Paul and Ben finishing 2016 TCS New York City Marathon

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

Paul RykenFirst Published: Last Updated: 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 pat. But chances are you’re reading this because you haven’t (or you’re not quite sure). Well, let’s give you some reassurance. This is the best minimalist running gear list for 2021.

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.

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

As part of our focus on our values-based lifestyle, I will not only look for the most suitable gear that meets my needs and stands the test of time, but I will also consider how eco-friendly and ethically a product was made. If I do not replace an item with a more eco-friendly or ethically sourced one, I will state the reason/s. I will also link to organisations that have reviewed the sourcing practices of the manufacturers of my gear.

Before I 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.

Pockets

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.

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

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 and allows you to stay cool in hot temperatures.

Nylon

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.

Polyester

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.

Polypropylene

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

Spandex

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.

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

Shoes

Without proper running shoes, you can’t run. Simple, right? Unless you are a barefoot runner.

So, always keep your shoes 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 800 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

I acknowledge that running shoes are a very personal choice because everyone is different. And prior to 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 Nike running shoes.

My recommendation

The best minimalist running shoes for 2021, for someone who travels as I do, prefers zero-drop shoes and has a similar style, gait and trains for half marathons or longer, are the Xero HFS – Lightweight Road Running Shoe.

So why did I select Xero HFS 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 Xero HFS and on the company that sold me on this shoe are:

  • Zero-drop between the heel and the ball of the foot
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Wide toebox (allowing my toes to spread out)
  • Rubber sole allows my feet to really feel the road surface

Initially, I had an issue with the left inner sole so I removed both inner soles and ran without. It took a few days to get used to them, but really enjoy the feeling of the road or footpath surface.

Xero Shoes Men's HFS Running Shoes - Zero Drop, Lightweight & Barefoot Feel, Glacier Blue, 13
  • SHAPED FOR COMFORT, BUILT FOR SPEED - Xero HFS features a lightweight, minimalist build that contours to the shape of your feet. Its spacious toe-box allows you to splay, spread, and relax your toes for superior comfort
  • XERO DROP SOLE FOR PERFECT POSTURE - The Xero Drop sole offers a non-elevated heel and is low-to-the-ground - this allows for proper posture, balance, and agility for all-round performance
  • FLEX YOUR FEET, FEEL THE FLOOR - Our tire tread inspired patented 5.5mm FeelTrue sole strikes a balance between just-right protection and feedback - it delivers heel to toe cues to the brain for your best run ever. Allows your feet to bend and flex as nature intended
  • TRAVEL FRIENDLY, 5000 MILE WARRANTY - Xero HFS’ extra-durable construction is backed by our 5,000 Mile Feel the World Sole Promise. Being ultra-flexible, you can roll ‘em up and put in your pack or pocket for compact storage and easy travel
  • VEGAN FRIENDLY - Xero Shoes believes in promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles which is why the HFS is made with zero animal products

Sick of shin pain and injuries while running? Swapping to minimalist running shoes could be the solution. Here is my review of the Xero HFS.

Socks

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 elastane. The friction-reducing design 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 the higher than average price.

Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks for Men and Women (1 Pair)
  • ↑ package dimensions above | RUNNERSWORLD AWARD WINNER - 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.
  • 1 PAIR = 22 PLASTIC BOTTLES REMOVED FROM THE OCEAN - Rockay has partnered with ReSea Project to remove 125g of plastic from the ocean for every pair of socks we sell (the equivalent of 22 plastic bottles). This is a part of our commitment to help regenerate our damaged ecosystems and clean up our planet.

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, Xero Shoes has good policies to audit suppliers.

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.

Don't let your travels stop you from running | Photo by Hannes Egler on Unsplash
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. Performance underwear or performance boxers are 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 is the best running underwear for men. It covers 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.

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

  • Compression shorts
  • 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

After years of being loyal to Nike and their very functional Nike Men’s 7″ Phenom 2-in-1 Running Shorts, in 2021 I swapped over to the Ron Hill men’s life 7-inch twin short. They are so lightweight, I always have to check that I have them on. AS a sustainably-conscious company, Ron Hill has created these shorts with at least 30% recycled polyester. They are a Fair Wear Leader, adhering to specific ethical manufacturing practices. The shorts are very comfortable,  with reflective stripes, a zipped back pocket and a long thigh-compression material that is both warm and smooth to touch.  The only negative is that the zipped pocket is not big enough for my Samsung S10 smartphone, but I always use my SPIbelt anyway so it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me. Like most clothing items around the world, they are made in China.

Ronhill Mens Life 7" Twin Short, Black/Charcoal Marl, Large
  • Breathable |Made with breathable fabric that allows air to circulate and move freely throughout.
  • Wicking | moisture wicking fibers draw moisture away from the body, through the fabric to the outer surface. At the outer surface The moisture evaporates into the air helping to keep you Dry. This enhances comfort whilst running.
  • Reflective | reflective components applied to preserve the Wearer's visibility in low light.
  • Relaxed fit| features a relaxed fit for comfort.
  • Made with lightweight material weighing a total of 122g for no added bulk.

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.
Sleeveless or short sleeve - Wear whatever is most comfortable in your destination's climate | Photo by Skeeze on Pixabay
Sleeveless or short sleeve - Wear whatever is most comfortable in your destination's climate | Photo by Skeeze on Pixabay

Short sleeve shirt

I only own one running technical t-shirt at a time, and given that I am exercising 6 – 7 days a week in it, it can get a little smelly. 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 Ron Hill Men’s Tech Short-Sleeved Shirt. It is made of 95% polyester and 5% elastane. And like the shorts above, because it is manufactured by Run Hill, it fulfils the Fair Wear ethical clothing policies. According to the label instructions, you aren’t meant to tumble dry it, but unfortunately due to our location independent lifestyle, I have to occasionally.

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
  • Flat seams feel smooth on your skin
  • Reflective elements help you stand out
  • Fabric: Body: Dri-FIT 88% polyester/12% spandex. Mesh: 89% polyester, 11% spandex

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
  • Flat seams feel smooth on your skin
  • Reflective elements help you stand out
  • Fabric: Body: Dri-FIT 88% polyester/12% spandex. Mesh: 89% polyester, 11% spandex
Wear a long sleeve top when it gets too cold | Photo by Hunter Bryant on Unsplash
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

Gloves

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.

Sunglasses

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 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 - Official ID Wristband - Silicone Clasp Identification Bracelet and Sport ID for Athletes
  • ALL orders are laser-engraved in ALL-CAPS (for readability) and SHIPPED IN 1 BUSINESS DAY.
  • The top-shelf choice in wrist-mounted identification. Dial-in the perfect fit with a trim-to-size silicone band and a classic tri-fold clasp that features a secure, double-lock doohickey.
  • 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.
  • Crafted from comfortable, all-weather silicone and medical grade stainless steel.

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

Headphones

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 a 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 Active 75T True Wireless In-Ear Headphones.

I used to use 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 Active 75T True Wireless In-Ear Headphones. They were quite pricey, but included a number of features I was looking for:

  • Waterproof and comes with a 2-year warranty against dust and sweat
  • Long-lasting battery – more than 5.5 hours of playtime, coupled with a portable charging case that means I have a total of 24 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 4 different sized covers to test out in my ears. This ensures a snug fit but also the removal of outside noise.
Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds – True Wireless Earbuds with Charging Case, Titanium Black – Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Earbuds with a Comfortable, Secure Fit, Long Battery Life, Great Sound
  • WIRELESS EARBUDS – Jabra Elite 75t is engineered to fit; Making and taking calls is always a great experience, wherever you are, thanks to enhanced 4-microphone call technology which filters out wind and other disruptive noises around you
  • COMPACT COMFORT – Designed and tested for a secure fit, the Jabra Elite 75t features a new smaller design that provides an ideal fit for every type of ear while the ergonomic shape makes them exceptionally comfortable. Connectivity-Bluetooth 5.0. Supported bluetooth profiles-HSP v1.2, HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6, SPP v1.2
  • NO AUDIO DROPOUTS – With Jabra 4th generation true wireless connection, your music and calls will be stable, with no wires to get in the way;With these Bluetooth earbuds, you can enjoy conversations and music with no audio dropouts or interruptions
  • ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION: With these noise cancelling earbuds, you can filter out the world and focus on your music; Use the Sound plus app to activate ANC the first time you use it and enable toggling between ANC and HearThrough via your earbud button
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE – With Jabra Elite 75t wireless Bluetooth earbuds, you get up to 24 hours of battery time (ANC on) with the pocket-friendly charging case, the Elite 75t earphones let you take calls and play music while staying connected

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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