The Running Gear Rabbit Hole

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I think I’m addicted to running gear.  I can’t tell you how many dollars I’ve spent recently.  And honestly, I don’t want to know either.  I’m sure it’s frightening.  But that doesn’t stop me from trolling blogs all day and saying, “Oh, yeah, I definitely need to get some compression socks.  Everyone else has them, so I should too.”

“Ooo, what’s Stridebox?  Shut up!  They’ll deliver running gear to my door every month?  It’s like Birchbox for runners!  Don’t mind if I do…”

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It’s always interesting to me when people claim that running is an “inexpensive” fitness option.  And sure, OK, all you REALLY need is a pair of running shoes.  But even those are not cheap.  And unless you want to be a chafed, blistered, sore mess, you really do need things like good socks, dry-tech clothing, and a decent sports bra.  And then maybe you start doing longer distances and you want to try a handheld water bottle, or a hydration belt, and maybe some fuel.  You hear about how awful awesome foam rollers are.  You subscribe to Runner’s World for tips and tricks…  It’s a deep, dark, expensive rabbit hole.  I guess there are worse things I could be spending my money on, but sometimes I think about how much this stuff is costing me and I cringe a little.

In the past 2 weeks alone, I’ve bought a running hat, road ID, new shoes and barely managed to restrain myself from subscribing to Stridebox.  I’ve walked in circles through Dick’s Sporting goods, touching things lovingly and bemoaning the fact that I can’t spend $80 on some CW-X compression tights.  I’ve held a Sweaty Band in my hand and started to walk to the checkout counter, only to force myself to turn around and put it back.  It seems like every day I hear or read about some new product that I’ve just got to try.  Where does it end?  How do I contain my spending?

On the one hand, I know that I don’t really need most of these things.  But I really want them, which can feel like the same thing.  Running makes me a happier, healthier person, and new and exciting gear makes me want to run more, so it’s easy to justify these purchases.  Who wants to do silly things like pay off their student loans or buy a house anyway, right?  Right? Please tell me I’m not the only one suffering from this addiction…

How do you budget for buying your running gear?

Do you ever feel like you can’t stop buying things?

26 thoughts on “The Running Gear Rabbit Hole

  1. prettylittlerunner says:

    I buy myself one to two items per paycheck…I AM addicted to buying running a gear and now that you mentioned it, I think I’m going to subscribed to that Stride Box..crap… I think I also need a second job to support this life style

  2. Rachel says:

    I have SUCH a hard time not buying every pair of fun tights and shorts and sports bras and tech shirts. A trip to Dick’s is painful in that sense. I’ve been able to restrain myself quite a bit lately though! Actually, I need new running shorts but I can’t really afford it right now so I’m making do with the 3ish I have that mostly fit. xD On second thought, maybe I’m a little less addicted than you…

  3. Jennifer says:

    BEEN THERE. I really try to stick to sales only (because, seriously, that $60 shirt will get cheaper if I can wait…), and generally limit my purchases to a few per season. One thing that helped immensely (and I know is hard to do) is I unsubscribed from all the emails from running stores! It’s amazing how much temptation that removed from my life. 🙂

    • DarlinRae says:

      I’m hoping that since I’m just starting out and need to make some purchases to get me going, once I get to a decent baseline I’ll be able to stop. The sad thing is, I don’t even get the email promos, I’m just seeing stuff on other blogs!

  4. girlybeerrunner says:

    When I first started out, I felt like I had to buy everything, ALL THE TIME. I decided to limit myself to major race outfits, and sales. I shop the end of the season stuff all the time- best prices. And, I mean, really… I don’t know any runners who follow which colors/styles are from last season. Also, deciding to do laundry more often helps 🙂

    • DarlinRae says:

      More laundry definitely helps! At the moment I only have one pair of capris and one pair of shorts, so I know I need more bottoms. If I don’t stay on top of laundry, I’m a stinky girl :/

  5. mstepler says:

    I don’t know how many times I’ve walked into Sports Authority to “just browse” and come out with a bunch of new running gear. To keep it cheap, I usually stick to the sale/clearance rack. More bang for my buck!

  6. runsaltrun says:

    You are definitely not the only one. I am seriously addicted to buying running gear, especially shoes. Luckily I am a pretty good bargain shopper. 🙂

    Oh god I need Stridebox. I NEED IT.

  7. thesecretlifecoachofdc says:

    OMG!!! I have never heard of Stride Box and now I am drooling. How have I never heard of this?! I need to subscribe NOW! I definitely think I would get much more use of it than Birch Box. I used to subscribe to Birch Box and I loved getting it every month and even though I enjoyed and appreciated the stuff that they included in the box, I never continued using any of it. Thanks for sharing!

  8. dgobs says:

    Oh my God you sound just like me! I’m glad I’m not the only one! 🙂 I’ve started filling out the subscription to Stridebox (and Runnerbox… ugh there’s more than one) several times before convincing myself that I don’t *need* it. But it’s oh, so tempting. I wander around sporting goods stores touching things lovingly too… depending on who I’m with, what kind of mood I’m in, and how much money I’ve spent lately all determines whether or not I spring for those things or not. I’ve been trying to rein myself in though! (And it’s hard!!)

    • DarlinRae says:

      I mean, shoes alone will run you $100 at least! Oh well. At least I try to buy running clothes that I can get away with wearing at other times too, so it’s not like I’m spending all this money on single-use items.

  9. Charlotte says:

    I am the same way! I could spend a fortune alone just on under armour running gear! I do love compression clothing and they are not cheap…not to mention Garmin Forerunner, Boxes of GU etc haha I like compression calf sleeves..not necessarily the socks. $$$ Not cheap 🙂

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