By BJ Christenson
I have been a runner nearly all my life and for the better part of the last 10 years I have been helping new runners get outfitted in the proper gear to make their running experience most enjoyable. Running for some is absolute hell and for others it is pure nirvana. However for both and all runners alike we hate it when we are uncomfortable or hurt. Running is never fun when we are uncomfortable.
Truth is for a lot of us sometimes the solution to our pain is departing with some of our hard earned cash and purchasing good gear. So in order to make your journey into the sport of running more enjoyable I give you this list of 5 things every runner old or new should buy and regularly.
1. Shoes. Of course I am going to start there. Good shoes are the foundation to any successful running endeavor. If you have never been properly fit for running shoes I highly recommend getting it done. Here at The Salt Lake Running Company we take great pride in fitting our customers with the best shoes by way of an informed staff and our biomechanical analysis. We can help you get the right shoe.
2. Socks. The number one reason people get blisters on a run is because they do not have good socks. Socks that have cotton our awesome for casual wear but awful for running. When it comes to socks NO COTTON is the first guideline. Since cotton is out you want a good synthetic moisture wicking fiber or a natural one such as merino wool. Both of these are excellent however you can use merino a few runs in a row before you throw them in the wash because they don’t hold odor odor like synthetics.
3. Inserts. Inserts are often recommended because they improve the fit, feel, and function of your running shoe. A good insert is often the key to the perfect fit. Inserts are also awesome in your everyday shoes to make your feet happy in all your activities.
4. Compression. This is a new arrival to this list but to be honest I don’t know how I could ever go without it. A good pair of compression socks can help tired legs snap back faster and feel less achy. They also do a great job at improving circulation so swollen feet are a thing of the past. When I put them on it is like giving my legs a nice comforting hug and who doesn’t feel better after a nice hug. They also make travel easier to handle when you have a flight or a long road trip.
5. Bras and clothing. Ladies this might be the most important purchase even more important than shoes. You need to buy a bra every time you buy shoes. They wear out and if you are wearing 2 bras then you have the wrong bra. A good fitting sports bra is the key to happy running. That being said comfortable clothing can also enhance your running experience. Like socks we want to avoid cotton. Getting a moisture wicking material is the key and an outfit that is cute doesn’t hurt either. Good apparel makes for a happy run.
The truth is being comfortable and pain free makes running fun. It may not be your favorite but being properly outfitted will make it more enjoyable.