What to Wear on a Run
If you’re looking to get into exercise, running is a great starting point. It requires minimal skills and equipment except for workout clothes and good shoes. That being said, it is important that you get the right gear to ensure that you can run comfortably and safely. In this ultimate guide, we talk you through what to wear while running and explore optional accessories that can make your runs better.
Sports Bras and Underwear
If you’re running, then you will want to look for a high impact cute sports bra, which is designed for high intensity activities that cause a lot of bouncing. Leonisa sports bras come in many different styles, including wireless models with molded cups, underwire versions for extra support and front zip styles that make donning them a breeze. Generally speaking, the larger your breasts are, the more support you will need. Someone who is 32A might be fine with a tight compression bra, while someone who is 36G will likely need an underwire sports bra.
If you can, try on the sports bra before buying. If you’re unable to, fortunately, Leonisa offers a hassle-free return policy, so you can return a product if you decide you need a different size or want a different style. You might need to choose a slightly different size from your regular bra in order to get the fit and support that you need. Always measure yourself before ordering a bra, as your size may have changed since the last time you bought them. Try Leonisa’s bra size finder, as our fit finder is the most accurate to our product offering. At Leonisa, we use the standard U.S. sizing system so you always know what you are getting! We provide either a size calculator or a size chart on each page so you can find your ideal bra size at a glance.
When your bras arrive, try them on and do some jumping and running in place to test them out. Also, bend over and perform other movements, such as tying your shoe, to make sure that the straps and/or underwire doesn’t dig. Be careful not to sweat, as you don’t want to stain the fabric in case you do have to complete an exchange. Wear the bra around the house for at least an hour as you walk around and perform light tasks. This will allow you to assess the fabric and better determine if there is any rolling or digging.
Sports bras withstand a lot of activity, which may stretch the fabric more quickly than a regular bra. Your sports bras should be replaced whenever they are stretched out, whenever your size has changed or after 72 washes, whichever comes first.
Before we move on from underwear, a quick note about your panties: Cotton fabric is best for its breathable and non-irritating properties, but it does soak up sweat fast and dry slowly. You might want to bring a spare pair so you can change into some dry underwear right after your run. In fact, it’s best to rinse off and do a quick change directly after any workout to keep that sweat and bacteria from hanging out on your skin and causing irritation and breakouts.
Tops and Jackets
Unless it’s the heat of the summer, you’re probably going to throw a top over your sports bra. Running shirts are available in many different styles, including tank tops, short sleeves and long sleeves. You can choose from loose or fitted shirts, whatever is your preference. If you like long sleeved shirts, you might want to get ones with thumbholes, which provide increased hand coverage and keep the sleeves from riding up as you run. Vents placed in strategic locations, such as the back and sides, will help keep you cool and covered all at once.
When it comes to the rest of your running outfit, you will probably want to look for performance fabrics such as polyester, nylon, wool or fabric blends. Leonisa utilizes different fabric technologies depending on the purpose of the garment. Whether you need moisture wicking shirts or compression leggings, Leonisa has it all. Different fabrics have different properties depending on what fibers are used and what treatments are applied to the fabric. You will want to vary your running clothes based on the season. For example, a wool blend jacket is a better choice in the winter, while a polyester blend tank top is perfect for summer.
Speaking of jackets, if you are running in colder weather, you might need an extra layer beyond a shirt. Look for thin jackets that won’t impede your running form. Keep in mind that your body heats up very quickly when you run, so you don’t need a super thick jacket like you would normally wear if you were just standing around outside.
Just like running tops, running bottoms come in a variety of styles and fabrics. Many people like to wear either loose running shorts that hit at the upper thigh or to wear leggings that stop at either their calves or ankles. If you struggle with thigh chafing, a common side effect of running, you might want to opt for leggings or to wear longer compression shorts beneath your loose running shorts. Most people prefer to avoid long, baggy pants, which can slow you down and even cause you to trip.
Running shorts and leggings often come with small pockets that are designed to carry credit cards, keys, cell phones and other small essential items. Some of them also feature vent panels that enhance breathability. Running leggings may offer compression technology that helps hold everything in place while you move. Similar to the tops, running bottoms come in a variety of fabrics and styles, so choose the ones that suit the season best.
Getting the proper running socks is key to preventing blisters, chafing and other problems. As with other running clothes, avoid 100 percent cotton and instead opt for performance blends that incorporate polyester, acrylic, wool and other performance fabrics. Socks come in many different lengths, from ankle to crew socks. The taller the sock, the more insulation it provides. Most runners wear short socks in the summer and taller socks in the winter.
Some long distance runners like to wear compression socks or sleeves when running. These tight socks are made of a specially woven performance fabric that encourages better circulation and reduces post-run swelling. If you struggle with a lot of swelling after your runs, consider getting some mild compression socks to see if they help.
Running shoes are perhaps the most crucial item to wear running, as they protect your feet and lower body from injury and repetitive stress. In fact, wearing the wrong type or size of running shoe can actually cause injury, so it’s critical to pick the right one. You should have a dedicated pair of running shoes and replace them often, especially if you’re a long distance or frequent runner who racks up a lot of miles in a short amount of time.
If you’ve never deliberately bought running shoes before, it’s a good idea to go to a specialty running store. The trained salespeople there can help you evaluate your gait—for instance, whether you over or under pronate when you run—and make recommendations for shoes based on how your foot strikes the ground. Make sure to bring a pair of running socks to wear when you try on shoes to guarantee that you get the most accurate fit possible. Many people recommend going up a half size or even a full size on workout shoes to accommodate for swelling.
When you’re shopping for regular shoes, you probably think about color, material, size and brand. When it comes to running shoes, there are many different factors that you also need to take into account, including the upper part, the ankle collar, the toebox, the inner sole insert and more. Again, an experienced sales associate can walk you through choosing the best running shoes for your foot and running style.
There are some optional running accessories that can make your runs more pleasant and efficient. These include:
- Running belts and fanny packs: If you don’t have running clothes with a lot of pockets, you might want to get yourself a running belt or fanny pack. These slender packs are designed to hold only a few essentials, such as your phone, keys and credit cards. They come in many different styles, from waist belts to miniature backpacks. Generally speaking, the longer your runs, the more you’ll need to carry and the larger the pack you will need.
- Gloves: Running gloves protect your hands during cold weather and absorb sweat from your palms. Look for gloves made of thin performance fabric that won’t impede your hand mobility, and make sure that the palms are covered with rubber grips so that you won’t drop your phone mid-run.
- Sun protection: Sun protection can take many forms, and some of the other items on this list (like the hat) also contribute to sun protection. Some running clothes are made from a performance fabric that provides a certain level of SPF protection. If you run during the day, you should also apply a sweatproof sunscreen to the exposed areas of your skin to prevent sunburn and damage.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun and help keep your vision clear so you can see cars and other dangers. If you run in the daytime and live somewhere sunny, you should consider investing in a dedicated pair of sports sunglasses, which will stay securely around your face instead of bouncing around like a traditional pair. Always look for polarized lenses, which offer more protection from UV rays.
- Visor or hat: Running headgear keeps your hair out of your face and protects your eyes from sun and rain. If you run outside a lot, you’ll probably want at least one hat or visor to use on the sunniest days.
- Reflective gear: If you run at night, you’ll need reflective gear that will make you visible to drivers and pedestrians. Some running clothes come with reflective properties built in. You can also buy additional reflection gear, such as vests and belts, that can be worn over the rest of your running clothes.
- Sports watches and fitness trackers: Yes, you can download an app on your smartphone to track your runs, but some people find it more convenient to track their runs via a sports watch or fitness tracker so they’re not fumbling for their phone all the time.
- Water bottles: If you’re running for more than 30 minutes or so, you’ll need to take some water with you––and the longer your run, the more you’ll need. You can get special running water bottles with hand grips to carry, or a belt that can hold multiple bottles at once. You can also get a Camelbak or another type of hydration pack that can be worn on your back.
Running doesn’t require much more equipment than your clothes and shoes, but what you wear during running is so important. Refer back to this guide as you shop for running outfits and shoes, and remember to always take your measurements before buying anything online to ensure that you get the best fit possible!