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Running used to conjure images of dorky compression socks, blinding neon tracksuits, and powder pink everything labeled “women’s.” Elite running teams always shown up to races looking well-coordinated, but local run clubs and team kits have tended to be blah at the best, hideous at the worst.
Recently, street style has taken on a whole new meaning as tastemakers-turned-runners are helping to elevate the vibes of local running collectives. There are hundreds of run squads that are stylish AF—here are a few of our favorites, and some tips for stealing their style for your own group or personal running wardrobe.
Girls Run NYC
Who they are: If you live in New York, check out Girls Run NYC for a huge diversity of experience level, run style, and workouts, plus a daily dose of poetic inspiration from their Instagram. Running activist and coach Jessie Zapo leads regular workouts and runs around the city—and the sense of community found at these meet-ups is awe-inspiring.
Steal their look: Typical of the city, it’s all about the black and white for Girls Run NYC. You can’t go wrong with an all-neutral wardrobe, especially one that has pops of bright white gothic script on black tank tops and t-shirts.
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ATTN BOSTON MARATHON RUNNERS: We are looking for a few specific runners. If all of the below fit your plan for race day at the Boston Marathon, please DM us for a cool opportunity. Again, all three of the below: 1. Racing the Boston Marathon (bandit does not count). 2. Wearing a November Project painted shirt in the race, AKA #GrassrootsGear. 3. Planning to wear headphones for some or all of the race. If all three apply, hit us up via DM with your bib number (something cool coming your way). We’ll see everyone at #Mile18… (wait for it)… runners LEFT for love & hype. #TBT Photo: @paulinaemcee #weatherproof
Who they are: The November Project exists in cities around the world to motivate people of “all ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving.”
Steal their look: The coolest part of the November Project might be the fact that it’s completely free, but they’ve still managed to create a style by using old-school stencils to spray paint the logo onto whatever run apparel you’re already rocking. You can get on board with a chapter of the November Project, of course, or you and your crew can go DIY and create a simple logo, make a cardboard cutout, and spray onto your gear for a unified style.
Run Dem Crew
Who they are: London-based Run Dem Crew is a collective of runners that’s been exploring cities on foot since 2011. One of their top rules? The ego stays at home when you come out. “There is no place for macho macho within RDC,” the website warns.
Steal their look: Pick a crew name that can be broken down into short words or abbreviated so you have a huge range of options when it comes to making clothing. If you aren’t a graphic designer, you can still get a logo made using free web-based software like Canva, or a site like Fiverr to commission cheap-but-fun logos for your run crew (even if you’re the only member right now!).
Night Terrors Run
Who they are: A Toronto, Ontario-based run club that does its best work in the dark. Canada’s winters are long and brutal, and having a crew to convince you to get out for that track workout in sub-zero temps can be a huge motivational boost.
Steal their look: Running at night requires some reflective gear, so make sure at least one piece of your kit has reflective accents, whether it’s white reflective accents on your black shorts or a band on your cap.
Run Pack Berlin
Who they are: The Berlin-based runners live by the motto, “We run as a pack and we party as a pack.” Their vibe combines hard running—at all levels—with a clear love of post-run, photo-ready antics.
Steal their look: Don’t be afraid to repurpose your running shoes for the dance floor post-race—or to use a medal as the ultimate fashion accessory. Paired with rockabilly chic, even your sweatband can go from workout to night out. And end more workouts with dance parties.
Outra Fé Running Crew
Who they are: A run crew out of Brazil that brings in all types of runners: “We are tattooed, have children, family, dog, cat and parrot, we also like to go out every now and then,” the website explains. But they’re all brought together by the uniting belief that running is the best therapy.
Steal their look: In hot weather, black text on white t-shirts can be just as edgy, but significantly cooler than the classic black shirts with white print. And pairing mint green accents with black and white adds kick to a kit in a subtle way.
Who they are: The Secret of Running Crew in South Korea has one goal—to “keep going, keep running.” Their night runs around the city of Seoul lead to some gorgeously lit shots of the city and track swarmed by runners as the bright lights backlight them perfectly.
Steal their look: If you’re not a huge fan of black-and-white, SORC.SS has an irreverent vibe you might prefer. Go ’90s with bright orange and blue neon, and don’t be afraid of big, bold prints.
Red Snakes Milano
Who they are: The Italian run club lives by the slogan, “We run Milano for revenge,” based on the fact that Milan is a hard city to navigate on foot. Running is an act of rebellion for them as much as it is an act of self-love, and naturally, their crest is a badass snake.
Steal their look: Pick a color combo, like Red Snakes Milano’s red and black, and stick to that palate for easy mix-and-match running kits that avoid looking like every photo is in grayscale. (But probably don’t spray paint snakes on the sidewalks along your route.)
Kelowna Running Club
Who they are: Who says running stylishly can’t be super goofy? The Kelowna Running Club based in British Columbia, Canada, isn’t always running in costume, but they do line up at a lot of race starts in impressively coordinated designs ranging from Pac Man to Sesame Street to piñata-themed.
Steal their look: The next time you need a bit of a pick-me-up for your run, try to add some element of costume or convince your personal run crew to add one fun detail to your kits for the track workout this week. Wonder Woman day for your hill repeats, anyone?
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified where Run Dem Crew is based. The crew is based on London.