While much of the world turns on the Winter Olympics this season, very few will understand why Mikaela Shiffrin’s skis need to be so much stiffer than your relatively floppy noodles, or why Ted Ligety’s boots don’t have more than five degrees of flex. (Walk mode? Forget about it.) Luckily, as brands invest in the technology their athletes use to win, a lot of the fancy stuff trickles down into consumer products.
While you probably won’t stand on top of an Olympic race course any time soon, you can still get an edge with some of the fastest technology available. The products on the next page feature the same guts as their off-the-market Olympic versions, but come in much more manageable packages than an impossibly stiff 220cm downhill ski.