Running Clothes – Where to Start?

Monday, July 04, 2016

Let’s go at it head first with a hat that has a visor - to keep the sun out of your eyes in summer and to shield them from the wind, snow and rain in colder conditions.  A light-coloured cap helps keep your head from over-heating under the sun.

Sun block

This is absolutely essential for sunny days and it keeps you cooler as well!  Use a SPF of at least 30, more if you’re fair-skinned and plaster it on thickly.


These protect your eyes from sun-damage leading to cataracts, so get a good pair.  Sunglasses also save you the energy you use up squinting and let you relax your face, avoiding headaches.

Remember to use sunglasses on any bright day during the year and to cut the sun’s glare when reflected off snow. 

Shirts and tops

In hot weather wear as little as possible, so nothing or a sleeveless T-shirt for men and a sports bra-top for women.  Look out for hi-tech fabrics and athletic clothing specially designed to pull sweat off your skin and out where it can air-dry. 

Short-sleeved T-shirts are useful on their own, or over a soft-fabric base layer.  Avoid cotton because it absorbs and holds moisture.


The mainstay of running clothes is a pair of nylon or hi-tech fibre shorts.  Men tend to prefer above-the-knee shorts and full length tights when it’s colder. 

Women often choose Lycra ¾ length shorts to wear all-year round, as they keep knee-joints warm in cold weather and aren’t too hot in summer.

Long-sleeve shirts

In cold weather, wear a long-sleeved sports shirt alone or layered under a short-sleeved T-shirt of hi-tech polyester.  This will stop you feeling clammy in cooler weather.


In very cold conditions, thin layers will keep you warmest and tights made from polyester with Lycra, worn under looser, stretchy running trousers are great.


You’ll also need a lightweight polyester blend jacket to keep you warm, protect you from wind, rain and snow and manage your sweat.  Go for a jacket that’s wind-proof and waterproof for cool weather and something heavier if you run in really cold conditions.

That covers the basic wardrobe for running clothes in lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics, with seams that won’t cause friction and a good fit. 

Every aspect of your running gear can contribute something to your outstanding racing success!

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