How to Save Money on Running Clothes and Gear

Hypothetical scenario: You decide you want to become a runner. What’s the first thing you do? Well, you probable head to your local Sports Store to get a fierce looking pair of shoes and a couple matching outfits so strangers will look at you and think, “Damn. That runner looks like an Olympian. Gold medal on the outfit choice.” But looking like an Olympian is expensive! Looking good in spandex can be an expensive endeavor. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on workout clothes and accessories. Here my tips on outfitting yourself for running success without breaking the bank.

Rule #1 Don’t Spend More than $80.00 on Running Shoes

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Buying running shoes can be an expensive and overwhelming experience. My advice is to go to a specialty running store to get fitted. Try on and try out multiple different brands and styles. Get on a treadmill for 5 minutes-RUN IN THE SHOES BEFORE YOU BUY THEM. Then when you have your favorite, check online to see if you can get a better deal. My rule is to never spend more than $80 on running shoes. (For a more thorough shoe buying advice, CLICK HERE)

Rule #2 Buy On Sale

Accumulating running clothes takes time. If you’re just starting out, buy a couple different options. You don’t want to buy a ton of clothes right off the bat because you don’t know what you're going to like and dislike. It’s a waste of money to buy $120 running tights if you find out you hate tights and prefer shorts or capris. Get a variety and try them out. Brands fit differently, you may not like how the crotch fits in one brand vs another. Sizes vary. It takes time to figure out what works and doesn't work. That's why it's a waste to spend a ton of money when you're starting out (or ever for that matter).

Here’s a price range I tend to spend on my gear:

Running Shirts (Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve): $10-$20

Running Tights (Capris and Pants): $10-$40

Running Shorts: $10-$30

Waterproof Wind Breaker: $25-$60

Puffy Vest: $20-$40 (Check out UNIQLO for running vests.)

Headband that Covers Your Ears or Beanies: $5-$15

Fleece or Wool Zip Up: $20-$50

Hand-Held Water bottle: $5-$15

Sports Bra: $20-$40

Socks: $10 for 3 pairs

Rule #3 No Cotton

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Cotton is wonderful for everything except running. Don’t run in cotton. You want sweat wicking, Dri-fit, synthetic material. Synthetic fabrics will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Trust me on this.

Rule #4 eBay it Up

Want really awesome name brand clothes on the cheap? EBAY BABY! I get my sports bras on eBay because I need industrial strength Sports Bras that I refuse to spend $100 on. I’m poor and I’ll be damned if I am going to spend an absurd amount of money on something that is going to rub me raw. NWT means New With Tags and it’s your new abbreviated best friend.

Rule #5 End of Season Sales

When winter ends the winter gear goes on sale. That’s the time to buy your vests, fleece lined tights and shirts, and puffy coats. The same goes for summer. Shop the end of season clearances and stock up for next year.  

Rule #6 The Best Running Apps

If you run with your smart phone there are two apps I can't live without.

RunKeeper

I love RunKeeper because there it does everything. It has awesome training plans ready to go or that I can program myself. Say I only have 30 minutes to squeeze a run in, I can quickly program a 30 minute high intensity interval run and take off. There are stopwatch options for when I'm at the gym and with my BioSport headphones I can keep track of my heart rate and Lactate Threshold.  I trained for my first half marathon and marathon with their training plans and still use it to this day.

Rock My Run

I tend to spend a lot of money on music when I’m training for a marathon. Rock My Run is an app that has a huge variety of playlists-Pop, Electronic, Country you name it, it’s all there. There are 30 minute long playlists to 4 hour long playlists. I am in love with this app and I can't believe I went as long as I did without it. (Right now my favorite playlist is Best of CardioPop 2014)

Rule #7 Word of Mouth

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There is no better way to try new things or learn about what’s out there than to ask your running friends. I love Asics, Lole, LuluLemon, and Nike. My favorite pair of pants are a tie between Lole, Asics, and LuluLemon and 80% of my clothing is Asics. I’ve tried belt water bottles and a handheld and I love the handheld 100 times more. My Spi-Belt is the greatest invention to ever happen to me. Almost all of these things I learned by asking around. Ask around.

So, what are your favorite running brands, accessories, and gear? Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.