For decades, outdoor brands gave little attention to women’s products. That’s changing fast. We asked a field of expert female athletes to nominate the best new performance tools in a range of sports—starting with running.
The XX Factor Issue
Our special issue highlights the athletes, activists, and icons who have shaped the outside world.
Janji Women’s Ombre Longsleeve Base Layer ($54)
With a pattern inspired by the Masai, this base layer conjures the spirit of the world’s most celebrated marathoners. The soft polyester-rayon weave is comfortable next to skin.
Stance Painted Low Socks ($15)
When the last thing you want to do is train, crazy-bright socks can make all the difference—especially when they’re anatomically designed and made of a wicking polyester-nylon blend.
Sunday Afternoons Northwest Trucker Hat ($28)
With a just-right brim—wide enough for adequate sun coverage, thin but never floppy—and vented mesh back, this lid fits the bill as a runner’s best friend.
Rabbit Hopper Shorts ($52)
I love the attention to detail in Rabbit’s well-curated apparel line. The slim-fitting Hoppers are perfect for hot days when you want as little fabric on skin as possible.
Cotopaxi Veloz Hydration Belt ($35)
This svelte accessory has pockets for the included soft flask, a phone, and your keys. A compartment for the strap allows for belt tightening without that escaped-dog-on-a-leash look.
Brooks Sure Shot Racer Sports Bra ($38)
Only one in a hundred sports bras ever makes it past the first date. This lowerimpact model is my match for life. The supportive bottom band and compression holds everything in place on long days.
Suunto Spartan Ultra All Black Titanium Watch ($799)
Plenty of fitness wearables boast GPS these days, but the Spartan Ultra stands out for its built-in barometer and water resistance down to 300 feet. The watch syncs with the Suunto Movescount app, allowing you to see how much you’ve climbed or how many miles you’ve run, and the included chest-strap heart-rate monitor lets you dial in your training.
Saucony Type A8 Shoes ($100)
The A8 was made to go fast on roads, but I also dig it for mellower trails. It’s a light and responsive shoe that’s served me well on everything from short bursts to 50Ks.
The North Face Flight Series Warp Capris ($120)
Strategically engineered ventilation zones make these capris ideal for runs that start cold but warm up as soon as you’re rolling. I like them just as much for the flattering fit.
Salomon S-Lab Hybrid Jacket ($250)
The S-Lab Hybrid excels in rough weather, achieving the tricky balance of keeping the elements out and letting sweaty, damp air escape. The body-mapped fit leaves no extra fabric to distract or chafe—whether I’m going long or sprinting an uphill mile.
The Expert: Crushing long distance trail races is Outside correspondent Meaghen Brown’s favorite pastime.