Running Gear for Beginners

by TheMaven

When you're just starting to run, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out what gear to purchase for yourself. The most important things for a runner to have are good form, good shoes, and good socks. Its also important to have a place to store your ID, your key, and some cash. And while not everyone uses one, I'd recommend having a watch on you so you can monitor your pace as you're running.

If you will be running in cold weather, you will also want to check out our Cold Weather Running Gear list.


The best advice I can give you on shoes is to go to your closest running specialty shop and have them set you up with properly fitting shoes.

Having said that, I'm a big barefoot running advocate and I always recommend people try Vibram Five Fingers. They force you to have a better stride, it feels more natural, and its always a great conversation piece. Vibram has a large line of toed shoes but the Bikila is the model best suited for beginners since its designed to promote a healthier food stride, provides reasonable protection, and designed to be a more all purpose shoe.

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Injinji Socks

Although they look a bit strange these are fantastic running socks. The mid-weight Injinji were mentioned in Men's Journal as being a "performance enhancer" for runners and they really are that good. Injinji socks feel a little strange the first time you put them on but they are great at wicking and reducing friction to help you avoid blisters and they really improve your foot feel.

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Running belt

One of the most frustrating things about running is figuring out how to carry stuff with you. Sure pockets work, if your running shorts have them, but you really don't want your keys banging against your thigh all run.

The SPIbelt, also known as the Small Personal Item Belt, is super handy and its stretchy material keeps it snug against your body. You can easily fit keys, cash, ID, and a cell phone in this belt; all of which are items I recommend you take with you on your runs.

To reiterate, I strongly recommend you not leave the house without your keys, an ID, your cell phone, and some cash. Keys and cell phone are a no brainer, the ID is important in case of an emergency, and its always good to have some cash on you incase you decide to stop somewhere during your run.

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Running Watch

While not critical, many runners don't go out without a watch on them. Its an excellent tool for maintaing a sense of your pace, tracking your improvements, and simply keeping track of how long you've been out and about.

Timex is a trusted brand amongst runners and the Ironman 30-Lap Fix is a solid, reasonably priced watch for runners. The start/split button on the watch face makes it much easier to use during runs compared to many other models and it has all the features you'd expect from a decent running watch: split times, stop watch, backlight, water resistance, alarm, etc.

If you're serious about a runner's timepiece, the Garmin Forerunner product line is the clear front runner. The Garmin Forerunner 405CX is the newer, lighter option while the more expensive Garmin Forerunner 305 is considered by many the ultimate go to. The reason for the 305's popularity is its front facing controls, the 405 switched to a bezel control that is more difficult to use while running. Both watches are Garmin quality GPS devices with heart monitoring, tons of training features, and both come with additional software to view progress.

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A must have for every runner

If you read this book and aren't motivated to run, I don't know what else to do for you.

Not only does this book stands on its own as a great read, it talks about proper form, the psychology and physiology of running, and the ultramarathon subculture. This is a must have addition to the library of any runner.

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Chia Seeds

If you're going to buy Born to Run, you should go ahead and buy some Chia Seeds. Once you finishing reading the book, you'll want to try them.

Chia Seeds are truly a super food, rich in anti-oxidants, high in fiber and protein, full of essential minerals, and great for hydration.

I'd recommend soaking them in water overnight and then eating them by the spoon full or throwing them in yogurt, cereal or salad.

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A Little Extra Boost: Quercetin

While not conclusive, studies have shown that Quercetin improves endurance. This stuff won't let you run a marathon overnight but one study showed a 13.2% increase in endurance after only 7 days, not too shabby!

Even if the endurance boost doesn't pan out Quercetin it has a significant list of health benefits. It promotes cardiovascular health, prevents cancer and treats high cholesterol, diabetes, cataracts, hay fever, asthma, inflammation, viral infections, and chronic fatigue to name a few.

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Similiar Lists

Women's Cold Weather Running Gear
Men's Cold Weather Running Gear
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