I’ve been running four or five times a week since early 2009. In that decade-plus, I’ve amassed what one could call way too much running gear: at least a dozen running shoes (including specific ones for trail running and “barefoot” running), several different kinds of socks and shorts and T-shirts (including actually cooling ones for hot days), and even a handful of running backpacks and weighted vests. Despite that glut of gear, the honest truth is that I tend to use only about 20 percent of it with any regularity.
Where I live, the four seasons still exist (for now), so the running gear I’ve come to depend on reflects that: I have stuff that can get me through 100-degree days with high humidity as well as things that allow me to hit the ground running in below-freezing temperatures. And as regular runners know, it is not only key to use the proper gear and apparel for the conditions, but also the minimum amount of stuff for said conditions. With that in mind, I’ve broken down my absolutely essential running gear for all seasons below, based on the weather conditions I use it in.
In the heat, these are the boxer-briefs I wear for runs. They’re so flexible you basically forget about them (again, a huge plus when it’s scorching), and lightweight enough that they don’t generate any perceptible extra heat. Their fabric has a bit of elastane for stretch, wicks moisture, and dries fast, so sweat is a minimal issue.