I often compare running to golf. In both sports, consistent effort and good form basically always lead to improvement. And, in both sports, you need to be prepared for bad days, because even the most consistent effort and the best form can’t guarantee that every time out will be a success. I mean, who among us hasn’t trained to the very best of our ability, only to fall short (or fall apart) on an important training run, or even on race day? But we come back to it another day — maybe even stronger for having experienced that failure.
Another connection is in the gear. I mean, I’m certainly no golf pro — in fact, I’m inarguably terrible — but even I can feel the difference it makes to swing a high quality driver rather than a 50-year-old 1- wood (made of actual wood) that you picked up at a garage sale. You know, for example.
Of course, gear and equipment can’t replace training and hard work — not in golf, not in running, not in anything. But in some cases, it can make workouts and competition a little easier. Plus, let’s be real — new gear day is fun.
With that in mind, I thought I’d give the scoop on a few pieces of running gear that I’ve received to review and am loving these days. And, bonus: Jenn got some new pieces to review, too, so she’s sneaking in some of her recent faves as well!
Title Nine Mad Dash Reversible Running Shorts ($69)
With a side pocket and a waistband stash pocket, these mid-rise shorts stay put and make it easy to carry whatever you might need. They’re super soft, have a draw cord at the elastic waist, and are so comfy I’ve worn them for way more than running. I have the 7″ length, but might have to check out the 4″ version (shown below) next.
Tracksmith Session Speed Shorts ($72)
If you like a more traditional running short and are looking for high quality materials that feel insanely light, these shorts are a great pick. They have a small zipper pocket with plenty of room for a key or a gel, and the 3.25″ length is long enough to provide full coverage and nothing more. I’ve been digging these for runs, but also just for vegging — they’re seriously soft and light.
Brooks Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra ($50)
Brooks recently released a new line of compression running bras that are getting rave reviews — and for good reason. This one, in particular, has three pockets — one specifically designed for your phone — removable cups, and bonded seams to prevent chafing. Plus, as I’ve become more conscious of avoiding the sun, I’m more appreciative of designs like this that cover more skin during a long run.
Brooks Distance Running Tank ($30)
Continuing my theme of running gear I’m donning as streetwear, too, is this high-neck top. The shorter length isn’t a crop, but it’s short enough to allow some airflow — plus it looks adorable with everything from running shorts to cut offs, especially in that great fluoro pink color, although I got it in black, too.
HOKA ONE ONE Carbon X 2 ($180)
My husband is actually the one checking these out, although I did the initial unboxing and, y’all, these shoes are light. They’re designed to be an endurance racer with a soft, stable, propulsive ride that works for everything from training runs to race days.
Nathan QuickSqueeze Lite ($24.99)
I can do a long run without music, without company, without a watch, even — but don’t ever ask me to run a long time without easily accessible water. With the flat bottom and wide mouth it’s easy to fill, with both ice and water, and the ergonomic fit means it’s comfortable to carry for a couple of hours. Double wall insulation keeps my drink cooler, longer, and the high flow Push-Pull Blast Valve cap makes it easy to get a solid gulp with little effort.
Nathan Women’s Essential Shorts ($55)
I’ve been using Nathan’s hydration systems for a while, so when I learned they were coming out with a new line of apparel, I was psyched to check it out. These shorts are soft and stretchy, have loads of thoughtfully-arranged pockets, reflective highlights, and more. Their new apparel is priced well, has been thoroughly tested by athletes, and comes in a variety of colors. I’m digging these, and look forward to checking more gear out in the future!
Once upon a time, I thought I was happy wearing cheap cotton socks to run. Reader, I was wrong — so wrong. It makes a huge difference to run in a sock that’s truly designed to stay put and wick away moisture, and the Swiftwick FLITE does all that, plus offers heel and ankle support, and after numerous washes, they fit exactly the same as they did the first time — no stretching out.
Feetures High Performance Cushion ($12.99) and Elite Light ($15.99)
Jenn here, and I will second what Kristen said about the running socks! Feetures sent me some new pairs of its High Performance and Elite styles, and they not only come in a new line of fun and pretty spring colors this season, but also they’re next level when it comes to function. Both styles use iWick fibers for superior moisture management and have a seamless toebox to prevent bunching and blisters. The Elite ones have Targeted Compression and are anatomically designed for a custom-like fit in addition to (wait for it … so cool!) being made with recycled polyester from Repreve. Feetures’ goal is to convert all of its polyester socks to recycled poly by end of 2021. How flippin’ amazing is that?! I’ve been running and doing workouts for months now in both of these styles of socks, and they have held up. Can’t recommend them enough.
Vuori Clean Elevation Shorty ($54) and Long-Sleeve Halo Crew ($84)
Vuori is quickly becoming one of my (Jenn here again) favorite athleisure brands. The Clean Elevation Shorty is so on-trend and supportive and smooth (excellent coverage) for everything from leisure walking to yoga to lifting barbells and running sprints, and the Long-Sleeve Halo Crew is my go-to top for basically anything I’m doing and whatever I’m wearing on the bottom, be it picking up wine at the wine store with jeans or over a tank during my warm-up for a run. They’re both so soft and comfy! (Although not nearly as versatile, I’m also a big fan of the Performance Jogger for lounging around, and the Yosemite Bra for yoga workouts. In case anyone is looking for something like that.)
Now that we’ve shared some of our current go-to gear, we’d love to hear from you! What are you wearing — and loving — for your runs and other workouts these days? —Kristen