Now that summer is here, it’s time to get back into shape — or stay in it — but either way, every runner needs to keep abreast of the best running accessories available to them. With the rising heat and humidity, sweatbands are coming in full force this season, as well as the latest issue of running shorts to beat the chafe.
Whether you’re a trail runner or a city block pounder, we have some sweet new hats, sunglasses, zippered pockets, and gels for you to check out before you begin to break that sweat. So cruise our selection of the best running accessories of 2021 and hit the road, trail, or gym for the best running season of the year.
Because who doesn’t get a little pumped to find something new to help them get ready for their next workout?
1. Tracksmith Session Shorts
While technically not an accessory item, we had to include these shorts for the amazing back pocket that makes them pretty much the best shorts for every runner. Lightweight and comfortable with an inner liner to prevent chafing, these streamlined shorts are our go-to for long days on the trail. Made with a durable Polygiene liner that will keep odor out, antimicrobial to the core, these shorts won’t budge even if you decide to hurdle that fallen tree that lies in your path. With an internal stretch drawcord and a tiny back pocket for credit cards, gels, or keys, these 5-inch shorts are short enough to let the breeze flow but long enough to still look good off the track. Start your summer off right with Tracksmith Session Shorts.
This classically designed running belt is larger than most belts but has more storage. With a width that remains the same all across your waist, you can store as many items as you can fit versus only one small pocket along the belt. If you’re a runner who likes to have all of your small personal items on you, then this is the belt for you. Weighing only three ounces, this belt latches easily and won’t bother you while you’re pounding the track.
3. Nathan Trail Speed Hydration Belt
If you’re an endurance runner, a trail runner, or are training for a marathon, having water immediately available is tantamount to your success. The Nathan Hydration Belt holds two water bottles that are attached to your waist and sit snugly above your hipbones for optimal comfort and ease in which to reach and grab a bottle. This type of hydration belt has saved many solo runs across the years, aiding you in continuing on instead of stopping for water or becoming dehydrated when no water is available. Save yourself a ruined run out in the backwoods or trails with a double bottle hydration belt.
4. Garmin Forerunner 35
This basic, easy-to-use Garmin running watch is an excellent running accessory for all beginners. Plus, it comes with a heart rate monitor so you can begin to track your heart rate data to see how much stronger you’ve become. Running watches come in handy in multiple ways, from keeping accurate time of your run and splits, to tracking your heart rate. The Garmin 35 is an excellent starter watch for any athlete looking to improve their times at any distance.
5. CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack
The CamelBak is a well-known outdoor brand and their hydration pack really can’t be beaten. Lightweight, durable in all kinds of weather, with easy-to-adjust straps and a comfortable stance on your back, what more could we ask for? It holds up to 1.5 liters of water in its Crux reservoir, more than enough water for a long-distance run or a two-hour bike ride. This hydration pack comes in a variety of colors, so choose your favorite to keep you motivated. With a breathable back mesh pocket, a streamlined design, and pockets for your keys, this simple hydration pack is the winner in our books.
6. GU Sports Energy Gels
The original energy gel by GU is your best resource for nutrition on the go. Whether it be cycling or running, having a gel in one of those handy zippered back pockets or tucked away in your running belt will save you halfway through on a hot day when you’re craving salt and need a boost of caffeine to keep you going. Energy gels are a safe and nutritious way to keep up your salt intake as well as give you natural energy to boost your performance.
7. Ciele Cap
The Ciele Athletics brand is about to become your favorite if it isn’t already. With their soft brimmed, stylish, sweat-wicking hats, Ciele will burrow its way into your heart. Lightweight, machine washable, and available in many styles and colors, the Ciele cap is made for the 5k runner who wants to win.
8. Nike DRI-FIT Perforated Bucket Hat
What better way to kick off summer than with a Nike bucket hat for your next run? Keep the sun off your face and neck while enjoying the cool breeze from the perforated material. Your head will cool itself and you won’t overheat on a hot, humid run. Stay in shape and in style with a bucket hat for summer running.
8. DeFeet D-Evo 1 Running Socks
If you’re in the market for moisture-wicking socks, DeFeet has your feet covered. With EcoMade Cool Max fabric that is made from recycled materials, these socks will keep you moisture-free throughout your run, even on a humid day. No one wants a blister, least of all because of their favorite activity, so do yourself a favor and check out the DeFeet D-Evo 1 Socks for all your running days.
9. Reflective Night Running Vest
If you’re an avid nighttime runner, then you should seriously consider investing in a reflective vest when buying the best running accessories. With its yellow material and white reflective strips, cars and cyclists alike will see you from a block away. Keep your safety your number one priority and check out all the great benefits of a reflective vest. Plus, they double as great vests for cycling, day or night.
10. Body Glide Anti-Chafe Balm
No one enjoys chafing, especially after a really good workout. Keep the rash at bay with preventative measures such as a cream. Your legs will thank you later. The Body Glide Balm goes on smooth, non-greasy, and washes off easily. Made from allergen-free, plant-based ingredients and never tested on animals, this is a vegan-friendly choice for anti-chafing.
11. Oakley M2 XL Origin Collection Sunglasses
Oakley’s sunglasses hit a sweet spot in the athletics market for their unique custom builds and polarized lenses. The M2 frames will keep everything in your view the same even if your head is tilted slightly downward. The XL lens shape will take you to further heights, evading sweat on your brow and the sun from your gaze as you stride forward.
12. Tifosi Svago Sunglasses
A more casual approach to running sunglasses may be more your style and if so, we’ve got you covered. Tifosi is a quality, affordable brand of sunglasses that we love for their simplicity, style, and function. The Svago sunglasses do not have polarized lenses, but they are scratch-resistant with polycarbonate lenses.
13. Adidas Wrist Sweatband
The Adidas sweatband is a soft band that sits on your wrist to collect sweat before it reaches your hands. It’s made out of 100% elastic, with moisture-wicking technology. The reversible design gives you two fashion choices before you start your run so push these sweatbands on and get out there.
14. Under Armour Men’s Headband
Keep the sweat from your face on a hot summer day with the Under Armour headband. Made from 96% polyester and 4% elastodiene, this running accessory is quick to dry and has moisture-wicking material to keep you sweat-free. Try out the headband for a better, cooler run.
15. Hydro Flask Water Bottle
The Hydro Flask is becoming quite popular among athletes for its insulated design, easy-to-use no-leak lid, and stainless steel material. It’s a beautifully designed bottle that you can take with you or leave on your porch for a sip as you come back around the block. Try the Hydro Flask for a deliciously cold drink of water no matter where you are.
16. Altra Trail Gaiters
Everyone loves to go on a run through the woods, but during the summer, it may be very buggy or overgrown, so grab a pair of trail gaiters to protect your ankles and your shoes. Gaiters will increase the time and use you’ll get out of your pair of running shoes by keeping out dirt, snow, or sand, which can cause abrasions on your feet if caught inside. Lightweight and easy to pull on, these gaiters don’t have to be removed while you switch shoes.
17. Hypervolt Hyperice Massage Gun
Give your muscles the massage you can’t afford with the Hypervolt. With three different speed settings and five separate heads for different pressure points, the Hypervolt will soothe your aching quads and calves, neck and back, with the push of a button. A massage gun for the hardiest of athletes, this is one investment you won’t regret. The patented QuietGlide keeps your noise to a minimum, and the brushless torque 40 W motor delivers up to 3,200 percussions per minute.
18. Trigger Point Performance GRID Foam Roller
Roll out your tired muscles with the Trigger Point foam roller which has a hard, hollow core and is hand-wrapped with EVA foam. The environmentally conscious design uses less material than traditional foam rollers and holds up to 500 pounds. Try out the Trigger Point foam roller if you’re in need of a slow burn to soothe your tired muscles.
19. Pro-Tec Athletics Toe Caps
Protect your toes with custom-grade silicone; help prevent blisters, rubbing, irritation, and toenail loss. Toe Caps are an undervalued running accessory that many athletes could benefit from. Simply place the toe caps on your toes to protect them from the inside of your shoes. Caps can also absorb stress. These caps are one-size-fits-all and can be cut down to size smaller toes.
20. Gel Force Knee Sleeve
This knee sleeve provides moderate support for people suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome, patellar tracking, minor ligament/meniscus tears and overall knee-joint stability. The gel sits directly over the patella and is covered by soft, breathable fabric that offers a four-way stretch for optimal compression. This running accessory comes in two sizes.
21. Nurvv Smart Insoles
Capable of turning any pair of running shoes into sophisticated biosensors, Nurvv Smart Insoles slip into any sports footwear and relay data for analysis during and after your run. With its integrated free app, Nurvv becomes a virtual running coach — helping you run safer, more efficiently and faster — depending on your goals. While in motion, the Nurvv technology monitors pronation, foot falls, stride length, balance and running cadence, while recording your pace, distance or time run and calories burned.