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What To Wear Running – 5 Steps To Building Your Running Outfit

Running Outfit

Running, like any other aerobic exercise, is extremely pleasant. And especially when you do it in a well-ventilated or, in rainy and cold weather, lightly insulated relatively dry clothes.

There are many different running outfit choices available for runners, including shorts, tights, trousers, shirts, vests, and jackets. Depending on the climate, you’ll need different gear for the road and trail runs.

So, what to wear when running? And how can you choose the appropriate running clothes that will make the journey comfortable and stylish? Let’s have a peek.

5 Steps to building your perfect running outfit

Running Outfit

A common question among beginner runners and those preparing for their first 5K is, “what should I wear for running?

The good news is that you can become a successful runner. And you can do that without investing too much in pricey running gear or trendy apparel. So, here are five steps to building your perfect running outfit.

Step 1: Focus on the feet

Running Outfit

When you first start as a runner, you will want to invest in a quality pair of customizable running shoes for your feet. Running injuries are somewhat prevalent. And one of the most likely reasons for these injuries involves wearing shoes that are not appropriate for running.

Hence, avoid making a hasty decision about a new pair of running shoes based on aesthetic considerations alone. You don’t have to break the bank on a new pair of running shoes, but it is wise to invest in a quality pair. This is to reduce the risk of injury and improve your running experience. 

Consider the following factors while making your final decision on a pair of shoes:

  • Tread
  • The reflective surface
  • Cushioned vs. lightweight

When selecting running socks, there isn’t one best option. And this is particularly true at such an early stage in your path to becoming a runner. So, go with what appeals to you, what is within your financial means, and what feels the most comfortable.

When you engage in strenuous physical activity, you will notice that your feet sweat significantly. Blisters are possible if you do not use socks made of materials that drain away moisture, such as synthetic or merino wool. 

Step 2: What to wear on legs

Running Outfit

While some runners don’t care about the temperature, most athletes like to run in either shorts or lengthy tights, depending on the season.

Some participants will wear track pants while running. Because you could sweat heavily while wearing them, they might not be a perfect choice.

You may wear the typical, upbeat shorts or the more practical, compression-style kind that will save you from chafing. And whenever you go for a long run in the summer heat, you can double up with a pair of compression shorts. These compression shorts double as underwear that wicks away sweat. So, this is a nice touch for those hot and sticky runs.

Some runners choose to make a fashion statement by wearing wide, everyday shorts atop long tights when it’s winter. Hence, you’ll look fresh when you get your color combination perfect.


Johner Images

Vests, t-shirts, and sports bras are all appropriate running attire for warm/ hot conditions.

There is an overwhelming number of options, so it’s best to begin narrowing your selection in terms of quality. For example, it’s best to wear a running tech top while exercising in hot weather. The top wicks away your sweat quickly. Hence, this is better than a cotton t-shirt, which would soon get soggy and ruin your outfit.

Also, you should wear something light and breezy, preferably without sleeves but with short ones in case of a cold. It has to be lightweight and able to dry quickly after being wet.

When the weather outside is quite hot, you should usually try to avoid wearing dark colors since they’ll make you feel uncomfortable. Instead, striving for a more upbeat color would be best.

Bright, loose, breezy, and comfy are the keys to successful summer running clothes!

Step 4: Layering in Winter

Layering up is key for runners who brave the cold and wind of autumn and winter. Running wearing a single heavy top may cause you to overheat. Hence, wearing two or even three lighter layers can trap your body heat and allow you to shed layers as necessary is advisable.

Find some decent technical running clothes for the cooler months. It wicks moisture away from the skin, keeping you toasty even on windy days when damp clothing might otherwise be a liability.

Please find out how cold the outdoors is and add the wind chill. The Celsius temperature on that day should help you decide what to wear running (or Fahrenheit). Why would you need to check the temp? Because you’ll warm up within a few minutes of the run, you want to avoid overdressing & overheat. So, you should always dress as though it were 10 degrees Celsius warmer.

Put this another way; if it is 10 degrees Celsius outside, you would feel like it is 20 degrees when you hit the trails. While fancy shorts are OK for a quick sprint, tights are advisable for a longer distance. So, try out several combinations with just one long-sleeve top; you may even like to utilize a short-sleeved tech tee under a basketball jersey.

Step 5: Headgear

Now, to protect the eyes from the sun or rain, our go-to cap is a breathable, quick-drying dri-fit-lined peak cap that is both comfortable and practical. Those who prefer not to wear hats in hot weather may nevertheless protect their heads and eyes with just a cool visor.

In the colder months, when the wind is particularly harsh, we pull the skull cap down over our ears for extra protection. So, a basic headband that covers the ears but not the crown of the head is preferable for some runners. Put them all to the test and see what you think.

Take your time deciding since it will serve you for a while like the rest of your equipment.


The quality of your running experience may be significantly influenced by how carefully you pick the appropriate running outfit and footwear for running activities.

You need an overall outfit that fits your needs well and provides the support you need to accomplish your objectives. After all, you must run in comfort and take good care of the body in preparation for future races.

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Hello, I am the founder of Health and Stamina and a full-time health and fitness blogger. Bringing you the most talked-about health and fitness issues from reliable sources. 

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