Did you know wearing the right gear can improve and enhance the health benefits that come along with running? Our Mercy Health physical therapy and running specialists, Jeff Swartz and Dayna Pirrwitz give you a few tips on getting the right gear for your marathon training:

“Running is a great weight-bearing exercise. Our legs and feet absorb 2.5 – 3 times our body weight with each step which makes it a great exercise for skeletal and heart muscles as well as for our lungs. With the load of running, however, it’s important that you’re maintaining the correct running mechanics while also wearing the right gear to help prevent injury”, says Dayna Pirrwitz. Wearing proper running gear can aid in controlling body temperature and provide support to soften the impact as your feet hit the ground, helping to prevent muscle fatigue and prevent injury.

“Picking the right running shoe can be more of an art than a science. The best running shoe for you depends on the amount of running you do, and your biomechanics”, says Jeff Swartz. All running shoes are not the same. Those that are labeled as running shoes in department stores are not made to hold up to the training loads required for marathoning like those sold at specialty running shops. Staff at your local running shop will be able to perform a fitting to aid in proper sizing as well as determine if you need a little extra stability from your shoe. This can allow you to run more comfortably day after day and with less chance of an injury from overuse.

Think all socks are the same? Think again. The importance of good running socks can’t be stressed enough. Make sure to get running socks that are seamless and have been designed to wick away moisture. This will help to reduce friction and prevent blisters, says Dayna Pirrwitz.

Running tops that are moisture-wicking and are sized so they don’t flap when you run can help you control body temperature and prevent chaffing.

Finding the right running shorts is sometimes worth the extra price tag. Shorts with a waistband you can tie to get a perfect fit as well as those that have an insert can help prevent chaffing on those long training runs. 

Once you have the right gear it’s time to hit the pavement!

Jeff Swartz and Dayna Pirrwitz are physical therapists on the Mercy Health running medicine team, specializing in treating running-related injuries. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit