I love talking to other runners about their best running gear. As runners, we get so passionate about our tried-and-true favorites. We’ve all experienced disappointment and frustration when we forget our watch or our favorite energy gel during a run or when – God forbid – we learn that our favorite running shoes have been discontinued (oh, the horror!).
Over the years, I’ve been asked about my favorite running products. Here’s a short list of running stuff I absolutely cannot live without.
1. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller: If you’ve never used a foam roller before, I urge you to get one and start rolling! I use my foam roller after all my long run and even after shorter ones, if I’m feeling tight. I’m a big fan of TriggerPoint’s GRID foam roller. It’s a bit more expensive than a regular foam roller but it’s much more effective and more durable. It’s hollow in the middle, which means it doesn’t take up a lot of room in a suitcase or gym bag (since you can stuff clothes or other items in it). It even comes with an online instructional video, so you can learn proper foam rolling techniques.
2. Oakley Half Jacket Sunglasses: My husband bought me these sunglasses several years ago and I couldn’t have asked for a more comfortable pair of running sunglasses. They’re very lightweight and don’t slide off my face, even if I’m sweating a lot.
3. Mizuno Wave Rider Running Shoes: I’ve been wearing Wave Riders for the past 13 years and probably have run in at least 45 pairs of them. They are my absolute favorite running shoes. Of course, I’m a neutral runner (I don’t underpronate or overpronate), so what works for me may not work for you. Stop by your local running specialty store for a running gait analysis to figure out the best running shoes for you.
4. Body Glide: Any runner who has ever had to deal with painful chafing during or after a run now knows to never do a long run without applying a lubricant such as BodyGlide. It’s designed to prevent chafing and/or blisters in vulnerable areas, such as your feet, inner thighs, sports bra lines, and underarms. Made with plant-derived ingredients, BodyGlide comes in a stick and is applied like a deodorant, leaving no sticky, oily or powdery mess.
5. Nike Featherlite Running Hat: I love this one from Nike because it’s very light and breathable, but still provides sun protection. It’s also great during rainy runs to keep the rain off my face.
6. FuelBelt Sprint Palm Holder 10-ounce Water Bottle: I love this hand-held water bottle because it’s not as bulky and awkward to carry as a larger-sized water bottle. It’s the perfect size bottle for a run that’s under an hour. I even use it for longer runs, as long as I know I can stop and refill it at a water fountain. It has an adjustable strap for a nice, snug fit, as well as a pocket for small essentials, such as energy gels or keys.
7. Salted Caramel GU Energy Gels: I’ve always loved GU Energy Gels, but always stuck with Vanilla Bean. I was totally happy with that flavor until I tried SALTED CARAMEL and it totally rocked my world. Oh, my. I felt like I was having dessert in the middle of my long run! If you’re like me and love the salty/sweet combo, I HIGHLY recommend them.
8. Oofos Recovery Sandals: These super comfy sandals are the perfect way to pamper and relieve my aching feet after I’ve done a long run or a hard workout. I wear mine around the house after runs, and even when I’m out running errands after a long run during the warmer months. They’re available in both flip-flop and slide styles.
Also see: Running Gift Guide