I had read how cheap running is. Maybe it is for some, but it hasn’t been for me. There is no running store close to where I live. There is a chain athletic store close, but they aren’t experts in fitting a person for running shoes. I must have bought 10 pair, trying to find some that didn’t leave blisters and make my toes black. I finally figured out that my feet swell a lot when I run. My feet also push forward when running downhill, causing my toes to cram into the top of my shoe. My street shoe size is no where close to my running shoe size. My running shoes are a full size larger than my casual shoes, and if they don’t have a wide toe box, I need a wide. I have tried many different brands, looking for the perfect shoe. It took nearly 1 1/2 years but I finally found the perfect shoe for me! My go to shoe is Hoka One One. They are super cushioned, which makes running on a dirt road much more comfortable. I have the Bondi 4 and the toe box is also nice and wide. No more blisters!
When I first started running, I wore my everyday, underwire bra. I am not a large chested woman. One day, the underwire came out of my bra and nearly took off my right bosom. So, I bought a sports bra. All sports bras are not created equal. You would have to be a ninja to put on the first one I bought. After research, I found Moving Comfort bras (sold at brooksrunning.com). They have velcro straps, which makes it much easier to get on and off.
Shorts and running pants are also a big deal. For the first few months I just wore whatever shorts were handy. Well, my thighs rub together. Between that and the baggy shorts I was wearing, my inner thighs stayed raw most of the time. I wore Spanx under my shorts to keep my legs from bleeding. I bought a pair of “running” shorts. They were too short for me and I didn’t like the self panties and how the legs were loose. They were very awkward for me. I bought a pair of compression shorts, they hit me about mid-thigh, and are perfect. No more raw thighs! For winter I wear Zella leggings, they are amazing.
Another thing I quickly learned is to buy moisture wicking fabric. Especially useful in shirts and socks. Athletic appreal is expensive. I buy online at the end of the season to get the best deals. Living in Arkansas, I can wear shorts and short sleeves for 3 seasons. And since I run out in the sticks, I really don’t care if I’m wearing the latest in running fashion!
Since I run in the evenings, it usually gets dark before I finish. My clothes and shoes have some reflective material, and my headband is reflective. Phil bought me a headlamp for night time runs. It’s great except in warm weather. The light draws bugs and I find myself sucking down more than a few.
Bottom line, be comfortable and be safe.