The Everyman: Does This Look Cool?

Is running gear cool or nerdy? The jury might still be out. Photo:

Face it: We all look geeky when we’re dressed for a run.

After gearing up for a run one evening last week, I looked at myself in the mirror and had to stifle a laugh. Did I really look like that, with my black sweatband around the middle of my forehead?

But the sweatband is a necessity when I’m running or on my bike. Without it, my sunglasses fog up and my eyes fill with stinging, salty sweat. It’s an awful feeling. But I suppose I probably sweat more than the average dude.

I completed the outfit by putting a fuel belt around my waist — above my running shirt, which was not a tight tri top. The belt made me look like a security guard with nothing but a can of mace and a pair of cheap handcuffs attached.

My fiancée saw my ensemble and immediately hurled insults my way.

“Are you really wearing that?”

“You look like some sort of superhero.”

My response: “All I need is a pair of wristbands.”

I did look ridiculous. But since the evening’s roughly 6-mile route had me climbing the same brutal, lung-busting hill three times in 90+ degree heat with humidity, I figured I’d need some liquid to pull me through the run.

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I decided to put a running hat over my sweatband and my fuel belt below my shirt, with the two tiny bottles sticking out the back.

It was a much better look.

But this begs the question: What is cool when it comes to running gear? We all have our race outfits, which compare to what we wore on the first day of school as a kid. It’s always our best — and coolest — stuff.

Training runs are different. I typically throw on a pair of running shorts that may or may not be clean, and grab a random running shirt that may or may not match (or be clean).

Then there’s gear like my sweatband (it works well, by the way), hat, sunglasses and bright-colored Newton shoes. For those of you that wear compression socks, add those to the mix.

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When the temperature drops, I’ll wear arm warmers or even (wait for it)…running tights. Full length. With no shorts over them.

And of course, we all have our watches and heart-rate monitors. Wearing some GPS watches is like strapping a laptop on your wrist. Mine is huge!

Many of us look pretty nerdy out there on the roads. If someone from another planet happened to look down at a Star Trek convention and a marathon, who would look geekier?

The sweatband might tip the scales in our favor.

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