“What should I wear?”
This is probably one of the first questions you’ll have in mind if you are new to running. And this could probably be one of the reasons why you can’t start just yet.
Picking the right clothes, running socks, shoes, watches, bags, headband, belt and other gears for running isn’t just about looking great. You also need to make sure that you’ll be comfortable throughout the activity. In addition to that, there should also be enough support to make sure you don’t end up with injuries.
To help you get started, here are some rules to follow when deciding what to wear when running.
Contrary to what you may probably have in mind, cotton won’t be your best friend when you go running. This fabric has the ability to hold in moisture and trap sweat. It can’t also help regulate temperature. If you’ll be going out on a run on a hot day, you’ll likely overheat. And if you run on a chilly night, you can end up freezing.
In choosing what to wear when running, stick with technical fabrics. They are lightweight and specifically designed to keep moisture off of your skin. They can also help regulate temperature so you won’t have to worry about running on a hot or cold day. This type of fabric typically utilizes synthetic materials. Great examples include nylon and Lycra.
The kind of shoes you wear when running can greatly affect your performance. Wear an ill-fitting pair of shoes and you can end up with blisters and sore feet.
In picking the right shoes, always check the cushion level. There are actually 5 levels you can choose from.
- Level 1 only offers a thin layer of protection but it is the lightest. It can help strengthen your feet as you run, walk or train. It feels as if you’re running barefoot while still offering your feet with some protection.
- Level 2, meanwhile, is the best choice for competitive racers. It is extremely light and flexible, allowing you to feel connected to the road. Like level 1, shoes with level 2 cushion can help strengthen your feet.
- Level 3 is the best for expert runners. It is lightweight, flexible and offers moderate cushion. It’s a great choice for both race and daily running.
- Level 4 cushioning is great for high mileage running. It offers a high level of cushion to help boost your running performance.
- Level 5 cushioning offers maximum cushion. It’s recommended for maximum impact protection when you are doing half and full marathons.
In addition to cushion, you should also be specific about arch type when choosing your shoes. This will determine the amount of support your feet will need.
When you run or do any form of exercise, your feet tend to perspire heavier than usual. This can end up in blisters if you don’t find a good pair of socks that can absorb the excess sweat. Choose merino wool socks and stay away from your cotton socks unless you are doing a very light workout.
You might think that hats aren’t that necessary but if you are running outdoors, hats can protect you against temperature changes. Just make sure that you get a light and breathable hat for the summer and a wool hat for the winter, colder months.
When shopping for clothing, there are several factors you need to consider to ensure that you stay comfortable while running.
One good example is reflectivity. If you run at night, wearing something with reflective accents can make it easier for drivers to see you. This can help prevent accidents. It’s also a good idea to shop for running clothes with sun protection. Look for items marked with UPF ratings to make sure that they can provide protection from UVA and UVB rays.
Quick drying clothes is also a great choice for runners like you. Getting sweat and moisture won’t only make you smell bad but they can also trigger a number of skin issues, like acne and rashes. Fabrics like nylon and polyester can keep you dry whether you are running under the sun or you’re caught up in running rain.
Running clothes with pockets are ideal, too. They give you enough space to carry your identification cards and keys. Most running clothes have concealed pockets so you won’t have to worry about attracting unwanted attention.
What NOT to Wear When Running
As much as possible, skip the lacy and tight undies. They may look great but their fabrics can rub on your skin, causing chaffing. Avoid wearing cotton underwears, too. They tend to get heavy when they get wet and they don’t dry quickly.
- Low-intensity sports bra are a major no-no for runners. They don’t offer the right type of support, making you more prone to back pain and breast injuries.
- Tops with seams are bad for running as well. Their seams on the sides can rub on your skin which can cause irritation.
- If you are worried that you might end up feeling cold while running during winter, don’t wear fleece jackets. They can easily soak with precipitation. They can also cause you to sweat too much under, making you colder as you remain wet.
- Forget about your favorite pair of shoes. If they are already worn out, there’s a good chance that they will no longer be able to provide proper stability and cushion. This can easily lead to a number of running injuries.
- Don’t get excited about wearing your new set of clothes. Race day is not the best time to try them out. Since you don’t have any idea of how the fabric will affect your skin, it’s best if you wear your new running gears while training. This way, you’ll know if it’ll make you chafe or prevent movement.
- Thick socks can look like they can provide enough cushion and protection but they aren’t the best during the hot months. Thick socks can make your big toes rub against the front part of your shoes and this can lead to black toenails. They can also increase your risk for blisters.
- Clothes that are too tight or too loose can affect your running performance. They can also irritate your skin.