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:


  1. Running Shoes
  2. Running Socks
  3. Running Shorts
  4. Running Tops
  5. Compression Gear
  6. GPS Running Watches
  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

Hilly Active Minimum Cushioning Socklets

Balega Enduro Quarter Socks

Feetures Elite Light Cushion Plantar Fasciitis QTR Socks

Hilly Marathon Fresh Minimum Cushioning Anklet Socks

Stance Performance Light Crew Socks

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 Janji AFO 5in Shorts

Men's Ronhil Core Twin Shorts

Men's On Lightweight 5in Shorts

Women's Ronhill Tech Distance Twin Shorts

Women's Brooks Run Visible Half Tights

Women's Ronhill Tech Dress
£68.00 £48.00

4. Running Tops

Discover our 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 Ronhill Tech Tee

Men's Odlo Zeroweight Chill-Tec Tee

Men's Odlo Seamless Baselayer

Women's Ronhill Tech Tee

Women's On Performance Tee

Women's Odlo Essential Seamless Tee

Compression Running Clothing

5. 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

Men's Pressio EQ Run Half Tights

Men's Pressio BIO Run Tights

Pressio Equilibrium Compression Socks

Women's Compressport Trail Compression Shorts
£95.00 £55.00

Women's Pressio BIO High Rise Tights

Running GPS Watch

6. 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 965

Garmin Forerunner 265

Garmin Forerunner 255

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 Headphones / All Waist Belts

U.P. Race Number Magnets

Goodr OG - Sunbathing with Wizards

Ronhill Sun Visor

Ronhill Marathon Waist Belt

SPIBelt Running Waistbelt

FlipBelt Zipper

Shokz OpenRun Pro Headphones

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

Lucho Dillitos Guava Paste

Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel 2 Servings

Maurten Gel 100 Box

Clif Bar Energy Bar

SaltStick Fastchews

Precision Hydration Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets

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

Sidas Gel Toe Caps

Compeed Blister Pads Medium

Original Anti-Chafe Balm 22g

Men's Nip Guards

Running Injury Care & Massage

10. Supports & Injury Care

Ideal for prevention of aches and pains, offering you fantastic support if you're suffering from knee pain, ITB, shin splints of plantar fasciitis. The key is gently massage areas that feel sore before or after training. Running frequently myself, I've been loving the new range from Sportlab.

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

Sportlab Warmup Cream

U.P. Sport Balm - Extra Strong

Rocktape Kinesiology Tape

Flow Nano Massage Gun

Hoka Ora Recovery Slide 3

Trigger Point The Grid Foam Roller

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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