What do stylish Henley shirts and old school leather boots have in common? They’re both appreciated by adventurous gentlemen. If you’re looking to update your gear closet or maybe just spruce up your day-to-day style, these picks from our team of gear testers will pique your interest.
Showers Pass LS Bamboo-Merino Henley
Nearly $100 for a Henley-style shirt? Absolutely and a solid value with the 50/50 mix of two proven fabrics. Active Junky’s ridden Showers Pass cycling products for five years yet this piece argues for a bigger part of our active life. Bamboo inside means silky contact with even the most sensitive skin as merino outside champions stinkless warmth. The athletic cut of the piece won us over; UPF 50+ sun protection turns this easy-breathing model into a three-season piece.
Tester Quote: “My old (Henley) was cotton – and looked great for about an hour until perspiration struck or the wind came up. Now I’m strolling from chopping wood or snowshoeing right to my favorite après place without thinking about the look or smell.”
Best For: Fat tire biking, winter commuting and paddle sports
Duluth Trading Company Buck Naked Performance Briefs
This is a high-output, no-excuses version of a panelized boxer, one advanced by a company known for quality with a side order of humor. Active Junky took the bait on a review pair with early accolades for the 93% nylon, 7% spandex knit wicking blend. While summer’s a long way off, the pair handles cooler temperatures well with full freedom of movement anchored in stretchable fabric and a three-panel back. Colors feel somewhat team inspired while sizing is true. Their pitch is against cotton briefs but testers put them in the running against travel underwear options.
Tester Quote: “Instant comfort. Full movement. An overlapping fly. Lots going on here to underpin Duluth Trading’s claim of feeling Buck Naked. The pricing is reasonable for the category. Styling is more for the wearer than anybody else so pick your Lucky Color and try a pair.”
Best For: Active, everyday wear
Oboz Teewinot: No backtracking
Full speed ahead, Active Junky says, after four months inside the full-leather uppers of this non-waterproof model. Capable of shedding light rain and splashing water, to-the-toe-lacing secures the slipper-like comfort of these high-traction scramblers. Back in the city, suede serves up a laidback vibe despite the shoe’s aggressive grip. A solid price completes the package.
Tester Quote: “I’m probably wearing them in (wetter) conditions beyond the spec, but I don’t care. Even though I’ve got a dozen choices every morning, Teewinot gets the call 75% of the time for daily wear, much less when fast day hikes are planned.”
Best For: All-around wear, competent trail wear with moderate loads
Woolrich Unlined Yankee Boot:
There’s a time to Euro and a time to step into life with some pride in U.S. innovation. Yankee instantly garnered respect on the streets of Santiago and across Chile’s shockingly diverse Chiloe Island. Reliable lacing snugs up the premium Horween leather upper as a Vibram outsole renders knowing traction. In between, a stacked leather midsole injects the right amount of cushion, stiffness and all-day wearability. Once testers learned the Woolrich story started with John Rich in 1830, the boot needed no further explanation. Footnote: The Lane boot (in Teak or Yellowstone) is an Active Junky favorite as well.
Tester Quote: “Their (Woolrich’s) plaid shirts came out of my Dad’s closet during my college years. I’ve got a new one now, and Yankee comes with that same old school style. Though not billed as a travel shoe, there’s no reason to leave them at home on international trips.”
Best For: Everyday casual wear in light to moderate weather