If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Great running gear is essential for upping your game, whether you’re just getting started or training for your personal best. Sure, running might be notorious (and beloved) for its minimalist nature, but quality gear is still required at all levels.
The best running gear can solve the annoying problems that all runners come up against, such as sweat, rain, darkness, gadget storage, and so on. These small equipment upgrades make it easier to stay safe and focus on logging miles. Plus, buying new gear is a great method for motivating yourself to get moving.
Running gear has seen some massive advancements and exciting new products over the past decade. Basics such as shoes and shorts have evolved to improve performance while new products such as streamlined pouches for gadgets and running lights have made the sport easier and safer.
But if you just started running — or are finally upgrading that old gear — navigating the abundance of modern running products can be overwhelming. To help find the best running gear for men we’ve rounded up some essential clothing and accessories that’ll up your game and make you crave tomorrow’s run.
What is the Best Running Gear to Get?
Every runner has different needs when it comes to buying new running gear (these days, you should also be sporting a good face mask for running). Below are some of the best pieces of running gear, as well as notes on what type of runner should buy each piece.
Before shopping for running gear, we recommend considering your typical run. Do you run in the rain or cold? Long-distance or sprints? Do you bring your smartphone for music? Once you take stock of these details it’ll be easier pick up the right running gear.
lululemon License to Train 7″ Short
Shorts are a runner’s second most important piece of gear, right after their shoes. One of our favorite sources for on-point running shorts is lululemon, a brand that’s dedicated to more than just yoga gear, and makes all-around, high-performance workout gear. These training shorts deliver on the brand’s promise to give you gear you’ll want to use during runs and HIIT sessions, thanks to their proprietary “Abrasion-Resistant” fabric. It adds an extra layer of protection in case you get side-swiped by branches if you’re running on trails, and can get tossed around a bit in a gym bag without ripping. With a stripped-down, lightweight design, stretchy Lycra fibre, and sweat-wicking capabilities, these shorts should be your go-to when you hit the pavement.
Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA
All the best running gear in the world won’t mean a thing if you don’t have the best running shoes. Finding the best running shoes takes some shopping around, as all feet and gaits are different, but the running world’s current footwear darling is Adidas.
Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNAs are made for speed, with a light-as-feather cushioning and weighing in at just 11.5 ounces per shoe. They’re built for long runs and races, with soft “Primeknit” upper that offers a mix of support and flexibility. Your feet will feel cool and comfortable with the sock-like fit, but it also provides incredible stability and support too that will take you all the way to the finish line.
Hoka Men’s Jogger
Joggers made for performance are now an essential in every runner’s wardrobe. A good pair, such as these from Hoka, keep your legs warm while running in the cold. This is essential for maintaining proper blood flow (and simply staying comfortable) on chilly mornings or winter runs.
We like these Hoka joggers because they provide full-length coverage (keeping your calves warm) and use high-quality stretchy fabric for movement. The joggers also boast enough storage for necessities with three “invisible” zip pockets (all of which can fit a smartphone) and reflective logo on the back that adds to visibility. Plus, ankle zippers ensure a secure, customizable fit.
lululemon Fast and Free Tank
Far too many runners opt for an old cotton T-shirt and miss out on the performance-boosting benefits of a true athletic shirt, such as this Fast and Free singlet from lululemon. The performance tank is incredibly lightweight and breathable thanks to a high-quality Lycra fibre construction and perforation throughout. This will keep your body cool while wicking away uncomfortable sweat that leads to chafing (the tank is also treated to fight the growth of odor-causing bacteria). Plus, you’ll just look (and feel) like a pro. If you live in a warm area, this tank is a no-brainer.
Uniqlo Dry-Ex Crew Neck
If you live in a cooler climate or prefer a traditional T-shirt versus a tank, you can’t go wrong with Uniqlo’s Dry-Ex Crew Neck Short-Sleeve Shirt. It comes in a ton of sizes and colors, with a soft, breathable material that won’t chaff or irritate the skin. It dries quickly and keeps it shapes too, even after multiple washes.
Adidas Cushioned Socks
For the first couple years of my running career, I suffered from painful blisters that kept me from running as much as I wanted. I thought I had the wrong shoes, until a veteran runner diagnosed my issue: bad socks. Good, sweat-wicking socks, such as these Adidas Cushioned Socks, keep your feet dry to avoid blisters and give proper cushioning. These socks also boast arch compression, making them especially effective for runners with high arches.
Modern runners need a place to carry their smartphone, keys, money and other necessities. Most running short pockets won’t cut it, as your belongings will bounce around. This FlipBelt provides an elegant solution, keeping your stuff secured while you run. The polyester-lycra fabric works double duty by wicking sweat and locking-down your belongings. Stashing and removing items (say, your phone to take a call) is easy thanks to four quick-access slit openings around the belt.
ALOVECO Chest Running Light
If you log miles in the early morning or at night after work, a good running light is essential. For any such runners we recommend this Aloveco chest light. On the front you get bright, 250-lumen LED lamp with an adjustable angle. On the back is a warning light, ensuring that any cars or cyclists can spot you in the dark. The whole thing is waterproof and easy to charge thanks to a USB energy port.
Under Armour Qualifier Outrun The Storm Jacket
Running in harsh weather – be it rain, cold or both – can be very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging without proper outerwear. This Under Armour jacket repels rain, cold and wind but maintains proper airflow to keep sweat at bay. The jacket is made using a polyester-elastane that offers four-way stretch, meaning the jacket will move with your body instead of chafing. Plus, a handful of colors work with any athletic-wear style.
You don’t have to be a pro runner to be a fan of the Theragun, the original percussive massage therapy device by Therabody. You’ll be able to hit the spots that some manual massage accessories can’t reach with its ergonomic handle, meaning you can comfortably reach your back, and behind your thighs and calves, with four separate attachments to really choose your level of treatment. What we like: the quiet, powerful QX65 motor means you can use it anywhere without disturbing everyone around you at the gym or at home.
It features Bluetooth integration to the Theragun app, which is loaded with guided treatment presets. If you’re looking for something more portable, though, we recommend going with the highly-rated Theragun Mini.