How to Choose the Right Running Apparel

How to Choose the Right Running Apparel

Are you looking to upgrade your running gear but overwhelmed by the countless options available? Choosing the right running apparel is crucial for your performance and comfort during your runs. In this article, we will guide you through the factors to consider when selecting the perfect running apparel to maximize your potential and enhance your running experience.

Consider the type of running you do

When choosing the right running apparel, it’s important to consider the type of running you do. Different types of running have different requirements in terms of apparel to ensure comfort and performance. Here are some considerations for road running, trail running, and track running:

Road running

For road running, you’ll want to prioritize lightweight and breathable apparel to help you stay cool and comfortable as you log miles on hard surfaces. Look for moisture-wicking materials that will help wick away sweat and keep you dry. Reflective elements are also important for safety, especially if you’re running in low-light conditions. Consider investing in a good pair of running shoes with ample cushioning to help absorb impact on hard pavement.

Trail running

Trail running requires more durable and protective apparel due to the rugged terrain and potential obstacles you may encounter. Look for trail running shoes with aggressive tread for traction and stability on uneven surfaces. Apparel with reinforced seams and abrasion-resistant materials will help protect you from scratches and scrapes. Consider wearing moisture-wicking socks to help prevent blisters and choose apparel with built-in sun protection if you’ll be running in exposed areas.

Track running

Track running is all about speed and agility, so you’ll want apparel that allows for maximum range of motion. Lightweight and form-fitting apparel will help reduce drag and improve your performance on the track. Look for apparel with strategic ventilation to help keep you cool during high-intensity intervals. Consider wearing track spikes for added traction and speed on the track surface.

Focus on the fabric

When it comes to choosing the right running apparel, the fabric is one of the most important factors to consider. The type of fabric can greatly impact your comfort and performance during your runs.

Moisture-wicking materials

One key feature to look for in running apparel is moisture-wicking materials. These fabrics are designed to pull sweat away from your skin and to the outer layer of the fabric where it can evaporate more easily. This helps to keep you dry and comfortable during your run, preventing chafing and irritation.


Another important factor to consider is breathability. Look for fabrics that are lightweight and allow for airflow to help regulate your body temperature during your run. Breathable fabrics help to prevent overheating and keep you feeling cool and comfortable.

Compression fabrics

Compression fabrics are another popular choice for running apparel. These fabrics provide a snug fit that can help improve blood circulation and reduce muscle fatigue during your run. Compression apparel can also help with muscle support and recovery, making them a great choice for longer runs or intense workouts.

Look for the right fit

When it comes to choosing the right running apparel, finding the perfect fit is crucial for both comfort and performance. Here are some key factors to consider:

Proper sizing

Make sure to take accurate measurements of your body and refer to the sizing charts provided by the brand. Keep in mind that different brands may have slightly different sizing standards, so it’s important to double-check before making a purchase.

Freedom of movement

Choose running apparel that allows for a full range of motion. Look for materials that are stretchy and breathable, so you can move freely without feeling restricted.

Avoiding chafing

One of the most common issues runners face is chafing, which can be incredibly uncomfortable. To prevent chafing, opt for seamless or flat-seamed garments that reduce friction against your skin. Additionally, moisture-wicking fabrics can help keep you dry and reduce the likelihood of chafing.

Factor in weather conditions

When choosing the right running apparel, it’s important to consider the weather conditions you will be running in. The right gear can make a huge difference in your comfort and performance. Here are some tips for choosing the right running apparel for different weather conditions:

Warm weather

In warm weather, it’s important to choose running apparel that is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking. Look for shorts and tank tops made from technical fabrics that will help keep you cool and dry. Avoid cotton, as it tends to trap sweat and can lead to chafing. Opt for light colors to reflect the sun’s rays and keep you cooler. Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

Cold weather

When running in cold weather, layering is key. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin. Add a thermal layer for insulation, and finish with a windproof and water-resistant outer layer to protect you from the elements. Don’t forget gloves, a hat, and a scarf to keep your extremities warm. Reflective gear is also important in cold weather to ensure visibility to others.

Rainy conditions

Running in the rain can be refreshing, but it’s important to have the right gear to stay dry and comfortable. Look for waterproof and breathable jackets and pants to keep the rain out while allowing sweat to escape. A hat with a brim and a visor can help keep rain out of your eyes. And don’t forget waterproof shoes or shoe covers to keep your feet dry. Consider wearing bright colors or reflective gear to improve visibility in the rain.

Consider additional features

When choosing the right running apparel, it’s important to consider additional features that can enhance your overall running experience. Some key features to look out for include reflective elements, pockets for storage, and sun protection.

Reflective elements

Reflective elements are essential for running in low light conditions or at night. They help improve visibility and ensure that you are seen by drivers and other pedestrians. Look for running apparel with reflective strips or logos that are strategically placed to maximize visibility from all angles.

Pockets for storage

Having pockets in your running apparel can make a big difference in your comfort and convenience. Whether you need a place to store your phone, keys, or energy gels, having pockets can help you stay organized and focused on your run. Look for apparel with secure pockets that won’t bounce around as you run.

Sun protection

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays is crucial, especially if you’re running outdoors for an extended period of time. Look for running apparel that offers built-in sun protection, such as UPF-rated fabrics or designs that cover more skin. You can also consider wearing a hat or sunglasses for added protection.

By considering these additional features when choosing your running apparel, you can ensure that you have a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable running experience.


In conclusion, selecting the right running apparel is crucial for ensuring a comfortable and successful run. By considering factors such as material, fit, weather conditions, and personal preferences, runners can choose the best apparel that suits their needs. It is important to prioritize quality and functionality over style, as functionality will ultimately impact performance. With the right running apparel, runners can feel confident, comfortable, and ready to conquer any distance. So, lace up those shoes, put on your favorite gear, and hit the pavement with confidence!