Everyone loves to talk about how running is a super-cheap sport for which you don’t need much equipment. That’s true, but like most hobbies, the more into it you get, the more things you find to spend money on. These are some of my favorite pieces of gear — both for necessities and not-so-necessaries.
Fact: I’m not a pro, or sponsored, or an anything ambassador. None of these companies gave me anything to write about them. These are just things I like that work well for me.
Shoes: Mizuno Wave Inspire
I started wearing these when they were the Inspire 5’s. Now they’re the 9’s, and I still love them. I overpronate, so I need some support but also like a light-ish shoe. These are my favorites, and if Mizuno ever discontinues this line, I will cry a lot of tears.
Sports Bra: 7 Wonders Bra by Title NIne
(This picture is from Title Nine’s website. If you thought it was me, then you need to look again at the name of the blog you’re reading.)
I’ve had several of these bras, and have worn them on about a billion long runs and in all my marathons. I have yet to find a sports bra that doesn’t chafe at all, but this one is by far the least-chafing. It’s supportive and it breathes nicely, and the back hook-and-eye makes taking it off when you’re all sweaty much easier. I also love that it has the hook-and-eye but is still a racerback, since almost all my tanks are racerback, too.
At $56 before shipping, this is kind of a pricey little unit. But it’s well worth it for those of us who can’t get away with wearing the pullover bras from Target that everyone seems to love.
Warm-Weather Bottoms: Adidas Climacool Shorts
(image from adidas.com)
These are the most comfortable shorts for hot-weather runs. The mesh liner keeps the air moving, and they wick sweat like mad. I also like the cut better than a lot of running shorts … they’re less diaper-like than some (like the classic Nike Tempo shorts).
Cold-Weather Bottoms: CWX Tights
(image from cw-x.com)
(This is a newer edition than the ones I have, but I’m guessing they’re just as awesome.)
My parents got me these tights for Christmas three years ago, and they’re still going strong as my favorite cold-weather tights. I fell on some ice two winters ago and tore a little hole in the knee, but miraculously, it hasn’t spread.
These tights are as awesome as their advertising claims. The compression feels amazing; the extra support on my knees, especially, really helps on long runs. And they’re warm but not stifling — they still breathe. I love them. A lot.
They’re also really pricey…but hey, it’ll be Christmas before you know it. Might as well start that wish list.
Hydration: FuelBelt Slice and Sprint Handheld Bottles
(images from fuelbelt.com)
I know some people can’t stand having things in their hands when they run, but I much prefer these to a belt. I take the Sprint on all but my shortest runs, and the Slice goes on longer and/or hotter runs with me. They’re comfortable to wear and easy to drink out of; what more could you want?
Hairties: Goody Slide-Proof Elastics
These are the only hairties that keep this crazy red mane in place. They don’t slip out during any workout — running, lifting, plyos, whatever, that ponytail doesn’t budge.
Sunglasses: Maui Jim’s
My parents won these glasses on a cruise and gave them to me. I love them (the glasses and my parents). No bouncing, no fogging, no pinching.
Watch: Garmin Forerunner 210
I’ll admit that I don’t love this watch as much as I loved my 305. I miss being able to program in workouts, goal paces, etc. But this little guy is smaller and more comfortable, and he tracks my pace, mileage, and splits well. And he was way cheaper than the fancier Garmin options.
Treadmill: Sole F80
This is my best friend when it’s dark, lightning-ing, or icy out. I’ve had it a little over a year and haven’t had any troubles. It’s not the fanciest treadmill out there, but it does what I need (speeds and inclines, though no decline, and runs for a long time). We’re BFFs.
I bought it at Dick’s; they have terrific sales, so if you watch, you can get a great deal on a treadmill that’s normally out of your price range. (Sweet fan and ironing board not included.)
One piece of gear I haven’t found and will need soon: Gloves that actually keep my hands warm. Any recommendations?
What’s one piece of fitness gear you can’t live without?