Running has always been a staple exercise in keeping fit. Runners have found not only a way to keep their bodies in shape, but they’ve discovered a hobby that is fun and fulfilling!
Whether you’re a veteran in the running scene or a newbie who wants to learn more about running, you’ve come to the right place! We’re running down the best running gear of 2021, so keep reading to find out more!
A question runners ask, especially those starting out is “What is the best running shoe?”. This is a common inquiry, and with all new brands, designs, and technologies constantly being released, it’s hard to find the perfect shoe. Every runner has been looking for the holy grail of all running shoes, but we’ll let you in on a secret: There is no formula to the perfect running shoe. There isn’t a pair of shoes that trumps every other at all! This is because the “best” or “perfect” running shoe depends on you!
Each runner is unique in every aspect, from the way they train to the strides they take. So, the best shoe is one that fits your needs and running style. It also depends on your foot shape, the surface you run on, how much running you do, and more! Though there isn’t a perfect running shoe, there are still some things you need to look out for when shopping for one. Read on to find out more about what you need to look for when buying running shoes!
Look for the Right Fit
Remember Cinderella and her magic slipper? Finding the right fitting shoe isn’t all that different. Purchasing shoes that fit wrong will not only lead to injury, but it will hinder you from having the best running experience. If the shoe is too tight it will lead to blisters and cramps. If it’s too loose, your foot won’t get the support it needs. Besides, you wouldn’t want to lose a shoe while you’re running right? Talk about Cinderella… but without the prince.
Appropriate Kind of Running Shoe
Your shoe depends on the kind of running you want to do. You can opt to buy everyday running shoes, which are appropriate for a regular amount of running and are highly durable. Lightweight running shoes are not as durable as everyday running shoes and also have less cushioning while trail running shoes are apt for running on rocky dirt trails. They provide better grip made specifically for off-road terrains. So, think about what kind of running you aim to do and try to find a shoe that fits your needs.
The Price is Right
It’s undeniable that the features and technology used on a shoe are directly proportionate to its amount. “High tech” shoes tend to be placed at high prices as well. But this doesn’t mean you need to break the bank for a nice pair of running shoes. You can find good shoes that fit your budget. For a ballpark estimate, the ideal price of pair of quality runners costs around $100-250. Remember that these shoes are a good investment if you really want to get into running and buying good shoes will help you in the long run.
Watch out for Seams
Check the upper part of the shoe. The upper is ___. This part should hug your foot comfortably because any protruding seams cause rubbing which may lead to blisters. Look for a shoe that has seamless construction to avoid irritation and injuries.
The arch is the part of your foot where. The arch should mold around the shape of your foot. A good arch support helps carry the weight of your feet while running. This prevents you from feeling too tired while running and helps you run more efficiently.
Heel support is crucial in running stability. Good shoes will help control the motion of your feet. If your foot moves around the shoe too much while you run, it can cause sprains and other injuries. When you’re trying on shoes, try walking around to make sure the heel stays in place and that it fits well.
Firm and Flexible
Your shoes should have enough firm cushioning as it helps stabilize your muscles and reduces the shock on your feet as you run. This will prevent foot, ankle, leg, and back pain. Your shoe should also flex right. To determine this, check the shoe’s flex point. This is ___. It should bend at the same place as your foot to ensure that you get a natural stride.
Don’t Break It In
Contrary to popular belief, running shoes shouldn’t have to be broken in. They should feel comfortable right off the bat. A good fit is when the shoe isn’t too tight or too loose. It should hug your foot snugly as you run and walk around.
Time for Replacing
There is a certain time where your shoes should be replaced. It is recommended that you swap them out for a new pair after around 350-400 miles of use. Also, go by how your shoe looks and feels. If the sole is worn out or it feels uncomfortable and lacking in support, then it’s time for you to get a new pair of running shoes.
Running Shoes Vs. Running Sandals
There has been a long-standing debate on which is more superior: Running shoes or running sandals?
Let’s begin with a brief history lesson: running sandals have been around for a very long period of time. Running sandals are footwear that has minimal structure and allow the foot to react as if it were running barefoot. Its existence can even be traced back to the beginnings of running itself. Over the course of time, technology and new developments took over and the use of running sandals phased out. Replacing it was the running shoe. It evolved from demand for a sports accessory that was lightweight, functional and has a firm grip on the ground while running.
Pros and Cons
Both sandals and shoes have pros and cons. On one hand, running sandals aid in improving your awareness of your terrain since it helps you get a better feel of the ground you are running on. Navigating becomes easier because you prevent slips and accidents through your familiarity with the terrain. In addition to this, using running sandals stimulates the whole body while running. Because sandals have limited cushioning, your body works overtime to compensate for the hardship it endures while you run. But this actually beneficial because it develops your limbs and your muscles better! Take note that some of its cons include limited foot protection and support. This puts you in danger of injuries like blisters and sores.
In running, there are different kinds of running strikes: Rearfoot, Midfoot, and Forefoot. About 80% of the time, runners strike the ground heel-first. This is what is called the Rearfoot strike. Midfoot strike is when you strike the ground with your heel flat while Forefoot strike is when runners strike with the balls of their feet or their toes.
When we run with shoes on, we usually strike with the middle or heel of our feet (Rearfoot or Midfoot strike). But running barefoot involves Forefoot strikes so, the front foot dampens the impact on the ground. Because of this, people who have knee problems or running pains should try sandal or barefoot running instead of using shoes that are heavily cushioned. Just make sure to ease into it because sandal running can cause strain on your calf muscles if you push too hard.
As for running shoes, they’re great because they have cushioning that safeguards the feet, preventing them from dangerous foreign objects. The support it provides helps you pace and regulate your running and it elevates your performance in such a way that it provides you comfort and gives you the peace of mind that your feet are safe and supported so you can just focus on running. But beware, you need to find the right pair that fits you perfectly because a too-tight shoe will restrain your feet and can cause fractures and pain. Too-large ones might lead to you tripping and breaking a bone… yikes!
The truth is, there isn’t really a “best” footwear when it comes to running. It all depends on your preference when it comes to running; how much you run, what terrains you run on, and your running style.
The Best Running Shoes and Sandals of 2021
The Brooks Trace is on the top of the list when it comes to running shoes for beginners. It provides adaptive cushioning that adjusts to your speed and stride has a flexible toe-of while the Trace’s breathable upper allows air flow as you run. The responsive midsole cushions landing and creates seamless heel-to-toe transition. This shoe was built for comfort and durability; two essential components that are crucial in shoes for new runners and so you get the ideal shoe at a price that doesn’t break the bank.
Luna Sandals MONO Winged Edition
This shoe is made for adventure. It has a flexible and lightweight design that gives your feet the freedom and the comfort to traverse the outdoors. The Luna sandal has a highly stable base made with their Monkey Grip Technology which is ideal to wear whether its for everyday use or extreme sports activity. Even though it is 11mm thick, it only weighs 5.9 oz, plus its continuous strap made from climbing grade, tubular webbing and easy slide adjustment buckles allow you to create the perfect fit!
Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0
The Floatride Energy 3.0 has a synthetic-and-mesh make with a rubber sole that exhibits quality craftsmanship. The flared heel alleviates pressure on your heel and its breathable square knit upper allows for enhanced breathability while Reebok’s Floatride Energy Foam provides cushioning and an improved responsive ride. It’s light, durable, and great for runners who are just starting out!
Teva Mens M Hurricane XLT2 Sport Sandal
Teva’s Hurricane XLT2 provides the best cushioning on any sandal on the market. The thick EVA foam midsole cushion absorbs the shock on your feet as you walk and run and it is made with water-ready polyester webbing that is quick-drying and can withstand any element. It comes in different designs to fit your style and its price point won’t put a dent in your wallet!
Running requires wearing the right clothes. Not only does proper clothing help you feel comfortable it also keeps you safe from hazards as you run. There are a plethora of clothing choices that you can pick from. What you should wear also depends on the weather and where you’re running. On sunny days you can opt to wear shorts, shirts or tank tops. On days when the weather is colder, you can wear tights instead of shorts and layer on jackets and vests.
There are also certain fabrics that work well for exercise. When shopping for clothes, buy pieces that are Polyester or Nylon. Polyester is quick-drying and moisture-wicking while Nylon is usually blended with other fabrics and makes for durability in running shorts, pants, and jackets. Merino wool is also a good option because it is naturally anti-microbial which helps fight bad odors. In addition to this, it helps to regulate your body temperature to keep you from freezing on cooler days and melting from the heat on warmer ones.
Here are some features you should look out for when picking out running clothes:
- Moisture-wicking and Quick-drying- find clothes that wick away the perspiration from your skin. This will keep you comfy, dry, and chafe-free as you run
- Insulated- insulated clothing helps keep you warm and regulates your body temperature with minimal weight.
- Reflective- This is highly important for your safety because wearing clothes that are reflective make you visible to drivers especially if you like running early in the morning or in the evening.
- No Seams- Check for flat or welded seams situated away from areas that can brush up against your skin when your run. Too much friction can cause chafing which is both distracting and uncomfortable.
- Mesh Material and Pockets- Mesh panels around high-heat areas such as the back, underarms, and sides help in cooling down your body as you run. This is particularly useful if you live in a warm area or if you’re running during the summer. In addition to this, pockets can hold some of your essentials like your keys, ID, and phone as you run without it getting in the way.
Check out some of the running clothes from Under Armor that we can recommend:
Men’s UA Tech Cosmic Shorts
Under Armour’s UA Tech Cosmic Shorts offers a simple, comfortable option to wear while exercising. Its fabric is quick-drying, ultra-soft, wicks sweat, and dries quickly.
Men’s Heatgear Armour Long Compression Shorts
These compression shorts combine Under Armor’s lightweight Heat Gear technology with the benefits of UA compression. It is made with stretch-mesh gusset and inseam panels for effective ventilation and its 4-way stretch allow you to move better no matter which way you move. The updated design keeps seams off abrasive areas and increases durability while its material is sweat-wicking and utilizes anti-odor technology.
Men’s UA Tech Freedom Shortsleeve T-Shirt
This simple shortsleeve shirt is going to be a staple in your workout wardrobe. With its quick-drying and moisture-wicking materials, you won’t have to worry about comfort and usability as you exercise. It has anti-odor technology and is made with recycled, traceable polyester and recycles about 5 bottles per shirt.
Women’s HeatGear Armour Mid-Rise Shorty
The HeatGear Armour Mid-Rise Shorty is the only base layer you’ll ever need for any workout getup. Super-light HeatGear fabric delivers coverage without the extra weight and its material wicks sweat and dries really fast. It has a 4-way stretch construction for flexibility and its flatback seams allows for a comfortable chafe-free fit.
Women’s UA Tech Vent Tank
The UA Vent Tank is the ultimate top for girls on the go. It is manufactured with breathable and sweat-wicking fabric and has a twist racerback design. The Vent Tank’s dropped, shaped hem provides enhanced coverage, and its anti-odor technology prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes.
Women’s UA Crossback Low Sports Bra
This bra is simple and uncomplicated. It is built for light-support activity and all-day comfort. Its updated cup shape allows for better shape and breathability while the super-smooth, double-layer Heat Gear fabric delivers a next-to-skin feel. It’s the perfect sports bra for any activity!
While you won’t necessarily need extra gear for your running sessions, helpful accessories like a pair of earphones or a handy smartwatch can help enhance your running experience and can aid you while you run. Here are five running accessories we recommend you try:
JLab- JBuds Air True Wireless Signature Bluetooth Earbuds
Music is your best friend when it comes to running. It helps you get in the mood to exercise and it keeps you from getting bored as you run.
We recommend the JBuds Air Bluetooth Earbuds from JLab. They have an auto power and connect feature that allows for seamless listening as soon as you lift the buds from their case. Its Class 1 Bluetooth 5.0 connection keeps your music for 6+ hours, plus 18 hours of additional power in its charging case. It is perfect for runners because it is everyday-proof and pocket-sized. Sweat-resistant and compact, The Jbuds Air is the perfect companion while you go on your daily run.
Garmin Forerunner 45
The Garmin Forerunner 45 is designed especially for runners. Its key features include heart monitoring, GPS tracking so you can see your pace, distance, and intervals. It delivers notifications right to you so you never have to miss any important messages and the Garmin Forerunner 45 also has built-in incident detection and assistance features, Plus, its 7-day battery life supports your active running lifestyle.
Nathan VaporKrar Hydration Waist Belt
Waist belts are handy when it comes to keeping things like your keys, your wallet, and your phone on you as you run. Some, like the Nathan VaporKrar Hydration Waist Belt, even include an 18 fl. oz water bottle that fits perfectly in your pack and allows for quick access to hydration. This design fits comfortably around your waist and its top perimeter elastic ensures a secure fit on any body type.
Running at night or during the early hours of the morning? The Noxgear Tracer360 is perfect for making you visible to cars and traffic as you’re out and about. When running, safety should be your first and foremost concern. The Tracer360 is equipped with 5 ultra-bright, multi-color flashing modes and 6 different colors of lights. In addition to this, it is lightweight, only weighing 7oz and is fully adjustable so it fits your body perfectly when you run.
Mpow Running Armband
The Mpow Running Armband is the perfect companion for any runner. Not only does it have wide compatibility, it also provides storage for your belongings while you run. You can keep your phone, earphones, keys, credit cards safe on you as you run. Its secure anti-slip flap and disengagement clasp holds your phone securely and it even includes a reflective strip for safety at night! The sensitive touch screen protects your phone from scratches and it doesn’t get in the way of screen sensitivity. Safe, durable, and comfortable. You won’t need an armband other than this!