Tired of neon shorts and utilitarian singlets? You’re in luck. Boutique brands are infiltrating the market and delivering more diversity to the running essentials you depend on, from streetwear-minded tees to retro racing jerseys. Everything from sunglasses to the foundation of your run—your shoes—has been thoughtfully reconsidered and updated.
The result? It’s never been easier to look good while training, whether you’re slogging through base miles in the neighborhood or embarking on a trail run half-way around the world. Here are our favorite running essentials from indie brands.
Best New Running Essentials From Boutique Brands
1. Bandit Running Breathe Out Tee
Cotton’s old-school cool factor has never waned, and we love its revival in running apparel. Made entirely of combed cotton, this tee is enzyme treated to lend worn-in softness that doesn’t compromise durability or structure. It’s part of Bandit Running’s first drop, inspired by New York City. It comprises two tees, two hats, a women’s tank (two colorways), and two versions of middy- and quarter-length socks: OG and Lite. The collection is available to the public, but members get early access. The Membership is especially enticing if you’re part of the New York City running community, as you gain VIP event status. Not a local? Other perks include 10% off on all orders, free shipping (no minimum), and access to member-only drops. This community-driven, Brooklyn-based company is one of the few new brands we’re excited to watch.
[$65; banditrunning.com]Get it
2. Roark Bommer 2.0 Running Shorts
Itty-bitty shorts are fine if you’re pushing for a PR, but the more relaxed, 7″ inseam Bommer 2.0 from Roark has everything serious runners need, like a compression liner with flat-locked seams to prevent chafing and a four-way stretch shell. The material is soft as butter, and two zippered hip pockets let you store keys and a phone in a spot where they don’t bounce while you’re running.
[$89; roark.com]Get it
3. Norda 001 M-22 Running Shoe
Yeah, it’s an expensive trail running shoe, but Canadian-based Norda’s 001 M-22 delivers the ultimate ride using the most advanced and durable foams on the planet, with an upper made from a Dyneema and Cordura weave that’s feather-light and nearly bulletproof. In other words, these shoes will last and you’ll actually enjoy running in them. Even better, the upper is made entirely from bio-based and recycled materials.
[$279; nordarun.com]Get it
4. Iffley Road Durham Running Shirt
Classic style meets sci-fi technology in the Durham running shirt, which has an open-mesh build integrated with the brand’s proprietary “Ice-Café” textile that cools your skin as you heat up on summer runs. Iffley Road even incorporated recycled coffee grounds to help combat odor. It’s super-light, weighing in at just over 3 ounces.
[$79; iffleyroad.com]Get it
5. Roka Torino Sunglasses
There’s something retro about the Torino’s look, but don’t let the flash fool you; these shades from Roka are meant for speed. They weigh less than an ounce, have nose and ear grips that defy sweat, and boast a lens that’s built for intense sun but also resists smudges. And those big lenses aren’t just for show; the extra glass provides goggle-like protection from the sun.
[From $190; roka.com]Get it
6. Territory Run Co. Long Haul Cap
You could run in your Little League trucker cap, but why do that when there’s the Long Haul from Territory Run Co., a lightweight mesh and ripstop nylon cap with a flexible bill you can mold to your personal style. It’s soft and stretchy with a moisture-wicking sweatband built for long runs on hot days.
[$36; territoryrun.co]Get it
7. Tracksmith Turnover Track Pants
These aren’t your grandpa’s track pants. The Turnover is made from a high-performance blend of micro-nylon and elastane out of Italy that dries quickly, breathes effortlessly and stretches like a dream. We love the elastic waist band and hidden ankle zips, which make them easy to take off without removing your shoes. There’s even a zipper pocket for your phone, too.
[$138; tracksmith.com]Get it
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