Q & Answer: What Clothes Can You Wear for Running?
Michael asks: I saw in your post about activity trackers that you run. Do you have any suggestions for good running clothes? 
There’s a joke about how runners only wear special clothes so that people don’t think they’re running from or to anything. A bit tongue in cheek, but it’s true. Outside of needing running shoes (which you should be professionally fitted for), you can more or less run in anything. Which, frankly, is what makes running so great.   
If you’re OK with spending a little more money, then I’d suggest the following.
If you run at night, get reflective snap bands. They can potentially save your life. Nike and Ovadia & Sons also have some cool looking reflective jackets, but they’re expensive. Brooks has their Nitelife collection, which is more affordable, but slightly dorky looking.
Get running socks, which will wick sweat away. Cotton socks absorb sweat, which can give you blisters.
Depending on how hot your summers get, you may want to consider lined running shorts. Wear them with compression shorts if you need to reduce chaffing, or if you want to add a layer of warmth during the cooler spring and fall seasons.  
Synthetic shirts are ideal, as they’ll help wick sweat away. Cotton t-shirts on the other hand, will only hold sweat, which will make you feel clammy and gross.
If you plan to run in the snow, make some screw shoes. Be careful, however. If the roads are icy, you’re best off staying in or running at the gym. Slipping and spraining your ankle a few miles from home is a bad, bad situation.
Depending on how cold your winters get, consider wool beanies and gloves. Baselayers are also useful, but again – avoid cotton, as it’ll hold sweat and possibly give you hypothermia. Instead, get wool or some kind of synthetic material that will wick sweat away.
A lightweight nylon jacket is useful for rainy days, but otherwise, I find they kind of get in the way.
I assume GPS watches are useful, but I’ve never used one.  
As for where to get some gear, I really like Nike, which you can find on discount at Nike’s outlets, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. Iffley Road also seems really nice, although expensive. For something more affordable, check out C9 by Champion at Target, Under Armour, and the Airism and Heattech lines at Uniqlo. Dependable brands such as Saucony, Brooks, Adidas, and Hind are also worth looking into, as are general running sites such as Running Warehouse and Road Runner Sports. In addition, Track Smith is a new “Ivy inspired” line, although their clothes look like they’re more geared towards style than performance. 
Personally, I wear Nike Miler Dri-Fit tees with Gyakusou running pants on most days. Gyakusou is a collaboration line between Nike and Jun Takahashi (the designer behind Undercover). The more recent collections look a bit funky, but you can find older seasons on eBay (and at cheaper prices). Gyakusou’s clothes are really slim fitting, however, so be sure to size up. For baselayers, I wear Nike Pro Combats; for gloves, I wear Smartwool; and for shoes, I wear Flyknit Lunars. Other than that, I take a single house key and my Nike Fuelband, the second of which I use to time my laps. 

Q & Answer: What Clothes Can You Wear for Running?

Michael asks: I saw in your post about activity trackers that you run. Do you have any suggestions for good running clothes? 

There’s a joke about how runners only wear special clothes so that people don’t think they’re running from or to anything. A bit tongue in cheek, but it’s true. Outside of needing running shoes (which you should be professionally fitted for), you can more or less run in anything. Which, frankly, is what makes running so great.   

If you’re OK with spending a little more money, then I’d suggest the following.

  • If you run at night, get reflective snap bands. They can potentially save your life. Nike and Ovadia & Sons also have some cool looking reflective jackets, but they’re expensive. Brooks has their Nitelife collection, which is more affordable, but slightly dorky looking.
  • Get running socks, which will wick sweat away. Cotton socks absorb sweat, which can give you blisters.
  • Depending on how hot your summers get, you may want to consider lined running shorts. Wear them with compression shorts if you need to reduce chaffing, or if you want to add a layer of warmth during the cooler spring and fall seasons.  
  • Synthetic shirts are ideal, as they’ll help wick sweat away. Cotton t-shirts on the other hand, will only hold sweat, which will make you feel clammy and gross.
  • If you plan to run in the snow, make some screw shoes. Be careful, however. If the roads are icy, you’re best off staying in or running at the gym. Slipping and spraining your ankle a few miles from home is a bad, bad situation.
  • Depending on how cold your winters get, consider wool beanies and gloves. Baselayers are also useful, but again – avoid cotton, as it’ll hold sweat and possibly give you hypothermia. Instead, get wool or some kind of synthetic material that will wick sweat away.
  • A lightweight nylon jacket is useful for rainy days, but otherwise, I find they kind of get in the way.
  • I assume GPS watches are useful, but I’ve never used one.  

As for where to get some gear, I really like Nike, which you can find on discount at Nike’s outletsMarshall’s and TJ Maxx. Iffley Road also seems really nice, although expensive. For something more affordable, check out C9 by Champion at Target, Under Armour, and the Airism and Heattech lines at Uniqlo. Dependable brands such as Saucony, Brooks, Adidas, and Hind are also worth looking into, as are general running sites such as Running Warehouse and Road Runner Sports. In addition, Track Smith is a new “Ivy inspired” line, although their clothes look like they’re more geared towards style than performance. 

Personally, I wear Nike Miler Dri-Fit tees with Gyakusou running pants on most days. Gyakusou is a collaboration line between Nike and Jun Takahashi (the designer behind Undercover). The more recent collections look a bit funky, but you can find older seasons on eBay (and at cheaper prices). Gyakusou’s clothes are really slim fitting, however, so be sure to size up. For baselayers, I wear Nike Pro Combats; for gloves, I wear Smartwool; and for shoes, I wear Flyknit Lunars. Other than that, I take a single house key and my Nike Fuelband, the second of which I use to time my laps. 

Activity Trackers and Wearable Technology
I’m late to the whole activity tracker thing, but when Nike offloaded a bunch of FuelBands on Gilt earlier this year, I picked one up in the hopes of seeing how well they work. Activity trackers, for those unfamiliar, are digital monitors that track how much we move every day. They give us better insight into our general health and encourage us to live better, more active lifestyles. Or so that’s the promise.
Do They Work?
I’ve only tested Nike’s FuelBand – and it’s being discontinued – but reviews of other activity trackers seem to all say the same thing. These devices don’t monitor your movement so much as they monitor their own. Meaning, if you wear an activity tracker on your wrist while drinking a beer, you’ll score more “points” from moving your arm than you would from doing push ups. It also only records movements, not exertion, so cleaning dishes will score you more points than completing a set of deadlifts. Some devices have workarounds for this, but the solutions are far from ideal.
So, the metrics these things produce aren’t completely accurate, but they are useful for helping you get a sense of how active you are from one day to another. They’re also great if you, like me, get most of your exercise from running (rather than bicycling, weightlifting, or yoga), and often need a bit of a push to get yourself off of the couch. There have been many occasions when I went out for an extra run just so I could meet my day’s activities goals. When you meet them, your tracker flashes pretty lights and gives you a little congratulatory message. It sounds silly, but people play video games for hours for similar rewards.
Our site is mostly about men’s clothing and style, but exercise intersects with these things in obvious ways. If you’re looking to be a bit more fit or active, and often feel you just need a bit of a push, consider getting an activity tracker. Their novelty, admittedly, wanes after six months or so, but they don’t need to be useful for a lifetime to be helpful. They only need to be useful enough to help us set good habits. 
Other Models 
FitBit and Jawbone are perhaps the most popular models right now, and both will allow you to do things that Nike’s FuelBand won’t (such as tracking food intake and sleep patterns). You may also want to check out these new or upcoming releases:
Razer Nabu and Samsung Gear Fit: Smart watch capabilities built into fitness bands. Along with being an activity tracker, you can receive instant notifications and text messages.  
Sony Smart Band: Instead of just tracking your activity levels, it also tracks how much time you’ve spent on the internet, reading books, hanging out with friends, or listening to music. Think of it as a “lifestyle monitor.”
Garmin’s VivoFit: Tracks how far and how quickly you’ve moved, which might be useful for runners. It also adjusts your new day’s goals according to your previous days’ activities, rather than requiring you to manually set goals yourself. Best of all, it supposedly can distinguish between when you’re actually running and when you’re just shaking your wrist, which is my main complaint with Nike’s Fuelband. 
Withings Acivite: A tracker built into a nice looking watch. Probably the most stylistically pleasing of all the models on this list. 
Moov, Kreyos, iFit, and Notch: Monitors that you can put on different parts of your body (or even on things such as your bike or golf clubs), which can give you more information on your activity levels. Best part is: if you wear a coat and tie often, having a monitor hidden somewhere else can be useful when activity trackers won’t fit underneath a tailored shirt cuff.  
Lumo Lift: A multi-locational activity tracker that will tell you when you’re slouching. Does the job that your mom used to do.
Atlas and Amiigo: Workout trackers. Can tell the difference between bicep curls and alternating bicep curls, as well as what kind of swim stroke you’re doing and what lap you’re on.
Apple: The most anticipated of all releases. There are a lot rumors right now on what features Apple’s “iWatch” might include, but it looks like we won’t know for sure until next year. 
(Photo via CNET)

Activity Trackers and Wearable Technology

I’m late to the whole activity tracker thing, but when Nike offloaded a bunch of FuelBands on Gilt earlier this year, I picked one up in the hopes of seeing how well they work. Activity trackers, for those unfamiliar, are digital monitors that track how much we move every day. They give us better insight into our general health and encourage us to live better, more active lifestyles. Or so that’s the promise.

Do They Work?

I’ve only tested Nike’s FuelBand – and it’s being discontinued – but reviews of other activity trackers seem to all say the same thing. These devices don’t monitor your movement so much as they monitor their own. Meaning, if you wear an activity tracker on your wrist while drinking a beer, you’ll score more “points” from moving your arm than you would from doing push ups. It also only records movements, not exertion, so cleaning dishes will score you more points than completing a set of deadlifts. Some devices have workarounds for this, but the solutions are far from ideal.

So, the metrics these things produce aren’t completely accurate, but they are useful for helping you get a sense of how active you are from one day to another. They’re also great if you, like me, get most of your exercise from running (rather than bicycling, weightlifting, or yoga), and often need a bit of a push to get yourself off of the couch. There have been many occasions when I went out for an extra run just so I could meet my day’s activities goals. When you meet them, your tracker flashes pretty lights and gives you a little congratulatory message. It sounds silly, but people play video games for hours for similar rewards.

Our site is mostly about men’s clothing and style, but exercise intersects with these things in obvious ways. If you’re looking to be a bit more fit or active, and often feel you just need a bit of a push, consider getting an activity tracker. Their novelty, admittedly, wanes after six months or so, but they don’t need to be useful for a lifetime to be helpful. They only need to be useful enough to help us set good habits. 

Other Models 

FitBit and Jawbone are perhaps the most popular models right now, and both will allow you to do things that Nike’s FuelBand won’t (such as tracking food intake and sleep patterns). You may also want to check out these new or upcoming releases:

  • Razer Nabu and Samsung Gear Fit: Smart watch capabilities built into fitness bands. Along with being an activity tracker, you can receive instant notifications and text messages.  
  • Sony Smart Band: Instead of just tracking your activity levels, it also tracks how much time you’ve spent on the internet, reading books, hanging out with friends, or listening to music. Think of it as a “lifestyle monitor.”
  • Garmin’s VivoFit: Tracks how far and how quickly you’ve moved, which might be useful for runners. It also adjusts your new day’s goals according to your previous days’ activities, rather than requiring you to manually set goals yourself. Best of all, it supposedly can distinguish between when you’re actually running and when you’re just shaking your wrist, which is my main complaint with Nike’s Fuelband. 
  • Withings Acivite: A tracker built into a nice looking watch. Probably the most stylistically pleasing of all the models on this list. 
  • Moov, Kreyos, iFit, and Notch: Monitors that you can put on different parts of your body (or even on things such as your bike or golf clubs), which can give you more information on your activity levels. Best part is: if you wear a coat and tie often, having a monitor hidden somewhere else can be useful when activity trackers won’t fit underneath a tailored shirt cuff.  
  • Lumo Lift: A multi-locational activity tracker that will tell you when you’re slouching. Does the job that your mom used to do.
  • Atlas and Amiigo: Workout trackers. Can tell the difference between bicep curls and alternating bicep curls, as well as what kind of swim stroke you’re doing and what lap you’re on.
  • Apple: The most anticipated of all releases. There are a lot rumors right now on what features Apple’s “iWatch” might include, but it looks like we won’t know for sure until next year

(Photo via CNET)