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The best gear for summer racing

Some new lightweight and breathable gear might be exactly what you need to PB your next race

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4

Whether you’re running your first 5K or preparing for your next ultramarathon, stack the race-day odds in your favour with some new go-fast gear. A new pair of shoes, lighter clothing or even more race-specific accessories can make a noticeable difference in both your performance and your enjoyment of the event.

Here is a selection of our favourite gear for summer racing.

Best for competitive runners seeking low weight and high breathability
Salomon S/LAB SPEED Tank

Salomon S/LAB SPEED Tank

A no-compromise, performance-oriented running singlet

As part of the S/LAB range of products, it’s no surprise the Speed Tank is optimized for going fast. The singlet weighs just 64 g and provides exceptional breathability and thermoregulation, thanks to Salomon’s 37.5 Technology. Like other S/LAB products, the singlet is constructed with glued seams that eliminate bulk and weight and help minimize chafing. Other details worth noting include the reflective detailing and the slim fit, which reduces fabric flap in windy conditions.

Best for runners seeking a lightweight cap with UV protection
Ciele Athletics GOCap SC

Ciele Athletics GOCap SC

A lightweight, colourful running cap

Constructed with a highly breathable and fast-drying polyester fabric, the GOCap SC is ideal for running in warm, sunny conditions. The cap’s five-panel shape offers UPF 40 sun protection, while the SOFTcurve brim does an admirable job of keeping the sun out of your eyes and face. For runners who prefer low-light, early-morning starts, Ciele has also added reflective detailing to ensure you’re visible to traffic.

Best for runners seeking minimalist socks or for training or racing in warm conditions
Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks

Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks

Thin, unpadded running socks

If you prefer a low-bulk sock for racing, the Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks may be perfect for you. The socks feature many of Smartwool’s proprietary construction technologies, including Indestructawool, 4 Degree elite fit system, Shred Shield and strategically positioned mesh zones, resulting in exceptional durability, fit and breathability. Where they deviate from other Smartwool offerings is with their Zero Cushion construction, which eliminates excess material underfoot, resulting in a sleeker fit. The socks’ low ankle height also contributes to their airy feel, again making them ideal for warmer conditions.

Best for runners seeking propulsive plate performance without comprising daily comfort
Saucony Kinvara Pro

Saucony Kinvara Pro

A fast and versatile, neutral carbon-plated running shoe

Runners seeking race-day performance in a daily training shoe will appreciate the Kinvara Pro. Saucony uses a ¾-length carbon plate that’s sandwiched between a PWRRUN PB foam midsole on top and a PWRRUN midsole below. The result is exceptional cushioning without comprising the responsive and fast ride runners demand during faster training runs and races. The addition of SPEEDROLL construction further encourages a smoother heel-to-toe transition. For the upper, Saucony has spec’d a tried-and-true engineered mesh that hugs your foot and is surprisingly breathable. It’s worth noting that the Kinvara Pro lacks a separate rubber outsole, resulting in lighter weight at the expense of faster sole wear. The shoe measures 42 mm in the heel and 34 mm in the forefoot, resulting in an 8 mm drop, which will appeal to a wide variety of running styles.

Best for competitive runners who want the best
Salomon S/LAB SPEED 3"

Salomon S/LAB SPEED 3"

A no-compromise, performance-oriented running short

The S/LAB product line has always been designed to represent the pinnacle of Salomon’s design and manufacturing skills, and these shorts live up to that heritage. Weighing just 60 g, with a 3″ inseam, and using an ultralight stretch fabric, these shorts will not hold you back as you sprint to the finish line. And while there is no escaping the minimalist purpose-driving construction of these shorts, Salomon still manages to add a number of subtle, nice-to-have details–for example, the addition of Salomon’s 37.5 Technology, which provides exceptional thermoregulation in warm conditions. Salomon also uses glued seams, which reduce bulk and weight and help eliminate the risk of chafing. Finally, one small side pocket is perfectly sized to accommodate an energy gel.

Best for runners seeking a sock with sophisticated construction
Swiftwick Aspire One Running Socks

Swiftwick Aspire One Socks

A thin, lightweight sock with minimal cushioning

You can never have too many socks, and the Aspire One is a great addition to every runner’s kit. With their sophisticated construction, these socks provide excellent breathability and moisture management for additional comfort when running in warm weather. The socks’ low bulk, midfoot arch band, and y-heel construction ensure a secure and supportive fit during long runs. In the toe area, Swiftwick uses seamless construction, which minimizes the risk of chafing.

Best for runners seeking a propulsive shoe for racing
Brooks Hyperion Elite 4

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4

A neutral carbon-plated race-day shoe

Featuring a full carbon plate nestled within a nitrogen-infused DNA Flash V2 midsole, the Hyperion Elite 4 delivers the propulsive performance runners demand on race day. The midsole construction, combined with Brooks’ RapidRoll Rocker, provides a very responsive ride with a smooth heel-to-toe transition. (While the shoe provides plenty of cushioning, some runners may want a plusher riding option for the marathon.) Up top, Brooks has designed a unique lightweight upper that securely hugs your foot and offers good breathability. As expected in a race-day shoe, the Hyperion Elite 4 sports a minimalist outsole that provides just enough traction while minimizing weight. Finally, the Hyperion Elite 4 measures 40 mm in the heel and 32 mm in the forefoot, resulting in a comfortable 8 mm drop.

Best for runners seeking a fast, responsive shoe with cushioning

Designed as a go-fast training shoe, the Phantasm 2 delivers the performance and cushioning runners demand during faster running. The shoe features a unique midsole that combines an Energy Blade plate with a two-part foam midsole, creating a responsive, propulsive ride while still retaining sufficient cushioning for daily training. Salomon’s rocker geometry promotes a faster and smoother heel-to-toe transition, which ensures the Phantasm 2 feels fast even at the end of a long run. It’s worth noting that the Phantasm 2 midsole measures 37 mm in the heel and 26 mm in the forefoot, resulting in a 9 mm drop, which may be too high for some runners. For the upper, Salomon has spec’d a highly breathable mesh textile with strategically placed padding for exceptional fit and foothold. Finally, the outsole has been updated with more rubber in the forefoot and heel for increased durability.

Products reviewed in this article:

Best for competitive runners seeking low weight and high breathability

Salomon S/LAB SPEED Tank

Salomon S/LAB SPEED Tank

Buy Now - Men's $95

Buy Now - Women's $95

Buy Now - Men's $80

Buy Now - Women's $80

Best for runners seeking a lightweight cap with UV protection

Ciele Athletics GOCap SC

Ciele Athletics GOCap SC

Buy Now - $54.99

Buy Now - From $45.00

Best for runners seeking minimalist socks or for training or racing in warm conditions

Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks

Smartwool Run Zero Cushion Low Ankle Socks

Buy Now - Men's $22.95

Buy Now - Women's From $21.95

Buy Now - Men's $18.00

Buy Now - Women's $18.00

Best for runners seeking propulsive plate performance without comprising daily comfort

Saucony Kinvara Pro

Saucony Kinvara Pro

Buy Now - Men's $239.99

Buy Now - Women's $239.99

Buy Now - Men's $180.00

Buy Now - Women's $180.00

Best for competitive runners who want the best

Salomon S/LAB SPEED 3"

Salomon S/LAB SPEED 3"

Buy Now - Men's $120

Buy Now - Women's $120

Buy Now - Men's $95

Buy Now - Women's $95

Best for runners seeking a sock with sophisticated construction

Swiftwick Aspire One Socks

Swiftwick Aspire One Running Socks

Buy Now - $21.95

Buy Now - $17.00

Best for runners seeking a propulsive shoe for racing

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4

Buy Now - $299.99

Buy Now - $250.00

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