Running is an accessible and affordable way to get in shape, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Turning the occasional run into a long-standing, healthy habit takes a lot of dedication. One of the best ways to encourage yourself to get out there more is to buy the right gear. Comfortable, durable clothes and equipment make it easier to look forward to your runs. Stock up on all the best kit with this list of essential running gear to help beginners get started.
If you want to get serious about running, you need the proper clothing. While an old cotton shirt might seem like a good idea—at least you don’t have to worry about staining it—it’s not the best material for exercising. Cotton holds moisture and can chafe against your skin. Instead, choose a high-performance, moisture-wicking fabric that will keep you comfortable and dry as you work up a sweat.
Comfortable Socks and Shoes
When it comes to essential running gear to help beginners get started, nothing beats a good pair of shoes. Make sure your running shoes fit you and the type of activity you do. For example, someone who runs in a gym will need different shoes than someone who runs on outdoor trails. Factor in your measurements and the kind of arch support you need, too. If you buy running shoes in person at a local sports store, employees can help you measure your feet and find the perfect fit. You can also buy running shoes online if you take your own measurements.
Shorts and Tights
Like tops, you want your running bottoms to fit well and keep you dry. Your shorts should be loose enough to keep you comfortable and allow for adequate blood flow, but they also shouldn’t slide or flap around. If you run outdoors in cold conditions, invest in at least one pair of running tights as well. These will keep you warm and protect your legs from the frigid air, which can cause muscle strain and other injuries.
Some running shorts or pants come with useful extra features. If you run at night, you might want to get bottoms that are brightly colored or have reflective strips to make you more visible. Zippered pockets are also handy for storing house keys or an ID while you’re out on a run.