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Rock + Run 2022 Gear Awards | Top 5

As we look forward to 2023, we're taking some time to look back at 2022 - the year we became 8 billion, experienced a winter world cup and went through 3 prime ministers, sounds pretty crazy, right? Well yes but, amidst the malay of madness, 2022 saw the release of some superb outdoor gear and in this article we're going to be celebrating the products that made a serious splash. From cutting edge innovation to subtle improvements that flew beneath the radar, here are 5 of our favourite bits of kit from 2022.

1. Scarpa Instinct S

Climbing Shoe | Best In Class 

The much anticipated Scarpa Instinct S became an instant classic in the spring of '22, redefining the parameters of a climbing slipper and giving the fabled Instinct climbing shoe range a much needed contemporary face lift. Without a doubt the best climbing shoe we've reviewed this year, we can't get enough of the Instinct S.

What we liked:

  • Incredible fit
  • Clinical all-round performance
  • Looks fantastic

Read our full review of the Scarpa Instinct S here.

2. Lattice Quad Block

Training Equipment | New Design

Fresh for 2022 came Lattice's new Quad Block. Designed from electrifyingly blue anodised aluminium, the Quad Block not only introduced a new material to the training biome but has streamlined non body weight climbing training for the masses with an accessible and versatile pinch pick up device.

What we liked:

  • New aluminium feels awesome
  • A multitude of grip types
  • Lightweight

 3. DMM Flux

Technical Ice Axe | New Standard

Although relatively niche, we couldn't help but fall in love with the DMM Flux. Coming in as the smallest and most compact fully certified ice axe with a steel pick EVER, the Flux breaks new ground in the ice axe space. Why so small you might ask, well the Flux is the ideal axe for winter fell runners and skiiers looking for a compact, packable option.

What we liked:

  • Super lightweight
  • New industry standard
  • Convenient package


4. Flashed Bouldering Pads

Bouldering Pad | New Brand

Fresh to the UK after a multi-year hiatus, Flashed were back with a splash this year offering us the Drifter and the Big Squishy bouldering pads. Fully featured and made from top of the range, premium materials, the Flashed pads were superb and we thoroughly enjoyed testing them out.

What we liked:

  • Quality materials
  • Multi-pad carry system
  • Ground coverage

Read our full review of the Flashed pads here.

5. La Sportiva Aequilibrium Boots

 Mountaineering Boots | New Technology

Is this the most versatile low-level mountaineering boot on the market? 2022's Aequilibrium series came to market with both synthetic and leather options and featured Sportiva's new Double Heel system which makes walking in a stiff boot, semi-auto crampon compatible boot comfortable and accessible. 

What we liked:

  • Double heel system
  • Range of options
  • Versatile performance