This year, Garmin released two high-end adventure watches: the Epix ($1,000) and this year’s update to the Fenix series, the Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar (8/10, WIRED Recommends). The Epix has a 47-mm case and a large, brilliant AMOLED screen; the Fenix has a memory-in-pixel (MIP) display. However, the Epix’s case is huge, and the display eats up a lot of battery. I’d go with the Fenix instead.
This year’s iteration has vastly improved battery life with solar charging—I got two weeks off one charge, with intermittent sunlight during a cloudy Oregon winter. Multiple GPS systems meant that it pinpointed my location with incredible speed and accuracy, even in the rain and under tree cover. It can record every biometric for every sport under the sun. And honestly, maps on the MIP still look detailed and pretty great. The downside? It is still fairly spendy, and earlier iterations do go on sale pretty often.
★ Alternative: If having a super bright, super crisp display or a super easy-to-use app is not at the top of your list of priorities, I highly recommend the Coros Apex 2 Pro. It connects to all five satellite systems and includes the dual-frequency GNSS support that the Apple Watch Ultra has, for more precise (and fast!) location tracking. With regular use, the battery lasted over a month.
The tracking is as accurate as the Apple Watch Ultra’s, but Coros’ training plans and metrics in their proprietary training system, EvoLab, are as detailed and helpful as Garmin’s. The plans are also clearly aimed at more experienced runners, although there are a few for beginners. I also like the big grooved buttons, the fact that the screen locks, and the startlingly wide variety of watch faces.
Sex tech has come a long way in the past 10 years—not only in terms of cultural acceptance and awareness, but also technology. Gone are the days of clunky, pink plastic rabbit vibrators and sex toys that feel like knockoff action figures. Today’s toys are designed by sex educators, medical professionals, and some of the world’s greatest sexperts. They feature ultra-premium, surgical-grade silicone, robust Bluetooth connectivity, programmable vibration patterns, and multiple motors all designed to help you have a good time.
There’s never a bad time to invest in a little extra self-care. These are some of our favorite sex toys, vibrators, smart vibrators, personal wand massagers, and accessories, all of which we’ve personally tested. There’s something here for everyone, every gender, and every body. The language on these products isn’t always gender-inclusive, but we approached testing with a gender-inclusive mindset, testing these with a variety of different genitals, bodies, and partners.
Still don’t see anything you like? Be sure to check out our other bedroom-related guides on the Best Sounds for Sleep, the Best Mattresses, and the Best Sound Machines.
Updated May 2023: We added the Satisfyer Pro 2 Gen 3 and updated links and prices.
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You’ve probably been wearing padded shoes most of your life. Don’t expect to toss them and be able to do the same mileage—whether walking or running—in barefoot shoes. To a certain degree, you must relearn how to run and walk. It’s going to take a conscious effort on your part, and it can be very difficult. You’re not just learning, you’re also unlearning some ingrained habits. The key is to go slow. Very, very, absurdly slow.
How you approach barefoot shoes depends on what you’re looking to do. I happened to be getting into running, which worked out nicely because I had to take it slow (I sucked). If you’re currently an ultra-marathoner and want to try barefoot shoes, you’ll have a hard time holding yourself back. If you’re somewhere between those poles, it’ll still be hard not to overdo it. Focus the discipline you usually use for distance into not doing distance.
If you don’t know where to start, check out Graham Tuttle’s YouTube channel, especially his foot strengthening exercises. These will help you develop the foot and ankle strength you lack if you’re coming from years of padded shoes, and help reduce muscle soreness when you’re getting started in barefoot running. Tuttle also offers some paid programs aimed at giving you a more personalized guide (I have not tried any of these). Another YouTube channel I’ve found helpful is the MovNat channel, which isn’t barefoot-specific but has plenty of good barefoot advice sprinkled throughout its content. And if you haven’t read Christopher McDougall, both Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes are fun barefoot-related reads. Indeed, Born to Run arguably did more to popularize barefoot running than anything else since the padded shoe was born in the early 1970s.
It’s also worth saying that barefoot shoes are not a zero-sum game. For over a year I wore barefoot shoes running, regular shoes for other tasks, and sandals the rest of the time. It’s not all or nothing. If you go on a barefoot run and then slap on your favorite Converse right after, that’s OK. It’s equally important to know that everyone is different. It took me six months to fully transition to barefoot shoes. But that’s just me. It might take you two months or two years. Go at your own pace, and don’t worry about the experiences of others.
One of the biggest pain points with fitness trackers is how each one has its own proprietary charger. It’s a serious inconvenience—if you forget a Lightning connector or a USB-C charger, you can always borrow one from a friend or find one in a store. But a proprietary Fitbit connector? Sorry! Guess you won’t be getting your steps tallied on that Italian walking vacation!
So it was with a sense of almost mystical reverence that I removed the Vivomove Trend from my wrist and placed it on the Qi charging pad next to my desk. I leaned over it breathlessly and examined the screen. Charging! Granted, it’s not incredibly fast, but it works! Never again will I be trapped on a work trip with an uncharged watch!
Garmin’s latest entry-level hybrid watch is still a little clunky to operate, but I do love its attractive, streamlined looks and that new charging system. Wireless charging on any Qi charging pad is almost magical. That, in itself, does a lot to put it at the head of the pack.
Best of Both Worlds
If you want to track your health without wearing an overtly chunky, sporty watch, you have a few options. Withings makes a tracker that looks as much like an analog watch as possible; Fossil’s Wellness watch packs as many metrics as possible into an analog watch face.
The Vivomove Trend gives you the best of both worlds. It comes in a variety of colorways (my tester is a beautiful, if slightly dated, peach gold with an ivory band). It has a dainty 40.4-mm case and an analog watch face. However, when you click on your device in the Garmin Connect app, you can pick up to three complications that will be visible when you swing the watch up toward your face.
This allows for much more customization than you might think, because some of the complications can combine—I opted for the Techie face, with the date up top and steps, battery, and floors climbed on the bottom.
To start an activity, check your heart rate, go to settings, or set a stopwatch or timer, you just touch your fingertip to the watch face. With a haptic buzz, the options pop up as glowing icons. If you click through to the timer but then realize you want to start an activity instead, you swipe back. As a side note, I do wish more trackers would just include one measly on-off button. (Even analog watches have at least one button!)
The buzz also alerts you when you get a notification or start an activity (you can change the strength of the buzz, but I didn’t notice a big difference). You can either start an activity manually or turn on auto activity tracking with Garmin’s Move IQ.
Move IQ is remarkably accurate—it picked up a wild 3-minute dash from the parking garage to a doctor’s appointment—but if you start an activity manually, you have to double-tap to start the activity once you’ve selected it. Since it connects to GPS via your phone, my tracked results from walking, biking, and running are consistent with results from other trackers—unless I forgot to start the activity manually, which happened a lot.
Do you wear a face mask or don’t you? Currently, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers guidance that if you live in a community with medium or high levels of Covid-19, you should continue to wear a well-fitting mask or respirator (you can check local levels here). However, the Kraken variant is still spreading, and colds and the flu have continued to circulate. Local authorities can require mask wearing too.
A good face mask is a critical tool in helping slow the spread of Covid-19. We’ve been outfitting our kids and adapting our practices as new, science-based recommendations emerge. These are some of the masks, and masking practices, that I and other WIRED staff members are using. Keep a mask on, but remember to stay at home when possible, increase ventilation in indoor spaces, get tested regularly, and maintain at least a six-foot distance from others in public (preferably outdoors).
How We Pick Masks
The materials-testing organization ASTM International also recently published the first-ever manufacturing standards on what constitutes a good face covering in a workplace setting. Based on these guidelines, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health now recommends that if you’re going into the office, you use a mask that meets the ASTM’s minimum Workplace Performance Guidelines.
This is a list of manufacturers who have self-reported that their masks now meet the new workplace guidelines, based on their own testing. It’s important to note here that these masks are intended for nonmedical settings, and if you are high-risk or protecting a high-risk individual, we still recommend an N95. The surgical masks below follow a separate ASTM standard. Generally speaking, reusable cloth masks will be less effective, but make sure any mask that you wear follows the recommended guidelines from the CDC, fits well, and is clean.
We’ve included some tips on mask care and choosing the best kind of mask straps at the end of this list. Be sure to check out our guide to the Best N95, KF94, and KN95 Face Masks, the Best Face Masks for Kids and How to Prevent and Treat Mascne.
Updated February 2023: We updated our guidance to reflect current information and checked prices and availability.