I read something somewhere that said, essentially, that running was an inexpensive sport because one doesn’t need any gear (like bats, skis, balls)–one only need put on some running shoes and dash out the door. Well, in theory. But every runner I know loves gear and spends a considerable amount of money on it.
I consider myself a loyalist when it comes to gear. Lululemon used to be my go-to running apparel brand until last year, when I started wearing other brands more regularly., and I have worn the same brand of socks for the last few years. However, I keep my mind open. I have never been that attached to any shoe brand until I discovered Mizuno last year.
So, my gear favorites, in reverse order:
5. Lululemon Run Swiftly Tech T-Shirt.
This shirt really can’t be beat when it comes to running. I have several of these shirts (both short and long sleeved) and wear the hell out of them. Yes, they are fragile, but follow the washing instructions and keep them away from Velcro. I love that the fabric doesn’t hold on to odors like most technical fabrics, and that it keeps me warm when I want to be warm and cool when I want to be cool. I wear these not only for running, but as a base layer for skiing. These shirts aren’t inexpensive, but they’re really worth the investment.
And you can even wear it to open mail and pay bills!
4. Feetures High Performance Ultra Light No-Show Tab Socks.
These socks are the shizzle. I never get blisters or any other foot weirdness, they’re light, and they have some nice arch support.
[Note: Sorry there’s no sexy photo of a sock here. You can see what they look like inside of a shoe if you scroll down to No. 2, below.]
3. Icebreaker Quantum Long Sleeve Hood.
This hoodie is some really new gear (to me), as my husband just bought this for me for at Christmas. However, it is too amazing not to include on this list.
I have been intrigued by the Icebreaker brand for some time, but the high prices turned me off. When I read the hoodie’s tag, which essentially promised that the hoodie wouldn’t stink, ever, I was skeptical. Even my Lululemon Run Swiftlies stink after I wear them (although they do go odor-less once washed).
I wore this on a 6 miler and it didn’t stink afterwards. At all. In fact, it still smelled brand new, like the store where my husband purchased it. Amazeballs! Since then, I have worn this hoodie two more times (for non-active pursuits), and it still smells fresh. Just so you know, I did this purely for research. I don’t usually wear workout clothes multiple times between washings.
This hoodie is also great in that it, like the Run Swiftly, keeps you warm when you need warmth, but doesn’t make you overheat. When I wore it running, it was about 40 degrees out and I didn’t get too hot. If I had worn something like the Nike Element Half-Zip, I would have been a sweaty and uncomfortable mess.
The only gripe I have about this hoodie is that the zipper is full-length and it kind of bunches up in an area I really don’t want bunching–my belly. But this is really not that big of a deal in light of how technically remarkable the fabric is.
2. Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 Running Shoes.
Oh, Mizuno. I came to the Wave Elixir party too late–you are discontinuing this model of shoe.
The Mizuno Wave Elixir is considered a “performance support” running shoe. It’s very light (7.4 oz.), which is pretty unusual for a support shoe (ahem, Brooks Adrenaline GTS…all 9.4 oz. of you), and it’s extremely responsive. Running in these shoes makes me feel like quick and efficient. Plus, I love the checkered pattern. It reminds me of my old Vans from the 80s. I have two pairs right now and am considering purchasing a couple more before they go bye-bye forever.
Why the “bad boyfriend” comment? Read here. I wish I could quit you, Elixirs.
Ahem. Drum roll, please.
Annnnnd the winner is…
1. Oiselle Distance Shorts.
Lululemon Groovy Run Shorts used to be my favorite. I would do laundry just to wear those shorts–for long runs, easy runs, races, you name it. But then I decided to branch out and try Oiselle. I don’t know if it was because I’d been brainwashed after reading so many Oiselle bloggers, but I decided what the heck. I bought a pair of Rogas shorts and was disappointed. They were too much like the Groovy Run Shorts, except the fabric didn’t work for me. Months passed and I decided to try the Distance Shorts.
And I was sold.
They are the best shorts. They are light, keeping me cool in warm weather and drying quickly in rainy weather. They don’t ride up. They have three pockets–including a huge rear pocket that could practically fit a teacup poodle.
Yes, you’re probably sick of this photo already, but this is the only photo I have of myself wearing the Distance Shorts.
My favorite is the orange, which Oiselle isn’t currently carrying, but I also have them in pink and black. I want more! Yellow? Blue? Anything. Now I do the wash to wear these shorts.
Honorable Mention: The poncho they hand out at the end of the New York City Marathon.
Just kidding. Clearly.
What is your favorite gear?