17 running accessories we use to make our runs more enjoyable

running

One of the best parts about running is that you don’t need much equipment to do it – just lace up your sneakers and go.

But, just because it’s a simple activity doesn’t mean it’s always enjoyable or easy. A lot of us hate running. I did for a long time. That was, until I realized there were a few things I could add to my runs to make them more enjoyable. You can’t buy a positive attitude, but being armed with some great accessories to make you feel safer, comfier, and faster just might be the motivation you need.

For me, it starts with a great pair of headphones that let me block out the noises around me and blast the playlists I actually want to hear. Since everyone’s different, I reached out to my cohort of coworkers to see what their favorite running accessories are.

From compression tights that keep your muscles feeling good through long distances to watches that make your runs feel a little less like a chore, these are the 17 running accessories we count on to make our runs more enjoyable.

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Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch

Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch

Garmin’s Vivoactive 3 Music GPS Smartwatch, $250, available at Garmin and AmazonI run with Garmin’s Vivoactive 3 Music smartwatch because it has built-in music storage so I can run without my phone and still listen to music via Bluetooth headphones. It also tracks a lot of key metrics for runners, including VO2 Max, mileage, heart rate, calories burned, pace, cadence, and stride length. Plus, it provides a map of the route I run, thanks to the built-in GPS. — Malarie Gokey, editor

TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones

TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones

TaoTronics Neckband Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling, $45.99, available at AmazonTaoTronics’ Neckband Bluetooth headphones are fairly affordable for noise-cancelling wireless earbuds, and they sound quite good. The neckband design ensures that they stay in place while I run and the noise-cancellation blocks out most ambient noise. — Malarie Gokey, editor

BioLite Headlamp

BioLite Headlamp

BioLite Headlamp 330, $49.95, available at AmazonRunning comfort, for me, means running with peace of mind. I used to wear a basic, flashing LED that clipped onto my shirt, but since testing BioLite’s rechargeable Headlamp 330 for a review, I’ve incorporated it into my workout. It is super-bright for illuminating the road in front of me, but I usually use the strobe function so that I don’t blind drivers. BioLite engineered it to fit comfortably on the head for lost-lasting wear, and the elastic won’t smell even if you sweat profusely. — Les Shu, editor

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Sneakers

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Sneakers

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19, $130, available at ZapposBrooks makes the best running shoes you can buy, so I recently decided to try the Adrenaline GTS 19 running shoes, and I love them. They are incredibly comfortable, offer great support, and absorb impact effectively to make running more comfortable on my shins and my feet. — Malarie Gokey, editor

Athleta Panache Non Wired Sports Bra

Athleta Panache Non Wired Sports Bra

Athleta Panache Non Wired Sports Bra, $54.99 – $68.00, available at AthletaAs a woman with a bigger bust, it’s always a challenge to find a sports bra that’s comfortable, supportive, and attractive. I’ve finally met my match in the Panache’s Non Wired Sports Bra. It really holds everything in place without making me feel like I’m in a suffocating corset and it’s easy to take off after a sweaty run because it has a traditional bra clasp in the back. — Malarie Gokey, editor

Janji Feather Tee

Janji Feather Tee

Janji Women’s Feather Tee, $42, available at JanjiJanji is a running apparel company that supports organizations that provide water to those in need. They also make my all-time favorite running T-shirt. It’s loose without being shapeless, naturally odor resistant, and has forgettable seams. But, by far the best thing is that it’s never, ever too hot — even for cardio I’d previously only do in a tank top. — Mara Leighton, reporter

Under Armour Eclipse Sports Bra

Under Armour Eclipse Sports Bra

Under Armour Eclipse High Sports Bra, $54.99, available at Under ArmourI’m a 32DD and finding a sports bra I don’t hate wearing has been a long process. An older iteration of this one is my go-to. It provides enough support without using underwire or making me feel like I’m strapping myself into a corset. I put it on and stop thinking about it. My movements aren’t restricted, and it doesn’t cause chafing. — Mara Leighton, reporter

2XU Compress Tights

2XU Compress Tights

2XU Women’s MCS Run Compression Tights, $118.68, available at Amazon2XU made these leggings specifically for runners. Internally, they have selective, anatomically mapped compression to bring more blood to the areas put under the most stress during a run (quads, calves) so you can perform better and recover faster without losing any upfront mobility like all-over compression. While that’s a big perk, I love them equally as much because they feel like a thin second skin. I overheat easily during cardio, and these are the leggings I’d wear for every run if I could afford to. There have been complaints in the past that this pair is see-through (which 2XU responded to by adding denser paneling to the back) but I’ve never had an issue. Find a full review here. — Mara Leighton, reporter

Bombas Performance Ankle Sock

Bombas Performance Ankle Sock

Bombas Women’s Performance Ankle Sock, $16, available at BombasI don’t love running unconditionally. If one variable is off (like irritating socks), I can’t force myself to make it to the mailbox. That’s why investing in unreasonably expensive — but far superior — socks makes sense to me. Bombas spent two years developing the perfect sock complete with Y-stitching and blister tabs, and they’re the ones I trust to keep me comfortable for five miles or 13. — Mara Leighton, reporter

Saucony Kinvara Sneakers

Saucony Kinvara Sneakers

Saucony Kinvara 10, $110, available at SauconyThe all-new Kinvara 10 ($110) pairs the best of the old Kinvaras with the best of the newer iterations. They’re ideal for any distance, from 5Ks to marathons, and they feel supportive but not bulky. The Formfit insole is a welcome addition, and the breathable, flexible upper disappears on the run. — Mara Leighton, reporter

I switch between running sneakers, and this pair of Kinvara 10s from Saucony is one of my favorites (I’ve written about them before). They’re super lightweight and are almost fitted specifically to my feet because of the cushioned and contoured footbed. The rose colorway is also a nice light pop of color against my usual all-black workout gear. — Jada Wong, editor

Jaybird RUN Wireless Headphones

Jaybird RUN Wireless Headphones

Jaybird RUN True Wireless Headphones, $129.95, available at AmazonThese true wireless headphones are a godsend for running — and their small size and battery life (12 hours on a full charge, five minutes in the charging case for an hour of play time) are so convenient I’ve started using them while traveling, too. They’re sweat-proof and water-resistant, but the main selling point for me was the fact that they’ve never fallen out of my ears — or felt like they might — in over a year. — Mara Leighton, reporter

Brooks Levitate Running Shoes

Brooks Levitate Running Shoes

Brooks Levitate Running Shoes, $150, available at AmazonWhen I’m not wearing the Kinvara 10s, I like the Brooks Levitate sneaker. It’s heavier than the Kinvara 10s by three ounces, which doesn’t sound like much, but is definitely noticeable for me. It doesn’t bother me, but important to note for runners who might have more sensitive feet than I do. The shoe isn’t as sleek as the Kinvara 10s either, but the wider sole does give me more traction when trail running. — Jada Wong, editor

Anker SoundBuds Headphones

Anker SoundBuds Headphones

Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless Headphones, $26.99, available at AmazonMy fiancé and I have gone through two pairs of these Anker headphones, and we’ve gifted them to friends and co-workers — it’s that good. For under $30, these headphones can’t be beat.

These headphones aren’t flashy and honestly they don’t have great noise cancelling capabilities, but we really like them for the low-profile design and durability — they’re water resistant, so perfect for sweaty runs and workouts. I also personally use it every day even when I’m not working out to listen to podcasts and music during my commute or when I’m multitasking while talking on the phone; the built-in speaker has been a game-changer for me.

The brand also has a great 18-month warranty and customer service is nice and reliable. — Jada Wong, editor

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3, $309, available at Best BuyI bought an Apple Watch originally for fun (a pricey toy) but it has since become my personal virtual trainer that I can’t leave home without. Not only does it track my runs (indoors and outdoors), walks, elliptical machine exercises, swim laps, heart rate, etc., it combines it with other related data to give me a big-picture view of my health. I also like how it gamifies my exercise activity — I must close those daily rings! There are also many downloadable running apps, including “Zombies, Run!” that turns running into an actual game. I’m rocking the older Series 3, which is still great and now more affordable. — Les Shu, editor

Superfeet Insoles

Superfeet Insoles

Superfeet Run Comfort Insoles, $49.95, available at AmazonLike my colleagues, I’m also a fan of Brooks running shoes. But to add extra comfort, or if I need to turn a pair of stylish sneaks into runners, I slip the Superfeet Run Comfort Thin inside my shoes. I’ve been using Superfeet insoles for more than 10 years because I find them to be comfortable and long-lasting. — Les Shu, editor

Fits No Show Sock

Fits No Show Sock

Fits Ultra Light Runner No Show Sock, $15.95, available at Moosejaw and AmazonI recently switched to these socks for running. Fits socks provide extra cushioning at the heel and top of the foot, making my runs a bit more comfortable as my feet hit the pavement or treadmill. I also like how they’re designed to stay snug on my feet, whereas most no-show socks tend to easily slip off. — Les Shu, editor

Fitletic Sport Belt

Fitletic Sport Belt

Fitletic Mini Sport Belt, $19.95, available at Amazon

Nothing makes me lose motivation faster than having to worry about clutching my belongings in my hand during a run. This lycra pouch on an adjustable belt is an easy solution. The material is super stretchy, so it can expand to fit a good amount of items. There’s even an interior pocket to keep credit cards and IDs secure. Plus, it’s waterproof so you don’t have to worry about anything getting ruined if you work up a sweat. — Remi Rosmarin, reporter

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