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How to Dress for Hot Weather Running

Tips for running outdoors in the heat


Updated December 28, 2013

Runners need to take precautions when running in the heat and humidity. Follow these tips for how to dress properly for hot weather running.

Wear Synthetic-blend Clothing

Runners in race
Yellow Dog Productions
Avoid wearing cotton when running because it holds your sweat and doesn't dry quickly, which can lead to chafing. Synthetic fabrics (such as CoolMax or Dri-Fit) wick moisture away from your skin so cooling evaporation can occur. Although the technical fabric running clothes may cost a little more, you'll appreciate the comfort -- especially during long runs.
Also see: What Not to Wear Running

Choose Running Socks Carefully

Summer Running Socks
Don't wear 100% cotton socks during your runs. Your feet will most likely be sweating a lot, and cotton tends to keep your feet wet, which can lead to blisters. Look for synthetic blends like those made from polyester, acrylic, or CoolMax, which are best at wicking away moisture.

More: Best Summer Running Socks

Dress Lightly

Two Women Beach Running
Steve Casimiro
Light-colored, loose-fitting clothing will help your body breathe and cool itself naturally. Tight clothing restricts that process, and dark colors absorb the sun's light and heat. Light colors reflect the sun from your skin.

Wear Shades

Runner Wearing Sunglasses
John P Kelly

A good pair of running sunglasses help protect your eyes from the sun's damaging rays. Also, wearing running sunglasses helps prevent headaches that come from squinting or exposure to bright light.

Use Sunscreen

Female Runner Applying Sunscreen
Colin Anderson

Apply your sunscreen (at least SPF 15) before you get dressed for your run. Some summer running clothes are made of mesh or very thin fabric, so they might not provide protection from the sun's rays. Also, your clothes move when you run (or you may choose to take off some clothes, like your shirt). So it's best to make sure you're fully covered with sunscreen.
More: Sun Protection Tips
When Should I Throw Out Sunscreen?

Also see: 7 Ways to Stay Cool During Hot Weather Runs

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