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Running kit reviews and your questions answered

Running kit reviews and your questions answered

If Kit Stop had its way, all Olympic kit - or at least Team GB's - would actually be designed by Tracksmith, or perhaps, more patriotically, in the UK by Iffley Road. Wouldn't it be great if it were all simple, retro, stylish and wearable for your average runner. Instead we get this. Would any woman really turn up to a small local race wearing that crop-top-and-pants combo and not feel like an utter fool? At least the men's kit is a little more flattering to those with less-than-Olympic physiques, though that's about all you can say for it. So, while I try to track down replica Ethiopian running vests, or some Canadian kit (just because it's the most stylish), or a Czech outfit (at least I can claim some allegiance there) I instead draw your attention to Lorna Jane. The Australian brand is about to launch a transactional site in the UK, and already has a great shop in Covent Garden. For women fed up with black leggings and pink T-shirts - which seem to be default looks - it's a great place for high-quality, technical kit in more interesting designs. That fantastic tropical print above also comes in full length leggings. Gold-winning tunes The swimmers wear them in the warm-up room, the cyclists wear them on the stationery bikes: clearly, to channel your inner Olympian you need these headphones. Towel, swimming cap and goggles or cycling helmet optional, or at least in the gym. Warning: does not come with guarantee of Laura Trott or Michael Phelp's sporting abilities. They do come in a special UK edition though. Available at the Apple store, for limited time only. Kit for kids If replica team kit gives you the horrors, but you have less cynical kids to keep happy, head to Aldi. For bargain prices you can pick up mascots, flip-flops or kids (and adult) kit - like these tracksuit bottoms for £3.99. On the subject of kids, quite a few people have asked me recently where to buy running kit for children. For my money, Decathlon and H&M are the best places to look: good-wearing/washing stuff that won't set you back too much. Your questions I am male with size 9.5 feet. My feet are narrow and I struggle with the width at the front of most running shoes. The blisters are the worst. Any bright ideas? Dominic Running shoes are always tricky to recommend because one man's comfy, long-run shoe is another one's blister-inducing nightmare. Generally, though, Adidas is the brand reckoned to come up narrowest, though they also tend to be generally quite small - many people go up at least half a size in their shoes. Asics Gel Foundations are often the go-to recommendation for narrow-footed types, as are Brooks's Addiction or Adrenaline ranges. One option might actually be to try women's shoes: plenty of women with wider feet do the reverse. Nike, for instance, do go up to a 9.5 in women's, though of course that might still be a bit small for you - it just might be worth giving them a try in a shop on a treadmill to see how they feel. Nike, in fact, used to make a narrow-fit version of their Pegasus, but it doesn't seem to be available at the moment. This article has some good tips for other narrow-fit models. I wonder, though, if you've got the right socks. If you are wearing shoes that tend to be too wide in the toe box, it's possible you might be compensating by wearing thick socks. I think there's a misconception that the thicker the sock (or the double-layered kind), the less likely you are to blister. I actually find the thinner the better, so I would perhaps experiment with different brands. They don't have to be expensive to be the right ones for you: Nike multipacks for a tenner are pretty good, though I remain loyal to Lululemon's. There is a lot of good quality, cheap running kit on the market, and it doesn't have to be a pricey sport, but if shelling out a little more on the right socks ends your blister hell, it's money well spent.

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