And a man and woman run in the mountains together up a trail in the sun

Top 10 Summer Running Essentials

Here comes the summer! Get equipped with the perfect summer running wardrobe with our guide to your Top Ten Summer Running Essentials.


With the higher temperatures and relentless summer sun beating down, it’s no wonder summer proves a difficult season to start your everyday running routine and continue working on those long-term PB goals. However, with the early rising sun and longer evenings stretching out before us, this time of year also gives us a longer window to get out there and get moving, with cooler mornings and late lit-up evenings full of empty trails, tracks, and tarmac to beat out the tempo and pump the arms further and further.


If you’re planning to hit the race track, tarmac, or the hills this summer, the one thing it does pay to be is prepared. Summer can be a relentless time for exercise, so staying hydrated and equipping yourself with the right gear can be essential to your safety and well-being. High temperatures and a lack of moisture in the air can easily be the downfall to your running and racing plans, so you must make sure that you take the necessary steps with your clothing, footwear, and equipment to make sure you’re never caught out and putting yourself in harm’s way. Only through staying safe, comfortable, and well-hydrated will you feel the motivation to push yourself further and go the distance with your running plans. And that’s exactly where Runners Need comes in.


Here at Runners Need, we have everything you need for a summer spent running, sprinting, and hitting the dusty trails. From the beginners starting their couch to 5k, the everyday routine runners keeping up with their goals, and the race-day speed demons training for that big marathon event, read ahead and discover everything you need for a summer spent running.

MONTANE - Dart Nano Zip T-Shirt

Montane Dart Nano Zip T-Shirt - Men's Expert Review - 1

Montane Dart Nano Zip T-Shirt - Men's Expert Review

The ultra-lightweight base layer for all your warm-weather, high-output activities, the Montane Dart Nano Zip T-Shirt is perfect for those summer sprints where you want to feel nothing against your skin. Most suited to the trails and paths, this is a tee designed for those big endurance races where you just don’t stop – coming equipped with all the integral features you need to feel comfortable and fresh as you rack up the miles.


Ideal for fast and light races like ultra-marathons and off-road trail running in the mountains, the Dart Nano Zip Tee is constructed with a supremely lightweight Apex Lite Eco recycled polyester that sits supremely close to the skin. Moisture-wicking and highly breathable, the inbuilt POLYGIENE® permanent odour control helps inhibit the growth of odour-causing bacteria, giving you multi-day freshness that can go for days.


Additional features of this fresh and fast top include a ¼ length YKK front zipper with an internal zip guard to help quickly dump heat and for easy on/off, flat locked seams for zero chafe and maximum next-to-skin comfort, and even reflective branded details on the front and back for those events that transcend the day and extend into the night. Built with runners in mind – this the top made for busting your summer PBs. 

RAB - Sonic Ultra Zip Top

Rab Sonic Ultra Zip Top - Men's Expert Review - 1

Rab Sonic Ultra Zip Top - Men's Expert Review

Although it may look like it's designed for colder weather with its long sleeves and high collar zipper, Rab’s Sonic Ultra Zip Top is the true mountain runners’ go-to sidekick. Highly efficient and endlessly versatile for the true off-roaders, this slim-sitting tee offers a layer of protection when high up in the hills that will still prove breathable and summer-ready when diving back into the warmer temps below.


The Rab Sonic Ultra Zip has been designed to offer a layer of lightweight, breathable protection on those hotter summer days when covering up from the sun is essential. Created using an ultra-lightweight Motiv Aero fabric with a subtle mesh, this quick-drying, moisture-wicking running partner guarantees to keep your skin dry even on those steep, challenging trails. Responsive to your output, it’s fantastic for eliminating the need to constantly change layers with an odour control finish that will keep you feeling comfy and fresh for miles and laser-cut ventilation holes in higher heated areas to keep you cooled down and ready to go the distance.


Perfect for runners that like to travel far and fast, cross contours, and take in the summer heat, additional features of this versatile running top include a half-centre front zipper to dump out heat and for easy on/off, unhindered articulation and set-in sleeves for complete freedom of movement, and reflective branding to help keep you seen as the sun sets and the miles keep on counting.

For women, we also have the Rab Women’s Sonic Ultra Vest and Women’s Sonic Ultra Tee. Lightweight, quick-drying, summer mountain running layers with the same Motiv Aero fabric, odour control, super low profile seams, and movement-optimised cut for maximum comfort and a barely-there feel.

NEW BALANCE - Accelerate Running Tights

New Balance Accelerate Running Tights - Womens Expert Review - 1

New Balance Accelerate Running Tights - Women's Expert Review

Built to support your movement through the longest runs, New Balance’s Accelerate Running Tights are the ideal partner for those urban runs where you want a little extra coverage without sacrificing breathability and freedom of movement. Fitted with New Balance’s incredibly innovative NB DRY quick-drying, moisture-wicking technology to help your body move with ease, these are a summer staple any road runner and avid gym-goer wants packed into their arsenal.


Constructed from a high-stretch recycled polyester and spandex mix,  the Accelerate Running Tights come equipped with an incredible mid-rise length that sits just below the waist for an incredibly comfortable, flattering fit. The fitted silhouette hugs your legs in close for a snug close-to-skin feel that’ll stay out of your way for a full range of motion, helping keep your mind solely focused on the run. What’s more, there are also fun bold printed and fully reflective versions too – giving you the option for a little extra visibility and style while out battling the urban jungle. 


Finally, we have the essential finishing touches: The bold colour-blocking details and reflective trim, the internal, knitted, adjustable drawcord for a uniquely tailored, secure fit, and the incredibly accommodating drop-in waistband pockets for cards, keys, and phones. The essential everyday run, gym, and work partner: Make sure you have the basics down this summer with New Balance’s Accelerate Running Tights.

And for the guys, why not check out New Balance's Impact Run Tights? The versatile men's running legwear with the same moisture-wicking, quick-drying NB DRYX technology as the Accelerate for breathable summer comfort and an assortment of pockets and storage capabilities for those long off-road trails far from civilisation. They're a fitness fanatics' essential.

RAB - Talus Trail Shorts

Rab Talus Trail Shorts Landscape - Men's Expert Review - 1

Rab Talus Trail Shorts - Men's Expert Review

Coming off the roads and hitting the tracks are Rab’s Talus Trail Shorts, the stretchy, quick-drying off-road partners designed to offer you the comfort and freedom to explore further and higher than before. For when you want the true breathability you can only gain from shorts, The Rab Talus Trail Shorts offer the versatility and dependability you need for those long, endless runs under the summer sun.


Perfect for mountain days, running, and fast hiking over technical terrain, Rab’s Talus Trail Shorts are built with a combination of speed-friendly fabrics that help you manage hilly ascents with ease. The outer short is created using Rab’s lightest weight Matrix™ Aero for a quick-drying, featherweight feel and a PFC-Free coating for all-around weather resistance. Inside, you’ll find the close-to-skin liner short, made from a body contouring Flexile™ 100, for exceptional anti-chafe movement and support through the miles. The deep, stretch waistband offers comfort and stitch-free hems to eliminate rubbing and friction and helps keep the shorts up without needing to worry about stopping to re-jig your set-up.


Finally, there’s the incredible host of tactical pockets for keeping essentials close to hand, with a large mesh stash in the front waistband, mesh thigh pockets on each leg, a separate small key pocket, and a secure, zippered rear yolk pocket for a wallet or car keys. Together, these ensure you have space for your phone, wallet, keys, and hydration and gels without needing a backpack – a lifesaver on those shorter runs where you want to hit the tracks without the extra weight and worry.

And for the ladies, we also have endlessly versatile Rab's Momentum Shorts. Made for multi-day activities these lightweight, breathable, quick-drying shorts are ultra-stretchy with vented hand pockets and a flattering deep stretch waistband. An ideal companion for mountain trekking and trail running on hot summer days, you wouldn't want to be caught on the hills without them.

MONTANE - Slipstream Twin Skin Shorts

Montane Slipstream Twin Skin Shorts - Expert Review - 1

Montane Slipstream Twin Skin Shorts - Men's Expert Review

Specially designed for warm-weather training and racing, Montane’s Slipstream Twin Skin Shorts give you the guaranteed breathability and comfort you need for your biggest days on the trail. Versatile and super-lightweight – they’re ideal for the summer months when the temperature rises alongside your desire and motivation to get outside and hit the roads.


Ideal for tarmac, trail, and fitness, these 2-in-1 shorts come with a CARVICO with ECONYL regenerated nylon inner compression short and a featherweight, Aeroflyte QD outer short for a tailored run-specific fit that ensures the shorts move with, and not against you. The elasticated waistband with an internal adjustable drawcord assures a tailored, unique fit that boasts complete comfort and freedom, leaving distractions in the dust and you free to focus on the trail ahead.


Additional features of these summer-inspired shorts include rear gel shot pockets and a rear YYK zippered stash; for ample storage of gels, hydration solutions, cards, keys, and a phone. But that's not all, as they also come equipped with highly reflective detailing, allowing you to remain visible and safe, especially when out late and early in urban environments. So, for a pair of shorts that works as hard as you do, trust Montane’s Slipstream Twin Skin Shorts to give you the edge this summer season.

INOV-8 - Stormshell Jacket

INOV-8 Stormshell - Men's Expert Review - 1

Inov-8 Stormshell Jacket - Men's Expert Review

Even in the summer, we all know the British weather is far from predictable. Therefore, making sure you always have a lightweight, breathable shell jacket packed for those sudden, unexpected summer downpours is essential. Enter INOV-8’s most versatile waterproof running jacket yet, the Stormshell. Weight only 175g, this coat is designed for lightweight racing and training and is essential to any race day or multi-day packing list.


Constructed using a buttery-soft yet highly breathable, waterproof Pertex Shield fabric, INOV-8’s Stormshell enables the unrestricted movement you need to up the tempo while still being able to shed the unnecessary rain showers and dry off fast in the inevitable break of sunshine. Built to hold off a hydrostatic head of 20,000 and with the ability to withstand 20,000mm of rain in 24 hours, this is the coat for big races and those days when the weather never stays as expected. In addition, it also comes with fully taped seams to ensure you fulfil mandatory race kit requirements and stay nice and comfortable without the risk of skin chafing.


Finishing up, we have the fully adjustable hood, full-length zipper to keep out the rain and give quick and easy on/off mid-race and run, integrated thumb loops for coverage, reflective detailing for when the sun sets, and an inbuilt pack-away pocket that allows the entire coat to stuff away small into its own pocket for light, easy carry. Given the 220 Triathlon award from Best On Test with good reason, though we hope your summer never calls for it – it’s always best to be prepared with the Stormshell.

NEW BALANCE - Printed Impact Run Light Pack Jacket

New Balance Printed Impact Run Light Pack Jacket - Women's Expert Review - 1

New Balance Printed Impact Run Light Pack Jacket - Women's Expert Review

Stay prepared on your run with New Balance’s Printed Impact Run Light Pack Jacket. Bright, bold, and breathable, it’s the coat made for routine runs and training sprints on paved city streets that demands to be seen, even when the heavens decide to rain on your parade. 


In the height of summer we never expect to be donning our wet weather gear, but as we all know in the UK, the weather here is anything but predictable. Enter New Balance’s Printed Impact Run Light Pack Jacket. The perfect pack-away jacket that’s as easy to chuck on as it is to chuck off, it's able to condense down into a tiny portable pack when no longer needed that then snaps around your waist, giving you the ability to carry your phone, keys, and cards with ease.


Constructed from 100% recycled, woven nylon, this shell jacket comes prepared with the water and wind resistance you need for those blustery runs where you refuse to let the rain win. Reflective branding, piping, and a bold print help give this coat added style and visibility on night-time city streets, while the long sleeves help add an extra bit of coverage when out under the blistering summer sun. Lightweight, moisture-wicking, versatile, quick drying, and adaptable – meet your new road-running superhero.

HILLY - Unisex Marathon Fresh Socks

Hilly Unisex Marathon Socks - Expert Review - 1

Hilly Unisex Marathon Fresh Socks - Expert Review

With your feet, it never stops with the shoes. Make sure every run is as cushiony-soft and fresh as it's fast and light by pairing your new road and trail running shoes with the correct socks for everyday training, fast and light hikes, and those big race day PB setters.


Hilly, owned by Ronhill, stand as the UK’s premier technical performance sock company for runs – and with good reason. Packed with technical and comfort features to keep every run feeling fresh and cool, these are the socks built for the ultimate race day. Created using a polyamide and elastance LYCRA® SPORT knit for exceptional stretch, a close, comfortable fit, and freedom of movement, the Marathon Fresh Socks come with mid-level, anatomical cushioning in key pressure zones like the toe and heels for an added touch of comfort without sacrificing performance and feel.


The final, unique ingredient in these socks is the Polygiene® odour-resistant technology. Made with low concentrations of anti-microbial, natural silver salt, it eliminates bacterial and fungi growth without interfering with the natural bacterial skin flora. This helps keep feet smelling and feeling fresh even on those long multi-day runs, all without hurting the natural barriers and protection of your skin.

THERAGUN - Mini Massage Gun

Theragun Mini Massage Gun - Expert Review - 1

Theragun Mini Massage Gun - Expert Review

For ultra-portable, on-the-go treatment, there’s the Theragun Mini. Giving you a compact, powerful performance muscle treatment, this lightweight, 650g agile device is designed for quality relief on the move and is ideal for long multi-day ultra events, marathons, and run recovery.


Able to alleviate cramps, knots and tension, this is a portable massage gun that can be easily slipped into a pocket or backpack for easy access, making quick and easy work of aches and pains. It comes equipped with an ergonomic grip that’s easy to hold and use with reduced strain on hands and wrists, and a near-silent operating volume thanks to the QuietForce Technology - so you can experience a discrete massage and melt away post-run tension without hearing a thing.


Three scientifically calibrated speed settings help deliver different therapeutic benefits for the body, all with 150 minutes of battery life, making it ideal for those longer multi-day events and normal day-to-day use without the need to constantly worry about recharging. For those focused on the recovery they need after a day spent sweating and straining under the glare of the summer sun, treat yourself to the ultimate in post-run comfort with the Theragun Mini.

HOKA - Challenger ATR 7

HOKA Challenger ATR 7 - Men's Expert Review

For those asking: “Why not both?” there's the HOKA Challenger ATR 7 Running shoe. As good at running the summer soaked trails as it is the urban jungle, the HOKA Challenger ATR 7 doesn’t choose a side. It's an all-terrain tackler. Built at what they call: "the intersection of road and trail" this is a shoe created for every adventure. A true off-roader that can start in the cul-de-sac and end on the grassy hills above town, all without breaking a sweat.


A bright and bold eye-catcher, the Challenger ART 7 running trainer is vegan and eco-conscious, coming with a fully recycled, breathable engineered mesh upper that exudes comfort thanks to inherent cushioning, a compression moulded EVA midsole, and an increased stack height. On the reverse, you'll find an outsole made of Durabrasion rubber – inspired by gravel tires with tiny, tightly packed lugs in the center and larger aggressive lugs at the perimeter. This all-terrain base is perfect for the hills and the tarmac, delivering a smoother ride on the road without sacrificing the sticky traction needed for the uneven terrains of the trails.


Street approved and trail run tested, for those that want it all, trust us with the HOKA Challenger ART 7. The shoe that will never choose to compromise.

Running in the summer is never an activity to be taken lightly. Higher temperatures, hot tarmac, and dry, dusty trails bring their own lists of problems and hindrances that can put even the boldest runners off grabbing their trainers and hitting the tracks. However, with the longer days and glorious weather shining down, there’s no reason to let summer troubles win. 


Here at Runners Need, we specialise in having the ideal running trainers for everyone, whether it’s your first couch to 5k or you’re off partaking in one of your many ultra marathons. So if you plan to hit the race track, tarmac, or the hills this summer, let us help you there with our list of this season’s top ten running shoes, prioritizing your stability, comfort, and support to help make that early morning routine feel that little bit less like a chore. Read ahead and discover the road or trail running shoes made for you:

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