Running can be a pretty low-maintenance recreational activity. After all, besides running shoes (and for the ladies: a good sports bra) the act of running really requires nothing else. However, whether you’ve been running for 20 years – or a few days – you quickly discover that the world of running has a lot of “extras” that can really change that perception. From new innovations in shoe technology, to colorful new socks, high-tech wicking performance apparel and accessories, there seems to always be some sort of new “must have” for improved performance, comfort or style.
While each run doesn’t have to resemble a stroll down the catwalk – or a walking advertisement for a dozen or so brand names – there are ways to infuse a dose of fashion and function into your miles – and it doesn’t have to break the bank, either!
Just as you want a steady mileage base established before beginning a training schedule, having a stand-by supply of running basics is the first step to cultivating your collection of running gear. Depending on your weekly mileage / laundry needs, this might include 3-5 quality sports bras, 5-7 running tops (tanks/tees/long sleeves) and 5-7 bottoms (shorts/capris/pants).
There are a few considerations in this inventory list as well, including: do you swap out your wardrobe seasonally, or will these items “move” with you, interchangeably from Fall to Spring? Do you prefer solid, dark colors or trendy neons or pastels?
Popular women’s running brands like lululemon and lucy produce eye-catching and high quality items, but they also come at a price. One of my favorite bloggers, Lisa (Run Wiki) publishes a feature on her blog called, “Save or Splurge,” in which she explores the visual and performance differentiators in two outfits, one spendy, and one thrifty.
It can certainly be argued that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to merchandise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around, either. Some of my favorite tanks (that are almost exact replicas of the popular lululemon Cool Racerback style) were purchased for less than $15 from Costco a year and a half ago and they’re still going strong. Don’t be afraid to check out sale racks for items you plan on replacing often!
What gear do you want? Okay…now, what gear do you need? In addition to your basic apparel items, you may want to add:
The decision to include new running gadgets and gizmos is a personal decision, and may involve lots of online research, conversations with professional staff at running stores and discussions with fellow runners. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but also, don’t be pressured to purchase items that you don’t see a need for.
The recent surge of interest in women’s running has resulted in an incredible outgrowth of women-centric brands – a definite positive in a previously male-dominated sport! Industry trailblazers like Oiselle, Run Pretty Far and Team Sparkle have emerged as incredible “made for women, by women” brands that prove serious athletes can look just as great as they perform.
In fact, as seen above, Oiselle has mastered to balance so well that the video below showcases their recent Olympic Trails Fashion Show – a perfect melding of style and skill, as featured their actual running team models!
Whether the fun additions to your wardrobe make their appearances on Race Day or Tempo Tuesday, the extra dose of femininity can truly propel your running to a higher – and more fashionable – level.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the above-mentioned brands and I have not received any compensation for expressing my personal views.
What do you wear when you run? Do fashion trends play any role in your running wardrobe?