Paul and Ben finishing 2016 TCS New York City Marathon

Running gear for travelers: What do you really need in 2020?

Paul Ryken Last Updated: Tuesday 18 February 2020 Take the right gear Leave a Comment

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Do you travel a lot for work but still like to go for a run while away on business? Are you a digital nomad who loves to run wherever you live in the world? You may have your running gear packing list down-pad. But chances are you’re reading this because you haven’t (or you’re not quite sure). Well, let’s give you some reassurance.

I run five or six days a week – all year round, in any climate and any weather. As a digital nomad with carry-on luggage only, my running gear only contains what I (and I believe you) really need.

Runners on Brooklyn Bridge
Who doesn't love a run across Brooklyn Bridge when visiting the Big Apple? | Photo by Curtis Macnewton on Unsplash

From 2019 onward, we will not only look for the most suitable gear that meets our needs and stands the test of time, but we will also consider how eco-friendly and ethically a product was made. If we do not replace an item with a more eco-friendly or ethically sourced one, we will state the reason/s. We will also link to organisations that have reviewed the sourcing practices of the manufacturers of our gear.

Before we talk about the different items you need, let’s start with some basics.

What to look for when buying running clothes, shoes and gear

These features are important for any sports clothing but especially so when buying running clothes. Use it when you purchase new/replace old running gear.

Moisture-wicking fabrics

Moisture-wicking fabrics are designed to move water away from the skin to keep you comfortable when you sweat.

Quick drying garments

If you don’t carry much gear, being able to wash what you have and wear it again the next day becomes important. Select fabrics such as polyester and nylon that are known for their quick-dry properties.

Sun protection

You can buy fabrics specifically treated to provide sun protection. However, even just looking for tighter knits with smaller holes, especially fabrics with elastic threads that keep the fibres tightly together, will help you protect your skin against harmful UV rays.

Chafe-free seams

Stay away from garments that have seams in inappropriate places. Instead, look for flat or welded seams placed away from areas that could impede your natural running motion.


These can unobtrusively hold your ID card, debit/credit cards and keys. Common on shorts, concealed pockets are sometimes offered on shirts as well.

Reflective properties

High-visibility clothing is any clothing that has highly reflective properties or a colour that is easily discernible from any background. Being visible is especially important if you are running at dusk/dawn and on roads without footpaths.

Running in darkness
Make sure your running clothes have reflective properties so that you can be seen in the dark | Photo by Nourdine Diouane on Unsplash

What fabrics to consider for which qualities


Bamboo is a great eco-friendly alternative to synthetic fibres and is naturally sweat-wicking, anti-bacterial and incredibly soft.

Merino wool

Merino is ideal for both hot and cold weather running, as it is extremely breathable, moisture-wicking and quick drying. Its anti-bacterial properties make it naturally odour-resistant. It is often combined with synthetic fibres such as spandex to give it a more fitted shape. It is also incredibly lightweight.


Quick-drying, super-stretchy, breathable, moisture-wicking nylon is frequently used alone or blended with other fabrics and offers excellent durability in running shorts, pants and lightweight jackets.


Moisture-wicking, quick-drying polyester is marketed under a variety of names. Each has proprietary characteristics to enhance performance. On the negative side, it smells after a while.


An excellent choice for the base layer as it is water-resistant.


Commonly referred to by its brand name Lycra, spandex is used to make your running gear stretch, offering you unrestricted movement while retaining its shape.

Runners splashing through puddle
The downside of owning only one pair of running shoes is you may have to wear them wet | Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash


Without proper running shoes, you can’t run. Simple, right? So, keep them in your carry-on luggage. Don’t ever think about checking them in. Trust me on this one: I once travelled half-way around the world for a half-marathon only to almost miss the race thanks to a luggage delay.

I only own one pair of running shoes at a time. Since I use Strava, I’m able to keep track of the kilometres I run in them. I generally start looking for a new pair at about 600 kilometres. Given I run on average about 50 kilometres a week, I replace my running shoes on a quarterly basis.

My two main problems with having only one pair of running shoes are:

  • They get smelly quicker as I’m wearing the same pair all the time.
  • When it rains, I may have to wear them wet the next day, as they don’t always dry overnight – especially during the colder months.

So, if you don’t live out of a carry-on backpack, alternate between two pairs.

What to look out for

  • Size – Make sure there is a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe (which isn’t always the big toe) and the tip of the shoe.
  • Width – Your foot should be able to move side-to-side in the shoe’s forefoot without crossing over the edge of the insole.
  • Fit – The shoe upper should feel snug and secure around your instep. Your heel should feel snug, but not too tight.
  • Flex – The shoe should bend and crease along the same line your foot flexes. Go for a run or walk in them to ensure they feel comfortable.

Running Shoes Short List

I acknowledge that running shoes are a very personal choice because everyone is different. And prior to buying my first pair of running shoes for 2019, I used to be brand-loyal to Nike. However, with their ethical and sustainable practices now influencing my purchasing decision, I started to research alternative brands to replace my existing Nike running shoes.

My short list came down to:

adidas Men's Ultraboost 19 Running Shoe, Black/Black/White, 10.5 M US
ALTRA Men's AFM1855F Lone Peak 4.0 Trail Running Shoe, Gray/Orange - 10.5 D(M) US
HOKA ONE ONE Men's Gaviota Running Shoe Black/Formula One Size 9.5 M US
Merrell Men's Bare Access 4 Trail Running Shoe, Dark Slate, 10.5 M US
Price not available
adidas Men's Ultraboost 19 Running Shoe, Black/Black/White, 10.5 M US
ALTRA Men's AFM1855F Lone Peak 4.0 Trail Running Shoe, Gray/Orange - 10.5 D(M) US
HOKA ONE ONE Men's Gaviota Running Shoe Black/Formula One Size 9.5 M US
Merrell Men's Bare Access 4 Trail Running Shoe, Dark Slate, 10.5 M US
adidas Men's Ultraboost 19 Running Shoe, Black/Black/White, 10.5 M US
adidas Men's Ultraboost 19 Running Shoe, Black/Black/White, 10.5 M US
ALTRA Men's AFM1855F Lone Peak 4.0 Trail Running Shoe, Gray/Orange - 10.5 D(M) US
ALTRA Men's AFM1855F Lone Peak 4.0 Trail Running Shoe, Gray/Orange - 10.5 D(M) US
HOKA ONE ONE Men's Gaviota Running Shoe Black/Formula One Size 9.5 M US
HOKA ONE ONE Men's Gaviota Running Shoe Black/Formula One Size 9.5 M US
Merrell Men's Bare Access 4 Trail Running Shoe, Dark Slate, 10.5 M US
Price not available
Merrell Men's Bare Access 4 Trail Running Shoe, Dark Slate, 10.5 M US

My recommendation

The best running shoes for 2020, for someone who travels like I do and has a similar style, gait and trains for half marathons or longer, are the Adidas UltraBOOST. The latest model is the Adidas UltraBOOST 20.

So why did I select Adidas over the rest? I still want road running shoes despite the fact that I run the occasional trails so several on my shortlist were out. If I had the option of having two pairs of running shoes, for sure, I would have one road shoe and one trail shoe.

The features of the Adidas UltraBOOST and on the company that sold me on this shoe are:

  • Comfortable shoe with good cushioning. This is a big change for me after years of minimalist shoes.
  • The upper gives a really nice supportive fit, yet it allows the foot to move comfortably. They are snug, so if you do buy them, be prepared to use thinner socks.
  • The 2019 model has a heel to toe drop of 8mm, while the 2020 model heel to toe drop is 10mm – again a big change for me after many years of 4mm heal drop or less
  • They are made from 100% recycled material, including 11 plastic bottles.

Product code: FV8450

adidas Men's Ultraboost 19 Running Shoe, Black/Black/White, 10.5 M US
  • Responsive running shoes with an adaptive upper
  • Regular fit; Lace closure; Arch type: Normal
  • adidas Primeknit 360 upper offers an engineered fit that expands and supports as you move through each stride; Dual-density Boost cushioning under arch provides energized stability for a smooth, responsive ride
  • Weight: 11 ounces (size 9); Midsole drop: 10 mm (heel: 29 mm, forefoot: 19 mm); Natural feel like a second skin
  • Lightweight 3D heel frame for personalized fit; Stabilizing Torsion Spring

Running shoes in general had received a bad rap for their non-sustainable practices in the past, and some continue to lack transparency in favour of profit. From my limited research, Adidas has good policies to audit suppliers.

According to Good On You, its environmental rating is good.


A pair of socks can make or break a run. So, don’t buy a great pair of shoes and then skimp on your socks.

What to look out for

  • Synthetic fabrics such as polyester or acrylic
  • Moisture-wicking material
  • Dri-FIT Technology or equivalent
  • Left and right designed socks for a better anatomical fit
  • Specific arch compression
  • Reinforced heel and toes area for durability


My recommendation

My Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks are really comfortable and have a snug fit. They are made from Merino, polyamide, and elastine. The friction-reducing design which means, for me, fewer blisters and rubbing. Best of all, they come with a lifetime warranty and are produced from 100% recycled materials. If my sock tears or lack basic functionality, they will send me a new pair of socks. Those two features along make these Rockay socks worth their higher than average price.

Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks for Men and Women (1 Pair)
  • RUNNERSWORLD EDITORS' CHOICE - The Rockay Accelerate was chosen among the very best and not only that, we are also featured as a top sock on Business Insider, Forbes, Runnerclick and many others! A trusted sock by the leading experts!
  • GUARANTEED FOR LIFE - We stand by the quality of our all our running gear & take care of our customers - No conditions. No questions asked. This is not the kind of sock you replace after 10 washes! Every inch of this sock has been tested for maximum durability in extreme conditions like ultra-marathons & obstacle course races
  • 100% RECYCLED MATERIALS- Featuring Econyl, a premium quality regenerated Nylon yarn, made from recycling Ocean waste and landfill fabrics. Plus, a new Polygiene coating means you can wear them more and wash them less, better for the planet.
  • ANTI-BLISTER- Say goodbye to blisters and chafing. Our Accelerate socks are made with ventilation zones, that wicks away sweat. Enjoy a super breathable sock thats built to last mile after mile whether you are running, hiking or walking. Keep you feet bone dry and blister free no matter what you are doing.
  • CUSHIONED - Our Accelerate socks come with padding in the toes and heel areas. With powerful compression in the arch & tight elastic at the top to prevent dirt. Reducing the chances of irritation through dirt and grit. This sock was tested to excel for all running, walking and hiking activities.

Shoe bag

As my one pair of running shoes get smelly, it is important I have them in a bag that separates them from the rest of the items in my backpack.

My running shoes get smelly, so I wanted to have a bag that separates them from the other items in my backpack.

I use a Nike Shoe Bag, bought from a running sports expo years ago. It is made of tough, water-resistant fabric to keep the shoes dry and protected in any weather. If and when this dies, I’ll probably just use another compression sack such as the Exped Folding Drybag, but a smaller size.

Come run sign
Don't let your travels stop you from running | Photo by Hannes Egler on Unsplash

Running underwear

How many pairs of running underwear do you travel with? I have two. Running underwear is starting to become more technical and specialised. Though there seems to be a lack of retail stores in New Zealand that stock them – an opportunity, perhaps?

What you should look out for

  • Comfort with little chance of chaffing
  • No chafing
  • Material designed to pull the moisture away from the skin
  • Breathable mesh panels
  • Tagless
  • Flat-lock seams
  • Quick drying

Cotton, nylon and spandex combinations seem to work best. Some newer brands are experimenting with a blend of polyamide and elastane (short for elastic polyurethane). Brands to consider include:

My recommendation

I have used Jockey Performer, Underun underwear and now Runderwear underwear. It seems, running underwear (at least for me) lasts about a year.

The Runderwear cover more skin, but they are very lightweight and dry quickly. They hold all my bits in place and don’t cause any chaffing at all. Of the three different brands, I have worn in the past 4 years, these have been the most comfortable and have lasted the longest without the elastic degrading or losing their shape.

Runderwear Men's Briefs - Chafe-Free, Performance Running Underwear (Black, X-Large)
  • Multi-award winning running underwear designed for ultimate comfort and performance
  • Lightweight, breathable and moisture-wicking technical construction keeps you chafe-free
  • Elasticated waistband and super-soft fabric provide comfortable support during exercise
  • Made using 360° seamless technology with flatlock edging - no side seams or tags reduces irritation
  • Non-fading, colour-retaining and durable fabric - machine washable at 40 degrees

Running shorts

I have experimented with different shorts over the years – from skimpy shorts to separate compression tights under shorts through to what I own now: running shorts with integrated compression tights.

In 2015, I ran the Florence Marathon in a pair of shorts that I used to wear regularly with separate compression tights. Only this time, I didn’t wear tights. During the race, my inner thighs got more and more raw from chafing. It was not a pretty sight at the finish. I had broken a cardinal rule: Wear the clothes you are used to and know are comfortable; don’t experiment on race day. Needless to say, the lesson was learnt.

What to look out for

  • Moisture-wicking inner fabric, ideally with mesh along inseam and gusset on inner shorts to let heat escape
  • Supportive inner shorts or gusset that conforms to your shape while letting you move freely
  • Outer fabric that stretches with your stride
  • Single waistband to eliminate bulk, reduce sweat build-up and enhance comfort
  • Dri-FIT Technology or equivalent
  • Convenient zippered pocket(s) big enough to hold your smartphone, card/s or cash.

My recommendation

I have now used the Nike Men’s 7″ Phenom 2-in-1 Running Shorts for a few years. They are comfortable and have great pockets: one zippered and two without a zip (one of which is hidden).

Running tights

I have a comfession to make. In the late 70s and 80s, when the sports industry hadn’t caught up with the needs of the runners, I wore women’s pantyhose and more specifically my mother’s old pairs when the weather was so cold, but I still needed to go out training.

Luckily for me and my mother, running tights, even on rugby players, is totally accepted nowadays.

What to look out for

  • Moisture-wicking inner fabric, ideally with mesh along inseam and gusset on inner shorts to let heat escape
  • Supportive inner shorts or gusset that conforms to your shape while letting you move freely
  • Outer fabric that stretches with your stride
  • Single waistband to eliminate bulk, reduce sweat build-up and enhance comfort
  • Dri-FIT Technology or equivalent
  • Convenient zippered pocket(s) big enough to hold your smartphone, card/s or cash.

My recommendation

I use full length Nike Pro Compression Tights.

NIKE Men's Pro 3/4 Tight, Black/Anthracite/White, Large
  • Nike Dry fabric helps you stay dry and comfortable.
  • Flatlock seams reduce irritation.
  • Compression fit provides muscle support.
  • 3/4-length design hits below the calf, providing coverage with added cooling.
  • Darted pouch at the gusset helps increase comfort while providing support.
Runner at dusk or dawn
Sleeveless or short sleeve - Wear whatever is most comfortable in your destination's climate | Photo by Skeeze on Pixabay

Short sleeve shirt

I usually travel with two short sleeve running tops. If I know that I’ll be in hot and humid conditions for several months, I will swap one short sleeve top for one sleeveless top.

What to look out for

As well as the features discussed above:

  • Size – Make sure it fits: too tight or too loose, and you have the problem of nipple chaffing
  • Lightweight
  • Reflective properties back and front to help your visibility
  • Dri-FIT Technology or equivalent

My recommendation

My preference is the Nike Dry-Fit Knit short sleeved T-Shirt. I have had several (colours) over the years, and they work well for me.

Nike Men's Legend Short Sleeve Tee, Light Blue, M
  • Dri-FIT technology helps you stay dry and comfortable
  • short sleeved silhouette allows cooling mobility
  • lightweight softness creates a comfortable experience while training

Long sleeve compression shirt

I have trained in temperatures where it is 35 degrees celsius and in sub-zero temperatures over the past few years. After nearly 40 years of running marathons, I know when I need to put what layer of clothing on to ensure I have a pleasant run. When the temperature is below 6 degrees, it is time to reach for my long sleeve compression shirt.

My recommendation

I recommend the Nike Pro Longsleeve Compression Shirt.

Nike Dry Element 1/2 Zip Running Top Black MD
  • Nike Dry fabric helps you stay dry and comfortable.
  • 1/2-zip construction offers customized ventilation.
  • Ergonomic thumbholes secure the sleeve cuffs over your hands.
  • Printed back neck tape provides durability.
  • Reflective details help enhance visibility in low-light conditions.

Long sleeve running top

You should only need a long sleeve top if you run in conditions where the temperature goes below 5 degrees Celcius / 41 degrees Fahrenheit. At least, that’s when running in just a short sleeve top becomes too cold for me.

What to look out for

  • Ensure you get a top that is the right size. It should fit like a t-shirt, rather than a loose baggy top. The baggier it is, the more drag it will create.
  • Ensure the top have some reflective elements on it for your runs in the dark/dusk/dawn.
  • You also want to ensure you don’t get too hot in it: A half zip top helps with this.
  • Thumb loops give you more warmth and can stop the cold air from going up your sleeves.

My recommendation

I’ve used the Nike Men’s Element Half Zip Running Top for years and I am very happy with it. I can’t remember the price or where I purchased it from. It is perfect for keeping me warm without overheating. The fabric is 88% polyester with 12% spandex. It has thumb holes to keep the sleeves from shifting and provide a little more coverage in colder weather. While it is sold as a running top, I don’t use it for running unless it is below 0 degrees Celsius.

Nike Dry Element 1/2 Zip Running Top Black MD
  • Nike Dry fabric helps you stay dry and comfortable.
  • 1/2-zip construction offers customized ventilation.
  • Ergonomic thumbholes secure the sleeve cuffs over your hands.
  • Printed back neck tape provides durability.
  • Reflective details help enhance visibility in low-light conditions.
Runner overlooking Golden Gate Bridge in the mist
Wear a long sleeve top when it gets too cold | Photo by Hunter Bryant on Unsplash

Head protection

I’m not one to cover up my head unless it is either very sunny or very cold.

What to look out for

Whatever you own/travel with needs to provide protection from harmful UV rays (in sunny weather), and thermal insulation/wind protection for your head (in cold weather). It also needs to let the moisture out.

My recommendation

Whether you are exercising and just travelling to a colder country, my go-to items are included in my day to day packing list for male travellers.

Icebreaker Merino Pocket Cold Weather Hats, One Size, Prussian Blue/Midnight Navy
  • Reversible
  • Two-color beanie
  • Next-to-skin softness
  • Color: Prussian Blue/Midnight Navy


Again, this is only needed if you train in conditions where the temperature drops below 5 degrees Celsius / 41 degrees Fahrenheit.

What to look out for

  • Warm and comfortable
  • Ideally, thermal and wind blocking properties
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Lightweight
  • Touchscreen friendly – If you’re running in unfamiliar territory, you won’t want to have to remove your gloves to check your phone’s map. Trust me.


My recommendation

I use the Icebreaker Quantum Gloves. Being 98% merino and 2% LYCRA, they stretch really well and keep my hands and fingers nice and warm. They are also touchscreen friendly.

Icebreaker Merino Adult Quantum Gloves, Large, Black
  • WOOL TOUCHSCREEN GLOVES: These wool gloves combine maximum comfort with enhanced functionality for cold weather activities. Features faux suede palms for enhanced grip & touchscreen tips on the thumb & index finger.
  • BREATHABLE WOOL GLOVES: Keep covered at the snowboard & ski resort, the mountains & outdoors in these stretchy & warm touchscreen gloves. Body: 88% merino wool, 9% nylon, 3% LYCRA Cuff: 97% Merino Wool, 3% LYCRA
  • MERINO WOOL LAYERS: Stay warm from head to toe in Icebreaker outdoor clothing gear. Keep covered in wool gloves, glove liners, mittens, bras, wool base layers such as tops, under shirts, leggings, bras, underwear & more.
  • WOOL & CASUAL: Whether skiing, camping, hiking or daily wear, Ice Breaker provides clothes for men, women & children - keeping the family covered in jackets, beanies, scarves, sweaters, pants, leggings, underwear & more wool clothing.
  • ICEBREAKER LONGEVITY: We use 85% merino wool & less synthetic material than the traditional outdoor standard. With multi-purpose & timeless clothing our natural alternative to synthetics enhances the relationship between people & nature.
Female Racer
A running watch helps you keep track of your progress | Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Running watch

I can hear you ask: Do I really need one? Well, let’s put it that way: If you are interested in tracking and improving your running – whatever level or distance – you may benefit from a running watch.

Couldn’t I just use my smartphone? might be your next question. In a lot of instances, yes. However, your smartphone will only work if you are on a mobile data plan. So, if you’re travelling somewhere without, your smartphone won’t be able to track your runs.

I’d recommend a GPS watch that keeps you informed by providing specific information about your run. Pending make and model, and whether you export the data to Strava, it can make it easier to keep track of your progress and plan workouts and routes. Some even include free training plans. Whatever you choose, ultimately, the decision is yours.

What to look out for

  • Battery life
  • Accurate GPS and GLONOSS
  • Heart rate monitor or optical heart-rate sensor
  • Plastic lightweight strap
  • Sunlight visible and night light
  • Data memory
  • Customisable data pages


My recommendation

After having experimented with various Garmin models over the years, I am now using the Garmin Forerunner 235. Prior Garmin models required a separate heart rate monitor strap, but this watch has the heart rate monitor in-built, and I prefer it this way.

This Garmin model also has a better charging dock. Prior models sometimes didn’t charge properly because dry sweat would collect around the pins, impeding the charging process.


While not a mandatory item, good sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, keep flying bugs out of your eyes, and prevent squinting.

What to look out for

  • Fit – The temple arms should not be too tight (to cause you headaches) or too loose (to fall off your head when you tip it forward)
  • Adjustable nose piece – You should be able to adjust your sunglasses two-dimensionally: (1) to the width of your nose and (2) closer or further away from your face
  • Soft edges – This is especially important for the parts that actually touch your face/head, such as the temple arms and nose piece
  • Wrap around style – Sports sunglasses, by their very nature, wrap around the head more than conventional glasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays entering from the sides
  • Frame material – Needs to be flexible yet strong to handle the knocks and not break easily
  • Lightweight – Look for the lightest glasses you can find (ideally under 30 grams).
  • Safe lenses – The better sports sunglasses have thicker lenses that offer impact resistance against anything that may hit the lens (branches, stones, etc), with the best sports sunglass lenses being made of 2mm thick polycarbonate
  • Lens coating – Good lenses have options such as hydrophobic coatings (which shed sweat and water) or anti-fog coatings

My recommendation

I use Rudy Project Rydon Sunglasses. These glasses have transition lenses with my prescription. Admittedly, they are not cheap but have had them now for two years, I can not recommend them highly enough.

RUDY PROJECT New 2019 Rydon - Frame: Matte Black Lens: Smoke Black
  • Performance cycling glasses combining performance, versatility, comfort and style.
  • Lenses with RP D Centered Optics reduce glare and ensure visual clarity without distortion.
  • Adjustable anti-slip nosepads for proper face fit.
  • Fully adjustable, anti-slip temple tips for comfort and fit.
  • Total comfort fit with infinite adjustability for sport use.
Runner on mountain trail
Wear an ID so your loved ones can be notified in case something happens to you | Photo by Brian Erickson on Unsplash

ID band

Given that I run in different locations all the time, Sandra insisted I wear or carry some form of identification on me – for my own safety and her peace of mind.

Why not run with my ID card? you may ask. If you run as much as I do, your ID card will suffer. And the last thing I’d want to do is to have to replace my driver’s licence when I’m somewhere overseas.

What to look out for

If you trip up and get knocked unconscious or get run over by a car while out running, an ID that carries your name, your emergency contact and some other vital information (such as your blood group and allergies) not only helps emergency services but also allows them to notify your loved ones.

Choose a wristband ID over a shoe tag as shoes can fall off in an accident and are more likely to be removed if someone is more interested in your shoes than in rescuing you.

My recommendation

I have owned some form of ROAD ID for many years. I started with shoe tags but have since moved away from them for the above reasons.

Nowadays, I wear a Road ID Sports Stainless Nylon ID Bracelet. It’s made from canvas with a metal plate that has my personal details – my full name, country and year of birth, and my emergency contact details – laser-engraved for quick reference.

As I wear it around my wrist, it gets sweaty. I wash it regularly, keeping it in my running belt (refer below) during the wash and when I’m not wearing it.

ROAD iD Bracelet - Premium ID Wristband - Silicone Clasp Identification Bracelet and Sport ID for Athletes
  • Engraved and assembled in Kentucky, USA. Same day shipping if ordered by 1pm EST. Lifetime guarantee. If you don’t love it, you don’t pay for it. We got your back.
  • Trim-to-fit, one size fits most.
  • Personalized ID Bracelet allows you to include info such as your name, emergency contact numbers, and medical info.
  • ROAD iD helps save lives and provide priceless peace of mind by telling First Responders how best to care for you in the event of an emergency.

Running belt

For some of you, your shorts’ pockets might be sufficient to store items such as your phone, keys, card/s. I run long distances, which means I need extra nutrition. It wouldn’t make for a comfortable run if I tried to squeeze a banana or energy balls into my shorts’ pockets, would it? That’s when a running belt comes in handy.

I’m actually so used to using it, I use it on all my runs these days, even if only for my phone on shorter runs.

What to look out for

  • Adjustable belt
  • Zip pocket
  • Designed to move with you without bouncing around


My recommendation

I have used different running belts over the years. I loved my Original SPIbelt but eventually, its zipper broke and had to be replaced. At the time, the only one available where we were was a Nike Lean Waistpack. This only lasted 11 months before the zipper also broke. I’ve now changed back to the SPIbelt.

SPIbelt Waterproof with LokSak Liner No-Bounce Running Belt for Runners, Athletes and Adventurers (Black with Black Zipper)
  • Use the SPIbelt with Waterproof Accessory to keep your important belongings dry and clean in all sorts of wet and dirty environments. The Waterproof LokSak, a sturdy plastic inner-liner, protects your belongings from the elements.
  • Expandable (6.5in x 3in x 2in), secure, low-profile pocket to hold phone, keys, cash, credit cards and even a passport! Includes a waterproof accessory: Medium LOKSAK bag (4.5in x 7in).
  • LOKSAK is certified waterproof to 200 feet/60 meters, 100% water/air tight, and is recyclable and reusable. Make and receive phone calls while phone is protected in a LOKSAK, touchscreen devices work while in a LOKSAK.
  • Comfortable no-bounce sports pouch. Soft elastic prevents chaffing. Sturdy buckle and construction for even the most active use.
  • Made in the USA and fits waist size 24″ through 47″.
Female runner with headphones and water bottle
Choose whichever headphones work best for you | Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash


I run in unfamiliar places all the time, but 99% of the time, I wear headphones to listen to podcasts during my runs. I don’t have the sound too loud so that I can still hear any noise around me.

So if you are one of the 61% of runners listening to something during your run (according to a Runner’s World survey) you will also need to include headphones or earbuds in your packing list.

What to look out for

  • Fit on, over or in your ear
  • Connection
  • Water resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Sound quality
  • Easy to control the sound or track


My recommendation

Music and listening to podcasts while we travel around is critical to me. After years of using the standard corded Apple EarPods with 3.5 mm Headphone Plug, I researched the best exercise-based, waterproof, long life earbuds I could find.

In the end, only one stood out: the Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless Earbud.

I used to use a very basic Panasonic RP-HS34-K Headphones, and were happy with them, even though they don’t have controls for volume or a mic. In November 2018, I purchased the Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless Earbud. They were quite pricey, but included a number of features I was looking for:

  • Waterproof and comes with a 3-year warranty against sweat damage
  • Long lasting battery – more than four hours of play time, coupled with a portable charging case that means I have a total thirteen hours of power at my disposal.
  • Microphone – there are two microphones in each earbud, apparently designed to ensure only my voice is heard clearly and that there is no distraction from my environment.
  • Don’t fall out of my ears while I run. This is the first pair of non-over the ear headphones/earbuds so have been apprehensive about them falling out while I run. Luckily they come with 8 different sized covers to test out in my ears. This ensures a snug fit but also the removal of outside noise.
Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds – True Wireless Earbuds with Charging Case, Copper Black – Bluetooth Earbuds with a Secure Fit and Superior Sound, Long Battery Life and More
  • TRUE WIRELESS EARBUDS FOR AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE Wherever your day takes you, whatever your activity, it won’t get in the way of enjoying sports, music and calls; The Elite Active 65t are secure fitting earbuds that provide dependable in ear stability
  • PERSONALIZE YOUR SOUND : Whether you’re using these as Apple earbuds, Samsung earbuds or more, you can listen to your music the way you want to hear it, by personalizing your sound on the Jabra Sound+ app. Earbuds are Apple and Android compatible
  • NO AUDIO DROPOUTS With Jabra’s 3rd generation true wireless stability, you can take calls and listen to music without worry about audio dropouts; And there are no pesky wires getting in the way of your workout
  • UP TO 15 HOURS OF USE With up to 5 hours of battery on a single charge, and up to 15 hours in total with the included pocket friendly charging case, your listening needs are met from the start of the day, to its end with these earbuds
  • 2 YEAR WARRANTY : These sports earbuds are IP56 rated with a 2 year warranty against sweat and dust (registration required with the Jabra Sound+ app)

Complete all-seasons running gear packing list

This does not include my day to day Carry-On Packing List for Men that I have listed elsewhere.

Are you a traveler who loves running or a runner who loves traveling? What running gear do you travel with? Please leave a comment below or send us an email.

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Running gear for travelers: What do you really need?
Running gear for travelers: What do you really need?
Running gear for travelers: What do you really need?

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