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First time to the marathon start line: Our top kit picks

First time to the marathon start line.

There's no doubt that when you're heading to the start line of your first marathon, there will be a wave of emotions including excitement, nerves and anticipation! But one feeling that is essential for finishing the 26.2 miles, is comfort.

How to choose the right shoe for you:  Comfort is key

When it comes to lacing up for your marathon, comfort is key. Deciding on the best pair of running shoes to complete a marathon in can be a challenge in itself, having an in person gait analysis in your local shop is the best way to find what shoe best suits your running style. 

Find your local Up & Running shop or use our online shoe finder.

Here are our top picks to keep you striding to the finish line and having your first marathon finishers medal picture!

ASCIS Gel-Nimbus 25

When it comes to comfort, nothing feels better than the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25. Designed to help you feel like you're running on clouds, this neutral trainer is the most recent revamped version of their Gel-Nimbus model.

A soft knit upper that wraps your foot and updated collar structure for better flexibility, giving you a distraction free run, which is key for those longer miles. It can be difficult to know what the right amount of cushioning is, the Gel-Nimbus features FF BLAST PLUS ECO cushioning, giving you the right amount of softness and stability for smoother running.

Shop the Gel-Nimbus 25 here.


New Balance 880 v13 London Marathon Edition

What better shoe to lace up for your first marathon than one inspired by London Marathon 2023? The latest edition of New Balance’s Fresh Foam X line, a range that was designed to show up on the daily when you need it most.

Function meets performance, creating the perfect combination of a plush yet supportive feel that gives you comfort in every step. Featuring Fresh Foam X midsole and NDurance rubber outsole, giving the durability you need to keep up the training in the lead-up to the start line and staying strong until the finish line.

Made with 3% bio-based content made from renewable resources, to reduce carbon footprint. Helping to benefit the planet, alongside the benefits to your marathon training.

Shop the Women's London Marathon 880 v13 and Men's London Marathon 880 v13.

Puma ForeverRUN NITRO

For those runners who need a little support in their step, Puma’s newest arrival could be the one for you. The ForeverRUN NITRO focuses on giving softness in each step, without compromising on the support, featuring a wider medial rubber segment to stabilise late-stage pronation, perfect for supporting your stride as you head for the 26.2 miles.

NITRO midsole advances the foam to provide superior responsiveness, striding away from the cliché of stability shoes being ‘clunky’ and stepping towards a lightweight feel that gives you the energy return you need to complete your marathon.

Take a look at the Puma Collection here.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

A runner's favourite for over twenty years... if that doesn’t say "this could be the one for you" then who knows what will? Brooks are defined by their ability to produce comfortable shoes time after time and their Adrenaline GTS 22 is this season’s pick for those heavier over-pronators that are training towards their first marathon.

With comfort being at the forefront of Brooks shoe development, Brooks GuideRails technology keeps you stable and in your stride, no matter how tired you get. The technology is designed to not only support your arch, but also your feet, knees and hips to keep any excess movement in check.

Pairing DNA LOFT cushioning and the new, softer Crash Pad to give you soft landings and easy toe-off, so you can find your flow and focus on taking in the crowds and enjoy the experience of your first marathon. For those runners who need that extra support to keep their overpronation in check, look no further than Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22.

Take a look at the Brooks Adrenaline GTS collection here.

Socks: Upper ventilation and pressure zone cushioning

Your socks are just as important as your kicks when it comes to marathon day…

Opting for a pair that keeps the blisters at bay and feeling fresh all day, is the key to smiling all the way to the finish line. We suggest a pair that are cushioned in all the right places. Having extra padding on your key pressure points will help keep you forging ahead for longer.

No matter the pace you run, you’re bound to get a little warm at the feet, so pick up something that is designed with channelled air cushioning, or upper ventilation to that makes each step feel oh-so breezy.

Why not try out; Stance Tabbed Socks, Balega Hidden Comfort or Hilly Marathon Fresh

Top and bottom of it... Breathable mesh fabric

Leggings, shorts, t-shirt or vest... choosing what to wear for a marathon can be difficult. The best way to find what works for you is to experiment with different kits in your training runs so you find the perfect kit for a distraction-free race.

Ronhill's new collection has to be our top pick for those heading to the start line for the first time. With the range featuring light and breathable fabric that will keep you cool through the paces, their Tech Tee's and Racer Vest, will give the flexibility and freedom you need for maximum comfort on the way round.

Ronhill's Tech Twin shorts have maximum storage for all your essentials on the day, keeping your fuel and nutrition at hand for when you need that extra boost. The relaxed fit will give you support and movement for each and every step.

Take a look at the Men's Tech Distance Twin Short and Women's Tech Twin Short

Optional accessories: Belt or Vest 

Now your sorted from your top to your toes, here are a few additional extras that may be handy to help you complete your marathon training and get your first marathon medal.


Knowing where to put your essentials can be difficult and everyone has their own preference of where to carry their extra items. Run in a belt or vest and keep all you need and more at hand. Opting for a belt is best for those that like to pack light. For those who like their essentials and have space for more, their vest range could be the one for you.

View the CamelBak collection here.

Nutrition and hydration

Getting your fuel right during your marathon is key to keeping you energised. Trying out different gels, electrolytes and chews during your training will help to find out what works for you, listening to your body and dosing up when you need to.

Take a look at our nutrition range here.

A few words of wisdom...

For those attempting their first marathon (exciting times!), having the guidance of a plan will help you to get the to finish line, whether it be from the marathon organisation, online coach or from your local club trainer. Use your training and long runs to trial your kit, shoes and fuel for the day.

But most of all, remember to enjoy the marathon training journey, it's made up of many miles, all geared to getting you prepared to make the most of your last 26.2. Good luck!



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