If you’re serious about running, this list of must have items all runners need is for you!
Honestly, I wish I read an article like this when I started my run journey back in 2012. I was clueless!
I used to run long distance in basketball sneakers, basketball shorts, and cotton t-shirts. Please don’t judge me. Lol! I had no idea about the items I needed as a new runner.
To be fair, it’s not just a newbie mistake because some people who have been running for years still don’t know about some of the essentials they should own.
After 7 years of seriously running I know a thing or two about what runners need. Just imagine all the mistakes I made, and the things I’ve learned over the years.
That being said, I wrote this article so you don’t have to learn the hard way.
I hope this list is informative and comes in handy. Please feel free to ask any questions or share additional feedback in the comments section. Enjoy!
It’s time to breakdown the items runners need:
1. Proper Running Shoes
Without a doubt, it’s all about the shoes!
PLEASE make sure you invest in a pair of actual running shoes. Save yourself discomfort, injury, time, and money by buying real running shoes.
You have options. Lots of options! My current favorite brand to run in is Nike. If you’re new to running and want an all-around good shoe, I recommend the Zoom Pegasus or the Zoom Vomero.
*Nike releases a new model each year of both models.
Both models provide excellent comfort, cushion and stability.
But if you’re not a Nike fan, there are tons of other great running shoes out there by adidas, Asics, Brooks, HOKA, Mizuno, New Balance, Saucony, and many more.
2. The Right Socks
Emphasis on the word “right.”
For years I ran in regular socks… because it’s just socks, right? Correct.
However, there is a such thing as running socks, and they exist for a reason. Regular cotton socks will absorb the sweat from your feet, but most running socks feature materials that keep your feet cool, comfortable and dry during your run.
The socks are created with materials that provide breathability and help avoid blisters. There are TONS of running socks available for women and men. Do yourself a solid, and invest in a pair of running socks.
3. Dri-Fit Gear
Dri-Fit was coined by Nike. It’s a technology used in a lot of Nike’s performance apparel. However, other brands have created gear very similar to the Dri-Fit tech.
I used to run in old cotton tees. Not anymore! Why not? Well, once upon a time I went for a 5 mile run in a 100% cotton shirt, and I experienced “runners nipple” aka chafed nipples for the first time. OUCH! That was one painful shower.
That could’ve been avoided if I ran shirtless, put tape on my nipples or if I wore a Dri-Fit shirt. But no, I ran in a cotton tee that absorbed ALL my sweat which made me feel heavy and uncomfortable.
Long story short: Dri-Fit helps keep you dry and comfortable.
Dri-Fit is not limited to shirts. Nike (or your preferred brand) makes pants, tights, shorts, compression shorts, sports bras, socks, and more!
4. Running Phone Holder (Armband)
To buy or not to buy a smartphone holder for running? That is the question.
Let’s think about it. You can run with your phone in your hand and risk dropping it due to sweaty hands or someone bumping into you.
The better option is playing it safe and buying an arm phone holder. Perhaps you’re not the armband type, it’s okay – keep reading this list!
If you don’t mind a phone holder, get one ASAP! Don’t ruin a great run by dropping your phone and cracking the screen.
5. Running Watch with GPS
Yes! A running watch will be your best friend during your runs.
The tough part is picking your favorite watch/brand because there are a lot! You can pick from brands like Apple Nike+ Series, FitBit, Garmin, Samsung, Suunto, and more.
Apple, Garmin, Fitbit and Suunto seem to be the most popular in the running community.
6. Wireless Headphones
Do yourself a favor, and learn a valuable lesson from me: don’t buy super cheap wireless headphones. And by super cheap, I mean $10-$12.
Just Don’t Do It.
Like most products in the running industry, there are a lot of brands that make wireless running headphones.
My headphones are made by Beats, and to be honest, the brand is overrated. Don’t get me wrong, my headphones get the job done, but I’m not here to recommend you buy Beats headphones.
Apple, Bose, Fitbit, Jabra, JBL, JLab, Monster and many more brands make wireless running headphones. The options are endless!
The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that you make sure you own a pair.
This is your other option if you’re not a fan of phone armbands.
Say hello to your other best friend, the FlipBelt. This accessory is perfect for storing your personal items like phone, keys, debit card, chapstick, ID, etc.
The best thing about the FlipBelt is it sits flat and you don’t have to worry about the belt riding up during your runs.
Several colors are available, the classic belt is only $29!
8. Body Glide (Anti Chafing Stick)
Body Glide is another solution to help you prevent chafing.
Remember my story from above about runners nipple? Yeah, I’m serious about making sure you NEVER have to experience that pain.
The original anti chafing and anti blister balm by Body Glide was created to protect your skin from constant rubbing that leads to chafing, raw skin and irritation.
9. Road iD
Very important, especially for runners who don’t carry any identification.
This little accessory is underrated, and in the words of Road iD, “it just might save your life.” Road iD is wearable ID that can wear on your wrist or shoe.
Available in many colors, sizes, and finishes.
$35 for wrist ID or $20 for shoe ID.
10. Foam Roller
Another item that will become your best friend.
The foam roller is well-known for helping massage injured muscles, but it can also be used during your warmup as you prepare for a run.
The roller can also be used post-run. The purpose of the foam roller is to improve your circulation to prep the body for a run and help recover after.
Note: Slowly roll while you search for sore areas. When a sore spot is discovered continue rolling until the area softens.
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