If there’s one thing runners love, it’s trying out new running gear from various running brands. Most of the time, runners support the iconic, global brands that dominate the industry: Nike, Adidas, ASICS, Brooks, New Balance—the list goes on and on. However, there are so many other boutique, up-and-coming brands with stellar products you need to check out.
Let’s take a deeper look.
With so many new companies popping up, the entire running apparel industry is changing. Sportswear startups like Tracksmith, Iffley Road, Ciele, Doxa and countless others gave runners other options to satisfy their activewear needs. No longer would runners have to support global retailers; instead, they can find a brand that aligns with their values and provides them with high-quality running gear.
There are so many cool brands on the market, and you probably haven’t even heard of half of them! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite, unique running brands that will delight everyone from New England to New York. Browse some of our favorites below and discover unique product offerings and stylings ranging from running jackets to innovative hydration packs!
Ultimate Direction’s tagline is, “The Ultimate Runner’s Store. Designed by Athletes for Athletes.” That should tell you all you need to know about what you’re going to find. The company focuses mainly on offering the lightest hydration packs around as well as vests, water belts and other accessories that runners (specifically trail runners and long distance runners) will love. Get a hydration pack from Ultimate Direction and you’ll be on your way. The company offers a variety of other running apparel that you can add to your order to deck yourself out from head to toe in Ultimate Direction gear.
Looking for a high-tech watch? Look no further than Coros. Coros offers a handful of premium multi-sport watches for all your running needs. These watches can work in extreme temperatures, store plenty of data, connect to your phone or other accessories, monitor your heart-rate and more. Most even integrate with third-party software like Strava, TrainingPeaks or even your favorite running app to ensure all the data you need is right at your fingertips (or in this case, right on your wrist).
Polarized sunglasses are coming back in style thanks to Goodr. The company believes they offer “the sunglasses of your dreams.” They don’t slip. They don’t bounce. And they’re fun, polarized, and perfect for cyclists and runners who are always moving and on the go. Best of all though, they have low-cost options that start at $25! In addition to sunglasses, they offer a variety of t-shirts, tanks, leggings, long sleeve shirts and more.
Keep your body fueled during your run with Tailwind Nutrition. Even if you’re not a marathoner running the Boston Marathon, you still need your clean water and fuel to hydrate. The company sells “endurance fuel for athletes” that provides protein, carbs and electrolytes before or after the day’s run. There are a variety of flavors and products available with some caffeinated products as well. If you haven’t tried their products yet, you can give them a test run with the Tailwind Starter Kit, a variety of stick packs that get you energized and help you recover after a run.
Perhaps energy bars aren’t your thing. No problem. Spring Nutrition’s endurance energy gel will give you the boost you need to get you across the finish line. The product was founded by Rafal Nazarwicz and Adam Goleniewski who believed “sports nutrition can be made with the best ingredients.” Their products seek to eliminate the GI problems that happen when you run and inject other unhealthy energy boost alternatives. Like other similar products on the market, they offer a Spring Sampler Pack, so you can test their product and decide which flavor is your favorite.
Running through the woods after a recent rain? You need Dirty Girl Gaiters. These lightweight gaiters complement low-to-mid ankle hiking shoes and trail running shoes. They are only 2 ounces each, making them hardly noticeable, but super protective at the same time. They offer a variety of gaiters in different colors and styles with most starting at $20. Dirty Girl Gaiters prides itself in its stylish designs. According to their site, “Anybody can wear black gaiters.” With Dirty Girl Gaiters, you can now accessorize and stand out on your run.
Much like running shoes, every runner always strives to find their perfect running sock. Injinji (not to be confused with the global running brand, Janji) is the source for toe socks that give your foot and toes greater mobility and functionality in your shoe. They’re made from Merino wool, decrease blister formation and are moisture-wicking to eliminate chafing and ensure a comfortable run. The Injinji site is super easy to navigate, allowing you to browse by product, weight or height. We’d recommend following their social media accounts for new product releases, running tips and more!
Path Projects is a running brand that uses a special technical fabric designed to help you out-perform and complete your workout without worrying about your clothes. Their high-performance running shorts have pockets for everything you might need during and after your run, including phones, keys and endurance gels. Although those are their flagship products, they do also offer running shirts, compression shorts, hoodies and high-end head gear that you can use to build your entire outfit for your next workout.
Well, I hope some of these brands piqued your interest and maybe excited your online shopping habit. As you can see, there are plenty of phenomenal brands on the market that are producing high-quality products to solve every runners’ need.
While some of the iconic running brands still lead the way for the best running shoes, I think that these boutique brands have superior running clothes and endurance products. You would benefit from trying out their offerings and supporting these smaller businesses. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll discover the exact item you were looking to try on your very next run.