I mean, I guess so. This is going to be a weird post:
I’m a terrible consumer; I love Nike. They are known to be sweatshop giants, but I happen to own a lot of their gear and have found that their sizing works for my body type. On the positive end, Nike runs a great shoe recycling program and is one of the top three companies in a survey of climate-friendly corporations.
As far as running shoes go, I’m a brooks/saucony loyalist. I’ve owned many pairs of nike shoes that haven’t stood as many miles as those two brands. I ran my first marathon in Saucony Cortanas after training through two pairs of their Kinvara 2s. The Cortana is an upgraded version of the Kinvara with slightly more support and cushioning (and bells and whistles tbh). As far as Brooks goes, I wear their PureConnect and Ghost 4s. The Ghost is definitely a long distance shoe (neutral cushioning) compared to the pureconnect which is more of a minimalist ride and has a far smaller toebox. It apparently has less cushioning than their PureFlow, but don’t ask me.
In the end, the important part of buying a running shoe is to get fitted and try as many pairs as you like in the category that fits you best. I’m an underpronator (supinator) so I land on the outside of my foot and roll minimally inward, so I can wear neutral shoes with no support and as much cushioning as I pretty much please. To find out if you are a pronator, get your gait analyzed at a local running store. The shoes aren’t as cheap as you can find them online, but the ability of the store to fit you is priceless. Make sure your shoe fits the amount of cushioning and stability you need for your level of running. Also, make sure the fit is good. If your foot curves a lot and you try on a shoe with a straight last and it rubs you the wrong way, you may need to find a shoe with a more curved last and try it. Not a lot of shoe sites talk about the last of their shoes, which in the end is sometimes the breaking point for buying decisions. Running Warehouse has the best shoe descriptions of any site I’ve found. If it helps, I can piece together a shoe-finding guide if anyone’s interested.
As far as gear goes, wicking everything. I live in New England where there is snow, wind, rain, and an unimaginable range of possible weather conditions. Wicking layers move sweat from the body, not dragging you down when you’re sweating into wet cotton. My key pieces of gear are compression sports bras, wicking baselayer shirts (I like the nike pro combat tshirts) and tempo shorts. If it’s cold I layer under armor thermal tights underneath shorts (or without.. whatever) and add a jacket layer. My FAVORITE jacket of all time is quite possibly this one. I own it in two colors. I’ll wear it 5x in a row between laundry days. It’s truly a masterpiece:
I also own a nike reflective rain/wind jacket that shows up on my tumblr from time to time. I’ll wear that over a long sleeve wicking base layer to keep warm if it’s windy and between 20-30 degrees F. It’s not my favorite, but it does the job. A normal nylon wind jacket and pants will save you on a windy run more than fancy-pants gear will. The bottom line as far as items runners really need is 1) wicking base layers 2) wind resistant outer layers if that’s your climate and 3) a sports bra, if you got the goods.