Running is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get healthy, and yet an hour of running can already increase your life expectancy by seven hours. If you’re ready to join the race to immortality—we mean, healthier life—then gear up with our article on what to wear running as your guide.
What to Wear Running: The Basics and Some Extras
If there’s anything that you should invest in your running gear, then it’s a good pair of running shoes. The right choice will go a long way since it will make your running session comfortable and safe. When buying your training shoes, remember to try them with the socks you intend to wear them in and test run on an in-store treadmill.
Additionally, before you make your purchase, it’s also important to determine the kind of surface you’ll be running on. Roads and rugged terrains require different types of running shoes. The thin and lightweight road running shoes are ideal for paved surfaces; whereas, the thicker and heavier trail running shoes protect your feet from loose debris like rocks and sticks on dirt roads or rugged outdoors.
If you’re new to running, then there’s one thing you need to know about running socks. That is, they are not regular socks. While they serve the same purpose of protecting your feet from getting blisters, callous, and more, running socks wick away moisture whereas cotton socks absorb them, making your feet susceptible to developing a fungal infection. Moisture-wicking fabrics used for running socks are wool, bamboo, polyester, Spandex, and more.
Additionally, running socks are designed to withstand rugged use. They are not necessarily thicker, but they are stronger than your usual socks, and they have arch support.
You can always choose to use cotton socks, but don’t tell us we didn’t warn you if your feet or your shoes develop a bad odor.
And for those who often find themselves getting cramps in your calves, there is always a pair of compression running socks to support your needs.
Women should also get a good sports bra, one that can provide ample support and minimal chafing. As it is with running socks, so it is with sports bras. If you’re looking to enjoy running, then don’t look to regular bras to provide support for your bust. Otherwise, you’ll find your run uncomfortable.
Sports bras come in three levels of support: low, medium, and high-support. For running, you should get high-support ones. They have both encapsulation (individual cups) and compression (press the breast close to the body to reduce movement) features.
Aside from getting the right kind of sports bra, you should also find one that fits you right. Do the two-finger test for a snug fit. If you can insert two fingers between the band and your body, as well as the strap and your shoulders, then it’s just right.
If you’re running under the warm weather, then moisture-wicking apparel is your best choice. A shirt and shorts are comfortable for hot days. If the temperature is cold, then thermal pants, tights, a soft-shell jacket or vest will keep you from freezing.
While running clothes made from nylon, polyester, and merino wool are best, you can use regular shorts, tights, and shirts that you have in your wardrobe if you’re not looking to invest in running clothes just yet. But if you’re ready to make the purchase, these features are worth considering:
- moisture-wicking to keep sweat away from your skin
- quick-drying, so you don’t feel cold in wet clothes
- sun protection or UPF rating
- compression for a snug fit
- insulation for warmth without the extra weight
- chafe-free seams for comfortable movement
- mesh vents around high-heat areas such as the back, underarms, and sides
- reflectivity for visibility during night runs
- pockets to hold or hide a few of your valuables
A good rule to observe when picking your running outfit for the day is to dress for weather that’s 15 to 20 degrees warmer than what the thermometer reads since your body will feel warmer at around the same temperature when you’re running.
Whether it’s a breathable, lightweight cap or a fleece hat, your choice of headwear will contribute to your overall comfort. A good running cap will let air through to cool you down on a hot day. On the other hand, a fleece hat or headband will protect your head and your ears from the cold or negative weather.
Besides keeping you cool or warm, a running hat, cap, ear warmers, or headband, helps draw perspiration from the face and keeps hair as well from getting in the way.
Intent to push through with your daily runs despite cold weather? Aside from having your head or ears covered, make sure you also protect your hands. Go for thick or thin gloves as your body and the temperature require.
A running belt, hydration pack, or what have you is one of the most important running gear to own. It provides you quick access to water wherever you are, and all the while allows you hands-free movement during your run.
Running Vest with Reflector
While some running clothes or headwear have reflector strips, some don’t. If you’re one to do night runs, then it would not be wise to be without one. So you may have to buy a running vest with a reflector to stay visible at night.
Whether it’s direct or reflected UV rays, they can cause sun damage to the eyes. So when you’re running under the sun’s intense rays or it’s snowing, your sunnies can abate the effects of the sun. Remember, UV rays are especially damaging between 10 am to 4 pm.
Want to listen to music, receive updates, take calls, or to secure your phone while you’re running? An armband lets you do all these so that you can focus and enjoy your exercise.
There goes your list of what to wear running. Make sure to have the basics covered, and you’ll enjoy your training and will look forward to the next session.