Welcome to “On the Run,” a Strategist column where we ask discerning runners to tell us everything they wore and brought on their most recent run, from shoes and socks to headphones and energy gels. Running-gear preferences are very personal and change depending on the season, so instead of declaring one pair of shorts or one sports bra the categorical best, we hope this series captures what works best for one particular runner on one particular run — and that maybe you can find something in it that works for you, too.
For this installment, I spoke with David Siik, founder of the indoor-running class Precision Run by Equinox. Here, he shares everything he wore on an afternoon run through the desert in Palm Springs, where he lives part time, on a clear, 85-degree day with no humidity.
Running shoes from Swiss brand On are easily distinguishable by the signature “cloud” pods lining the sole. These hollow tubes of rubber compress upon landing and rebound when your foot leaves the ground for a springlike feel. They also keep the shoes lightweight, which is one reason why Siik loves them. He says they’re highly responsive on any surface, whether he’s on the sandy trails of Palm Springs or the pavement of cities like Los Angeles and New York. “They’re really universal,” he says. Siik admires the “Swiss engineering” and attention to detail evident in all of the line’s shoes. “Every stitch is just flawless,” he says. For a fun pop of color, he pairs them with custom socks from Fujii Custom Kitsch, hand-dyed by independent artist Carmela Fujii. Siik says, “I’m often a very serious runner, and her bright and fun socks speak to my softer side.”
Siik tells us he feels “very fast” in these short tights from Wolaco that hearken back to his track-and-field days and keep him cool on hot days. “They’re just really well-built,” he says, adding that they have the perfect amount of compression, with enough modesty so that he doesn’t “feel like I’m showing too much when I’m going out on the run.” The shorts also have two ergonomically designed pockets on the sides of the legs, so he can carry his phone and ID without them uncomfortably bouncing around.
The Swift top from Rhone has a perfect “everyday fit” that’s suitable for most runners, straddling the line between a supertight tank top and one that is too baggy, Siik says. “It’s a perfectly cut tank top.” Although “a lot of tank tops claim to breathe really well,” this one is made from a moisture-wicking, lightweight fabric that he finds exceptionally breathable.
“My hair’s not very long, but it’s long enough that it falls down and slaps me on the forehead when I run,” says Siik. “It drives me bananas.” To keep his hair out of his face, Siik wears running hats from Ciele. “I probably own ten of them.” Because they’re designed for running, these technical caps — with a paneled, snapback design inspired by skateboard style — are extremely lightweight and packable. You can even fold one up and stash it in your pocket if you need to. While Siik wears his backward to hold his hair back, he says if you want to flip it around for sun protection, “the bill’s just the right size for that.”
“I’ve tried every single pair of headphones — and there are some good ones out there — but the Jaybird Vista headphones are the only ones that have literally never fallen out of my ears once, no matter how hard I run,” says Siik. Along with a battery life of six hours (and an extra ten with the charging case), the Vista headphones are waterproof, so they can stand up to plenty of heavy sweating. We’ve written about these before, when Strategist contributor Paul Schrodt told us he even “luxuriated in a post-run shower listening to Sade” on the Vistas without damaging them. “I’m slightly obsessed,” says Siik. “It’s the one thing that, if I forgot, I would go home and get.”
As a fair-skinned person who regularly runs in the desert, Siik knows sun protection is important, but it took him a while to find the perfect sunscreen. After trying a bunch that would run down his face or sting and burn his eyes during runs, he was tipped off to this La Roche-Posay sunscreen by a dermatologist friend. “Once it’s there, I don’t notice it anymore,” he says. “It really disappears, and I’ve never been sunburned while using it.”
Siik uses the Equinox+ app to listen to Precision Run classes while he runs. Available for the treadmill or outdoors, the guided runs follow the structure of in-person classes, with intervals of sprinting and recovery. “Although I am responsible for Precision Run, I genuinely love the runs,” he says. “I always promised myself I will never craft a running experience that isn’t my own favorite.” Besides Precision Run, the app offers classes from other Equinox fitness brands, like SoulCycle and Pure Yoga. Siik likes to end his desert runs with a 20-minute HeadStrong meditation (another modality on the app) led by Katey Lewis. “With the [Jaybird] headphones, I feel like I’m sitting in a studio with her,” he says. “She says all the right things, and her voice is so genuine and honest.”
Note: The Equinox+ app is free for Equinox gym members. Otherwise, it costs $40 a month after a seven-day free trial.