These Unexpected Stores Sell Really Awesome Running Gear

Stores with running gear

When it comes to your shoes, there’s no place like your specialty running store, where experienced runners are on hand to size you up, watch you stand, walk, and run, and provide plenty of personalized options you can test drive on the spot to narrow down your best match. When you need to restock your supply of socks, tops, and shorts, however, great gear can be found in the most unexpected places.

We scoured more than a dozen popular big box stores and online merchants to bring you the best running finds from more traditional clothing retailers. Because you can’t touch, feel, or try stuff online, we made sure to hunt for brands we know, trust, and have experience actually running in.

In the end, we found some high quality, cool gear any runner would love—and for cheap. Here are our favorite running gear finds.

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Wal-Mart: Nike Women's Dri-Fit Run Fast Running Tank Top-Black

Wal-Mart: Nike Women’s Dri-Fit Run Fast Running Tank Top-Black

This simple Dri-FIT tank from Nike will keep you comfy on hot days or during indoor treadmill sessions where there’s no airflow to keep you cool. The relaxed fit flatters all forms. Reflective detailing on the back and logo improve your visibility on your early morning and evening runs.

Buy it: $35,

Gap: Gapfit Coolmax Performance crew socks

Gap: GapFit Coolmax® Performance crew socks

The single most important thing between you and your running shoes is your socks. Runners need socks that hug their feet, wick moisture, stay put, and won’t wear through in the heels and toes after just a few runs. These Coolmax quality constructed socks from GapFit check all those boxes and are super affordable to boot.

Buy it: $10,

Target: C9 Champion Women's Plus-Size Premium Run 2-in-1 Shorts

Target: C9 Champion Women’s Plus-Size Premium Run 2-in-1 Shorts

Speciality stores don’t always cater to larger sizes on the running spectrum, so we appreciate that Target features premium shorts for plus-size women. The wide, low waistband holds the shorts up without uncomfortably digging in, while a slightly longer inseam helps prevent leg chafing. Stash your cash and key in the back zippered pocket and go.


People with creative personalities really do see the world differently

Image result for People with creative personalities really do see the world differentlyWhat is it about a creative work such as a painting or piece of music that elicits our awe and admiration? Is it the thrill of being shown something new, something different, something the artist saw that we did not?

As Pablo Picasso put it:

Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.

The idea that some people see more possibilities than others is central to the concept of creativity.

Psychologists often measure creativity using divergent thinking tasks. These require you to generate as many uses as possible for mundane objects, such as a brick. People who can see numerous and diverse uses for a brick (say, a coffin for a Barbie doll funeral diorama) are rated as more creative than people who can only think of a few common uses (say, for building a wall).

The aspect of our personality that appears to drive our creativity is called openness to experience, or openness. Among the five major personality traits, it is openness that best predicts performance on divergent thinking tasks. Openness also predicts real-world creative achievements, as well as engagement in everyday creative pursuits.

As Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire explain in their book Wired to Create, the creativity of open people stems from a “drive for cognitive exploration of one’s inner and outer worlds”.

This curiosity to examine things from all angles may lead people high in openness to see more than the average person, or as another research team put it, to discover “complex possibilities laying dormant in so-called ‘familiar’ environments”.

Creative vision

In our research, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, we found that open people don’t just bring a different perspective to things, they genuinely see things differently to the average individual.

We wanted to test whether openness is linked to a phenomenon in visual perception called binocular rivalry. This occurs when two different images are presented to each eye simultaneously, such as a red patch to the right eye and a green patch to the left eye.

For the observer, the images seem to flip intermittently from one to the other. At one moment only the green patch is perceived, and at the next moment only the red patch – each stimulus appearing to rival the other (see illustration below).

Binocular rivalry task. Author provided

Intriguingly, participants in binocular rivalry studies occasionally see a fused or scrambled combination of both images (see middle frame, above). These moments of “rivalry suppression”, when both images become consciously accessible at once, seem almost like a “creative” solution to the problem presented by the two incompatible stimuli.

Across three experiments, we found that open people saw the fused or scrambled images for longer periods than the average person. Furthermore, they reported seeing this for even longer when experiencing a positive mood state similar to those that are known to boost creativity.

Our findings suggest that the creative tendencies of open people extend all the way down to basic visual perception. Open people may have fundamentally different visual experiences to the average person.

Seeing things that others miss

Another well-known perceptual phenomenon is called inattentional blindness. People experience this when they are so focused on one thing that they completely fail to see something else right before their eyes.

In a famous illustration of this perceptual glitch, participants were asked to watch a short video of people tossing a basketball to one another, and to track the total number of passes between the players wearing white.

Try this out yourself, before reading further!

Count the basketball passes between players in white.

During the video, a person in a gorilla costume wanders into centre stage, indulges in a little chest-beating, and then schleps off again. Did you see it? If not, you are not alone. Roughly half of the 192 participants in the original study completely failed to see the costumed figure.

But why did some people experience inattentional blindness in this study when others didn’t? The answer to this question came in a recent follow-up study showing that your susceptibility to inattentional blindness depends on your personality: open people are more likely to see the gorilla in the video clip.

Once again, it seems that more visual information breaks through into conscious perception for people high in openness — they see the things that others screen out.

Opening our minds: is more better?

It might seem as if open people have been dealt a better hand than the rest of us. But can people with uncreative personalities broaden their limited vistas, and would this be a good thing?

There is mounting evidence that personality is malleable, and increases in openness have been observed in cognitive training interventions and studies of the effects of psilocybin (the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms).

Openness also increases for students who choose to study overseas, confirming the idea that travel broadens the mind.

But there is also a dark side to the “permeability of consciousness” that characterises open people. Openness has been linked to aspects of mental illness, such as proneness to hallucination.

So despite its appeal, there may be a slippery slope between seeing more and seeing things that are not there.

So, from different personalities emerge different experiences, but we should always remember that one person’s view is not necessarily better than another’s.


This Made in India Game Is Easy to Pick Up, Really Hard to Master

This Made in India Game Is Easy to Pick Up, Really Hard to Master


  • Bluk is an isometric platformer
  • The developer is based in Kerala
  • It’s a premium game for iOS

Bluk is a puzzle game made by Kerala-based one-man studio Pixelape Games. The core of the game is simple. You play as a block in a world of towers. Your goal is to hop across from one tower to the next, until you clear the stage.

This sounds very easy, but the game is actually quite hard. This is because of the way jumping across works. To jump, you tap the screen and then drag in any direction, and you’ll see a dotted line that traces your trajectory. When you release your finger, the block jumps across. The dotted line only shows half of your trajectory, so you’ll take a long time to master the art of landing the block on a tower.

You can’t cheat the system by making the dotted line lead to the next tower, because when you lift your finger off the screen you’ll usually see the block falling into the abyss, as the jump had too much power. It took us over 600 leaps just to clear the first level, so you can imagine how hard the game is. You could put a part of this down to our lack of skills, but mostly it’s the game’s difficulty level.

On clearing the first level – after repeated trial and error – you might think that you have mastered the game, and can clear stages more quickly now. Nothing could be further from the truth. That’s because the second stage introduces different types of towers – a white tower that’s slippery and a black tower which is sticky. The block tends to slide across the top of white towers and sticks to black towers. When you’re plotting the jump, you need to take that into account.

bluk_next_level_itunes.jpgWe don’t think every game needs to be easy and in Bluk’s case, the difficulty level is definitely a plus. We did feel that we were getting better at the game with each try. However we did find the lack of a story a bit disappointing. The developer mentions that “you can also follow the hidden storyline and make your mark in the special Hall of Fame.”

There is a story in the game, but it’s not obvious at all. The game’s description says that there’s some kind of a darkness growing among the pillars and your block needs to find out why and try and restore harmony. We don’t think hiding the story is a good idea. For a game with such a high difficulty level, the story could push people to keep playing. After about 800 leaps or so, we didn’t feel the urge to keep trying to clear levels. That is where a story could have helped.

That said, the game has some great visuals. Right from the nice design of the block, the towers, and the background, we were pleased with its art. The game’s controls are quite responsive too; the tap and drag is the only control option available, but it worked well for us.

The game lets you unlock certain abilities such as letting you see more towers. These abilities appear as glyphs over towers and when you land on the tower, you unlock the ability. The problem is that the game doesn’t explain how to use the ability. We only unlocked one such ability and we’d really have appreciated an explanatory note on what it does and how to use the ability.

The problem with Bluk lies in its lack of communication. We feel that the game could have been a lot better with a story that isn’t hidden and with special abilities that are a bit more obvious. The game looks great, has a pretty good soundtrack, and the gameplay mechanics are quite solid. We even like its high difficulty level. It’s a premium game for iOS and we think it’s well worth the asking price of Rs. 190.

Bluk is available on the App Store. You can pick it up for Rs. 10 for a limited time, after which it will cost Rs. 190.


  • Great art
  • Difficult
  • Responsive controls


  • ‘Hidden’ story
  • Abilities need explanation

Rating (out of 10): 7

Tags: App Store, Bluk, Pixelape Games, iOS, iPad, iPhone



Dating Apps Are Customising Themselves for India, but Do They Really Need To?

Dating Apps Are Customising Themselves for India, but Do They Really Need To?



  • There is a growing number of dating apps in India
  • These platforms talk about localisation and India-specific features
  • Many users, however, say that the differences don’t matter

India is a country with a lot of single people, a lot of smartphone users, and a big shortage of opportunities for people to interact with members of the opposite sex. The math doesn’t look good, and at least partially explains whyIndia is Tinder’s biggest market in Asia. But is it enough for an app like Tinder to be just present in India, or is India a market that needs more of a local touch?

That’s what any number of Indian companies, and Tinder, seem to believe. For one thing, no company that spoke to Gadgets 360 wants to be seen as a dating app alone. Indians might be embracing Tinder, but Tinder India head Taru Kapoor says that Tinder is about expanding your social circle and not “hooking up”.

“Our vision is social discovery, whether it’s making friends or dating or forming relationships,” Kapoortold Gadgets 360 before the launch of Tinder Social “[Tinder] Social is a part of that vision. Sometimes we interact with people one on one, and at other times we make friends in groups. With social we bring another part of the experience to the app.”

That’s why Tinder changed its app based on the feedback it got from Indian users, perhaps the biggest change being the addition of educational and professional qualifications to user profiles.

Other companies are exploring more ways in which they can accommodate Indian users. Parooz, an app that was recently launched in India by US-based Shekhar Yadav, looks like a generic Tinder clone. Yadav was in Bengaluru recently and spoke to Gadgets 360 about what sets Parooz apart from Tinder, and plans to grow the app in India.

One thing that he believes is that simply letting people swipe and connect is not enough. The app needs to be custom-built for India, which is why he regularly makes trips here to connect with his target audience.

parooz_app.jpgGoing offline
The overall flow of Parooz is very similar to Tinder, though it comes with an anonymous mode to allow people to browse through profiles without making yourself public. By doing this, you can look at people in your area, though you can’t match with or talk to them without signing up.

“We’re looking at different ways to make the app more user-friendly,” said Yadav. “One of the things that we are doing is offering suggestions about conversation topics to users, so that they can get a conversation going.”

Another thing that Parooz wants to do is help you to plan offline events. “Suppose you’re both fans of a particular music act, and you’re chatting and you decide to go for a concert,” explained Yadav, “We want to be able to help you to book your tickets and make the plan to go for the concert together.” To accomplish this, the company is looking at ways to organise the bookings, though it’s also looking for partners to create a “social ecosystem”.

(Also see: How a Dating App for Burrito-Lovers Exposed One of Online Dating’s Biggest Myths)

Other apps are also trying to focus on offline-dating. Companies like Sirf Coffee focus on setting up one-on-one interactions offline; others such as Floh, founded by Siddharth and Simran Mangharam, function more like the online membership to an offline club, which includes many successful startup founders.

Mangharam pointed out that Floh has conducted over 500 meetups in the last five years. They authenticate profiles by vetting people over telephone, and the focus on events means face to face meetings instead of anonymous browsing online.

floh_events.jpgWhat do users want?
Offline meetings and professional and educational status might be ‘made for India’, but the users we spoke to raised fairly universal problems. One user who spoke to Gadgets 360 said that his biggest issue was that many of the profiles are not genuine.

The companies talk about using Facebook for authentication – Yadav says Parooz analyses user behaviour over time to see if the metadata being generated looks like genuine activity or spam – but fake profiles are prevalent across nearly all apps.

One female user who spoke to Gadgets 360 described the apps as being a bit of a video game, saying, “I like having the meat market to browse through. We’re [Women are] use to being stared at by men, so it can be a kind of stress relief to be the one doing the leering instead.”

The companies can talk about algorithms that empower modern matchmaking and social discovery, but it seems Indian users aren’t that different compared to their global counterparts – some people are looking for dates, and others are just messing around.

Tags: Apps, Dating, Floh, Parooz, Tinder