The 9 Greatest Recreation Innovations Of The Year These are the Best Of What's New By Berne Broudy and Grennan Milliken | Published Oct 19, 2016 5:00 PM Best Of Whats New Vibram Arctic Grip Jonathon Kambouris SHARE Vibram Arctic Grip: A Shoe Sole That Won’t Slip on Ice Vibram’s Arctic Grip is a new type of rubber shoe sole that stops feet from slipping while walking or running on the most treacherous ice. Vibram designed the treads to mimic polar bear paws, which have tiny papillae and curved claws to increase friction (and thus traction) on ice. Arctic Grip—which debuted on shoes from six brands, including Saucony and Wolverine—uses an array of lugs crafted out of a unique ice-grabbing rubber compound to increase traction. When the wearer steps, the compound causes a split-second melt-then-freeze reaction; melting disperses the ice, and freezing against the textured sole creates more surface area for the lugs to grab onto. Styles from $150 Giro Avance MIPS Ski Helmet: The Safest Ski Helmet Two milliseconds is all it takes to injure the brain in a collision. Giro’s Avance does more than any other helmet to protect our gray matter. The helmet utilizes Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), a burgeoning head-safety technology. It allows the wearer’s head to move inside a helmet like a ball in a socket. An inner shell holds the head steady while the outer shell rotates. This movement deflects the forces that cause the worst brain injuries. For extra measure, Giro made the inner shell of premium foam to protect against successive impacts. $600 OnCourse Goggles: GPS for Swimmers It’s tough for open-water swimmers to cut through waves in a straight line. OnCourse Goggles keep them on track, no surfacing necessary. To set a route, a swimmer sights a way-point and clicks a button to lock it into an electronic compass and shore up the path. Green, yellow and red LEDs in the corner of each eye provide direction. Green in both means on course, red in the right eye means veer left, and vice versa. $200 (est.) BSX LVL Wearable Hydration Monitor: Dehydration Detector Even professional athletes are terrible at staying hydrated. So BSX created the wrist-worn LVL, the first wearable to measure hydration in real time. Other wearables make surface measurements close to the skin, but LVL uses near-infrared light to peer beneath it and record changes in blood color, which are indicative of hydration levels. If the wearer is dehydrated, it alerts them with an on-screen message. Drink up! $199 Axe Element Hyperwhip Baseball Bat: Better Grip, Faster Swing Round bats with round handles are as old as baseball. Now there’s a bat with a handle like an axe. Its ovular shape provides a better grip, and the tapered end protects from injuries when clobbering fastball after fastball. (Click here to find out what a pro thinks.) $225 Callaway XR16 Driver: Aircraft-Grade Golf Club Callaway wanted a driver that could slice through the air like a jet, so it turned to Boeing. Tiny ridges on the XR16’s club head cut air resistance by 30 percent over Callaway’s next-best driver. Faster swings add distance to drives. $350 Hydra-Light PL-500 Saltwater Light and Charger: Beachside Power for Gadgets There are no outlets at the beach, but there is plenty of salt water. The Hydra-Light turns seawater into juice for a lantern or USB-powered devices. In the reservoir, a magnesium alloy rod slowly oxidizes in salt water, releasing electrons in the process. A carbon-based cathode grabs and funnels those electrons to connected gadgets, providing more than 250 hours of power for illumination or charging electronics. $60 Sharkbanz: Wearable Shark Repellent Muscles emit tiny electrical pulses as they contract. Receptors in a shark’s snout detect these minute signals when animals move through water, helping Jaws stalk its prey. Sharkbanz—a predator-repelling wristband—contains powerful magnets that scramble a shark’s ability to read these signals—almost like getting a bright light shone in your eyes. But don’t worry: It doesn’t hurt the animal. $65 The North Face Hyperair GTX Jacket: No-Sweat Rain Jacket Waterproof jackets might keep rain out, but runners and cyclists still end up soaked—in sweat. The North Face and Gore-Tex have made an ultralight waterproof shell that breathes. The fabric has a microgrid backer that airs out perspiration. As sweat condenses, the grid lets it out as vapor. It also has a membrane that’s tight enough to make sure water beads on the outside. Once the storm passes, the jacket can be shoved into a pocket. $249 Read about the other Best of What’s New winners from the November/December 2016 issue of Popular Science. Best of What's New bown bown 2016 brain science exercise MORE TO READ RELATED The best tech of the last decade Twenty big discoveries we’ll want to remember in 2020. READ NOW RELATED TESTING LINKS /top-gadget-innovations-2017#page-3—Light L16 With two built-in cams, a smartphone... RELATED The smart home gadgets that are better left boxed The internet of "meh"