My Trail Running Favourites, from top to bottom, literally. Comfort and function are paramount so here is my favourite combination of tops, bottoms and accessories when I’m running off road. The following is an absolute essentials kit list for up to two hours mountain running in familiar surroundings.
I run pretty hot so I am very much a vest guy. At least I was until I experience the Aussie Grit Apparel Trail Running Tee Shirt. It is not only the best fitting and best looking tee shirt I have ever run in. It’s so light that you forget you are wearing it. The flint Men’s Running T-Shirt is so cool that I ran comfortably in the Greek summer sun and when I ineveitably did perspire, this lightweight beauty felt as light as ever. It is so fine, light and well fitted that you can actually forget you are wearing anything.
Aussie Grit Apparel is the trail running and mountain biking clothing company from Formula 1 racing driver and biking and running enthusiast Mark Webber. You can tell that the athlete founder is deeply involved because the kit really works. I would go so far as to say that this is my all time favourite training tee shirt.
Shorts need to do a couple of things really well. Protect your modesty and be comfortable. I am pretty picky when it comes to shorts and I am still on the hunt for my perfect pair. The New Balance 3 inch Impact Running Shorts however are pretty jolly close. They are short shorts, which means there is no excess fabric to bunch and chafe which is vital. This also help keep you cool on hot days and when running hard. The inner pant layer fits well so that is a big win as I want to wear the sorts and only the shorts #commando. The tiny pocket holds your keys well and would accommodate a nutrition sachet or two. Unless you have a phone circa 2003, you will have to leave the old mobile at home. Aussie Grit have winter shorts with the most incredible phone pocket for even the biggest device so check them out. I will be featuring these shorts in the coming months.
The barefoot / minimalist craze has calmed down and the leading shoe companies still making barefoot style shoes are doing a sterling job. One of my absolute faves is one of the originals and that’s Merrell. I have warn their Trail Gloves for the past three seasons and they tick all my boxes. They give protection from rough surfaces and offer bags of grip all year round. The toe-box is anatomically designed to accommodate a real human foot, as opposed to the mangled, pointy variety engineered by conventional shoes. This means no crushed toes and bunions and better balance, because your toes can do their job. The shoe is flexible enough to allow full freedom of movement and therefore better foot function, propulsion and feel. I am really looking forward to testing the new Trail Glove 4 Knit when I am next in the mountains.
I have been a fan of Polar for decades, mainly as they were pioneers in wearable heart rate monitors before many tech brands were even born. The heart rate data is reliable and consistent and it has never failed me. I am using the H7 heart rate sensor and Polar also have recently released an upgraded H10 model. I am sticking with chest strap HR monitors as the vast majority of feedback on wrist sensors is poor. The V800 covers many sports and most, crucially, has a Free Multi Sport mode where I can cycle to my run location, hit the Lap button and quickly change to Run and off I go. It then shows the exact data I need for my activity. I can even switch to indoor climbing if I run to the wall for a session. Brilliant.
So these are my favourite trail running essentials this summer. I have some fancy kit coming my way to trial on the trail so keep an eye out. In the mean time, stay active and let me know in the comments below if you have any favourites you think I should get my hands on.