Best Running Gear Fully Reviewed
When you’re serious about running, good shoes alone aren’t enough – you want a wardrobe full of the best running gear available. There are a plethora of clothing and accessories to keep you comfortable, supported and on top form. Here, we take a look at the best options for some of the most important gear and accessories. It’s of course difficult to pin down the very best in each category given the amount of options on the market, but each item on this list will greatly improve your comfort and performance – and this list serves as a fantastic starting point to begin checking out all of the different garments and gadgets available to make running that much more fun and exciting for you!
Your best friend’s preference for running tights may be the opposite of what makes you comfortable on the run, or may be well out of what you can spend. Luckily, with all the styles we have to choose from, there’s always something to fit your size and your budget.
1. Best Running Watch – Garmin Forerunner 230
There are features aplenty with this. The watch tracks many things which you’d hope for, including distance, pace, time and heart rate, while the GPS tracker is very effective. The watch also allows you to connect to apps, for fitness and anything else – so if you want to receive Facebook notifications, texts or further track your runs via running apps, you can do so. You can also customise the watch with workouts and training plans, and you can keep tracking when you’re simply walking around the office or wandering home from work. The graphs, charts and figures are very easy to understand.
Very few users have experienced durability issues, and the battery life is much better than some other options.
This is a little pricier than other options, but it’s by no means overly expensive – with this, you get what you pay for.
- Connects up to many apps for added tracking and communication.
- Good battery life.
- Personalised training plans.
- Large screen with easy-to-understand interface.
- Useful audio prompts.
- For a great watch, it’s not too expensive.
- Some users have experienced connectivity issues with their phone.
- If you want a heart-rate monitor, you need to buy it separately.
- The screen is a little dim.
The heel tab is great at fighting slippage, the plush undersole offers fantastic cushioning and the build of the entire sock gives great comfort over the entire foot. The moisture management technology keeps your feet cool and dry, while the sock’s relatively thin build feels lightweight. If you’re looking for good cushion and comfort, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The socks are race-tested, so they absolutely practice what they preach. There seem to be no major durability issues with these and they do perform well.
They’re not too pricey, but are of course a little more expensive than your average sock given their quality.
- Very comfortable.
- Heel tab prevents slippage.
- Many varieties of colour.
- Your foot stays cool and dry.
- Not as pricey as some other options.
- They are thinner than you might like.
- A small amount of users have claimed that the sock suffers from slippage, though this seems very rare.
3. Best Running Compression Socks – Danish Endurance Compression Socks
A soft blend of polyamide and elasthane provide runners with all around comfort and support. Specially placed padding and ventilation allows the foot to breathe, preventing blisters, hot spots, and other ailments. These socks will keep you moving during a workout, yet can help relieve pressure and pain after.
These compression socks have been lab tested using Swiss Medical Stocking Tester technology to ensure that they are of the highest quality. Both Olympic athletes and Navy Seals have wear-tested these socks, so you know they will last through literally anything.
For the features offered by this compression sock, the price is extremely low.
- Great support all over the foot.
- Great comfort.
- Keep your feet dry.
- Good durability.
- An excellent overall compression sock.
- Compression socks typically cost more than standard socks.
4. Best Wrist Sweatbands – Suddora Wrist Sweatband
They are very comfortable and won’t get over-saturated, like many wristbands can. Their good absorption makes them a good buy, and the fit is very comfortable.
A small amount of users have experienced durability issues, but this seems to be an outlier – the large majority of users seem very happy with these.
These are a decent price compared to other options, so they definitely aren’t going to break the bank.
- Very absorbent.
- Slightly cheaper than other named brands.
- Don’t have a big logo, which helps with comfort and subtlety.
- There are no recurring cons here!
5. Best Headband Sweatband – Halo II Sweatband
It’s a very comfortable fit without being too tight and it can easily be pulled over the head. The moisture-wicking design keeps sweat away and dries very quickly, while the SweatBlock seal channels offer even more protection.
The durability here is very good, and the quality is great.
This is around an average price for headbands of this quality and reputation.
- Absorbs a lot of sweat.
- Lots of great designs.
- Comfortable fit.
- One size fits all.
- Good durability.
- You may have to occasionally wring this out if you’re a heavy sweater.
- Some users have complained of slippage, though this seems fairly rare.
- May cause a little bit of pain after extended wear.
6. Best Running Pants – Adidas Tiro 15
These are really comfy in any weather conditions. The intelligent technology provides ventilation when you need it, but the design also keeps your legs nice and warm in cold conditions. Despite this, the fabric is still very thin and lightweight, which doesn’t make your legs feel bulky or heavy. The moisture wicking technology also avoids any chafing or dampness from sweat. The tapered design is very comfy for most, though might not be suitable if you have large calves.
Being an Adidas product, these are of very good quality, and offer a good run. They are generally pretty durable, but a small amount of users have experienced that they wear quickly. Although this doesn’t seem to be too common, it might be worth noting.
They aren’t the cheapest, but for a good brand and a good design, the price is pretty good.
- Will effectively keep you both warm and cool when needed.
- The moisture wicking technology is great.
- These are really comfy.
- Good aesthetic design.
- Zippered pockets and cuffs are useful.
- Some users have experienced durability issues.
- They are not good for people with large calves.
- The sizes seem to run a little small.
7. Best Running Shorts – MJ Soffe Running Shorts
They are very comfy and offer a nice fit without any irritation. The short design means that you stay very cool while the silky design offers a nice feel.
They aren’t as durable as some other options, which is a shame, but they are a good quality pair of shorts.
They’re relatively cheap, so they’re great if you’re looking for a budget buy.
- They fit well.
- Very comfortable.
- Come in many colours.
- Short design keeps you cool and unrestricted.
- Decent price.
- They may chafe a little if you have large legs.
- Slightly under-par durability.
8. Best Running Leggings – Champion Absolute Workout Leggings
They are very comfortable and come with chafe-resistant seams to prevent any painful or annoying rubbing. The design gives support and flexibility, which is a great combination, while the moisture wicking system stops you from getting too sweaty as you work out.
These are very good quality, but a small amount of users have experienced issues with durability.
These are around what you’d expect to pay for a product of this quality.
- Very comfortable.
- Great flexibility.
- Good support.
- Moisture wicking technology is excellent.
- They can be a little translucent, which isn’t great if you want to stay modest!
- Slight durability issues.
This is what these are built for. They offer fantastic comfort for any support-related pain, and will ease pain in the arch, heel and more. If you experience pain, these will make your runs much more comfortable and enjoyable. The sturdy and durable design gives lots of stability so you will feel much more supported and protected during your run.
These have great durability and will keep your feet feeling good for a long time!
They are a little expensive, but taking good care of your feet is priceless, so they’re absolutely worth the investment.
- Excellent support.
- Perfect if you have high arches, heel pain or plantar fasciitis.
- They’re a good starter insole.
- Very durable.
- Don’t offer lots of bounce.
- A little pricey, but worth the cost.
10. Best Running Cap – Adidas Adizero Cap
This is a comfy cap, and the adjustable closure offers a nice snug fit for heads of any size. It absorbs sweat, keeps you cool, shields you from the sun and feels good – what more could you want!?
This is a good quality cap and the durability is great. The material is a little thinner than some people might like, but doesn’t deter from the quality.
It’s a little pricier than other options, but it is worth the investment.
- Offers UV protection.
- Absorbs sweat.
- Keeps you cool.
- Nice fit.
- Attractive design with many colour options.
- Some people don’t like the shape.
- A few users would like the material to be thicker.
So there we have it – the best running gear, with many accessories and a great range of garments and gadgets to get you started on your search for the perfect running arsenal! Below you will find moe information on what we looked at while compiling our list:
Here’s What We Looked For When Choosing The Best Running Gear:
The Harmony Of Everything Working Together
Whether you are a novice runner making a New Year’s Resolution, or a seasoned runner trying to shave seconds off your best time, there’s no denying that the right combination of running gear can help you smash through your goals and maximize your workouts. We have waded through countless tester feedback from runners that have put this gear through its paces in real world scenarios in order to ensure that it works for our readers. On this guide you will find gear that will help you keep track of your pace and gear that will make sure you stay comfortable doing it. Let’s look at the factors that we considered when compiling our list and what you can expect from it.
We were carful to add gear that puts the runner first. There are no magic socks that will make you run faster, or enchanted headbands that will whisk you away to the finish line. What we have are the highest performing apparel and accessories that you can get. Proven and trusted by runners everywhere to get the job done, this gear will be an extension of your abilities and help you make the most of your run.
At Least One Item For Every Runner
We researched through countless user reviews and recommendations in order to bring our readers a comprehensive list of gear that will be easy to incorporate into their regimen. We know that it’s important for additions to your gear to make sense and fit in with the rest of your apparel. So we’ve included a selection of non intrusive additions that will work with your existing gear. So while we strongly recommend two pieces of gear that increase visibility, everyone will be able to find at least one.
Convenience Is A Must
According to runner feedback, if a piece of running gear is not convenient to use or wear, the chances of it becoming a regular part of their regimen are low. In fact, research shows that if a runner finds their accessories to be cumbersome or difficult to use, they will use it less than ten percent of the time. This is why we made sure that all the gear on our list is fast to put on, easy to use, and comfortable to bring along. When you’re on your way out of the door for that morning run, the last thing you want is to slow down to put on additional gear.
Comfort And Breathability
Let’s face it: if your gear isn’t comfortable, you’re not going to enjoy wearing it. Likewise, if your leggings, running pants, or shorts aren’t breathable and leave you sweating or wet with moisture, you’re not going to grab it next time you want to go for a run. So we made sure to check tester feedback about each and every wearable product on our buying guide for comfort and breathability. Additionally, the headbands and wristbands are the highest rated on the market in terms of moisture wicking. When everything works together, this gear will lead to a more comfortable run.
A Comfortable Fit
This is the most subjective and personal choice. Some runners like tight clothing, something that stays in place, close to the body all over, while others would feel trapped and nearly claustrophobic in such restrictive attire! If you’re unsure which you like, get an inexpensive version of some loose items and more form fitted options and give them a few runs each to see which is more comfortable for you.
I have a friend who refuses to buy any type of pants or capri’s that do not have a drawstring. I’ve never had much issue with this, so it’s something I hardly notice. Determine what your non-negotiable’s are and don’t waste your closet space, time, and money on items that do not meet that criteria.
Technology that is difficult to understand or hard to use is not helpful to runners. There is no time to slow down and read an owner’s manual every single time you go out for a run. We made sure to include the best running watch according to thousands of reviews. A large and easy to read display will let you know exactly where you’re at in your run without taking up too much of your time and a strong battery life will make sure you spend more time running and less time charging. When it comes to the apparel on our list, the same rule still applies. The material technology found on the running cap, pants, and socks that we have selected are among the absolute best found on the market. This tech in construction materials will keep you dry and comfortable on your runs, and the UPF will keep you protected from the sun.
Trusted Brands, Not Hype
We at Runnerclick do not endorse or promote any product based on brand name of affiliation. Our loyalty lies with our readers, and we make sure that constantly reach across known and unknown brands to bring the best performing options into the forefront. Our buying guide is jam packed with the highest rated and proven options for runners, from runners. This is why you will notice that there are several different brands throughout our guide.
The Price Is Right
Even if you don’t keep a highly detailed budget, you have some idea what money you can put towards your running gear. Take a look online to see typical prices for basic pieces like tanks, shorts, tights, jackets, so you have a price point associated with a variety of retailers. For example, if you’re in need of a lot of shorts to run through a hot and humid summer, buying 4 pairs at Target is going to be much more reasonable than 4 pairs at Lululemon. On the flip side, if you don’t have a rain jacket and desperately need one, you may be OK with spending more money on a single item.
Personally, I am happy to spend more money on higher quality items for the winter. In Chicago, it is notoriously frigid during the winter months, so if I don’t want to spend all those miles on the treadmill, I’m going to need some tough gear. Plus, you aren’t doing nearly as much laundry in the winter since you aren’t drenched in sweat after every run. In the summer, you’ll be sweating through everything. No matter how much it costs, it won’t keep you from sweating. Often cheaper items will take care of your needs.
You spend a lot of time in your running clothes, so spend the money when you feel it’s worth it – like that jacket you eye every time you pass the Nike store – and save the money on things you don’t care about (for me, that’s socks!).
Weather The Weather
Depending on where you live, the weather could have little effect on your gear (ahem, San Diego, I’m looking at you with your consistent sunshine and no snow!), or it could be the primary factor in what you buy and wear for every run.
If you live with seasons, you’re going to need a wider variety to account for temperature extremes, rain, wind, and sleet. Like I mentioned earlier, I spend a little more on my winter items since that is the toughest weather for me to run in. Personally, I need tights (sometimes pants over the tights) a few pair of gloves and a jacket for every 10 degree change. You, on the other hand, may be fine in 1-2 jackets for the winter if you run warm already and like the feel of the cold air as you run.
Think of what you’re likely to use the most of, and concentrate on finding a solid item that you love. That may be a balaclava for those in the Northeast, a lightweight rain jacket for the Pacific North West, or an army of tanks and shorts for the South. After all, with the right gear, you can run in any weather!
Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Running Gear
The wide range of feedback and data we went through when compiling our selections is merely a starting point. What matters to us is that this will help you choose running gear that’s right for you and what you intend to do with it. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice.
Pick Items That Will Improve Your Focus
We suggest that you take stock of your last high intensity run. What kind of distractions did you come across? Was is too much sweat around your eyes, or did the sun glare impair you field of vision? Are you really happy with your current running pants of shorts? This type of consideration will allow you to better determine what kind of running gear you need to better serve your workout. It’s hard to believe how many runners will simply put up with uncomfortable clothing or sweat in their faces when it can be easily avoided. While you browse our list, think about if any of these selections stand out for you in terms of how you may best implement them for your workout. The best piece of running gear is the one that makes the biggest difference for your individual regimen.
Listen To Your Feet
This may seem like an awfully “Zen” statement to make, but listen to what your feet have to say about your runs. If you need additional support beyond what your running shoes are providing you with, consider utilizing a premium set of insoles that can give you the stability and support that you need. Feedback was great on the option of insoles that we provided on this list, however we also have an additional guide focus solely (pun-intended) on orthotics.
Gear Yourself Year Round
The easiest way to stay to comfortable during your runs is to dress for the season. Those snuggly running pants aren’t going to be your best bet when summer comes, just as running shorts don’t cut it when it’s freezing cold outside. Take your time to select options that work best for you during different times of the year. Some runners use hats during the middle of the year and switch to headbands towards the end of the year. It may take a little while to find the best mix for you, but once you have it figured out, you will have a better running experience.
There is an accessory for everything. From what holds your phone and keys while you run, to the headphones you put in your ears, to the watch and water bottle that keep you going – there are endless ways to spend money. At first, it’s easy to think you need each and every one of these items to get the most out of your run and to improve as a runner.
A mile run at your fastest pace with a new Garmin and bluetooth headphones is the same as your fastest mile with only a top, shorts, and shoes. Of course, gloves and winter gear is pretty crucial, but for accessories outside of clothing, only get what you think you’ll use.
For example, if you are often running in the dark, purchasing reflective gear like lights or a reflective vest would be more of a priority for you than your friend who always runs on her lunch break.
I still remember my first 5K. I saw a woman in colorful tights, an ear warmer band, headphones, and belt hydration system warming up at the start. I looked forward to the day I’d be advanced enough to look like she did. When I finished the race and was half way done with my banana, I saw her cross the finish line. I was shocked! It was then I realized it doesn’t matter what gear you have, it’s the actual running that makes you better.
What’s one piece of running gear you can’t live without?
We’re confident that by taking some of these factors into consideration when making your choice, you’ll find the perfect running gear that is right for you. Before you get out there, we’ve also compiled some frequently asked questions that commonly arise when searching for new running gear.
Q: What are some things to consider if I am making the switch from running leggings to running shorts?
A: While running shorts are a great option for keeping cool and light when you are running, there is one thing that most runner’s may have issues with. Chaffing. Even if you do not have larger legs, the manner in which you run may cause the upper section of your legs to rub and chafe. Make sure the length of the short is working for your needs, other than that they offer a very comfortable running experience.
Q: What about running leggings? What is the biggest consideration to make with that option?
A: Running leggings are the best choice for moisture wicking, so if you are prone to sweat a lot, you don’t need to worry about that. Additionally, you will get great flexibility and comfort by going with running leggings. The cons to consider include their tendency of being translucent when they are too tight, and that they do not hold up to wear and tear as much as standard running pants do.
Q: I like to run around 11am right when the sun is above me and it’s a little distracting; any suggestions?
A: We would strongly suggest you use a running cap. Not only will the visor give your eyes a break from all of the glare that can be a problem around that time, but the UV blocking material found in the selection we provided will protect you from harmful rays. Bonus points are given for the ventilated mesh panels that will keep your head nice and cool. You may also want to consider going with running shorts if you live in a hotter climate to help you go longer distances without losing additional energy that can be better used for your run.
Q: I am planning on running my first marathon, what type of gear is better suited for longer distances?
A: The main thing you want to keep in mind is your perspiration levels. Running leggings are great because they give you support and comfort while wicking away moisture. If you have ran with shorts and are more comfortable with that option, that’s another consideration to make. In addition, insoles can be a great idea if you don’t feel like you are getting long term support from your current running shoes. If headbands get uncomfortable for you, then you are going to want to get wristbands that you can utilize to dap away excess sweat from your face. The main goal is to stay as comfortable and focused as possible.
This was our approach when selecting the best running gear. Remember that selecting the right gear is very important for your run and it can make a big positive change in your workout. While nothing will make you run faster or jump higher, the right gear will help it make it easier and more comfortable to reach your goals. We hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making you choice. Thanks for following along with us. Now make the perfect selection for you and keep running!
Where we found some of our information
It’s important to use a wide variety of sources to ensure quality information. We like to utilize trusted running enthusiasts and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide: