Best Running Apparel Tested
With the seasons changing, it’s time to think about the right running apparel to keep pace with you and the weather. From wicking shirts to light jackets to shorts, we’ve got you covered. Adjusting to temperature changes, weather conditions and daylight savings just got a lot easier with these top ten pieces to make your run more comfortable, safer and even more fun!
Best Running Apparel
1. Under Armour Tech Popover Hoodie
The UA Tech Pop Over Hoodie is an excellent choice for an active lifestyle. Runners appreciate its design, which is simultaneously comfortable with a relaxed fit, and also high performing with several sports' minded design elements. The knit fabric is soft but also functional with a quick drying technology built into the fabric. The color options are great - select from dark or bright red, cobalt blue, green or classic hues like grey or black. It's a great transitional piece and serves the dual purpose of meeting all athletic expectations with an on-trend aesthetic.
The Under Armour trademark Moisture Transport System confidently wicks perspiration and keeps runners dry. The UA fabric is designed for quick-dry with an ultra soft knit that feels natural. Wearer's are assured a comfortable run, no matter how long or what the conditions! Anti odor technology is one more feature that allows runners to feel sure of freshness - a great component especially when a run is followed by an impromptu lunch date. The 2-snap placket, contrast stitching and lining are perfect touches on this multi-purpose Henley.
Reasonably priced - taking into consideration how dual-purposed this hoodie is.
- Several great colors
- Quick dry materials
- Moisture Wicking technology
- Soft, relaxed fabric
- Material is very thin.
2. Nike Dry Element Half Zip Running Top
The Dry Element Long Sleeve Running Top is so well fitted and trendy that it’ll easily transition from ride to dinner-ready at the local eatery. It comes in several hues, including soft shades of heather grey green. If you like a “pop” of color, you can enjoy a fun shade of pink, purple or blue (just to name a few). What’s really wonderful about the Dry Element top is the soft, cozy feel. Even with the confidence of Dri-FIT wicking fabric, texture isn’t sacrificed. Additionally, flat seams translate into an even smoother fit.
In this pullover, 88% Dri-FIT meets 12% polyester and spandex for a comfy, confident stretch fit that provides excellent flexibility and range of motion. Built-in reflective features mean a safer run no matter the weather, lighting or time of day or night. Accent features like thumbholes at the cuffs keep runners warmer and customize the fit and style. Add a media-cord loop positioned at the upper back and it’s ready-set-go!
This pullover is moderately priced for optimum apparel.
- Dri-FIT technology meets ultra comfort
- Media Cord loop
- Slightly higher end price
3. New Balance Lite Packable Jacket
Ultra stylish and simultaneously lightweight, the New Balance Lite Packable Jacket is also convenient. We like the ease of packing it into its own zipped chest pocket. A perforated logo down the back makes for on-trend breathability and ventilation without the sacrifice of cool and the navy blue selection is extremely handsome. Spring means a few unpredictable showers, winds and changes in lighting. This versatile jacket lets you combat fluctuations in the elements safely without hindering the fun of the run.
The jacket weighs a mere pound and is made of 100% nylon and Nab Dry for enhanced moisture control and faster drying capability. A perforated logo down the back does double-duty as a ventilation system for chic breathability. The 360 reflective tape logo and trim provides visibility and safety. The hood tie down, located at the back of the neck, is a nice stability feature while the zip pocket storage meets our standard of convenience. With such a versatile and well-functioning jacket, runners can keep their focus on the ride, where it should be.
This is an average priced piece of running gear.
- Reflective 360 degree tape and trim
- Great price point
- Ultra lightweight
- Not many color choices
4. Champion Long Mesh Shorts
The Champion Long Mesh Short makes a great running and everyday short. Casual and athletic, it's perfect for a run, workout, or just hanging out. A favorite aspect is that it comes in a variety of colors - 22 to be exact! It also comes in a range of sizes, small through XXX-large. So basically this really is "every guy's" perfect short. Enjoy the breathable, relaxed style of the Champion Long Mesh Short and hit the trails, the courts or your favorite diner in comfort.
This short packs some nice features into its casually athletic appearance, including two sizeable pockets for storage and a draw string for a secure, right-sized fit. These are made out of breathable, 100% polyester for a comfortable cool feeling. The lightweight mesh short has a convenient elastic waistband and is machine washable. These shorts truly are easy, athletic and functional.
Reasonably priced - wouldn't hurt to grab a few pairs at the great price point and so many colors to choose from.
- Casual athletic, everyday style
- Pockets for storage
- Many colors
- Fit varied - use provided size chart, may run large
5. Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve
A smooth, brushed fabric makes this comfy t-shirt a favorite. The loose fit looks great running or for a social gathering. The aesthetic defines its wearer as both athletic and casual. Being so light and comfortable, we promise this shirt will become a favorite. Throw it on for a fun run then just...have fun!
This is where it gets interesting. The technology within this seemingly everyday t-shirt is outstanding. On long runs or workouts it can't be missed that the fabric is cooling, quick drying and ultra soft and natural feeling. UA patented Tech fabric provides fast drying while the Moisture Transport System wicks sweat quickly and assists with drying. A loose cut translates to mobility for better running and overall comfort. You'll still love your favorite old t-shirt, but the tech promises to become your favorite new.
Excellent price for the performance
- Trademark wicking and drying fabric
- Soft, natural, lightweight feel
- Many colors
- Great loose cut but make sure not to order compression or fitted, both offered under the same descriptive heading.
6. Tesla Compression Base Layer Short Capris
The Tesla Compression Capri makes a bold apparel statement. Its modern aesthetic reflects the concept of "machine" as much as apparel. We especially like the orange hue selection, but you can choose from several colors including black, red and gray. Sporting compression wear that is as high functioning as the Tesla Capri will enhance your athleticism and fuel your fun. You'll feel all the part of a serious runner and look it, too.
The compression capri has a flat-lock seam for a smoother fit and seamless feel. Worry not about a run in the sun with the UPF 50, which shields over 99% of harmful rays. The compression design assists with early recovery after a tough run or hard workout by helping to control blood flow and prevent muscle pain. The fabric technology has a built in deodorization function, repelling odors connected to residue, sweat and grime. The all-season apparel is designed for all seasons, wicking moisture, releasing heat and offering a cooling effect. Truly, a these tights are well-engineered and will enhance your run.
Shockingly reasonable for the value
- Wicking, heat release and cooling fabric
- UPF 50 Protection
- Flat lock seam
- Early recovery benefits
- Should purchase a size larger than usual, runs small.
7. Champion PowerTrain Performance Tee
The Champion PowerTrain Performance Tee is a must have for runners who appreciate a pretty transitional piece for everyday. Available in many colors and a nice range of sizes, wearers can also choose between a V-neck, scoop neck or crewneck. The softness might easily distract from the performance value, but this little tee has both. Enjoy comfort and fashion while reaping the benefits of a well crafted fabric boasting the latest performance technologies.
The 100% Polyester material is machine washable and designed with Quick Drying Champion Vapor technology which helps to wick and evaporate sweat and moisture. The fabric is designed for extreme softness and comfort and includes chafe-resistant flat lock seams for a smoother fit. At 4.8 ounces, this is a throw-it-on and forget-about-it kind of tee, except that the softness lends itself to a constant reminder. We can live with that.
Good price point for a well fitted tee with additional components that ensure a performance-with-comfort run
- Trademark wicking and moisture absorbing fabric
- Extremely soft
- 3 styles to choose from
- Each style (crew, V-neck or scoop) has unique elements so be sure to pick a design with the features desired.
8. CW-X Stabilyx Tights
This fabulous looking tight is a must have for any runner who appreciates a great fashion piece. The trendy style is matched with excellent support in all the right places, including the core for a toned, even appearance. The color schemes and patterns are so fun, you can't help but feel airier and lighter on your feet. A bonus for runners!
Components that make this tight more than a fun fashion piece include anatomically engineered, gender specific comfort and ease of motion, flat seam construction to protect against abrasions, "flash" reflective logo for nighttime visibility, a key pocket and double reinforced waistband with draw cord for a more secure fit. Finally, for wicking the fabric is comprised of 80% Coolmax and Lycra for stretch, with UPF 40 protection for an extra fun run in the sun!
A bit pricey but for the fashionable fun with equal parts performance, we think it's a great value!
- Excellent for joint support
- Fabulous colors and patterns
- Coolmax wicking fabric
- Must use size chart for fitting details
- Slightly higher priced
9. Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra Skirt
Taking the prize for most colors and sizes, the Gym Girl Ultra Skirt With Athletic Shorts is available in 27 hues and a very wide range of sizes. With a philosophy encouraging all women to feel great in their bodies (and their running gear), Skirt Sports ensures a versatile collection of prints, themes, colors and sizes with the objective that all women will run (and love athleticism) with extreme confidence. Mission accomplished!
Look forward to a dual commitment of fit and flare with a semi-compression short beneath a light skirt. A fabric fusion of Jersey, Polyester, LYCRA, and mesh provide moisture wicking support with motion and flexibility as well as just-right compression for a toned aesthetic. 5" shorts stay neatly tucked beneath a 13.5" skirt (add another inch for the backside). Two pockets located on the shorts' legs create storage for keys, phone, cards or other small necessities. Add a built-in Sonic Music Port for media headset cord and run for miles in a rhythmic bliss.
Slightly pricey but this two-for-one is a lot of value for the cost
- 27 colors
- Fitted shorts for a toned appearance and comfort with a pretty, light skirt for a feminine aesthetic
- Moisture wicking
- Slightly higher end
10. Under Armour Fly By Run Short
Great colors and an attractive fit make this short a favorite. Race tones like red/white or unique hues like anthracite/harmony/red/reflective and several options in between create options for every taste. While the fit isn't snug, it's also not loose. A close to the skin fit without compression feels comfortable and looks amazing. Feminine, scalloped cuffs contrasted with mesh side panels add a pretty yet urban accent. Flattering and functional, this short is a winner for runners!
So much technology is packed into this short, it's unbelievable. HeatGear, an Under Armour trademark technology, keeps perspiration wicked away from the skin and moves it quickly to the surface where it evaporates. Built-in briefs assist in odor protection and comfort, while Moisture Transport System technology provides wick protection back up. Add a cute elastic waist band with draw cord. The fact that the brand is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and we have a hit!
These shorts are priced around the average for similar items.
- Member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
- Fitted without being tight
- Cute scalloped detailing
- Dual wicking technologies
- Some experienced bunching in the front, which can be resolved with size adjustment.