I’m not much of a runner so for this Staff Picks I’ve sought advice from those with a bit more experience than me. Here’s what my research returned…
On really cold days a Merino baselayer seems to be the go to option with something like the Smartwool Phd Light 1/4 zip (ideal if you like a zip for venting) or the Rab Merino Plus 120. On less cool days then thin synthetic baselayers are a better idea as they provide less insulation, the Rab Interval Tee or Arcteryx Cormac Crew are good options.
Midlayer / Outer layer / Windshirt
The next layer really needs to be versatile as it’ll be used either under a shell when it’s wet or instead of a shell if it’s dry. When the weather is fine it’ll also just be carried for longer runs so it needs to be light and packable too. Windshirts are ideal for this sort of use. The lightest is the Arcteryx Incendo Hoody, with the Rab Windveil also popular.
If it’s raining then you’ll need a shell. The most important thing is maximum breathability. In the past we’ve stocked the running specific OMM Aether and the Montane Minimus 777 but from our current stock the Arcteryx Alpha FL is lightweight and breathable enough to work. Also the highly acclaimed Rab Kinetic Jacket would be a great choice as it is so soft, breathable and waterproof. The Kinetic really blurs the lines between hard shell and soft shell.
Our running tight of choice is the Montane Cordillera Thermal Trail Tights. and is pretty much the only option we stock at the moment. They have an overlay which protects the ankle and thighs from the cold and wind. In the summer you’ll obviously go for a pair of shorts – the Montane VKM are popular for us in both their standard and long short versions.
The Inov8 All Terrain Mid Sock seems to be the sock of choice as it provides a bit of padding making longer runs a bit more comfortable. For shorter runs in a more minimalist fashion the Inov8 Speed Sock is a good choice.
I can’t really pick out a shoe which stands above the others as it depends what sort of running you want to do. Fit and cushioning are also a personal preference rather than a deciding factor on whether the shoe is good or not. For minimalist options Inov8 are the brand of choice. For a less minimalist approach then our La Sportiva range are the place to start. For a tougher but less flexible shoe which sits between pure running and lightweight approach shoe have a look at the Arc’teryx Norvan.
If you only need a drink and maybe a few snacks/gels then a waist pack or just a hand held bottle is ideal. The OMM H2OMM is just a water bottle with a neoprene sleeve for carrying or attaching to something and does the job perfectly. For a bit more substance then the Inov8 All Terrain Pro 1 is a waist pack which carries 2 small bottles and has a pocket for additional items.
The most popular smaller packs/vests are the OMM Phantom 20, though these are pretty hard to get hold of, and the All Terrain Pro Vest. For something a bit larger and aimed more for mountain marathons then again OMM and Inov8 are leading the way with the Inov8 All Terrain 25 and the OMM Phantom CL.