Essential Running Gear for Beginners

“Running is one of the simplest sports in the world. All you need is a pair of shoes!”

While this is technically true, the right gear can make the world of a difference to run comfortably and efficiently. Here are seven pieces of essential running gear for beginners:

Essential Running Gear for Beginners: Fitletic’s Top Picks

  • Hydration solutions 
  • The right kind of running shoes 
  • High quality running socks 
  • Shirt 
  • Shorts or leggings 
  • Supportive undergarments
  • Jacket 

Hydration

Staying hydrated plays a crucial role in performance and comfort when running. Your hydration needs will vary depending on how long you plan on running. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • Volume. Short runs rarely need more than 16-ounces of fluid, making the Hydra Pocket Hydration Band an excellent option for short to medium-length runs. It has an adjustable strap to ensure a good fit and a quick-flow cap for easy drinking.  
  • Customization. Fitletic makes it easy to bring as much or as little water as you need on your runs. With the Extra Mile Holster Add-On, you can bring more water when you need it, or leave it at home if you don’t plan to run very far! 
  • Essentials. Carrying ID, a key, gels, and even a phone is vital in today’s world. Choosing a hydration belt, such as the Hydra 12 Hydration Belt, lets you have everything you need in a way that is both comfortable and stylish. 

Running Shoes

Running shoes protect your feet and joints with each strike on the path. While all running shoes are meant to do the same thing, the same shoe that is perfect for one person, might not be the best for another. 

With so many determining factors, how can you choose the right shoe for your needs? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Type of Shoe. Where you run will determine which type of shoe you need. Trail running requires a shoe structured for the rugged terrain, whereas a lighter shoe can improve performance on the treadmill or road.
  • Your Gait. Although finding your gait (a manner of walking, stepping, or running) can be daunting, this guide helps you understand pronation and which type of shoe will work best for your unique gait.
  • Do Your Research. Running technology is continuously evolving. Sites such as Runners World and Sole Review provide valuable insight and reviews of the latest running shoes for beginners.
  • Shop In-Person. When it comes to running shoes, it’s all about the fit. Buying running shoes in person gives insight from knowledgeable sales staff who can help you find the right shoe and ensure you get the proper fit.  

Breathable Socks

Socks are easy to take for granted, but the reality is that runners put a lot of pressure on their feet. These tips will help new runners find their favorite type of running sock: 

  • Right Material. Most socks are cotton, which absorbs sweat and moisture – a recipe for blisters. Instead, look for socks made of polyester or nylon, both of which are breathable and help wick the sweat away. 
  • Ideal Features. Look for socks that have extra cushioning at the ball, toe, and heel. You may also want to opt for compression socks, seamless construction, or arch support. 
  • Quality. The pressure running puts on socks can cause them to wear them out quickly. High-quality socks will cost more than what you’ll find in a drugstore, but they are more comfortable, last longer, and are worth it in the long run.  

Check out some reviews of the top running socks at Gear Junkie, Wired, and Business Insider.

Comfortable Shirt for Running 

Wearing the wrong shirt can cause unexpected problems like chafing and discomfort. When shopping for the ideal running shirt, look for the following: 

  • Wicking Material. Opt for a shirt that is breathable by avoiding fabrics that hold moisture. This means staying away from cotton and choosing fabrics such as nylon, polyester, bamboo rayon, and merino wool. 
  • Construction. Fitted designs and compression shirts are less likely to cause chafing, plus they help provide support to your core and can improve blood flow without using extra energy.
  • Smooth Seams. Raised seams also cause chafing. Look for shirts with flat seam construction that are less likely to irritate the skin.
  • Reflective Features. Reflective gear features let drivers see you and keep you safer when running in the early morning or evening

Runners World, Running Warehouse, and Road Runner Sports all have reviews of the best running shirts on the market. 

Shorts and Tights

The wrong pair of running shorts can cause several problems and even delay your training. Here’s what you need to know about finding the best shorts for your next run: 

  • Proper Fit. Wearing shorts or tights designed for runners goes a long way toward maintaining your comfort while running. Bottoms that are too large or bunch up will ride up, cause chafing, and wreak havoc on your thighs and groin area.
  • Design. Look for features that will give you the performance you want. Some shorts have built-in liners to prevent bunching, while compression tights can help increase blood flow and help prevent injury.
  • Fabric. Stick with a blend of wicking materials like polyester, elastane, spandex, and nylon. The higher the percentage of nylon, the faster moisture will wick.  

Check out the recommendations from Runners World and Men’s Health.

Undergarments for Runners

The importance of high-quality undergarments for runners can not be overstated. Traditional undergarments are not designed for higher impact activities, so it’s important to choose a sports bra or underwear that fits well, keeps you dry, and reduces chafing. 

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend opting for breathable, wicking fabrics like polyester or nylon instead of cotton. Consider these additional tips when choosing the best undergarments for a beginning runner:

Sports Bras

  • Compression and Encapsulation. Since the “right” sports bra may vary from person to person, it may take a few “test runs” to figure out what works best for you. Many beginning runners find sports bras with individual cups that keep the breasts close to the chest are the most comfortable.  
  • Straps. Racerback straps will typically provide the most support for higher impact activities, like running. Many beginning runners discover that they prefer a sports bra with adjustable straps to get the right tightness without digging into your shoulders. 

Sports Underwear 

  • Moisture wicking fabric. We’ve already mentioned that cotton is generally a poor choice for runner’s underwear – but we want to say it again. A wicking fabric is a superior choice as it draws moisture from the skin, and helps to keep sensitive areas dryer and healthier. 
  • Stretchy materials. Stretchy materials stay in place. The last thing a beginning runner needs is their underwear bunching up and causing irritation. 

Running Jacket

Running outside means you’ll have to deal with the elements at some point. Having the right can keep you comfortable even in any weather. Features to look for in a running jacket include:

  • Waterproofing. Stay dry in the rain by choosing a jacket with a water-resistant coating. Some have more than others making them more suitable for heavy rain while still being breathable, so decide based on the weather you anticipate.
  • Insulation. Running jackets come with either down or synthetic fiber insulation. The level of insulation will vary depending on the temps in which you are running. Just remember that you’ll get warmer as you run, so choose according to your preference.
  • Vents. Jackets with mesh ventilation or zipped areas in the armpits can help improve the jacket’s overall breathability, reducing the chances of chafing. 

Here are Runners World’s and Wired Runner’s recommendations on which running jacket you need.

Find essential running gear for beginners at Fitletic

Ultimately, you want to make sure all of your running gear fits appropriately and is designed for comfort and performance. Fitletic has everything you need when it comes to running belts, hydration belts, armbands, and other running accessories to make your run as enjoyable as possible. Check out which Fitletic belts runners love today! 

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