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Top Tech Every Runner Should Use While Training

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A Look at the Latest Running Gear Technology

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Were you born to run? Then you know how important it is to have the right gear to help you achieve your goals! From wearable coaching devices to moisture-wicking clothing to wireless products that keep you safe or track your run, here are some of the top tech tools out there to make the most of your run — whether you’re training for a marathon or just boosting your fitness and burning calories.
 
 

Shine Bright: Reflective running gear

 
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Photos Courtesy of Under Armour
 
One core essential of your running attire is reflective gear. After all, runners aren’t always making strides along an enclosed track or exercising in broad daylight! To prevent accidents when you’re training along a road, path, or sidewalk in the dark, making sure that you’re visible to drivers and other runners is key.
 
Luckily, there are a ton of options out there to help you do just that. Under Armour’s Fly By Running top is one extremely comfortable (and cute) style. The top wicks moisture away from skin while providing a cool, clean look with a highly reflective surface — and it comes in 8 colors! For the ultimate in chic visibility, pair with Lululemon’s high rise reflective running pants which also include a comfortable waistband pocket. Even better? Top it all off with a reflective baseball cap from Headsweats, and you’ll ensure that you’re completely visible — even if your run started before sun-up.
 
 

Listen Smart: Latest in running headphones

 
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Photo courtesy of Aftershokz
 
Aftershokz offers headphones that let you tune in without tuning out. These comfortable headphones work via bone conduction, with sound traveling through eardrums and bones at the same time (crazy, we know). Transducers guide mini sound vibrations through users’ cheekbones to reach the inner ear, delivering premium sound without plugging or covering ears. Not to mention their various running headphones are designed to withstand both high impact activities and wild weather. Aftershokz Trek Titanium Wireless Headphones are lightweight stereo headphones that are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds, and are an amazing way to prioritize your safety by ensuring you are always aware of your surroundings.
 
Runners also have an excellent choice in Caseco’s Bluetooth Beanies that have headphones built into a warm running hat — perfect for chilly weather. The relatively inexpensive wireless running headphones have convenient volume buttons, and several styles that even feature reflective tape, making them great for nighttime running. Their system is compatible with both iOS and Android.
 

 

You Heard it First: New wearables on the market

 
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Photo Courtesy of Lumenous
 
Lumenous Smart Clothing is really upping the game on functional running gear. Their trendy running shirts, vests, and pants come equipped with hidden LEDs that pair with your phone’s GPS to automatically signal turns and flash hazard signals when crossing intersections. With a 24-hour battery life, this clothing will stay “flashy” for the long run. Their Kickstarter campaign is still running (excuse the pun), but we can’t wait to try out Lumenous’ “next-level” gear.
 
 
 
 

Comfort is Key: Running shoe favorites

 
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Photo courtesy of Under Armour
 
If built in tech is right up your alley, check out Sensoria: a fitness clothing brand that has embedded electronic sensors in socks, sports bras, and shirts. The sensors in their socks analyze data about foot landing and ground-contact, while sensors in apparel like the Sensoria Fitness Sports Bra capture runners’ heart rate.
 
Comfort technology is one of the most important factors in deciding what to wear on a run, and that naturally applies to one of the most important parts of a runner’s anatomy — your feet! A fan favorite in stylish women’s running shoes this year is the Under Armour Speedform Fortis 2.1, which features a 4D Foam layer. These shoes conform to foot shape and are built to last with durable SpeedForm construction.
 
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Photo courtesy of Altra
 
For a more minimalist approach to running shoes, check out the Altra Torin 2.5. While these aren’t the type of shoes to wow the crowds with bells and whistles, this shoe looks simple and simply works. The Altra Torin 2.5 is plush and cushioned, aligns to foot shape, and flexes with movement. Not your style? Here are a few more of our favorite cutting edge shoes this year:
 
  • Altra King MT: Perfect for trail runners with a sure grip and a full rock plate to protect feet.
  • Nike Air Max 2017: Features a comfortable, long lasting fly-mesh upper and multi-surface traction for smooth runs, cushioned feet, and a sleek look.
  • Asics GEL Kayano 23: Provides gel cushioning for excellent shock absorption and a seamless upper to prevent rubbing, plus a ComfortDry sock liner that helps prevent slipping and abrasion.

 

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Photo courtesy of Under Armour
 
If you’d prefer a shoes with a even more tech, Under Armour’s SpeedForm Gemini 3 Record-Equipped shoe adds an entirely new “footprint” to running shoes. These shoes contain a tracking device that measures pace, distance, and stride — and even save the data right to your phone.
 
 

Track & Train: Running gear that tracks your performance and health

 
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Photos courtesy of Mio
Mio Slice: $129
 
Want to take your activity tracking to the next level with more than shoes? The Mio Slice with PAI ( or Personal Activity Intelligence) offers an intense but fascinating spin on data collection. This device doesn’t just provide you with information about your current run, but also compares your run with every other run it has recorded. Mio’s PAI combines a large amount of data to generate a simple score that indicates the runner’s health and longevity. It also reveals the changeability of a runner’s health score depending on regular running and other physical activity.
 
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Photos courtesy of Levl
Levl: $699
 
If that seems like information overload, then check out Levl. While is comes at a pretty steep price, this tabletop device works like a breathalyzer to test your fitness level. Levl senses acetone in a runner’s breath as an indication of fat burning, diet, and exercise, and also can distinguish between burning fat and burning glucose. Levl is only available in the Seattle area right now, but they’re working on expanding their reach.
 
Also directed at diet, weight, and health is the Balance Weight Management Service from Polar. Polar, which developed the first heart rate monitor back in the 1970s, is an old hand when it comes to offering health data. The Weight Loss Speedometer app can be wirelessly connected to the Smart Scale and tracks a runner’s success in battling fat.
 

Run Safe: Running gear to keep you safe

 
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Perhaps one of the key concerns of runners today — particularly for women who enjoy a solo run — is personal safety. Wearsafe offers a stellar solution that makes calling for help swift and simple: the Wearsafe Tag is sleekly and sensibly designed, and can be worn conveniently on many ways. Most runners bring their cell phones along for a run, but a cell phone can be tossed aside, or difficult to reach in a pocket or armband. Wearsafe allows runners to call for help easily and discreetly, instantly sending pre-selected contacts an alert from the wearer’s phone via email, text, and push notifications. Once the Wearsafe Tag is pressed, the Wearsafe App sends your alert and opens a group chat for your network to use to coordinate a response and call emergency services if necessary.
 

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Another great aspect of this device is that it doesn’t track or record you until the moment you ask it to — avoiding the “Big Brother” feel of other security apps. By Pairing the Wearsafe Tag with the Wearsafe App, runners have a safety solution that merges wearable technology seamlessly with smartphone capabilities. With a discreet profile and swift-action ease, the device might just be the next “must have” in your running arsenal — and revolutionize the way you think about your safety while you run.
 
 
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Although it’s hard, in many ways, running is the perfect exercise. We run for our health, we run for pleasure, and we run to compete. We run to improve our health and longevity, get a good workout, and lessen the stress of daily living. We even run to help to prevent disease, strengthen bones, and clear the mind. No matter what the reason is that you run, though, finding the gear that enhances and supports your running goals is key to keeping your training and well-being on track. In the world of today’s runners, technology allows us to truly have it all: clothing, shoes, coaching, and personal safety at the most advanced level.
 
So get ready, get set, and get running!
 
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Jason Biondo

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