Shoes That Match Your Technique
It may be tempting to just slip on your beaten-up Stan Smiths and hit the pavement, but unless you like shin splints, you need to rethink your footwear.
“Men should look for a lacing system that helps tie the foot into the shoe, meaning the toes are supported and do not get cramped to the front of the shoe when running,” says George Sullivan, founder of The Sole Supplier.
“Its also great to have your feet tested by a professional on a running machine that monitors your stride. This can show you if you have a unique way of running or if you are landing more on your heel or ball of feet.” Then you can pick shoes to suit your style.
If your town’s lacking pro running shops, Sullivan recommends an all-round pair like Nike’s Lunarglide Flash 7. The knitted upper is lightweight, breathable and comfortable, as well as water-repellent and reflective to keep you dry and visible wherever – and whenever – you’re running.
Nike Lunarglide Flash 7, available at Nike, priced £115.
A Shirt That Won’t Rip You Off
Damp tops and endless miles shred your nipples. So ditch the cotton tee you got free at your gym. Specialist fabrics wick away sweat to keep you cool, but don’t get sodden, so you’re comfortable enough to finish that tempo run.
“Most of the year, a safe option is a short-sleeved tee, preferably made of dri-release or a similar technical fabric,” says Bill Byrne, co-founder of activewear label Iffley Road. “A zip neck is helpful to regulate temperature.”
Considering it takes some punishment from washing machine and weather, dark colours are best to avoid it looking battered too fast. The brand’s Sidmouth T-shirt in navy blue eschews neon logos and boasts dri-release technology, to keep you just as cool as your new tee looks.
Men’s Half-Zip Tee, available at Iffley Road, priced £70.
A Watch That Motivates You To Get Running
Tempting as it may be to put your Patek’s chronograph to the test, we’d advise swapping it for something more rugged. And a watch that keeps tabs on your progress will motivate you towards new goals.
Unlike your everyday timepiece, this is where you want the bells and whistles. Look for something that tracks your route, measures your heart rate, links up with your phone and packages all the stats up into easily digestible charts.
Fitbit’s Charge HR does the job admirably, and wirelessly syncs with your laptop to give you a full report on your progress. It’s also sleek enough to pass at work if you forget to take it off.
Fitbit Charge HR Heart Rate and Activity Wristband, available at Amazon, priced £92.99.
Tights That Beef You Up
If rugby players can wear tights, so can you. As well as picking up athleisure points, they’ll support your body in the place that needs its most: your legs.
“You need some degree of compression to support the leg muscles and different weight fabric for different parts of the leg,” says Tim Soar, creative director at his eponymous activewear brand.
“Look for a thicker fabric on the front thigh then a thinner fabric on the back and bottom of the leg. This will give the best combination of warmth and breathability.” While you want for Soar’s December release, start with a low cost pair, like Under Armour’s Evo leggings, while you’re still finding your running feet.
Men’s Evo Compression Leggings In Black, available at Under Armour, priced £35.
A Little Word In Your Ear
When you hit the wall, you need something to push you through the final miles. Whether that’s Jay Z or Beyoncé, an upbeat playlist is as instrumental in getting you moving as the shoes on your feet.
To avoid your commuter cans taking on the wrong kind of funk, seek out a pair that won’t absorb sweat. “You also want to look for headphones with an inner ear attachment,” says Thomas Bisson, founder of SuperGene Sports Performance Coaching. “It will help prevent them from slipping or falling out, plus it adds to the comfort.”
Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones, available at Bose, priced £114.95.