The uppers on these incredibly light, airy and comfortable minimalist shoes are made of merino wool. Yes, wool. Unlike the itchy stuff populating your Christmas sweaters, this superfine fabric—20% the diameter of human hair—is remarkably soft and plush against your skin. You can certainly wear socks with them, but the seamless, sock-like shape is even better barefoot. Even though they’re called Wool Runners ($95), they’re best worn for light activity. So instead of the same old slides or beat-up trainers, if you’re looking for something breathable to wear before or after a match give these a look.
Traditionalists have long turned to Boast for old-school cool. But the manufacturer has recently stepped out of the country club scene and experienced a real revitalization in the market. The company that introduced the Japanese Maple Leaf—no, it’s not you know what—is now the official apparel brand of the BB&T Atlanta Open and sponsoring Donald Young. They’ve still got their classic cotton polos, but have now added more modern, athletic-fitting pieces in performance fabrics. We got our hands on some of their latest offerings and are particularly fond of the Multi Stripe Court Tee V-Neck ($58) in Carolina Blue. It’s extremely lightweight and comfortable—not to mention good looking—and doesn’t get heavy or sag when soaked in sweat.
The most powerful string in Head’s lineup, Velocity MLT is a soft multifilament that’s arm-friendly without feeling overly mushy. The low-friction coating boosts durability and affords a good amount of spin-potential for a multifilament. The lack of string movement was also impressive. At an attractive price point ($10/set) Velocity MLT is a good value for non string breakers or as the cross string in a hybrid. Released earlier this month, Prime Grip ($6/3 pack) is Head’s first foray in the “dry” segment of overgrips. It has a porous Polyurethane layer to provide a dry feeling and a second non-woven fabric for absorption. It’s a good combo as the grip is plush and dependable, with zero slippage. If you like white grips, this is one to try.
Created by a technology company specializing in sport performance training, the new app from Volt Athletics takes the guesswork out of working out. Backed by strength and conditioning coaches from some of the most renowned collegiate athletic programs, the cloud-based technology creates a personalized workout program based on the user’s preferred sport and competition schedule. Unlike other fitness apps that produce random workouts, each workout in Volt is individualized down to the specific movement, weight, rep and rest period to increase performance and mitigate injury for the athlete. Ever hear pros talk about periodizing their training to peak at the right times? This does that for the weekend warrior. The subscription is $29/month—far less than a personal trainer—and you can try it free for seven days.
With a full line of compression products, Zensah sleeves and apparel provide muscle and joint support pretty much from head to toe. They’re top-sellers in the tennis category are the knee, plantar fasciitis and elbow sleeves. I’ve actually been suffering with golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) which I’ve been told happens to “better” tennis players, although I’m sure the doctor was trying to make me feel better. So I’ve been using the Zensah elbow sleeve for support. The level of compression has helped stabilize the area and lessened my discomfort while playing. The sleeve has a cuff that can be folded over for added pressure on the forearm to alleviate pain. Thanks to the seamless construction and moisture-wicking, breathable fabric I’ve been able to wear it for long matches without overheating or irritation. It won’t solve or heal the problem, but if you got chronic joint or muscle pain, these sleeves can help keep you on the court.