Worn to Run: Running Gear Buyers' Guide
This running gear guide is designed to provide you with information on what type of running gear should be considered essential, optional running accessories and key purchasing decisions. Read the below running gear buyers guide for information on running shoes, running clothing and running accessories.
Running shoes that complement your weight, the shape of your feet and level of pronation, the conditions you run in and the distances you typically run are all essential factors that will influence what type of running shoes are the right match for you.
Experts maintain that during a five-mile run, the feet of the athlete strike the ground approximately 7,500 times. Thus, you will be leaving yourself open to a plethora of injuries if you wear the incorrect running shoes whilst you’re feet are pounding against the earth or the treadmill.
And don’t forget, Men and Women run differently, which is why running shoes are gender-specific – it is not just the colours that change! Remember, you are unique – one person's ideal running shoe will be completely unsuitable for another runner.
Neutral Structured Natural / Barefoot Trail / Off-Road Maximum Support Maximum Cushioning
For information on all the different types of running shoes available, or to determine your foot positioning when running, please view our comprehensive Running Shoe Guide.
Did you know? Roughly 75% of the population over-pronate when running, 20% have a neutral gait and only 5% under-pronate. RD Running Shoe Finder
Technological advancements in the running clothing industry have augmented in recent years with regards to fit, fabric and conditioning, enabling runners of all levels to enhance their running experience and even their performance.
Good running socks specially developed to combat the discomforts and physical stress associated with running, are available on the market. Extra padding and seamless socks are available to help reduce rubbing, and avoid blisters. The arch, heel and ball of your feet are the areas which require the most padding. Lightweight socks are designed to keep your feet cool and light, which allow you to run for longer, while double layered socks are constructed using two layers which move against each other, averting the threat of friction.
Running shorts are available in a range of styles, shapes and sizes, while male runners may prefer shorts with an inner brief to provide ample support. Good running shorts will have a lightweight profile and breathable qualities to deliver optimum comfort and performance levels.
Hi-tech fabrics also boost comfort by keeping you cool through ventilation and manoeuvring moisture away from the body. Additional features include: pockets for keys or phones, headphone loop holes and high visibility piping for night running. Comfort is the bottom line.
Like shorts, running T-shirts and vests are typically made with a technical, synthetic fabric. During hot climes, women may prefer to opt for a sports bra. An ideal running top should feel cool, light and comfortable against your skin.
Traditional cotton clothing has the tendency to become heavy and damp after contact with sweat, so specialised synthetic materials are the way forward. Some good running tops work so well that you can virtually wear them straight out of the washing machine.
Running Hats & Caps, Visors
A cap with a visor will help to shield your eyes from the sun all year round but especially in the summer – or the rain on a damp day. During the summer it is usually wise to choose a light colour cap that will reflect the heat, rather than absorb it, and help to keep your head cool. A woolly sports hat is a useful piece of headgear for those winter runs, but don’t forget that extra care must be taken in damp, icy or snowy conditions.
When the cold sets in, the human body sets about protecting your vital organs by keeping your core warm first, and then deals with your extremities last. It is for this reason that headgear and gloves are vital for winter running or night running when the temperature drops.
As far as winter running hats are concerned, breathable fabrics should be sought to prevent over-heating – your headgear for running should be warm but lightweight and breathable. Gloves should not hinder your dexterity to much – you don’t want to have to take them off every time you want to tie a shoelace or change the tune on your iPod!
Running base layer tights are essential for winter running as they counteract the draughts of wind colliding with your legs, while the comfortable yet compressing fit will stimulate blood flow, which will keep you warm. Some people, men particularly, do not feel particularly at ease with wearing tights, so a popular trend is to wear them underneath a pair of running shorts.
Running Base Layers
Base layers act as an extra layer next to your skin and depending on which type of base layer and compression wear you buy, can help to keep you cool or warm. Running base layers are typically constructed from a high performance fabric, which is designed to keep you warm with a compression fit for enhanced blood circulation, while freedom of movement is not compromised.
It is vital that your running jacket is not too bulky, as this will hinder your range of movement and slow you down. Wind and water resistance are two qualities that you should look out for, as well as breathable fabric to ensure you don’t overheat and start to smell! As a general rule, the greater the water resistance, the less the jacket is likely to be. So it is a case of striking the right balance or deciding on what features are most important to you. Night Tip: Reflective strips on your jacket are a worthwhile safety precaution if you are likely to be running at night.
Running Gear for Winter
Lasers are the key when it comes to winter running as heat is trapped in-between clothing layers, but you don’t want to overheat once you start running – or be forced to take off a layer and hold it for the rest of your run. When you first go outside before a run, you should be able to feel the cold but should not be shivering. This way you are likely to be at a suitable level of warmth a short while into your run.
Warm running hats with breathable qualities Base layers (warm; tights, tops, shorts over tights) Running Jackets Running Gloves (which do not restrict dexterity)
Running Gear for Summer
Base layers (cool; shorts, tops) Caps & visors Running Sunglasses Sweatbands (wristbands and headband)
We hope you have found this running gear guide useful. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts if you have any further questions.