What to Wear When Running: 5 Best Running Outfits

Whether you are an advanced runner or a beginner runner, you may be wondering what to wear when running. Once a year, we commit to achieving new year's resolutions and sticking to our goals. I’ve written an article a few years ago that outlines how to stick to your commitments. This year, one of your goals might be running consistently. As someone who runs all the time, I thought I would write an article to outline what to wear when running.

what to wear when running
Diane getting ready to go running in Paris © Petite in Paris

This question of what to wear when running should not hinder your ability to run. As a runner, I know the most important thing above what to wear when running is to get outside and go. Go for a run. 

What to wear when running outside in the cold?

what to wear to go running
Carry Underwood Preparing for a run

What to wear when running in the cold weather is probably the trickiest question, so I thought I would tackle this one first. The key is to feel warm to make sure your muscles are warm without weighing you down. One thing to avoid while running outside in the cold is many layers. Ideally, you want to maintain a perfect insulation and balance. 

You could be wondering okay, yeah I get that, but what exactly do I wear running when it’s cold outside? That’s a great question. I highly recommend you purchase a pair of compression pants. Compression pants and long sleeves top are incredible for helping reduce muscle fatigue and increase blood pressure while working out. This is extremely helpful for healing broken muscle tissue and rebuilding your muscles. 

vest for running
Lululemons Black Puff Vest is perfect for Running Outside in the cold

Another outfit idea to wear when running outside is a long sleeve compression shirt / long sleeve shirt with a vest over it. The mesh vest will allow your arms not to be constraint, but add additional warmth. I actually saw someone the other day wearing this outfit and I thought it was a great idea! I found this vest from Lululemon that is a perfect vest, and I also found one that is a little thicker for colder environments from Nike. I recommend finding a vest that will zip. Some people prefer running jackets or polyester when they run.

Depending on how cold it is outside, I highly recommend you wear a headband to protect your ears while running. A headband is great for not only keeping the hair out of your face, but also keeping your ears and head warm. I have Nike headbands that I always wear and I love them! 

In short, when running outside in the cold, I highly recommend compression pants, compression long sleeve top, a headband and a great pair of running shoes. I recommend Gloves over Mittens when running

The products I recommend for running outside in the cold · Compression Pants / Reflective compression pants · Compression Long Sleeve Top · Running Puff Vest · Headband & Gloves

What to wear when running outside when it’s hot? 

what to wear running when it's hot
Great outfit for working out when it's warm ©Lululemon

One of my favorite times of the year to run is when it’s warm outside. I always feel like I could run for hours on end. When I go running outside when it’s warm out, I tend to wear lighter clothing items.

These lighter clothing items include compression shorts, short-sleeve top, a light cami or tank top and a sports bra. Sometimes I will wear normal shorts over my compressions shorts. One good tip I have when looking at shorts is to try to find shorts with a slot for a key. Most shorts have a little space for a key, but for me, it's important to have my key on me when I go running outside so I can get back into my apartment easily.

Lately, I've been wearing Nike's drift tank top. I find these tank tops really great for not showing all the sweat when running, plus the fabric is very comfortable and lightweight.

In short the best outfit to wear when running outside when it's hot is: Compression shorts, a light cami or a light t-shirt.

The products I recommend when running outside when it is hot: Shorts, Tank top in a light color 

What Accessories to wear when running? 

what accessories to wear when running
© maljpet photo

In addition to the clothes you wear while you go running, you will need accessories. No running gear is complete without a few accessories. If you are like me, you probably like to listen to music on your run. I purchased an iPod shuffle years ago and still use that to this day.

However, I know most people use their iPhone or phone to go running. I highly recommend a good arm band to use for your phone while you run. I've also recently discovered that a lot of compression pants now offer a built-in section to hold your phone, such as these Lululemon pants.  

As for headphones, either Bluetooth or regular headphones will do just fine. The key to the headphones is making sure you purchase ones that are sweat proof. This will ensure your headphones last a long time. I've even written an article devoted to what accessories to wear when running

The final accessory I recommend is a running watch. This is used to track the distance running. I love my work-out watch because it gives me a countdown and when I reach different benchmarks it vibrates so I’m not constantly checking how much distance or time has passed. I know many people who run outside that wear an Apple Watch. My favorite thing about the Apple Watch when running is the safety feature on it. Typically, I go running after work when it’s dark outside. This watch gives me the peace of mind that if something happens to me, Aaron, my fiancé will be able to find me with the tracker.

The accessories I recommend when running include: iPhone AirPods · phone arm band · sweat proof headphones · fitness watch

what to wear on a treadmill
© Instagram

What to wear when running on the gym treadmill?

If you aren’t running outside, you are probably running inside on the gym treadmill. When I dress to go running on the treadmill, I always wear warmer clothes to the gym and then change into my gym clothes. Since most gyms are typically air-conditioned I wear a very light tank top (typically a drift since it absorbs sweat), compression pants, and a good pair of comfortable socks. 

Once again, the compression pants are really great for rebuilding your muscles while working at. If I’m not wearing my compression pants, you will find me in a pair of training shorts and a loose fitting pair of shorts over the training shorts. The training shorts offer some of the same components as the compression pants, since the shorts are compression shorts. I love the training shorts because they are built with that same drift material that my top has built it. 

If you are really looking to sweat and burn off water weight, then I highly recommend adding layers, sweatshirts, hoodies, anything that will add extra layers will help drop weight quickly. I tend to overheat when I work out so I never do this, but I know plenty of people who would prefer to go running in additional layers.

The products I recommend when running on the gym treadmill: Dri-Fit compression training pants · Tank Top 

What to wear when running in Paris?

what to wear running in paris
Diane running in Paris

One thing to keep in mind when running outside in Paris or any big city for that matter, is that the roads and sidewalks are uneven. In Paris, you are alternating running between cement, cobblestone, bricks, and any other material used on the sidewalks. With running on uneven grounds, I highly recommend a great pair of tennis shoes. Realistically, I recommend wearing a great pair of tennis shoes regardless of where you’re running but especially if you are running outside in Paris or a major city. Even if you are only going for a short run, get yourself a great pair of sneakers.

Since you never can account for the weather condition outside, I tend to overdress and then remove articles of clothes if I become too warm. 

If you are running at night or you think you might be outside when it gets dark, you should definitely wear something with a reflection on it so cars and bikes will be able to see you.

Products I recommend when decide what to wear when running in Paris: Reflective compression running pants 

What to wear at a Paris gym?

what to wear at to a gym
Blue Sports Bra

For those of you visiting or living in Paris, you may be wondering what exactly do you wear when you go running or work out at a Paris gym? The most important thing to keep in mind when working out in a Parisian gym is that there is no air conditioning. Not even a little bit! This makes it very difficult when you work out to self regulate your body temperature. 

For me, whenever I go to the French gym, I always wear the lightest clothing possible. For example, I will wear a light tank top and shorts. Then the sports bra I have one can dub as a top if I get too hot. I know not everyone feels comfortable doing this so I highly recommend that you wear a very light tank top or short sleeve shirt. 

Parisian's gyms are similar to other gyms where you have a locker.

Products I recommend you wear at a gym in Paris aka a gym with no air conditioning: Sports Bra that can work as a top · Training Shorts

Final Thoughts on What to wear when Running

In short, what to wear when running is determined by the conditions you are running in. If you’re running outside and it’s cold, wear I highly recommend a compression insulated long sleeve top, running gloves, a headphone and compression pants. On the flip side, if you are running outside and it’s hot, wear I highly recommend you wear lighter attire such as compression shorts and a tank top.

What to wear at the gym is more simple because you should wear what you're comfortable in. Finally, you should have a good pair of headphones that are sweat proof, your phone / iPod, and some sort of holder for your device and apartment key. I'd love to hear your thoughts, do you have a preference: winter running or do you prefer running in warm-weather? For me, my personal preference is to enjoy a nice cool run in the 30s or even 40s, but with minimal wind chill..

Sincerely Petite in Paris,


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