gear of the year


I do not get paid by any of the companies mentioned in this blog. I do a gear of the year round-up every year where I simply let my readers know what great products I’ve found that year!

Inexpensive, polarized glasses that are made to stay on your face. I have a narrow head and the regular sized Goodrs stay on my face throughout my entire run! They don’t slide down your nose and they don’t bounce when your head does.

Plus, the company is great fun and they make all kinds of colors!

aftershocks bone conducting headphones

Aftershocks headphones use bone conduction technology; so the headphones don’t even go in your ear, they simply sit on the outside of your ear atop the jawbone. This technology allows you to listen to music while still being able to hear people, vehicles, dogs, etc. (great for running with a dog you need to give commands to).

Because they do use the bone conducting technology the bass is not at the same level as other headphones are, but the perks outweigh this one downside by far.

If you are a regular reader then you know I have gone through my fair share of GPS watches…but I can finally say I have FOUND MY BRAND! It was Garmin all along. I hesitated to purchase Garmin early on because of the hefty price on their watches. But this last year they released the vivoactive 3 which has ALL the bells and whistles I’ve been looking for and still only cost $200.

Here are a few of the features that I love:

  • Fast connecting GPS
  • Waterproof (and tracks your swimming).
  • Several activities (running indoor/outdoor, weight lifting, cycling, spinning, & MORE)
  • Sleep tracking – including a breakdown of how long you were in each cycle.
  • BEAUTIFUL display in DIRECT SUNLIGHT (WHAT!!!! seriously, you won’t believe how great this is until you see it for yourself).
  • I could go on! But instead, you should just go check out all the amazing features.
garmin vivoactive 3 GPS watch
Girl running with her dog wearing a salomon running vest

So, I oftentimes run with a small hydration pack in the summers, and a flipbelt whenever I need to carry my dog’s poop bags and my phone. But this year I realized I rarely take pictures on my runs because pulling my phone out of my flipbelt is not exactly an easy task while running. So I switched to the vest-style hydration packs that have the pockets on the front of your chest and I’ve really liked it!

I personally have the Solomon ADV Skin 5, which has all kinds of bells and whistles on it! But I can personally attest to how snugly it fits and how you don’t even notice it’s on when you run.

It’s no secret I’m an Altra Running shoe fan! So I’ll be brief about this one. I just wanted to mention how comfy the new Escalante (road shoe) is, AND how well the Superior (trail shoe) fits now that it’s made specifically for a female foot!

altra zero drop running shoes in the color blue
all kinds of running treats

Do GUs make you gag? Yeah…me too! So thank heaven I discovered Honey Stinger this year! They make similar “GU” type packets for instant sugar and a few vitamins, but instead of “GU” it’s HONEY, which is so much easier to each when you’re running. It tastes amazing, it doesn’t make your mouth crazy sticky or “foamy,” plus; it’s a natural sugar that helps your stomach not feel as nasty either.

This is one specific to those that run with their dogs. And perhaps even further specific to those who allow their dogs to adventure off leash at times too. Have you ever noticed how your leash holds on to smells and how every time you go to cuddle your pup he smells like a swamp? It’s those darn fabric collars and leashes! I switched mine out for a biothane version and the yucky stuff wipes off super easily and smells do not stay at all! Joey and I both approve.

Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

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Nicole Hillstead-Jones

Head Coach + Owner