Best Running Gear & Accessories 2024

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

Updated on

Running can be hard. Running with the right gear makes it better.

Yes, it is true that one of the best parts of running is its simplicity. All you need is a good pair of running shoes to get started. But when you love running, the more you do it, the more you start to appreciate the little conveniences and luxury items that can bring variety, comfort and joy to your run.

From your favorite flavor of energy chews that will give you a much-needed boost to the best massage tools to help with your post-run recovery, this guide has everything you need to make your next run the best one yet.

The most important thing to look for when picking out the best running gear for you is the same as picking out the best running shoes: comfort.

While there are plenty of options to meet your specific needs and preferences, here’s our quick list of gear and accessories that are (almost) universally loved and tested by our runners:

[This is our Best Running Accessories Guide 2024. For more expert advice on the best gear for runners, check out our top lists of the best running shoes, best running clothes and best massage tools.]

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Balega Hidden Comfort

$16

One of the most important things for any runner or walker after finding their running shoes is to get a good pair of running socks. Balega Hidden Comfort socks last for years, are cushioned, wick away moisture from your feet and have no seams to prevent irritation and blisters. Plus, a heel tab that sits just above your shoes prevents Achilles rubbing.

Check out the Best Running Socks Guide for more options.

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Body Glide

$9

Running is hard, especially when it is hot out. Parts of your body rub together and can cause a lot of discomfort. That’s where Body Glide comes in. Rub a layer of it between your thighs, on your feet, arms, nipples or anywhere else that rubs to create an invisible barrier to prevent friction and chafing.

Check out the Best Blister and Chafing Protection Guide for more options.

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Nuun

$7.50

You can lose important electrolytes when you sweat, but a lot of electrolyte drinks are full of sugar. Nuun Sport is a tablet that you can dissolve in your water before, during or after your run for a delicious and slightly fizzy flavor that’s packed with all of the electrolytes your body needs to workout (without the unnecessary sugars). Plus, each tube contains 10 tablets, so it is easy to throw it in your bag to bring it with you on the go.

Check out the Best Electrolyte Drink Guide for more options.

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Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Thumbnail

Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated

$37

Staying hydrated is an important part of running, especially if you are running in the heat. But carrying your favorite tumbler with you is not practical. The Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated keeps your drinks cold, is ergonomically designed to fit right in your hand while running and has a pocket to carry your car keys, inhaler, nutrition or other essentials while you run.

Check out the Best Water Bottles for Running Guide for more options.

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Superfeet Run Dynamic Cushion High Arch Thumbnail

Superfeet Run Dynamic Cushion Insoles

$55

Upgrade the comfort of your running shoes and run more efficiently with the Superfeet Run Dynamic Cushion Insoles. These insoles cradle your feet and move with them to help disperse the impact of running to keep you feeling fresh, while the foam gives you instant comfort and manages odors. Pick your insole based on your arch height or check out our guide on how to choose the best Superfeet Insoles.

Check out the Best Insoles for Running Guide for more options.

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Garmin Forerunner 265 Thumbnail

Garmin Forerunner 265

$450

Track all of your runs with the Garmin Forerunner 265. This watch has everything you need to train for most distances–—your running stats such as pace, distance and time, your health and wellness stats such as resting heart rate and step count, you can send workouts to your watch so you don’t have to remember what lap you are currently on, and more. You can also listen to your music or audiobooks while you workout without having to carry your phone.

Check out the Best Garmin GPS Watches Guide for more options.

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TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller Thumbnail

TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller

$40

Running is great exercise, but it can lead to sore muscles. The TiggerPoint Grid Foam Roller helps you to massage those muscles to recover quicker from those tough workouts. The different textures and densities were designed to mimic a massage therapist's hands. Plus, you can use it before your run to warm up and activate your muscles.

Check out the Best Massage Tools Guide for more options.

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goodr Running Sunglasses Thumbnail

Goodr Sunglasses

$25

Getting a good pair of sunglasses for running doesn’t have to be expensive. Goodr makes affordable shades that are polarized, don’t slip or bounce and look fantastic. With a variety of shapes and colors to choose from, you are sure to find one that suits your fancy.

Check out the Best Running Sunglasses Guide for more options.

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Nathan Neutron Fire RX Thumbnail

Nathan Neutron Fire RX

$55

If you run outside early in the morning or after work, especially during the fall and winter, then you’re probably running in the dark. That is where the Nathan Neutron Fire RX comes in handy. This headlamp is made for running—it is lightweight, has the perfect angle and doesn’t bounce. Plus, it’s rechargeable, so you don’t need to worry about having the correct batteries.

Check out the Best Running Headlamps Guide for more options.

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Amphipod Xinglet Optic Beam Rechargeable Vest Thumbnail

Amphipod Xinglet Optic Beam Rechargeable Vest

$60

Stay safe when you run with the Amphipod Xinglet Optic Beam Reachable Vest. This vest is lightweight, adjustable and shines bright, giving you 360 degrees of visibility so you can be spotted by drivers and other road users.

Check out the Best Reflective Vests Guide for more options.

Different runners require different gear, so we dove deeper into each category from the best hydration vests to the best nutrition to help you find exactly what you need to crush your next run. If you’re looking for some more specific gear, check out our guides below that cover our favorite gear and accessories that we never run without:

Best Hydration Gear

Trail Runner wearing hydration vest

Hydration is key for fueling your run and properly recovering afterward. Whether you’re hiking a new peak or training for a marathon, these top hydration vests, belts and handheld bottles make it easy to carry your water and more. If your workouts and adventures often last longer than 60-90 minutes, don’t leave the house without the best hydration gear and supplements for running.

Best Nutrition for Runners

A runner eating a GU Energy Chew

Bonk be gone. These energy gels, chews, bars and electrolyte drinks keep you from hitting that dreaded wall during your runs and workouts. So whether you’re training for a marathon, keeping up with your running buddies on a weekend long run or exploring the outdoors, these tasty nutritional supplements will keep you energized.

Best Insoles for Running

A woman holding a Superfeet ME3D insole

Improve the fit, comfort and performance of your running shoes with the best insoles and inserts. Whether you’re looking for arch support, pain relief from plantar fasciitis or want some extra cushion, these running shoe insoles will take you across the finish line in comfort.

Best Headlamps, Running Lights and Reflective Gear

A woman tightens a lighted running vest around her chest before a run

Running when the sun goes down (or hasn’t come up yet)? Light the way and stay safe with the best running lights and reflective gear. These top safety and visibility products are must-haves when you’re running in low-light conditions.

Best Tech & Electronics for Running

A runner wears the Garmin Forerunner 55 watch

A GPS running watch packs a ton of tech onto your wrist to help you train smarter. If you’re training for a race or just looking to take a more mindful approach toward your health and fitness goals, a Garmin watch will give you helpful insights. These watches feature everything from GPS distance and pace tracking, to advanced heart rate and oxygen intake monitoring. Data nerds, rejoice.

Best Phone Carriers, Running Belts and Running Bags

A man runs at an easy endurance pace in front of a mural

These phone carriers, running belts and bags give you plenty of convenient and comfortable storage options for running with everything you need—pack your phone, water, nutrition, wallet, keys and more. Plus, they’re designed to keep the bouncing to a minimum so you can focus on your run.

Best Running Hats & Sunglasses

A woman wears a hat to protect her head and face from the sun

Keep the sun and rain off your face and out of your eyes. The best hats and sunglasses for running give you practical performance while adding some style to your running outfit. From no-bounce, no-slip sunglasses with polarized lenses to lightweight running hats designed for sweaty miles, find the best combination of face and eye protection for your runs under the sun.

Best Massage Tools

A woman uses her massage gun in front of an open car

These top percussion massagers, foam rollers and massage sticks are the closest you can get to having your own personal masseuse. Work out those nagging knots and tight muscles to keep your body in top shape with the best massage tools for running.

Best Blister Prevention, Anti-Chafe and Skin Care

Runners cross the line at a Fleet Feet race.

There are a lot of reasons why running can put you out of your comfort zone. Blisters, chafing and skin irritation shouldn’t be one of them. To reduce friction in areas like your inner thighs, underarms, feet, nipples or under your bra straps, check out these top chafing and blister prevention solutions that will keep you comfortable throughout your entire workout.

Best Walking Gear

A man and woman walk through a park.

Seriously upgrade your neighborhood strolls, dog walks, and long hikes. If your daily walk is one of the best parts of your day, these top walking accessories will make it even better.

Best Gear for Parents

A dad running with a jogging stroller

Parenting is an extreme sport. So we rounded up the best gear for parents who like to run, whether it’s jogging with the kids or getting some quality solo time.

How We Picked the Best Running Gear

With over 250 stores in communities across the country, Fleet Feet is the largest running store in the U.S. with over four decades of experience outfitting runners with the best running shoes, apparel and gear. We focus on running and walking gear, so we can be the experts and bring you the best running and walking advice possible.

Through our personalized Fleet Feet fit id® Outfitting process with 3D foot scanning technology, we use data from over 5 million foot scans (and counting) to give us unique insights into how today’s top running shoes fit and perform on a wide variety of feet. Part of that process is making sure that each walker, runner or athlete has all of the gear that they need to complete their goals from water bottles to insoles.

Additionally, thanks to 100,000+ runners participating in our local running clubs and training programs each year, we can see firsthand how the newest running gear performs for all different types of runners, each with different goals in mind.

Collectively, our experienced team of Fleet Feet editors has tried, tested and fallen in love with gear and accessories from the world’s top running brands. With this knowledge, we meticulously pour over the smallest details like fit, comfort, materials, durability and weight, to decide which running gear is the best. From running shoe and gear reviews to workout tips and inspiration, we are your go-to source for running knowledge and motivation.

With this knowledge and expertise, we’ve tested the best running gear based on:

  • Purpose. Comparing apples to apples
  • Performance. How well does it do its job?
  • Real-world testing. We put them to the test on real runs
  • Price. Is it affordable? Does its performance justify its cost?
  • Sales. Best-selling models are best-sellers for a reason
  • fit id® data. Our 5 million+ foot scans show how shoes fit for different feet
  • Availability. It won’t be good for you if it’s not in stock
  • Designer interviews. We ask the people who made it

Standing Behind Our Picks

We picked the best accessories for runners based on what we think will work for the most people in the most situations. If you buy any gear from us and you don’t love the way it looks, fits or performs, bring them back within 60 days for a full refund. That’s our Happy Fit Guarantee.

Plus, we offer free shipping on all orders over $99 on fleetfeet.com, and we’ll match a lower price from a qualifying retailer.