The Best Outdoor Gears For Running in the Rain
Getting out on a run in the sunshine is easy, but running in the rain can be a tougher motivation. That’s why knowing about the best running gear for when the weather’s wet is essential. When you’re wearing the right gear, running in the rain is not only comfortable, but can be invigorating. Wet-weather gear opens a whole new season of possibilities for your training. Don’t’ get stuck on the treadmill, check out the following information on the best water resistant and waterproof threads.
What Should Men Wear When Running in the Rain?
If you’re building up mileage for an upcoming race, skipping out on training due to less than ideal weather isn’t an option. While seasonality will have some effect on your gear, what you wear in the rain can be used year-round with some modifications. That’s why wool, breathability, weight, wind-proofing, etc. are all important details to consider beyond just how water resistant or waterproof your garments are.
In late spring to early autumn, the weather is generally warmer, but that doesn’t mean the rain will be any more merciful. With warmer weather, you’ll want something lightweight that keeps the rain from soaking you through while also providing breathability for the moisture you’re generating from your sweat. This is true for late autumn through early spring with the additions of extra gear like headbands and gloves.
Your Feet on Rainy Training Days
As with any sport, having the right shoes can make or break your performance. This is true of running, but especially running in the rain.
Because your road or trail conditions are going to be wet, you need shoes with superior traction. Look for a lightweight shoe with high-quality rubber soles. You can also find running shoes with a water-resistant textile to help your feet stay dry.
Getting the Right Socks
That being said, be sure to get several pairs of running socks that won’t absorb water. Socks that keep your feet dry are one of the best rain gear for running categories. Dry feet = happy runner.
For warmer, rainy runs, look for nylon/spandex combinations that will wick away moisture while also providing a flexible fit; for colder days, Smartwool fabric will keep your feet warm even if damp, while its toe-top meshing lets your feet breathe. Plus, wool is tough. So for you long-distance runners, you’ll wear out long before it does.
Running in the Rain: Gear for Your Body
Your running jacket should be water resistant, wind resistant, and breathable. That’s a lot to ask, but thanks to today’s activewear technology, it’s totally achievable in a variety of options.
You actually don’t want a waterproof rain slicker as this will only trap in heat and sweat. Along with the criteria above, you can also opt for a jacket with pit zips for extra ventilation.
Rain doesn’t mean extra, unnecessary layers. No matter what you wear, you are going to get wet, so more layers just means heavier, wet clothing. Instead, simply run for the temperature it is outside. If it is cold, it’s particularly important to make sure your base layer is made from a technical fabric, like polypropylene or CoolMax. This base layer is the most important for wicking away moisture from your skin.
Avoid cotton. Once it gets wet, it stays wet. That means no wicking, quick evaporating, or warming back up if you’re running in cooler weather. Plus, if you know anything about the pains of chafing, know that cotton pretty much guarantees it.
Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean shorts are off-limits. What you wear over your legs is more a matter of personal preference. There are some activewear pants treated with DWR (durable water repellent) that are also sweat wicking. Again, it just depends on if you’re fine with your legs getting a little wet or really wet.
Running in the Rain: Gear for Your Head
You’ll be thankful for the right coverings to minimize distractions from your run.
A brimmed hat to keep the rain from pelting you in the face is essential. Keeping the elements out of your eyes helps you not only see your path better, but allows you to make quick glances at your watch to track minutes and mileage. If you’re in a warmer climate, make sure to get one that breathes. For colder runs in the rain, look for a thicker material and consider wearing a fleece headband over the hat to keep your ears protected.
On that note, you’ll want a few headbands in your best rain gear for running arsenal. Thicker materials, like a fleece one mentioned above, are great for colder days; and thinner ones if it’s not as cold, but you’re still needing protection from wind.
If you know you’ll be doing runs in windy, rainy conditions, getting eye protection will also prove beneficial. Clear or polarized running glasses offer that extra level of elemental protection to ensure all you have to focus on is your pace.
Other Rain Running Safety Gear Essentials
If you’re running in the rain, and especially in low light, reflective gear for running is a must. Rain already reduces visibility and that only further declines in the dark. There are several ways you can include night running gear in your ensemble. Most activewear has reflective elements, but there are also specialized reflective vests, LED bands for around your wrists or ankles, or even headlamps.
There’s no such thing as going overboard when it comes to making yourself as visible as possible to motorists.
One of the best cold weather running gear items you can have is a pair of merino wool gloves. Merino wool will stay warm even when damp.
Like your other rain gear, look for gloves that are wind and water resistant, and provide a snug fit. A good option to choose is a light outer layer glove that’s wind and water resistant with a merino wool glove liner. This way, as temperatures fluctuate, your hands stay comfortable and out of the elements.
This might be a no-brainer, but it would be a great disservice to not remind you. Whether it’s your running watch or headphones, make sure whatever could get exposed to the rain on your run is either water resistant or will remain under your protective gear. This can even go for your wallet if you need to carry I.D. and other essentials on your run. No one wants soggy cash.
Benefits of Running in the Rain
The main benefit: you get to keep running! No one wants to delay or throw off their training schedule due to some showers; and with the right gear, you don’t have to. Plus, because races aren’t cancelled over a little or a lot of moisture, it’s a good idea to get used to getting in your mileage in wet conditions.
Training in the rain gives you confidence in adverse circumstances and better ability to navigate parts of your workout or race you can’t control.
Lastly, rain can help you run faster. The cooling effect of moisture in the air will keep your body a few degrees lower, keeping you cooler and able to run harder.
Races happen rain or shine, and now your training can too with this information on best rain gear for running. Today’s running gear has you covered head to toe. Technical clothing comes in all sizes and colors, so there’s no excuse not to stock up. Don’t be discouraged by bad weather and think that a tedious treadmill is your only option to get in your mileage. With the right activewear, not only will you be prepared for keeping your training going in less than ideal weather, but you’ll look forward to those rainy day runs. Gear up and get out there!