Summer Gear: A Quick(ish?) Review of All My Running Gear

Preface: I get no money from any of this, I just really like these products.

Running this winter was actually pretty easy. Running this summer has been anything but. Luckily, I've found some great items that have made my runs go a little smoother and have kept me from passing out.

Most importantly:


To stay hydrated, I use the Nathan Intensity Hydration Pack. It holds 2L of water and has extra space for toilet paper, snacks, some GUs, my phone, and my wallet. It also has space in the back where you could strap in a towel, rain jacket, or first aid kit. I have done every one of these! Also, it is super stable. I don't have any issues with it bouncing up and down. I love this pack and so far, it has not let me down. If you cannot do the hydration pack (or just don't have any runs longer than 4 miles), the Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Handheld Water Bottle is my favorite. It has a little pocket that can fit GUs and keys, fits great on your hand, and holds just enough for cooler, shorter runs. Heck, I made it through the Run To Remember Half with this! It just... wasn't as hot.


While I may just fill my pack with water, I'm a bit of a fan of GUs to keep me going. I've definitely noticed a difference between when I use them and when I don't (holy leg cramps Batman!). Some people think GU is gross (which, fair) BUT they just came out with something amazing. GU now makes STROOPWAFELS. Regular stroopwafels are a delicious dessert, but GU Stroopwafels are delicious fuel for my runs and I definitely prefer eating one for a pre-run snack to just actual GU. My favorite right now is the GU Mixed Berry Stroopwafel. These you will not regret. For regular GU (cause I can't keep eating stroopwafels my whole run... OR CAN I???), I like Tri-Berry and Roctane Blueberry Pomegranate. I'm a little more iffy on the taste of the Roctane, but if I have an intense run planned, it definitely works a bit better.



Good socks really do make a difference when it comes to whether or not your feet are covered in blisters. I have two favorite pairs: Feetures! Elite Ultra-Light Cushion No-Show Tab Running Socks (Anatomical) and Darn Tough Vertex Tab No Show Ultra Light Cushion Socks. The Darn Tough socks provide a bit more cushion, but I like that the anatomical Feetures! socks really fit my feet well. Both are great, you will not regret the purchase.


I run in Newton AHA IIs, but really, everyone has such different requirements for running shoes, you definitely need to go to your local running store and find a pair that works for you. I will strongly recommend my trail running shoes: Salomon Speedcross 3 W. When I first tried them on, it seriously almost felt like I was walking on air. My first run out, I did a 9 mile trail run with no issues. They have fantastic traction and make me feel super secure on the trails. I couldn't ask for anything more in a pair of trail shoes.


I used to not wear insoles, but after a run in with a pair of shoes that didn't really work for me, I've been dealing with plantar fasciitis and good insoles have been a godsend. My trail shoes have a pair of Insite Insoles Fusion Elite and the Orthaheel Active Orthotic in my normal running shoes.


Rain Gear

I ordered a bunch of rain jackets just in case of a downpour and I ended up with the Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket. This was the only one that was remotely cool and seemed to breath a bit while still being waterproof. You'll still be a bit warm, so it's not really worth it if it's just a light drizzle. But if you are like me and hate being soaking wet, this will definitely prevent that and still let you feel some breeze. This jacket also stuffs into it's own pouch and I can shove it on the back of my hydration pack. Perfect for when I'm not sure what the weather is going to be like. Plus, it's easy to stuff in my backpack for a potentially rainy walk home from work!


Truth: I'm not a fan of their new design, but I do love Oiselle's Mesh Cap. It's light, keeps my hair in line, and folds up when I don't need it.


Only pair of spandex running shorts I can deal with are the UnderArmour React 3s. I've tried others, think I can make them work, then never actually leave the house wearing them. And since Boston is so damn windy, I also end up using them for double duty under most of my dresses. I also recently got a pair of CW-X Stabilyx Tights and they are pretty rad. Definitely comfy enough to wear after a hard run to get a bit of extra compression time in, but also cool enough to wear during summer runs (at least in the morning... probably not in the direct sunlight!). I also love my Physiclo Resistance Capris, which are perfect for when I want to make a run extra hard.


Surprisingly? No strong feelings with tops. Mostly wear a bunch of UnderArmour and City Sports (RIP) stuff. 

And I think that's it! Hope you have some great runs!