Running accessories: 30 must-have items in 2021
Thirty of the best running accessories to choose from in 2021, including GPS watches, compression sleeves, and the latest kicks from Nike.
For a sport that is seemingly so simple, requiring little to no equipment aside from a pair of running shoes, there are hundreds of running accessories stocking the shelves. You’ve got phone holders and GPS running watches, anti-chafe balms, heart rate monitors, running headphones, and jelly babies for on the go (even though these aren’t technically an accessory…). And yes, the jelly babies are compulsory, especially if you’re stomping the local fells.
Over the years, the technology and running accessories associated with running have grown massively. Now, there is a piece of kit for every scenario, every run, workout, or daily commute. Heck, you can even log your daily steps in an attempt to improve your overall mental and physical health.
This article will provide you with thirty of the best running accessories for men and women in 2021, beginning with a pair of compression running socks from Rockay.
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1. Rockay compression running socks
- Odour free
- Increased blood flow and faster recovery between runs and workouts
- Created using 100% recycled materials
- Anti-blister & optimal comfort design
The Rockay compression running socks are a much-needed piece of kit, keeping you in top shape year-round. When you’re not chasing personal bests, these comfy and recycled material socks will decrease your recovery times. Equally, these are just as good for lounging around the house after a long-run.
For more details, you can read our full review of the Rockay Vigor compression running socks.
2. Garmin forerunner 245 GPS running watch
- Analyses training status to indicate whether or not you’re overtraining, undertraining, etc.
- Measures advanced running dynamics including cadence, stride length, and ground contact time
- Tracks basic metrics including distance ran, time, pace per mile, and others
- Safety & tracking features to share your location with select contacts
When it comes to running accessories, there’s nothing quite like a top of the line GPS running watch. The Garmin forerunner 245 is the ultimate piece of kit, measuring various metrics you never knew you needed and helping you take your training to the next level.
In particular, the safety and tracking features help keep you safe, especially great when running at night or in a rough part of town.
3. Powerbeats sweat-resistant earphones
- Up to fifteen hours of listening time
- Adjustable, secure, and comfortable fit
- Sweat-resistant design
- Compatible with IOS & Android devices
If you enjoy listening to music when you run, which let’s face it, most of us do, you have to try the powerbeats. With up to fifteen hours of listening time, these are ideal for long-runs, commutes, or even sitting in the office – the style is certainly something to show off!
4. Running accessories phone holder
- Reflective strip for increased visibility
- Compatible with several devices
- Sensitive touchscreen design for added durability
- Storage for small items, including cash, lipstick, and keys
Every year we see more and more running accessories released. However, a favourite for many runners is a classic phone holder case. This one by Gritin is compatible with several devices, both iPhone and Android. You’ll also benefit from the small storage pocket for valuables, keeping them dry and secure on your run.
5. SKL running face cover
- Comfortable & breathable fabric
- UV protection and dustproof
- An ideal alternative to a facemask
If your bored of wearing regular facemasks, you should consider wearing a face cover or buff. Not only are these great for running, but now an essential when nipping into the shops or walking around a busy city centre.
6. Oakley men’s jawbreaker running sunglasses
- 100% UV protection
- High definition optics for superior clarity
- Case and cleaning cloth included
If your running during the summer, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Oakley sunglasses. In terms of running accessories, there’s nothing better to keep you protected from the sun. With a convenient and compact case, you can take these anywhere with you, whether that’s on a camping trip, to the supermarket on a hot day, or out on your Thursday tempo run.
7. Nike men’s base layer training gloves
- Touchscreen compatible and smart design
- Reflective print for increased visibility
- Optimal freedom of movement
In winter, you can’t go wrong with a pair of running gloves. This pair from Nike are touchscreen compatible, warm, and are ideal for running at night thanks to the reflective and iconic Nike swoosh print. While there are warmer gloves and mittens available, this pair from Nike will serve you well during those colder months, a must-have running accessory come winter.
8. Danish Endurance anti-blister running socks
- Sweat-wicking and compression design
- Ideal for long-distance running
- Anti-blister cushioning
- Recommended by Olympic athletes
When it comes to socks and other running accessories, you’re often spoilt for choice. However, this pair of anti-blister running socks from Danish Endurance really do live up to the hype. Recommended by an Olympic athlete, this pair of socks provide enhanced cushioning and comfort like no other pair. Oh, you also have a choice of six colours, which is always an added bonus!
- Lightweight and breathable
- Ankle zips for improved ventilation and coverage
- Elasticated waistband for a snug and comfortable fit
- Interior pockets
Running tights are an essential clothing item during the cold winter months. This pair from New Balance will not only keep you warm, but the interior pockets are excellent for storing running accessories and other valuables. If you get a little hot or need to remove a pair of shoes, the ankle zips are also an added bonus.
10. Nike Women’s leg-a-see swoosh compression leggings
- Slim fit
- Elastic fabric for increased freedom of movement
- Classic Nike design
This pair of women’s running leggings from Nike contains a slim fit, ideal for running or other exercise such as lifting weights. Furthermore, the compression-like design increases blood flow to the muscles, improving athletic performance and keeping you warm during the cold winter months.
11. Under Armour launch men’s running cap
- Choice of four colours
- Pre-curved visor and unstructured panels for increased comfort
- ArmourVent technology delivers superior breathability
Whether it’s pouring down with rain or the sky is full of sunshine, you can’t go wrong with a running cap. The Under Armour Launch men’s running cap is the perfect running accessory for long-runs, or hot interval sessions on the track, keeping you cool and dry mile after mile thanks to the signature technology.
12. Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS running watch
- Measures basic running metrics such as pace per mile, distanced covered, time spent running, and more!
- Smart notifications & at-wrist-based heart rate monitoring
- VO2 Max recovery estimates and smart training information
The Garmin forerunner 30 GPS running watch is a little less advanced than the forerunner 245. However, this is to be expected given the noticeable price difference. Despite this, the Forerunner 30 contains plenty of features, including smart notifications, logging of basic metrics, and recovery estimates after each run or workout to reduce your risk of injury and improve your athletic performance.
13. Ultimate Performance Titan running belt & pack
- 2 pocket design for maximum storage space
- Neoprene reflective fabric reduced rubbing and increases visibility
- Highly breathable material
The Ultimate Performance Titan running belt contains a two pocket design, ideal for storing both small and large running accessories and valuables. The belt is comfortable and highly breathable, suitable for long trail runs or other endurance events.
14. FX FFEXS foam roller
- Enhances muscle recovery between runs and workouts
- Reduces your risk of injury
- Choice of three colours
- Effective rehabilitation instrument (returning from injury)
Foam rolling is a must-do exercise for runners. Not only will this reduce your risk of injury, but it will speed up recovery times between runs and workouts. This particular roller also comes with a guide to help you get started, with seven excellent foam rolling positions for runners and other endurance athletes.
15. TriggerPoint performance massage stick
- Acugrip handles for targeted relief
- Convenient and portable design
- Reduces muscle tightness and soreness
Sometimes you can’t quite reach that tight spot with a foam roller. However, this massage stick is ideal for those hard to reach spots, small in size and ideal for travelling.
16. Garmin HRM-Run heart rate monitor strap
- Provides real-time data, including heart rate, cadence, ground contact time, and more
- Comfortable to wear
- Improved heart rate monitoring accuracy
- Adjustable strap
The Garmin HRM-Run heart rate monitor strap pairs with all compatible Garmin devices. A heart rate monitor strap is more accurate than wrist-based monitoring – a must-have piece of kit for those looking to improve their race times or who train by heart rate and are looking for greater accuracy and results.
17. Body Glide unisex anti-chafe balm
- Protects your body from chafing and irritation
- Easy to apply and long-lasting
The Body glide anti-chafe balm is excellent for those hot summer days where the risk of chafing is at the highest. Apply a small amount and protect your skin from pain and discomfort, allowing you to enjoy and focus on your run that little bit more. We’re not saying it’ll help you break your personal best, but it will drastically increase comfort on those long runs.
18. Karrimor men’s 5-inch running shorts
- Secure zipped pocket on the back of the shorts
- Internal briefs for added comfort and support
- Reflective trim for added visibility
This pair of five-inch running shorts from Karrimor is a staple piece of kit for all runners. Not only do they contain internal briefs for added comfort and support, but the secure zipped pocket is ideal for storing your running accessories and essentials, whether a pair of gloves, a running gel, or cash in case of an emergency.
Related: 10 Best men’s running shorts in 2021.
19. Nike Tempo Lux women’s running shorts
- Nike Dri-Fit technology wicks sweat away from the body
- Standard fit
- Flex fabric stretches and moves with your body for added comfort
- Reverse pocket
The Nike Tempo Lux women’s running shorts make use of the best technology. When wearing, you’ll benefit from a flexible and comfortable fit, paired with advanced sweat-wicking material to keep you dry and focused.
20. TOREGE polarized sports sunglasses
- Four interchangeable lenses
- Clear, stylish, and durable
- Lifetime breakage warranty on frame
- Impact & scratch resistant
It’s not summer if you’re not running in a pair of sunglasses – after all, it’s your only chance to look somewhat like an Elite runner. This pair from TOREGE are a lot more affordable than more expensive options, such as the Oakley’s previously mentioned. With four interchangeable lenses, you have a set for every occasion.
Oh, and if you do happen to fall or drop your sunglasses, you will benefit from a lifetime breakage warranty on the frame – it’s a win, win!
21. Karrimor unisex thermal running beanie
- Soft fleece lining
- Reflective detailing for added visibility when running at night
- Stretch fit
The Karrimor thermal running beanie contains a soft fleece lining, providing optimal warmth in cold weather conditions. With a stretch fit and reflective detailing, you’ll remain comfortable and seen in low light conditions.
22. Higher State women’s sports bra
- Mesh back and overlay increases ventilation and air-flow
- Deep underband ensures a comfortable fit
- Adjustable multiple padded straps
When you’re out running, you want as few distractions as possible. The Higher State women’s sports bra does exactly that, keeping you comfortable mile after mile. The adjustable padded straps are designed to fit all, allowing you to adjust as necessary for that precision fit.
23. PETZL unisex adult’s running head torch
- 450-lumen brightness
- Sixty hours of battery on a single charge
- USB rechargeable
- Numerous different light modes
There’s very few winter running accessories like a head torch. Without one, you’ll struggle to log those early morning or late night runs. This head torch, in particular, provides a whopping 450-lumen brightness and up to sixty hours of battery on a single charge. Ideal for those late-night runs on tricky terrain or perhaps those evening commutes to and from the office.
You can also view our full round-up of the best head torches for other options.
24. Nike men’s Zoom Pegasus 37
- React foam midsole delivers durable, lightweight, and responsive cushioning
- Flyease zipper
- Mesh upper for added ventilation
- 10mm drop
We’ve always been a fan of the Nike Pegasus range, equally as good for everyday runs as they are for faster efforts, too. With the latest model, the Pegasus 37 provides an unrivalled react foam midsole with responsive cushioning, increasing your running efficiency and providing that bounce to your stride we all seek.
25. Asics Novablast Women’s running shoes
- Monofilament engineered mesh – second-skin-like feel
- FlyteFoam blast for a more responsive and softer stride
- High energy return for increased running efficiency
- 10mm drop
The Asics Novablast women’s running shoes are perfect for regular training and those longer Sunday runs. Created with monofilament engineered mesh, these running shoes feel like a second-skin, somewhat similar to the Nike reacts, if you’ve worn them before.
26. Compresport R2 calf sleeves
- Compression and supportive fit reduces your risk of injury & promotes recovery
- Shock absorber
- Lightweight & breathable design
- Ideal for those with knee pain or injuries
Compression calf sleeves are both great for running recovery and improved performance. This pair from compressed sport absorbs shock and provides additional support for those with knee pain or injuries. Oh, and you’ll remain comfortable throughout your run or lounging around the house thanks to the breathable and supportive design.
27. Addsfit massage gun for runners
- Increased blood flow to the muscles
- Up to 3,300 percussions per minute & nine adjustable speeds
- Improved recovery between runs and workouts
- Comes with a compact case to neatly store the massage gun and it’s attachments when not in use
The Addsfit massage gun is the ultimate recovery tool for all runners and athletes. Small and compact, this piece of kit is great for working out tight spots, increasing blood to the muscles and flushing out harmful toxins.
For more information on the Addsfit massage gun, you can read our full review by clicking here.
28. Fitness-mad spikey massage ball
- Release tight and sore muscles
- Compact and super portable – great for travelling
- Reduced risk of injury
Far too often, runners get injured due to a lack of overtraining and too little pre-hab (strength and conditioning & stretching). However, this spikey massage ball allows you to stay on top of your running game, reducing your risk of injury and ensuring you’re ready for every run or workout.
29. Dr. Scholl’s athletic sports insoles
- Reduce and prevent shin pain, knee pain, and plantar fascia pain/discomfort
- Deep heel cup absorbs impact each step
- Anti-odour & long-lasting design
Many runners think running insoles are only for those with some sort of pronation or a running-related injury. However, this is not always the case. For example, this pair of running insoles are designed with the neutral runner in mind, reducing overall pain and providing additional cushioning to reduce your risk of injury.
Related: 5 Best running insoles available in 2021.
30. Under Armour sports mask
- Secure fit
- Anti-microbial fabric
- Open-cell foam layer lets air through but makes it difficult for sweat and excess moisture to pass-through
Finally, we have the Under Armour sports mask, a range of running accessories we can’t see going away anytime soon. Created with anti-microbial fabric, you’ll remain comfortable while reducing your risk of transmission – keeping you and your loved ones safe.
Running accessories FAQ:
To help answer questions surrounding men and women’s running accessories, we’ve put together a short FAQ below:
What accessories do runners need?
This depends on how seriously you take your running. However, a GPS running watch, a pair of proper running shoes, and a foam roller will certainly do the trick.
What is a good gift for a runner?
As there are so many running accessories available, you have an excellent choice of gifts. We recommend a GPS running watch, foam roller, or running belt to get started!
Are all these running accessories required?
No! There are plenty of accessories out there. However, usually, these just make your running easier and more enjoyable.
Matthew is an avid runner, freelance writer, Durham University graduate, and the founder of Running101.