It’s marathon season again, which means long training sessions and races after a lazy summer of gin and tonics and barbecues. But have no fear! The right setup can make running—and recovery—a lot less painful.
Hoka Stinson ATR 4 ($130)
Hoka’s Stinson ATR 4 is the trail shoe I wear when I want to go easy on my feet. With a beefy 39-millimeter stack height at the heel, it feels like a monster-truck tire, absorbing much of the impact when I'm cranking out miles. I’ve also found it reduces my recovery time. The Challenger ATR’s road counterpart, the Clifton ($130), is just as good at taking the sting out of pavement.
Saxx Kinetic Run Shorts ($45)
It’s tough to overstate the support quality and chafe-fighting prowess of the Saxx Kinetic Run Shorts. Both are due to Saxx’s distinctive pouch, which cradles my man bits safely away from the insides of my thighs. I ran a 50K in a pair and had precisely zero chafing, despite not using any fancy lubricating creams.
Fits Light Runner No Show Socks ($17)
The cushiest, best-fitting shoes in the world won’t do you much good if you’re hobbled by blisters. Fits Light Runner No Show Socks are made of moisture-wicking merino wool and feature deep heel pockets that keep them locked in place, making them the best tools for blister mitigation I’ve ever tested.
Bodyglide Balm ($5)
There are a ton of anti-chafe options out there, but here I’m giving the nod to Bodyglide Balm because of its incredible value. I purchased a $15, 2.5-ounce stick of this stuff five years ago, and it’s still helping fend off nipple and undercarriage damage with its mix of triglycerines and waxes.
Skratch Labs Sports Hydration Mix ($20)
I have a pretty weak stomach, so I can’t gobble all kinds of gels while hammering singletrack. Hence I turn to Skratch Labs Sport Hydration Mix. The gluten- and dairy-free powders have never upset my stomach but deliver enough electrolytes to fight off cramps and dehydration. I also appreciate that the taste isn’t sickly sweet. (That said, when I’m trying to keep my calorie intake up, nothing quite beats the salty-sweet mix of a good old PB&J. There’s a reason races stock them at aid stations.)
Suunto 9 ($599)
Yes, the Suunto 9 is damned expensive, and no, you don’t need a fancy GPS to be a distance runner. But after running with it for over a month now, I have to say it’s the most user-friendly watch out there. I didn’t have to consult a manual to figure out how to operate it. And thanks to its 120-hour battery life, it was the first GPS watch I didn’t worry would die on me.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.