8 Runners Share Their Favorite Things to Wear for a Run

Every runner knows the keys to a good run are proper hydration, a solid night sleep and a positive mindset. But let’s be honest: Without the right gear, you’re going to be left in the dust. Depending on your stride, level of difficulty, experience, terrain and routine, certain gear and apparel might make or break you. We asked eight avid runners to share what they could never run without.

The right running shoe

“After injuring myself in a race, the physical therapist took a video of how I run and noticed that my right foot looked much like Elaine’s while she was ‘dancing’ in that famous Seinfeld episode. As soon as I told my local store about it, they put me in a pair of Brooks Transcend shoes and I’ve felt fantastic ever since.” –Kelley Buttrick
Buy it now: Brooks, Prices vary

Shoe inserts

“These are my saving grace as I have tried every running shoe out there and within five runs, I dislike them. By adding a Protalus insole, I was able to find comfort in running again. The insoles are designed to keep your ankle in a neutral position, which helps keep away knee or back pain whether I am running two miles or 10 miles.” –Mandy Murry
Buy it now: Prolatus M100 Inserts, $80

Toe socks

“At any point in the year, my favorite running gear are toe socks from Injinji. I know they keep my feet warmer in the winter, and I am convinced that they also have the ability to keep my feet cooler in the summer. They’re more like gloves than mittens (gloves are cooler), and by covering more surface area on my foot, they wick off sweat better than a traditional sock. Having my toes in individual sockets means blister prevention, even during ultra marathons!” –Kyle Kranz
Buy it now: Injinji Sport Lightweight Hidden, $10

Light shirt with no lettering

“If weather permits, I like to wear as little as possible while I run. I typically run in Asics or New Balance running shorts with no more than a 2-inch inseam. In the cold, I run in running tights with no shorts. If it‘s too cold to go shirtless, I typically wear either a short or long sleeve shirt made of cotton or dri-fit fabric. I’m not picky about the brand of a shirt, but I do prefer no lettering since that tends to cause chaffing.” –Jerry Snider
Buy it now: Nike Dri-Fit Victory, $30

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Compression pants

“I love compression pants and wear them whether I’m running a race or simply working out at the gym. They keep everything from jiggling around, which can be painful when you’re running long distances. They also help to reduce friction. Under Armor is my favorite brand because of the fun patterns and details. Some are fleece-lined, while others have a large pocket where I can place my cell phone. The reflective elements help when you’re running early in the morning or at night.” –Stephanie George
Buy it now: UA HeatGear® Armour, $45

Muscle relief foam

“A couple of squirts rubbed into my thighs and calves can make all the difference in a run. I have found this natural foam key in warding off cramps and reducing recovery time, especially in long runs.” –Mandy Murry
Buy it now: Theraworx Relief, $22

Fleece-lined pants

“I live in Boston, so running outdoors in the winter can be exceptionally freezing. That’s why I live in my fleece-lined pants and long-sleeved running gear from Lululemon. The brand’s entire outdoor running line keeps me warm even in the coldest and brutal winter runs.” –Sophie Hamersley
Buy it now: Lululemon Warm Down Jogger, $69

Running belt

“I’m a runner who typically manages 20-30 miles a week. I’ve completed five half marathons within the last two years and I think I’ll be training for a full marathon soon. One item I cannot run without is my FlipBelt. I ordered mine from Amazon when I first started ‘seriously’ running two years ago, and now I just can’t live without it. It holds my phone and energy gels perfectly—it even has a clip specifically for my key. The best part is that, after two years of constant usage, it has not worn out or stretched.”  –Angie Torres
Buy it now: FlipBelt Classic Running Belt, $29

Running watch

“I’m obsessed with my Forerunner watch by Garmin. It is awesome: It comes equipped with GPS, it keeps splits and is super reliable. I never leave home without it. Other watches can skip or calculate mileage wrong, but this one always gets the splits right.” –Kelly Whittaker
Buy it now: Garmin Forerunner Watch, $450

Jenn Sinrich is an editor in New York City, a self-proclaimed foodie always looking for the healthier version of all recipes, a passionate lover of all things cheese, a friendly New Yorker, Bostonian at heart and proud Red Sox fan. Love cats? Cheese? Mac n' Cheese? Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.