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Running in the summertime is not for the weak. Hot weather running can have you miserable if you're not prepared — like middle school PE mile-run miserable. Luckily, there's a way to make summer running a breeze. Stay hydrated and have breathable running clothes ready to go: things like breezy and cooling hats, undergarments, and shoes are a must-have. Running gear that is sweat-wicking and built to prevent chafing and blisters will get you through your summer workout. Whether you're road running, trail running, or doing a quick jog around your neighborhood, we've got you covered in the heat.
Our top picks for the best running apparel for hot weather features quick-drying fabrics that allow even airflow so you don't overheat, and our recs are made from mesh and other materials known for helping you stay cool. When you have a comfortable outfit, don't forget these smart running tips for the heat: try running at dusk or dawn when it's the coolest (or at least avoid the afternoon peak), go slow and steady, and stop immediately if you feel dizzy or experience cramping.
Now that you're ready to revamp your summer running gear, you'll never go back to running in stifling, uncomfortable clothes again. Our picks will make hot weather more bearable and help you stay cooler for longer:
1. A Lightweight Tank With a Mesh Back
The Nike Aeroswift Singlet is perfect for the hottest days this summer. The breathable shirt is feather light, making it a great shirt for breaking personal records. And yes, you'll feel an actual breeze with this shirt, thanks to the mesh back. Overall, it's a sweat-wicking and comfy shirt. We also love that this shirt is made from recycled polyester. Nike's plan for sustainability is amazing — they divert an average of 1 billion plastic bottles annually from landfills and waterways.
2. A Tank With Sun Protection
This Athleta tank has sun protection and is technically made for swim, but let's face it: if you're running outside it can feel like you're taking a jump in a big pool anyway, and this quick-drying, relaxed fit, lightweight tank checks all the boxes for outdoor sports. It's cooling and comfortable, and comes in regular, tall, and petite lengths as well.
3. A T-Shirt If You Don't Want To Go Sleeveless
This V-neck T-shirt comes in a number of beautiful colors and is a go-to pick for outdoor sports enthusiasts. It has quick-drying fabric and stretchy four-way construction for movement and comfortable runs.
4. A Sports Bra With High-Support
Lululemon's Energy Bra was designed specifically for running. It's sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and ideal for high-impact activities. There are built-in foam cups for comfort and separation. In case you need to adjust the bra, pull the double-cross back straps until you find the best fit. A supportive bra that's cute is hard to come by, but Lululemon delivered. Best of all, the underband is super soft and won't retain moisture.
5. Best Sports Bras for Bigger Chests
This sports bra for larger chests will make you actually like wearing your sports bra: it has mesh panels for breathability, a sweat-wicking band, adjustable criss-cross straps, and a fabric that doesn't chafe or rub against skin. It's perfect for extra support during running, and it dries quickly, too.
6. Best Breathable Underwear (Thong)
Don't underestimate the power of a pair of underwear from Lululemon. I know, it sounds pricey for a pair of underwear — but they'll worth it when you're running out in the heat. The smooth and lightweight thong has a snug feel to prevent slippage, no matter if you're in running shorts or leggings. They have four-way stretch, are sweat-wicking, and quick-drying. You'll stay comfortable all day in these.
7. Best Extra-Coverage Breathable Underwear
These tagless, stretchy pairs of underwear from New Balance are made for comfort when you're working out. They dry quickly, have an elastic waistband, and come completely seamless. They'll stay dry and won't make you feel itchy or uncomfortable during your run.
8. The Best Cooling Socks
If you suffer from odor and wetness on your feet during the summer months, you'll enjoy having a pair of breathable socks treated to inhibit odor-causing bacteria. Not only will they keep you from smelling, but they'll also keep your feet dry. They have breathable mesh in areas where sweat usually builds up, so these are a must-have for running.
9. An Airy Pair of 5" Shorts
These lightweight running shorts are amazing. They offer a design that's not too long or not too short. They have wide legs — leaving your thighs room to breathe, so you won't chafe. The 5-inch shorts even have a stretchy liner to prevent bunching up (seriously, a terrible feeling when you're running or even walking back to your car after a workout). They're truly designed to eliminate all distractions. A major perk is the storage: The back phone pocket is great. Keep your phone on you for safety, y'all!
10. A Headband That's Absorbent
This headband is comfortable to wear during a run and then to brunch afterwards — it's cooling, sweat-wicking, and looks cute. You'll appreciate that it keeps hair and sweat out of your face, and it comes in lots of fun colors and patterns.
11. A Cooling Hat
So maybe you're not the type to wear headbands and prefer hats (or both). Keep the sun out of your eyes and protect your face from harmful UV rays with a cap that's made for running. Lululemon's hat is lightweight, sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and has four-way stretch. The interior sweatband is mesh, so it'll absorb wetness and keep sweat from dripping down your face There are also added reflective details for night runs, and the one-size-fits-all hat comes in over eight different colors, too.
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