10 Spring Walking Gear Essentials

Prepare for spring walking

If you don't like the spring weather right now, just wait 10 minutes. You have to be prepared for anything when you go on a spring walk.

1
Capris

Walking in Capris
Walking in Capris. Tobias Ackeborn/Moment Open/Getty Images

Don't freeze your knees. When you aren't quite ready for shorts, capris come to the rescue. You can wear basic black or go snazzy with wild prints from B-Skinz. Sports capris are often fitted below the knee, while yoga style are loose. Start showing those calves! Hmm, I guess that means I'll have to shave my legs...
Favorite Walking Capris

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2
New Fast Shoes

Reebok ZQuick Shoes
Reebok ZQuick Shoes. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Old shoes aren't just grungy, they lose their cushioning and support after 400 to 500 miles of wear. If you've been wearing a pair all winter, it's probably time to replace them. Buy a pair that will see you through the charity walks, training and events in spring and summer. Follow our Shoe Guide advice to select shoes that are flat, flexible, not-flared and that fit your feet. If you want to work on your speed and you don't need motion control, try Reebok ZQuick Shoes.
More: Top Picks for Walking Shoes

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3
Running Shrug

Urban Running Girl Shrug
Urban Running Girl Shrug. Wendy Bumgardner ©

A running shrug is just the arms and shoulders of a long-sleeved technical running shirt. It's a handy item to wear over or under a short-sleeved shirt when you are unsure about the temperature. If you warm up, you can take it off than tie it around your waist like a belt or stuff it in your pack. It's less bulky than bringing along a full layer. I also like to use it to turn my short-sleeved seasonal shirt (such as the Hop Hop Half one with the bunny) into a long-sleeved shirt I can wear during the few weeks it's relevant. The shrugs from Urban Running Girl and Pearl Izumi also have fold-over handwarming cuffs so you don't need to bring along mittens.
Why You Want a Running Shrug

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4
Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Marmot Minimalist Jacket
Marmot Minimalist Jacket. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

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April showers bring May flowers. Don't let the rain stop you -- turn the tables and stop the rain and wind with a waterproof yet breathable jacket. I like the Marmot Minimalist because it is lightweight and packable yet is fully waterproofed and seam-sealed. It has hand pockets to help keep your hands warm and pit zips to allow more air in when you want it. It has the hood -- something I think is essential for walking in the rain. The fabric is soft rather than stiff and plastic-like. It's roomy enough to worn over your other layered clothing.
More: Top Picks for Waterproof Jackets

5
Omron Alvita Ultimate Pedometer

Omron Alvita Ultimate HJ-329 Pedometer
Omron Alvita Ultimate HJ-329 Pedometer. Wendy Bumgardner © 2014

Do you need encouragement to get in your 10,000 steps per day? Upgrade from that freebie pedometer to this advanced design that is accurate worn in any position and is silent. Track your steps, aerobic steps, distance, and activity calories. It has a 7-day memory and you can't accidentally reset it.
Review: Omron Alvita Ultimate Pedometer

Are you ready to pop for a fitness band pedometer? I compare the popular models. My wrist belongs to the Nike+ Fuelband, but I'd be tempted to switch to the Polar Loop.
Top Fitness Band Pedometers

6
Water Bottles and Carriers

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle
Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

You are going to need more water as the weather warms up and you are walking longer. Choose a good quality water bottle to carry in your pack and refill with water or sports drink. If you will be training for long distances, consider a hydration pack so you can sip as you go.
Top Picks for Water-Carrying Fanny Packs
Top Picks for Hydration Packs

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7
Fitness Walking Sandals

ABEO Sandals
ABEO Sandals. Wendy Bumgardner © 2012

Do your toes long for the sun and air after a winter in cute boots? Set them free, but still give your feet the protection and support they need for fitness walking. Then paint your toenails and get a spa pedicure to show off your fit feet.
Tips for Healthy Flip Flops
Top Picks for Fitness Walking Sandals

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8
Let's Sparkle!

Sparkle Athletics Skirt
Sparkle Athletics Skirt. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Costumes and sparkle are a big part of the fun at charity walks and run/walk races. If you've signed up for an event, get your race costume together this spring and test it out on shorter walks. I've been stocking up on bling such as this pull-on sparkly skirt from SparkleAthletic.com.
More: Sparkly and Fun Race Gear

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9
Sport Pocket or Belt

RoosSport Sports Pocket on Waist
RoosSport Sports Pocket on Waist. Wendy Bumgardner © 2013

As the warmer weather comes, you may want to hit the pavement without wearing a pack or a jacket. Now where are you going to put your phone, ID, money, lip balm, etc.? You can add a Roosport pocket or wear one of these non-pack items like a FlipBelt to carry your essentials.
9 Clever Ways to Carry Your Essentials (that aren't a pack)

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10
Lube to Prevent Blisters and Chafing

HikeGoo
HikeGoo. Wendy Bumgardner ©

You are probably a tenderfoot after a winter indoors. You will need to work your way back up to higher mileage. Warmer temperatures also put you at more risk for foot blisters. Be sure to lubricate your feet.
Top Picks for Blister-Preventing Lubricants

But don't stop with your feet, as you sweat more you also risk chafing at your underarms, crotch and nipples.
Top Picks for Chafing Prevention

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10 Spring Walks You Need to Take

Now that you have the right gear, get out and enjoy these 10 spring walks to refresh, energize and rejuvenate.

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