Summer running gets hot, so you need the right equipment to help you keep your cool. Our editors help you focus on the main items that can make or break your stride…and will have you looking and feeling cool while doing it…
If you’re an easy jogger or just starting out, you’ll want a shoe with a regular fit, that feels light on the feet and has a good, springy sole. For this, we’re loving the new collab shoe between adidas and Allbirds, called the CO2E. Besides being an all-around good running shoe, it’s also great for the planet. Made from 25% recycled materials, the rest of the shoe components are made from bio-based materials (the EVA sole for instance is made mostly from sugar cane). So you’re not just light on your feet, you’re also light on your carbon footprint.
Does the siren song of the forest truly pull at your heart strings? You need a decent trail running shoe. That means a durable, spacious toebox so your footing is solid, and a grippy sole that maintains steady traction over slippery and uneven surfaces. HOKA’s new Speedgoat 5 will keep you in flight over root-infested, rock-plagued trails. The plush sole unit delivers soft landings, fast transitions, and powerful toe offs with texturized lugs to give your footing confidence-boosting security.
HOKA, Speedgoat 5 Trail Runner $154.95
Once you’ve worked your way up to a few 10ks or more, you’re going to want to pivot to a shoe that makes the most of your hard work. You’ll want to start dropping shoe weight and gaining speed so you can focus on achieving your new personal best. The CTM Ultra 2 from Craft is a good option for you. The revamped midsole keeps its zest from first mile to last, while the seamless upper and reworked heel cup keep your comfort level high. It also has a 10mm drop (the difference in thickness of the sole under the toes versus under the heel) that will help with calf and Achilles fatigue.
Craft, CTM Ultra 2 $164.99
Speaking of PB (personal best), you’re never going to achieve it without some uptempo training. Unlike your comfortable stride, an uptempo run is meant to push your pace beyond your comfort level and take you to the edge of what’s called your lactate threshold. If this is becoming part of your advanced training, you need a shoe that has maximum shock absorption. That shoe has a name, and it’s the Puma Magnify Nitro. The midsole of this shoe is made of Nitro Foam which is super cushy and lightweight and under that is their ProFoam which offers compression support.
Puma, Magnify Nitro $140
Running on sand is considered by many to be the best low-elevation running workouts around…and who can resist some running through the waves? Your regular running shoe could suit you just fine, but if the shore is your regular routine, you’ll need something that’s water worthy and made to disperse a ton of heat. This is a job for the Adidas Women’s Terrex Climacool Voyager Sleek Shoe. The breathable mesh upper keeps the air flowing when you’re on the move, and Climacool technology surrounds your foot in cooling comfort. And if your run takes you in and out of the water? Innovative drainage in the light and cushy midsole lets water out quickly when you’re splashing, and the Traxion outsole helps you maintain grip.
adidas, Terrex Voyager Sleek Summer.Rdy $54.46
Ladies, start your engines – a serious run calls for a serious shoe. The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus has cult-following level popularity with long distance runners. Why? A wide toebox for powerful toe-offs, a thick but breathable mesh upper that offer stabilization, Nike React foam in the midsole for long-lasting cushioning and the final bit – the Nike Zoom Air Bag, which uses pressurized air and tightly stretched fibers to absorb impact and then snap back for fast movement and reduced stress on muscles, joints, and tendons.
Nike, Air Zoom Pegasus 38 $119.95
Second only to your shoes in importance is your running bra. It can’t be overstated how important it is to take into consideration your level of activity and breast size in order to properly support and keep your gals cool and comfortable.
If you’re more of a easy jogger and are small-chested, a medium-impact running bra should serve you well. Appropriately named “The Daily” this medium-impact bra from Vuori is an editor favorite here at SLH. Made with moisture wicking BreatheInterlock™ fabric, it has a mesh liner and removable cups (for easy washing). It’s also 4-way stretch, so you won’t feel pinched or uncomfortable even if you decide to use it for other activities such as yoga or lifting. Comes in six color options including this poppy peach…
Vuori, Daily Bra $48
One of the biggest reasons you’ll want to upgrade to a med-high impact bra as you begin to increase your runs is to protect your Cooper’s Ligaments (the muscles underneath that keep breasts from sagging). So if your training is now involving over 5 miles and/or some decent trail running, the Flex Seamless Racerback by Thirdlove is your new best friend. First off, it’s seamless (it’s kinda in the name) so no weird pinching or rubbing from less-than-perfect stitching. Second, the engineered knit is super breathable, so no sweaty spots on you. Comes in nine cool, two-toned colors.
Finally, for the long hauler whose training most likely is incorporating some serious mileage and more than a few uptempo runs in between – the Wacoal Wire Free sports bra has the high-impact, super breathability that you’re looking for. And it’s wire free! Made of moisture-wicking sports-mesh, it also has an extra lightweight spacer fabric between the cups to maximize ventilation. Colors are limited to two (black and beige) but the performance you get in return more than makes up for it.
For our C and D cup, light-running ladies, this medium-impact bra from adidas is pretty enough to show off by itself. The CoreFlow is easy slip-on with plenty of back ventilation, and it’s made from 60% recycled materials so it’s good for you and for mother Earth.
Upping the impact ante, we have another great wireless med-high impact bra. Not only does it come in 13 color options and patterns, the back rings have an easy hook that can transition back and forth from standard strap (medium impact) and t-strap (high impact) giving you the flexibility to wear it depending on how heavy your workout will be. No wonder it was featured as an Editor’s Choice in Runner’s World.
Panache, Wireless Sports Bra $40.95
Finally for our C/D ladies who are hitting the ground running and hard, we have Shock Absorber’s Multi-sport high impact bra. Made from moisture-wicking, breathable, quick dry, Actisystem fabric which is supportive and anti-bounce, it sports a double hook system in the back to ensure zero strap slippage. The fabric is also abrasion resistant and non-pilling, so you’ll be able to wear it for many long miles to come.
For all our blessed gals who are showing up and showing out on the pavement. Easy jogger and/or beginner, you truly want to be comfortable as you push your run forward. The Full Figure sport bra from Wacoal is medium support for your lowkey runs and comes in sizing all the way up to a 46K. Smooth microfiber fabric wicks moisture away from the skin while the four-section cup side support system keeps you secure all the way around.
If you’re thinking a D+ high impact sports bra can’t be cute or comfortable, let’s introduce you to Under Armour’s Infinity bra. With an ergonomic design, infinity-shaped padding, and permanently crossed straps, you get great support and a natural feeling fit. More so it’s made of Under Armour’s trademark HeatGear fabric so the support and the breathability are high on this one. Plus the playful pattern is super cute.
Finally, we have our unicorn – the Freya Core Sports bra. A fully high-impact sports bra made for running, that runs up to a 38JJ. A firm, flat bottom band for superior stability, it’s made with Moisture Management Fabric, which dries 5 times faster and wicks moisture away from the body so nothing is holding you back.
We may call them accessories, but when the heat is on, you’re going to call them necessities. They may be small in size but they can (and will) make a huge impact in your performance.
Are the sunglasses you pop on mostly an afterthought? They absolutely shouldn’t be. Did you know that UV-A and UV-B rays from the sun can cause short- and long-term damage to your eyes and affect your vision? Sun damage is cumulative, so a proper pair of good running shades is paramount to protecting you. And if your run takes you to the beach or the trail? The potential is high for dust and other particulates to get in your eye and hamper your ability to see properly. Don’t let that happen. Keep a clean line of sight with a set of quality sport frames from Knockaround’s Torrey Pines Sport collection. Embedded rubberized nose pads give these glasses extra grip when your face gets sweaty, and their polarized lens will give you UV400 protection. They come in a ridiculous amount of color options, so there’s sure to be one perfect for you.
Speaking of sun exposure and protection, let’s talk sunscreen. A lot of news has come to light about some of the unhealthy ingredients we’ve been using in our sunscreens. Thankfully the industry is taking notice, and many brands are removing the environmentally hazardous Oxybenzone. But these new formulas can have some downsides for runners. Chalky and cakey versions can take a while to dry, which can make you less inclined to use it. And when they do dry, many remain sticky. That’s the last thing you want to feel when running in the heat and the dust. Our choice is a sunscreen that slaters on easy and dries quickly. It also contains zero Oxybenzone, is sweat/water resistant and rates an SPF 55. Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-touch is widely available and at a cost that won’t have you sweating over using it.
Neutrogena, UltraSheer Dry-Touch SPF 55 $9.99
When you’re just starting out, you may not always realize how many little items you’re going to need as the miles accumulate. A self-sufficient runner has a good running belt with them. Keys, phone, energy gels and of course water all need a place to stay, else they’re ending up somewhere lost on the trail. Our editors all-around favorite is Ultimate Direction’s Hydrolight belt. The wide surface area ensures your items won’t bounce around as you move and we really appreciate the easy to reach bottle holders with their stretchy fold tops (a lot easier to grab and secure than velcro flaps or snaps). Thinking all that material is a heat sink waiting to happen? Worry not. It’s made of moisture-wicking fabric that will keep your waist cool as you kick up your stride.
Taking on a summer run doesn’t always mean you’re running in the sun. There are going to be those times when a good rain jacket is in order. A summer running rain jacket has to be an excellent multi-tasker. It needs to be water resistant (natch) but it can’t be so non-porous that hot air gets trapped. It should also have plenty of protective pockets, good reflective areas so you’re easily visible and be made to move. Vuori’s Outdoor Trainer shell has all of the above. It’s 4-way stretch fabric is breathable and water resistant, with reflective logos on the front and cuffs and the material is also anti-odor, so you can use it over and over without fear of “the funk”.
And last, but certainly not least…what’s a great run without some great tunes? Or an engrossing podcast to keep you thinking and moving along? Or just in case you need to take a call hands free on your run? Our pick to keep your beats close is the Trelab X3 Pro true wireless. Compatible with Siri and Google Assist this bluetooth over-ear earbud fast-charges in 2 hours and lasts for 9 hours on a single charge. The ear-hooks are made of ergonomic material that keeps your buds in place without pinching. It’s also sweat proof and water resistant so taking it on a run is a can do, whether it’s rain or shine.