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Best Running Gear of 2022

Hit the ground running with recommendations for footwear, hydration, and apparel from our running experts
Best Running Gear of 2022
Roll up the sleeves and unbutton a few front buttons to transform the Mountain Hardwear Canyon into a perfect after work trail running top.
Credit: Justin Simoni
Tuesday July 19, 2022
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We have hands-on experience with almost every type of gear you may need as a runner, and even some that you don't (but that is fun to have anyway). We compiled that breadth of knowledge into this lineup, complete with all of our wishlist running accessories. Shoes, jackets, shorts, or foam rollers — you name it, we've tested it, and we have recommendations on which ones perform at the top of their class. So whether you are a couch to 5k runner who's looking to buy their first pair of running shoes, or a seasoned marathoner looking to add in a bit of cross training to your exercise regime, this list will help you find the gear that is best suited to your running habits and lifestyle.


running gear - the signature cloudtec sole design absorbs energy leading to a...
The signature Cloudtec sole design absorbs energy leading to a comfortable landing but isn't noticeably cushier than today's other traditional shoe designs.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Running Footwear


Whether you're getting ready to take your first steps around the block, training for a marathon, or leaving the pavement behind to hit the trails, finding the right pair of shoes is the first critical step to getting ready to run. Collectively, we've spent many hours and covered thousands of miles in running shoes, so let us guide you through our top pics for every running style.

Running Shoes


If most of your runs take you along smoothly paved pathways or city sidewalks, road running shoes are what you need to keep your joints and ligaments protected from the firm, unforgiving concrete surfaces, and asphalt. Within this category, different shoes are great for different types of training, but here are a few of our favorite styles:
Best Overall Men's Running Shoe

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2

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Great Value for Short-Distance Tempo and Racing

Saucony Kinvara 13

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Running Shoes for Women


As a lady, you may prefer a shoe fit that is women's-specific, or maybe the fun color options draw you in. Whatever the reason, there are lots of women's running shoes to choose from. These are the ones that performed the best in our hands-on testing:
Best Overall Women's Running Shoe

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22- Women's

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Best Bang for the Buck

Saucony Kinvara 13 - Women's

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Trail Running Shoes


If your favorite runs take you over the rocks and roots of a single-track winding through the forest, a solid trail shoe will keep your feet protected from sharp objects and added stability in the sole can help prevent ankle rolls. These options are our go-to's for trail running:
Best Overall Trail Running Shoe

Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3

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Best Bang for the Buck

Brooks Divide 2

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Trail Running Shoes for Women


Although you do not have to limit yourself to selecting a women's specific trail shoe, there is something to be said about a shoe tailored to your anatomy. Women's shoes typically have a narrower heel shape and a roomy toe box that accommodates common differences between men's and women's feet. The shoes below are our favorite trail running shoes for women:
Best Overall Trail Running Shoe for Women

Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 - Women's

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Best Overall for Technical Terrain

Dynafit Feline SL - Women's

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Running Socks


The socks you choose to layer underneath are just as important as the shoes on your feet. The perfect pair of running socks can keep your feet cool, dry, and blister-free through training. There are our top recommendations for any runner:
Best Overall Running Sock

Balega Blister Resister Quarter

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Best Bang for the Buck

Swiftwick Aspire Zero

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running gear - our favorite running shirts are adaptable and work in a variety of...
Our favorite running shirts are adaptable and work in a variety of conditions and temperatures. Keeping us comfortable both in valleys and on ridgelines is a priority and the BD Rhythm did just that.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Essential Running Clothing


There's no such thing as bad weather — only bad clothes. Most die-hard runners will go out in just about any conditions, and it is essential to have the proper attire to keep you cool (or warm) no matter where you live or what time of year it is. However, even if you wouldn't place yourself in the "die-hard" category, a perfectly light and airy pair of shorts can make your run much more enjoyable. These are the pieces we would choose to concoct the perfect running outfit so that you can focus less on your clothing and more on pounding out the miles.

Running Shorts for Men


Some of the most important features of running shorts are comfort and breathability. We ran through dozens of men's running shorts and looked at these two factors alongside each pair's overall functionality and fit. Many of the styles we tried have different fabric and length options so that you can tailor your pair to your specific needs. Here are some men's shorts that we love:
Best Overall Men's Running Shorts

On Lightweight Short

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Best Shorts on a Budget

Under Armour Launch SW 7"

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Running Shorts for Women


Women's shorts should serve the same purpose as men's; keeping you light and comfortable, mile after mile. Although not always true, most running shorts made for women have a shorter inseam and be cut to better fit female bodies. Our lady testers ran in more than a dozen pairs, and these are their preferred styles:
Best Daily Driver Women's Running Short

Rabbit Dirt Pounders 2.0 - Women's

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Best for Long Runs

Lululemon Speed Up

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Running Shirts


Running shirts can generally be considered gender neutral, but the styles that are not made specifically for women have a looser/straighter cut and more room in the shoulders. However, the essential factor is that your shirt is made from moisture-wicking material and does not chafe or rub with repetitive movement. These top-performing running shirts are the ones we recommend to our friends:
Best Overall Running Shirt for Men

Black Diamond Rhythm Tee

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Best Bang for the Buck

Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily

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Running Shirts for Women


Running shirts built for women have a different cut, often more form-fitting, and sometimes come in brighter color schemes. Similar to unisex/men's versions, the best shirts are made from synthetic fabrics that are comfortable to wear and quickly wick away sweat and other moisture. Here are our top choices:
Best Overall Running Shirt for Women

Outdoor Research Echo - Women's

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A High-Performing Runner-Up

Salomon XA Tee - Women's

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running gear - we spent a lot of time trying to stuff the full flasks back into...
We spent a lot of time trying to stuff the full flasks back into their pockets.
Credit: Ally Meller

Gear to Help You Go the Distance


All you really need to start running is a pair of shoes and some comfortable clothes; that's the beauty of the sport. However, aside from those basics listed above, some additional items can improve your runs and help you stay motivated to get out consistently. While not strictly necessary, accessories that help keep you warm, hydrated, and on the move can be helpful in your training.

Running Jackets


As much as we'd like, sometimes we are not gifted with our ideal running weather, and we must layer up to stay comfortable outside. Our competitive selection of running jackets will keep you warm without trapping sweat or weighing you down.
Best Overall Running Jacket

Arc'teryx Incendo Hoody

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Best Bang for the Buck

Brooks Canopy

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Running Jackets for Women


Running jackets with a women's-specific fit tend to be smaller in the shoulders and more form fitting throughout. Fit aside, breathability, weather resistance, and comfort are still the most important things to look for in your jacket, and the styles below fit the bill:
Best Overall Women's Running Jacket

Smartwool Merino Sport Ultra Light Hoody - Women's

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Best Bang for the Buck

Salomon Agile Full-Zip Hoodie - Women's

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Running Hydration Packs


For shorter distances, hydrating before and after you run is enough. However, when the miles start adding up, you'll want to bring your water with you. These hydration packs made specifically for running allow you to bring along what you need in a hands-free, bounce-free package.
Best Overall Running Hydration Pack for Men

Nathan Pinnacle 12L

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Best Bang for the Buck

REI Swiftland Hydro

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Running Hydration Packs for Women


Due to differences in anatomy, this is one of the few categories where a women's specific fit makes a big difference. Key changes include more room in the bust, narrower shoulder straps, and a shorter cut. Out of all the women's hydration packs we tested, these are the ones that made us feel the most comfortable and prepared.
Best Overall Running Hydration Vest for Women

Nathan Pinnacle 12L - Women's

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Best Bang for the Buck

Nathan TrailMix 7L - Women's

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GPS Watches


Tracking your miles and pace is a good way to monitor training progress. While there are other ways to do this through apps or other programs, a GPS you can wear on your wrist is the ultimate convenience. These are some of our favorite GPS watches we had the pleasure of using:
Best Overall GPS Watch

Garmin Fenix 7

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Best Bang for the Buck

Coros Apex Pro

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running gear - the treadmills in this review were all put through the same rigorous...
The treadmills in this review were all put through the same rigorous testing process.
Credit: Jason Peters

Cross Training and Recovery Gear


Just as important as the work you put in is the time you give your body to rest and recover. However, "rest" does not mean doing nothing; there are ways you can actively promote muscle recovery, such as stretching and massage. Every good training regimen also includes a cross-training activity of your choice. Whether biking, yoga, or something else, there is gear to go along, and you will see our recommendations below.

Treadmills


Sometimes it is not always possible to run outdoors, or maybe the treadmill in the corner of your spare room serves as the inspiration (or a guilt trip) to get your miles in. Either way, a reliable treadmill is a great way to train on days when you can't make it outside. These are the machines that we prefer:
Best Overall Treadmill

NordicTrack Commercial 1750

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Best Bang for Your Buck

XTerra Fitness TRX3500

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Exercise Bikes


Biking is a great way to give your knees a break from the repetitive pounding of your daily run while still building cardio and muscle strength. These exercise bike machines ranked at or near the top of our list:
Best Overall Exercise Bike

Bowflex VeloCore 16

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Best Connected Spin Bike Without a Screen

Schwinn IC4

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Budget Exercise Bikes


If the machines above seem a little pricey, don't worry, you can still get a good workout on a less expensive product. These budget exercise bike options may be more within reach while still providing an excellent alternative to running on your off days.
Best Overall Exercise Bike

Schwinn IC4

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Best Bang for Your Buck Spin Bike

Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike

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Foam Rollers


For those experiencing knots and tightness in their muscles, the perfect foam roller can help release tension, relieve soreness, and even increase flexibility. Here are a few that seemed to hit the spot every time we used them:
Best Overall Foam Roller

TriggerPoint Grid

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Best Vibrating Roller

Premvida Arrow Vibrating

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Muscle Roller Sticks


For smaller jobs, one of these muscle roller sticks may do the job better. You can target sore spots with more precision and have a bit more control over the amount of pressure you apply.
Best Overall Muscle Roller Stick

The Stick Travel Stick

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Best Bang for the Buck

Kamileo Muscle Roller

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running gear - while our field performance test was mainly spent on the bike, it...
While our field performance test was mainly spent on the bike, it also involved a bit of trail running, hiking, and backcountry skiing.
Credit: Zach Wick

Other Accessories


A little bit of this and a little bit of that, these accessories are odds and ends that aren't 100% necessary but always seem to come in handy during a run. Sun protection is an essential parts of taking care of your body. These accessories make maintaining a consistent and healthy running routine easier, keeping you on your feet and out the door.

Sport Sunglasses


If you are outside for prolonged periods of time, it can take a toll on your eyes. Sunglasses are vital in protecting your vision over the long term, but if you try to run in any old pair, they will probably bounce off your face or slip down your nose in just a few minutes. A snug fitting pair of sport sunglasses will stay put and often offer more complete protection than standard glasses.
Best Overall Sport Sunglasses

Oakley Sutro

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Best Value for Women

Sunski Dipseas

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Sunglasses for Women


For the ladies out there that don't need as secure fitting frames and would prefer a more stylish silhouette, this selection of women's sunglasses has some options that are runner friendly.
Best Overall Sunglasses for Women

Ray-Ban Erika

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Best Bang for the Buck

Native Eyewear Acadia

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running gear - a plush platform can feel dull and less responsive at times.
A plush platform can feel dull and less responsive at times.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Hit the Road (Or Trails)!


Running isn't for everyone, but those who dedicate themselves to the sport usually do so with an enthusiasm that confounds non-runners. The more you run, the more you want to run. It doesn't take long to recognize the importance of having the right gear to help you push through mile after mile. We hope these recommendations will help you narrow down the expansive list of products available and get you out of your chair and bobbing down the trail soon.

Abriah Wofford & Nick Bruckbauer

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