Must-Have Fitness Gear (Walkers, Prepare!)

Article posted in: Lifestyle

Spring is the iffiest of seasons. It often starts out as a combination of Spring and Winter—“Sprinter,” maybe? “Wing,” perhaps? Either way, it all ends up “Sprummer,” with chilly nights and hot humid days. If you want to stay active, you have to be ready for anything.

When it comes to walking, or any outdoor activities during this multiple-personality season, the right fitness gear plays a critical role, making or breaking your workout. Well today, the options are infinite and the colors are pleasing to say the least.

This is the fitness gear every walker should add to their collection:

1. Waterproof Windbreaker

For Sprinter weather, think about something breathable like Adidas’s women’s Wandertag Jacket. This means it allows air and vapor to escape so that it doesn’t start “raining” sweat inside the jacket. This jacket is waterproof and windproof, and it has a hood! It retails for less than $100, which seems like a bargain in our book for quality.

For men, there’s the Marmot Men’s PreCip Jacket, which is lightweight and supremely breathable. Our favorite feature of this outdoors essential is the inclusion of “PitZips”—underarm zippers that let out the bad air and bring in the good while you’re working out at top speed. This jacket is also about $100 online from Eastern Mountain Sports.

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Closer to Sprummer, women might prefer Title Nine’s Ghost Lite Jacket, which weighs only 3 ounces, is wind and water resistant, and is still incredibly breathable, making it perfect for traveling. This one you can get at about $99 from With this weather, guys may want to consider Patagonia’s Houdini Jacket, which is ultra-light, but offers protection from wind and rain. It’s hooded and accommodates base or light mid-layers for chilly nights. It also stuffs into its own zippered chest pocket. Get it for $99 from

2. Waterproof Socks

To thwart those April showers, pick up a few pairs of waterproof socks like Dexshell Ultralite Waterproof Socks. They’re 80 percent cotton, but have a nylon outer layer making them easy to dry. They’re abrasion resistant (you don’t need to get sidelined by blisters) and the manufacturer says they’re suitable for everything from biking to running to dog walking. They retail for anywhere from $16.99 to $29.99 on Check out Dexshell’s Ultralite Bamboo Waterproof Socks too.

3. Hat

If you don’t have a hood, you’re going to need a hat, not only to keep the rain out of your eyes, but also to keep the sun and sweat off your face too. If it’s chilly and wet out, think about a Sealskinz Waterproof Beanie that’s windproof, waterproof and comfortable. It fits right in your pocket and is a tricky one to lose in Hi Vis Yellow.

Also offering protection from the sun and sweat with a billed cap or a sun visor. Women will love the Fast Paced Fun Visor from, retailing for $28. Lightweight, sweat wicking and seriously stylish.

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4. Sunglasses

To protect your eyes from damaging UVA and UVB rays—which can lead to cataracts—take a cue from runners and other athletes: Invest in sports glasses which are designed to be light, stay on and provide ultra-eye protection. Nike makes several, including the Vaporwing Elite with a one-piece lens that provides exceptional clarity and vision. It’s ventilated temple arms prevent fogging and moisture accumulation, while an aerodynamic design reduces wind resistance. They retails for $395. Out of your budget range? You can find similar, high-quality glasses from other manufacturers, including Oakley, SunCloud and Smith for half of that price or even less. At, you can explore them all.

5. Water bottle

It’s not easy to run—or even walk—with a plain old water bottle in your hand. Pick up a bottle with a strap, like the Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle sold on for $15.95. It holds 12 ounces of water and is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand. It has adjustable, nonslip strap with a quick hand release.

6. Fitness tracker

Stay on the straight and narrow with a tracker that records all of your activity. They can clock your steps, distance, calories burned, active time and sleep quality. Many activity trackers even have a touch screen control that is sweat and splash proof.

7. The Perfect Sneaker

Whether you’re planning to walk laps at the local track or take a weekly Zumba class, there’s an athletic shoe that’s right for you. Here are some tips to help pick the best one:

  • Shop later in the day. Your feet tend to swell throughout the day, so it’s best to try on shoes either in the evening or after a workout. And be sure to bring the same socks you typically wear when working out.
  • Make sure your toes have wiggle room. There should be at least ½ inch between your big toe and front of the shoe, or about the width of your thumb. And side-to-side, the shoe should feel snug, not tight.
  • Do a test walk. Tighten the laces like you would at home, and walk a few laps in the store. Make sure your heels fit snugly in each shoe, and don’t slip out as you walk. And if possible, take some steps on different surfaces in the store—such as carpet and tile, for example—to ensure they are comfortable.
  • Consider your sport. Many sneakers are designed with specific activities in mind. If you are planning to take tennis lessons every week, for example, you might consider getting a court shoe, which is designed to provide stability in all directions. Going walking every day? Get a walking shoe. Or if you are active in many different forms of exercise, a cross training shoe may be your best choice, say experts.

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