10 Running Wardrobe Items You Don’t Want To Admit You Have

If you’ve been running for a while now, you’re almost sure to share some of these items we Saltines had in common floating around in our closets. From amnesia tees to zombie gear, you’re sure to have a few of these yourself!

Too-big-t-shirt1. Incorrectly sized and ill-fitting tee from your first or favorite marathon

Who cares if it’s an unflattering shade of green, two sizes too big, or cut for someone shaped the exact opposite of you? So what? You went sub-xxx for the first time during that race and you’re darn well holding on to this shirt as a souvenir!

2. Nylon shorts from high school

Is it a pair of split shorts from track team or stretched-out poly-blend from gym class? Either way, there’s no way you’re throwing them out. Too many sentimental memories … all those laps! Never mind that you can’t actually wear them because they’re threadbare and see-through and also nearly 20 years old.

3. Zombie throwaways, back from the dead

You’re pretty sure you used those bulky-but-too-tight sweatpants as a throwaway before your half-marathon last year, but somehow they’re back in your closet. Did some good Samaritan spot your husband cheering for you at the start and hand it to him? Did you happen to see them in the box after the race and pick them up? Or, like a certain Saltine, maybe you found the very same ones left behind after a group run. And what’s with the tube-sock arm warmers that haunt your sock drawer? Did you ditch them at mile 6, or just absent-mindedly stuff them into your waistband?

4. Five pairs of your favorite shorts

…which you stalk until they go on sale, then buy another pair, so that you always have enough clothes to run doubles during summer. You can never have too many of the perfect thing, right? RIGHT???

5. Skirt you bought on sale at the tail end of the skirt-trend

Years ago, while everyone was moving on to short-shorts with yoga waistbands, you broke down and finally bought a running skirt. Those little pleats are super cute, but it doesn’t really fit right. It’s ever-so-slightly too big in the waistband, and the built-in bike shorts are ever-so-slightly too tight at the thigh and give you sausage-leg. And you’re not even sure a teenager could get away with the style. How embarrassing. Strictly for laundry day.

that saggy one piece6. A lone, sagging athletic swimsuit

For all the times you swear you’ll start pool-running or swimming as cross-training but never make it to the pool because that thing is cold. Face it, you’ll always prefer to hop on the treadmill instead. And sure, you could wear it recreationally, but it gives you saggy butt and it’s not as cute as your two piece.

A pile of broken watches7. Two or more broken watches

RIP to your fourth Timex Ironman in 15 years. Those were some good times. Get it? Times.

8. Race beanie you only wear for two months of the year

It saved your life — or at least your ears — after that chilly, rainy spring race. But it’s a muddy shade of grey, emblazoned with a screaming orange race logo, and coordinates with literally nothing else you own. You save it for early morning winter runs at zero-dark-thirty so no one can see you wearing it.

9. A shirt from a race you have no recollection of running

You’re dead certain you slept in the morning of the 2007 Plainsfield Turkey Trot 5-Miler, so why do you have the (flattering, perfectly sized) race shirt?

cats cradle with bras10. Pile of old, stretched-out sports bras

Reserved solely for changing into after races and runs so that you don’t have to suffer through Soggy Bra all the way home. Because you absolutely won’t get a ‘good’ bra dirty unless you’re running in it.


Tropical transplant to the chilly Northeast. Professional writer and researcher, cantankerous editor, mom to two! inquisitive children, asker of inconvenient questions.

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  1. Hah this is so true! I am so proud that when I moved a few months ago I donated a few of those shirts that I got from my first races. It was weird because I sometimes still wore them when I didn’t want to get my nicer stuff all gross…and it was a sick comfort, like a lucky shirt. “Remember when I crushed that workout in this shirt? It’s still got the juice!”

    It’s not a wardrobe item, but I also have weird nutrition products that expired or were test items that I will probably never eat…but cannot throw away because I don’t waste 😛

  2. #6 lololol. Not only do I have one, I had to wear it last fall while injured so I could run in the pool. So glad I’m an early riser and was at the pool at 5:30am…

  3. ha ha!
    #1 – saved in a box in my basement for that T-shirt quilt I’m going to sew “one of these days”

    #3 – i’ve had one dollar store pair of arm warmer-socks for like 5 years!

    #5 – I actually wore skirts for a while during the trend, but haven’t touched them in about 7 years but I just can’t bring myself to throw them out

    #7 – i have like 3 semi-working ones so i have back-ups for my back-ups

    #2 and #10 – worn for the gym or for coaching soccer! THROW OUT NONE OF THE THINGS!