- BSX Insight
“What to wear running?” you might question if you’re a beginning runner. The good news is that to be a successful runner. You don’t need a lot of fancy running gear or pricey attire. Running is a very low-maintenance sport, and there are numerous money-saving ideas for runners.
With this blog post, BSXInsight will provide options to wear for running at any temperature and over summer. Let’s get started.
Running Clothing Features
When searching for new running gear, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Sweat absorption: Moisture-wicking fabrics pull sweat away from the skin as you run, preventing wetness and chafing.
Rapidly absorbent: Quick-drying materials like polyester and nylon ensure comfort even as you exert yourself and perspire. They dry out quickly to keep you warm if you get caught in the rain shower.
Sun protection: Items with a UPF rating have been shown to block at least 97% of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. With a higher number, you’ll have more safety. For more information, read the Sun Protection Clothing Basics article featured in REI’s Expert Advice section.
Thumbholes: Many cold-weather long-sleeved shirts feature thumbholes at the cuffs to cover your hands and keep them warm without the need for gloves. In addition, they aid in keeping sleeves in place during exercise. The sleeves of some designs can be folded up to create mittens.
Inner liner: Some styles of running shorts feature an inner liner that can be worn on its own as a form of underwear. The liner quickly dries and wicks away moisture to keep you from getting chafed.
Compression: Runners can benefit from the extremely close fit of compression shorts, tights, shirts, and socks.
Packable: Some running jackets and vests can be packed away into their own pockets.
Insulated: Lightly insulated designs add some extra warmth without adding too much bulk.
Chafe-free seams: Seams that won’t chafe while you run are those that are welded or sewn flat and not in places where they could get in the way of your stride.
Mesh vents: They are added to many tops to help with overheating in key areas like the back, underarms, and sides.
Reflectivity: Gear with reflective accents will help drivers see you better if you run at night or in the early morning darkness.
Pockets: Covertly store your driver’s license, bank cards, and house keys in one of these handy pockets. While hidden pockets are more typical of shorts, you can sometimes find them in shirts as well.
Fabrics for Athletic Wear
You can find polyester advertised under many different brand names; all of them promise the same moisture-wicking and fast-drying properties. The unique properties of each of these items are what really make them shine.
Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial, wicks away moisture, dries quickly, and helps prevent odors. As a natural insulator, Merino wool will keep you comfortable in both hot and cold weather.
Nylon: Nylon’s quick-drying, moisture-wicking properties make it a popular choice for use in running shorts, pants, and lightweight jackets, either on its own or in combination with other fabrics.
Equipment For Joggers
Make sure your head and arms are covered as well for optimal ease of movement.
Hats: In terms of temperature, your exposed head is the first to react. A fleece or wool hat is lightweight and compact, making it easy to bring along for winter workouts to keep your head warm. You can also aid your body’s natural cooling mechanisms by wearing a lightweight, airy hat during the warmer months.
Gloves: A pair of moisture-wicking, breathable gloves are recommended for exercise in cold weather. Gloves with a thin liner might be all you need for cool weather.
Socks: It is a good idea because your feet sweat a lot during strenuous exercise. Unless you’re wearing moisture-wicking socks made of synthetic material or merino wool, you might end up with blisters. Wet feet are a common problem in the winter because of this issue. Stay away from cotton socks for anything but the lightest of workouts.
What To Wear Running?
Dressing to run on a cold day might be just as strenuous as the run itself. Layering is essential for staying warm and comfortable when the weather is cold.
In addition to just dressing to stay warm, many of us have to use quite a few accessories to keep us safe on snow and ice. Luckily, this type of weather is relatively universal, and a great variety of gear exists to make cold-weather running more fun.
Below 0 degrees
When the temperature dips below 0, it might be best to stay indoors and hit the treadmill. However, if you’re determined to head outside for a run, ensure you’ve dressed appropriately for the cold weather.
In weather that is below 0 degrees, you’ll need at least two layers on the bottom of your body, plus three on top. A running jacket is best for your top layer to keep you safe from the wind and cold air.
To keep your feet and body warm, wearing thick running socks, a hat, a neck scarf, and mittens or gloves is best. Wearing Gortex running shoes can help to avoid extra air getting in your shoes.
0 – 20 degrees
In temperatures ranging from 0 to 20 degrees, you’ll need to wear when running clothes that keep your body warm and safe from the cold.
To stay warm while running in the cold, you will need at least two layers on top, plus a jacket or windbreaker. Additionally, consider wearing full-length insulated running tights, mittens, a neck scarf, and a hat or headband.
20 – 40 degrees
Although these temperatures are still cold, they can feel like a bit of a heatwave for those of us enduring bitterly cold winters.
When the temperature is between 20 and 40 degrees, you’ll want to have a few layers on, including two long sleeve tops and full-length tights. Gloves and a headband are also good, but you might be ditching the gloves once you start.
Many runners look forward to the change of seasons as winter turns to spring – when the colder weather gives way to sunny skies and blooming flowers. However, this change can sometimes be a mixed blessing, as the return of rain can quickly dampen our spirits.
40 – 50 degrees
Even if it’s in the 40s, you’ll want to wear a long sleeve shirt and either full-length tights or capris, depending on your preference.
If the weather is windy, having a lightweight windbreaker with you may be beneficial to shield you from the elements. A pair of light gloves might also assist keep your fingertips warm at the start of your run.
50 – 60 degrees
If the temperature is in the 50s, you’re in luck: for most of us, these are great running conditions. Learning what to dress in 50-degree weather is the simplest of all because it usually just necessitates a minimal amount of additional gear.
Wear a short-sleeve shirt or a lightweight long-sleeve shirt with capris or shorts in this temperature range. Although it’s really windy, the lightweight windbreakers can help keep you warm in a headwind.
Some runners wear light running gloves at the start of their runs.
60 – 70 degrees
More runner pleasure, please. Temperatures in the 60s are also popular among runners. Now is the time to wear a short-sleeved shirt with capris or shorts. Unless your fingers are extremely susceptible to the cold, running gloves are usually unnecessary.
Things are getting a little hot, so carry a hat or visor to keep the sun off your face and avoid overheating.
When it comes to dressing for summer runs, your running clothes need to do a few things: wick sweat, allow airflow, and protect against the sun. It can be tempting to wear as little as possible, but a better approach is to wear clothes that have been intelligently designed for hotter climates.
Sweat-Wicking Technology to Keep You Dry
Sweat is wicked away from the skin with Dri-FIT technology, which allows it to evaporate. Drawing heat away from the skin keeps your body temperature cool and stable. The breathability of Dri-FIT allows evaporated moisture to escape and disperse. By allowing your skin to breathe, you can avoid overheating.
Sun Protection with Breathable Layers
When running on a hot day, wearing light, thin clothes can help protect you from the sun. UV protection is built into the Nike Dri-FIT UV Essential Running T-shirt to keep you safe from the sun’s damaging rays.
In the areas covered by the garment, this product range provides UVA and UVB protection from the sun. To provide complete UPF 40+ protection, any closures must be fastened. Wear shorts, a loose tank, or a sports bra for women on very hot days (80-90°F or higher).
It’s critical to use decent quality sunscreen on any skin that will be directly exposed to the sun. Choosing dark or brightly colored running attire, in combination with sunscreen, will absorb UV rays rather than allow them to penetrate your skin. This protection will be below, but it can help you achieve your sun protection goals.
Running Hat to Shield
When the sun is bright and relentless, you’ll want to wear a hat to protect your eyes and head from the sun’s rays. Dri-FIT technology under the bill and around the sweatband of Nike running caps keeps you dry and comfortable. When your off-road miles heat up, the lightweight bill provides coverage when you need it, and spacer mesh across the crown keeps you cool.
Water Bottle to Keep You Hydrated
You’re at risk of dehydration in hot weather. Bring a Nike handheld water bottle to stay hydrated on your run. It combines two running basics: a minimalistic bottle and a zipped pocket for small items like credit cards or keys. An elastic strap system allows you to adapt your hold and keeps the secure bottle while on the run.
Fall is a favorite season for most runners, and with good reason. The weather is practically ideal — things are cooling down after a scorching summer running season, and the humidity has vanished. Rain is far less common than spring, and the air feels crisp.
When it comes to choosing what to wear for fall jogging, the same rules apply as they do for spring. If you’re coming off a season of hot weather running, things may feel a little cooler than usual, so keep a light pair of gloves available at the start of your runs.
Deciding what to wear when running may seem impossible at times, but taking the time to check the weather and plan your running wardrobe will always pay off once you’re out on the road.
Choosing the best running gear for the weather will help you feel at ease in almost any climate. Dressing appropriately for the season keeps you safe and gives you the best chance of completing your run.
What You Shouldn’t Wear During a Run?
Now that you know what to look for in good running gear, you should also be advised of features to avoid.
Cotton is a big no-no for runners because once it gets wet, it stays wet, which can be uncomfortable in warmer weather and dangerous in cold weather. Your skin is also more likely to chafe if you’re wearing cotton. Avoid cotton gear and cotton socks.4
Yes, this re-emphasizes the “no cotton” rule, but it’s worth repeating. Sweatpants and sweatshirts were once popular cold-weather running attire. But with the advent of running clothes made from technical fabrics, sweats are considered “old school” among runners. They are fine for short runs, especially when worn as an outer layer, but will usually not be comfortable for a longer run.
Running clothes made from technical fabrics wick away sweat and keep you dry.6 If you wear cotton sweats for a cold outdoors run, you will get wet, stay wet, and then get chilled. Not only could this be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, but your running performance will also likely suffer.
Sweats are great for lounging around the house after a run, but if you want to feel comfortable and look sharp for your cold outdoor runs, stick to running tights, pants, and shirts made from technical fabrics.
Don’t wear a thick coat or shirt when running in cold weather. If the layer is too thick, you’ll overheat, sweat too much, and then get chilled when you take it off. You’re much better off dressing in thin, wicking layers so you won’t sweat excessively, and you can easily remove a layer and tie it around your waist when you start to get warm.11
It is also wise to avoid overly thick socks. Your feet swell when you run, especially during hot, summer runs. If you wear thick running socks, your toes will rub up against the front of your shoes, and you’ll be at risk for black toenails.
Worn Out Shoes
Running in old or worn-out running shoes can lead to running injuries. Over time, your running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning, and stability. Running in worn-out shoes increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints, which can cause overuse injuries.12
Be aware of the signs your running shoes need to be replaced. One of the best things you can do to prevent running injuries is to replace your shoes every 200 to 250 miles.13 You may also consider using two pairs of running shoes, rotating in a new pair when your old pair is about halfway through its lifespan.
New Gear on Race Day
Race day is not the time to experiment with a new pair of running shoes, shorts, or a new sports bra. You should try new clothes and shoes during your training and stick with the tried-and-true favorites you know are comfortable.
A Word From Verywell
This may sound like a lot of gear you need to buy before you can start running but just focus on the basics first. That starts with a comfortable, supportive pair of sneakers that suits your specific needs and goals and a desire to get out there and hit the road.
A Few Tips For Running In Cold Weather
Warm-up Your Core
Some people want their legs to be colder than their upper body. Cold legs are preferable to a cold torso or arms. Figure out what works best for you and make changes as needed. However, it’s a good rule of thumb to dress your core a little warmer than your legs since this will assist keep the rest of you warm.
Put on A Vest
A vest is an excellent way to keep your core warm without feeling hemmed in by a jacket or becoming overheated. Wear a tank top below your base layer if you don’t have a vest. Having that extra layer on your core is beneficial! Take a look at how I’m wearing this vest. I adore it so much that I have it in two different colors!
Make sure your head, ears, fingers, and toes are safe!!
When in doubt, use a beanie because your head loses a lot of heat. You can always get rid of it. If the weather isn’t too chilly, you could use an ear band to keep your ears warm.
I don’t get cold toes very often. I wear thicker socks in the winter, but I don’t buy anything special. However, I am aware that some people suffer from really chilly toes. Therefore, they invest in extra thick winter socks or layer two pairs. If your toes are always cold, I recommend merino wool socks.
On the other hand, my fingers get really cold, to the point where they make me nervous! As a result, I always double-check to ensure they’re warm enough. I’ll even put hand warmers in my mittens or wear thick Gore-Tex ski gloves over my lightweight running gloves.
Deal with Ice – Safely
Some people will put traction cleats, spikes, or ice grips on the bottom of their shoes. YakTrax is a well-known brand. I’ve never tried them, but I know a lot of folks that do. They just connect to the bottom of your running shoe, so if you have a lot of ice days (or snow that compacts and becomes slippery), you might want to think about getting one. Thankfully, we don’t have many icy days in North Carolina!
Please consider safety over getting in the miles if you’re driving to a treadmill because it’s too icy to run outside.
What to wear running for beginners?
There’s a lot of stuff you’ll need to buy before you can hit the pavement, but don’t get overwhelmed. To begin, you’ll need a pair of sneakers that provides the necessary comfort and support for your feet and your goals.
Is it better to run in shorts or leggings?
The best running experience is achieved when the runner wears a long-sleeved pullover, shirt, shorts, and moisture-absorbing socks. As the mercury drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, you may want to trade in your shorts for a pair of leggings.
How much should you wear when running?
The good news is that you can be a successful runner without investing too heavily in expensive running gear or trendy apparel.
What to wear running based on temperature?
Pants or tights and a vest or soft-shell jacket are good ideas when the temperature drops, but keep in mind that you will warm up quickly once you begin moving. When participating in outdoor activities in the winter, it is recommended that you use insulated versions of these items.
What to wear for running the calculator?
Pants, tights, shorts, shirts, vests, and jackets are all good options for runners. Depending on the climate, you’ll need a different set of gear for your road and trail runs.
Running is a great exercise that can help you lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health, and relieve stress. As long as you are properly equipped with the right gear, wearing anything goes when it comes to running. Just make sure that you are comfortable and that your clothing will keep you warm while you run.