I want everyone who physically can to start running, so if there is a way for that to happen I want to encourage it.

On that note the very basic answer to the question “what equipment is needed to start running” is simply that you just need you and nothing else.

It’s not necessarily a pretty picture but running could be started in your living room. No equipment at all, no clothes, nothing even in the room! You can start by jogging on the spot and for those without the confidence to go outside or the money to buy shoes this isn’t the worst option ever!

The next step up from nothing…

I believe you can start with nothing but it’s unlikely you will want to (or may even be legally allowed to) go running outside in the nude. However if you live near a beach or near an area where the ground is safe you can go out and run in a pair of shorts or sweat pants only.

You will have to start slow with the barefoot route and pay close attention to the ground you are treading but it certainly can be done and your feet will harden over time. It’s a perfectly viable option.

Another step up… Shoes…

Ok, now running on the street or anywhere that may not be safe for bare feet you will need shoes. The most sensible advice is that you should go to a running store and get fitted for shoes. If you have the means to do this I highly suggest you do. You can look into traditional running shoes, like my new Mizuno Wave Alchemy shoes, or you can give the minimalist shoe a try.

If you don’t have the means for new $100+ shoes I don’t want that to put you off. Go to a discounted sports shoe store and see what they have. Try the shoes on and get something comfortable even if it is very cheap. Try to go for a regular shoe, nothing specialised to a gait just in case it doesn’t suit you. Of course if you do your research you may be able to pick up a cheap shoe that is suited to your running style so eduction can really help here.


The other option is to go to a charity shop and pick up some used running shoes. Nearly everyone will advise you against this but I just want people to start running. Wash them before wear, be careful and run slow in them to make sure they won’t result in a serious injury. This may not be the best advice but if done with care it can pay off. Of course I can’t be held responsible if it does become a bad choice to do be extremely careful if you take this route! Old shoes can cause injury but may be ok for short distance novice runners.

Other bits

Ideally you’ll want comfortable breathable clothing. Many people wear specialist running shorts with underwear built in, these are cool but I like to wear my underwear separate and do recommend a certain pair (see my post on underwear here). I currently wear a pair of old Nike rugby shorts but am probably due a new pair! Any sports shorts made for long activity are good and you’ll often find soccer shorts at really affordable prices. As for t-shirts the synthetic highly breathable options all sports companies offer are great. Again there are many available at affordable prices.

When this get cold there are excellent warm items available from companies like Asics and Ron Hill. Not cheap but maybe needed for the more serious runners. If you don’t have anything though just try an old fleece and see how you go.

For hydration, carry a water bottle, a watch is great for time and of course if you want to get technical you can carry all manner of equipment.

However at the end of the day very little is actually needed to run.

So, get out there and get running!

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When I can be I am a regular runner but I am also nothing special and certainly no elite, so in that respect I am regular too. However I do love talking about running and related things and I do have a lot of experience, over 15 years now.

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