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The summer of 2021, when vaccines paved the way for vacations and life felt momentarily normal, is drawing to a close. But the imminent end of the season did not prevent us from racking up kilometers despite unbearable heat, sweltering humidity and unpredictable weather. We always find ourselves waking up at dawn, putting on a pair of shoes with half-closed eyes, and looking for them when everyone is deeply asleep.
To help us conquer one of the toughest seasons for running, we’ve put some extra thought into our gear. While there is no holistic approach, everything from lightweight clothing and sunscreen to hydration packs can play a central role. Below is the must-have racing gear that helps us maximize every mile we cover in the last few weeks of summer.
Lululemon Pace Breaker Shorts
One of our favorite products from Lulu, the Pace Breaker Short, deserves a multisport medal for its incredible versatility. From morning runs to evening yoga, the four-way stretch of Swift fabric maintains comfort through every activity. Although he also enters an unlined version, we prefer the OOM (Out of Mind) lining of this one for its support and its integrated phone pocket.
Twilight Tracksmith T-shirt
The ultralight material of the Twilight Tee is the next best option for those who don’t like running shirtless. Its silky finish has antimicrobial properties to fight unwanted odors, and it dries quickly thanks to a series of small holes that promote air circulation. It also doesn’t hurt that Tracksmith is based in Boston, where humidity reigns supreme, so the company knows a thing or two about running in hot weather.
Darn Tough Ultralight Running Socks
Too often we blame our shoes for sore blisters and hot feet when socks are the real culprit. Breathable, sweat-wicking socks like Darn Tough’s ultralight running socks keep your feet dry and cool on the hot pavement. The nylon and merino wool blend also has antimicrobial properties, ensuring each pair stays fresh when you’re too tired to wash them.
Hoka Un Un Mach 4
There are more running shoes on the market than there are feet to fill them with, but the Mach 4 stands out as a light, responsive crowd pleaser. Designed for runners who dedicate time to training, its sturdy Profly foam padding adds a bit of speed with every step without adding weight. Your feet will also appreciate the overrated healing collar which reduces friction on your Achilles, increasing comfort so you can push your limits.
Skinnies Sungel SPF30
This non-runny, quick-drying sunscreen won’t leave you feeling sticky while you sweat. It’s also not water-based, so you won’t need that much to cover exposed skin. We noticed a slight wax-like residue on our hands afterwards, but it wasn’t big enough to interrupt our workout. Pick it up Skinnies Conquer SPF50 if you need a little more protection.
Hydration vest Nathan Pinnacle 12L
When you go for a long run, a hydration pack is necessary to carry not only the water you will need, but also the equipment and fuel. A leader in hydration packs for decades, Nathan equips the Pinnacle Hydration Vest with 1.6L of fluid storage and enough pockets to support ultramarathoners. Its organization system makes it easy to access gear and the stretch fabric provides a secure fit, making it perfect for runs that take you away from home.
Goodr OG Sunglasses
We fell in love with Goodr when the brand launched in 2015 with a range of affordable, well-constructed, and polarized shades available in a ton of colors. You will catch us a pair of Circle G on the summer barbecue, but the OGs have a special non-slip coating, ideal for running. At $ 25, you don’t have to feel guilty every time they hit the deck or fall to the bottom of your bag, which is why runners love them so much.
Lululemon Fast and Free Run Hat Elite
Complement your sunscreen and sunglasses with Lululemon’s Fast and Free Run Hat Elite to create a barrier between you and the sun. Designed with mesh panels to increase airflow and reflective details to improve visibility, this lightweight cap offers a secure fit on runs of any length. The integrated sweatband is our favorite feature as it wicks moisture away from your skin and keeps sweat off your face.
CamelBak Quick Grip Chill portable pack
You can’t rely on the infrequent water cooler to hydrate you, especially as temperatures rise and water becomes key. Instead, carry the CamelBak Quick Grip Chill portable pack that uses a bike bottle for targeted hydration. Its soft carry strap lowers so you don’t need to use your death grip and the extra pocket holds keys or fuel.
Nuun Sports Drink Tablets
You won’t need electrolytes with every run, but longer days in the sun will burn off the energy your body needs to replenish itself. Nuun fast dissolving tablets contain minerals that can help prevent cramps after hours of sweating. Flavors like fruit punch and strawberry lemonade are flavorful and don’t contain the same artificial sweeteners found in similar energy drinks.
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
There is no supplanting of the Powerbeats Pro. These versatile headphones offer nine hours of battery life, impressive sound, and a secure fit that works with a hat or sunglasses. The heavy-duty case is designed to resist water and sweat no matter how hard you workout, and a five-minute charge provides 90 minutes of play time so you don’t wait for juice while you might sweat.
You have pushed your body to its limits and now the time has come to help it recover. Work out against aches, pains and sore muscles with the ultra-portable Theragun Mini, which offers three different speed settings and over two hours of battery life. Its compact size fits in a gym bag or a shopping bag, making it the perfect travel companion.
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