The Best Running Accessories

Whether you’re a beginner looking to start your running journey, or an intermediate runner wanting to reach your goals, running accessories can give you a leg up. With the right gear on hand, you’ll quickly notice a drastic improvement in your performance. That’s because the best running accessories are designed to help you overcome any natural disadvantages.

So let’s get started! We’re going to break down all the tools you may need to elevate your running at various stages, along with an explanation for how they can help you. Naturally, every runner doesn’t need every accessory, which is why the hard part is figuring out which ones apply to you.  

The Best Running Accessories For Injury Prevention

Never forget that running is an extreme sport. When you’re pushing your body to such high extremes, often without a coaches’ supervision, there is a risk of injury. Runners often complain about chafing, joint weakness, and muscle damage. However, with the right protective gear, you can avoid such health concerns and remain in peak shape. 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced runner, these running accessories will do you a world of good. Here is a list of items that will change your life.

Rollga Standard Foam Roller

If you’ve been running competitively or at a high level, you’ll know how important foam rolling is for hardcore runners. As any physical therapist will tell you, it doesn’t just help you rehabilitate injured muscles but is also a great warmup and cooldown tool.

The Rollga Standard Foam Roller is an especially good model since it was designed by Taggart Downare, a renowned marathoner. His journey while recovering from shin splints helped give him the insight necessary to create an effective product. 

What does it do?

An award-winning product, the Rollga Standard Foam Roller is designed to stimulate blood flow to your muscles, which is especially useful post-workout. Unlike other cylindrical rollers, this product is contoured so it adheres to the curves of your body, loosening muscles, while cleanly avoiding bones and tendons. 

The roller measures 18 by 6 by 6 inches and weighs a light 0.4 pounds so you can carry it with you for immediate use after your run. Additionally, the professional-grade foam can handle more than 2000 lbs so its suitable for all body types.

To use the foam roller you place it underneath your calves and start moving it with your body. Then, when you reach a particularly tight or sore muscle, roll back and forth over that section until it loosens. Remember, it’s important to be extremely thorough with your rolling. That means under your calves, your iliotibial band (either side of your leg), and piriformis for warmup. Followed by your hamstrings, adductors, and quadriceps for cooldown.

Who needs this?

Runners who don’t use foam rollers complain that they simply don’t have the time. But the truth is that if you want to compete in this field, at a high level, and for a long time you need to take care of your body. Keep pushing it without the required aftercare and you’ll cause irreparable muscle damage, nullifying all that hard work. 

On the other hand, 30 to 60 minutes with the Rollga Standard Foam Roller will help you recover faster so you’re always at the top of your game. Also note that the color options aren’t random, and in fact signify foam hardness. So don’t pick whichever one you like most, choose the foam type best suited to your needs.

Rollga Foam Roller for Back Pain, Shin Splints, and Sore Muscle Recovery, Medium Foam, 18 inches
  • BACK PAIN RELIEF - Patented shape avoids spine and shoulder blades to prevent spine compression and bone bruising.
  • EASE SHIN SPLINTS - Shin bones drop into grooves enabling surrounding muscles to be targeted and released, relieving tension that causes shin splints.
  • REDUCE MUSCLE SORENESS – Foam rolling is proven to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. The bumps of the Rollga provide more precise targeting to trigger points for faster and more effective muscle release and recovery.
  • DURABLE - Professional grade foam that can hold over 2000 lbs.
  • CONVENIENT SIZE - 18'' length and ultra lightweight for easy travel.

Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm

In the world of running, Body Glide is the reigning champion in chafing protection. And if you’re planning on running competitively, training several times a week, or trekking over rough terrain you’ll need something to protect your skin.

What does it do?

The Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm comes in a deodorant stick form and applies in quite the same way. It comes in various size options and is effective in both humid and dry conditions. The formula stands up against sweat, doesn’t clog pores, and is free of harmful ingredients like lanolin, mineral oils, or petroleum. 

You’ll certainly find the lightweight texture a lot more pleasant to wear than other heavy creams and gels. So before you go out for a run apply the balm on your thighs, neck, arms, pits, and any other areas where you regularly experience chafing. With this trusty balm in your bag, you won’t have to worry about itchy skin or painful rashes ever again. 

Who needs this?

Chafing protection is a prerequisite for all runners, but especially those training in hot and humid climates. Skin irritation while running is an extremely common issue and while you may want to consider altering your running attire if it gets too bad, the Body Glide Balm will get you through the worst of it.

Sale
Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm
  • Apply Before You Get Dressed, On Thighs, Neck, Arms, And Anywhere Skin Is Rubbed. Stop Trouble Before It Starts
  • Made With Allergen Free, Plant-Derived Ingredients. Vegan Approved, Never Tested On Animals. Child Safe
  • The Preferred Choice Over Messy, Wet Creams, Gels And Powders. No Petroleum, Lanolin Or Mineral Oils
  • Effective And Longlasting. Use Daily In Humid And Dry Conditions For A Pain Free Active Life

Hyperice Hypervolt

Tight muscles, soreness, and cramping are any runner’s worst nightmare. Now of course you can easily avoid these issues by stretching after your run, but that isn’t always enough. For people who don’t want to follow up their daily run with some advanced yoga poses, the Hyperice Hypervolt provides a great solution. 

What does it do?

This handheld percussion massage gun comes with 5 interchangeable heads and 3 relaxing speed options. You can choose one of their expert-designed pre-set recovery programs or custom set one of your own. The top-of-the-line lithium-ion battery lasts more than 3 hours when fully charged so you’ll be well relaxed by the time your session ends. 

Who needs this?

The is perfect for people who want a percussion massage device to help them relax after a run. This machine will work wonders on your sore muscles and you’ll notice a drastic change in your recovery time. When your muscles are loose and pliant as opposed to stiff and tight you can start each day’s run at peak performance and maximize your progress on the track. 

Hypervolt Bluetooth, Featuring Quiet Glide Technology - Handheld Percussion Massage Gun | 3 Speeds, 5 Interchangeable Heads | Helps Relieve Sore Muscles and Stiffness (Hypervolt w/ Bluetooth)
  • The game changer. The first percussion massage device to deliver so much power so quietly, the original Hypervolt changed the game for premium percussion devices worldwide.
  • Customized for you. The Hypervolt features three speeds of rapid percussion that can be changed with a single button, so you can cycle through whatever speed you need without interruption.
  • Do not disturb. Keep the conversation going – the Hypervolt won't interrupt. Thanks to our patented QuietGlide technology the Hypervolt provides relief almost silently.
  • 3 speeds, Brushless high-torque 60w motor, Patented QuietGlide technology
  • Lightweight design (2.5lbs), Cordless – 2 hour battery life, Travel-friendly (TSA approved carry-on)

Smartwool Ph.D. Pro Endurance Socks

Ankle injuries are one of the most common issues among runners, from swelling and sprains to tendon inflammation and ligament tears. Why does this happen? When your foot hits the ground as you run, your ankles absorb and reduce the impact forces. The running posture allows your knees, hips, and ankles to work together and absorb many times your body weight. 

There are two steps to this process:

  • Your toes move nearer to your shin and pass along the impact shock to your knees and hips
  • The elastic recoil courtesy of the Achilles tendon causes plantar flexion, i.e. your toes move away from your body once more and push you both forward and upward

Your ankles lock and unlock to allow these changes in movement and absorb impact. This brings us to the Smartwool Ph.D. Pro Endurance Socks and the smart design that will protect one of the most vulnerable yet overlooked parts of your body.

What does it do?

Designed in collaboration with endurance athlete and coach Rob Krar, the Smartwool Ph.D. Pro Endurance Socks boast a 4 Degree Elite Fit System, the patented Smartwool technology that is designed with an ankle flex zone, and a secure fit with minimal slippage. The Shred Shield technology decreases regular wear and tear making them extremely durable. 

Targeted sole cushioning protects your ankle from overexposure to stresses on rugged terrain while minimizing bulk.  The Smartwool Ph.D. Pro Endurance Socks use high-quality materials with 57% Merino Wool and 38% Nylon, along with 4% Elastane and a minimal Polyester percentage so you can machine wash them. 

Who needs this?

Is one of the best running accessories for men and women who want to run on rough or uneven trails. It is also a great pair for professionals who train throughout the week and are at risk of overexerting their ankles.

2XU Calf Guard

Top on the list of the best running accessories is the 2XU Calf Guard. Designed by experts, these guards tightly hold the calf muscle while you train and run, reducing the repeated vibrations that often cause muscle tears and shin splints. You also have the freedom to pair this item with your favorite brand or type of socks. Plus, you can easily wear this calf guard under a wetsuit for a competition. 

What does it do?

The 2XU Calf Guard is made using high-quality Invista Lycra that clings to your muscle, providing optimum support. It’s lightweight and won’t hamper your movement. In fact, the material is quick-drying and facilitates sweat removal, while the flatlock seam prevents chafing.

Not only is it great protection for your muscles while running, but the graduated compression even helps with post-run recovery. Overall, this item will help you avoid injuries resulting from overworking or overstraining muscles that professional runners often face.

Who needs this?

Perfect for runners of all ages and performance levels, the 2XU Calf Guard and Calf Sleeves are high-quality products that can save you from a world of pain. While the fabric for the guards is made using 80% Nylon and 20% Elastane, the fabric for the sleeves uses 72% Nylon and 28% Elastane, making the latter better at recovery. Both items are unisex so you should definitely check these out. 

2XU Elite MCS Compression Calf Guards, Black/Gold, Small
  • Moisture-wicking PWX flex fabric with 70D Elastane + MCS compression delivers powerful support for shins and calf muscles
  • Invista LYCRA adds the right amount of stretch for exceptional fit
  • Graduated compression increases circulation to minimize fatigue and improve recovery
  • Flat lock seams reduce chafing and irritation
  • moisture-wicking properties keep odors and sweat in check

The Best Running Accessories For Comfort

Shefit Ultimate Sports Bra

When it comes to finding the best running accessories for women a good sports bra is a must. The Shefit Ultimate Sports Bra is a four-time editor’s choice winner by Runner’s World so it’s designed to meet all your needs. Available in 10 size options this adjustable Sports Bra will make running discomfort a thing of the past.

What does it do?

Perfect for athletes of all body types and cup sizes, the Shefit Ultimate Sports Bra provides 33 percent more support than other leading brands that do not cater to the specific needs of the female runner. 

The two-way stretch fabric offers a high level of support while minimizing bounce. Contoured seams come with removable pads so you can choose to place or remove them according to your preferences. Additionally, the Power Mesh lining in the seamed cups provides extreme comfort and minimizes chafing.

Who needs this?

The customer reviews for the Shefit Ultimate Sports Bra speak for themselves. This bra will let you run farther, jump higher and push past all previous limits. It is perfect for all body types and is especially useful for women with larger cup sizes who require a high level of support and control in their athletic wear. This product will not disappoint.

Garmin Forerunner 45

In the world of running, smartwatches are all the rage. And with good reason. These nifty gadgets can help you measure, record, and review your body’s real-time response to changes in training routine and exercise regimen. If you want to run competitively or perform at a high level you need to know what works and what doesn’t. The Garmin Forerunner 45 does exactly that.

What does it do?

The Garmin Forerunner 45 offers a lot of nifty features. It keeps track of all the basic variables such as pace, time, distance, and heart rate. But it also lets you connect to your phone wirelessly and keep track of your schedule, calls, or emergency notifications. Now you may be thinking, these are all features available in any smartwatch. And you’re right. 

What sets the Garmin Forerunner 45 apart from its competition are the features it offers competitive runners in the intermediate and advanced categories. These include training tools like stress tracking, energy monitoring, and in-built coaching software that offers adaptive training advice on the go. The easy-to-use watch lets you adjust the display to showcase any permutation of variables and there’s even an interval training setting. 

Finally, you can link your watch to entertainment apps like Spotify and Apple Music, or training apps like Strava to get the most favorable conditions for your run.

Who needs this?

This item is perfect for all users from the busy professional who wants to multi-task on their run, to the competitive runner who wants to keep track of their stats. If you’re someone who’s reached an intermediate running level and is feeling stuck, the Garmin Forerunner 45 will help you break past the stagnation and move to higher levels of speed and stamina. 

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Garmin Forerunner 45, 42mm Easy-to-use GPS Running Watch with Coach Free Training Plan Support, Black
  • Gps running watch with Garmin Coach training plan support
  • Easy to use running watch estimates heart rate at the wrist and features GPS to track your pace, distance, intervals and more
  • Works with free Garmin coach adaptive training plans that bring expert, personalized coaching right to your wrist
  • Connected features include smart notifications for incoming texts and calls, automatic uploads to our Garmin connect online community, live tracking and controls for the music playing on your paired compatible smartphone
  • Safety and tracking Features include incident detection (during select activities) which sends your real time location to emergency contacts through your paired compatible smartphone

Spibelt Running Belt

While it’s tempting to set off on your run empty-handed it is seldom a good idea. At any rate, you’ll need to carry some basics, a phone, house and car keys, credit cards, and identification. So what do you do? The Spibelt Runner Belt is a great way to leave the house prepared without having to deal with the discomfort of a heavy backpack. 

What does it do?

Available in a range of color options, the Spibelt Runner Belt is a lightweight pack that can fit a large phone, android, or iPhone, along with several other items. The soft elastic is designed to prevent chafing and the waistband is easily adjustable. You can keep it at a loose 47 inches or tighten it up to 24 inches. 

If you keep the belt at the smallest point of your waist and clasp it snugly it won’t bounce or affect your run at all. Alternatively, you can even flip it around so it rests at the base of your spine and doesn’t interfere with your forward motion. Many users find this a lot more comfortable.   

Who needs this?

The Spibelt Runner Belt is a solid choice for any runners who dislike leaving the house without their essentials and only need a pack that is big enough to carry their phone. The minimal bounce and lack of chafing are what make this design a customer favorite.

SPIbelt Running Belt Original Pocket, No-Bounce Waist Bag for Runners, Athletes Men and Women, fits Smartphones iPhone 6 7 8 X, Workout Fanny Pack, Expandable Sport Pouch, Adjustable, Pink
  • Bounce free with sturdy glides and buckle for even the most active users
  • Secure, expandable low-profile pocket compatible with phones up to 6 ½" long including the iPhone 6, Nexus 6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy Note 34
  • Fits waist size 24" through 47"

Flipbelt

Not all runners are minimalists. Perhaps you want to leave your home with more than your phone and keys. In that case, the Flipbelt is the running accessory for you. The best part about this item is that you can carry multiple items and it won’t interfere with your run.

What does it do?

The Flipbelt comes with 4 slot openings which are great for runners who want to be prepared for anything. You can keep your sunscreen, phone, keys, lip balm, and even your EpiPen in these slots. Additionally, the standard Flipbelt looks like a black band so when it rests on your waist it will blend into your running outfit. 

There are 9 size and 13 color options so you can pick one to match your running attire. Since there are no buckles you won’t have to worry about chafing. The snug fit prevents uncomfortable bouncing. Plus, all the Flipbelts are machine washable so it’s extremely easy to take care of them.

Who needs this?

Runners who want to carry multiple items will benefit from the Flipbelt. It fits snugly against the band of your trousers or pants so if you get a color that matches your outfit the belt won’t be visible to strangers.

FlipBelt Running Belt for Phones, Storage Running Waist Pack, Made & Designed in USA
  • Convenience – This Patented Running Belt Keeps Your Valuables Within Arm'S Reach By Using Four Slide-In Pockets That Stretch To Fit Even Larger Phones, Including Many Of The Latest Largest-Sized Iphones And Androids (Confirm Sizing Before Ordering)
  • Versatility – The Belt Features Ample Enough Space For Valuables Various Items, Such As Plus-Sizedincluding Your Phones, Keys, Money, Headphones, Energy Bars And More
  • Comfort – The Tubular Band Fits Women And Men Of All Shapes And Sizes. Zero Fasteners Eliminate Chafing, And A Moisture-Wicking Design Prevents Items From Bouncing While Running
  • Original Design – The Flipbelt Is The Original Tubular Running And Fitness Belt. Often Imitated, Never Equaled, Its Intelligent And Innovative Pocket Technology Kickstarted A New Category Of Running Accessories

Water Bottle

As a runner, hydration is key. You can’t escape it. But carrying a water bottle on your run isn’t always comfortable. Luckily there are a few designs that cater to runners’ needs. One great design is the Nathan SpeedDraw Bottle which can carry 18 ounces and is insulated. 

While the bottle will keep your water cool it is a handheld design. However, it does come with a thumb hold, so you won’t have to grip the bottle during your run. Additionally, the race cap lets you drink easily and the materials are reflective making the bottle easily visible at night. 

The small bag that the bottle fits into comes with a zippered pouch. You can use this to carry your phone, keys, ID, and other essential items. 

Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask, Handheld Running Water Bottle. Grip Free for Runners, Hiking etc
  • STAYS FRESH – 18oz double-wall insulated and hi-visibility reflective hydration flask with race cap that offers quick burst of fluid. Stays cooler longer!
  • GRIP FREE – Fully adjustable hand strap with thumbhole enables grip free running.
  • STORAGE – Large expandable zippered pocket carries phone, keys, ID and other running essentials (iPhone, Samsung, Android and all major phone brands)
  • SAFETY – Integrated reflective fabric offers 360 degree reflectivity for visibility in low light conditions.

The Best Running Accessories For Night Runners

If you’re planning to run at night or early in the morning when it’s relatively dark you need to make certain adjustments to your outfit. The same is the case if you’re running in rain or fog when people’s visibility is low. When you’re running on the street a car driver may not notice you in a black, matte outfit.

Using clothes and accessories that are brightly colored or use a reflective material lets other people, especially drivers on the road, see you. This is incredibly important for your safety.

Brooks Carbonite Hat

What does it do?

With its white base and yellow reflective strips, the Brooks Carbonite Hat is a great accessory for those rainy days or late-night runs. The neon design will let cyclists and drivers see you coming from 600 feet away. Plus, the wide brim will keep the rain and wind out of your face. 

The lightweight polyester material is also great for wicking away sweat so you’ll be comfortable throughout your run. You can also easily adjust the sliding strap at the back to fit the cap to your head. 

Nathan Streak Reflective Vest

What does it do?

When it comes to visibility there’s nothing better than reflective gear. And the Nathan Streak Reflective Vest in its neon yellow reflective mesh fabric certainly does the trick. It guarantees visibility in the dark or rain up to 1200 feet away. 

Overall, the vest has 6 frontal panels, 3 back panels, and 2 on the sides, offering a 360-degree reflectivity. Since the vest is adjustable and lightweight it fits snuggly next to your skin and doesn’t interfere with your run. Simply pull on the two hook and loop patches near the bottom of the vest. 

Nathan Streak Reflective Vest, Large/X-Large
  • 1,200-foot visibility and 360-degree reflectivity
  • Perfect for morning or nighttime activities
  • Form-fitting shape
  • Full range of motion without interrupting arm swing
  • Ideal for Night Running/Jogging

FAQs

What Accessories Does a Runner Need? 

It all depends on how seriously you take running, A good GPS running watch and a proper pair of running shoes are vital. You may also find investing in a foam roller a good idea. 

What Is a Good Gift for a Runner? 

With so many different kinds of running accessories available, finding a suitable gift for a runner can prove challenging. We would recommend you buy a keen runner either a foam roller, running belt, or a good GPS running watch.

Do I Need All these Running Accessories? 

No! Yes, you can buy plenty of great accessories, but you don’t need them all. You should choose the ones that will help make running easier and more enjoyable. 

What Should I Carry When Out Running? 

It all depends on how long your run is going to be. If you are just going out for a quick run around the block, you just need a good pair of running shoes and some comfortable clothing. You may want to include something you can keep your house keys and phone in. 

However, if you intend to go out for a longer run, consider investing in a lightweight backpack to keep your keys, wallet, food, and water.

Should I Take Water On a Run? 

Keeping hydrated is vital to your health and performance. If you intend to go out for a long run, then taking water with you is crucial. Carrying a bottle of water should suffice for just a run around the block or park. 

However, if you intend to go out for a trail run, invest in a backpack with a water reservoir and a tube to drink as you are running.

What Distance Should I Bring Water On a Run? 

As a rule of thumb when it comes to consuming fluids, if you are going out for a 20-minute run, you should carry at least four to six ounces of water. 

However, if you run a mile in around eight minutes, then you should be carrying around six to eight ounces of water.

What Does a Beginner Runner Need?

Along with comfortable clothing and a good pair of running shoes, a beginning runner should invest in a good-quality GPS watch. 

Such watches help you to keep an eye on your heart rate and see how your running is improving. This is because such devices enable you to track and monitor the pace at which you are running.

You will find that the ones produced by Garmin and Fitbit are great. But if you have an Apple Watch or one of the Samsung Galaxy watches, these also come with features that allow you to monitor how you are doing when out for a run. 

Conclusion

Overall, there are many different kinds of running accessories designed to cater to the needs of different kinds of runners. Some runners find the idea of a GPS watch frivolous, while others can’t live without their smartwatches. And of course, not all runners choose to go out at night or in the rain so reflective gear is a nice requirement. The trick is to find the items best suited to make your running easier.

So explore your options and good luck shopping!

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