It doesn’t matter that much what you wear when you’re running, especially when you are just getting started. My most important considerations are comfortable clothing and a decent pair of shoes.
Of course you will want to consider the weather. When it starts to warm up you could see me running in a pair of cut off loose fitting jeans or a pair of very lightweight cotton shorts. Just depends on how warm it is and what’s on the top of the stack?
I see a lot of people wearing nylon and other manmade fabrics, but I always stick to cotton clothes. Cotton is much cooler and causes a lot less chafing for me.
I would never advise any inexperienced runner to start shopping for clothes or expensive shoes for the first few months. Why? Because there’s a lot more people who start out with a lot of ambition and energy than there are people who make running a regular part of their life.
Why buy expensive shoes and clothing — when you don’t know how long you’ll stick to the routine?
However, as you progress, work into a regular routine, and see what other runners are wearing — you’ll naturally learn how to dress for comfort depending on the weather.
The most important thing to remember is to stay comfortable, dry, warm, cool, and agile.
If you have bad knees or want to take precautions against damaging your knees — you must consider good knee sleeves from the beginning.
Not familiar with knee sleeves? Then read this post — UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support Review for the best information on protecting your knees from injury while running.
Shoes are the Starting Point
The more you run on a regular basis, the more important the shoes you wear will become.
However, I think any comfortable shoes will do to start running with.
Jogging shoes, tennis shoes, walking shoes, most anything with a soft sole that laces up should do?
But I may as well tell you up front:
You will need a good pair of shoes if you continue running.
Continuing past your first few runs in anything other than a good pair of well-fitted running shoes can cause unnecessary aches, pains, and serious problems.
My first pair of shoes were a pair of high top basketball shoes that taught me what shin splints were, and that they could shut me down for days.
And the aches and pains encountered from wearing the wrong running shoes have caused many beginners to quit before they know they started.
Comfortable Clothes are Important
Clothing changes as you learn more of what to expect
What I’m saying is this:
As you continue the sport, or hobby, of running your shoes and clothes will become more specific to your own needs than when you started.
I first jogged in a pair of cut off blue jeans, but quickly learned about some clothes chafing my legs.
Just like every other runner in the world:
The longer you participate, the more you’ll know what you enjoy wearing and what causes discomfort.
What To Wear When Running?
I don’t think there’s any reason to start buying running clothes to wear before you’ve made running a regular part of your life.
As you progress into a regular running routine you will see how different weather and conditions affect your body and your runs. Then you know how to shop for running clothes and what to expect from them.
Dealing With Sweat On A Run
It won’t take you long to realize that the best clothes to run in are often synthetic fibers because they are able to wick the sweat off your body, into your clothes and then evaporate into the atmosphere.
Most of my own clothes are cotton, however for running, cotton clothing sticks to my body as I sweat.
When that happens the rough cotton fibers are scratching, chafing, and making raw places.
So, even though I prefer cotton against my body, for running I must choose something synthetic. It works better and makes my runs more comfortable in summer or winter.
One thing I’ve learned about dealing with sweat is that the more conditioned your body becomes to running — the more you will sweat!
As your body learns what you’re up it starts to sweat quicker. Your body becomes more efficient at cooling itself than when you first started.
What that means to you is that the further you progress into a running routine, the more serious attention you give to your clothes.
Dressing for Winter Running
Don’t make this common mistake:
Over dressing for cool or cold weather.
Sure those heavy clothes feel warm and cozy when you start out, but it won’t take long to see the error of your ways.
Instead, put on light layers and expect to be cold for the first 5-10 minutes of your run.
A good warm up routine will be essential to get your muscles, tendons, and ligaments warm before you commence. Knowing how to warm up for a run before you take off will help keep you free of injury, summer or winter.
What About Hats and Gloves?
I’ll be the first to tell you that when it gets below 40 degrees, I’m wearing a stocking hat, and light gloves.
Did you know a third of your body heat escapes through your head?
Wearing a warm hat while running can help keep clothing to a minimum.
The first thing to hurt from cold when I run is my hands! I’m guessing a lot of that has to do with the fact that my hands stick out in front of me, leading the way? So, I wear a thin pair of gloves, and can sick into them into my waist band when I decide I don’t need them anymore.
Rain Gear for Running
Don’t let the rain stop you from getting out! You may find it the most satisfying days to exercise.
That hypnotic sound of my feet plopping the ground in rhythm intensifies with the sound of rain, and beauty of the wet world. Don’t miss it!
Just get quality rain gear and plan on using it, especially on cold days.
Look for either a jacket or a pullover that’s made with synthetic material.
These will allow air in, while keeping moisture out.
You’ll find great rain gear to use for running at most any sporting goods store, and will be a great investment for when you start running.
Whether it’s cold, wet, warm, or hot — what to wear when you start running plays a large part in getting the most out of your runs.