We’re not even sure what day/week/month/year it is, but apparently Siri says it’s spring 2020, so we’ll roll with it. Each season we try and put together some of our favorite non-shoe gear that we’ve been testing, especially from brands you may not have heard of yet, or new designs that just came out. This spring we were excited to get some newcomers in the house, like Miler Running, while sporting some new gear from old friends, like Goodr and Janji. We’ve also included some accessories to keep you cool, safe, and equipped for continually racking up quarantine miles.
♦ Base Running Singlet
One of our favorite things about doing this job is seeing new companies do cool stuff. Thomas has seen the start and rise of Tracksmith, we’re excited for what Atreyu Running is doing, etc.
A couple months ago, Ben from Miler Running sent us the two pieces in their boutique running kit, featuring a singlet and short. The singlet is hiqh-quality, no doubt. Bonded seams and hem eliminate chafing points, and the fabric is a lightweight and breathable Coolmax mesh from Switzerland. An Active>Silver finish limits bacteria and it has the highest Moisture Management Tester (MMT) rating possible.
On the run, it feels great. Super light and airy, up there with some of the best singlets we’ve worn in terms of breathability and comfort. I’m also a fan of the murdered-out, all-black look, so I found myself wearing this on any day when it was warmer. I’d love it if the MILER RUNNING logo was a little higher on the chest (flaunt your brand, boys!), but that’s just a minor ding imo.
Also, it’s made right in New York City, so you’re purchasing something that doesn’t come from some anonymous southeast Asia factory. Keep that in mind when you see the price. (The shorts are nice too, btw).
PRICE: $90Shop Miler Running
♦ Pembroke Shorts
We’ll also be doing a full Iffley Road spring 2020 review, but we love these shorts so much, they’re going in twice because we can do whatever we want. While Thomas’s favorite short ever is the Tracksmith Van Cortlandt, this is a close runner up for him. For me, it’s the short I’ve been looking for my whole life (though it may be tied with the Tracksmith Van Cortlandt Grand 4″ that just came out).
Putting the Pembroke Shorts on for the first time was a borderline sexual experience (sorry Iffley Road, probably can’t put that on your website). The soft mesh fabric brief is quite something. Then there’s the flat-front cut, which seems perfectly tailored and makes the short feel more like a 4”, without that typical flare-out you get from cheap, mass-produced shorts.
Of course, everything in Iffley Road is high-quality (designed in England, made in Portugal), including the high-tech Italian microfiber used for the short material. I also loved the two credit card/gel/key pockets on the inside front. And that white– so damn clean that it’s got me separating my laundry again.
PRICE: $74Shop Iffley Road
♦ Transit Tech Half-Zip
We got this about a month ago, and since then, I’ve found myself pulling this half-zip out on the reg, whenever I need that light extra layer. Works good in that 45-55 degree range, but also just works as lifestyle outerwear.
Features a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish, bi-stretch material, and a kangaroo pocket to stash your kids (or keys). Any good sleeve has thumb loops, and this one has elastic ones, as well as shoulder bungee loops for hanging up to dry.
Also, half-zips/anoraks are in for probably a very short time, so get it while it’s still cool.
P.S. It’s also on sale right now for like $50, so you should definitely peep it.
PRICE: $72Shop Janji
♦ Grit X Multisport GPS Watch
Okay, we’ve only been testing this for a week (full review coming soon), but so far, so great. Designed with the endurance/ultra athlete in mind, this rugged design meets the top military standards for durability and features a 40-hour full GPS battery life. Accuracy has been rock-solid, and we’ve also been enjoying the new updates like nutrition alerts and hourly weather report on the home screen. Polar definitely upped their game on this one, and it comes in at the lowest price point of any of the “rugged” watches out there (i.e. Garmin Fenix, COROS Vertix).
PRICE: $430Shop POLAR
♦ Run Cap
I’ve gotta say, I got a Buff Run Cap back at The Running Event, and it’s pretty much my favorite running hat ever. That one is all black, but the new spring designs are fresh and fun. Packs down to nothing but the five-panel style retains some shape so it still looks good when unfolded. Super soft, super breathable, dries quickly– it’s all I want in a running cap.
I would also tell you to pick up a CoolNet UV+ neck gaiter that they sent us as well, but as you can imagine, they’re pretty much sold out of everything at the moment. Sucks, cause I highly recommend that as well. Between running, hikes with the fam, and grocery shopping, I’m wearing it for half of the day at this point.
PRICE: $24Shop Buff
♦ Circle G Sunglasses
We have a sunglasses roundup coming up, but I’ve worn these pretty much every day this spring, so I had to include them. I had some issues with Goodr models in the past (namely the film on the lenses peeling off within 3 months of use), but so far so good on the Circle G.
I’m a huge fan of the circle frame design (am I a hipster?? *sigh*), so I was stoked to try these. To me, these are pretty much the perfect sunglasses. Look great in any situation, cheap price point, and don’t slip when running. While I think other brands have overall better frame and lens quality, when you combine function, form, and fashion, it’s hard to beat the Goodr Circle G.
PRICE: $25Shop Goodr
♦ Ripcord Personal Alarm
So, I legit used to carry a knife on me as a last resort that I should get attacked on one of my late-night runs in Baltimore, but I didn’t really love carrying something that could be used against me (because I can assure you I have no knife-fighting skills).
When we saw that Time Magazine had the Nathan SaferRun Ripcord Siren on its “Top 100 Inventions of 2019” list, we had to try it out.
I mean, I haven’t been able to try it out in a real-life scenario cause I haven’t been jumped, but this thing is pretty dope. It seamlessly clips to your shorts or hydration vest, and a quick pull of the ripcord fires off a 120dB alarm that’s audible up to two football fields away. It’s reusable so you can push the pin back in as well. I’ve carried with this me on a number of runs, and I don’t even remember it’s there.
I’m also interested to see if it’d deter a dog if you’re being chased; I can’t imagine it wouldn’t hurt.
PRICE: $19.99Shop Nathan
♦ Flite XT Zero Tab Sock
If there’s one sock that we keep putting on, like, far past the point when we should’ve thrown them in the wash, it’s this one. I’m honestly not sure why I love this sock so much, but I do. I think it’s the combination of compression and comfort. How can something constrict but still be relaxing?!?
The sock employs Olefin fiber to wick moisture, AnkleLock technology for extra support, GripDry Fiber (okay, Swiftwick, calm down on the trademarked technologies) to prevent your foot from slipping around, and a whole bunch of other stuff that you want in a sock. Whatever, they’re awesome.
PRICE: $19.99Shop Swiftwick
♦ Accelerate Sock
We reviewed Rockay socks a couple years ago when they first came out, and it seems that they’ve made some improvements to the fit and comfort since then (although they still run small so go a size up).
Yesterday was Earth Day, so the Accelerate sock would fall right in line with the theme of the holiday– all of Rockay’s synthetic materials are sourced from 100% recycled materials, and all their packaging is 100% recycled.
Comfort isn’t sacrificed, as the socks maintain a seamless toe, breathable mesh zones, and anti-blister construction. Also, they have a lifetime guarantee and they’re reasonably priced for what they provide:
PRICE: $14.95Shop Rockay
Press House Coffee
♦ Race Day Blend
We’re always down for some trying some coffee, and the Press House Race Day blend hit the spot. The light roast provides a smooth taste that’s perfect for those pre- or post-run sipping sessions. We’ve been enjoying it the last few weeks as spring seems to be stuck in neutral, and it’s been great. The coffee is Fair Trade Organic, and comes in a variety of options, from whole bean to individual servings, and can be purchased in a one-off package or as part of a subscription.
PRICE: $24 for 2 lbs.Shop Press House