Spring Running Gear for 2020

Coronavirus. It’s taken over our news feeds, discussions and thoughts. We’re all being encouraged to practice social distancing to slow the global pandemic. Travel restrictions and the cancellation or postponement of many running events have thrown our running calendars into disarray – and rightly so. We are all responsible for stopping the spread of COVID-19. But before we throw our running shoes into the back of the closet to gather dust, we must remember that running is a kind of social distancing – one we as runners can fully embrace!

Yes, it’s a scary, anxious time. But we can, and should still run, not only for our health but for our sanity. With all that being said, if you are looking to add a new piece of gear to your running kit, here are the products that came out on top while testing the new Spring running wares.

Silva Trail Speed 4XT Headlamp

The Trail Speed 4XT Headlamp is one of Silva’s most powerful headlamps built for trail runners pushing it before dawn and after dusk. The 4XT is packed with a wildly bright 1200 lumens and yet remains nimble and lightweight for the four digit lumen headlamp category. Simply put the 4XT headlamp offers the perfect balance between light output, burn time and weight. MSRP $179.99 silva.se

Polar H9 Heart Rate Monitor

When you’re finally serious about bringing your training regimen to the next level pickup the Polar H9 Heart Rate Monitor. This unit features Dual Technology, which broadcasts signals over ANT+ and Bluetooth simultaneously, so you can view your exercise stats on sports watches, head units, and smartphones at the same time. When you’re looking for a reliable, high-quality heart rate chest strap, the Polar H9 fills those requirements and more. MSRP $59.95 polar.com

Wicked Audio Cron Earbuds

Whether you’re going for an after work run or looking for the perfect soundtrack to discover new trails, the Wicked Audio Cron Earbuds are there with high quality audio and a comfortable and secure design. They’re IPX5 Sweatproof to keep up with you through speedy workouts and long Spring runs. The flexible secure loop fins keep the fit secure and locked-in during movement, while cushy tips boost the comfort and sound quality at the same time. Built with Qi wireless charging capability in the case and Bluetooth 5.0 Plus, these Bluetooth earbuds stay tight in the ears, eliminate annoying cords, and resist bad weather and sweat to keep the tunes pumping. MSRP $99.99 wickedaudio.com

Jaybird Vista

The Jaybird Vistas are ergonomically designed to fit your ears – comfortable, secure and incredibly lightweight. They have a superior 32 hour battery life with the charging case and an IPX7 waterproof rating, so there is no need to worry about sweat or rain. The Vistas are classified as EarthProof (MIL-STD810G), both in capsule construction and the buds themselves, sealing them against dust and mud, allowing them to go anywhere. The Jaybird app allows for personalized sound customization, whether its crisp highs or deep lows. The app also allows you to track the Vistas down, should they go missing. With quick charge capabilities, five minutes in the case provides an hour of high quality listen. The Jaybird Vistas deliver premium sound in a rugged and durable design that is ready to go anywhere and everywhere. MSRP $179.99 jaybirdsport.com

Nathan Sports ExoDraw 2 or ExoDraw 2 Insulated

When you are looking for a slosh-free way to hand carry your hydration, grab the ultralight Nathan Sports ExoDraw 2 or ExoDraw 2 Insulated. Nathan uses a minimalist design to keep you well hydrated on your road or trail run without holding you back. The ergonomic grip easily fits in the hand for a comfy carry, while the bite valve ensures you don’t have to stop your run just to grab a drink. MSRP $44.99-$54.99 nathansports.com

UltraSpire Basham

Whether you’re gearing up for race day or a long training run, this hydration vest will give ultrarunners and trail enthusiasts the storage they need for a long day in the hills. Smaller and more speed-minded than the other packs, and yet despite its size, it can carry up to 2 bottles as well as plenty of other run accessories. This lightweight hydration pack makes a great choice for those who have a smaller build and are looking for a close fit and low-profile that won’t get in the way. MSRP $89.95 ultraspire.com

Orange Mud Vest Pack 1 v2

The solution for the cumbersome water bottle is the easy carrying convenience of the Orange Mud Vest Pack 1 v2. This hydration pack utilizes highly breathable and durable mesh for maximum heat and moisture transfer. The vest pack rides high for freedom of movement and delivers no bounce stability while running. Adjustable straps and quick clip closures will ensure a great fit to a wide variety of runners. While the bottle holder facilitates easy one handed retrieval during grueling runs and long distance efforts alike. MSRP $119.95 orangemud.com

Salomon Agile Nocturne 2 Set

Gear up for your pre-dawn or nightly runs with the low-profile Salomon Agile Nocturne 2 Set. The reflective print all over the pack is active so it’s extremely visible from the front or back in dusk and nighttime conditions. It’s got a compact and streamlined design, but still has all the storage you need for layers, nutrition, and hydration for those long runs. Dual pockets on either side hold the included soft flasks, giving you quick access to water, electrolyte mixes, or one of each. Add in the benefits of 3D mesh for a fit that feels more like a piece of apparel than a running pack, and you’ll be able to keep your mind focused and worry free about being visible at night or in low light. MSRP $110 salomon.com

Nathan Sports VaporKrar 2 12L

When you are going to grind out long training runs or are ready to head out on an ultra adventure, the Nathan Sports VaporKrar 2 12L will be a trusted companion for anyone spending a few hours or more out on the trails. The fabric is super lightweight yet durable, letting you dart through overgrown trails without worrying about tearing or snagging, while the airy synthetic construction delivers lots of breathable comfort when you push the pace. It has the contour fit of an active shirt and is designed to move with you and wick moisture as you run. Filling the multiple pockets and 1.6 L IsoBound insulated bladder with fuel, hydration flasks, and water is a breeze thanks to its stretch fit design, the compression straps lock down and streamline the load, eliminating jostling and allowing for focused running. Developed with the demanding specifications and endurance testing of world-class ultra runner, Rob Krar, this men’s-specific, body-mapped runners’ vest is the ideal companion for those longer adventures and training days where there are no aid stations. MSRP $199.99  nathansports.com

Takeya Water Bottle 32 oz

Perfect for after the run hydration, the Takeya Water Bottle 32 oz will keep your thirst quencher cool for hours, so it will be ready for you even while waiting in a hot car. The double-wall vacuum-insulated stainless steel is naturally BPA-free, so it doesn’t leave a weird taste, and prevents condensation on the outside on the bottle. The leak-proof Spout Lid allows for easy one-handed sipping and the integrated loop handle makes for effortless transport. MSRP $29.99 takeyausa.com

Tailwind Colorado Cola and Rebuild Recovery Coffee

Whether you’re training for a marathon or about to take on an ultra, reach for Tailwind Endurance Fuel as a way to stay on top of your game. Sipping Tailwind provides steady, small doses of fuel that pass right through the gut. The natural composition of Tailwind’s fuel agrees with what the stomach is made to absorb, entering your system quickly, without taxing the digestive tract. Tailwind mixes incredibly easy and tastes remarkably light and refreshing when you’re pushing the limits of your body.

For after the run recuperation Tailwind created Rebuild Recovery to help those of us who need to refuel but are wary of punishing our stomachs to reward our muscles. The mix is a great tasting recovery drink that’s free of excess ingredients, so it keeps recovery simple and intestinal distress to a minimum. This recovery drink gives you 10 grams of the high-quality protein and 43 grams of carbohydrates working synergistically to rebuild muscles, improve glycogen, and speed-up recovery time. MSRP $38.99 tailwindnutrition.com

OR Vantage Air Cap

The OR Vantage Air Cap is an ultralight cap that dries in a flash and its mesh panels prevent the head from overheating. The sweatband has proprietary ActiveIce technology, which uses your own sweat to cool you down. While the super easy shock cord adjuster lets you loosen or cinch up your sizing with a single hand, and a reflective logo keeps you seen during dawn and dusk outings. MSRP $30 outdoorresearch.com

Nathan Sports Quick Stash Run Hat

When you’re running on sunny days, the Nathan Sports Quick Stash Run Hat delivers sun protection, moisture management, and style to keep you comfortable on the road or the trail. Its lightweight and breathable construction features a built-in inner band to wick moisture to keep you feeling dry and comfortable. Additionally, the cap is equipped with a stash pocket on each side to hold run essentials – like keys, ID, cards or energy gels to allow you to confidently continue to log miles. MSRP $24.99  nathansports.com

OR Vigor Lightweight Sensor Gloves

Keep your hands perfectly comfy when running in the cooler Spring weather with the OR Vigor Lightweight Sensor Gloves. The smooth ActiveTemp “smart fleece” fabric warms your hand without restricting movement, and thermo-regulating technology adjusts to your body temperature to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable during high-exertion activities. Silicone stretches across the palm for an improved grip that doesn’t hinder the hand’s mobility. And thanks to the glove’s touchscreen compatibility, you don’t have to take the gloves off when you want to change the tunes on your smartphone halfway through your run. MSRP $26 outdoorresearch.com

Hoka Performance Tank

You won’t slow down on the road or trail when you’ve got this lightweight, breathable, and movement minded Hoka Performance Tank top on your side. Its lightweight and stretchy fabric delivers free mobility that’ll help you pick up the pace, and the synthetic fibers dry in a flash as you work up a sweat. MSRP $52  hokaoneone.com

OR Echo Hoodie

Before heading out on your next Spring run, pull on the Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie for reliable lightweight comfort and coverage in the sunshine. This ultra lightweight hoody is built to keep you covered without driving up your core temperature. It accomplishes this with its AirVent fabric technology that wicks moisture, dries quickly, breathes incredibly well, and blocks out harmful UV rays. The Echo Hoody can also serve as a lightweight layering piece in cooler weather. The raglan sleeves offer uninhibited mobility, while the fold over mitt cuffs provide added convenience if the temps begin to drop. Because high exertion can bring the stink, this Hoodie boasts ActiveFresh odor control technology that helps kill off odors for those times when you have errands during or right after runs, allowing you to remain fresh and funk free. Ideal for warm weather running, the Outdoor Research Echo Hoody delivers perfect versatile comfort in a super lightweight high performance top. MSRP $65 outdoorresearch.com

Hoka Performance 3/4 Sleeve

Designed for mild weather days when you need coverage but also need to stay comfortable, the Hoka Performance 3/4 Sleeve will shield the sun without packing heat. Its soft fabric wicks moisture and breathes well enough to adjust to changes in temperature and output. When you’re setting out for long runs when the temperature can fluctuate between “long sleeve” and “short sleeve” throw on the 3/4 Sleeve Shirt to stay warm and comfortable. MSRP $74 hokaoneone.com

REI Co-op Swiftland Mid Layer Shirt

When you’re looking for that perfect balance of coverage and breathability, reach for the REI Co-op Swiftland Mid Layer Shirt. It’ll give you optimal warmth for cool to chilly weather, while offering cooling airflow to keep you from getting too hot or stuffy. On the back, arms and the side panels you’ll find a more open breathable fabric, which lets in air to keep your temperature balanced and comfortable. While the front of the shirt is made with a synthetic fabric that helps block the wind and cold to ensure those runs on cool early mornings won’t have any added discomfort to them. MSRP $69.95 rei.com

Arc’Teryx Incendo Short 9

The Arc’Teryx Incendo Short 9 will keep you cool and comfortable on long trail and road runs. Their lightweight Teslin fabric gives stretch performance and exceptional airflow over many miles. The lightweight fabric comfortably stretches to allow for unimpeded range of motion when you’re on the trail, while also wicking sweat and drying quickly to keep you light on your feet. MSRP $79 arcteryx.com

Bjorn Daehile Pants Run

Bjorn Daehile built the lightweight and breathable Pants Run for trail running and other high-aerobic activities. A stretchy softshell provides protection from chilly Spring weather, while an internal drawcord provides a customized fit for ultimate comfort while you’re tearing up the trail. These lightweight 4-way stretch pants are a great alternative to tights and provide great mobility during running. Tapered from the knees down and sitting snug on the legs, the synthetic fabric allows excess heat and moisture to escape, while the reflective elements deliver visible safety for those early-morning or late-evening runs, and a zippered side pocket keeps your run essentials secure. MSRP $100 dahlie.com

Arc’Teryx Cormac Pants

Ideal for pre-run stretching, post-run chilling, and of course, the hard-fought miles in between. The Arc’Teryx Cormac Pants are soft, lightweight, and moisture managing to keep you comfortable while you run, and have a tapered fit around the leg for locked-in warmth and an athletic feel. MSRP $129 arcteryx.com

Coalatree Evolution Joggers

The Coalatree Evolution Joggers are built for comfort in your warm-up, while still offering a plush option when you’re recovering around the house. The unique, stretchy construction made from recycled coffee grounds keeps your lower half comfy through warm-ups, cool-downs, and every other part of your routine in cooler weather, while also offering concealed zippered pockets to keep your phone and cash protected discreetly. MSRP $79 coalatree.com

Swiftwick Socks Vision

The Swiftwick Socks Vision is designed to keep you comfortable and stylish on all of your trail and road runs. Its medium cushioning provides all-day comfort while moderate compression gently hugs and supports the contours of your feet for comfort in long miles. High-performance fibers wick moisture to keep your feet breathing and comfortable while the creative designs keep your style on point. MSRP $19.99 swiftwick.com

TrueEnergy Recovery Socks

Whether you’ve just completed a long training run or finished the race with a PR, pull on the TrueEnergy Recovery Socks to aid your recovery. Constructed with graduated compression panels and powered by infrared technology, these socks promote circulation through the lower legs to relieve tired and sore muscles. An anatomical design with padded zones at the heels and balls of the feet offers comfort whether you’re padding to the kitchen for a second helping of food or relaxing on the couch. MSRP $29.99 – 3 Pair trueenergysocks.com

Road Shoe – Under Armour Hover Machina

The Under Armour Hover Machina was built to go the distance. Delivering soft underfoot comfort, responsive cushioning, and a lightweight feel, it’s got everything you need to crush your higher mileage days, and even connects to UA MapMyRun to help coach you giving you real-time, personalized tips to help make running feel easier. The UA HOVR Machina mixes the speed of a racing shoe with the comfort of a long-distance trainer. A 2-pronged carbon-filled Pebax spring plate helps you get up on your toes to keep turnover quick and transition snappy. Become an all-around better runner with the soft energy return of UA Machina and the data-driven coaching of UA MapMyRun. The recommendation for sizing is to Size Up. MSRP $150 underarmour.com

Trail Shoe – Arc’Teryx Norvan LD 2 GTX

Designed to tackle changing terrain through all types of conditions, the Arc’Teryx Norvan LD 2 GTX Running Shoe is ready to head for the mountains. Its breathable GORE Invisible Fit membrane and engineered mesh uppers help keep your feet comfortable during Spring runs while the GORE-TEX membrane completely blocks moisture when the trails turn muddy or you cross a shallow stream. Across these changing terrain types, the Vibram Megagrip outsole with high-grip rubber and multi-patterned lugs keep you in control as you charge through the miles. MSRP $195 arcteryx.com

Mark Ranum: Mark is an outdoor adventure seeker, living in the beautiful state of Michigan. He loves trekking hundreds of miles through the wilderness, whether on two feet or two wheels, always looking for the next new trail or road to see where it will take him.
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