What to Wear for a Marathon or Half Marathon

Expert Advice on Running Clothing,Seasonal Running & Racing: What to Wear,Marathon & Half-Marathon Training Advice
What to Wear for a Marathon or Half Marathon

Putting in all those miles of training is, of course, a big factor in reaching the finish line of a marathon or half-marathon. But it can be just as important to get the right running gear.

Avoid trying new things at the last minute. Ideally, your shoes, clothing and accessories will all have been tested for a period of time, so you don't have any surprises with your marathon or half marathon gear; especially if this is your first marathon! 

If something has worked in training, it will also work in the race. Above all, whatever you wear on race day must be something you're comfortable in. Keep an eye on the weather conditions and make sure you have a couple of options if it’s an unexpectedly hot, cold, windy or rainy day.

So, what are the 10 must-haves for marathon & half-marathon runners? With this simple checklist, we hope to get you race-ready and flying through the finish line with a smile:

MARATHON KIT LIST

  1. Running Shoes
  2. Running Socks
  3. Running Shorts
  4. Running Tops
  5. GPS Running Watches
  6. Compression Gear
  7. Other Accessories
  8. Nutrition
  9. Chafe & Blister Prevention
  10. Supports & Injury Care
Marathon Runners

1. Running Shoes

In case you've suddenly realised that your current shoes have done way too much mileage than they should have, or they're causing you some problems, check out our Natural Gait Analysis service. We'll make sure your shoes are still the right type for you and won't bring you any surprises on race day. If you can't make it to our London store, we also offer Online Gait Analysis.

Running Socks

2. Running Socks

Runners don't always realise how important it is to have a pair of proper running socks. If you think an old pair of regular socks will do, you may find yourself having to stop to adjust them a few times during a race, or even end up with a few unwelcome blisters. To keep your feet comfy, fresh and blister-free throughout the race, we recommend you invest in a pair of technical running socks. Here are some of our top picks:

All Running Socks

Injinji Run Lightweight Mini-Crew Toe Socks
£14.99

The 5-toe design eliminates skin on skin contact between toes helping blister prevention.

Hilly Active Minimum Cushioning Quarter Socks
£13.00

Lightly padded and soft-feel, in ankle length. "Y" fit heel prevents slippage.

Balega Enduro Quarter Socks
£14.00

Natural wool fibres wick sweat and help to regulate temperature, keeping your feet cool and dry.

Injinji Run Lightweight No Show Toe Socks
£14.00

The 5-toe design & superior fibre construction keep feet dry and protected on any surface, at any distance.

Women's Stance Run Feel 360 With Infiknit Tab Socks
£13.00

Women’s-specific fit, designed to offer superior performance. Durable & sweat-wicking.

Feetures Elite Light Cushion No Show Socks
£14.50

Lightly cushioned and moisture-wicking. Low cut, targeted arch compression and seamless toe.
Running clothing

3. Running Shorts

When running long distances, consider wearing versatile running shorts with plenty of storage space, to carry your energy chews and gels. You might also want to check out anti-chafe options such as lycra shorts or 2-in-1 shorts (AKA twin shorts).

All Men's Shorts / All Women's Shorts

Men's Ronhill Tech Marathon Twin Shorts
£52.00

Perfect bottoms for a longer distance, thanks to the great combination of freedom and support. Multitude of storage options.

Men's Pressio Run Shorts
£65.00

EcoPower CK fabric offers optimal power, comfort, stretch and compression. Reduce muscle soreness while carrying all your stuff with 3 pockets.

Men's Brooks Sherpa 5in Shorts
£50.00

Modern sweat-wicking and chafe-free design allows maximum leg movement and comfort. Secure waistband, back zip pocket and two oversized hip pockets.

Women's Ronhill Tech Marathon Twin Shorts
£52.00

Super-technical and packed with features to help you keep going, and going, and going. Plenty of storage room for your fuel and essentials.

Women's Odlo Zeroweight Twin 3in Shorts
£55.00

Beat the summer heat with this versatile, super-light, comfortable and functional piece! 100% recycled material. Zip pocket and inner phone pocket.

Women's Brooks Method 8in Half Tights
£45.00

Get support with a lightweight 4-way stretch fabric. Lovely breathability, and just-right compression. Two side pockets and one back pocket for a phone.

4. Running Tops

Discover our technical running T-shirts with excellent breathability and moisture-wicking properties. Some feature taped seams to avoid any extra friction, while others have a fully seamless construction. 

All Men's Tops / All Women's Tops

Men's Compressport Trail Half Zip Fitted Tee
£53.00 £70.00

Perfect all-rounder for trail races or any sports activity. Highly functional, comfortable, and seamless. Thermo-regulating, with half-zip to keep you cool.

Men's Odlo Zeroweight Chill Tec Tee
£45.00

Crafted from recycled materials, specifically for performance and warm weather. Maximum cooling, taped seams and reflective details.

Men's La Sportiva Limitless Tee
£55.00

Stay cool, dry and odour-free thanks to its polygiene treatment and body-mapped construction. BeCool yarns for softness and quick drying.

Women's Odlo Zeroweight Chill Tec Tee
£36.00 £45.00

Be ready to perform your best in warm weather with this cooling tee. Lightweight fabric features moisture management and taped seams.

Women's Pressio BIO Tee
£55.00

Biodegradable performance tee. Advanced chemical-free moisture-management to keep you cool and dry when race day heats up.

Women's Ronhill Tech Marathon Tee
£25.00 £40.00

One of the most breathable and high-wicking Ronhill tops. Super-soft, with high-stretch seamless knit construction for zero chafing.
Running GPS Watch

5. Running Watches

A GPS running watch is a great companion for runners, and even more so for a race. It can help you during your training to measure your distance, time, speed and heart-rate. It will also track your stats and give you detailed running data. The models featured below tick all the boxes.

In addition, some models will also offer you training plans to follow (Garmin Forerunner 255 or Polar Pacer) or they will even create a personal training plan for you based on your individual metrics (Polar Vantage M2 and Garmin Forerunner 955). Some watches can help prevent injury by giving you advice on your recovery or notifying you when it’s time to rest up (Coros, Polar Vantage M2 and Garmin Forerunner 955).

All GPS Running Watches

Polar Vantage M2 Multisport Watch
£215.00 £259.00

Coros Pace 2 Premium GPS Sport Watch
£179.99

Garmin Forerunner 745
£299.99 £400.00

Coros Apex 2 Pro
£499.00

Compression Running Clothing

6. Compression Gear

According to research, compression wear reduces exercise-induced muscle damage, accelerates recovery processes, removes lactic acid faster, increases strength and power, improves endurance, increases muscle oxygenation, and improves body temperature control.

All Compression Running Clothing

Men's Skins Long Tights Series 3
£85.00 £100.00

Firm support for the calves, glutes, quads and hamstrings. Great for reducing muscle fatigue.

Compressport R2V2 Calf Guards V3
£32.00

Designed to reduce shock waves, helping to prevent muscle tears, joint pain and muscle fatigue.

Men's Pressio Arahi 4.5 Twin Shorts
£80.00

Recycled EcoTech MESH fabric offers firm support for the glutes, quads and hamstrings. 3 pockets.

Women's Pressio BIO High Rise Tights
£110.00

Power through your running. Biodegradable fabric, thermoregulating technology and high-rise waistband.

Compressport R2V2 Calf Guards V3
£32.00

A great aid for long distance runners, or runners with calf / Achilles injuries, shin splints etc.

Women's Compressport Trail Compression Shorts
£71.00 £95.00

Boosted blood flow oxygenates muscles faster, allowing you to run faster, for longer. Women's-specific cut.
Running Waist Belts

7. Running Accessories

These running accessories won’t make your marathon or half-marathon distance shorter, but they can definitely make it more enjoyable. Running caps and sunglasses will keep you protected from the sun, and race belts come handy for carrying essentials.

All Sunglasses / All Caps / All Waist Belts

Fitletic Hydration Belt 16oz
£38.00

Two 8oz BPA-free bottles and a neoprene water-resistant pouch for any size of phone.

Ronhill Sun Split Cap
£18.00

Lightweight cap from Ronhill with UPF 50! Split peak and just 31g. Sizes S/M, M/L

SPIBelt Running Waistbelt
£22.99

Perfect stretchy & expandable waist pack to carry your essentials. Classic with no bounce design.
Running Nutrition

8. Running Nutrition

Energy (e.g. Maurten Gel 100, Maurten Drink Mix 320, Lucho Dillitos) and electrolytes (e.g. Precision Hydration tabs, Saltstick Fastchews) are important to take before and during a run. Protein, on the other hand, is crucial after your run to help your muscles with recovery (e.g. SIS Rego Rapid Recovery Drink). Test your nutrition on your training runs to make sure you get on well with it during a race.

All Energy Drink Powders / All Energy Chews / All Energy Gels

Maurten Gel 100 Box
£32.40

Maurten Drink Mix 320 Sachet
£3.48

Lucho Dillitos Guava Paste
£1.50

REGO Rapid Recovery Protein Drink 500g
£16.00

SaltStick Fastchews
£3.00

Precision Hydration Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets
£8.99

Anti-Chafe & Blister Prevention

9. Anti-Chafe & Blister Prevention

Some runners think that a marathon equals painful chafing and blisters. But all that can be avoided thanks to these great little helpers. BodyGlide is an amazing, miraculous, invisible lubricant that glides over your skin and leaves a protective, slick layer, thus cutting down on friction-induced problems. Apply to your feet or underwear area to keep blisters and chafing at bay. Nip Guards are great protection for male runners. And Compeed could save your feet if the worst comes to the worst. Best to put it on your hot spots in advance.

All Anti-Chafe & Blister Prevention

Compeed Blister Pads Small
£5.49

The adhesive plaster stays put no matter how much you sweat and protects you against friction.

Compeed Blister Pads Medium
£5.49

The oval shape works well on most areas and offers protection against rubbing.

Original Anti-Chafe Balm 22g
£12.00

Helps prevent and relieve chafed, chapped or cracked skin. Helps protect you from the drying effects of wind and cold weather.
Running Injury Care & Massage

10. Supports & Injury Care

In case you picked up any niggles or feel any aches, these magical bits and bobs can decrease your discomfort and help you through your race with less pain. Rocktape is a kinesiology tape that offers fantastic support for runners suffering from knee pain, ITB, shin splints of plantar fasciitis. And to massage your sore muscles before or after training, try a massage aid and/or BioFreeze Gel.

All Supports & Tape / All Muscle Recovery / All Massage Aids

Rocktape Kinesiology Tape
£13.99

Made to aid recovery, prevent fatigue, relieve pain and swelling. Great stretch and support.

Trigger Point The Grid Foam Roller
£37.00

A revolutionary type of foam roller which is great for either self-massage or warming up.

Trigger Point MB1 Massage Ball
£14.99

Helps to get into the muscle for tightness and pain, and reach difficult areas like shoulders, chest, glutes, feet etc.

Best of luck with your training and preparation! Get loads more free tips from our expert advice team in this Run Better section:

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