Even though the change from summer to fall means running in cooler temperatures, you still need to have the basics, like Balega socks, Sneaker Balls, SofSole Neutral Arch insoles, Brilliant stick-on reflective safety strips, a supportive Falke bra, some Chamois Butt’r GoStik and the new Pearl Izumi ELITE Thermal hoody. Here’s what I personally think of all this swag:
Balega 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, as it’s the sole barrier between your foot and shoe. My absolute fave of the Balega line are the Natural Fiber Perfomance Blister Resist because even when I ran a half marathon in the rain, I didn’t get any blisters. My second and third favorite are the Hidden Comfort and the Enduro No Show because not only are they comfortable and well-fitting, they don’t slip around or bunch and do a fantastic job of combating foot smell.
Sneaker Balls ($4.99): Humans smell. Human feet smell even worse. You are a human. Your feet smell. Sneaker Balls are deodorant for 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.
SofSole Neutral Arch Insoles ($39.99): I put in anywhere from 20 to 75 miles/week of running. 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 SofSoles are more reasonably-priced than Superfeet and Footbalance 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.
Falke Maximum Support Bra: Since there’s no clever or pity way to enter this part of the review, I’ll just say that the reason I love this bra for running is because I don’t need the jaws of life to put it on or take it off and it doesn’t crush my ribs when wearing it. Nor is it the least bit uncomfortable. Get one!
Brilliant Reflective Safety strips: The thing with fall running is that so much of it during the weekday is likely to occur in the dark. These are an important piece of illumination gear because they are available in iron-on for your clothing. For the cost-conscious runner, this is a very inexpensive way to make any jacket or shirt more reflective to motorists.
Pearl Izumi ELITE Escape thermal hoody: Though probably designed exclusively for cycling, I have been using this for running on chilly mornings. I love how high the zipper zips up my neck sealing out any morning chill or afternoon wind and it has a ton of lovely reflective elements. A little pocket in the back conveniently holds my iPod and house key. It’s been on the warm side this fall for running (though find it nothing short of perfect for cycling) during longer distances but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be my go-to jacket for running once November and December hit.
Chamois Butt’r GoStik: Because chafing is real and persistent and when it gets bad, it gets really bad. I apply “liberally” on my inner arms where they can rub against my side and the spot on my sternum to mitigate any bra chafing. What I love about the GoStik is its size. It’s small enough to stash in the smaller pockets of the Fuelbelt Helium H2O, allowing me re-apply liberally as I need to on long runs.