What sportswear for running? The guide for sportsmen.
September 27, 202110 min read
This article is an automatic translation from our Original French blog. This text may contain translation errors. Thank you for your understanding.
Practising a sport means being comfortable and enjoying it. Good equipment is therefore necessary to avoid discomfort, and even to take care of the skin, with adapted and strategically made seams. And believe it or not, but when it comes to running, having the right gear is a real pillar for good performance! We're not talking high-end here, but just the right clothing for the right movements, because there are many criteria that come into play when choosing sportswear. If you are looking for the best clothing to practice your passion, you can rest assured that you will find everything you need in this article! Without further ado, here is what sportswear to wear for running, or in other words, a guide for you runners.
1 - THE CLASSIC OUTFIT
As we said earlier, anyone who practices running must wear clothes adapted to their practice. But then, when you're inundated with all kinds of items, how do you know which one is the best for your needs? Well, for this reason, we thought of elaborating this first section, which will guide you with a so-called "basic" outfit, adapted to the great majority. This classic outfit is especially effective when we are looking for something versatile, which will be of good help in summer as well as in winter.
CLOTHING FOR THE TOP:
Firstly, and regardless of your pace, intensity, or type of training, take the classic cotton chemical out of your mind when looking for suitable running clothing. Those who have read our previous articles will know that non-organic cotton fabrics made from harmful substances are not suitable for sports. Indeed, and we refer you to our guide on fitness clothing, each material and each fabric has different properties. Classic cotton has the disadvantage of being unnatural and harmful to your health! Specifically, when you're running, sweating and don't want to add a toxic material to your skin, using non-organic cotton is anything but a good idea. Classic cotton fabrics soaked by the sweat of the athlete will be all the more dangerous once they are wet when in contact with the skin.
When running at a fairly moderate pace, there is no need to go to the trouble of finding the lightest, most aerodynamic and most ergonomic models. On the other hand, when you are aiming for specific performance, it can be useful to invest in pieces that are specifically designed for that purpose. For example, if you are a recreational runner, we advise you to opt for a simple short-sleeved organic cotton T-shirt, possibly with a long-sleeved organic cotton T-shirt underneath, or cuffs for when the weather is a bit cooler, in the morning for example. You can opt for loose-fitting clothing, which will not restrict your movements and will therefore be less likely to rub you.
For a seasoned runner, the choice of top is more performance-oriented. Although a loose-fitting top is comfortable, it can quickly become heavy or slow down your arm dynamics. Listen to your needs and choose a tight fitting short sleeve shirt or a tank top that will ensure your mobility. The areas of the body that you need to be careful about when it comes to seams are the armpits and shoulders, which are much more likely to be rubbed and therefore susceptible to chafing.
For women, breast support is essential when running. As conventional bras are not specifically designed to provide evenly distributed support, sports alternatives are the best option. Be careful though, because unlike sports bras, for example, bras are not adjustable and come in a specific size and length. If you don't want to feel "hugged" or "squeezed" by your bra, bras are more flexible and often have fewer seams.
The most important reason for choosing between bras and sports bras is undoubtedly the cup size and the associated need for support. Indeed, while bras are more flexible, sports bras are well suited to women with large or sensitive breasts.
CLOTHING FOR THE BOTTOM:
As you will have understood, running is a sport where you are looking for maximum breathability, mobility, flexibility... and the bottom of the outfit is no exception. The areas of breathability are therefore in most cases in places such as the lower back, as well as the back of the knees, where perspiration tends to accumulate the most.
When choosing a classic outfit, it is better to opt for a long sock, which then reaches the ankles, to allow for versatility and practice in all weathers.
So, let's go back to the choices in relation to your sporting ambitions. If you simply want to let off steam and are not aiming for specific or very demanding performances, we advise you to choose a jogging suit or leggings that suit you. The aim is always to facilitate your movements without hindering your practice.
On the other hand, if you are aiming to achieve specific sporting goals, jogging suits can be heavy and not very aerodynamic. Tight-fitting socks such as tights, however, do not pose this problem, as they sit close to the body and do not add to the air resistance phenomenon.
Compression garments also seem to be an interesting outfit for those who are looking to push themselves to the limit and perform ever more powerfully. In fact, as the name suggests, they are garments specifically designed to create tension and compression on strategic points of the body. The manufacturers of these garments create these prototypes using observations to determine how to optimise the effort. Compression garments are primarily used to promote blood circulation, and therefore muscle oxygenation. Their technology has many other uses, such as delaying the onset of muscle soreness, limiting the risk of injury, limiting vibration and improving muscle tone, to name but a few. For stockings, the areas that are most subject to friction are the crotch and behind the knees. This, combined with sweat, can cause reactions on your skin such as inflammation and damage. This makes the choice of a suitable fabric all the more important.
For our readers, extra support is not desired in the chest area, but lower down. Rest assured, just as for women, there are special pants available to limit problems with support, but also with sweat and mobility as this is a very sensitive area of the body. Some underwear are therefore made of so-called "ultra-breathable" fabrics that are almost seamless and ensure flawless comfort for a pleasant practice.
CHOOSING GOOD SOCKS:
Contrary to what you might think, even socks are important in sports such as running! Here again, it is a question of ergonomics, but also of perspiration. So opt for a specific pair of socks with air circulation zones to wick away the sweat.
The thickness of the socks you choose will depend on your type of practice: medium thickness socks will do the trick whatever your various training sessions, whereas in the context of competition for example, you can afford to opt for thin socks. In addition, it should be noted that some models also provide compression to secure the ankles and avoid accidents.
So, this first section has given you a general idea of what clothes to choose for running. But a classic outfit will not be enough to accompany you through your sessions all year round! That's why we've put together two more sections, each of which is dedicated to a specific type of running clothing, i.e. for different weather conditions. Let's start with a typical outfit when the mercury rises.
2 - TYPICAL CLOTHING FOR HOT WEATHER
Discover the typical outfit for hot weather.
No matter how you practice or how intensely you practice, a t-shirt or tank top is clearly the best option in hot weather. In fact, by applying the previous instructions, you will have understood that the goal when choosing clothes is to find something light and natural made of organic cotton. If you are just planning a short jog, a loose-fitting garment will allow air to circulate and will be even more comfortable.
Fitted cuts are designed to reduce the risk of chafing and to promote faster moisture transfer. In the event of hot weather and exposure to the sun, it may be worthwhile, or even essential, to consider moving towards clothing with UV protection.
In summer, it's best to skip the jogging suits and leggings that trap sweat and heat. Instead, wear shorts! However, when it comes to stockings, there are many categories of clothing that have been developed to meet different needs, depending on whether you are a man or a woman.
To put it simply, these different styles vary mainly in length, with short shorts known as "marathon" shorts, and long shorts. Long shorts are mostly loose fitting and allow for air circulation.
For a tighter fit, there are also cycling shorts, or shorts with integrated shorts. These are great for reducing chafing and are admittedly very trendy. This option is ideal for being comfortable and fashionable!
Improve the quality of your sessions: Several unavoidable conditions such as sunshine and heat can compromise running sessions that could have been much more enjoyable. Beyond the pleasant, there are sometimes safety reasons for choosing the right equipment, and sun protection, as we mentioned, is one of them. From simple heat stroke to fainting, it's best not to make fun of the heat, and to practice with knowledge.
To prevent your workout from turning into a dangerous session, there are a few simple and inexpensive precautions to take. These include wearing a cap, which prevents sunstroke by protecting your head, which is one of the most fragile parts of your body. Taking sunglasses with you is a good idea to improve your comfort, but not just any sunglasses. It's best to opt for models that don't slip, otherwise you'll quickly become annoyed!
Otherwise, needless to say, hydration is a key point in sports, but unless you have fountains nearby, there are various water-carrying systems available to you. For example, you can easily find multi-purpose belts that carry your container, or flasks to keep on your wrist.
Another option, if your environment allows it, is to find a more shady place, such as a wooded park. The air will be naturally cooler and you won't have the strain of the sun's rays, making your session much more pleasant and bearable.
3. THE BEST OUTFIT FOR WINTER
Discover the best outfit for winter.
In winter, and although there are guidelines for appropriate clothing, it is important to know that there are as many outfits as there are practitioners. And yes, not everyone has the same metabolism, but it is when it is cold that these differences are most apparent, with greater or lesser difficulties in warming up, or different tolerances to cold. Nevertheless, the most common technique is to put on three layers: a breathable layer, an insulating layer and a protective layer.
You should therefore opt for a polyester thermal jersey, for example. This will ensure that you have the same breathability as in summer, and will be able to evacuate toxins from your body easily, preventing you from being drenched in sweat. This will help regulate your body temperature, which is something more than crucial in climates like winter.
For the second layer, use fabrics that are known for their insulating capacity, such as a fleece for example. This will also keep you warm and protect you from the cold. It is essential to compensate for the ventilation of the first layer, and will act in a complementary manner with the latter.
Finally, for the last layer, which is described as "protective", you should look for waterproof jackets, which, unlike the second layer, will protect your body not from the cold but from bad weather, keeping it dry. This layer is often overlooked, but it is the one that reduces moisture, which is clearly to be avoided in any sport, but especially in running.
Of course, all these layers can end up weighing down, so you can play with the thickness of the different garments to maintain a proper load. This also means altering the insulating or protective capacity, and therefore being more or less protected. It is up to you to see what best suits your needs, both physical and sporting.
As with the top, the multi-layered technique works well on the bottom. But this is limited to a maximum of two layers, otherwise mobility is really compromised. We tend to think that as long as the top is protected, everything is fine, but in reality, not warming your body evenly is a big mistake.
So you should definitely invest in winter tights to wear underneath a pair of jogging pants. Their main function will be to add protection, while keeping the heat in. This will also ensure good blood circulation in the legs.
Winter tights that you can wear individually are available as well, and can be effective enough for those who don't mind going without layers. These are often the preferred choice when you are looking for high performance, as they too follow the shape of the body and therefore do not cut off the flow of movement. These tights, in addition to the heat produced by the body, can accompany the most cold-tolerant in their winter outings.
PROTECT YOUR EXTREMITIES:
The temperature constraint is more restrictive in winter than in summer in terms of equipment. Indeed, you must ensure that your limbs are well protected, i.e. your toes, your hands and your head in priority. To continue in this order, let's talk about the choice of socks, which is extremely important in winter.
Woolen socks will keep your feet warm, while still wicking away moisture. Similarly, woollen gloves are a good option, but you can go for other materials of course, such as fleece gloves, or even silk gloves.
Finally, for the hat, there is another issue: not to generate too much sweat. Because even if your hands sweat, for example, they won't have any problems related to this, unlike your feet and head. Firstly, if you go out a lot, even in winter, having to wash your hair all the time because of wearing a cap is clearly a disadvantage. Furthermore, excessive sweating is not good for the scalp and can lead to problems such as dryness, dandruff and other irritations... For this reason, we prefer the breathable materials we mentioned earlier.
With all this valuable advice, you should normally be able to put together a nice little running outfit that is well adapted to your practice and the climatic conditions where you live! Thank you for your attention, and we wish you pleasant running sessions!
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