The Best Clothes For Running

The Best Clothes For Running

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Running induced clothing issues: overheating, excessive sweating, and, the chafe.

Whether you're a passionate pavement-pounder, prizing road-weathered favourites, or you're running with a fresh 'fit, having only just stepped into cardio - there's no doubt you'll have heard about some of the physical horrors endured by runners.

The cause? More often than not, it all comes down to ill-fitting running clothes. Despite oversized styles reigning in as the heavyweight champion for years now, sometimes baggier just isn't better. 

So, the question is: will you rough-house it in any old running attire, or will you choose the running outfit set to help you find your new one-run max?

In this ultimate guide to running apparel, you'll find:

  • The Importance Of Wearing The Right Clothes Whilst Running
  • The Best Running Clothes For Men
  • The Best Running Clothes For Women

The importance of wearing the right clothes whilst running.

The outfit you decide to run in is just as important as the health benefits linked to the favoured sport.

Choose items poorly, and you'll find yourself in regret; dripping with sweat, and sporting a "runners tattoo" (chafe) in a rather intimate area. Champion the right product(s) however, and we promise you, you'll be on a runners high in no-time. Just make sure that you bear the following in mind...

Overheating:

You'll need to dress to impress... the weather. 

Similar to your ordinary garms, your running gear will change dependant on the season. So, when the colder months hit and shorts and a tank are no longer sociably, or medically acceptable, instead of opting for a fleecy number and overheating, try wearing multiple thin layers to stay warm against the elements. 

Top Tip: dress as if it were 5-10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside. Why? As soon as you start to move, your core temperature will increase swiftly, so this way, you'll have no regrets about what you're wearing.

Excessive Sweating:

For many, it's a given that you'll sweat during your workout, and believe us, there's nothing worse than the feeling of a cold, wet t-shirt stuck to your torso mid-workout — enter: breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics. 

Designed to wick moisture away from your body, its aim is to help keep you cool and dry - making a tremendous difference to how you feel on your third mile, in comparison to how you felt on your first.

Top Tip: avoid cotton - it may seem breathable, but it'll start to become heavy once you start sweating. 

Chafe:

Symbolised and known to many as the runners tattoo, chafing is divided into two categories: skin-on-skin rubbing (thighs/underarms), and fabric-on-skin rubbing (shirts/sports bra band/shorts lining aggravating the skin). 

In short, this rubbing can often lead to a weakening, or wearing away of the skin, leaving a rather raw, burn-like injury. Luckily, both have preventable measures...

Top Tip: you'll want to create a layer between your skin, and your running gear by using Talcum Powder or Vaseline - as counterproductive as it may seem, this should in turn reduce friction. 

Now that you know the issues and what to be aware of, scroll on for the best running clothes for both men and women.

. . .

The Best Running Clothes For Men

The Best Running Tops For Men

Any runners wardrobe should contain at least three different top variations. When you wear them however, is completely dependant on the season and your personal preference.

1. For the summer months: a tank
2. For the spring/summer/fall months: a short sleeve t-shirt
3. For the fall/winter months: a long sleeve t-shirt

Due to its undeniable versatility, the best men's running tops are engineered to be lightweight, breathable, and sweat-wicking, ensuring that the runner remains cool, and as distraction-free as possible allowing for them to reach for their one-run max. These product features can be seen via perforation detailing in high-sweat areas, and also smooth, or flat-lock seams which help to prevent chafing. 

The fit of a running t-shirt falls into two categories: loose-fitting, or form-fitting. And there's no right or wrong answer in which you decide to go for - our only recommendation would be to try both options out, and see which you feel more comfortable in. If you're after a compressive fit, but prefer the style of a looser t-shirt, it may just be that you layer up with a base layer underneath.

When purchasing your running t-shirt, we'd recommend reading the product description in its entirety - stay clear of cotton fabrics...

OUR TOP PICKS:

SPEED / VEER / ARRIVAL / RAID

The Best Men's Running Shorts

Few things have the ability to ruin a run faster than running induced short chafe. Whether it's finding out that your shorts bunch up mid-run, or you experience the runners chafe 1km into your 5k run - once you're aware of it, it's safe to say that not much else will occupy your mind.

Running shorts are designed for ultimate comfort during long distances, which subsequently means that they'll be made from a slightly different fabric combination than your ordinary gym shorts.

This difference in fabric and design is engineered to allow the short to move with you freely, rather than being restrictive which can be the cause of chafe.

Other designs will take a 2-in-1 approach, where the short will hero a "lining, or second-skin". In short, the additional layer added to your short, has the benefit of helping to wick sweat away whilst also being a preventative measure against chafing. 

Again, trial the short that you run and feel most comfortable in. It's different for everyone.

OUR TOP PICKS:

SPEED SHORTS / SPORT SHORTS / CONTEMPORARY SHORTS

The Best Men's Running Leggings & Base Layers

They're not for everyone, but never underestimate the power of a solid base layer. 

Acting as a second-skin to your silhouette, base layers are designed to work their magic year round. Wicking away sweat in the summer months, and keeping just the right amount of warmth in during the cooler days.

Typically tight-fitting and worn under other garments, its design also helps to aid recovery - due to its tight, compressive fit - by squeezing your muscles whilst you work them. Not uncomfortably so, but enough to increase the blood flow to your heart and reduce the build up of lactic acid.

OUR TOP PICKS

TECHNICAL BASE LAYER LEGGING / TECHNICAL BASE LAYER T-SHIRT / PREMIUM BASE LAYER SHORT

The Best Men's Winter Running Jackets

It's the middle ground of jackets. More fashionable than an anorak, but not as heavy duty as your 3-peaks parka, a lightweight jacket is an essential to have in your layering capsule. 

A short or long-sleeve t-shirt during the day, realistically won't have your back when the sun goes down and the heavens open, which is why it's important to have some essential layering pieces, light enough to fold away mid-run, for the months ahead. 

The importance here is to find a jacket that doesn't make you profusely sweat - fleece-lined jackets are not your friend in this situation. A water-resistant jacket however, is there to make running that little bit more tolerable during those unpredictable weather-days.

Depending on where you're running and for what distance, features you should look out for in your running jacket are pockets - you'll need somewhere to stash your phone, keys and wallet!

OUR TOP PICKS

Speed Running Jacket / React Training Top

The Best Running Clothes For Women

The Best Running Tops For Women

Finding the perfect running top takes time and like most things, it's completely down to preference... especially if you're not the kind of gal who wants to wear just a sports bra in the summer. Let's face it, sometimes it's just not practical - think of the tan lines...

Subsequently, for most, finding the middle-ground between skin-tight and oversized is the go-to. 

A loose-fitting, ventilated t-shirt or tank will offer the runner a distraction-free workout due its engineering. Unnoticeable when worn, perforation and cut-out detailing enhance breathability, whilst its lightweight fabric will be there to help wick sweat away, keeping you warm when it's cool, and cool when it's hot - even when you're on your fourth mile.

In short, there's no excuse for training in your favourite cotton t-shirt...

OUR TOP PICKS

SPEED T-SHIRT / VITAL SEAMLESS T-SHIRT 

The Best Running Shorts For Women

As much as we love a new iteration of our favourite black running leggings, it's safe to say that when summer makes an appearance, confirming that it's finally warm enough to ditch the thick winter leggings and switch to running shorts, we're all for it.

But, trying to find the perfect running short is difficult. It needs to flatter, not bunch; prevent chafe, not cause it, and most importantly, not cut in at the waistband. 

Running shorts are designed for ultimate comfort during long distances, which subsequently means that they'll be made from a slightly different fabric combination than your ordinary gym shorts.

1. Sprinting - tight, compressive.
2. Long Distance - loose, stretchy.

Women's running shorts for sprinting tend to be incredibly lightweight - providing freedom of range for explosive movements, and long strides. With their design brief to simply be a "second skin", you're guaranteed a tight, form-fitting short.

Women's running shorts for distance however, differ ever so slightly. Shorter inseams provide better ventilation and range of movement, whilst combinations such as the 2-in-1 short include a compression-style layer which acts as a replacement for the inner lining - contributing to better blood flow, muscle activation and general comfort. All the while whilst helping to prevent chafing.

OUR TOP PICKS

SPEED SHORTS / LUSTRE 2 IN 1 SHORTS

The Best Running Leggings For Women

Whether you're training for a coach to 5k, or you're now a veteran runner, one key piece of kit you'll always need is a pair of running leggings. Yet, with so many different shapes, cuts, fabrics and designs to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start.

High quality running leggings should almost resemble a lightweight, second skin - blocking wind chill, and helping to wick away sweat to keep you invaluably chafe-free during your run.

But, don't be fooled by pretty prints - the technical aspects of your running legging should take priority. Think about it's fit, especially the waistband - believe us, there's nothing worse than having to hitch your leggings up every other minute during a run. Also look out for pockets in your leggings, especially if you don't like wearing a running belt - often these are found at the side of the leg, or at the back of the waistband.

OUR TOP PICKS

SPEED LEGGINGS / LIGHTWEIGHT SEAMLESS LEGGINGS / VITAL SEAMLESS LEGGING

The Best Winter Running Jackets For Women

If, like many runners, you warm up quickly, it's possible that the thought of a running jacket is just a plain, right no. Because let's be honest, you're only given two real options:

1. Overheat
2. Stop. Take jacket off. Carry the rain jacket around with you whilst you finish your run.

Neither sound that great, do they...

But, ironically a thin running jacket is a great piece of layering outerwear to have in your arsenal.

A short or long-sleeve t-shirt during the day, realistically won't have your back when the sun goes down and the heavens open, which is why it's important to have some essential layering pieces, light enough to fold away for the months ahead. 

The importance here is to find a jacket that doesn't make you profusely sweat - fleece-lined jackets are not your friend here. A water-resistant jacket however, is there to make running that little bit more tolerable during those unpredictable weather-days.

OUR TOP PICKS

SPEED 1/4 ZIP JACKET / FLAWLESS 1/2 ZIP UP PULLOVER

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