You never realize how important athletic gear is until you’re running in extreme weather and you’re wishing that you had something a little more dialed-in to the conditions to make you less miserable. Enter: hot, humid, summer weather.
These are the six items (and no, it’s not all traditional ‘gear’) that helped us make it through the sweatiest days of running in July, that we personally recommend.
Dangle Supply Sports Hat | $43
This is not a running company—indeed, I’m pretty sure they make bongs—but my husband saw Chris Burkard wearing one, was #influenced, and suddenly we had three in the house. And it turns out it’s the perfect running hat, with lots of open mesh for breathability, super lightweight, and comfortable as all get out. Mine has now been crumpled in bags, soaked in sweat, salt water, and dog slobber, and I can wash it and know it’ll look just as good and work just as well as the day I first tried it on. — Jessica Campbell-Salley
Fourlaps Curve Tank | $48
I love this muscle-style tank from Fourlaps. The material is soft and light, without looking like a typical athletic shirt. In fact, I’ve been wearing this in my daily life outside of running all summer because it just works with so many outfits. It’s made from 37.5 Technology, designed to keep your core temperature at the ideal 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 Fahrenheit). And even though the model I’ve been wearing is black, I don’t feel like I’m being personally attacked by the sun while wearing it. — Malissa Rodenburg
Hoka Mach 5 | $140
Five versions in, the Mach keeps getting better. The new edition always lands in summer and for me it has become a rite of passage to slip on a new pair of Machs for the hotter months. Weighing in at a ridiculously light 6.8 oz., the airy feel of the Mach helps to counteract the weight of summer heat. This has become my go-to for shorter distance racing and tempo runs. While they don’t make me run at a pace that’s ‘mach’ speed, they certainly help keep my pace on par with cooler weather temps. — Melanie Mitchell
ReHarvest Smoothie Pops | $14.99 (pack of 5)
These smoothie pops are cold, delicious, and simple, what more could you want? And there hasn’t been a flavor I haven’t liked: Very Berry (strawberry, cherry, blueberry, goji berries, and more); Super Greens (green apple, pineapple, mango, banana, spinach, zucchini); Tropical Bliss (pineapple, peaches, mango, cauliflower, coconut water); Frosé All Day (strawberry, cauliflower, banana, raspberry, cherries, beets); and Raspberry Lemonade (raspberry, pineapple, peach, apple juice, mango). They’re great–and easy–to grab after a hot run and were popular in my house for soothing a COVID-related sore throat. — M.R.
Malcom Gladwell Podcast, Legacy of Speed Series
I was familiar with the image of Black sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in protest at the 1968 Olympic Games, but not their journey to the podium. In spirit, I listened to this four part podcast series from Malcolm Gladwell during my own runs. Not only did I learn more about these iconic runners, I learned how their coach, Bud Winter, was pioneering at the time for his focus on running in a relaxed state. I even actually practiced this mid-run (probably to the amusement of passers by). Having watched the recent World Athletics Championships, it was impactful to still see the relaxed faces of the sprinters. What a legacy back to the coach at the City Of Speed, who supported these athletes to reach the world stage and run into history. The story of whether to boycott or not to boycott is discussed and the question is as hard today as it was in the 1960s. — M.M.
Cold Bodies of Water
No joke, knowing I had a body of water to jump into during a few runs this summer made them 10x more enjoyable and now I don’t know how to run outside without them. At the beach, I ran into the ocean for a cooldown and, not to get too hippy, felt more connected with the earth than I have in a long time. At the lake, when I thought maybe I was dying, jumping off the dock to cool off probably saved my life. Try it! Don’t take your clothes off or change first–it’s better if you don’t. — J.C.S.