It’s no secret that running is one of the most enjoyable ways to lose weight, keep fit and maintain a strong cardiovascular system. But to ensure you perform your best when running — whether during training or an important event — you need to wear the right gear.
Gone are the days when people stepped out in whatever shorts or pants and shirt they felt comfortable in. Today, most runners run to compete — no matter if they call themselves recreational runners. And it’s not about competing with other runners (although some do, too). It’s more about improving your personal best (PB) or personal record (PR) each time you lace up your shoes and gear up for a run.
Serious runners want the best results in their next training, 10K, half or full marathon. And if you’re one of those guys, here are some great ideas on running outfits you should be wearing during your runs.
- What to wear when running in hot weather?
- What to wear when running in cold weather?
- What to wear when running in the rain?
- Men’s running clothes FAQs
What to Wear When Running in Hot Weather?
- Top: a performance shirt or a racer tank
- Bottoms: taped shorts or cargo joggers
- Socks: cotton or compression socks
- Shoes: lightweight running trainers
- Accessories: running cap, shades, water bottle and watch
When it’s sweltering outside, the key is to wear lightweight activewear made from performance-enhancing fabrics that wick away moisture and help keep you feeling cool and dry.
Your running top could be a performance shirt or a racer tank top made from cool, breathable fabric. Since heavy perspiration is to be expected during hot weather, go for quick-drying and sweat-wicking materials. Typical activewear fabrics include elastane, polyamide, nylon, cotton or blends of these materials.
For your running bottoms, there are several options, whether you prefer basics or want to perform but stay stylish, too. Choose from cool and comfy taped shorts that help make your running stride easy and effortless. Cargo jogger pants are a fashionable and functional option as they have compartments for all your necessities like your keys, cash, energy snacks, phone, etc.
Cotton can certainly keep you cool. But more than this, you need socks that have a good grip so you can run free from the worry of slipping inside your own shoes — or of your socks rolling downward. If cramping is a problem (and this is quite common during heat training), wear good-quality compression socks to help with circulation.
For summer running, the best kicks that’ll help you log in more miles should be lightweight, supportive and feature mesh fabric (or similar material) on top that’ll keep your feet cool as you pound the pavement.
For summer, always go lightweight. The same applies to your choice of running cap or hat, shades, water bottle and watch.
What to Wear When Running in Cold Weather?
- Top: a moisture-wicking base shirt, a fleece layer or a windbreaker and a running gilet
- Bottoms: moisture-wicking base layer tights and then running tights
- Socks: wool socks
- Shoes: waterproof, breathable running shoes
- Accessories: water-resistant wool-lined mittens, a running headband or buff
Running when it’s chilly or during winter poses an altogether different challenge to the body.
Here, the key is to think of layers — but layers that your body can tolerate as it heats up the longer you run.
Make no mistake, you will still sweat no matter how cold the weather is when you go for a run. However, you do want to reduce the impact of all that perspiration on your performance, so don’t wear cotton that’s sure to soak up sweat. Instead, wear a moisture-wicking base shirt (short- or long-sleeved is fine) to keep the sweat minimal. Depending on your cold tolerance during runs, you can layer a breathable fleece insulating layer on top of this or a running windbreaker. You can then wear a running vest, gilet, or jacket on top of the first two layers. But again, the decision to wear the last top layers is entirely up to you. Make sure to consider the temperature outside when deciding.
When it’s really cold or snowing, you can’t risk exposing your limbs directly to the elements. One way to protect your legs from extremely cold weather is by wearing moisture-wicking base layer tights and then running tights or pants on top.
Wool socks do a great job of keeping your feet warm as you venture out in the cold. If it’s extra cold, you can wear breathable moisture-wicking performance socks underneath your woollen socks.
Winter running shoes should ideally be waterproof, breathable and come with an excellent grip so you can safely run on ice, snow and even mud as the weather starts to warm up. Also, be on the lookout for winter running footwear with a reliable outsole.
Extremely cold weather would require you to wear added protection for your head and extremities. You’ll need to wear water-resistant wool-lined mittens, and probably a running headband or buff.
What to Wear When Running in the Rain?
- Top: a racer tank top and a waterproof rain jacket
- Bottoms: sweat-wicking jogger pants or performance shorts
- Socks: technical run socks
- Shoes: waterproof running shoes
- Accessories: a sports cap or visor
It can be fun running in the rain, but also quite challenging.
When it’s raining, your running clothes will get all soaked up and heavier, so you need to gear up right to have fruitful runs.
You’ll still be sweating even when it’s raining. So again, wear a base layer, preferably a racer tank top or a short-sleeved performance shirt. You can then wear a lightweight, waterproof running jacket on top. If you tend to overheat or prefer no layers and don’t mind getting yourself wet, you can go for a hooded gilet instead.
Avoid wearing bottoms (and tops) made from cotton, especially when it’s raining — unless you’re fine with lugging the extra water weight. As usual, go for sweat-wicking jogger pants or performance shorts. If you can find comfortable, waterproof running pants, much better.
A good pair of technical run socks will keep your feet cool and wick moisture away from your skin to prevent chafing and blisters. Go for performance socks with mesh ventilation under your arch, flat seams and a snug, comfortable fit.
Running in the rain is considerably more challenging, whether you’re running on trails or paved roads. Why? It’s sure to be slippery. This can slow you down and, if you’re not careful, you could get injured. So, go for waterproof running shoes that provide a good grip no matter the surface, and mesh vents on the upper for efficient airflow.
One of the most important accessories when running in the rain is a sports cap or visor that’ll help keep the rain away from your eyes for proper visibility.
Men’s Running Clothes FAQs
What should I wear when running a marathon?
You should wear what you’ve been wearing during your long training runs.
After weeks or months of training for a marathon, you would have figured out already which gear combinations help you perform optimally. Choose that set you run best in for your marathon and wear nothing you haven’t used during training on marathon day.
What should I wear to a mud run?
For a mud run, opt for performance gear, always! For added protection, wear rash guard undies and rash guards on top (long-sleeved) and at the bottom. Don’t forget to wear knee pads and elbow pads, as you’ll surely be crawling on all fours along the way.
What should guys wear under running shorts?
Wearing underwear with your running shorts is entirely optional, as most running shorts already feature an internal underwear section for support and comfort. Just wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and protects you from chafing.