Running: All you need is shoes and you’re set, right? Mostly, that’s true. But if you’re running regularly, there are some small pieces of gear that can be total gamechangers. I originally wrote this list back in 2019, and I was stoked that most of it still held true, though there were a few things that I added and a couple that I nixed from the list.
What I took off the list: handheld drinking apparatuses and an armband for your phone. Why? I’ve realized that nothing beats finding a hydration pack or vest that fits you well, and I just haven’t found a handheld that works for me that I would 110% recommend. For me at this point, if I think I may need a drink, I just wear my pack. It helps me game-play for ultras, and it gives me a spot to stash my phone. Armbands really don’t work with the heavy, massive phones we all have now—which is why that also came off the list in favor of a run belt.
Here’s what I still love:
Who wears short shorts? Most runners in the summer, that’s who. I swear by a chafe stick for avoiding shorts irritating my skin on my thighs, for my back where my pack sits, and even the back of my armpits. Look, when you’re out for 3+ hours in the heat, it doesn’t matter if your thighs touch or not. They’re going to start rubbing against the fabric of your shorts at some point, unless you’re wearing longer inseam shorts or tights, and when I finally realized I shouldn’t feel embarrassed about using a chafe stick on my thighs, my runs got so much better. Get it here
I have A LOT of issues with chapped lips, no matter what season. Dermatone combines a thick chapstick coat with SPF, so whether you’re running in a blizzard, a windstorm or a bright summer day, your lips will remain hydrated and crack-free, making eating and drinking on the run and not feeling like a husk of a human possible post-run. (Dermatone also makes a full-face balm to prevent frostbite and windburn that runners in northern climates swear by.) Get it here
goodr OG Sunglasses
For a fashion-forward set of sunglasses that can go from running errands to running laps, goodr has you covered. For $25, you can wear bounce-free polarized shades (in a whole bunch of fun colors, or all-black). goodr hit the scene a couple years ago and quickly became the go-to brand for runners looking for more stylish options that wouldn’t break the bank, and they’re still a heavy favorite among recreational and elite runners. (Funny enough, I wrote the original version of this article back in 2019… fast-forward to 2023, and we’re sponsored by them and I still freaking love them!) Find your pair at GOODR.com and use code consummate to get FREE shipping!
Phone, keys, a gel, a tiny flask of water, a smart phone—you can cram all of that into this tiny simple run belt.
You probably either know or have seen another runner sporting kinesiology tape on their kneecap or quad at the start line of a race. Kin tape has been trending in the running community for years, and many brands with pricey, brightly colored and patterned options, have popped up. Also a must for keeping in your pack in ultras, as it can cover blisters and let you keep running. This is NOT something you want to wait and try to find at a pharmacy, as it can be hard to find, and when you do find it in store, it tends to be pricier than this $12 roll that comes in a bunch of different colors. Get it here
You simply can’t beat a buff for versatility. Whether it’s winter and you need something to keep your neck and face warm on your run, or the summer and you need a sweatband, a buff will have you covered. On summer runs, make it even more helpful by dousing it in ice water and wearing it around your neck when you start, then wringing it out and pushing it up to use as a headband once it’s no longer cooling your neck down. I almost exclusively race wearing a buff as a headband versus a running cap… I train in a cap, but for racing, I swap to a buff (I made this change after nearly concussing myself running into a branch that I missed because the brim of my cap made it hard to see.) Get it here
Gu Gel Flask
As a runner, you may have this issue I run into: I can eat a whole gel at once on the bike, but on the run, I like to take smaller bites/sips/whatever you call eating a gel. But single serve gels don’t work unless you do it all in one shot, otherwise you just get gel everywhere. This soft flask from Gu has been my favorite thing. I can fill it with gels from Gu (they sell it in big bottle format) or my personal fave lately, just filling it with maple syrup and a few pinches of salt. Saves money, and lets me fuel at my own pace. Get it here