The summer brings blue skies, fine days and perfect running weather(!?!) get out there! But in reality the warm weather brings a whole range of potential problems- chafing, overheating or even skipping your training all together. This guide to the best summer running gear for men will assist you in making an informed decision. So you can enjoy the warm weather while running in comfort.
Choosing the best top
This can get difficult – if you’re running early morning you need some protection from the cold. But if that sun peeks out then you can soon start wilting from the heat. Not to mention if there’s a quick heavy shower of rain. This will soon have you soaked to the bone and feeling chilly.
The answer is Technical Fabric (typically synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester or Lycra). It’s lightweight, high performance fabric designed to move moisture away from the skin (known as wicking).
This helps you control your body heat — even in cold temperatures! It also reduces chafing.
Wool might have you thinking of winter. But running shirts made of merino wool are also lightweight and are actually suitable for running in hot and humid conditions.
it might seem counter intuitive but companies such as Icebreaker and WoolX guarantee their outdoor shirts are non-itch and perfect for heat and humidity. Hitting the image below will give you a few more details.
You soon find out that cold weather can turn pretty hot after a few kilometers of running. And there’s nothing worse than being stuck with a jacket that’s too hot and too bulky when you’re 6 kms from home.
The key word when choosing a jacket for running is flexibility.
It needs to block out the wind, but be light and allow your body to ‘breathe’.
Fortunately, there has been massive progress in the technology behind sports jacket design. This means the best jackets have all these rolled into one.
What about the bottom half?
Choosing shorts. If you watch the olympics you’ll see most athletes wearing skimpily small running shorts.
You can go for this more provocative look by all means but a pair of loosely fitting shorts may serve you better.
Again it’s important to for them to have that wicking material to draw moisture away from the inner thigh area. This keeps that oh so painful inner leg chafing to a minimum.
Do I need tights?
This is a common question and some men feel that “tights are for women”. This may be true in day to day life but remember some bad ass characters (like Robin Hood or Batman) sported tights and still kicked butt. And I’m pretty sure Darth Vader had some Lycra going on under his suit.
Joking aside- tights or leggings can work really well in keeping those key leg muscles warm.
As with the running jacket, you need something warm but light. And that wicking fabric is a must.
Ask anyone who’s anyone and they will tell you: “you must run with sunglasses.”
This isn’t just an attempt at marketing! There are two reasons behind the need for shades when you’re out running. First, extended time spent out in UV and UVA rays can damage your eyes. So, unfortunately, cheap non-UV resistant lenses are no good.
Also important for runners is the fact that bright sunshine causes you to squint. This increases the levels of tension and stress in your body and you tire quicker.
In short, good pair of UV protected sunglasses is a must for summer running.
How About Hats and Skin Protection?
The bottom lip, tips of the ears and thinning hair on the head tend to be prime cancer areas. So no guide to the best summer running gear for men would be complete without head protection.
Sunblock should be applied to all the above areas (factor 30 or above) and remember to re-apply regularly.
The Best Summer Running Gear for Men: Round up
New advances in fabric technology is making it more and more feasible for a comfortable run, even in the height of summer.
Take care to cover up when needed and keep well hydrated.
If you have any tips to add about what the best summer running gear for men is, drop them below in the comments.