All the gear, no idea: My top gear wins of 2021

Hello folks!

I feel like I have been completely awhol from this blog for a while. I could come up with a bunch of excuses but frankly my incomplete race reviews are either hanging out in draft or on a USB stick at work so they will be up eventually!

With the new year now clicking over and everyone being full to the rim of hopes and dreams and aspirations for 2022 and strangely sentimental and nostalgic for 2021 (I swear I must have been living in a different year than some folks), it’s time for all the review posts and goal setting for 2022 (stand by for that!)

For me here in Melbourne, Australia, 2021 was a pandemic year. The lockdowns were just as long and just as harsh as their 2020 counter parts and I’m sorry to say that I probably didn’t handle them as smoothly as I did the first time around.

Races were few and far between and my enthusiasm for them was just as difficult to schedule and/or locate. (See post about just not showing up or the future DNF post!)

But despite that, my love of running, just that simple act of putting on my shoes and heading out everyday didn’t falter.

So with that said, here are my favourite pieces of gear from 2021!

Shoes

Full disclaimer here, I am no longer sponsored by Altra Running Australia.

Winner: The Torin 5 Luxe

These babies are plush and lush and have cushion and space in all the right places. They have replaced the escalante for me as my every day run shoe!

Loser: Tie! Either Altra Rivera in white or the Torin 5

Here’s my beef with the Rivera. It’s actually a really great road shoe. It sits in the sweet spot between the minimalist escalante and the quite solid Torin. But, and it’s a pretty big but, the colour was a shit show. It ran all over the place and I didn’t go trail running or run through water in them. This is just sweaty feet (I know gross 🤢 but stick with me). Not sure about you guys but I don’t want to have to wash (and wait for them to dry) my shoes every week just so they don’t look like a bad tie dye job.

Now the Torin, oh dear, the Torin 5. Why oh why did Altra add this weird, hard, inflexible tongue to a very comfortable shoe?

Now I have had chafe in some epically strange and unexpected places, but the top of my foot from the tongue of my shoe was a new one. I tried Band-Aid’s and anti-chafe but ended up just making sure I wore the thicker trail socks (in a road shoe!) when I wore the Torin’s.

Shorts

Well this is a new category for me because I’m generally speaking a 3/4 tights gal! But enter Baseline, the active wear brand by Gold Coast gal Ashy Bines.

Now, no matter what you think of her or what you think you know or don’t know about her, her gear is top notch and you simply can’t argue with the quality of each item.

I think I have something from every “collection” that has come out. That’s probably my only criticism of the brand, is that everything is pretty much limited edition and if you get something and love it you might not be able to get it again.

But this hasn’t been the case with my winner of the year; the Baseline Radiance Short tight.

What can I say I love everything about them. They are high waisted and firm and tight enough that I never have to pull them up. They are the perfect length and I don’t have to pull them down. I feel like everything is snug in its place and I don’t have to worry about a thing.

I now have a pair for every day of the week! I hope they come back into stock so everyone can try them out.

Tops

Well this is easier than the shorts! Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!

A female run company from the US, who are signed on to the Clean Sport Collective, are super inclusive in their support of a wide range of athletes of all genders, races and all across the LGBTQIA spectrum and wait their gear is also the absolute bomb. This company ticks everyone of my boxes and turns me into the heart eye emoji every single time.

It’s definitely a tie for winner of the year, between the Basham tank and the EZ long sleeve. I can’t choose, I love them both!

They are hard to get in Australia but you can get direct from Rabbit in the US or through Running Warehouse Australia.

Ok so honourable mentions of the year in gear.

I got a new Garmin Fenix 6 sapphire in January because my 5x plus died. It’s great, but pretty much the same as the one before. Can’t wait to see what’s new in the tech space in 2022.

Masks continued to be a thing in 2021, at race start and finish lines and sometimes through aid stations. I like the trusty Cotton On ones, they don’t fall of your ears and aren’t that annoying bouncing around your wrist.

I was also lucky enough to receive some swag from Altra Australia. Their race bag is the absolute bomb and they should sell them!

I also went kinda tax return crazy and got myself an Insta360 and Insta360 Go cameras. To be honest, I’m yet to see how they are better than a go pro. I find the whole 360 thing super hard to navigate and produce anything that doesn’t make me sea sick.

There was also a brief test of the Fractel flap hat and well it was blowy and noisey and I didn’t rate it. SunSmart but kinda annoying. I fixed it with a hair tie which made it actually kinda versatile.

Now if you have made it this far with your wallet still full, I commend you!

Hit me up with your 2021 best (or worst) running gear.

Also if anyone knows of a peaked beanie solution, hit me up with that too!

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