Editors note: This is an update to my original article on my trail running gear. Some has remained the same, while a few other pieces of gear have been changed out/upgraded.
I’ve been a pretty avid runner for the past several years. I’ve completed half marathon’s, full marathon’s, the Tough Mudder and several smaller 5k runs. I’ve used a lot of different running gear and clothing; some of it worked great while others were total crap. I’m going to highlight what works for me, so I hope you get something out of it.
The most popular thing people think of when looking for running gear is the shoes, so we’ll start there.
Salomon Trail Running Shoes
I’ve always been a huge advocate for Salomon footwear. I’ve been through two a few pairs of their shoes and still use a pair of the GTX mid hiking boots. These specific running shoes are the Salomon Sense Marin. They are true to their sizing and fit my foot like a glove. The trail shoes drain water quick and dry quick, which is a huge benefit when running trails.
Once you have settled on a pair of shoes the next most important thing is socks. Again I’ve been through most major brands of socks over the years, but the company I put my trust in is Fits.
These specific socks that I use are marketed for hiking, but they perform equally as well for trail running and adventure races such as the Tough Mudder or Spartan. The Fits socks are extremely comfortable, durable, they wick sweat away and prevent foot odor. Oh, and they stay on my feet when I kick my shoes off (a pet peeve of mine).
Now that we have our shoes and socks squared away we can move to shorts. This is a very broad subject as there are so many options that are great, so you have to find what works for you through trial and error. This is what works for me.
These have been hands down my favorite shorts to run in. The two pockets that are sewn into these shorts are perfect for my car key and a wallet or phone. Although these are great for running in, they also make great board shorts and swimming shorts. That’s a bonus because now when I travel I only need to take 1 pair of shorts for both running and swimming.
That pretty much takes care of the clothing I use for running. As far as shirts go, I usually just grab a normal t-shirt to run in. I don’t much care for the fancy ‘tech’ shirts specially made for running; just don’t like the feel of the material.
Garmin Fenix 5 Multisport Watch
The next piece of gear I like to use for all my runs is a GPS watch. In the past, I’ve used the Garmin Forerunner 10. This year I decided to upgrade to the Garmin Fenix 5. The Garmin Fenix 5 has quite a bit of technology under the hood and is very durable. The user interface is pretty easy to navigate for the number of features built into this watch. For more information on what makes the Fenix 5 so bad-ass check out the article that we published recently.
If I’m running in the late morning or afternoon hours I may choose to wear sunglasses if the sun is beating down on me. I can’t stand squinting for the whole run. The sunglasses I have chosen to run with are from Gatorz Eyewear.
Gatorz Eyewear is where it’s at for multi-sport sunglasses. I can wear these for an entire run and never have to adjust them or take them off to wipe the lens clean. Due to the materials used and the design, you can customize the fit to your head making them as loose or tight as you want. They are super lightweight as well which is a huge advantage when running. Nothing more frustrating than a loose pair of heavier sunglasses. I own several pairs of Gatorz, but my favorite pair that gets the most use are the Magnum Patriot edition sunnies they make.
An honorable mention: Spyderco Delica 4
I always run with a blade. Yeah, I know this is not for most and some may think it’s stupid or I’m crazy for doing so. I choose to carry because it gives me an advantage if I’m out running in a remote area and come across someone who is intent on harming me or the person I’m running with. It also provides me with an option if wild dogs attempt to attack and bite. It may sound far-fetched and extreme to some, but I choose to be prepared and live to see the next day, especially if I’ve got my daughter with me. In the past, I’ve carried the Blade Rigs Guppy knife, but it’s too obvious to other runners when the shirt comes off. I now run with my Spyderco Delica 4 clipped to the waistband of my SEALFIT shorts. I also wear it when working out.
I don’t run with hydration packs or a water bottle. I typically will keep my 32oz Camelbak Eddy water bottle in my car and hydrate after my run. The key is to be hydrated before the run so you’re not relying on carrying water with you.
That’s my loadout for trail running these days. For those of you that run I’d like to hear your opinions and what you choose to use.