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10 Best Lifting Shoes for Squats 2019

I think it’s safe to say that almost every lifter in the gym wants to lift more than they whatever they are putting up currently. If they don’t then why are they there in the first place? What if I told you that a pair of shoes could provide the right amount of support to enhance your lifting ability?Top Squat Shoes Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Adidas Performance Powerlifting 2 Shoe $$$$Check Price on Amazon2. Adidas AdiPower Weightlifting Shoe $$$$Check Price on Amazon3. Adidas Powerlift.3 Shoe $$$Check Price on Amazon4. Inov-8 Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer Shoe $$$Check Price on Amazon5. Nike Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes $$$$Check Price on Amazon6. Reebok R CrossFit Lifter 2.0 $$$Check Price on Amazon7. Reebok Crossfit Lite TR Womens Training Shoe $$Check Price on Amazon8. Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA Cross-Training Shoe $$$$Check Price on Amazon9. Pendlay Weightlifting Shoes $$$$Check Price on Amazon10. Asics Lift-Trainer Shoe $$$$Check Price on AmazonHave you ever been squatting 225 pounds at the gym and in the middle of your set think: “man, I could really use some squat shoes right about now.” Yes? No? Well I can honestly say that although squatting shoes never immediately came to mind, they can be extremely useful for the dedicated lifter and/or crossfire. Wearing the standard running shoe wouldn’t necessarily hinder your lift, but having that pair of squatting shoes would give you the advantage needed to enhance your lifting experience and safety.Squat Shoes Buying GuideBenefits of Using Squatting ShoesSquat shoes are designed to put the lifter in the best position possible to build their craft. The most evident feature of the squatting shoe is the height of the heel. The higher-than-average heel helps the lifter squat deeper than normal because of the ankle’s adjusted angle. This new angle forms a strong posture that could further challenge the muscles tested in the squat lift.Another feature that identifies a squatting shoe is the straps across the laces used for stability and a natural fit. This is important because a lifter wouldn’t be able to safely and effectively squat with a shoe that isn’t secure to the foot. A secure fit will install a sense of confidence in the lifter; they will be able to lift without any disturbance from a lack of security.Needless to say (or maybe not as obvious as I thought), squatting shoes are not meant for casual or traditional exercise wear. This style of shoe is engineered specifically for weightlifting, and only weightlifting. One should expect to gain enhancements to their lifting using this shoe, rather than gaining the ability to run faster…because you will be disappointed if that’s the case.Best Shoes for Squats ReviewsAdidas Performance Powerlift.2 Shoe It wouldn’t be surprising if some of you were wondering, “why is the Powerlift.2 ranked higher than the Powerlift.3? Shouldn’t the most recent version be the best available?” Well to answer those questions: sometimes the most recent item of a particular brand is the best available yet in other instances an upgrade isn’t always the most logical decision.Let’s start with the color. The Powelift.2 has plenty of different colors, including blue, grey, yellow, red, and the original black and white. Luckily for lifters with wide feet, these shoes are made wide for enhanced comfort. The upper is completely made of synthetic leather; which makes it very light and durable. This material keeps the feet cool at all times, so there won’t be any distractions when you are getting mentally prepared to squat your personal best record. The elevated heel puts the user in a position that increases depth and puts the hips at an awkward angle.One thing to always consider with big-name brands is the price. If you are buying anything of value, the odds are that it will come at a price. This decision is strictly a preference. If you’re someone who is 100% committed to powerlifting, then make the investment and get a pair of shoes that could take you to the next level. If you are on a budget or a beginner, there are less expensive options on the list that could be of some use.Pros:True to sizeHas a wide size, which helps with comfortSynthetic leather is lightweight and durableCons:Wears down easilyHigh priced Adidas AdiPower Weightlifting Shoe  The AdiPower shoe from Adidas specializes in weightlifting. The upper is very comfortable because it is applied with PU-coated leather. This shoe will last a lot longer thanks to this high quality material. The hook and loop strap across the shoelaces increases foot security, which is something important when lifting heavy weights. The heel overlay in the AdiPower sets the standard for lightweight stability. This means that the lifter can transition into different lifting positions without feeling weighed down. They also have the support and stability needed to get through those lifts; starting with the heel.Strength is an asset of the AdiPower shoes that stands out compared to other features. Just by looking at this shoe, you can tell it is meant for something intense, something powerful, like Olympic weightlifting for example. The chassis was engineered specifically for weightlifting, with most of its strength coming from the injected polymer. The outsole hosts “VentFlow” openings that help with comfort and breathability. Ventilation is important when it comes to lifting shoes, because sweat and heat could easily build up when performing intense lifting workouts. Having a good sense of breathability will help the user in the long run because their feet won’t feel like they are in the sauna.Pros:Plenty of breathability and comfort throughout the upper and the outsole.Chassis was made specifically for weightliftingHook and loop strap provides a better sense of fit and security Cons:Expensive price Adidas Powerlift.3 Shoe One of the newest additions to the Powerlift line, this squatting shoe from Adidas has the looks and the features of an elite lifting shoe. Starting with the obvious, this Adidas sneaker has a thick, bright orange Velcro strap that has “powerlift” placed on it. This gives the lifter the extra support needed to get that tedious last rep out. The heel height on these shoes look above average, so there is a great chance that you will be able to get in the position needed to lift correctly. The comfort in this shoe runs high. The lining and the tongue are made primarily with air mesh, which has enhanced breathability in addition to being soft and light.Another great part about the Powerlift.3 is the open forefoot and flexible toe. This helps with foot movement, as the lifter might need to move their feet in awkward positions or transition into different positions. The synthetic upper contributes to the durability of the shoe without adding unneeded size. The outsole tests great against stable and unstable surfaces. Made with an anti-slip rubber, the outsole will be able to stabilize your position no matter what lift you are attempting.Pros:Lightweight upper helps with flexibility.Anti-slip outsole enhances stability.Mesh material within the shoe helps with breathability. Cons:Lack of color variety.Runs very small. Inov-8 Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer ShoeAnother Inov-8 shoe on the list, the 325 cross-trainer shoes is considered to be the “lightest weightlifting shoe on the market.” The Inov-8 FastLift 325 is manufactured with high-end footwear technology that puts it at the top of the charts for lifting shoes.The FastLift 325 offers one of the most comfortable squatting experiences around. Made with meta-flex technology, the FastLift 325 provides the foot with freedom; you can move your foot in any position while lifting. Stability is also a benefit of wearing this shoe. The FastLift 325 has an external heel cage that keeps the heel stable and power-truss technology that builds a solid foundation for the feet. The 325 lifting shoe has a midfoot strap that runs across Inov-8’s Met-Cradle lacing. This combination offers arguable the most secure fit available in the training shoes niche.Pros:Flexibility in the outsole allows movement for easy transition.Heel cage helps with stability.Meta-flex technology offers excellent comfort.Cons:Not true to size.Wears down easy. Nike Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes  A flexible, lightweight, durable shoe, the Nike Romaleos has the features necessary for the persistent squatter. The Nike Romaleos lifting shoes are built to keep up with the beating taken with dedicated power lifters. The upper is made with a synthetic material and has two hook-and-loop strap across the laces that are made to keep the foot stable inside the shoe. The elastic placed on the top of the shoe helps the back of the ankle move naturally without any restriction. The toe box in the Romaleos is so narrow that they feel restrictive to those with wide feet.The heels are reinforced with TPU heel wedge cups that secure the rear-foot. The durable outsole is flat and made with a strong rubber that prevents wear. The reinforced heel will support the feet when lifting heavy weights. This shoe feature will enhance your lifts dramatically. Although they can’t do the lifting for you, and you will still need to practice proper form, you won’t want to lift without these shoes again after you buy them!Pros:Double hook-and-loop straps stabilize the feet.Synthetic upper is light.TPU heel cups keep the rear-foot in place.Cons:Runs Small.Toe box is very narrow.  Reebok R CrossFit Lifter 2.0 Compared to the CrossFit Lite, the CrossFit Lifter 2.0 looks more like the traditional lifting shoe. The Reebok CrossFit Lifter 2.0 prides itself in flexibility. The CrossFit Lifter 2.0 has an upper consisting of textured and mesh material. The textured part of the upper is used for stability whereas the mesh provides a good level of breathability. The strap across the laces controls the fit of the shoe. You could tighten or loosen the shoe as you please, to provide you the best fit possible.The sole seems fairly durable just by looking at the rubber sole. The outsole is flat with a little tread towards the forefoot. This tread will gain traction with the ground so the lifter can comfortably stay in place while doing their exercise. The midsole contains Reebok’s signature “PowerBax” material that makes the shoe feel like, yet stable. The combination of the “PowerBax” technology and the rubber outsole results in a stable platform.Pros:Rubber sole offers durability.Mid-strap helps form a proper fit.“PowerBax” technology enhances the lightweight feel of the shoe.Cons:Runs ½ a size larger.Quality is average.Heel isn’t very reliable. Reebok Crossfit Lite TR Training Shoe (Womens’) At first glance, the Reebok Crossfit Lite training shoe looks like a thicker version of the Converse Chuck Taylors. Despite the resemblance, these squatting shoes from Reebok supply the user with comfort, stability, and durability. The CrossFit Lite training shoes from Reebok come in seven different color varieties, giving the user plenty of choices to choose from. The style and shape of this shoe might not match the style of “weightlifting shoe” but it is a great alternative for someone looking for something different.The outsole of this squatting shoe is flat, with small teeth that are used to build traction. It is made of a high-abrasion rubber, so it won’t be easy to wear down the sole of the Reebok Crossfit Lite. There is a heel clip provided to stabilize the foot when lifting heavy weights. This heel clip increases the stability of the shoe tremendously, especially since the heel isn’t elevated. You will also receive superior ankle support since the shoe is a high top shoe. The area where this shoe lacks is the front. This shoe might not be as secure as other training shoes mostly due to the absence of an adjustable strap. While this feature isn’t an absolute must, it does help when you need it.Pros:High top design supports the ankle.High-abrasion rubber enhances the durability of the outsole.Heel clip stabilizes the foot when lifting heavy weights.Cons:Shoe is long and wide (depending on your foot size.)Quality is average at best.Not as durable as advertised. Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA Cross-Training Shoe If you are looking for a squatting shoe that is unique in both looks and features, take a look at the Inov-8 FastLift training shoe. The feature that sets this Inov-8 shoe apart from the rest starts with the BOA closure system, which is used to deliver a secure, custom fit with no pressure points. This BOA feature thrives on security as it is stretch free and offers a stable platform for lifters. When most people get in the zone and start to squat and deadlift, the last thing they want to do is kneel down for twenty minutes trying to fix the fit of their shoes. With the BOA dial, the user needs to simply turn the dial to their liking. This is a quick, easy, and stable process.Next part of the Inov-8 shoe to evaluate is the midsole. The heel is raised fairly high; measured at about 16.5 millimeters. This raised heel will provide excellent balance for the individual who is lifting heavy weights. The outsole is made with FastLift technology that consists of sticky rubber used to grip onto the floor. The upper is made of a lightweight, breathable mesh that will keep the lifter light on their feet with enough support to lift the heaviest of weights. The inside of the FastLift BOA shoe has a fabric lining and a removable foam footbed. There is a strap attached to the BOA dial that has the phrase “rise to it,” printed across of it. This, along with the padded tongue and collar, offers great comfort and motivation for anyone who throws these shoes on.Pros:BOA dial makes it easy to adjust the strap for a better fit.Raised heel provides balance.Lightweight fabric in the upper.FastLift Outsole provides excellent grip to the ground.Cons:Run bigger than expected.Quality is subpar. Pendlay Weightlifting Shoes This shoe is a 2014 limited edition version of Pendlay’s weightlifting collection. This durable squatting shoe is primarily made with a combination of synthetic leather nylon mesh that helps the shoe stabilize the foot snugly inside. One side note about this shoe that everyone should be aware of is that it runs significantly smaller compared to your standard running shoe. An ideal rule to go by for the Pendlay shoes is to order a half a size lower than your regular shoe size. The Pendlay lifting shoes have two adjustable Velcro straps going across the laces. This gives the user options to tighten or loosen the shoe depending on their foot size and how much support they desire.You can tell that the heel of the Pendlay limited edition-training shoes is elevated, which provides a significant advantage to the squatter and/or dead lifter. A lifted heel will benefit the lifter in the long haul, as they will get better depth during squats. Another note-worthy feature of the 2014 Pendlay shoes is the single sole design. The purpose of this design is to make the sole durable and flexible, since it is only one piece. Furthermore, there is a ninety-day warranty for this shoe just in case it wears out during that time period. The Pendlay 2014 limited edition shoes for weightlifters are strongly recommended for weightlifting only. Pros:Elevated heel provides the lifter with better squatting depth.Two adjustable straps give the lifter control of their fit.Single sole design enhances the strength and flexibility of the Pendlay shoe.Cons:Runs ½ size small compared to the standard shoe.Not very comfortable.  Asics Lift-Trainer Shoe The Asics Lift-Trainer is a lifting sneaker that stabilizes the lifter’s foot for a proper lift. This shoe offers comfort, support, and style. Starting with the fit, Asics has a padded tongue and color for ultimate comfort and support. The feather last at the forefoot enhances the stability in that area so that you can move your foot in several positions without discomfort.The Asics Lifting shoe has a great level of breathability thanks to the moisture absorbing sock liner and the mesh lining throughout the upper. The sock liner is removable just in case the user would like to replace it with a gel sole or something medical-related. The heel of this shoe is measured at over half an inch, so you can expect your flexibility to be slightly enhanced due to this increased angle. You will be able to maintain the best depth possible for any type of squat or deadlift that you are aspiring to get through during your gym session.Asics’ signature DuoMax Support System in the midsole will keep the shoe feeling extremely light while still providing quality comfort. The GEL cushioning also contributes to excellent comfort because it will absorb the impact that the lifter would feel when applying substantial pressure towards their feet. The fully rubber outsole will be able to secure your feet because of the solid traction that is applied to the ground. You will be able to easily lift during your set without the worry of an unstable shoe.Asics has some great, unique quality features that are something to look forward to.Pros:Specialized Asics material offers a unique lifting experience.Raised heel enhances flexibility.Cons:Not as durable as other brands.Some reviews claim the shoe isn’t comfortable. Conclusion & RecommendationsSquatting shoes can assist a powerlifter or fitness addict in reaching their goals. If you have the form, and have the drive, the next step is to purchase the right pair of squatting shoes that will ultimately put you in the best position to win. Unlike running shoes, this type of shoe has less padding, extra support using a strap over the shoelaces, and a raised heel used to increase depth and change the position of the hips. Squatting shoes will enhance the lifter’s depth during their lifts. Sure, squatting shoes are more of a luxury rather than a necessity, but luxuries are always good to have.Based off of this list, it is clear that Adidas has dominated the market for lifting shoes. The Powerlift series proves to have the advantage, primarily because of the high quality material used when they were manufactured. They have the right amount of height in the heel so that the squatter would hit the right depth to increase their weight.If you want to shy away from Adidas, there are other options out there that you can depend on. Inov-8 has two pairs of training shoes that can qualify as a reliable asset to a lifter’s squatting session. The FastLifts are made with superior technology that will show the difference when it comes down to it. There are also reasonable options from Nike and Reebok, but ultimately the Adidas brand runs away with this one.The post 10 Best Lifting Shoes for Squats 2019 appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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What to Watch For in Toronto Argonauts Final Games

It’s been a bit of a surprise at how poorly the Toronto Argonauts season has gone to this point. Perhaps one could make the argument that they wouldn’t be as good as 2017 as soon as Ricky Ray went down. The counterpoint to that would be the two quarterbacks behind Ray in James Franklin and McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Franklin made four starts after Ray was knocked out for the year and Bethel-Thompson has been the starter since August 2nd. While both showed flashes at times, it simply hasn’t been enough.

The 3-9 Toronto Argonauts are playing the rest of the season out for pride as well as jobs in 2019 at this point. If that’s the case, there are some things Argos fans need to see down the stretch to keep some optimism for 2019.
4. More Duron Carter
The Toronto Argonauts have been without a legitimate third weapon for all three quarterbacks almost all season long. It’s mainly been only S.J. Green and Armanti Edwards. The Argos tried Bryan Tyms early on and that ended quickly. They circulated through others like Rodney Smith, Malcolm Williams, and Mario Alford. None showed much of anything.

Duron Carter signed with Toronto back in late August before Labour Day. Carter has only played in two games to this point and has yet to catch a football. Marc Trestman stated this week that Carter’s reps would increase. S.J. Green and Armanti Edwards are both back in 2019. The final set of games for the Argonauts will be key to get Carter integrated into the offence and end 2018 on a high note. This trio could do some big things in 2019 if they stay healthy.
3. Signs of Life in the Pass Rush
The 2017 Argonauts defence was quite good and a major reason for their second-half dominance to win the East. It’s been an entirely different story under first-year defensive coordinator Mike Archer. Archer has a ton of CFL experience and talent at linebacker and in the secondary, but they’ve been overworked and torched by opposing offences. Perhaps a part of that is due to little to no pass rush this entire season.

The Argonauts have 13 sacks in 2018. That’s barely over a sack a game. The Edmonton Eskimos have 34 sacks, which averages to over two and a half sacks per game. Shawn Lemon was the best pass rusher but was moved to the B.C. Lions early in 2018. Since, the defensive line was largely been anchored by Frank Beltre, Dylan Wynn, Cleyon Laing, and Troy Davis. Laing has four sacks, Wynn and Beltre have two each and Davis has one. That simply isn’t good enough. There will need to be an off-season move to address this, but Beltre and Davis are playing for jobs in 2019.
2. James Wilder Jr.
James Wilder Jr. took the CFL by storm after he took the starting job away from Brandon Whitaker in 2017 when Whitaker went down with an injury. Many thought Wilder could be the first 1000-1000 running back in CFL history and that it be between him and Andrew Harris for the rushing title. While Wilder hasn’t been as explosive in 2018 as evidenced by his 4.7 yards per carry compared to 7.1 in 2017, he’s been quietly steady.

Wilder has 665 rushing yards with three touchdowns and has 521 receiving yards with one touchdown. The Argonauts have six games left this season. Perhaps if James Wilder can catch fire and find his explosive 2017 form for a few games, the Argonauts could make a last gasp charge in the standings to prevent a crossover. In no way is this suggesting Wilder hasn’t been good, but his impact in 2017 hasn’t felt the same in 2018. Argos fans would love to see Wilder close the season out strong like 2017, even if it’s not for the post-season run like last year.
1. James Franklin
Now that the Toronto Argonauts season is 95% closed and there will not be a chance to repeat as Grey Cup champions, the Argonauts should take the reins off of McLeod Bethel-Thompson to see what James Franklin can do as the season winds down. Bethel-Thompson has posted some good numbers and doesn’t deserve to lose his starting job, but Franklin is still considered the quarterback of the future.

It would be nice for the Argonauts to head into the off-season with Bethel-Thompson and James Franklin ending their seasons on high notes. If they end Bethel-Thompson’s season soon, he ends feeling pretty good about his play despite it not translating into wins. Franklin could once again have a chance to show why many feel he’s the next great CFL quarterback. If he ends high, the Argos have two legit options at quarterback in 2019 and perhaps the loser of the job in camp gets dealt for an area of need. Regardless, it’s time to see what James Franklin can do again as this is likely the biggest key for the Argonauts in 2019, having a franchise quarterback to officially take over from Ricky Ray.

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10 Best Wrist Wraps 2019: Crossfit, Weightlifting, & Carpal Tunnel

Wrist wraps are an interesting product to review. There are multiple types that include powerlifting, Olympic lifting, CrossFit, or something for those that deal with or are trying to prevent carpal tunnel. Some fall in somewhere between each of those as general workout/lifting wraps. Throughout this article and review, we will cover a little of each, starting with a buying guide that will break down what you should look for in each chosen section.Top Wrist Wrap Comparison ChartPictureNameTypePriceWhere to Buy?1. Wrist Wraps by Rip Toned Crossfit$$Check Price on Amazon2. CrossFit Wrist Wraps-Strength Wraps- WOD Wear Crossfit$$$Check Price on Amazon3. Pivot Elite Rotating wrist support Crossfit$$Check Price on Amazon1. StrapWrapz by Nordic Lifting Weightlifting$$$Check Price on Amazon2. Anvil Fitness Lifting Straps Weightlifting$$Check Price on Amazon3. Cobra Grips PRO Weight Lifting Gloves Weightlifting$$$$Check Price on Amazon1. Futuro Night Wrist Sleep Support Carpal Tunnel$$$Check Price on Amazon2. Mueller Fitted Wrist Brace Green Line (Right) Carpal Tunnel$$Check Price on Amazon3. CarpalCure (Right) Carpal Tunnel$$$$Check Price on AmazonWe have combined them all into one guide as we felt that it would be the most concise way to show you the types of wraps available for different aspects of your life and workout. With that said, the buying guide will include subsections for each wrap type, so don’t hesitate to reference those sections during the reviews. The review section will also be broken up into the top wraps for each type of use, instead of one big review that covers wraps of all types. Save this page as a place to reference when you need to look up a new wrap for a new use.Wrist Wrap Buying Guide (What to Look For)CrossFit Wrist WrapsCrossFit wraps have a bit of an overlap with lifting wraps in that they are used to help support the wrist, similar to a back support. The key is to not use them too often, no more than half the time, so that you can build the strength in your wrists without letting the muscles become reliant on the extra support. The wrap itself is used more for the support and less for strength gains.For example, look at any Olympic lifter, how many are actually using wraps? For CrossFit, the same is true. You want to use them when needed, but not so much that you rely on them. With that said, look for a wrap that is going to work for your personal style. Some wraps are Velcro while others are traditional wraps that are a bit more flexible.When wrapping your wrist, proper positioning is key. Make sure that the wrap is just above or at the crease near the wrist and palm of your hand. Some of the wraps on this list will be very easy to put on as they will basically be like a glove. For those that aren’t easy, follow the manufacturer’s directions very carefully.While CrossFit wraps are very similar to lifting wraps in many ways, you will want to look for something with a bit more flexibility. This will ensure that you have the ability to move from one work out to another. If you are including pull-ups, push-ups or other non-weight lifting exercises in your daily routine, you want something that is going to work on all of those exercises and flexible support is key.Lifting Wrist WrapsThere is plenty of arguing going on about straps online when it comes to lifting. Many claim that it is a cheat and reduces the “pure” nature of the sport. In reality, there is a space between that wrist straps should be used regardless of what random individuals online may say. First, for non-competitive lifters, they are a no-brainer. The idea is that you are trying to wear out specific muscles in your weightlifting and in specific types of lifting, the hook or strap on the wrap is going to ensure the bar doesn’t go crashing down on the floor when you fatigue too much.With that said, wraps are not allowed in competition, so you shouldn’t rely on them exclusively. Use them to increase your overall strength gains, but don’t use them to the point that you can’t lift without them.There are a few types of straps that you will find, so we will cover each here just to give a solid overview of what to expect.Loop Straps This type of strap is the most common and will be the easiest to find in a material of your choice (leather and cloth are most common). They give a secure fit around the wrist, but they can be difficult to wrap around the bar one handed. In addition, the loops leave extra material hanging and can make it difficult to bail from a failed lift. You won’t see these in Olympic lifting at all.Speed or Olympic Straps This is a closed loop strap that is much easier to attach to the bar and much easier to bail from a failed lift. This is the primary reason they are used in Olympic lifting. You won’t get as secure of a grip and the tightness can’t be adjusted, but they are good if you are wanting to move towards a more professional level of lifting.Hook Straps These are becoming more popular as they don’t require any wrapping and they offer a hook that will allow a standard bar to easily rest. The big problem is that you can’t grip the bar as tight as you can with others and that can impact your technique negatively for certain lifts. In addition, the hook is made for standard bars and won’t fit specialized bars in many cases.Carpal TunnelWraps for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often very different from the wraps you have read about previously (if you read the other sections) and are made specifically for those that are going to be typing a great deal. Carpal Tunnel is a wrist injury that comes from trauma or injury to the wrist, hypothyroidism, repetitive use of vibrating hand tools, over active pituitary gland, and many others. So, while they are often looked at as something used for typing, they aren’t exclusive to that – it is just the most common use and what people associate with the syndrome most often.Unlike other wraps, the ones used for Carpal Tunnel are going to be a bit less scientific in the reviews. This is because you need to be extremely comfortable using them during your normal activities. You will find that in lifting or other workouts, you end up with a short use wrap that has a specific purpose. For CTS you are using a wrap or brace that will last throughout the day at times and it needs to feel right.There are two primary types of supports for those suffering from CTS. The first is using bandages to simply wrap the wrist. This can be a good choice as it is generally a lighter option, but it requires much more work to put on and does not offer the same type of support that you would get from a brace. That brings us to braces, which are more commonly used for more severe cases of Carpal Tunnel. These are essentially like gloves with a harder brace to keep your wrists angled correctly and help to prevent the progression of the syndrome.The choice you go with is up to you, but our advice, at least for recurring cases, is to go with a comfortable but firm brace. Using a bandage to wrap your wrist is not only difficult to put on correctly, but it often doesn’t offer the same health benefits in regards to recovery that you would get from a brace. When looking at braces keep the material in mind. You want something that is firm, but also breathable. If you are planning on wearing the brace throughout a day or work, you don’t want to build up sweat throughout the day. There is no perfect brace, but with a little research you can get a good idea for the ones that are likely going to work best for you.Wrap and Brace CareIt doesn’t matter if you get a wrap or a brace or just use bandages, keeping them in good shape is important. There isn’t a whole lot to it, but it needs to be mentioned in its own area just to ensure that your wrap lasts as long as possible. Most will not do well in the washing machine, but with a quick rinse in the sink and a little hand soap, you should get the sweat out of the wrap and letting it air dry is all that is required.As you sweat in your wrap it will be a perfect home for bacteria to grow. This will make it so that the wrap doesn’t last nearly as long as it should. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning. Barring any clear directions, do a little research on the material and ensure that you clean them properly. You are making an investment (regardless of the size) and the more use you get out of it, the better.Best Wrist Wrap ReviewsBefore getting into the actual reviews, I wanted to take a moment to explain how we rate the products and how this review will be written as it will be different than most. First, value is what we look for first – a product that is a good price (based on our research) and a good quality, will generally win over a similar product that is better but priced much higher. That isn’t going to be the case in every situation, but most of the time “bang for your buck” is our main concern.For this review, the products will be broken up into three separate sections. The first will be CrossFit Wrist Wraps, followed by Lifting Wrist Wraps (which includes Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting), and finally Wraps and Braces for Carpal Tunnel. The top three in each section will be picked, but for CrossFit and Lifting I will make a special note if they are good for both types of exercise. With that out of the way, read on to the reviews.Best CrossFit Wrist Wrap ReviewsWrist Wraps by Rip Toned The first pair on the list is a set of wrist wraps that can be used for lifting as well as CrossFit. The big points here include the fact that they will stabilize your wrists which will boost your performance in burpees, strength training, pushups, planks, and all types of lifting. They are also guaranteed, so if you don’t see an improvement, you’ll get your money right back.They are also endorsed by the 2014 World Champion Powerlifter Kevin Weiss, which you can take or leave as a positive. It may be good marketing, but the wraps themselves deserve the stamp of approval either way in our opinion. If you suffer from wrist pain, this pair will alleviate it significantly. They are extremely secure and keep your wrists in the position they need to be. They also help you prevent injury.Easy to put on and take off, they have the advantage of being beginner friendly as they will fit in one specific way – no need to read through instructions or watch videos on how to wrap, they just fit. They work for men or women; the only issue will be with people with smaller wrists. In that case, they may not be the right choice – otherwise, these are the best for CrossFit and general workouts and not a bad choice for lifting as well.ProsGreat for CrossFit and Lifting.Very secure fit.Easy to put on and take off.Works well for men or women.Stiff, but comfortable.ConsNot a good choice for people with small wrists.For some, they are entirely too stiff. CrossFit Wrist Wraps-Strength Wraps-WOD Weightlifting Wrist Wraps While the name implies these are good wraps for all workouts, including powerlifting, these are more for CrossFit and less strenuous workouts. This wrap is the style that comes as a long “ribbon” that you have to wrap around your hand and wrist to give support. While they do provide support, they fall far short of the heavy duty wraps on our list.These are also much more difficult to put on than the wraps that you just slip over your hands, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a high spot on our CrossFit section of the list. You can customize how tight they are which allows you to have more or less support based on the particular activity you are planning on focusing on. They are also extremely affordable and easy to throw in your purse or gym bag for travel. The biggest drawback is that they are seriously lacking on heavy support.ProsGreat all-purpose wrap.Extremely affordable.Traditional wrap, gives a bit more customization of support.Easy to travel with as they roll up into a small package.ConsCan be a little difficult to put on for novices.Lacks the support needed for heavier lifting.Some can smell when first opened. Pivot Elite Rotating Cross fit wrist & callus protection This unique design is patent-pending and for good reason!  It has the ability to rotate the grip around your hand and attach it to the neoprene wrist support.  The whole rotating feature makes it easy to move from “wearing” to “not wearing” the grips.  That’s a blessing when you’re cross-training and moving quickly from one training exercise to another.  It also provides callus prevention qualities, and features lots of neat ideas like enhancing grip on barbells, kettlebells and pull up bars, and it secures the grip when not needed.  The construction quality is heavy duty for ultimate longevity.Pivot Elite Rotating StrapsThere is no leather in the construction which is a mixture of Neoprene, synthetic leather, velcro and metal (pivot screw assembly).  The Pivot Elite is really and truly a multi-purpose, versatile addition to any lifter’s gym bag. ProsInnovative design.Solid palm protection.Enough Support and protection for elite level athletesConsFinger holes were too small for some usersPivot screw assembly broke in one user’s case Best Lifting Wrist Wraps ReviewsStrapWrapz by Nordic Lifting The StrapWrapz by Nordic Lifting are some of the best all-around wraps available on the market. They likely won’t fit the bill for seasoned veterans, but casual lifters, or those still newer to the sport will find everything they are looking for in these wraps. More seasoned users may still like them, but there are a few questions as to how well they grip on your hands and how well they let you move during your lift.For the most part, they are fantastic wraps that offer a great deal of support. While they say they can be used for CrossFit training, they are a bit too cumbersome and heavy to make that list. For just lifting, though, these are the best value out there and they have built in straps that are great for deadlifts.ProsGreat for most lifting.Added support for your wrists.One size fits all (most).ConsDoes not offer the best grip on hands in some cases.Can be too large or cumbersome for anything but lifting.Quality is not consistent. Anvil Fitness Lifting Straps If you read through the CrossFit section, you are going to notice a similar pattern so far. While the first lifting strap was a simple to use, yet innovative, wrap, these are more traditional wraps that require more experience to put on. With that said, they are a bit easier to figure out as a foam support pad is included in the wrap which makes it much easier to figure out where to start. Still, you will likely need to follow instructions or watch a video to put them on correctly the first time.That isn’t a negative though, the lifting hooks can wrap 2 or 3 times around the bar and they work with dumbells, barbells, kettlebells, row or pull up work and just about anything else. The main use for this wrap will be towards the end of your work out when you are losing some of your grip strength but need to push just a bit further. They are a bit large for smaller wrists, but other than that they would have been our top pick if they were a bit easier to put on for newer users.ProsIncredibly versatile.Comfort is unmatched.Very durable wraps.ConsMay be difficult to use for beginners.Not sized perfectly for smaller wrists. Cobra Grips PRO Weight Lifting Gloves There aren’t many negative things to say about the Cobra Grips outside of their price point. They are more expensive than traditional wraps, but they offer support and a solid grip. They offer new patented technology that will ensure you have a solid grip while also supporting your wrists.The Cobras are often compared to the Versa Grips, which are one of the biggest names in this category, but the price puts them off our list besides the mention here. If it weren’t for the Cobra grips, which are as good or better than the Versa Grips, being a less expensive alternative the Versa Grips would be in this spot. Still, the Cobras are great for more experienced lifters and only fall to number three on the list because of their price point. They are likely the best for pure lifting that we have put on the list, but value is our big focus on every item. For the average user, you are better off going with one of the other two listed in this section.ProsNew technology on offer that gives a solid grip and wrist support.Wider grip works well with bigger hands.Extremely comfortable wrist wraps.ConsDesigned for more experienced users.Priced for more experienced lifters. Best Carpal Tunnel Braces and Wraps Futuro Night Sleep Wrist SupportCarpal Tunnel doesn’t just cause discomfort or pain while you are typing on the computer or using your wrists for repetitive action, it can cause a constant issue throughout your day and night. The Futuro Night Wrist Sleep Support Wrap works on the left or right wrist and helps relieve the discomfort associated with the syndrome.Easy to use, lightweight and easily breathable, this is one of the best wraps to use even when not working. The only real issue we have is the locking system, which is very adjustable, is suspect when it comes to durability. It may only last you six months or so. It is priced low enough that you shouldn’t be too put out, but it is worth a mention.ProsCan be worn all night without any discomfort.Can be worn on the left or right wrist.ConsDurability is questionable.Construction may only last half a year. Mueller Fitted Wrist Brace Green Line (Right) Mueller goes green with their extremely comfortable and supportive brace. Made from eco-conscious non-petroleum based materials, this is a brace that is perfect for those that are concerned about the manufacturing of their product. This brace is sturdy and extremely comfortable for daily wear but may not hold up as well for sleep. They have plenty of sizes to choose from and most will fit any wrist, so you are sure to get a comfortable fit no matter which one you purchase.Mueller would be number one on our list if it could work on either wrist, but you won’t have to pay much more to grab a pair than the Futuro. Still, if you just need one, this review stands for the left wrist as well. There are a few complaints about uncomfortable stitching from some users, as well as Velcro that doesn’t stand up well for support, but these are likely just manufacturing anomalies. Still, keep it in mind when you are making your purchase.ProsExtremely comfortable for daily use.As sturdy as any other brace on the list.Eco-friendly materials for the eco-minded.ConsOnly works on one wrist as opposed to the Futuro’s dual wrist design.Some quality issues with the stitching and Velcro are not completely uncommon. CarpalCure (Right) CarpalCure is the only brace on our list that is clinically proven to help heal your wrist. While it is very similar to other braces, what makes this brace unique is the active technology inside. Essentially a vibration throughout your wrist will help alleviate pain while promoting healing. The material used is neoprene which, when kept at the right temperature, also promotes faster healing. All in all, this is the best brace for serious sufferers on the list.The big gripe here is the price. It has consistently been between three to five times more expensive than the others on the list. That makes it a hard sell in our eyes, but for those that suffer from serious discomfort, it is worth the investment. This is a fantastic brace and you pay a pretty penny for it, but the others on this list provide relief for a much lower price. It all comes down to your level of suffering.ProsPromotes healing.Sturdy and comfortable.Helps regulate temperature.Clinically proven to work.ConsPremium price tag.Somewhat bulky.Results vary based on other users of the device.Wrist Wraps and Lifting Straps Conclusion & Recommendations There you have it, a list of all the types of wraps and braces you may need to protect your wrists and help them heal. Obviously, the final pick (CarpalCure), is the best brace for recovery, but won’t do much for prevention. The CrossFit Wrist Wraps at number two (under the CrossFit section) and the Rip Toned at number one are the best two all-around wrist wraps available. They may not do the trick for power lifting or more advanced lifters, but for those that are headed to the gym for CrossFit and moderate lifting, the two are about even in how well they work.For those looking to do some heavy lifting on a more professional level, the StrapWrapz and Anvil Lifting Straps are going to be the place to look. They offer two takes on the traditional support needed for lifting at a higher level. If you are looking for something a bit more innovative the Cobra Grips are a great place to start. While the Cobra’s are primarily reviewed in our lifting section, their flexible design could have just as easily landed them a spot on the CrossFit section.When it comes to recovery, we already mentioned the CarpalCures but the price tag is too high for average recovery. The Mueller Fitted Green Line is a great place to look for recovery while you are at work, or doing your daily duties. For overnight support and recovery, you are likely going to be best served going with the Futuro Night Wrist Sleep Supports.The key here is to know what you need. Are you primarily working on a CrossFit regimen, or is powerlifting your goal? Are you simply looking for support while you are at work, or recovery while you sleep? Unfortunately, there isn’t a brace or wrap that covers all three of the sections we reviewed on this list, but we made sure to add affordable options in each category that will make it painless to purchase one for each need you may have. Keep an eye on the Carpal Tunnel braces though as most are made for a right or left wrist – only the Futuro works for either.The best advice is to look for a wrap or brace from a reputable retailer (online or brick and mortar) that allows exchanges and returns. If you end up with a brace or wrap you don’t need, there is no reason that you should just be stuck with it. If you find one you like, but it isn’t perfect, do not hesitate to try something different, you can always go back. Use this list as a jumping off point. You may start with one of our suggestions and follow a rabbit hole to something unique that is perfect for you. Everyone is different, so there is not a perfect choice that we can suggest – we are here to get you started and give you are opinions on the best wraps and braces out there.The post 10 Best Wrist Wraps 2019: Crossfit, Weightlifting, & Carpal Tunnel appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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The 7 Best Ice Fishing Shelters for 2019

If you love fishing and are bummed at the end of the season thinking about how long it’s going to be until you can head out on the water again, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to wait until the cold temperatures go away before you can fish again. There is a way you can go out even on the coldest days of winter: ice fishing. It’s serene, peaceful, and quiet. Just you and whoever you want to join you, a hole in the ice, your pole, and your ice fishing shelter.Maybe you’ve never thought about ice fishing before because it seems like sitting out on the ice might not be very much fun. That’s why it’s important to have the right ice fishing shelter to give you a safe, warm home away from home out on the ice.Having the right ice fishing shelter is essential to enjoying ice fishing. The right one can make or break your trip. Before you buy your ice shelter, though, there are a lot of factors to consider. In this guide, we’ll help you learn what you need to know before deciding on the ideal ice shelter for you. Then, we’ll take a closer look at the best 7 ice shelters for this winter season.Top Ice Fishing Shelters Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Eskimo Wide 1 Inferno Insulated Ice Shelter with Swivel Seat $$$Check Price on Amazon2.Eskimo Quickfish 2 Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter $$Check Price on Amazon3. Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter $$Check Price on Amazon4. Eskimo QuickFish 3i $$Check Price on Amazon5. Shappell Wide House 5500 Ice Shelter $$Check Price on Amazon6. Popsport 2/3/4/8 Person Ice Fishing Shelter $Check Price on Amazon7. Eskimo FF9416I FatFish Insulated Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter $$$Check Price on Amazon Buyer’s GuideIf you’re new to the sport of ice fishing, it’s likely you’re not sure where to begin when shopping for an ice fishing shelter. Here, we’re going to spell out the basic things you need to know and what to look for so you can be sure to find the right one for you. Immediately following this guide, you’ll see our top 7 picks to help you pick the right ice shelter for you.PortabilityOne thing you’ll always need to keep in mind is portability. You might be thinking that you just set up shop around your fishing hole and stay in one spot, but that’s not usually the case. When you’re fishing, you move to where you think the fish are. The same is true for ice fishing, although it’s not nearly as simple as walking to another part of the shore or navigating your boat to the other side of the lake.Ice shelters frequently need to be transported, so it’s important to look for one that you’re going to be able to move. If you plan to ice fish alone, make sure you can handle transporting your shelter by yourself. Like most things, it will be a little bit easier if you have help.If you choose a shelter that’s too large or heavy to transport on your own (or even with help), you’ll have to tow it. This is typically done using an ATV but can be successfully done with the right equipment in the right conditions with a car or truck.StylesThere are a few different styles of ice fishing shelter you should be familiar with: Hub-StyleHub-Style Shelters are similar to tents. They have internal framework that holds the material in the shape of the shelter. They are usually quite easy to set up and give you a generous amount of fishing space. You might have some trouble getting them up in severe weather conditions, especially when it’s windy, but they’re usually pretty solid once you put them up.While the setup isn’t particularly difficult, it does hinder (to an extent) how portable this style is. Setting it up and breaking it down once is fine, but if you have to start doing it a few times a day, it can get pretty tedious. The size and shape can also make it a little awkward to transport from spot to spot, especially in high winds. You’ll typically need to use ice anchors to give it stability and it’s not always easy to move those from place to place.You’ll find that chairs are a big deal when it comes to ice fishing shelter. Hub-Style ones do not come with seats so you will need to provide your own. Flip-StyleFlip-Style Shelters are really portable. In fact, they were specifically designed for easy setup and breakdown. Basically, a Flip-Style Shelter has a sled-like frame that can be easily moved around on the ice. It can hold all of your gear and usually has pretty comfortable seating. Once you’re in position, the shelter part flips up and over the fishing area, enclosing you inside and protecting you from the elements.A great thing about these is that they usually give you a lot of storage space. You’ll often find storage areas underneath the seat and pockets along the walls. They’re very convenient and durable and hold up well in harsh winter weather.Unsurprisingly, they’re easily the most expensive variety of ice fishing shelter, but you’ll need to take into account a few things here. One, you probably won’t need as many materials to haul it, which will save you a bit of money in the long run. And secondly, it comes with all the seating and storage you’ll need so you won’t need to worry about providing your own chair. Cabin-StyleCabin-Style Shelters are unique in that they have a built-in floor. This allows them the distinct advantage of being able to keep out some of the cold and hold in the heat. The floor has openings so you can easily drill and access your ice holes.Cabin-Style Shelters are quite similar to Hub-Style in that they set up in the same basic way as a tent. They have a frame and will require ice anchors; therefore, they have the same downsides. Cabin-Style Shelters aren’t particularly easy to move around. They don’t come with a lot of extras and you’ll definitely need to provide your own chair. SizeThere is a lot of variety when it comes to size. You can easily find an affordable, portable single man shelter. When you’re trying to find a one-man shelter for yourself, it’s important to keep your build in mind. If you’re exceptionally tall, make sure you find a shelter that offers you a little more room so you can stretch out and stand up if you want to.If you’re planning to make ice fishing something you do as a group, find an ice shelter that can fit the number of people in your core group. You can find some that are large enough to fit up to 9 people but there are plenty of 2, 3, and 4 person shelters available, too.Obviously, a 9-person ice shelter is going to be too much for most people. But you will have to carefully consider the size you buy. If you get a one-man shelter, you won’t be able to share your fishing space with friends. If you get one that’s too big, it’s going to be really tricky to maneuver during those trips when you’re on your own.SeatingWhen you’re ice fishing, you spend most of your time sitting down so it’s important that you have somewhere comfortable to do it. As we’ve mentioned, Flip-Style shelters usually have built-in seats. They’re usually quite comfortable with padded cushions and backrests plus they often have extra storage available underneath.If you choose to go with another style shelter, you’ll have to provide your own seating. This can be a camping chair or something special that you buy just for ice fishing. Or, it can be something as simple as an overturned 6-gallon bucket. It’s really up to you. Just make sure it’s comfortable.There are pros and cons to having a built-in seat in your shelter. They’re sturdy and usually pretty comfortable, plus they make it a little easier to move the shelter around. They’re attached to the frame and will move as the shelter does. That said, you’re stuck with having the chair in the same spot all the time. This could be particularly annoying if you’re with a friend and the positioning is awkward for you both to get comfortable.If you bring your own chair, though, it just adds one more thing you’ll have to carry and another thing to move; however, you do get the flexibility to move it wherever you want to which might make it easier to get into a good position close to your hole, especially if you’re sharing a shelter with another person. Some Other Things to ConsiderIf you’re new to ice fishing, you might not realize all the little things that will impact what ice shelter you should choose. Here are some tips and things to remember when you’re trying to determine which one best suits your needs:WindowsYou might be wondering why you would want windows on an ice fishing shelter if the whole point of them is to keep out the cold and the elements. Well, they make checking on weather and just seeing what’s going on around you a whole lot easier. When you choose your shelter, make sure that the windows are large and at a good height for you to see out of. They won’t do much good if they don’t provide you with an adequate view.GearWe won’t get too deep into gear in this guide but you need to have some idea of the amount of stuff you’ll be hauling along with you before you can decide how much space you’ll need.First, you’ll need a portable propane heater. There are a lot of different styles and brands to choose from but they will all need propane canisters to work. Plus, you should always have an extra just in case you run out or something goes wrong.You should bring yourself enough clean clothes to keep you warm for however long you’re going to be out and it’s always a good idea to have more than what you need in case it’s colder than you expected or if something unexpected happens. Don’t forget extra gloves and socks.You’ll have your fishing equipment: ice auger, poles, lures, etc. You’ll also need a large 5 or 6-gallon bucket to hold your catch throughout the day. Sonar is optional but comes in really handy when you’re trying to figure out where the fish are going to be biting.Consider what safety equipment you’ll want to have with you. Your life vest is a bare minimum. You might also invest in other safety equipment for ice fishing.Then, there’s the whole issue of food. This can be as simple as a lot of prepackaged, pre-made things like sandwiches, snacks, and even fruit. You might also consider taking a grill and meat and having something a little more satisfying.This is just a short list of what you might discover you want to take with you, but it gives you a good starting point to determine what you’ll need to have on hand so you can figure out how much room you’ll need and the number of storage options you’d like to see in your ice fishing shelter.HaulingYou will need a way to haul your shelter. We’ve touched on this a little bit already, but it’s worth mentioning again. Some shelters will come with built-in sled bottoms that let you easily pull it around on the ice, either by hand or using some kind of vehicle.If you’re hand pulling, make sure you have durable, strong ropes that aren’t going to hurt your hands because you’ll be using them a lot. The kind of runners the shelter has will determine how easy it is to move. Large, smooth runners are ideal for moving your shelter around.Now that you have a better idea of what to look for, let’s have a close look at our picks for the best 7 ice fishing shelters of 2017. Ice Fishing Shelter ReviewsEskimo Wide 1 Inferno Insulated Ice Shelter with Swivel SeatEskimo is a name that appears a lot on this list because they’re one of the top brands in the industry. The Wide1 is the best one-man shelter we found. This wide-bottom flip-style shelter is fully insulated with quilted fabric that’s 35% warmer than non-insolated shelters. It’s also designed to give you 32% more fishing space than comparable one-man shelters while still being portable and lightweight.The expandable front end allows for the extra room and double-walled hinges keep the structure sturdy and the cold wind out. Once expanded, there’s room for a heater and a few fishing lines. The swivel seat keeps you comfortable while you fish and the mesh storage pockets let you keep everything you need close by. There’s more storage available underneath the seat, too.For a one-man ice fishing shelter, you can’t get much better than this. It’s warm, portable, durable, and has loads of storage.Pros: A lot of storageInsulated and warmMore fishing spaceCons:Expensive Eskimo Quickfish 2 Pop-up Portable Ice ShelterAnother offering from Eskimo, the Quickfish 2 Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter is a hub design that’s designed for 2 fishermen. Set up is quick and easy and should take less than a minute once you get the hang of it. It’s a pop-up design and has self-tapping anchors that all easily fit into a carrying bag, making it extra portable.The 25 square feet of space inside which is more than enough for 2 people. There are mesh storage pockets on the walls where you can put all your necessary equipment and supplies. The windows are removable so you can control the ventilation and there’s an extra-long skirt to help keep drafts out.The fabric has a high thread count that’s 59% more than other shelters of this size. This makes the material denser and keeps out wind and water. Corner joints are reinforced so there’s less risk of wear and tear over time.Pros:Great size for 2 anglersWaterproof and blocks windEasy setupCons: Difficult to get it back into the storage bagNot insulated Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice ShelterIf you’re looking for something that can fit 3-4 people, you can’t go wrong with the Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter. The insulation consists of a layer of IceTight fabric on each side for 3 layers of protection. This provides you and your fellow fisherman with unprecedented sheltering from cold and moisture, even on harsh days.This shelter is a pop-up design that expands to give you 65 square feet of fishing area, enough room for you, a few friends, and your gear. The large windows are removable so you can control the airflow into the shelter and a long skirt helps keep out any drafts. Large mesh pockets on the walls give you plenty of places to store your gear, plus you get self-tapping anchors that are easy to set up.This design has 2 doors opposite of one another for easy entry and exit. For increased safety, reflective trim is integrated into the design so you know you’ll be seen at night. The corners are reinforced with heavy-duty material to help this shelter last for a long time.Pros:Large enough for 3-4 peopleTriple layer insulation for exceptional warmth2 doors for easy entryEasy setupCons:A little unreliable on windy daysExpensive Eskimo QuickFish 3iAnother option from Eskimo, the QuickFish3i is made with their special insulated fabric that keeps it 35% warmer than non-insulated shelters. The self-tapping anchors are easy to grip and strong enough to stay intact under a lot of pressure. Its hub design makes it easy to put up.  It’s so easy, that it can be done in under a minute.The fabric works because it’s so dense, thus keeping the cold and moisture out. It has a really high thread count which keeps the shelter watertight. There’s also a long skirt to prevent drafts and offer a little extra insulation.This shelter is designed to hold up to 3 people and has 37 square feet of room. Mesh pockets on the walls are a great way for you and your friends to keep all of the necessary supplies and gear organized. The windows open using hook and loop strips and can be easily removed if need be. It’s really portable and all fits back into the bag so it can be easily carried on someone’s back.Pros:Effectively insulatedLots of storagePortableEasy to put upCons:A little heavy Shappell WH5500 Wide House 5500 Ice ShelterWhile you may never have heard of Shappell ice fishing shelters, it’s not for lack of quality, that’s for sure!  Established back in the 1970’s, this American Company started the process of manufacturing higher end, tough tents for ice fishing conditions.  The iconic outdoor/fishing equipment company Eagle Claw has recently taken over Shappell and because of its reputation as one of America’s premier fishing tackle companies, Eagle Claw makes sure the Shappell brand is made to the highest standards.The Wide House is made for 2-3 people and features 2 big oval doors for easy entry and all anchor points are reinforced.  It features high visibility reflectors and it’s made with 600D polyester material, which is best described as not “heavy” duty, but EXTREME duty!  With 6 removable windows and shades, this is a shelter to last a lifetime, and a very good competitor for Eskimo!Pros: RoomyVery toughGreat parent brand (Eagle Claw)reasonably pricedCons: Not as “famous” as Eskimo sheltersIt’s blue (not red like Eskimo …. if you really like red!) Popsport 2/3/4/8 Person Ice Fishing ShelterThe Popsport is a really an off-brand bargain shelter, but it makes our list because of the price (less than $100!! REALLY!), because it doesn’t get any really negative reviews, AND because the features are pretty decent for the price!  The 300D Oxford Fabric is a generally tougher weave than a standard weave, and results in a longer-lasting material.  It has an actual frost resistance of -22ºF.  The 4 windows allow light in (obviously) but keep cold airflow out.  The poles are fairly heavy duty in their design.  Overall, it’s a reasonable value for $100.  And hey, many have used it for a tent in warmer weather, so a sturdy tent for this price is not a bad thing!  It’s 58 x 58 x 66 inches when opened.Pros:ComfortableLots of storageGood size for 3 fishermenBudget-pricedCons:No name brandNot a lot of history or reviews to research Eskimo FF9416I FatFish Insulated Pop-up Portable Ice ShelterIf you’re looking for some really big that can fit a lot of people, the Eskimo FF9416I FatFish Insulated Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. It covers a whopping 109 square feet and can fit 7-9 people and their gear. For the safety of the group, the shelter is marked with reflective trim for high nighttime visibility.Considering its size, this shelter sets up quickly. Its ball and socket design adds the strength it needs to make sure the long walls are supported and the self-tapping ice anchors are easy to use and durable so they’ll remain steady under pressure. Storage pockets are places around the tent so everyone has a place to put their gear.There are 10 removable windows so you can easily control the view and air circulation. 2 doors offer easy entry and exit for everyone coming and going. This large ice shelter provides 60% more fishable area than comparably sized shelters. The denier fabric has a dense thread count for a tighter weave fabric that will keep out wind and water. There’s also an extra-long skirt to eliminate any drafts.Everything comes in a convenient storage bag that can be carried on your back for easy transport once you’ve broken down the shelter. The bag tends to break pretty quickly, though, so expect to come up with an alternative way to carry this. It’s also a little on the expensive side, but that’s to be expected with a shelter this large.Pros: Fits a lot of people and their gearAdequate storageHigh nighttime visibilityCons: ExpensiveStorage/transport bag breaks easily Final Thoughts & Conclusion The Eskimo Wide 1 Inferno Insulated Ice Shelter with Swivel Seat is one of the best one-man shelters out there from one of the best companies in the business. This flip-style shelter is fully insulated and has more space than most other one-man shelters thanks to the expandable front end. Plus, it comes with a comfortable swivel seat that provides a nice amount of storage space.If you’re looking for a great 2 man shelter, try the Eskimo Quickfish 2 Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter. This hub-style shelter is easy to set up and gives you 25 square feet of space, enough for 2 people and their gear. Mesh storage pockets provide storage while the dense fabric and long skirt are waterproof and keep out the cold.The Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter is a little bigger still and has room enough for 3-4 people. The IceTight fabric provides astounding warmth even on harsh winter days. The pop-up design provides a whopping 65 square feet, plenty of room for a few friends and their gear. With 2 doors, reflective trim for safety, and plenty of storage, this is one of the best ice fishing shelters in its size.The Eskimo QuickFish 3i is designed for up to 3 people and is made of Eskimo’s dense, quilted insulating fabric for superior protection from the elements. Set up is quick and easy and it provides enough storage space for you and 2 of your buddies. It as protection against drafts and removable windows to control the temperature and view.Another 2 person option is the Clam Outdoors 9714 Nanook 2-Person Ice Fishing Shelter with Padded Seats. Clam Outdoors has been in the outdoors business for more than 3 decades so you know this is a brand that makes high-quality products. This shelter is easy to set up and to transport. The 2 padded seats are comfortable, adjustable, and removable if you’re using this as a one-person shelter and want more space.The Frabill Citadel 3255 Insulated Flip-Over Side Door with Boat Seats is large enough for 3 people. The sled base makes moving this shelter pretty easy and the Combo-Case Bench seating provides a sturdy, comfortable place to sit plus gives you additional storage under the bench in the form of a molded storage case.Need something for a lot of people? Try the Eskimo FF9416I FatFish Insulated Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter. It can hold 7-9 fishermen and their gear. It sets up quickly and has superior support with the ball and socket design. There are plenty of storage options for everyone who will be using this shelter. Compared to others that can hold this many people, you get 60% more fishable area which is sure to give everyone a chance to make their big catch.As you can see, you have a lot of options when it comes to ice fishing shelters. Whatever one you choose, make sure you keep our buyer’s guide in mind so you know you’re making a well-informed decision. Check out our list of the 7 best ice fishing shelters and decide which one is the right one for you. We covered a variety of different kinds of shelter in sizes that can fit anywhere from 1 to 9 people. The post The 7 Best Ice Fishing Shelters for 2019 appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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10 Best Volleyballs : Indoor, Outdoor, & Beach

The most basic element in all sports is the instrument that is used to play the game with.  With most sports, it is the ball.  The ball is crucial and is truly the only thing you need to play with.  It may make things harder, but you can play the game with just the ball if needed.  Volleyball is the same way.  The type of volleyball you need is crucial when you go to purchase one.  There are so many out there on the market that it gets difficult to select one simply because your senses get overloaded.  However, this buying guide will help you determine the things you need for your specific purposes.  And then we’ll look at and review the top ten volleyballs of this year.Top Volleyball Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Wilson Official AVP Outdoor Game Volleyball$$$Check Price on Amazon2. Tachikara Softec Zigzag Volleyball $Check Price on Amazon3. Wilson Graffiti Volleyball $$Check Price on Amazon4. Tachikara Institutional Quality Volleyball $$Check Price on Amazon5. Tachikara SV5WSC High Performance Volleyball $$$Check Price on Amazon6. Under Armour UA Manhattan Volleyball $$Check Price on Amazon7. Tachikara SV5W Gold Premium Leather Volleyball $$$$Check Price on Amazon8. Wilson Soft Play Outdoor Volleyball $Check Price on Amazon9. Tachikara Full Grain Leather Volleyball $$$Check Price on Amazon10. Mikasa MV200 Indoor/Outdoor Olympic Volleyball $$$$Check Price on AmazonVolleyball Buying GuideMaterials: Leather or SyntheticFor many sports today, this is the debate that goes on.  Leather is much more traditional as its naturally abundant, and as a result, it has been around longer.  With our increased technology, we’ve been able to make things ourselves, and that is where synthetics come from.  Here is a quick look at the differences between the two.LeatherLeather is still the at the top of the list for volleyball.  If you want something that is high-quality, this is where you look.  This is opposite to where most sports are going nowadays.  It is important to note right away that there are different “grades” of leather.  This is similar to how produce is graded.  Some leathers are better than others, so those will naturally cost more as they are more costly to produce.  The higher the price, the softer the ball feels and plays.  This means that you don’t hurt as bad when you hit the ball.  As the price comes down, the ball does get harder and harder, and it makes it difficult for you to not hurt a little when you’re playing.  Leather is typically used for games only, or used during very serious or important practice sessions.  As abundant as leather is, it’s still not as abundant as the sheer quantities of synthetics available, and as such, it’s more expensive than synthetic.  It’s interesting to note that in spite of the history of “low tech” leather, it’s still the standard that synthetic producers are trying to simulate!SyntheticsSynthetics are great for those that need something to last for a very long time.  Synthetic volleyballs are designed to withstand tremendous wear and tear that leather simply can’t handle.  Synthetics are much more about feel and personal preference than leather balls as each is different from the next.  The term synthetic is really quite a wide-ranging term, so you never know exactly what materials have gone into it.  The combinations can make each one wildly different from the next, so that plays a massive role in how your ball will play and feel.  As the price goes down, just like with the leather balls, the synthetic ball will lose its playability and comfort.  It is very interesting to point out that the AVP, a beach volleyball league that is very famous across the world, uses a synthetic ball instead of a leather ball.  This bucks the trend of most leagues around the world.  Because synthetics are man-made fibers, they are almost always cheaper to buy than leather because companies can produce as much as they like of the material.The feel of the ball is also very important.  The type of player that you are can help make your decision.  If you’re a player that plays in the back row, and you are good at setting, you will likely want a softer ball because you prefer touch.  If you are a front row player that will be looking to spike the ball, you’ll want a harder ball to help you hit the ball even harder.  It really just depends on what you are looking for.Indoor or Outdoor and Other TypesIndoor and outdoor volleyballs are different, and they need to be classified as such.  You wouldn’t want to wear the same clothes inside and outside when it is a cool day, so you would most likely never want to use an indoor volleyball outside or vice versa.  The major difference that you can see between the two is that indoor volleyballs are molded together; outdoor volleyballs are stitched together.  This helps each ball to be as durable as they possibly can be.   IndoorIndoor volleyballs, as stated above, are molded together.  This makes the seams of the ball look smooth and even feel smooth because the panels are glued to the inner parts of the balls- the guts if you will.  This makes indoor volleyballs more playable because they feel better, move much more predictably every time, and they are smoother.  Indoor volleyballs weigh less than their outdoor counterparts as well (more on that below).  Almost all indoor balls are white since there aren’t typically any issues with other visibility inside a gym.OutdoorOutdoor volleyballs are easy to spot because you can see that the seams are stitched together.  This type of stitching makes the ball much more durable and capable of being played on multiple surface types.  Because let’s face it, a lot of different surfaces are outside.  Not everyone will be playing on grass!  The outdoor volleyball weighs more than an indoor one, and it does so in order to not be as affected by the wind.  With the added weight, the theory is that it won’t move off line as much as a regulation indoor volleyball would.  Outdoor volleyballs are also water resistant to help you in case you accidentally leave the ball outside or even if you just want to play through the rain.  They also have a much lower air pressure than that of indoor volleyballs.  Just keep in mind that the surface of outdoor volleyballs is generally much more abrasive than that of indoor volleyballs.  You will feel it a lot more when you hit the ball than you would with an indoor one.  The last difference that we’ll point out is that outdoor volleyballs also have a larger circumference, by about two inches usually, than indoor volleyballs.KidsKids volleyballs are slightly different than regulation because they are sized smaller to help kids be able to hit them.  If a really young and weaker child were to play with a bigger ball, they’d likely develop poor form, so a kids volleyball is a great way to help teach them proper form as they build themselves up over time.BeachBeach volleyballs can fall under the same category as outdoor volleyballs, but generally, the beach volleyball will have a distinct color to it to help it stand out from the normal solid white ball that you typically will see.TrainingTraining volleyballs are used mostly indoors but are designed to help players gain more strength.  These balls are roughly the same except they weigh about four ounces more than a regulation volleyball does to allow the player to learn to be more powerful with her or his play.  This is great for teaching someone how to properly set the ball with the right amount of force and touch.So, as you can see there are differences between the various types of volleyballs out on the market.  If you select the wrong ball, you can see a drastic difference in how they feel, how they play, and how long they last.  So, don’t assume that they are all the same!  A beach volleyball won’t last near as long when be playing on concrete.  And a kids volleyball will get hit way too hard by an adult!  These are just some of the possible outcomes of not choosing correctly.Volleyball Brands and Official League BallsBranding goes a long way in the sports world today, and it is no different in terms of the sport of volleyball.  Many people like to stick to a certain brand, so if you are one of those people here is a quick list of the brands that are big sellers and have an official association with a league.Wilson- official sponsor and ball of the AVP beach professional volleyball tourTachikara- official ball used by the NAIA college championshipMikasa- official ball of the FIVB, which is the world’s governing body for volleyballBaden- official ball of the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association groupMolten- official ball of the NCAA Championships and Team USAThere are many more companies that make good, quality volleyballs, but these are the most popular and the ones that have gotten themselves into the forefront of people’s minds with their sponsorships and endorsements.NFHS Endorsed VolleyballsNFHS is the board that decides what kind of equipment is allowed in high school sports throughout the United States.  If you are in this category as a coach, player, or a parent, then you need to know what balls are approved.  Here is the list:TachikaraMoltenMikasaMartinNikeWilsonBadenChamproTaking Care of Your BallThe durability of any ball is affected not only by the materials used and the surfaces played on but also by the way you take care of the ball.  While it is true than synthetics, in general, will last longer than leather because of their man-made properties, you can still help your ball last longer by doing a few thing to ensure that you take care of it.  No matter the type of ball that you buy, you can use these tips to help prolong the life of it.Never leave the volleyball outside as air pressures will fluctuate drastically as the weather changes from hot to cold and back again.Volleyballs should be stored in an area that is dry and at room temperature when you are not using them.  The constant air pressure and temperature will help it retain its shape.If it needs to be washed because it has picked up some dirt or dust, you can use warm water and soap to wash it.  Just make sure to dry it and leave it somewhere that is at room temperature.If you find your ball to be a little too hard initially, you can either let some air gently with a needle or you can apply a conditioner to it to help do so.  Keep in mind that the conditioner works far better on leather than on synthetics.Always make sure to moisten your needle as you go inflate or deflate your ball.  We have seen countless numbers of people jam needles in only to see them break off because they were not dampened in the slightest.  This can ruin a volleyball that is worth quite a bit of money!Remember that over time, your volleyball will lose a little bit of air, so you may need to inflate it occasionally to keep it at the right air pressure.Best Volleyball Reviews Wilson Official AVP Outdoor Game Volleyball coming in at a very reasonable price is the exact ball used by the beach tour professionals in the AVP.  This ball has the classic white look but also has yellow on it to make it easily visible for both players and fans alike.  This is classified as a synthetic ball, but it is very high quality and will not cause you to hurt from hitting it repeatedly.  Because of its makeup, it ages very well and can last a while compared to other game volleyballs.  Keep in mind, however, that is it a game volleyball and that means it will not last quite as long as something geared toward training!ProsThe official ball of the AVPSynthetics make sure it ages well yet offers nice protectionGreat price for high qualityConsIt will not hold up forever in intense sessionsWill sometimes be shipped deflated, which is a bit of a hassleTachikara Softec Zigzag Volleyball this offering from Tachikara comes in five different colors, each with the same eye-catching design pattern.  This is a regulation-sized indoor volleyball that comes at a very reasonable price, and it is meant for recreational volleyball.  So, this would be great for PE classes or recreation departments to purchase to have for kids to play with.  This is another synthetic offering, thus the lower price, but people absolutely love how soft the feel is for them compared to other volleyballs that they had purchased.  It is a regulation-sized ball, so it would not be great for people looking for something specific like that.ProsDifferent styles to mix and matchGreat for recreation or PEGreat priceConsNot meant for league playUse of foam can cause issuesWilson Graffiti Volleyball another reasonably priced ball comes from Wilson at #3 with this very eye-catching ball that will grab everyone’s attention quickly and easily.  Once again, it is a synthetic ball made to meet the specifications to be considered a regulation volleyball.  It appears to be geared more toward outside use, but it’s hard to tell due to its makeup.  It’s obviously modeled toward those that are in their early to mid-teens, but it can still be just fine to be used for adults as well.  It’s definitely a great one to take to the beach!ProsGreat for the beachGreat for pre-teens and teensGood priceConsNot meant for indoor useNot very friendly to men because of its designTachikara Institutional Quality Volleyball the name make it sounds like its fit for use at a mental asylum, but don’t be fooled as this is a good quality synthetic volleyball that also comes at a reasonable price.  It comes in four different color choices, including the classic white or white paired with another color.  This is so you can match you team’s colors for practices.  This would be a good volleyball for indoor practices as the synthetics would help it last longer and retain its shape as session after session passes by.ProsGreat practice ballReasonable priceNice colors to choose fromConsShips deflatedNot the most forgiving on the arms and handsTachikara SV5WSC High-Performance Volleyball This Tachikara is a high-quality synthetic, indoor volleyball that is in the moderate price range- very comparable to the Wilson AVP ball.  It has three different colors on the ball, which will help it stand out, and it is stitched together.  It is regulation size, so if you need anything special, this one would not be the way to go.  Because of the price, it’d be a pretty choice if you wanted to use it in games, but it will naturally be a little bit harder than pure leather would.ProsNice colors on the ballGreat for indoorsGives players great controlConsCan be hard to some, especially against stronger playersNot intended for outdoor/beach useUnder Armour UA Manhattan Volleyball Under Armour is now attempting to take over the volleyball market, and its Manhattan offers a ball that has a textured cover to help give you additional grip.  This is a synthetic volleyball that has been reinforced by cloth and has stitched seams.  It is definitely intended for beach play as that textured cover should help clear away any issues with that. It’s also at a moderate price, so it’s worth a look if you want something that looks a little different but still plays great.ProsGood priceTextured gripGood for the beachConsNot for indoor useSometimes has issues holding airTachikara SV5W Gold Premium Leather Volleyball finally a leather ball makes the list at #7 with a top-of-the-line in quality ball from Tachikara.  This ball is 100% leather, and because of that comes at the higher end on the price range.  It is meant for regulation indoor use, and it is geared toward the best players and competitions in the world.  It also comes in four different colors, so you don’t have to worry about only having the traditional white to choose from.ProsWon’t hurt you near as badGreat for indoor useBest for very good playersConsHigh priceShips deflated againWilson Soft Play Outdoor Volleyball too bad they didn’t have this kind of volleyball when we were growing up!  The Wilson Soft Play is a very inexpensive outdoor volleyball that is also very soft, so you don’t have to worry about getting hurt with it.  It is synthetic backed with sponge, so don’t expect it to last forever, especially if left in the elements.  It comes in five different distinct colors, so any child would love to have one of these to mess around with in the backyard.ProsVery inexpensiveFive different colorsVery soft for outdoorsConsWill not last very long, especially if it remains in the elementsNot the greatest choice for adults or anyone not playing recreationallyTachikara Full Grain Leather Volleyball this is only our second leather volleyball to make the list, but it comes at a more moderate price than the other Tachikara.  In addition to that, it is also available in more colors to help you match your team’s colors.  It is regulation size and weight and should be great for indoor use for practices and possibly some games.ProsLower price than most leathersMany colorsGreat for practiceConsHigh price compared to most volleyballs on the listNot quite the same feel as higher-end leatherMikasa MV200 Indoor/Outdoor Olympic Volleyball this is for those that want to play with FIVB-approved replica ball so they can be similar to the pros!  The ball is yellow and blue and has interesting stitching on it to hold it in place.  You simply won’t find many balls stitched together the way this one has been.  It is at a very reasonable price, and it does its job well without doing too much more.ProsVery reasonable priceGood for kidsColor helps make it stand outConsNot good for adultsOnly good for outdoor use, unlike what they tell usOkay, This is NOT Educational – But it is Hilarious!  Indulge Me! The post 10 Best Volleyballs : Indoor, Outdoor, & Beach appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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10 Best Hockey Sticks 2019: Adult & Youth

There is a reason some of the best hockey skaters started playing the game when they were just barely out of diapers. That is because hockey has so many different skills you have to master in order to become good at it. Even the best players though will not be able to perform at their peak ability if they are not supported by the right equipment and part of that is selecting the right hockey stick to compliment your game. That is why we have taken the time to come up with this hockey stick buying guide and supplement it with some reviews on the best hockey sticks available.Why is it important to have a good hockey stick that is the right size for you? The answer to that is because so many parts of the game involve using your hockey stick. Shooting, passing, defending and blocking all involve your ability to use your hockey. That is why it is so important not to just buy any old hockey stick but to buy one that fits you right so it will help elevate your play.Top Hockey Stick Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Bauer Nexus 1N Senior Grip Hockey Stick $$Check Price on Amazon2. Bauer LFT P92 35-Flex Prodigy Youth 46″ Composite Stick $$Check Price on Amazon3. Easton Stealth Cx 100 Hockey Stick $$$$Check Price on Amazon4. Fischer Hockey FX8 Grip Composite Stick $$$Check Price on Amazon5. Bauer Supreme 160 Griptac Composite Intermediate Hockey Stick $$Check Price on Amazon6. Fischer Hockey Senior SX5 Grip Composite Stick, 110 Flex, 61-Inch, White with Red, Right, P5 $$$Check Price on Amazon7. Warrior Swagger Goalie Stick 26 $$$Check Price on Amazon8. Mylec Senior Total Hockey Stick $$Check Price on Amazon9. Sher-Wood T120 Grip Hockey Stick [SENIOR] $$Check Price on Amazon10. Sher-Wood 5000 Youth Wood Hockey Stick $$Check Price on AmazonHockey Stick Buying GuideHockey sticks may just look like a chunk of wood or composite material but there is actually a lot that goes into the making of them. It is a lot like a baseball bat in comparison; they don’t look like much but the details in there construction can make a big difference in how well you play your sport.With that being said, there are definitely some key components to hockey sticks that you will need to take a closer look at before you decide which stick you will buy. All of the items on the following list will come together when selected properly to make the perfect hockey stick to help you play the game at a high level.Here are the key characteristics of hockey sticks to take a look at before making a final purchase:PricePrice is always a big factor when shopping for a product and it is not something you want to take lightly. These days a hockey stick can cost you hundreds of dollars so it would certainly not be wise to get stuck with one that does not work right for you. You also don’t want to make the mistake of thinking that the most expensive hockey stick is the best one for you or your youth hockey player because that is not always the case. Also, just like with any other type of product, there are some great deals out in the marketplace on hockey sticks; you can find some sticks that have all the features of the best ones made a much lower price.Price is also a factor because you most likely will be working on a budget too for you or your youth player’s hockey equipment. So figure out how much you are willing to spend on a jockey stick and stay in that budget range when shopping so you will be happy with your purchase. Extending yourself financially often makes shopping for hockey sticks more stressful than it has to be because good hockey sticks come in a wide variety of price ranges.Price can also be used as a determining factor to help you decide between two different hockey sticks that you like. If you are comparing apples with apples there is no good reason not to purchase the lower priced hockey stick.MaterialThere are several different materials that hockey sticks are made out of these days. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the three main types of hockey stick materials.WoodThis is what all hockey sticks were once made of and many players today still use wooden hockey sticks. One thing that keeps them popular is their affordable price tag compared to metal and composite hockey sticks; they are significantly cheaper to say the least. The big drawback with them is that they break much more easily than any other type of hockey sticks.MetalThis was the second big phase of hockey stick production that at one time captured a large percentage of the hockey stick market. The market for these types of hockey sticks has steadily declined with the introduction of composite-based hockey sticks into the marketplace. These sticks still used a wooden blade inserted into the base of them. They are virtually unbreakable but they are a very stiff stick and it can be difficult to change the wooden blade insert on them.CompositeThis is the major player in the hockey stick marketplace these days. These sticks are made from strong but flexible carbon fibers. They are virtually indestructible which means most youth players will never have to buy more than one in a season; which is a good thing because they are by far the most expensive type of hockey stick to purchase.LengthThe length of you or your youth player’s hockey stick is of critical importance too. A hockey stick that is too short or too long will make it very difficult to do such things as pass, shoot and stick handle well. The right length stick makes all of these important hockey traits smoother and easier to do.How do you know what is the right length hockey stick for you? Well, you can consult the fancy charts that most all of the hockey stick manufacturers put out these days or you can do it the old-fashioned yet very effective way. That is done by putting on your hockey skates and standing up with your back straight. The proper length hockey stick for you should come to just below your chin when it is straight up and down with the tip of the blade touching the ice. This is a reliable and time-tested way to find the right size hockey stick for yourself.Remember, you can always cut down a hockey stick that is too long but you can’t add on to one. So err on the side of caution and get one that may be too long as opposed to buying one that is definitely too short.LieThis is one of the most important but often most overlooked aspects in a hockey stick. It would be a big mistake to not consider it when purchasing a hockey stick for yourself or your youth player. Ignoring it means you might end up playing with a hockey stick that actually takes away from your ability to play the game at a high level.What is the lie in a hockey stick? In layman’s terms, it’s the amount of the bottom of a hockey stick blade that comes into contact with the ice at one time. Hockey sticks come in different lies because a person’s arm length, leg length, torso height and skate height all affect the angle that a hockey stick blade contacts the ice.Lie is expressed as a number value and printed on each individual hockey stick. To find out what lie hockey stick you would use you need to take your skates to your local hockey supply shop with the skate guards on them. When you get to the hockey stick section put on you or your child’s skates. Try different lie sticks until you find a lie number that puts the highest percentage of your hockey sticks blade bottom into contact with the ground when you are in a slightly bent over hockey position.Once you determine you or your child’s proper lie number make sure you remember it because it’s very important.CurveYou will find very few hockey players that do not have a curve on their stick these days. A curve is good to help you cradle the puck a little as you stick handle and to help lift the angle of your shot a little quicker. There are all different types of curves on hockey sticks these days so you may have to try several sticks to find the type of curve that suits you best. The cheapest way to do this is to borrow some of your friend’s hockey sticks with different curves to use during practice.There is no set rule on how much curve you should or should not have on the hockey stick you use. It basically is one of those things that totally comes down to personal preference and how well you are playing the game with the current curvature of the stick you use. Don’t be afraid to experiment once in a while to try and improve your game either.Keep in mind that if you are a player that likes to use a backhand shot a lot of the time, you really have to pay attention to the amount of curve you have on your stick. The general rule is that the more curve you have on your hockey stick the harder a backhand shot will be to get off.FlexFlex is another very important hockey stick characteristic. It is the amount of bend you get in your hockey stick when you shoot the puck. Telling someone what type of flex they should use in their hockey stick is the same as telling someone what type of music they should listen to; it is totally a personal preference and up to you.Big strong hockey players generally do not need any flex in their hockey stick to get power behind their shot. Smaller and less strong hockey players often prefer the extra speed on their shot that the whip action of a more flexible hockey stick gives them. It is generally a good idea for youth players to use a more flexible stick to start with. Once again you should try a variety of different stick flexibilities to see which one suits you best.DesignLet’s face it; most of us take great pride in looking good as we play a sport. Truth be told there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Sometimes if you feel you look good when playing a sport it will even give you a little extra jump in your step as you play. That is why you should not be afraid to purchase a hockey stick that has some style to it.These days’ manufacturers know that sometimes the cool looks of a hockey stick can actually increase sales of it too. So many manufacturers put some extra effort into making their hockey sticks stylish and appealing. That means that anyone should be able to find a stick that not only helps them play the game of hockey better but also makes them look good as they are doing it, but don’t make this the main priority when shopping for you or your youth player’s hockey stick. Best Hockey Stick ReviewsHere are some of the better hockey sticks that you will find in the sports marketplace these days:Bauer Nexus 1N Senior Grip Hockey StickPros:Great price point for a composite stickLight and flexibleEasy to grip with your hockey gloves onCons:Generic looking hockey stickToo flexible for some shooters tastePossible durability issues with a 2 piece stickThis is a really nice composite hockey stick that Bauer has designed here. They are a big name in hockey products and sticks made as well as these are part of the reason why. It is an excellent stick for any teen or adult hockey player to use.For those players that like a flexible stick this is a great choice for them. The composite material it is made of also makes this a very lightweight and easy to handle stick. The special enhanced grip design helps to make things such as shooting and stick handling that much easier. We felt this stick definitely gives whoever is using a lot of control and precise movement when they are trying to do things with a hockey puck.The blades for this style hockey stick come in several different curves and there is a very noticeable sweet spot when shooting slap shots with it. It is a stick that anyone will feel very comfortable with when using it. Bauer Prodigy Youth 46″ Hockey StickPros:Great price point for a composite stickLight and flexible youth hockey stickBuilt in ‘Butt-end’ protector and gripCons:Basic design patternToo flexible for some shooters tastePossible durability with any 2 piece stickThis is another great hockey stick produced by Bauer. This is one is designed especially for the beginning player and it offers them a lot of advantages to help acclimate them to the game of hockey. You can never go wrong purchasing this model stick for your beginning youth hockey player.It is a very lightweight composite model hockey stick. It even has a grip design built right into the surface of the stick itself. This will help any beginner player not drop their stick or lose control of it on a regular basis. It even has a custom ‘Butt-end’ built into the stick to keep your youth players top hand from constantly slipping off it.The blade on this stick is well-designed too. It has just enough flex to boost your beginner players shot a little and help them catch passes from other teammates easier. Easton Stealth Cx 100 Unisex Hockey StickPros:Reinforced stiff bladeLight and flexible senior hockey stickOne piece composite constructionCons:High price pointToo flexible for some shooters tasteBasic looking designThis is a very exceptional; hockey stick that Easton has designed here to say the least. The only reason that it is not higher on our list is that of its high price point. With that being said, after testing it we feel this stick is worth every penny that you pay for it … if it’s within the budget!   It is a great stick that will enhance any adult or teen players overall game.The best thing about this stick is its durable one-piece design. It is strong yet flexible to help you shoot and pass the puck well. With its reinforced design it is also not overly flexible like a lot of composite hockey sticks tend to be. The shaft also tapers nicely to shed weight and improve stick control.This stick’s blade is also exceptionally well-designed. It even has reinforcement built into the toe of the blade so you will still get power behind any shots that are not perfectly centered on the blade. Fischer Hockey FX8 Grip Composite Stick Pros:Pro pattern bladeLight and flexible senior hockey stickAircraft grade composite constructionCons:High price pointToo flexible for some shooters tasteShaft does not taperFischer is not one of the biggest names among hockey stick manufacturers but this hybrid composite stick is definitely no slouch. It is a really good looking hockey stick with some very advanced design features. It should enhance the game of any teen or senior league hockey player.This stick has a unique shaft technology built into it. There is a thin layer of foil wrapped around the stick that is designed to minimize vibration from such things as hitting the ice when you shoot or when opponents slash your stick. The fiberglass added to the shaft should make this one very durable hockey stick.The blade on this hockey stick also has a nice feel to it when we shot pucks with it. It feels fairly stiff no matter where we had the puck on the blade. That means you don’t always have to have the puck on the sweet spot of the stick to get a hard shot off. Bauer Supreme 160 Griptac Composite Intermediate Hockey StickPros:Excellent price pointLight and flexible junior hockey stickdurable composite constructionCons:Possible durability with any 2 piece stickToo flexible for some shooters tasteGrip on the shaft is almost too goodBauer makes our list again with a fine hockey stick that any junior player would love to have. It is a reasonably priced composite stick that has several nice features built into it. It is also one of the more stylish looking hockey sticks that we took a look at when compiling this review list.The stick itself is an ideal weight for any junior or intermediate player to be able to handle it easy during a game. This stick is made using some of the lightest composite material of any of those we tested. It is a big bonus for a player to be able to have a lot of control over their stick when first learning the game of hockey or moving up in rank with age and experience.The blade on this hockey stick is exceptionally well designed. You get a very good feeling for the puck when you use this stick. It is though it has a little softer composite material added into the blade material. Fischer Hockey Senior SX5 Grip Composite Stick Pros:Pro pattern bladeLight and flexible senior hockey stickAircraft grade composite constructionCons:High price pointToo flexible for some shooters tasteGeneric designHere is another really high-quality hockey stick made by Fischer. Once again they have taken hockey stick design to an all new level. There is an incredible amount of advanced features built right into this hockey stick. This stick will enhance the game of any teen or adult player that uses it.This hockey stick is built using aircraft grade carbon fiber material. It makes this an incredibly lightweight hockey stick. The shaft has a medium flex to it and a surface that holds your glove in place as you are playing the game. Like most Fischer sticks it also has the anti-vibration technology built into its shaft.Even the blade on this hockey stick is loaded with special design features. The power you get when shooting a hockey puck seems to be more powerful than normal when using this stick. It also has just the right amount of flexibility built into it. Warrior Swagger Goalie Stick 26 Pros:Available in 3 stylish patternsLightweight goalie stickAircraft grade composite constructionCons:High price pointToo stiff for some goalies to useSlightly slippery shaftThere is nothing that says a goalie cannot have an advanced style hockey stick to use when playing the game. This good-looking goalie stick from warrior fits that bill nicely. They have made a strong but lightweight goalie stick that comes in one of three different color styles.This is one tough goalie stick too. That is exactly what you need when you are standing between the pipes defending your net. With its advanced carbon fiber construction, this stick can take a beating and still be good to go for your next game. That is the type of confidence you need when you invest a little more money in a high-end composite goalie stick.Since this stick is so lightweight and durable there are a lot of things that a goalie can do with it well. These include coming out of the net to play the puck and when poke checking one of the opposing team’s players. Mylec Senior Total Hockey Stick Pros:Excellent price pointVery versatile hockey stickWood/composite constructionCons:Possible durability issues with any 2 piece stickExcessive blade curvatureBetter on floors than when used on iceThis is by far one of the most versatile hockey stick products on our review list. Mylec is one of the biggest names in the street and roller hockey business and this is one of their stick models that have crossed over so it can be used on ice too. That makes this a great stick that can be used on the street and as a low-cost practice stick for hockey.The shaft design on this stick is made of all wood. There is not a lot of flex with it because of the fact it is made using wood in its construction. There is a layer of fiberglass reinforcement wrapped around the wood to improve this hockey sticks durability too.The blade construction is definitely the highlight feature of this stick. It is made using a heavy duty ABS plastic that gives this blade superior strength over hockey sticks that use all wood in their construction. Sher-Wood T120 Grip Composite Stick [SENIOR]Pros:Excellent price pointFiberglass reinforced shaftAll wood constructionCons:Big durability concernsA little to the heavy sideNot enough flex for someMost higher-end sticks would be able to claim this to some extent, but truly, the T120 is all about strength and power. Its flexing profile offers more give in the middle of the shaft allowing for more energy and more velocity to be transferred into your shots.  It is incredibly lightweight and perfectly balanced.  The T120 weighs only 395 grams and is one of the lightest and most responsive sticks on the market. This stick features Sher-Wood’s EKORE Technology which is a highly sophisticated manufacturing process where the stick is entirely handcrafted. Also featuring their new VRF.2 Technology foam blade which prevents premature disintegration, this results in increased durability, more powerful shots and a greater, more tangible feel of the puck.The Stick weighs 395g and is 60″ long. Sher-Wood 5000 Youth Wood Hockey Stick Pros:Excellent price point (the price of 2 Big Macs!!!!)Fiberglass reinforced shaftAll wood constructionCons:Big durability concernsA little to the heavy side for some youth playersNot enough flex for someThis is Sherwood’s fine youth version of the hockey stick that was just reviewed in number nine. It is designed as an affordable entry-level option into the game of hockey for younger and smaller players. Why spend a small fortune on a hockey stick before you know for sure if your youth player will take to the game of hockey.Wooden sticks tend to be heavier than composite sticks but they do have their advantages too. For one this stick has just the right amount of give to it in its fiberglass reinforced shaft. The fiberglass reinforcement also enhances the grip your youth player will get when using this model.The blade design is also excellent for any player that is just beginning in the sport of hockey. It is reinforced to help a younger player get some power behind their shot and it does not have much of a curve so a youth player can easily handle a puck when using either side of the blade.Conclusion & Recommendations Sportconsumer’s Pick for Quality, Value and Customer SatisfactionWe looked at a lot of hockey sticks in coming up with this review list of the best ones. They are all very high-quality sticks but a few of them stood out with us when we were doing our testing. As far as youth hockey sticks go we really like the design of the JR Supreme S 160 Griptac Ice; we just felt the way this stick was built it gives any youth hockey player the edge they need. As far as senior sticks go there was none that could touch the quality of the Easton Stealth CX; even at its high price point we could not see why any teen or adult hockey player would choose another model stick aside from issues of budget or availability.The truth is you can never go wrong with purchasing any hockey stick on our review list. They all possess several fantastic qualities that make them the best hockey sticks in the marketplace. If you don’t like any of the sticks on our list then make sure you consider the information we put in our hockey stick buying guide. There is some useful data in there that will help you find a hockey stick that you or your youth player will love using when playing the game of hockey.The post 10 Best Hockey Sticks 2019: Adult & Youth appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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10 Best Adult & Youth Softball Gloves 2019

Have you ever had one of those days where you felt unprepared? Whether it was at work, school, athletics, or even a random art class, it’s likely that you felt absolutely useless. That feeling could arise again for softball players if they do not pick the best glove for them. If you don’t come to the softball diamond prepared with the proper glove, you won’t be able to contribute to your team and become useless in concept. The best softball gloves will have a mix of comfort, quality, and high levels of protection.Top Softball Glove Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Easton Natural Elite Softball Glove $Check Price on Amazon2. Franklin Sports Fastpitch Pro Series Softball Glove $Check Price on Amazon3. Louisville Slugger Diva Softball Glove $$Check Price on Amazon4. Easton Synergy Elite Fastpitch Glove (Women’s) $$$$Check Price on Amazon5. Wilson A500 Siren Series Softball Glove $$$Check Price on Amazon6. Easton Salvo Softball Glove $$$Check Price on Amazon7. Louisville Slugger Dynasty Softball Glove $$Check Price on Amazon8. Worth Women’s Storm Softball Glove $$Check Price on Amazon9. Rawlings Basket Web Softball Glove $$Check Price on Amazon10. Mizuno Pinch Prospect Softball Glove $$$Check Price on AmazonSoftball Glove Buying GuideLooking for a softball glove is very similar to looking for a baseball glove. First off, you need to make sure the glove you are looking at is tailored for your position. This process is pretty straightforward. If you play mostly infield, then you are better off purchasing an infielder’s softball glove. Same thing with the outfield; you play mostly outfield? Go get an outfielder’s glove. Next is the quality of the glove. If you’re looking for the best softball gloves, you are going to need something durable, which means the glove is made with great quality. By choosing a glove made with great quality, you will be assuring yourself that you will have your glove for a long period of time.Something that is a little more obvious between the two sports is ball size. A softball is clearly much larger than a baseball, therefore the glove you are looking for will need to have the ability to open wide enough to catch the large softball. If the pocket is well made and the glove is durable, you should little to no difficulty when opening your glove, even if it takes a short period of time to break it in. Padding is also another benefit to a great softball glove, specifically palm padding. Having soft, well-aligned padding in front of the palm makes the difference between a good softball glove and a superior softball glove. Palm padding is important to the softball player because it protects the hand from shock that occurs when the player catches a softball coming at a high velocity. The padding will be able to absorb the shock so that the player isn’t uncomfortable during their game, so it goes without saying that your glove preference should be the one with the best palm padding.Best Softball Glove ReviewsEaston Natural Elite Softball Glove This Easton softball glove has a more natural look and feel to it, along with patented technology that helps the user play to their best ability. The Natural Elite glove is durable, comfortable, and stable for softball players at any level. The Natural Elite glove has a fit unlike any other. Easton has a patent-pending fit system that mixes comfort with flexibility. The adjustable wrist strap can also enhance your fit. Players can adjust their strap to a fit of their liking, so that the glove can be as secure as possible during gameplay. The Natural Elite glove has a double deep pocket that is fully capable of taking on the size and speed of a softball. The pocket contains an enlarged leather pattern with an extra segment between the middle and index fingers so that the player can open and close their glove with ease.Tired of your glove feeling slimy because you’ve been sweating during a hot summer game? The Easton brand has you covered with the Bio-Dri technology. This fabric is lined within the back of the hand strap and wicks any form of perspiration that occurs on the inside of the glove. So no matter how hot it is, or how much you are sweating during a game, the Bio-Dri technology from Easton will assure you that your hand will be dry at all times.Easton’s Natural Elite glove also proves to be durable based off of the materials it is made out of. This glove is primarily made with USA Steer Hide, which happens to be one of the strongest leather materials in the world. It would take years upon years to truly break down this type of leather, so you know as a potential buyer that this glove will last you long term. The Oasis cowhide lining is also very durable and enhances the player’s comfort experience.Pros:Glove is very durable; made with USA Steer Hide LeatherBio-Dri feature absorbs moisture so your hand will be dry at all timesPatented Fit System offers a unique fitPocket is deepCons:Slow to break inExpensiveFranklin Sports Fastpitch Pro Series Softball Glove Franklin’s Fastpitch Pro series has the features necessary for a great softball glove. It is designed with a technical mesh that enhances durability and stability in the glove. The mesh comes soft, so you won’t need to worry about breaking in your glove upon purchase. The soft mesh makes it fairly easy to open and close your softball glove, so you will be ready when the time comes for you to catch that line drive. The adjustable strap located slightly above the player’s wrist will help them find a comfortable fit. They won’t have to worry about their hand being suffocated because the fit is fully in their control. The wrist strap stabilizes the hand pretty well so that you can have full control of your softball glove while on the softball field.Pros:Lightweight mesh enhances durabilityAdjustable wrist strap stabilizes the hand for a better fitDeep webbing is very durablePalm padding shields the inside of the hand from the impact of the softballCons:Could be used by all experience levels, but recommended for beginnersOnly two color options availableLouisville Slugger Diva Softball Glove The Diva glove from Louisville Slugger is an infielder’s softball glove designed for the female athlete. This glove is considered an infielder glove because of its size. The Diva glove has shorter finger linings that are curved so that you can easily scoop up ground balls and catch incoming line drives. Since the material used in the Louisville Slugger Diva glove is soft pig leather, it won’t take much effort to break it in. You could pretty much take this glove off of the shelf and go directly to a practice or game use it effectively. There is also an opening for the index finger to expose itself. This feature will help players with their grip and ultimately provide a better experience.This glove is labeled by users as a “beginner’s glove” and would be great for any rookie softball player who is trying to get used to the feel of a softball glove and how to use it properly. Technically, the Diva softball glove is sized at a youth level. Does this mean adults can’t use it? It really depends on your hand size. If you have a naturally small hand, the odds of efficiently using this glove are a lot higher compared to a bigger hand.Pros:Made with soft leatherComes with one year manufacturer’s warrantyInexpensiveCons:Not as durable as other glovesExclusively for infieldersSpecifically for youth levelEaston Synergy Elite Fastpitch Glove Specifically designed for women’s play in the infield, the 12″ Easton Synergy glove offers prime padding and excellent quality material for a durable experience.The Easton Synergy glove is extremely convenient, comfortable and secure, mostly because of the lockdown wrist strap. This strap can be used to properly adjust the fit of the glove to whatever tightness comforts them most. With this lockdown strap, the infielder won’t have to worry about being hindered by a loose glove; potentially costing his or her team the ball game.This glove is made of steer hide leather that offers exceptional durability but Easton touts this glove as also being soft!Pros: The steer hide leather is very durableLockdown wrist strap can adjust to the user’s wrist/hand sizeFinger lining is comfortableSpecifically made for women!Cons:Specifically made for women!Runs smallPricey!!Wilson A500 Siren Series Softball Glove The Siren Series softball glove from Wilson is arguably the most versatile glove on the list of best softball gloves.This softball glove is made to support all positions with its 11.5″ corset web design.  Whether you’re an infielder, an outfielder, or both, the Wilson A500 Siren Series glove will give you what you need in quality and support. The top grain leather shell that this glove has will keep it feeling very light, yet sturdy…that way, you can move around and make plays on the field without the vexing worry of damaging your glove.  Plus, Wilson swears by its policy of “no break-in time necessary”.  That’s a pretty good deal!The deep pocket of this glove is very durable. The dual welting and double palm construction within the lightweight pocket ensures you that you can take on even the hardest or fastest softballs coming your way. The Siren Series glove easily secures the glove to the player’s hand for a perfect fit. The two-piece closure right above the back of the wrist will help you secure the glove to your liking; so that you can go out there and play without being bothered by a poor fitting glove. The Siren Series comes in both right-hand thrower and left-hand thrower styles, so you can choose which one is best for you upon purchase. The option of which hand you can throw with opens the market for this glove because it isn’t limited to one type of thrower.Pros:High-quality leather keeps the glove light and durableThe pocket is wide and easy to open/closeAn adjustable wrist strap secures the glove to your handCons:No color optionsEaston Salvo Softball Glove One of the more expensive gloves in softball, Easton provides the customer with excellent quality and close to perfect sizing for a positive experience out on the softball field. The pocket is wider and deeper than your average glove, and it has a “double deep palm design” that is friendlier to the large size of a softball rather than a baseball. The Salvo softball glove is also made with strong materials that make it very durable, while also having mesh applied throughout the glove for more flexibility and a lightweight feel. A majority of the durability in this glove comes from the cowhide that is used for the Salvo softball glove.The Easton Salvo glove has an opening right under where the index finger is located, and instead of having the index finger exposed through the opening, there is a leather patch over the finger so that the player can have a good, comfortable grip without having their finger exposed.Pros:Mesh material promotes flexibility and lightweight feelPalm padding keeps hand comfortable with a wide gripCons:Slightly above average in priceLacks color varietyLouisville Slugger Dynasty Softball Glove Louisville Slugger’s fourteen-inch softball glove comes with dependable features that could help any softball player excel on the field. The black glove is laced with a tan cowhide in the web and palm for extra durability. The web of this glove is very wide so it could easily catch the large softball. This glove is primarily used by outfielders, hence the long, fourteen-inch fingers. By having such long reach, this glove will be able to catch line drives on the run, as well as fly balls. For a large, good quality glove, the price listed is very good. Similar to Rawlings, the Louisville Slugger brand has been a large contributor to baseball and softball over the years, so you know that you are going to gain a positive experience once you purchase the softball glove.Pros:Large glove with a durable webbingEasy to break inVery fair priceCons:Quality has been considered “poor”Opening near the wrist is too bigWorth Women’s Storm Softball Glove Worth’s softball glove is about average on this list. The Worth brand offers a glove with plenty of control, primarily due to the narrow hand-spread. While this hand-spread is something that stands out about this glove, it may not be of good use if it is too narrow, because you might not be able to handle a large softball at a high speed. Other than this downside, the glove is expected to open and close with ease, so that you will be prepared to protect yourself and make a play when it is demanded of you. The user will be in total control using the Storm softball glove.One good thing about the Worth Storm softball glove is its’ hand protection. It comes with a sting reduction material in the palm so that your hand doesn’t hurt due to the impact of an incoming softball. This is important as your performance could be affected tremendously after catching a hardball coming your way. In this case, using a glove with subpar padding, you’re likely to be hesitant to grab the next ball in your area due to the fear of pain from impact. The best softball gloves will have good quality palm padding to enhance the experience of the player.Finally, the Worth Women’s Storm glove has a custom Velcro strap that creates a secure fit regardless of your hand size. You can use the strap to make your glove as loose or as tight and you would like; giving you more options regarding the fit of your softball glove. This glove is also very durable, as it is made of a full-grain leather shell that is easy to break in and use frequently.Pros:DurablePalm pads reduce sting from catching softballsNarrow hand-spread enhances controlCons:Runs SmallStitching isn’t good quality  Rawlings Basket Web Softball Glove Rawlings has quite the “basket” with a glove that has a large basket web which is designed specifically to catch the softball effectively. The pocket inside the glove has a wide opening and very deep, so that you could catch the biggest and highest softballs. The glove also offers premium hand protection as it is cushioned in the palm and contains finger back linings for even more shielding. For wrist security, there is an adjustable strap with the “Rawlings” logo across it, and an opening above it for proper ventilation.While this glove passes the tests for fit, protection, and quality, there are occasional complaints that this glove runs too small for a handful of buyers. It is important to try the glove on before buying [if you can] and if you can’t, then make sure there is an opportunity to exchange or return the item if it doesn’t meet your standards. The best thing about this glove outside of physical features is the reasonable price. The Rawlings brand has been around baseball and softball for a long time now, so if you can get a glove from Rawlings with good quality and a low price, you should jump on the opportunity.Pros:Basket web is large enough to handle incoming softballsPlenty of ventilation through the small hole above the wrist strapCons:Runs very smallAbsolutely needs to be broken inMizuno Pinch Prospect Softball Glove The Mizuno Prospect softball glove should be the standard for the right glove. This glove comes in styles for both left-handed players and right-handed players, so basically it does not discriminate. The most interesting feature of the Pinch Prospect softball glove is the PowerClose technology, which has been patented by the Mizuno brand. The PowerClose is a specific technology built within the glove that enhances flexibility and open/close control. The PowerClose material is designed in a way where the player has more flexibility within their glove, and can control the softball glove without any difficulty. By having a softball glove with the PowerClose feature, you could be confident in your ability to catch a softball that is approaching you in a rapid pace.In addition to the patented PowerClose, the Mizuno Prospect softball glove has a “power lock” adjustable wrist strap which helps with a secure fit and stability. With this ability, you can decide how loose or tight you want your glove to be. By being presented with options, the player has a better chance of playing to their best ability because they chose their comfort level. Besides the “power lock” wrist strap, there is an opening placed where the index finger is for a better grip and additional comfort.Pros:PowerClose feature enhances player experienceAdjustable wrist strap offers a comfortable fitCons:Runs small; listing doesn’t explain that glove is used primarily for youth levelThe material isn’t strong enough for adultsTips on How to Buy Gloves Conclusion & RecommendationsThroughout all these reviews it’s important to understand the difference between slowpitch and fastpitch gloves and to purchase the right one for your situation.The Easton Natural softball glove comes in first on the list for the best softball glove in a close competition within the top three. The Easton Natural softball glove comes out on top because of its extraordinary durability and Bio-Dri technology, which sets it above other gloves.  The brand is also well known for making bats and other softball equipment in the slowpitch and fastpitch softball market. This glove is the best investment for the softball player looking for a new glove because it will last longer and will be comfortable well throughout gameplay. Other gloves have appealing features that put them in the conversation, such as the Franklin Fastpitch glove and the Louisville Slugger Diva glove, but nothing beats the Easton Natural softball glove.Overall, the Easton Natural softball glove is the best option for all softball players. Whether you are in a fastpitch after-work league or a contributing player on a varsity roster, this glove you provide you with the best possible softball experience.The post 10 Best Adult & Youth Softball Gloves 2019 appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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10 Best Swimming Caps 2019: Swim Faster & Protect Your Hair

As is the case with almost any sports purchasing decision today, swimming caps are difficult to buy.  There are simply so many choices out there on the market, which is a good problem to have.  However, people get overwhelmed and distracted due to the sheer number of options that do exist.  This buying guide is here to help you determine what you should look, and what you need in a swimming cap.  This is will make your purchase decision much easier.  After we have went over things to look for, we’ll review the top swimming caps out there for this new year!Top Swimming Caps Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Speedo Silicone ‘Flag’ Swim Cap $$Check Price on Amazon2. Swim Elite Exclusive Set w/Cap and Goggles $$$Check Price on Amazon3. Speedo Silicone Sold Swim Cap $$Check Price on Amazon4. Speedo Silicone Long Hair Swim Cap $Check Price on Amazon5. Firesara Swimming Cap $$Check Price on Amazon6. Vktech Silicone Swimming Cap $Check Price on Amazon7. Swim Elite Long Hair Silicone Cap Plus Nose Clip $$$Check Price on Amazon8. EWIN 3 Piece Lycra Swimming Cap Set $$Check Price on Amazon9. Speedo Solid Latex Swim Cap $$Check Price on Amazon10. Swimtastic Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap $$Check Price on AmazonSwimming Cap Buying GuideReasons to Wear Swim CapsThere are many reasons to wear swim caps, but here are just a few:They protect your hair, though not totally, from chlorine.Swim caps keep your hair from getting in your face and further blurring your vision.Swimming caps are sometimes mandatory to make sure filters don’t get clogged up by everyone’s hair!They are hydrodynamicThey keep you warmMakes you much easier to see, which helps people avoid running- or swimming- into you, whether they are swimming or boating themselves.Some Fun FactsOne of the first things that needs to be mentioned is that no matter how high the quality your swim cap is, you are still going to get wet.  There isn’t a swimming cap in the world that can fully keep you dry.  That is something that needs to be known from the get-go because it could potentially leave some upset if they feel that they have a ‘leaky’ cap.Sorry ladies and guys, that means that you can’t keep your hair perfect and 100% free and safe from chemicals.  So if you do have some sort of issue, you can always get a shampoo to balance your pH back out as soon as you finish swimming!All swim caps will make you more hydrodynamic in the water, which means you will go faster- almost gliding over it.  Some are better than others, but any cap will produce better results than you would see without one (all things being equal, of course).Did you know that the length of your hair can determine what you should wear?  We’ll discuss more about materials below, but people with longer hair should tend to side with silicone as it is more forgiving on the hair.  For people with short or medium hair, mostly men, latex is better and perfectly suitable.A swimming cap should never leave a line around your head after you’ve worn it.  If you are experiencing this, then you need to find another size.  The cap should fit your hair, but not so tight that you see marks on you.  For those that have difficulties in between sizes and are afraid of the swim cap coming off, you can find chin straps to help them stay on.Make sure that if you are a part of a team that you choose something that matches your teammates.  This is an underrated thing, but it really can bring a team closer if they wear the same color at practices and well as competitions.Someone that is very concerned about letting water in can try to wear two swimming caps at once n an attempt to reduce the amount of water.MaterialsSwimming caps can be made from any number of materials as we live in a world where practically anything can be used or manufactured.  However, swimming caps have two main materials that are typically used: latex and silicone.Latex swimming caps are the more inexpensive versions that are meant to be used by people that aren’t quite in a competition.  These would be great for anyone that just wants to protect themselves when they are swimming in the recreational pool.  They’re also great on a budget because they are a little cheaper made.  They are cheaper because they are relatively thin, which is also going to cause them to wear out sooner than silicone caps would.  Latex is very bad about keeping its shape, thus leaving a latex cap lying around for a long period of time could prove to be too much for it to take.  Latex can and will turn into a goo that simply bonds itself to whatever it is close to if you allow it to do so.Silicone swimming caps are more expensive and more heavy duty than their latex counterparts.  Silicone caps are thicker, which helps them last much longer.  This does make the price go up quite a bit, but they can prove to be well worth it because of their durability.  This is a great, and really, the only option for a competitive swimmer that wants to have a serious go at swimming in his or her meets.  In addition to all of this, silicone keeps it shape much better over an extended period of time when not being used.  So not only in terms of its actual use, it is just simply a better material for durability purposes.    Temperatures and Its Effect on MaterialsNothing above really makes latex seem appealing whatsoever.  Many of you are wondering why it’s even around if it won’t even hold up for long periods in between swimming trips. This is an excellent question that can be answered completely by temperature.  Temperature affects caps tremendously, and it is the main reason why latex is still a thing in the swimming cap market.Latex is actually good for something, and that something is for pools that are heated at 81 degrees (Fahrenheit) or above.  Latex, thus, has become a favored material for people that go to the public pool for swimming lessons or even water aerobics.  At 81 degrees, you can start to get a little warm in the pool.  The best answer to this, besides taking off your cap, is to have a cap that isn’t thick.  So latex is your answer!  So, you won’t overheat nearly as bad as you would if you were to have a silicone cap on.Silicone does a great job at keeping you warm.  Thus, it is great for anyone that is swimming at a temperature of 80 degrees (Fahrenheit).  Remember, silicone is very thick (which gives it its durability), but in this case, it may not be the best answer if you’re at 81 or above.Which you need comes down to where you swim and how often you swim!  If you swim at both temperature ranges, you may want to purchase one each just to make sure you are always comfortable.Your Workout or Leisure Affects Material ChoiceNow, the temperature part is all great and dandy, but it doesn’t address anything about the temperature you’ll be generating on your own.  Just as outside exercise would go, you can still work up quite a sweat when it is cooler.  It comes down to body heat and the type of exercise you are doing.  This is the same case in the pool.  How you exercise is just as important, if not more important, than where you exercise at.It’s true to say that no matter what variation of cap you’re wearing that at a temperature of 80 or so, you’re going to start to feel very warm.  This is the same as if you were running outside with a toboggan on in 60-degree weather.  You can get away with it initially, but it won’t take very long to make you so warm you get a little angry.So, once again if you’re an elite swimmer, but you are practicing for long periods of time, latex is probably going to be your best friend.  For the race, you’re going to want to have something that is fast, but at practice, you’re going to want to and will have to have something comfortable in order to make it throughout the long sessions.   If you are not an elite swimmer, and you’re planning on keeping your heart rate relatively low, then you will probably always be safe to wear a silicone cap.  But latex could also be fine for you, unless you are just cold-blooded by nature and need the added warmth.One tip before moving on from the materials is to say that you can really help your latex swimming cap’s life last longer by making sure to dry out all the wetness from it after each use.  After doing this, make sure you don’t leave it laying on top of anything.  Preferably, you should hang it somewhere.  A good place might be on a clothes hanger that you can easily see so that you don’t forget it on the way to swim!Neoprene and Lycra CapsWe’ve put neoprene in its own category because it has some unique properties that just go above and beyond the recreational pool or even the swimming meet pool.  Instead, neoprene is the preferred choice of those that swim in the open water.  Neoprene is the same exact material that is used to make wetsuits.  This is a critical piece of equipment for any open-water swimmers because it helps keep you much warmer than either latex or silicone could.  The ocean can be much cooler than the pool, so it really is a necessity, especially for someone that is not wearing a wetsuit themselves.Some people in triathlons or other long swims will even wear a latex or silicone cap underneath their neoprene just to give themselves even more protection over the duration of their swim.Lycra also gets its own category because it differs drastically from any of the other three types.  Lycra is used in synchronized swimming and other types of aerobic exercises that are done gently in the water.  The emphasis is on the word gently because it means that the heart rate never gets up too high.  Lycra is great for these purposes because it will keep the hair out of the face while not warming you up like the other three types would.  They don’t retain your heat, nor do they fit too tightly on you.  So if you do need any type of help with getting warm, this wouldn’t be the best choice for you to make.  Lycra, to add further, is basically another name for spandex, so it is going to be about that level of support for you!Today’s OlympiansWe’re in a new age of technology where even a sport seemingly as simple as swimming is even subject to its whims.  As a result of this new technology, caps can be made to be wrinkle free.  This isn’t just great because they fit and feel better.  Rather, they become hydrodynamic due to this.  Being hydrodynamic is everything in the swimming world.  In races where hundreds and thousandths of seconds wins races, this can mean everything.  The less resistance placed on the swimmer, the faster they will go!Best Swimming Cap ReviewsSpeedo Silicone ‘Flag’ Swim Cap this is great for anyone that wants to look like an American Olympian while feeling pretty similar to do them as well!  Coming in at a moderate price is a silicone cap that will help reduce drag and is very easy to put on and off.  It is resistant to tearing, so those with long fingernails may find safe haven here.  It also keeps the wrinkles out, so you will gain even more speed.  The fit is very durable over time as well.ProsSilicone reduces dragEasy to put on and take offAmerican flag can make you just like Phelps and co.ConsA little tight for those with larger headsNo others! Swim Elite Exclusive Set w/Cap and Goggles #2 on the list is a set of items that come at a relatively high price, but is honestly still very reasonable.  Swimming equipment is relatively cheap compared to other sports’ equipment.  Nevertheless, the cap is reversible and has two sides with differing colors on each side to help you on your style a bit.  It’s also easy to get on and easy to take off without scratching or tearing occurring.  It’s great because it allows you to reduce your drag and go faster.ProsSilicone to reduce dragReversible to give you color choicesComes with performace swim gogglesConsA little bit of high price against other swimming cap only offeringsMore focus paid to goggles than the cap Speedo Silicone Sold Swim Cap much like the offering from Speedo that made #1 on the list is this silicone cap.  This cap has a wide variety of colors to choose from, and they will definitely make everyone happy.  They are tear and scratch resistant as well as easily placed on your head due to it being made with silicone.  The price is a bit toward the moderate range in terms of swimming caps, but it’s still a great deal.  You can definitely reduce your drag with this cap, as you can with either of the other two so far.ProsScratching and tearing won’t happenHydrodynamic due to siliconeGood price despite being moderate for swim capsConsOnly comes in one sizeTend to slip off after many uses Speedo Silicone Long Hair Swim Cap generally, all silicone swim caps are better for long hair than latex one, but Speedo has designed a cap that is specifically made for those with long hair. At a very reasonable price comes this cap that has extra space for you to tuck your hair in.  It does all this without compromising its fit or how it feels, so you won’t feel like it is squeezing you.  While doing all of this, it is still very good at reducing drag and helping you go much faster.ProsCovers brilliantly for those with longer hairSilicone helps reduce dragGreat priceConsNot great for larger heads as it is one size fits allCan be very tight if you have a larger than ‘medium’ sized head Firesara Swimming Cap this is yet another silicone cap that has been made to help those with longer hair.  Unlike the Speedo one above, though, this one is relatively expensive.  It is the most expensive cap on the list so far, not counting the goggles/cap combo.  This cap comes in a number of colors, and it really hugs the ears and gives you a much different look than any of the others we’ve seen so far.  These also come with ear plugs, so this likely explains why the ears on the cap make you look like you’re a strange looking creature.ProsGreat for long hairDifferent look to many on the marketComes with ear plugs and nose clipsConsPrice is a little highOne size fits all could deter some users Vktech Silicone Swimming Cap this swimming cap also offers a different look an style as it has the bubble look to it.  It has one size, adult, and it is made from silicone.  The silicone will help it fit better and tighter while also protecting it from scratching.  It will give you better speed as drag will be reduced quite a bit.  This cap makes a sensational claim that it will keep your hair completely dry, which is just false. But it does appear to do a better job than most.ProsKeeps hair drier than othersReasonable priceSilicone is very versatileConsNot a great fit for those with long hairOne size fits all can be a detriment Swim Elite Long Hair Silicone Cap Plus Nose Clip Swim Elite once again offers up a package with this silicone cap.  The cap is meant for use by those with long hair, so it looks a lot like the fifth choice in our top ten list.  It comes in three solid colors to help you stand out from the crowd, but it is quite a bit more expensive than everything we’ve seen so far sans the other Swim Elite package.ProsGood for long-haired swimmersThree solid colors, including a great pinkComfortable pockets for your ears to fit intoConsPrice is pretty highOne size fits all is sure to doom some users EWIN 3 Piece Lycra Swimming Cap Set this is our first non-silicone product on the list. This Lycra choice is very stylish for those that want to look for that, and it is at a low price as well.  This would be a great cap for those that are doing synchronized swimming or an event like water aerobics.  Once again, it’s one size fits all, but that should be assumed by this point, we reckon.ProsGreat stylesMeant for those that don’t spend much time underwaterYou get three for the price of oneConsOne size fits all is frustratingBetter suited for children Speedo Solid Latex Swim Cap coming in at a very low price is a LATEX swim cap (finally!). This Speedo is available in a number of colors, many of them are vibrant.  It’s also great for people that want to swim for long stretches of time.  One of the things it does well is help protect from UV rays, so that could be a big factor in your decision.ProsMuch thinner and cooler than siliconeCheaper because of the materialOffers UV protectionConsHard to get on sometimes due to the latexIt does run small, and it’s once again one size fits all Swimtastic Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap the final offering on the list is a moderately priced silicone cap that will help you look different than other people, especially if you do not have long hair… It comes in four different colors and it is loose enough to give you comfort as well as the right, snug fit. Because of its silicone, it is resistant to tearing and gives hydrodynamic properties.ProsDecent priceGreat for those with long hairHydrodynamics are improved with itConsOnce again, one size fits allDoes not offer the greatest of durability/li>Conclusion & RecommendationsBefore we leave you, we’d like to just make sure and reiterate something.  After reading many reviews, comments, answers, and searches throughout the internet, swimming caps DO NOT KEEP YOU HAIR DRY.  So many products are getting bad reviews simply because of this fact.  This is not the purpose of a swimming cap, rather it is an added bonus that comes with purchasing one.  Some do a better job than others, but the purpose is not to completely seal your head off from the rest of the world.  If you want a bathing or shower cap, then go find that!  But those will never offer you the same options that a swimming cap does. If your hair is that big of a concern, then you need to think about going somewhere to swim that has not been treated.As for everyone else, good luck in choosing the right swimming cap for you!The post 10 Best Swimming Caps 2019: Swim Faster & Protect Your Hair appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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6 Best Exercise Balls 2019: Ab Workouts & Back Pain

We live in a world now that requires us to spend a great deal of time sitting. There isn’t an easy way to exercise when most of your time is spent in front of a computer on your butt. Unless you are fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your view) enough to have a job where you spend the day on your feet, you are likely looking for a way to strengthen your core while also burning some calories. Exercise balls were made with this in mind and are a perfect way to get your exercise in, even when you are busy with other work. The strength that you will get in your core, plus the constant balancing you will need to do, will help you get into shape without making a significant impact on your personal time.Top Exercise Balls Comparison ChartsPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Live Infinitely Exercise Ball with Workout Guide $$Check Price on Amazon2. DYNAPRO Exercise Ball with Pump $$$Check Price on Amazon3. Black Mountain Static Strength Exercise Stability Ball $$$Check Price on Amazon4. Superior Fitness 600 Pound Exercise Ball with Stability Ring and Resistance Bands $$$Check Price on Amazon5. Gaiam Balance Ball Chair (300 pound)$$$$Check Price on Amazon6. Incline Fit Anti-Burst Yoga Exercise Ball with Base $$Check Price on AmazonExercise & Yoga Ball Buyer’s GuideWhen you start to shop around for a ball, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Where will the ball be used most? How often will you use the ball? How portable does the ball need to be? How does it look (especially important if you plan to use it in an office or other public space)? How safe is the ball? Will it burst while you are using it?Exercise balls are called many things, so as we get into the review it is key you know what those names are. Exercise balls are the most common name, but you will also find names that include therapy balls, Pilates balls, yoga balls, physio balls, gym balls, Swiss balls, fitness balls and others.Key FactorsBurst ResistanceEach ball has a durability rating. This is essentially how much weight it can handle before it is likely to burst. You will need a ball that can withstand your body weight plus any additional equipment you plan to add, such as small weights. For the balls that don’t state a specific rating, expect 100-200 kg, which is 220 to 440 lbs. Some balls also include anti-burst tech which will ensure that a puncture does not send you falling flat onto the ground.SizeExercise balls come in a number of different sizes. Ranging from 18 inches to 33 inches in ball height, you will need to find the one that is right for you. The average users will likely find that the 22 to 30 inch balls are perfect. For a quick reference use the following chart as a starting guide:4’10” and under, use an 18 inch ball, or Small.4’8” to 5’5”, use a 22 inch ball, or Medium.5’6” to 6’0”, use a 26 inch ball, or Large.6’0” to 6’5”, use a 30 inch ball, or Extra Large.Over 6’5”, use a 33 Inch ball, or Extra Extra Large.This is a rough guideline and you may find that you need something a little larger or smaller. If you are behind a computer all day, you may be looking for a chair replacement for an hour or two of your day, and you will need to measure your regular sitting position to find the right size for that. Just make sure it will also support your weight.A Few PrecautionsBefore going any further, this is a key subject that needs to be mentioned. No matter what ball you end up purchasing, you need to remember that this is an inflated balloon, more or less. If you have any injuries from the past, such as spinal injuries or issues, you should speak to your primary care physician before using a ball. In addition, make sure you inflate the ball exactly as the manufacturer instructs. Over or under inflated balls can lead to premature bursts which can only lead to harm.Exercise Balls as ChairsAt one point exercise balls were talked about as a possible replacement for a chair at work. It didn’t pan out early on, simply because of the difficulty or business regulations. Ultimately, things have taken a turn for the better. There are some serious business out there that are creating office exercise ball chairs. Essentially, they work the same as a chair, with rolling wheels on the frame and a low profile black ball that sits in the middle. It is worth researching, but for a writer like me, I’ll stick with a traditional ball. If you are in an office, consider one of the chairs.For our review we will be looking at a number of different exercise balls, but keep in mind that what they are specifically used for is somewhat up in the air. While most are good for exercise or yoga, they are just as good as an office chair replacement. We will try to mention that in the review, but keep the sizing charts in mind. Where available, we will also include the weight that the ball supports, but if it is not listed by the manufacturer refer to the average, which is often much lower than some of the best out there. Still, they may show up as a solid choice for a budget, but we want to stress the importance of getting a ball that will support the weight that you plan to put on it. That includes your own body weight, plus any weights you plan to use while on the ball. Also, keep in mind that a ball that is rated at 2,200 pounds is rated at a stationary weight. For more active use, it may drop as low as a 600 pound guarantee. Think of it this way, if you are bouncing on the ball intensely you are going to put more pressure on it which can possible cause wear or bursting. So, make sure you keep those things in mind as you read our review.Best Exercise Balls ReviewsLive Infinitely Exercise Ball with Workout Guide (2,200 Pounds) My ball of choice and the one I use at my desk is the Live Infinitely ball. I use a 75 cm ball which works perfectly as a desk chair and requires me to sit up straight. It would upset my parents and teachers back in my youth, that something so simple could get me to “sit up straight” which they constantly hounded me about. This forces me to work on my posture and core strength throughout the day and makes the fact that I am sitting for a majority of it much less infuriating.The ball comes with a workout guide, which I honestly haven’t used much but seems to be very thorough, as well as a hand pump. My biggest complaint is the pump itself. The instructions aren’t complicated, but they aren’t the most well written either. The pump will give you a workout as you try to get the ball up to the initial 80% mark for the first 24 hours. The problem is that it doesn’t include any way to measure how full the ball is, as some other brands will include, requiring some significant guess work.Still, the ball is easily the most secure ball I’ve used yet and I don’t feel like it is going to burst or break any time soon. The quality is strong and my daughter has even started to try to sit on it – and at six, she has been more successful than I expected. Some reports have been found that the wrong size ball shows up, so make sure you get the size you want from a place that allows returns or exchanges in case there is a problem. Otherwise, this is easily the best ball on the market for a desk chair and exercise. It also has a 600 pound anti burst guarantee.ProsEasily the best ball on the market for all around use.Can support 2,200 pounds.Ribs along the ball create an anti-slip texture.Feels sturdy and safe.ConsThe hand pump is a significant workout.Does not include any measuring device to ensure it is inflated fully (instead it says to measure from the wall to the box on the floor and just expect that is correct).A few packages seem to include the wrong size. DYNAPRO Exercise Ball with Pump (2,000 pounds) The DYNAPRO, for better or worse, is a near carbon copy of the Live Infinitely. This only comes in at number two because it is able to withstand a slightly lower level of pressure. It also varies more widely in price than the Live Infinitely. Put side by side, it would be all but impossible to tell the difference between the two, all the way down to the pump that is used.The big knocks here are price and the lack of an online exercise guide. It does include a card that shows a few exercises as basic drawings (think better stick figures) which is a bonus, but not as complete as the number one on our list. There are also a number of complaints that this ball does not have a very long lifespan. This isn’t going to be the case for every user, but keep it in mind.Finally, as this is a pretty close copy of the number one ball on the spot, it is hard to recommend over the Live Infinitely unless you find a significantly lower price. This is a fine option if you don’t like our number one, or have issues with it, but it comes in at the second spot for a reason.ProsGreat ball in most cases.Very similar to our number one pick and may be found at a lower cost.Includes a simple exercise guide.ConsQuality control issues are more rampant than expected.May not have the durability expected.May have a chemical smell.Inconsistent results from other users. Black Mountain Static Strength Exercise Stability Ball (2,000 pounds) Black Mountain comes in at number three as it is a solid ball that offers a few differences from the other two on our list. The same issues can be found if you look hard enough, but for the most part, this is a sturdy and durable ball that will last a good amount of time. It has less textured look to it and is a bit slicker than our number one pick, which will be a personal preference choice. I personally like the stickier rubber used for the Live Infinitely, but from my research online, everyone prefers a different texture.The ball is not all that different from our first two picks, but the pump needs some work. It seems like a no-brainer to get this one because it uses a foot pump which should be easier to inflate the ball with, but that isn’t the case here. The pump is actually inferior to the hand pumps and may require you to purchase or use something different. The nozzle constantly comes out and can require a partner to make sure it stays in place. There are reports of the ball bursting after only a few hours, but that is a rarity that can be found in just about any ball you purchase.Overall, this is a ball that is similar to our first two but has enough differences in texture and material to set it apart. Again, the preference will come down to the type of feel you want when using the ball, so make sure you purchase from a place that offers exchanges.ProsGreat ball, very similar to the first two.Slicker than our number one pick, which may be what you are looking for.Enough ribs to give it a gripping texture, but not so much that you stick to the ball.ConsThe foot pump is very finicky and may require a run to the local athletic store to get a better one.Quality control is not perfect.May burst quickly if not filled correctly (always follow the instructions). Superior Fitness 600 Pound Exercise Ball with Stability Ring and Resistance Bands The Superior Fitness ball is the first significantly different ball on our list. It is a 65 cm ball that is made specifically for exercise and yoga. Don’t buy this if you are looking for a solid desk chair replacement, unless the 65 cm is the right size.The big advantages here are the stability ring and resistance bands. The ring keeps the ball in place and the resistance bands will add more options for your exercise routines. This is an especially good item for heavier individuals looking to start to work off that fat and get into a healthier body. Included is a 100 picture exercise guide that gives you an outline of what you should do with the ball. Not the best guide out there, but it is better than nothing at all.The ball seems to sink a bit the heavier you are, but if you continue to refill it if it loses its strength you should get into a good spot where the ball supports you easily. The only reason this isn’t number one is because of the lack of options for those looking for a chair replacement and the less than optimal exercise guide.ProsSpecialized for healthy workouts.Stability ring helps those that are far out of shape stay sturdy.Resistance bands add value and additional exercise options.ConsThe workout guide left us wanting something more complete.Lacks flexibility as only a 65 cm ball is currently offered.The hand pump is better than a foot pump, but not by much. Gaiam Balance Ball Chair (300 pound) Similar to the Superior Fitness ball, this ball is made specifically to act as a chair. It includes a 52 cm removable ball, which is small for a desk chair replacement. The trick here, though, is that the ball includes a sliding base with a lumbar support back that creates a chair when the ball is inserted.You likely won’t use this for exercise on its own, but as a chair, it gives you more support than a ball alone. You also have to pay a significantly higher price since it comes with the additional hardware. With that said, this is the perfect choice for someone that simply wants a unique and healthier chair to sit on.A few complaints that keep this from rising higher up on the list. At only 300 pounds, this isn’t going to be ideal for many people that likely need it most, or safe for that matter. The rolling wheels on the chair are a bit of a mystery as they provide less stability and make it difficult to stand up without tipping over. The fact that the ball can’t be used for exercise by most users is a disappointment as well.ProsIdeal for those wanting a new office chair.Comfortable enough to sit on for a few hours, but will push you to get up and walk around more often than a traditional chair.The included chair, itself is great for lumbar support.ConsNot the ideal size for exercise for most individuals.Wheels on the chair cause stability issues.Only 300 pounds supported which excludes many users that likely need this most. Incline Fit Anti-Burst Yoga Exercise Ball with BaseThe Incline Fit comes in as the final choice on our list for a few reasons. First, it is a fantastic ball and we added it because it is worth consideration. It is also a ball that offers a bit of both worlds when compared to the number one and number three spots on the list. It includes a base which will help with balance, as well as a unique texture that will help you use the ball in a way you see fit. Where other balls are ribbed from top to bottom, this is smooth throughout with a bumpy texture in the center.The hand pump is a concern again, but it is superior to the foot pump. The price is fair, especially since a base is included. The big concern is that the ball has no indication of a weight limit, though people upwards of 350 pounds have claimed to use it with no issue.The quality control seems a bit off, though not enough to be a major factor in our review. Some have claimed to receive the wrong size over and over again, though this may be user error due to not following directions for inflation. Overall, this is a good ball that fits certain needs, but the lack of information is a concern.ProsUnique textureIncluded baseThe hand pump is better than the foot pump.ConsLack of weight information.Quality control may be a bit lax.I’m personally not a fan of the texturing, though that is a personal preference. Conclusion & Recommendation You may have noticed that there isn’t a significant difference between exercise balls on the market. Most fall within a few different areas and the best, such as the Live Infinitely at number one and the DYNAPRO at number two offer a wide range of uses.  Most balls will perform well enough for the majority exercise ball exercises performed.If you are looking for a single purpose ball, to be used as an office chair, the Gaiam at number five is a perfect choice at a fair price. Finally, number three and six both offer bases which allow additional security as you exercise. They aren’t our favorite ball on the list, but that will ease you into the routine at a more comfortable pace than the rest.When you start to narrow down your search, make sure you are finding the right size ball for your needs. Some won’t offer a guide, so use ours as it is pretty universal across all companies. As always, make sure you purchase from a reputable retailer that will allow you to exchange the product in case it comes in the wrong size or you get one that didn’t get pulled off the line in quality assurance. The ball should last you a while, so don’t hesitate to exchange one that has you concerned.  The post 6 Best Exercise Balls 2019: Ab Workouts & Back Pain appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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Best Tennis Shoes for Flat Feet 2019

A flat foot can lead to very serious problems, especially if you are into sports with a lot of lateral movement like tennis.  The good news is most of the major shoe companies today produce shoes designed for people with flat feet. If you have this condition you need shoes that provide optimal stability, motion control, and excellent support.We made this guide and reviewed some of the best tennis shoes for flat feet in order to save you some time and help you decide which shoes will fit you the most.What is a flat foot?For some people, it is a bit difficult to recognize if their feet are in fact flat or not. So, what exactly is a flat foot? Well, on impact, if you have flat feet, the arch of your foot will collapse and the entire foot makes a contact with the ground.The foot arch is formed by the metatarsal and tarsal bones held together by ligaments allowing the foot to support the body weight. You can say it’s the shock absorption system of our bodies. If we didn’t have the foot arch, the impact of our own weight would affect our hips, knees, ankles and feet.The flat foot is usually related to pronation. That means that your ankles and feet roll inward when you are in motion. This can cause serious injuries and problems.Top Tennis Shoes for Flat Feet Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. ADIDAS Performance Men’s Barricade Tennis Shoe $$$$Check Price on Amazon2. ASICS Men’s GEL-Solution Speed 2 Tennis Shoe$$$Check Price on Amazon3. ASICS Men’s GEL-Game 5 Tennis Shoe$$Check Price on Amazon4. Babolat Men`s Propulse Fury All Court Tennis Shoes$$$Check Price on Amazon5. ASICS Gel-Game Point Tennis Shoe$Check Price on Amazon6. PRINCE Men’s T22 Tennis Shoe$$Check Price on Amazon7. ASICS Gel-Resolution 6 Tennis Shoe$$$Check Price on Amazon8. Lotto Stratosphere III Speed Mens Tennis Shoe $$$Check Price on Amazon9. NIKE Air Max Cage Tennis Shoes$$$Check Price on Amazon10. K-SWISS Men’s Bigshot Light 3 $$$Check Price on AmazonWhat are the best shoes for flat feet? (Buyer’s Guide)Stability and supportMotion control, stability, and good support are the most important factors to remember when buying shoes for flat feet. With flat feet, you need to care about the stability much more.Motion control Standard motion controlling shoes have the same tech as stability with the addition of upper construction which is there to safely lock the feet and provide more support. The harder material used also helps to support the arch and to keep it in a proper position.Some people don’t like a hard and high arch and find it uncomfortable even during the short walks.Lately, the demand for good shoes for flat feet has increased, and more and more companies are producing it now. This made the opportunity for the top brands in the sports shoe industry to offer a great number of models for flat-footed sportsman and help them achieve maximum performance. Now it is not so hard for the flat-footed sportsman to keep up with the agility and speed of their competitors with the normal arch.The recent advances in technology made it possible for shoe companies to produce the best ergonomic shoes for flat feet both for male and female. The market is now full of great sports shoes for flat feet.With that many choices, it’s much easier to find the pair of shoes that will fit your needs the most. Therefore, you should always remember these three things when buying shoes for flat feet;Always look for the shoes with high stability. Every brand should have the High Stability Collection and it should be easy to find the shoes that will be most fitting for you.Choose the shoes with good motion control and shock absorption feature. Shoes with good motion control usually provide enhanced stability as well.Added support. Always look for shoes with added support because flat feet need high support in order to sustain the feet properly.It’s very important to remember that every person has its own individual needs when it comes to shoes. Therefore, you should look for the elements that we mentioned but you should also do some research on your own when looking for proper shoes for your flat feet.GripOther than the feature important for flat feet, there are some features that tennis shoes should have that are important for both regular arches and flat feet. A good grip is one of the most important of these features. You don’t want your shoes to slip.The shoes need to have the good amount of tread. This usually depends on the environment and the type of surface that the shoes are made to be used on.Breathability Nobody wants the shoes to have a little airflow and to keep the moisture from sweat inside. Especially when it comes to shoes you will practice and play in. this can be very uncomfortable but it can also create bigger problems with feet.When the shoes are breathable they keep your feet dry and ventilated and therefore, reducing the chance of bacterial problems and fungal infections caused by sweating.Flexibility Although the additional support is one of the most important factors to look for, you don’t really want the shoes that feel like wooden boards that you strapped to your feet. The shoes need to be flexible enough so your feet can function as naturally as it’s possible.SoleFlat feet need more center support, but they also need a proper shock absorption and impact protection. You want the shoes that have a decent cushioning but with enough support for the fallen arch.With today technology and materials this kind of shoes are no longer big and bulky, but rather much lower profile than they were just a few years ago.In order to find the best tennis shoes for flat feet, you’ll need to understand some of the more important features of the shoes.Dynamics of the flat footWhen you have flat feet, your arch collapses every time your foot hits the ground and because of that your knees overcompensate and your ankles twist inward. This is the reason why flat footed sportsmen need extra stability features to help them avoid rolling movement.The motion control is also one of the features that will help with an extra motion of the feet and it’s very helpful to people whose feet overpronate.Cushioning Flat-footed people need shoes with a firmer middle arch cushion to provide them with a stable balance and to prevent stumbling. Also, most of the shoes for flat feet feature an additional cushioning in the heel and forefront, which is very useful for shock absorption.Proper stability Stability shoes usually feature denser foam under the arch. These are designed with a few layers of polyurethane in the arch area to give more support and stability to people whose arches collapse while running.This type of shoes also limits the motion of the foot so you can walk and run more efficiently. Stability shoes are usually a lot less bulky than the motion control ones.Control of the motion of the footThis type of shoes has a hard-material bump in the arch area. Motion Control shoes offer a similar solution to the problem as the Stability shoes. With the special construction of the sole and upper, they lock your foot in position and give it a proper support.They are very helpful to people with overpronation because they are designed to counter it. If you are dealing with this problem than the motion control shoes are a must.How to choose the best tennis shoes for your feet?Ask a doctor. The doctor can tell you how severe is your condition and recommend the best shoes for your flat feet.Read the reviews. The user reviews of the shoes can be very helpful because the most of the reviews come from the people who used the product and there are usually pros and cons and user ratings.Compare products. Look for the comparison tables online.Ask people around you. If you know some people that have the same condition as you have, talk to them and ask for the advice.Now, most of the tennis shoes for flat feet cost a bit more than regular ones. There are, of course, cheaper alternatives but they will not perform as good as the more expensive ones. In our opinion, it’s better to invest in good shoes than to spend money on doctors to treat the knee, foot or hip problems later.Top 10 Best Tennis Shoes for Flat Feet ReviewedIf you are looking for women’s tennis shoes or shoes made for plantar fasciitis (heel pain) then check out the other tennis shoe guides on this site.ADIDAS Performance Men’s Barricade 2016 Tennis ShoeThis tennis shoe is an excellent choice for persons with flat feet. It offers a proper support for your foot’s arch and many different benefits to a tennis player.Along the product’s base runs an Adiprene and midsole made of foam, providing you with a complete cushioning and making every step soft and comfortable. There is additional cushioning under the arch of the foot.The midsole absorbs the most of the impact force when your feet hit the ground, removing the additional stress to your knees.The upper is made of ballistic mesh, allowing the airflow and keeping your foot dry. A special design keeps the foot in optimal position, giving you a better stability and balance while you play tennis.The outsole will not leave any marks so you don’t have to worry about ruining the court.Pros Solid and very supportiveAll-day-comfort shoesProvides excellent lateral support necessary for tennisGreat durabilityCons The insole is a bit thin ASICS Men’s GEL-Solution Speed 2 Tennis ShoeThis one is among the finest models out there. Asics used only the top materials to make sure you get excellent performance and maximum comfort.They used a Solyte gel to make the midsole which runs through the entire shoe base. It’s very nicely cushioned and it provides the maximum comfort while you play. The cushioning makes every step soft and as comfortable as possible.The cushioning and comfort of these shoes keeps all the pain you might feel because of the flat feet at the minimal level. The support for lower arch makes sure that structure of the feet is supported and protected giving you additional comfort.The outsole is made of synthetic material that provides good grip and therefore eliminates the possibility of slipping on the court.The collar that goes around the ankle is made out of 2-layer memory foam that goes down to the heel keeping the heel in place. This also gives you more stability while you wear these shoes and eliminates the most of the flat feet symptoms.Pros Excellent foot supportGreat ventilationLight but very solidSuper comfortableCons They might be too narrow for some people ASICS Men’s GEL- Game 5/6 Tennis ShoeThis is another great model made by Asics. The upper on these is stitched up midsole board. Because of this the stitches will last for a long time and keep the shoe structure.To keep them as light as possible, Asics designed the sole to be ultra light but to keep the durability and quality. The sole is most definitely going to keep the structure and provide you with an excellent support in the arch. If you are suffering from flat feet, these shoes will minimize the pain in the arch area and other flat feet symptoms.The shoes feature reinforced toecaps made of resin and rubber in order to absorb any impact. It doesn’t wear out easily and it ensures that your shoes last for a significant amount of time.To make sure that your toes are comfortable there is a gel cushioning in the front of the shoe. This also helps with shock absorption.The shoes are very breathable and there is also a removable sock liner helping you keep both of your feet moisture free.Pros Great on the courtsVery good support and excellent comfortDemountable sock linerAffordable priceCons They wear out a bit faster than other models BABOLAT Propulse Men’s Propulse Fury All Court ShoeThese look just amazing while you play tennis and they also provide an excellent protection for flat feet that pronate and have a shallow arch. In the toes of the shoes, there is a response system that provides great support for the toes and during acceleration or forward movement.The localized reinforcement and cushioning provide excellent support while remaining very comfortable. The upper has a shield pattern that prevents the damage to the shoe. It also allows the airflow keeping your feet cool and dry.Another patented feature called Active Flexion Technology alleviates stress from key pressure points in your feet.  Nice touch!These stable, breathable, and very well cushioned shoes are an excellent choice no matter if you play the tennis casually or professionally.Pros Nice lookingMichelin bottom rubber that gives excellent traction without leaving marks on the courtProprietary technologies abound!Excellent supportVery breathableCons The heel of the shoes tends to move into the Achilles’ tendon area instead of going straight up ASICS Gel-Resolution 6/7 Tennis ShoeIf the ultimate support and comfort are what you need, the Asics Gel-Resolution 6 or 7 is the perfect choice for you.  While a number of the external cosmetics, colorways and placement of plastic reinforcements along the exterior are a bit different from one model to the next, the difference between the Resolution 6 and 7 are not massive.These models have both a women’s and men’s version. The difference between men’s and women’s version is that the women’s version is a bit slimmer to ensure the tight fit while the men’s version is wider.The upper is made of synthetic leather and mesh panel making sure your foot stays cool while you play. It is very common that your feet become hot while you are run around the court because of the perspiration that you produce. However, with this shoe, you will have no problem with that because it allows the airflow and therefore removes the moisture.Additionally, the upper provides great support for your feet and keeps them safe and protected and well aligned. This feature can prevent injuries to the feet.There is a fair amount of cushioning in the middle area to support the collapsing arches. This feature is essential for people with flat feet. The additional memory foam layer on the heels keeps your feet comfortable during long hour practice sessions.Pros Ultimate comfort and supportVery lightGreat value for the priceVery durableCons A bit small in toe boxThe insoles are not stellar and an aftermarket insole may serve you better PRINCE Men’s T22 Tennis ShoeT22 is a very popular choice among the tennis player because of the excellent breathability and great looks.The shoe features straps on the front to keep your toes and heel aligned and toecaps for the protection of the toes from the impacts. The midsole provides excellent shock absorption. The fatigue and the pain, that you might experience while running, is completely eliminated with these amazing shoes.The durable rubber from which the outsole is made gives you excellent traction. It’s very light and very reliable and the company gives a 6-month warranty on the outer sole.The air mesh on the upper gives you an excellent breathability.For flat footed people, there is a gentle arch support which helps you avoid the discomfort and pain.Pros Great looking shoesExcellent breathabilityAmazingly comfortableExcellent lateral supportCons A bit narrow near the front ASICS Gel-Resolution 6 Tennis ShoeThis model by Asics gives you advanced cushioning as well as the great support and durability, making them an excellent choice for tennis players with flat feet.The top feature of the shoe is a very flexible upper that gives you great movement ability while remaining supportive enough and keeping your feet aligned.The heel is kept stress free and comfortable with a special gel cushioning. The gel will absorb the impact you make when you hit the ground with your feet while playing tennis. This minimizes the chance of injury.The midsole is extremely light and it runs from toes to heel. This makes a durable and cushioned platform and it features an additional support for your arch of the feet.The outsole provides an excellent traction and grip. This outer sole technology makes the shoes feel very stable.Pros Superb hot weather tennis shoeUltimate cushioningExcellent support and stabilityGreat durabilityVery comfortableCons A bit stiff for some people LOTTO Stratosphere III Speed Tennis ShoesI know that endorsements from big names don’t always mean much, but if it means anything at all, lots of bigger name players on the pro circuit have put their names behind this very shoe!Lotto says this shoe is specifically engineered for more advanced players looking for a speed-oriented performance shoe.  Foot breathability and stability were the features that designers focused on in this version.It features a “ReactiveArch Technology” which is why this model makes it into our top 10 list for flat feet or overpronators.  It gives you maximum stability and excellent arch support.  This versatile shoe offers a selection of different Ortholite insoles and a Kurim toe cap.  The upper is made of microfiber and mesh offering enhanced ventilation and airflow. It’s packed with pro features at a mid-range price.  We like that combo!Pros Great support and stabilityExcellent traction and gripVery comfortableHigh-quality materialsSuitable for professional tennis playersCons A bit pricey K-Swiss Men’s Bigshot Light 3Speaking of the tennis shoes that are good for overpronation problem, you can’t get better than K-Swiss Men’s Bigshot Light 3, whether for professionals or casual players.  That is not to say this is your absolute best option (notice it’s not near the top of our list?!).The midsole that goes through the entire length of this shoe keeps your feet aligned while you play tennis.  Purchasers did comment on how excellent the arch support was!It’s made of synthetic leather and fabric (like most tennis shoes) but there is a potential problem.  While it’s expected that new and upgraded versions of a shoe (like any other product) would be an improvement over the previous models, this shoe appears to buck that trend.  A number of fans of the Bigshot 2 were sorely disappointed with the Light 3 version.  It looks like compared to the previous versions (hard to find online), this shoe underperforms.  The toe area (which appears to be mesh) is actually not mesh, but a solid rubber material.  That’s a cosmetic rip-off and deception when you look at the photos.  They tend to be a little be stiff according to several buyers.  You could do better for the money.However, not all is lost!  You can still get the women’s version on Amazon for a great price.  If you’d like to check out the women’s version, you can get it on Amazon now!Pros Great priceThey look goodSolid constructiongood brand nameExtremely good supportCons Toebox might be too narrow for some peopleStiffCheaper feel than previous versionsNot great ventilation NIKE Air Max Cage Tennis Shoes Air Max Cage is one of the best models of tennis shoes for hard court. The Nike uses a durable XDR outsole to provide great grip and traction without leaving any marks on the court.The combination of low arch support and Air Max cushioning system make this shoe very comfortable and supportive. It provides an excellent support for the collapsing arch of the foot.The upper is made of synthetic materials in combination with mesh to allow the airflow and keep your feet dry and healthy. These materials also provide excellent comfort, durability, stability, and flexibility.There is no need for break-in because these shoes are comfortable straight from the box and excellent in supporting flat footed players.Pros Comfortable straight out of the boxVery good arch supportAir Max cushioning systemDurable and breathable upperCons The arch support might be too far back K-Swiss Men’s Bigshot Light 3Speaking of the tennis shoes that are good for overpronation problem, you can’t get better than K-Swiss Men’s Bigshot Light 3, whether for professionals or casual players.  That is not to say this is your absolute best option (notice it’s not near the top of our list?!).The midsole that goes through the entire length of this shoe keeps your feet aligned while you play tennis.  Purchasers did comment on how excellent the arch support was!It’s made of synthetic leather and fabric (like most tennis shoes) but there is a potential problem.  While it’s expected that new and upgraded versions of a shoe (like any other product) would be an improvement over the previous models, this shoe appears to buck that trend.  A number of fans of the Bigshot 2 were sorely disappointed with the Light 3 version.  It looks like compared to the previous versions (hard to find online), this shoe underperforms.  The toe area (which appears to be mesh) is actually not mesh, but a solid rubber material.  That’s a cosmetic rip-off and deception when you look at the photos.  They tend to be a little be stiff according to several buyers.  You could do better for the money.However, not all is lost!  You can still get the women’s version on Amazon for a great price.  If you’d like to check out the women’s version, you can get it on Amazon now!Pros Great priceThey look goodSolid constructiongood brand nameExtremely good supportCons Toebox might be too narrow for some peopleStiffCheaper feel than previous versionsNot great ventilation Conclusion We hope that you found our text helpful and that our reviews will help you decide which tennis shoes to buy. If you suffer from flat feet and enjoy playing tennis you will find these shoes very comfortable and protective and the arch support will prevent the injuries and pain.Make sure that you choose shoes that are most fitting for your feet and make sure they protect you from pain and fatigue, but don’t forget that you also need a good grip and traction on the court. Also, don’t forget how important the cooling system is for your feet to remain healthy.We found that the ASICS is the leading brand in this field, but all the other models by different companies on our list are very good too. So, invest your money wisely and keep your feet healthy.The post Best Tennis Shoes for Flat Feet 2019 appeared first on Sport Consumer.