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What to Wear for Running?

If you’re a beginner runner, you might be asking, “what to wear for running?” The answer differs based on the weather conditions.

In the cold, you must warm up thoroughly without becoming overheated. The base layer, according to research, is the most important layer for achieving maximum warmth. The outer-layer is next, followed by the mid-layer.

This arrangement, however, varies during the summer. In most cases, you won’t even need an outer-layer during the heat. If all this sounds difficult, don’t worry. We’re here to help you figure out what to wear for a run.

What to Wear While Running?

Choosing what to wear for running shouldn’t be a difficult task. You’ll need a suitable top, pants or shorts, and comfortable shoes. However, choosing the right fit might seem difficult.

1. Tops

Since you’ll sweat a lot, you need to pick a fitting top. A nylon shirt is ideal as it’s both breathable and sweat-wicking. Make sure the shirt is baggy. A loose shirt allows air circulation and won’t overheat you. Furthermore, it will allow for additional flexibility.

For women, you should wear a sports bra. It will support you and help you avoid discomfort. 85% of women who run in a sports bra believe that the sufficient support improves their pleasure of the activity.

To reduce friction, choose a seamless bra or seams with rolled edges. Additionally, covered seams will be a good choice.  The PUMA Seamless Bra is an ideal bra as it’s soft and provides comfort.

2. Pants

You can choose running pants or leggings. It’s advisable to use running pants made of synthetic fabric to reduce sweating.

Another great alternative is to wear leggings, as they’re useful to the body. Leggings give the body extra compression. It increases blood flow and reduces lactic acid, resulting in less muscle stiffness.

Because of its sweat-wicking properties, polyester leggings are the most favorable option. The CAMPSNAIL is great for running.

3. Shorts

You should wear shorts made of fabrics like nylon, spandex, or polyester. The materials are lightweight, smooth, and allow ventilation, so there’ll be no friction. HMIYA is a comfortable polyester shorts that is suitable for running.

Shorts can give a lot of comfort during the heat. You can wear leggings with shorts on top for warmth during the cold.

4. Shoes

Picking the right shoe might shield you from injuries. Running shoes absorb the shock caused by your foot impacting the track. It also offers enough padding for the tension that your feet experience. WHITIN Shoes have a great rubber sole that absorbs shock effectively, similar to the best running shoes out there.

If you run frequently, you’ll want a shoe with plenty of padding to support your heels. If you don’t run every day, you can get a pair of lightweight sneakers. If you struggle with flat feet, make sure you look for suitable shoes.

The Best Materials To Wear While Running

running gear for girls

The materials used in clothing make a significant difference. Hence , you should be aware of the distinctions so that you can properly select the outfit you want to wear.

1. Polyester

Polyester is a popular material because of its durability and lightweight.  It was initially made available to the general public in the United States in 1951. The material was marketed as a fabric that could be worn without ironing for weeks while still looking good.

Because it’s waterproof, it’s perfect for running jackets. The fabric is tightly bound to prevent water from getting through and keep you dry. However, it’s not very eco-friendly.

Polyester also resists UV radiation and keeps you warm even when it’s raining.

2. Nylon

Nylon has a low moisture absorption rate and dries quickly. Because of these properties, it’s ideal for running. Your clothes won’t stick to your skin and cause discomfort.

However, nylon is less absorbent than wool or cotton. It absorbs just approximately 10% of its weight in water.

Nylon is sturdy and long-lasting, so your clothes will last for a long time.

3. Spandex

Spandex is a flexible synthetic fabric that was quite popular in the 1980s. The fabric was mainly for biking shorts, then it grew into other clothing items such as pants.

Its flexibility offers a lot of movement and mobility. The fabric is also breathable, soft, and comfortable.

4. Wool

Wool is ideal for running in all weathers since it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Wool retains water and keeps you dry because of the small air spaces in its texture.

What to Wear When Running in Winter

winter running in the snow and cold

It may be hard to motivate yourself to run in the cold. However, if you dress in the right attire, you’ll remain warm and comfortable enough to run.

1. Dress in Layers

Layering is the best method to dress for cold weather. Layering regulates body heat. Also, it insulates you from the weather.

A Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center physician shared his thoughts about layering. He believes that layering is crucial. It offers adjustability, particularly when transitioning from an extremely cold to a warmer setting.

“It provides versatility, especially if you’re changing from a very cold to a less cold environment.”

Dress in two layers of clothing. Merino wool base layers are ideal for sunny days. They’re warm, absorbent, and don’t retain smell.

To keep your lower body warm, wear long shorts over leggings. Make sure to layer your socks as well to keep your feet warm.

2. Wear a Jacket

After you have layered your base layers, you should wear a jacket. Wind-resistant running jackets, such as BALEAF, can keep you warm as you run and block the wind.  Make sure the jacket is light and breathable so that it doesn’t restrict your movement.

Nylon and polyester are the most common materials for jackets. This makes them waterproof and can block the rain.

3. Wear a Hat

When running in the winter, you should wear a hat or a beanie to reduce heat loss from your head. The Skull Cap Helmet provides a comfortable warm run during the cold days.

If you’d like some ventilation, a mesh hat is the best option. This is because it allows air to move through it. This leads to better ventilation and avoids overheating.

What to Wear When Running in Summer

Running shoes, marathon race bib

It could be tricky to decide what to wear while running in the heat. What you need are breathable clothes and skin protection.

1. Dress in Light Clothes

Because of the heat and sweat, you’ll want to wear loose-fitting clothes. This is to allow your body to ventilate.

First and foremost, stay away from cotton. As you sweat, cotton holds moisture against your body, making you feel wet and hot. Furthermore, it can cause friction. You can wear synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester instead.

Make sure you’re wearing light colors. Light colors don’t absorb heat well. The light colors reflect all the sunlight and don’t absorb heat, keeping your body cool.

2. Wear Sunglasses and Visors

You must fully protect yourself from the sun’s rays and the heat. Therefore, you should wear sunglasses and a visor.

Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun while shielding them from wind and dust.

In addition, you should put on a visor. In the winter, a hat is generally more practical. Visors have an opening at the top. As a result, they provide more airflow than a hat, preventing overheating.

The Adidas Superlite is a good option to consider as it provides a good air flow and is sweat-wicking.

3. Apply Sunscreen

Even if you wear glasses and visors, it won’t be enough. You should always apply sunscreen to your entire face and body. As you’ll be in the sun a lot, you’ll be more susceptible to sunburn and sun damage.

You will need sweat-resistant sunscreen such as Coppertone SPORT Continuous. Regular sunscreen may block your pores, so avoid them. Search for a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.


Knowing what to wear for running is simple. In general, you’ll need weather-appropriate tops, pants, and shoes. The most common materials are nylon and polyester. They’re breathable and mostly weather-proof.

Tip: Make sure to wear a jacket and a hat throughout the winter months. Additionally, wear light clothing and apply sunscreen while it’s hot outside.

Now, you can run comfortably without any worries. Now you know what to wear for running.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Shoes Should I Wear for Flat Feet?

Shoes with a raised heel are best for flat feet. These shoes reduce foot pain by easing the strain on the midsole. Wearing shoes with many paddings and insufficient support allows for excessive pronation.

Should I Wear a Hydration Pack or Fuel Belt?

Wearing a hydration pack or a fuel belt is not required. However, it may be useful. If you’re running long distances, it might come in handy for water bottle storage, which you’ll need.

Should I Wear a Puffy Vest?

Running in a puffy vest is not advisable. Since you’ll already be wearing many layers, your core can overheat.

At What Temperature Should I Wear Gloves When Running?

When the temperature drops below 40°F, you can wear gloves. It will help protect your hands from the weather and keep your hands warm.

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About the author

Jasper loves to write about fitness, running, and anything else that gets him moving outdoors. He's an avid hiker, backpacker, and climber who loves to stay fit so he can make sure he's healthy enough to enjoy his favorite hobbies. He also spends time writing about his true passions in life.