Each year around the holidays, we bring you some of our favorite running brands and gear that we love. Whether it’s a hoodie to keep you warm on those chilly mornings or the best running watch out there right now, this guide features gear you’ll appreciate both on and off the run for years to come.
Happy holidays to you all from us here at Believe in the Run. We wish you the best that running and life have to offer.
NOTE: We do make a small amount of affiliate revenue off some of the shop links, but not all of them. We just pick the stuff we love and if they bring in a bit more business, then it’s just a bonus. Thanks for helping us out.
This roundup is sponsored by Bombas socks, which are sure to keep you comfortable warm throughout the winter. You buy one, they give one to someone in need. Use code BITR20 to save 20% off your first order!
One of those things you’ll wear for life | Incredibly warm | Soft and comfortable
We’re always skeptical when running brands start trying to make lifestyle apparel. Mainly because a lot of them are terrible at it, and also — leave that to the lifestyle people. Rabbit is an exception. Ever since they started broadening their apparel spectrum (most notably in trail), we’ve been in love. And nothing has been better than the High Country Jacket.
A flannel outer with a rabbitKNIT Ice liner, this thing is as comfortable as any flannel we’ve ever worn, and it is surprisingly warm. We’ve been wearing it on 30F days outside with one layer underneath, and I feel perfectly comfortable. It looks great, the fit is perfect, and the details are outstanding. Front metal snaps, two chest pockets, and the best part of all– two hand pockets on the side. It’s one of those apparel pieces that you know you’ll just live in for life.
There’s a reason this is on the top of the list– it’s the best thing on here. Comes in both men’s and women’s styles.
PRICE: $150Shop Rabbit – MEN Shop Rabbit – Women
Ultra cozy | Odor-resistant | Just a great piece of apparel
This has become a core piece of Meaghan’s training during her runs as the temperatures dip into those wintry depths we all know and love/hate. Made of volcanic ash-enhanced nylon and responsible wool, this scuba-hood long sleeve features integrated thumb slits, stretch, and moisture-wicking properties to make this the perfect complement for cold weather runs. Plus, you can feel good that part of your purchase goes towards clean water projects around the globe.
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: Save 30% during the holiday sale ($96)Shop Janji Rover – Men Shop Janji Rover – Women
You buy one, they give one | Moisture-wicking | Super comfortable (and fun!)
You already know Bombas is a sponsor of ours, but did you know they offer a wide variety of socks for different activities? From merino hiking to performance running, to kids and toddlers, they got pretty much everything you need. (Personally, my kids might like these socks even more than me.)
On the performance side, we wore these for the New York City Marathon and felt great the whole time and finished without blisters on the hottest race day on record.
PRICE: $74 (4-pack running sock gift bag)
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: Use code BITR20 to save 20% off your first orderShop Bombas
Armless sunglasses | Perfect for a variety of sports | We wear them all the time
We get more questions about Ombraz than any other sunglasses we wear. It’s hard to describe the armless appeal until you try it (we thought it was a gimmick until we did). Secure fit that disappears on the face and no worries of broken arms, all in a fashionable package. For you multisport people, this is the one. Perfect for cycling, swimming, traveling, and everything in between. Plus, you can put them over your winter cap while running, because we all know how annoying it is to wear armed sunglasses underneath a knit cap. Also great for moms and dads because you know– kids like breaking stuff. They’re rarely on sale, so get them now at 20% off.
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: Save 20% during the holiday saleShop Ombraz
From the innovation lab of Hoka | We’ve put this in the gift guide for three years straight and we’re not stopping
Look at the photo. Need we say more? A cross between Ugg and Hoka, the Deckers KO-Z (and really every other Deckers shoe) are the most comfortable things you can put on your feet. With a thick wool liner, a sheepskin upper, and all the cushion in the world, it is one of the more premium feels we’ve experienced with a pretty standard price tag. No joke, we live in this slipper and the SPSK boot for the majority of the winter.
Every year we tell people to buy this, and every year, people thank us once they do. Feel free to do the same.
PRICE: $150Shop Deckers KO-Z – Unisex
Fractel is the new Ciele | Breathable and sweat-wicking five-panel cap | Other styles are great too
Hear us out– there’s a new cap kid in town. And it’s Fractel. We actually wore their hats a bunch over the summer, but this is the first time we’re featuring them on the site. Their styles are on point, the designs are great, and they have a wide selection to choose from. Buckets, five-panels, those hats with the ear and neck flap things that protect you from the sun– it’s a runner’s dream. The quality is as good as Ciele and other heavy hitters out there, so we expect to see a lot more of Fractel in 2023. Get lidded.
PRICE: $40Shop Fractel
All 50% Off | Lifestyle and running gear | One of our favorite apparel brands here at BITR
Roark Run Amok is that West Coast cool we all want to be out here in the Mid-Atlantic. Fresh designs (including their recent Motorhead collaboration), perfect cuts, and some of the most comfortable fabrics in the game. As I’m typing this, I’m wearing two items in the above photo, the El Morro fleece pant and the Dopamine tee. The fleece pant, in particular, is on our legs about every other day during the winter months. It’s the perfect jogger and transitions to just about anything we do. Right now, everything is 50% off (which we’ve never seen before). Pick up some gear and live your best West life.
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: 50% off everythingShop Roark Run Amok
Magnetic tab light | Rechargeable | Perfect for clipping onto a sleeve or collar
We know, you don’t want to do a glow-up because that usually means wearing a reflective vest or some other contraption that makes you look like a school crossing guard who’s escaped from the mental asylum. That’s where the Nite Ize Taglit comes in.
A rechargeable mini light, it features a magnetic tab closure that can clip onto your shirt collar, sleeve, top of shorts, etc. It’s bright as hell and features a flashing mode or steady mode. We can attest that it’s saved us some close calls during our early morning and night runs in the city, and have also used it on our backpacks when commute cycling as an extra safety precaution. For $20, you can’t beat the return in value and safety.
PRICE: $20Shop Nite Ize
The one piece of winter running gear you should have | Soft, warm, and odor-resistant
If there’s one piece of apparel that changes the game for winter running, it’s gotta be a good neck warmer. The fact that it can keep your neck, face, and ears warm at the same time is a triple threat against the cold and wind. If you get too hot, pull it down, and if you really get too hot, you can figure-eight wrap it around your wrist for the rest of the run.
We love the Smartwool neck warmer because it’s made of merino, which is odor-resistant and quick-drying, meaning you don’t have to wash it after every use. Plus, it’s long enough to cover your face and ears and still reach the back of your neck, a problem that many neckwarmers seem to have, especially with run companies. Use this for running, cycling, skiing, or any other winter endeavor. (They also have kid’s versions, which is a staple in our family.)
PRICE: $35Shop Smartwool
Alternative down insulated (600FP) | Pertex® outer shell | Made of recycled materials
Lindsay and Brandon have been wearing this puffer pretty much every day since they got it last month. It’s very warm without being bulky, and it uses a down alternative so you don’t have to worry about plucked goose feathers hanging out inside your jacket. The scuba hood wraps the face so you don’t have wind getting in the sides. Long story short– you’ll stay warm all winter long.
Uh, also this jacket is only $100 (50% off) during their holiday sale, which is probably one of the best deals out there.
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: Save 50% during the holiday saleShop Nathan Puffer – Men Shop Nathan Puffer – Women
Kid-drip approved | Slay the style at your local Turkey Trot | Singlet and tee
It’s Tracksmith. For kids. Need we say more? Our favorite singlet of all time and its tee counterpart are finally available in kid’s sizes. So if you want to flex that hare drip at your local Santa Shuffle or kids’ quarter-mile XC race, then pick up one of these bad boys.
PRICE: $50-$55Shop Tracksmith Kids
Six pockets| Dri-FIT technology | Extra-wide waistband
Whether it’s on the run or in the gym, we’ve been enjoying the Nike Go leggings. Especially since the storage options seem endless, with two side pockets, three drop-in pockets and a zip pocket on the thigh. The Dri-FIT technology wicks sweat, but they’re thick enough to keep warm in colder conditions.
PRICE: $110Shop Nike
Utilizes 250GSM of NuYarn merino | Super soft | Regulates heat
We just got this in a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been on our heads ever since. Artilect produces some of the best merino base layers out there, and the hat falls in line with the quality we’ve come to know. Designed for use in the mountains and through winter, it’s more durable and stretcher than traditional wool thanks to its weave pattern. If you’ve never worn a merino winter hat, you should probably change that because it regulates temperature better than any polyester cap.
NuYarn merino is also a special kind of merino fiber that lasts far longer than traditional merino, so it won’t wear out on you in one winter.
PRICE: $40Shop Artilect
Trust us, it’s more than a belt | Custom fit | Low-profile buckle
This is more of a lifestyle piece, but we’ve also used it on trail shorts for trail running, hiking, and mountain biking, and it’s fantastic. Arcade makes ultra-lightweight belts with 4-way performance stretch and low-profile closure. This means that: 1) you get a perfect fit, 2) it’s not obnoxiously heavy, and 3) the buckle doesn’t do that thing where it makes your shirt stick out, unlike other belts. It’s also machine-washable and dryable. Simply put, it’s the best belt out there, especially for someone with an active lifestyle. While this one features Futureweave technology, other belts offer a variety of textures and styles.
PRICE: $32Shop Arcade Belts
Dries gear in as little as 30 minutes (maximum of 99 minutes) | Ozone removes all odor | One-year warranty
Wtf, why have we not had one of these until now? As a runner, you know this is one of the worst things about running– your shoes smell like death one week into the summer. And you know that stink never leaves, we don’t care how many Runner’s World articles you read or how many times you put them in the freezer, or microwave, or some other black magic.
The Ozodry solves everything by using heated air drying and Ozone sterilization (if you don’t know, ozone is used to remove odor from disaster situations, like crime scene cleanups and burned houses). With a quiet operation and automatic timer, it does its job while you do yours, keeping your shoes dry and odor-free. Also works great for gloves, hats, and all your other winter gear.
PRICE: $125Shop Ozodry
Packing cubes will change your life | Strong seams | Ripstop polyester
If you’re a traveling runner and you don’t use packing cubes, you are just doing things wrong. Segment your clothing into cubes, stow them easily, unpack them and they become mobile dresser drawers. No more digging around your suitcase or duffel for a shirt, unfolding everything else in the process.
We use Eagle Creek because the quality is top-notch– the ripstop material means we haven’t had a tear in over two years of use, and you know how much we travel here at Believe in the Run. It’s wild how much they compress and how much clothing you can put in them. This saves you suitcase space so you can bring like four pairs of shoes with you without exceeding carry-on limits.
Trust us when we say you need these in your life and you’ll never go back once you try them.
PRICE: $40 (for two)Shop Eagle Creek
Made from Toray FlexTwill | Four-way stretch | Storage for days
Path Projects always ends up on our gear lists and gift guides because you really can’t go wrong with anything they drop. We’ve said it a million times before, but their ultralight base layers, shorts, and tees are wardrobe staples at this point (wearing the base layer bottoms under my jeans as I write this).
The Wheeler FT pant is a brand-new release from Path, and is straight-up made for the on-the-go lifestyle. Two hand pockets, a media zip pocket, and two rear welt zip pockets mean plenty of storage. The Toray FlexTwill is one of the most comfortable-yet-durable fabrics out there. Unlike Spandex, it doesn’t stretch out, but always returns to its shape. It also offers quick-dry capabilities. Just a good pant for hiking, relaxing, or doing whatever it is you do.
PRICE: $76Shop Path Projects
Weatherproof upper | Improved outsole | One of the most comfortable shoes in existence
We put this shoe into all our best in gear guides because we really do think it hits everything a person could want in a shoe. Comfort, style, performance, and–finally– solid outsole coverage. Throw running out the window, we think this is just one of the best overall shoes money can buy. It’s comfortable, waterproof, and stands out amongst the crowd. Every time we recommend this to a friend, they always come back and tell us how great of a shoe it is, because– it is.
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: Save 30% during Running Warehouse holiday sale ($112)Shop Nike Running – Men Shop Nike Running – Women
Meaghan’s go-to handheld | Insulated bottle | Storage for phone or gels
Whether it’s race day or long run day (or short run day in the summer), a good handheld is a necessary accessory for your running. Over all our testing, one bottle still stays with us– the Nathan Speedraw Plus. With an 18-ounce capacity and double-wall construction, it keeps fluids at hand and colder for longer than other bottles. No-slip grip and a race cap that you don’t have to pop out make this everything you need in a water bottle.
PRICE: $37Shop Nathan Sports
Our go-to energy on race day | Kipchoge uses it so you know it’s good | Easily digestible
If you’re gonna treat yourself, now is the time. Yes, this is the priciest fuel option out there. But there’s a reason for it– it does the job better than anything else we’ve tried. It’s one of the most energy-efficient gels out there, giving you quick access to carbs when they’re most needed. The neutral flavor and consistency means it goes down smooth. No artificial flavors, color, or preservatives means your stomach won’t get wrecked. Point being– it’s the best there is.
PRICE: $43 (box of 12)Shop Maurten
Looks like a torture device | But actually is a muscle scraper | Remember the Motorola Sidekick? That’s not what this is
If you follow Molly Seidel on Instagram, you’ve probably seen her working her post-race muscles with this thing. Sarah Hall uses it as well, and her career seems to be going okay, so there must be something to it. Best for chronic injuries like Plantar Fasciitis or IT Band Syndrome, the Sidekick tool relieves tight muscles and gets the blood flowing for faster recovery and stronger health.
PRICE: $50-$135Shop Sidekick
Lightweight and comfortable | Soft protective cuffs with thumbholes | Wind protection
The Saysky Pace isn’t the best performance jacket we’ve ever worn, but it is one of the most comfortable. And it looks really good. Which is sometimes pretty great. Back pinholes provide ventilation, two side pockets provide storage, and the soft cuffs are a nice touch to keep the warmth in and the cold out. The subtle design touches make this an attractive piece for both running and lifestyle.
PRICE: $156Shop Saysky Running
Post-run essential | Double-walled construction | Excellent color choices
There is nothing better after a winter long run than getting home and warming up with a hot cup of coffee (shower coffee, anyone?). But there is nothing worse than microwaving your mug every five minutes to keep that perfect temperature. That’s where the Yeti Rambler comes in. The double-walled construction keeps it hot for hours, at exactly the temperature you want. A quick-slide magnetic tab keeps a lid on the whole thing.
It’s ridiculous to pack this item, but we often take us with us on travel or camping trips, and it hasn’t let us down yet.
PRICE: $30Shop Yeti
The perfect running headlamp | Lightweight and easy to use | Rechargeable
Every time a normal runner (i.e. not crazy 24-hour ultrarunners) asks us for a headlamp recommendation, this is what we tell them to buy. So many headlamps are overcomplicated with different modes and brightness and too much weight. The Sprint 225 is none of those things. It’s only what runners need: a tactile push button, bright 225 Lumen light, and PowerTap technology that allows you to hold down the button and dim or brighten the beam to your exact specification. You forget it’s on your head while running (and even after running). It’s so small that you can stow it in a gel pocket with no worries. Plus, it’s rechargeable. Seriously, what else could you want?
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: 25% off ($37)Shop Black Diamond