10 Pieces of Running Gear That I LOVE

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When I started running, I thought that you just got up and ran. You could do that, but I’ve discovered along the way that there are loads of clothing, running gear, gadgets and websites that make running easier, and a lot more fun.


Essential Gear for New Runners

Take a look at this list of essential running gear – these are great for new runners or veterans, too!

Garmin Forerunner 305

1. Garmin Forerunner 305

Affectionately known as Gidget around these parts, this gadget is amazing! I use her to keep track of my total distance, and she alarms when I’m going too fast, and too slow. (up hills!)

Well worth the money you’ll dish out. My husband and I split her at times — I delete my information, and add his stats in. Voila – we’re able to use one Garmin for two people!

Nike Plus for iPhone
2. Nike Plus App

Not ready to shell out the bucks for a Garmin? If you have an iPhone or an iPod touch, Nike may be able to help you out. Nike+GPS uses the GPS system in the iPhone, or the accelerometer in the iPod touch.

There’s also an app that works along with a foot sensor. I haven’t found these to be as accurate as the Garmin, but they are also a lot less expensive.

I LOVE the voice feedback in the Nike system, as well as the challenges on the running website. For now, I use both.

Brooks Utopia Thermal Pants

3. Brooks Women’s Utopia Thermal Pant

When I started running in the cold weather, I borrowed an old pair of my husband’s running tights. As the temperatures got colder, it was evident that I needed a better pair of pants. I headed off to Dick’s, where I tried on some Under Armour tights (too obscenely tight to be worn in public), and some Nike tights (too long for short girls).

I stopped by one of our local running stores, and was introduced to the Brooks pants.

These are incredibly comfortable, very warm, and even a tad bit water resistant. The small back pocket is a perfect size for keys, or a gel pack. They are a little pricey, but well worth it. I’ll be buying a second pair next winter.

Balega socks
4. Balega Socks

Apparently, running in cotton socks is the devil. When I first started running in the cooler weather, my feet froze to pieces. My husband has SmartWool socks, but I prefer little bitty thin socks. The folks at Dick’s informed me that cotton was the wrong thing to run in, and that I needed a ‘blend’. Started out with some Under Armour socks there, and upgraded the same day I bought my fancy Brooks pants. The gal at Fleet Feet introduced me to Balega socks, and I won’t run in anything else!



5. Run the Ville

I love to read Runners World forums, but they tend to be a little clique-y. I happened across a local running forum, Run the Ville, and have been hooked ever since. Knowledgable, welcoming, and just plain fun, the folks here keep me motivated with all of their support.

Clif Shot Bloks

6. Clif Shot Bloks

As your runs get longer, you need some fuel along the way. Clif Bloks are like square gummy bears, packed with carbohydrates and caffeine! Easy to carry, and easy to chew, and available in most grocery stores, too. I’ve only tried the Black Cherry flavor, but it was yummy!

7. iPod touch

This ranks right up there with Gidget as one of my most important running gadgets. If I’m not running with my husband, I load it up with my favorite podcasts, and take off.

Ready for my wish list? I’m asking for these items for Christmas!

Road ID
8. Road ID

I have to admit that I haven’t been the safest runner in the past. I generally run in my neighborhood, but hate to pack a phone, along with all of my other stuff.

Enter Road ID. In case of emergency, you would be easily identifiable, and notifying your family would be a piece of cake. Not something I want to dwell on, but important nonetheless.

9. ArmPocket

Since my iPod is such an important part of my running routine, this would be a welcome addition. This pouch keeps your iPod safe from the elements, and provides you with some space for keys and Clif Bloks!

10. Sparkle Skirt

Running, and looking darn cute doing it? This would be the perfect addition to my running wardrobe. I just need to decide what color.

I’d love to hear from you, and find out if your top running items are the same as mine! Be sure and leave a comment to let me know.

P.S. Have a favorite half marathon? Add it to my bucket list.


  1. I love Balega socks too! I’ve worn them for years ever since I first started running in 2006. They are SOOO worth the extra price!

    This is a great list and now I have more items to add to my Amazon.com wishlist!

  2. Dianna Kennedy says

    Oh, girl, did I CHOKE on the Balega price! My store was having a promotion, so I bit. SO glad I did. My goal this spring and summer is to find them on sale, and buy a bunch. I bought some wool ones too, for colder weather, and they are AWESOME!

  3. Great list. I’m going to have to check out those socks and pants.

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      If you have a local running store, this would be the PERFECT time to check out the Brooks pants. I know they were on clearance in my area. I would have bought a second pair, but they were not my size.

  4. Ok, now I have to look for those socks 🙂

  5. Melanie @ The Adorkable Life says

    oh my gosh I love your list! I’m a runner and man of those items are definitely going on my wish list! Thanks for the info!

    This is my first time to your blog so I’m probably asking questions I could find in other posts…but what type of runner are you? “Professional”? have you trained yourself? Do you run for races or just for personal fitness? What distance and times are you working at? I’m self-taught–started running about 5 years ago and just last summer broke through the mental barrier of 3 miles up to 6 or 7. Running has become much more enjoyable and I love seeing my times improve–though I’ve never trained for anything in particular.


    • Dianna Kennedy says

      Oh, Melanie, you’re making me laugh!

      I’m SO NOT a professional runner. I’ve NEVER been an athlete. When I met my husband, I was playing tennis 3 times a week, but nothing else. (and I wasn’t very good, just LOVE tennis)

      I’m 38, and JUST started running last October. I saw the Disney Princess Half Marathon advertised,and thought, “HEY! THAT IS AWESOME!”.

      I’m SLOW as a turtle …..
      My standard is a 12 minute mile, and if I push myself, I can hold a 11:30 pace OK. My DREAM is to be able to run a mile in 10 minutes without dying.

      I’m completely self taught — I read running forums like crazy, and talk to my friends who run, or used to run.

      I’m training for a half marathon right now, and I foresee myself doing more of those as well. I NEED races on my calendar to keep myself motivated. I’ll basically keep a 5K on my calendar every month, and longer distances as they come up.

      Mental barriers …. aren’t they a pain! I think going from 3 to 4 miles was really hard for some reason! Now that I’ve broke the 10 mile mark, I feel like a rock star!

  6. Great list! The Garmin, the Road ID and RuntheVille.com are on my favorites list, as well! 🙂 My sock preference are the Feetures SmartWool socks–I LOVE those but at $10 a pair, those are not the only line I run in. My C9 shorts are also on my list–inexpensive, sturdy running shorts that are always very comfortable and never too short! And I LOVE LOVE running vests. They make me happy!

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      But of course 🙂

      I thought about a running vest, too …. but what do you do with it when it gets too hot??

      • Well, I only wear my vests when it’s weather appropriate. So maybe there’s a chill in the air or it’s very windy and I want to keep my core warm without having too many layers on my arm–the vest is perfect. Push your sleeves up if you get warm, unzip the vest a bit. It’s great for spring and fall when the temps can be “in-between.” I also love arm warmers but sometimes feel like I’m not “elite” enough to wear them. LOL But they are perhaps the BEST piece of transitional clothing because you can easily push them up or down and they don’t take up much space!

        • Dianna Kennedy says

          See, you think like I do about the arm warmers. I think they look amazingly cool, but I’m no Kara Goucher, for sure. I have to get a lot better if I’m going to wear arm warmers. I’ve almost convinced myself that I’m wearing shorts and a tank top Saturday, no matter what the weather. I ran today, in 70+ degrees, and was so hot, I wanted to take off clothes.

  7. I have been running in Balega socks for years and can’t imagine any others. They are also available at the Blue Mile in the Summit and of course Swags.
    I love my garmin. I got mine for my birthday last year while training for a marathon.
    For the larger runner I love my reebok cold compression running pants. I have a hard time finding pants because of the size of my bum and these fit perfect. Happy running.

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      Hello, Kim!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      I’ve actually never been to the Blue Mile. I only head out that way to go to Costco, and to Gymboree. By the time I visit there, I’ve spent way too much money!

      I can’t say enough good things about the Garmin. It was well worth the investment!

      I never knew you did a marathon! You go, girl! I don’t think that will be on my bucket list, but you never know.

      I actually haven’t tried any Reebok stuff in a long time. I think I may have some things from when I was playing tennis. Those Brooks pants are AWESOME. They were expensive, but next season, I will buy a pair from Running Warehouse, so I will have two.

      Will I see you on Saturday??

  8. Don’t forget to add hair accesories! If you have layers or bangs, you’ll want something to help keep your hair from flying everywhere (or sticking to your forward when it’s hot!)

    I like the Goody brand head bands (CVS and target both have them as do other stores I’m sure) because they’re stretchy enough to not be too tight but easier than bobby pins or complicated braids to keep layers back.

    I also like Goody Splip Proof Hold elastics for the best pony tail that won’t loosen up on long runs.

    Great list though! I need to try those Clif Shot Blocks and definitely those socks too (my running socks are driving my nuts!)

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      What the heck! How could I forget hair baubles — I even headed out today without mine! Argh!

      You’re totally right about the Goody products. That’s all I use, too. I pull my hair back, then throw on one of those thin head bands, too. I may end up grabbing some of the wider headbands soon, too.

      Love the Shot Blocks, since you can find them at KROGER! Just look for them near all the protein bars. I like not having to make a special trip to a running store.

  9. Storkwatcher says

    Wigwam is my preferred brand of socks, but I’m going to check out the Balegas next time – Thanks for the tips!

  10. Angie @ Many Little Blessings says

    I’m completely a non-runner, so this was a really interesting list to read. Maybe one of these days I’ll lose a ton of weight and love running. (Or, you know, maybe not.)

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