Favorite Finds of 2023

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I will get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. 

My walking journey has definitely changed a lot since I started out, in the fall of 2019, with some clearance-sale shoes and the old treadmill in the basement.  Somewhere in those four years, I’ve become addicted to discovering new gear, trying new races, and hitting the trail as often as possible with my walking buddies.

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of new things.  I’m always looking for ways to improve, experiment, explore, and just generally change it up (here are some of my tips for changing it up).

During 2023, I tried a lot of new things—probably the biggest of which was this blog.  But, apart from that, here are some of my favorite finds from the past year.

The Columbus Half Marathon
I cut back my race schedule for the second half of this year.  But while I missed out on some of the fall fun, I did get to complete my very first half marathon.  The experience wasn’t without its ups and downs.  It was definitely a learning experience.  But I met some great people, I enjoyed the day, and I even finished with a better time than expected!

I’ve heard a lot of pros and cons regarding the direct-from-China shopping experience, but for cheap gear, you just can’t beat it.  This year, I was able to try out some new gear (from bags to massage guns to cooling towels) and find some great gifts for my walking buddies without breaking the bank.  

Massage Balls
There are so many different uses for these cute little guys, but I keep them under my desk, where I can use them to massage my poor, tired feet all day.  I’ve found them everywhere from Amazon to Temu to the local dollar store—so they’re so cheap that you can keep a pair in every room of the house.

Hilma Shoes
This made-by-women-for-women shoe company makes the kind of shoes that just make my feet happy.  They come in a number of different fits, and you can fill out an online survey to find the fit that’s right for you.  This year, I tackled a quarter marathon, a 10k, and a half marathon in them, and they never let me down.

Bala Bangles
Every time I get on the treadmill, I strap on my wrist weights for a little extra strength training.  They’re just a pound each, so they don’t feel like a strenuous workout, but they’re great for a little extra toning.  I’ve even started wearing them around the house to tone while I do things like watch movies or make dinner.

Oalka Pocket Leggings
This year, we went on a big spring break trip to Orlando, to visit all of the parks.  I found a cheap pair of animal print capri leggings that I figured would be cute for our Animal Kingdom day.  I never know what to expect from cheap Amazon leggings, but these were amazing!  They’re affordable, they’re comfortable, and I don’t have to keep pulling them up.  I loved them so much that I picked up a full-length pair once we got home—and I have so many more on my wish list.

Sunscreen Stick
During the sunny summer months, sunscreen is so important.  When we went on our Disney trip this year, I decided to pick up a sunscreen stick and pack it in our bag for easy reapplication.  Once we got home, I picked up more of them, and I kept them everywhere—including my gear bag.  They’re a great way to apply sunscreen to your face and neck (and the tops of your ears!) without the mess.

Rechargeable Hand Warmers
My hands are pretty much always cold—and that’s even worse in the winter months.  But now, instead of layering on a bunch of gloves for my winter walks, I pack my rechargeable hand warmers.  They may be a little bulky, but they’re a great way to keep your hands warm on those wintery walks.

Hydration Vests
When I was training for my first half marathon, I picked up my first hydration vest, and I fell in love.  While it’s definitely handy to have that extra pack for long walks on extra-hot days, I didn’t even use the pack for my half.  I did, however, use all of the extra pockets to hold my water bottle and snacks.  Because if I’m walking 13.1 miles, I’m gonna pack a lot of snacks.

Walking Shirts
Ever since I started my walking journey, I’ve been keeping an eye out for fun walking shirts.  In those four years, I found two—and I was afraid to wear them because I didn’t want to wear them out.  So I decided to create my own!  You can find your own in the all-new Will Walk for Coffee Etsy shop.  And if you have any suggestions for new designs, let me know.  I’m working on all kinds of cool new ideas for 2024!

I definitely made some great discoveries in 2023!  I tried new clothes, new gear, new trails, and new races—some great, some not so great.  And I’m excited to discover more in the new year!

What about you?  What were your favorite new discoveries of 2023?


Kristin has been hitting the trail (or the treadmill) for a walk almost every day for the past several years, and she recently completed her first half marathon. She loves sunny fall days, cushy walking shoes, and coconut caramel iced coffee from Dunkin.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *