You Pick Wednesday–Running Gear Essentials

Fitness · You Pick Wednesday


A few weeks ago I ran the Run Against Traffick 5K with Angie, Molly & Heather.  After the race I got the following Tweets:



So, what was it about my outfit that gave them running gear envy?

I think it was the pockets!!  My pink Nike top has two pockets in the back which make it perfect for both running and cycling.

Or maybe it was the skirt.

Either way, Angie asked me to do a post on running gear.

I have a lot of it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of everything.  But imagine a dresser drawer so full that I can barely close it. Plus a tub of stuff under my bed.  I’ve been running since 2007 so I’ve been amassing my collection since then.

I do have some favorites, however.  And they include the skirt I’m wearing in the above photo.  And a top from the same company.


That company?  Skirt Sports!  Why do I love them so?  Because their clothes are designed by women for women.  One of the best features?  Cleavage alley!


That’s a pocket on the inside front of the top!  Because where do some women store stuff when they run?  In their bra.  So why not put a pocket there?

The Wonder Girl tank is my favorite from them and is the style I’m wearing above.  My skirt is several years old and I don’t think they sell that style anymore.  However, they sell quite a few other styles so it’s difficult to chose one that’s better than the other.

There is so much running gear out there.  You can spend from $10 to $100 or more on just about any piece.  I highly recommend trying lots of different brands, styles, and fits to find what you like the best.  Plus, the more you have the less often you need to do laundry, right?

However, my suggestions for basic running gear essentials are the following:

Running Essentials

Tank top | Hat | Arm warmers | Capris | Jacket | Visor | T-shirt | Socks | Tights | Gloves | Shorts

A combination of these items should get you through almost all weather conditions.  Plus shoes and a sports bra, of course.  Look for items that have pockets, are made out of polyester or other “sweat-wicking” material or have vented or mesh areas on them to let the heat escape.

Great brick & mortar places to buy running gear at good prices include Target, Kohl’s, JC Penney, TJ Maxx/Marshall’s and Nordstrom Rack.

Online options are plentiful but I prefer Running Warehouse, Holabird Sports, Amazon and The Clymb, to name a few.

Do you have any favorite workout gear?  Where do you like to shop for cute but functional stuff to sweat in?


11 replies on “You Pick Wednesday–Running Gear Essentials

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      I don’t usually keep things in my sports bra, either, but that little pocket is totally my favorite storage spot when I wear that top! Plus, that way it doesn’t matter as much if your shorts/pants have pockets or not.

  1. Emily

    Love it! I have been waiting for this post ever since we discussed it last weekend!!! Can’t wait to go check out some of the items you suggested!!!! I think I might actually take the plunge and try out a running skirt in the coming weeks…

  2. Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

    Now here’s a post this fashion-challenged girl feels qualified to comment on! Haha. I’m crazy about running gear. I completely agree that pockets are clutch on running clothes. On my training runs, I have a Nathan that has been great for storage, but I don’t want to carry it during the Chicago Half on Sunday. Fortunately, my shirt has a pocket, so I still have a place to store my fuel without pinning it to my shorts per Runner’s World’s suggestion.

  3. Katie of Alaskan Weredork

    THANK YOU! I really need this post, I’ve been looking for decent running gear and I just really don’t even have a clue about any of it. (The last time I really ran was back in high school and it was shorts and a big tee shirt.) I have a big question for you, what is some good gear for running in the cold? I know it gets really chilly there in Chicago, what do you wear in the winter months? I’m going to keep running up to twenty below, but that’s my cut-off for comfort. What would you suggest?

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      The coldest temps I’ve run in have been 0 or just slightly below. Nothing like minus twenty! But when it’s that cold, I suppose a few degree doesn’t make TOO much of a difference, right? Anyway, my super-cold outfit is the following:

      1. Running socks with a pair of SmartWool crew socks over top 2. Lined running tights with a pair of wind pants over the top and occasionally a pair of spandex shorts or capris underneath the tights (my butt gets really cold for some reason) 3. Sports bra, tank top, two long-sleeved shirts and running jacket 4. Mittens instead of gloves. I just buy cheap ones at the dollar store that way I don’t feel gross about wiping my nose on them. 5. Fleece ear band with my running baseball-style hat over the top 6. A neck gaiter that I can pull up over my mouth if necessary

  4. tootallfritz

    Hands down, the best gear comes from Athleta but you have to pick and choose what you really need due to the higher price tags (if you have a budget). Otherwise, I love the Saucony Ignite singlets for running/working out (on sale now for $22!),,, then I fill in the blanks with race SWAG. Old Navy has a few great pieces too in their active line when its on sale.

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      I always drool over the Athleta catalog! So many wonderful looking things. I haven’t been a huge fan of Old Navy’s workout wear in the past but I think they’ve revamped their selections so it might be worth another look. Where do you like to purchase your Saucony singlets?

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