moves that leave your defender looking mesmerized, you will need a lightweight shoe with enough support to keep you from tearing your ankle apart. Look no further than the Kyrie 4s if you are after a lightweight shoe and quick changes of direction. The shoe features a mix of Flywire, Zoom Air cushioning and more!
Some users of the Kyrie 4 recommend altering the laces. The laces are very tight by default and cut off circulation. Because of this, some people complain about the breathability of the shoe which is very important when you are going to be playing for a long time and want to avoid fatigue in your feet or want to let your foot breathe in the shoe so you don’t have a nasty odor in the shoe. The Kyrie 4s are also by default very narrow. The Kyrie 4 is a great shoe for playing outside as well. The traction is versatile and will work just as well on the pavement as it does on the hardwood.
B/W colorway release date / December 20th, 2017

 
 AIR JORDAN 6 RETRO “LIKE MIKE” Gatorade

The shoes worn by the most explosive player in the world couldn’t be a more perfect fit. Anytime Jordan releases an AJ model, it is likely to be one of the best basketball shoes on the market (or even THE best shoe in the market) for jumping high and playing very explosively. The shoe is very compact, lightweight, and flexible. The only drawback to this shoe is it’s slightly hefty price and difficulty to order online or find in stores. The shoe is in high demand for a reason, however. If you are looking to jump a little higher to get that windmill dunk you have always dreamed of, this is the best shoe to get. The Jordan 6 (original) marked the year MJ led the Bulls to their first Championship title. This colorway of the Air Jordan 6 Retro Men’s Shoe pays homage to the original ’91 “Like Mike” campaign that captured a generation.  While the shoe is not identical in its construction, it is an “updated” replica of that design.  For those who care about the history, MJ left Coca-Cola to promote Gatorade (thus the Jordan 6 orange and green colorway).  Gatorade’s success exploded worldwide and brought to the mainstream the idea or concept of “sports drinks”.
This incredible shoe features genuine and synthetic leather for comfortable support, foam midsole with visible Nike Air cushioning in the heel, encapsulated Nike Air cushioning in the forefoot and a combination clear and solid rubber outsole.

Under Armour Curry 5

The shoes created for the reigning MVP are centered around comfort. These are going to be amongst the most comfortable and best basketball shoes on the market. The style of Steph Curry requires him to be comfortable doing all sorts of things. Because he is not the most explosive player, these shoes are not really suited for explosive jumping and if you are a very strong player, you may rip these shoes after a couple months of ownership.
Let’s break down the details from our tester wearing a pair of white Curry 5’s.  First of all, let’s see the specs and guts from Under Armour.

Lightweight for optimum speed & agility
Full-knit construction & lockdown lacing for a precise, 360° fit & feel
Built with Anafoam™ containment zones in the forefoot lateral wall & around the heel to lock in the foot
EVA cushioning midsole delivers underfoot responsiveness
All-court grip system for instant stops & quick cuts on any surface
Weight: 11.8 oz.

Okay, that’s the nice stuff from the manufacturer.  What about real testing?  Here’s what our test team says about them;
We like the herringbone traction in the sole, and the Curry 5 has a slightly more “tacky” texture compared to the previous versions.  The problem was that the sole is bit TOO sticky and tends to hold onto dust.  If the court is squeaky clean, you’re golden!  If it’s dusty, you’ll be wiping the soles every trip up the court, which becomes annoying for sure!   The EVA cushioning was adequate though unspectacular.  Most players won’t feel any real fatigue or pain, but there’s no special “cushiony” feel either.
Anafoam is used in the heel cage and around the forefoot, which is mostly a good thing.  As it heats up, it forms to the foot so it flexes with your ergonomic movements.  We didn’t notice too much on that end, and the theory of it sounds much more impressive than the reality.  No harm done though, maybe it does work!  We do get that this shoe has to be light and fast, so it will sacrifice something.  That’s just the reality of the physics!
An inner sock made of elastic, knit material contributes to a pretty decent comfort level.  We found that the arch of the foot barely touched the insole because of the compression quality of the inner sock.
However, because of the nature of the low-cut construction (ish), and the lace design, we found that our feet moved around a bit more than we would like.  The heel cup was not as sturdy as we would like but a sturdier, harder cup would probably add to the weight.
The last lace holes on the shoe tended to pull our feet downward rather than into the heel which made for a looser fit around the heel and made it feel like we could pull our foot out of the shoe without too much trouble even tied tight (we actually did do that!).  That’s not the best lacing scenario!  The other issue one of our guys had was that a seam on top of the arch of your foot can cause some discomfort.
The general consensus was to go up a size which added comfort but exacerbated the tight fit (or lack thereof).  They just don’t feel super secure.
Having said all that about the sole, lacing and fit, we have to be fair and say that this shoe is really adequate to get the job done.  There’s enough lateral support for most players and the weight is awesome!  Nice ‘n light.  They look good and perform well overall.
One last thing:  some of our team really liked the Curry 4 even though it’s an older model.  It does have some advantages, but that’s a whole different review!

Nike Kobe A.D.

The Kobe AD continues the legacy of one the greatest players of all time. The first thing that is important to note about this shoe is that it is low cut. If you have traditionally played in high top basketball shoes, these may not be the best basketball shoes for you.  Actually, it looks a lot more like a tennis shoe than any other basketball shoe we’ve seen. Granted that it is a super low top shoe, it has very poor ankle support. On the other hand, the Kobe XI is incredibly lightweight and is one of the best basketball shoes for heavier players who want to jump higher and run a little bit faster. However, it is very important to keep in mind that the risk of spraining your ankle skyrockets when you play in these shoes.
However, they are very heavily praised for their comfortability and lightweight though some have complained that these shoes are about the “middle-of-the-road” when it comes to comfort. These shoes would be perfect for someone who is just looking to do drills and shoot around by themselves. The Kobe AD’s come in some very interesting colorways. It is very rare for a performance shoe to have so many designer-inspired color options and combinations!  The construction is fairly durable with the textile mesh, and our reviewers reported that traction performance was above average across the board.
In addition to the many signature Kobe AD models such as the Mighty I.T. and the Black Mamba, you have the option of further customization on NikeID. NikeID lets you choose between many different color combinations as well as embed a personal logo or ID onto the shoe.
Overall, we’d suggest that because the cushioning is not as generous as it could be on these shoes, larger players might prefer a LeBron Soldier model while small guards would be better suited to the Kobe A.D.

Nike Hyperdunk 2017

Comes in 40 colors, Nike ID customizable
Lightweight, Responsive, Supportive
The Hyperdunk has been a very popular performance option since 2008. The Hyperdunk is one of the most versatile shoes made by Nike and is branded by its Lightweight, Responsiveness, and Support. The Hyperdunk 2017 continues the tradition of Flyknit technology and stellar performance. The Hyperdunk 2017 is a shoe technology beast featuring herringbone patterns to offer traction for multidirectional movement. The high-top design is sure to keep your ankle stable as you cross over and euro step your way to bucket paradise.
Owners of the Hyperdunk 2016 who have moved on to the 2017 edition are raving about the improvements from the previous model. However, the Hyperdunk 2017 does have its flaws. Many people disregard the Hyperdunk 2017 as an elite performance shoe because of its somewhat cheap looking or dare we say “grandma’s sweater” materials. The Flywire and Flyknit material can make the shoe feel uncomfortable for some. This is an example of a shoe that really needs to be broken in in order for you to be able to comfortably play in them. One of the major drawbacks of this shoe is the price. Since the Hyperdunk is already priced in the upper stratosphere, it might make sense to just spend the same money and get a higher quality shoe such as a signature player shoe or a Jordan edition. However, there is an appeal to making a name for yourself and wearing a shoe that doesn’t already have somebody else’s name on it.
With this cool grey edition, you can grab your own very clean and sleek-looking shoe which (contrary to the views of those who jump to conclusions) performs as well as any other pro shoe on the market.  The colorway of this model is understated and contrasts with those looking to “show off” or grab the spotlight.  This is OUR KIND of SHOE!

NIKE Lebron XII

 
The Shoe made famous by Lebron James and his triumphant NBA Finals campaign over the Golden State Warriors. These shoes are viewed to be of excellent caliber by even the most adamant shoe critics. This shoe can be quite pricey and a little heavy for a performance shoe.  However, these shoes can be worn in many different ways and as a performance shoe offers a unique blend of talents.
The Lebron XIII is most known for having elite traction and durability. These shoes are made of very high-quality material and therefore do not degrade or wear down as fast as the typical shoe. The traction has a unique pattern that is apparently very revolutionary. This shoe is also known for having very high-quality ventilation.
As is the case with many luxury items, the Lebron XIII comes with a hefty price tag. The Lebron XIII has sold out of many of its best colorways and can be very difficult to track down in stores or on the internet. The best options for buying this shoe may be to search Flight Club or eBay. Keep in mind that buying basketball shoes this way can be very expensive and you are likely to pay far more than their originally listed price.
If you can get your hands on it and have the extra cash these shoes are great for explosive movement and will last you a very long time.
Oh, and FEAR NOT the price.  We’ve featured a fairly pricey model here, but the price ranges are HUGE and you can get a pair for half of what these cost!  See them HERE!
 

Jordan Retro Editions
Jordan 7,11,12, 13
If you are looking to stun everyone on the court with impressive fashion, the best way to turn heads will be the retro Jordan collection.  These are definitely on the top of any list of best basketball shoes for pure style!  There are many different Jordans most popularly ranging from the first model to the fourteenth. Here are the best options to wear for real basketball style and performance.
Jordan 7s

 
The Design inspired by Western African “afro-pop”, the very popular Air Jordan is widely regarded as the best performance shoe of the early Jordan releases. These shoes are sure to make you look like a hardcore hoop fan who has a fat wallet and incredible sense of basketball style. These shoes are highly praised for their traction, cushion and comfort, and support. This shoe does share many problems with old shoes, however.  You can expect very poor ventilation and this shoe is likely to have a somewhat weird fit. These shoes can also be very pricey and difficult to even find an outlet with these in stock. Finding these types of shoes can be viewed as somewhat of a networking masterpiece. There are shoe groups on facebook to join that can help you locate these shoes. While you can find them on eBay, expect a bogus markup.

Jordan 11

 
Widely regarded as one of the coolest basketball shoes of all time. Jordan 11 models such as the cool greys, concords, and reds (black and red Jordan colorway) are all famous colorways closely associated with basketball prestige. These shoes aren’t just one of the most impressively designed basketball shoes of all time, but they can also make quite an excellent performance shoe. Many sneakerheads may cringe seeing these played in on the court but they can be very good for basketball playing purposes as well. The ventilation in the Jordan 11s was game-changing for its time and remains today to be in the upper category of breathable shoes. The 11s are known for their supportive material and their mid-high top design will be very supportive for your ankle and also light enough to avoid robbing you of that explosiveness you have been hitting the gym so hard to acquire. The 11s have very supportive material and good traction. Obviously, these shoes are going to be very, very expensive. Good luck finding these in a store or anywhere else, seriously.

Jordan 12

 
The Jordan 12s are known for having great traction as well as a very supportive high top. These shoes are dripping in style and the design is very, very nice. These shoes are likely to be very expensive, as is the case with any retro Jordan. Users of these shoes on the court complain about their poor breathability.

  Jordan 13

 
These shoes are insanely stylish and offer great high top support. They are very comfortable, although not very lightweight. Sneakerheads will cringe if you test the durability of these shoes, but they are very likely to last you for a long time. These shoes are not very breathable compared to newer models.  Colorways are extensive, and we’ve featured a “not-so-common” wheat color model.
 
 
Cheaper Shoes (Under $75)
 
Nike Air Ring Leader

If you are looking to save money on your basketball shoes, the Nike Air Ring Leader is currently the cheapest basketball shoe featured. These shoes are very durable and comfortable for their price. These shoes are not very expensive and are likely to last you for a long time.  It’s one of the best basketball shoes for versatility since it can be used comfortably for other purposes.  The material of the shoe also makes it very easy to clean. Many users of the shoe agree that it runs true to size and is lightweight. It is also worth keeping in mind that these are low top shoes, meaning that you are sacrificing a lot of ankle support in favor of lighter weight.
As with any shoe, it does have some drawbacks. The major drawback to buying these shoes has to be the aesthetic. If you wear these shoes in a pickup game, odds are nobody will want to play with you unless you happen to be 6’10 with a Ray Allen-esque jump shot. These shoes scream that you are a new player. Users of the shoe also complain that it is weirdly proportioned. The toe area is disproportionately wider than the rest of the shoe. The insole of the shoe is also non-removable which makes it hard to slip in orthotics if need be. These shoes only come in one color, white, which can be hard to keep clean. These can be great shoes for playing in and exercising in, and they are very affordable.  They offer a great option as a starter shoe if you are not yet sure how passionate you are about the game of basketball. The Nike Air Ring Leader Low is a great place to also test try low top shoes and see if you can handle the lack of ankle support.
 
Under Armour Jet

If you are looking to make a more financially sound decision as well as avoid sacrificing your court style, the Under Armour Jet model is a great option. The shoe has a very sleek design and comes in 4 different color combos. This is a high top shoe so you won’t have to worry about snapping your ankle on a vicious crossover in these bad boys. The Jet is widely acclaimed for it’s comfort, cool colors, traction, and breathability. The breathability is especially interesting as it will help you avoid fatigue and keep your shoes smelling fresh.
Some people complain that these shoes run small, so be cautious when ordering them online. It might be best advised to go to a local house of hoops or dick’s sporting goods to try them on before purchasing.
 
 
 
Under Armour Lockdown

Priced very reasonably these are one of the best basketball shoes that still offer good performance on a low budget. They have a nice design that doesn’t instantly reveal its status on the lower end of the price range. They have a nice high top design to keep your ankle together. This rating is very impressive for a shoe at this price. Reviewers of the Under Armour Lockdown rave about its style and comfort. This shoe is without a doubt a great blend of price and comfortability. However, these shoes are not very lightweight and they do not have the same mesh and flexibility of a higher ranking performance shoe. The material of the shoe has many customers worried about the durability of the shoe. It is likely that cheaper shoes are more likely to break down fast.
 
 
Finding the Right Shoe by Focus
We hope we’ve given you some food for thought, but in case you’re still looking for more, here are some great factors to consider when looking for the best basketball shoes for you.
Lightweight
The importance of having a lightweight shoe is unquestionable. Being lighter will help you run faster, jump higher, and turn quicker. When Adidas first debuted the crazy light model, the basketball world went bananas over its shocking lightweight.
Comfortability
For most people, style comes from how you feel. In order to feel good and play at your maximized potential, you need to feel comfortable. Sometimes the comfort of the shoes heavily varies amongst users.
Durability
What is the point in buying the best pair of basketball shoes you can afford if they can only last for a couple weeks? There is nothing more annoying as a basketball player than coming home and noticing that you’ve ripped a hole through the toe of your shoe, or that the precious Nike logo has been creased in half and now looks like a weird white line glued together on the back of your shoe.
Traction
How can you possibly expect to crossover like Kyrie Irving or Allen Iverson if your shoes are slipping and sliding all over the court? There are many different factors that determine the traction quality of a basketball shoe such as whether you are playing outside or inside.
Style
Look good, play well. One of the most important things to being a basketball player is looking like you are one hell of a player. There are certain shoes that warrant a head nod of respect from all basketball players. Having your style together can make the difference between getting picked up on a team or watching the game from the sideline. Whether your style comes from developing your own look or being inspired by the look of an NBA superstar, we’ve reviewed some of the best basketball shoes out there with the most prestige and style.
Ankle Support
One of the most important factors to making the right decision about your best basketball shoes, is guaranteeing that you are avoiding the risk of injury. Spraining ankles is the most common injury amongst basketball players and it is very important that you do your research so you can stay off the long list of players who sprain their ankle every day. One of the most important qualities in ankle support is the difference between high and low top shoes. However, there are many models of low top shoes that offer a surprising amount of ankle support.
Price
It is always a smart idea to make sure you are getting the most out of your money. Maybe you or your family member is a newer player, just looking to try basketball out and see how it goes. Buying a cheap pair of basketball shoes can be difficult, but this list will comb out the lowest priced shoes and help you see which ones are not only the cheapest but a good value for their price.
SO YOU WANT TO JUMP HIGHER?
We all have dreams of jumping higher and higher, eventually getting over the rim and smashing down a ferocious two-hand dunk. There are many rumors that shoes are everything when it comes to jumping higher.  Although shoes alone probably won’t be the difference between barely touching the rim and taking off from the free throw line, putting the ball between your legs, and shattering the backboard into a million pieces, having the right pair of shoes can definitely be the difference between skimming the rim and grabbing it. Here are some suggestions that will help you throw down a powerful enough dunk to get the guy from the front desk to come into the basketball gym and threaten to kick you out because of your intimidating aerial showcase.
There are two kinds of jumpers in basketball, one leg dominant jumpers, and two leg dominant jumpers, (I know Harvard stuff right). You are a one leg jumper if you like to run and take off of one foot to dunk, you are a two-foot jumper if you gather yourself by putting both feet on the ground and then powering up to dunk. As such, the best basketball shoes will be different, for different jumpers.
One Leg Jumper
If you are a one leg jumper it is going to be important to have enough support to support transferring the momentum of your sprint into your jump. Here are three best basketball shoes I recommend: 1. Nike Lebron Soldier 10 2. Nike Hyperdunk 2016 3. Jordan AJ XXXI
Two Leg Jumper
If you are a two-leg jumper then support won’t be quite as important because you probably already have pretty good balance. The most important things for a two-leg jumper will be two have a lightweight shoe that won’t cause any additional resistance. Here are three shoes I recommend: 1. Nike Kobe 11 Low 2. Jordan AJ XXXI 3. Nike Kyrie 2
SECRET WEAPONS TO JUMPING HIGHER WITH YOUR SHOES ALONE
In this section, I will show you a top secret shoe banned by the NBA that, although not a traditional basketball shoe produced by a blue chip company like NIKE or Under Armour, is very likely to help you jump higher. I will also show you an insole that is nearly guaranteed to add an inch or two to your vertical jump.
Athletic Propulsion Labs
The APL basketball shoes are famous for their “load-n-launch” technology that is designed to help you jump higher. This is truly one of the best basketball shoes to get you airborne.  The insole is supposed to be more responsive to your jump and will spring you up to that rim. The shoes tend to have better reviews from people who jump higher, if you jump high already, these shoes will likely work better for you. The higher you jump, the more you get out of them.
APL’s most famous model out right now is called the Vision. It has a very nice design, but it comes at a very steep price. If jumping higher is very important to you and you aren’t looking for a traditional basketball shoe, these may be the shoes for you.  With all the nice sales stuff out of the way, let me REALLY honest.  Over the years, APL has had different models on the market with some really great feedback.  Head to head tests gave us some indication that they DO in fact improve your vertical if only slightly.  However, in recent months, we’ve received some feedback APL’s latest offering (the Vision) has some issues with a squeaking sole after some use.  With that information, what would we suggest?  Okay, I’ll be totally upfront (and personal) with you at the risk of sounding “sales-ee”.  If I were an 18-year old hot shot getting ready to go play U.S. College ball (like I was in 1987), and there was some hope of improving my vertical (if only by 1 inch) I would buy these shoes in a heartbeat – in spite of some technical concerns – like the squeak.  However, if I was a 35-year old dude looking to stay in shape for the next 20 years, I’d stick with a nice, safe shoe like something that helps with ankle support – like the Adidas DeRose 7.  It’s a proven shoe that’s virtually guaranteed to perform and keep me as safe as any shoe possibly can!
So that’s the skinny.  I love the shoe, but don’t freak on me if it squeaks.  All shoes are prone to squeaking (I have a pair of Nike running shoes that do that NOW!), so it’s a matter of trust (and a bit of gambling!).
Springbak Insoles
These insoles are used by world-class athletes across the world. In addition to helping you run faster and jump higher with a more responsive insole, they can also greatly help alleviate shin splint pain. These are priced between cheaply on Amazon and can fit into any shoe. They are not likely to stack well with the APL shoes, however.
Conclusion
In Conclusion, there are many different basketball shoes to choose from. Choosing the right pair is completely dependent on your needs as a basketball player and the design/colorway that best suits you. One of the biggest differences between shoes to note is the low top vs. mid vs. high top. High top shoes will give you much better ankle support whereas low top will usually be much lighter, mid being a blend in between. If you are looking for upper echelon style, you can’t go wrong with the Air Jordan retro collection. However, if you are looking for the best basketball shoes for performance, you are probably best going with the Nike Hyperdunks, Jordan AJ XXXI, or a signature player collection. Rocking your favorite players’ kicks may help you become inspired and add their flare to your game. It is also very important to see if the shoe is durable and versatile between indoor and outdoor courts. Also, keep in mind that buying white shoes may be problematic to keep clean and maintain that fresh white color. Good luck with your decision, and hopefully, this guide helped you gain some insight on the best basketball shoes to get for YOU! Thank you for reading!
P.S. Looking for women’s basketball shoes? Check out my Best Basketball Shoes for Women Guide!
 

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6 Best Skimboards 2020: Options for All Skill Levels

There are multiple different variables that need to be accounted for when choosing the right skimboard. Your weight and height are some of those variables and you will need to ensure that your skimboard also matches your skills or capabilities on the water.
Much like surfboards, skimboards are extremely versatile and can also be a nightmare in the water if you do not manage to find the correct board for your needs. Luckily we are here to help you with all of the important features that you need to look for as well as the best types of boards that are currently available on the market.
Top Skimboard Comparison Charts

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. DB Skimboards Proto Plank
$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. Fedmax Skimboard with High Gloss Coat
$$Check Price on Amazon

3. Victoria Skimboards Woody XL
$$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Sunspecs Rubber Top Wooden Skimboard
$$Check Price on Amazon

5. Wave Zone Diamond

$$$$Check Price on Amazon

6. Zap Lazer Skimboard
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

Before we look at the top skimboards, you will need to know exactly how to find the top skimboards and how the special features will be of benefit to you, so we have created our list of the most important features that you need to look for to ensure that you buy a quality skimboard that will give you the best value for your money.
Skimboard Buying Guide
We all know how devastating and powerful water is, but this is especially true in the ocean and a proper skimboard might be a little expensive, but you will definitely be able to ride in most water conditions without any fear of the water damaging or even snapping the board in half. Most manufacturers have started focusing on the aerodynamic element of the board to ensure that the wind does not lift you. But, let’s look at a few of the important features you will need to keep in mind when selecting your board:
Weight
The weight plays an extremely important role and when it comes to flotation. A heavier board will be much more inclined to sink into the water, thus ruining the fun and a lighter might be faster, but it will be lifted by the wind much easier
Size
Larger skimboards are much faster when you look at the length and the width of the board, but they will not be as effective in carving up when you would like to possibly attack a wave. Your weight will also play a large role in determining the size of your skimboard.
Sizing Chart

 
Durability
The durability will affect the price and the materials used in the construction. The most common, but also expensive skimboards are those which have been created with a fiberglass body and foam on the inside. The wooden boards are also good and they are fortunately much cheaper
Flotation
Foam boards obviously have better floatation that the wooden boards, but at faster speeds, the wooden board will still be effective enough to carve through the water and allow you to attack bigger waves.
Thickness
Thicker skimboards will glide much better on the water, but they are also less responsive to moving, thus making them harder to carve through the water with and you will need to decide on the best skimboard for your needs
By looking through these five features, you should have noticed by now that you could save a lot of money by giving up some of the features, but you will also be giving up some of the fun you could have with these boards. We recommend the carbon fiber skimboards which has been filled with foam to get the most out of your board.
With that being said, let’s look at the top skimboards for this year:
Best Skimboard Reviews
 
1.  DB Skimboards Proto Plank
Materials: Hardwood – Maple
Size: 39 – 43 inches
While not the cheapest board on our list, we believe it’s the best quality option.  It’s actually DB’s lowest-priced entry-level model, but DB is a cut above the rest to begin with.  This board has a Maple core with durable HPL top and bottom layers.  HPL is made of tough melamine resins that are very slick, and slide easily and very quickly over sand.  DB has higher standards than most and their workflow philosophy includes environmental consciousness and sustainability. 
This board features 3D rocker which means it has a continuous rocker or curve from tip to tail as well as side to side rocker (called “taco rocker”).  With rocker on all sides, you can easily twist and spin free on the water without catching the edge of your board and wiping out.
Be sure to know your size – There are 3 Proto Plank sizes: 39 inches long and made for anyone 80 – 130 lbs. 41 inches for anyone from 130 – 180 lbs, and 43 inches for anyone over 180 lbs.
We recommend this board for beginners to start out with and to learn the basic fundamentals of skimboarding. This board is more of a long-term investment given its price point of around 2-3 times other, smaller, lower-quality models.
Pros:

Maintenance-free design
Great for children and beginners
Great reviews online
Rocker in all directions

Cons:

Expensive

 
2.   Fedmax Skimboard with High Gloss Coat
Materials: Hardwood
Size: 30 inches and 41 inches
It was hard to determine what criteria would be most important to our readers looking for a skimboard.  Instead of just going for the most expensive boards which were of course filled with more features and better materials, we thought that a combination of affordability mixed with a good level quality would be our best bet.  The Fedmax falls squarely in that category so it ranks higher on our list.
Because of its high gloss coating, you won’t have to worry about rubber or foam falling apart or wearing away over time.  However, the coating is meant for wax to be applied from time to time to keep your feet on the board.  The Poplar wood construction makes this board light and tough.  It’s an excellent board for starters and they even offer you a 90-day return guarantee if you’re not thrilled!  If that’s not enough, Fedmax will include an ultimate tricks and tips guide with each purchase!
Pros:

Really affordable
Durable hardwood design
Great for beginners

Cons:

Not totally maintenance-free

 
3.   Victoria Skimboards Woody XL
Materials: Plywood
Dimensions: 48.5 x 21.3 inches
While this board is officially rated “entry-level”, you’d never know it by the comments from some experienced boarders.  Not only that but unlike pretty much any board online, this one received a LOWEST rating of 4 stars out of 5 and the WORST comment was “gets the job done”.  After that, the comments are insanely glowing and buyers seem to almost be over-stating how good it is (but I don’t think they’re scams).  For example, the rocker (curve) of the board is described as very minimal, and that was something very desirable for one buyer.  It’s meant for riding the shoreline or flat water because of its low rocker or “flatness” so it won’t ride up over waves as easily.
It’s made for riders in the 180-220 lb range but riders in the 160 lb range will find it works just fine!
In spite of the glowing comments from good riders, we do recommend this board for beginners or casual riders.  Advanced or veteran riders might need to move on to the fiberglass boards to get better results. The board is also fairly cheap, but the only downside should be the plywood construction. It does offer better floatation, but is much less durable once the epoxy finish deteriorates, therefore, beginners and casual riders should get the best use out of it at an affordable price
Pros:

Excellent feedback and ratings on Amazon
Promotes better gliding
Affordable
Slightly heavier than cheaper wood boards and the extra weight allows for use in heavier winds and waves without a loss of control

Cons:

Lacks in durability
Lacks in control

 
4.   Sunspecs Rubber Top Wooden Skimboard With Slip Free Grip
Materials: Hardwood
Size: 30″ 35″ 36″ 41″
Here’s another good beginner board which has (you guessed it!) lots of great reviews online.  While a few buyers found some quality issue with the lamination, the vast majority loved it.  It’s made of solid wood and it uses the rubber layer on top for traction, so no traction wax is needed.  It comes in a HUGE variety of colors, and lots of sizes (way more colors and sizes than nearly any other board sold online).  It can accommodate riders from well under 80 lbs to anyone up to (and maybe over) 220 lbs!  Ride on!
Since the board offers great value to multiple sizes of people, we not only recommend it for intermediate riders, but also for entire families looking to have some more fun at the beach. The board is also really affordable and will give you great durability in the long term with the laminated finish.
Pros:

More variety of sizes and colors than other boards
Huge variety of weights from 80 lbs – 220 lbs by using the correct sized board
Good value for a family vacation
Durable hardwood construction

Cons:

Some boards may have lamination quality issues

 
5.   Wave Zone Diamond Fiberglass Skimboard

Materials: Fiberglass
Dimensions: 38.5 x 19.5 inches
The Wave Zone Diamond skimboard has been designed for beginners and intermediate riders alike. The board has been constructed from durable, but still, lightweight fiberglass and the added gel coating will ensure that the board is board holds up much better against stronger waves.
The foam core also allows you glide effortlessly for longer distances and periods of time and the fact that it has been handcrafted also ensure the quality of the board is that much better. Since the board is much thicker than most of the other boards, it will hinder the control a little, but the larger tail will also allow you to carve through the water more efficiently
Furthermore, the board is a little more expensive, but since the board will help you reach pro status much faster, we definitely recommend this board to anyone looking to go into the sport of skimboarding. Unfortunately, the weight limit on the board is only 110lbs and thus it will be good for younger and smaller riders.
Pros:

Lightweight
Extremely durable
Promotes longer gliding periods
Features a stylish design

Cons:

Extremely low weight limit

 
6.   Zap Lazer Skimboard

Materials: Fiberglass
Dimensions: 40.25 x 20 inches
Last but not least, we have the Zap Lazer Skimboard which has been made from lightweight and durable fiberglass. The inside of the board has been made from foam and all of these materials have been laminated together to ensure great durability.
The board is extremely long and this will ensure that you have a longer and more sufficient gliding period compared to most of the wooden boards and since it will be able of withstanding the weight of 160lbs, this board should be great for larger intermediate riders as well.
The board is also available in multiple different designs and you will be capable of choosing the best style for your needs. Unfortunately, the board is also one of the most expensive on our list, but it offers the most important features that will ensure that you enjoy riding the board.
We highly recommend this board for more advanced and intermediate riders, but beginners should also be able to use the board to lift them to pro status in no time. Most people in the family should also be able to have some fun with this durable board.
Pros:

Extremely durable and lightweight
Allows longer gliding
Available in multiple colors and styles
Great for veterans to use

Cons:

 The board is quite expensive

 

Final Thoughts & Conclusion
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we hope that you are now capable of finding the best skimboard for your weight and skills. We do recommend the fiberglass designs for their durability and the fact that they are lighter, but the wood boards will be great to start out with.
We would also like to encourage you to let us know what you think of our selections ad if you think we might have missed any.

 

The post 6 Best Skimboards 2020: Options for All Skill Levels appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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The 9 Best Women’s Yoga Pants & Leggings for 2020

Tags :

Category : Fitness , Pants , Yoga

One of the best things about yoga is that it works out your mind as well as your body. There are countless benefits to doing yoga, getting your body in shape is only the beginning. While learning and practicing yoga is itself not easy, it’s a really convenient activity to take up. You don’t need any expensive gear or equipment like with tennis, cycling, or most other athletic activities. Yes, you can buy accessories like a yoga ball, but they’re not totally necessary. You can practice in your living room, on the beach, in the woods – anywhere you can find peace and quiet, you can practice yoga. All you need is a mat and a good, comfortable pair of yoga pants.
Top Yoga Pants Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. ALO YOGA WOMEN’S GODDESS RIBBED LEGGING
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. DYNAMIC ATHLETICA COMPRESSION CAPRI PANTS
$$Check Price on Amazon

3. YOGIPACE WOMEN’S BOOTCUT YOGA PANTS
$$$Check Price on Amazon

4. ONZIE CAPRI PANT
$$Check Price on Amazon

5. LULI FAMA WOMEN’S MESH SIDES CAPRI
$$$Check Price on Amazon

6. PHISOCKAT 2 Pack High Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets
$$Check Price on Amazon

7. BALEAF WOMEN’S ACTIVE YOGA LOUNGE SWEAT PANTS WITH POCKETS
$Check Price on Amazon

8. 90 DEGREE BY REFLEX WOMEN’S POWERFLEX YOGA PANTS
$Check Price on Amazon

9. COMFY YOGA PANTS DRY FIT MID RISE PRINTED YOGA LEGGINGS
$$Check Price on Amazon

 
Buying Guide
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing yoga for awhile or if you’re just starting out, a good pair of yoga pants matters. They’ll help keep you cool, dry, and supported while you work out. Of course, some people also use yoga pants for other sports, like running or hiking, or even casual wear when running errands.
We’ve compiled a list of the top nine yoga pants for 2017, but before we take a look, let’s consider what makes a good pair of yoga pants.
Comfort and Style
Comfort is the most important part of buying a good pair of yoga pants. They should be loose enough so that you can bend and pose without anything digging into your skin while being tight enough that they won’t fall off or slide down.
Some are a loose fit, some are really flowy. There are also come that have compression qualities designed to be a little tighter, the theory being that they will help stimulate blood flow and enable you to feel more aware of the position your body is taking.
There is no one style that is best for everyone, though some are more suited for certain varieties of yoga than others. Consider what kind of yoga you’ll be doing and what style you like when looking for your ideal pair.
Sizing
Because fit is so important when buying yoga pants, it’s important to make sure you get the right size. Obviously, if you’re buying your yoga pants in a store, it’s easy to try them on to find the right size. If you choose to buy online, make sure you look at the sizing chart for the manufacturer. Sizes vary from brand to brand so just because you’re a size 10 in one brand does not mean you’ll be a size 10 in another.
Another good thing to do when shopping for yoga pants online is to read customer reviews to see how the brand fits. Customers will usually tell you if the pants you’re looking at run small, big, or even short. It’s a great way to get some insight when you can’t actually try the pants on.
Fabric
It’s important that the material is breathable. So much of yoga has to do with breathing and flow, and you want your pants to contribute to that feeling. Breathable fabrics let air pass through the garment and touch the skin. The fabric will help keep the wearer cool, especially during outdoor sessions in the hot summer or when doing hot yoga.
Some breathable fabrics that you can choose from are:
Cotton
Cotton it the traditional fabric for yoga and the most common one used today. It’s incredibly breathable, soft, and lightweight. There are downsides to cotton fabrics, though. Cotton shrinks and stretches after every washing and will eventually start to wear thin. It’s generally not a very durable fabric.
Microfiber
This is a breathable synthetic fabric that is much more durable than 100% cotton. It’s lightweight and soft plus helps soak up sweat. It also maintains its shape and won’t shrink or stretch no matter how many times it’s washed.
Cotton Blends
Cotton blends are the best of both worlds. The breathability and softness of cotton with the durability and structure of a synthetic fabric. The most common combination is cotton and Spandex.
Elastic Waist
The waist of a good pair of yoga pants will fit close to the body without being too snug or uncomfortable. In yoga, because there is so much movement in the waist and lower abdomen, it’s important that it can move freely. Don’t use any yoga pants that have a drawstring because it will just constrict the abdomen in certain poses and can potentially be very uncomfortable.
Price & Branding
There are a lot of different brands out there and they vary greatly in price. Some you’ll be able to find on sale for less than $20 while other will cost way over $100. Price itself is not an indicator of how good a pair of yoga pants are. Neither is brand name, for that matter.
Of course, you know what kind of quality to expect with top names brands which is important. But read customers reviews and don’t be afraid to take a chance on an unknown brand.
 
Best Yoga Pants Reviews
 

ALO YOGA WOMEN’S GODDESS RIBBED LEGGING

The Alo Goddess Ribbed Leggings are so good, they even have their own Instagram hashtag. They have a very recognizable style – each is two-toned. The top of the pant is one color and made of an 87% nylon/13% spandex blend and the bottom is 90% nylon/10% spandex. This gives a little more compression around the area covered by the top of the pant – the waist, hips, and thighs.
They have a recognizable leg warmer look and are designed to be worn either scrunched up above the ankle or pulled over the heel. There are a lot of color combinations. Generally, the top half is a brighter color while the bottom is a simple black, grey, or cream.
Because the top does offer some compression, the breathability of these pants suffers a bit. You will most likely sweat a little bit in these pants so they’re not really suited for hot yoga or any kind of strenuous routine.
They’re really comfortable and stylish and chances are, people will ask you where you got them. But they are also pretty expensive. While they maintain their shape, they don’t hold up as well as other options do in the wash. Read the care instructions carefully and don’t be surprised if you find some slight pilling after a few wash cycles.
Pros

Stylish
Unique color block style
Compression in waist, hips, thighs

Cons

Expensive
Might not hold up well in the wash
Not very breathable

 

 

DYNAMIC ATHLETICA COMPRESSION CAPRI PANTS

If you prefer something with a little more compression, Dynamic Athletica Compression Capri Pants might be the right pair for you. They’re made of a polyester/Spandex mix and have superior moisture wicking materials to help you stay dry and cool when you’re sweating. And, to help control the funky smell that happens after long workouts, they also have anti-odor properties.
Unlike most blend, these have a higher percentage of Spandex which gives them the extra compression. They’re made to be snug with just the right amount of pressure so as not to restrict movement while still stimulating blood flow and oxygenation so your muscles can recover quickly after your workout.
The fit is true to size, but remember when you get them, they’re supposed to be tight in order to get the compression benefits. They’re only available in one length and pattern/color choices are limited.
Pros

Compression
Moisture wicking
Anti-odor properties
True to size fit

Cons

Limited color/pattern choices
Only come in one length

 

 

YOGIPACE WOMEN’S BOOTCUT YOGA PANTS

With 2 back pockets and inseams measuring 27″, 29″, 31″, 33″, 35″ and 37″, the YogiPace pants will fit nearly everyone!  These pants are loaded with subtle and not-so-subtle features everyone will enjoy, like an elastic closure with wide and comfortable waistband that never digs or binds.  There’s a hidden back pocket in the waistband in addition to 2 UN-hidden back pockets.  The double-layer gusset offers greater comfort.  The bottoms flare slightly so that (for those who are not aware) your legs look a tiny bit longer!  Sizes start for Petites around 5’1″ or so.
The mixture of fabrics optimizes comfort.  The fabrics are 57% Nylon, 30% Polyester, 13% Spandex, while providing 4-way stretch abilities and moisture-wicking qualities without any “see-through”.
These pants have been purchased by women who use them for not only yoga, but everyday errand-running, while adding the right shoes can even lift these pants to a more “formal” attire.  Lots of versatility here folks!
Pros

Lightweight
Breathable
Soft
Mild Compression
Great for a wide variety of activities

Cons

Runs small

 

 

ONZIE CAPRI PANT

For an inexpensive option that performs as well as some of the really expensive high-end brands, try the Onzie Capri Pant. They’re made of a thin, swimsuit-like material that wicks away sweat. They’re great for hot yoga or outdoor summer sessions.
While they’re really comfortable and easy to move in, they don’t offer any compression. They have a wide waistband and are made of an 80% nyl0n/20% spandex blend which makes them super stretchy.
The sizing is accurate. If you fall between sizes, going down one is recommended because of how much they stretch. They also come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, over 20 to choose from.
Pros

Inexpensive
A wide variety of colors and patterns
Breathable
Moisture-wicking

Cons

Not a lot of support

 

 

LULI FAMA WOMEN’S MESH SIDES CAPRI

The Luli Fama capri is an eye-catching pant made from 65% Polyester and 35% Elastane for an all-around GREAT stretch quality.  However, they are considered “restricted” fit which gives comfort while flattering body shape.  They do fall below the knee (about halfway between your knee and ankles).   Like many such pants, ladies often wear them for a variety of casual occasions.  They tend to run a tad bit small so be aware of that when ordering.  If you normally wear small, you may consider a medium in this case.
They are not see-through, so that may appeal to some and not others.  
Pros

Breathable
Tighter fit for more active duty
Feature elastic hip band

Cons

Runs small so it can be deceiving

 

 

PHISOCKAT 2 PACK HIGH WAIST YOGA PANTS WITH POCKETS

There’s no denying that the Phisockat yoga pants have some enviable qualities and those qualities put these pants on our list!  They are definitely opaque (non-see-through!) but also very stretchy spandex.  Attention has been given to the idea of making them thick enough to cover your body without being see-through while at the same time, not being too hot.  The material itself is really very soft to the touch and you could almost compare it to a smooth fleece.  They’ve been likened to “wearing nothing” which is an awesome feel as long as you know you actually ARE wearing something!
Not only do they feel very non-restrictive, but they’ve been designed with a visual enhancement in the form of long vertical lines to make you look even slimmer!  Nice psychology huh?
They feature a high waist for better tummy control (AKA – makes you look better) and they have side pockets for things like a smart phone if you want one in your pants!  There’s a waist pocket that will even hold a locker key.  The Phisockat pants are excellent for other activities as well like running or fitness in general, or they can be a part of a casual outfit that has nothing to do with fitness at all!  Talk about versatility!
Pros

Super comfortable
High Waist
Hidden pocket
Great price

Cons

Sizing can be a bit off

 

 

BALEAF WOMEN’S ACTIVE YOGA LOUNGE SWEATPANTS WITH POCKETS

These Active Lounge Sweat Pants are a little different take on the legging.  These are not super tight, so they’re better suited to someone who prefers looser clothing in general or for a slightly more modest look.  They have just the right amount of “stretchiness” with 12% Spandex, while the remainder of the material is cotton in the solid color model.  As of this review, the only available color is black.  It offers a low-friction performance and it really feels smooth and “skin-friendly”, so no lack of comfort with this set of pants.  It also wicks away sweat during exercise.  A drawcord is standard as well as an elastic waistband, and side pockets offer lots of storage (though you’ll not want to chuck your phone and keys in there while in the midst of a Firefly or Crane pose!
Oh, and while we’re extolling the benefits of this pant, here’s a doozie!  As of my writing this review, it just so happens that these are FORTY-SIX PERCENT OFF!!!  You can confirm that HERE, and if they’re not on sale, or even sold out and not available, my sincerest apologies – you were too slow! 🙂
Pros

Large pockets
Affordable (46% off at the time of review)
High quality

Cons

Best if hand washed
Can slide down if worn for high-intensity activities

 

 

90 DEGREE BY REFLEX WOMEN’S POWERFLEX YOGA PANTS

90 Degree’s Power Flex yoga pants are designed for both fashion and function. Plus, they’re remarkably affordable. There are three different fabric blends available depending on style: for the solid color, 87% Nylon 13% Spandex; heathered, it’s 47% Nylon 46% Polyester 7% Spandex; and the for the space dye, 90% Polyester 10% Spandex. All wick moisture away from your body and are designed to give you a streamlined look.
The wide waistband helps them stay in place and they don’t ride up or cause any chafing. There’s a small pocket in the waistband just big enough to stash keys. There’s a lot of color choices available in the previously mentioned patterns: solid, heather, and space dye.
These come highly recommended, but there are a few minor issues. While they are opaque for the most part, they do stretch out and become a little see-through during certain poses, bending over, etc. Overall, these are a high quality, inexpensive option.
Pros

Affordable
Three different patterns
Wide variety of colors
Small pocket
Great fit

Cons

Can be slightly see-through when stretched

 

 

COMFY YOGA PANTS DRY FIT MID RISE PRINTED YOGA LEGGINGS

Comfy Yoga is a newer brand that aims to mix fitness and fashion. Their designs probably have the brightest colors and most graphic designs of any of the others on our list. They choose the colors and patterns carefully to make sure you get a stylish, practical pair of yoga pants.
They’re made of a soft, stretchy, moisture-wicking material to help keep you cool and dry and support you for maximum flexibility. They’re a little high waisted to provide some tummy control and give you a smoother silhouette.
The fabric is stretchy, doesn’t shine, and is anti-pilling so it won’t look worn after being through a few wash cycles. (Make sure to check the care instructions, they should be hung to dry.)
Something a bit unique about these leggings is they only come in one size – it stretches from a 26” waist to 42”. The manufacturer says they’ll fit small to medium sizes best so, while these are a great pair of pants, they won’t fit everyone. For some users, they may stretch a bit and be slightly see through.
The waistband isn’t very thick or supportive like some others in this price range, so if you prefer a thicker waistband, these might not work well for you. Overall, though, they’re highly rated and get a lot of compliments on the patterns.
Pros

Beautiful Patterns
Soft
High Waist

Cons

Thin when stretched
Only fit certain sizes
Thin waistband

 

Ideas and Inspiration for Beginners!

And those are our nine best yoga pants of 2017. As you can see, there’s a lot of variety. Which one will work best for you depends on your taste and the kind of activity you’ll be using them for.
The Alo Yoga Women’s Goddess Ribbed Legging has a unique, two-tone, leg warmer look and is so popular, they even have their own Instagram hashtag. They come in a variety of color combinations and offer some moderate compression to the waist, hips, and thighs.
Dynamic Athletica Compression Capri Pants are a great choice if you like a good amount of compression. They have superior moisture wicking properties and even an anti-odor treatment.
The Lucy Studio Hatha Capri Legging isn’t necessarily a great choice for casual wear, but for yoga, these are ideal. They’re lightweight and breathable with a low, wide waistband to move with you as you move through your routine. They offer a wide range of sizes, from XXS to 3X.
For a really affordable option, try the Onzie Capri Pant. While they don’t have any compression, they are lightweight, extremely comfortable, and really stretchy. Plus, they come in a lot of colors and patterns so you’ll be able to find one that suits your style.
The Lucy Get Going Capri is another option from Lucy Studios. These are a little different from the other choices on our list because they have a slightly loose fit and a drawstring. They also have pockets and a wide waistband. These are great for light workouts or even just for lounging around.
MÜV365’s Ultimate Yoga Pants for Women are super comfortable and you might not ever want to take them off. They have a high waist and a thick waistband and do offer some compression. Each features a different cutout, which adds a cure, fashionable detail to their solid colors.
The Women’s Yoga Active Legging from Baleaf has a high elastic waistband with a small pocket large enough to hold a small smartphone. They run true to size but are best for lighter, less strenuous activities as they have a tendency to stretch a bit with a lot of motion.
90 Degree by Reflex Women’s Powerflex Yoga Pants are really affordable and come in a wide range of colors. The wide waistband has a key pocket and keeps these pants in place throughout all kinds of activities.
Comfy Yoga’s Dry Fit Mid Rise Printed Yoga Leggings are the brightest pants on this list with the most eye-catching patterns. They’re one size only and recommended for small to medium wearers. The high waist provides some tummy control and the fabric is soft, stretchy, and won’t pill.
If you’re looking for a good pair of yoga pants, take into consideration the features we discussed while trying to find the right pair for you. When it comes to yoga pants, there really is a style that suits almost any need.
 
 

 

The post The 9 Best Women’s Yoga Pants & Leggings for 2020 appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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Massachusetts Pirates Hire Rayshaun Kizer as DC

There’s not much going on right now in the sports world in the United States as well as worldwide, but the didn’t stop the Massachusetts Pirates from making a big splash on Tuesday.

The National Arena League (NAL) team announced it has signed form Arena Football League (AFL) great Rayshaun Kizer as its defensive coordinator for the 2020 season.
Massachusetts Pirates Hire Rayshaun Kizer as DC
“First and foremost we would like thank Tim Shelley for all his contributions to the Pirates and we wish him the best moving forward,” the team’s president and general manager Jawad Yatim said in a release. “I’m glad to have Rayshaun on board, he has a long history in this game and has accomplished a lot including being the all-time interception leader in AFL history. I was familiar with him from the time we spent together in China. He’s a high character individual and I think he’ll be a reliable and informative outlet for our players moving forward.”

Kizer spent time in the NFL with the New York Jets organization and made his claim to fame indoors during eight seasons with the AFL.

Starting his career in Orlando with the now NAL Predators, Kizer set the league’s interception record with 16 takeaways during his second sophomore season in 2011.

“I gained so much knowledge from this game and I just want to give it back to the up and coming football players,” Kizer said in the release.

Just one season removed from the end of his AFL career, Kizer began his coaching experience with the Bismarck Bucks of the Indoor Football League (IFL).

“I had my first coaching job with the Bismarck Bucks in the IFL,” Kizer said. “Coaching is definitely different from playing and it’s something that we have to adjust to.”

The NAL recently put out a statement regarding the possibility and intent of playing the 2020 season out, but obviously, concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak have delayed things until further notice.

For more information and updates to the situation, follow our department on Twitter at @LWOS_IndoorFB.The post Massachusetts Pirates Hire Rayshaun Kizer as DC appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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The 4 Best Speed Bag Swivels 2020

When purchasing a complete set to start train with your speed bag, the swivel is something the people usually take for granted and they sometimes settle for the cheapest swivel as a way of just having something to hold up the speed bag, the swivel might just be a small accessory, but it does have a huge effect on the way that the bag will perform.
Swivels are not that expensive, but they are fundamental to your speed bag and having the correct swivel, will save you a lot of frustration when training. We have set out to find the best speed bag swivels and show you how these swivels could impact your training. It is also worth noting that many platforms do sometimes have swivels included, but these swivels will range in quality and sometimes you might be lucky with a great swivel.
There are; however, a few things that you will need to know when it comes to selecting the best speed bag swivel and not all of these swivels are the same. These three features are the basic fundamentals of how swivels operate and when you understand them, you should be able to make the best choice.
Speed Bag Swivel Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. Everlast Professional Speedbag Swivel
$$Check Price on Amazon

2. TITLE Boxing Deluxe Pro Swivel
$$$Check Price on Amazon

3. Title Platinum Premier Pro Swivel
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Ringside Mexican-Style Swivel
$$Check Price on Amazon

Buying Guide
Materials
In recent years, you will find that most speed bag swivels have been constructed from durable stainless steel. The reason for this is that stainless steel is not too heavy, but still sufficiently durable to allow you to train. Plastic swivels might break easier and solid steel swivels are too heavy and will limit the movement of the bag.
We recommend that you stick to a stainless steel swivel to ensure that you get the best of both worlds and to allow you the opportunity to train with a greater range of motion.
Motion
In your speed bag swivel, you will need to have the motion to ensure that you are able to punch in all directions and still have great rebound. Heavy bag swivels are sometimes used as a substitute, but since they are designed to hold up under more pressure, the might have a slower motion and this could be extremely difficult to train with.
We also recommend that you ensure the swivel does have a 360-degree motion and does not deviate when the bag is rebounding. The balancing of your bag will also greatly impact the motion of the swivel and that is why a lot of time is put in by manufacturers to perfectly balance out their bags.
Design/Type
There are three main types of speed bag swivels that you will be able to choose from and each of these designs does have its own special purpose.

The ball-hook swivels might be a little noisier, but they also have a reputation of being perfectly fluid in all directions and with a little bit of grease, you might muffle the noise as well.
Chain link swivels are more commonly used for the heavy bags and they do limit the movement and motion of the bag a little. These swivels are also a little slower, but they are some of the most durable swivels you could choose.
U-hook swivels are the most expensive swivels you will find and while they might allow perfect motion back and forth, they do lack in terms of movement from side to side. These swivels might sometimes also allow the bag to dismount and this could disrupt your workout session.

Now that you understand some of the fundamentals of swivels, you will need to make a decision when it comes to purchasing the right one. We have selected a few to make the choice a little easier for you and to keep you from going through the trial and error part of getting your ideal speed bag swivel.
 
Speed Bag Swivel Reviews

1.  Everlast Professional Speedbag Swivel

 Swivel type: Ball-hook
The Everlast professional speed bag swivel does have a reputation for being noisy, but this can be fixed with a little bit of grease every now and again. The swivel does offer you 360 degrees of motion and will allow you to strike the bag in any and all directions.
The swivel has been constructed from premium grade stainless steel to improve the durability and the screws have all been added to make the mounting process easier for you. This swivel is also perfectly designed for your Everlast speed bag and platform, but it will also easily mount to most other platforms as well.
With a great range of motion, we highly recommend this swivel. It might be a little noisy at first, but once you have added grease, this swivel will be smooth and offer you perfect motion. The swivel is also really cheap and should be perfect for upgrading your original swivel.
Pros:

Really cheap
Easy to mount
Perfect range of motion
Extremely durable

Cons:

A little noisy

2.  TITLE Boxing Deluxe Pro Swivel

Swivel type: U-hook
The TITLE Boxing Deluxe pro swivel is a little more expensive than the Everlast version, but it does feature a unique U-hook design. The design is also much larger than some of the other swivels you will find and this does make it perfect for some of the larger speed bags on the market. Since the hook is a little larger, you will have unpredictable movements and motions of the bag and this can be great for improving your reflexes as well.
The hook has been constructed from durable stainless steel and the added triple chrome plate will ensure that the swivel does not sustain any damage or scratches from the moving bag. The inner ball bearing is a little noisy and this could sometimes be frustrating, but the fluid movement will be great for improving your skill.
This U-hook swivel is definitely recommended for larger speed bags, but you should also keep in mind that the U-hook swivel might not always be compatible with all speed bags and you might need to buy a different type of swivel.
Pros:

Extremely durable
Easy to mount
Provides reasonable motion
Scratch-resistant

Cons:

Not compatible with all speed bags

3.  Title Platinum Premier Pro Swivel

Swivel type: U-hook
This beast is super heavy-duty and it’s thicker than most swivels.  There’s a quick change U-clip and push pin for security.  It features a one-piece design that Title says assures smooth, efficient and secure action every time.  The triple-reinforced swivel rotates 360 degrees and it’s made for advanced and elite athletes while offering true rebounds and excellent efficiency.  Title offers a one-year warranty on this product because it really is a solid, robust beast of a swivel!
Pros:

Features a wider arch
Well-priced (for cheapos like me!)
Offers a good range of motion
Toughest swivel on our list

Cons:

At a $50 price point, it’s way more expensive than many others

4.  Ringside Mexican-Style Swivel

Swivel type: U-hook
The Ringside Mexican style swivel is one of the sturdiest swivels you can choose, but it does lack in terms of motion and speed. While this swivel does not have any noise associated with its movement, it will limit you in terms of having a wider arch and movement.
The swivel also only comes with three holes and this might require you to drill a few new holes as most speed bag platforms do come with 4 pre-drilled holes for mounting a swivel. The design of this swivel does have a great upside; you will find that this swivel does rebound a little better than some of your cheaper swivels and this will give it an edge over the other U-hook designs.
The swivel is fairly expensive for what it brings to the table, but it does offer great use if you are not that much in need of speed. We recommend this swivel as a backup swivel to anyone into boxing and the design will hold up perfectly. The swivel is also extremely durable.
Pros:

Extremely durable
Offers great rebounds
Fits most speed bags

Cons:

Might require new holes
Expensive
Does have a slow motion

Final Thoughts & Recommendations

We would like to thank you for reading this article and while none of the swivels will be perfect in meeting all aspects, we do hope that you are able to find the best swivel for your speed bag workout needs and speed bag. We do recommend the Everlast Professional Speedbag Swivel as our number one choice and we believe that you will be able to get the most functional use out of this swivel.
We would also like to encourage you to share your thoughts on our selection of swivels and to let us know in the comment section if you think we might have missed any of your favorites.

The post The 4 Best Speed Bag Swivels 2020 appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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The 10 Best Ping Pong Paddles 2020 : Options for Beginners, Speed, & Control

Ping-pong can be a fast-paced, exciting game that doesn’t necessarily require much practice in order to participate. After getting a table, the next step is to find the right Ping-Pong paddle for you. From a distance, it may look as though anyone could use any paddle, but that is simply not the case. What most Ping-Pong rookies don’t realize is that there is much more of a science to a Ping-Pong paddle and how you use one. How much money you’re trying to spend, if you frequently play, and the type of handle you are looking for are only a few options you must consider before making that final purchase.
Top Ping Pong Paddle Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. Killerspin JET600 Paddle
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. Slyspin Rapture Ping-Pong Paddle
$Check Price on Amazon

3. DHS Hurricane II Ping Pong Paddle
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Stiga Supreme
$$Check Price on Amazon

5. Gambler Professional Table Tennis Paddle
$$Check Price on Amazon

6. Stiga Titan Table Tennis Paddle
$$Check Price on Amazon

7. Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Paddle
$Check Price on Amazon

8. MAPOL Table Tennis Paddle
$Check Price on Amazon

9. Franklin Sports Performance Paddle
$Check Price on Amazon

10. Duplex 4 Star Ping Pong Paddle
$$Check Price on Amazon

The Three Parts of a Ping-Pong Paddle
There are three sections of the average Ping-Pong paddle: sponge, rubber, and the blade/handle.
Blade
The blade is essentially the skeleton of the Ping-Pong paddle. A paddle’s blade is the wood that shapes the handle and extends into the rest of the flat surface used for hitting the Ping-Pong ball. There are two different types of blades that are commonly used by serious Ping-Pong players, and they are distinguished by the way a player holds the paddle. One is the Penhold style, which has been historically known to be used by Asian players. Those who utilize the Penhold grip style hold the handle between their thumb and their index finger. Other players use the Western-style blade, which is when the player holds the blade handle with the palm of their hand.
Handle
An extension of the blade, the handle is made in different forms. The type of handle you choose ultimately comes down to how comfortable you are with the particular form and your playing style. The most commonly used handles are the rounded flare handle, the flat handle and the rounded handle that is straighter than the former. The handle is very important, especially for the western-style players, because they rely on that part of the paddle for their grip and stability. Having a paddle with a solid grip will benefit the player tremendously.
Rubber
Rubber is placed on each side of the blade to maintain ball control and traction. One side of the paddle is red while the other side is black. This is for one player to distinguish what type of spin the other player is using. The rubber typically has different textures that are used for either defensive or offensive play. Whatever paddle you decide to use, you are going to want something with a durable rubber applied to it. This will assure you that your paddle will be able to absorb and deliver impact from and towards the Ping-Pong ball.
There are different styles of rubber, such as the Pimple Style rubbers. These include the most popular: inverted pimples or “pimples in.” Pimples in is known best for players looking to improve their control compared to pimpled rubber, which better suits experienced players searching for a particular playing style.
Sponge
The sponge is meant to add a layer of padding between the blade and the rubber. The thickness of the sponge can affect the speed, spin, and control of the Ping-Pong ball. The thicker the sponge, the faster the ball will go once you hit it. You must also consider that the faster the ball goes, the less likely you are to have full control of it. In this case, the thickness of the sponge on your own paddles will be based on your playing style preference. The thicker the sponge, the more likely you are to have a paddle that works best for offensive gameplay.
Best Ping Pong Paddle Reviews
 
10.   Duplex 4 Star Ping Pong Paddle
The Duplex brand introduces a lightweight paddle that offers a strong blade, high-quality rubber, and a good price. The 4 Star Ping-Pong paddle has a unique weight balanced design that enhances the player’s precision and recovery time. The handle looks like it’s made of a durable wood, which is a good sign for the player who likes to grip the handle.
The blade is made of 7-ply wood and weighs 6.3 ounces.  This ensures a sturdy paddle that does not weigh too much.  Duplex is SO SURE you’ll love it that they offer a 100% replacement or money-back guarantee – no questions!
This paddle is equipped with a durable rubber that is considered to be high performance. The rubber will be able to keep up with a rigorous game schedule and ultimately have a longer lifespan compared to the average paddle. Duplex provides its customers peace of mind with a money-back guarantee. If the buyer isn’t satisfied with the quality or performance if this product for whatever reason, they have the opportunity to either exchange it for a new paddle set or a refund. This factor will keep the buyer from thinking twice prior to their Duplex purchase.
The downfall to the Duplex paddle is that the feedback regarding durability isn’t as they had initially advertised. With a 3.7 out of 5.0-star rating, some buyers are ecstatic about the quality of the 4 Star paddle while others have reported that their paddles wore down rather quickly. This “risk” is something to consider when weighing your options. Your paddle is going to wear down regardless of what brand, but it all comes down to how fast, and based on reviews it looks like the Duplex paddle has an average lifespan at best.
Pros

Made of durable rubber
Duplex offers money-back guarantee
Weight is evenly distributed for an efficient experience
Good for players at any level

Cons

Not as durable as advertised
Takes a while to get used to

 

 
9.   Franklin Sports Performance Paddle
Franklin was able to take its exclusive technology and apply it to the Ping-Pong niche for players of the most competitive levels. Their Ping-Pong paddle can provide a fast spin while keeping the player comfortable throughout their series. The blade and handle sports the Franklin logo laminated vertically and is made with thick 5-ply wood material for a tight grip. One of the eye-opening features of this paddle is the very inexpensive price. For the price listed, you will get a paddle made with high-quality material that is meant to help you excel at your game. The 1.5-millimeter sponge underneath the rubber is average and slightly takes away from the spin of the paddle. The rubber is essentially used to absorb the impact from the ball and distribute that energy towards speed, but with a lack of padding it might be best for a hard-hitter looking to power the ball past their opponent.
There were a handful of users who complained about the rubber on their paddles. Some users said that the rubber on their paddle didn’t have enough padding to gain a competitive spin. It was also reported that the paddle isn’t as durable as other paddles in the Ping-Pong market. “You get what you pay for” best describes the Franklin Ping-Pong paddle. One thing that takes away from the true game of Ping-Pong is the colors. Naturally, one side of the paddle is red and the other side is black. This paddle has one red side, and one grey side. This might not be such a large difference, but it could become vexing to the experienced Ping-Pong player.
Pros

Durable blade
Lightweight feel
Low price

Cons

The rubber material tends to wear off
Not enough padding on the blade to accurately hit the ball

 

 
8.   MAPOL Table Tennis Paddle
This paddle encourages control, comfort, and strength. MAPOL’s Table Tennis paddle feels heavier than usual due to the 7-ply wood used in the blade and the two-millimeter sponge. This surplus of surface area can increase the likelihood of hitting the ball and creating an effective spin. How well you perform with this increased weight depends on your preference. Some people play better with light paddles whereas others enjoy the heavier sets. The two carrying cases that come with these paddles separate the product from others. This add-on will be very useful for players who are frequently on the move and looking to protect their items. This MAPOL paddle clearly has one of the better values within this list. This particular set comes in a two-pack, and based off of the price listed, it is a cheap price per paddle.
Pros

Handles are comfortable
Blade is strong
Sponge has two millimeters of padding

Cons

Heavier than the average paddle
Quality is average at best

 

 
7.   Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Paddle
Butterfly’s Table Tennis paddles can offer a high spin with the heavily tacky Yuki rubber and 2.1-millimeter sponge applied on both sides of the item. The tacky rubber enhances the contact between the Ping-Pong ball and the paddle, while the sponge layer provides a springboard-like experience for the player. The blade is a 2-ply wood and the handle extension is much thicker; with enough surface area to grip tight onto. The Butterfly 401 has a high price compared to other paddles, which has potential to deter potential buyers on a budget. The signature material used in this product demands a higher price, although some buyers question its quality. One good thing is that the set comes with paddle covers, so essentially the extra money you are investing is going towards the carrying protection.
Pros

Yuki rubber delivers a high spin
Sponge is absorbent
Handle is thick enough for a tight grip

Cons

High price
Performs too slow for offensive players
Users believe paddle is made with cheap quality material

 

 
6.   Stiga Titan Table Tennis Paddle
Ping-Pong players that thrive from speed will surely appreciate this paddle set from the Stiga brand. The Stiga Titan table tennis paddle has a variety of unique features, including the 5-ply blade. The Crystal Technology used in this paddle makes the blade harder, which increases its speed. In addition to this technology, Stiga also equips this paddle with their lightweight Balsa technology. Balsa is a super lightweight wood center-ply that increases speed and helps with reaction time.
Another beneficial feature of the Stiga Titan is the WRB; a combination of weight balance, rate of recovery, and ball sensitivity. The blade’s balance shifts to wherever the player makes contact with the ball. This increases the power and energy that the paddle contributes to the ball; consequently taking the ball a lot further than average. The lack of weight in the blade assists the rate of recovery after each hit of the ball. You will be able to freely swing your paddle without the hassle of feeling weighed down. The last part is ball sensitivity. There is recess strategically positioned within the Italian composite handle for extra sensitivity, a plus for the average Ping-Pong player.
Pros

Crystal Technology increases speed
Highly accurate
Superior weight balance

Cons

Average quality sponge
Subpar quality

 

 
5.   Gambler Professional Table Tennis Paddle
Take a gamble with this high-quality paddle. The blade is constructed with a 5 ply Limba and two layers of carbon. The excess of carbon enhances the stabilization and speed of the paddle, in addition to providing a sweet spot that will send a Ping-Pong ball flying in the direction the offensive player sent it! The Gambler brand has a long-term vision. They want their consumers to continue using their product even after it reaches it peak. Gambler has the rubber professionally glued onto the blade for sturdiness and expects them to be replaced when the time comes. Surprisingly enough, replacement rubber surfaces are currently available for purchase. You will be able to use the Gambler paddle to it’s full potential without the worry of wearing it down to the point of no return. This paddle has Aces rubber, which is a sticky material that will create a lot of traction between the paddle and the ball. This price of this paddle is set at an average price; but based off of the paddle quality you receive in addition to the blue dragon “Competitor” by Gambler paddle cover, you will be getting a good deal in this product.
Pros

Glued by professionals for increased durability
Soft carbon enhances speed

Cons

Subpar durability
Short handle decreases the comfortability of the paddle

 

 
4.   Stiga Supreme
Another high-performance paddle from Stiga, the Supreme edition features the signature Stiga ACS that enhances the speed and control. ACS is a bunch of different air-capsules inside a special rubber that stretch very well; increasing speed and control. The Stiga Supreme paddle is made with superior Stiga technology in its entirety. Starting with the handle, Stiga applied their “Tube” technology. The blade consists of “microchannels” that sit on top of each other and filled with different materials depending on the type of paddle. The price of the Stiga Supreme is considered high in comparison to other paddles. If you are a consistent and serious Ping-Pong player, this paddle can give you the advantage every competitor desires.
Pros

Stiga technology provides a unique experience
Creates a solid spin upon contact

Cons

Material doesn’t hold up very long
Slightly expensive price

 

 
3.   DHS Hurricane II Ping Pong Paddle
Easily the most expensive paddle on the list, the DHS Hurricane II is expected to have the essentials of a Ping-Pong paddle, and then some. Well, some people might be wondering: “why is it so expensive?” Upon purchasing the DHS Hurricane II, the buyer will receive one paddle, two Ping-Pong balls, and a zip-up carrying case. While this bundle provides more than other paddles, it is up for debate if these items are valued at the price listed. Both the red and black side of the paddle has rubber that is pimples in, so it will be better with control and speed. The Hurricane II has a long Chinese Shakehand handle, a feature that could improve the stability and comfort of using this paddle. Despite the perks that come with the DHS Hurricane II, this paddle is quite overpriced. One possible reason of the high price is that this paddle is recommended for top Ping-Pong players. Unless you are at a high playing level, I wouldn’t suggest making such an expensive investment.
Pros

Excellent defense
Comfortable handle
Assists player with control

Cons

Very expensive
Quality doesn’t match the price

 

 
2.   Slyspin Rapture Ping-Pong Paddle
The Rapture Ping-Pong paddle from Slyspin brings all the essentials to the table. The six-millimeter blade has carbon technology attached and extends a smooth handle made with strong poplar wood. This type of handle doesn’t provide any tread for a superior grip but is still a well-made handle and projected to be most beneficial to players who use the penhold style. The sponge placed over the blade is measured at approximately 2 millimeters. This measurement is just enough thickness to absorb an incoming Ping-Pong ball and send it back with force. It may even have more absorption than other high-quality brands in the current market. Buyers are mostly conflicted with the carrying case. They feel as though it is a good addition but could be better in quality. Overall, it is at most an accessory and doesn’t reflect the true quality of the paddle itself. In regards to the price, it seems as though the price is at a decent value. There are cheaper paddles that have below-average quality, and paddles way more expensive with the same quality as the Rapture, so that’s something to consider before buying. The biggest issue users have is durability. While the materials used in this paddle are superior compared to other brands, the Rapture paddle does wear down after significant use.
Pros

Handle is made with a high-quality poplar wood
Comes with a carrying case
Average price
Provides top quality spin and control

Cons

Durability is questionable
Feels heavier than the average paddle
Carrying case could be made with better quality

 

 
1.   Killerspin JET600
The JET600 is a balanced paddle that offers an extraordinary playing experience for people at the intermediate and advanced levels. Killerspin’s primary goal when manufacturing the JET600 was to enhance the experience of the Ping-Pong player by providing the materials necessary to dominate the competition. The rubber used in the JET600 has a soft feel to it yet provides enough spring for the hard-hitting Ping-Pong players to excel at their game. The JET600 has a performance blade made with a durable 5-ply wood. This wood is extremely dense, so one should expect their paddle to feel light and thin; helping the player increase the power and precision in their shots. The price of the JET600 is up there but not substantially high to the point where the price exceeds the value. This paddle will serve the experienced Ping-Pong player quite well as they strive for excellence.
Pros

Equipped with materials that will benefit the advanced player
Creates a dominant spin
High tech rubber enhances play

Cons

Doesn’t come with a carrying case
Excludes beginner level

 

 
Conclusion & Recommendations

No matter what style you use, or what experience level you are, choosing a Ping-Pong paddle takes a lot of thought and effort. These ten paddles offer the best combination of quality and price. So far, we have encountered paddles with different levels of rubber, sponge, blade, and price range. The JET600 is at the top of this list because it embodies all the characteristics needed to succeed in the game of Ping-Pong. This paddle is best for competitive players that have experience. Not only are the features of this paddle of high quality, but also the price is well above average, so it would only be right for a committed player to invest in this paddle as opposed to the rookie who is unsure of their commitment level to the game.
If you’re on a tight budget, it is best to sacrifice quality for price and go for a brand such as Franklin or Duplex. Regardless of what direction you go with, these ten paddles cater to a variety of players, from the budget buyer to the experience/pro Ping-Pong player. If money isn’t an issue and you’re a Ping-Pong enthusiast, the JET600 has the features that will take you to the top. Other brands such as the Stiga Supreme, the Slyspin Rapture, and the Gambler paddle serve a similar purpose. The Butterfly 401 and the DHS Hurricane II have good characteristics but may break the bank too much.

The post The 10 Best Ping Pong Paddles 2020 : Options for Beginners, Speed, & Control appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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The 5 Best Gun Safes Under $1000 : Protection & Security

The world is not like it used to be.  Acts of terrorism and violence have become commonplace and many people have turned to firearms provide security and protection for their families.Since guns are now become more and more on the streets and in homes, people are sometimes neglecting the fact that they do need to have a good gun safe to keep their guns secure.
We have decided to help in the effort to make guns a safer in the home and to help gun owners find the best and most affordable safes in which they could keep their weapons. In our search, we tried to choose the best gun safes that will cost less than $1000. Many of these safes might still seem expensive to some, but we have tried to ensure that you are able to choose the best ones and still get away with paying the most affordable price.
But, before we can simply dive into the top gun safes that will cost you under $1000, you will need to know which features are important when you are looking to buy a gun safe. There are also multiple choices that you will need to make to ensure that you do get a great gun safe at an affordable price.
Gun Safes Under $1000 Comparison Chart

PictureNameTypePriceWhere to Buy?

1. Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe AX11652
Biometric$$Check Price on Amazon

2. Steelwater Standard Duty 20 Long Gun Fire Protection Safe
Long Gun$$$Check Price on Amazon

3. Vaultek Essential Series Quick Access Portable Safe
Biometric$$Check Price on Amazon

4. GunVault MiniVault Quick Access Compact Gun Safe
Handgun – e-lock$Check Price on Amazon

5. Barska Compact Biometric Security Safe
Biometric$$Check Price on Amazon

Buying Guide
Many products will only require you to look at the top features and then select which one you want, or which one you feel is the most affordable of the bunch. These choices will ensure that you are able to have the perfect gun safe, that’ll keep your weapons safe and also make life much easier for you when you need to access the weapons.
Size
The size of the gun safe is fundamentally important and getting the correct size for your gun safe, will definitely make a huge difference. If the size of the safe is not correct, your weapon will not fit. The larger gun safes are made for long rifles, but because of the more advanced and bulkier construction, they also tend to be more expensive.
Lock Type
Gun safes come in a variety of different locking options. The biometric and electronic locks are now the most common, but if you want the ultimate speed when trying to access the gun safe, you should look into getting the biometric locking safe. These safes are also very secure and they make use of a fingerprint scanner to give you access to the weapons. The standard mechanical lock is also great and with this lock type, is very trustworthy, but will take much longer to give you access to the contents on the inside.
Wall vs. Standing Safes
The choice between a standing safe or a built-in wall safe is also one that you will need to consider. The wall safes are much easier to conceal and many of them will also be perfect for your office if you need to have your firearm close by.
These are the three main things that you will need to consider and look into when you are going to buy a gun safe. Now that you have the 3 main choices that you are going to make when buying a gun safe, you will also need to consider the key and important features that will be looked at when you are in the process of purchasing a gun safe.
Key Features to Consider 
Gun safes are all designed differently and they will definitely differ from each brand. We have used these key features as part of our criterion when just completing the assessment and ensuring that you can choose the best gun safe under $1000 to meet your needs. Here are the features we consider the most important.
Lock type
The type of lock that you choose will also have a huge impact on the overall price of the safe. Biometric safes are generally more expensive and they have more technology that has been incorporated to make them work faster and be more secure. The biometric fingerprint scanners are generally best used on smaller safes and will give you more versatility in terms of access.
If you plan on storing the larger rifles, you will still manage to find bigger biometric safes. Unfortunately, you will have to pay extra for the size and this is where the mechanical lock can easily come into play.
Durability
The durability of the safe is mostly determined by the steel that is used in the safe itself. The quality of the steel will show you how hard, or how easy it can potentially be for someone to get into the safe and break it open. We highly recommend looking for the toughest possible steel to ensure that no one can break open the safe or get inside without your consent.
Fireproof and Waterproof
The top safes are also fireproof and they have an added layer to protect all your things on the inside. This fireproof layer is definitely important if you are living in a highly volatile area that might just catch fire at any moment. The insurance companies might also give you a little bit of discount if the safe you choose does match the entire list of criterion they want and the more safety features it has, the better the safe will be for you. We recommend that you research or just simply check the safe to see if it has a fire rating and for how long you will be protected.
Portability
If you like traveling a lot, you should look to invest in a safe that can be carried along with you and is portable enough for you to keep in the car. A portable safe will make life much easier for you and will always ensure that your belongings are carefully protected when you are on the road. These safes can also be effective to use in the place of a briefcase.
Warranty
It is really important to ensure that the safe is covered by the backing of the company. This usually comes in the form of a warranty. Most safe companies will have decent warranties against break-ins, but if you live in an area that is volatile to fire and those kinds of situations, the fireproof safe and its warranty will certainly come handy. The top fireproof safes generally have huge warranties that will be great and will also protect you forever.
These 5 features will be the main features that you will need to be concerned about when you are looking to buy a decent safe while not breaking the bank. There are even more intricate features like lighting and fancy keypads, but with these features, you will have a good safe, that could keep your weapons and even your valuables safe from any possible intruders.
With that being said, here are the top gun safes we found after talking to experts and gun enthusiasts.
 
Gun Safe Reviews
 
1.  Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe AX11652
The Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe AX11652 is one of the more modern, but still highly effective safes on the market today. The safe is designed from extremely high-quality steel and will be durable to almost any attack from an intruder. This includes the use of heavy machinery and torches.
On the inside, the safe is also very functional and it can hold up to 4 long rifles. The inside also features brackets that will keep the weapons in place and will ensure that the guns don’t swirl around and bump into one another. The 3-point deadbolt locking system is quite strong and there will be no way an intruder can pry open the safe without making too much noise or taking a very long time.
The safe makes use of a biometric fingerprint scanner to keep your items and weapons securely locked up and out of harm’s way. This fingerprint scanner is also quite versatile and you will be able to store up to 120 different fingerprints on it, with the first one being the administrative fingerprint. If you have administrative access, you can add or remove anyone at any moment.
In terms of pricing, the safe is actually really cheap and affordable and should be a bargain for the right buyer. All the mounting hardware has also been included in the package, but since the safe is quite heavy, you might need to have someone to help you set up the safe and have it correctly mounted for the best security.
Pros:

Extremely durable
Decent inner space
Holds up to 120 fingerprints
Strong 3-point deadbolt locking system
Really affordable

Cons:

You might need some help with the mounting process

2.  Steelwater Standard Duty 20 Long Gun Fire Protection for 60 Minutes
The Steelwater Standard Duty 20 long gunfire protection safe is one of the more expensive safes that you will find. This safe has been constructed from extremely powerful steel and has the capabilities of withstanding fires and heat of up to 1875 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 1 hour.  The features are plentiful starting with interior LED lighting and a 3-way direct drive lock and bolt system.  The overall construction is 14 Gauge steel and it features a 5″ thick door with 2 layers of fireboard.  Fireboard also continues with 2 layers throughout the rest of the case including ceiling, floor, walls and door jams.
You can fit up to 20 guns (10/10) but the average workable storage is closer to 12-16 long guns.  There’s also an internal spring-loaded re-locking bolt to secure the safe in case the lock is punched out/removed during a break-in or burglary.  Another ingenious feature is the heat-activated expandable door seal that is not only designed to seal out smoke and water, but it expands up to EIGHT TIMES its original thickness in the event of a fire.
The semi-gloss textured powder-coated black paint looks appealing, especially with the silver pinstriping and polished chrome handle.  The safe has several pre-drilled holes to accommodate attachment to the floor for security and another hole to allow for the use of a dehumidifier.  The grey interior is fully upholstered, and the whole deal comes with a free dry pack (200 grams) of silica gel in the form of a rechargeable, dehumidifying box.
I could go on and one talking about the features, but one that we especially liked was the EMP-proof (Electro-magnetic Pulse) digital keypad which also comes with a double-bitted high-security bypass key.
Pros:

Great durability
Fireproof
Includes a free dehumidifier
Very secure deadbolt locking system
High Capacity

Cons:

Quite expensive
Tough to mount
Can’t be delivered to some locations (see Amazon for details)

3.  Vaultek Essential Series Quick Access Portable Safe
The Vaultek Essential Series pistol safe is one of the top handgun and portable safes that you can buy. The safe is quite small and lightweight, which will make it extremely easy to carry along with you. The safe is constructed from 18-guage carbon steel (well, actually, all steel is “carbon” steel, it’s just a matter of how much carbon – but that’s another issue) and this will definitely protect your belongings.
The safe is also resistant to any impact it might take and the inner lining will ensure that your weapon and valuables are not running wild inside. The safe includes a good lithium-ion battery and this battery only needs to be recharged every 4-5 months. The design is quite stylish and the outer powder coating does not only make the safe look better, but it also protects the safe from corrosion and any outer damages.
The main selling point of the safe is the fact that you can use your mobile smartphone to open up the safe. When the safe is opened up, you will also have a responsive LED light that will go on. This will make it easier for you to see your weapon and give you fast access when you need to defend yourself.
In terms of pricing, the safe is actually really affordable and you will definitely get some great value for your money. The only downside we found was the fact that the safe must be mounted securely to avoid any theft, but the steel cable might not be the strongest way and the intruder might be able to break the cable with the right power tools. This safe is definitely recommended for those who like to travel.
Pros:

Extremely durable
Small and portable
Decent locking mechanism
Rust and corrosion protected
Really affordable

Cons:

The mounting might not be as secure as you might hope

4.  GunVault MiniVault Quick Access Compact Gun Safe
Here’s an ingenious model we’re thrilled to feature!  The GunVault MiniVault takes quick access to a new level.  This safe promises to deliver your firearm should you need it quickly – up to 20% faster than anything else on the market.  Why?  Well, it features an auto slide-out drawer that holds your handgun.  But to get to the slide-out drawer, you simply place one hand on the top of the safe on a panel that fits your four long fingers.  You use those fingers to quickly push the button under each of your fingers in the right order to unlock the safe and you immediately have the slide-out drawer under your hand.
An LED helps you see exactly what’s going on during the process, and the heavy-gauge steel combined with the tamper-proof concealed hinge and manual backup key offer added security features.  The low battery warning also helps make your overall experience a good one!
Pros:

Extremely lightweight
Really affordable
Offers you lots of room for the price
Superfast handgun access

Cons:

Very dependent on batteries, which tend not to last as long as they should!
Thinner steel and less secure overall than more expensive brands
Only useable for small items and not useable for long guns

5.  Barska Compact Biometric Security Safe
The Barska Compact Biometric gun safe is a great safe designed by the Barska Company to give you fast access when you need to access your weapons and will also give you great protection from any possible theft. This safe has also been constructed from extremely tough and durable steel and will certainly be impervious to anyone trying to pry open the safe.
The safe utilizes a decent biometric fingerprint scanner to give you access. This fingerprint scanner is capable of holding up to 30 different fingerprints and the first one will be the administrative fingerprint. With decent internal sizing, you could easily store up to 2 handguns inside without any real hassles or complications.
The safe can also be mounted in virtually any location and with the pre-drilled holes; you should have no troubles when it comes to mounting the safe on the counter or even on your desktop at home. This safe is very lightweight and with all the mounting tools included, you will only need the drill to put the safe securely into place.
This safe is also really affordable and Barska has always been one of the trusted brands when it comes to gun safes. We would highly recommend this quick access safe to anyone looking to have a safe near them where they might be in the house. The safe will also be easy to mount without the help of any additional people.
Pros:

Durable steel construction
Pre-drilled mounting holes
Versatile design
Good fingerprint scanner

Cons:

The fingerprint scanner does have a few flaws

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

We would like to thank you for reading this article and we certainly do hope that you have managed to find the ideal safe to meet your needs and also to keep your weapons and valuables protected. There are many more safes available on the market, but we do consider these to be the top choices that you could make. In terms of recommendations, we would like to recommend the Barska brand. This brand is trusted everywhere around the world and will certainly give you what you are looking for when it comes to protecting your firearm and adhering to all current gun laws.
Please let us know in the comment section below if you think we might have missed any of your favorite safes and also be sure to tell us why you have chosen them. If you have any experience with our safes. Be sure to let us know what the experience was.

The post The 5 Best Gun Safes Under $1000 : Protection & Security appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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The 10 Best Kettlebells for 2020 : Home Use, Crossfit, & Beginners

Tags :

Category : Fitness , Kettlebell , kettlebells

Hey, let’s deal with the elephant in the room for starters okay?  WHY would you want a kettlebell instead of a standard dumbbell?  I’m so glad you asked!  The truth is that there are lots of reasons, but one of the basic reasons is that the fluidity of motion you can achieve with a kettlebell cannot be duplicated with a dumbbell.  Both can work fine, but the comfortable and injury-free range of motion ability of the kettlebell is arguably far beyond that of a standard hand weight.  Many exercises are easier to do ergonomically which means increased safety and increased muscle development due to more efficient ergonomics.
A kettlebell can be a great tool in your workout chest! They come in all sorts of weights and sizes and it is important to have some of an idea as to the kinds of exercises that you want to do with a kettlebell beforehand so that you can get a grasp as to the weight that you should purchase. There are lots of options for weight as well as materials that kettlebells are made up of and if you don’t know what you are buying you may end up with something that isn’t of the quality you are expecting. In order to help you with this process we have come up with a buyer’s guide as well as a list of our picks for the top ten kettlebells on the market in order to help you make a better, more informed purchasing decision.
Each and every kettlebell that you look at, the weight of the kettlebell should be directly on the unit. This is a very important aspect of the purchase because if you were to buy more than one kettlebell from the same manufacturer, you are going to want to know which is which so that you can use the proper weight for the exercise that you are doing. It is important to realize that not every company goes by the same unit of measurement and you will see weights that are in lbs and you will also see weights in kg as well as a combination of the two at times.
Kettlebell Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. AmazonBasics Cast Iron Kettlebells
$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. CAP Barbell Cast Iron
$$Check Price on Amazon

3. Yes4All Powder Coated Kettlebells
$$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Kettle Gryp – Kettlebell Adjustable Portable Weight Grip
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

5. Day 1 Fitness Kettlebells
$$$Check Price on Amazon

6. CAP Barbell Enamel Coated
$$$Check Price on Amazon

7.Yes4All Solid Cast Iron
$$Check Price on Amazon

8. Tone Fitness Vinyl Kettlebell
$$Check Price on Amazon

9. Yes4all Vinyl Coated Combo Special
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

10. Weider Vinyl Kettlebell Set
$Check Price on Amazon

Buying Guide
Handle
Depending on the exercise that you are doing, a handle may actually be one of the most important components of the exercise. You will want to make sure that the handle is nice and wide so that you can easily fit your hand inside of it and you are also going to want to make sure that the handle has enough grip built into its design that you are comfortable swinging it around using one arm. You definitely don’t want to accidentally throw a kettlebell across the room as it could cause some serious damage and even hurt someone else or hurt you as we result.
Adjustability
No matter the kettlebell that you buy, it is important to realize that there is not a single weight available that is the best weight for every single exercise that you do. Some exercises you should definitely be using more weight than others and some of them you should definitely be using a lighter weight so that you don’t end up hurting yourself. It is important to note that there are actually some adjustable kettlebells on the market that you can buy where you can actually adjust the weight of a kettlebell according to your needs. Unfortunately, an adjustable kettlebell is a fairly expensive unit and you can often get a set of kettlebells for a fairly reasonable price tag as well so it is important to consider both your options carefully before making the decision that is best for you. Keep in mind that an adjustable kettlebell will likely take a bit of time in order to be able to change the weight, while a kettlebell set all you have to do is set down and pick up the next weight that you want to use.
Material
Depending on the price that you are willing to pay, you will notice that there is a wide range of material options available on the market that you can choose from. Some of these options are likely to last you longer than others as a result of them being a more durable design, however, for these options, you often have to pay a higher price tag for the unit to begin with. One of the most common kettlebell options available is a cast iron option. Generally, these are a very solid construction but tend to wear out if they are left out and exposed to the elements.
If you want to get a cast iron kettlebell always remember to check and make sure that it is at least painted, or that it is coated in a powder based paint as this definitely helps to increase the durability and the longevity of these kettlebells. One of the other very common materials you will find a kettlebell made up of is a vinyl material. The nice thing about vinyl is that it is a very weather resistant material and it is hard to rip and tear vinyl unless you are doing it against a sharp object on purpose.
Often times a vinyl covering will go over the top of an iron kettlebell which helps to increase durability. Steel is another material you are likely to find largely because it is cheap to manufacture; you will find vinyl and rubber coatings as well as paint based and powder-based coatings covering steel units in order to help prevent them from rust and wear and tear. The one other material you may find in your search is a cement based kettlebell and these will have all kinds of coating on them as well in order to make them more durable.
Welding
If a kettlebell is made out of metal then you should always check to see if the material has been welded or if it has been cast in order to get a grasp as to the quality of the unit. Generally, a casted unit is going to be thicker in all aspects and therefore more durable than that of a welded unit. If you want to get yourself a welded unit just make sure you look at the seams to make sure everything looks nice and tight and that the weld is nice and clean otherwise you may end up running into problems with the weight somewhere down the road.
Accessories/ Options
At the checkout generally, most kettlebells will at least have a few weight size options that you can choose from. The odd time you will find that the company only sells sets of kettlebells and this could be a great option for you if you want to be able to do a wide variety of exercises. It is always important to make sure that you look at each piece that is included in the set so that you can be sure to get yourself a weight range that works for you. Just keep in mind that kettlebell training isn’t necessarily just for strength, it is for flexibility and cardio training as well so you don’t always need to get yourself the heaviest set of weights available. The odd time an additional thing you will notice that comes with your purchase is some kind of a video or a guide that helps to teach you various exercises that you can do using kettlebells. Especially if you are new to kettlebell training it is never a bad idea to look for a product that contains something like this with your purchase as they can really help to teach you some great exercises.

 
Kettlebell Reviews
 

AmazonBasics Cast Iron Kettlebells

In spite of not offering a thumbnail image for our chart above, AmazonBasics offers a no-nonsense basic kettlebell set that we really can’t criticize.  It’s no frills, but the price is right, and price is one of the big factors we consider in our reviews ratings.
There are a total of 10 different weight options available (10 lb – 60 lb) as well as an option to buy the kettlebells as a set in case you have a need for a lot of different weights. These kettlebells range in weight from 4 lbs to as high as 106 lbs so they should be able to meet your exercise needs quite easily especially if you buy yourself the entire set of kettlebells. This set has the weight in pounds as well as kgs directly on the front of the weight and even has color coating incorporated into its design in order to allow you to be able to grab the weight that you need quickly and easily. These kettlebells have great grip thanks to a powder coating that covers the weights and the kettlebells are even cast in order to provide you with maximum durability. So that the kettlebells don’t roll away on you, the bottoms of these weights have been flattened out so that you can set them on the ground and not have to worry about them moving around on you.
Pros:

10 different weight options to choose from ranging from 10 lbs to 60 lbs
You can buy the whole set as an option at the checkout
Made from a cast design for durability
Coated with a powder coated paint for great grip and even more durability
Weight in lbs directly on the front of the unit
1-year warranty with your purchase

Cons:

Paint may not be as durable as a vinyl coating
Hefty shipping fees

 

CAP Barbell Cast Iron

If you are looking to get yourself one of the cheapest options available then this could be a great option for you. This weight is available in as low as a 10 lb option and goes to as high as an 80 lb option with 12 different weights that you can choose from according to your needs. The weights themselves are made out of a cast iron construction and contain no welding in order to make them as durable as possible. The weights don’t have anything extra on the handles so one thing to take note of is that you may want to be careful swinging these weights around as they may be a bit slippery to grip. The handle is very wide though which does allow you to hold the weight comfortably when you are doing your exercises. The whole unit is covered in a black paint which certainly helps to make the unit a little bit more of a durable design.
Pros:

Available in twelve different weight options ranging from 10 lbs to 80 lbs
Made out of a cast iron construction which is quite durable and contains no weak welds
Painted black to be more resistant to the elements
Units do have their weight in lbs located on the front for fairly easy recognition
Steel reinforced handle for peace of mind

Cons:

Definitely, you have to watch your grip when handling these weights as they may be a bit slippery to grasp

 

Yes4All Powder Coated Kettlebells

If you are looking to get yourself some individual weights in the low to average price range then these could definitely be a great option for you. These weights are available in anywhere from 8 pounds to 88 pounds though they are officially measured in Kilograms (kg).  With 11 different weight options that you can choose from within this fairly small weight range, you should be able to shift upwards in weight at a fairly comfortable pace over time. Most increments are in 2kg steps. 
The design of these weights offers a cast iron construction and each of the weights is fully powder coated in order to make them more durable to wear and tear. The units have a very wide handle which offers a comfortable grip for the user. You will also find that the bottoms of these weights are flat in order to allow you to set your weights down with peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to worry about them rolling away on you.
The flat bottom is also designed for doing pushups safely while holding the handles.
Pros:

Powder-coated handle won’t irritate your skin
Fully powder-coated unit
A wide handle on the units allows for comfortable weight lifting
Low to average price range appeals to a lot of people
Bottoms of the weights are flat to help for safe pushups
Made out of cast iron
Color-coded rings at the base of the handle on each weight

Cons:

While most purchasers gave this kettlebell a 4.4 out of 5.0 rating, some users found that their newly opened kettlebell looks used, with some of the powder coating on the main lower part of the unit coming off (like wear and tear from age).

 

Kettle Gryp – Kettlebell Adjustable Portable Weight Grip

While technically not a kettlebell at all, this product holds a unique place on our list.  It’s a kettlebell-style grip that attaches to a regular dumbbell which then acts like a kettlebell allowing the user to use the grip as though he/she would a kettlebell.  The advantages are obvious.  You can always have access to your “kettlebell” when traveling since every hotel gym or health club has dumbbells.  The ergonomics of using a kettlebell are different than using a dumbbell and many would argue they are much “better” providing a greater range of motion.  The other reason this is a welcome and innovative product is simply that kettlebells are generally more expensive than dumbbells, so this one product can save you money in the long run.
Pros:

Less expensive than a kettlebell
Can be used on pretty much any weight dumbbell
Very light and easy to travel with

Cons:

While less expensive than many kettlebells, the price can creep up when you consider the cost of BOTH a dumbbell and the Kettle Gryp unit

 

Day 1 Fitness Kettlebells

Day 1 has a great offering which we thoroughly enjoyed reviewing!
The hammertone non-chip finish is easy on the eyes, and it’s designed from one single chunk of cast steel, which means it’s less likely to crack or break given the lack of stress points.  We appreciated the smooth grip which may not seem like a big deal at first, but after hours of a variety of motions, tender palms can start to feel worn, red and just asking for blisters.  Unlike standard dumbbells which don’t typically rotate in your grip once you grab them, your grip on a kettlebell can’t be tight since the palm of your hand must allow the handle to rotate as you move through the range of motion on many exercises.
It’s important to have an excellent grip like these Day 1’s for that reason!
Pros:

Steel construction is durable and coated to be more durable
One piece construction
Seam-free finish on handles for extended blister prevention
Weights available from 5-60 lbs in five-pound increments

Cons:

Lack of a substantially flat bottom makes the unit unable to sit handle-up properly when not in use

 

CAP Barbell Enamel Coated

If you want to get yourself something that is fully coated with an enamel material because you like the feeling of it and want good durability then this could be a good option for you. This unit is quite cheap and comes in anything from a 10-50 pound weight size and comes in five-pound increments with the exception of a 30-pound weight. These weights are quite durable as they are made out of a solid cast iron construction and don’t have welds incorporated into their design. If you are skeptical about these weights, one nice thing about these weights is that the manufacturer does give a thirty-day warranty on the quality of the weights giving you plenty of time to test the weights out and check for any defects in the design.
Pros:

Made out of a solid cast iron to give you some more durability
Available in weights between 10 and 50 lbs
Fully covered in enamel for more durability
Wide grip available on the unit is great for people with large hands
Enamel coating offers good grip during your lifts
Flat bottoms on the weights will keep them from rolling away on you
Weight in lbs is located on the front of the units so that you know what you are lifting

Cons:

Nothing above 50 lbs is available and there is no 30 lb weight 

 

Yes4All Solid Cast Iron

If you want to get yourself a popular set of iron cast weights then this could be a great option for you. These weights are available in a weight range from 5-80 lbs in five-pound increments up to 45 lbs. These weights have no welds or seams in order to create a weak spot in the design of the product and you will also notice that there is a nice wide handle allowing for most people to be able to use the weights with ease. Each of these weights is painted black in order to offer more durability from the elements. You will notice that the bottoms of these units are flattened out in order to keep them from rolling away on you and you will also notice that the units do have a textured handle which helps with grip.
Pros:

Price is in the average range appealing to a broad spectrum of people
Available in weight ranges from 5-80 lbs
Textured, wide handle for good grip
Painted black for added protection and durability
Cast iron design has no seams or welds
Flat bottoms so that the units don’t roll away on you
Weight in lbs is located on the front of the units for relatively easy recognition

Cons:

No set of all the weights available at the checkout 

 

Tone Fitness Vinyl Kettlebell

If you want to get yourself a cheap set of weights or just a couple of lightweight kettlebells then this set could be a good option for you. Although this set may not have the highest quality construction on the market as they are made from cement and coated with a vinyl material, they do offer an extremely cheap price tag which is quite appealing if you don’t use kettlebells all that often in your workout routine or you just want to give them a try. At the checkout you can choose between a 5, 10, as well as a 15 lb option or you, can buy the full set of weights if you so desire. These weights have a wide handle to give you good grip and the whole unit is covered in vinyl for good durability as well. The units even have a flat bottom design so that you don’t have to worry about them rolling away on you and they are also color coated so that you can easily tell which weight you are picking up without even having to read the weight label located on the front of the unit.
Pros:

Very low price tag on the units appeals to a lot of people
Comes with a DVD
Vinyl coated design is quite durable
Available in a 5,10, as well as a 15-pound size and available as a set at the checkout
Flat bottoms on the unit keep them from rolling away on you
Wide handles make for comfortable use, even for people with large hands
Color coated so that you don’t always have to read the label before picking up the weights

Cons:

Definitely not the highest quality construction thanks to a cement build

 

Yes4All Combo Special

If you are looking to buy yourself a good set of dumbbells rather than buy them one at a time, then this company offers a lot of different options that you can choose from. These weights are made out of a cast iron material and the bottoms are enclosed in vinyl in order to offer good durability and more protection from wear and tear. The units each have their weight in lbs located on the fronts of each of the products in order to make it easy for you to be able to choose the right weight of the exercise that you are doing. These units all have a nice wide handle and each of the handles do come with a textured design rather than just a smooth handle in order to offer you better grip and support so that you don’t have to worry as much about potentially dropping the weight. At the checkout the following weights are available in different sets. There are eleven sets all with varying weight and size combinations. 
The best deal is a 6-weight combo for under $130.  It includes a 5 lb, 10 lb, 15 lb, 20 lb, 25 lb, and 30 lb weighted kettlebell.
Pros:

Eleven different sets are available with a lot of different weight options within
Bottoms of the units are covered with a vinyl coating for more durability
Textured, wide handles provide increased grip
Flat bottoms on the unit prevent them from rolling away
Each unit has their weight in lbs on the front of the unit so that you can tell them apart from each other

Cons:

If you want a heavyweight set then these weights won’t be a good option for you
Price can get a little steep once you get into the larger sets

 

Weider Vinyl Kettlebell Set

If you want to get yourself a bit of a package deal with a lightweight set of kettlebells then this could be a great option for you. This set actually comes with a nice storage rack that you can set all of the kettlebells on which is a really nice feature to have if you don’t have a place to store your weights. Additionally, the set comes with an exercise DVD as well as a chart to keep you on track and to allow you to learn some new exercises. With this package deal, you get three different kettlebells that are 5, 10 as well as 15 lbs in weight. Each of these kettlebells is color coated so that you can easily tell them apart without having to read the weight on the unit that is displayed in large font in lbs on the front of each of the weights. Each of these units has a nice textured handle and the handle is also quite wide allowing for a wide range of people to be able to use these weights with ease.
Pros:

The storage rack that comes with the unit has measurements of 20×9.25×11.5 in case you need to measure
Three weights come with your purchase that weigh 5, 10 and 15 lbs
You get a DVD as well as an exercise chart with your purchase to help you keep on track with your exercise goals
Wide-handled, textured grips on the unit are good even when you are doing a vigorous exercise routine
Extremely low price tag for a set of kettlebells with the nice additional accessories that it comes with

Cons:

Lightweight set may be a little bit light for some people

 

 Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Hopefully by reading our list of picks for the top ten kettlebells on the market, as well as reading through our buyer’s guide has helped to inform you as to the things you should look for in order to get yourself a great kettlebell. It is always a good idea to make sure that you check company return policy as well as check to make sure what the details of the company warranty are of the product you are thinking of purchasing. It can definitely give you some peace of mind knowing the things that you are covered for so that you know that the company actually has your back if something were to go wrong with the product. Best of luck in your search for some great kettlebells and enjoy your workout routine!
 

The post The 10 Best Kettlebells for 2020 : Home Use, Crossfit, & Beginners appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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