Annual Gear Review

Rosie Terrell
Rox bag full of goodies for the 2012 Shoe & Gear Review

There's nothing like animal print kneepads or a neon sports bra to take practice from ordinary to awesome! See our top picks of the season here.

KNEEPADS

Tachikara Kneepads

Featured color: Leopard
Price: $13.99
Sizes: Junior, Senior
Where to buy: www.tachikara.com
Description: Wild! Those looking to add a little print to their on-court presence can go with these cotton kneepads available in zebra or leopard-themed animal prints.

Nfinity d3o Kneepads

Featured color: White
Price: $49.99
Sizes: S-L
Where to buy: www.nfinity.com
Description: With both black and white sleeves in the package, this is like getting two pairs in one. Remove the pads and pop the sleeves in the washer to easily freshen up before the next game.

Mizuno LR6 Kneepad

Featured color: White
Price: $26
Sizes: S-L
Where to buy: www.moltenusa.com
Description: Just released this summer, Molten’s new low-profile kneepad, available in black or white with contour design, provides a secure fit with a touch of flair.

Pants

Nfinity Warm-Up Pants

Featured color: Black
Price: $59.99
Sizes: XXS-XXL
Where to buy: www.nfinity.com
Description: A wider leg and opening slit at the ankle make these warm-ups great for before, after, or during an active game. The nylon/Spandex mix gives them a soft feel and great stretch.

Mizuno Nine Collection Elite Pants

Featured color: Black
Price: $44
Sizes: XS-XL
Where to buy: www.mizunousa.com
Description: Athletic pants are meant to be comfortable, but when they also flatter your figure, that is a welcome bonus. With a fold-over waistband and low-rise fit, these volleyball pants could easily be worn before or after a game.

Champion Eco Fleece Knee Pants

Featured color: Sparkle Pink
Price: $26
Sizes: S-XL
Where to buy: www.championusa.com
Description: After a hard workout when your muscles are sore and fatigued, nothing feels better than a hot shower and soft fabric against your skin. That is where this long, tag-free, ultra-soft top comes in.

Mizuno Nine Collection Crew Pullover

Featured color: Royal
Price: $45
Sizes: XS-XL
Where to buy: www.mizunousa.com
Description: Tailored specifically to the female body, this pullover has a wide neck opening (so it won’t disrupt your hair) and mesh panels for increased comfort and breathability.

Champion Absolute Workout Jacket

Featured color: Moody blue
Price: $45
Sizes: S-2XL
Where to buy: www.championusa.com
Description: For those of us competing in colder climates, the brisk autumn weather can be a shock to the system after leaving a hot and sweaty gym. A solid post-game jacket with a sturdy neck is a must.

Nfinity Warm-Up Jacket

Featured color: Black
Price: $89.99
Sizes: XXS-XXL
Where to buy: www.nfinity.com
Description: The hidden zipper and contrast piping on this elegant top would allow it to pair just as easily with jeans as a pair of sweats. The long neck will keep you warm in a cool gym, or can easily be rolled down for more ventilation.

BAGS

Rox Advantage Backpack

Featured color: Royal
Price: $60
Where to buy: www.roxvolleyball.com (after Dec. 1)
Description: Also designed in black, navy, orange, and red, this all-in-one tote has a removable ball bag inside the front pocket, and the bottom has individual compartments for shoes and sweaty clothes. The padded straps and cushioned back panel make it easy on sore muscles.

Mizuno Collegiate Duffle Bag

Featured color: Black
Price: $50
Where to buy: www.mizunousa.com
Description: Measuring 24 x 12 x 12 inches, this duffle can fit just about everything you might need to stuff inside. The separate sneaker compartment and zipped pocket for valuables are key.

Under Armour Shatter Gym Duffel

Featured color: Steel
Price: $69.99
Where to buy: www.underarmour.com
Description: This bag could easily transition from practice, to class, to a weekend away. It is plenty large enough to hold all your workout gear, and has hidden features for everything else you tote around.

- Sizzle! Stick your still-hot straightening iron directly in this insulated pocket with no worries.
- Sniff! Lined with special odor defense technology, this removable laundry bag converts smelly sweat to clean CO2.
- Secure! Slip your extra hair ties onto this ring so you don’t have to go digging when your ponytail starts to slip.

TREND ZONE

Three trends we're spying this fall.

Neon!

Yup, it’s everywhere. We suggest starting easy with a pop of color here and there. Think the Asics Flashpoints with a neutral top, or a hot pink sports bra with black shorts.

Champion “Seamless Reversible Sports Bra” in neon illusion orange/sparkle pink, $26, www.championusa.com

Under Armour “Muscle Tank,” $29.99, www.underarmour.com

Champion “Sport Shorts” in Illusion Orange, $25, www.championusa.com

Champion “Hot Short” in foxy pink, $14.99, www.championusa.com

Under Armour “Running Escape Printed Shorts” in wish, $29.99, www.underarmour.com

Details!

Ruching and additional details like twists and braids in fabric can make an item of clothing both comfortable and flattering. Check out the back of the Champion Fem Cami Long Tops, a unique and fun way to add style.

Champion “Fem Cami Long Top,” $25.99, www.championusa.com

Under Armour “Muscle Tank,” $29.99, www.underarmour.com

Crew socks!

Trends always recycle in and out, and it appears that ankle socks are out and crew is back in style this season.

Nfinity crew sock, $14.99, and “BioniQ 2.0,” $110, www.nfinity.com

Originally published in September/October 2012

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