Posts Tagged ‘Running Shorts’

Best Running Gear Of The Year: Karla’s Favorites

Favorite Gear of the Year

Running in some of my favorite gear of the year. (Phil Hospod)

Christmas is right around the corner and New Year’s isn’t far behind. Putting together a wish list for your running resolutions? Still need a gift? Here is my favorite running gear of 2014.

The products on this list are the best clothes, gadgets and running gear that I’ve tried this year. There are more than 50 items from more than 25 brands. For every item here, I’ve sampled another two or three things that didn’t make the cut, including products in every category. Companies send me loads of samples, many unsolicited, and I often receive products in swag bags at races and events. So I didn’t buy anything you see here. I also don’t keep most of what I receive.

But if it’s on this list, I officially own it and love it—I don’t list anything I haven’t used myself. In clothing, I’ve tried the women’s versions, but many come in men’s options too. And I’ve included the list prices, though you’ll find many items for less than that.

Also, if it’s been in a past gift or gear guide of mine, I didn’t include it here. But many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available. So here are my gift guides from 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2009.

Looking for running shoes? The Best Running Shoes? A Guide To 10 Neutral Pairs.

Looking for triathlon gear? Triathlon Gear List For Runners, Beginners and Beyond.

Without further ado, here is all of my favorite running gear of the year.

Favorite Running Gear of 2014

Digital Gadgets

Favorite Running Gear of the year

Bia Multi-Sport GPS Watch

Bia GPS Sports Watch, $279

Bia is a new two-piece device consisting of an ultra-light, slim wrist piece paired with a GPS “Go Stick” that clips onto your top, waist-band, visor or anywhere else you want to wear it. The Go Stick is the brains of the operation with an SOS safety alert, fast-connecting GPS, automatic uploads to your training log, and multi-sport functionality.

Run, swim, bike or do all three in one workout. And with live tracking, your friends and family can follow you on race-day or when you’re along in a remote area. I tested it while I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, and it worked wonderfully. Best of all, Bia comes in six fun colors. I have it in purple. Stay tuned for my full review.

Favorite Running Gear of the Year

Timex Ironman Run x20

Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS, $100

Are you looking for a small, simple, and streamlined GPS watch? Look no further than Timex Run x20. In three bright colors plus basic black, this watch is the antidote to the big, bulky, expensive GPS watch with features you never use.

Instead, you get the features you really need: reliable GPS workout timing with speed, pace, and distance; run/walk timer; interval timer; stopwatch; automated pace alerts; night-light; alarm; and water resistance up to 50 meters. The interface and menus are supremely easy to use. Plus, it’s really easy on the eyes.

Best Gifts For Runners 2014

Nike Fuelband

Nike+ Fuelband SE, $99

The Nike+ Fuelband SE is the first fitness tracker that I’ve tried, so I have no basis for comparison. That said, I love it (and I’ve tried a few other watches and gadgets this year that I can’t say the same about).

I work from home, so I don’t take nearly as many steps in my daily “commute” as most folks. In other words, if I’m not running, I barely move from my desk chair. Wearing the Nike+ Fuelband has shown me just how little activity I really have in a day unless I make a conscious effort to get up and move more. Thankfully, the Fuelband reminds me when to move, tracking my steps, Fuelband “points,” calories, and more. It’s motivated me to make my days more active outside of my workouts. That’s a win!

Favorite Running Gear of the Year

Koss FitClips

Koss FitClips and FitBuds, $30

Headphones made for women, by women in five fun colors and two styles—clips or buds. With three different ear cushion sizes to choose from, Koss FitClips fit my ears perfectly and stay put during sweaty runs. The FitBuds do too. Plus, they’re comfortable. I barely notice they’re there, even the around-the-ear clips. And they’re super light too. Once I got these, I handed my old black and red headphones to my husband with a, “Here. You can have these.” FitClips are it for me now! Read the rest of this entry →


12 2014

Best Gifts For Runners 2013: Karla’s Favorite Things

best gifts for runners

A winter scene by Currier & Ives.

It was snowing just yesterday, my Christmas tree is lighting up my living room and Christmas is just two weeks away. Wondering what to get for the runner on your list? These are just a few of my favorite things: the best gifts for runners this year.

I get lots of samples from sports companies and buy plenty of gear myself. The products on this list represent my favorite clothes, gadgets and gear currently available from a range of brands. In clothing, I’ve tried the women’s versions, but many come in men’s options too. I’ve indicated which items are available for men or in unisex sizing—a full 30 of them are. And I’ve included the list prices, though you’ll find many items for less than that.

Also, if it’s been in a past gift guide of mine, I didn’t include it here. But many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available. So here are my guides from 2012, 2011, and 2009.

Without further ado, it’s time to get shopping and wish-listing. Here are my favorite running jackets, layers, tights, shorts, tanks, socks, sleeves, sports bras, gadgets, books and more this year. There are nearly 50 items in all.

Best Gifts For Runners 2013

Running Jackets

Three very different options for different needs: visibility, wind and all weather. Read the rest of this entry →


12 2013

Review: Oakley Running Clothes For Women

running clothes, Oakley, Cuttyhunk Island

Running in Oakley’s Breathe In Printed Bra and Nadi Shorts. (Photo:

If you’re anything like me, you might have had no idea that Oakley makes running apparel. “Oakley makes clothes? Running clothes?” has been the most common response among friends.

The brand better known for sunglasses not only makes running clothes, but they make really stylish running clothes for women. How cute? Oakley sent me samples of their Nadi Shorts, Extrovert Tank, Breathe In Bra, and Burn Shorts to try for myself. I loved them so much that I marched straight to the Oakley store near me in New York City to pick up a second pair of Nadi Shorts in another color and the Race Day Tank to match.

The Breathe-In Bra has become my go-to running top. The evidence is in the above photo on Cuttyhunk Island in Massachusetts, where the bra top and Nadi Shorts were the perfect accompaniment to a hot, summer vacation run.

And I recently wore the Breath In Bra again with my other pair of Nadi Shorts at the Kauai Half Marathon on September 1.

running clothes, Okaley, Kauai Half Marathon

Running the Kauai Half Marathon in Oakley’s Breathe In Bra and Nadi Shorts. (Photo:

It’s not just that their running clothes are fun. It’s that they’re crazy comfortable too. Here’s an item-by-item review of what I love and think could be improved about each piece. Read the rest of this entry →


09 2013

How To Make Cinderella & Jacques Running Costumes

Walt Disney World Marathon, run Disney, Disney running, running costumes, running costume, Cinderella

Cinderella in rags and Jacque the Mouse. (Photo: Marathon Foto)

Wearing running costumes at runDisney races has become an art, thanks to the popularity of events like Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. The race celebrates its fifth anniversary on February 24, and probably inspires more runners to dress as their favorite Disney characters than any other Disney race.

Last year, I was not immune. My husband, Phil, and I ran the 2012 Princess Half Marathon dressed in Cinderella and Prince Charming running costumes. It was so much fun that we got costumed-up again for the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon on January 13—this time, as Cinderella in Rags and Jacques the Mouse.

Here’s how we put together Cinderella in Rags and Jacques the Mouse race-friendly running costumes that were both recognizable and comfortable to run in. Best of all, the only tools we needed were a needle, thread, tape, safety pins and a healthy imagination. Read the rest of this entry →


02 2013

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