Rain or shine, your training schedule won't wait (and neither will the bad mood that develops when it's been too long since your last run). These nine running essentials will keep you moving through the shoulder season without having to give the weather a second thought.
Ultimate Direction AK Trucker ($20)
Two reasons trucker hats have caught on with ultra-runners: the big brim keeps sun off your face, and the mesh vents air well. Jump on the bandwagon with Ultimate Direction’s AK Trucker, which has a breathable foam crown.
ASICS Thermal Run Gloves ($25)
ASICS’s Thermal Run gloves are ideal for shoulder season. They’re warm enough for cooler days, but the polyester isn’t so thick that they feel bulky. Touchscreen-compatible forefingers and thumbs work like they should, as do the fleece snot guards. (Just remember to wash ’em.)
Brooks Sherpa 5” 2-in-1 Shorts ($60)
Shorts with built-in mesh liners like Brooks’s Sherpa 5" 2-in-1 offer the best of everything—warmth, breathability, and support. With a zippered key pocket and two gel sleeves, the 2-in-1’s have become our go-to for high-mileage days.
Icebreaker Run+ Light Mini Socks ($18)
Icebreaker’s Run+ Light Mini socks are thick enough to keep feet warm on slushy runs. The stretchy merino-nylon-Lycra blend is durable and fights funk.
Scarpa Atom Trail Runners ($119)
At 9.5 ounces, Scarpa’s Atom trail runners feel ultralight, but the dual-density midsole is plush, and four millimeters of drop provide stability on uneven terrain. Our favorite feature: widely spaced lugs on the Vibram outsole, which help the Atom prevent mud buildup better than any other shoe we tested.
New Balance Performance Merino Half Zip Midlayer ($119)
Wear it over a T-shirt and the New Balance Performance Merino Half Zip midlayer can go days without a wash (we swear!) and provides just enough insulation for runs in the low forties—which is when we really appreciated the extra-long sleeves and thumb holes.
Garmin Forerunner 630 Watch ($450)
Garmin’s low-profile Forerunner 630 watch is a standout in the booming wearable-tech market. It keeps track of simple stuff like distance, cadence, and heart rate (via an included strap), plus advanced metrics like ground-contact time and stride length. Just as important: it plays nice with third-party apps like Strava and has impressive battery life (16 hours in training mode).
JLab Audio Epic Bluetooth Earbuds ($100)
Moldable over-the-ear wires keep JLab Audio’s sweat-resistant Epic Bluetooth earbuds from bouncing out. Sound quality is excellent—just be sure to keep your phone close to the Bluetooth receiver near the right bud.
Merrell Capra VaporVent 2.5L Jacket ($300)
The Merrell Capra VaporVent 2.5L jacket boasts two chest zippers for dumping heat. Should the sun poke through the clouds, the shell packs down into a waist belt.
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