Beginner's Guide to Running Gear
There is so much running gear out there it can be overwhelming when you're first getting started. From shoes to shirts, there is all sorts of different gear out there. Here's a guide to get you started on gear if you have no idea where to start.
The most important thing when it comes to tops is that they wick sweat away quickly and that they are light weight. Tops that are too bulky or large can be difficult or uncomfortable to maneuver in. For warmer weather it's good to have singlets, tank tops, crop tops, and t-shirts on hand and in colder weather its good to have long-sleeved shirts and at least one warm and thick base layer for the really cold months.
Women's: BALEAF Women's UPF 50+ Sun Protection ($14.99)
Men's: Champion Men's Long-Sleeve Double-Dry Performance ($10.57)
Thick Base Layer:
Splurge Base Layer:
Budget Base Layer:
Proper outerwear is crucial during the cold winter months, but is also necessary during milder Spring and Fall as well. Good Outerwear for running is lightweight and breathable but still protects you from the wind, rain, and anything else the weather may throw at you.
Fall/Spring Outerwear: These jackets would be good on a crisp Fall day. Best for cool, but not cold temperatures (30 to 40 degrees F).
Winter Outerwear: These jackets are fleecy and warm and will keep you warm when the weather dips into the 20's or even into the signal digits.
With bottoms I prefer either shorts or tights (I hate capris). In the winter having a nice pair of thermal running tights will get you through the coldest days. For cool, but not frigid weather I prefer a pair thinner tights, and for anything over 45 degrees F its all about shorts.
Investing in a couple pairs of good socks will save your feet in the long run. Socks that are too thin or don't have enough cushioning can lead to some pretty gnarly blisters and lost toe nails. Here are a couple of my favorite socks.
As a women a a good sports bra is a must, some women prefer lighter support bras, while others need a more supportive sports bra. I personally prefer light to medium support bras. Here a a couple of my favorite bras.
There are so many different types of running shoes available in the market now. Everyone has different preferences in shoes. Instead of recommending different brands of shoe's, we'll go over the 2 main types of shoes available on store shelves today.
Convention Shoes: Conventional shoes are geared towards runners that heel strike. Conventional running shoes have a good amount of cushioning (EVA foam) and provides arch support. Most conventional running shoes have substantial heel padding, a large heel to toe drop, are relatively rigid, and tend to be on the heavier side.
Minimalist Shoes: Minimalist shoes tend to have little heel padding, a smaller heel to toe drop, and minimal arch support. Minimalist shoes also tend to be more flexible than a conventional shoe and be more lightweight. Most track and cross-country racing flats are considered to be minimalist in design.
When trying to find a shoe its best that you head to your local running shop and try on a couple different pairs before making a purchase. Going to the running store lets you try on the shoe before you buy, and most of the time the store will let you take them for a test run. The people working at your local running store will also be very knowledgeable when it comes to all things running and can help you figure out what kind of shoe will be best for you. Its better to pick a shoe that is comfortable when you first purchase it rather than trying to "break in" your shoes.
Running is supposed to be a simple sport right? Or maybe not anymore... Asides from clothing there are plenty of accessories that come with running now. The longer you run, the deeper you fall into the pit of running accessories. These running accessories can make your runs more comfortable or can help you get faster.
Hydration systems will save you on a hot day or power you through a hard long run. Hydration systems come in all different shapes and sizes now. The main types are handheld bottles, hydration packs, and hydration belts.
Handheld: Handheld systems are the most affordable way to carry your hydration. These bottles can easily strap onto your hand when you're heading out the door. Although holding a bottle can make you feel unbalanced and may feel heavy.
Vest/Pack: Vest and backpack are the most convenient way to carry you hydration. They work just like a backpack and are typically designed to minimize any bouncing. These are great for long runs or trail runs
Belt: Belts are good for shorter runs. They typically hold less water, but are a little lighter than a vest or a pack. These are good for shorter runs on hot days.
Hats: I always run with a hat, or at least something on my head (Occasionally a Buff). Hats serve all kinds of purposes. A brimmed hat is good in the warmer seasons they help keep sun out of you eyes while also working as a sweat band of sorts. While a knit hat in the winter will keep your ears warm during a cold run. The main reason I love hats is because they work great for keeping your hair out your face.
Gloves: Gloves are a fairly important accessory, especially on a cold day. Glove will keep your fingers warm when its cold. Its good to have several pairs of gloves for your runs. I like to have a lightweight pair for not too cold days, midweight gloves for snowy or rainy days, and heavy gloves for trying to run through a blizzard.
GPS Watch: Runners love their watches, I love my watch. A GPS watch is a watch that can record your pace, mileage, and much more while you run. Watches provide numbers and graphs that we love to see after a run. This can be beneficial when you're trying to hit specific paces or times during a workout, but they can also be distracting if you're trying to race every workout. It's good to utilize the functions on your watch, but not to get too obsessed.