Founded by the former CEO of Vibram, Tony Post, Topo Athletics is a portmanteau of his name. Keeping to his minimalist background, the company focuses on a range of athletic shoes catering to different sports from running to Cross-fit. They originally came out with a tabi, or split-toe design as shown below, but have now shifted to a more traditional shoe form. The Fli-Lytes are an example of these – a nice lightweight speedy trainer. They are spec’ed out to weigh 8.2 oz for size 9 and came in at 10.1 oz for my size 13.
It was with great excitement that I opened the Garmin Vivosmart. I had already reviewed the Vivofit and missed my Fitbit Flex for its size and unassuming design. Could this be the fitness band you rule them all? It has such promise. It tracks your steps and sleep, tells time, and even can receive notifications from an iPhone or Android device.
But wait, there’s more. It can also act as a remote for a Garmin Virb, control music on your iPhone, and connect to a speed/cadence sensor to track a cycling workout. These are all some exciting features, but does it deliver? What kind of execution?
I have just reached a major milestone on my journey back to health. I have reached 1000 days of logging into MyFitnessPal and tracking my calories.
This all started January 3rd, 2012. It was a New Year’s resolution that I had been planning for a year or two- procrastination is my middle name.
Now that I decided that I was going to start losing weight. My plan was to lower my overall calorie input and especially my carbs. I had read good things about low carb dieting.
My first task was to weigh in — 283 lbs — gulp. Next, I needed a tool to track both my progress and my input. Since I am a major data geek, it had to be online and preferably have an app.
After looking at several apps, I kept tripping over the name MyFitnessPal. I kept looking because it was suspect to me. I’ll explain why momentarily.
Like I found with LaceLocker, sometimes the simplest ideas make the best products. In a day when we are trying to figure out how to carry many varied items, it can be a struggle. We often have to leave something behind.
For example, when I ran my first marathon, I had to make some decisions. Do I want to have my car key and all the gels and skip my iPhone, or do I want to leave a couple gels out. I wound up putting a couple in my short pockets and hoping for the best.
That’s where FlipBelt comes in. It is a really simple concept. It is a band made of EPA Certified, Odor Resistant, Pilling Resistant, Anti-Bacterial High Tech Poly Spandex Fabric as described on the product information page.
I visited the Thump Booth at the expo for the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half Marathon. There, I had the opportunity to meet the CEO of Thump, Todd Beetcher. His company originally named QAK was a start-up founded in 2011 as mentioned in the 2012 Denver Post article Headphones making noise, and Colorado companies join the party. It is a real treat to be able to speak to the owner of a company about his product. And Todd the “Thump-meister” is excited about his products.
Thump has four models of headphones starting with the entry level wired Thump Rap. Their mid-tier headphone is the Thump Blu — this was the one that founded the company. There is an advanced version of bluetooth headphones with the Thump XTreme. And they also have the Thump Fin which is a self contained mp3 player and headphone set for swimmers.
I am a major music, podcast, and audiobook addict so I bought a pair of Thump Blu to try out. I already have used several types of Bluetooth headphones with the Motorola SD-11 HD Flex being my current gold standard, so I will use them for comparisons.
Some weeks ago, I was asked to be an ambassador for the company Bio Skin. I told them that I needed to review a product and they offered to send a product and told me that their calf sleeves were especially popular.
I have never really been a big believer in Calf sleeves. I thought that they might look silly on me. But after suffering foot issues on and off for a while, it was between flare ups. This let me observe that my calves were extremely tight. Actually, some of my recent foot problems can be tied to the tightness in my calves pulling on my heels.
So, I decided that the calf sleeves would be a good choice. First thing, I had to measure to get the right size. I used a high-tech method involving earbuds and a ruler.
I managed to score a couple pairs of these socks at the Expo for the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half Marathon. I was nervous about fit because I am a size 12 shoe wearer, but use a size 13 running shoe. They were kind enough to let me open a pair and try them on the spot. They fit great, so I bought two packages of 2 pairs each.
I was a little worried and restrained myself from buying more. Because sometimes socks fit well fit well at the store and then give me problems on the run.
Sometimes, the highest praise I can give something is that I don’t notice it. It seems contrary, but it’s often true. Brilliance comes with the obvious. If you can look at something and say, “well, that’s obvious and someone would have come up with it in anyway,” ask yourself why no one has. That is good design.