The Running Event: The Coolest New Running Gear For 2024 We Saw in Austin

The Marathon Handbook editorial team gives you their top picks!

From November 28 to November 30, 2023, the Marathon Handbook editorial team had the opportunity to attend The Running Event (TRE) in Austin, Texas.

TRE is an annual showcase where all of the best running, fitness, and outdoor recreation brands get together for a huge exposition. 

There are ongoing classes, talks from professional runners, product demonstrations, organized runs, and opportunities to learn what is coming down the pipeline from brands working specifically to make runners’ products and services.

For our team here at Marathon Handbook, The Running Event was a fantastic fit to learn about all of the latest innovations in running gear, running shoes, running fueling and nutrition, and running injury and recovery.

Then, we put on our critical evaluation hats to assess what would be the top running products for our readers—things that really stood out in terms of being unique, filling a void or solving a problem that runners face, improving upon an existing running product in some significant way, or just being downright cool.

The Marathon Handbook team at the Running Event.

While we saw hundreds of new, exciting running gear items, running shoes, running apparel items, accessories for runners, and gifts for runners, we were not able to show absolutely every product for runners that we fell in love with.

However, in this “best running products 2024“ guide, we have rounded up some of our top picks for the coolest, most innovative, and best running gear that we saw at 2023 TRE.

We got to test out all of the running gear that we are featuring below, and they all earned our stamp of approval for being high-quality, high-performing, and definitely, things any runner would love to have on their running gift wish list.

The Coolest New Running Gear From The Running Event 2023

#1: Nix Biosensor

The Marathon Handbook team agreed that the Nix Biosensor might have been the most innovative and useful gadget for runners that we saw.

This wearable hydration monitor adheres right to your upper arm with a sticky patch. It is a little smaller than the watch face of most GPS-running watches.

This unique running gadget analyzes how much sweat you lose as you run and the concentration of the electrolytes lost in your sweat.

As runners, we know how important staying well-hydrated is.

While you can do the water loss body weight test by weighing yourself before and after a run to see how much total fluid you lost, up to this point, there hasn’t been a way to actually know how many electrolytes you are losing.

In addition to having a unique sweat rate, each person has a unique sweat concentration.

Some people are “salty sweaters, “ while others have a more dilute sweat with more water and less salt lost in sweat.

Running coaches and exercise physiologists give blanket recommendations such as “replenish electrolytes with fluids“ when exercise exceeds 60 minutes, but these recommendations for hydration are not customized to the individual.

The need to replenish electrolytes sooner or more aggressively in one runner who follows these same recommendations could lead to electrolyte depletion, whereas another runner who is losing mostly fluid and hardly any salt may not need such a concentrated electrolyte replenishment sports drink.

The Nix Biosensor gives athletes a second-by-second analysis of their total fluid loss and the electrolytes lost in their sweat as they run.

With the free companion app, you can see the relative concentration of electrolytes you should be refueling with in your hydration beverages, even going as far as to provide the specific electrolyte sports drinks that have that concentration of electrolytes in it (for example, Gatorade vs Nuun vs Maurten drink mix, etc.).

This will help you dial in your running hydration precisely and monitor changes over time as you train for a race.

For example, if you are training for the Boston Marathon, your sweat rate and the concentration of electrolytes in your sweat can change from January to April. 

In order to have the most precise race day marathon hydration plan, you can wear your Nix Biosensor during your long runs in your marathon build-up to predict the hydration plan you will need based on the weather come race day.

Overall, we think that the Nix Biosensor does a fantastic job solving a very important issue for runners and endurance athletes.

We were really excited to see it in action as a runner demonstrated the technology while wearing it on a treadmill for a long run in front of us with real-time stats being shown.

#2: Therabody RecoveryTherm Cube

The Therabody RecoveryTherm Cube is an FDA-cleared medical device that provides instant cold, heat, and contrast therapies to treat running injuries, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and maximize muscle and joint recovery after workouts. 

It is super compact, portable, and rechargeable so that you can bring it on the go to races or if you are running at the gym or meeting up with running buddies and want to wear it on the drive to or from the run.

The Therabody RecoveryTherm Cube makes icing and heating painful areas much easier (no more excuses!).

Also, the preset heating and icing treatments use scientifically optimized temperatures and durations for effective relief and recovery anywhere on your body. 

#3: Chirp RPM Rolling Percussive Massager

Another one of our unanimous top picks for the best gift for runners or running recovery innovations we saw at The Running Event was the Chirp RPM Rolling Percussive Massager.

I have previously tried the Chirp Wheels, which are amazing for back pain and improving spine mobility, but the new Chirp percussive foam roller is out of this world.

Think of it as the best massage gun and foam roller merged into one unique, super-effective self-myofascial release tool for runners and other athletes.

There are five speeds so that you can get the right vibration setting based on your body part and tolerance, and this little magic device massages, increases circulation, decreases muscle tension, and seems to get out even the worst muscle knots in very little time.

It could be a game changer for recovery from workouts, reducing muscle soreness and perhaps even decreasing the risk of running injuries.

#4: COROS APEX 2/2 Pro GPS Outdoor Watch 

There are tons of GPS running watches to choose from, and I’ve had the opportunity to test many of the best running watches out there.

However, even though GPS running watches have gotten increasingly more feature-packed and slim, they still tend to be bulky.

The COROS APEX 2/2 Pro GPS Running Watch finally solves this issue.

It’s sleek—dare I venture to say fashionable and attractive—and has every feature runners need.

Plus, the battery life is impressive, even when running continuous GPS. The COROS Apex 2 offers 45 hours of battery life on GPS, while the Apex 2 Pro provides up to 75 hours. 

COROS had ultrarunners in mind with this premium GPS running watch.

There are many helpful recovery features and training support on the running watch and the companion COROS training app.

I also love the COROS Pod 2 foot pod for adding accuracy for trail running or treadmill workouts. I end up doing a lot of winter workouts indoors, and having the COROS foot pod adds accuracy to my workout tracking.

Both of these pieces of running tech are invaluable to runners who want the utmost in performance, ease of use, and aesthetics.

Goodbye, bulky GPS running watch; I’ve upped my running gear to something I actually love to wear all day!

#5: Nathan Laser Light 3 Liter Hydration Pack

Nathan makes some of the best safety gear for runners and the best hydration packs and belts.

The Nathan Laser Light 3 Liter Hydration Pack combines these into one amazingly smart hydration pack.

There are active lights that deliver over 6 lumens of clear light. This is the exact solution most runners need for long runs in the dark.

Plus, as a running hydration pack, the Nathan Laser Light 3 Liter Hydration Pack is super comfortable, bounce-free, and very light, offering up to 3 liters of total storage with an integrated 1.5L hydration bladder. 

The Nathan products have long been part of my go-to running gear, and I hope to get this newest Nathan hydration pack to solve two issues at once. 

#6: OneOdio OpenRock Pro Open Ear Sport Earbuds

I am always looking for the best earbuds for running. 

I do all my training alone, and I like listening to podcasts or audiobooks to accompany me on the road for easy workouts.

Unfortunately, running with regular earbuds or headphones can be dangerous because the earbud blocks out road noise or noise from wildlife if you’re on the trails.

While there are some decent bone-conduction headphones for runners, I find that they give me a headache for some reason, and if they jostle around while you are running, you may not get clear audio.

The OpenRock Pro Sport Earbuds completely solve this issue by using innovative air conduction rather than bone conduction. 

This means that your ear canals remain open to hear your surroundings, but the sound is consistent, crystal clear, and doesn’t send vibrations into your jawbone that cause discomfort.

They also charge super fast and have 19 hours of battery life, which is ample for marathon runners and even most ultramarathon runners.

With the charging case, you get 46 hours of battery life!

I have tiny ear canals, and I love the adjustability of the portion that goes over my ear. 

When I was testing them at The Running Event, I completely forgot that I was wearing something, which is a surprisingly monumental hurdle to clear given that I have tremendous sensory sensitivities.

It’s also great that they have an IPX5 water-resistance rating for running in the rain.

Overall, these are the safest, sleekest, best earbuds for running I have seen.

Best of all, the OpenRock Pro Sport Earbuds sound is fantastic and on par with significantly more expensive running earbuds.

#7: Go Sleeves

Knee pain and shin splints are two common running injuries, and while calf sleeves, knee braces, and Kinesio taping can all be helpful, the GoSleeves combines both of these items in one.

The unique design is comfortable and form-fitting and provides compression and support for the calves, shins, or knees for runners with knee pain, shin splints, tight calves, or who just want to facilitate recovery with the best compression sleeves for runners.

Plus, if you aren’t confident in your ability to properly apply KT tape, the GO Sleeves take all of the guesswork out of it because the proper KT taping pattern is built into the anatomically contoured compression sleeves for runners.

#8: Therabody SmartGoggles

As someone who struggles with anxiety and insomnia, one of my personal favorite products I got to try at the The Running Event was the Therabody SmartGoggles.

Even if you don’t have generalized anxiety or a ton of trouble sleeping, we all know that runners need a lot of sleep for recovery, particularly if you are doing marathon training or hard workouts.

The Therabody SmartGoggles are scientifically proven to improve sleep quality, validated by SleepScore Labs, and help you get into a more relaxed state with a slower heart rate and to help your body restore and recover.

There are specialized biometric sensors that customize treatments using heat, massage, and vibrations to help you focus, sleep, or relax, depending on which of the three modes you select.

I know that in my own training, sleep and recovery are certainly aspects that I could stand to improve to support my workouts, and I think this blissfully relaxing eye mask can certainly help runners like me reach those goals.

#9: Saucony Solstice Oysterpuff Jacket

We may do a completely separate roundup of the best running apparel we saw at The Running Event, but the Saucony Solstice Oysterpuff Jacket is so cool that it had to make this list.

What makes this running jacket extremely unique is that it is made from 100% recycled insulation, largely made from ground-up oyster shells.

Saucony has combined the ultimate in performance with sustainability in this perfect jacket for running.

You might think this would make it stiff or hard, but this is the softest, most luxe running jacket that conforms to your body, hugging every curve as if becoming part of you.

No more swishing sounds or bouncing as you run—just true warmth that also breathes and regulates airflow.

It is the best winter running jacket I have ever tried, and it would also be great for getting to and from runs in chillier weather if you live in a warmer climate and don’t need an insulated running jacket for the workout itself.

While you can certainly keep things simple and run with a good pair of shoes and little to no running gear, adding some of these pieces of new running tech, running apparel, and running injury and recovery gadgets might take your training to the next level.

Perhaps most exciting of all, we got to see some really cool running products that are coming down the pipeline for 2024 but have yet to be announced or released.

But, don’t worry; we have our eyes on all of the brands that we loved at The Running Event, so we can be the first to inform you when these best running products debut for sale in 2024!

Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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