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 aim 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 Bottoms
  4. Running Tops
  5. Running Caps & Visors
  6. Compression Gear
  7. GPS Running Watches
  8. Accessories
  9. Nutrition
  10. Anti Chafe and 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.

Weeks and months go fast, so don’t leave it too late. Give yourself enough time to try the shoes and break them in. We recommend at least 4-6 weeks ahead of the race.

Choosing Your Shoes

Injinji Run Lightweight Mini Crew Toe Socks

2. Running Socks

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

Feetures Elite Light Cushion No Show Socks

Feetures Elite Light Cushion No Show Socks
Running Socks
£14.50

Feetures Elite Light Cushion Qtr Socks

Feetures Elite Light Cushion Qtr Socks
Running Socks
£14.50

Pressio Equilibrium Compression Socks

Pressio Equilibrium Compression Socks
Compression Running Socks & Calf Guards
£40

Stance Performance Ultralight Tab Socks

Stance Performance Ultralight Tab Socks
Running Socks
£12.99

Injinji Run Lightweight Mini-Crew Toe Socks

Injinji Run Lightweight Mini-Crew Toe Socks
Running Toe-Socks
£16

Stance Performance Light Crew Socks

Stance Performance Light Crew Socks
Running Socks
£16.99

Women's Brooks Chaser 5in Twin Shorts

3. Running Bottoms

When running long distances this season, consider wearing versatile shorts or bottoms with plenty of storage space, to carry your energy chews and gels. Think about the right level of warmth, so your muscles don't get cold, but you also don't overheat. Twin shorts – a lycra bottom layer and a loose top layer – are a great solution to help avoid friction while maintaining a flattering look.

All Men's Bottoms / All Women's Bottoms

Men's Adidas Team GB Running Shorts

Men's Adidas Team GB Running Shorts

£55

Men's Ronhill Core Racer Shorts

Men's Ronhill Core Racer Shorts
Men's Racing Shorts
£32

Men's Ronhill Tech Race Twin Shorts

Men's Ronhill Tech Race Twin Shorts
Men's 2-in-1 Running Shorts
£65

Women's Adidas Team GB Running Shorts

Women's Adidas Team GB Running Shorts

£55

Women's 2XU Aero Twin Shorts

Women's 2XU Aero Twin Shorts
Women's 2-in-1 Running Shorts
£60

Women's Ronhill Tech Race Twin Shorts

Women's Ronhill Tech Race Twin Shorts
Women's 2-in-1 Running Shorts
£65

4. Running Tops

Discover the latest technical running tops, 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 Adidas Team GB Workout Tee

Men's Adidas Team GB Workout Tee

£35

Men's Ronhill Tech 1/2 Zip Tee

Men's Ronhill Tech 1/2 Zip Tee
Men's Running T-Shirt
£45

Men's Ronhill Tech Race Vest

Men's Ronhill Tech Race Vest
Men's Running Vest
£40

Women's Adidas Team GB Training Tee

Women's Adidas Team GB Training Tee

£25

Women's On Performance Tee

Women's On Performance Tee
Women's Running T-Shirt
£70

Women's 2XU Aero Singlet

Women's 2XU Aero Singlet
Women's Running Vest
£30

Ronhill Sunlight Cap

5. Running Caps

Don't let running caps take the back seat this season; they can be a game-changer during your race. While we always hope for a perfect day, the UK weather is – of course – rather unpredictable. Shield yourself from the scorching sun, pouring rain or chilling wind. A running hat acts as a barrier, protecting your face, eyes, and head to optimise your focus and performance on the road or trail. You'll be glad you decided to bring it after all. Visors are a super-lightweight option, or split caps cleverly fold in half to stuff in a pocket or waistpack when not needed.

Shop All Running Caps & Visors

Ronhill Sunlight Cap

Ronhill Sunlight Cap
Running Caps
£22

Ronhill Sunlight Vizor

Ronhill Sunlight Vizor
Running Visors
£18

Odlo Visor Cap Performance Light

Odlo Visor Cap Performance Light
Running Visors
£22

Montane Minimus Lite Cap

Montane Minimus Lite Cap
Running Caps
£30

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

Pressio Power Calf Guards

Pressio Power Calf Guards
Compression Running Socks & Calf Guards
£40

Compressport Full Socks Run

Compressport Full Socks Run
Running Socks
£35

Men's Pressio BIO Run Tights

Save - 24%

Men's Pressio BIO Run Tights
Men's Compression Tights
£110 £83

Compressport Calf Sleeves R2 3.0

Compressport Calf Sleeves R2 3.0
Compression Running Socks & Calf Guards
£35

Compressport Arm Force Ultralight Sleeve

Compressport Arm Force Ultralight Sleeve
Running Arm Sleeves
£30

Women's Pressio BIO High Rise Tights

Save - 24%

Women's Pressio BIO High Rise Tights
Women's Compression Tights
£110 £83

Running GPS Watch

7. 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.

Some models will also offer you training plans to follow – they will even create a personal training plan for you based on your individual metrics. The top-of-the-range watches help prevent injury by giving you advice on your recovery or notifying you when it’s time to rest up.

All GPS Running Watches

Garmin Forerunner 165 Music

Garmin Forerunner 165 Music

£289.99

Garmin Forerunner 265s

Garmin Forerunner 265s
Running GPS & Heart Rate Monitors
£429.99

Garmin Forerunner 265

Garmin Forerunner 265
Running GPS & Heart Rate Monitors
£429.99

Garmin Forerunner 965

Garmin Forerunner 965
Running GPS & Heart Rate Monitors
£599.99

Running Waist Belts

8. Running Accessories

These running accessories won’t make your marathon or half-marathon distance shorter, but they can definitely make it more enjoyable. Sunglasses will keep you protected from the glare of the sun, and race belts come handy for carrying essentials. For longer races, or to stay in control of your fluid intake, check out hydration vests, which are also great for storing essentials. Bone-conduction headphones are almost like having 2 pairs of ears! They allow you to stay aware of your surroundings while listening to music or audiobooks.

All Headphones / All Sunglasses / All Hydration Vests / All Waist Packs & Belts

Montane Gecko VP 5+ 2023

Montane Gecko VP 5+ 2023
Running Hydration Packs & Race Vests
£120

U.P. Titan Runners Pack

U.P. Titan Runners Pack
Running Waist Packs & Race Belts
£19

Goodr OG - Mick and Keith's Midnight Rumble

Goodr OG - Mick and Keith's Midnight Rumble
Running Sunglasses
£30

Women's Salomon Sense Pro 5 W Set

Women's Salomon Sense Pro 5 W Set
Women's Running Hydration Packs & Race Vests
£140

Shokz OpenRun Pro Headphones

Shokz OpenRun Pro Headphones
Running Headphones
£159.95

U.P. Race Number Magnets

U.P. Race Number Magnets
Running Accessories
£12

Running Nutrition

9. 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 Protein Bar). Test your nutrition on your training runs to make sure you get on well with it during a race.

All Drink Powders / All Energy Chews / All Energy Gels / All Energy & Recovery Bars

Maurten Drink Mix 320 Sachet

Maurten Drink Mix 320 Sachet
Running Energy & Hydration Drinks
£3.48

Precision Hydration Electrolyte Tablets

Precision Hydration Electrolyte Tablets
Running Hydration Drinks
£8.99

SaltStick Fastchews

SaltStick Fastchews
Running Energy & Electrolyte Chews
£3.49

Maurten Solid 160

Maurten Solid 160
Running Energy Bars
£2.50

SIS Protein Bar

SIS Protein Bar
Running Energy & Recovery Bars
£2.75

Nuun Sport Electrolytes

Nuun Sport Electrolytes
Running Hydration Drinks
£7.25

High 5 Energy Gel

High 5 Energy Gel
Running Energy Gels
£1.39

Anti-Chafe & Blister Prevention

10. Anti Chafe and Injury Care

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).

Then there's a range of massage aids, either to help prevent aches and pains or for recovery afterwards. The key is gently massage areas that feel sore before or after training.

All Anti-Chafe & Injury Care

Sidas Gel Toe Caps

Sidas Gel Toe Caps
Anti-Chafe & Blister Prevention
£8.50

Compeed Blister Pads Medium

Compeed Blister Pads Medium
Anti-Chafe & Blister Prevention
£5.49

Men's Nip Guards

Men's Nip Guards
Anti-Chafe & Blister Prevention
£16

Original Anti-Chafe Balm  22g

Original Anti-Chafe Balm 22g
Anti-Chafe & Blister Prevention
£11.99

Sportlab Warmup Cream

Sportlab Warmup Cream
Muscle Recovery & Strengthening
£15.90

Sorbothane Heel Pads

Sorbothane Heel Pads
Running Insoles & Orthotics
£9

Oofos OOahh Slide

Oofos OOahh Slide
Unisex Sports Slide
£50

Trigger Point The Grid Foam Roller

Trigger Point The Grid Foam Roller
Foam Rollers & Massage Aids
£37

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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