Searching for running clothing online can feel a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack. There is a lot of running gear on offer and there is also a lot of information about it, though much of the advice you find on the Internet it biased and serves a marketing purpose. So, who can you trust for sound advice? Listen to the experts! Following we give you the tools you need to make an informed decision when buying running clothes.
We need to point out first though, that running clothing does not just consist of tracksuits. For a comfortable run, you can wear running pants, leggings or shorts in combination with a T-shirt, vest or jacket. Make sure you choose these based on their features, fabrics and technologies, and not just on whether they'll look good with your running shoes or not.
Your choice of clothes will change depending on which weather conditions you plan to run in. Here is a breakdown of what features you need for each type of weather:
Warm days: you should wear clothes that absorb perspiration and draw it away from the skin. Fast-drying fabrics, such as polyester, nylon or merino wool, will allow perspiration to evaporate and keep you dry, unlike cotton. This is very important for comfort, but also to ensure you don't cool down too suddenly when you stop running, as this could lead to a nasty drop in your defences and a bad cold. Clothes with mesh inserts that encourage ventilation will also allow perspiration to escape but take into account that moisture regulation only works when the fabric is in contact with your skin, so wearing baggy clothing is not recommended.
Colder days: insulating running clothes seem like an obvious option in winter, but remember that you'll naturally warm up once you've started running, so wearing layers that you can put on and take off to suit your body temperature is much better than wearing one thick layer. Some running jackets have thumbholes at the cuffs, which could keep your hands warm enough for you not to need gloves. Another peculiarity about winter is that it rains more often. Waterproof running gear could be particularly useful and if it has reflective details, even better! Like this you can run during dark, rainy afternoons and still be seen by traffic. It could even save your life.
Some features are nice to have, no matter what the weather's like: flexible, stretchy materials will allow you the freedom to move naturally, and if these are lightweight too, you'll have improved stamina. Carrying your own body weight is enough of a challenge for your feet and ankles; wearing a few pounds worth of clothing is not going to help matters. Clothes that have various pockets could save you even more effort because you won't need a rucksack to carry your essentials, so you'll have even more energy for your run. Some jackets can even be stored in their own pockets - that's definitely something to look out for!
Compression in running clothes is a relatively new feature that may or may not be helpful to runners. Studies suggest that the experience is different for every athlete. If we've made you curious, here's the science behind it: compressing your skin and muscles leads to reduced vibrations during exercise. Basically, you wobble less. This, in theory, should lead to less pain after exercising and consequently improved recovery. Some runners swear by compression, while others say it doesn't work for them. If you're still not sure whether to try it out or not, why not ask us for more advice? The Keller Sports experts and customer care team are at your disposal to solve any queries you might have about compression clothes or just running gear in general.