Gearing up for any sport—even one as simple as running—can be tricky. Walk into a sports store and the options are overwhelming. Of course innovative products are fun and exciting to explore, but we believe in sticking to the basics. A runner’s closet should comprise five key pieces: shoes, a sports bra, a shirt, bottoms and a watch (although your phone can handle this job too!). Depending on the season, sunglasses and a jacket are should-probably-haves.
Before dollar signs start dancing in your head, remember that functional, fashionable pieces are available in every price range. Our guide will help you navigate the cheap-to-crazy-expensive options, so you can choose how you would like to invest.
From telling time and clocking your run, to measuring distance and tracking your sleep, watches today have countless features—allowing you to choose a little or a lot. While sports watches may seem like a big investment, they can (and should) last for many years. In a pinch, your smartphone can do the trick, but you can’t discount the accuracy factor a watch provides—essential when you want to track time, distance and improvements.
Timex Ironman Sleek 150, $80
Clock time, laps and intervals (it even reminds you to hydrate!) with tap-screen technology and easy-to-use menu prompting. The absence of GPS keeps this under the $100 mark. timex.com
Soleus GPS Turbo, $129
GPS at this price is a major value—it’s one of the least expensive you can find. This also boasts speed and distance tracking, a timer, pace alerts and 30 runs’ worth of storage. soleusrunning.com
TomTom Spark Cardio + Music, $250
TomTom’s latest is the ultimate wrist computer with built-in fitness tracking, a heart-rate monitor and GPS (no chest strap needed!). It even holds 500-plus songs in case you want to leave your phone at home. tomtom.com