Friday, December 11, 2009

Best Brands for Runners

The last few years I've become what some would call a serious runner. Frequent disciplined practice, goal setting, competitive racing and an obsession with performance are some of the tell-tale signs that this subculture of runners is a place I belong. I've also learned what brands runners really love. Many of which I had no idea existed until running became a passion.

So here's my take on the best brands for runners by category. Please feel free to comment.

I know this will vary by individual runners but generally what I have experienced and heard from reliable sources is that the following brands are superior.


• Asics

• Brooks

• New Balance

• Nike

• Mizuno


• Under Armour

• Nike

• Adidas

• Asics

• Brooks


• Garmin GPS watches

• Fuelbelt

• iPod

• Nike+ gear

Fuel & Hydration:

• Gatorade G2

• Cliff shots or Gu

• Cliff Protein bars


• Runners World

• Running Times

• Local running stores like Second Sole, Vertical Runner or Fleet Feet

• Other runners and running groups like Road Runners


  1. Well, you've covered a pretty wide range of brands Pam. Here are my tops:

    Shoes: now that I'm off the Nike+ (see later), I'm going back to Asics, though I don't have complaints about Nike. I used to use a lighter Nike shoe for marathons but they discontinued it.

    Clothes: was just noticing this morning that I have a real hodgepodge. I've found Champion has some good products too.

    Gear: Now use Garmin GPS (Forerunner 405) with an iPod for music. Found that the Nike+ system was off by ~:25 / mile (too slow) on my pace. Not acceptable.

    And I love local running stores, especially Second Sole. I'll buy from Dick's only if I absolutely 100% know what I need.

  2. Brand loyalty is especially fierce within the active sports community, in my humble opinion. I am enamored with several of the brands you listed, such as Asics and Garmin, because my emotional equity in those brands is very high. And some runners I know would sooner get into shouting matches over brand superiority than any other type of argument.

    Now, cyclists... ha. Here's a breed of people who will get large tattoos signifying their brand loyalties. That's a whole 'nother discussion. :-)