What To Wear Running: Go the Distance in Style


Perhaps you’re training for a marathon. Or maybe running is simply your favorite way to de-stress. Either way, we applaud you for getting out and being active. Before you lace up your trusty pair of running shoes, make sure you have the perfect outfit to sweat in. Are you wondering what to wear running? When it comes to women’s fashion and performance fabrics, we’ve got you covered, no matter the temperature, weather or setting. Read on and learn how to crush your PR in serious style. A balance between speed and fashion? You’ll be unstoppable.

How To Dress To Run In All Temperatures

One of the trickiest parts of heading outside for your workout is accounting for the weather. Depending on your location, the climate can drastically change from day to day. And in some places, even hour to hour. As a general rule of thumb for what to wear while running, you’ll want to dress as if it’s 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is. Why, you ask? As you run, you’ll be moving quickly and elevating your body temperature. Another factor to take into consideration? The wind chill. If this adds even more confusion to getting dressed, not to worry. We are here to help. Below, we’ll cover all your bases to make your running outfit a breeze for every woman. Hit the ground running whether Mother Nature turns down the cold or cranks up the heat.

What To Wear Running in the Cold: 30 Degree and Under 

For those mornings when the weather feels subarctic, it can be a struggle just to leave your cozy bed. We give you major props for braving the cold weather and getting in your daily run. As you head out the door on these extra chilly days, incorporate lots of layers into your running ensemble. When the temps dip below 30 degrees, anywhere from two to four are ideal for what to wear running in the cold. And, remember, it’s not just the amount of layers that are important. You’ll also want to pay close attention to fabrics and materials. 

We recommend starting with a top made of merino wool for a long-sleeve base layer. This is a prime fabric, as it’s warm, odor-resistant and moisture-wicking. It’s the superfabric of winter activewear, if you ask us. Atop this, add a performance jacket made with down (or down-alternative) quilting. On the bottom, full-length fleece-lined running tights will protect your legs from the chill. A pair with a bold pattern adds a playful pop to a piercing cold day. Finally, don’t forget to keep your ears, feet and hands toasty as well. Winter-ready active accessories like hats, mittens and thermal socks will do the trick. Need an extra rush of warmth? Use hand-warmers inside your gloves for instant and long-lasting heat.

What To Wear Running in 30-40 Degree Weather

Even ten degrees can have a huge impact on how the outside air feels when exercising. As the mercury creeps up into the 30s and 40s, opt for a light to medium-weight long-sleeved shirt. If you’re wondering what to wear running in 40 degree weather, dare to bare your ankles a bit. Choose the fan-favorite midi-length legging. Hitting just above your ankle, this silhouette combines fashion and functionality. Buckle on a small waist bag, which will let you bring along your keys, phone and wallet and be hands-free. Be sure to stow lightweight gloves in your pack, at the ready for any change of temperature. Our go-to style? A pair with touch-screen fingers, letting you easily keep digital track of your pace.

What To Wear Running in 50-60 Degree Weather

This mild range is perhaps the ideal running weather: Not too hot, and not too cold. It’s the Goldilocks of temperature ranges, if you will. When planning what to wear running in 50 degree weather, add a lightweight vest or jacket over your base layers. Pick a thin pullover or zip-up, ensuring it is easy to tie around your waist if you warm up. One with thumbholes at the wrist hem will provide your hands extra coverage. If you prefer your arms to have a larger range of movement, a slim puffer vest is an excellent choice. On the bottom, lightweight tights or capri pants will keep you cool while still encouraging airflow. Complete your look with a performance headband, covering your ears and helping to absorb any perspiration. 

Outfit Inspiration for Running in 70-80 Degree Weather

Come summer, the sun is out and the heat is rising. If high temperatures are in your daily forecast, hit the trail early in the morning or at dusk. At these hours, the air will be a bit cooler than during the midday heat. If you are wondering what to wear running in hot weather, lightweight materials are key for women’s summer activewear. Again, you’ll want to focus on moisture-wicking material to keep you dry and comfortable. For warm-weather, look for tops made of poly-blends and nylon. Depending on your comfort level, biker shorts are an ideal choice for warmer weather. A coordinating sports bra paired under a loose-fitting performance tank will offer support while welcoming a breeze. Round out your fashionable running look with a sport visor to keep the sun rays at bay. Don’t forget sunscreen. 

How To Dress for Running in Inclement Elements

Changes in weather can happen suddenly, no matter what the forecast says. It’s key to prepare for anything when you’re braving stormy skies to hit your movement goals. The dark clouds can open up at a moment’s notice mid-run. With this in mind, it’s all about fabrics that will keep you dry. Above all, remember to stay positive if you aren’t setting any time records when facing the elements. Just keep going.

What To Wear Running in Rain

From a little drizzle to heavier showers, ladies, consider precipitation levels while deciding what to wear running in the rain. Technical fabrics that feature moisture-wicking and quick-dry properties are best for rainy days. When it comes to the perfect outer layer, reach for a waterproof jacket and watch the drops simply roll away. Cap your tresses with a snug-fitting baseball hat, the quintessential finishing touch to keep the rain out of your eyes.

Rain can significantly reduce visibility, so you’ll want to take extra measures to make sure you are easily seen. Using reflective gear and a headlamp will alert other runners and motorists to your presence and help keep you safe. Of course, avoid being outdoors during lightning, thunderstorms or torrential downpours. If this should happen, give yourself a rest day or hit the indoor treadmill.

What To Wear Running in Winter Snow

Running in the winter snow can be a truly magical experience. With a light blanket of snow on the trees and streets, the world feels like a peaceful winter wonderland. However, be sure to take the necessary precautions when deciding what to wear running in winter snow. Fresh powder will be soft and black ice may be hiding underneath.

In terms of footwear, your running shoes should have plenty of traction in order to better grip the ground. Remember, the surface you are running on will be slick from the elements. Next, you’ll want to ensure your feet are kept warm and dry. For both rainy and snowy conditions, look for breathable and waterproof materials, such as Gore-Tex. This technology features a layer of well-ventilated insulation to keep you warmer in low temperatures. Need a quick tip to dry out your sneakers faster post-run? Stuff them with newspaper, which will help to absorb the water.

What To Wear on a Run Over Tights

Ladies, are you wondering what to wear over tights when stepping out for a run? The truth is, it boils down to your personal preference and comfort level. Runners may opt to add shorts over their tights for a variety of reasons. The main one is comfort. When worn on their own, shorts can cause intolerable chafing, something no runner wants to deal with. The addition of tights ensures an extra layer of fabric to protect your skin. Another bonus of adding shorts over your running tights? More pockets, of course. What’s not to love about that? If you’re headed out for a long run, pockets in only one bottom layer can prove to be not enough. Layering up with pocketed shorts provides more options for holding your on-the-go necessities.

Have Fun While You Run: What To Wear Running During a Themed Race

Now that you’re set with the varying weather, let’s get to the fun side of running. In recent years, themed runs have quickly risen in popularity. These events focus on festivity and are typically untimed, with no winners or prizes. They aim to put a unique twist on running and add enjoyment back to sport. From costume-centric sprints to colorful family events, there truly is something for everyone. Of course, you’ll want to dress the part. Wondering what to wear running for these special races? We’ve got a few ideas.

What Do You Wear to a Color Run

Perhaps one of the most colorful runs out there is, well, a color run. Never heard of this athletic event? Let us give you a quick background. Inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi, colorful powder is thrown on runners along the race route. At the end, they cross the finish line plastered in a celebration of rainbow hues. So, wondering just what to wear running for this colorful, yet messy run? Often, you will want to don a head-to-toe white look. This lets the bright colors pop against a crisp and clean backdrop. And not to worry—the color easily washes out of most clothing. Don’t forget to bring a face bandana and sunglasses to keep your nose and mouth protected. A final pro tip? Use a plastic bag to hold your phone, keeping it safe from color.

Costume Run: What To Wear Running for Fun

Whether it’s a popular holiday or a niche interest, you’re bound to find a themed run tailored just to you. Similar to a color run, costume runs prioritize fun and group participation. And, of course, a costume is a requirement. So, thinking about what to wear running in these events? Some, such as San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers, let the participants decide on their own theme. Want something with a little more direction? There are events that focus on everything from zombies to decades and, yes, even Santa.

Although these costumes can sometimes feel a bit restrictive for movement, there are plenty of ways to stay on-theme while still staying active-ready. No matter what your costume entails, a pair of performance leggings underneath will have you taking on the miles with ease. Add female empowerment to your running ensemble by choosing a women-owned brand of athletic gear. Lastly, always be sure to stick with your go-to sneakers, paired with comfortable socks. Whatever you pick, your look is sure to take you straight across the finish line.

Looking for activewear pieces that are in it for the long run? Our style experts are ready to lend you a hand. Take your style quiz, order a Fix and don’t forget to ask your stylist for running-ready looks, no matter the weather. Relax and receive five items that you can try comfortably at home. Buy what you love and send back the rest. If you prefer, head over to Stitch Fix Freestyle™ to instantly buy pieces curated for your style and size. Shipping and returns are always free.

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