My Marathon Gear: What I Use When Running a Marathon [2022 Edition]

Written by Charlie

Here is a list of my marathon gear to show what I normally use when running a marathon. Plus, you will find little bits on deals I use to get them all at big discounts.

I have had some questions about what type of gear I use and wear when running a marathon so here is a post with my marathon gear that works for me! That last part is important – what works for me. I have used the same manufacturers for most of my last 60+ actual marathons and almost all of my 26.2+ mile training runs over the years because I found what is best for me. Maybe it can help you if you are looking for gear that works for you also.

My Marathon Gear: What I Use When Running a Marathon

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The Clothes

For probably the last 10 years or so, I wear almost completely Under Armour clothes. It is what I know best when it comes to sizes, types of “tech” clothing, and the fit and it just really works for me.

The exception is for my 26.2+ mile training runs or ultra marathons. For these runs, I will often wear an old race shirt or something similar. But, my bottoms are 99% of the time Under Armour.

Shopping Deals

I will say this – I buy 99% of my Under Armour running gear from the Under Armour outlet when they are having big sales and I always shop through a shopping portal! If available, I use an Amex Offer on my Amex card. Shopping this way, I can typically get $100 worth of retail pricing gear for around $20-30 when it is all said and done.

  • Shirt – Under Armour Streaker Run Short Sleeve
  • Bottoms – Various, depending on the weather
  • Underwear – I do NOT wear any running gear with liners for the underwear. I found they never work for me and just chafe me more. I typically wear any kind of UA underwear since it does sweat wicking and has decent length.
  • Socks – Under Armour running socks

During the cold running months, if I am running a marathon, I have normally stuck with the same kind of short sleeve running shirt but with arm sleeves since I warm up quite a bit during the race.

The Shoes

Since my first marathon back in 20007, I have worn ASICS Kayano shoes for almost every single run, except trail runs. I used a pair of Saucony racing shoes for a while but have since switched to using ASICS DS-Trainers.I have worn every Kayano model from Kayano 12 to my current, Kayano 27.

Shopping Deals

These shoes retail for $160 but I never buy the current model. I always go one model old and I normally find some really great deals. I have paid an average of about $72 for each pair over the last many years.

During a couple marathons, I have worn the DS-Trainer shoes since they are lighter but they don’t offer as much cushioning. One more thing – I recently tried the ASICS Metaspeed Sky carbon fiber plated shoes but the fit just didn’t work for me and when jogging for warmup, it felt really awkward so I got rid of those.

  • Marathon Shoes – ASICS Kayano 27 / ASICS DS-Trainer 24


Yes, I wear sunglasses in every marathon unless it is pouring rain. I can always put them in a pocket so that is no big deal for me. I have been an Oakley fan for 15 years and the sunglasses I have worn 100% of the time since they came out are the Oakley Flak 2.0, normally with the XL frames.

Shopping Deals

I have my original, custom Oakley Flak 2.0 that I still use that I had bought years ago with a combination of a shopping portal, Amex Offer, and a special 60% discount code someone gave to me. I don’t remember the exact pricing but the $220 pair of sunglasses ended up costing me like $50 out of pocket. Another place I have bought them from is Woot where I have paid around $60 for a pair.

I normally wear a lens that has a bit of contrast and still allows some light to make for easy vision if the sky is overcast. I have never had an issue with the lenses fogging up on me or the glasses bouncing at all, which is why I always wear these.

  • Sunglasses – Oakley Flak 2.0

Running Watch

Since my first marathon in the days of the Garmin Forerunner 201, I always have used a Garmin on my wrist for a marathon. There was one marathon where I used an Apple Watch Series 4 as my primary watch but I had a Garmin on the other wrist.

This last marathon, I had a Garmin on one wrist and a COROS Pace 2 on the other. I actually really love what a great watch the COROS Pace 2 is for its insanely cheap price (in the sports GPS watch market) of $199. I will have a comparison soon but I still prefer my Garmin.

I have owned/used just about every Garmin Forerunner and Fenix watches over the last 10-12 years and am currently using their top-of-the-line Garmin Epix 2. It is easily my favorite Garmin yet, thanks to all the latest tech and Garmin features while having a AMOLED display. But, it is very expensive!

Shopping Deals

I buy most of my Garmin watches with 20% discount codes I am able to get. I may do a post on that at some point but I also don’t want to ruin it so leave a comment if you want me to e-mail you with more detail about these. I typically will be able to sell my previous model for about 60-70% the cost of the new model I am buying to test and use so only ever pay a difference of like 10% from the total price of the new model.

In the case of the Garmin Epix 2, I had credit with Garmin as well as a 20% coupon and shopping portal offer to get a substantial savings. All in, I paid about $50 to upgrade from my Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire to the Garmin Epix 2.

I also can strongly recommend the COROS Pace 2. I really did love running with it and it is so lightweight, which does help a lot in a marathon.

A cool thing? Most Garmin watches now have Garmin Pay onboard which lets you store cards like a Chase card and use it for payment. I used it recently in Stockholm to pay for the metro – quick scan and so easy!

Running Belt

I have been using SPIbelts for years and have given away a bunch of them here on the site as well. I am a SPIbelt Ambassador for 2022 so keep that in mind in this part!

a black waist bag with a cell phone inside

I have used pretty much every iteration of the SPIbelt and am currently using the SPIbelt Dual Pocket Pro. This has two pockets that are the same size and either one can easily hold a large phone like the iPhone 13 Pro Max (I use a 12 mini). The other pocket is great for things like energy gels, wallet, keys, or even something like a camera (I used to keep a Sony RX100xx model in there).

Use code TEAMSPI20 to get 20% off any of the SPIbelts on the site.


Yes, we talked about running watches which are electronics, but this is the extra stuff. There are some races/runs where I will carry a camera with me (I even carried a Sony A7R II and 16-35mm f4 lens to do some filming for a race years ago!) and that is where the SPIbelt pocket can come in handy.

Shopping Deals

Every GoPro I have ever bought and used was at huge discounts. This is thanks to things like Amex Offers combined with deals GoPro runs in conjunction with their subscription service or using Greentoe to name my own price. Otherwise, for things like earbuds, I normally get them with Amazon stacking deals during Prime Day or during Black Friday sales since electronics are always on sale at Black Friday.

For a running camera, I either use a GoPro HERO or a Insta360 GO 2 camera. Both work great and have some nice stabilization to compensate for the bouncing.

I do listen to music or audiobooks when running – all the time. The only time I do not is for races shorter than a half marathon. But, I only ever use one earbud so I can make sure I can hear around me and so I can carry on conversations with other runners.

I have tried a ton of running earbuds and my personal favorite is the Beats Fit Pro which stay in very well and work great against sweat. Another great model is the Jaybird Vista Run either Gen 1 or Gen 2, both are great.

Finally, while I can use my Garmin to have the music on, I always run with my iPhone 12 mini because emergencies do happen. Also, it lets me be able to get directions/uber/etc after a marathon or contact my family when I am done.

Energy Gels

For as long as I can remember, I am a solid GU energy gel user. I use them in training on runs over 12 miles and every marathon (typically one before and then one every 45 minutes / 6 miles). You definitely want to experiment with them during training to make sure your stomach can handle a particular kind and flavor come race day.

I mostly use the Chocolate Outrage but switched recently to the Tri-Berry since they were not as thick. They are a little sweeter so it could be good to switch these up. Or, get a variety pack to find your favorite flavor.


I have been fortunate that the chafing for me has mostly subsided over the years, likely due in part to finding what works for me. But, for certain races or if it will be raining, I use Body Glide for all those areas.

But, for my chest, I actually have used circle band-aids for years and they work fantastic – I’ve never had a problem since I’ve worn those.

Bottom Line

There you go – that is my list of my marathon gear and what I use for running the 26.2 miles! Yes, it is a LOT! Things have come a long way from a painter’s cap and crew socks! 🙂 While I have and definitely could run minimally, these are all things that have helped me to have a more enjoyable experience and also what I found works for me.

What are some things in your marathon gear setup?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.