Staying comfy while staying fit
It’s time to gear up for the cold and the damp as the weather finally starts to cool in the northern hemisphere. Whether you’re a longtime runner looking for the next best shoe or a newbie looking to gear up for the first time, what you wear and use on a run is of vital importance. It’s the difference between running most days of the week and feeling good about it, or running once and never doing it again because of the blisters and rashes you developed.
Every category box to check to stay warm, dry and happy
There are practically endless options when it comes to gearing up for fall and winter running, so it’s best to hone in on the basics.
Your shoes are the first and last stop on your running train. They must be comfortable, fit perfectly and preferably be designed for running on the surface you typically run on, be it concrete, natural ground or something else.
Shoes aren’t worn in a vacuum. They’re worn with socks. Running socks should always be trialed with the shoes you plan on wearing. This way you can ensure your socks aren’t too thick or thin as to affect the fit of your shoes. They should also have features meant for running, such as being moisture-wicking.
Clothes can be split into five different categories:
- Underwear: A bit self-explanatory, but make sure the material isn’t conducive to chafing.
- Base layer: This is the layer next to your skin, outside of underwear, such as T-shirts. Like with socks and underwear, they should have features such as moisture-wicking and shouldn’t chafe.
- Middle layer: This layer keeps you warm on cool days without making you too hot once your blood gets pumping. This could be a light jacket.
- Outer layer: This layer is optional, and combats the weather you’re facing on a given day, such as a thick jacket when it’s freezing or a rain poncho when it’s raining.
- Bottoms: These are the shorts, leggings and other clothes you wear on the lower half of your body.
Everything else you need is covered here, from GPS devices to sunscreen to reflective vests for night running. If you have a problem the above categories don’t cover, solve it here.
Best running shoes
These shoes have a variety of features to make your run comfortable, such as mesh for breathability. The style doesn’t hurt either.
The BestReviews Testing Lab found that these shoes perform well on most surface conditions, which is perfect if you’re the type who likes to shake up your scenery.
Best running socks
These thicker socks are excellent for fall and winter running as they can help keep your feet warm while wicking away your sweat.
These socks are good for more than just running thanks to their arch support and plenty of cushioning. They come in many designs.
Best running underwear
This sports bra provides the most support and limits the most bounce while wearing like a standard bra so you can run without worry.
These boxer shorts cling tight to prevent chafing while also having an articulated mesh fly panel to help with breathability.
Best base layers
If you know you’ll be wearing a warmer middle layer, having a performance T-shirt instead of a long-sleeve shirt is a must to prevent overheating.
If you like to run in the middle of the day for long stretches, the sun exposure can be dangerous. This long-sleeve shirt fights that and keeps you warm.
Best middle layers
This fleece jacket is an excellent choice thanks to its high collar and the cord that lets you tighten it around you to prevent it from shifting as you run.
If you like to run with an armband that holds your phone or with any kind of wrist-mounted heart rate monitor, this fleece vest will keep your core warm without interrupting your devices.
Best outer layers
If you’re a distance runner, it’s good to be prepared for changes in the weather. This poncho can be stashed easily in your pack, just in case.
If it’s below freezing and you don’t have access to a treadmill, and you’ve still got to get your run in, you need to bundle up. This jacket can keep you warm without getting in the way.
Sweatpants are the go-to for cold-weather activities because of their warmth, comfort and, most importantly, style. These come in 32 colors so there’s something for everyone.
Following on with the running-in-style theme, there’s hardly a more respected brand of leggings, not to mention other great gear for running, than Lululemon.
Best running accessories
If you like to run on the side of the road, and especially on the road at night, then you must wear a reflective vest to keep you safe.
If you’re going on a quick run far from your home, you need to keep your keys and phone on you. This belt helps you do it easily and in style.
Running gear worth checking out
- The Salomon Speedcross 4 Gore-Tex Trail Running Shoes keep you going in the park.
- The Snow Deer Electric Heated Socks are for extreme colds.
- The ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Hipkini Panty prevents chafing.
- The Under Armour Tech 2.0 Short-Sleeve T-Shirt is great for cooler but not cold days.
- The Amazon Essentials Polar Fleece Jacket fits any occasion.
- The Carhartt Rockford Rain Defender Jacket is good for quick runs in the rain.
- The Baleaf Running Shorts are great for those last few hot days.
- NipEaze Sports Nipple Covers. You know what they’re for.
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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