My Favorite Running Gear | Carmel Wedding Photographer


July 31, 2021

Today I won’t be posting a recent wedding or session I’ve done, or even giving wedding tips. Today I’m talking about my favorite running gear! If you’ve been around here for a little while, by now you know that when I’m not behind the camera capturing beautiful images for my clients, or spending time with my family, I’m usually training for my next race! And while I have no intentions on making this into a running blog, I thought I’d answer a common question that I get all of the time- what are some of your favorite running gear? I’ve been an avid runner for the past 13 years and by now I feel like I’ve tried just about everything! So if you’re just getting started with running as a beginner, or are looking to try something new, these are the products that I use every day, and have for the last few years! Bonus points if you can get yourself a sweet dog like Mr. Milo who also loves to pound out the miles!


Now, I have very flat feet that I was lucky enough to inherit from my dear mother, but one thing I’ve done and stuck to for the past few years is transition to a zero drop shoes. Zero drop shoes is when there is no height different between the heel and forefoot of the shoe, meaning no “heel lift” and less pressure on the ball of your foot and toes which allows for a more natural gait. I used Altra running shoes for the past few years, however about a year ago I switched to Topo Athletic running shoes and have been obsessed ever since! Topo Athletic shoes have a little more cushion for those long runs, and seem to have an even wider toe box to allow your toes to naturally splay when running, minimizing your chance of blisters, bunion pain or black toe nails (if you know, you know.)

Kaitlin Mendoza- an Carmel wedding photographer- tells you her favorite running gear that she loves


Having the right pair of socks can make all the difference! My favorites are Feetures- you can find them at your local running store or HERE for a price that’s hard to beat! Having the right pair of socks is key to preventing blisters, not necessarily the shoes that you’re wearing.


I just ordered 5 more pairs of these shorts, because these are my go to’s whenever their clean! I love all the pockets with zippers so I can store my extra Gu’s, or car keys.

Oiselle OG distance shorts HERE!


I don’t have one go to favorite here, BUT here are where a few companies I love purchasing some of my favorite running gear from!


This is by far one of my favorite pieces of running gear because nothing in it will bounce, or loosen as you run for longer periods of time.

Running Belt

I used to carry my phone which plays my music in an arm band, however in the summer it would chafe on my arm every time I used it so I switched a few years ago to a belt. I wasn’t a fan of belts prior to trying the one I currently have, because no matter what I put it in a belt always seemed to bounce around or loosen up after a while. I was trying to find the link to the one that I’ve used for the past three years, but sadly they seem to have gone out of business! But HERE IS ONE that seems to be very comparable in terms of the material and fit on Amazon!


I only bring water with me on long runs (anything over 90 minutes), and when I do I have either of these with me depending on how far I’m going! **TIP: put it in the freezer an hour before so that it stays cool through your hot summer run!**

Nathan handheld water bottle, Nathan Hydration Vest


When I didn’t really pay too much attention to nutrition until I started running full marathons, because dialing in your nutrition, can be the difference between bonking at mile 20 or reaching a new PR when you cross the finish line! Everyone’s stomach can handle various brands or types of nutrition differently, which means playing around with it during training is key so you know what works for you on race day. Over the years, this is what I’ve found works for me!

Gu’s (one every 45-60 minutes) + Nuun Electrolyte Water Tablets


I bought a Garmin Forerunner 35 five years ago, and I’ve been so happy with it! I’ve never had to replace it or issues with accurate mileage or pace. This is one of Garmin’s cheaper running watches, and honestly even though I run and train a lot, I don’t need anything more than this! It has everything I need, and uploads my workouts straight to an app on my phone if I want to geek out on all the data is gives. This watch even tracks your calories, steps and heart rate in addition to mileage and pace, so it’s also a great option for anyone who just wants to track their workouts for a little extra motivation.

Ear buds

I have very small ears, so the typical airpods and other ear buds don’t fit or stay in my little ears! I found JLab Epic Sport Wireless Ear buds that go over my ear and am able to form them to fit you just right so they never pop out! Also, right now they are 50% off! Their customer service is amazing- I had issues charging a pair in the past and they just sent me a new pair! 

If you haven’t already, follow along on Instagram @kaitlinmendozaphoto to see what I’m currently training for as well as images from my most recent wedding or family session!

  1. […] a runner I am definitely in need of a strength workout to round out all of my running training, and Pure […]

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