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Running track or cross country is one of the sports that require very little equipment. At the very least, runners need good quality sneakers to prevent injury...

Running track or cross country is one of the sports that require very little equipment. At the very least, runners need good quality sneakers to prevent injury and help with foot strike.  However, athletes know that there are loads of running gear on the market that claim to help performance and aid in recovery. To stay on top of your game, some running gear products are worth checking out. 

From gym bags and water bottles to sportswear and fuel, here are the top running gear every athlete needs.

 

Running Sneakers

We highly recommend getting fitted at a running store for sneakers. This ensures the perfect fit including the ideal arch support, cushioning, and type of shoe based on gait.

Remember to get new running sneakers every 350 to 500 miles.

Track athletes should check out Nike’s Rival Sprint sneakers. These are the perfect pair of spikes for beginners. It’s a lightweight pair that is made for speed. With only 4 pins, the shoe is more flexible than other pairs. This is a durable shoe that will last all season. It’s designed for events ranging from 60m to 400m, including hurdle events.

Cross country runners should look at New Balance Xc 5k V6 Running Shoe. This highly-rated sneaker is lightweight and thin and is known for its comfort. There is ample cushion in the midsole without being bulky. It does have a 5-spike outsole configuration but does not come with spikes. 

New Balance has one of the best cross country running sneakers.

Running Watch

 

When it comes to running watches, smartwatches are the best. It allows runners to track pace, cadence, and ground contact. Its barometers and altimeters also reveal altitude and air pressure. 

More than run analysis, smartwatches also track metrics like heart rate, and calories burned. It can also be used when logging cross training workouts. 

Apple Watches are great for those who already have iPhones, but many might find shorter battery life compared to other GPS-enabled smartwatches. We recommend the Garmin Forerunner 265S for 15 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and up to 24 hours in GPS mode.

Smartwatches are among the most needed running gear for performance.

The Forerunner 265S allows runners to plan race strategy based on the race and course that is input into the Garmin Connect app, and get personalized daily suggested workouts. The training readiness score is a great feature in determining training load and recovery.

Hydration Gear

Proper hydration is crucial for athletes. Using refillable water bottles is an eco-friendly practice to stay hydrated and reduce plastic waste.

Preference plays a role when choosing running hydration gear. This includes water bottles, belts, and hydration vests. 

Nathan hand-held water bottle

Nathan SpeedDraw Plus water bottle is a great hand-held option. It has an adjustable hand strap with a thumbhole, so it’s comfortable to hold grip-free during runs. It holds 18 oz of water, keeping it cool. It also has a zippered pocket so runners can carry their phones, keys, and even sports gels. 

Nathan Peak hydration pack is among the best gear for runners

Nathan also has a great running hydration belt option for those who like to be hands-free. The Peak Hydration belt is lightweight and comes with an 18 oz refillable water bottle. There is no bounce when running. It has a sleek and comfortable minimalistic design that even includes a zippered storage pouch. 

Cross country runners who prefer running vests should check out the Salomon Sense Pro 5. The Senso Pro 5is a unisex running vest that includes water flasks. It’s designed for long cross-country trail runs, featuring its sleek and friction-free design. While it does have a precise fit, size up if between sizes.

Running hydration vest

Other hydration vests worth noting are the North Face Flight Race Day Vest 8, Nathtan ViperAir Lite 4, and CamelBakNano which all have excellent reviews.

Activewear

Sometimes looking your best helps you to perform your best. While new workout clothes can increase motivation for workouts, runners benefit from quality activewear. 

Brands like Nike, Addidas, and New Balance are some popular options because of their durability and comfort.

For young women,  Luluemon Hotty Hot shorts are among the most popular. With quick-drying fabric and a wide-leg cut for extra breathability, these are among the best moisture-wicking options. These shorts don’t ride up and are available in high-rise and low-rise options.

Luluemon shorts are the bestt tfor runners.

Brooks Sherpa shorts are highly recommended for young men. These five-inch shorts feature an anti-chafe liner that makes them so comfortable for sweaty workouts. These shorts are lightweight, but moveable—a great alternative to biker or compression shorts.

When it comes to shirts and tank tops, make sure the material is moisture-wicking, has a comfortable fit, and can be versatile.

Under Armour Men’s HeatGear leggings are among the best running leggings on the market for cold weather runs. Under Armour also has a highly-rated pair of running leggings for women that have a soft interior and great fit. 

90 Degree By Reflex has a great mesh short sleeve shirt that won’t shrink in the wash. It has a loose fit and comes at an affordable price. 

For young women, the Brooks Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra is among the best sports bras. It provides great coverage, won’t cause chafing, and features three pockets. 

Foam Roller

Foam rolling is important for runners post-workout to prevent tight and sore muscles. Trigger Point Preformance Grid 1.0 Foam Roller is the best for its firmness to get deep in the muscle. This foam roller is only 13 inches in length, making it compact and easy to use. It also gets bonus points for its fun, vibrant colors. 

This foam roller is among the top gear for runners.

Compression Socks

Compression socks are one of the best products to aid in the recovery of runners. Compression socks promote circulation and reduce tension while also aiding in muscle fatigue.

These socks come in various heights including ankle and up to the calf, with the latter the most ideal for circulation for the entire leg. Sold on Amazon, the CEP Tall 4.0 Compression Running Socks are great for both during runs and after. It features moisture-wicking fabric so that the feet can breathe without getting sweaty. The socks are the ideal amount of tightness and compression without feeling suffocating. There is also padding under the foot and heel for added comfort.

 

Gym Bag

To round out our best running gear guide are gym backs to store everything needed for practice. The top pick goes to the Adidas Alliance 2 SpackpackThis is a lightweight, inexpensive bag that can used to store track or cross country gear and even be used in the off-season. 

It isn’t too big or bulky, yet offers lots of storage with added pockets to keep workout gear and other items organized. The main pocket is perfect for storing running sneakers, and it even features a mesh side pocket for storing a water bottle. 

Those looking for a larger gym bag need the Nike Brasilia 9.5 Training Duffel Bag. This gym bag has a larger price tag, but runners will get more bang for their buck. There is a deep pocket for storing workout clothes and a separate show compartment that keeps stinky sneakers away from the rest of the items stored. It has zippered pockets and a removable shoulder strap. It’s made in part out of recycled polyester fibers, and it has a coated bottom that helps prevent spills in the bag. 

Lauren Keating

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