What to wear running

What to wear running: Essentials to perform all year round

Team Castore - April 27, 2022

Whether you’re new to running or a professional athlete, having the right running gear is essential. In order to perform at your best, you need to be wearing the best.

From running clothing basics to premium performance garments that propel you to new heights, our guide covers everything you need to know on what to wear running.

What clothes to wear for running

Runners usually own different clothes to what you might wear on the gym floor or to a yoga class, for example. Common materials such as cotton trap sweat, which causes the fabric to chafe and rub as you exercise, and this is especially true for running. Make sure your running gear is made from breathable, sweat-wicking materials that leave you feeling fresh and able to perform at your best with every step.

Generally, there are a few key pieces of running clothes you’ll need to get started. They include:

  • Joggers, leggings and/or shorts
  • T-shirts or vests
  • ¼ zip jackets
  • Caps and beanies
  • Windproof and water-resistant, lightweight running jackets
  • Breathable socks
  • Performance trainers 
white Castore running 1/4 zip top with black shorts and cap

Some of the running gear you’ll need may change throughout the year. In the winter, you may want slightly thicker jackets as well as gloves to keep warm. In the summer, sunglasses help with visibility and a water backpack provides storage for longer runs.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the terminology if you’re a new runner. So, here’s a quick breakdown of some top things to look for in your running clothes and what they mean:



Sweat-wicking properties


Materials that feature sweat-wicking properties help drain sweat away from the body instead of being absorbed by the fabric. They are usually made from nylon or polyester that pull sweat up and away from the body to help it evaporate quicker.


When picking out running clothes, look for quick-drying in the product description. The clue is in the name, but quick-drying clothes dry quickly which stops the fabric from becoming cold and wet once it meets sweat. This means that even after you finish your run, you won’t feel uncomfortable or cold as you cool down.


Like sweat-wicking, breathable materials mean that your running gear can absorb moisture and release it, which helps your body regulate its temperature. 


Best running clothes for women

It can be difficult to find women’s running clothes that stand the test of time. Men and women have unique requirements for their running clothes, which is why it’s important to know your specific needs to be hitting personal goals.

Aside from the essentials listed above, women should also make sure they have a high-quality sports bra for running. Your sports bra should ideally be made from those breathable, high-stretch fabrics we’ve been talking about with the added benefit of providing you with the proper support for intense activity.

Similarly, a few sets of running leggings will tide you over and provide protection from any chaffing or rubbing on your inner thighs. You can always wear a pair of sports shorts over your running leggings if you’re more comfortable covering up. Pick ergonomic and lightweight running leggings to give you those performance-driven results you deserve.

 woman in black Castore running sports brawoman in black Castore fleece hoody

Best running clothes for men

Running clothes for men are just as specifically designed as they are for women. Men’s running tops are tighter fitting than gym vests to keep that streamlined look and feel. Most men feel more comfortable wearing a pair of performance shorts when running but these can be layered with form-fitting running leggings for colder weather.

When shopping for men's running clothes, make sure to look out for those all-important qualities including sweat-wicking, quick-drying and breathable. These are the core elements of any running gear so if you don’t see these mentioned in a product description, it’s best to steer clear.


man running in white Castore jacket and navy shorts

What to wear running in winter

When running in the winter it’s important to layer up. Even though you’ll be exercising and getting hot, the cold can still get to you, especially when you sweat and then start to cool down too quickly. That’s why it’s important to have all your core running gear. So, grab a running base layer top for extra thermal protection.

For winter runs, make sure you’ve got some running gloves and a beanie to keep your hands and head warm. Your body, mostly your trunk, is the thing that will heat up the most whereas your extremities, like the hands and feet, will remain cold.

If the weather is particularly chilly, consider using a ¼ zip jacket on top of your base layer and potentially a running jacket on top of that. It all depends on how the cold affects you. It’s better to go out with one layer too many that you can tie around your waist than too little and freeze – hardly any good for improving your running performance and technique.

Sometimes there's no escaping a rainy day, but with the right gear, running in the rain can feel exhilarating. Not only are there less people on your route, it boosts your mood and builds resilience for any aspiring athlete. Ditch the heavy coats and absorbent clothes and put on a lightweight jacket with multi-layer membranes for waterproof protection.

 Castore Navy Garcia waterproof hoody

Our wind and water-resistant women's Garcia running hoodies are a great hybrid training garment for lower intensity runs and days off. The hood can reduce distraction for a more focused run and offers assurance for those times when you think the weather might turn on you.

Your running clothes shouldn’t stop you from performing your best. By looking out for the technical elements in this guide, you can stock up on all the highest-quality kits that will either excel you to that next personal best or keep you motivated and comfortable as a beginner to keep getting out there.

The Castore performance range is driven by innovation and incorporates all the unique performance fabrics you need for running into one place. Shop the mens or womens collection today.