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Last Update: 14th September 2020.
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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 out running in new kit, having only just stepped into cardio; there's no denying that you'll have heard of some of the physical injuries endured by runners
The cause? More often than not, it all comes down to ill-fitting running clothes.
So, the question is: will you rough-house it in any old running gear, or will you choose the running outfit set to help you find your new one-run max?
In This Ultimate Guide To Running Outfits, You'll Find:
- The Importance Of Wearing The Correct Running Clothes
- Our Best Running Gear For Men
- Our Best Running Gear 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 in sweat and sporting a "runners tattoo" (chafe) in a rather intimate area. Champion the correct running gear, 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...
Dress to impress the weather.
Similar to your ordinary garms, your running clothes will change dependant on the season. Question is, how do you avoid overheating in the colder months when shorts and a tank are no longer sociably, or medically acceptable to run in outside?
Opt For multiple thin layers that you can build up.
Avoid bulky, fleecy items.
Our Top Tip: dress as if it were 5-10 degrees warmer than the actual temperate outside. (As soon as you start your run, your core temperature will increase swiftly. Dressing appropriately for the weather outside, therefore means that you'll have no regrets about the running outfits you choose to wear).
It's a given that you'll sweat during your workout. How much, is more-so dependant on genetics and your running attire, than the actual temperature outside. But, let's get one thing straight, there's no excuse for your t-shirt to become cold, wet and stuck to your torso mid-run. Period.
Opt For breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics.
Avoid thick cotton fabrics.
Breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics take advantage of the body's natural cooling mechanism to help evaporate moisture away from the skin, keeping your core temperature down, and your body dry.
For this technology to work effectively, however, your running outfit does need to be somewhat in contact with your skin. (We're afraid oversized tees no longer reign champ in this sporting field).
Our Top Tip: avoid heavy cotton fabrics - it may seem lightweight, but it'll start to become that little bit heavier once you start sweating and it absorbs the moisture.
Symbolised and known to many as the "runners tattoo", chafing is divided into two categories.
- Skin-On-Skin Rubbing: thighs/underarms
- Fabric-On-Skin Rubbing: shorts lining/sports bra straps/t-shirts aggravating the skin
Chafe, is a continuous rubbing motion often leading to a weakening, and wearing away of the skin. In some cases, this can then become blistered and extremely uncomfortable.
Now it's worth mentioning that not everybody will experience chafe whilst they run, but an education on how we can prevent it is crucial. And, it's probably worthwhile saying, what works for some, won't work for others.
Our Top Tip: create a layer between your skin and your running gear by using Talcum Powder, Vaseline, an old t-shirt, or even a pair of tight shorts underneath your running shorts. As counteractive as it may seem, this should help to reduce friction.
Education Complete. It's Time To Explore Our Best Running Clothes.
. . .
1. Our Best Men's Running Tops
Variety is the spice of life when it comes to men's running t-shirts. We like to think - as a rule of thumb - that your capsule should consist of at least three running top variations. When you wear them, however, is entirely dependant on your personal preference and the season.
- Men's Running Vest
- Men's Running Short Sleeve T-Shirt
- Men's Running Long Sleeve T-Shirt
- As with most running gear, the best men's running tops are engineered to be as lightweight, breathable and sweat-wicking as possible to ensure that the runner can remain at a comfortable temperature throughout their workout.
- This engineering can be seen through certain product features such as perforation detailing, or mesh panels in high-sweat areas (your back and underarms).
- Men's running t-shirts tend to fall into two 'fit' categories: loose-fitting and form-fitting. And believe us, there's no right or wrong answer as to which you decide to go for - our only recommendation would be to try both options out, and see which you feel more comfortable in whilst running.
- For example, if you prefer the style of a loose-fit t-shirt when you run, but want a slightly more compressive fit, it may be that you look to layer a few items together: pairing a long-sleeve baselayer with a loose-fitting t-shirt on top.
2. Our Best Men's Running Shorts And Running Leggings
Few things can ruin a run faster than short chafe, and once you're aware of it, it's safe to say that not even a podcast by the motivational David Goggins, will be enough to distract you from the blistering pain.
- Running Shorts have been designed for ultimate comfort over long distances, which subsequently means that they're made of a slightly different fabric combination than your ordinary gym sweats.
- This difference in fabric and design engineering allows the short to move with you freely, rather than riding up and getting all bunched in your business if you know what we mean.
- Recent years have also seen men's running shorts take a 2-in-1 approach, where a loose-fitting short will hero a lining, or a second-skin made up of a much tighter material.
- This isn't just about style - the additional layer to your short aids the process of wicking sweat away from your body, whilst also being a preventative measure against chafe. Who said leggings were just for women?!
3. Our Best Men's Running Jackets
The humble running jacket. More fashionable than your old anorak, but not as heavy-duty as your storm-proof parka, a lightweight jacket - easy enough to fold away mid-run - is essential when it comes to layering your running gear.
- As mentioned earlier in the article, you'll want to keep an eye out for lightweight running gear to help prevent overheating mid-workout - this, goes for your outerwear too. You're essentially looking to build up a barrier of thin layers, which in turn, will trap air and keep your body temperature that little bit warmer.
- Don't be misled by style alone. Depending on where you're running, and for what distance, you'll also want to look out for key product features on your running jacket, such as pockets with a functional zip to keep your phone and keys safe.
1. Our Best Running Tops For Women
We've said it before, and we'll repeat it for you again now: variety, is the spice of life when it comes to running tops. Think of it as total preparation rather than an obsession. As a rule of thumb, your capsule should consist of at least 2-3 running top variations that you can rotate between seasons:
- Women's Running Vest or Midi
- Women's Running Short Sleeve T-Shirt
- Women's Running Long Sleeve T-Shirt
- The best women's running clothes, especially when it comes to t-shirts, are designed to be as lightweight, breathable and sweat-wicking as possible to ensure that the runner can remain at a comfortable temperature throughout their workout.
- This engineering can be seen through fabric choices such as those containing a high percentage of polyester, elastane or nylon, and certain product features such as mesh detailing in high-sweat areas (your back and underarms).
- Unlike the streamlined (straight down) design of men's running t-shirts, women's running tops tend to be more of an athletic cut with a slightly tapered waist, and shorter body length.
- If you prefer a loose-fit t-shirt when you run, there's no harm in trying various sizes on to see which you like best. There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to finding your favourite running gear.
2. Our Best Running Shorts For Women
If you're anything like us, when you start a new sport - in this case running - you begin to invest in new gear for your training. Admittedly, this tends to be in the form of gadgets, or "professional" shoes with stellar reviews, but, an essential item that you really should look to invest in, is a quality pair of running shorts.
- Running Shorts have been designed for ultimate comfort over long distances, which subsequently means that they're made of a slightly different fabric combination to your ordinary gym sweats.
- This difference in fabric and design detailing allows the short to move with you freely, rather than bunching, or rolling up during your run.
- A 2-in-1 design, where a loose-fitting short will hero a lining, or a second-skin made up of a much tighter material, aids the process of wicking sweat away from your body, whilst also being a preventative measure against chafe.
3. Our Best Women's Running Leggings
Whilst they may seem simple in their appearance, the best running leggings are typically multi-functional, offering: unrestrictive movement, warmth against wind-chill and stitching designs to help prevent chafe.
- The best leggings for running not only need to be the correct length for the runner, but they also need to resemble a lightweight, second-skin. This snug fit enables the legging to move with you freely, whilst also keeping your leg muscles warm against any seasonal wind-chill.
- Whilst you want your legging to fit comfortably, you also need to ensure that the waistband fits correctly: too loose, and you risk your leggings slipping down; too tight and trust us, your stomach will tell you about its upset.
4. Our Best Women's Running Jackets
Often overlooked, but thoroughly appreciated when owned, a thin running jacket is essential for any avid outdoor runner.
- Don't be misled by style alone. As comfortable and as warm as that fleece-lined jacket looks, it's essential to find a running jacket that is lightweight to prevent your body from overheating whilst working out. The aim is to build up a barrier of thin layers which will trap air and keep your body temperature warm but can also be taken off and packed away quickly.
- Depending on where you're running, and for what distance, you'll want to look out for key product features on your running jacket, such as pockets with a functional zip to keep your phone and keys safe.