Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of all the things our editors have been digging on recently.
PF Flyers x Ball and Buck Center Lo
One of the iconic white sneakers gets a few subtle facelifts from made-in-America stalwarts Ball and Buck. To wit: a ballistic Cordura nylon upper, blaze orange footbed, antique brass lace keeper and most noticeably, that tan stripe made from B&B's signature 12.29-oz. canvas. I'm wearing this one right now, and you can catch me in it all summer (or at least until I besmirch it; I am not holding my breath). — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief
Snake Farms Kurobuta Bacon
Time to treat bacon the way we do beer. If you're on the road and need that greasy BEC just to soldier through the day, the corner store will do just fine. But for more permanent decisions, paying a little more for better taste is a no-brainer. Try a pound-and-a-half of thick-cut Kurobuta bacon from Snake River Farms. For the uninitiated, Kurobuta is purebred sweet-and-smoky Berkshire pork, straight from one of Snake Farms' family-owned homesteads. It's also an all-day gamer, from topping off breakfast plates to burgers. Warm up the griddle. — Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor
Wolaco Compression Short
If you're anything like me, you refuse to do anything exercise-related in standard underwear. You need a good pair of compression shorts: keeps the muscles tight, holds the boys in place and most importantly, prevents chafing. These are my favorite compression shorts, thanks to their thick fabric and superior construction, plus two spandex pockets for keys, cards, phones — whatever. — Eli London, Director of Partnerships and User Acquisition
Umbro x Christopher Ræburn Backpack
With the World Cup less than two weeks out, two things are about to happen: fairweather fútbol fans will be hitting pubs at all hours of the day, and a deluge of soccer gear will be hitting shelves. This backpack is a highlight of the latter, made from Umbro shirts worn by England between 1996 to 2010 (before Nike swooped in and ended the 60-year national partnership). Already got a soccer bag? The line includes T-shirts, sweatshirts and shorts too. — Alex Lauer, Associate Editor
Sheex Performance Cooling Duvet Cover
Do you have a minute to talk about our summer Lord and Savior, tech-savvy cooling fabrics? Now they've come for the common bed, with this extremely soft and heat-wicking duvet cover that'll keep you two times cooler than its Egyptian-cotton counterparts. — Athena Wisotsky, Senior Editor
American Giant Roughneck Short
I have shorts for boating. Shorts for hikes. “Nice” shorts. What I lacked was a rugged pair of shorts that looked good, fit me well (not too snug, not too long/short) and fit in well in any situation. AG’s new stretch canvas trunks will be my summer go-to. Oh, and that argument about whether men should ever wear shorts? My legs look good and don’t care. — Kirk Miller, Nation Editor/Managing Editor
THE BEST THING WE DRANK THIS WEEK
It’s nearly summer, so vodka should be your go-to spirit — it’s versatile and works well in crowd-pleasing drinks. For people who think vodka doesn’t make an impression, you haven’t tried Crystal Head Aurora. Look, the discerning drinkers among you might pick up slight floral and peppercorn notes here, but let’s be honest: you just want your booze in the badass skull with the iridescent finish (inspired by the Northern Lights). And you want a simple, warm-weather drink to go with it — and that’d be this, a Smoked Mule.
2 oz Crystal Head Aurora
4 oz lemonade
3 oz Fever Tree ginger beer
Smoked orange wedges
Add Crystal Head Aurora, lemonade and smoked orange wedges into a shaker with ice. Shake well. Pour into a tall glass.