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The days are getting shorter, ski movie trailers are circulating online, and the leaves are at least starting to think about turning color. That all means one thing: It’s time to get your rear in gear before the chairlifts start turning! Check out SKI’s favorite gear for pre-season fitness and strength training. This workout gear may be the motivation you need to start getting in shape for ski season.
Salomon Sense Ride Running Shoes
New for 2017, Salomon designed the Sense Ride running shoe to provide top performance in an affordable package. Made for trail running, these shoes utilize Salomon’s grippiest sole technology, which performed especially well on steep, wet descents in the Colorado foothills. The midsole features VIBE Technology, which provides a ton of support and dampens vibrations throughout the sole. The cushion is a bit much if you prefer a serious performance trail running shoe, but it worked great for smoother trails and trailside strength training sessions. These shoes also have Salomon’s endoFIT elastic foot sleeve to keep the shoe locked on to your midfoot, and a fairly spacious toe box is ideal to accommodate wide-footed folks. [$120, salomon.com]
Skullcandy Method BT Sport Earbuds
Whether you like it or not, headphone cords are a thing of the past (thanks, Apple). Thankfully, the lack of a cord is perfect for activities that involve movement, including anything you do for preseason ski training. The Skullcandy Method BT Sport earbuds are critical for swinging kettlebells without worrying about your headphones getting ripped from your ears. Thanks to the Bluetooth technology, it’s just a matter of turning them on and rocking out. They are water resistant so you can get your sweat on while you jam. On top of it all, these have some of the best sound quality and battery endurance of any Bluetooth headphones tested, so you can use them for more than sports and not miss a beat. [$60, skullcandy.com]
Outdoor Voices Printed 7″ Runner’s High Shorts
Comfortable workout shorts for men are flooding the market, which is a great thing for consumers. Comfortable shorts that save the environment, however, are a bit harder to find. Thankfully, Outdoor Voices has created an active short with a plush liner to prevent your man-bits from flopping around while you get your sweat on, and they are made almost entirely out of recycled plastic bottles. Smooth to the touch and highly breathable, these are great shorts to use for running, yoga, and weight training. Your post-workout euphoria will feel even better knowing that you’re helping the environment. Bonus: the color pattern is especially rad. [$65, outdoorvoices.com]
Chamois Butt’r GoStik
If it’s been a long summer without a lot of fitness, certain body parts might be touching a bit more than expected during that first cardio class. Have no fear, and have no chafe, thanks to the Chamois Butt’r GoStik. Perfect for where the sun doesn’t shine on training runs (your armpits, silly! But also your other nether regions), put some of this on before strength training, spin class, and even on your feet before your first few ski tours of the season to prevent blisters. The Original Chamois Butt’r has been a staple for athletes for years, but the GoStik keeps all the anti-friction power without getting goop all over your fingers, making it a must-have item for whatever your favorite preseason training activity is. [$15, chamoisbuttr.com]
GU Campfire S’Mores – Gel and Stroopwafel
We are big fans of the new Campfire S’mores products from GU. The gel is perfect as a pre-workout snack and a great way to fuel during long workouts, plus 10% of sales go to the Conservation Alliance’s Public Lands Defense Fund, so you can get some delicious energy and help protect beautiful spaces as well. Not a fan of the gel texture? You’re not alone. Luckily, GU put the same flavor into their Dutch-style Stroopwafel, which pairs great with coffee before or after working out. The flavor is on-point for both products, and the energy boost is always needed and appreciated. [Gel $36 for 24; Stroopwafel $22.50 for 16. guenergy.com]
Balega Silver Socks
Featuring American yarn that’s as soft as puppy fur, these socks feel great to put on before working out. Made with cushion on the bottom and sides, and a well-ventilated top to let the heat out, these are ideal for strength training, road running, and indoor cardio sessions. The silver built into these socks maximizes blood circulation and energy flow, and one tester admitted their feet felt livelier on a 30-mile backpacking trip outside of Aspen while wearing these. The cushion is a bit too much for high-performance trail running shoes, but this is a perfect sock for indoor training and road running. [$15, balega.com]
AIM Adventure U Ski Fitness Course
Someone smarter than us once said “a goal without a plan is merely a dream.” If you want to get in the best shape possible before the lifts start spinning, you need a road map to make it happen. Our choice is to sign up for AIM Adventure U’s Ski Fitness Online Education Course. Designed by World Cup Mogul Champ and Olympic Medalist Shannon Bahrke, the jam-packed course advises on the best ways to pick up weights, put them back down, and be a better skier because of it. The course consists of cardio, strength, and nutrition components. Best of all, you can take classes at your own speed, meaning you can start now, or two weeks before your first big ski vacation (not recommended, but allowed). [$190, aimadventureu.com]