The Top Ten Best Running Accessories (2020)

For some active self-improvement during the summer of social distancing!
Michael Michael (115)
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It's difficult to trace the history of running for sport and exercise, but some articles suggest that it may date back as far as 2000 BCE. And as hard as it might be to imagine running without a pair of headphones or sunglasses, runners made it work.

Luckily for runners nowadays, we have a whole range of running accessories that make a run as enjoyable an experience as possible.

I like to mention in any "best of" guide why you should listen to me when it comes to these products. Well, in the case of running accessories:

  • I've been an avid runner for years.
  • I'm a serious but casual runner, looking to enjoy the experience.
  • I've tried hundreds of running accessories over the years.
  • I've carefully honed this list based on my experiences of each product's comfort and durability.

Without further ado, I give you the Top Ten Best Running Accessories for 2020!

Fitbit Charge 4Fitbit Charge 4 ×1
Powerbeats Wireless EarphonesPowerbeats Wireless Earphones ×1
Tribe Running BandTribe Running Band ×1
Body GlideBody Glide ×1
Running Face MaskRunning Face Mask ×1
LED Safety LightLED Safety Light ×1
Flip Running BeltFlip Running Belt ×1

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If you've been running in regular socks, then your feet probably feel as if you've been running on the surface of the sun. They're likely overheating and getting chaffed on long runs, even with good running shoes.

Seriously...invest in some socks specifically designed for running. Your feet can address their letters of thanks to me later. Oh, and if you're someone who uses those weird Vibram Five Finger Toe Shoes (so you don't need socks!), that's cool. Just make sure you thoroughly clean the Vibrams regularly!

I've been using these Thirty48 running socks for over a year...the same three pairs. Not only do they wick water and allow my feet to breathe when running, but they've retained their elasticity with no holes appearing!

What I love about these:

  • Long-lasting quality
  • Breathable (noticeable difference over regular socks)
  • Heel pull tab to properly tighten while running shoes are on
  • Inexpensive compared to other brands

There's nothing not to love about these Thirty48 running socks!

A classic and still the best when it comes to running belts, I give you...the FlipBelt running belt. It's great for those who prefer to hold their phones and other valuables around their waists, as opposed to on their arms.

While I stand by my DIY no-sew running belt, this running belt has some serious upgrades to the DIY belt.

What I love about it:

  • Can hold a lot more than an armband
  • Simple and secure storage
  • Comfortable (even when full of items)
  • Washable (you'll need to wash it!)
  • Looks better than a fanny-pack (sorry, fanny-pack fans!)

What I don't:

  • Tendency to move around when performing bouncy movements
  • Hard to get "just the right fit" for some

These Powerbeats Wireless Earphones last forever without needing to be charged! If you're like me, then you likely forget to charge your headphones until you actually need to use them. These earphones have got your back! You can even charge these for 5 minutes to have 1 hour of listening time.

The Powerbeats Wireless Earphones also have that great quality sound we've come to expect from the Beats line, while being durable for heavy exercise. I've had the same pair for almost two years with no issues.

What I love about these:

  • Battery-life (obviously!)
  • Comfortable for most exercise movements
  • Durable (even in the weight room)
  • Waterproof and sweatproof
  • Easy Bluetooth syncing for music and phone calls

What I don't:

  • Loosening of earbuds during certain exercises
  • Hard to get a "perfect" fit with earbuds

Why so specific with this one? Well, it's because I can personally attest to how comfortable Goodr OG Sunglasses are during a run. I would even go so far as to say that they are more comfortable than many of the expensive "sport" sunglasses available.

And it doesn't hurt that they are stylish, adding a little color to an overall running look!

What I love about these:

  • Inexpensive for their quality
  • Variety of frame and lens color options to mix and match
  • Stay on my face while running
  • Lightweight

What I don't:

  • Can fog up occasionally during intense runs

In Slip Slidin' Away, Paul Simon sings, "The nearer your destination, the more you're slip slidin' away." This certainly holds true for runners and their inner thighs on those particularly long runs.

If you've ever experienced runner's rash or chafing between the thighs, then you might even make a case that Body Glide should be ranked higher.

What I love about it:

  • Does not feel gross on the skin
  • Lasts through even long-distance runs
  • Made with allergen free, plant-derived ingredients
  • Actually works

There's nothing not to love about Body Glide, except that the name might make you giggle occasionally.

Ah, the baseball cap. What can even be said about this sports classic? Well, for one, let's talk about why it's great to have one when you're running.

A baseball cap essentially serves two purposes:

  1. It can help absorb some of the sweat that runs into your eyes while running.
  2. It acts as a natural sun-blocker. (Wearing sunscreen while running can be quite uncomfortable!)

Just make sure to choose a hat that's breathable and washable!

For years, I used a DIY running armband, which was fine. When I received this Tribe armband as a gift, however, I noticed some appreciable differences from my DIY version.

The biggest difference is how much more secure my phone felt while I was running due to the leatherette frontispiece and rubber/plastic holster system for the phone. I never had to worry that my phone would suddenly go flying onto the pavement while running, and it was easy to remove when I needed to change up my tunes.

What I love about it:

  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Durable materials
  • Lifetime Guarantee (that they actually honor)
  • Nifty little key pocket for storing your key

What I don't:

  • Hard at time to properly tighten due to leatherette stiffness
  • Difficult to put rubber holster around phone for some

Safety third? I know the saying is "safety first," but these LED safety lights are only really useful for those who like to run early in the morning or at night.

When I moved to a hot climate, I quickly realized that I would need to adjust the time for my runs in order to avoid the intense sun and heat. These LED safety lights help ensure that an unsuspecting driver sees me when I'm crossing an intersection or running along the side of the road.

What I love about them:

  • Lightweight
  • Easily clip to shorts or armband
  • Weatherproof

What I don't:

  • Not as bright as I would like

With Covid-19, runners need to be cautious of those around them. And unless you happen to be running in an area relatively free of other people, the CDC recommends that you wear a mask. Now, I'm not saying you should wear the same mask you use for grocery shopping.

I personally still love my DIY face mask for running. In terms of masks you can buy, however, I tried a whole range of masks to use for running in the city, and this facemask from SMRTFT is the best I've found.

What I love about it:

  • Breathable enough for intense runs
  • Doesn't shift while running
  • Washes easily
  • Makes me look like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat

There's nothing I don't love about this one!

Taking the cake in our top ten running accessories list is the Fitbit Charge 4!

This is a new model for 2020 in the Fitbit Charge lineup and makes some important improvements over its predecessor. I've had both a Fitbit Charge 3 and now the Fitbit Charge 4, and I can't say enough about these Fitbit models.

The Charge 4 has all the features users have come to expect from a Fitbit, like calorie monitoring, step counting, ability to sync the Fitbit your phone, sleep monitoring, and more.

Plus, it has features runners will love like:

  • Lightweight design
  • Built-In GPS (new for the Charge 4 model)
  • 24/7 Heart Rate Tracking
  • Multiple Exercise Modes
  • Running Goals tracking

What I love about it:

  • Inexpensive
  • Has all the features most runners will need
  • Simple, intuitive design
  • Light on the wrist and durable

What I don't:

  • Battery life dropped some with the addition of the GPS feature in the Fitbit Charge 4. (Battery still lasts multiple days, however. My Charge 4 goes about 4-5 days before needing to be recharged.)

While there are many watch options for runners, the Fitbit Charge 4 is a great entry-level watch that may just end up being a go-to watch for years.