As the weather starts to get warmer, it’s not just your everyday wardrobe that should change – your training kit should too.
Whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or first time jogger upholding a resolution to get fit this year, the right running gear will not only ensure you stay comfortable as temperatures rise, but could also help take your performance to the next level.
But with so many brands on offer, where do you start? We rundown the crucial technologies and essential running garments that will keep you looking and feeling at your personal best this season.
Jawbone UP3 Fitness Band
If you don’t already have an activity tracker strapped on to your wrist, now’s the time to invest in one. While we encourage every man to have a personal trainer on speed dial, we’re aware that this might not align with every budget – so treat a smart tracker as the next best option.
The Jawbone UP3 is a durable and flexible wristband that notes your steps, exercise and overall calorie burn; monitors your heart rate and quality of sleep; and provides you with a healthy eating plan and personalised insights into helping you achieve your fitness goals.
The band handily syncs to an app on your smartphone, so you can track your daily progress while you check your twitter and Instagram feeds every morning. And it’s not just your PB that will benefit – UP identifies the best moment in your sleep cycle to wake you up, and silently vibrates within a customisable time window before your set alarm, to wake you gently from your slumber.
While many runners now favour smartwatches, you’ll find the Jawbone band not only looks more discreet, but also feels lighter and cooler on your wrist during summer.
Available at jawbone.com, priced £149.99.
Salomon Exo Pro Twinskin Shorts
Outdoor sports specialist Salomon’s Pro Twinskin Shorts feature the brand’s signature EXO technology on the undershort, to help your muscles work more efficiently on longer runs.
While they are slightly more expensive than your average pair of running shorts, it’s worth noting that these will keep you both cool and warm as needed on longer runs, thanks to the specific levels of warmth and support provided.
The Advanced Skin ACTIVE DRY technology also helps to keep your skin dry at all times, wicking sweat and moisture away from your body to the surface of the textile, where it can evaporate quicker in warmer weather.
Available at salomon.com, priced £75.
Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones
Studies have proven that music can have a positive effect on performance, acting as a positive distractor or providing you with the motivation you need to get through a workout. With that in mind, you’ll need a decent pair of sports-specific headphones to ensure you achieve the best sound quality possible.
Ask any runner and they’ll tell your their biggest gripe with headphones are unstable buds. Thankfully, Bose’s Soundsport earbuds will stay exactly where they should due to the built-in mini tips, which conform securely and comfortably to your ears’ unique shape, even during rigorous exercise.
Not only that, they’re built using sweat and water resistant hydrophobic acoustic cloth, which means you don’t need to worry about them malfunctioning at the first sign of balmy weather.
Nike Free 3.0 V6 Running Shoe
Designed to help you run more efficiently and offer the most comfortable barefoot experience, Nike launched the latest addition to its 3.0 collection earlier this year – and it’s the most sophisticated running shoe in the lineage.
Conforming to the shape of a runner’s foot, the seamless upper of the v6 contributes to the support and overall lightness of the shoe. Using Flyknit technology and a non-stretch yarn, the removal of a structured heel helps reduce the weight of the trainer and, surprisingly, offers more stability.
Available at JD Sports, priced £125.
Yurbuds LED Ergosport Armband
Rather than throwing your smartphone in your pocket, you’ll want to invest in a sports armband that will keep your hands free and your device protected. Unlike other fitness armbands, the Ergosport is made from soft, sweat-proof neoprene that will prevent chafing and ensure it doesn’t slip down your arm mid-run.
If you’re a city runner, this will be your best friend during summer – not only can you control your phone on the move thanks to the touch-sensitive cover, but it also features a reflective coating that will help keep you safe and visible on the roads.
Available at wiggle.co.uk, priced £22.49.
Darn Tough Tab No Show Light Cushion Socks
Every runner knows the importance of a good pair of sports socks, and these lightweight cushioned versions from Darn Tough are some of the best on the market.
Offering just the right amount of cushioning along the base of your foot, the seamless construction reduces blisters and the streamlined fit ensures there is no uncomfortable slipping or bunching when you hit your stride.
Crafted from fine gauge merino wool, they’re a fast-drying and breathable ‘all weather’ sock that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter, enabling you to utilise them year-round.
Available at trekitt.co.uk, priced £14.
Spy Optic Screw Sunglasses
Best known in the snow, skate and surf markets, eyewear brand Sky has recently started to produce run-focused performance options.
Offering a comfortable and pressure-free fit, the Screw frame is made from ‘Grilamid’: a nylon/plastic hybrid material that is lightweight and offers enormous flexibility. Most importantly, the lenses offer 100 per cent UV filtering so, unlike your basic high street frames, your eyes are completely protected.
And while, yes, they may not be for everyday wear, you’ll be able to employ these sunglasses across all types of outdoor pursuits – from climbing to cycling.
Available at smartbuyglasses.co.uk, priced £128.95.