There is no way about it, if you want to reach that new PB you’ve been aiming for, the right training gear goes a long way to giving you the edge on yourself. You can’t get away with regular trainers as they will only take you so far and a cotton t-shirt is a big no-no if you are starting to take your running seriously. There comes a certain point in every runner’s life when they want to get the gear their commitment deserves. This is why we have detailed what to wear running for beginners.

What To Consider When Looking For Running Clothes

The Weather

The conditions are a big part of your decision, no matter what part of the outfit is under consideration. If it is raining, you will need waterproof gear but each item should still be breathable. It is good to have different items at different times of the year. This will not only make each piece last longer but will allow you to stay more comfortable.


There is a big difference between road running and trail running. The equipment you need will differ in their features so make sure you know where you are looking to run before you buy.


Running through country lanes or along the road at night means visibility is essential for the safety of a runner. So, reflective gear is always a sensible choice and can be found for any part of running clothes from the shoes to the t-shirt.

Essential Running Clothes

Road Running Shoes

These are your regular running trainers and come with all sorts of features depending on the brand and model. Moisture-wicking, comfortable insoles, and a decent amount of traction are all going to go a long way. A spring from the midsole to help push you onto the next step and a comfortable heel counter to give them added durability are vital.

You might like the look of a certain pair of running shoes but this is the last thing you should be considering. Most products come in a variety of colors and styles anyway so you can usually find a product you like based on this once you know it is a comfortable and reliable product.

Trail Running Shoes

This is where the tread is going to be more important as the terrain you are steeping on is going to be less reliable to say the least. The best trail running shoes have plenty of cushioning so you don’t feel every jagged stone. These tend to weigh more but allow you to run in comfort. As with any running shoes, shock absorption is important too.

Running Socks

Leading on from the shoes, running socks are also made a little different. Breathable material is important here as otherwise, you are going to feel the rub of your shoes pretty fast. Merino wool is a popular choice of material and when combined with latex or spandex, they are comfortable and durable. Seams on the toes can cause blisters.

A little added passing on the heel can also help you to avoid friction which leads to blisters.

Lightweight Rain Jacket

The weather shouldn’t stop you from keeping your stamina up and getting out on the road or trail. As long as it is safe, then a lot of the worst conditions can be remedied by a quality lightweight rain jacket. They need to give you protection from the rain but also wind resistance if you can find it. Also, they should still be breathable, your body will be generating the heat and the sweat still needs to go somewhere.

Nylon based materials and perspex are popular because they give you plenty of protection against the elements.


This can be in the form of quality running shorts of something a little longer but it is best to not attempt a run in yoga pants or a regular pair of shorts and you won’t get the breathability you need and they can soon start to chafe. Running tights are popular and are good because they give you plenty of protection without the risk of falling too long, and creating a tripping hazard.


When the temperature drops you will want to do something about that heat escaping from your head. The good thing is they are usually light enough to carry in comfort should you want to take them off and can offer some wind resistance to help keep you warm as you go.

Specialist Underwear

There is tactical underwear that is made from breathable and moisture repelling materials to ensure the runner stays comfortable throughout. This is especially beneficial for anyone who runs long distances. A sports bra is also important, and one that is breathable and comfortable.

What Not To Wear When Running

There are certain materials and types of products that are just not well suited to a run which is why we recommend avoiding running with any of the following.


We’re talking about 100% cotton here and although this is a common material for many t-shirts and other items, it is not well suited to the demands of running. Cotton isn’t breathable enough to stop you from sweating more than you should and will also hold onto moisture. This all adds up to an uncomfortable run and you will be more likely to suffer from chaffing.


Any thick layer you would lounge in at home might be tempting as it looks like casual wear that would be well suited to physical activity, but it isn’t. These products are built for comfort at home but will get wet pretty fast and won’t dry whilst you are out on your run. This type of clothing feels heavy, can slow you down, and is all wrong for a proper run.

Old Shoes

The more worn the running shoes, the more your feet will suffer. A lot of serious runners need to purchase new running shoes every six months and some even sooner. This is to ensure the cushioning isn’t worn out and you get plenty of support and a bounce in every step.

New Equipment For A Race

New running shoes in particular require a breaking in period. If you wear new trainers on the day of a race or even after only a couple of wears, you run the. risk of them rubbing, and early on. This worsens throughout a race. Also, you want to make sure a t-shirt feels good as you run, the same goes for a sports bra.