Let’s talk about running gear.
You’ve already heard about my affection for the Hoka Cliftons and the importance of working with a good, local running store to find your perfect shoes.
Now let’s talk about running shorts and leggings!
Once upon a time, I could run in cute running shorts and skirts. That was before my thighs became ginormous and became prone to chafing with any runs over a few miles. The last major race I ran in a skirt was the Marine Corps Marathon in 2016. I’m not sure my thighs will ever forgive me for that choice! I find it necessary to run in tights, capris, or bike shorts.
My favorite bike shorts are from Old Navy. I found them on clearance for $1.97. I’m not kidding! I do NOT like to spend a ton of money on running gear. My shoes, I will definitely splurge on. That’s a necessity. But anything else, I will hunt for bargains.
Most of my running bottoms come from Old Navy or stores like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, or Ross. I’m really lucky if I find Nike gear at a good price, and will generally snag these if I do. Other brands, though, I have to look at how they are made.
So what do I look for?
- High waist. I need to keep that mom belly under wraps!
- Flat seams.
- As few seams as possible. Do NOT get seduced by cute leggings with multiple panels. The seams will betray you with chafing!
- Moisture wicking fabrics.
- Compression if possible.
- That zipper pocket on the back of the waist is nice, but I never use it! But it usually indicates that the item was designed for running.
About those seams… Why flat seams? And what do I mean by that?
Flat seams are not raised and are enclosed by a serged stitch. These are not as prone to shifting and causing chafing issues. Seams not joined this way have a tendency to shift and flip with every move, and after a few miles of that, will cause chafing.
My favorite $1.97 bike shorts are finally beginning to lose some of their compression. After running in these for about 3 years, it might be time to search for their replacement! But the tan lines are amazing…
My favorite running tights and capris are all by Nike. I found my winter pair with fleece lining from the Nike outlet for $13 (purple above). I have a pair of Nike Pro compression capris from Burlington for less than $20 (black above). And I have another pair of capris which were a gift. I also enjoy every pair of Fabletics leggings I’ve picked up from Ross! (like the olive pair above, which were $13). I will likely never subscribe to their program, but I do buy these when I find them! I typically reserve these for shorter runs or yoga/gym workouts, though.
I won’t break out my winter tights unless the high temps during my run aren’t predicted to rise above freezing! And I generally won’t wear capris for running unless the highs are in the 40’s.
I save my running shorts for CrossFit workouts!
One note about skirts. I still will break these out for short runs. They are so cute! But I do avoid these if rain is in the forecast. There was this one training run my friends and I did from Carytown before dawn, and we were surprised by a thunderstorm with crazy lightening and torrential downpours. We were 4 miles into our 8 mile run. We decided to just keep going. I also happened to be wearing a skirt. That skirt absorbed what seemed like 10 lbs of water during that run! So no more skirts in the rain for me! And, by the way, my favorite running skirt is hot pink, and I bought it on clearance at Target for $3.33.
So, do you have to spend a ton of money on running bottoms? No. Just know what to look for!
Have you scored any amazing bargains on gear? I’d love to hear about them!