Tuesday, December 27, 2022

RoadTrailRun's 2022 Awards: Road and Trail Run Apparel, Gear, Electronics, Sunglasses, Nutrition and Recovery

Article by RTR Team

The RTR Team ran over 54,000 miles / 88,000 km on roads and trails in 2022 and that is before they cycled, hiked, and Nordic skied yet more. 

25 of us were out there with lots of apparel, gear, electronics, race packs, sunglasses and more in every climate and terrain imaginable and then had to recover.. And go back out there again.. Please read on to discover their 2022 favorites!


What was your favorite apparel of 2022 and why? Brand, particular product, Pick up to 3

Peter Stuart

Tracksmith Reggie lined half-tights and Turnover lined tights. Just terrific fit and feel, and the liner makes all the difference. Darn Tough socks--comfy, absorbent and they make good on their lifetime guarantee. 

Jeff Beck

TASC Performance Carrollton t-shirt yet again, the best shirts I own by a large margin.

Derek Li

T8 running is my favorite brand. I’ve been using it for about 1.5 years now. They are a Hong Kong-based ultra/trail brand. They don’t really have any suitable road running tops but I really like their Sherpa shorts. The shorts are unlined and pair with their Commando underwear. The shorts are quite basic in concept but work really well. It has an integrated running belt into the waistband and a polyester material for the shorts. The fabric does not get heavy when fully soaked and the pockets hold stuff really well, integrated something like a Naked Running Band into the shorts.  

Bryan Lim

Lululemon Surge 4" Lined Shorts. Has been my favorite and still is for the last three years. Ample storage, shirt 'strap' to hang your sweaty shirt off, and a phone pocket cut out from the 2 in 1 liner, no other short from any other brand comes close. Versatile as can be used on road and trails.

Matt Crehan

Brooks 3" Sherpa Shorts - Perfect for carrying gels with four pockets 

Adidas Marathon Jacket - Super lightweight perfect race day warm up attire. 

On Mid Socks - Such a close fitting sock but without any pressure points. 

Joost de Raeymaeker

Top apparel has been the same for me for years: Tracksmith. This year, I've been enjoying their racing half-tight Allston (get the lined version) and their marathon major themed tops (I got both the Boston and Chicago ones).

Second was the Saysky patterned short I got, which also felt great.

Ryan Eiler

Tracksmith Reggie Half Tight (Lined). The most comfortable, chafe-free bottoms that I've ever worn.

Nike Aeroswift Singlet. A great cut for max ventilation, and no seams to prevent irritation.

Steve Gedwill

Tracksmith Harrier Long Sleeve- lightweight, breathable, very warm, odor-resistance, super comfortable.

Nike Aeroswift 1/2 Tights: comfortable, lined, newest version with plenty of storage.

Matt Kolat

Ciele Athletics hats. Extremely comfortable and unaffected by machine washing.

Daniel da Silva

Saucony Hydralite Men’s singlet 

Markus Zinkl

Midlayer: Farpointe Alpha Fleece

Shorts: UA SpeedPocket Trail Shorts

Jacket: Ryzon Fusion Merinoshell Performance Jacket

Renee Krusemark

Tracksmith is so expensive, but it's so worth it. Any products from Tracksmith are worth the cost. I'm enjoying the Nathan Dash Short-Sleeve Shirt too. Darn Tough Merino wool socks (light and midweight) are my go-to cold weather item. 

All that said, during the winter months I'm fine running in off-brand, old farm coveralls!

Jeff Valliere

Ultimate Direction Schlarb line for comfort, style (shirt) and utility (shorts), Gore 2 in 1 Ultimate Shorts for utility and functionality, Gore Drive Jacket for light packable warmth

John Tribbia

La Sportiva Alya Vest: The full zipper front is accompanied by a torso snap closure (in case you want it unzipped but need the vest to stay on). I think every running jacket or vest should come equipped with this subtle snap closure feature because it is so simple and effective. The vest has multiple pockets inside and zippered pockets on the outside. My favorite feature is the low cut neck - all too often, vests creep up on the neck and it is really uncomfortable for me. I really like the low profile and fit of this vest all around. 

Shannon Payne

Rabbit may always be my perennial favorite with their outstanding fit, feel and quality of apparel. I don't own a single piece of Rabbit apparel that I do not intend on wearing until it is full of holes. 

Oiselle has worked their way into my favorites due to their high quality, long lasting, wonderfully fitting products, my favorite being the Pockito Bra (I now own 5 colors) 

Nils Scharff

ASICS Actibreeze - There are Shirts and Singlets made of this material. Try it! It's the most breathable stuff I've ever worn!

Ryzon - I just got my hands on a full winter running outfit from the German based brand that makes performance wear for triathletes, runners and cyclists without making sacrifices on the sustainability side of things. Yes, the prices are high, but it's also very high quality stuff which I can recommend wholeheartedly.

Jeremy Marie

Satisfy apparel was as mind-blowing as their price. The shorts are one of the best I ever had.

In a most reasonable budget, Saysky apparel was a very nice discovery this year. The designs are cool, materials are nice and soft.

Finally, Ryzon apparel live up to their great ambassador, Jan Frodeno. I have their winter/poor weather apparel for review and I must say that the quality, attention to details and efficiency is top notch.

Marcel Krebs

ASICS FUJITRAIL WATERPROOF JACKET: A very effective combination of waterproofing and breathability make this jacket an excellent all-rounder

Honorable mention: Salomon Bonatti Trail Jacket: Also a very good allrounder which is waterproof and breathable at the same time. 

Gore Wear GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ Insulated Jacket: A great choice for those very cold winter days. Size up if in-between sizes (slim fit).

Salomon S/LAB Sense 6'' Shorts – incredibly light with lots of pockets for Gels, Softflasks, keys, etc. 

Honorable mention: Salomon Bonatti Trail Rain Trousers - an ideal complement to the abovementioned rain jacket. Good fit & reliable water protection.

Sam Winebaum

Salomon S/Lab 6" Shorts for the second year-for their all around pocketing and super light weight, 

Dahlie Elite Singlet: From way up North in Norway by far the best fitting most comfortable hot weather singlet I have ever run with a notably non stick back

UD Schlarb Merino Tee: known for their race vests I think Ultimate Direction’s apparel is among the best out there for their high functionality in all kinds of conditions with fabrics always a cut above. The Tee is a Merino Sonora blend and very light and stretchy as a result for a Merino. I have worn it in all conditions with great comfort on the run with its mountain ridgeline motif across the front not only super stylish but also reflective

Tracksmith Brighton Base Layer and Wool Hat- I am more a fan of TS nasty weather apparel than their shorts and tees and here the Brighton Base Layer made of a blend of 52% Merino and the rest polyester and nylon has been a great *and stylish base layer on its own or under shells. The Wool Hat is fantastic. A very dense thick felted type wool it is of course warm but also in moderate temps just fine too on the run and around town. 

Gore Drive Jacket: This super light PolarTec Alpha insulated, Gore-Tex Infinium totally wind resistant and very breathable jacket returns for a second year as it is about as versatile a run jacket as I have ever owned. Light and quiet it handles an incredibly broad range of temperatures and is easy fitting so layers welcome under.

adidas Terrex MyShelter Gore-Tex Rain Jacket

Part of Terrex’s “Hike” collection the MyShelter has Gore-Tex Active which means that is highly water resistant but also more breathable than classic Gore-Tex and more water resistant than the Infinium in the Drive Jacket above . With a roomy fit, so layers are easy and air flow is great as things warm up this fully featured jacket has deep pockets, pit zipe tons of artfully placed reflectivity and a superb hood. If its blowing, if its cold and even if it is warmer and raining it has been my fall into winter goto 

Darn Tough socks: nothing like Merino in all seasons including summer for comfort and indeed Darn Tough socks last darn near forever.

Jamie Hershfang

Pearl Izumi bike shorts because you can’t live without these. Saucony Drizzle Jacket for the cold wind and waterproof benefits on the coldest winter days. Smartwool anything, because I live in their baselayers in the winter. 

Mike Postasaki 

Patagonia - I have a variety of shorts, t-shirts, tops, and pants - Patagonia gear always seems to have a thinner athletic cut which fits me best.  Ciele - I picked up an all white technical trucker cap that I wear for all races now - fit is amazing and all white is perfect for summer.

Sally Reiley

Tracksmith Session Speed Short - my go to for training and marathon racing, you forget they are even there with no chafe or binding,totally comfortable and very breathable. (P.S. - I love everything TS!)

Tracksmith Brighton Long Sleeve Top- great long sleeve top for wearing alone in the shoulder seasons and as a base layer in colder weather. Even after a sweat-soaked run, this top dries and smells fresh. And I am a fan of the Tracksmith Marathon Majors simple branding with this top.

Tracksmith Van Cortland Singlet - my marathon race day choice for comfort and style

Skida alpine hats for winter running - perfect weight, fun prints, last forever (I have 8 or so!)

Beto Hughes

Tracksmith Singlets love the quality and looks.

Brooks Run Visible Shirts and 2-1 Short- light and very breathable.

Adam Glueck

Michael Ellenberger

Janji, particularly the 5” AFO middle short, comfy to run in, no chafing, fun patterns.

Tracksmith is my brand of the year! Janji has come out with some great products (the Runpaca short-sleeve is an absolute gem), but Tracksmith’s lineup - the Allston and Reggie half-tights and Horizon long sleeve are my favorites - is by far the deepest.


What are your favorite accessories of 2022 and why? (sunglasses, GPS & Electronics, packs, lights, poles, recovery and injury aids, etc) 

Peter Stuart

Knog lights. The little clip-on front and back lights were great. 

Nathan Vests (the Hypernight and the Vapor Air are both excellent vests. 

Gnarly Nutrition was a go-to for me this year. I love their Hydrate, they're Fuel 2.0, the whey protein and the collagen. 

Jeff Beck

I upgraded to the Garmin Fenix 7X this year, and it's everything I want in a watch. Bulletproof construction and endless battery would be enough - but the little thing I find myself using several times every single day is the flashlight. It's not the brightest, roughly has the same output as an iPhone flash, but having it mounted on the wrist makes it perfect for the little uses when just a little light in the right spot is everything: fishing cables behind the TV, grabbing something out of the garage, and more. Not kidding I've used it several times a day, every single day, since picking the watch up when it launched.

Derek Li

The new COROS POD 2 is quite good at smoothing out paces and routing, especially through areas with GPS coverage. It is a great accessory for people running in urban environments. Downside: it only works with COROS watches. 

Jacob Brady

For another year, I got a lot of use out of and was impressed by the Petzl Swift RL head lamp. It is comfortable, lightweight, bright, and all I could  as for  in a lighter-weight sport head lamp.

Bryan Lim

Garmin Forerunner 955 non-solar. It might be that it was an incidental update/upgrade from my faulty Fenix 6 Pro (even my warranty replacement had tracking accuracy issues), but the multi-band GPS, and redesigned activity UX have been small but much welcomed in my running experience.

Matt Crehan

Coros Pace 2 - Track mode is perfection

Joost de Raeymaeker

I just got the new Stryd in for review and I've been a user of theirs since almost the beginning for a reason. This is one of the only pieces of kit I replace immediately when it breaks or gets lost. Not that I'm a power running junkie, but living in a hot and humid place, it makes sense to not go by heart rate and go by Watts. Highly recommended.

I've also been an Apple Watch user for the last 5 years or so and I got version 8, which is not much of an upgrade to my older version 6, but battery life is increased and it just works and does everything I want it to. Since I use a Stryd, I've been using iSmoothRun (the best iOS running app out there since 2009 or so) and the Stryd app itself intermittently.

Ryan Eiler

Tifosi Swank SL sunglasses. For $25, there's nothing I've found that rivals the quality of these lenses.

Orgain protein powder — easy, delicious post-run nutrition.

Steve Gedwill

Coros Pace 2 -Plenty of running data and features, the battery life is next level.

Coros POD 2-More accurate distance tracking and faster pace updates.

Matt Kolat

Oakley Sunto Prizm. I use them for running and hiking. Biggest advantage they provide is the facial coverage they offer, protecting your eyes not only from the sun but also wind.

Daniel da Silva

Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire, Goodr sunglasses.

Markus Zinkl

Garmin Enduro 2. Finally, amazing battery life on a Garmin watch. Combined with all the functionality, which no manufacturer can match right now, makes it the best GPS watch right now. (battery life: Did the whole 6 day TMB hike without charging it once)

Shokz Open Run Mini: Finally a smaller version of those bone conduction headphones. The headband used to stick out a lot, which made it prone to bouncing at times. With the mini version this is fixed now and it comes on every run now. 

Petzl Iko Core: The first lamp with Petzl’s new head strap design. No bounce at all and so comfortable you forget you wear a headlamp. An additional plus, the Core version comes with a rechargeable battery. 

Dynafit Ultra Pro Poles. Very similar to my former favorite poles, the Black Diamond Carbon Distance FLZ poles only with improved connection strings of the segments and locking mechanism. (Locking mechanism was updated this year as well on the FLZ poles)

Alex Tisley

Shokz OpenRun Headphones: I'm late to the game on these but being able to hear traffic and listen to podcasts on slow return-to-running jogs is gamechanging

Knockaround sunglasses: Nothing fancy but these are cheap, don't fog or scratch, and come in clear which is helpful on the mountain bike

Renee Krusemark

I finally bought a pair of goodr $25 sunglasses. For the price, I can't imagine buying another brand for running again. I do use a lot of Squirrel's Nut Butter, and I almost always wear a vest, switching between the Nathan Pinnacle 4L Race Vest and the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 6.0 during 2022. 

Jeff Valliere

Petzl Nao RL for amazing brightness, value, battery and weight.  Garmin Epix 2 for bright readable amoled screen, battery, accuracy and every feature under the sun.  Komperdell poles for quality, sturdiness, weight and easy folding.

John Tribbia

LedLenser NEO9R Headlamp: The NEO9R really packs a punch, with 1,200 lumens, all in a reasonable 7.2oz/ 208 gram package.  It fits snugly and comfortably on your head and has a really user friendly magnetic charging cable. 

Shannon Payne

Garmin Forerunner 55--everything I need, nothing that I don't. Tifosi Mira sunglasses--great fit, don't bounce around, adjustable nose-piece, and they work great in lower light conditions on trails where I have sometimes found other glasses make it difficult to see. OOFOS recovery sandals and slides--outstanding comfort and support for anytime you haven't got your running shoes on. Lastly, LMNT sports drink--being quite the sweater and with temps over 100 here in the summers, I absolutely love this higher-sodium sports beverage and I hope to see it make even greater headway in 2023. 

Nils Scharff

I'm a big fan of the GU Roctane Recovery Drink - Vanilla Bean. I like the taste that is not too sweet and strongly believe that it helped me recover faster during peak marathon training.

Jeremy Marie

Suunto 9 Peak Pro for GPS. I have a big bias towards the Finnish brand, but their attention to details, sustainability approach, and carefully thought features really resonates with me. Plus I still find their app to be the best for analysis, be it on a specific session or long term with TrainingPeaks load inclusion, and I’m not even talking about the route planner, head and shoulder above the rest. 

Wahoo Elemnt Rival has a "je ne sais quoi" that makes me use it far more than the spec sheets might suggest. Maybe the straight to the point approach, easy access to every essential features, no fuss, almost no health tracking (I still co wider this to be so-so, no matter the brand), very curated list of features (I like that, actually, even if that looks anachronistic these days), ability to easily control my trainer, or multisport handover with my bike GPS (also a wahoo device)…it’s GPS is far from the best, I still have unresolved issues (Stryd integration doesn’t work as advertised for more than one year!), but…I really like it. 

Oofos sandals are probably my best recovery apparel of the year. I think I've spent  almost all my time wearing them since early summer. The squishy feeling is a real relief after a hard session. 

Marcel Krebs

Salomon Adv. Skin 12: The Adv. Skin series are the best running vests on the market in my opinion; the balance of weight and comfort as well as arrangement of pockets and soft flasks are top notch.

LEKI Ultratrail FX.One Superlite: Outstanding & lightweight carbon poles for the trails; the patented grip system provides optimized power transmission by means of gloves latched into the pole (Trail Shark).

Garmin Epix 2: With the Epix 2, Garmin (finally) brings an AMOLED display and the feature set of the Fenix 7 to the market. If you need an even longer battery life, go for the Fenix 7 or Enduro 2. Especially in terms of navigation features, Epix 2, Enduro 2 & Fenix 7 are currently the benchmark on the market.

Apple AirPods Pro 2: Good sound and significantly extended battery life of up to 5 hours, make the AirPods Pro 2 a very good option even for longer distances and excellent everyday usability.

Sam Winebaum

Garmin Epix (gen 2)  & Garmin Enduro 2: Both superb and totally fully featured sport and adventure watches. Epix 2’s AMOLED screen is the best ever in a sport watch- high resolution and any light condition legibility  with very strong battery life. Enduro 2 adds yet more battery life, i never think about charging or just about never Enduro 2  has Next Fork a massive continent wide database of most trails and all roads that indicates distance to a next “fork” often named and as a data field without having to look at the map screen or loading a route.

Apple Watch Ultra: at long last an Apple Watch that is both run worthy and usable. About 3 days of battery life vs the prior battery of barely a day and 12-14 hours of GPS tracking life.  With its built in cellular, superb apps, and full 2 two way connection to your phone it is now at long last practical for most basic run tracking and for decent length runs.

BioLite 425 headlamp: super light, very comfortable and low profile it has great lighting front with a rear blinker out back. 

Camelbak Zeyphr Pro Race Vest: Incredibly full featured and comfortable, the Pro has 2 front zip pockets to go with its flask pockets with reach in the side pockets and small over pockets. Out back  there is a stuff mesh pocket and zipper compartment that can hold a reservoir.  The vest mesh is 3D and airy and the pockets clothing like soft, a great combination which goes a bit more structure than the clothing like Salomons. Coming 2023.

Smith XC Sunglasses: a “retro shield” 1980’s design. I wear sunglasses over my prescription specs and the XC is the first sunglass that fits over perfectly (and I have tried dozens and dozens) and may in fact  be designed just for me (and folks like). Plus the lenses flip up when you don’t need them. Perfect!

Smartwool GoFarFeelGood Runner Cap

 I am a total run cap geek, having dozens, and this Smartwool takes a different turn. It is made of a light and stretchy fabric with a super thin extra layer of Merino Sport 150 around the lower rim and up the front of the forehead This is about best "feel good" on the head cap I can recall with the Merino not only providing that comfort but also managing moisture, odors, and temperature super well. Ideal for those winter fall runs where a beanie is too much and I expect it will also be fantastic in warmer temps as well.

Mike Postasaki 

Leki Ultratrail FX.ONE Superlite poles - These were a game changer for me, especially in my 100M races. Love the wrist straps and the ability to click in and out easily. Also feels like I can get more power as well as control with each stroke. 

Sally Reiley

Hypervolt Pro 2 - fall 2022 injuries have made a percussion gun a key investment, and this one is fantastic!

Beto Hughes

Coros Vertix 2. Price and metrics plus amazing battery life.

Stryd Pod. If you want to train with power.

Stamina Pro Patches. Easy to use for ankle pains, back pain and running injuries.

Nuun Hydration. Easy to carry and easy to use for traveling and staying hydrated.

Adam Glueck

Michael Ellenberger

Apple Watch Ultra:  This is the year that I felt Apple started targeting the outdoor use case for the Apple Watch more aggressively and specifically.  The battery life makes it a much more capable device outdoors, the titanium and sapphire construction is incredibly durable yet still lightweight and comfortable, and the GPS accuracy and screen brightness are improved.  The built in workout app and compass app (now with backtrack navigation and waypoints) hasn’t fully caught up to Garmin, but with recent updates to routing, running power, etc, it’s gotten so close that the trade offs are minimal.

We’re still in testing, but I’m extremely impressed by the Stryd “Next Generation” footpod. Full review to come!

Please Check out all our 2023 Road and Trail Run Shoe Previews 


15 Brands, Dozens of New Models

Find all RoadTrailRun reviews at our index page HERE
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1 comment:

Mike P said...

Two pics (lower left & lower middle in the collage) feature Incylence socks - great fit (separate left/right socks), and wide variety of colors and patterns to match your shoes and apparel!