The 10 Best Pieces of Running Gear Listed

1

We have tons of lists on Runnerclick dedicated to telling you the best of different articles of gear. We break down all the best shoes, shorts, and stoves to help our runners fulfill every one of their needs. Running is more than just putting on a pair of tough shoes and going outside, it’s a lifestyle that we know many of our readers have embraced.

But what, you may ask, is the best gear? What is the best of the best? If a new runner came up to us right now what would we recommend above all else? This a tough question that we had to struggle with. It only leads to more questions at first. What do we prioritize? Whats too general to bother placing on the list?

Below we managed to narrow it down to only the very best of running gear available. We also made sure to include a description of the complex process of our conclusions so you not only know how we assessed each addition to this list but also so you can judge best for yourself the choices presented on this list. We also included other helpful information as well as an FAQ because we want our readers to make the very best decisions they can when it comes to using gear after they choose it.

Last Updated: August 15, 2018
Avatar
By Mark Smith:

This time around we have replaced several recommendations with new options. We strive to provide you with the most up to date options that are also current with the season we are in, and these replacements reflect those requirements. 8/15/18 We went through and suped up are FAQ so that both the questions and the answers better reflected the diverse nature of this list. We also added a brand new question at the end of the FAQ to make our readers are getting as much helpful advice as they need.

Planatronics BackBeat Fit
  • Planatronics BackBeat Fit
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Long battery life
  • Price: See Here
Body Glide
  • Body Glide
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Prevents chafing
  • Price: See Here
Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses
  • Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 100% UVA protection
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Running Gear Items

 

 

1. Plantronics BackBeat Fit

1. Plantronics BackBeat Fit
There are tons of bluetooth headphones to choose from nowadays, but we chose these because they are a bit less pricey than other options but also offer many of the same features.
Expand to see more
Comfort
These are highly really comfortable and easy to use. They provide a secure fit so they don't slip or fall off.

Quality/ Durability
These are sweatproof and waterproof, so they will work even when the weather fails you. They also have a long-lasting battery life, so they can last you up to 8 hours before dying. They are safe and highly durable.

Cost
These come at a higher than average price but they are well-worth the cost.
Pros
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Comfortable
  • Secure fit
  • Wireless
  • Long battery life
  • Sweatproof
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Some runners don't like the behind the neck fit. 

2. Body Glide

2. Body Glide
This is a great product for runners. It looks like a deodorant stick, but it actually helps prevent chafing and blisters from forming. It is highly affordable and you can carry it with you during your runs and reapply if you'd like.
Expand to see more
Comfort
This lubricant feels great against your skin and you can apply it anywhere chafing occurs--typically your feet, inner thighs, sports bra lines, and underarms.

Cost
This product is very affordable and highly useful to have.

Pros
  • Prevents chafing and blisters
  • Affordable
  • All-natural
  • Won’t clog your pores
  • Great for sensitive skin
Cons
  • Some felt it was rough when they applied it

3. Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses

3. Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses
These are pricey, but they are one of the best sunglasses out there for runners. Oakley is well-known for their great sunglasses, and these definitely don't disappoint. They offer lots of features we know you will love!
Expand to see more
Comfort/Stability
These are so lightweight that you will barely notice them and they provide a great and secure fit. You can get them polarized or not polarized--although we recommend polarized because it reduces glare and prevents unnecessary eye strain. These glasses also provide 100% UVA protection from the sun's rays.

Quality/Durability
These glasses are made of high-quality material and are very durable.

Cost
These glasses are pricey but built to last.
Pros
  • Durable
  • 100% UVA protection
  • Reduce glare
  • Polarized and non-polarized options
  • Lightweight
  • Secure fit
Cons
  • Expensive 

4. Nike Swoosh Doublewide Wrist Bands

4. Nike Swoosh Doublewide Wrist Bands
Impressive, stylish, comfortable, functional, durable and with a length of five inches, these are wrist bands which are designed to perform.
Nice logo from Nike and the material boasts 74 % cotton for comfort and durability. Only 74% because this is blended with a synthetic fiber to ensure a nice level of wick factor. Wrist bands are one of those items which will last for many years in your choice of runners kit.

Read our review and think about adding these as a must have.
Expand to see more
Comfort

Material offers a good comfortable feel and does not slip around the wrist, Nike offer the bands in a nice range of colors for runners to choose from and I like the cotton content because it give a comfy feel while wearing.

The wrist band has good moisture absorbance due to the cotton but because they of a blend of synthetics you still get a reasonable degree of wick factor.

Being longer, the bands cover a wider area for absorbing moisture. I suggest washing these by hand though they can be machine washed, cotton colored cotton will fade in color depth over time especially when put through a washing machine but this does not detract from the performance of the wrist bands.

Comfort/Durability.

When you first put on the wrist bands they tend to feel tight but this feeling settles as they bands adjust to your wrist, the comfort level is nice and durability comes from the hard wearing durability of cotton.

Cost

Average price for something which will last for a good number of years.

5. RipGear Wide Non-Slip Headband

5. RipGear Wide Non-Slip Headband
RipGear bring you a classic, it says yoga but its perfect for runners as well.

Offering a subtle and unique blend of materials with a brushed quality which ensures the headband stays firmly on the head while you run.

Classic style and comfort, the headbands are offered in a nice combination of colors.
Read our review and see why this headband is for you.
Expand to see more
Comfort

Designed to a width of four inches and made from materials which prevent slipping, stretch the head band around your head and feel it firmly settle with a snug fit.

Soft on the skin and constructed from a blend of brushed nylon and spandex, which while giving a comfortable fit the head band also has wick factor.

During summer months the sweat gets wicked away and in winter you can adjust it to double up as an ear warmer.

Offered in an appealing range of colors which do not fade after regular washing and the headband fits any head size.

Quality/Durability
The high quality materials ensure good durability for this head band.

Cost
A nice price and a great addition to your running gear.
Pros

Non Slip
Soft and comfortable.
4 inches wide
Very Stylish
Wick factor
Ear warmer in Winter                                                     Fits all sizes

Cons

Just for lady runners.


6. Polar M430 GPS

6. Polar M430 GPS
A top notch watch which can be part of your running gear, think of a feature and this watch gives it.

If you want, spot on accuracy for monitoring BPM with a banding choice for tracking heart rates, track how quick your running through a state of the art accelerometer, accurate reliable GPS , waterproofing to a level which means it can even be worn for swimming, a massive choice of features for training schedules and much more? This really is the most recent and up to date watch model for you to consider adding to your gear.

This watch can even track you while you are sleeping, read our review and check out the awesome features being offered for runners with this impressive product.
Expand to see more
Features.

Lets get straight to the point and see whats on offer in terms of great features.

The previous watch model M400 used a micro USB port which did raise questions about how good waterproofing performance could be in extreme conditions, now on the M430 we see a new cable charging system which removes any concerns about the model regarding waterproofing. If you run but also like swimming, you can wear this watch while you swim.

You get another USB port on the other side of the watch and two choices for sync- use a computer or your phone.

An incredibly accurate and user friendly six led HR optical sensor presented in an attractive and durable design format, an increased vibration alert system which is certain to get your attention.

Battery life is really good and kick in the low level power GPS mode for a battery life of up to thirty straight hours.. Set for HCM-High Acccuracy Mode and GPS accuracy is pin point accurate and runs at a one second mode for recording, you can plot GPS courses by the second and check out the HR which is also every second.

Choose MARM-Medium Accuracy Recording Mode which allows GPS points to be plotted rapidly while keeping HR at every second.

Or, set for LPRM- Low Power Recording for plotting GPS points at a steady sixty seconds and still we find HR running at every second.

A nice lightweight strap which securely hugs the risk and provides a level of stability for maintaining accurate Optical HR. A magical choice of watch face features so you can enjoy visual user friendly variety.

Marvel at the built in Optical sensing system for providing fitness tests, not many watches are able to offer this great feature.

You wont need a computer for firmware updates via the Bluetooth Smart System, A high tech sleep algorithms system kicks out extra data through the impressive polar flow app. All this rounded of with a nice functional stopwatch.

Quality/Durability.

An attractively designed watch with solid attractive robust casing and waterproofing to ensure durability in challenging environments. The quality high tech designed into this model of state of the art and provides a set of functions which are very useful for runners.

Cost.

The cost falls within a price range which means you get long term durability, long term high tech functionality and precision accuracy combined with reliability

Pros
Pros

Incredibly accurate and user friendly

Cable charging system

Sync- use a computer or your phone

Six led HR optical sensor

Increased vibration alert

HCM-High Acccuracy Mode

Pin Point GPS accuracy

BPM with a banding choice for tracking heart rates

Features for training schedules

Waterproof

Cons
Cons

The price is above a mid range price but it does represent a long term part of a runners gear.


7. Rockay Accelerate

7. Rockay Accelerate
ROCKAY is a fairly new brand, but don’t let that deter you from giving these socks a try. Through extensive testing, they ensure that these socks will stand the test of time through miles and miles of running. 

ROCKAY looked at what runners want in a sock. They found that people want something that is durable, comfortable, breathable, and supportive. And they have designed the Accelerate to be just that. 
Expand to see more
Made of durable Merino wool, this ROCKAY sock will allow for airflow to the foot, eliminating the risk of hotspots and blisters. This will also help mitigate uncomfortable sweat and odors that can be caused by overheating of the feet. 

They also made sure to put extra emphasis on the toes and heels of the socks as these tend to be the areas we see the most wear. Extra durability has been added to these areas, so the Accelerate should last longer than the average sock, improving the overall longevity and therefore increasing the value.

One of the best parts about these socks is that they provide the foot with the right amount of support and compression. This helps keep the sock in place and hug the feet in all the right places. No more worrying about your sock sliding off your foot when you take off your shoe or your sock twisting around while you are running. This sock stays put!

The design of the sock is overall stylish and sleek, with a minimal, low-cut look. If you are looking for your new favorite pair of running socks, you’ve just found them. 

Adidas Adizero Running Cap

Adidas Adizero Running Cap
Good running cap is really useful especially if you run in the sunny areas and want some protection.
Expand to see more
Comfort
The cap is very lightweight so you feel comfortable while wearing it. Every runner hates when the cap doesn’t provide enough airflow. That’s why in this cap, there’s special climacool mesh that boosts the airflow. The hook and loop closure at the back will let you to adjust the fit.

Quality/ durability
This cap is definitely the durable and the quality is also at high level.

Cost
The price may seem expensive but it’s a good investment in your comfort and protection.

Pros

The cap is available in different colors than black

There’s non-glare under visor

Cons

Expensive


9. Superfeet Premium Shoe Insoles

9. Superfeet Premium Shoe Insoles
If you suffer from sore feet, bad support, arch pain or plantar fasciitis, you might want to invest in some top quality insoles. These ones are fantastic – they have a high arch for maximum support, and the durable build gives comfort in addition to stability. They are very popular, fit in the large majority of shoes and are a great option for all runners.
Expand to see more
Comfort/Stability
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.

Quality/Durability
These have great durability and will keep your feet feeling good for a long time!

Cost
They are a little expensive, but taking good care of your feet is priceless, so they’re absolutely worth the investment.
Pros
  • Excellent support.
  • Perfect if you have high arches, heel pain or plantar fasciitis.
  • They’re a good starter insole.
  • Very durable.
Cons
  • Don’t offer lots of bounce.
  • A little pricey, but worth the cost.

10. Adidas Tiro 15 Running Pants

10. Adidas Tiro 15 Running Pants
There are of course thousands of running pants on the market, but if you’re seeking a pair that look smart, and do a simple but great job, these are a good option. They come in many colours and have a nice slim tapered design. They have cuffed ankles with zippers and have zipped pockets if you like to carry a phone or a music player while you run. They are great in both warm and cool conditions and offer a nice comfortable fit.
Expand to see more
Comfort
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.

Quality/Durability
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.

Cost
They aren’t the cheapest, but for a good brand and a good design, the price is pretty good.
Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • Some users have experienced durability issues.
  • They are not good for people with large calves.
  • The sizes seem to run a little small.

Here you will find our list of the best running gear–there are many types of items, accessories, and gadgets to choose from. Below you will find more information on what we looked at while compiling our list!

run-1749410_1280

Here’s What We Looked For When Choosing The Best Running Gear

The Harmony Of Everything Working Together

Whether you are a novice or seasoned runner 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. In this guide, you will find options that will help you track your pace and others that will help you stay comfortable and maximize your experience.

Runner-Centered Gear

We were careful 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.

Something for Everyone

In order to make this comprehensive list, we considered both recommendations from trusted sources as well as user reviews.  We know that within this list runners will be able to find a piece of running gear that will work for them.  We’ve considered many factors including running conditions and latest styles when choosing each item for this list.  Once you have clearly identified your needs and wants, we are sure that you will find a piece of quality running gear that is perfect for you and will work well with your existing running gear.

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

This may be the most important factor when it comes to purchasing running gear.  Uncomfortable gear means an uncomfortable run.  We’ve made sure to utilize feedback and recommendations in order to choose running gear that is not only effective but comfortable.  For example, the wristbands and headbands included on this list not only wick moisture but are comfortable as well.  Choosing apparel and accessories that is breathable will not only make the user comfortable but also prevent from potentially overheating, chafing or the formation of blisters.

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.

mizuno_hero_dual_020915

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.

Powerful Technology

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.

Trusted Brands, Not Hype

We at Runnerclick do not endorse or promote any product based on brand or 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 

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!

 

figures-1384865_1280

Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Running Gear

Though our top 10 list features great running gear, we know that each piece will not suit all runners.  This guide, including the following factors, will help you take into consideration your needs and wants when choosing the right gear for you.  There are other personal factors to consider when shopping for gear.  Keep in mind the following before heading to the store.

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 it too much sweat around your eyes, or did the sun glare impair your field of vision? Are you really happy with your current running pants or 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 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.

pexels-photo

Accessorize Appropriately 

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.

Not. True.

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 halfway 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?

FAQ

We know that while reading through this you have a few questions. That’s understandable. Below we try to address some of the more common questions that crop up about running gear. We can’t touch on everything though, and we recommend looking into customer reviews for the more specific questions you have.

Q: What are some things to consider if I am making the switch from running leggings to running shorts?

The big difference between shorts and leggings is the amount of skin to skin contact. Repetitive contact, combined with sweat accumulation, can lead to serious chaffing and skin irritation. Choosing a proper length of shorts can limit issues with this. Also looking into shorts with proper wicking as sweat only leads to increased skin irritation. Finally, there are skin treatments and preventative measure you can take. So remember to be attentive when switching to clothing that protects less and stays ahead of any chaffing issues you may have.

Q: Whats the best choice when it comes to wicking?

If you are looking for clothing or gear with the best wicking properties then we recommend polyester and other synthetic materials. Most of the time polyester is completely moisture resistant. The tradeoff is that few synthetic materials breath well. If you are looking into something with the best of both worlds then you can try merino wool, but then you are looking at athletic clothes with a much higher price.

Q:  What are my best options when it comes to overpowering or harsh sunlight?

There are plenty of options that will reduce issues caused by the sun and sunlight but we think that a good old fashioned cap will do the trick. The visor will not only shield your eyes from discomfort but give you full visibility which is always very important while running no matter what. There are also caps with UV blocking materials that will not only keep you cool but keep you burn free. Many caps also come with mesh ventilated panels to maintain airflow and keep your head as cool as can be. When it comes to running in the sun sometimes the simple answer is best.

Q: I am planning on running my first marathon, what type of gear is better suited for longer distances?

The important thing to keep in mind is your comfort. There isn’t too much in the way of gear that can increase your stamina but if you can keep yourself comfortable then you can extend how far you can push yourself. A pair of long-distance shoes will have extra cushioning and support to make sure your feet don’t start aching early on. A properly ventilated pair of shorts and a light shirt to properly wick sweat and limit skin irritation all while keeping you cool. A cap to keep your head safe from the sun. A bottle or bag to keep you hydrated. These little extra steps don’t seem like much but will do a runner a whole lot of good when it comes to running a marathon to the end.

Q: Why should I pick up a smart watch? Does it help me track more than my time?

Some runners see think smartwatches are nothing but over complicated stopwatches, but nothing could be farther from the truth. An athletics based smartwatch can provide a whole host of utilities and benefits. Tracking times is only one of the things it can keep track of. Distance, calories, and even heart rate with some models. Many smartwatches come with compatible phone apps so you can categorize and utilize the information in the way best suited to improve your routine.

Smartwatches are great for trail runners since they come equipped with altimeters, barometers, and GPS. Being able to track your location and the weather all right from your wrist is great for getting the most out of your run without getting lost or stuck in bad weather.

black_female_running_on_a_road

Choosing the right running gear is essential.  Comfort, style, and function are all important factors when considering the right gear for you.  We hope this guide helped you choose running gear that will best suit your personal style, taste, and needs.   Still have questions?  Feel free to contact us as we are happy to answer any questions that were not addressed in this guide.  Happy shopping!


Here are a few good sources:

Sources

  1. Amazon, Amazon, Product Reviews,
  2. The Science Of Running, The Science Of Running, Clinical Organization,
  3. Running Competitor, Running Competitor, Running Website,
  4. Hal Higdon, Hal Higdon, Marathon Guide,