If you’re new to running, perhaps you have a pair of trainers, a few tops and some shorts or leggings. Running is an easy sport to get started with minimal kit. Of course, the industry has its fancy gadgets and gizmos, but there’s not much needed to head out on those first few runs. Whilst you don’t need much but yourself, trainers and some motivation to get started, below are some of the clothes you do need for outdoor running. These are pieces you can invest in along the way or if the weather requires them.
The waterproof jacket
If you’re based in the UK then I'm sure you're familiar with our ‘very British weather’. Wherever you are in the world, there is nothing worse than being caught in a downpour.
Picture this - you’re on your Sunday long run, which is an out and back. Halfway on your way out the heavens open and to make matters worse, when you turn round at halfway, you’re running back into a headwind. Trust me, headwinds and rain are somewhat of a challenge. Investing in a high-quality waterproof jacket is a must to stay comfortable and as dry as possible underneath.
So you have your snazzy new trainers, now it’s time to dress your feet too. That’s right, running thinks of every last detail.
When it comes to socks there are many various options to choose from - anti-blister, sweat-wicking, compression, ankle-length, knee-high, waterproof and even toe socks.
It’s very much a trial and error, as with most pieces of kit. You have to work out what works for you but I recommend a good anti-blister sock to start. As the miles start building or as you run on different terrains, you may find you need something else to support you
A sports bra that supports you
This one is non-negotiable and for us ladies, protecting our assets is paramount. According to Boobydoo, 44% of women don’t wear a sports bra, the average breast movement without support is up to 14cm and 8 out of 10 women aren’t wearing the correct size sports bra. Without a decent sports bra you may experience back and breast pain, discomfort and potentially chaffing.
If you’re unsure what size sports bra you should be wearing, you can have them fitted at most department stores. Alternatively, Boobydoo offers an online fitting guide here, plus you can chat with one of their Sports Bra Experts too.
You know that weather when it’s too hot for a jacket but not quite warm enough without one? Introducing the gilet. A running gilet is perfect for those cold and fresh mornings but where the sun is shining down.
Hat and gloves
In winter, our fingers lose heat quickly due to their large surface area so a hat and gloves are crucial. Although having them in your running drawer all year round is pretty handy. You never know when you might find yourself having to move your training around and head out early morning when it’s still pretty chilly even in the warmer months.
So if you’ve caught the running bug recently or if you’re an experienced runner who needs to replace or invest in some of the clothes you need for outdoor running, I’d recommend writing a list in priority order. Stick to the list and try not to divert or buy things you don’t need. There might be things you see and think “I want that” but if it isn’t going to have a positive impact on your performance, then those items are simply desirables and have the potential to end up in the 300,000 tonnes of clothing going to landfill every year. Remember, let’s be mindful running friends.
Below is a selection of websites that stock everything you need for outdoor running.