“Gearing” Up For Fall Runs

There are so many great races in the fall.  From 5Ks to Marathons, what you wear has a big impact on your performance.  From shoes to hats, it is good practice to plan your race day wardrobe weeks before the race…


I’m not an expert on shoes and clothing but there are many specialists out there.  Companies, like ShoeFitr, specialize in 3D scans of footwear so you can see where a shoe may be too loose, too tight or just right on your foot.  There are also a lot of companies designing and selling clothing made of technical fabric that is touted as being superior to good old cotton.  I’m just starting to realize that this high tech fabric is surprisingly similar to the polyester we wore in the 60’s and 70’s!

When training for my first marathon, I wore a cotton t-shirt, baggy shortsCharles3 and Nike running shoes with Dr. Scholl’s inserts.  I didn’t know anything about running gear.  I could have faired much better with a technical shirt because it wicks away the sweat from the body and bypasses a lot of unnecessary chaffing.  I now always wear a technical (polyester) t-shirt.  It keeps me either cooler or warmer depending on what my body needs.  To this day, I still wear Dr. Scholl inserts.  I’m not sure if this is the wisest choice, but they work for me.  They give me extra padding in the heal and toe areas.

I want to give you readers some helpful information and not just my novice opinion on running gear.  Runner’s World has a newly enhanced online tool to help figure out what shoe is right for you.  The tool, called ShoeFinder, “draws upon their database of more than 500 running-shoe reviews and gigabytes of RW Shoe Lab testing data to make definitive recommendations.”  There are three options to help you find shoes to fit your needs.

  1. Shoe Advisor.  You answer specific questions about yourself and the tool makes recommendations of the best running shoes for your need.
  2. Shoes Like Mine.  You input the name of your favorite running shoe and 10 models will pop up that have similar characteristics to the shoe you love.
  3. Advanced Search.  Helps you to find a shoe with a particular feature you desire.

Each shoe recommended comes with a detailed review.

Runner’s World also offers recommendations on what to wear for your run based on temperature, wind, conditions (sun or rain), and how you like to feel when you run.  It’s called “What Should I Wear?” You input the variables and they’ll recommend if you should wear a hat or not, etc.

More information is available about gear, including socks, at the Apparel and Socks webpage on RunnersWorld.com.

The next hi-tech items I want to try are compression socks.  My father used to sell these in his pharmacy to folks (mostly elderly) that had circulation issues.  Now they are used by runners and tri-athletes to help energize fatigued legs.  Sounds good to me!