If you’re a beginner runner or preparing for your first 5K, you might be thinking, “What should I wear for running?” The good news is that you don’t need a lot of pricey running gear or apparel to be a successful runner. It’s a low-maintenance activity with plenty of money-saving strategies for runners.
However, if you want to make your runs as pleasant and safe as possible, there are a few key running things you should consider adding to your sportswear collection.
Shoes for Long Distance Running
When you first start jogging, you’ll need a nice pair of running shoes that fit properly. One of the most prevalent causes of running injuries is wearing improper sort of shoes.
When shopping for running shoes, don’t choose a pair based solely on the brand, style, color, or price. You don’t have to buy the most costly pair in the market, but investing in a solid pair may help prevent injuries and allow for more pleasant runs.
If you’re shopping for running shoes for the first time, go to a running specialty store where professionals can examine your foot and running style and prescribe the best shoes for you. The staff will take your foot measurements, observe you running on a treadmill, and assess your gait. Some establishments even allow you to take them on the road in the surrounding region.
When trying on shoes during that visit, make sure you’re wearing run-specific socks. The thickness of the sock will affect how the shoe fits. If you don’t have a pair, ask the salesman if you may borrow one.
Long Distance Running Shoe Features to Look For
When purchasing a new pair of running shoes, keep the following considerations in mind.
• Cushioning vs. lightweight. Shoes with a lot of cushioning are ideal for beginner runners, especially those who are heavy. Cushioned shoes, on the other hand, tend to be heavier and may feel clunkier during a run. Test out the lighter-weight and cushioned shoes to discover which you prefer.
• Reflective surface. If you want to run late at night or early in the morning, consider wearing shoes with luminous material. When you wear them, you will be more visible to vehicles and bikers.
• Tread. Consider the terrain on which you are most likely to run. Will you use a treadmill to exercise? Are you on the road? On the trails? Are you on a track? Trail running shoes will have a thicker, deeper tread than treadmill, track, and road running shoes.
Quick Tip: Once you’ve determined the best running shoe for your style and gait, you can search around for the best discounts when it’s time for a new pair.
Clothes for Long Distance Running
If you’re just starting out with running, you don’t need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe of running clothes—unless it’s really essential to you. But if you’re looking to add a few more things to your collection, here’s where to start.
Socks Designed for Running
As a runner, it’s a good idea to avoid wearing 100% cotton socks. If you wear cotton socks, the moisture on your feet will not be wicked away if you sweat or step in a puddle. 2
Instead, use synthetic-blemished running socks to help avoid blisters. Polyester, acrylic, and CoolMax are examples of materials to look for. Wool mixes, like SmartWool, are a wonderful choice for winter running. Some runners even wear double-layer socks for extra blister prevention.
The sock’s design is entirely up to you. Some are a quite low cut, close to the ankle. Others are ankle-length, and some even go all the way up the calf. Choose a style that is both comfortable for you and appropriate for the weather. In the summer, many runners choose lower socks, but in the winter, many prefer taller socks.
Long Distance Running Clothes
Running clothing is lightweight and made to move with your body. Seams are positioned in regions that allow for more mobility and are less likely to chafe. In addition, many running-specific clothing items are reflective, which helps you stay safe when jogging in the dark.
Running apparel is typically constructed of textiles such as high-tech versions of nylon, wool, or polyester. Running in technical materials will keep you dry and comfortable during cold weather runs. They will drain moisture away from your body and help reduce chafing during hot weather runs.
Technical fabrics also outlast cotton exercise clothing in terms of wear and washing cycles. Vents may be found in both cold and warm weather apparel to improve breathability.
Quick Tip: When going for a run, avoid overdressing. Your increased body heat will make it seem 15 to 20 degrees warmer once you’ve warmed up. For example, if the weather outdoors is over 55 degrees, you should be safe jogging with a T-shirt and shorts.
Sports Bras with Support
Women should wear a sturdy, supportive sports bra that is built for jogging or other high-impact exercises. Try it on and put it through its paces by jogging in place and bouncing up and down. Your sports bra should be well fitted and not too stretched.
If you have a huge chest and have struggled in the past to find a comfortable, supportive sports bra, try one of these great sports bras for large chests.
Most sports bras should be replaced after 72 washes, when the suppleness has worn away, or if your weight has changed dramatically.
Other Features to Look For in Long Distance Running Clothes
• Compression. Compression fabric is used in some running socks, tights, and shirts. Compression clothing may aid in recuperation after a run, and many individuals appreciate the sensation of support it provides.
• Pockets. If you don’t want to run with a pack, seek jackets, tights, capris, and other clothing with pockets. Many pockets are particularly intended to hold a phone or other tiny objects such as a key or credit card.
• Thumbhole. Many shirts and jackets have a thumbhole in the sleeve to provide additional hand covering during cold-weather runs.
• Sun protection. Some running gear is made expressly to shield your skin from the sun. Wearing SPF clothing, in addition to a hat and sunscreen, can help reduce your risk of skin cancer and is an important preventative precaution to consider, especially when jogging outside.
Other Long Distance Running Gear
There are a few more items that aren’t really necessary but may make a significant difference in the quality and safety of your runs if you bring them along.
Watches for Long Distance Running
A running watch is useful for timing your runs, keeping track of your speed during races, and mapping your route using GPS. A basic watch with a stop and start button might be useful for new runners to clock their runs and measure run/walk intervals. Some running watches may also monitor your heart rate and other parameters.
Belts for Long Distance Running
By wearing a running belt, you can keep your hands free while on the go. There are lots of stylish alternatives for ID, money, and keys, as well as roomier belts for bigger stuff. Carrying your ID (or wearing an ID tag on your shoe) and having some additional cash on you is an excellent outdoor running safety tip.
Electronics for Long Distance Running
Not everyone likes to run (or race) with their phone, but having it on hand for emergencies, listening to music, using a running app, or taking photographs on the run is not a terrible idea. You can absolutely carry it in your hand, but you might be interested in a belt, armband carrier, or another piece of gear with pockets to help you hide it while you’re on the go.
Protection against the sun while Running Long Distances
Runners spend a lot of time outside in the sun, so remember to protect your skin from the sun. Here’s how it works:
• Use a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and delivers broad-spectrum protection, which means it protects against UVA and UVB radiation. Stick formulations are especially helpful for your face because the sunscreen won’t run into your eyes.
• Add a visor or cap that will provide your face further protection. They also aid in perspiration absorption, preventing sunscreen from running into your eyes. You’ll be especially grateful you have a hat if you are caught jogging in the rain.
• Invest in a nice pair of UV-blocking running sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
When jogging for more than 30 minutes, it’s critical to drink water to keep hydrated. The American Council on Exercise suggests drinking water every 10 to 20 minutes while exercising. If you don’t have access to water on your jogging routes, you may need to bring your own fluids. Here are some of our favorite on-the-go long distance running water bottles and containers.
Drink 4 to 6 ounces of liquids every 20 minutes throughout your run as a general rule of thumb.
Long Distance Running Gear
This may appear to be a lot of gear to purchase before you can begin distance running, but focus on the fundamentals first. That starts with a pair of comfy, supportive shoes that are tailored to your personal requirements and goals, as well as a willingness to get out there and hit the road.
Here are some of our best picks for you to try and make your running experience better than ever.