Runnovative Race Wear


25 Spring Essentials

Runners are lucky. We require little more than the shoes on our feet to do our sport, though most of us find gear boasting moisture-wicking, anti-chafing, and stay-visible properties a welcome addition to our race arsenals. A self-avowed running gear geek, I love testing the latest runnovations with our team, and these spring picks withstood the rigors of wear to rise to the top of the pack.

photo of the men's gear


1 REI Fleet Packable Jacket

Don’t get caught in the rain! Windproof up to 40 mph and water-resistant, stow this jacket in a race bag when conditions look iffy. $60

2 Brooks Men’s PureProject 9” Woven Short

Urban-inspired but built for the run, this above-knee boardshort style is made with a supportive inner brief liner and stay-dry fabric. $75

3 Asics Gel Hyper Speed 6

A racing flat for the rest of us. Elite runners love it, but the low price point and the seamless interior make it a favorite for any racer. Weighing just 5.7 ounces, the gel cushioning offers a surprising amount of protection. $85

4 Nathan Firecatcher Race Vest

Be your own support system wearing a race vest that fits like a second skin. Holds two 10-ounce flasks on front, a smartphone, and gels or chews. A rear pocket holds a 1.5L bladder if you need more water. $75

5 Brooks PureProject Top

Masquerading as your favorite cotton tee, this run-ready top is built for sweating. Features discreet front hip pocket and subtle reflective details. $60

6 Julbo Dirt Sunglasses

Wide lenses and curved frames keep road debris out of eyes while extra grippy nose and temple pads prevent them from falling off when running. $160

7 Icebreaker Aero Tank

Ultralight Merino wool regulates body temperature to cool you off in warm weather, and sweating is no longer a worry since Merino stays fresh through repeated wears. $50

8 Helly Hansen Challenger Tights

Keep muscles in place with supportive tights designed for running. The bonded seams reduce abrasion for long-wearing comfort. $130

9 New Balance 1080 V4

Known for delivering a plush ride to neutral runners, this redesigned trainer now features seamless bonded uppers, more cushioning, and an improved heel fit for high-mileage runs in a 10.2-ounce package. $140

10 MRI Performance Nutrition Recover & Repair Supplement

Clinically tested by top athletes, this nighttime supplement supports reparative sleep and reduces muscle catabolism and fatigue. When taken after long runs or weight-lifting sessions, I wake up feeling refreshed and noticeably less sore. $20

11 Pearl Izumi Fly Short

Nearly weightless and designed for speed, this 5″ inseam short performs at your most demanding events. Features built-in Transfer dry brief with rear zippered pocket. $38

12 REI Fleet Quarter-Zip Top

Manage moisture in this UPF 50 polyester top with thumbholes to secure it from shifting while active. $50

photo of women's run gear


13 New Balance Beacon Reflective Jacket

Glow-in-the-dark technology on the sleeves and back of this supersoft jacket, coupled with 360-degree reflectivity, make you impossible to miss! Just place the jacket under a light for ten minutes to recharge. $175

14 Moving Comfort Urban Gym Tight

Break out from basic black with this full-length compression tight in stunning space-dye. Chafe-free fabric and an anti-muffin top waistband makes them long run-friendly. $65

15 Brooks Transcend Shoes

Plush cushioning and a wide platform packaged in a lightweight stability shoe is as close to running on a cloud as it gets. New Guide Rails replace medial posts to improve foot tracking without overcorrecting. $160

16 New Balance Boylston Short

Cut with curved lines to flatter a woman’s shape, the Boylston’s wide waistband, hidden front pocket, and built-in brief make it a race favorite. $50

17 REI Fleet Tank

Affordably priced and designed with flattering ruched side panels, this tank is a stellar race or training choice. UPF 50 fabric protects you from sunburn and flat seams prevent chafing. $27

18 Nathan SpeedDraw Plus

Hydrate on-course with an insulated handheld that keeps water chilled without numbing your digits. Features adjustable strap and spacious front pocket. $25

19 Brooks PureProject Short Sleeve

Go from race to brunch without missing a beat. Don’t let the urban-style fool you, this buttery soft, relaxed-fit top can take on your toughest runs. $60

20 Brooks PureProject 3.5” Short

Split front hems and stretch fabric make this short a go-to for speedsters. Five pockets (three in waistband, two on back pockets) comfortably stow snacks and credit cards. $75

21 Asics Gel-DS Racer 10

Revamped for the first time in years, this distance flat stabilizes and cushions neutral or over-pronating feet. At a mere 5.2 ounces, the seamless shoe lends itself to fast finishes. $110

22 Skirt Sports Cougar Skirt

The inventors of the running skirt have innovated again with this sassy, pleated number.The new jersey fabric is super soft, but it’s every bit as moisture-wicking as previous models. Built-in pocketed shorts keep tunes and chews in reach. $62

23 Skirt Sports Arm Warmers

Chilly spring race starts call for covering up, but toting a jacket gets tiresome. Begin a race with these moisture-wicking warmers, then push them down to your wrists when you heat up. $30

24 Nathan SonicGrip Handheld

From photo ops to tracking splits, having your phone in the palm of your hand is, well…handy. Never worry about dropping it again! $35

25 Julbo Stony Sunglasses

A bold aesthetic and quick tint-changing photochromic lenses make these a perfect racing partner. Plus, the frames are constructed to bend—not break—under pressure for worry-free runs. $170


About Author

Jenny Willden is the Managing Editor of Outdoor Sports Guide and a self-proclaimed gear and grammar nut. She's a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. A lover of adventure and travel, she's happiest when riding horses or snowboarding in Utah’s mountains. Follow Jenny’s exploits on Twitter @jennywillden or Instagram @jlwillden.

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