Whether you are baking beneath the heat wave in California or still digging out from under the snow, trail running is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in spring. Below you will find seven essential I have been using on local trail run adventures, in addition to the gear profiled earlier in our pain free trail running accessories post.
1. Asics Gel-Scout ($120): For the neutral to overpronators out there, the Gel-Scout provides the stability you need over uneven terrain. Gel cushioning in both the heel and forefoot area absorbs shock throughout your entire gait. A toe bumber and rock plate offers protection against stone bruises, while the gusseted toe and closed mesh upper keep debris from getting inside your shoe. An aggressive lug outsole ensures you stay upright over slick, early season trails.
2. Merrell Minimax Jacket ($99): Windproof, UPF 50+ sun protection, and highly water resistant, this fashionable windbreaker feels great against the skin. Wicking fabric coupled with mesh vent side panels and under arms, mean you won't clam up when setting that Strava PR. Elastic cinch detailing acorss the back gives you shape in the waist—meaning the jacket also looks great as a spring travel piece.
3. Champion Performax Tight ($45): These lightweight, quick drying stretch tights protect your legs without hindering performance. Mesh panels at the back of the knee help vent where you need it most and a small zippered back pocket is convenient for storing your keys. For fall, Champion will add Duofold Warm Control that manages both moisture and body heat to keep you comfortable in all conditions.
4. Balega Enduro Performance Wool Socks ($11-$12): Using a mixture of wool and high-tech synthetic fibers, these socks will keep your feet warm even when you are running through snow, cold water, and mud. With great moisture wicking ability, the socks also make for happy feet in warmer conditions.
5. SUUNTO Ambit2 ($249-$600): As it's not always convenient to carry a phone with you on your trail run, let the Ambit2 record all your workout stats and automatically upload them to Strava. Navigational functions enable you to not only explore new trails, but retrace your steps in case you should get lost. See our full review.
6. Ibex W2 Sport T ($70): Made from Ibex's new Weightless Wool fabric, wool yarn wrapped around a nylon core gives you the best of both worlds. This machine washable t-shirt resists odors yet is incredibly lightweight and wicks moisture like a champ. Wear alone on warm days or layered under the jacket for cooler weather.
7. Merrell Leelani Skirt ($55): If you run wide open trails with no fear of poison oak or sharp branches, a running skirt can be a fun alternative to tights, especially when the weather heats up. Made with wicking, quick-drying fabric inside and out, this versatile running skirt features a compression short underneath to keep you covered.