Angela Maxwell Is Walking Around the World for Women

On May 2, 2014, with $12,000 saved, Angela Maxwell left her best friend’s home in Bend, Oregon, to start a five-year walk around the world. There’s no pre-approved path for the small ranks of pedestrian circumnavigators, the dozen or so people who’ve claimed they’ve walked around the world —so Maxwell devised her own route. She traveled the 175 miles to Portland, and then across western Australia. She next headed to Vietnam, where she hiked 60 miles from Da Nang to Hue and then spent three weeks recovering from dengue fever. A year into her circumnavigation, she arrived in Mongolia. One night, a two weeks’ hike from Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar, in a valley surrounded by mountains, a stranger entered her tent and raped her. “It was the moment that every woman is afraid of before they go out into the world,” the 37-year-old former business consultant says. After the attack—“it was over in minutes,” Maxwell says—her assailant left. Maxwell packed her gear, hiked a few miles

Female-Run Climbing Brand Hits Market

We all know the plight of climbing in uncomfortable clothes. And this is where HoldBreaker got its start.

HoldBreaker founder Emine Guler originally worked in finance. But outside of the office, she was a climber. And even with years of climbing under her belt, she could never find a bra that had a comfortable fit for the sport. So she designed her own.

Climbers wearing HoldBreaker

Meet HoldBreaker. Launched in 2019, HoldBreaker is a new climbing brand based in Glasgow, Scotland. A three-woman staff runs the brand from its base. But it has a climbing team that spans from Europe to Asia. HoldBreaker offers gear as well as clothing, but its primary focus is offering quality apparel tailored for female climbers.

“I went through all the difficulties in finding clothing perfect for my climber’s physique — ‘perfect’ meaning something that fits someone with broad shoulders and wide back but has a good cut and looks good,” said Guler.

To design the apparel, Guler enlisted the help of other female climbers of varying body types. The all-female team spent 2 years in research and development, designing and testing the sports bra that would comfortably fit — and not restrict — female climbers.

HoldBreaker: Product Details

“Once we get into climbing more regularly, our climber’s physique develops naturally,” read HoldBreaker’s press release. “Our physique is different from other athletes. Climber’s lat muscles lead to a signature broad back.”

The brand’s sports bra ($68) and tank top ($90) have a sharp V-shape, meant to fit tight around the lats without bulging, squeezing, or restricting. The straps cross near the top of the neck.

The brand claims this allows climbers’ shoulders total freedom of movement while still providing comfort and support. Learn more about product development on HoldBreaker’s website.

Thanks to the brand, there’s finally a climbing bra that will allow us to climb as hard as we want, without worrying about what to wear.

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