The Gear You Need to Run a Half Marathon

A group of people wearing running clothes and gear run a race together

Many half marathon training plans take 12 weeks. You also have to dial in your nutrition and optimize your recovery.

Put simply: Training for a half marathon takes time and effort. Don’t let it all go to waste by wearing socks that give you a blister in mile three.

Here’s some of our favorite half marathon gear to keep you comfortable from the start line until the finish.

Half Marathon Gear Checklist

The Shoes

An outfitter ties a pair of women's shoes

Having the right pair of shoes for a distance race can mean the difference between fatigued, cramping feet and a strong finish. We recommend getting fit at your local running store to find the right pair. There are a variety of different categories to choose from.

Neutral running shoes offer consistent cushioning and a smooth ride. Neutral shoes can range from soft, pillowy trainers to lightweight, snappy styles.

Stability running shoes support you as you run, reducing the effects of overpronation. Stability shoes typically feel firmer than neutral shoes and incorporate strategic cushioning to keep your feet moving efficiently.

Race shoes are designed to be as lightweight as possible, often incorporating a carbon or nylon plate for maximum energy return. Responsive and springy, these are the shoes you’ll want when you need to feel fast.

The Tops

One of the worst things you can do on race day is try something new. Breakfast, energy gels, clothes—don’t do it.

The other worst thing you can do is wear cotton.

Cotton soaks up sweat and dries slowly, leaving you wet and chafing. Instead of throwing on any old tee in your drawer, reach for something like the men’s On Comfort-T or the women’s ASICS Dorai Short Sleeve. The shirts are made from technical fibers that wick sweat and dry quickly, so you stay comfortable.

A solid sports bra is also an essential piece of gear for women. Enter the Brooks Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra. A racerback style provides maximum compression and support, while two mesh side pockets and a phone-sized pocket securely hold your belongings while you run.

The Bottoms

Like a good technical T-shirt, a pair of shorts or tights designed specifically for running will give you one less thing to think about during your race.

The men’s ASICS Fietro 5” Short are lightweight and breezy running shorts tailored to let you move. The five-inch inseam doesn’t get in the way of your stride, and the loose cut keeps you cool.

The women’s ASICS Fietro Tight gives you ankle-length coverage but doesn’t restrict your movement. Sewn from a soft and stretchy fabric, the Fietro Tight feels just as good during your race as it does at the brewery after.

The women’s Brooks Chaser 3” Short are designed to help you perform your best while remaining lightweight and dry. A polyester blend fabric wicks away sweat while providing ventilation as you run. The Brooks Chaser shorts allow you to chase after your next PR without feeling weighed down.

A woman runs during a road race.

The socks

Running socks are important. Socks are the only barrier between your skin and your shoes. Wearing the wrong pair can give you a blister that will ruin your race.

So don’t skimp on the socks.

The CEP Compression Sock 3.0 are made from high-performance TWD Smart Dry yarn that’s soft against your skin and draws sweat away, so your feet stay dry. Plus, precise compression helps increase blood flow to keep you feeling fresh for all 13.1 miles.

If you’re looking for sweat-wicking socks without the compression, the Balega Hidden Comfort socks keep your feet dry and comfy. An extra deep heel pocket and a seamless toe prevent blistering and chafing so you can keep running strong.

The Accessories

The length of a half marathon means you might need to bring along some extra calories and water to make it through. The easiest way to tote your nutrition is to carry it in a running pack or a water bottle designed for runners.

The FlipBelt Zipper is a low-profile running belt that gives you enough space to stash most phones, car keys, credit cards and gels. The flat shape ensures your gear won’t bounce around while you run.

If you need water, the Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated water bottle will keep your thirst quenched. A snug hand strap makes the bottle easy to hold and a pocket holds few essentials.

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