Running is a universal exercise. From the ancient Olympics to the present day, running is an activity that has kept us in motion since our earliest endeavors. Given proper motivation, some of us will run anywhere, in any weather, that we are permitted. In order to go about this, however, it is important that we prepare ourselves to run by wearing the proper gear for both the weather and the season.
General Design Desires
Some running gear design choices are timeless, important no matter the temperature. Some essential design functions to be on the look for, no matter the article or season, are:
Moisture-wicking: Moisture-wicking fabrics, rather than absorbing sweat and other liquids, push them away in order to reduce chafing and help maintain dryness.
Quick-drying: Fabrics that dry quickly are essential to maintaining comfort, and reducing moisture from sweat or rainfall are a boon to any athlete.
Movement: Shoes, socks, shorts, and shirts should ideally be form-fitting without restricting movement. Athletic gear that merges comfort and functionality will be comfortable while aiding performance.
Fabric also plays an integral part in the feel and function of your gear.
Polyester is a high-powered synthetic fabric designed to be durable, moisture-wicking, and lightweight. This breathable fabric makes both a great outer layer in warm climates as well as a strong insulator in cold climates.
Cotton is a classic material known for its comfort and moisture-absorbent qualities.
Merino wool offers a wide variety of benefits. In addition to being moisture-wicking and quick-drying, wool has antibacterial qualities, which keeps clothing made from the material smelling fresh longer.
Because of how long it withstands saturation, it also makes an excellent material for running in the rain or on longer runs where moisture is an especial concern.
Nylon is a quick-drying, moisture-wicking synthetic fabric that offers durability and makes an excellent material in all sorts of athletic wear. Olivers Apparel uses a nylon-spandex blend to create our All-Over Stretch Weave, built to provide hydrophobic, durable workout gear meant to revitalize form and function.
In Warmer Weather
Bodies in motion sweat. This problem is exacerbated in hotter months, where dehydration and heatstroke pose a serious risk. Fortunately, the pitfalls of running in heat are easily avoided. You’ll want to make sure you are wearing lightweight, breathable materials, and always wear sunscreen with a high SPF. Accessories like a hat or sunglasses can further help with heat tolerance.
In terms of the actual running, avoiding midday is essential. Generally, mornings and evenings are cooler than noon, making it perfect to start or end your day with a run. Pacing yourself is also essential; Performance drops in high heat and overexertion can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
To ensure maximum protection while running, pay close attention to what your body is telling you so that you don’t run yourself ragged. Additionally, be sure to properly hydrate before, during, and after a run. Understand that just as running was something to acclimate to, so too is heat, an operating condition that may take some time to get fully used to.
Ideal Warm-Weather Gear
The ideal outfit in warm weather will be moisture-wicking and lightweight to protect from the dangers of overheating and the discomfort of sweating.
For a top layer, we recommend the Pivot Tee. Designed from recycled poly fibers to be a truly premium workhorse training tee, it also features flat-locked seams to reduce chafing and anti-stink technology to keep it lasting longer. Below the waist, the All Over Short uses a unique stretch weave and hidden inner pocket to create a short that’s all about performance.
To bring an added accessory to your workout, the 22oz Olivers Water Bottle features a double-walled and vacuum-sealed design to help beverages maintain a cold temperature on the longest of runs.
This gear combined is all designed with performance in mind, with function at the forefront, and style as a benefit, to keep you going, and going, all summer long.
Running in heat may be something most of us are used to, but running in the rain is a completely different story. While running in cooler wet temperatures may be easier than exercising in the heat, there are some elements of the rain that must be accounted for. Just as running in hotter months ensures you’re going to be facing intense sunlight, when you’re running in the rain, this much is certain: You’re going to get wet.
Moisture-wicking materials, or materials that can absorb a great deal of water without feeling wet, are your best friends here. Leave the cotton at home. Wet, cold fabrics don’t just feel unpleasant, but they can also increase chafing and put the wearer at risk of hypothermia. Synthetic blends and merino wool both offer greater protection in the rain.
Similarly, waterproof shoes can help with running, but without those on hand, a less-preferred pair of running shoes can ensure you get your run in without doing your favorite pair of shoes in. Any hat with a brim can assist with visibility in the rain, especially if you use glasses or contacts.
When choosing layers, dress for the temperature. If it is warm outside, wear a single layer, and if it is cold outside, wear multiple layers. Improperly layering can lead to being stuck in multiple, soaked-through layers in heat or wearing a single, barely-protective layer of clothing in the cold. Neither spells a good health prognosis.
Whenever a run is over, you should switch out of your wet clothes as quickly as possible. Drying off quickly is the strongest safeguard against any ill effects extended periods in the rain have on your immune system.
The last bit of advice for running in the rain: We highly discourage any sort of running outdoors in the event of extreme weather conditions. While the crash and boom of a thunderstorm sounds exciting from the interior of your home, the same cannot be said of getting struck by lightning while out on a run.
Ideal Inclement Gear
The ideal inclement weather outfit supports layering as needed and allows for functionality while keeping the wearer protected.
For an outer layer, we recommend the Porter Hoodie. This thermoregulating, midweight piece is easy to add a lower layer to, and the Australian merino wool, which it is made of, ensures a hefty degree of protection in the rain, no matter the temperature. For a bottom layer, the Bradbury Jogger offers evergreen protection with the aforementioned All Over Stretch Weave. For notably warm rains, either article can be substituted with our warm-weather recommendations.
As an added accessory, the Olivers Field Cap, embroidered with both our name and hometown of Los Angeles, offers sleek visual protection during rainy months and crisp sun protection during sunny months.
In Colder Weather
Cold weather provides a distinct challenge by changing the terrain completely. Runners must be ready to face freezing temperatures and deal with snow and ice along the road.
Many normally traversable surfaces become dangerous when ice forms. Sidewalks and pavement become major slip-and-fall hazards, making trails preferable for winter runs. Even when ice is not a factor, snow affects the way we move. The extra energy needed to lift our legs to move through the snow, more skipping than running, slows us down while increasing the energy used to navigate our environment.
From a health standpoint, layering is most essential during colder months. Unlike the rainy season, your biggest concern is no longer getting wet: It’s hypothermia. Without proper layering, hypothermia can set in. If, however, you engage in extended exercise while wearing a large number of layers, you may overheat.
Layering solves both issues while also allowing you to remove and add clothes during your run as needed. Also important is the fact that most heat escapes our bodies through our extremities; thus, keeping your head and hands covered becomes essential.
Ideal Cold-Weather Gear
Heat retention and layer modification is the name of the game for cold weather. In truth, we still recommend the Porter Hoodie and Bradbury Jogger, mentioned earlier, for cold weather. Both were designed as multi-environmental items and become versatile cold-weather gear when layered with items such as the Convoy Long Sleeve Tee, made from soft merino wool for both performance and heat regulation.
The accessory we recommend to pair with your winter gear is an all-season wearable, whose thermoregulating properties would most keenly be felt in the dead of winter. Merino Crew Socks are made from wool interlaced with nylon, elastic, and lycra to ensure long-lasting elasticity and durability. They are an ideal aid to keep your lower extremities warm and functional on frigid expeditions.
Running in Any Environment
Each run provides its own unique obstacles and rewards. Whether prepping for your next run or gearing up for the next season, Olivers has you covered with a wide range of apparel designed for those whose passion and drive, much like themselves, never stops running.
Running in the Rain: 12 Ways to Improve a Rainy Run I Very Well Fit
Ancient Sports: Running I The Perseus Project
Everything You Need to Know About Running in Cold Weather I Cleveland Clinic