I’ve been a pretty avid runner for the past several years. I’ve completed half marathon’s, full marathon’s, the Tough Mudder and several smaller 5k runs. I’ve used a lot of different running gear and clothing; some of it worked great while others were total crap. I’m going to highlight what works for me, so I hope you get something out of it.
The most popular thing people think of when looking for running gear is the shoes, so we’ll start there.
Although these are marketed as a ‘training’ shoe, they have been one of the most comfortable pairs of running shoes I’ve worn and used in a long time. These have been my shoe of choice for the past 2 years.
Once you have settled on a pair of shoes the next most important thing is socks. Again I’ve been through most major brands of socks over the years, but the company I put my trust in is Fits.
These specific socks that I use are marketed for hiking, but they perform equally as well for trail running and adventure races such as the Tough Mudder or Spartan. The Fits socks are extremely comfortable, durable, they wick sweat away and prevent foot odor. Oh and they stay on my feet when I kick my shoes off (pet peeve of mine).
Now that we have our shoes and socks squared away we can move to shorts. This is a very broad subject as there are so many options that are great, so you have to find what works for you through trial and error. This is what works for me.
These have been hands down my favorite shorts to run in. The two pockets that are sewn into these shorts are perfect for my car key and a wallet or phone. Although these are great for running in, they also make great board shorts and swimming shorts. That’s a bonus because now when I travel I only need to take 1 pair of shorts for both running and swimming.
That pretty much takes care of the clothing I use for running. As far as shirts go, I usually just grab a normal t-shirt to run in. I don’t much care for the fancy ‘tech’ shirts specially made for running.
The next piece of gear I like to use for all my runs is a GPS watch. In the past I’ve used GPS watches from both Epson and Suunto, but the one I have become very fond of these days is the Garmin Forerunner 10.
The sole reason for using the Garmin Forerunner 10 is simplicity. For me personally I wasn’t concerned with monitoring my heart rate, doing splits or uploading my data to graph out on a map and share with the world. All I wanted was a durable watch that would track my distance and time it took to run said distance. The Garmin Forerunner 10 offers just that. Using the Garmin is about as easy as it gets. Press the button with the running man next to it and the GPS will locate your position. Once it has your position, you press that same button again and it starts the timer for your run. When you are done press the ‘running man’ button and the watch will display the stats of your run which will include total time, distance, average pace and calories burned (all on one screen). I’ve never had any issues with the watch not being able to locate the GPS satellites. If it is cloudy it may take it an extra minute, but it will find you. The watch is also water-resistant, so no worries with running in the rain. I’ve been out in heavy downpours and the watch had zero issues.
If I’m running in the late morning or afternoon hours I may choose to wear sunglasses if the sun is beating down on me. I can’t stand squinting for the whole run. The sunglasses I have chosen to run with are from Gatorz Eyewear.
The Gatorz Eyewear is where it’s at for sunglasses. I can wear these for an entire run and never have to adjust them or take them off to wipe the lens clean. Due to the materials used and the design you can customize the fit to your head making them as loose or tight as you want. They are super lightweight as well which is a huge advantage when running. Nothing more frustrating than a loose pair of heavier sunglasses.
An honorable mention:
I always run with a blade. Yeah I know this is not for most and some may think it’s stupid or I’m crazy for doing so. First off I have been through training for carrying and using a concealable fixed blade knife. I choose to carry because it gives me an advantage if I’m out running in a remote area and come across someone who is intent on harming me or the person I’m running with. It also provides me with an option if wild dogs attempt to attack and bite. It may sound far-fetched and extreme to some, but I choose to be prepared and live to see the next day, especially if I’ve got my daughter with me. In the past I’ve carried the Cold Steel Braveheart in a custom Blade Rigs sheath. Recently I have switched to the Blade Rigs Guppy knife with custom sheath.
I don’t run with hydration packs or a water bottle. I typically will keep my 32oz Camelbak Eddy water bottle in my car and hydrate after my run. The key is to be hydrated before the run so you’re not relying on carrying water with you.
That’s my loadout for trail running these days. For those of you that run I’d like to hear your opinions and what you choose to use.