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The 10 Best Pieces of Running Gear Listed

last updated Oct 19, 2018

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.

Researched Sources
21
Researched Sources
Total Readers
11k
Total Readers
Reviews Considered
13k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
41
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated: August 15, 2018
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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.

Sorting Options
Features Brand Weather Resistance Versatility By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Features
94%
Brand
92%
Weather Resistance
96%
Versatility
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Features
97%
Brand
93%
Weather Resistance
90%
Versatility
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$15.95
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.5
Features
92%
Brand
96%
Weather Resistance
92%
Versatility
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Features
89%
Brand
94%
Weather Resistance
90%
Versatility
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
Features
87%
Brand
87%
Weather Resistance
90%
Versatility
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$14.99
Best Deal
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Features
82%
Brand
85%
Weather Resistance
88%
Versatility
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
Features
92%
Brand
82%
Weather Resistance
87%
Versatility
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Features
85%
Brand
80%
Weather Resistance
85%
Versatility
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Features
78%
Brand
90%
Weather Resistance
80%
Versatility
81%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.3
Features
78%
Brand
89%
Weather Resistance
81%
Versatility
77%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Plantronics BackBeat Fit
  • Rockay Accelerate
  • Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses
  • Nike Swoosh Doublewide Wrist Bands
  • Body Glide
  • RiptGear Wide Non-Slip Headband
  • Polar M430 GPS
  • Superfeet Premium Shoe Insoles
  • Adidas Adizero Running Cap
  • Adidas Tiro 15 Running Pants
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Running Gear Items

1. Plantronics BackBeat Fit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Plantronics BackBeat Fit
Features
94
Brand
92
Weather Resistance
96
Versatility
95
best offer for today
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

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.

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Comfort

These are highly really comfortable and easy to use. Moreover, they provide a secure fit so they don't slip or fall off when you need a headset during rigorous training.

Quality

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

Cost and Value

These come at a higher than average price but they are well worth the cost and some may actually consider them quite affordable. They are also considered safe and highly durable.

2. Rockay Accelerate

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Rockay Accelerate
Features
97
Brand
93
Weather Resistance
90
Versatility
92
best offer for today
$15.95
Pros:

Quite affordable

Made of a high-quality material

Comes in a variety of colors

Breathability is high and this increases comfort

Cons:

Size may be a bit small for others

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 and they found that people want something that is durable, comfortable, breathable, and supportive.

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Breathability

Made of durable Merino wool, this ROCKAY sock will allow for airflow to the foot, eliminating the risk of hot spots and blisters. This will also help mitigate uncomfortable sweat and odors that can be caused by overheating of the feet.

Comfort

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!

Cost and Value

For a high-quality pair of socks, they are quite affordable. 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.

3. Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.5
Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses
Features
92
Brand
96
Weather Resistance
92
Versatility
90
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Durable

100% UVA protection

Reduce glare

Polarized and non-polarized options

Lightweight

Secure fit

Cons:

They are quite highly priced

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!

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Comfort

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

These glasses are made of high-quality material and are very durable. The high-quality material only means that your eyes will be protected while you enjoy the whole experience.

Cost and Value

These glasses are pricey but built to last and with a high-quality material that is meant to protect your eyes.

4. Nike Swoosh Doublewide Wrist Bands

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Nike Swoosh Doublewide Wrist Bands
Features
89
Brand
94
Weather Resistance
90
Versatility
89
best offer for today
Pros:

Made from a high-quality material hence durable

Quite affordable

High breathability

Comes in a variety of chic colors

Cons:

May lose its original value after a few washes

Impressive, stylish, comfortable, functional, durable and with a length of five inches, these are wristbands 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. Wristbands are one of those items which will last for many years in your choice of runners kit.

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Comfort

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

Comfort

When you first put on the wristbands 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 and Value

It has an average price, for something which will last for a good number of years. 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 wristbands.

5. Body Glide

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
Body Glide
Features
87
Brand
87
Weather Resistance
90
Versatility
90
best offer for today
more shops
$14.99
Best deal
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

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.

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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.

Usability

It actually does its work well and protects your skin since you are constantly on the move and you experience a high-energy, high-activity day as a runner. Most customers who have used the products have greatly expressed satisfaction from using it.

Cost and Value

What a better way to protect your product than to use one that is very affordable and highly useful to have. You will not regret using this product before your runs because it can work wonders on your skin.

6. RiptGear Wide Non-Slip Headband

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
RiptGear Wide Non-Slip Headband
Features
82
Brand
85
Weather Resistance
88
Versatility
85
best offer for today
Pros:

Non-slip material stays firmly in place

Soft and comfortable

4 inches wide

Very stylish

Wick factor

Ear warmer in Winter

Fits all sizes

Cons:

Just for lady runners

RipGear brings you a classic running accessory, despite the fact that it says yoga, it is perfect for runners as well. Offering a subtle and unique blend of materials with a brushed quality, it ensures the headband stays firmly on the head while you run. With a classic style and comfort, the headbands are offered in a nice combination of colors.

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Comfort

Designed to a width of four inches and made from materials which prevent slipping, stretch the headband 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 headband, also has wick factor.

Breathability and Design

During summer months, the sweat gets wicked away and in winter you can adjust it to double up as an ear warmer. The band is also offered in an appealing range of colors which do not fade after regular washing and the headband fits any head size.

Cost and Value

This product comes at a nice price and is a great addition to your running gear. You will have a running accessory that comes in various colors and features a breathable design without having to pay out the nose for it.

7. Polar M430 GPS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
 Polar M430 GPS
Features
92
Brand
82
Weather Resistance
87
Versatility
85
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Incredibly accurate and user-friendly

Pinpoint GPS accuracy

Features for training schedules

Waterproof

Cons:

Above average price

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.

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Waterproof

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.

Quality

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 and Value

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

8. Superfeet Premium Shoe Insoles

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Superfeet Premium Shoe Insoles
Features
85
Brand
80
Weather Resistance
85
Versatility
82
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Excellent support

Supports high arches, heel pain or plantar fasciitis

Good starter insole

Very durable

Cons:

Don’t offer lots of bounce

A little pricey

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.

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Comfort

This is what these are built for. They offer fantastic comfort for any support-related pain and will ease the 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

These have great durability and will keep your feet feeling good for a long time! You will not be glad you purchased one for your shoes to boost comfort.

Cost and Value

They are a little expensive, but taking good care of your feet is priceless, so they’re absolutely worth the investment. Also, they are made of a high-quality material.

9. Adidas Adizero Running Cap

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Adidas Adizero Running Cap
Features
78
Brand
90
Weather Resistance
80
Versatility
81
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

The cap is available in different colors than black

There’s non-glare under visor

Stylish and comes in various colors

Made of a high-quality material

Cons:

Quite expensive

A good running cap is really useful especially if you run in the sunny areas and want some protection. You may also want to have a cap that is stylish and the Adidas Adizero Running Cap got your back.

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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 adjust the fit.

Quality

This cap is definitely the durable and the quality is also at high level. Made of quality material, you will have a long-lasting cap in your gear wardrobe.

Cost and Value

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

10. Adidas Tiro 15 Running Pants

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.3
Adidas Tiro 15 Running Pants
Features
78
Brand
89
Weather Resistance
81
Versatility
77
best offer for today
more shops
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

There are of course thousands of running pants on the market, but if you’re seeking a pair that looks smart, and does a simple but great job, these are a good option. They come in many colors 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.

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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 number of users have experienced that they wear quickly. Although this doesn’t seem to be too common, it might be worth noting.

Cost and Value

They aren’t the cheapest, but for a good brand and a good design, the price is pretty good.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Features

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.

Accuracy

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.

Compatibility

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.

Versatility

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.

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 are breathable will not only make the user comfortable but also prevent from potentially overheating, chafing or the formation of blisters.

Other Factors to Consider

Comfort

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.

Accessories

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.

Brand

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.

Value

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 Resistance

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!

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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?
a:

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?
a:

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?
a:

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?
a:

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.

Sources

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