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Running Gear – Should I Splurge or Should I Save?

When I first started running, I really knew nada. I learned what I could about the sport from asking questions and getting out there and trying things. Running can be an expensive sport, but it doesn’t have to be! I want to talk a little bit about some basic running necessities and if you need to splurge on them or if you can save and buy affordable options.

Tips for knowing when to splurge and when to save on running gear

Running Gear

Tops: I have never spent more than $10 on a running shirt, and they’ve all done swimmingly. I buy the affordable athletic shirts from box stores like Walmart and Target. They’ve worked great for me. In this category, I’d say SAVE. If I buy more affordable options I can have several of them and cycle through to extend the life of my gear. Also, I’m not that hard on my shirts, so they don’t get a lot of wear and tear.

Bottoms: I read an article not too long that said there is a new fad called athleisure wear. It’s wearing athletic gear so you look like you’ve been working out, even though you’re not. Because of this trend, prices of athletic wear, namely pants/capris/shorts, are going to skyrocket. That being said, I’d be very wary of overpriced athletic bottoms. Know what you’re looking for (tights vs leggings, cotton vs spandex, wide leg vs ankle fit) and then shop around. Check Amazon, Walmart, Target. They’ve got great priced items that will treat you right. I wouldn’t spend more than $20 for a pair of bottoms.

If you’re going to be a little more aggressive with your athletic wear (logging a lot of miles), get several different pairs in different varieties and that will extend the life of your bottoms. My opinion, SAVE a little. Go ahead and buy a cute pair of bottoms as long as they’re not going to break your budget!

Headphones: This is one of those things that you’re going to have to decide for yourself. I’ve used the regular $10 headphones, and they work just great. I get a little tangled in the wires, but eh, so what. It’s cheap! I’ve used Bluetooth headphones, like these. They also work great; there’s no cord to tangle in and they’re affordable. Last Christmas my husband got me this. It’s a single earbud. No wires, no fuss. I really love it. I usually only use one headphone so I can listen to cars with the other ear, so this works for me. Downside? It’s a little expensive. Ok, it’s a lot expensive. (Thank goodness for Black Friday!!)

My vote one headphones? SAVE! Don’t buy expensive. You can something great that will work for a more affordable price. Even if you want Bluetooth, you can still find a great option. And if you want wireless Bluetooth? Find that earbud I linked and you won’t be disappointed. There are other options, like this or this. I’ve never tried them, so I don’t know for sure how they perform.

Running Gear - know when to splurge and when to save

 

Accessories: Headbands can be great, but I sometimes find them cumbersome because they can slip. So I prefer big old fat ones that cover my ears when it’s cold. Or for when it’s hot, I’ll put my hair in a French Braid and then a thin headband won’t slip. You can find some great ones in both thick for winter and thin for summer. Good news? You don’t have to splurge because they’re affordable!

As for Armbands, you can get an armband for about $10. My issue is when I get a new phone and it outgrows my armband. My solution? I got this belt. It’s tight, so there are times when I feel like I can’t quite take a deep belly breath, but generally it’s been great. I had an issue with it slipping, but then I wore it on top of my shirt instead of under, problem solved. My phone always fits and I can put more than just my phone in it. Like my car keys, ID, credit card. But if a belt isn’t your thing, then don’t settle for an armband that you THINK might possibly work just because it’s cheap. I did that and my phone didn’t fit well which made it hard to navigate while I was trying to run, which threw off my groove. In my opinion? This is one area that it’s ok to SPLURGE. Because really, this splurge will only cost you a few more dollars.

Shoes: Check out this short video below to find my thoughts on running shoes.

And if you want to know which shoes I got and LOVED, it was these Brooks Ravenna 6. It’s an older version, so the price has come down a bit. Now, these shoes were perfect for me, but they may not do it for you. So, head to your local running store and get a free running evaluation. That will help you determine if you over pronate or if you need support in the ankles. They can also tell you what size shoe you wear. Generally it’s a half size up from what you wear on a regular basis, but go check just to be sure.

Running shoes are so important because running is a high impact sport and your shoes are the contact point between your feet and the road. Good shoes can prevent foot injuries, ankle injuries, knee injuries and back pain. You don’t want to jeopardize your health to save a few dollars.

If you’re new to running, check out his article on Tips for Runners. You can also check out my 30 Favorite Running Songs.

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