For many of us, going on a daily run, walk, or bike ride is the only way to retain any sense of normality in the times of this pandemic
For myself, I’ve been doing quite a bit of all three—particularly running. And I’m not alone. Whether it’s folks getting back into running or hobby joggers who are looking to increase their weekly mileage with all this extra time, the trails, sidewalks, and blocked-off roads along the Mississippi are filled with runners.
Naturally, this seemed like a good time to drop some good running content in the way of some running gear reviews.
Let’s get into it.
Shoes: Brooks Glycerin 18
So I’m by no means a super experienced runner. I’d say within the last three-four years is when I had started taking it fairly seriously as a hobby. Because of this, my arsenal of running gear I’ve used is limited.
That being said, I firmly believe that the Brooks Glycerin is a great trainer shoe for anyone at any level. I got the Glycerin 17 without ever having tried it on or been in a running store for a fitting. But, as soon as I put it on, I could not believe how comfy it was. Seven hundred miles or so later, I replaced them with the Glycerin 18. This time, I had gone into a shoe store for a fitting, and while I tried multiple brands on, only a Saucony shoe rivaled the Glycerin’s comfort.
Because it offers a ton of padding, these shoes are by no means the fastest of shoes. But, if you’re looking to log miles or want to take extra good care of your knees, I can’t recommend them enough (Though I will say, I wasn’t crazy about the colors they offer. But, that comes secondary to comfort).
Running Tights (Cold Weather): Patagonia Peak Mission Tights
This past winter, I finally decided to invest in some cold weather tights, as opposed to just wearing some old compression pants I had. I turned to the tried-and-true brand of Patagonia and purchased their Peak Mission Tights.
The good: they are extremely comfy and—aside from some light fraying I’ve noticed on the stitching in the front—the quality is up to snuff. The reflective detailing is helpful for running at night.
The bad: Not warm enough for Minnesota winters. Anything below 25 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold for these. I have to wear long johns under them when the windchill is too low.
The zipper pocket in the back is nice and great for my keys, but too small for my phone which is a bit of pain—mainly because it gets so dark so early in the winter and running long distances without a phone at night when no one else is around isn’t wise. Sprain an ankle; you may be limping your way all the way home (I got a Salomon Pulse Belt to remedy this situation, which I find a tad uncomfortable at times, but it’s a small price to pay for safety).
Overall, I’m glad I got them and will continue to get a lot of use out of them before retiring them, but if you’re looking for genuinely cold-weather tights, I’d look elsewhere.
Headlamp: Biolite Headlamp 330
Can’t complain about the Biolite 330. Again, I haven’t used any other running headlamp before, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. But, it’s comfy enough to get the job done and offers a ton of different lighting options.
It’s a little spendy, and you can probably find a headlamp that will work just fine for much less, but like a lot of running gear, if you make the investment upfront, the gear should pay off in terms of longevity.
Winter Jacket: Patagonia Men’s Wind Shield Hybrid Soft Shell Jacket
Unfortunately, the Hybrid Soft Shell from Patagonia is not still around. But I absolutely love it. It’s sneaky warm as long you have a decent base layer for running in cold weather.
This pullover jacket from Patagonia looks to be pretty close it though. Although I’ve never tried it myself, I’d definitely recommend trying it out because I’ve been owned a jacket from Patagonia that I didn’t like.
I actually have no idea the name of these shorts. I know that they are from Manduka, and looking at their current shorts, I don’t think they sell them anymore. Even though they were made for yoga, they still work great. This goes to show you that you can make just about any type of athletic gear part of your running repertoire. It doesn’t’ have to be the latest Nike shorts. Or the newest Lululemon shirt. As long as it’s comfy, it can work.
While I can’t exactly recommend buying these yoga shorts for running, they are very comfortable, and I’ve worked out and ran in them a ton, and they are still in unbelievably good condition. Kind of astounding actually. So, in my experience, these ‘yoga’ shorts can do a lot more.
Shirts: Anything That isn’t Cotton
Of all the running gear to invest in, I’d put shirts at the bottom of the list. As long as it’s some nylon-like, moisture-wicking material, you’re probably fine. I have a bunch of ‘stretchy-fabric’ shirts I run in, and they all work great. So, don’t spend $80 on some fancy running shirt when that old Turkey Trot 10k shirt from 2014 will get the job done.