Must-Have Gear for Runners

February 04, 2020

Must-Have Gear for Runners


So, you want to get into running, but what do you need? Our helpful guide can point you in the right direction.


Running shoes



Running shoes are the single-most important item that you should invest in before you start your running journey. Everything else is just a matter of convenience and preference next to your running shoes.

According to Daily Running Tips, running shoes should have the following qualities:

  1. Fit. A good shoe must fit your feet like a glove — or in this case sock. It should have no wiggle room to allow movement of the feet. But it shouldn’t be too tight that you feel pressure around your feet when you stand or run.
  2. Cushioning. Running takes a toll on your feet and joints. The proper running shoes must provide adequate cushioning to absorb impact.
  3. Stability. A stable running shoe controls kinesis in the ankle. This is particularly important for people that overpronate, means your foot tends to roll inward slightly when you're running. 
  4. Flexibility. The front of the shoe should flex enough to let the runner push off the ground with the ball of their foot.
  5. Breathability. Feet sweat just like the rest of your body. You need something that’s moisture wicking, shoes that dissipate sweat quickly keep feet cooler and reduce the risk of bacterial or fungal infection.

There’s no particular brand that’s better than the other, but you need to try out several brands before you find the right fit for your feet. As you progress in your running journey you will learn about your likes, dislikes, what makes you uncomfortable, how to combat it, etc. Your shoe preferences will also change over time so take note of what you enjoy when you’re running.


Running socks



As we’ve mentioned earlier, running puts your feet under copious amounts of stress. Having the right running socks will minimize friction between your shoes and feet, prevent blisters from forming and provide you with additional grip that will stabilize your feet and shoes. The technology that goes into making socks has come a long way, but it’s difficult to get runners excited over a measly pair of foot garments. Many runners opt to buy their bulk-pack socks for convenience but end up injuring themselves in the long run (pun intended). Running socks have double layers to prevent friction. At the same time, it wicks away moisture to prevent the runner from getting the dreaded Athlete’s Foot. The level of padding depends per brand and on the runner’s preference, but they’re normally placed in the foot and heel area to dissipate pressure associated with these points.

In addition to its cushioning and moisture-wicking benefits, good quality running socks prevent you from getting injured. According to an article by Real Buzz, “… some [running socks] have an additional thread woven into the sock from top to bottom, which operates like a bandage to protect the joints. Secondly there is the use of pressure sensors. These prevent deviation from natural motions, so common towards the end of a run and the cause of so many injuries.”


Running shorts



What do we hate after going for a run? Chaffing, we hate chaffing. And the key to avoiding thigh chaffs are a good pair of running shorts.

Like shoes and socks, running shorts typically come in unisex designs. But there are specialized ones for each gender. Men’s running shorts have a longer inseam and a built-in liner to support the groin. Women’s running shorts, on the other hand, are designed to focus on a more comfortable fit around the hips, waist, and thighs. Unisex shorts are a combination of both male and female designs but don’t offer as much support as gender-specific running shorts.

There are three types of running shorts

  • Compression shorts — tight fit, comparable to spandex. The snug design provides skin level muscle support. Compression shorts offer the most flexibility and lowest probability of chaffing. The length varies on personal comfort.
  • V-Notch shorts — the easiest of the three [3] to identify because of its upside-down V-shape cutout on the side of the leg seam. V-Notch shorts are the most popular style among runners. The cutout allows for a greater range of motion and breathability.
  • Split Running shorts — similar to the V-Notch shorts except the “V” on their sides is not sewn together. These shorts allow for greater flexibility as the split could be as high as the waistband.

Synthetic fibers are the way to go. They’re moisture-wicking and anti-chaffing. A polyester-spandex blend should do you good. Look for lightweight fabrics as not to create drag or air friction during your runs.


Running tights



Runners that opt for V-Notch or Split shorts are at risk of chaffing. Wearing running tights eliminated friction that baggier clothing will cause against your skin. Don’t worry, they’re not restricting. Think of ballerina tights, light as air. A good pair of running tights should be so light you wouldn’t even notice they’re there as you train. They come in different lengths and varying levels of functionality, it’s best you keep several pairs in your closet, one for each season. Some running tights double as compression gear, if you enjoy compression shorts you should definitely try these out. The tights offer an aerodynamic advantage for runners looking to reduce wind resistance and increase speed


Running tops



Your shirts or tank tops aren’t really that important especially if you just got into running, in fact some people can get away with wearing cotton shirts while warming up. But as you progress in speed and endurance, you will need to find tops with a more aerodynamic fit. The principles applied to all earlier mentioned running gear applies to your tops. It has to be moisture-wicking and anti-chaffing. It’s not a necessity for your running tops to be figure hugging, but again, it’s all up to the runners’ preferences. Put a little more thought into buying long-sleeved jerseys, though. They should have cuffed sleeves do they stay down at your wrists. You want as little distractions while running as possible, one cold arm is enough of a nuisance on its own.


Running gloves



This isn’t applicable to everyone, just the people that live in cold areas. Running causes large volumes of blood to be diverted from the extremities to the working muscles, which creates the need for gloves. Your hands need insulation too, but not the oven mitts you’re thinking off. Most people opt for woolen gloves because they’re cheap and you can find them anywhere, but they’re uncomfortable to run in. Try looking for something that’s waterproof and can be worn in all climates. If you’re the kind of person that gets cold hands, running gloves are your holy grail.


Running hat



Again, this isn’t applicable to all runners, just the ones that live and/or train in cold climates. Up to 30 percent of your body heat is lost through the head. Wearing a hat can stop the heat from escaping and allow it to circulate in your scalp to warm your head. Similar to gloves, people buy wool hats for the price and convenience. But, they’re a hassle and they don’t stay on your head when you’re constantly bobbing it up and down. Caps are a great all-season option, they protect you from rain, snow, and sun. However, the trade off is that they get blown off on a windy day.


Running jacket or gilet



Runners train rain or shine and in both situations, they need to stay waterproof. Or at least their torsos do. High quality gilets offer wind-breaking and water-resistant capabilities, they should keep your torso warm and dry throughout your most grueling runs. Do not sacrifice price for quality otherwise the rain will be seeping into your jacket as you run.


a good sports bra



Ladies, we all know the struggle of finding the right sports bra. When we think of sports bras, we associate it with “locked, and loaded; ready to go.” Unfortunately, most of the options on the market are for decorative purposes. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as a cheap sports bra. For a good one at least. You’ll need to shell out a few extra dollars to get a good running bra.

According to Rei, “The band should be snug around your rib cage, but not too tight. If you can fit two fingers between your body and the band (but not more) that's the sign of a good fit. Wide bands tend to be more supportive than narrow bands.”


hi viz gear



Some of us like to run in the daytime and others like to run at nights. For our fellow night runners, (next to your shoes) the most important item you should have is high visibility gear.

Illumiseen’s LED Belt is a lifesaver! - It gives you 360 degrees of visibility. It's 100 times safer than any other alternative because it reflects oncoming light AND illuminates. There is no way to overlook anyone wearing this. Vehicles will see you well in advance - ALL THE TIME. Be Seen when (dog) walking, running, hiking, cycling, horseback riding and motorcycling. Also perfect for child safety, roadside safety, construction, law enforcement and airport personnel. By the way, it can be worn by the whole family since it fits men, women and children It’s user-friendly, comfortable, fully adjustable, versatile, and doesn’t create any drag!  Change the light between "Flash" and "Glow" with just 1 click. Thanks to the easy-to-use clips the LED Belt is no hassle to put on. The straps are easy to adjust and elastic for a comfortable fit. You'll have complete freedom of movement with the versatile design: wear it at the waist, over the shoulder or click it around your backpack.


Check out our LED Belt HERE!


The hardest part about running is getting started, this may not be an item but it’s important to have a support group. Ease your way into the sport by running with other people first. That’ll get you into the groove! You can even ask them about recommendations on their favorite running accessories and gear.

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