Essential Gear for Runners

Gear for Runners

Brand new runners are often overwhelmed by just how big the running gear and apparel market truly is. With each brand promising to deliver a product that is bigger and better while also being faster and lighter than anything else on the market, it can be difficult to figure out what you truly need to spend your money on. Below is a guide outlining the necessities that every runner should have in his or her closet.

Obviously the most important item a runner can buy, this is the one necessity that all runners should spare no expense in purchasing.

If the proper shoe for you is in the $100+ range, comparing that to the cost of seeing the doctor, going to a physical therapist, or having to take time off from running can make the purchase seem more worthwhile.

Additionally, deals on running shoes can be found online periodically through the year, and it is never a bad idea to stock up when your favorite model goes on sale. When purchasing running shoes for the first time, go to a local running store and get fitted by the professionals.

It’s a good idea to make your first running shoe purchase from the store if they helped you find the right fit, but after that it is okay to search for a better deal online.

For such a simple every day item, the right pair of socks can make or break a run. Socks should be composed of sweat-wicking materials in order to keep feet dry and blister free. Some runners prefer toe socks, which inhibit the development of blisters between toes.

Although running-specific socks are often pricier than their casual counterparts, the additional comfort is well worth the price.

Moisture-Wicking Underwear
A second item that is often overlooked, the difference between moisture wicking underwear and cotton underwear is life changing, especially in the winter months. Look for styles that are seamless and made specifically for working out in.

While improper undergarments are not likely to lead to injury, blisters, or chafing, they will make your run more comfortable, which is why it is absolutely worth spending a few extra dollars on a good pair, especially for long runs or workouts.

If you have been looking at running shorts but have balked after seeing the price tag, you are not alone. Yes, running clothes are expensive. However, a good pair of running shorts will make you feel cool (literally) and confident, and will be convenient as well.

Unlike athletic shorts, running shorts have an inner pocket that is large enough to hold a pair of keys and an ID. Some styles also have additional zippered pockets that can store gels or your cell phone. The material will be breathable and moisture wicking, and will also guard against chafing.

Numerous styles are available including compression, split-leg, spandex, or even skorts (shorts with a skirt over the top). Find a style fits your level of modesty and enjoy the benefits that running shorts provide.

Running capris are the unsung hero of spring and fall running when the weather is not quite cold enough for tights, but too chilly for shorts. Every runner should have at least one pair in his or her closet.

Attempting to run through the winter while wearing shorts is not advised and can lead to injuries and frostbite. Invest in a good pair of tights made from thick material or ones that are even fleece lined. If you are uncomfortable wearing tights as pants, simply wear a pair of shorts over the top.

Sports Bra
For many women, the difference between a great workout and a failed workout is a properly fitting sports bra. Like running shoes, this is one area where a person should not skimp if the best item for her body is expensive. Women should look for bras with comfortable bands and straps that do not chafe or pinch, as well as bras that are properly compressive.

Base Layer
A good base layer t-shirt is one that is light and moisture wicking, and can also stand up to multiple washings. Thanks to the trend of road races handing out technical t-shirts now instead of cotton tees, beginning runners can avoid purchasing high-priced shirts and simply race a 5k instead!

A comfortable wind and waterproof jacket is typically the difference between going out for a run or being forced to work out on the treadmill. Look for a jacket that is fitted and has good pockets.

Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes, but they can also keep a runner from having poor form at the end of a race or run.

When wearing sunglasses, a person naturally holds his or her head up in order to avoid having the glasses fall off the face; however, at the end of a run, people often look down, which can lead to a less efficient stride. Remedy this problem by wearing sunglasses and as a bonus, you will be less likely to squint, which will keep your shoulders from becoming tense.

Nothing can make a run more miserable in the winter than having cold hands. The investment in a pair of gloves that keeps your hands warm and dry is worth every penny!

Reflective Gear
If planning to run early in the morning or after dark, reflective gear is a necessity. Look for tights that have reflective strips behind the knees or shirts and jackets with reflective strips on the chest and shoulders. Alternatively, clip-on LED lights or vests can also be worn to drastically increase visibility.

Compression Gear
If you are prone to calf soreness, shin splints, or muscle cramps, compression socks and sleeves will improve recovery and aid in long runs or workouts. Not just for grannies, compression sleeves can be found on many competitors at every ability level.

Compression works by drawing blood to the lower legs which flushes out soreness inducing metabolites, like lactic acid, and replenishing the veins with fresh blood.

Our list would not be complete without a solution for showing off your medals. Choose the MedalMinder that you like and brag about your accomplishments!

Tell us about your favorite gear in the comments below or join us on Facebook.


Add a Comment