Oftentimes, the hardest part of going for a run is finding the willpower to get ready for that run. Once you’re dressed, it seems the decision has been made and the run itself becomes almost incidental. However, as seasons change, especially as we move from summer to autumn to winter, facing the task of getting ready for a run becomes more complicated and thus more daunting. Our task then, is to make getting dressed for a run as simple and streamlined as possible. Because if you have a general outline for what to wear, no matter the temperature or conditions, it can make that initial hurdle standing between you and your run that much easier to overcome.
What to Wear Running in 70+° Weather
As temperatures climb above the 70 degree range, it becomes increasingly important to dress in breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics. Nylon and polyester are ideal, and it’s a bonus if they aren’t skin tight. You can even size up if you want to ensure there’s room between the garment and your skin to accommodate extra airflow. Running gear with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) are great for warm-weather running because they block UV rays. When used in conjunction with SPF, these garments will work to make running in the sun a little safer for your skin. Sunglasses and hats are also a must when it comes to keeping the sun out of your eyes. Visors are awesome too, but if your hair is on the thin or thinning side, consider a full coverage hat instead to help protect your scalp.
What to Wear Running in ~60° Weather
This is the temperature range that most people find ideal for running. It’s warm enough that your muscles are ready to go, but not so hot you’ll be in danger of developing heat stroke. Shorts, tank tops, and short sleeves are staples at this temperature and you’ll still want to focus on lightweight and breathable textiles.
Running in 50° temperatures can still be done comfortably in shorts, but knickers or capris and long sleeves may be more comfortable. You may also want to transition away from flowy clothing and into garments with a closer fit. Technical fabrics constructed of nylon and polyester are still excellent for wicking sweat and keeping your clothing from sticking to your skin. Breathability is a desirable quality in running gear, regardless of temperature.
What to Wear Running in ~40° Weather
Even the most warm-blooded among us may begin to feel chilly when the weather dips into the low 40s and high 30s. You may find knickers and capris to be tolerable, but full length tights will provide extra warmth, which is especially nice at the beginning of your run and during your cool down. Long sleeves can be layered with a vest or light rain jacket if necessary. Outerwear that can be stuffed into a pocket or pouch will allow for flexibility in your layering.
What to Wear Running in 30° and Below Weather
When running (or doing anything) in below freezing temperatures, it’s important to protect your extremities. That means wearing gloves or mittens, a hat, and maybe an extra pair of socks as well. In terms of materials, wool is a great fabric to wear in cold weather conditions as it has natural heat-retaining properties: it won’t absorb heat from your body and the structure of its fibers create a barrier that traps the air between your skin and the garment, thus preventing heat loss. Like polyester and nylon, it is also moisture wicking and will keep you from getting sweaty and clammy under your other layers. Finally, if you suspect you’ll encounter ice or snow on your route, you’ll want to consider investing in a pair of running spikes for added traction on frozen surfaces.
What we recommend: PNW Earbands paired perfectly with the PNW Mittens
What to Wear Running in the Rain
If you’re running in the rain, you’ll likely want to wear a rain jacket that's either water resistant or fully waterproof. If you prefer to run with your hood up, make sure it has adjustable elastic so that you can cinch it in place. Rain jackets also tend to be less breathable than other outerwear, especially when worn in warmer, more humid conditions. Consider layering with a breathable and water-wicking garment underneath. Polyester and nylon are best for this, but wool may be preferable in colder weather. As a general rule, it’s best to stay away from fibers like cotton that will absorb rainwater and become heavy and cold. Wearing a hat with a brim will help keep the rain out of your eyes. Finally, have a hot shower and a dry set of clothes on standby!