Runners have no off-season, and neither do we. This is the best running apparel and gear we’re looking forward to next year.
The last week in November, the GearJunkie team traveled to Austin, Texas, for The Running Event trade show. Our goal was to get a firsthand look at the latest in shoes, gear, and clothing coming to the running and fitness space for 2023.
After two dozen meetings and a few gear demos on the streets of Austin, here are our editors’ standout picks from the show.
TRE: The Best Clothing and Gear of 2023
New apparel brands are a dime a dozen. But Pressio, a UK-based performance clothing company, debuted this year to the U.S. market with a rare energy around its touted “uncompromised ethical and sustainable approach.”
Co-founder Jamie Hunt, who previously built the successful athletic brand 2XU, was at TRE to ramp up the brand’s domestic push and reveal a sustainability commitment that sets it apart. This includes using Italian-manufactured recycled nylon derived from recovered fishing nets.
And pre- and post-fabric offcuts lessen waste in manufacturing.
But perhaps most interesting is the company’s dyeing process: Pressio dyes “at the yarn level” instead of dyeing finished fabric. This significantly cuts down power usage and CO2 emissions, the brand said.
Pressio is also committed to offering sustainable wear at prices people can afford. One of its performance shirts, for example, is on sale now for about $16.
Outside of physical training, the two most critical performance parameters in long-distance endurance events are proper fueling and adequate hydration. For many runners, creating a hydration plan is a guessing game.
Nix aims to take out that guesswork by providing athletes (of all types) with a personal hydration plan. And it will use sweat analysis to tell you when, what, and how much to drink in real time.
The system reads your body’s biomarkers through a small patch that adheres to your skin. It will then send notifications of when to hydrate, via Bluetooth, to your smartphone.
As a long-distance runner who understands the importance of being adequately hydrated, I’m excited to test out the Nix solution on the road and trail next year.
Article One touts “heirloom eyewear” that is handmade in Italy. And it’s known for collaborations with companies like Tracksmith and Ciele.
This year, additions to its Active line continue the goal of merging high performance with style. Multiple frame models, including prescription options and two “shield” designs for trail running, are coming for 2023.
If you desire, like Article One, to “deliberately resist the current industry aesthetics of technical eyewear,” check out the line.
When Kinesio tape first came to market, many runners swore by its ability to decrease inflammation and pain. But tape can be cumbersome and complex to apply.
Enter GO Sleeves, the “World’s Only Kinesiology Sleeves.” The product line offers a washable, slip-on solution to Kinesio tape that combines the benefits of a compression sleeve with anatomically-supported tape.
Popular for its strength-focused supplements, Gnarly Nutrition has been gaining popularity in the running world. The brand has products for pre-, during-, and post-workout situations with its Performance Greens, Collagen, Whey, and Vegan Protein.
All its products are NSF-certified and guaranteed free of microbe content, heavy metals, and pesticides.
Another plus from the brand: For a sustainability initiative last year, Gnarly switched its packaging from plastic tubs to steel tins and recyclable bags. This year, acknowledging that the recyclable bags aren’t recyclable everywhere, the company told GearJunkie that by 2025 it is “dedicated to finding a more sustainable alternative” for the bags and that it is also working to remove all plastic scoops from its drink mixes.
CEP, a leader in compression socks, showcased an Infrared Recovery Sock that uses minerals in the yarn to “act like a mirror” and reflect the body’s radiation onto the skin. This can help maintain a constant body temperature and improve blood circulation, CEP cites.
The infrared features, in combination with CEP’s medical-grade compression, aim to reduce recovery time after a workout. Note: This is not the first time we’ve seen infrared used in athletic garments. Under Armour and other companies have leaned into the tech, with the Rush line as one past example.
Hovering in a category between energy bar and gel, the super-soft ENERGY product from XACT comes in multiple fruit flavors. The brand, based in Montréal, made its TRE debut this year, and its products will soon be on shelves in the U.S. For its ENERGY line, the company offers orange, strawberry, black currant, and apricot flavors.
We tested them and can validate they are tasty, sweet, and easy to eat. The bars are made of fruit pulp, sugar, pectin, and natural flavors, at 100 calories a pop.
Energy-food brands JoJé, Bonk Breaker, and SaltStick are now under one roof with Alete Active. Each brand revealed new flavors and products at TRE. This included Coconut Pineapple FastChews from SaltStick, which “absorb” through your mouth to replenish electrolytes without drinking water.
Bonk Breaker debuted caffeinated Cola energy chews, and JoJé put out warm samples of its Salted Chai ‘Soft Baked’ bar (we previewed it here on GearJunkie). Yum.
Runners wanting the lowest of low-profile socks can look to Feetures next year. The brand’s Elite Invisible Ultra Light Socks have mesh areas for breathability and a new silicone tape near the heel to help the minimalist sock stay up and in place.
They hit the market in January, ready to run “near invisibly” on any foot.