What to wear - the right running clothes

The right gear for cold, warm or wet days

Woman with proper running clothes for cold weather.

Not exactly sure what you'll need for your next jog? The right running gear should not only be comfortable but should also enable you to perform your best. In this article, we'll explain what to keep in mind and give you tips on how to find the right running clothing for all four seasons.

Why is the right running gear so important?

Aren't old sweatpants and a baggy T-shirt just fine for a jog? For beginners, sure. But if you train regularly or want to beat a personal best, proper running clothing are an important investment. Why?

  • Functional clothing, unlike cotton clothing, is breathable and stays dry despite sweating, whereas a normal T-shirt gets wet and stays wet.
  • Porper sportswear regulates the body's temperature and ensures you don't cool down or overheat.
  • Poorly fitting clothing rubs, especially on damp and salty skin, and can lead to sore spots. Functional textiles on the other hand reduce friction and fit well.
  • High-quality running clothing is designed to be ergonomic so they lie comfortably when running and you are guaranteed an optimal range of motion.


Start from the ground up

If you'd like to go running regularly and want to know where to start, start at the bottom:

  • Running shoes and socks
    In contrast to walking, jogging puts two to three times your body weight on your joints. Running shoes therefore not only support and protect your foot from the ground, but they also provide a cushion for your joints. To find the right running shoe, you can have a run analysis done in almost any sports store or from an orthopedic specialist.
    Running socks are important because they do not slip and thus prevent blisters. Be sure to find running socks without seams and that fit tightly. Special compression socks for runners also promote blood circulation and thus regeneration. This can lead to better performance.

Woman tieing shoes to go jogging.
The right running shoes protect the joints and help improve performance.

  • Running Tights & Underwear
    With tight running pants, it's important that they are breathable, fit snuggly and do not move; otherwise, they may chafe the skin. The same applies to underwear. If your running clothes rub against damp skin, sore spots can appear. Especially in summer, short running pants with integrated underwear are your best choice.
  • Running shirt & Sports bra
    Above all, the running shirt should be moisture wicking, quick-drying and comfortable. Whether you choose a loose or a tight shirt depends entirely on your preference. If choose a compression shirt or a special running shirt that regulates body temperature, then this shirt must fit tightly.
    For the sports bra, make sure it wicks sweat away, has as few seams as possible and features wide straps for a good fit so that there's no friction or unpleasant pressure points. A sports bra should always be chosen tight enough to limit the movement of the bust as much as possible.
  • Running jacket
    A proper running jacket protects you from the cold and rain. If you don't usually jog in the rain, a windproof and breathable running jacket should do just fine. If you need a water-repellent or even waterproof jacket, look for a running jacket with membranes; otherwise, it won't be breathable. Such models are usually more expensive. Also make sure that the running jacket has ventilation slits that you can open if it gets too hot under the jacket.

Woman with proper running clothes on a cool day.
An extra thick running jacket is not absolutely necessary for running in Winter, as overheating can happen quickly when running. We recommend many thin layers than one thick layer.

  • Headwear
    The body loses much of its heat from the head. In winter, you should therefore wear a cap or headband, while in the summer, you should protect the head from the sun and heat. A cap or bandana is perfectly suited for this. Also make sure that the headwear is breathable and dries quickly so that it does not freeze.
  • Extra precautions
    Especially in winter with limited daylight, be sure you are clearly visible to cars and cyclists. We also recommend bringing a headlamp along to light up your path.

  • Design your own winter running jersey for ladies

    Women's Winter Running Jersey RLW5w Pro

    See our running jersey »

    Design your own running Bandana

    CAB5 Pro Bandana

    See our Bandana »

    Design your own running shorts

    Men's Running Half Tights RPT5 Pro

    See our running tights »

    The right running clothes for between seasons

    It's not really warm, but not cold either - especially in spring or autumn, runners are often faced with the question of what to wear when jogging.

    The right running clothes for autumn.
    The additional of a vest is the perfect compromise between seasons.

    We recommend wearing many layers. Just make sure all layers are breathable and wick away moisture so that you don't sweat too much.

    If it's around 10°C or 50°F, we recommend the following running gear:

    • Normal length or ¾ running pants
    • Long or short sleeved running shirt (depending on your personal feeling of cold)
    • Wind resistent running jacket
    • If you have sensitive ears, you should wear a headband.

    Women's RJS5w Softshell Jacket Pro

    See our running jacket »

    Design your own women's running jersey

    Women's R5w Running Jersey

    See our running jersey »

    Men's RL5 Long Sleeve Running Jersey Pro

    See our long sleeve jersey »

    At around 20°C or 69°F, the right running wear could look like this:

    • Shorts with long socks
    • Short sleeve running top
    • Maybe a vest

    Design your own women's running tights

    Women's running tights RPT5w Pro

    See our running tights »

    Men's RS5 Pro Singlets

    See our running singlet »

    Men's R5 Running Jersey Pro

    See our running jersey »


    The right running gear for summer

    In summer it is important that you protect yourself from the sun and don't overheat.

    Whether you wear a loose or tight running shirt in summer is a matter of taste. A loose fitting top lets more air in, keeping you cooler. If it gets wet, however, it can stick to the skin and chafe. Important for either cut is that the shirt is breathable and dries quickly.

    Proper running clothing for summertime.
    Headwear goes a long way in summer.

    Here's what we recommend you include in a summer run:

    • Headwear(bandana or cap)
    • Shorts
    • Top
    • Sunscreen

    Women's Running Tights RPT5w Pro

    See our running tights »

    Women's RT5w Vest Pro

    See our running vest »

    Design your own bandana

    Bandana CAB5 Pro

    See our bandana »

    Tip: Douse your headware in water on hot days to keep you cool.

    The right running clothing in winter

    In winter, it is especially difficult to choose the right running clothing and you usually tend to dress too warm. A little tip: You have chosen the right running clothes when you feel a slight shiver at the beginning of the run.

    You should dress in layers in winter. This allows you to take off layers if you get too warm. Air is trapped between layers, so this will help insulate yourself from the cold. To stop clothing from becoming damp through perspiration, breathable sportswear is a must.

    If you notice you are dressed to warmly, react quickly and take off a layer before you start to sweat and get cold.

    Shorts over running tights keep the thighs and butt warm.

    In winter, you can go out for a run with a combination of the following:

    • Knee-high winter running leggings
    • Lined running trousers
    • Functional undershirt
    • Thick long-sleeved shirt (with fleece)
    • Windproof running jacket (possibly a thin vest underneath)
    • Breathable cap (or headband)
    • Thin but windproof running gloves
    • Neck warmer

    Design your own women's Winter running jersey

    Women's Winter Running Jersey RLW5w Pro

    See our winter running jersey »

    Softshell Jacket RJS5 Pro

    See our softshell jacket »

    Design your own men's Winter running jersey

    Men's Winter running jersey RLW5

    See our winter running jersey »

    Tip: To prevent your thighs and buttocks from cooling down, we recommend wearing thermal shorts over your running tights. For women, try thermal skirts that can be put on or taken off in seconds.


    If you'd like to learn more about jogging in winter, we recommend you take a look at our article „Tips and tricks for jogging in winter on how to continue jogging despite the cold and snow.“.

    The right running clothing for rainy weather

    Note that breathable waterproof rain jackets function with the help of membranes. Avoid wearing water proof jackets in warm weather, as moisture and heat cannot easily escape.

    Proper running clothing for the rain.
    A water-resistant jacket is often a better choice than waterproof.

    In warmer weather, we recommend wearing water resistant jackets. As a rule of thumb, water resistant jackets keep you dry on short runs of around 30 to 40 minutes. Open the ventilation slits in light rain for added circulation.

    We explain how to properly wash rain jackets with a membrane in our article "Washing jerseys properly: Instructions & care tips".

    Tips for buying running apparel

    When purchasing quality sportswear, it's worth spending a little more money for high-quality products. The high price of sportswear is usually associated with sophisticated technologies that provide the best possible comfort and performance.

    Here are some aspects you should consider when buying running gear and clothing:

    • How does it fit? Loose-fitting clothes rub and chafe the skin
    • How many seams are there? The less seams the more comfortable
    • Is it moisture-wicking, breathable and thus quick drying?
    • Are there reflectors to help with visibility at night?

    In addition to all the technical aspects, first and foremost your running gear should look good. As taste differs from person to person, you can design your very own personal running jersey in our 3D Designer. Here's what our Research and Development team does to make our our jerseys special:

    • Moisture Wicking
    • Ultra.dry technology
    • OEKO-TEX® certified materials
    • Made in Germany
    • Special cuts for best possible fit
    • Tested by professional athletes

    Design your own running jersey

    Men's Running Jersey R5 Pro

    See our running jersey »

    Design your own running singlet

    Women's RS5w Singlet Pro

    See our running shirt »

    Design your own bandana

    CAB5 Bandana Pro

    See our bandana »

    You can find more running tops and shorts in our Shop.

    Start off with the right running gear

    Once you have the right clothing, you can be on your way.

    To help improve your training, we recommend you to have a look at the following articles:

    If training pays off and you are thinking about running your first marathon, take a look at our interview with athlete Andreas Safft. There he explains what running clothing and equipment you'll need for a marathon.

    We wish you the best!


    Image credits: Title image: Pekic/iStock, Image 1: PeopleImages/iStock, > Image 2: lzf/iStock, Image 3: Alexander Chernyakov/iStock, Image 4: pixdeluxe/iStock, Image 5: vgajic/iStock, Image 6: sanjeri/iStock.