ISPO Award 2024: Smart Innovations for Outdoor Enthusiasts

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The OutDoor by ISPO is about to kick off. Visitors to the fair can look forward to a high level of innovative new products this summer. The ISPO Award provides the perfect platform for showcasing the latest trends and innovations.

Excitement is building – on June 3rd, OutDoor by ISPO 2024 will showcase the latest innovations and trends in the sports and outdoor industry. Over three days, the entire industry will gather to discuss the latest developments in hardware and textiles. Especially over the past three years, Outdoor has remained at a consistently high level.  The trend of staying active in nature is still in vogue.

Innovations are one of the major drivers of the outdoor industry. Whether in hardware or textiles, the demand for innovative, functional products remains high. One highlight of the event will receive special attention – the presentation of the ISPO Awards.

Products with a particularly high level of innovation are honored with this award. An expert jury carefully reviews and evaluates the individual applicants for an ISPO Award beforehand. The submissions reflect the enormous range of various outdoor sports.

The award area has been specially redesigned for OutDoor by ISPO 2024. Here, visitors can view and learn about the award-winning products.
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ARNO Design

Recycling has become the standard

The lightweight trend continues this year as well. However, there are significant improvements in materials. For example, more durable textile fibers increase the longevity of products, which is particularly evident in trail running shoes. In terms of durability, there have been major advancements, at least in the upper materials,” confirms Harald Angerer, a member of the ISPO Collaborators Club and a jury member for this years ISPO Award. You can see that sustainability is indeed a priority for shoe manufacturers.” Harald finds innovative impulses from young brands like NNormal exciting, as they impressed the jury with a comprehensive shoe concept and interchangeable insoles.

There is also ongoing development regarding ingredients. The industry is currently stabilizing at a high level of recycled and natural fibers, ready to take the next step. Encouragingly, a shift in the industrys mindset is evident when looking at product design. Many of the submitted innovations focus on repairability. Recycled fibers have now become the standard,” notes jury member and textile expert Dr. Regina Henkel. Manufacturers are thinking beyond just producing a product. Repairability is the new focus.” Additionally, there are changes in DWRs – more environmentally friendly materials are increasingly being used for waterproofing.

In textiles, recycled fibers have now become the standard. New fiber trends made from bio-based materials are gradually coming into focus.
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Surprising Innovations

The industry continually demonstrates that even an expert jury can be astonished. These can be small details, like innovative fiber technology, but also more unconventional products.

This year, it was the collapsible and inflatable bike helmet aH-1 from the English brand Ventete that truly impressed the experienced jurors. The development of this bike helmet took a full 9.5 years; the result is a product with an exceptionally high level of innovation. Another unexpected highlight from the "Nice-to-have" category: coffee in a tube. No Normal Coffee impressed with its high-quality tasting product for outdoor coffee enjoyment.

Unconventional innovation: coffee in a tube. The jury was convinced by the taste.
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Outdoor activities are more diverse than ever

There is a wide variety of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Alongside perennially popular summer sports like hiking and biking, activities such as climbing and fast hiking are gaining increased attention. The trend of combining hiking and running is particularly on the rise. The industry has recognized this and is increasingly offering innovative products for fast hiking enthusiasts. This trend is also reflected in the submitted products for the ISPO Award, such as the Deuter Speed Lite Pro or Rab Vail XP 30. Hybrid shoes for hiking and running, like the Aenergy Ultra from Mammut, are also designed to appeal to the fast hiking community.

Still trending – van life and camping. The product themes for outdoor experiences are characterized by a high level of innovation. Manufacturers are focusing on developing space-saving and lightweight products with a certain style. Award winners like Frontier Ultralight Kitchenware and Summit Detour from Sea to Summit serve as good examples.

Last but not least, attention should be paid to the digital world, which continually offers exciting solutions for outdoor activities. Doxa Sports provides a solution for ambitious outdoor enthusiasts and professional athletes: an app that analyzes urine according to specific criteria and detects deficiencies. Equally cool is the first-aid solution from the company Goes. The Goes Health app is specifically tailored to outdoor emergencies. Whether it's a snake bite or lightning strike, help can be provided and an emergency call can be made via intuitive menu navigation.

All of these innovations can be admired in a special award area at OutDoor by ISPO. A selection of award-winning products from brands that are exhibiting with their own booth at OutDoor by ISPO can be found in the gallery:

Each product is thoroughly examined by the jury and then evaluated.
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