The Best Small, Independent Running Brands Making Strides Now

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When most people think about buying a new pair of running shoes or running shorts, a few billion-dollar brands come to mind: Nike, Adidas, Brooks, and New Balance, to name a few. Sure, you might think, if pros use this gear to win races, won’t it help me run faster? The truth is that it probably won’t—that’s up to your legs. In full transparency, I’m hoping to dispel the myth that big corporations make the best running gear. By most metrics, they don’t.

Start with the obvious evidence to the contrary. Have you ever noticed that every pair of running tights looks the same? Black and shiny with the same pocket layout. Or that running stores have walls of shoes that all look the same? That’s because big brands stagnate, shying away from innovation that’s deemed risky. This creates homogenous shapes, cuts, and colors across the…

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