Picture Organic is a French based company who have an established history in sustainably produced technical mountain apparel. At 11 years old they have spent the last decade revolutionising how the ski industry manufactures their clothes. Renowned for unique styling combined with the latest technology their popularity has grown year on year. In the last couple of years, it has been exciting to see them apply their knowledge to the wetsuit market, with eye catching designs that offer incredible performance with a sustainable approach.
Picture Organic have developed a neoprene called Eicoprene that will feature in all their wetsuits this year. Eicoprene is made from 30% recycled tyres and 70% limestone. All the linings are made from recycled polyester and connected using Aqua-A glue, a water-based glue which is solvent free. These technologies ensure that you are purchasing a wetsuit with minimal environmental impact.
Eicoprene has been rigorously tested by the Picture Organic team, from cold winter days off the UK coast to summers in the SW of France. Durability has been a priority in the design process with the belief being that the longer your suit lasts the better it is for the environment.
How do they perform?
Eicoprene is an extremely flexible material that performs incredibly for a whole host of activities. Whether you are surfing, Sup’ing or wild swimming they will allow you move with ease through a full range of motion. The wetsuits have taken design ideas from triathlete suits offering features that haven’t been used in surfing before. The suits have “Motion Pattern” which removes seams from under the arm, the chest and around the shoulders increasing mobility so you can perform at your best. They have also used a silicone coating called Power Grip which increases resistance in the water meaning increased efficiency for paddling.
As a Podiatrist, I regularly talk to my patients about shoes and footwear fitting and every new patient that I see has their feet measured, so I am acutely aware that a large number of people, across all genders and age groups, are in incorrectly sized and poorly fitting shoes. A review of the evidence on shoe sizing and fitting published in 2018 in the Journal of Foot & Ankle Research confirmed that, ‘a large proportion of the population (between 63-72%) are wearing inappropriately sized footwear based on length and width measurements’. The evidence also demonstrates that, ‘incorrect footwear fitting is specifically associated with foot pain, poorer overall foot health, painful hard skin and even ulceration in older people with Diabetes’. There are also differences in the fitting issues between men and women, which I regularly see in clinic. Women are statistically more likely to suffer foot pain compared to men and whereas more women wear shoes that are too narrow (50% of women compared to 34% of men), men wear shoes that are too long (31% of men in comparison to 13% of women).
There are lots of reasons for being in an incorrectly sized shoe. Sometimes this is because of a lack of facilities to measure and fit shoes properly (such as a Covid-19 pandemic!), but it is also the case that footwear manufacturers often don’t offer enough range of sizes, especially half sizes in length and width fittings at the forefoot. This often means that it is necessary to go up in length to get more width or down in length to get a narrower shoe. However, this is hurting our feet and contributing to problems such as bunions, toe deformities, thickening of nerves between the bones of the forefoot, blisters and hard skin, some of which might not be correctable, therefore, knowing the true size of your feet and then getting a shoe correctly fitted around it is vital, especially for more active pursuits such as hiking and running.
Another aspect of shoe fitting is the function of the shoe. If your foot is sitting in the incorrect position in the shoe, the technology in the sole that is designed to stabilise, cushion, flex (or not flex) during a certain part of the step is not interacting with the correct part of your foot and, subsequently, the rest of your skeleton. The upper of the shoe or boot will also be interacting with the foot in the incorrect places meaning that more rigid or too flexible parts of the upper may either irritate prominent parts of the foot or allow the foot to move around in the shoe too much.
Therefore, here are my top tips for finding out your true foot size and getting into the correct shoe!
Have your feet measured! The team at the Tallington Lakes Pro Shop have all the tools to do this and Podiatrists like myself will often measure feet as part of our practice. The Society of Shoe Fitters also has a register of qualified shoe fitters such as myself.
Buy your shoes from a shop and not online if possible (especially for new models or types of shoes) – walking boots / shoes and trail shoes / running shoes should always be tried on. Only order online if buying exactly the same pair as what you have already
For active shoes like walking boots and trainers, make sure there is a maximum of 15mm and a minimum of 10mm from the end of your longest toe to the end of the shoe. For less active shoes, this can be a maximum of 10mm and a minimum of 5mm
Try to make sure the widest parts of your forefoot (the width from your big toe joint to your little toe joint) are not painfully compressed or spreading and falling over the sole of the shoe as this means the shoe is too narrow and you may need to get a specific width fitting
Make sure your foot is not moving around in the shoe – when your foot moves, your shoe should move with your foot and not within it. If it does then the shoe is too big (either too long, too wide or too deep)
There are countless ways that I use shoe technology and fittings in clinic every day to treat pain and improve function, but the tips above are a great starting point and may prevent or relieve your foot pain!
I was brought a pair of the Maier Lulaka shorts as a gift prior to my annual trip to the Lake District and from the moment I put them on I loved them! I am very particular about my clothes and often struggle to find something I feel comfortable in, however these have definitely become a staple in my wardrobe!
The mSTRETCH pro 4 four-way stretch not only means these are super comfortable but allows for ultimate freedom of movement. While scrambling up some rocks through some of the trickier parts of my hike I had unlimited stretch to ensure I had the best foot holds, the only thing that held me back was my own flexibility! Thanks to the Dryprotec when it rained I hardly noticed it on my legs, not like normal shorts that stick to your skin, these dried extremely fast, which was especially handy after my dog jumped in some puddles then jumped at me!
The stretch doesn’t stop at the waist like many others on the market it carries on to provide the perfect fit, especially when coupled with the easy lock belt. The four pockets provide plenty of storage to stash your snacks or essentials, and again you hardly feel these thanks to how stretchy the shorts are!
I’m really happy with my Ronix Vault wakeboard (2019). I’m finding my jumps and landings are much cleaner, and easier. I love riding this wakeboard and it looks great – I want to be on the water more than ever!
What’s great about the Ronix Vault board is whether it’s your first time getting up on a wakeboard or you’re an advanced level rider it’s an easy board to ride, it’s really stable, and will adapt to any situation you put it in.
This wakeboard is perfect for all levels of riding and feels awesome on the water. The amount of effort you have to put in to getting up on the water is minimal and it’s easy to use and manoeuvre.
Ronix classify the Vault for beginner or intermediate riders. It has a nice wide platform and a 3-stage rocker design to help give you that extra boost and launch you off the wake.
A cool feature to this wakeboard is it’s asymmetrical rail line that makes cutting and caving a breeze. The fins are different on the heel side to the toe side. On the heel side the fins are a little shorter, little shallower compared to the toe side that run longer which helps the toe side to be really stable, helping build confidence on the toe side edge when jumping the wake, giving you a nice clean take off and landing. Also built into the rails on the backside edge a little bit sharper over rail helping to hold the edge all through the wake.
This is a perfect wakeboard that helps build the riders confidence. the wakeboard is made from a foam cord with a fibre glass wrap its a solid board. I would highly recommend this board for all ages and all levels of wakeboarding.
After buying these lightweight, breathable Montane women’s Claw shorts for hot sunny days at work, the last thing I expected was to be wearing them out on the water every evening! After one wakesurfing session in them I’ve fallen in love, and not for the reasons you’d expect. From a trail short I expected a loose comfy fit and maybe some moisture wicking properties, but I was not prepared for how quickly the shorts dried – they were dry within minutes of getting out the water!
The Aeroflyte stretch fabric made them really comfy both in and out of the water and also protected my legs from sunburn! The inner mesh lining not only helped wick away the moisture but also once dry, felt and smelt fresh and ready for another wear.
these unique times of isolation, having a dog is the best thing in the world.
As we know they are not just ‘a man’s best friend’ but the whole family’s. They
share our time, our companionship and our emotions so it’s obvious we need to
look after them as much as they look after us.
With the new
restrictions regarding Covid-19, we are all limited to only one walk a day. For
some little dogs this is acceptable but for many like my energetic cockapoo, we
are going to have to start using our imagination. When dogs have too much
energy, things can start to get infuriating for both parties. Bad/cheeky
behaviour is more likely to occur and a short temper on our part can slowly
creep in. So what can we do to make sure the love stays in the air?
As we are unable
to go for our usual long walks, throwing balls and playing fetch are great and
easy ways to tire out our dogs. Also it’s amazing how much energy they use up
through mental stimulation. Examples include playing ‘find it’ where our dogs
have to find something we’ve hidden or for a bit of fun, we can even hide from
them ourselves. Hide and Seek is also a great game for in the house and fun for
all the family. Through using their noses, their sight and through interacting
with us, our dogs will wear themselves out faster. Which in theory should keep
their mischievous behaviour to a minimum.
With all the current uncertainties of shops closing, restrictions changing and the unknown of how long it’s going on for, it’s best we be prepared for all occasions. While the sun is shining and the days are still, it’s hard to imagine rain, sleet, wind or anything other than bliss, right now. But being British, we all know it’s best to be prepared for all weather conditions so we can make the most of our limited time outside. This means good waterproofs and wind protectors for both us and our four-legged friends. With pet stores closing we can be organised and buy online now before the time comes when we get wet and start shivering. With a good quality jacket, like those made by Ruffwear, we will have happy puppies in all weather. Ruffwear also provide handy tips for measuring and sizing-up our dogs at home so we can be confident in ordering the right size. Plus, the bonus of having our dogs wrapped up is that our furry friends stay dry which means less time battling them with the towel when we get home.
With all this
extra time we now have at home with our dogs, we have an opportunity to be
imaginative. Including Hide and Seek, there are many fun activities we can do
with our pooches which use mental stimulation as well as physical. In the
garden or inside we can make obstacle courses and try to teach our dogs how to
complete the course using a step by step approach. We can use tasty treats, a
tennis ball or whatever gets their attention to encourage them up, over or under.
The learning process is just as much fun for us as it is for our dogs, as the
trick is in the teaching. There is also an endless array of tricks we can
attempt to train our dogs. Some pointless but entertaining like ‘roll over’,
while others can be handy like picking up litter or ‘shut the door’.
unprecedented times, we are the fortunate ones who have dogs to encourage us
off the sofa. By getting equipped for all weather conditions and becoming
imaginative in our interactions we can be sure to reap the rewards of our
‘family’s best friend’. Let’s not forget they keep us active, they give us
companionship and unconditional love in times of social distancing, and are
wonderfully entertaining in their own unique ways. So let’s take this
opportunity to have some tail wagging fun!
New to our Pro Shop for this Spring/Summer season, the
British brand Montane have dedicated over 25 years to carefully craft their
reputation as a leading provider for technical outdoor apparel. Known for
developing the lightest weight clothing with the highest breathability
possible, to ensure maximum comfort; Montane’s equipment has been purpose built
and tested to endure extreme activities in extreme conditions. All this affords
you the best protection against the elements and everything in between.
Montane are the go-to brand for any mountain professional who
wants innovative clothing, accessories and equipment that have the durability
and tenacity needed to brave the great outdoors. This is why we thought it
essential we stock them in our store!
Montane works with the world’s leading fabric suppliers to
produce industry-leading materials built specifically for outdoor trails, pushing
the boundaries of what is achievable for outdoor product design. In 2016, they
were the first British brand to be given a GORE license in decades from GORE-TEX®.
GORE-TEX® provides extreme breathability
combined with durable wind and waterproofing within outerwear clothing. Not
only that, with Montane’s garments including technologies from the likes of: COOLMAX®,
PrimaLoft, Pertex and Polygiene to name a few, all contribute to a products
ability to regulate temperature, manage moisture and odour whilst optimising
the comfort for you.
You can still wear Montane’s apparel for a run around the park or a walk through the woods; though to use their gear to the best of its ability, try pushing yourself onto rougher terrain and step outside your comfort zone! Those that choose Montane demand the most from their clothing and equipment; something that Montane’s happy to provide in spades. A minimalist, functional design that’s built to last is the epitome of their range; having been tested to the absolute limit so you can go even further, even faster.
I chose a walking boot because I wanted to protect against the likelihood of an ankle injury, particularly on uneven terrain when carrying a heavy pack, which you do not get from a walking shoe. The Quest were both supportive and comfortable whatever the terrain. They’re relatively light-weight too, so all-in-all I was happy I had boots that were made for walking!
In contrast on wet autumnal and spring days, and the occasional river crossing, the membrane and gusseted tongue kept the water out. Obviously if the puddle, stream or area of water is deeper than the height of your boot you will get a wet foot, but anything else your foot was dry!
So what were they like to walk in? I found the fit nice and snug, with great heel hold. The lace locker eyelets ensure you can get the foot secure before finally tying up around the ankle. They are also set back from the other eyelets to help secure your heel into the back of the boot. At first, having been use to walking shoes, this felt a bit restrictive but once underway the support was very comfortable and reassuring.
Traction was good thanks to Salomon’s Contragrip sole and
lug (tread) pattern whether footpath, rocky terrain, or muddy woodland. They
even performed well in the snow!
I had the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti skis for a week and used them in varying conditions on piste which was hard packed and icy in the morning with soft spring condition snow in the afternoon. And after a dump of over a metre of snow I used the skis off piste too.
The first thing I noticed was how surprisingly light they were for 180cm ski. However these were the widest skis I had ever skied on so I was a little concerned about how they would react.
I shouldn’t have worried as they were excellent: high speed carving turns were a dream, very stable with great acceleration out of the turns. It was like being on rail tracks.
Shorter turns were also very easy and controllable. Just get in the rhythm and you are bouncing from edge to edge which seemed to take the skiing to another level.
Moguls were great fun, bashing the tops off and sliding down the back. Due to the sidecut I did not try the fall line route.
When on off-piste powder it was exhilarating, just like floating on a cushion of air.
The heavier slushy stuff towards end of the day was never a problem. The skis coped really well.
I really enjoyed skiing on the Atomic Vantage skis. They never let me down but to get the best out of them you have to work them and not be a passenger. By being aggressive with your skiing you will get so much out of them. They really are a dream for an advanced skier.