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  • A foam-based polymer that reduces stress on the body by dispersing impact energy and reducing the shock that is transferred up the leg when walking. Because of the cushioning it provides ABZORB® is used in many sports shoes by New Balance. ABZORB® is also used in dress and casual shoes.
  • A man-made fiber that produces fabric with a silky feel and flowing drape. Acetate often refers to cellulose acetate, which is a man-made substance made from the natural compound cellulose. Cellulose acetate is made from wood pulp by using a purification process. Because of its soft feel, acetate is often used in lingerie and linings.
  • Notch or slight depression in top of the heel area of shoes or boots to prevent irritation and blistering on the Achilles tendon. The Achilles flex notch also helps the shoe to fit snuggly, and many walking and running shoes feature Achilles flex notches. The Achilles flex notch should bend and move with the foot.
  • A man-made fiber with a soft, wooly hand and excellent color retention properties. Acrylic is easy to wash, dries quickly and is stain and wrinkle resistant. Often preferred by people who dislike wearing wool and cashmere, it has become popular for sports garments such as socks to be made of acrylic. Acrylic tends to be highly elastic and is known to retain its shape.
  • A unique underfoot cushioning system that compresses air and circulates it through a series of chambers and channels to cushion the foot with every step. Active Air® features a spongy foot bed that contours to the foot and is double-layered to last longer. Active Air® shoes generally have wear-resistant outsoles that are usually made of a type of rubber or polyurethane.
  • A highly water-resistant, extremely breathable and totally windproof two-layer or three-layer laminate. Activent® has a unique composite of a microporous membrane and polymers. This composite is specifically engineered to maximize the performance characteristics required for short-duration, high-energy activities where complete waterproofness is not necessary. Activent® is extremely lightweight.
  • Exclusive cushioning material used as inserts in the rear of midsoles. adiPRENE® provides an absorption zone in the heel of the shoe, protecting the foot and reducing the harmful effects of repetitive shock. Made of a highly viscous material, adiPRENE® reduces impact and is said to reduce the likelihood of injuries.
  • Fiber that ensures moisture management by wicking sweat away from your skin and drying very rapidly. Advanced Skin clothing is wind- and waterproof, stretchy and form-fitting, and its manufacturer often incorporates the feedback of athletes when designing. Often used for base layer, outerwear, casual wear, gloves and socks, Advanced Skin is used primarily in high-performance clothing and outdoor gear.
  • Advantage Timber® is a Realtree® camouflage pattern featuring a variety of timber in the pattern. Advantage Timber® is ideal for any wooded setting. The lifelike color, definition and variety of leaf colors make it a favorite of elk, deer, turkey and duck hunters. Realtree® products include a wide variety of camouflage patterns designed to be effective in North American terrain.
  • Footwear technology for midsoles, providing better shock absorption. Air Cushion® compresses upon the heel’s impact with the ground and can absorb shock up to four times the body’s weight. Plus, the pronounced heel cup helps to center the heel in the shoe. Air Cushion® was designed to offer comfort and cushioning combined with stability and control.
  • Special open-weave fabric used as an inner layer to improve ventilation and moisture-evaporation. Air mesh is often used to ventilate high-performance clothing such as sports shoes and hunting shirts. Motor-sport jackets, pants and gloves made from Kevlar® often feature air mesh material because it is lightweight and breathable, so it won’t further weigh down already heavy motorcycling apparel.
  • Fabric and mat technology used, for example, as cushioning floor mats for types of stationary exercise. Made of cross-linked polymer foams with a closed-cell structure, Airex® foams are non-friable and have a low level of water absorption. Airex® foams are very resistant to chemicals and feature a high strength-to-weight ratio.
  • Tiny ceramic particles suspended in yarn allow this fabric to reflect the sun's rays and maintain cool temperatures. The wicking properties of Airloft Mesh draw moisture from the skin for additional cooling. Airloft Mesh is light weight and combines breathability with freedom of movement. It is often used in cycling apparel.
  • Special open-weave fabric used as an inner layer to improve ventilation and moisture-evaporation.
  • Aleutian® fleece is a premium, extra-warm fleece with microfiber woven into its outer face for wind and drizzle resistance. Aleutian fleece also features a high-loft pile on the inside that provides excellent heat-trapping warmth but offers breathability to prevent overheating. It insulates when wet and dries quickly, making it useful in performance apparel.
  • Lightweight, durable dry bags that are tested and approved by the US Navy. Aloksak® bags are used for keeping essential items such as maps, passports, emergency radios, clothing, food, batteries and gear dry. Aloksak® bags are waterproof, leak-resistant and can stand being submerged for up to 60 meters. They are also dustproof and can withstand humidity.
  • Natural wool fibers from the alpaca, a relative of the South American guanaco and llama. The very thin, soft and silky fiber of the Alpaca is used to make luxury clothing; it is hypo-allergenic, very durable and itch-free. Quality of the fiber varies from animal to animal, but white Alpaca generally have higher quality fleece that can be dyed a wide range of colors. Alpaca is sometimes blended with other fibers.
  • Antimicrobial fiber technology used in apparel (for example, socks) to minimize odors. Amicor® features antibacterial and antifungal additives within the fiber itself. The fiber’s structure makes the additives diffuse slowly, which makes the effects of Amicor® fibers long-lasting. The first Amicor® fiber was developed in 1998 during research into allergy-preventative materials.
  • Angel-Wing Movement is a jacket and sweater design in which armholes and sleeves are engineered to allow the arms full mobility. Angel-Wing Movement jackets are useful for activities such as rock climbing because the mobility they offer allows for faster, easier access to a pocket in a pack or the freedom needed when lunging forward for a climbing rope.
  • Ultra-fine hairs from specially-bred Angora Rabbits or Goats. Rabbit angora fibers are exceptionally fine, soft and hollow. They have the highest heat retention and best wicking properties of any natural fiber and are 2-½ times warmer than wool. They have the widest comfort range of any synthetic or natural underwear fiber and do not absorb odors. Angora goat fibers, also called mohair, are long, silky, lustrous, very strong and known for their softness and sheen. They are lightweight and a good insulator. They tend to be non-crushing, non-matting and non-pilling.
  • An oily chemical used primarily in the manufacture of dyes. The first aniline dye was discovered in 1856 and was a failed attempt to create a synthetic anti-malaria drug. Aniline is often used in leather and does not cause the leather to lose any of its structure or grain pattern.
  • Hooded pullover jacket, ideal for inclement weather. Also known as a parka, the zipper of an anorak does not run completely to the bottom. Anoraks shed precipitation, are less bulky than a jacket, and are generally heavy and hip-length. Anoraks originated with the Eskimos and were first adapted for use during World War II.
  • Treatment applied to garments to reduce the presence of odor-causing bacteria. By inhibiting the growth of microbes, or microorganisms, antimicrobial finishes protect the garment by preventing the stains and loss of fiber quality that can occur in the presence of microbes. Antimicrobial finishes also protect the wearer of the garment from odors and the possibility of infection.
  • by Polartec® — Fabric with the warmth of Polartec®, combined with four-way stretch and a membrane for windproof protection. Aqua Shell® is designed to replace neoprene and spandex skins for many water sports by providing far greater comfort and increased warmth per weight. The 4-way stretch provides a non-restrictive fit along with easy donning and doffing. The polyester inner construction of Aqua Shell® provides a high warmth-to-weight ratio. Aqua Shell® is odor- and itch-resistant, non-chafing, and features outstanding sun protection (UPF 40).
  • Silicone-impregnated, water-resistant suede. Aquasuede is often used in riding gloves because it sheds water, is quick-drying and provides grip when holding the reins of a horse. Aquasuede is durable and versatile and can be found on the palm of many equestrian gloves. Most Aquasuede gloves can be washed.
  • Tent floor/side seams that have been cut and sewn in such a way that the wall/floor seams of the tent are off the ground, to prevent water leakage. The edge of the floor seam is inside the wall seam.
  • A knitting pattern of diamond shapes in various colors against a solid background. Oftentimes, cross stripes appear in the pattern, causing many to consider argyle a form of plaid. Argyle was originally a tartan for the Campbell clan and the pattern still evokes Highland spirit. Argyle is often seen on socks and golf sweaters.
  • Elastic around armholes in vests to prevent heat from escaping.
  • French terms for a small, irregular pebbled or embossed effect in woven fabrics. The surface of armure fabric has a wavy rib characteristic that produces a textured effect. Meaning “armor” in French, the armure pattern gets its name because the fabric is woven in a way that resembles chain mail armor.
  • A clothing and glove design meant to comfortably accommodate and move with joints such as elbows, shoulders, knees and knuckles. Articulated clothes don’t restrict movement, so many sports and outerwear garments are articulated. Articulated clothes also include hunting jackets, hiking boots and casual pants.
  • A man’s neck scarf worn looped under the chin for sophisticated style. Ascots are shorter than most neckties and originated in Great Britain in the late 19th century. The ascot was originally considered formal wear during the late 1800s, but its popularity declined in the early 1900s. It regained popularity in the 1960s among counterculture groups in London.
  • An injection-molded insole created by Asolo. AsoFlex is light and indestructible, with variable thickness for a superior shock absorption and foot health. Used in hiking boots, AsoFlex is designed around the human foot and provides support to avoid injuries caused by twisting, inward rolling and outward rolling of the foot.
  • Atmospheres (ATM’s) are units of pressure used to measure the water resistance of a watch, specifically, its resistance to pressure. One ATM is equivalent to about 14.696 pounds per square inch of pressure. The ATM unit was originally created in 1954 to represent the atmospheric pressure at sea level of Paris, France.
  • Commonly used term in footwear to designate better traction in rough and slippery terrain. Boots featuring an ATS (All Terrain Sole) are lightweight, low-density and shock-absorbing, so the foot is protected on harsh terrain. ATS soles reduce foot, leg and lower back fatigue. Hiking, work and motorcycle boots often feature ATS soles.
  • Footwear system found in Ariat boots that dramatically reduces fatigue and stress in the feet, lower legs, and back. ATS technology features an exclusive gel-cushion insole that conforms to the foot and a composite-fiber forked shank that provides three times the stability of a steel shank. The moisture-wicking foot bed of ATS technology ensures feet stay dry.
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