The Gear You Need to Run a Half Marathon

Runners during a half marathon race.

Running a half marathon is no small feat. Many half marathon training plans take 12 weeks. On top of that, you also have to dial in your nutrition, optimize your recovery and find time for strength training.

Put simply: Training for a half marathon takes time and effort. Don’t let it all go to waste by wearing the wrong gear. 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

A Fleet Feet Outfitter ties a customer's shoes at the fit bench.

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 Fleet Feet to find the right pair. Not only will our expert outfitters help you determine the size and shape of your feet, they'll know exactly what kind of support you need based on our 3D scanning technology. 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 Vuori Strato Tech Tee or the women's Rabbit On the Go Tee. 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.

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The Bottoms

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

The men's Craft 2-in-1 Stretch Short provides extra support and soft, breathable fabric that won't get in your way. You'll have complete coverage on the run thanks to an elastic inner liner.

The women's Craft Adv Essence 2-in-1 Short is both a comfortable and practical choice for your race. The snug inner liner offers support and light compression, while the outer short lets you move freely.

If you're looking for more coverage, try the women's New Balance Impact Run Crop Tight. Made with four-way stretch material and gentle compression, these tights move with your body for miles of endless comfort.

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A runner slides on a pair of Balega socks.

The socks

Running socks are important. Socks are the only barrier between your skin and your shoes. A good pair of running socks will fit well, feel good and prevent blisters and chafing. After all, the last thing you want to worry about during your big race is a big blister.

The Feetures Elite Max Cushion socks are made with iWick fabric that draws moisture away from your toes, keeping your feet cool and dry. Feetures uses an anatomical design, where each sock is perfectly contoured to your right and left foot. Plus, targeted compression delivers a perfect fit. If you're looking for a thinner sock, Feetures has a variety of different cushion levels to choose from.

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.

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The Accessories

A woman slides an energy gel into the pocket of her handheld water bottle.

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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