Getting dressed is easy, right? As adults, we’ve been selecting weather appropriate clothing for at least a few years. So you would think that getting dressed to go for a run wouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. But make one or two mistakes, and you could find yourself incredibly uncomfortable, blistered, or frost-bitten. The longer you run, the more you realize if you prefer to be on the warm or cool end of the spectrum, and your own layering preferences. And while this guide can’t go out and buy the best running gear for any weather for you, it’s a great place to start.
Now, full disclosure, I live and run in South Texas. We get snow approximately once every 3 years, and it hangs out for 7 hours or less (if we’re very lucky). We do get some ice from time to time, but for the most part, we’re able to avoid the difficulties of snow storms or icy trails. If you’re looking for recommendations for more extreme winter running gear, I’d love to direct you over to AtoZRunning or The Mother Runners.
That being said, here’s how I, a southern Texan, dress for the various seasonal elements.
Clothes & Running Gear For Any Weather
Above 100 – Yes, I have walked out the door to triple digit heat with all the humidity to go along with it. I have only one thing to say about running in this type of weather. LOL, you’re gonna die no matter what you wear. Vaya con dios!
85-100 – In this type of weather, you need to do everything you can to stay somewhat cool. I recommend a light singlet, shorts, hat, & sunglasses. Make sure that you have a way to carry water, like a handheld bottle or hydration vest. I also recommend to approach track & other workouts cautiously, since your body works harder in higher heat and humidity.
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70-85 – I don’t change too much at this point, but I am more open to taking on harder workouts. For speed workouts, consider ditching the shirt, but make sure to keep some Squirrels Nut Butter handy. More sweat = more chaffing. Some sweat wicking toe socks can also be life changing when it comes to preventing blisters on warmer days.
55-70 – Once the weather starts to dip into the fifty-something range, I tend to break out the sleeved t-shirts, which is a big time celebration after the long summer months. For speed or harder workouts, I still revert to the standard tank & shorts.
45-55 – The first good cold front is a high holiday to be celebrated with a light long sleeve shirt & shorts. For workouts or in full sun, I typically drop to a regular t-shirt & shorts. In drizzly/rainy conditions, I tend to go for a tank and light water-resistant jacket. Add in a light ear warmer and gloves when it’s closer to 40, especially if there’s limited sun.
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35-45 – If the weather dips below 45, I’m typically breaking out the fleece-lined long sleeve to go with my shorts, gloves, & ear warmer combo. I go for capri leggings in the 30’s for easy run, or if it’s going to be dark. Speaking of dark runs, during the colder winter months it’s important to have a head lamp and some sort of reflective gear.
30-40 – It is a COLD day if the temperature starts with a “3” around here. For this kind of weather, I stick with a fleece-lined long sleeve or tank under a light long sleeve, full leggings, gloves, & ear warmers. I’d recommend adding hand warmers and compression socks for easy runs.
20-30 – I have run in twenty degree weather all of 3 times in my decades long running career, and I made sure to wear a long sleeve shirt with vest, fleece-lined leggings, gloves, ear warmers, and hand warmers. I would probably opt for a fleece-lined shirt without a vest for a speed workout or full sun. If there is snow, rain, or drizzle, go with a long sleeve shirt & water-resistant jacket. Add in a neck buff for lower temps!
If you’re running in weather of twenty or below, I hate to tell you but I am not the girl to give you any first hand recommendations. As much as I LOVE the cold weather, I just don’t get out in sub-freezing temps more than a handful of times every year. So if you’ve got recommendations for the super cold days, I’d love to hear them!