Trail Running Gear Check

Sarah Rose

[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]
Photo byPhoto By Author

What do you wear when you run?" a total of one person has asked me, ever. Most of the time, my requirements aren't that strict. A good bra, comfortable shoes, shorts that don't cause chaffing, and lots of mineral sunscreen. But I thought I'd do a little roundup of my favorite gear, because it has taken me a handful of years to find what works best. You can thank me later, or never, whatever feels good in your chest.


Anetik: I normally don't think much about the tops I wear, so long as they're comfortable. Most of the time, I wear race giveaways or cutoff t-shirts. But last year, a friend hooked me up with some Anetik gear, and their tops are all I run in for races or long days in the mountains. I'm obsessed with my Breeze Tech Hoodies, which have UVF30+ protection while being light and breathable. The hood protects my face and neck, and I've never had a long sleeve that was built so well for heat.

Nathan: I joined the Nathan ambassador team last year, and they sent me a t-shirt. I was initially skeptical because I knew Nathan as primarily a hydration brand. But the shirt they sent me (like this one, but an older version) is incredibly soft and comfortable. It also dries quickly on hot summer days and Nathan clothing is made from eco-friendly recycled material.


Patagonia Houdini: I live in Southern California so the Houdini is usually the only running jacket I ever need. When it rains, I get wet. If it's very cold, I am simply, very cold. But the Houdini is remarkably warm for how thin and lightweight it is. Technically a wind jacket, the Houdini folds into itself and stores easily in my hydration pack. Normally $109, certain colors and sizes are half off right now.


Rabbit Speed Leggy 7": Shorts have always been tricky for me because I have relatively large thighs/butt compared to my waist. I like fitted shorts to reduce chaffing and have a large collection of varying brands of black shorts. The Rabbit Speed Leggy is light, form fitting, snug but not too tight, with two side pockets.

Janji 7" Pace Shorts: These are similar to the Rabbit shorts, but with larger side pockets and a little rubber thing on the inside of the leg holes to keep the shorts in place. I love my Janji shorts, and the Pace is one of their best sellers. Definitely, absolutely, do not ever put these in the dryer.

These cheap Amazon knock-offs: When I first started trail running, I didn't have much extra money, so these shorts were a great find as they would sometimes go on sale for $10. They don't last as long as a higher-quality short, but they have a soft, comfortable waist band, two side pockets, and they look like any other black fitted short.


Brooks: I recently purchased the Drive Plunge Run Bra 2.0, and instantly fell in love. The "run ready" support is top notch, the fabric is buttery, and it's cute. It's only downside are the removeable cups that fall out in the wash. Brooks has been around a long time, and they definitely know what they're doing. In 2016, I purchased two Brooks sports bras for $50 each at my local running store, and I'm still using them to this day.

Oiselle: I love everything about this brand, from their inception story, to their mission to bring about gender equality in sport, to their hyper-detailed and obsessively manufactured products. Their Flyout Bra is a fan favorite on the trail, with a phone pocket in the back, wide straps, and enough support for C/D cups.


Altra: I've been running in Altra shoes since 2016, starting with a pair of Torins for road running and eventually branching out to trails. Now, I love the Olympus for long runs or rocky trails, Timps for short to mid-distance runs, and Paradigms for the road. The wide toe boxes ensure I never get blisters and their range of foot shapes fits wide to slim.

Topos: Topos are very similar to Altras in that they have wide toe boxes and small stack heights. I have a pair of the Ultraventure 2's, and they're light while still feeling supportive, with sticky lugs that are great on rocky trails.


Darn Tough: Darn Tough has socks for any occasion; skiing, thru hiking, hunting, running, etc. They have a wide variety of sizes, fun patterns, and they come with a lifetime guarantee. I've worn my pair for hundreds of miles in all types of conditions and they still feel like new.

Swift Wick: I've been wearing Swift Wicks for many years, and they rarely wear through. I'm more apt to lose one in the laundry before one wears out. They have a very wide range of fits, a variety of compression options, and a moisture wicking technology to reduce friction. Added bonus: Swift Wick products are manufactured and developed in the U.S.


Solomon: I bought the Sense Pro 5 on Black Friday and it's been the perfect vest for racing and training. It holds two soft flasks in the front (.5 liters each) and has room for a 1.5L bladder if I wanted to use that as well. For runs where I need to carry more water, I can easily fit more in the back, but two soft flasks in the front are a nice option to have for racing. The fit of the Solomon is perfectly snug; if you measure between two sizes, opt for a size up.

Nathan: I have the TrailMix 12L pack, great for long days on the mountain, or a self supported long run like R2R2R. I've also used this pack for big races, as it easily holds all the required gear (safety blanket, rain jacket, headlights, extra batteries, food, etc.)


Black Diamond: The only trekking pole I've ever used is the Black Diamond Distance Z trekking pole (110 cm). I bought mine two years ago in Colorado and they are one of the best investments I've made for mountain running. I only use poles for long, technical runs, but they have prevented many falls and saved my legs during some long strenuous races.


Who cares, just wear any old hat. The older, the better. I don't remember the last time I bought a hat. Hats are like mugs, you just acquire them. They're great gifts for people you don't know very well and great giveaways at tradeshows and minor league baseball games. Some hats will look amazing on you and some will make your head look enormous. Some will disintegrate in the washing machine and some, you will never wash. Hats.

P.S. Find your next running watch here, read about essential trail running gear here, or read about when to take time off here.


Sarah Rose

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 0

Published by

Blogger | Poet | Freelancer | Ultra Runner Blog: The Prosiest IG: @mcmountain Email:

Dana Point, CA

More from Sarah Rose

Keeping The Promises You Make to Yourself

[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.] “Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes Today I'm writing about confidence, the polar opposite of desperation and wise older sibling to cockiness. If you close your eyes right now, I'm sure you can picture someone you know who is cocky and doesn't that just irk you? Confidence is something to be earned while cockiness is a symptom. One is showy, the other is self-assured. One is overstated and inauthentic and the other is poised. I believe that the best way to increase confidence is to consistently keep the promises you make to yourself. You can't grow self-assured about anything until you have proven your own competency to yourself, and you can't grow competent until you show up. I've known many people who make promises they never keep. Whether it's a friend making a plan they never intend to follow through on, a business not returning your phone call, or a workplace not fulfilling their end of a compensation plan, we all know what it's like to encounter flakey, inconsistent people. You probably don't like or respect them very much, right? It's hard to trust someone who doesn't show that they're trustworthy, which is why confidence comes from trusting yourself. When I was in school, I got straight A's, and not because I was that smart. I studied hard and told myself that I would do the absolute best that I could. Once I understood that I could achieve straight A's, that was the standard I held myself to. Once I knew what I was capable of, anything less was unacceptable. It's important to point out that nobody else would have been disappointed with a B. Nobody can ever be as disappointed with me as I can be because nobody else cares as much. If you let other people dictate what success means, you'll always end up disappointed. When I'm training for a race (my next race is the Kodiak 100, in Big Bear, CA), I have to put in a lot of miles and a fair amount of time in the gym. Some mornings, the last thing I want to do is wake up and go for a run, and hit the snooze button more than once. Some days, I don't feel the least bit inspired to train, but I do anyway. I don't know much but I do know that putting in consistent work is one of the best ways to see positive results. You'll beat out many people simply by not quitting, by paying attention, and adjusting when things don't quite work. The worst thing you can do though, is bite off more than you can chew. Start with something small, even if it's setting an alarm earlier than you're used to (and not hitting snooze). Your promise to yourself could be as small as making your bed every morning to something as large as reaching out to five new people every day to build a business. Stephanie Barros from Igniting Your Spark outlines the following ways to keep the promises you make to you: 1. Make reasonable promises to yourself. If you've fallen short of a particular goal in the past, adjust it to make it more manageable, then build from there. 2. Put your promises on paper. Thoughts aren't solid, and they're easier to ignore than something you've written down and look at every day. Nothing is as solid as words on a page. 3. Do you mean it? The reason many promises fall through is that we never meant them in the first place. I personally don't see the point in making a promise you don't intend to keep, so be brutally honest with yourself about whether or not you plan to even try to keep them. 4. Change how you think about you. It seems universally true that we're nicer to others than we are to ourselves, and we're more afraid to let others down than we are to let ourselves down. It should be just as unacceptable to let yourself down as it is to let down other people. 5. Accept discomfort. Change is uncomfortable, no matter how big or small, and keeping the promises you make to yourself might seem uncomfortable, too. Nobody ever succeeded by sitting quietly in their comfort, after all. "A dream is a vision, a goal is a promise. You can keep your promises to yourself by remaining flexible, focused, and committed." `~ Denis Waitley xoxo Sarah Rose.

Read full story

Comments / 0