The right running gear is the difference between a good run and a great one. When starting, it can be hard to know what you need, especially if you’re not sure how much running will become part of your life. But once you get started and start enjoying it, there’s no going back! Here are some essential pieces of running gear that will take your training to the next level:
Running Gear for Beginners
Running is one of the most instinctive and natural types of human activity. On top of that, it is also one of the most accessible forms of exercise. You can do it almost everywhere, and it doesn’t require special equipment. It’s just you and the open road, wearing about anything. Running gear for beginners requires a good pair of running shoes and whatever you consider comfortable clothing.
But, as you take up running on a more regular basis and it becomes part of your daily fitness regimen, the time will come when you’ll want to acquaint yourself with new equipment. The key to improving your performance is knowing what kind of gear works best for your particular needs as a runner. You need to take a moment and think about what you want from your running experience so that you’ll be able to select the right gear.
By taking into account several factors like running surface and weather conditions, your gender, age, height, weight, and personal style or preferences, you will select the equipment you need to have a great running experience.
However, running can be enhanced with a touch of innovation. Running gadgets can provide useful information and help us run better by improving our pace and endurance.
That’s why I’ve created a list of all the available running gear, starting from the essential equipment and moving to more advanced, that will transform you into a lean, mean running machine. After all, why even bother running if you’re not going to give it all?
Probably, the most important running gear for beginners but experts as well as the running shoes.
A huge range of running shoes could satisfy all the needs of the most demanding runners. However, there’s no ideal running shoe that could suit every runner. This is because there are many parameters such as biomechanics, weight, running surface, foot morphology that vary between runners.
The Right Pair of Shoes
You may wonder, “What’s the big deal about running shoes?” Well, wearing the right pair of shoes when you run is essential. You could get injured if you don’t have the right shoes for your feet and gait (the way your foot hits the ground).
The wrong running shoes can cause injury because they don’t offer enough support or cushioning. They also might not fit properly or provide adequate stability in some regions of your foot, leading to pain and discomfort while running. The right pair will help prevent these issues by providing support and giving your muscles more room to move around comfortably as they contract during each step taken while wearing them.
You don’t want to go out and buy the first pair that looks cool or feels good on your feet–you should make sure that you get something that will fit well, support your foot and lower leg muscles and bones, and last for at least 500 miles (800 kilometers).
The most important thing to consider when choosing a running shoe is the kind of sole you’ll want. The two main categories are:
Designed for runners with low arches who tend to supinate (roll-out), or mildly pronate (roll in). Runners with high arches that supinate should choose stable running shoes. Likewise, runners who have high arches and tend to pronate should use motion-control running shoes
Designed for runners with flat or very low arches that supinate and overpronate the most (excessive inward foot rolling). Motion controls are also recommended for runners with an extremely high arch that supinates. Motion-control shoes contain features that restrict overpronation, which can keep your arch from collapsing.
Apart from these characteristics and find the most suitable shoe, you have to consider the three most important factors that will help you decide on the shoe selection process. These are:
It is well-known that the weight of the shoe affects your running speed. Lighter is faster. If an elite runner wore 100 grams lighter shoes, he could save up to 57 seconds off his marathon time. Lighter is faster, but is it better?
Lighter shoes typically have less cushioning, which can make them feel faster. Yet, the extra cushioning of a heavier shoe might be a better option for long distances because when shoe weight is reduced by removing cushioning, it causes runners to consume more energy in absorbing shock from each foot strike. This means that you should not sacrifice comfort in pursuit of speed.
A shoe’s “heel-to-toe drop” (HTT drop) is the difference between how high a shoe is in the heel and the forefoot. It simply shows how much your toes drop below your heel. Typical ranges for heel drop are from 0 to 16 mm. A high drop encourages excessive heel striking and can lead to knee injuries. A lower drop of 4 mm is more suitable for those who naturally run towards mid and forefoot. However, the lower the drop, the more you need calf flexibility and ankle mobility. Most shoes have a drop between 4 and 12 mm. Some shoes have less than 6mm, and a few minimalist designs have zero drop.
Cushioning softens the effect of a foot strike by providing impact absorption.
Stability shoes: Are recommended for people who overpronate. This means your foot tends to roll inward slightly when you’re running. Stability shoes are the best choice if you’ve got medium arches and are looking for cushioning and support combinations.
Neutral shoes: If you’ve got high arches and are looking for pure cushioning, then neutral shoes are the right choice. Since your feet already move efficiently, neutral shoes let your feet do what they do naturally while comforting each step and protecting your feet.
Another essential running gear for beginners is the top. You should wear light, breathable and durable shirts appropriate for the weather and are designed to keep you dry and comfortable. Unlike cotton, avoid cotton and prefer technical fabrics that feel comfortable, light, and cool against the skin.
Technical fabrics can regulate your body temperature. They will move moisture away from your skin to the outer surface, where it will evaporate, keeping you dry and comfortable.
Shirts can vary from short or long sleeves. Best to pick shirts made of Dri-Fit, Climalite, or Coolmax materials suitable for running in warmer weather conditions. The material should feel cool, light, and comfortable against the skin. For running in colder weather, the tops are made of thermal materials.
Long Sleeve Tops
For mid-season, usually, Long Sleeve Tops are more appropriate. They will provide you the extra protection without causing you to overheat as you get into your run. Some are built of the same fabric you’ll find on short sleeve t-shirts; others have a closer-knit and, therefore, a little more warmth. These work great in cool to mild weather.
For free whether you should try a technical running t-shirt that is sweat-free and breathable. Most are slim or lose cut, and they wash and dry easily.
In case of cold weather, technical fabrics are your pick. Thermal running tops with effective thermal regulation vary in warmth, but all are light, sweat-free, and breathable. The warmest tend to be slightly fleeced on the inside. Most are slim fitting for effective temperature regulation.
Last but not least, running gear for beginners is the shorts. Choosing the right running shorts can be challenging and overwhelming because of the huge variety available. Running short fit depends on body type, weather, conditions, fabric preferences, running style, and personal style. Let’s break it down:
Are basically form-fitting, thigh-length shorts made up of a stretchy material that provides some level of pressure, against the butt and thighs while allowing exceptional flexibility.Compression shorts can help you:
- Run further as you’ll get more oxygen into the blood to power your muscles.
- Reduce muscle fatigue, recover faster because you’ll be removing waste lactic acid quicker.
- Reduce soreness in the muscles resulting in faster and longer runs.
Feature a loose fit and are lightweight racing shorts. They are a more performance style, as it offers the greatest range of motion to the runner, and inseams are typically shorter, starting at about 1” for men and women.
In my experience, the best shorts are those made of breathable, lightweight fabrics, with a light mesh interior underwear lining. Also, consider getting shorts with a key pocket or extra pockets for carrying keys, ID, or even the phone.
Proper tights are made from high-performance stretchy fabrics. These can draw moisture away from the body, and keep you running comfortably, regardless of outdoor temperatures.
Stepping up from the essential running gear for beginners comes the sports watch. If you are a serious runner looking to supercharge your run with one of the great gadgets available on the market, then a sports watch is a must. Running watches tend to be some of the top performers in the fitness market.
Running watches offer a huge range of features to help you improve your performance. Some of the key features are the following:
Highly accurate GPS, for precise tracking of your running distance and speed. Although GPS feature is a battery drainer, you want a watch that can last at least five hours of GPS run time.
Altimeters, barometers, and gyroscopes show up in GPS watch geared to hikers and trail runners who want to keep tabs on altitude, air pressure, and navigate new routes in the wilderness.
Optical heart rate is another great feature to have. It measures your workout intensity so you can train smarter ensuring each session delivers the right training effect. Alternatively, if accuracy if of paramount importance, you can pair the watch with a chest strap to monitor your heart rate.
However, as a beginner runner, you don’t need a fancy digital timepiece. In fact, a simple watch with a stop and start button can do the trick.
Headphones are not part of the necessary running gear for beginners. However, music makes running more enjoyable and can even increase performance because it’s a great motivator for working out. So before you head out to the track, trail, or treadmill and lace up your shoes, don’t forget to power up your headphones.
Listening to your best song collection, or a podcast, or even an audiobook while running can make your runs much better. That’s why having a proper pair of running headphones is some of the essential running gear you can get these days.
So, how do you choose the best pair of running headphones? When shopping for a quality pair of headphones to wear while running, you’ll want to look at a few key factors:
They have to be a good fit. Don’t get me wrong, the sound quality matters, but not if they fall out every time you keep up the pace. So a proper and comfortable fit in your ear is a must.
They must be sweatproof or waterproof so that they won’t get damaged by sweat or rain. For that, you can have a look at the IP rating, which indicates the level of protection. A two digits IP rating secures intrusion protection from dust and moisture. In general, the higher the IP rating, the more resilient your headphones should be.
Another important factor is connectivity. There are two main wireless options. Classic Bluetooth headphones come with a cable connecting the earpieces together or true wireless headphones without the cord.
If you’re new to running, a fitness tracker is a great way to keep track of your progress. They can track your distance, speed, and calories burned; help you set goals; and even track sleep patterns if you’re interested in getting more restful shut-eye. Some models also include heart rate monitors that help monitor how hard your body is working during a run. In addition to keeping tabs on these crucial stats while exercising outside the gym (or while working out at home), fitness trackers can also be used as pedometers by counting steps taken throughout the day–and some will even count floors climbed!
If all this sounds good, but you don’t know where exactly where to start looking for one? We’ve got some suggestions:
Sweatbands are a great way to keep sweat from dripping into your eyes. They come in many colors and styles, but cotton, synthetic materials, or even latex are the most common ones. Some people like wearing them around their heads, while others prefer wearing them on their wrists like a bracelet.
As a beginner, you’ll want to start with a simple water bottle that will keep your water cool and easily accessible. The CamelBak Eddy Insulated is a good choice because it’s inexpensive and easy to use. It has an insulated sleeve that keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours, which means you can fill it with ice before heading out on your run, so there’s no need to worry about buying drinks along the way or stopping at a gas station bathroom (which can be gross).
The best part about having this kind of hydration system is that it frees up space in your pockets or bag for other items–like snacks! If you’re concerned about running and eating simultaneously (and who isn’t?), consider getting some energy chews instead of carrying around something heavy like an apple or banana all day while trying not to overeat junk food beforehand.
The Right Pair of Socks
When it comes to socks, cotton is not your friend. Wool or synthetic materials are better for running because they’re more breathable and wick moisture away from the skin. Some runners like to wear two pairs of socks: one thin layer over another thicker layer (the idea is that the outer layer protects against blisters). This can be helpful if you have sensitive feet or run in cold weather–but make sure both layers are dry before putting them on! If your feet get wet, change out of those wet socks as soon as possible. And remember that cleanliness is essential when choosing which pair(s) of footwear works best for you: always wash them after each run so they stay fresh on longer excursions through nature’s elements!
Energy snacks are essential for long runs, especially if you’re new to running and not used to burning so many calories. They can help keep you going when your body needs an energy boost or if the run takes longer than expected.
Energy snacks should be easy on your stomach, so no big meals before leaving for a run! You don’t need to eat much food during these breaks, just enough to feel like getting back up after sitting down for five minutes or so.
Running Belt or a Running Backpack
Running belts and backpacks are the two most popular ways to carry your gear while on the run. The critical difference between them is that a belt will hold small items like keys, phones, and credit cards, while a backpack can carry all of that, plus your water bottle, camera, and more.
A running belt is great for short runs (under 2 hours) because it keeps everything close by, so you don’t have to worry about leaving something behind or having to stop every few minutes because of discomfort from carrying too much weight in your hands or arms. A good example would be the Nathan Sports pack which fits up to 6 oz bottles in its pockets plus has room for a smartphone with the case attached!
If you plan on doing longer distances at one time (more than 4 hours), consider investing in a good quality hydration pack such as this one from Ultimate Direction, which includes two separate compartments – one for storing food/drinks. In contrast, another one specifically made just for holding phones!
This was a quick run-down of the running gear for beginners available on the market. As a beginner, there is no need to buy all these. However, it’s time to gear up properly after a few runs.
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Alex is a passionate fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. He encourages small – sustainable changes over drastic transformations and works with people to create customized wellness plans. His mission is to help others benefit from the most effective methods available, sharing tips, strategies, and health & fitness tools on Gearuptofit.com to inspire people to live their best lives.