Exercising outdoors is a significant advantage of the warmer months of the year. But summer weather can turn from comfortable to hot and humid in hours. You can't change the weather, but you can change the way you dress and the accessories you run with to create a more comfortable and safer running environment.
Advancements in clothing and running gear technology make running in the heat of summer more tolerable for runners. This guide will help you choose the best running gear to protect yourself from excessive heat and your skin from the brutal summer sun.
- Critical Elements of Hot-Weather Running Gear
- Best Running Shirts for Hot Weather
- Best Running Bottoms for Hot Weather
- Best Summer Running Hat
- Best Sunglasses for Summer Running
Critical Elements of Hot-Weather Running Gear
The correct running gear for hot weather and sun protection can get you outside more often and help you achieve your running goals. It can also keep you safe from heat stroke, dehydration, and the sun's harmful rays.
Ideal hot weather running gear protects skin from UV rays while remaining breathable and lightweight. Moisture-wicking materials help draw sweat away from the body without becoming excessively soggy. Odor control materials can also keep the smell of summer sweat at bay.
The Best Running Shirts for Hot Weather
The best hot weather running shirts feature lightweight, breathable materials. Many running shirts provide UPF protection to prevent skin damage from the sun. Long sleeve running shirts offer even more sun protection, and those made from moisture-wicking materials like wool keep you cooler.
Hoka Men's Performance Short Sleeve
The Hoka Men's Performance Short Sleeve is a UPF 50+ summer running shirt with a relaxed fit to help runners stay cool.
Lululemon Swiftly Breathe Short Sleeve
For women, the Lululemon Swiftly Breathe Short Sleeve provides coverage for sun protection and ventilation throughout.
BALEAF Men's Long Sleeve Shirt
The best long sleeve running shirts for hot weather include moisture-wicking materials. This BALEAF Men's Long Sleeve Shirt features a polyester and spandex blend that provides unrestricted motion while absorbing sweat to keep the body cool. It's longer in the back for fuller body coverage.
Best Running Bottoms for Hot Weather
Most runners choose shorts for running in hot summer weather. But long pants provide superior sun protection. Fortunately, advancements in activewear mean runners have countless options when choosing summer running bottoms.
Under Armour Women's Tech Capri
These running capri pants are ultra-soft, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and breathable. They offer optimal sun protection while remaining shorter than traditional running pants for better ventilation.
Nike Dri-FIT UV Challenger
Nike is an iconic name in running, and the company is known for some of the most advanced activewear technologies. These Dri-FIT running pants feature Nike's famous Dri-FIT technology for wicking sweat away from the body. They're slightly looser than leggings for breathability and a superior range of motion. Nike Dri-FIT UV Challenger pants provide optimal UV protection.
Best Summer Running Hat
The best hot weather running hat protects the face from the sun's harmful rays while keeping the head cool.
Skida Brimmed Hat
The Skida Brimmed Hat is quick-drying, light, and packable. It is waterproof, so you can dip in the lake, river, or water fountain, then pop it back onto your head to run in refreshing comfort.
Nike Dri-FIT Aerobill Featherlight
Nike Dri-FIT technology isn't just for running pants and shirts. This Nike activewear hat features ventilation holes throughout. The Dri-FIT technology wicks sweat away from the head for superior cooling power.
Best Sunglasses for Summer Running
Eyes get sunburned too. A quality pair of running sunglasses are essential for protecting the eyes and providing optimal visibility on hot, humid, and sunny summer days. Oakley is known for manufacturing some of the best running sunglasses for optimal sun protection.
Oakley Prizm Road
The best Oakley sunglasses for running are the Sutro Lite paired with Prizm Road lenses. Prizm lenses filter light to enhance detail and color while eliminating glare. This lens is specifically for cycling, running, and other open road or trail sports. The Sutro Lite frame features non-slip nose pads, a superior field of vision, and ventilation.
Oakley EVZero Ascend
The Oakley EVZero Ascend is the best Oakley for running designed for women. The wrap fit offers superior coverage and sun protection, and nose pads prevent slipping. They are also available with the Prizm Road lenses.
Is it dangerous to run in the summer heat?
Common dangers of hot weather running include heat exhaustion, cramps, dehydration, heat stroke, and hyponatremia. These ailments may lead to dizziness, muscle cramping, weak legs, rapid pulse, nausea, or a need for immediate medical attention.
Hot weather running gear keeps runners cooler, but it doesn't always prevent illnesses associated with excessive heat and sun. Stop running immediately, get out of the sun, drink fluids, and call someone for help the minute you start to feel ill when running in the summer heat.
Should I buy any other gear for sun protection while running?
Sweat-resistant sunscreen on the face and any areas of the body exposed to the sun is essential for running during summer. Other wise investments are lightweight, breathable running socks and a handheld hydration flask or bottle. Proper hydration can prevent heat stroke and other health issues associated with dehydration due to running in the summer sun and heat.
What about wearable hydration systems?
Wearable hydration systems can also help prevent dehydration. Vests tend to add more heat so they are less desirable for some hot-weather runners. However, belts can hold multiple water bottles without adding too much body heat. A handheld water bottle with a strap is convenient too.