Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
It’s been an exciting month in the running world, especially in the marathon. This September, Eliud Kipchoge broke the world record by finishing in 2:01.39 and less than a month later, we saw two new champions crowned at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, one of which had only competed in the event one other time. In our own office, our editors have been hard at work training for half marathons and full marathons as well. As we’ve watched the pros and have continued to get in our own weekly mileage, the below gear and apparel have helped us get ready for our races. Here are five things that our editors are loving right now:
KT Performance Blister Prevention Tape – $9.99
KT Performance Blister Prevention Tape has quickly become one of our go-to products during training season. It comes in a small, travel-sized case in pre-cut sections so that you can easily tear off what you need before a long run. “After a couple of months of training for a half, I endured a pretty substantial blister while trying a new pair of running shoes. This tape was my saving grace,” said one of our editors. It also uses a breathable fabric that prevents hotspots and conforms easily to skin so you barely know it’s there. If using on bunions, place the first piece long ways, going parallel with your foot from heel to toe. Next, place two going from the top of your foot to the bottom over the bunion, this method will help keep the tape in place when putting on socks.
Altra Racing Singlet 2.0 – $59
This lightweight and sweat-wicking Altra Racing singlet is a good option for race day. Designed with a form-fitting structure, the tank features a mesh panel in back that worked well to keep us feeling cool throughout our run. “Loose shirts with loose hems tend to bounce and shift and it can be noticeable. But the hem at the bottom was tighter, so that it helped keep it from bouncing around while on a run,” said one editor. Available in both blue and red colorways and boasting a double-strap racerback design, this tank looks as good as it feels. Even on over 10-mile runs in 75-degree weather, we never had an issue with chafing or felt uncomfortable in the fabric.
Nathan VaporMag 2.5L Race Vest – $125
We’ve been training with Nathan’s hydration vest for a few weeks now and even used it on a half marathon course. Comfortable and secure, the vest is a nice addition to any distance runner’s gear closet. Developed in collaboration with endurance runner Maggie Guterl, this vest fares very well on long runs thanks to its two 12 oz. soft flasks with extended strap tubes that make it easy to grab a quick sip of water without stopping. The amount of storage available in the vest also easily fits everything from gels to keys, cell phones and a shell without feeling too bulky. We did have a minor issue with the phone getting too wet though while carrying it in the smaller back pocket during a rainy 13-mile run. If there’s a chance it might rain, put your phone in a Ziploc bag prior to inserting it into the pocket. Also consider sizing up since the vests run on the smaller side and you may want that extra space once you start wearing extra layers.
UA Sport Wireless React Headphones – $140
Under Armour’s newest Bluetooth headphones will hit the market in the coming weeks, but before their official launch, we got the chance to test them out on our favorite routes. Before putting them in, their large, in-ear buds were one thing that stood out, and we wondered if they’d be too bulky on runs. Thankfully, this was never an issue and they stayed in place pretty well. The aluminum earbuds are made with sport flex fit ear tips, UA Stormproof waterproof technology and a battery life that lasts nine hours. As far as sound goes, JBL created two technologies that allow for easier conversations with running partners and minimize the surrounding sounds without completely blocking out noise. Basically, you can chat with your running mate or tune everything out and just listen to your playlist while still hearing if a car is approaching. On its chord is an easy-to-adjust volume function and a shirt clip, plus the headphones come with three different-sized ear tips, winged ear tip enhancers, a zippered carrying case and a charging cable.
BioLite Headlamp – Kickstarter Pricing
With the summer months behind us and daylight hours getting shorter, you’ll most likely be doing more night runs in the coming weeks. Loving a good evening adventure, we tested the BioLite Headlamp on trails and city streets to get a feel for all of its features. The rechargeable headlamp is currently only available through a KickStarter campaign, but has been doing pretty well amongst beta testers. Sitting flat against your head, the lamp’s elastic strap is made with a moisture-wicking fabric that feels comfortable and unobtrusive. While running, we found it easy to adjust when having to tighten or loosen, and the band stayed in place well, no matter how long or bumpy the run was. To light your way, the headlamp uses 330 lumens in four modes: spot/flood lighting (16m and 75m), strobe and red night vision.