Whether you’re training for your first 5K or have lost track of the number of bibs you have, great summer running gear and accessories can make the difference between a strong run and a miserable experience, or even a dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish). So you’ve got your running sneakers, now what?
From clothes to smartwatches, recovery day gear to water bottles, we’ve cut through the clutter to present you with the best summer running gear on the market. Intervals and splits, loops and hills, here we come.
Summer Running Gear That’ll Help You Go the Distance
1. Fourlaps Bolt Short 5”
New for Spring/Summer ’21, these shorts are designed to move with you and keep you cool thanks to moisture-wicking technology and laser-cut ventilation holes. Made with four-way stretch fabric, you’ll also appreciate the zippered pocket in the back to stow your essentials when you head out. With 88 percent RE-UP recyclable materials, you can feel good about your purchase for the health of our planet, too.
2. Honey Stinger Rapid Hydration Mix
You came, you saw, you conquered those hills. And now you need a freaking water break. This first hydration system of its kind is a mix of honey with sodium to supercharge your H2O. It speeds up the absorption of key nutrients your body craves. Flavors include Strawberry Lemonade, Pomegranate Passion Fruit, Mango Melon, Black Cherry, Tangerine, and Berry.
3. Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Bed
If you’re serious about running (or any kind of training, for that matter), you’re serious about sleep. This award-winning 360 Smart Bed with proprietary SleepIQ technology digitally senses your movements throughout the night and adjusts automatically to keep you comfortable. Tech-wise, the algorithm measures sleep time, quality, heart rate and breathing rate, providing your horizontal lair with maximum comfort for your personal needs. Hot sleepers, in particular, will dig the temperature-balancing sleep surface and the smart 3D fabric that’s said to be up to 50 percent more breathable.
[From $2,750; sleepnumber.com]
4. Moshi Mythro Air SS21 Bluetooth Earbuds
The newest version of these earbuds have standout specs like improved noise isolation, charge time, and Bluetooth range. As someone who’s lost one too many earbuds mid-sprint or on woodsy trails, you’ll appreciate the magnetic clip to help keep the accessory secure. Another noteworthy feature: eight-hour playback. We can hear the marathoners’ hallelujah chorus from here.
5. Ombraz Dolomite Armless Sunglasses
Beyond the two superb limited-edition colors, slate and charcoal, there are many more reasons to love these armless sunglasses. For one thing, they stay securely in place and are practically impossible to break. The lack of arms on the glasses also helps relieve discomfort on the side of your head. Other perks you’ll appreciate include nose pads to reduce fogging and side visors to get rid of peripheral glare. They’re so comfortable and attractive they may very well become your go-to pair off the track. The frames are also sustainable, with each pair of Ombraz sunglasses being over 1,384 times carbon-negative. What’s more, 20 mangrove trees are planted through the Ombraz Shade Project for every pair sold.
6. Columbia M FKT II Windbreaker Jacket
Beat your best with this high-quality, lightweight jacket that fits snugly for total range of motion. Ideal for trail runners, this windbreaker provides advanced water-and-stain repellency, a zippered security pocket, and reflective details for added visibility.
7. Stojo Sports Bottle
Durable, collapsible, and visually pleasing, this bottle features a tether attachment so you can sling this 20-ounce bottle onto your backpack or duffel. The twist cap makes it easy to use on a challenging run, and we’ll never argue with dishwasher-safe water bottles. The cap is BPA-free and doesn’t contain phthalates, leads, or glues.
8. Aktiv Style L.I.M. Tech Headband
No shame in sporting a headband while you run, especially if this past year convinced you to give up that whole haircut thing. Launched in the spring, this ultra-light headband is crafted from high-performance knitted fabric boasting stellar moisture-wicking properties to keep sweat off your face.
9. Salomon Sense Pro 10
This spring ‘21 innovation has been a long time coming. Offering a tight fit courtesy of a smart design and an intuitive adjustment system, this hydration vest won’t interfere with your run, and the soft mesh absorbs and keeps moisture at bay while you crank out those steps. There’s also the option for plenty of storage with front and back compartments; two soft flasks are included.
10. Matador Meggings Gray Camo Compression Shorts
These compression shorts will make runs more enjoyable. There’s a T-shirt/towel loop in the back, zipper pocket for valuables, and it’s made of a sweat-wicking blend of polyester and lycra. Protect the family jewels with excellent groin support and soft crotch cup, while you benefit from increased blood flow thanks to the compression fabric.
11. Janji AFO Singlet
Breezy and fast-drying, this tank is your go-to for hot, humid runs. It’s part of the brand’s Chennai Collection. The print is designed by Chennai-based textile artist Kashmira Baheti and depicts the vibrancy of the surrounding jungle.
12. Ice Barrel
If you’re a recovery fiend, you’ll love giving your days off a boost with this cold therapy training tool that holds up to 105 gallons of water and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. In addition to helping with muscle recovery and reducing inflammation, you may just find you get a mental boost from a dip in this vertical tub, too. If you’re looking for something at a lower price point, check out these cold therapy wraps.
13. ProForm Pro 9000
Looking to improve your ancient treadmill situation or splurge on your first? This tread offers live and on-demand iFIT interactive workouts on a 22″ HD touchscreen. It also has high-tech bells and whistles like automatically adjusting your speed and incline during workouts to match your trainer’s. Bonus: There are Bluetooth capabilities for connecting to headphones as well as heart-rate wearables so you can track your workout’s intensity.
14. DOGPOUND X Lasso Performance Compression Socks 2.0
This recent collaboration has resulted in compression socks like no other with medically backed ankle support and gradient compression to keep your runs at their prime. There’s good reason trainers, orthopedists, and physical therapists love these socks—and once you try a pair from the only socks that provide patented joint support, you’ll understand why. Go ahead, treat yourself to the four-pack for $90.
[from $30; lassogear.com]
15. Stitch Fix 01.Algo Train Short
Lightweight, uber-comfy, and complete with two zippered security pockets, these shorts are part of Stitch Fix’s recently launched 01.Algo expansion capsule, which includes seven new Stitch Fix-exclusive activewear silhouettes. Existing clients can go here to place their order, and new clients can sign up here. Request the 01.Algo in your next Fix (that’s their lingo for customized box of apparel), and get ready to crush your next interval training run.
16. Fitbit Sense
Fitbit’s latest smartwatch doesn’t disappoint health data junkies—and runners looking to optimize their craft will certainly be no exception. The Sense tracks heart rate, sleep, and activity levels, using the three to give you a daily Stress Management Score for a bigger picture of your health. Runners in particular will prize the built-in GPS to see pace and distance on the watch, and a map of your workout post-run. Another handy integration is Bluetooth pairing so you can listen, store, and play music offline with Deezer and Pandora, and control Spotify.
17. Suunto 9 Peak
If you want to go all-out on a sports watch, good luck beating this veritable beast of a device that’s 37 percent thinner and 36 percent lighter than the Suunto 9 Baro. The Peak provides blood oxygen level measurements to help you gauge acclimation levels at higher altitudes, has automatic backlight intensity adjustment that shifts with the conditions, and the watch display reveals your weekly training metrics so you can keep working on those improvements. The GPS watch with weather insights, on-watch navigation capabilities, wrist heart rate, barometer, and more is available in both standard ($569) and titanium models ($699).
[Available June 19, from $569; suunto.com]
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