What to Wear Running to Look Stylish and Feel Comfortable


woman running

If you're a running newbie or are training for your first half-marathon, you may be wondering about what to wear running. Well, you've come to the right place!

The good news is running is a relatively low maintenance sport. You won't have to go out and buy a bunch of fancy equipment or expensive gear. All you really need is a good pair of running shoes and an outfit that will keep you looking stylish and feeling comfortable.

You've made the commitment to prioritize your health and fitness and start running. That's awesome! Now I'm here to make sure that you look great while you're doing it.

What to Wear Running: First, Let's Talk About Running Shoes

When you're first getting started, and you're wondering what to wear running, the first thing to consider is your running shoes. Let me start this by saying that there is no one perfect running shoe for everyone. However, it is possible to find the perfect running shoe for you.

Investing in a good pair of high-quality running shoes is essential not only to make you look great while you're running but more importantly, you need them to prevent injury. Believe it or not, wearing the wrong shoes is one of the leading causes of running injuries.

When I say that you should invest in a high-quality pair of shoes, that doesn't mean that you have break the bank, either. Generally speaking, more expensive shoes tend to have more technology and are often better quality. However, that's not always the case. Just because a shoe is expensive doesn't necessarily mean that it's better than a more moderately priced shoe.

The key is you have to try them on and see how they feel.

Some running specialty stores will measure your foot and watch you run on a treadmill to find the best shoe for your gait.

Be sure that when you shop for new running shoes, you bring your running socks with you. The thickness of your socks will make a difference in how your shoes fit. If you don't have them with you, ask the store to borrow a pair.

Important things to look for in running shoes

The first thing to consider when you're buying a new pair of running shoes is the cushioning. Having enough cushion in your shoe is important for new runners, especially if you are heavier. But one downside of having a lot of cushioning is that it makes the shoe heavier and clunkier. Your best bet is to try on a lightweight pair of shoes and try on a pair with plenty of cushioning and see which one feels better for you.

If you plan on running in the evening or first thing in the morning, then another thing to consider is a reflective surface. Wearing a shoe with a reflective material assures that drivers will see you on the road.

The last thing that you should look for in your new running shoes is the tread.

Where do you plan on running? Will you be running on a treadmill or outside on the pavement? Or maybe you'll be running trails. All of those use shoes with slightly different treads. For example, shoes designed for trail running have a deeper, thicker tread than shoes designed for the treadmill or road running.

Tips to get the fit right

Our feet tend to swell a bit throughout the day. They also spread while you run. So the ideal time to try on new running shoes is later in the afternoon or evening to get the best fit.

And speaking of that foot spread, to accommodate it, you should have about a thumb's width of space between the end of the shoe and the end of your foot.

You should also be sure that the shoe wraps comfortably around your foot. You want your foot sitting in the center of the platform of the shoe. A good running shoe won't pinch anywhere or feel sloppy on your foot.

When you try the shoe on, move around in it, jog in place, jump up and down. Pay close attention to any irritation or abrasive spots. You don't want that. Keep in mind that any minor annoyance when you try the shoe on will turn into a blister-causing nightmare when you're running.

What to Wear Running: Now, About Your Running Clothes

One of the things that we love about running is that it doesn't require the purchase of a whole bunch of expensive equipment or gear. But if you're a newbie, here are a few things that you should start with when you're wondering what to wear running.


When you're thinking about what to wear running, most people pay no attention to socks. But you really should.

The first thing to avoid is 100 percent cotton socks. The problem with them is that once they get wet, it will feel like you're running in puddles. These days there are much better options for running socks. You'll be much better off going with a sock that uses a synthetic blend that will wick the sweat and moisture away from your feet and protect you from blisters.

For the best running socks look for materials like CoolMax, acrylic, and polyester.

Technical running clothing

Clothing made specifically for running is lightweight and designed to move with your body. Running apparel shouldn't pinch or chafe anywhere.

When you're thinking about what to wear running, you should go for materials that are high tech versions of polyester, nylon, or wool. When you run in colder temperatures, the technical clothing will keep you dry and warm. And when you wear it in hotter weather, it will help to wick the sweat away from your body and prevent any chafing.

Another great thing about the high tech fabrics is that they hold up longer than regular cotton after wears and washings.

Here are some excellent examples of what to wear running.

We love these leggings. They glow in the dark so you can feel safe running at night. And they are quick-dry which means that they will wick the moisture off of your body while you're running.

These dry-fit t-shirts are great for the guys.

What to wear running: men's dry-fit t-shirts


Image via Exercise Earth

These lightweight racerback tank tops are excellent options too.

What to wear running: racer back tank tops
Image via Exercise Earth

And these adorable shorts are perfect for summer running:

What to wear running: red, white, and blue running shorts
Image via Exercise Earth

Supportive sports bras

Okay ladies, now I'm talking to you. When you're deciding what to wear running, except for your shoes, the most crucial piece of clothing is going to be a good supportive sports bra.

Just like with the shoes, it's best to try a sports bra on to make sure that the fit is right. And don't just try it on. Move around in it. Jump up and down. Jog in place. Is the sports bra staying put? Does it offer enough support? Is it pinching or pulling anywhere? Remember that if your sports bra is uncomfortable when you try it on, it's going to be miserable when you run in it.

As a general rule, most sports bras need to be replaced after 72 washes, when they get stretched out, or if your weight changes significantly.

Here are some of our favorites this season.

You don't need anything super fancy. A simple sports bra is all that you need. We love this one because it offers plenty of support. It also comes with removable padding.

What to wear running: blue sports bra
Image via Exercise Earth[/caption]

However, you don't have to stick with simple or plain. There are lots of super cute options when it comes to sports bras. Just make sure that it offers enough support.

What to wear running: green and black sports bra


Image via Exercise Earth

If you have a smaller chest, you won't need quite as much support so you can go with an adorable strappy sports bra.

What to wear running: strappy blue sports bra

Image via Exercise Earth

If you have a larger chest, you're not stuck with the old boring styles of yesterday either. We love the strappy back of this one, and it still offers plenty of support.

What to wear running: white strappy sports bra


Image via Exercise Earth

Some other features to look for in running clothes

Another thing to think about when you're considering what to wear running is compression. Some companies make workout wear in compression fabrics which have proven to speed up your recovery after running. Many runners also love the support that they get with compression socks, leggings, and tops.

Pockets are another thing that you should look for if you plan on carrying anything with you when you run. You can find pockets in all sorts of running gear now. Here is a pair of leggings that will hold your cell phone.

What to wear running: grey leggings with side pocket for phone


Image via Exercise Earth

You can also look for sun protection in your running clothes. Some companies make running gear specifically to protect your skin from the sun. SPF clothing, along with sunscreen and a hat can protect you from the dangers of skin cancer.

What to Wear Running: More Running Gear That You May Want for Your Run

Beyond your clothing, there are a few other things that you should wear while you're running.

Sports watch

While we're talking about what to wear running, it's essential that I also mention a sports watch. A good sports watch will help you time your runs. Many of them also come with GPS. And some can even monitor your heart rate. And you don't have to spend a fortune on one either. Here's one of our favorites this year.

What to wear running: black sports watch with heart rate monitor
Image via Exercise Earth

Running belt

If you're not big into pockets, another accessory that you should check out is a running belt. A good running belt will hold your ID, your keys, and your phone so you don't have to carry them in your hands or pockets while you run. Here's one of our favorite running belts this year.

What to wear running: black running belt
Image via Exercise Earth

Or you could use this waterproof armband to carry your phone and key.

What to wear running: water resistant cell phone arm band
Image via Exercise Earth

Sun protection

While you're thinking about what to wear running, it's crucial that you don't forget about sunscreen. If you're running outside during the day, then you should wear waterproof sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. Make sure that you use a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. A broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.

It's also a good idea to invest in some sports sunglasses to protect your eyes.

One Last Thing About What to Wear Running

Before we finish talking about what to wear running, I want to mention water.

If you are new to running, it's important that you know that you have to drink water before and after your runs. If you're running for long periods, you should also drink water during your run.

As a general rule, you should drink 4 to 6 ounces of water every 20 minutes that you're running.

The reason that drinking water is so vital for runners is that you can lose 18 to 35 fluid ounces per hour while you're running. That could lead to dehydration, which will not only make you feel terrible, but it could also lead to worse health complications.

To find out how much water you should be drinking, you can use the following calculations:

For the low end, take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 0.5. That will give you the minimum amount of water in ounces that you should drink every day.

For the high end, take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 1.0. That will give you the top level of water in ounces that you should be drinking.

Now we want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section below what you think of our suggestions for what to wear running. And share with our readers if you have any great tips for newbies.

Have a great day, and get running!

Featured Image: Pixabay License, via skeeze

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