Written by Neil Bryant for the URC
I’ve been running for a few years now, and I have tried lots of different bits of kit. A huge amount of stuff has either been no good for me, or just doesn’t seem to get used even though I like it.
I thought it would be good to make a list of all the gear I have really liked and had a great amount of use out of. This list will occasionally be altered to reflect any new favourites I discover. This list is totally genuine and personal.
All the purchase links are through to Amazon and the URC will take a small commission from each sale.
I will start with my favourite and certainly my most worn item...
The North Face windproof gilet (finishers gift from the Trans Grancanaria many years ago)
I never owned a gilet till I got this one. I didn’t see the point of them to be honest. But it was a gift for finishing TGC so I took it. It is very thin, so is miniscule and can pretty much be carried without even being aware of it. This is one of the great points about it. But why would I want a windproof without arms or a hood? I buried it in my pack and forgot about it.
Then one day out on a run, I got quite cold and so tried it on. My core warmed up immediately as it kept the cutting wind from chilling me. It also meant that as I continued to work at a high level, the lack of arms meant I wasn’t really overheating. It was exactly what I needed at that point, and since then it has been worn on every single winter run and when I go ski touring. It is perfect! I tried to find a similar gilet from The North Face but couldn’t find one as I got mine about a decade ago now. I now have a new windproof gilet from Cimalp.
Check it out here
Coros Apex Pro
I have had a number of GPS watches over the years, and as much as I hate to admit it, I feel a bit lost if I have to run without one due to lack of charge or something. My Coros Apex Pro only ever comes off to be charged, (and seeing as the Coros watches have such an incredible battery life this is very occasional!) so it needs to look good, be comfortable and needs to work really smoothly. Along with the battery life, the speed that it syncs with the app and also the speed it finds satellites are strong features that help make this a favourite for me.
I wrote a review a while back. Read that here.
Buff or similar
An incredibly simple design that is loved the world over. I don’t think I ever train without one as they are so adaptable. During the winter for warmth and the summer for sun protection and holding ice cubes or soaking in cold water when it’s really hot. I generally have more than one as they are so useful!
Salomon Pulse Belt
I don’t need to carry a race vest on pretty much all my training runs, but often do need to carry just a few small items plus my phone. For me, the best solution for this is the Pulse Belt by Salomon. A stretchy belt you have to step into, it holds all I generally need for my runs and doesn’t bounce or give me a sweaty back. Perfect!
Kahtoola Micro Spikes
So, this item will get hardly any use from most people, but when it is needed it is an incredibly effective piece of kit! I have had my micro spikes for around a decade and they have been amazing. Bomb proof, Surprisingly grippy on the toughest icy footing. The only issue is that they can get uncomfortable if worn on hard surfaces for long periods, so ideally need to be removed when not needed. Kahtoola do make a slightly mellower set called the EXOSpikes which will still provide plenty of bite, yet be more comfortable as they are a little less aggressive.
Inov8 Race Ultra Pro 2 in 1 Vest
Since Salomon came out with the vest design, I have mostly been wearing theirs as they make excellent packs. That was until I got my hands on this incredibly adaptable and comfortable vest from Inov8.
It has multiple options to carry bottles, carry poles and has an extra pouch that you can attach for those days where you need more gear. The pack that does it all!
I wrote a review a while back. Read it here
I try many different shoes, and they are more often than not, good these days. Occasionally there are durability issues as the weight drops too far, but can I pick any shoe in particular that has suited me and my running best?
For me the most flawless shoe I have used over the last few years has been the La Sportiva Kaptiva. Remember, this is very personal so people will certainly disagree! It was (Mine died after around 900km) incredibly comfortable, with an agreeable drop, a great grippy tread and excellent durability!
Read my review here