We miss winter running. The woolly hats and gloves. The big socks. Overtaking shivering groups of chilly people while feeling smugly toasty. It’s a superior-feeling, frosty-toed kind of exercise. But summer running? No thank you.
While we cut quite a dash running in winter — darting around icy patches and billowing out our breath as we went — summer runs reduce us to a puddle; a sweaty mess of heatstroke and dehydration. But, in these trying times, there is no alternative or excuse. Even if you hate hot weather jogging (and we do, we really do) everyone has to make the most of getting out and feeling healthy.
So, if you too have been putting off your cardio because you can’t handle the heat, we’ve rounded up some of the best warm weather running gear below. From loose, breathable T-shirts to a handful of helpful accessories to get you on your way, this is the best running gear for summer.
Pull on a heatwave friendly top or T-shirt
Let’s start by unzipping that trusty winter running fleece and pulling that jogging sweater off over your head. Making yourself sweat may be key to losing weight, but keep too many layers on when running in the summertime and you’ll do yourself a mischief. So, even if there’s a nip in the air when you step outside your door, don’t reach for an extra layer. And the layers you are wearing should be lightweight, breathable and able to wick moisture away from your skin.
Take Under Armour’s UA RUSH™ Sleeveless top, for example. It comes with a mineral-infused fabric which takes the energy you give off when you work, and reflects it back into the muscles for increased blood flow and endurance. Lululemon’s Metal Vent Tech Sleeveless 2.0 has a sleekly streamlined fit, and minimal seams to reduce the dreaded chafing. Or opt for Petra, a luxury brand with the science to back up its style. This Evotee technical shirt contours the muscle while providing freedom of movement, and is ideal for running, cycling or strength training.
Under Armour RUSH™ Compression Sleeveless
Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Sleeveless 2.0
Petra Men’s EVOTEE Technical T-Shirt
Never forget your sunglasses
If you’re a winter runner, you’ve probably got a pair of running sunglasses tucked away somewhere. There’s nothing worse on a cold December morning, after all, than taking a corner on the cusp of a personal best and being blinded by the low winter sun. Actually, that’s not quite right. Being blinded for the entirety of your run would be more uncomfortable — and that’s exactly what’ll happen if you head out without a pair of sports shades this summer.
Thankfully, we’ve found some top frames to help you on your way. Oakley’s Radar sunglasses may not be cheap, but their photochromic lenses automatically adjust to changing UV light when you’re out and about, meaning you’ll always be aware of your surroundings. Nike’s Tailwind frames come equipped with interchangeable lenses and anti-fogging features; no need to worry about sweat obscuring your vision. And Julbo’s Aero sunglasses are aptly named; weighing in at a mere 30 grams.
Oakley Radar EV Path Sunglasses
Nike Tailwing E Sunglasses
Julbo Aero Sunglasses
Leave your compression shorts at home
Compression shorts are all well and good — they help to promote blood flow, oxygenate your muscles during exercise and prevent cramping — but they’re also very, very tight. And, with that snug fit comes heat. Lots of it. So you’ve got to ask yourself? Are the benefits worth the sweaty discomfort? We’d wager not. Instead, when running in summer, we’d suggest you ditch your compression shorts and go for an airy, breathable option instead.
Castore has you covered here. The British brand’s Pro Tek performance shorts are crafted from a lightweight bi-stretch fabric, letting the shorts adapt to your motion (and the internal wasteland usefully alleviates any chafing). Arc’teryx’s shorts are equally ergonomic, if a little longer. Cut from the brand’s own Fortius DW — a lightweight, moisture-wicking shell fabric — they’re running at the cutting edge of workout gear. Or opt for Under Armour’s simple Launch running shorts; ultra-light and with an internal mesh for breathability.
Castore Pro Tek Performance Shorts
Arc'teryx Aptin Fortius DW Shorts
Under Armour Launch Run Shorts
Lace up a pair of breathable running shoes
Of course, you won’t get too far without lacing up a pair of tip-top running shoes. And your winter kicks, although they saw you through any frosty patches, might not cut it during the warmer weather. Instead, you need a pair of sneakers that run the line between snug comfort and airy breathability. It’s a tough ask, but we’ve found a few pairs that do the job handsomely.
These Adidas kicks have an outsole with a traction pattern based on computer-generated data, and midsole cushioning that should keep any blisters at bay. Saucony’s Hurricane 23 shoes are also a great option — with a supportive guidance frame, they subtly guide every step without feeling at all restrictive; plus, they’re chock full of cushioning and unique crafted detailing. And then there’s New Balance; a more affordable offering, but with an engineered mesh upper worth its weight in gold.
Adidas PulseBOOST HD Shoes
Saucony Men’s Hurricane 23
New Balance 680V6
Find the accessories that work for you
And, finally, come your accessories. Of course, we can all run without the bells, whistles and ergonomic energy gel dispensers that most running brands try to sell us — but some of this supplemental kit really does help. Take Bose’s SoundSport Wireless headphones, for example. With an ever-reliable connection and water-resistant construction, there’s almost nothing you can’t throw at these beauties — even some very intense, motivational industrial techno.
Nike’s AeroBill Tailwind cap, also, is a must-have for the summer months. Serving a similar purpose to the sunglasses above, this hat will shield your eyes, help you cut through the air and wick any sweat away from your scalp. And then there’s the water. Keeping hydrated while out running is probably rule #1 of summer exercise, and nobody does it more practically or stylishly than Camelbak. The brand’s Octane Dart reservoir can hold up to 2 litres of water — meaning your thirst will remained quenched every step of your record-breaking way.
Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones
Nike AeroBill Tailwind Cap
Camelbak Octane Dart
Don’t want to leave the house just yet? London Fitness Guy has the perfect at home workout for locked down runners…
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