Running is not an expensive sport and requires little outlay in terms of equipment. A good pair of running shoes will be the most important investment made, get this right then bliss. Further reading on Running Shoes.
Other items of running apparel that may be considered include:
Running Socks: A well-fitted running shoe maybe uncomfortable if not worn with the appropriate running sock. With so many available on the market making various claims of fit, comfort and performance, a few things to consider when looking at running socks:
For maximum comfort go for anatomically shaped socks i.e. they have left and right specific shapes, contoured to fit your feet perfectly. Some socks are thicker to provide additional cushioning whilst others are lightweight in construction – try them on for comfort before you buy.
As blisters form more easily on moist skin, socks with moisture control i.e. wicking properties provide more protection against blisters forming.
Recently “toe socks” have become more readily available; these are designed to eliminate skin on skin contact between the toes to help prevent blisters.
Compression socks are being worn by more runners and athletes today. There is much publicity from manufacturers about the benefits provided i.e. increased performance or enhanced recovery. However, there is not much independent research available to back this up.
The claims made on compression garments in general and socks in particular are the ability to assist in blood circulation, reduce blood lactate concentration whilst running and control the amount of muscle oscillation when running. Regardless of this they are becoming popular, if the runner feels good about wearing them and perceives there is an improved performance or reduced recovery time, that’s what counts.
Running Tops:There is a plethora of running tops available so let’s consider them in 3 basic categories: Singlet’s, Short Sleeve tops and long sleeve tops. In addition to these running jackets are available for cold winter conditions some being waterproof and windproof. To be protected from showers and slight chills a lightweight shower proof jacket can be considered. There is a fine balance between protection from inclement weather and not getting too hot.
The weather should determine the type of top to wear.
Singlet’s otherwise known as running vests are ideal for racing or running in warm weather.
Short sleeve tops can be worn in warm weather as they protect the shoulders from the sun but are ideal when the weather is mild.
Long sleeve tops are worn mainly in the autumn and winter when the temperatures are lower.
Cotton tops should not be worn as they retain moisture. Most running tops are described as “technical” which basically means they are made of materials with wicking properties i.e. draws moisture away from the skin. Another factor to consider when looking for a running top is colour, it is important that you can be seen, especially at night time, hence the reason for many bright colours and hi-viz/reflective properties.
“The most important thing to wear when running is a smile” – Ged Ruffle