Runnerd, Geek Out! – The Essential Piece of Gear

I saw a meme last week that said something like, “All you need to run is running shoes and a good sports bra.” I thought…WRONG! There’s so much more that you “need.” Tech clothes. Fun socks. Water bottles. Nutrition supplements. Compression sleeves. iPod Shuffle. Garmin watch. The list goes on!

Ok, ok…so you don’t NEED any of those things to run, but they sure can make it easier, more fun, and maybe make you feel a bit more like a real runner.

There is, however, one piece of gear that I find essential, outside of properly fitted running shoes. It’s a bit underrated, and I never thought it would be something that I would spend so much time finding just the right one.


Here’s a series of pictures from my 2013 races. Can you spot the one thing that’s in all of them? It might not be obvious at first. They are either on my face or on my head in all of them. My dependable Tifosi Optics Podium S Interchangeable sunglasses! I NEVER run outside without them.


You are probably thinking…sunglasses are an essential piece of running gear? You betcha. Before I got these bad boys, I was wearing either my regular pair of cheapo tortoise shell big frame sunglasses from Target or the free ones I got at the Color Me Rad race. I would often notice a headache after my runs. I figured it was because I was still a new runner and my body was adjusting. Then my running coach, aka Daddy Man, suggested I look at getting a pair of athletic sunglasses. And as usual, when it comes to all things athletic, he was right.

The number one reason to get running sunglasses…they are insanely lightweight. I forget they are on my face. When I push them up when I’m done running, I forget they are on my head. I’ve gotten in the shower with them on before only to discover them when I go to shampoo. Lightweight sunglasses = no headache for this runner!

So, why did I choose Tifosi? When I first started the hunt for running sunglasses, I had three criteria…a pair that would fit my child-sized face, a pair that wouldn’t pinch my temples, and a pair with interchangeable lenses. I wear these when I ride my bike as well and on a cloudy day when I don’t need sunglasses I still want a set of clear lenses that I can pop in…because bugs in your eyes suck.

I looked at Oakleys, but they pinched my head and caused more pain than my cheapo Color Me Rad pair. They are also a bit on the pricey side. I looked at Smith Optics. I love the look of their sunglasses, but they are unfortunately made for people with average to large size adult heads…not me. I wasn’t about to drop $100 on sunglasses only to have them fall off my head.

In the end, I went with the Tifosi Podium S. They are a smaller size than their regular Podiums. I like the sleek look of them and the pop of color with the pink temple pieces. They stay where I put them, even if I wear them over a Bondi Band covering my ears on a cool morning run. The lenses are easy to change, and the set comes in a nice storage case. And they didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I got the whole set for under $70.

If you are a new runner, make a good, properly fitted pair of running shoes your first priority and lightweight sunglasses a close second.

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