Small Business Finds for Walkers

Big box stores and retailers tend to rule on Black Friday. The little guys have their own day now, Small Business Saturday. Some favorite walking gear is made by small businesses who market at race expos. These are all items suitable for gifts, and you are likely to be asked, "Where did you get that?"

Many of these small businesses sell on Amazon or through their own websites. You can avoid crowded malls and big box stores during the holiday shopping season. Save the mall as an alternative walking workout site in foul weather in the hours before the stores open.


Flipbelt Review
This is a go-to utility belt for a 10K or half marathon. You can tuck a lot of essentials into it for quick access. Use it for your phone, snacks, keys (it has a clip to keep them secure) and Kleenex. It's a unisex design and comes in a variety of colors. It's machine washable and ready to go again and again. It was invented by Mia Do, who co-founded the company.


Dan Hopkins wanted an alternative to a headlamp for running or walking at night, and he invented these great lights you wear on your hands. They are better than a flashlight because they are attached with a silicone strap, allowing you to use your hands without having to grip a flashlight. They emit a wide beam so you have good light coverage even with arm motion. Plus, you can raise the light to flash a car if you need to alert them to your presence. The batteries last for over 20 hours.


RooSport Review
Do you need a pocket for your keys, cell phone or energy bar but your pants don't have any? This pouch goes on over any waistband, secured by magnets, and you instantly have the pocket you need without a belt. For travel, it is perfect for keeping ID, cards, and money safe, as well as using while enjoying a walking workout. Inventor Brenda Brundage keeps debuting new sizes as your phone gets bigger.


Orange Mud HydraQuiver Review
The HydraQuiver is a mini-backpack that carries one or more water bottles for quick over-the-shoulder grabbing. Designed and sold by adventure racer Josh Sprague, these appeal to those who hate water-carrying waist packs or hydration bladder packs.


HipS-sister Review
This stretchy accessory is worn on you hips. It has zippered pockets and a top drop-in pocket for carrying your phone and essentials when you workout at the gym, go for a walk or jog, or are just strolling. It's a little more stylish and secure than the Flipbelt. Sonia Kanner is the brains behind HisS-sister.


Old-school terry cloth wrist sweatbands may work OK, but this updated version of supplex comes in great colors, with a reflective logo. It covers your palm and wrist so you can easily swipe away the sweat. It works great during a half marathon walk. Handana was created by Katie Niemeyer.

Sweet Spot Skirts

Sweet Spot Skirts 1500
Sweet Spot Skirts. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Sweet Spot Skirts: Do you love the Lycra but hate displaying your buns in it to the public? You can snap on a Sweet Spot skirt and have an instant, stylish cover-up that won't get in your way while walking, biking or running. It was invented by Stephanie Lynn, the owner/designer. You can shop more small businesses that sell sparkly and run race gear for walkers and runners.


Tom Rutlin has been working tirelessly for decades to bring you great walking poles to boost your walking workout. He has a variety, from single-length poles to adjustable height poles, for fitness walking or for trekking.


Walkapocket. Walkapocket

Walkapocket comes from Cathy Larrick. It's a great updated hip-pack that lies flat. Use it to carry your phone, keys, etc. on walks when you don't want to wear a backpack and you don't have pockets. It's great for dogwalking and is a unisex design.

One More Mile

One More Mile - Almost There
One More Mile - Almost There. Wendy Bumgardner ©

One More Mile gear lets you rock a funny slogan for walkers and/or runners on great tech shirts, hats, stickers and more. They constantly debut new slogans you wish you had thought of. You often see them at race expos and you spend a lot of time laughing.

Go Local for Shoes

Find the independent running shoe store in your area that caters to serious runners. This is where you will get the best, personal advice and service and get the right walking shoes. These stores often have generous return policies and keep working with you until you have the shoes that really work for you.


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