Back-to-school season is the perfect time to recommit to your fitness goals. It feels like a brand-new start, and while you’re stocking up on pencils and new books, why not also shop for some new running gear? Plus, as the hot weather tapers off and fall arrives, it’s a great time to get out and explore your local trails and running paths.
Set a new fitness challenge for yourself by signing up for the Under Armour All Out Mile journey. Register online before Aug. 29, and from Aug. 30 to Sept. 30 you’ll receive tools and tips to train for your fastest mile ever. You can link your smart fitness watch, recruit friends to join you and prepare for your benchmark assessment. Run your hardest before Sept. 5 to set your baseline, and then train throughout the month of September, logging your fastest personal best by Oct. 11. As well as improving your running time and receiving top-notch advice from athletes, you can also win cash and prizes!
So treat yourself to a fresh pair of running shoes, some snazzy new activewear and a few gadgets to help you break through plateaus and log your fastest mile yet. We’ve rounded up everything you need to smash your running resolutions. Ready, set, go!
On Cloudboom Echo ($349.99; on-running.com/en-ca)
For the serious long-distance runner, there simply is no better shoe than the Cloudboom Echo by Swiss brand On. This incredibly lightweight elite marathon super shoe features carbon and a rocker shape for incredible speed and performance. If you’re dedicated to shaving time off your next 42 kilometres, this shoe will give you a head start.
Brooks Women’s Glycerin Gts 19 B Width Running Shoe ($199.99; ca.shop.runningroom.com)
Check out the full range of athletic footwear and apparel from sports specialists at brooksrunning.com, and then head to your local Running Room or other Canadian dealer to pick up a pair. These women’s performance running shoes come in four colours and are incredibly comfortable even on long runs.
Swiftwick Aspire Four Quarter Crew Socks ($23.76; amazon.ca)
Keep your feet dry and cool on runs long and short with Swiftwick’s bestselling running sock. They’re available in eight colours, including high-visibility options in yellow and lime green, and made with high-compression tech to support your feet and prevent muscle fatigue. If your runs are taking you off into rougher trails, try the Pursuit Hike sock, made with merino wool for maximum moisture and temperature control for all four seasons.
Under Armour Men’s Charged Bandit 6 Running Shoe (starting at $93.31; amazon.ca)
Available in nine colours, including black with a gold accent, this shoe has a mesh upper to provide ventilation and a sock liner that forms to the foot for ultimate comfort. The lightweight design helps you spring up with every stride, while the cushioning protects and supports your midsole with every step.
Under Armour Women’s Armour Mid Crossback Sports Bra ($40; underarmour.ca)
Let nothing hold you back from achieving your next personal best with this super-comfortable sports bra. Medium support and a crossover back allow for a full range of movement, and it comes in 11 bright colours, including Cerise and Phoenix Fire.
Brooks Women’s FastForward Crossback Sports Bra (starting at $41.99; amazon.ca)
This bra is perfect for runners who want to adjust the support and coverage for a custom fit. The bottom band and straps are adjustable, and it features removable cups. A range of different colours can be matched with your other running gear for a cohesive look.
Nike Pro Hypercool Bra (starting at $50.19; amazon.ca)
This simple spandex-mix pull-on bra is perfect for those who need less support. It comes in a few different shades and patterns and features an inner bra. Wear it under a T-shirt or alone, especially on hot days or if you’re working up a sweat.
Running shorts and leggings
Under Armour Men’s UA Launch Run 7-Inch Shorts (starting at $30.99; underarmour.ca)
Nothing can stop you in these ultra-light and breathable shorts, which feature an inner lining for support and ventilation. A four-way stretch allows for unrestricted movement, and they even come with a power mesh pocket to keep your phone at hand. Run for even longer with anti-odour technology, which prevents the growth of microbes.
Pop Flex Believe 7/8 Legging ($73; popflexactive.com)
The squat-proof coverage of these high-waisted leggings means you can stop to stretch with confidence. The ButterSoft Compress fabric feels amazing against the skin, while the sweat-wicking technology will keep you cool and dry even on the hardest runs. They come in black with a colourful waistband or passionfruit pink.
Brooks Men’s Go-To 5-Inch Shorts ($81.86; amazon.ca)
Grab your water and your phone and get running with these relaxed fit shorts. The built-in brief liner offers coverage and support, while the DriLayer fabric keeps sweat at bay so you can push harder for that fastest kilometre yet.
Under Armour Women’s ColdGear Authentics Leggings (starting at $52.26; amazon.ca)
You might not want to admit it, but colder weather is on the way. Keep running throughout winter with these cold-weather leggings, which provide ultra warmth, thanks to their dual-layer fabric. Available in sizes XS to XXL and four different colour combinations.
Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch ($175.99; amazon.ca)
This smartwatch looks like a normal classic timepiece, so much so that we found it to be the most watch-like fitness tracker in our best fitness trackers of 2021 guide. Available in four different styles using the Health Mate app, it tracks steps, exercise, heart rate and sleep patterns.
Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker ($129.95; amazon.ca)
Voted the best fitness tracker overall in our best fitness trackers of 2021 guide, this smartwatch comes in three colours: Classic Black, Desert Rose and Lunar White. It includes a free one-year Fitbit Premium membership, which comes with motivational tips, insights and personalized advice to help you reach your athletic goals. It tracks all-day activity, including resting heart rate, and boasts over 20 exercise modes.
Apple Watch Series 6 ($569.99; amazon.ca)
Take calls from your wrist mid-run, check your GPS and measure your blood oxygen with just the flick of your finger on this top-rated fitness watch. The swim-proof design means you can go for a relaxing dip after your run and still track your activity. Choose from a huge variety of bands and colour combinations to suit your unique style.
Garmin Venu ($349.99; amazon.ca)
Always know where you are and where you’re headed with preloaded TOPO maps, and when winter hits, switch your running shoes for skis using the ski maps for over 2,000 worldwide ski resorts. You can track loads of different sports and activities with this waterproof watch and also get sleep insights.
Sony WF-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds ($326.36; amazon.ca)
Music can help you train harder and faster and motivates you to keep going when you hit a wall. The crisp sound quality from these noise-canceling Sony headphones will last multiple runs with an eight-hour battery life. The speak-to-chat technology automatically reduces the volume during conversations so you can take calls while you log your steps.
TreadBands All-Terrain Tieback Nonslip Headband ($53.71; amazon.ca)
There’s nothing worse than your hair hanging in front of your eyes while you’re running and distracting you from your goal. TreadBands headbands have a clever synthetic rubber grip strip that keeps them in place and promises never to slip no matter how much you sweat. They come in lots of styles and patterns; see the TreadBands site for the entire collection.
Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask (starting at $50; amazon.ca)
Staying hydrated on long runs is a must. Try this flask that feels great in your hand, thanks to its ergonomic design. It also features a pouch to store your keys, credit card and other run essentials. The double-wall insulation will keep your drink cool and ready to go.
Flows Taylor’s Audio Glasses ($128.15, originally $192.25; getinflows.com)
Not only do these sunglasses look good, but they also have a secret guaranteed to improve your running experience: Featuring Bluetooth-compatible, built-in open-ear speakers and a microphone, they operate like a headset, but in a slimline sunglasses profile, making them perfect for those who find in-ear buds uncomfortable or who want to be more aware of their surroundings. They have a battery life of up to five hours, so they’ll quickly become your new favourite running accessory.
Yeti Rambler 26-Ounce Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle With Chug Cap ($49.99; amazon.ca)
Voted best overall winner in our best water bottles of 2021 guide, this large canteen comes in 11 fun and bright colours that won’t chip or fade, including seafoam and copper. The chug cap makes it easy to drink on the go without slowing your pace. Throw in a few ice cubes or refrigerate it before you hit the road, and your drink will be icy cold for hours.
Dagsmejan Sleep T-Shirt ($128.99; dagsmejan.com)
After pushing your body to the limit, your muscles need time to recover. The sleep experts Dagsmejan have the answer: Its latest collection features a revolutionary fabric called “nattrecover.” It keeps you cool all night and converts the heat energy into infrared energy, aiding muscle regeneration. Prepare for the best sleep of your life and match with the coordinating shorts for a complete look.
SKG F3 Massage Gun ($169.99; skgcanada.com)
Treat your sore and tired muscles to a rubdown with this massage gun that feels particularly good on tight calves. The easy-to-hold handle provides precise application, and it has four different levels of strength. The compact and portable size means you can take it on the road for relief anywhere.
RUB·A535 Muscle & Joint Pain Relieving Heat Cream ($8.77; amazon.ca)
If you’re really suffering after a long, difficult run, reach for this medicated cream that relieves tight muscles and achy joints. You’ll feel a quick warming sensation immediately from this top pharmacy-recommended treatment.
Way of Will Muscle Soak Himalayan Salt ($29.99; amazon.ca)
The promise of a bath in this amazingly rejuvenating muscle soak, made with Himalayan salts, will help you keep going to the finish line. The all-natural formulation from Way of Will includes cedarwood and black pepper and helps to relax tired, sore muscles. Pamper yourself. You deserve it!