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 lightweight, wicking T-shirt or vest
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 Nike’s Hyperdry Breathe top, for example. There’s two technical features right there in the name. The sweat-wicking fabric and nonrestrictive design will keep you light on your feet, and the hem is lower at the back to keep you covered during stretches. Similarly, Lululemon’s Metal Vent Tech Tank is crafted from recycled polyester — a breathable ventilation mesh to keep you feeling fresh. Or opt for Petra, a luxury brand with the science to back up its style. This Technical T-shirt is aerodynamic, quick-dry and has four-way stretch.
Nike HyperDry Breathe Tee
Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Tank
Petra Men’s 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 Vaporwing frames not only have the coolest name, but also the most aerodynamic frames to shave precious seconds off your time. And Julbo’s Aero sunglasses are aptly named; weighing in at a mere 25 grams.
Oakley Radar EV Path Sunglasses
Nike Vaporwing Elite 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 — but only barely. The British brand’s Jerez running shorts are ergonomically cut, have almost no drag and feature a hidden pocket at the back. 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 SW shorts; ultra-light and with an interior mesh for breathability.
Castore Jerez Running Shorts
Arc'teryx Aptin Fortius DW Shorts
Under Armour Launch SW 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.
Currently reduced, we love these Adidas kicks because of that QR code on the tongue. What does it do, we hear you ask? Let’s just say, if you scan it, your run will be soundtracked by the best. Saucony’s Peregrine 10 shoes are also a great option — especially if you’re an off-road runner. Unassuming to look at, they’re chock full of cushioning and hardy outsole tech. 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 Peregrine 10
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 waterproof 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 minimalist Octane Dart reservoir can hold up to 1.5 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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