a man and a woman running in hot weather on the mountain

Summer Running: What Should I Wear?

Don’t let the heat keep you from running! Learn what to wear to stay cool, dry, and energized on your summer runs.

When running in hot weather, you’ll be sweating a ton—there’s no way to avoid it. However, you can dress in technical apparel that will pull moisture away from your skin and dry quickly.

Is it okay to run in 30°C (and up) weather? For most people, the answer is yes—as long as you prepare accordingly and listen to your body. Find out what you should wear to minimize discomfort, and learn to embrace the heat!

man with running longer shorts

What to wear for running in hot weather

TOPS

If you've been accustomed to running in cotton t-shirts, the transformative comfort of a technical t-shirt will astound you, enhancing your performance and overall experience. Instead of absorbing moisture, technical fabrics pull sweat away and dry on the go, so you never have to run in a wet shirt.

Contrary to intuition, running shirtless or in just a sports bra in intense heat can make you feel warmer. Sweat adheres to your skin, and direct sun exposure intensifies the heat, whereas a breathable shirt can help regulate your body temperature.

Did you know that perspiration can increase your susceptibility to sunburn? Sweaty skin is less effective at reflecting and scattering UV rays, making sun protection even more crucial during physical exertion.If you’re running in full sun, definitely cover up, and go for a top with built-in UV protection.


BOTTOMS

Hot weather intuitively suggests shorts for optimal airflow and minimal restriction. However, a common drawback, particularly with women's running shorts, is their tendency to bunch up during a run. This can lead to uncomfortable chafing as your inner thighs rub together—certainly not ideal!

Cropped leggings are a popular summer choice among runners to prevent chafing, but they're not the only solution. Consider tighter, longer shorts—akin to cycling shorts but tailored for running—which resist riding up. Alternatively, 2-in-1 shorts offer a non-skin-tight option. For added protection, apply anti-chafing cream to any areas prone to friction.

For colour selection, light or bright hues are your allies. They not only mask sweat salt stains better than dark fabrics but also reflect heat, keeping you cooler. Additionally, these vibrant colours enhance your visibility during low-light runs.

How to prevent blisters

In warmer weather, increased foot perspiration can lead to blisters. Combat this by opting for shoes with mesh inserts and moisture-wicking socks. Avoid running sockless, as this can cause friction against shoe seams and potentially damage the shoe interior due to sweat and salt. If you suspect your socks are causing blisters, consider switching to running-specific socks. These are designed with flat seams to minimize chafing and have slight padding at the ankle for stability.

woman running with cap, sunglasses and hydration vest because of hot weather

Essential accessories

A hat or visor

A hat is like a tiny, portable beach umbrella for your head. It lets you take a bit of shade with you wherever you go to protect your scalp from burning. Visors are great for people with lots of hair because they allow the scalp to breathe while still shielding your face from the sun.


Sunglasses

Can you wear regular sunglasses when running? Yes—as long as they’re not falling off, bouncing on your nose or making you too sweaty, you’re good. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays while you run, and they also do much more! They prevent you from squinting and straining your facial muscles, which helps you relax and conserve energy. Plus, they reduce glare and improve visibility; which are important safety features when running.


A hydration belt or vest

Staying hydrated is always essential, and especially when running in hot weather. Wearing a hydration belt or vest ensures you have water on you at all times—you’ll be surprised how quickly you get thirsty on scorching days! For shorter distances, a belt with one or two small bottles will let you carry just enough water to stay hydrated on the go. You may want to go for a vest with a larger capacity and multiple storage pockets for long runs. 

Want more tips for exercising in hot weather? Follow this guide to learn more.

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