So…. A little about the kit I run in just in case you are interested.
I have few pairs of shoes depending on the situation. My main road shoes were bought a little before VLM2011, and are the delightful Mizuno Wave Rider 14. These shoes are super cushioned, ideal for Neutral/Slight Underpronating runners. Once on the foot they feel light as a feather which is impressive given the clear level of cushioning on offer. The toe box seems nice and wide, and I believe that the only blisters I have received wearing these shoes are more a result of my bizarre toes than the shoe itself.
Don’t they look beautiful?? :-) Recently I have been focusing on pulling my strike further forward on my foot, going from a heel striker to a mid/fore foot runner, and I have found these shoes to be very comfortable and supportive, and could not recommend them highly enough – well, providing your running style suits them of course.
For those days when I fancy a change – I also have some trail trainers so I can hit the woodland paths around my house. The feel of trail shoes is very different, offering little in the way of support – so I can’t run in them for too long, but I have found that trail running is more about time than distance, and it does help to improve running strength and pro-prioception, which is a good thing – especially for all the little supportive muscles in the legs and feet.
Being the item between your shoes and your feet – and a cause of blisters – these are the second most important kit item. My current favourites in the cold running conditions are these ‘Hilly’ Mono Skin Off-Road socks. Padded in all the right places and cosy warm enough to combat the snow and ice.
I actually received a pair of these socks as a finishers gift at the 2010 Dalby Dash.
But when the weather picks up a bit – I will be straight back into these bad boys – the socks I have always worn when running, because I think my parents bought my first pair for me – and I am not a fan of trying something new when what you have already works.
These socks are well padded on the bottom, and airy on the top, with structured ribs to support the foot arch.
I am also a big fan of compression socks. Sometimes I will go on every run wearing them, although with my shoes I find them a little thin, so I have to also wear a thin pair of ankle socks with them in order to run comfortably. I think they do what they’re meant to do, but who’s to say that is not entirely based upon a placebo effect.
I also will wear compression socks after a hard run when I feel my legs have done a lot of hard work. Again, it may be a subliminal thing, but I think it helps. This paper certainly suggests that there is little scientific evidence that it works, but there seems to be a new report out every week, so take it all with a pinch of salt.
In the very cold weather like we had in the UK early this year, I wear a cosy pair of thermal running tights – Lycra on the outside, brushed fleecy stuff on the inside.
These tights are good quality for the price, although the leg length is a little odd. When the weather picks up a little I have another pair of MoreMile tights which are just normal tights, but despite both being ‘M’ sized, the thermal tights are about 3″ longer.
I have recently seen some running tights that cost £100, and whilst the blurb suggests a very valid reason as to why they may be this expensive, and reviews back up this idea – I just could not justify the cost at all. I am more than happy with my £15 tights, and would not hesitate to recommend them
I would much rather be wearing my shorts though, even in the coldest weather people still look at me funny when running in tights, and for the money, I have not had any problems again with the MoreMile range. At the moment I am particularly using the ‘Zorbo‘ baggy short. Comfortable, light, well fitting. No pockets, but I don’t carry anything really, and it does have a little pouch in the lining for a key if I need to make use of that.
Tops are kind of your call – I have a compression top to stop my belly wobbling uncontrollably when running, but any t-shirt/top combo that keeps you suitably warm, and wicks sweat away will do the trick admirably – I would not recommend running in a cotton top!!!!
One of the benefits of working for a shorts timing company over the last season and a half means that I have a wide variety of wicking sports tops for free!!
Not a pleasant subject, I know. But one of which I am all too aware – I suffer partciularly in um… the groin area. Not pleasant – but others all suffer from runners nipple, and chafing around the arms due to tight fitting vests. The refuge that I have found from chafing is Natures Relief. This tub has lasted me ages – It smells pleasant – and it has cut out the chafe completely. Could not recommend it highly enough!!