Figuring out what to wear on your run is often a bit more difficult than we expect. Not only do we have to account for the temperature, but we have to take in account the various elements of the weather and season.
All of these factors influence the running gear we choose.
What you wear when running can have a dramatic impact on your performance.
Not to mention how comfortable you feel each day logging various miles. If you live in an area that experiences a few different seasons, selecting running gear and accessories can often feel like a lengthy process.
Learn how to choose the right running gear here.
However, having an idea of the number of layers, type of clothes, helpful accessories and essential gear that will be needed in every kind of weather can really help speed up the process.
Different temperatures call for different types of running gear.
Even so, fall and spring running seasons often require vastly different wardrobes – despite the fact that the actual temperature is relatively similar.
We all know what it feels like to step outside and find ourselves unprepared for the weather. Finding yourself facing a freezing headwind, surprised by a sudden downpour, or sweating buckets in 80% humidity is usually all it takes to make us re-evaluate the way we dress for a run.
Having the right type of running gear for every temperature will help keep you comfortable and make every run enjoyable – no matter the weather.
Here is a breakdown of what to wear running in every type of weather. This handy temperature chart can help you determine what type of layering will need to take place, the kind of running gear you’ll want to wear, and any helpful accessories you may wish to take with you.
What to Wear Running: The Best Clothes and Gear for Any Weather
Learning what to wear running in every temperature will help expedite the process of getting ready for your run. In addition, wearing the right running clothes will help keep you comfortable when the weather is less than ideal.
Regardless of how intense the weather may appear to be, it is possible to comfortably run outside with the right gear (with the exception of dangerously cold or hot temperatures).
In general, runners should dress as if the temperature were 10-20 degrees warmer than the “real feel” temp with the wind chill.
However, if you base your running outfit on what you wear outside when you are just running errands or sitting in the backyard, you’ll likely find yourself quite a bit too warm on the run.
What to Wear for Winter Running
Dressing for cold weather running often feels like as much of a workout as the run itself. However, when the temperature is chilly, layering is the key to staying warm and comfortable.
In addition to just dressing to stay warm, many of us have to use quite a few accessories to keep us safe on snow and ice. Luckily, this type of weather is relatively universal, and a great variety of gear exists to make cold weather running easier.
Below 0 degrees
When the temperature is below 0, it’s probably best to stay inside and hit the treadmill. However, if you are bound and determined to head outside for a run, wearing the right running gear for cold weather is key to your comfort and safety.
In weather that is below 0 degrees, you’ll need at least two layers on bottom or insulated tights, plus three on top. A running jacket is best for your top layer to keep you safe from the wind and cold air.
Thick running socks, a hat, neck scarf and mittens or gloves of some sort will be a necessity. Try wearing some Gortex running shoes to avoid extra air getting in your shoes.
0 – 20 degrees
In temperatures between 0 and 20 degrees, you’ll need to wear running clothes that keep your body warm and safe from the cold.
You’ll want at least two top layers plus a jacket or windbreaker. Some full-length insulated running tights, mittens, a neck scarf and a hat or headband will keep you warm.
20 – 40 degrees
While these temperatures are certainly still cold, they can feel like a bit of a heat wave for those of us enduring bitterly cold winters.
When the temperature is between 20 and 40 degrees, you’ll want two long sleeve top layers, plus full-length tights, gloves and a headband. You might find yourself ditching the gloves once you get started, but you’ll definitely want to take some along for the beginning of your run or any parts that are especially windy.
>>Check out the best gear for cold weather running here!
What to Wear for Spring Running
Dressing for running in the spring often requires having a variety of different options on hand. You’ll want to dress according to the temperature, and then adjust what you wear based on any other conditions such as wind, rain, etc.
40 – 50 degrees
When the temperature is in the 40s, you’ll still want a long sleeve shirt and either full length tights or capris, depending on your personal preference.
If the weather is especially windy, it might be helpful to bring along a lightweight windbreaker to protect you from the wind. Some light gloves can also be helpful for keeping your fingers warm in the beginning of your run.
50 – 60 degrees
If the temperature is in the 50s, you’re in luck: this is ideal running weather for most of us. Learning what to wear for 50 degree temperatures is the easiest of all because it often requires very little extra gear.
For this temperature range, you’ll want a short sleeve shirt or lightweight long sleeve shirt with either capris or shorts. If it’s really windy, those lightweight windbreakers can still be especially handy to keep you warm in a headwind.
Some runners still like to take along some light running gloves for the beginning of their runs as well.
60 – 70 degrees
Ah, more runner bliss. Temperatures in the 60s are another favorite for most runners. You’ll want to wear a short sleeve shirt plus either capris or shorts now. Running gloves are usually not necessary unless your fingers are particularly susceptible to the cold.
Things can start to feel a bit toasty now, so it might be helpful to bring along a hat or visor to help keep the sun off your face and avoid heating up too quickly.
>>Check out the best spring running gear here!
What to Wear for Summer Running
Summer running season can be deceiving. It sounds like it might be the best of all in terms of ease and comfort, but the heat can actually present quite a few challenges for runners. However, dressing for summer runs usually requires the least amount of effort.
Choosing what to wear for summer runs often involves a very simple outfit, but bringing along some extra gear will help keep things comfortable.
70 – 80 degrees
Although this temperature range might be perfect for sitting on your porch or soaking up the sun by the pool, it can really feel toasty on the run.
In this type of weather, you’ll want to wear either a tank top or short sleeve shirt with shorts. Try some lightweight socks to avoid excessive sweating that can lead to blisters.
Additionally, you’ll probably want to wear a visor to keep the sun off your face and some light sunglasses to make running in the sun a little more manageable. A handheld water bottle is a simple addition to your ensemble for longer runs to help avoid dehydration or overheating.
When the temperature is above 90, you might consider taking your run indoors on the treadmill. However, if you are determined to get outside, you’ll definitely need to play it safe to ensure you avoid overheating.
A tank top and shorts are all you’ll want to wear when the temperature is this high. Be sure to wear a visor to keep the sun off your face and avoid any hats that can soak up the sun. A water bottle is a necessity in this weather, even for short, easy runs.
>>Check out the best hot weather running gear here!
What to Wear for Fall Running
Fall running season is a favorite for most runners, and for good reason. The temperatures are nearly perfect – things are cooling down after a hot summer running season, and the humidity has disappeared. The air feels crisp and rain is much less likely than in the spring.
When deciding what to wear for fall running, you’ll want to follow similar guidelines to spring temperatures. Things might feel a bit cooler than usual if you’re coming off a season of hot weather running, so be sure to always have a light pair of gloves on hand for the beginning of your runs.
>>Check out the best fall running gear here!
Deciding what to wear while running may sometimes feel like an impossible task, but putting in the effort to check the weather and think through your running outfit will always pay off once you’re running.
Selecting the best running gear for the weather will help make nearly any temperature feel comfortable. Dressing appropriately for the season helps keep you safe and ensure you have the best opportunity to conquer your run.
Learning what to wear in any temperature will help you stay outdoors, get fresh air year round, and experience some of the best parts of every season.