1. Use what works for you, and not because it's trendy, or has a "celebrity" signature line attached to it.
2. It is the runner, not the gear, that makes a runner.
That being said, the stuff I am posting is what I use because it works for me. Go out and experiment.
Kicks: Salomon Fellcross 2 and Speedcross 3. The Fellcross are my go to shoes. Super light. Aggressive lugs for muddy terrain (they even work great on technical terrain). They dry really fast so your feet aren't soaking for long periods of time. The toe-bumper is built like a tank. There have been times when I should have broken a toe or two on the trails from kicking a root or rock, but they saved me from a good deal of pain. I go to the Speedcross when I need a bit more cushioning.
Socks: Drymax Max Pro Trail. Probably the only piece in my kit that I can't live without. They are expensive but worth even more. No blisters, hot spots, masceration, ulcers, etc... Pulls the water away from the feet in minutes. 500 mile tested ;-)
Headlamp: Lupine Piko x4. Ridiculously expensive. Worth every penny. And ridiculously bright. 1200-4500 lumens. You can cook your food with it. Makes your Petzl feel like a kid's toy. Built like a tank. Extremly light-weight. Water-proof. Cold-proof down to 40 below. Tiny rechargeable battery that lasts 58 hours on a moderate setting. Flip on the high beam to replicate a Mercedes-Benz flying down the trails. The most reliable piece in my kit.
Poles: Black Diamond Ultra-distance Z poles. Carbon fiber. They weigh nothing and you can put your full weight into them. Collapse down fast and compact. I have beaten the hell out of mine and I can't break them. I cut off the wrist straps to be able to adjust hand placement for different inclines, terrain, etc...
Back-up: Raidlight Carbon fiber poles. Slightly heavier than the BD poles, but not much. Even more durable than the BD. These come with special gloves that replace the wrist straps, and clip directly between the thumb and index finger. Great leverage.
Gloves: Raidlight fingerless gloves. Great when using poles to prevent blisters. Even better when you take a dive on technical terrain and prevents your hands from being shredded on rocks.
Back-up: Salmon fingerless gloves. Breathe better and have a stow-away wind defelctor. I have a variety of fingerless cycling gloves that work just as well.
Watch: No Garmin for me. I want something accurate, indestructible, and that I don't have to recharge. Casio Rangeman Japanese carbon fiber edition. I use it for food/water alarms and timer. The barometer, temp, elevation and compass are more acurate than any gps watch I have owned or tested. And consistently accurate. But Nick, it doesn't tell you your mileage or heart rate!! I don't care about mileage. I know where I need to be at the given times. And I have an illogical timing method in my head that I can't explain to anyone, but it works for me and it synchs up nicely to my accurate watch ;-)
And heart rate: I'm working hard anyway. Don't need an HRM to tell me something doesn't feel right or if I'm in a proper zone. That won't matter running 500 miles, or perhaps a 1,000 mile.............
Hydro vest: Ok, maybe I have some secrets. I build my own hydro rigs from pieces of other packs. I'm picky. No single pack has ever felt "right" for me, so I decided to piece and sew together the things that did work, and make my own. It's always changing and evolving for a particular race, weather, and problem solving for things like: busted bladders, calorie dispensing, gear storage, preventing frozen hoses, breathability, comfort, etc... I have solved a lot of problems with experimentation and pretty much have a base-line hydro-vest that I can adapt to anything. My advice: don't settle for something if it's not working the way you want it to.
Foot Cream: It's no secret that my feet got destroyed at last year's Peak 500 mile. So, I needed a foot cream to prevent blisters, repel water, and protect against open sores and friction. Some how word got out that, what was in my anonymous, unlabeled jars was vegan-aise, and I was also using it for calories...sure, go with that ;-)
Shirts: EMS long sleeve, and RRS sleeveless. EMS has the best material for keeping you cool and dry.
Shorts: Race Ready. Light-weight even when wet.
Underwear: Under Armor 9" briefs. Prevents chafing. 'Nuff said.