Picking up running? 5 pieces you need.

It’s a new year and you’ve decided to run a 5k this year. Or maybe a half marathon.

Awesome decision. When I decided to run a marathon, I couldn’t even run more than two miles at once, so you’re in good company if you feel unsure how to get there. I accomplished that goal less than a year later, and I learned a few things along the way that might help you accomplish yours!

These initial pieces will help you get started with your journey, even if you’re on a budget.

1. Shoes.

Running shoes are an investment, so visit a local store near you to get fitted. You might not realize which shoes are right for your foot type, and you don’t want to spend a huge chunk of change online to find out you bought the wrong shoe. Local stores usually will allow you to exchange shoes if you run 5-10 miles and find out the shoes you brought home don’t work. You can also purchase older models if you are looking to save some money. In terms of brands, I’m partial to Brooks because they consistently last for 300-500 miles, and are less expensive than some flashier counterparts.

2. Good Socks.

You might be thinking “seriously, why do I need special socks?” A good pair of socks with targeted compression is a game-changer; you can start with just one pair. The socks provide extra cushioning and help the blood circulate in your feet, so you don’t feel as tired and recover faster. Case and point: before I started using Feetures socks, I my feet would start hurting 4-5 miles into a long run, and they would be sore the next day. When I ran with my first pair, I went without any pain for close 12 miles, and felt 100% immediately after, I kid you not.

3. Tracking Device.

Garmin has a variety of great options for every budget. The affordable Forerunner 25 (less than $100) includes basic GPS and activity tracking. If you want something that looks a little more like an activity band or standard watch, try the vívosport or the vívoactive 3. the benefit for these is that they have more robust activity tracking data, with the inclusion of GPS for outdoor workouts. I personally own the Forerunner 735 XT, which also has the ability to load workouts right into your watch, estimate your workout effort and recovery time, and track swimming and cycling activities (and a ton of other stuff).

4. Safety.

Get some runner’s mace. You never know what you might encounter (animals sometimes freak out)! And make sure any clothing you buy has something reflective on it.

5. Headphones.

Running is a bouncy activity, and a lot of headphones come loose easily. In a pinch, the Panasonic ErgoFit Earbuds are some of the best budget buds out there. If you’re willing to invest, the Bose Soundsport Bluetooth Headphones have great sound quality, are comfortable as heck, and decent battery life.

That said, what goals have you set? I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments.

FYI: FREE TO RUN uses affiliate links, so if you choose to make a purchase, we may make a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks for helping us keep the lights on.

Top active wear picks from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale!

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which allow me to make a small commission on products you purchase at no cost to you. Basically, if you find something you like, it helps me keep the lights on. All opinions are my own.

Alright, who’s excited for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? As many of you may know, this sale is an awesome way to stock up on clothes and shoes for fall, and it comes just in time for back to school shopping! I set aside a little money each year to stock up on some fall clothes, because there’s nowhere else you can find next season’s clothes at last season’s prices.

This year, I wanted to explore what’s in it for the active gals like myself. I’m always on the lookout for multifunctional pieces that are great for running and can be worn outside of the gym. Selection of athletic wear in store is actually somewhat limited, so I’ve scoured the website to find the best pieces (so you don’t have to!).

Side note: some of these products may be temporarily sold out, but I’ve noticed that after the first week, stock tends to be replenished when things get returned. Especially because a lot of these items are pretty niche and don’t have as much stock as the mainstream stuff, I’d check back if you don’t see your size right away – that’s what I’ll be doing, anyway!

Yoga to Brunch

Okay, this outfit is going to be my new Friday morning yoga outfit, because I will not feel like a complete slob putting Women’s Bp. Stitch Curve Hem Cardigan and Women’s Adidas Gazelle Sneaker on as I roll into the office. I admit, these Women’s Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Print Ankle Leggings are a splurge, but they are so pretty and I don’t have anything like them. I can’t wait for them to get here. Smartwool also makes uber breathhable socks, and these Women’s Smartwool ‘Hide And Seek’ No-Show Socks, Size Medium – Black will look nice with the sneakers. Oh, and the Women’s Zella Crop Swing Tank comes in three different colors, so I may have to buy them all. It looks really lightweight and perfect for summer and spring (even though it’s a fall item)! The Women’s Brooks Just Right Seamless Racerback Sports Bra will go under it perfectly.

Run around Town

I’m swooning over this Madewell scarf, and just had to find a way to take it with me to the gym. I think it’ll complement these running shoes (which are a neutral, if that’s your correct fit) and these tights that I LOVE. I actually recently got the capri version in my Mercury Mile box and can’t stop wearing them. The bomber jacket is very trendy right now and so comfy. I think it will go perfectly over this adidas tank and Brooks sports bra (make sure to check out the details on each one – the Brooks’ back is awesome, and the logo on the tank is very subtle, which I love.).

Form and Function

This collection was put together with both pieces you’ll find me running in this winter, and items that I plan to take with me when I travel to Europe this fall. Killing two birds with one stone is essential when you’re traveling, so it would make perfect sense to use these when you’re traveling for a race or something like that when you don’t want to pack multiple outfits for one day. This Zella top is so flattering and feels very breathable, and the sports bra looks super comfy if you don’t need a lot of support, while these trainers would be perfect for long days of walking or going to a class. I can’t wait to try these new socks and I’ve had my eye on a Hershel backpack for awhile. And, on yeah, it’s tough to find a good technical pair of leggings for less than $75, so these Brooks leggings are a pretty good deal (and I love the quality of their gear).

What pieces caught your eye? Let me know – looking at this post during the preview period has made me so excited that I’m dying to chat with people about it. Cheers!


Currently Wearing: Mercury Mile Review

Disclosure: I received a complimentary styling fee for Mercury Mile and a discount on any items I kept as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.[/caption]

I’ve been toying with the idea of trying an in-home styling service (think Stitch Fix or Trunk Club) for some time now, and when I saw Mercury Mile on social media, a similar service specifically for runners, my interest was peaked (shout out to Runny Legs, because I distinctly remember her review). To my pleasant surprise, BibRave partnered with them just a couple of weeks later, so I knew it was something I had to try.

The Craft shorts and Kari Traa top went so well together.

My experience!

The whole process, from start to finish, was easy. Since this was my first trial, I got to fill out a fun style profile to give my stylist a sense of what I was looking for. Then, I selected my shipping date and I was finished.

Let me just tell you that I love ordering boxes when I don’t have to shop for their contents. Something about getting a surprise in the mail feels a little like Christmas or a treat-yourself-day. I checked tracking repeatedly as soon as I got the notification that my box was in the mail, which was super prompt. The day finally came when my first Mercury Mile box arrived!

Checking out my stylist’s notes.

Mercury Mile sent me a total of five items (there’s a star by the one’s I kept):

  1. Craft Eaze Jersey Shorts 
  2. *Kari Traa Nora Singlet
  3. *Adidas How We Do 3/4 Tights 
  4. Run Janji Uganda 4″ Middle Shorts
  5. *Body Glove Pali Tank

Everything I kept.

They nailed it.

My goal was to refresh my running wardrobe with some pieces that I’d feel great about wearing running around town as well as during my runs/other workouts. 

The stylist, Helen, threw in a lot of pieces that seemed really versatile, but had a little something special about them that made them unique. I felt like Helen really tried to anticipate what I’d be interested in – she included a brief reason why she picked each item for me. In the future, I think this will even give her a better sense of what my preferences are.

View of the back details!

The other thing I loved about this services is that I got to try a variety of brands that I wouldn’t have known about. I LOVED the Body Glove tank and Adidas pants that Helen picked out, and I didn’t know they made anything quite like these really athleisure-friendly technical items.

Side note – if you feel like you really like something and feel like you need a different sizes, I ran into this with the Adidas tights and the return process was quick and simple. I just emailed them and they were on it!

Daisy was over it, but I was not!

A note on what I didn’t keep:

While I felt these were all high-quality products, but I discovered I am pretty picky about the shorts I like. The Craft shorts didn’t have built in underwear, though I almost kept them just because they’d be cute for casual wear. The Run Janji shorts were adorable as well, but the fit was a little off on me and I didn’t think it would be solved by switching out sizes.

The Body Glove top and Adidas tights go so well together!

In conclusion…

I’d absolutely recommend this service to anyone who wants to try something new and refresh their running style. Like I said, the stylist really listened to my runner profile and tried to get me out of my comfort zone a bit.

You can try the service for yourself by visiting MercuryMile.com. The code “BibRave10” gives you $10 off styling fee, and the remainder will go towards whatever you decide to keep. So for $10, what do you have to lose?

Have you tried Mercury Mile? Let me know what you thought in the comments. 🙂

9 Texas Girl Tips for Hotter-than-Heck Summer Running

This post contains affiliate links, meaning FREE TO RUN receives a small portion of proceeds from your purchase, at no cost to you.

Independence Day is tomorrow, which means it’s officially summer! Since Texas temps get up into the 100’s on a regular basis for three months of the year, I figured it was high time I shared how to stay cool when all you want to do is bathe in Chick-fil-A lemonade.

Especially if you have your sights set on a fall race, those summer miles have to get done somehow. Here are nine practical tips to help you beat the heat if you can’t stand having an exclusive relationship with the treadmill.

  1. Work up to it. Like any good training plan, it all starts with a mile. You can try running the same distance once a week, then graduate to a longer distance when you feel better about it, or you can see how long you can run outside and add on a little bit each week. If you can only take one mile, maybe you run more frequently than normal, but run shorter distances.
  2. Hydrate. All the time. As a lifeguard, we were always told that if we were thirsty, that meant we were already dehydrated. I try to drink at least a full 8 cups of water each day. I overheat much less easily/see a HUGE difference on the days when I meet my goal. If you get sick of water/want more electrolytes, nuun and Ultima are two of my favorites (full review of Ultima here).
  3. Invest in some key lightweight apparel pieces. I’m not someone who feels comfortable in a sports bra and shorts, so this also makes a huge difference. Here are some of my favorite tank, short, sports bra, hat and sock options.
  4. Time your run with the sun. If you must run outside, try to run as close to dusk as possible, or go in the morning before the sun gets too high (pre-9 a.m.). I prefer the evening because it’s less humid and I’m not a morning person. Even when sweating buckets, I appreciate the cooling effect of sweat evaporating (gross, I know); it somehow feels less muggy.
  5. Bring a towel. Especially if you’re running in the morning, wiping that sweat off of your body will help add to the cooling effect.
  6. Wear sunscreen. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You need sunscreen! Don’t put yourself a an increased risk for cancer. Here’s my favorite facial sunscreen, and here’s a zinc-based option if you prefer that.
  7. Sunglasses. Not only do sunglasses make you look and feel awesome, but blocking the sun from your eyes is helpful for your vision. I also find that it helps keep the sweat out of my eyes. I’m currently loving these from Shady Rays!
  8. Eat lighter. I enjoy eating lower carb/less heavy foods during the summer, because it helps me avoid that really sick feeling when you’ve eaten too much. Feeling better helps motivate me to power through a workout.
  9. Face the inevitability of indoor running life. At least some of the time. Finding a gym with good equipment has really helped here; one of my prerequisites is finding a gym with a track specifically, and second is working TV screens on the treadmills.

That’s everything I do! Let me know if you have any other tips in the comments.

P.S. If you’re planning to do some shopping this holiday, here are a couple of good promos that run through the 4th:

New Balance will give you $10 off $75 + Free Shipping with code FIRECRACKER (some exclusions apply). Runs through 7/7!

Lorna Jane is offering 30% off when you buy 3 or more items with code BUYNOW30. Runs through 7/8!

Currently wearing: FlipBelt Crops (& promo code)

Disclosure: I received a pair of FlipBelt Crops as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Clumsy girl confession: I’ve come to hate carrying things in my hands on my run. Holding onto something like my phone became such a pain after a while, because I constantly drop it.  A lot of leggings provide some sort of key pocket or temporary solution for this, but due to the ever-changing sizes of phones, I feel like there’s always something that doesn’t fit in comfortably, or there’s something to carry. And, of course, other options have a tendency to cause chafing on my hips or bounce.

No more, I say! No more.

Sure, you can just suck it up with these things, but if a seamless solution existed to mitigate these issues, why wouldn’t you try it?

When I was given the chance to try the FlipBelt Crops, I was initially just drawn in by their looks – they seemed like a cute, high-quality pair of black running tights with a decent amount of storage. If they didn’t work out for me, I felt like I’d still come away with something good. After trying them, I realized how thoughtfully-crafted they were.

Not too running-focused, not too gym-focused… just right. 

The FlipBelt Crops are the goldilocks of workout tights. 

The FlipBelt Crops are perhaps the first truly successful multi-functional workout pants I’ve ever owned. I wore them to yoga and had zero issues with them being flexible enough (yes, this can be an issue with other running capris). I was even able to get in a couple of warm-weather miles beforehand wearing the same outfit. So convenient.

With a full waistband of pockets, including a zippered pocket on the back, they’re just so freaking functional. I realized this especially on Cap10K race day, because I wasn’t constantly worried about dropping something. I could slide my things into the handy pockets; they felt incredibly secure, while remaining easily accessible. 

Down dog? No prob.

Here’s everything else these fancy pants have to offer: 

  • The material is a breathable, moisture-wicking, stretchy material. It’s not unlike the material dance leggings are made out of. 
  • I ordered a small, per the sizing chart, and they fit like a glove WITHOUT BEING SEE THROUGH! Hip hip, hooray.
  • The actual design is really flattering, with stitching detail around the calves and a mid-rise waist. Even with my phone in the pocket, I didn’t look like I had a big pooch.
  • I was worried the tights would ride up or down because there was no drawstring, but they stayed in place during my runs.
  • Even though there was no drawstring, my sisters with love handles will rejoice, because there was no unflattering elastic waistband!
  • There’s also a subtle reflective logo on the shin – good for safety purposes.
  • While I generally didn’t worry about my belongings falling out, because the waistband felt perfectly secure, I found the additional key clip on the right side gave me added peace of mind. 

I don’t know how they did all of these things, but these pants are magical.

No more chapped lips during races.


The only thing even slightly disappointing is the lack of color options and lengths. Speaking of lengths, I’m 5’2″ and these fit like a 3/4-length tight, which I prefer.

However, I believe they are a fairly new addition to the FlipBelt line up. My selfish hope is they’ll expand this product line, because I can’t keep these washed often enough and am ready for my second pair.

The FlipBelt Crops are comparable to other running tights in terms of price, at $89.99, and with the code BIBRAVE, you’ll get a 25% off discount on the Crops at flipbelt.com.

What’s your goldilocks, can’t-live-without running item?

Cheers to looking and feeling stylish and comfortable at the same time!

SKINS’ DNAmic Review: the Beauty isn’t Only Skin-Deep

Disclosure: I received a sample of SKINS’ DNAmic Compression Long Tights and Speed Sports Bra as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

One of my goals for the year is to talk more about life both inside and outside of running/fitness, so to test SKINS’ DNAmic line of compression pants and sports bras was a great opportunity to try something new that fits into all aspects of my life. Serendipitously, I was getting ready to replace my one pair of full-length running tights (because it’s rarely cold enough to wear them, I only have one ill-fitting TJ Maxx pair).

The Style.

The sports bra itself is really well made, incredibly flattering and super comfortable. The actual look of it and the details are adorable – I opted for the plum “Exotica” print, which matches perfectly with the “Merlot” pants. The bra also has a very cute translucent detail on the straps, which adds a little extra something to it!

To be honest, I’m actually a reluctant fan of the mesh sportswear trend; when your whole pair of leggings end up looking like they’re all mesh, it seems they’re no longer functional and you might as well just wear shorts. However, I LOVE that these leggings have a super cute mesh accent that makes them trendy, so I can be hip and stylish without detracting from the functionality of wearing a pair of compression pants.

The Substance.

The greater news is that what’s awesome about these products doesn’t just stop at how pretty they are.

Both the pants and the bra have done what they are supposed to do. When I’ve worn the pants, I’ve noticed a difference in my post-workout fatigue; I definitely felt less fatigued, less quickly when running in these pants, and didn’t experience some of the typical soreness after a hard workout. I really do think compression makes a difference in recovery, or at least it does for me.

Additionally, the bra straps are really thick and supportive. For reference, I typically wear size small shirts and am a size 4 in dresses; I ordered the medium per the size guide, which fits perfectly (my band size is a little wider than the average 5’2” person).

The Fit.

I mentioned the fit of the bra, so let’s talk tights.

The size guide recommended a small, and while they’re fine in the length, and they fit tightly. Yes, that’s how compression pants are supposed to fit, but I still think I could have fit a medium because of the waist band. It’s a bit tighter than I’m comfortable with and I am not the biggest fan of elastic waistbands (I prefer the combination of an adjustable waistband and a bit of elastic). The fabric is also a little bit sheerer than I expected, so I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable wearing these for activities other than running.

Both pieces can be found on here in the US at skins.net/usa. $99.99 for the leggings is actually pretty comparable to other luxury athleisure brands, and I really like that these marry both form and function. The matching bra is $49.99, and you can use the code “20BIBRAVE” for 20% for both (as well as any other full priced items).

How has compression factored into your routine? Let me know in the comments.

Cheers to gear that is both cute and functional!

Get on Your Feet with OOFOS – OOmg Low Shoe Review

Disclosure: I received a pair of OOFOS OOmg low shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

For quite some time I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a good casual pair of athletic shoes to wear on the weekends when I want the comfort of a full shoe, without increasing the mileage on my Brooks. When I saw that OOFOS, a company specializing in recovery footwear, was coming out with the OOmg, I thought the shoe might fit the bill.

What’s so special?

For runners especially, pounding the pavement all the time can cause a lot of wear and tear on your muscles/joints, especially if you’re not being smart about it. Sure, having the right running shoe helps, but what you do when you finish running – be it foam rolling, eating protein, whatever – can also help prevent long-term damage by helping you recover.

That’s what makes OOFOS different from other footwear. OOFOS are designed to help you recover faster, with a proprietary foam technology that is lightweight, while absorbing the shock of walking around and staying active after a long run or race. From OOFOS’ research, their OOfoam absorbs up to 37% more impact than regular foam. They also have arch support, while remaining squishy and soft, which is excellent for those tired, swollen feet and helps keep you walking smoothly.

These shoes, in particular, are designed as a “lifestyle shoe” – meaning you can wear them anywhere and they go with clothes other than running gear.

Why I’m a fan

Both trendy and comfy, I have found myself wearing these even more often than I thought possible. I love that they are so breathable that I don’t even have to worry about wearing socks with them. They can also be worn in wet conditions because the foam doesn’t soak up moisture, which keeps them from getting stinky.

They have officially become my new dog-walking shoes, which helps me get a head start on getting rid of the lactic acid build-up. I’ve been experiencing less soreness lately, and I think that’s a large part of the reason why. It’s also nice that I have some shoes I can throw on when I’m running errands after the gym – no more putting excess miles on my running shoes.

They are even washable. Simply regular ‘ole detergent and cold water. Leave the bleach, fabric softener, and use of the dryer for other stuff – no need to use them here.


…with all of the awesome things about these shoes, there are some trade offs. One thing I’m not keen on is the price point ($120). I get that they are priced highly because it’s a unique technology, but I still think they are a little high because they aren’t meant to be worn working out. Competitors in that price category the casual footwear market are comfortable and still make good cross training shoes. I also wasn’t crazy about the white soles. They seemed to pick up dirt far more easily than other white-soled shoes I’ve owned; however, OOFOS does offer the OOmg in other colors (grey and lime green) with dark soles.

Curious to try for yourself? Head on over to the OOFOS website, oofos.com, to purchase your very own pair. Gents, if you’re under a size 10, they also have some available for you, too!

Today’s question: how do you recover from an intense workout?

Cheers to staying active and on your feet.

For the Runner on the Road: Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Review

Disclosure: I received an Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

I often find myself squeezing a workout into the most random places, whether it’s an early morning, Saturday afternoon, or Friday evening before hanging out with friends. Usually, I’m going somewhere before or afterward, and sometimes, I’ll remember a plastic bag to put my wet clothes into when I change. However, I have to admit, I’ve totally forgotten about them before, which results in stinky, smelly clothes. When I heard about the Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport products, I was so excited because I knew they could remedy some of the issues I have with stinky clothes. Whether or not it helps with forgetfulness is to be determined. 😉

At first glance, I thought the Active Set that Eagle Creek sent me had a backpack with an insert to put your clothes into. Once I realized that this was actually a Foot Locker and Wet Dry Fitness Locker for your workout clothes, the wheels started turning. The set so versatile! 

The Foot Locker is simple – just put your shoes inside and go. For those of you with big feet, there is a larger size available. The Wet Dry Fitness Locker has a pocket in the front that is lined to avoid having your wet clothes touch your dry ones. It’s pretty breathable, and there is also a dry pocket on the back side where you can slide in an extra set of clean clothes. 

I knew I could use this for so many more occasions than just back and forth to the gym – I could also use it when traveling! Especially after seeing pictures from the London Marathon this weekend, I’m thinking a runcation is in my future.

However, travel, especially when packing light, means you have to limit the number of bags you take/stuff it all into one bag. I personally dislike having to put my shoes in the same bag as my clothes. They always have dirt, grass or any number of germs on them, and it simply makes me nervous. Now, I don’t have to be.

The other challenge when traveling (especially between multiple cities, like European travel) is either:

a.) not enough space to hang dry clothes right away, or
b.) not being somewhere long enough to let the clothes dry.

Again, theWet Dry Fitness Locker can be utilized to keep the dirty, wet clothes away from the others, until you get somewhere you can dry them. I used this when I was at my parent’s over the Easter holiday weekend; after a hot, humid run, it was super convenient to tuck away my sweat-soaked clothes and unpack them when I got home. 

Only con is that the Wet Dry Fitness Locker doesn’t hold that much. I was able to fit a jacket, tank top, sports bra, socks and capris, but if you have multiple outfits, you may want to consider purchasing an extra pack. 

Have a run-cation planned soon?

The Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set is $40 normally. If you would like to purchase this set, or different items, they’ve offered us the code SPORT15, which you can use for 15% off any of the Pack-It Sport products. You can view all these products here: http://shop.eaglecreek.com/pack-it-sport/l/1505

Cheers to traveling the world as seamlessly as possible!

Where will you go for your next runcation?

Falling in Love All Over Again: UV Reflective Half BUFF® Review

Disclosure: I received a UV Reflective Half BUFF® as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

I’ve written about the UV Half BUFF® before, and was so excited when I found out BUFF® would be sending me a new one – this time with reflective material!

Here’s why I’m in love with the BUFF® all over again.

What makes the UV Reflective Half BUFF® stand out from other BUFF® headwear is that it is half the length of the original BUFF®. This is the perfect weight for summer, and it’s even better for summer mornings and evenings when trying to beat the heat. It’s so important to make sure you are wearing some sort of reflective equipment in low light conditions. No one wants to get run over!

You can also enjoy the same key benefits that are synonymous with BUFF® brand products, including superior odor control. For something that ends up soaking up all your sweat, I can’t stress how important this is. I don’t have a single piece of clothing that’s done as well as BUFF® products have.
I love the versatile, fun, solid colors available. I received the citron color, which is nice and bright. Also love that they are unisex, which is nice if you’re buying as A gift.

As I’ve stated, the UV Half BUFF® was a little stretchier and seemed a little more slippery, but I didn’t have that issue here. 

The versatility of BUFF® Products is another benefit. The UV Reflective Half BUFF in particular offers a method to guard your face from dust and wind, as well as a headband or hair tie. My favorite way to wear is as a headband. It soaks up the sweat and keeps hair off my face during workouts, and it keeps the hair off my neck if I’m wearing it down. Pro tip: during the blistering summer heat, you can freeze your UV Reflective Half BUFF for about a 10 minute cool blast.

You can check out past reviews of the UV Half BUFF®UV BUFF®, Merino Wool BUFF® and BUFF® Hoodie.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – I never met a BUFF® product that I didn’t like.

You can purchase one for yourself at www.buffusa.com for $14.99! It’s comparable in price to so many other headbands I’ve used, but is so much more versatile. 

What’s your favorite BUFF® product?

Cheers to another great BUFF product! 

Currently Wearing: XX2i Brazil1 (Plus a SPECIAL Discount)

Disclosure: I received a pair of XX2i Brazil1 Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Does XX2i sound familiar to you? That’s because I reviewed the XX2i USA1 awhile back. XX2i recently came out with a new line of causal sunglasses, the Brazil1, so I wanted to give them a shot.

To refresh your memory, I loved that the USA1 was fairly comfortable and that the quality seemed great for the cost of the glasses. The Brazil1 sunglasses are different because they’re meant to be worn as casual sunglasses. That is, they are not for running specifically like the USA1.

What I noticed right out of the box is that the Brazil1 comes with many of the accessories that accompany the regular running sunglasses. This includes a nice case, a soft, microfiber pouch, croakies and a set of stickers.


Another benefit is in the lenses themselves. These are nice lenses, and they are also polarized. That’s awesome for those who spend a lot of time outdoors (it reduces glare), like myself. Prescription sunglasses are also available from XX2i. For people like my husband who hate contacts, but are blind without glasses, that’s also wonderful!

Other things I liked about the XX2i Brazil1:

  • The classic silhouette. It’s still on-trend, but a simple style that will be stylish for years to come.
  • There are also a variety of colors available (
  • Unisex design means that, were he wearing contacts, my husband could wear these, too.
  • Lightweight design means they don’t weight my purse down.
  • 365 day return policy: I love that XX2i stands by their products, especially because sunglasses are such a personal purchase.
  • Another example of their commitment to their products is their outstanding warranty. If you break or scratch them, send them back for a replacement. No questions asked (there is a small shipping/handling fee).

img_0169Despite all the positives, there were a few aspects that I was less than enthused about. While on their website, these are listed under women’s specific glasses, these are not made specifically for women. They’re also listed as a men’s style. Like the XX2i glasses before these, the glasses were very large on me because they are unisex and I am a small woman. They fit my husband, but don’t fit me half as well. I would totally recommend them for guys, but the style is very large on me, personally. The frame material also felt inexpensive, and I don’t know if I would pay full price because of that. However, it could be that matte black color has an odd texture/feel.

img_0162Overall, these glasses would make a good gift for a special guy in your life that is constantly outdoors. Today, XX2i has given us a great discount code, bringing the cost for these to $39.99 when you buy them at xx2i.com. The code is BRAZIL1, and it will get you 60% off through midnight Tuesday, November 22. I do think that you get a solid pair of glasses for that cost. The value is definitely there for $40. Who says all the best deals come after Thanksgiving?

Cheers to