Lugz Allerton Sneakers

We’re big fans of the casual shoes and sneakers from Lugz and we recently tried out the Allerton high-top sneakers in grey pictured above. Like all of the shoes from Lugz they’re very comfortable and look very stylish. The Allertons feature a canvas upper, cotton drill lining, cushioned insole and rubber outsole.

The muted dark grey color with the white outsoles make the Allerton sneakers a great option with jeans or other casual slacks and they work for most weather settings. Check them out for yourself along with all of the other selections available at the Lugz online store. If you have a guy on your gift list who can use some casual shoes or sneakers then you’ll find tons of great gift ideas there as well.

  

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DesignByHumans t-shirts and more

DesignByHumans (DBH) is a unique t-shirt company devoted to artistic expression. Graphic artists are encouraged to submit t-shirt designs and the best are featured on the site. The result is an incredible selection of t-shirts and hoodies for both men and women featuring distinctive artwork. We tried out several samples and the quality of the shirts matches the quality of the art.

DesignByHumans is built around an online community “dedicated to buying, designing and celebrating the art of graphic t-shirts.” Each day the site features a new designed shirt selected from hundreds of creative submissions. Each design selected as a daily winner wins $1000 so the artists are definitely rewarded. Winners are selected from the peer voting committee and the DesignByHumans curators.

Shirt Of the Day t-shirts are discounted which encourages consumers to come back regularly, and you can shop the 50 most wanted tees for the best of the best in DBH design.

If you have someone on your gift list that appreciates trendy t-shirts and designs, then you should definitely check DBH out as you do your holiday shopping.

  

Casual shoes from Burnetie

Burnetie sent us one of their Ox Light casual shoes and we were impressed by the quality and comfort. These low tops with a canvas body with rubber sole sports a classic design that has been updated to make the shoe lighter and more comfortable. The white stitching also adds to the styling. Canvas shoes with white runner soles have become very popular and the Ox Light model would be a great option for spring or summer, or even winter if you’re lucky enough to head south for warmer weather. The shoes come in black and red as well and they look great with shorts, jeans or casual slacks.

For consumers interested in sustainable products, Burnetie recycles their rubber waste and makes their outsoles with 50% pre-consumer recycled rubber.

Check out the Burnetie web site for an excellent selection of shoes for men and women. You’ll find classic looks like the Ox Light shoes we tried along with trendier options as well. The prices are very affordable and you should find some great gift ideas for the holidays.

  

Coolibar clothing protects you from the sun

With vacation season around the corner many of us will be escaping to warmer climates as we approach the holidays and winter. While we all love the sun, we’re all more aware these days of the need to protect ourselves from harmful rays. Coolibar products are designed to provide relief and protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Coolibar uses specially developed fabrics for their clothing and they are independently tested for their Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), which is a rating for fabrics that is similar to the SPF rating for sunblock. Their products achieve a UPF of 50+ which means that the fabric will block 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB radiation.

We tried out a button shirt like the one above, along with a t-shirt, swimming trunks and hat. All of the products have a cool and casual style and are very soft and comfortable. The fabric stretches and is perfect for outdoor activities. The clothing is designed to move moisture away from the skin as its woven with smooth, ultrathin polyester microfibers. The feeling is much different from cotton clothing but it’s still soft and comfortable.

Check out the various styles for men, women and kids at the Coolibar site and you’ll probably find some great ideas for you holiday shopping.

  

App of the Week: Bastion

Developer:
Supergiant Games

Compatible with:
iPad

Requires:

iOS 5.1

Price:

$4.99

Available here

As the Summer of Arcade kicked off in 2011 for Xbox Live, one of the headline games was a title called “Bastion.” Like just about every other indie title ever made, it arrived without much hype and drew little more than curiosity based on the tantalizing art style. But as soon as it hit the marketplace, both critics and fans found themselves completely immersed by a game that realized that sometimes there is an inherent value in style over substance, if you happen to be the most stylish thing in the room. It went on to post impressive sales figures, and find itself on short lists everywhere for game of the year.

And now it’s coming to iPad.

If you never got to experience “Bastion” originally, it’s a story of a protagonist known only as the kid who awakes one day to find that an event known as the “Great Calamity” has wiped out just about everything he’s ever known. His only hope is to search out a communal safe haven, known only as the bastion.

“Bastion” is an action RPG in the style of “Diablo.” From there, it immediately defies categorization. Letting the simple and addictive style of the genre take care of that burdensome concept known as gameplay, “Bastion” instead focuses its considerable efforts on…well just about everything else. You’ll immediately be drawn in by the games art style, which features well rendered hand painted environments and characters. Color has seemingly abandoned video games as a whole, and to call “Bastion’s” style a breath of fresh air contradicts the fact that the only way to really describe the look of the game is breathtaking.

Coupled with this graphical onslaught is some of the best sound design ever put in a video game. This is mostly due to the games gruff narrator who manages to comment on just about everything in the game, whether scripted or otherwise. What initially seems gimmicky, and could get annoying, instead becomes vital as it contributes to the game a unique storytelling style that reminds you of a storybook fantasy tale. When not being entertained by the narration, you may take the time to notice that the music is not only appropriately atmospheric, but also stands well on its own accord.

For its critical transition to the iPad, little is lost. All of the game’s content is available, and looks and sounds great. The controls could have been an issue, but by using a minimal amount of touch buttons, the developers have managed to make things as painless as possible, and after the first few levels you will rarely find yourself fumbling with the controls. In fact, the only reason I couldn’t recommend the iPad as a platform for “Bastion” is because when everything in the game (the addictive action, the stunning look, and the encompassing sound) all come together, it’s very easy to get swept up in the title and thus lose track of the world around you, making “Bastion” something of a public hazard. Also, much like the original title, you may find yourself wishing that you had an invisible narrator commenting on your every action through the day, only to be continuously disappointed there isn’t one.

There doesn’t exist enough games with the simple beauty of “Bastion,” and there are even fewer on the iPad. In 2011 “Bastion” for the 360 was a candidate for best game of the year. In 2012, it’s still got enough going for it on the iPad to be my app of the week.

  

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