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Here’s What Our Editors Loved In August

Fall races are looming on the horizon and in many places we’re at the peak of summer heat, so here’s what our editors have been running in, listening to, and reading.

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Running Gear

Nathan Interval Crop Top – $50

The material in this stretchy, bra-like top is buttery smooth and so comfortable. The cut doesn’t chafe or tug anywhere, and just the right amount of stretch minimizes bounce. It’s got excellent wicking capabilities, keeping me dry during everything from long runs to track workouts, and its simple and stylish shape makes it easy to throw on for a trip to the grocery store or a yoga session. – Reagan Colyer, Assistant Editor

Roll Recovery R1 Percussion Massage Tool – $129

I’ll be real: I’ve never owned or used a massage gun until testing this one. Honestly, I was a little intimidated by them, worried using them would be painful on my muscles, and a little cowed by the prices. But the R1 is a perfect balance of affordability and power. It’s compact – smaller than your average hairdryer – and lightweight at 20 ounces, making it travel ready. The charge lasts FOREVER (around 7 hours) and four interchangeable heads mean you can target the percussive rhythm anywhere you need it. With four different speeds, you can choose your intensity, and I’m not exaggerating when I say my sore post-run calves felt immediately better after a couple minutes of using this tool. Consider me a convert. – RC

RELATED: 5 Body Parts You Shouldn’t Use A Massage Gun On

tentree InMotion Stretch Joggers – currently $61.60

These pants are comfortable all day long, no matter what you’re doing: lounging at home, heading to the gym, or running errands, they handle it all. The stretchy, cooling fabric is made from recycled plastic water bottles and is Bluesign certified. Altogether, they’re an extremely practical pair of pants that we’ll be using for all kinds of activities. – RC

Ten Thousand Set Short – $78

Designed to transition from land to water and back again, these shorts are perfect for summer, when you may be doing some swimming or jumping through sprinklers on hot runs like me. Versatile and comfortable, they shed water like crazy and dry super fast, and they don’t ride up or slide down during runs. With a mid-compression liner and bonded seams, they’re super lightweight and minimalist, but feature a handy zippered pocket. Plus, the 6.5” inseam is the right blend of functional and fashionable. – RC 

Injinji Ultra Run No-Show Socks ($17) 

So don’t throw stones at me, but it took me a while to warm up to Injinjis. Years. That was, until one day, I polled my social media friends with the question: what single pair of socks do you most frequently reach for when heading out for a run? The answers were all over the place, but the single-most common response was this: Injinji. So I tried a few different styles and am honestly a covert now. If you’re finnicky about spending extra time getting your toes in the right pockets, know that it gets easier over time. Injinji’s terry cushion is in all the right places for long days out, with a little extra padding built into the toe bed, but not too much. Highly breathable, zero-blister performance. The only downside is that, after some punishing runs, I’m afraid their durability might not hold up over time. Otherwise, these are my new go-to socks. – Nicholas Triolo, Digital Production Editor

Brooks Sherpa Short 5” – $29 to $58

Lightweight, comfortable, no chafing, and so many pockets, what else needs to be said about running shorts? The Sherpa Short has been my go to for every type of run imaginable. The zipper pocket in the back fits my phone (disclaimer, my phone is phone sized not mini-ipad sized like these new pro max ultra wide ones are), and the two pockets on the sides are big enough for a gel each, some dog treats, and even a layer if it packs down tight. – Gordon Coates, Digital Producer 

Territory Run Co. Long Haul Cap – Lone Fir ($39)

Let’s be honest: trail running hats are getting…weird. Weird color schemes, too-easy-to-brim-pop hats that may be more suitable for cyclists than mountain athletes. Oversized flat brims. But hey, who am I to judge? You do you. Portland, Oregon’s Territory Run Co. has always been a trusted source of freshly designed, well interrogated styles (and full transparency, I have been an active athlete and contributor for them in the past). Recently, I was in conversation with the owner, Brett Farrell, and I asked him point-blank: personally, what’s your number one favorite Territory hat? He said without hesitation: “Lone Fir.” With a click, suddenly I had one on my head, running a summit in Montana, and all I could think was: he was right. With fresh color schemes that are modern but not too loud, the ripstop nylon front panel is for performance, not just lifestyle, while the lid can be stuffed into, say, a Patagonia Black Hole duffel and come out looking good as new. If you’re looking for a new hat for running, traveling, or all the above, go Lone Fir. – NT.

 

 

Reading Material

Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World by Barry Lopez – $28

This incredible book is a collection of essays from one of the most notable nature writers ever. Barry Lopez takes you to the Antarctic desert, the rough seas in the southern ocean, the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and the Arctic Circle where he connects you with the land and the folks indigenous to it. Through his travels he intertwines immersive firsthand experience and enlightening natural history with global issues and human relationships. This book is an exploration of places at all scales and how humanity fits into those places through love and understanding. (Honestly… anything by Barry Lopez is a must read) – GC

RELATED: The Optimist’s Guide to Climate Change

Now Playing

Trail Running Radio (Spotify)

What if I told you there was a new podcast where you could patch into a punchy audio conversation between too seasoned trail lovers—Hannah Allgood and Ryan Thrower—about what tunes are most resonating with them, on and off the trail? The intersection of running-inflected music DJ’ing is brilliant, and the banter is a sweet spot between light music nerdiness and news from the trail and ultra world. I’ve already fallen down several rabbit holes of new bands as a result of their first three episodes.  – NT

Pretty Girl Magic by Moonlight Scorpio, Henrietta by the Fratellis, Special by Lizzo. The first three songs I listen to before every run. –GC

Just Good Stuff

Patagonia Capilene Air Crew ($89)

If there was one single item that I reach for after a longer run, for comfort and breathability and just unparalleled versatility, it’s this long sleeve Capilene Air. With a 3D knit structure blended in 51% RWS-certified (Responsible Wool Standard) merino wool and 49% recycled polyester, this layer takes a long time before it needs a wash. Though not a layer for a hot day, throw this in your bag for a long hike into the high country or an overnight fastpacking expedition to ensure warmth. With a performance fit and stretchy feel, I cannot emphasize how much I love this layer. – NT

Tailwind Recovery, Chocolate ($39)

Is it bad that I’ve just started to whip these chocolate shakes up on days when I don’t even run? I’m now a trusted Tailwind user for their endurance products, and that trust extends now to their recovery products. With four flavors—vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel, and coffee—two scoops in a water bottle and you’re ticking that box for a proper recovery after a good workout. I appreciate this drink isn’t just protein; the mix is specifically designed for us runners, with a precise balance of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and protein (11g per serving), to transport all the right things to all the right places in your body. I recommend going for a little less water and making it a rich chocolatey shake, not too watered down. – NT

Cinnamon Rolls 

Enough said – GC

Spring Energy Awesomesauce ($78 / 20-pack)

I’ve never heard such buzz about a specific sports gel flavor until Awesomesauce came along, so, naturally, I had to pick up a few to taste what all the hype was about. Although they come at a premium price—nearly $4 a packet—they pack the punch of nearly two gels and offer a helluva lot more quality in terms of whole food ingredients. If you’re anything like me, it took me more time than I care to admit to put it together that Awesomesauce was a play off apple sauce, which is the flavor of this 180-calorie hit of nine whole ingredients: basmati rice, apple juice, apple sauce, yams, maple syrup, lemon juice, sea salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. One of my favorite things about Awesomesauce is not only the flavor, but that it leaves a subtle tart aftertaste, not sticky-sweet like most gels. – NT

Salomon Sense Pro Belt – $50

Sometimes, a running vest is too much pack for a run. Sometimes, your split shorts don’t have enough structural integrity for your gels. Sometimes, you want to feel light and fast but still be out for a while. That is when I turn to this skin tight running belt. Everything I could need fits into this belt with much less jostling than most vests. The only thing this belt doesn’t do is hold up my pants. – GC

 

At Trail Runner, we have a policy of showing no preference based on brand in our gear testing. We are not compensated by brands for testing or consideration, and we do not guarantee inclusion of a product in our coverage. Our testers live in the Rocky Mountain west and are both recreational and competitive runners. This list includes gear that we receive from brands for testing as well as our own personal favorites from decades of running.