Running is a convenient sport for everyone, regardless of age, location, or fitness levels. It is one of the best cardio exercises to keep your heart racing and burn fat in the process. As simple as it seems, it is essential to note that you need essential gear for a comfortable experience.
That means you need to invest in comfortable and useful gear. In this article, we discuss the essential runners’ gear to help you start your running routine on the right note.
Shoes are the most important gear for running. On this note, you should take some time to find the right pair for your comfort. The best shoes for running should be well-cushioned, easy to wear, and supportive. Generally, running shoes are available in different sizes and styles.
If you like running in the evening, consider finding shoes that have a reflective trim. It is crucial as drivers and cyclists can see you easily and keep a safe distance. Also, consider the environment you intend to use the shoes in. Will you be running on the treadmill, trail, road, track?
Women’s shoes are slightly different from men’s owing to the difference in feet sizes and form. When choosing the size, it is advisable to leave a little wiggle room for your toes’ movement as you run.
Runners’ shorts should be lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. You want to find shorts that wick away sweat and heat away from your skin. The best men’s running shorts on the market come with a liner that enhances not only support but also increases the breathability of the material.
Most designs feature elastic waistbands. These work well, but if you are looking for a perfect, customizable fit, then an additional drawstring will come in handy. Also, if you intend to run with your phone and other essential, consider shorts that come with zippered pockets.
Running tights come in handy when the weather gets colder and wet. There are leggings designed to keep you warmer and comfortable in such conditions. You can find leggings in your correct size with the variety available in running shops. But, if you want to prevent cold muscles, then a design that hugs the legs more works more efficiently.
The best running tights should be snug but comfortable. Remember, you still want to ensure they are flexible enough to conform to your movements. Again, you do not want then too loose as they can cause chafing and discomfort.
Most people do not consider running socks as essential. But, they determine how comfortable you are in your shoes. The rule of thumb is to find a seamless pair made of breathable material. That way, the socks can wick away heat and moisture from your feet.
When looking for running socks, find pairs with padding around the pressure points such as the heel. Designs in this category contribute to the cushioning of your shoes, adding on to comfort. You can also get socks that come with specific pieces for the right foot and the left foot.
Running tops like the tights and shorts are essential apparel. These determine how comfortable you are in any condition. When exercising in cold weather, it is advisable to wear long-sleeve tops. Most running tops are made of breathable and lightweight material to prevent the sweat from soaking up and keeping you cold.
There are performance tops that keep you cooler by enhancing air circulation. These are available at different price points to suit individual budgets. As much as they feel light, they have properties to keep you warm or cool regardless of the conditions.
When the weather becomes extremely cold, you might need a jacket or gilet. These come in waterproof materials to keep you dry when working out in wet conditions. Some designs are high in price owing to the properties they have. Such designs offer wind-stopping and rain-resistance capabilities. They also keep you warm at comfortable levels, so you get the most out of your runs.
For a lower price, you get relatively functional jackets. But, these will not provide the efficiency to protect you from the elements entirely. Also, they can be a little lightweight compared to the high price options hence not suitable for extremely cold temperatures.
Like the jacket, a hat is one of the accessories you need for extremely cold weather. When running in such conditions, your body loses heat through the head and other open areas. Hats for running come in different price points depending on the material and design.
Low price options keep you warm but might not maintain the balance between heat and comfort. You will have to pay a higher price for hats that offer wind and waterproof protection.
Caps, on the other hand, help to protect you from the sun, rain, or snow. However, these get blown away easily in windy conditions. Additionally, they do not provide adequate warmth as woollen hats do. Therefore, depending on the needs at hand, you can use a hat or a cap and enhance your running experience.
When exercising in cold weather, your hands can get cold fast. This is why you need a pair of warm gloves. The best gloves for outdoor exercise should be lightweight and comfortable. If the weather is extreme, then you might need warmer and thicker gloves.
Woollen gloves are common for the simple reason that they are available at a lower price than other designs. These work well; however, they are not waterproof. On this note, if you run in an extremely cold and wet environment, then you might have to pay the price for high-quality protective gloves.
If you are looking to improve your fitness levels and get more out of your workout, then adding an accurate heart rate monitor is essential. It is one of the accessories that help you keep track of your heart rate at a specific range. Most designs require you to strap the device to your chest for accurate heart rate readings.
There is a wide variety to choose from on the market. A basic one will monitor your heart rate while an advanced design will track other parameters such as distance, speed, calories burned, etc.
A sports watch comes in handy to track different aspects of your workout. Most designs track running time, distance, splits, and patterns. It is one of the fitness accessories that can help you evaluate your intensity to make changes if necessary.
If you are a beginner, you can find options with a simple interface. If you are looking to monitor more parameters and keep track of your workout in detail, then an advanced, smart design will work well.
Headphones are not necessarily essential accessories, but if you find the motivation to run while listening to something, then you should consider some. Listening to some music can help you improve your running performance and consistency.
There are different headphones to suit various styles and preferences. The best headphones should be moisture-resistant to withstand use in the outdoors. Also, they should fit nicely and remain comfortable all through. The last thing you want is a pair of headphones that keep falling out as you run.
When running, you want to keep your hands free for optimal performance. But, sometimes that is not as practical as you have to carry essentials such as keys, money, cards, etc. The good thing is that a running belt can come in handy to carry these items safely.
Running belts come in simple, adjustable designs for easy size customizations. They also feature pockets or flaps where you can fit your essentials. The right belt should fit snug but not too tight. Also, it should be made of a breathable material to wick away moisture and heat.
One of the apparel essentials for women that enjoy running is a supportive bra. There are bras specially designed for running and other high-intensity activities. It is advisable to visit a running shop and wear the bra to determine if it suits you or not. Also, pace up and down to evaluate how comfortable it will be when running .
For women with a large chest, finding a comfortable running bra can be a challenge. But, there are a few designs on the market specifically for these women. The most important thing is to make sure the band matches your size, and the straps are supportive.
The Bottom Line
With the best gear, you can enhance your fitness levels and get more from your workouts. The items discussed above are essentials for both beginners and advanced trainers. You can find the running gear that works for you based on your size, preference, and overall fitness needs.