All or Nothing

Welcome to the sneaker showdown of the 21st century. This year, industry behemoths Nike and Adidas unveiled revolutionary new designs—at diametric ends of the spectrum. It's as if the Book of Genesis and The Origin of Species had hit stands simultaneously. » The high-tech ADIDAS 1, due out in December, uses a heel sensor with a microprocessor to continually analyze the cushioning needed, then, lightning-quick, a motor adjusts the sole's firmness. Buttons let you dial in the sensitivity. » Nike's minimalist FREE 5.0 is inspired by studies showing that training barefoot improves foot strength and increases speed. This simple solution employs a gossamer upper and an ultrathin, grooved outsole that conform to your foot's natural movements. » Hoopla aside, these runners aren't necessarily incompatible. The Adidas 1 is a dream for the well-heeled urban jogger, while the Free is engineered as a foot-training tool for those who track their split times to decimal points. "It naturally strengthens and develops your feet," says Nike Designer Eric Avar, "which leads to less injury, more training time, and better performance"—benefits that'll stick with you in a cushioned shoe, even one with an INTEL INSIDE sticker on it.—JONATHAN HANSON

Dog adventure travel

Luxury hotels are wooing the canine demographic like never before, with treats such as seared Alaskan salmon ($11 from the Pet Pals room-service menu at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, in Phoenix). But the luckiest hounds are embracing a fresher trend: doggie adventure travel. "For dogs, this is what they love," says Kathryn Howell, co-owner of Dog Paddling Adventures (905-477-2493,, an Ontario, Canada, outfitter that organizes year-round hiking, canoeing, and kicksledding day trips for dogs and their humans (US$27 to US$76). In New York, Blue Sky Dogs (212-531-3647, runs fall inn-based weekend hiking and canoeing trips in the Berkshires and the Catskills ($385 to $445). Colorado Canines (877-949-5069, offers a four-day, late-September houseboat trip on Lake Powell ($500); winter adventures start in January. Turn-down service? That's for cats.—KIMBERLY LISAGOR

Fall equals East Coast hurricane swells and SoCal surf groomed to peaked perfection by offshore winds. Be prepared with the new FORCE, a superstiff, Aussie-designed boogie board that features an underside with deep channels and a slick skin that wraps halfway up the rails. The result? NASCAR speed. Choose from six different psycho designs that'll make you look fast—whether you're in the tube or cruising the beach. $325; 011-61-3-9529-1770, ANDERS

More Gear