While we all want to believe that running is as easy as tying your shoes and walking out the door, such is not the case. No matter how much you want to just run outside and never stop, you’ll wish you had these six running accessories when you’ve jogged for fifteen miles and your feet start hurting.
Read on for the top running accessories any savvy runner needs to feel safe, happy, and comfortable on the road, sidewalk, trail, or track.
#1 A Phone Holder
Unless you’re a Luddite, a time-traveling Victorian, or Amish, you probably own a smartphone (and you probably run with one). While many people make do with the classic phone-in-fist, earphones-flying method of jamming out on a jog, your best bet is to get yourself any of these helpful gadgets:
- An armband with a pocket for your phone (or iPod, you absolute dinosaur)
- For a slightly more comfortable alternative, try a waistband like a FlipBelt
- You can also go for that classic look and wear a fanny pack (to match your ancient music device… maybe you are a time-traveling Victorian…)
#2 Earmuffs, Mittens, and Socks, Oh My!
Just because you’re running at top-intensity doesn’t mean your ears will stay warm at minute 40 of a mountain jog in the dead of winter. To avoid frostbite (and just plain discomfort), don’t leave the door without earmuffs, mittens, hand warmers, and thick socks.
#3 Comfortable Insoles
It’s one thing to have a shoe that’s your size. It’s another to have one that really fits.
Sometimes, you just can’t achieve that with a shoe alone.
That’s why you need to pair high-quality running shoes with even higher quality insoles. However, your mission for comfortable running can’t end there. Look for insoles that target the right goals, whether it’s comfort, support, stability, or ailments. For example, if you feel pain and inflammation in your lower foot, you could benefit from plantar fasciitis insoles to keep you movin’ and groovin’.
#4 Safety Tools
If you run at night, alone, in a busy city, or in an area with a high crime rate, watching out for your safety is far more important than watching your weight. If you want to work out without worry (or, at least, with less worry), be ready to run with the following on your person:
- Reflective clothing
- Dog repellent spray
- Pepper spray
- A working phone with GPS capability
- An LED visibility vest
- A whistle
#5 Something Sweet
After miles and miles of running, the fatigue might hit harder than expected. You’d be shocked just how handy a peppermint can be on mile ten of jogging in the hot sun.
#6 Sports Bras or Nip Guards
Ladies, you probably knew this one, but it’s still worth saying: for the sake of your comfort (and that of those around you), wear a sports bra that fits. Make sure it’s just snug enough to provide support, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation. If you have to transform into a Cirque du Soleil contortionist just to get out of it at the end of a run, you should probably go a size or two up.
Fellas, meet nip guards. Due to some unknown mystery of biology, you also have nipples (okay, so maybe it’s not such a mystery, but we don’t feel like looking it up). And, unfortunately, nipples chafe when you run. If you want to commit to the runner’s life, you’ll also want to acquaint yourself with mammary papilla protectors to keep your boy-udders happy (sorry for the terrible visual).
Bonus Accessory: Good Company
Working out doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. Whether you bring along your doggo, your baby in a carriage, a loved one, or join a running group, some good company will do wonders for your motivation and enjoyment.