Four New Running Favorites

No, these things aren't the best thing since, well, you know, but they're pretty darn great.

As we all know, few things are a more sure-fire kick in the pants than, well, a new pair of pants…or running shoes, cute top, energy gel, or playlist. I realize I’m a lucky gal because it’s part of my job to test gear for various magazine articles. I’d love to be able to literally share gear with y’all, but since that’s about as feasible as my kindergarten son’s burning desire to visit Jupiter, I’ll tell you about a few new-for-spring things I’m loving these days.

Nike Swift U-Back Women’s Running Bra (like there are men's version?!?!)
Despite being barely a B-cup, I’m a big fan sports bras with rear closures—for me, wrestling a sweat-drenched bra over my head is on par with having one of my kids barf on me. This well-constructed bra has three rows of 3 hook-and-eyes on a really well-padded closure—no digging into midback, even on Saturday’s 10-mile run. The padded, adjustable shoulder straps sit comfortably. Made of a variety of fabrics, this bra wicks sweat better than any I’ve ever tested (and that’s saying a lot). Yes, it has a hefty $50 price tag, but all the gals who tested it (from a 32C up to a 36D), plus me, feel it’s well worth the money.

My (less-furry) coconuts are held secure by the Nike Swift bra.
Coconut water is all the rage these days as a natural sports drink—it’s higher in potassium, but lower in sodium, and naturally tasty. But shipping it from the land where palm trees sway leaves way too big of a carbon footprint and makes it spendy. So two Oregonians (gotta give props to my statesmen!) came up with brilliant idea to turn coconut H2O into a powder and package it in a 25-serving package. Just add water—and you control the strength of it. All three flavors are tasty and easy on the stomach.

Icebreaker Rush ¾ Tight
I’ve proclaimed my love of wool workout wear on here before, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise how much I’m digging these wool capris. Yes, wool capris—and I don’t look like a mountain man in them. The soft merino moves with me without overheating. These flattering bottoms have carried me through rainy runs and cold ones, and I’m thinking they’ll also work wonders in warm temps. I especially love the wide waistband that holds without constricting. Note: These run big (size down).

Nike LunarElite+ 2
No, I’m not on the take from the Swoosh company, I just think Nike is really hitting its stride this season with running product. The lightweight LunarElite+ 2 is now my speedwork and race-day shoe. I love how low to the ground I feel, yet with enough cushioning underfoot to dampen the pounding of my less-than-dainty footfalls. Mild stability keeps my overpronation in check without being rigid. I just wish it wasn’t in get-dirty-instantly white.

Now it's your turn to share: What gear have you discovered lately that you can't run without?

42 responses to “Four New Running Favorites

  1. Can’t run without:
    spibelt- to hold all my keys and chapstick

    Most of my stuff is pretty generic. Most of my gear is either TekGear found at Kohl’s or Champion wicking shirts. I do have two RunningSkirts that I love. One with shorts and one with

  2. I could not live without my Columbia titanium vest. It has all the pockets I could ever need while running. However it is already 77 degrees here in Houston and I will not be able to wear it again until fall. This also means my favorite Brooks running shorts, which are oh so soft, get to come out of the drawer! yea!

  3. Yep, another one for running skirts here! Anything else (besides my shoes) come and go depending on whether I’m running inside or out, alone or with a partner & the weather. I’m ALWAYS rocking my skirts though. Cute workout clothes definitely matter.

  4. Just discovered Vibram Fivefingers and can’t go back to my regular running shoes–although my calves are killing me!

  5. I’m loving:
    long sleeve shirts with thumb holes (yay for warm hands!)
    Zensah compression socks (my calves feel so much happier after a long run)
    running skirt (it’s fun to feel cute in a skirt while running)
    pig tails (keep my short hair out of my face…and look super cute 🙂 )

  6. Just picked up an awesome full-zip jacket with thumbholes & good pockets for $25 @ Costco! By Tuff Athletics. Would’ve tried the pants but only stocked in S or XS–not that small yet!

  7. Funny you should write about this… I was just thinking this morning how new gear automatically ramps up your workout. I spent A LOT of money this weekend on lululemon pants and a shirt (thanks for the recommendations, RLAMers! I’m loving my new stuff but my husband flipped when he saw the price!) and I swear I rocked my run simply because of the new duds. Now that spring is (hopefully) around the corner, I’m looking forward to getting some new chafe-free shorts that don’t ride up my thighs or show too much booty. I love everyone’s suggestions–I think I need a second mortgage just to afford it all, though!

  8. Things I’ve found recently that I love:
    1. Honey Stingers
    2. Asics arm warmers (cheapest I’ve found, and I love them…bought them in 2 colors!)
    3. SpiBelt
    4. BudFits…hook onto my iPod earphones and go over the ear to keep them secure
    5. A lightweight Danskin jacket at Walmart complete with thumbholes (for $13!)
    6. A fleece vest from Old Navy (for $8!)

    But I can’t run without my Garmin, my Nathan handheld water bottle and my Road ID.

  9. I have had trouble finding athletic clothing that was cute (#1 priority), comfy & that could hold all of my stuff (food, ipod, emergency items). I was introduced to the tops from Back Pocket Sports and absolutely LOVE them. Very comfortable… I’ve never chafed while wearing them in a triathlon or marathon. I can fill the pockets with anything I need and don’t have to worry about them falling out or bouncing around during a run/ride. They have a huge selection of styles and prints… I love to look cute and girly while I am sweating my butt off.

    1. Agree – totally love the Back pocket sports shirts – They keep everything in when I run and they are pretty. #2 find – my drymax socks. And I am really picky about socks.

  10. I love my Lululemon bra and shorts. I bought both at outlets and, unfortunately, they’ve both been discontinued. 🙁 Maybe I’ll be able to replace them eventually, but for now I’ll wear them til they wear out!

  11. My newest fav: Noxema (but I get the generic store brand) slathered all over my feet. My trail running friend swears by it. The menthol is refreshing once the feet heat up. And it keeps the soles of my feet soft and well moisturized. Bonus: it helps your shoes smell nice too.

  12. I love running with music but headphones usually hurt my ears or fall out – after much searching, I found the perfect running headphones – the skullcandy chops. The part that swings over your ear is soft and flexible and they aren’t buds – so they fit me so much better. I never feel them when I run and they never fall out. They make my runs so much better!

  13. My running must haves 1. body glide – running in south fl, there is a lot of heat and humidity, chaffing is BAD for me , this completely prevents it..AHHH 2. sweaty bands – LOVE them, work perfect for me keeping fly-aways in place and catching sweat, oh and they are comfy and CUTE, LOVE mine! 3. Garmin Forerunner – love the accuracy, had something else before and it was so off, this thing is GREAT!

    1. Interesting you mention Sweaty Bands, Rita. We’re thinking about doing some custom ones with “badass mother runner” on them. Sound good, or no?

      1. oh yes! My husband bought me the “badass mother runner” shirt in black for valentines day and I love it! ( my running friends did too!) My only fear with it is the long sleeves, here in South FL it is already a little too warm for it..a sweaty band I can wear year round!

        1. call me Puritan… I would only want the sweaty band and/or the shirt if I really want my children (who can all read now) to think that “badass” is a good thing to come out of their mouths. I love the sentiment, though.

      2. That would be great for all the truly “badass mother runners” out there. I need something that’s more along the lines of “wanna be badass mother runner” or “gonna be a badass mother runner” or probably within the next 10 years or so, ” badass grand mother runner”

  14. For long runs – Zensah calf sleeves, which I discovered via blog and tried for my last half in November. This weekend I finally talked myself into buying a second pair after several Fridays mornings when, realizing the pair I have hadn’t been through the laundry yet, I handwashed them during my shower so they’d be dry for Saturday!

    Another discovery while training for my fall half – yurbuds earpieces to go with my trusty old ipod Shuffle. They’re so comfy I really can forget I have them in, they’re immovable, great, worth the $.

    Of course, my Brooks Ariel shoes (10 EE – are my feet REALLY that wide now??!) with custom orthotics are required for every run, but that’s been true for over a year, so not so recent.

  15. Right now, the only two things I cannot run without are my shoes (Asics GT2150) and my Garmin Forerunner. Wearing a Garmin when I run takes a lot of guesswork out of my route. I can just run and the Garmin keeps track of my mileage (and a lot of other stats, too!).

  16. I got a long sleeve, hooded, wicking shirt from Old Navy that was my favorite this winter (and it was cheap!). My nike Fee’s have totally changed the way I run and eliminated all my knee pain. If Nike ever discontinues them I will cry. Oh, and my spibelt! I even wear it on short runs just to clip my ipod to it.

  17. I have been a running skirt addict since my mother gave me one about two years ago. I even wear them when I’m not running. Going panti-less in hot, humid Florida during the summer, in a wicking material? Awesome!

    I also ordered a cheapo armband for my ipod on Amazon, (like $7) but I love it! Holds the ipod securely, completely adjustable, and sans that stupid clear plastic cover that I hate.

    Yay, me.

  18. Now that it’s above 30 degrees again, I’m getting back outside. So my Under Armour compression tights are my favorite + I just scored a medium-weight zip jacket at Kohl’s for only $25 (Tek-Gear brand) in a bright orange for those early morning runs – super soft, comfy, perfectly placed inner/outer pockets with the must have thumb holes! 🙂

  19. I don’t run with too much- must have my iPod, but now that I’m doing long runs I take my handheld Nathan bottle. I love it, adjusts to fit my hand, doesn’t feel too heavy, and after the first few minutes of my run I forget I have it in/on my hand!

  20. paw paw ointment is a favourite of mine for after run chaffing. As well as coconut water by cocobella. I find it easier to drink then sports drinks. I also have discovered running skirts with compression shorts underneath them. That and my sewing machine as I try to replicate skirts and tops with highly sought after sports material in hidden spots of the material shop. I really like my skirts to run in, soo comfy!

    1. As a woman who got C+ in sewing, I am in awe that you can sew your own workout wear!! Very impressive. You should post a photo of yourself in some homemade stuff on our Facebook page–Run Like a Mother: The Book.

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