Training essentials for road and trail.

running
(Courtesy Leki)

Leki Micro Trail Vario Poles ($220)

The three-piece design on these ultralight carbon poles makes for fast and easy deployment or collapse as conditions change from rowdy to moderate. We especially liked the cork grips—a lifesaver after hours on the trail.

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running
(Courtesy Tracksmith)

Tracksmith Reggie Half Tights ($68)

Named for Boston’s famed Reggie Lewis indoor running track, the Reggie half tights became our go-to for fast workouts. The Italian-made, stretchy nylon-elastane material minimized chafing and breathed well.

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running
(Courtesy Brooks)

Brooks Ghost Shirt ($40)

The Ghost might be the thinnest, softest shirt we’ve ever worn. The polyester dries so fast, you won’t notice it’s there—almost, well, like a ghost.

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running
(Courtesy Salomon)

Salomon Air Logo Cap ($30)

The wide mesh on the top and back of the Air Logo vented heat on midday runs, and the stubby brim did just fine keeping the sun’s rays at bay. At night, the reflective accents helped us stay visible to cars on the road.

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running
(Courtesy Petzl)

Petzl Actik Core Headlamp ($70)

We love the simplicity of the Actik, which powers its 350 lumens via a rechargeable lithium battery that’s easy to top off before a run. No outlet? It also runs on three AAA batteries.

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running
(Courtesy Arc'teryx)

Arc’teryx Norvan 7 Hydration Vest ($179)

At just over nine ounces, the Norvan is silly light for how capable it is: seven liters of storage, a water-resistant compartment, and a pair of holsters for hydration flasks all cinch down to avoid bouncing.

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running
(Courtesy LL Bean)

L.L.Bean CoolMax Nano Glide Socks ($18 for two pairs)

We admire the Nano Glide’s ankle cut, and the stretchy nylon-poly mix has just enough padding in the heel and forefoot.

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running
(Courtesy Mammut)

Mammut MTR 71 Shorts ($65)

Mammut nailed these shorts: a wide waistband keeps them in place, a zippered pocket holds a key or gel, and the poly-blend fabric never rubs.

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Fitness

The Best Trail Running Shoes of 2018

Light up the trails with these all-terrain performers. (Courtesy Brooks) Brooks Mazama 2 ($140) The reason the Mazama is taking home Gear of the Year is simple: it’s a Ducati with knobby tires. Built for hammer-day speed, it’s a low-riding shoe that can absolutely scorch flat and rolling trail sections, yet has the technical chops to move with abandon through rocky terrain. The flexible, rock-plate-protected design makes it easy to hopscotch patches of dirt between loose rubble. While the Mazama is pretty pared back, Brooks significantly boosted the shoe’s comfort-oriented features compared with last year’s version—think extra padding around

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Fitness

The Best T-Shirts of 2018

Think back to your first runs, when you still huffed and puffed through a 5K, glancing at your watch every minute and wishing it would stop. You’d reach down and touch your shirt—soft, a little damp, and almost certainly made of cotton. These days low-tech, plain-Jane cotton is something of a has-been, replaced by newfangled synthetics and resurgent natural fibers like merino. But despite cotton’s drawbacks, there’s still a lot to love. (Courtesy Patagonia) Patagonia Flying Fish Organic Cotton ($35) Some of our favorites, like Patagonia’s Flying Fish Organic Cotton, are as simple as running itself. It’s printed with

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Fitness

The Best Road Running Shoes of 2018

Seven top performers for pounding the pavement. (Courtesy Hoka One One) Hoka One One Mach ($140) Since Hoka hit the running-shoe scene in 2009, not one of its lightweight megafoam constructions has managed to earn our Gear of the Year honors. This year the curse is broken. The superfast, midfat Mach was the top pick of about half our team, and it earned strong marks from everyone else—a rare instance of something approaching unanimity. Built atop a snappy midsole that’s firmly energetic but easy on the legs, the Mach is thick, quick, and easy to love. “The responsiveness allowed

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Fitness

The Best Women’s Running Kit of 2018

Training essentials for road and trail. (Courtesy Tracksmith) Tracksmith Twilight Tank ($48) This breathable polyester tank is perfect for sweaty summer miles. Bonus: it looks as sleek as a racing singlet. Buy Now (Courtesy Sol) Sol Sunguard Sunscreen (from $30) This mineral-based ­sun­screen is the holy grail of skin protection. It doesn’t leave you wraith white and won’t come off when you’re sweaty or hitting the waves. Buy Now (Courtesy Brooks) Brooks Canopy Jacket ($120) There are lots of lightweight, water-resistant layers that will shield you from wind and rain. But the Canopy is made of ripstop polyester, so

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Fitness

The Best Summer Race Kit of 2018

Smoke the competition. (Courtesy Salomon) Salomon Sonic RA Shoes ($130) Salomon’s new road shoe is light enough to give you a bump in speed and durable enough to withstand miles of pavement pounding. The breathable mesh upper fits snug around the forefoot to mitigate blisters and dead toenails. Men's Women's (Courtesy Nuun) Nuun Electrolytes Tablets ($7) Nuun’s tabs contain important minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium, and all 13 flavors are formulated with just a hint of natural sugar, so you don’t get that syrupy aftertaste of many sports drinks. Drop one into your water bottle to help prevent dehydration. Buy

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Fitness

The Best Running Accessories of 2018

High mileage without the sticker shock. (Courtesy Hoka One One) Hoka One One Ora Recovery Sandals ($50) Whether you just busted out a personal best at a race or slogged through another training session, Hoka’s Ora Recovery sandals provide maximum post-run comfort for your beat feet. It takes the brand’s signature oversize midsole and enhanced rocker and applies them to a slip-on. Men's Women's (Courtesy Buff) Buff Reflective Headwear ($25) Everyone loves the versatility of a Buff, but runners in particular should be snapping these up in droves. Buff’s headwear wicks moisture and provides UV protection on long, sunny sessions.

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