Drool-worthy sports shoes are here!

There’s been a sudden surge of sports shoes at home recently. Between S and me, we have five pairs of various brands. Throughout my 13 years of schooling, I only had one sports pair: white canvas with laces, which had to be polished with thick and gooey white polish. We called them “tennis shoes”.

The few times I did go shopping for sports shoes, we’d fix a budget in mind and make a trip to Vama at Peddar Road. I’d try on a few pairs and then the most comfortable and “sensible” white pair was selected.

And then, for many years, I didn’t really need to buy sports shoes (I’ve never been a sporty or running or jogging or walking person). The sports shoes came out of the cupboard for holidays, vacations, picnics etc. And the shoes remained white and nice (and boring) for a long time. And then last year my white Nike pair (with a blue sswoosh) gave in, after several years of faithful service and support, and it was time to go sports shoe shopping again. I had started walking and jogging a bit and wanted good, no, great shoes. But when I went to the mall to take a look, I was blown away. I saw a mind-boggling range of sports shoes- different colours, textures, designs, some with fancy names, some with cool technology… and with several different uses. Shoes to wear with jeans, shoes for running, for walking, for tennis, for football, for fancy clothes… I was spoilt for choice. I finally settled for Reebook’s ZPump shoes in pink. Yes, PINK. And they look great, fit wonderfully, and have been holding me up for very long walks and runs.

Meanwhile, S needed to replace his old Puma pair. Again, white shoes, red logo. He’d decided to take up running (completed his first half marathon last week, yay!). S has bought three pairs since last year, two black and one blue, and he’s already looking for the next pair.

The transformation of our shoe rack (and our fitness level) has been incredible. We now own a colourful shoe rack filled with awesome-looking sports shoes.

Here are some awesome sports shoes lining up the stores these days, each with something “new” to offer, guaranteed to make you stand out in a crowd.

Colour crazy: Boys, make a statement with these black and gold MetaRun shoes from ASICS.

Asics MetaRun

Texture play: The two-toned mesh of the Skechers GORun Vortex shoes look super dynamic on the field.

Skechers GoRUN Vortex

Sporty but feminine: Ladies, here’s the purple sports shoe we’ve all been dreaming of! From Power Shoes (available at Bata).

Power by Bata Trail Zion (3) - INR 3499

Stars and stripes: When textures and colours abound, can prints be far behind? These patterned sneakers from Vans’ Americana collection will go great with jeans.

Vans Americana sneakers collection

High on tech: You just can’t go wrong with Reebok’s ZPump Fusion shoes (I own a pair!). The shoe molds itself to my foot and use the pump for cushioning and no-pain running.

Reebok ZPump Fusion - Rs 10,999

Which sports shoes are you planning to buy?

Watch it. Get fit.

My Facebook feed these days is stuffed with friends, school mates, ex-colleagues, far-off cousins and random people achieving unbelievable fitness feats. They are running full marathons, cycling across the countryside, losing 60 pounds, climbing mountains and sculpting Hugh Jackman-like bods.

And so, the hubby and I have been bitten by the fitness bug too. It’s a good thing, of course, and discovering that the old jeans fit again is oh-so-satisfying. Mr S got into fitness mode first and August was his birthday month, so I went hunting online for a gift. On a whim, I googled “fitness watch” and that’s when I discovered THE PERFECT GIFT. The mind-boggling range of wearable fitness devices—watches, wrist bands and clip-ons—is enough to get any fitness enthusiast salivating.

These fitness devices are amazing—while the basic ones track how much you walked or ran, some of the advanced fitness wearables monitor heart rate, sleeping patterns and calories burnt.

And the good news for a fashionista like me is that they look stylish too. Designed as chic minimal pieces, fitness devices have plenty of features and colour options.

Anyways, if you’re looking to get fit and need just the right kick in the rear, investing your hard-earned salary in a fitness watch might just get you in the mood. Or you might just have found the perfect Diwali gift for a special someone, family member or friend.

Now that Mr S’s Fitbit Charge HR has become an indispensable part of his life, he’s promised to gift me a fitness watch for my happy budday this month. Now all I need to do is get on the treadmill. 😉

My picks:

Starter fitness wearable for newbies: Jawbone UP MOVE (Rs 4,999)

Jawbone UP MOVE

Great value for money, critics’ pick and my favourite: Fitbit Charge HR (Rs 12,990)

Fitbit Charge HR plum

Feature-packed pieces: Fitbit Surge (Rs 19,990) and Jawbone UP3 (Rs 14,999)

Fitbit Surge black

Jawbone UP3 Ruby Cross

For serious runners who want GPS: Garmin Vivoactive (Rs 17,660)

Garmin Vivoactive

Are cricket players more fashion-conscious?

In the past century, fashion has evolved tremendously—from corsets to crop tops, and coat tails to tshirts. With hundreds of fashion brands vying for attention, people across the world have become more trendy and fashionable. Not surprisingly, two of the most glamourous fields in the world- fashion and sports- have collided and sports persons have turned into fashion icons. This global trend began with football player David Beckham early in the 21st century.

Just like fashion, cricket has evolved as well since the 1800s, and from being role models, cricketers have become style icons as well. Unfortunately, this seems to have come at a cost. The cost of True Style.

Imran Khan cricketer

Days of cricket past: When style went beyond fashion

Your personal style is a means of expression of your personality and is an all-encompassing concept, going beyond what you wear. Style reflects in your clothing and hair, the way you speak to someone, hold your fork, or write a letter. This traditional sense of true style was something the gentlemanly cricket players of the previous century possessed and practised. You couldn’t be dressed to the Ts and use abusive language like a drunken slob at the local pub.

For instance, the dignified Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was known as much for his quiet charm as for his understated luxe clothing. The dashing Imran Khan made women swoon with his smart shirts and suits, thick wavy hair and his elegant conversation.

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi

Cricket players have also sought different means to express their individuality and personality. With his carefully groomed side burns à la Elvis Presley, India’s “Brylcreem boy” Farokh Engineer was a vivacious, talkative man and continues to be one. While Sir Viv Richards with his swagger, doffed cap and murderous smile, epitomized Caribbean cool much before a certain Mr. Gayle.

Days of cricket present: Cricket and fashion in the 21st century

Some of the younger Indian and international cricketers are eager to try new trends or even forge their own trend. So Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh carry off grungy jeans with elan, while Kevin Pietersen’s super confidence puts him equally at ease in a printed tee and chinos, as well as in a tailored suit. His versatile style is the envy of a lot of young men.

Virat Kohli tee and jeans

Off duty, most cricketers like to play safe with their fashion and opt for well-known international fashion brands (a number of them often go shopping on their overseas tours). Of course, there is more focus on personal grooming, along with hot trends, high street and premium fashion. Famous cricketers have been spotted in brands like Ed Hardy (Harbhajan Singh), French Connection (Shikhar Dhawan), Lacoste (Michael Clarke) and H&M (Virat Kohli). At formal events several cricketers sport designer suits from luxury brands.

Current off-duty styles

Off the field, the gentlemen (and fashion icons) of today’s cricketing world have opted for a range of looks and styles, such as:

  • Classic– Neutrals like white and black with straight cut jeans (favoured by Kumar Sangakkara, Alastair Cooke)

Kumar Sangakkara

  • Grungy – Distressed jeans, acid washed denim, printed graphic tees (loved by Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers)
  • Sporty– Polo shirts with badges, casual shirts with chinos and jeans (such as Brendon McCullum, Graeme Smith)

Graeme Smith polo tee

  • Versatile– Wear a range of looks (like Kevin Pietersen, Brett Lee)

Kevin Pietersen

On-field fashion

The current crop of cricketers also set out to express their individuality on the field as well. Despite being in uniform, their distinctive features stand out:

  • Tattoos: Brendon McCullum, Kevin Pietersen, Dale Steyn

Brendon-McCullum

  • Hair: Lasith Malinga’s coloured locks, Brett Lee’s spikes, MS Dhoni’s ever-changing hair styles

Lasith Malinga hair

  • Sunglasses: Chris Gayle, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh

Chris Gayle

  • Facial hair: Shikhar Dhawan’s curled moustache and stubble, Mitchell Johnson’s handlebar moustache, Ravindra Jadeja’s royalty-inspired moustache

Mitchell Johnson

Style, fashion and “uniforms”

In the first decade of this century, the idea of style has given way to “fashion statements”, and thus style has become equated only with what you wear. Men and women have become clones when it comes to sartorial choices (solid or graphic tees, skinny jeans, chinos and sneakers). These off-the-field “uniforms” may make you feel part of the peer group, but they don’t express your personality or style.

This limited definition of style has unfortunately percolated to current cricket players as well. While some of them may make a strong fashion statement, their unique style is lacking and invisible. Let me explain: I have never met Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, nor do I recall watching or reading any interview with that legendary cricketer. Yet, one look at his off-duty picture and I am convinced that if I were to meet him, he would be a true gentleman- courteous, respectful, benevolent and, of course, charming. That is the magnetic power of True Style.

True, we shouldn’t judge a wearer by his or her clothes, but what about style as a holistic concept? Somewhere in the past few decades, individual, meaningful True Style has almost disappeared.

Bodyline (sorry, bottomline): Style vs Fashion

Yep, cricket players these days are smart, suave and well-groomed. Some of them endorse fashion brands, appear on fashion magazine covers and sell beauty products, while others are trying their hand at fashion themselves (Virat Kohli’s fashion line WROGN and Zaheer Khan for Sher Singh).

Shikhar Dhawan GQ India

With the overwhelming number of clothing and accessory options for cricket players today, the bright young lot these days is more fashion-conscious than ever. Despite this, the timeless appeal of the erstwhile cricket players is universal, eternal and magical. Young people across the world may want to copy the current players’ clothes, but how many can truly emulate the charm of Pataudi, the playfulness of King Viv, or the elegance of Imran Khan? Now THAT is True Style.

This blog post is an entry for the Blogger Dream Team activity run by Blogmint. (Check out #BloggerDreamTeam on Twitter.)

7 awesome facts about Team India’s Cricket World Cup jersey

The Indian cricket team kickstarted their ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 campaign this weekend with a big win over Pakistan, and we all celebrated! 🙂 As noteworthy as Virat Kohli and the team’s great performance on the field were the distinctive team uniforms.

Nike India team jerseys

Team India’s kit is high-tech, lightweight, comfortable, and much much more. So here are some wondrous facts about the Indian team kits and why they are totally awesome. Read on and boast these facts at the next match you watch with friends (February 22 against South Africa at MCG, Melbourne).

Fact #1: The kit is custom-made

The kits are designed by Nike, official apparel sponsor of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Nike has been designing team jerseys for years now, but this kit was especially developed for Team India.

Fact #2: Each kit is sustainable

Each Team India kit (jersey and pants) is made of approximately 33 recycled plastic bottles. Sustainable = Fantabulous.

Fact #3: The design is insight-based

The Nike team designed the jersey with the help of inputs from several cricketers including ODI captain MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.

Fact #4: Different strokes for different folks

There are separate shoes for batsmen and bowlers. The batsmen’s shoes are called LunarDominate. The shoes have an enhanced grip, ultralight soft and responsive cushioning, a toe “bumper” and plush sock-like fit.

Nike Lunar Dominate shoes for Team India

Fact #5: Special shoes for bowlers

The bowlers are wearing LunarAccelerate, whose main feature is the midfoot strap that locks down the ankle and prevents forward foot slide. That strap is the unmissable “pink stripe” you see on bowlers’ shoes.

Nike Lunar Accelerate for Team India cricket

Fact #6: High-tech kits for optimum performance

The Team India jersey is truly innovative. It’s got Dri-Fit Prime Lite lightweight fabric with laser ventilation holes and breathable engineered knit to keep players dry and comfortable during the match. (Dri-FIT is a microfiber, polyester fabric that moves their perspiration to the fabric surface, where it evaporates. (And hence, we have “cooler” players on the field.)

Nike Team India 2015 world cup jersey

Fact #7: The kits are loved all over!

Tennis ace Roger Federer owns a jersey! As do other famous fans. Take a look:

Roger Federer Bleeding Blue Nike

Deepika Padukone (actor)

DEEPIKA PADUKONE_BLEEDBLUE

Vikas Khanna (chef)

VIKAS KHANNA_BLEEDBLUE Nike

Subbalaxmi (cricket player)

SUBBALAXMI_BLEEDBLUE - Nike

Go Team India!

Team India kits are available at select Nike India retail stores and on nike.com.

Formula 1 Fashion: Race day dressing

Formula 1 Fashion: Race day dressing

If you’re as excited as I am about the race at BIC tomorrow, you will either be at the circuit, glued to your TV set, or chilling at a sports bar with friends. Either ways, you gotta dress for the part of a Formula One fan!

So here are my top fashion tips for race day.

What NOT to wear

  • Your favourite LBD (the race is the afternoon, and it’s in Noida not Paris!)

 

  • The office shirt- it’s the weekend, it’s a sporting event, and you gotta chill. 🙂

 

  • Casual shorts- The race is usually attended by the who’s who, and “beautiful people” from across India and the world. So keep your beach bermudas for your next Goa trip, please.

 

  • Rock star tee- The Metallica tshirt, really? After last year’s debacle?

 

  • Tottering heels- Those are for the after party, dahling!

 

What you could wear

  • Your favourite team or driver tshirt, paired with chinos or jeans (skinny ones for women). Or this classy Delhi Formula 1 polo from Lecoanet Hemant. It’s got the route map traced on it and will take you to the next season as well.

Lecoanet Hemant F1 polo

  • Accessorise with sensible shoes (loafers, moccasins, slip-ons) and sunglasses to beat the mid-afternoon sun. Fendi or Fastrack- it’s your choice!

Fashion at Euro 2012: Of flashing underwear and stylish team kits

Fashion at Euro 2012: Of flashing underwear and stylish team kits

Turns out that flashing underwear is not just a wardrobe malfunction or a teenage style statement- it’s a cause for punishment!

Nicklas Bendtner- AP

Picture courtesy: AP

So Danish footballer Nicklas Bendtner flashed his underwear last week before millions of people, and the UEFA police is now after him. For flashing an unauthorised brand.

Paddy Power (which appeared on Nicklas’s underwear) is a betting company. According to UEFA rules, no player’s kit can include or endorse brands not approved by the football body. So Nicklas might be in trouble for ambush marketing.

More absurdly, there’s actually a rule on football players’ underwear. It states:

“If undershorts are worn, they must be of the same main color as the shorts.”

This just means one thing to me- a football association decides your underwear!

BTW, footballers do crazy things on the field, from illegal diving to taking their jerseys off, so baring one’s undies isn’t something new.

Team jerseys- analysed!

If you want to show support for your team, you can buy the team jerseys if you know who their sponsor is. Adidas has designed the jerseys for Spain, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Greece and Ukraine, while Nike has done for a host of nations France, Portugal, Croatia, Netherlands and Poland.

And if you’re football-challenged like I am, just buy the jersey that looks good. Here are my picks:

Boldest colour

The Dutch team’s bright orange. Also liked the deep red of the Spain jersey.

Dutch uniform Euro 2012

Most elegant kit

The French kit, no doubt. I love the combo of gold accents and classic blue.

French jersey Euro 2012

Most confusing

The red and white chessboard on the Croatian jersey reminds me of the black-and-white chequered flag of a Formula One race.

Best white uniform

Germany- three thin diagonal stripes. Cool!

Germany unifrom Euro 2012

Where to buy

Spain and Germany jerseys are available at Adidas stores across the country. Nike country jerseys are available in Nike stores and on Myntra.com.

Which Euro 2012 team jersey is your favourite?

Sports Fashion: Of LBDs, fashion disasters and more

Sports Fashion: Of LBDs, fashion disasters and more

LBD makes a (clay) court appearance

Maria Sharapova completed a career slam by winning the French Open 2012, in an LBD (aka Little Black Dress).

Maria Sharapova-Sara Errani final

Picture courtesy: Getty Images

With a grey panel for some relief, Maria’s classic style statement was completely off for the European summer. Maybe she could take a leaf from her opponent Sara Errani’s fashion diary- wearing a more upbeat colour (purple mixed with lilac).

The Spanish Olympic outfits are as bad as their economy

The Spanish economy is down in the dumps, to put it mildly. That may be the reason they hired Russian fashion house BoscoSport to design their Olympics 2012 outfits for free. Take a look:

Spain Olympics team

Picture courtesy: El Pais

If the Spanish outfits are so bad, wonder what the Greek uniforms would be like. Hmmmm….

Euro Cup 2012 sees some serious fashion risks

I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks the diagonal stripe across the Russian football team’s uniform is confusing. What say?

Russian football team