Best Sparkly and Fun Race Gear

More and more races encourage walkers and runners to dress up and have fun. Disney races, Rock 'n' Roll Marathons and Half Marathons, holiday races, team relays such as Portland to Coast, and retro runs inspire you to put on more than just the black running shorts and plain tech shirt. But where can you find race-friendly gear to go glam while still walking or running in comfort? The race expo is a good place to find small companies that specialize in race-friendly fun gear. Here is a sampling of some I have found.


Sparkle Athletics Skirt
Sparkle Athletics Skirt. Wendy Bumgardner ©

I bought a Sparkle Skirt at a race expo and it was just what I wanted to slip on over my favorite racing shorts to add a bit of glam for the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. The skirts are very lightweight, made of sequined fabric, and you really don't know they are there. The sizing is generous, the medium fit me although I usually require a larger size.
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What they have:

  • Pull-on skirts to wear over your own bottoms, sizes XS - XL
  • Race legs: Fun designs of footless leggings. That way you can wear your own performance socks but still glam out.
  • Sleeves: sparkly and fun designs.
  • Headwear: Matching sequined visors and hair elastics.
  • Racing Wings: to wear on your back to be a butterfly, moth or fairy.
  • Sequined wristbands

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Pink Minnie Sparkle Skirt
Sparkle Skirts. Leah Powell

Their SparkleTech basic race skirt is anything but basic -- it has anti-ride undershorts with a 4x5" pocket on each leg, plus a 12-inch zippered pocket in the waistband for more essentials. And these fun skirts aren't just for the Minnie Mouses among us, they come in sizes XS through 3XL. If you are happy with your own race short or tights, the SparkleLight skirts are designed to go on over your own gear and have a small hidden pocket in the waistband. They have coordinating headbands and Sparkle Princess sleeves.
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What they have:

  • Tech skirts with built-in shorts in fun fabric designs including sequined fabric.
  • Pull-on skirts to wear over your own shorts or tights.
  • Matching headbands
  • Sparkly princess sleeves
  • RuffleU Mukluks (ruffled leggings)
  • They can produce custom items and team items upon request, depending on schedule.


Shwings Shoe Wings
Shwings Shoe Wings. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Shoe glam! Why let only Mercury wear wings on his feet? You can add these wings, mustaches, hearts, lightning bolts and more to your shoes. Shwings has clip-on and lace-through designs.

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Racers Wearing Tutus and Bunny Tails
Racers Wearing Tutus and Bunny Tails. Wendy Bumgardner © 2013

There are tutus everywhere at races these days. They go on so easily over your running shorts or tights. I saw a husband running in tutu next to his wife who was wearing a standard tech shirt and shorts. You can find them online or at the store, or pick out your favorite colors of tulle at a fabric store and sew one yourself. My concern was always that the tulle would be scratchy, and I didn't want that on a long half marathon.

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Wildskins Armwarmers

Wildskins Armwarmers
Wildskins Armwarmers. Wendy Bumgardner © 2011

Some outfits aren't complete without armwarmers. Wildskins come in fun fabric designs, from solids to psychedelics. They are functional, too as they have a pocket on one sleeve. You can also find sparkly sleeves from

Leg Sleeves

Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves
Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Review: Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves: You could buy a pair of fun knee high socks to wear for the race, but then you will probably sacrifice the advantage of wearing performance socks that reduce your risk of getting a blister. Luckily, compression leg sleeves are now very common at running events. You can find them in fun colors and designs, and they will even help reduce your fatigue as well as completing your look. And you can wear the same walking socks you trained wearing.

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Tiaras and Sparkly Headbands

Running Princess Tiara Visor
Running Princess Tiara Visor. Running Princess ©

I have a crystal tiara I bought in Austria just because every gal deserves a tiara. I've never worn it on a walk because it won't stay put and I don't want to fuss with it for miles. Running Princess solves the problem with the Tiara Visor, which comes in black, Cinderella blue/white and Princess pink/white, with a selection of rhinestones to add your favorite color. You can also buy sparkly and glittery hairbands and headbands from many entrepreneurs including SparkleSkirts and SparkleAthletic, but also from:
Buy SparklySoul Headbands at Amazon
Buy SweatyBands Headbands at Amazon

B-Skinz Leggings

B-Skinz Leggings
B-Skinz Leggings. Wendy Bumgardner © 2013

Review: B-Skinz Leggings
B-Skinz has a lot of wild patterns for leggings and capris. Zebras, galaxies, psychedelic 60's, or bright solids to complete your race ensemble. They also have all-in-one running skorts, sports bras, tops, and headbands in fun patterns.

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Let's Glow!

LED Lighted Shoelaces
LED Lighted Shoelaces. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

For night races, they may not see your bling unless it lights up or glows. You may shop the race expo for items, or stock up ahead of time with a lighted mohawk or hair extensions, glowing shoelaces, wristbands, hoops and more.
More: Glowing and Blinking Walking and Running Gear

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Mischief Athletic Wear Custom Running Elvis / Elvette Costume

Running Elvis
Running Elvi. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Michief Athletic will whip you up a custom running Elvis pantsuit or Elvette running skirt ensemble, complete with sequins and a cape if you want one. All they need is your measurements and some money. What a great way to enjoy a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon/Half Marathon.
Mischief Athletic

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