Runners know there are non-negotiable pieces of gear beyond some good shoes for a run. And as you get more into running, you’ll quickly see this sport has more gear options than you may have realized. Here, a few favorite little extras that changed their running lives:
For a fashion-forward set of sunglasses that can go from running errands to running laps, Under Armour’s Glimpse shades have you covered. These shades are ideal for runners looking for more stylish options, and they’re a heavy favorite among recreational and elite runners.
Thankfully, the ‘90s are back in style, so those neon colors you used to love and those windbreakers you thought you could finally throw out are ultra-chic. So are sweatbands — and they’re a runner’s best friend. If you’re not into wearing a hat when you run, a sweatband is the cooler (temperature and style) alternative to keep your face sweat-free and your hair from looking like you spent your lunch break in a wind tunnel.
The bottle is CamelBak’s classic polar bottle so it keeps your water icy in the summer on those hot runs, and the small zipper pocket on the other side of the hand-strap designed for running ease is the perfect size for a gel, car keys and a few bucks in case you need to stop to refuel on your run.
Dermatone combines a thick chapstick coat with SPF, so whether you’re running in a blizzard, windstorm or on a bright summer day, your lips remain hydrated and crack-free, making eating and drinking on the run and not feeling like a husk of a human possible post-run. (Dermatone also makes a full-face balm to prevent frostbite and windburn that runners in northern climates swear by.)
Running while holding a phone in one hand can throw off your stride and lead to minor imbalances. Counteract that damage by switching to an armband that can hold your phone close to your body, like this one from Under Armour that’s designed for the rigors of running.
Triathletes have been using elastic laces to speed up bike-to-run transition for years, but runners can also reap the benefits of a faster time out the door. You don’t have to worry about over-tightening laces and cutting off circulation in your feet, pulling on your running shoes becomes much easier, and you won’t hear the dreaded “your shoelace is untied” ever again.
You probably either know or have seen another runner sporting kinesiology tape on their kneecap or quad at the start line of a race. K-tape has been trending in the running community for years, and many brands with pricey, brightly colored and patterned options have popped up. If you’re a fan of tape, but don’t want to pay premiums for a neon color, Leukotape is a favorite with budget-savvy runners who don’t care about using beige tape, as long as it gets the job done.