Must-Have Running Gear for Summer
With warm weather upon us, these essentials will make the most of every run
Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, we may earn a small share of the profits.
Summer 2022 is here, and whether you’re already prepping for fall races or just getting into the sport, running is back, baby. The season’s unbearable heat, stifling humidity and unpredictable weather won’t stop us from logging mile after mile and generally putting in the (very sweaty) hours; we still pride ourselves on waking up at dawn, throwing on a pair of shoes with eyes half-closed and getting after it when everyone else is fast asleep…most of the time. And it shouldn’t stop you, either
To help us (your editorial-inclined guinea pigs) conquer one of the toughest seasons for running, we put a little more thought into our gear. While there’s no across-the-board approach, everything from lightweight apparel to sunscreen to hydration packs play a pivotal role in our routine. Below, the must-have running gear that’s helped us maximize every mile of summer running.
Janji Helios Tech Tank
A tank that keeps burning rays of sun off your back and preserves modesty (while showing off the guns, of course) is harder to come by than you might think; the best solution we’ve found is Janji’s Helios Tank, an ultra-lightweight option that features quick-drying tech. We particularly like its textured interior; as we can attest, the material’s anti-cling properties keep things cool and flowing, even on the sweatiest of tempo runs.
lululemon Pace Breaker Short
One of our favorite goods from lululemon, the Pace Breaker Short, deserves a multi-sport medal for its incredible versatility. From morning runs to evening yoga, the Swift fabric’s four-way stretch maintains comfort through every activity. Though it also comes in a linerless version, we prefer this one’s OOM (Out of Mind) liner for its support and integrated phone pocket.
Tracksmith Twilight Tee
The Twilight Tee’s ultralight material is the next best option for those who aren’t keen on shirtless running. Its silk-like finish boasts antimicrobial properties to combat unwanted odor, and it dries quickly thanks to a series of tiny holes that promote airflow. It also doesn’t hurt that Tracksmith is based in Boston where humidity reigns supreme, so the company knows a thing or two about hot-weather running.
Darn Tough Ultra-Lightweight Running Sock
Too often we blame our shoes for painful blisters and hot feet when socks are the real culprit. Breathable, sweat-wicking socks, like Darn Tough’s Ultra-Lightweight Running Sock, keep your feet dry and cool over scorching pavement. The blend of nylon and Merino wool also boasts antimicrobial properties, ensuring every pair stays fresh when you’re too tired to run them through the wash.
Hoka Rincon 3 Running Shoe
There are more running shoes on the market than there are feet to fill them, but the Rincon 3 stands out as a light and responsive crowd pleaser. Built for every level of runner and a myriad of goals, its beefy compression-molded foam midsole scales lightweight cushioning and improved durability, adding a bit of speed to each step without adding weight. The redesigned asymmetrical tongue and vented upper have greatly improved breathability from previous models, as well; say no to swamp foot!
Skinnies Sungel SPF30
This quick-drying, non-runny sunscreen won’t leave you feeling like a sticky mess as you work up a sweat. It isn’t water-based either, so you won’t need as much to cover exposed skin. We noticed a subtle wax-like residue on our hands afterward, but it wasn’t significant enough to interrupt our workout. Pick up the Skinnies Conquer SPF50 if you need a little more protection.
Nathan Pinnacle 12L Hydration Vest
When you’re heading out on a long run, a hydration pack is necessary to carry not only the water you’ll need, but gear and fuel too. A leader in hydration packs for decades, Nathan outfits the Pinnacle Hydration Vest with 1.6L of liquid storage and enough pockets to support ultramarathoners. Its organization system makes it easy to access gear and stretch fabric delivers a secure fit, making it perfect for runs that take you far from home.
Goodr OG Sunglasses
We fell in love with Goodr when the brand launched in 2015 with a line of affordable, well-built, polarized shades that come in a ton of colors. You’ll catch us in a pair of Circle Gs at the summer barbecue, but the OGs come with a special non-slip coating that’s ideal for running. At $25, there’s no need to feel guilty every time they hit the deck or fall to the bottom of your pack, which is why runners love them so much.
lululemon Fast and Free Run Hat Elite
Compliment your sunscreen and shades with lululemon’s Fast and Free Run Hat Elite to create a barrier between you and the sun. Designed with mesh panels to boost airflow and reflective details to improve visibility, this lightweight cap delivers a confident fit on runs of any length. The built-in sweatband is our favorite feature, as it moves moisture away from your skin and keeps the sweat off your face.
CamelBak Quick Grip Chill Handheld Pack
You can’t rely on the infrequent water fountain for hydration, especially as temperatures creep higher and water becomes key. Instead, carry the CamelBak Quick Grip Chill Handheld Pack that uses a cycling bottle for aim-and-squeeze hydration. Its soft carrying strap ratchets down so you don’t need to use your death grip and the extra pocket holds keys or fuel.
Nuun Sport Drink Tablets
You won’t need electrolytes on every run, but longer days in the sun will burn energy that your body needs to replenish. Nuun’s quick-dissolving tablets contain minerals that can help prevent cramping after hours of sweating. Flavors like fruit punch and strawberry lemonade are tasty and don’t contain the same artificial sweeteners found in similar energy drinks.
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds
There’s no upstaging the Powerbeats Pro. These do-it-all earbuds deliver nine hours of battery life, impressive sound and a secure fit that works with a hat or sunglasses. The reinforced housing is designed to resist water and sweat no matter how demanding your workout gets, and a five-minute charge offers 90 minutes of playback time so you’re not waiting around for juice when could be working up a sweat.
You pushed your body to its limits and now the time has come to help it recover. Work out aches, pains and sore muscles with the ultra-portable Theragun Mini that features three different speed settings and over two hours of battery life. Its compact size fits in a gym bag or running pack, making it the perfect travel companion.
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