Runners already look the part of a superhero, dashing about in spandex and displaying amazing feats of strength and endurance, but what if our gear could give nearly the same effects as superpowers? Ever since Bill Bowerman took to his waffle maker to create a grippier running shoe, innovators have been trying to manufacture gear to help runners go faster and farther. Spurred by superhuman feats like the Sub2 project, the running industry has made leaps and bounds in the creation of new and exciting products that give you the courage to take on the world—or at least your PR. Here are just a few:
Superpower: Perfect Pacing
Stryd Power Meter / $219.00
Snap this wearable onto any running shoe for real-time data on power, which goes beyond pace and heart-rate to take into account factors such as hills, wind, fatigue and efficiency. Running with power allows you to run at the right intensity for the moment, which means you go farther and finish stronger. This is particularly handy for trail running, which is notoriously hilly, and for judging the effects of headwinds, tailwinds and drafing during a breezy race. American world champion trail runner Joe Gray uses Stryd in training to dial in the perfect pace in every situation.
Superpower: Heat Resistance
Salomon S/Lab Sense Tee / $95
Unlike most tech tees, which waits until sweat vapor turns to liquid to wick it away, the Salomon S/Lab Sense tee uses 37.5 technology to speed up evaporation before sweat forms. The tech uses active particles made from volcanic sand to maintain the ideal body temperature for optimal athletic performance—37.5° C or 99.5° F—by removing vapor before it becomes liquid sweat. A 2017 study by the University of Colorado found that wearing 37.5 cooling fabrics actually increased energy efficiency and output.
Superpower: Iron Gut
Maurten Gel and Drink Mix / $42/18 servings
If sour stomach and runner’s trots are your kryptonite, try this unique formula. Maurten, a German fueling system originally developed for the Sub2 marathon project, now fuels running’s top pros from Eluid Kipchoge’s world record to Desi Linden’s 2018 Boston Marathon win. The secret is the hydrogel, which is made with a blend of glucose and fructose (ratio of 0.8:1) and allows runners to consume high amounts of carbohydrate with low amounts of gastrointestinal distress.
Superpower: X-Ray Vision
SOLOS Smart Glasses / $499
Take your eyewear inspiration from Tony Stark with SOLOS Smart Glasses. This unique set up places all of your performance data—pace, heart rate, workout instructions, even turn-by-turn directions—right in your line of vision. You can even receive phone alerts and text messages, so you don’t miss any important events while out on a long run. If you’re a data geek, you’ll definitely get in the zone while training in these.
Superpower: Fatigue-Proof Muscles
CW-X Compression Tights, $49.99
Developed by kinesiology researchers in Kyoto, Japan, the CW-X tights contain strategically-placed panels that mimic kinesiology taping placement for muscle and joint support. The line of tights and shorts provide a suspension system that maximizes biomechanical efficiency while running to keep fatigue and injury at bay. Compression garments also enhance recovery between workouts, allowing you to get back at it the next day. These qualities make compression garments a favorite of ultrarunners such as 20-time Leadville 100 finisher Eric Pence.
Superpower: Instant Healing
Shoreline Fruit Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate; $19/32 oz.
Your training buddies may feel wrecked after last weekend’s long run, but you’ll be fresh, thanks to this superfruit serum. Tart cherry juice and supplements have been found to reduce swelling in damaged muscles, allowing our bodies to recover faster and with less stiffness. In a 2010 study of Hood to Coast relay runners, pre-loading with tart cherry juice prior to and on the day of the race yielded significantly lower pain levels for the multi-stage relay runners than those who did not consume cherry juice. For best results, choose Montmorency tart cherry formulas that have no added sugar.