Tis (finally) the season to take your training from the treadmill to the track—or pavement or trail. Go on: Lace up your sneaks and ramp up your cardio to get into summer shape. Whether you’re a marathoner or a beginner, here are the running essentials that’ll bring the better half to your training. Your shortlist of the best and latest in moisture-wicking, ventilated, weather-proof technology. Consider it your fast pass to the finish line.
We wanted shades that eliminate the annoying glare and contrast that come with all-weather running. Enter the lightweight Oakley Fast Jacket. Its Switchlock quick release system lets you change lenses with the flick of a finger. Simply push the stainless steel button and release each lense. Then pop in your low-lights or your polarized lenses depending on weather and terrain. Minimal handling, zero hassle. Securely suspended lenses eliminate pressure that could alter the frame. And an open frame design keeps your downward view unobstructed—no trip ups here.
Every good runner needs good shoes. Period. Especially if you crave a terrain mashup. Try the brand new Brooks Transcend. This support shoe is designed for road or track. But the wider toebox and heel bed keep it sturdy on uneven trails. Its universal platform reinforces flat to medium arches, and counteracts moderate pronation. And built-in guide rails cushion your foot's pressure points. Translation: the Transcend lives up to its name. It performs above and beyond, bringing the float experience to life. Trust us, you’ll notice the difference between this shoe and last season’s kicks.
When you're toughing out an intense workout, nothing tops a solid playlist. Except for maybe the JayBird Bluebuds X headphones. These Bluetooth-capable earbuds have a mini microphone so you can take calls, making it easier to handle everything from emergency situations to a mid-day run from work. Simply sync up to your other devices and get going. Best yet? The JayBird Bluebuds are wireless, and fit snugly in your ear so you can’t torque them out accidently when you get into your stride.
For chillier days or forested trail runs where you need leg protection, the Under Armour Heatgear Flyweight Run Pants should be your go-to. Made from 4-way stretch material, these pants rock a slim cut and form fit to your body without sacrificing freedom and ventilation. Think: benefits of leggings without the chafing. Mesh panels and moisture wicking technology built into the waist and pockets allow your skin to breathe. Reflective UA logos make night running safer. Plus, anti-microbial odor repellent technology keeps them smelling fresh, no matter how hard you run.
Warm up (or cool down) in the REI Packable Fleece Jacket. Water-repellent fabric holds precipitation at bay, blocks winds up to 40 m.p.h., and wicks moisture from your core. Mesh panels at the underarm and cuff keep you ventilated. And thanks to its minimalistic design, it weighs only 6 oz. That’s ultra-lightweight in jacket world. If you overheat, simply stuff the jacket into its front zippered pocket, and carry on. Buy in black for a more muted look, or bright yellow if you plan to run roads at night.
When it comes to running shorts, you can have it all: supportive boxer briefs, sweat wicking fabric, and max room for mobility without added bulk. The Pearl Izumi Flash 2 in 1 Short is all this, and more. The 4-way stretch shell allows you to move naturally, but Transfer Dry built in briefs keep you in place and prevent chafing. The blend of polyester and elatance fabric transfers moisture away from your skin so you can stay cool and dry. And a zippered back pocket lets you stash keys, an iPod, or a granola bar, worry-free.
Before you hit the road, pull on a pair of Darn Tough Tab No Show Light Cushion running socks. Here’s why: seamless construction reduces blisters and hot spots—the worst, when you’re in training. It also form-fits to the bed of your foot to prevent awkward bunching in your shoes. Its lightweight, quick-dry, and race-ready. The No Show is truly made for the all-weather runner—merino wool breathes, so your feet stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Added bonus? Antimicrobial technology keeps rank odor away.
The Icebreaker Aero Short Sleeve Crewe is fully loaded and ready for a runner like you. Made from soft, ultralight merino wool in New Zealand, it regulates body temperature according to your heat output. You’ll stay warm and dry when it counts, whether you wear this as a base layer or by itself. Flatlocked seams prevent rubbing under your arms so you can focus on your workout. And the narrow cut fits to your core comfortably, without hindering your movements.
Dive headlong into your summer training program with this Patagonia Men’s Fore Runner Sleeveless shirt on your back. It’s not like most other tanks. The Fore Runner is made from 100% recycled polyester that keeps you cool and dry, even on those scorching mid-summer runs. 15-UPF protection keeps your midsection covered from harmful rays, and odor control technology won’t make you that guy. For quality running apparel under $50, the Fore Runner sweeps all categories.
You might assume vests are just a fall weather thing, but not so with the ArmourVent Run Vest. Paired with a base layer, it’s a good way to go—your arms remain unhindered, and your body warm where it counts. Ripstop woven fabric makes the ArmourVent’s construction light and durable, but tough enough to block wind or rain during a frisky spring. Mesh panels sits snugly against your core keeping you cool and dry in summer. Reflective logos and graphics make for safer low-light runs. And of course, anti-odor technology prevents your shirt from stinking after a sweat bath.