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Best Running Gear for Beginner Runners

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Are you a beginner runner wondering what to invest in when it comes to running gear? There are so many items and options to choose from, it can be overwhelming and difficult to prioritize what you really need. Here is the best running gear beginners should invest in to help get you started with this sport, have fun, and stay injury free.

Running gear is laid out on a wood floor. Items include clothing, a watch, headband, fuel, and racing bib.

Best Running Gear for Beginner Runners

1. Running Shoes

Undoubtedly, running shoes are the most important piece of gear for runners at any level. Choosing a shoe that is not the right fit for your foot can cause problems, the most significant being an injury. Before hitting the roads, head to a local running store and have your feet and gait observed by a professional. Try on a few different pairs and spend time walking or jogging in them to see how they feel. Besides, there is no one-size fits all so everyone’s shoe preference is different. Instead of choosing a shoe based on color, focus on support, comfort, and proper fit.

A pair of pink running sneakers is on a wood floor.

2. Moisture Wicking Clothing

As you begin your running journey, start investing in moisture wicking and technical apparel. This clothing dries quickly and pulls the sweat away from your body. Without a doubt, the main goal of your clothing is to keep you dry and comfortable. One of my favorite running apparel companies is rabbit.

On the other hand, leave all your cotton at home as once cotton is wet, it will stay wet and can lead to painful chaffing on the skin.

A woman is standing in her kitchen. She is a runner wearing a light blue t-shirt and black shorts. She is pulling out the top of the t-shirt and smiling.

3. Handheld Water Bottle

No matter the season, staying hydrated is important for all runners. And as the weather warms, carrying fluids is essential. Some cities and towns have water fountains, though depending on where you live, those may only be accessible during certain months of the year. Because of this, it’s best to play it safe and carry fluids with you. The Nathan Handheld Water Bottle holds 18 oz. of fluids and comes with a large zippered pocket to hold extra items.

A woman is standing outside. She is a runner and is wearing pink sunglasses, a red tanktop, navy blue shorts, and a purple and grey handheld water bottle.

If you’re heading out for a longer run, consider wearing a hydration vest or running belt. I wear the Nathan Hydration Vest on all long runs so my hands are free and I can practice fueling while running. The bladder stores 2 liters of fluids and there are a couple front pockets to store and easily access fuel. The best part is it doesn’t bounce! 

A blue and grey hydration vest is on a wood floor. It has two packs of running fuel and a watch next to it.

4. Resistance bands

Whether you’re warming up or working on strength, you’ll want a few different resistance bands. Using resistance bands reduces the risk of injuries, ensures stability, and elevates performance while running. Spending just a few minutes every week using resistance bands to warmup and build strength is crucial for all runners looking to progress and stay injury free.

A person is standing outside in running. They are using a red resistance band. It is wrapped around the bottom of their legs. The person is standing on their left foot and lifting their right leg out to the back.

5. Body glide

Yes, this made the list! Have you ever felt a sharp burn or sting while running, either on the inside of your legs or maybe underneath your sports bra band? What about on your arm? Body glide to the rescue! Apply a little body glide to all sensitive areas before heading out for a run and your skin is saved. There’s nothing worse than peeling off sweaty running clothes and stepping into the shower with chafe all over.

6. Running Belt

Not sure where to put your keys, cell phone, and license while running? A FlipBelt easily stores all these things and more so your hands can stay empty and relaxed while running. Keep important items in the zippered pocket and slide your phone in and out of the large pockets. The extra storage space is perfect for carrying fuel when your runs get longer.

A woman is running in a road race. She is wearing a black shirt, black shorts, and headphones. She has a bright pink running belt around her waist.

A Koala Clip is another way to store small items while running. It slips over the top of your sports bra creating an easily reached pocket and has a zipper so everything stays secure.

7. Kahtoola NANOspikes

Spikes are important for runners who live in areas that get ice and snow. Do not run on ice and snow without any sort of protection because that is basically an injury waiting to happen. Take the worry out of training through winter, and simply slip your Kahtoola NANOspikes over your running shoes and you’re good to go! Kahtoola NANOspikes grip the ice and snow very well. I’ve had mine since January 2018 and have trained outside through the winters with no problem.

Read more about Kahtoola NANOspikes and winter running gear here.

8. GPS Watch

Surprisingly, a GPS watch isn’t an essential item for a beginner runner. Think of watches more like a “want” than a “need”. If you are interested in investing in a GPS watch, there is a plethora to choose from. Brands like Garmin, Coros, and Polar have a wide range of watches with different capabilities depending on your sport and the data you’re looking to record.

This is a closeup of a running watch face. The watch face says a person ran 8 miles in 1 hour 13 minutes and 57 seconds, with an average pace of 9 minutes 15 seconds per mile.

9. Heart rate monitoring chest strap

Depending on which brand of watch you wear, there may be a heart rate monitoring chest strap to pair with it. Wrist heart rate monitors are not always accurate, and chest straps provide a much more reliable reading. If you rely on heart rate data for any part of your training, a chest strap is the way to go.

Recap of Best Running Gear for New Runners

For beginner runners, there are just a few items that are crucial to have as your running journey takes off. Use this list as a guide for the best running gear for new runners.

Eager to become a faster and stronger runner? I would love to help you reach your running goals! Click here to learn more about my run coaching services.

Comment Below:

If you’re a new runner, what’s one item you feel is essential to have?

If you’re more experienced, what’s something you felt was crucial to have when you were just beginning?

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