Gear Picks for Three Types of Runners

Running can be as simple or as complicated as you're willing to make it. Regardless of the type of runner you are—low maintenance, modern or gear geek—we've got the best gear picks for you.

The Low Maintenance Runner

Running doesn't have to be complicated. If you're a minimalist and want just the bare essentials of running gear, you'll only need the basics: shoes, socks, shorts, and a shirt. But ditch the cotton T-shirt and the basketball shorts in your closet for these upgraded separates.

Top: The Bristow from Pettet Endurance is made up of merino wool, which comes from sheep's coats. The material wicks away sweat and is light enough to wear for everyday runs.

Bottom: If short shorts scare you, try the Flash 2 in 1 short from Pearl iZumi. These shorts are longer and feature several pockets, including a zippered one in back that is roomy enough for mid-run snacks and your house key.

Socks: Reach for a pair that don't have a toe seam, like the comfortable Bombas socks, which wick away moisture without overheating your feet, and also boast a blister tab. As a bonus, these affordable running socks donate a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair bought.

Shoes: The perfect running shoe varies from person to person, but if you're looking for an all-around neutral shoe you can wear just as easily on race day as on a jog around your neighborhood, try the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. You'll love the cushioning under your feet, the bounce beneath your toes, and the lightweight feel.

More: How to Lace Your Running Shoes

The Modern Runner

These days, most runners have made the leap into gear that can customize your daily workout routine and offer immediate feedback, no matter your skill level. Modernize your running with these smart accessories.

Head gear: Find a lightweight cap like the Brooks HVAC mesh hat, a must-have for runners looking to keep the sun out of their eyes on long runs and their head cool in the dog days of summer.

Wrist: You'll want a watch that not only tracks your time, but keeps a record of your splits. For smaller wrists, particularly for women, try the Soleus Dash.

Socks: There's some debate about whether compression sleeves and socks are helpful, but many elite runners love the support they provide. If you're suffering from tired legs, try out a pair like the Zenzah compression leg sleeves.

Journal: These days, most modern runners have a favorite running app. Most give you immediate feedback on things like elevation, pace, and speed, but if you want to take that detail a step further, write your runs in a training log like the Believe journal. You'll see a week-to-week breakdown of your workouts and details that you might not get from your running app.

More: Search for Running Apparel

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About the Author

Amanda Casanova

Amanda Casanova is a writer and journalist living in the Dallas, Texas area. She has worked for the Houston Chronicle, the Abilene Reporter-News and the Galveston County Daily News. She is an active runner and regularly competes in races in north Texas. She is currently training for her first half marathon. She blogs at and tweets at @acasanova10.

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