Our Favorite Trail Running Gear to Conquer the Spring

A woman runs in the Saucony Switchback ISO trail running shoe

Go farther this spring.

Getting the right trail running shoes and gear will make your runs better. Lace up a trusty pair of trail running shoes and slip on a hydration vest designed specifically for long days on your feet, and you’ll see the difference good products can make.

Here are some of our favorite pieces of trail running gear from our spring kit to help you make the most of your next adventure.

The men's Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 trail running shoe

The Best Trail Running Shoes

The most important part of your trail running kit is your shoes.

Get the right shoes, and you’re in for miles and miles of confident traction, premium comfort and excellent breathability. Get the wrong kicks, and you could get sidelined by blisters or slowed by slippery soles.

Two of our favorite trail running shoes of the spring are the Saucony Switchback ISO and the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5. Both provide superior grip on all types of trail, and they’re comfortable for extended treks through the wild.

The women's Nathan VaporHowe 2.0 4L hydration pack

Our Favorite Trail Running Hydration Pack

Running on trails can mean spending more time on your feet than running on pavement, and it takes you away from the convenience of the city (you won’t find many water fountains in the woods). So, it’s important to bring water and nutrition with you.

We love the Nathan VaporHowe 2.0 4L and Nathan VaporKrar 2.0 4L. Nathan updated the packs this year to fit better and carry more water than their previous iterations, so they’re great for long days off road.

If you need to carry more cargo, our runners like the brand new Nathan TrailMix 12L. The pack gets the same TrailMix name as some of Nathan’s hydration belts, but the new addition to the family is built to go farther.

The cavernous pack holds two 22-ounce flasks, a two-liter bladder and all your gels, keys and essentials. Plus, a roll-top main storage compartment eats up just about anything else you’d want to carry.

“This pack is great for long, long days when you need extra gear, food, even a filtration system,” says a Fleet Feet runner. “If you’re super savvy, it might even be enough for a short overnight fastpack trip.”

If you prefer water bottles, the Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Handheld 16oz Water Bottle is a good option that holds a pint of water and has a pocket that’s big enough for a phone, keys, gels and any other small essentials.

A product image of the Balega Blister Resist quarter-length running sock

Trail Running Socks

If shoes are the most important trail running gear you can invest in, socks are a close second.

Like the shoes you wear, socks can make or break your run. Good trail running socks will protect your feet and ankles from blisters and wick moisture away to keep you dry and comfortable. One of our favorite socks for running this year is the Balega Blister Resist sock. Spun from mohair and Balega’s own sweat-wicking fiber, the Blister Resist proved to be soft and smooth on our feet—and even after three days of wear, they didn’t reek. Balega cut the Blister Resist in no-show, quarter and crew lengths so you can find a fit that matches your style.

The Garmin fenix 5 Sapphire running watch with GPS

Trail Running Accessories

Accessories aren’t just for looks—sometimes they’re essential.

Two things we don’t hit the trail without are a GPS running watch and Squirrel's Nut Butter. A good GPS watch will track your miles and keep you oriented, while Body Glide will keep you chafe-free and comfortable.

One of our favorite Garmin watches is the Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire. The Fenix is a fully-loaded GPS watch that can tap into both GPS and GLONASS satellite systems to track your runs. Fleet Feet runners say the battery lasts long enough to log runs on a few consecutive days without needing a charge, and it looks good enough to be dressed up for a night out.

Where the Fenix is packed with technology, Squirrel's Nut Butter is a low-tech solution to a big problem: chafing. The anti-chafe salve swipes onto high-friction areas, like inner thighs and feet, to protect your skin from blisters. We don’t leave home without it.

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