Summer Running Gear Essentials

Over the last several weeks, summer sure has made itself known.  With rising temperatures, longer days, and muggy mornings, it is clear that running strategies and gear need to be adjusted to accommodate the demands of summer running.  Even though it has been offensively hot here in Texas, I have still been able to keep my training on track, with a little help from my friends.  And by friends I mean my summer running gear.

If you’ve got your fingers crossed with the hopes of a fall race, or if you just want to keep out-running your inner demons (hand raised high), you’ll need a few updates to your running gear collection.  But as a native Texan, and person who both lives in and hates hot weather, I’ve got you covered.  From running clothes to nutrition and gear, I have plenty of recommendations to help keep you on the trails and pavement all Summer long.

Related Post: Running in Heat & Humidity

Summer Running Gear Essentials

Clothes to Keep You Cool(ish)

Oiselle Shorts – I shared earlier this week that I have been absolutely loving the oiselle roga shorts. They are light, they don’t hold sweat, they move like a dream, and they have found a way to prevent chaffing on even the sweatiest run. Which is a freaking miracle. The back pocket is also perfect for even large phones or the extra calories you’ll need to carry with you to survive those brutal summer runs.

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Rabbit Running Tank – Made from light, sweat-wicking material, and cut with running in mind, these tanks are made to go the distance.  These tanks are breathable, but sturdy enough to withstand the 5 million washes you’ll put them through.

Injini Mini-Crew Toe Socks – Your feet don’t just need a great pair of running shoes, they also need some high performance socks.  Especially if you’re going to be logging the miles this Summer.  I’m a huge fan of toe socks for running.  They prevent blisters and chaffing between the toes, which can be a real problem during the summer months.  Plus the length of these socks will go a long way to keep the dirt out of your shoes as you run across the scorched Earth.

Oiselle Trucker Hat – Most running hats are made from wicking materials, but don’t do a great job of allowing airflow. Which sucks since a good amount of your body heat leaves through your head. So you don’t want to keep it trapped, do you? The Oiselle trucker hat does a wonderful job of keeping the sun off your face, but still allowing your head to breath through the mesh backing.

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Nutrition to Keep You Alive (Mostly)

Tailwind – When your body is working harder to keep you from internally cooking, it becomes much more difficult to digest nutrition on your runs. GI distress can be a real issue the hotter it gets. Tailwind Nutrition can help you survive your summer runs with liquid calories. Mix some tailwind into your water and you now have calories, electrolytes, and hydration covered all at once. Plus, liquid calories might be easier on your medium-rare stomach.

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Liquid I.V. – While we’re on the topic of electrolytes, it’s even more important to be mindful of replenishing what you lost during your run during the hot summer months. Extra sweat means you’re more likely to find yourself imbalanced or depleted. Electrolyte imbalance can cause muscle cramps, stomach cramps, and an overall feeling of death. Liquid I.V. can help you come back to life.

Popsicles – Look, I can’t lie and tell you these are natural or good for you or will provide you any sort of useful fuel.  But, I can say these ice pops are delicious, portable, and will make you feel like you’re 7 years old again.  And 7 year olds don’t give one single shit about how hot it is outside.  They’ll be out all day with the mosquitoes and UV rays happy AF.  So freeze a few icepops, stick them in a Yeti, and have something amazing to look forward to after surviving Hades.

Gear to Chill You Out (A Little)

Tifosi Sunglasses – Your skin isn’t the only thing that needs UV protection. Your eyeballs need some help too. And Tifosi has found a way to make great looking sunglasses that stay on your face no matter how sweaty your face gets. Made for athletes, they do not disappoint. And with some fun, new colors in their classic Wayfarer design, what more could you really want this Summer?

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KT Tape – Now this may not seem like a hot weather product, and that’s because it was designed to help injured athletes.  But KT tape is one of the best ways to prevent chaffing.  Stick a piece wherever your clothes tend to get aggressive with your skin.  Around your hydration pack, your waistband, bra line, back of the ankles, etc.  It creates a physical barrer that even the rudest seam won’t be able to overcome.

Nathan Hydration Vest – If you’re running in the heat, you’re going to need to carry more water than you would in the Fall.  Not rocket science.  While all hydration packs are designed to carry water, Nathan has designed a lightweight pack that fits like the comfiest t-shirt you own.  It doesn’t hold heat, and best of all the bladder is insulated to keep your water cooler 37% longer.  Bonus tip – toss some ice into that bladder, and you’ve got a cooling system!

Aftershokz – I’ve shared before just how much I love my Trekz Titanium Aftershokz. The bone conducting technology lets me hear the world and my serial killer podcasts all at the same time. Which I love. Because regular earbuds kinda drive me nuts. Even more so when it’s hot, and I’m sweating, and they’re popping out, and I’m shoving them (and all that sweat) back into my ear every 400m. Gross, right? Stop shoving gross things into your ears. Buy some Aftershokz.

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These recommendations won’t bring back crisp mornings, but they will help give you a fighting chance at surviving Summer running. Which means you’ll be that much more prepared to enjoy Fall running. We all need something to look forward to!

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