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Our Essential Guide to the Best Men’s Running Gear

Runner's World (6-1-2020)

This is a list of gear beginning male runners will find most useful during the coming summer months, including breathable socks, a quick-drying tank top, durable shorts, a versatile jacket, and more. Below you’ll find recommendations for each and the functionality considered when making the selection.

How We Chose This Gear

Every piece of gear on this list has been evaluated and vetted by our team of test editors. We research the market, survey user reviews, speak with product managers and designers, and use our own experience to determine the best options for your runs. In some cases, where we’ve gone deeper on a certain product, we included links to the full reviews. We hand-picked the gear below based on performance, price, comfort, technical features, and style to build this collection of top running essentials for men.

One thing: You’ll notice that we didn’t include any shoes. Runners swear by maximalist shoes and minimalist shoes, stability shoes and lightweight racers, midsoles with gel technology, air technology and, lately, foam technology. Studies still debate the degree to which footwear affects running biomechanics and performance, but you can easily experience a shoe fitting just by trying on a few different brands and styles. Start here, then visit a local running store to try on shoes and find the one best tailored your unique foot strike and gait.

Discuss

Everyone’s list of essentials looks different. We’re curious to know how this list compares to others. New runners: What’s proven useful? And what solutions are you still searching for? Seasoned runners: If you see something here you love, give it a nod. Is something missing? What can’t you run without? Let us know in the comments.

—BELT—

SPIbelt + Waterproof aLOKSAK

PROS

  • Bounce-free storage
  • Waterproof pouch

CONS

  • That waterproofing requires two pouches

Most running shorts and pants can hold nutrition, keys, an I.D., and a bit of cash, but few offer a smartphone-sized waterproof pocket for what has become a thousand-dollar running accessory. Against logic, low-profile running belts with waterproof exteriors are just as rare. SPIbelt offers the next best by coupling an original belt with a waterproof pouch that attaches to the inside of the belt. The straps are elastic, so they cinch tight enough to prevent bouncing but still sit comfortably on the hips. Twist the belt so the pouch sits on your lower back, and you’ll forget you’re wearing it within a mile.