(P.S. I'm in no way affiliated with these brands, I just really like them!)
First you gotta get the shoes. It really is all about the shoes. My best advice is to go to a running store and get fitted! I know you don't want to, but just go and do it. They will be able to tell you what the best shoe is for your specific foot and the way you run. I tend to pronate, so I use a stability shoe. The first time I was fitted the Brooks Adrenaline was what felt best to me, and it's become my go-to running shoe. Some find Asics or Mizunos to be the best for them, but trust me, get fitted at your local running store. You'll get a great shoe probably meet some great people too. And after you find your soul-mate shoe, you can look online and find them on sale.
Obviously, this one is for the ladies. A good sports bra that can keep the girls in check is second to the shoes in my opinion. You gotta find what works for you, but what I like is something that keeps the girls tight and in check. I really like Old Navy Active sports bras (the padded ones will keep you smooth!) and I just tried the VS Sport bras (I like the Incredible and the Standout). They are good for support and not flattening it all out.
The name of the game here is sweat wicking! No regular cotton tees, these tend to weigh tons when they are wet and won't really keep you dry anyways. I love dri-fit/tech tops (cute, snarky, and inspirational sayings are my faves!), and I also have a few long sleeved tops (gotta stay warm and dry when it's cold out!).
Because in real life there is no thigh gap, I like to keep mine covered. I'm also kind short, so I have a lot of capris. Most of my capris are from Old Navy Active. They are cute, inexpensive, and good quality. I always look for ones with a pocket for my key. I also have a few pairs of running shorts, cause Miami can get steamy hot. I need my shorts to be at least 6 inches long, to keep my thighs covered and happy. My faves are from Lululemon, they have TONS of pockets, and don't ride up (and I got them on sale!). Unfortunately, I don't think they make them anymore. I also have 1 pair of running tights for those really cold days. Luckily I had some this year, cause I've had quite a few cold races this year.
I'm a PRO Compression sock girl all the way now. I love their low trainers for when I'm in capris or tights and on super hot days, and their marathon (to-the-knee) socks are great for recovery and on runs too! I started out using some great Mizuno socks that I found at TJ Maxx. You gotta get a sock that works for you, and once you find it, you'll be comfy and blister-free.
I always take my phone on my runs. My phone acts as my entertainment, my timer and my GPS. The apps that I use on my runs are Nike+ Running and IntervalTimer. I also listen to podcasts or books on my runs, I find they keep me more entertained (and not as concentrated on the fact that I don't want to run) than music.
To keep my phone on me during my runs, I had been using an armband, but it started to chafe, and another one I have was just too big for my arm. Now I'm kinda addicted to my Fitletic running belt. It keeps my phone handy, plus I can keep chews in there too. I have one with a bib holder, which is perfect for races.
And I don't know what I did before I discovered Yurbuds. These earbuds are great and don't slip out, even when you're all sweaty, which is key during those long runs.
I'm also a bit of a gadget hog. I have a Fitbit, which I love to keep track of my activity all day. And I also have a Polar Heart Rate Monitor (I have the FT4), to let me know how much I'm really burning on my runs and workouts.
I also like a visor for daytime runs to keep the sun out of my face. I got this one at Target. And I really love the one I got from Sparkle Athletic too.
And that's my favorite running gear for now. I try to keep it all reasonably priced and I know I have way too much of it right now. I feel like I have more running and workout clothes than regular clothes some days.
Do you have running gear you absolutely love? Anything I might have missed?