Running is not an easy sport. Endurance running, even less so. And unfortunately, there’s no magic pill to make training any easier, but that’s probably why we love it so much. While new or expensive running gear won’t make you throw down miles like Kipchoge, there are some must have running gear options that can make a huge difference in how comfortable, entertained, or safe you are on the roads, trails, and during recovery.
The thing is, there’s a whole lot of running gear, and a whole lot of companies spending a small fortune on marketing these products. It’s not always easy to figure out which gear is going to be nothing but a waste of money, and which you will love so much you will want to tuck it into bed every night.
To help you figure out which running gear is worth the investment, I asked several running bloggers to share their favorite pieces of running gear and what they love about them. If there’s a must have running gear piece in your life, please share!
Related Post: How to Save Money On Running Gear
Absolute Must Have Running Gear
Whitney Heins of www.themotherrunners.com, a space for busy moms who run and want to run:
–Apple Airpods–I love these for solo runs because running is like my form of dancing, because I am not a good dancer…ha! These AirPods are lightweight, connect to my phone and my watch, and don’t slip. And bonus, I have accidentally washed them several times and they still work!
–Tracksmith Harrier shirt–I’m not sure how they did it, but Tracksmith’s Harrier shirt is thin and lightweight, but is still able to keep me warm in below-freezing temps. If it is in the teens or below I just need to throw another layer. Their tights are also super light weight and warm, and keep me comfortable. And, bonus, they are all attractive, too!
Maggie at www.runninforsweets.com, a blog that shares running tips, race recaps, and all the motivation you could ever need to get laced up and get out the door (while enjoying plenty of treats along the way):
– Garmin 235 or 735. Both the 235 and 735 are very similar in capabilities, so you can’t go wrong either way. This watch is a MUST for my training, regardless of whether I am training for a specific goal or just running to stay in shape. The heart rate monitor helps me keep track of my fitness, adjust my recovery as needed, and determine appropriate goals for the next race. I love that you can program specific workouts and intervals into the watch to make speed workouts simpler and easier than ever. This watch goes with me on every single run!
– Gortex Running Shoes (I love Brooks Adrenaline GTS) – As a runner living in Michigan, staying outdoors through all four seasons means I’ll run through just about every type of weather. The Gortex material helps keep my feet completely dry during wet, rainy runs, and helps them stay warm and toasty when running through snow. A lot of running shoes are available in Gortex material which makes them completely waterproof and helps your feet stay warmer in cold temperatures. Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS shoes are my favorite!
Deborah at www.confessionsofamotherrunner.com, which follows the adventures (and misadventures) of a Moms Run This Town Chapter leader and Girls on The Run Coach. You can usually find Deborah training with her run squad for the next crazy race they talked her into:
–Athleta Glory Bra. A good sports bra is imperative! As a D cup runner, I need to feel supported and comfortable on my runs. After testing out multiple styles and brands, this bra is my absolute go to. I appreciate the slightly compressive support that it gives without taking away natural shape. The underwire band is comfortable and gets the job done. Adjustable straps. Use the link to find it currently on sale.
– Balega Hidden Comfort – My absolute favorite socks. If my feet are not happy, this run is not happening.These socks are sweat wicking and non-slip, which means no blisters. They fit perfectly into my Brooks Glycerin shoes.
Related Post:3 Best Running Gear Purchases in 2019
Amanda at www.runtothefinish.com, a blog that supports middle of the pack runners by providing research-backed information, product reviews, and expertly designed workouts:
–TriggerPoint PT Ball – My favorite piece of gear right now is my Trigger Point PT ball, which sounds so silly. But rolling my foot over it every morning helps to loosen the muscles all the way up my leg as part of my dynamic warm up. And then later I can dig in deep to my glutes or tight calves to really help release any tension that all the workouts create. Bonus points because I’ve been using it between my shoulders to release all the tension from hours at the computer!
Laura Norris at www.Lauranorrisrunning.com, an RRCA and Run-Fit running coach and outdoor enthusiast who shares weekly to demystify running for beginners, healthy recipes, and all the fueling advice you could ever need:
– Ultimate Direction Hydration vest: This comfortable, lightweight hydration vest is a must-have for long runs and summer. It fits comfortably without chafing and carries enough water without weighing me down. It also has enough pocket space to fit a phone and gels!
– Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones: Typically, I run without any audio, but on some long runs or at the gym, I need entertainment. These headphones fit comfortably and connect to the phone via bluetooth (no annoying cords!). Most importantly, they use bone conduction technology instead of earpods, which allows me to be aware of my surroundings when running outside.
Caroline Geoghegan at Run With Caroline is 5k,10k and half marathon runner, running coach and Level 3 NASM personal trainer. She helps people to become faster, stronger and more motivated runners.
–SKINS Skyscraper Compression Tights – These running tights are so comfortable! I swear by compression tights, especially during the winter months, as they help to keep your legs warm and supported during those long runs. Even better, these are high rise so they keep everything locked down during your run.
–Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 running shoe – These are my favourite running shoes ever! They have been designed to support your knees by keeping excess motion in check. These shoes also have responsive cushioning to keep your landing soft yet give you a spring in your step. (Second recommendation on this shoe!)
Lauren from www.breathedeeplyandsmile.com, a blog about finding every day joy in the act of running and self-care
-Lily Trotters Compression Socks: I love that Lily Trotters makes compression socks that assist with recovery post-run, blood flow during travel to prevent blood clots, as well as provide compression and support on my calves during longer runs and workouts. Lily Trotters socks are comfortable, easy to get on and off, and are available in a variety of cute prints and colors.
(Lauren loves Lily Trotters so much that she’s an ambassador for the brand! Use code BreatheDeeply to save 15% off your purchase)
-Boco Gear run hat: Boco gear makes hats that are breathable, lightweight and wicking while providing protection from sun and the rain. I love that they are comfortable and keep my head dry and protected. You’ll rarely catch me without a hat on my head on a run!
And last but not least, my two gear recommendations:
–Tifosi Sunglasses: For years, I ran without any sort of sunglasses. I have a smaller than average head, and I can’t stand glasses that slide off my face. Plus, I hate spending money. So I just squinted. A whole lot. But when I came across Tifosi sunglasses, I immediately loved their variety of styles, the fact that they stayed on my face without any difficulty, and the incredible price point (some style start as low as $25). I’m a definitely devoted to this brand at this point.
–HyperIce Hypervolt: Now this is definitely not a piece of gear that I take on runs with me, obviously. But being an avid runner and CrossFitter for the past ten years means that I take recovery seriously. I love my HyperVolt because it only takes about 4 minutes, and my calves, quads, and hamstrings have had a full deep tissue massage. It has definitely been used almost daily while I’m following the Hansons Marathon Method training plan. I swear by the recovery benefits of the HyperVolt, and it’s one of the best investments I’ve made in my health and running longevity.
Whether you’re training for a marathon, or utilize running as self-care, the right gear and running accessories can make a huge difference in your level of comfort and enjoyment. If you’re looking to treat yourself or a special runner, any of these running essentials would make great gifts. So, from all of us running bloggers, happy Valentine’s Day, and happy running.