A Guide to Suitable Running Clothes for All Seasons: Are Running Clothes a Gimmick?

Can you use your sweatpants or baggy t-shirts for running? Well, why can’t you wear any clothing provided you feel comfortable? Simple, all clothes are designed for a specific purpose. For instance, running clothes have unique features such as breathability and moisture-wicking abilities that are protective to your body when running. In a nutshell, running clothes are not a gimmick, but they play a significant role in a runner’s success.

Can You Run on Normal Leggings and Shirts?

Can You Run on Normal Leggings and Shirts

You can use your shirt and standard leggings if you are a beginner, but that option is not the best idea. Remember that running clothes are functional gears with sufficient breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities. Regular clothing absorbs your body sweat and stays wet, thus posing risks to your body.

Whereas running clothes are superb in regulating body temperatures to ensure you don’t overheat or cool down, your regular clothing will fit you poorly. Thus they can rub against your skin, and the friction might lead to sore blisters that pose health challenges as they might be a haven for bacterial infections.

It will help if you realize that quality running clothes are made of functional fabrics that reduce friction due to their perfect fitting, guaranteeing risk-free motion while running.

The List of Various Running Clothes 

Now that we have an understanding that running clothes are critical and not a mere marketing gimmick, let’s explore different types of ideal garments for the running activity:

Running Jackets

A running jacket is essential gear for all runners. If you often jog in rainy areas, you could better invest in a better jacket that protects you from the rain and cold. 

When choosing a waterproof jacket, choose a jacket featuring membranes to ensure breathability. Another crucial feature is that your running jacket must have ventilation slits that you can open when overheated.

Suppose your running area is not susceptible to rain; a windproof jacket works fine.

Sports Bras and Running Shirts

Any running apparel must have better breathability, comfort, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking abilities. Running shirts are not exceptional to this requirement. 

The fitting of your running shirt is a personal preference. Suppose you prefer unique running shirts that regulate body temperature; you better choose a shirt that fits tightly.

What do you require in a good sports bra? Moisture-wicking is the number one requirement in your running bra. A suitable running bra should also feature minimal seams to ensure higher comfort

Ensure that your bra features wide straps for a better fit and minimal friction to avoid skin chaffing. Additionally, ensure that the bra is sufficiently tight to check the unnecessary movement of the bust.

Running Underwear and Tights

Running pants should fit snugly to avoid movement that could otherwise chafe your skin and pose health challenges. Additionally, the pants should exhibit a higher level of breathability.

The underwear should also fit snuggly without any movement, be breathable, and be water repellent. When wet underwear rubs against damp skin, especially during the summer, you will develop sore spots. Ensure you choose short pants with integrated underwear to avoid the abovementioned risks.


Winters are challenging for all runners. During this period, your body loses much weight from the head. Ensure you mitigate heat loss by wearing a cap or a headband.

Unlike winter, where your greatest fear is heat loss, summers pose heat challenges. Ensure you remedy the situation by wearing a cap or a bandana. Whichever headwear you select, please ensure it is moisture-wicking, breathable, and dries quickly to avoid freezing.

What are the features of the Right Running Clothes?

features of the Right Running Clothes

Different seasons demand different features in running clothes. For instance, suitable running clothes for the winter season can’t suffice during the summer. Let’s discuss various clothes ideal for different seasons below:

The Summer Running Gear

When choosing the right gear for the summer, ensure that it protects you from the sun and overheating.

Depending on your taste, you can wear a loose or tight-fitting running shirt in the summer. Even though loose-fitting allows sufficient airflow and keeps your body relaxed, you risk skin chaffing if the shirt gets wet and sticks to your body.

Therefore, ensure that the shirt has better breathability and dries quickly regardless of whether it fits snuggly or loosely.

Proper Running Clothes for Between Seasons

The in-between seasons present a dilemma to runners. These seasons include spring and autumn. Since the seasons are neither warm nor cold, identifying the right clothes for running or jogging is challenging.

If you are a seasoned runner searching for the right clothes for such a period, you better go for layered clothes but ensure that they are highly breathable and can wick moisture effortlessly.

If the temperature is around 10⁰C, kindly go for the following gear:

  • Wind-resistant running jacket.
  • A running shirt (short or long-sleeved).
  • Standard length running pants.
  • A headband (for runners with sensitive ears).

Suppose the temperature is around 20⁰C; the following is the right gear for the occasion:

  • Short-sleeved running shirts.
  • Shorts with long socks.

The Ideal Running Gear for Winter

During the winter season, you should dress in layers. It is good to dress in layers because you can take them off when you are overheated. 

The layers help in insulating you from the cold as it traps air. Additionally, these layers should be sufficiently breathable to minimize the chances of clothes becoming damp via perspiration.

A Pro Tip: If you feel a little shiver at the start of the race during winter, you have chosen suitable clothing! Don’t hesitate to react quickly and remove some layers if you realize that you are warmly dressed.

The following outfit is ideal for winter running:

  • Lined running trousers.
  • Functional undershirt.
  • Thick shirt (Long-sleeved).
  • Winter running leggings.
  • Neck warmer.
  • Windproof running jacket.
  • Breathable cap.
  • Thin windproof gloves.
  • Thermal shorts/skirts.

The Proper Running Clothes for Rainy Season

As a rule of thumb, ensure you wear a water-repelling jacket when going for a jog during a rainy season. The waterproof jackets should feature membranes for optimal performance.

A proper running cloth is not a gimmick but a necessity that helps improve your performance and protects you from unnecessary health risks. Wearing the right running gear provides comfort and a little nudge to keep going. Remember that the winter running gear is different from the one used during summer. So, choose wisely.

Reference 1: Perceptions of Running Performance: The Role of Clothing Fit – The Sport Journal

Reference 2: Why Wearing Appropriate Clothing for Running Is a Must (thesportsbank.net)

Leave a Comment