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Runners are minimalists by nature. They just want to run – without the burden of uncomfortable clothing or unnecessary, bulky equipment, gear or tech accessories.
This buying list is for the minimalist runner: No bulky weight vests here. Whether you need apparel, equipment or accessories for a smoother run, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve bought and tested tons of running gear, narrowing down a list of the best five must-haves for runners to buy, curated by runners themselves.
i4c 360 degree swivel arm ring
This is definitely the best armband for runners. As someone who runs many miles a week and regularly hikes through the rugged California terrain, this armband is perfect.
You might be skeptical about the stretchy rubber that holds your phone in place. At first, I was concerned that the phone would pop out during one of my trail runs.
I’ve run snow mountains in Switzerland and sand dunes in California and this thing doesn’t move.
Unlike many cloth armbands, it is durable and will stand the test of time. Another huge bonus is that it’s made of lycra and neoprene, so it won’t smell or “pill” after months of repeated use.
The band is also reflective, which means motorists will see you when the sun goes down.
Usually, a common armband complaint is that the manufacturer uses insufficient velcro and loses its stickiness after only a few months of use. This is not the case with the Velcro used on the i4c wristband, which is extremely durable, impervious to sweat, and prevents the armband from sliding up and down the arm.
The anchor hub can also be rotated 360 degrees. If you get an important text from your significant other during your run—perhaps asking how much longer you can go—just twist the armband and tap the text-to-speech button on your iPhone for a quick reply.
i4c has one-size-fits-all features. P.S. – it does.
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar
If you’re looking for a watch that can track your distance, heart rate, and oxygen max, the simple Apple Watch will do the trick.
For elite runners, however, Garmin’s Forerunner 955 solar is at the top of the list of Bluetooth-compatible smartwatches with satellite GPS.
Often, watch displays can be difficult to see in action. The watch has an always-on, full-color display that’s easy to read even in the dazzling California sun.
It runs on solar-rechargeable batteries and has a battery life of 20 days in smartwatch mode. The coolest feature is its accurate GPS, which can come in handy when you get lost on the trails.
The GPS is available in full color to help you turn quickly without squinting to read black and white readings.
The watch has user access to multiple global navigation satellite systems. Additionally, upon waking, the watch will provide the wearer with a training readiness score based on metrics such as sleep quality, recovery, training, and more.
If you’re preparing for a race, use the intuitive and all-encompassing race widget, which provides training tips and personalized daily workout advice.
If you only have a lunch break to run, the watch will provide a finish time forecast based on course details, weather and performance – so you can head back to the office and take a shower before that important meeting.
Whether you’re training, at your desk or sleeping, the watch tracks your heart rate variability (HRV). This helps you understand how your body responds to the challenges of life in your current environment.
In simple terms, HRV measures the length of time between consecutive heartbeats.
Your HRV status will show as balanced, unbalanced, low or poor. A balanced HRV state means your body maintains homeostasis, our body’s biological balance that ensures optimal bodily function.
Peloton sets itself apart from the rest of fitness equipment with one word: community. It offers on-demand courses taught by qualified, engaging instructors and has gained an incredible following over the past few years.
The Peloton tread is a great choice for both beginners and advanced runners who don’t always enjoy walking on pavement.
The classes are some of the most dynamic and motivating of all the on-demand classes, and the treadmill itself is compact – not too bulky – like many of its competitors, with a large screen and great visibility, it offers speed and incline wheels, It’s easy to switch between workouts.
There are only two downsides to this treadmill and Peloton equipment in general: It’s expensive, and it requires an expensive subscription to match.
If you’re looking to ditch your gym membership and find that you can’t beat the convenience of exercising at home, this peloton treadmill is an excellent investment.
If you don’t take running classes, this treadmill isn’t worth the premium price. But if you love being part of the fitness community and need extra workout guidance to get your runs done, this piece of equipment is for you.
The Peloton tread is priced at $3,495.00 on the Peloton website, not including installation or subscription fees.
ASICS Unisex Belt Bag
This fanny pack is a must-have accessory for long runs. It has a generous storage space and is adjustable in size for a seamless, comfortable run.
Distance runners should replenish their glycogen stores after approximately 30-60 minutes of sustained exercise. In addition to your car keys, iPhone, and credit cards, there’s room in the fanny pack for a handful of energy gels.
Like the armband above, one problem is that the item feels like a kangaroo pouch, with a bounce “lag” during the run. However, it is not.
The fanny pack doesn’t move, giving it an almost non-feeling feel, which allows you to run unimpeded, with your only concern being putting one foot in front of the other.
Men’s Road 2-N-1 Shorts
These running shorts from ASICS have a comfortable non-stretch pocket on the back for your iPhone. Designed for marathoners, these road shorts give runners the same cloud-like feel as the wasitpack.
The shorts are lightweight, flexible and breathable. Inside, there’s also a lightweight compression inner sprinter. The shorts dry quickly, and the iPhone pocket on the back is sweat-resistant—perfect for long runs.
Plus, there are reflective details on the shorts to keep you visible to motorists on night runs.
Men’s 2-N-1 road shorts are available from the ASICS website for $60.00. ASICS also offers similar iPhone holding shorts for women.