8 Women's Running Essentials of Summer 2012

3/4 compression tights

3/4 compression tights    Photo: Courtesy of 2XU

2XU Compression Tights

On days when your legs feel like Jell-O, wear 2XU’s three-quarter-length compression tights. They not only compress for support, but they have 360-degree stretch, because the yarn is knit in a circular structure, which also helps prevent injury.

Patagonia All-Weather Dress

All-weather dress
All-weather dress   Photo: Courtesy of Patagonia

After trail-running for two months in Patagonia’s quick-drying, polyester-and-spandex All-Weather dress, we quickly learned why Maria Sharapova shuns shorts when she slams tennis balls at 90 mph—dresses are not only sexy, they offer comfort and agility. But BYO undergarments—this loose, mid-thigh-length, 15 UPF dress has no attached bra or panties.

Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

Compression leg sleeves
Compression leg sleeves   Photo: Courtesy of Zensah

Made from proprietary thermo-regulating fabric, Zensah’s compression leg sleeves—used by ultrarunners to improve circulation and beat fatigue—are so snug that our calves felt massaged while running. If you don’t like feeling restricted in action, wear them for recovery instead.

Via Privé Freesia

Freesia tank
Freesia tank   Photo: Courtesy of Via Privé

Long-distance running requires whisper-thin apparel. Via Privé’s nylon-and-Lycra mesh Freesia tank, with a sleek racer back and dainty straps, is just that. Loose-fitting without being shapeless, the tank feels feminine but is also long enough not to ride up.

Sugoi Verve Bra

Verve bra
Verve bra   Photo: Courtesy of Sugoi

The secret to Sugoi’s soft, spandex-nylon Verve bra is its attached breathable mesh bra-within-a-bra, which provides extra support for all sizes, A to D, even in high-impact sports like running. Bold colors like ultra-pink, and neon touches (shown here), make it fun to throw on under a tank.

Stoic Thrive Luminous

Thrive Luminous jacket
Thrive Luminous jacket   Photo: Courtesy of Stoic

At five ounces, Stoic’s super-lightweight, see-through Thrive Luminous jacket has nice touches like hand-warmer pockets and reflective tape along the front zipper. Plus, the obvious: wind protection. The breathable, DWR-coated fabric also sheds water, which made a run through a quick downpour no problem.

Kaenon Soft Kore

Soft Kore sunglasses
Soft Kore sunglasses   Photo: Courtesy of Kaenon

Kaenon’s Italian-made Soft Kore sunglasses, with a small frame and short temples, are designed especially for women. The semi-rimless frame is so light that it floats on your face, and steaming was never a problem, even on overheated afternoon runs.

Fox River AXT Strive

AXT Strive socks
AXT Strive socks   Photo: Courtesy of Fox River

The ankle-height, merino-polyester AXT Strive ankle socks by Fox River stayed firmly in place on testing runs, leaving us happily blister-free.

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