marathon clothing | marathon running gear

barkley fall classic gearGetting ready for the Barkley Fall Classic!

Your choice of marathon clothing is an important one!

There's a lot to consider when preparing your running kit for race day.

Making the wrong decisions could lead to anything from blisters, chafing, discomfort, even hypothermia or DNF.

It sounds like one of those ads that says, "potential side effects include."

Click here to share how you choose your marathon running gear.

Marathon Clothing Considerations

There are a number of things to consider when choosing each piece of marathon clothing that will be part of your race day kit. Let's explore!

Running Socks

Even before you put on your running shoes, you'll be putting on running socks.

There are tons of options out there for this piece of clothing.

Usually, runners will make this decision based on personal preference, and on what they've become accustomed to wearing during training runs.

One key word of advice here, and not just related to running socks, is not to try anything new on race day.

Sure, you could be pleasantly surprised by a sort of last-minute decision or adjustment, but better to stick with what has been tried and true.

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Many people might assume that all sock choices for runners are the same, however, there are some key differences.

A runner's choice of socks may differ based on the material used or the season in which they're running. They may even consider fashion, pictures or prints, and height.

We've been known to rotate often between three options:

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Running Shoes

best running shoesWhat are your favorite running shoes?

Much as with running socks, runners end up with their preferred running shoes, too.

Some even set aside pairs of shoes that they'll only wear on race day!

If that describes you, make sure that you break them in first!

We find that we prefer specific shoes for specific distances or terrains.

Here's what is most usually on our feet:

  • Hoka One One Running Shoes #CommissionsEarned - We remember the fist time that we wore Hokas. They felt like marshmallows on our feet, but in a great way. And, they didn't force a dysfunctional gait or movement pattern, which could have led to injury over time. These are definitely among our first choices for road running.

  • Merrell Trail Running Shoes #CommissionsEarned - We first purchased a pair of Merrell shoes for trail running when another pair in our rotation had a lace mishap. We hadn't had much training time in them, but they performed very well in running the Loon Mountain Race. Having toughed it through that event, they've become a favorite of ours for any distance of mountain and trail races.

  • Salomon Running Shoes #CommissionsEarned - Our Salomons have been with us through the majority of our obstacle course races, a number of trail and mountain races. We love them for their quick lacing system, and for the agressive tread patterns, helping us keep our footing on some slick surfaces.

Running Shorts and Running Pants

In this category, we've found a mixture of favorites, from marathon clothing we've purchased for specific challenges, as well as clothing that we'd found at race expos. We're still looking for just the right pair of running pants for the Winter season!

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Running shorts - Our favorite pair of shorts for running are ones we'd purchased at the Boston Marathon Running Expo, but the ones we wear most often are by XRacewear. One thing we love about them are their "Race Bib Protector Pockets," a mesh-like area where you're able to wear your race bib, without having to use safety pins.

  • Compression shorts - We couldn't write this article without mentioning 2XU compression shorts #CommissionsEarned. They accompany us on nearly every training run, and for nearly every race where the weather is cooperative and warm.

  • Running pants - Where it comes to running pants, we have two favorites, with the first being 2XU Running Tights #CommissionsEarned, and the second being Toomet hiking pants #CommissionsEarned. The 2XU compression tights are fantastic for cooler days, or as a base layer for some of the colder days (minus our Winter snowshoeing days, where we might err toward other options). We love the Toomet hiking pants for drying quickly, and for the function of all of their extra, cargo pockets!

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Marathon Clothing: Running Shirts

When it comes to running shirts, this is where we experiment the most. The only material we shy away from might be cotton, as it tends to hold sweat, water, and moisture, making movement uncomfortable, and adding to the incidence of chafing (leading to its own discomfort).

Though we rotate often, we've enjoyed Athlio's compression gear #CommissionsEarned for 3 months out of 4 during the year (Winter as the season being excluded).

Honorable mention goes to the shirts that we've turned into crop tops for some of our Summer racing, especially our ultramarathon races!

Winter Marathon Clothing

snowshoe runningSnowshoe running in Vermont!

Running in the Winter requires additional considerations for clothing choices.

Base layers are of great importance, especially if you'll be out in more extreme elements.

For those base layers, Minus 33 Merino Wool #CommissionsEarned has become our brand of choice. It is inevitable that when you're working hard in Winter weather that you're going to sweat. Couple that with the possibility of water crossings during races where the body of water is not frozen, and not having the right gear could end your race earlier than desired.

Additionally, it is pretty important to keep those hands covered. The advice we'd gotten when preparing for the Beast of Burden Winter 50 Mile Ultramarathon was to purchase both gloves and mittens. And, we found a great combination in Burton Gore-Tex #CommissionsEarned options. They've been incredible durable, comfortable, and warm. Not only do they protect our hands from the elements during Winter races in Vermont, but they protect our hands well from the frozen steering wheel on the coldest Winter mornings here in Boston.

Running Hats and Buffs

Having the proper running headwear is key to enjoying the training and racing experiences, especially when the temperatures are reaching extremes at either end of the spectrum.

We love the multi-purpose functions of many of the products by Buff #CommissionsEarned, and pack plenty of them whether we end up using them or not on race day.

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Share Your Marathon Clothing Thoughts & Suggestions

triathlon running gear

What's some of the running clothing that you can't train or race without?

Write your story, thoughts, and suggestions here.

We're excited to hear all about your faves.

And, we'll probably end up adding a bunch of them to our training and racing kits!

Don't forget to tell us:

  • All about your clothing trials and errors
  • What brands you've tried, and why you've settled on any specific brands
  • What brands or items you're considering for future use
  • If you could sport any items at all, what would they be?

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