Importance of the right kind of gear
The right kind of gear for running is more than just what might look trendy or fashionable, believe it or not. A lot of thought goes into the absolute best materials and articles of clothing that provide us with the most optimal experience while running. By picking the right type of gear to suit your needs and accommodate your running style, you’ll be able to run for longer, have an enjoyable experience, and achieve more of your running goals or setting times without dealing with any form of discomfort, irritation or pain associated with bad or suboptimal running gear.
Here are just a few basic essentials you’re going to need to take into consideration when gearing up for running, and not just staying an enthusiastic hobbyist.
To find shorts that are both comfortable but also do not chafe after prolonged running sessions can be quite a challenge. For one, moisture-wicking material can deal with a lot of sweat, drawing moisture away and accelerating the evaporation process. You should also look for a pair of shorts that are simultaneously soft and breathable to provide comfort and not rub against your skin. The running shorts you pick must also allow for maximum range of motion, windproofing and waterproofing as you might find yourself running in less than ideal weather conditions.
Of utmost importance is running shoes, focal to a good runner’s performance and longevity. You must pick a running shoe that is right for you depending on your running style, gait, or related foot issues. We all have different foot quirks, and often it’s enough visiting a specialist or making well-educated decisions based on research, will help you find the right shoes for your needs.
Given that this single issue alone is worthy of its own standalone article, the slew of possible shoe options will be omitted for the sake of keeping our article to the point. You can read up further on our focussed buyer’s guide on shoes that help with Plantar Fasciitis or flat feet.
Running socks are as important to a pair of running shoes as a ball of yarn is to a cat. Running socks help prevent abrasion between your foot and the insides of your runners, avoiding excess chafing and blisters. A good pair of socks will keep your feet dry throughout the run, using a breathable material to prevent moisture to build up and softening your skin (that may later form blisters).
Nip Guards/Sports Bras
Depending on your gender, there are different ways of dealing with chafing of sensitive areas. In women’s case, the majority of sports bras tend to protect their sensitive areas from too much irritation or chafing by default. For men, they must use nip guards, small plasters, or anti-chafe moisturizer to make sure their sensitive bits are protected from the eventual abrasive discomfort that comes from the rubbing of the body and the clothing over the course of a prolonged run.
Similarly to protecting our chest area from the abrasiveness of our top, we should also try to prevent soreness of our lips when running for a long period of time. Ideally, the use of a lip salve (or lip balm) semi-regularly during a run will prevent any form of cracking followed by soreness when on a long run exposed to direct sunlight, or from cold harsh winds.
Though it may sound a bit over the top, hats can be necessary for scalps not sufficiently covered in hair, as harsh UV rays of the sun will eventually wear down our skin over the course of many months or years of running with direct sun exposure to our skin. As a result, a hat is typically worn to protect the head from overexposure. Hats are also an excellent way to regulate your core temperature and keep your body cool while running. The running hats you may consider getting would ideally have some form of LED lights on them or strips of reflective fabric to make you more visible in the dark, if you are night time runner.
Though it might seem secondary (and unnecessary) to the running experience, to get a technologically advanced sports watch is a great convenience to any runner, as they often help track your progress and performance. A runner’s watch also incorporates useful tools such as GPS, a calorie counter, or even a heart rate monitor. For those that tend to wander while running, are dietarily minded or conscious of their heart health, such a watch may prove useful.
With these things in mind, let us break down a few running beginner essentials for both men and women during cold and warm climates.
1. Saucony Hydralite Short Sleeve (Men’s – Warm Weather)
Rather than basic cotton, the Hydralite by Saucony is made of performance fabric, a blend of polyester and nylon. It absorbs incredibly low amounts of moisture and instead helps promote the evaporation of excess sweat. Regular cotton shirts have a tendency to soak up a lot of moisture and eventually, the shirt becomes heavier, less breathable, and causes chafing, which is why Saucony opted for moisture-wicking material for this shirt. It is ultra-thin, which is perfect for hot weather.
- Incredibly breathable fabric blend
- Lasts longer than regular cotton shirts
- Ultrathin, not ideal for anything but warm weather
2. New Balance Seasonless Long Sleeve (Men’s – Cold Weather)
If you’re in for a couple of colder days but don’t want to let that stop you from going out on a run, the NB Seasonless Long Sleeve is a top to consider, as it is comprised of a lightweight polyester the right amount of warmth to it. It is a quick-wicking polyester, allowing for the quick evaporation of sweat build-up and also features thumbholes to cover your hands when it gets chilly or securing your sleeves if you choose to wear something on top of this.
- Quick-wicking – great for evaporating sweat
- Good for warm weather, features thumbholes
- Easily heats up in hot climates
3. New Balance Men’s Accelerate 5″ Shorts (Men’s – Warm Weather)
The NB Accelerate shorts are one of NB’s more recent designs in their run wear collection, with a 5-inch inseam, putting it roughly midway down one’s thigh. The internal brief is thin, breathable and also quick to dry. The NB Accelerate also features a drop-in pocket at the waist and two hand pockets on the hip. The NB Accelerate is also easily washable and features streamlined performance technology.
- Incredibly durable and long-lasting
- 3 pockets
- Thin, light, and breathable
- Not ideal for those used to split-shorts
4. Nike Therma Running Pants (Men’s Cold Weather)
The Nike Men’s Therma running pants are known for their ability to take a beating and last in various conditions, much of which is due to its design featuring Therma fabric that keeps you cool no matter what. It has a unique tapered fit with windproof and water-proof properties along with multiple pockets to store your essentials.
The tapered design has zippers positioned near the ankles for easy on and off. These pants will keep you quite warm and comfy during those early winter morning runs. An elastic waistband with internal drawcords gives you a snug and secure fit.
- Water-resistant, wind-resistant
- Unique air circulation system
- Durable in most harsh conditions
- Not ideal in warm weather
At the top of every woman’s checklist should, of course, be what kind of bra they choose to wear when running. The right kind of support for your body is an absolute necessity when it comes to running. To have too little support will wear you down, cause discomfort and overall making your running experience less enjoyable. As a result, here are three of the best kinds of bra and gear you’ll be looking to get when starting out.
5. Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Bra (Women’s)
This bra is definitely best suited for women in the A to C range, and you might recognize the Flyknit name that is so heavily associated with running shoes. Nike created this pair with a specific goal in mind: to be the lightest, most supportive and environmentally conscious option in the market.
- Affordable pricing
- For larger sizes, it is not quite as supportive
6. Title Nine AC Bra (Women’s)
This bra is for those who are in the C to D range, the AC Bra is a part of Title Nine’s collection dedicated to being able to be worn at work as well as during exercises. It is a versatile bra that has a modest look for work, while also having adjustment on both straps to provide ample support when you begin your intense running. This is an especially great option for women who would rather not bring an extra bra into work because they have to go running right after.
- Versatile bra meant for any occasion
- Can be tight depending on what activity you’re doing
7. Sarah Marie Design Studio’s Elite Marathoner Tee (Women’s – Warm Weather)
This is a t-shirt made of a tri-blend composition (half polyester, quarter rayon, and cotton) that is meant to be super-soft, form-fitting, and breathable. The shirt features prominent female marathon runners’ names to provide you with a bit of inspiration and put spring in your step – to one day compare to the greats or compete with them. Design aside, this tri-blend is great for reducing the amount of sweat stuck to you and weighing you down, and helps evaporate moisture rather than trap it.
This top is great for warmer weather and this is the type of blended shirt composition to look out for when considering running as it is soft enough to reduce chafing and breathable enough to prevent heating up.
- Great tri-blend mix for warmer weather
- Inspirational aesthetic
- Comfortable and soft
- Thin and not at all suited for colder weather
8. Oiselle Flyout Wool Long Sleeve Shirt (Women’s – Cold Weather)
Known as the “swiss army knife” of technical knits, the flyout wool is a versatile fabric and the main feature of this specific Oiselle design. It aims to wick moisture while also being a fair bit warmer than other sweaters thanks to 30% Merino Wool mixed into its composition. It has a watch-window on both sleeves, for those of you with a tech-inclination. Definitely a great pick up if you’re in need of cold-weather gear.
- Optimal Polyester/Merino Wool blend
- Great for warmer weather
- Features watch window for those who check their device constantly while running
- Might heat up too much during warmer weather
- Fairly pricey compared to other designs
9. Knix Leakproof Dream Shorts (Women’s Warm Weather)
These are a great pair of shorts that are actually intended for more than just running, but everyday wear. They are super absorbent (77% nylon, 23% LYCRA and 86% Cotton liner), have seamless construction and more importantly, feature a quick dry gusset. They have a three-layered pad that can hold a fair amount of water and buildup, meaning that nothing is going through these pairs of shorts during your run.
- Incredibly flexible
- Durable and leakproof
- Wear for any occasion
- Mid-range in pricing
10. Senita Athletics Lux Pace Pants (Women’s Cold Weather)
These are a high-rise pair of pacer pants, with a buttery smooth feel to them that will have you wearing them everywhere you can. They are a tight leg design, sitting at the belly button, with a full pant length and side pockets that fit most devices.
There is a breathable gusset made of Polyester and Spandex, making these pants lightweight, breathable, and above all, flexible. Easily washable in the machine and low maintenance make these pants great for when you need to stay warm but flexible and ready to run.
- Come in a variety of sizes
- Might tear with excessive use
To wrap up, we’ve covered the basic necessities and gear every beginner runner needs when they plan on taking their running to the next level (with gender-specific needs in mind), we’ve also given you a variety of options as both a male and female runner to wear during either warm or cold weather. All that you need to do is decide what you’ll pick and what kicks to put on when you step out for your next run!