So What Running Gear do You Need?

By Patrick Drew, updated November, 2013

running shoes

Getting fit and healthy is an extremely important aspect of everyday life, yet for some obscure reason, people tend to neglect it and instead gorge themselves full of fatty junk food, sugary drinks, and copious amounts of alcohol. Combine these very poor diet choices with extremely light levels of activity, and it's no wonder that more and more people are becoming overweight and developing health problems because of it. If you feel you could stand to lose a few pounds and want to improve your general fitness levels, or if you simply want a fun new way of getting more exercise into your life, then perhaps taking up running would be the answer to some of your problems.

More and more people are now taking up running, whether it's a few laps around your neighborhood, trail running in your local beauty spot in the countryside, or even doing a few laps at your local athletic club, you can rest assured that running is a fun activity that will help you get fitter and healthier, whilst having fun in the process. If you've been thinking about taking up running, then you'll need the right equipment, and that's where we come in. In this article on running gear we'll be looking some of the more basic, yet extremely necessary pieces of running gear that you'll need to be purchasing in the near future.

Running shoes

The most important aspect of running gear is finding good quality shoes that protect your feet and offer you maximum levels of comfort. Because of this, it's vital that you find a good quality pair of running shoes. You will need to spend a little more cash than you may have expected, but the shoes are made to last, and will offer you the most comfort and protection whilst running. All good quality sporting outlets and stores will stock good quality running shoes, and failing that, you can also order from the Internet. Just make sure to do your research first. There are many different types of running shoe, so think about your requirements and take it from there. If you plan to do all of your running out in the countryside, then track shoes won't be much use to you, and you will instead need trail shoes. Here are some examples of the different types of running shoe.

Cushioned soled shoes — These shoes are designed for a broader running audience. If you want to take up running, these are a great way to start. They offer protection for your feet, whilst still remaining comfortable and durable. These are by far the most common style of running shoe and usually are the ones most people might already have a pair of — for "general" sports activities.

man rides mountain-bike

Trail shoes — These shoes are ideal for if you like to do your running "off-road" so to speak. They have been specially designed to protect, cushion, and support your feet whilst you run over rocky, bumpy, uneven, and wet terrains, often found out in the wilderness. If you happen to be near to a mountain range, certain trail shoes are even designed specifically for mountain range type conditions, so it's worth bearing that in mind.

Racing running shoes — These shoes are ideal for the more seasoned runners among you. They are designed specifically for sprinting and fast paced running sessions. They are very light weight, offer minimal levels of stability and cushioning, and are ideal for sprinters looking to run for shorter distances in record amounts of time.

Spiked running shoes — There are two different types of spiked soled running shoes, namely cross-country spiked shoes and track spiked shoes. They get their name, not surprisingly, because their soles are fitted with small spikes designed to give the wearer maximum levels of grip and traction, either on grass or on an athletic running track. The spikes can be removed and replaced if they become worn out, and are perfect for people who run in slippery conditions or on slippery surfaces.

man rides mountain-bike

Other running gear

Running tops — As sports science and research has come such a long way, both long and short-sleeved running tops have now been developed to offer runners maximum mobility, comfort, and freedom. They have been developed to absorb moisture from sweat, preventing painful chafing and rubbing. Additionally, they have also been specially designed to keep you warm, but allow air to reach your skin at the same time, helping to regulate body temperature and moisture loss. A good quality running top should help to keep you either cool or warm, depending on your location and your requirements.

Running socks — Ever gotten painful blisters on your feet as a result of your socks not protecting you enough whilst you exercise or even just walk for that matter. If so then you'll know just how painful it can be, which is why it's important to choose good quality running socks to protect your feet. Most running socks offer extra padding, help to absorb moisture to keep your feet dry, and as all running gear should do, also allow you maximum mobility and comfort, without feeling restricted or hot and sweaty. Running socks are not expensive and can make a world of difference for your running needs and requirements.

In all cases do some research online first — then find a specialist shoe shop close by where the staff have training and experience and can give great tips for beginners, including guiding you to your correct shoe / gear choice. In fact — in some specialist shoe shops they have a running machine with a video camera where they will take a few minutes video of you running—and then analyze how you are running. They will look at how your foot lands on the ground, how much heel versus ball of the foot is in contact, if your feet are arched or not, and if you lean to the left or right on either foot, and thus need an insole or a corrective sole.

Get great running gear… and enjoy your run!

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