THE BEST RUNNING ACCESSORIES & GADGETS
MORE THAN JUST SHOES… RUNNING ACCESSORIES
When most people walk into a running store, the first thing that typically catches their eye is the massive wall of shoes. It makes sense, though, because most runners are in need of new shoes a couple of times a year and are interested in having a shoe-fit expert help them find the best new model for their feet.
But running stores are also chock full of amazing accessories that can help improve your running, your recovery and your daily life.
TOM HOLOWKA RECOMMENDS…
We checked in with Tom Holowka, manager of the JackRabbit store in Ridgewood, N.J., to see what accessories he’d recommend. His suggestions are great for all levels of runners (and they’re also great gift ideas for the runners on your list whatever the time of year.)
ORB EXTREME MINI MASSAGE BALL, $14.95
“I really like the Orb Mini Massage Ball because it’s pretty versatile. You can use it on your feet or hard-to-reach areas of your body. It’s firm enough where you into the areas pretty deeply that a typical foam roller cannot.
I sometimes get a knot in my calf or in my hip, and it works really well by getting into those precise areas and massaging it out and making it feel better. It’s compact and easy to pack on the way to a run or on a trip, too.”
CEP—COMPRESSION RUNNING SOCKS 2.0, $60
CEP Compession Running Socks: “I really notice a difference when I wear compression socks. I wear them occasionally when I run, but I really like to put them on after I run and when I sleep. After I wear them, I always feel refreshed, especially if my calves were sore from a workout.
I do like to wear them on trail runs because I’m always scared of getting tick bites and also because trail runs are typically longer and the compression helps offset the fatigue from the longer duration on my feet.”
OOFOS—OOAHH SPORT SLIDE SANDALS, $59.95
Oofos – Ooahh Sport Slide Sandals: “I really like to wear these as my house shoes. I come home and take off my everyday shoes and slide these on. The OOfoam feels so good underneath your feet, and because it has an arch support in there, it revitalizes your feet, especially after a long day.
Or even if you have plantar fasciitis when you wake up in the morning, it’s good to put those on to be able to stand and walk around without having the heel and arch pain on a hardwood floor or hard surface. And if your feet are bothering you after a race, it’s great to slide them on and wear them after you take off your running shoes.”
ROLL RECOVERY – THE R8 ROLLER, $130
Roll Recovery R8 Roller: “This is a unique and very effective recovery tool. Especially after long trail runs or long bike rides, it helps the legs feel refreshed so you can move on with the rest of your day without feeling any lingering fatigue or soreness.
The R8 Roller from Roll Recovery is a completely unique recovery tool because it supplies the tension for you so it’s not as much of a strain to work out your kinks, and with the latest version you can adjust the tension, too.
If you’re a runner and also a busy person, your run is only a small part of your day. For me, after I do my two-hour long run or three-hour bike ride, I have to do a lot of other stuff and I’m still on my feet for a long time so I have to make sure I am recovered.”
GARMIN – FORERUNNER 935, $499
Garmin Forerunner 935: “This has been my go-to GPS watch for the past two years. I train and race triathlons and it has all of the features I need to track all of my workouts.
It integrates with my power meter, tracks all of my heart rate data in my run workouts and my bike workouts, tracks my open-water swimming, and it all auto-uploads to Garmin Connect and Strava.
I have been more into yoga recently, and I have used it to track the calories burned and the time of the session. Essentially the Forerunner 935 has allowed Garmin Connect to become my workout log.”
MORE ESSENTIALS FOR RUNNERS
Need more suggestions?
Nuun Electrolytes ($7 per tube of 10 tablets) are a hydration-enhancing electrolyte formula that can be added to any water bottle or hydration pack; KT Tape ($12.99) is useful for helping align various body parts to reduce the minor irritation or discomfort of overuse injuries. And the Hyperice Hypervolt ($349) is an impressive battery-powered vibrating massage tool that can help workout kinks and muscular soreness.
“Most running stores carry a lot of items that can be useful to just about any runner,” Holowka says. “A lot of times people know kind of what they want or need for a specific purpose but might not know the product name, but often times a customer will come in and not even be aware that those kinds of items exist or are sold in the store.”