Since social distance mandates went into effect, people across the country have been staying closer to home and striving to maintain 6 feet of space from those outside their household. Thank goodness running is an exercise outlet that makes it relatively easy to comply with the rules.
Here are our picks for great summer running gear.
HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATR 5
As nice as it would be to run only on trails, if I want to run from my doorstep, there’s going to be pavement involved. That’s where the Challenger comes in. Now in its fifth iteration, the Challenger is designed for versatility. A multi-lugged outsole (read: no-nonsense tread) ensures sure-footedness on the dirt, while the oversized EVA midsole provides cushion on the road.
$130 | hokaoneone.com
Tracksmith Harrier Long Sleeve
Pull out the Harrier Long Sleeve for early morning runs with a chill in the air. Skeptical about its merino/nylon make-up? Don’t be. Wool’s anti-stink properties are legendary and when blended with a touch of polyester, the fabric still moves and stretches with ease. Go ahead. Enjoy that sunrise jog.
$78 | tracksmith.com
GoLite ReFly Shorts
GoLite gear is still all about, well, going light. But when the brand relaunched in 2019, it adopted an earth-friendly mindset across its product line. The ReFly Shorts are no different. Made from 8 recycled plastic bottles, these lightweight shorts also lighten the load on the landfill.
$60 | golite.com
Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell
Long distance runs at high elevations call for the appropriate just-in-case gear. And a weatherproof shell should be near the top of that list. Enter the easy-to-carry Distance Wind Shell, which wads up into a dual chest pocket/stuff sack. The jacket keeps the elements at bay with a PFC-free water-repellent finish, while its air-permeable fabric allows you to keep stride without overheating.
$129 | blackdiamondequipment.com
CamelBak Zephyr Vest
The lightweight Zephyr delivers for runners going the distance. Designed to optimize ventilation, the vest is engineered with knit mesh in areas of highest heat output, a technique dubbed “body mapping.” And perhaps most important: Adjustable sternum straps provide a no-jiggle, uber stable, custom fit.
$150 | camelbak.com
Swiftwick FLITE XT Zero Tab
Trail running requires agility and stability — and that’s what the FLITE XT’s are made for. Built with Swiftwick’s proprietary AnkleLock Technology for extra support during lateral movements, the socks also feature GripDry fibers to prevent foot slippage in the shoe and to wick away sweat.
$20 | swiftwick.com
Buff Trucker Cap
Trucker caps have become a go-to for hiding messy, sweaty, post-run hair. But with Buff’s addition of a low-profile, moisture-wicking sweatband, this little number works for the trail as well. Its all-polyester composition wicks well and dries fast.
$28 | buffusa.com
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Garmin’s Forerunner series offers more personalized data than your phone’s Strava app and more running-specific features than your Apple Watch. The 245 Music is our pick thanks to its built-in GPS, V02 max indicator, wrist-based heart rate monitor and ability to measure running metrics like stride length and cadence. Plus, you can sync playlists from select music stream services directly to the watch.
$300 (on sale!) | garmin.com
Nathan SaferRun Ripcord Siren Personal Alarm
As horrible as it is to think about, running alone on less-traveled roads and trails does have its dangers. The thumb-sized SaferRun Ripcord Siren Personal Alarm aims to mitigate them. If the runner feels they’re in danger or needs to alert others, they just pull the tab and let loose a 120-decibel alarm (about as loud as an ambulance siren) that’s audible from more than 600 feet.
$20 | nathansports.com
Superfeet Aftersport Recovery Slides
Sandal? Or foot mattress? The Aftersports are a little bit of both, which makes them the perfect kicks for après-run. Their orthotic shape and underfoot support cradle those aching dogs, while the proprietary Aerosoft Comfort Foam footbed provides a blissful cushion.
$45 (on sale!) | superfeet.com