You may have tried running before, but have you ever wondered what the best clothing choice is for your run? We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips and tricks on how to dress for your next workout.

Running is a great way to keep in shape, and it’s also a fantastic way to get some fresh air. But if you’re new to running, dressing for it can be tricky—especially if you’re not used to being outside in the elements.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for runners that will help you stay comfortable and keep your body temperature regulated. Here are some tips for what to wear on run:

What to wear on run

If you’re a runner, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the phrase “what to wear on run” before.

But what does that mean? What is the right thing to wear? What are some things you should avoid wearing? How do you choose the right pair of shoes for your body type and running style?

But it wasn’t always easy—there have been times when I didn’t want to run, and times when it was really hard. That’s why I started this blog! To share my experiences with you guys, give advice on how to get started with running, answer your questions about what gear you should use if you’re new to running, and let you know about any deals or special promotions that are happening at [store name].

The weather is getting warmer, and you know what that means: It’s time to get outside and get moving!

Running is a great way to stay fit and healthy, but it also has its own set of challenges. How do you know what to wear when running? What are the best ways to keep cool? Which shoes should you choose?

Wear a rain jacket if it’s raining and layer according to the colder temperatures.

You’ll need to focus on entirely different things when you’re running under different temperature conditions. For the spring and summer months, ventilation is key. The more breathable your clothes are, the more comfortable you’ll feel. But for the cold winter months or wet-rainy days, your clothes should be made of insulated material and you should dress in layers.

Light-colored, sweat-wicking gear is essential when temperatures exceed 90°F.

This kind of weather is extremely hot so ventilation is critical. Running in light-colored singlets and shorts is ideal. Some women run in their sports bra and some men run shirtless. Make sure you apply sunscreen! Moisture-wicking socks help keep your feet dry. You sweat a lot, so quick-drying material can wick away sweat without slowing you down. A hat and sunglasses are crucial too as they will protect your head and eyes from the sun’s rays. Pro tip: here are some additional ways to beat the heat.

This kind of temperature is still warm for most runners, especially if it’s muggy with humidity. Again, running gear that’s light-colored and wicks sweat is ideal. Shirts, singlets, and shorts will work in these temperatures. Wear reflective running gear and follow these safety tips if you run in the early morning or evening.


Leggings and a pullover are great to wear running as temperatures begin to drop.

When the temperature begins to drop, that usually means runs are getting longer and longer. You might still wear a shirt and shorts, but you might also include a thin pullover. It’s a good idea to dress in layers if needed because you can always take off the pullover and tie it around your waist. As your miles increase, make sure you properly recover by following this long-run recovery timeline.

This temperature range is ideal for most runners. Opt for your favorite running shirt and a comfortable pair of running shorts. Don’t forget your pullover. As temperatures begin to drop, you’ll want to wear a hat to help keep your head warm.

This kind of temperature can be extremely pleasant for an outdoor run. A long-sleeved pullover, shirt, shorts, and moisture-absorbent socks will set you up for a great running experience. As the temperature falls below 45°F, consider swapping out your shorts for leggings. Wear a hat or beanie to keep your head warm. Consider gloves if your hands take a long time to warm up. Follow this 10-minute warm-up to get your body ready to run in the colder temps.


Moisture-wicking socks and comfortable shoes are essential for all temperature ranges.

This is when you’ll start to feel chilly on your runs. It’s time to start layering! You’ll need at least two layers on top, running tights, and wind/waterproof gloves. Add a third layer on top if you don’t like the cold. A headband or beanie can keep your ears warm. Moisture-absorbent socks are still necessary.

It’s time to bring out your lightweight jackets! A base layer and two long-sleeved tops will keep you warm. Add your lightweight jacket on top of that to prevent yourself from feeling cold. You’ll also need thick running pants. Alternatively, consider thermal leggings and wear your running shorts/capris/track pant on top of it. Add your moisture-absorbent socks, warm gloves/mittens, and a cap for your head, and you’re ready for your outdoor run!

Even if you live somewhere where the temperature can go from crazy hot to biting cold within the same year, you can keep up with your outdoor runs with the right outfits. This is the complete list of clothes you need to run for any temperature. As long as you dress accordingly and know what to wear, you can knock out those runs and keep your training on schedule.

But if you want your runs to be as comfortable and safe as possible there are certain essential running items you should consider adding into your activewear collection.

Running Shoes
When you get started as a runner you’ll need a good pair of running shoes that are the right fit for you. Wearing the wrong type of shoe is actually one of the most common causes of running injuries.

When shopping for running shoes, don’t pick a pair just because you like the brand, style, color, or price. You definitely don’t need to buy the most expensive pair in the store, but investing in a good pair is a smart idea that will help prevent injuries and make for more comfortable runs.

If it’s your first time shopping for running shoes, visit a running specialty store where experts can evaluate your foot and running style and recommend the right shoes for you. The staff will measure your foot, watch you run on a treadmill, and analyze your gait. Some stores even allow you to take them out on the road in the area.

During that visit you want to be sure that you are wearing run-specific socks when you try on shoes.2 The thickness of the sock will change the fit of the shoe. If you don’t have a pair with you, ask the salesperson for a pair to borrow.

Features to Look for in Running Shoes
Consider these factors when buying a new pair of running shoes.

Cushioning vs. lightweight. Shoes that are heavily cushioned are great for new runners—especially those that are heavier. However, cushioned shoes usually weigh more and may feel clunkier during a run. Try lighter weight shoes and cushioned shoes to see what you prefer.
Reflective surface. If you plan to run in the evening or early in the morning, consider a pair of shoes that include some sort of reflective material. You’ll be seen by drivers and cyclists more easily when you wear them.
Tread. Think about the surface where you are most likely to run. Will you run on a treadmill? On the road? On trails? On a track? Trail running shoes will have a deeper thicker tread than shoes designed for treadmill, track, and road running.

Quick Tip: Once you know the right running shoe for your style and gait, you can shop around for deals when it’s time for a replacement pair.

Running Clothes
When you’re first getting started with running, you don’t need to rush out and buy a whole new wardrobe of running clothes—unless that’s really important to you. But if you want to pick up a few new items, here’s where to start.

Running-Specific Socks
It’s a smart idea to avoid wearing 100 percent cotton socks as a runner. If you wear cotton socks, the moisture won’t get wicked away if your feet sweat or if you step in a puddle.2

Instead, wear running socks that are a synthetic blend to help prevent blisters.3 Look for materials such as polyester, acrylic, and CoolMax. For winter running, wool blends like SmartWool are a good choice. Some runners even choose to wear double-layer socks for additional blister protection.

The style of the sock is up to you. Some are cut very low close the ankle. You’ll find others that are ankle height and there are even some compression socks that extend over the calf. Choose the style that works best for you and that works for the weather. Many runners choose lower socks in the summer and higher socks in the winter.

What Are the Best Socks for Running?
Technical Running Clothes
Running specific clothes are lightweight and designed to move with your body. Seams are placed in areas to enhance movement and where they are less likely to chafe. Also, many running-specific clothes are reflective so that you stay safe when running in the dark.

Running gear is usually made from fabrics including high tech versions of nylon, wool, or polyester. During cold weather running, running in technical fabrics will help keep you dry and warm. On hot weather runs, they will wick the sweat away from your body and help prevent chafing.4

Technical fabrics also hold up a lot better through use and washing cycles than workout clothes made of cotton. Both cold and warm weather gear may incorporate vents to increase breathability.

Quick Tip: When you go for a run, be careful not to overdress. Once you warm up, your extra body heat will make it feel about 15 to 20 degrees warmer. For example, if the temperature is above 55 degrees outside, you’ll probably be fine running in a T-shirt and shorts.

Supportive Sports Bras
Women should make sure they’re wearing a good, supportive sports bra designed for running or other high-impact activities. Try it on and test it out by running in place and jumping up and down. Your sports bra should fit properly and not be too stretched out.5

If you have a large chest and have had trouble finding a comfortable, supportive sports bra in the past, try one of these top sports bras for large chests.

Most sports bras need to be replaced after 72 washes, when the elasticity is lost, or if your weight changes significantly.

Other Features to Look For in Running Clothes
Compression. Some running socks, tights, and tops are made out of compression fabric. Compression gear may help to speed recovery after your run and many people prefer the feeling of support they get when they wear it.6
Pockets. If you don’t want to carry a pack when you run, look for jackets, tights, capris, and other gear with pockets. Many pockets are specifically designed to accommodate a phone or small items like a key or credit card.
Thumbhole. Many tops and jackets incorporate a thumbhole in the sleeve to increase hand coverage during cold weather runs.
Sun protection. Some running gear is specifically designed to protect your skin in the sun. In addition to wearing a hat and sunscreen, wearing SPF clothing can help decrease your risk of skin cancer, and is an important preventative measure to consider especially when running outside.7

Other Running Gear
There are a few additional items that aren’t necessarily essential but can make a big difference in the quality and safety of your runs if you bring them along for the ride.

Sports Watch
A running watch is great for timing your runs, staying on pace during races, and tracking your route using GPS.8 Even a simple watch with a stop and start button can be helpful to beginner runners so they can time their runs and use it to measure run/walk intervals. Some running watches can also track your heart rate and other metrics.

Running Belt
Keep your hxands-free on the run by adding a running belt. There are plenty of sleek options for your ID, money, and keys, or roomier belts to hold larger items. Carrying your ID (or wearing an ID tag on your shoe) and having some extra cash on you is a good practice in outdoor running safety.

Phone and Apps
Not everyone chooses to run (or race) with their phone, but if you want to have it on you for emergencies, to listen to music, use a running app, or take pictures on the run, it’s not a bad idea to bring it along. You can certainly carry it in your hand, but you may also be interested in a belt, armband carrier, or other gear with pockets to help stash it while you’re on the move.

A general rule of thumb for fluid consumption during your runs is to drink 4 to 6 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes.

What Not to 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.

100% Cotton
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’re going to get wet, stay wet, and then get chilled. Not only could this be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, but your running performance will likely suffer as well.

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.

Heavy Layers
When running in cold weather, don’t wear a thick coat or shirt. 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 smart 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 half-way through its lifespan.

New Gear on Race Day
Race day is not the time to experiment with a new pair of running shoes, running shorts, or a new sports bra. You should be trying out new clothes and shoes during your training runs and then stick with your tried-and-true favorites that 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.

Running Attire for Beginners

Running tights
When the weather gets cold it is advisable to wear tights to keep your legs warmer and thus reduce the chance of injury. Running tights can be custom fit to hug the legs more efficiently and stop the wind and rain penetrating to the leg itself. This helps to reduce injuries from cold muscles and also means that you can enjoy your running more even when the weather is far from ideal.

Tights should be snug fitting and comfortable. It is important to try them on before you buy because many manufacturers have different cuts to suit different styles of runner. Generally the more expensive the tight, then the more comfortable they will be, and the better at keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter.

Running tops
Short and long sleeve tops have improved considerably so that you would be unwise to choose to run in an ordinary cotton top, which rapidly absorbs sweat or rain. Loose cotton garments can chafe under the arms and rub the nipples. You can wear any cotton garments when you’re warming up or after your run, but don’t run in them.

The mid to top range performance tops all generally wick away sweat to keep you cooler and allow greater air circulation through the fabric. They feel very light-weight but have the properties to keep you warm or cool depending on conditions.

Running tops should be reasonably tight but not necessarily figure-hugging and likewise they shouldn’t flap around when you run in them. It is a fine balance between well fitted and slightly baggy you should aim for. With long sleeve jerseys, you should aim to get ones with cuffed sleeves so they stay down around your wrists. If there are no cuffs, then the sleeves often ride up your arms when you run, and this can be both annoying and cold.

Running gloves
Because running causes large volumes of blood to be diverted from the extremities (fingers and hands) to the working muscles (legs), the hands can get very cold, hence the need for gloves. Gloves should be lightweight and comfortable. Only in extreme weather will you need to wear thick running gloves and more often than not you will heat up enough to be okay in the normal thin type.

Woollen gloves are the norm because they are cheap, but they don’t offer the same waterproof and windstopper capabilities of other fabrics. Woollen gloves will be fine for most runners but if you are venturing out into cold or wet climates, it is worth investing in a decent waterproof/windproof pair. Running with cold hands can ruin the experience for you, so choose carefully when you buy.

Running hat
In cold conditions, up to 30 per cent of your body heat can be lost through your head, hence the importance of a hat. Hats are similar to gloves in that woollen ones are often the norm because they are easy to get hold of and cheap. More expensive hats offer wind or waterproof protection.

Caps offer greater protection from the rain, snow and sun but often they can get blown off in windy conditions, and they don’t offer the same warmth capabilities as woollen or high-tech fabrics. In addition, caps are better for runners who wear glasses because they help shelter the glasses from rain or snow.

Running jacket or gilet
When the weather gets really cold or wet it is advisable to run in a gilet or a long sleeve waterproof top. The top range options offer excellent wind-stopping and rain-resistance capabilities and can keep you warm and dry throughout the worst of most runs. Cheaper versions will be fine for most running conditions but they will sacrifice certain aspects like not being 100 per cent waterproof or windproof.

A good sports bra
A good sports bra can reduce unwanted and uncomfortable movement of the bust which is important if you want to avoid stretching the supporting ligaments irreversibly. Expect to pay more for a good sports bra than a standard one. Get along to a store where you can be properly measured and fitted for your sports bra.

Be visible
It’s always worth taking into consideration when buying your kit the need to be visible. Many items of clothing have reflective strips or are considered high-viz, enabling you to be seen when out running in the dark. Alternatively, wear a fluorescent bib so that motorists can easily spot you.

Don’t ruin your kit in the wash
As a final piece of advice, always follow the manufacturer’s washing/drying instructions. After paying out for good kit, the last thing you want to do is wreck it the first time you wash it. Some fabrics are specially treated with water-repellent coatings or equivalent and need to be washed or dried carefully so as not to ruin them, or even worse, shrink them.

Buying a few specialist items of running kit doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. However, good quality running-specific garments will not only last and therefore be a good investment, but will also enhance your running enjoyment. By being prepared for cooler conditions enables you to stay warm, dry and enjoy the run more. In warmer climates the performance fabrics enable you to train harder by staying cooler and drier. With the right kit you now can’t blame the weather for not training.

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