The change from winter to spring oftentimes means stubborn, atrophied running muscles and motivation. Some days, getting out for a run after a winter of hibernating requires the motivation of new gear.
Balega Hidden Contour socks ($14): There is one area in our bodies where fat cells diminish without us putting in any effort. It’s the fat on the bottom of our feet. By the time we reach our 40s, the fat pad on the bottom of our feet is half gone. More so if we’ve lead active lives. The end result is that our feet absorb less shock and become sore and painful as the day progresses. The remedy is a really good sock, which is the sole barrier between your foot and shoe. So far this year, I’m really liking this Balega sock because the cushioning is amazing and it really doesn’t slip or shift.
Sneaker Balls ($4.99): Humans smell. Human feet smell even worse. You are a human. Your feet smell. Sneaker Balls are deodorant for your running shoes. Super easy and fast to use. Just twist the balls to activate and insert them down into the nastiest, deepest reaches of your shoes. You can also use them in hiking boots and cycling shoes. Since these little guys came into my life my closet smells less offensive.
Sof Sole Fit Neutral Arch insoles ($39.99): I put in anywhere from 20 to 75 miles/week of running once late spring hits. Stock insoles don’t help correct my natural over-pronation and over-pronation causes pain in my knees and ankles. I’ve used every after-market insoles from Superfeet to Footbalance. The Sof Soles are more reasonably-priced than Superfeet and Footblance but I noticed that the arch sits further back towards my heel. It feels weird. I recommend trying them on in your running shoes before buying and inquiring about your store’s return policy just in case.
Fuelbelt Helium H2O ($39.99): Two seven-ounce BPA-free water bottles on a comfortable and adjustable waistband give you a burst of water with just a squeeze. I like the Fuelbelt Helium H2O because even when the water bottles were full, the belt didn’t jostle, joggle or jiggle. This is important because jostling, joggling and jiggling causes friction and chafing. Bottle placement on the back is a little hokey but not a deal breaker. Full Gear Gals review is right here.
Fuelbelt Sprint Palm Holder ($14.95): I’ve always shied away from hand-held water bottles because efficient running and good form starts with a set of relaxed hands and shoulders. When one arm is holding a water bottle, that arm will have less motion than the other and cause one stride to be shorter than the other. This asymmetry in your running stride can cause one side of your body to fatigue sooner than the other. Fatigue and muscle imbalance could lead to injury in the long term. The beauty of the Fuelbelt Sprint Palm Holder is that it’s like a running belt for your hand. No clenching required, fully relaxed hands and shoulders and it never came off once or felt odd to have on my hand.
Gordini Stash Lite Stretch gloves ($30): If I don’t get my run in before I start the day, it ain’t happening. Once I go to work or start in on the weekend routine that is required of homeownership, the life and energy that which I started the day is sucked from me. So, I’m a morning runner and spring mornings are still chilly in Minneapolis. I like these gloves because they’re at the just the right weight to keep off the chill but not make my hands sweat. I haven’t actually ran in the rain this year but these gloves are also water-resistant. Also great for hiking because they have an integrated stuff pocket in which the glove can be packed down to the size of a Sneaker Ball.