The Casual Runner

5 Running Items We Love: QALO, SPIbelt & More

They say all you need to run is a good pair of shoes. I’m not sure who “they” refers to, but as true as it is, don’t you think we should aim for a little bit of comfort? Sometimes, some of the extras are really worth it. And the best extras are the ones you are forgetting you are wearing. From QALO rings to SPIbelts, I’ve written about our essentials.

QALO Silicone Wedding Rings

When I first told Mike about QALO, he said “Those sound awesome, but I am not sure I get it. Why?” Well, Mike. I am here to tell you that I don’t like to be without my wedding ring. I don’t want to be hit on when I am running down the trail. And I don’t want to ruin my wonderful tan line I’ve developed. But most importantly: If I get struck by a car or otherwise become incapacitated, I want any first responder to know that I am married and to try to contact my wife. Hopefully that doesn’t ever happen, but you’ve got to be careful!

QALO Silicone Wedding Rings | Casual Runner

Simple and functional. For a full review, check out our partners over at Bottles & Banter!

So what is QALO? It’s a simple product – a silicone ring to replace your actual ring while working out. They fit great (and have a super simple size chart to help you pick out the proper size!) and have enough texture to keep in place during a long run. And perhaps the best part? They donate 10% of sales of the purple rings to Lupus research!

When I hit the road, I constantly am keeping my ring finger tight to prevent any slippage. But now that I’ve started using the QALO? I can relax and concentrate on the task at hand: not passing out.

SPIbelt: Small Personal Item Belt

SPIbelt is freaking great. I know we wrote about SPIbelt a few months ago, so I’ll keep it brief. I love it because even the tiniest things annoy me. Bouncing, chafing, etc. all get in my head and it’s all I can think of. What else can I say? It gets the job done. So much so you won’t even know it’s there and working.

SPIbelt | Casual Runner

Photo Credit:

Last, I love a good story behind small companies, and SPIbelt provides that! They are made by hand in Austin, TX by a team of folks who really love what they do. And founder Kim Overton is very active within the running community there. From their website:

As runners ourselves, we start our product development process by solving problems. Our experiences on the trail and on the race course drive our products’ function and design. It is also your stories, feedback, and passion that keep us moving forward.

Go Out with a Fitbit Blaze of Glory

This thing is a great mix between the Apple Watch and a Soleus GPS watch. For me, I wasn’t willing to shell out a ton of cash for the Apple Watch, but I wanted more functionality out of a watch beyond running. Enter: Fitbit Blaze. My wife is currently 2 weeks away from our baby’s due date and I want to make sure that when I am on the road I am getting my messages. Even if I ignore the initial text for a PR on my 10k, at least I’ll know what’s happening. Just kidding, mostly. I’ll still high tail it back home secretly hoping for a killer pace.

The most important features include notifications for calls and texts, flawless integration with the Fitbit app (duh?), and a seamless tie-in with Google Maps. When compared to my GPS watch and MapMyRun, it was perfectly accurate. All of that, combined with a nice vibration notification for each mile completed, makes this the perfect companion for keeping pace.

Yurbuds Inspire

These Yurbuds are the best headphones I’ve ever worn. Mostly, the caps make them. They twist and lock in your ear and have grooves to allow ambient noise to pass through for added safety. The one drawback for this is that it can be a bit noisy during a breezy run, but it’s well worth it knowing the other benefits they provide. Never once have they popped out or felt uncomfortable. Much like the SPIbelt, I sort of forget they are there. The sound quality is unparalleled for the price point, too.

One quick tip, though: don’t accidentally get the cloth wrapped cord go in your mouth after a few weeks of sweat being absorbed. It’s a move I regret to this day. That awful taste lasts a lot longer than the next mile to the water stop.

Saucony Running Shorts: Because 3″ Inseam Is Too Much

Saucony Running Shorts | Casual Runner

Photo Credit: Saucony. Since we couldn’t do it justice, here’s their model showing off the goods.

Running shorts are arguably the second most important piece of gear you’ll ever own. Because I’ve run behind folks running with no shoes (and I’ve seen how dirty it gets…), I have no desire to see someone running without pants.

But rejoice, pantless runners! These shorts are so comfortable, light weight, and, well, short. You’ll just forget you’re wearing them entirely. And just as important, they dry quick and are durable. With all of the miles I’ve put on these shorts, they’ve held up perfectly wash after wash. The thing that helps most is that I don’t even really need to put them in the dryer. They dry so quickly that 20-30 minutes after coming out of the washing machine, they are ready to roll.