One of the great things about running is that it doesn’t take a lot of THINGS, right? You just usually need a good pair of sneakers and some comfy clothes and you’re set. But of course because we live in a capitalist society (/s) there is no end to the gEaR you can buy to make running easier and more fun.
In the last year I’ve tried to cut back on the amount of stuff that I own in general (thanks, Marie Kondo!), but I’ve discovered a few basic running must-haves that I’ve ordered (and reordered) from Amazon that I’d love to share with you guys in the hopes that you might find a new favorite or two of your own.
Note: As an Amazon Associate, I make a small commission for any purchases made via the links on this page. I only share these things because I use them and can personally vouch for them – but if you really like them and want to buy them too, I’d really appreciate it if you do so through these links and support what I do here in a teeny tiny way!
The number one item on this list has to be my emotional support water bottle.
It comes with me everywhere. I prefer Nalgene because they’re virtually indestructible, affordable, can hold a huge amount of water, and come in a crazy variety of colors. I also have a sticker obsession which these bottles show off nicely. The only downside to the wide mouth on this one is that during a run it can get a little messy, but they also come in a narrow mouth version too.
The next item on the list is an 8-pack of socks that has basically made me love running again.
I spent a LOT of money on socks in my running heyday. So much money, in fact, that I used those socks for FAR longer than I probably should have. I wanted to get that cost per wear down, but ended up wearing them into flat scratchy pancakes that weren’t so much socks as they were… steel wool. I didn’t want to spend that kind of money again, but also didn’t want blisters on my heels anymore, so I caved and bought these incredibly high-rated Saucony socks (seriously, 76,000+ ratings??) and let me just say: I should have bought them YEARS ago. If your sock drawer is in need of an overhaul, don’t waste money on crazy expensive name brands that are like $15 per pair. Just bookmark this listing and thank me later.
When it comes to running clothes, I haven’t bought much new gear in a while; most of my stuff has held up pretty well since I’ve taken such a long hiatus. But running indoors on the treadmill, I want to air out my legs, but CANNOT run in regular shorts. I have thicker thighs that rub together like many other humans’ do, and I thought the raw, red chafing that happens after even a quarter mile was unavoidable – until I discovered these super-soft bike shorts with an 8″ inseam.
To be honest, I originally got them for lounging around and working from home, but they turned out to be amazing for running too, and so now I have a few pairs and practically live in them.
Next, I started using Run Gum pretty much when it came out in like 2011 or 2012, and while I haven’t used it as regularly as I used to, it is great to have on hand as a kickstart to a run. The caffeine boost is just enough to get my engine going, and it doesn’t give me the jitters or make me have to use the bathroom like a cup of coffee definitely would.
Another must-have is something I wouldn’t have expected. The park that my husband and I love to run is a nice 4-mile loop with no stops. In the spring and fall, I was OK, but in the summer I learned that I have to run with some kind of hydration. But holding a water bottle and phone and also my key and possibly some pepper spray (because hi, 2022) gets obnoxious. This handheld water bottle and zipper pack turned out to be a godsend. It holds my keys and any other extras, along with my hydration AND my phone, all with a clear face that I can still access my phone controls through. Brilliant.
Post-run, I rely on a few key players. Number one: this heating pad. Yes, I know it’s not technically a running tool, but approaching 40 and moving regularly means I need a bit more downtime between hard efforts, and this heating pad is SO good at easing those tight muscles. I don’t think I have to say anymore about that…
Lastly – and this isn’t a post-run tool as much as it is a self care tool – I love this electric foot file. I used to have one of those PedEgg graters that you rub back and forth over your heels and other rough spots, but after years of use, that thing got pretty dull. I had my a-ha moment during a home pedicure when I was using so much effort to grind away on my hideously scruffy heels that my Apple Watch thought I was exercising and counted the 15 minutes as “Strength Training”. Thanks, Steve Jobs.
This electric file is practically magic because it buffs the rough spots away in just a few seconds, and I don’t even have to break a sweat when I use it. Win-win!
That’s it for my favorite running gear on Amazon, but is there anything that I missed? Something you’d like to see on a future list? Let me know in the comments!