Running, one of the worlds most popular sports, is actually the most ideal of them all. What makes it ideal is the fact that it is a very simple, healthy kind of sport and that it does not entail buying any expensive gear at all.

The benefits are the same but the investment needed is so low. With just the basics (clothing and a sturdy pair of shoes), one can simply get up and run.

Other sports need some very expensive sets of equipments (golf, rock climbing), while others need an organization for one to be able to join (basketball, football).

Footwear

The most important piece of equipment for a runner is a good pair of running sneakers. Quality is important because it avoids injuries and gives comfort while running.

For newcomers who are not savvy enough about running shoes, the best places to go to are stores that specialize in selling running shoes.

(Some athletic equipment stores are also big enough to carry a wide selection of these shoes. They are the second best ones after these shoe specialty stores, in case there are none in your area.)

Shoe specialty stores have clerks that are very knowledgeable about their only wares. Sometimes, these stores videotape their customers running on a treadmill first. This is to check on the customers running styles before making any suggestions.

After making suggestions, the sales person may ask the customer to run in each of the candidate pairs to further determine what pair is best. (Of course, the customer will pick his preference according to what feels most comfortable.)

Socks are also recommended because they are part of the running gear. Socks that do not fit properly or are not designed for running can cause blisters and other foot injuries.

Clothing

A runner should also invest in quality clothing fit for the season. Shorts or pants, shirts in short and long sleeves and with the right thickness should be carefully matched for each season that the runner intends to run.

Clothes which can wick moisture away from the runners skin can help keep the runner cool and dry.

Additional gears

Other pieces of clothing that a runner may bring along include such things as hats and raingears or extra clothing designed for wind protection and other weather situations.

Hats with wide brims protect the eyes from the sun. Waterproof jackets and pants are for runners who do not mind some rain and still do their running.

Some seasoned runners or those who are health-conscious bring with them gadgets to help them in their running program. Speed and distance monitors and watches designed for running are useful but not exactly very necessary.

Heart monitors help the runner tweak his program to ensure he is training at the right intensity. Speed and distance monitors give out data such as how far he has run and how fast his pace he is running.

These little devices (now installed with a GPS system) also allow storing information for future use or reference. Nowadays, some runners fight off outside noise distractions (and probably boredom, too) by listening to music while running. Safety experts, however, discourage this practice while running outdoors to prevent car accidents, muggings and other dangers.