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10 Best Pieces of Running Clothes to Consider

last updated Oct 19, 2018
Many runners don’t put a lot of thought into their attire—especially beginners! However, what you wear is important and can make or break your performance levels during your runs.

This post is for those of you looking for high-quality running clothing that will boost your performance, maintain your comfort, and keep you looking sharp and ready to take on the world.

While it’s important to have the proper clothing, we also understand finding the best of the best can be a tedious and time-consuming task. So we have taken the liberty of conducting an extensive comparative research and put together the best cost-friendly options currently available.

When putting together this list we specifically looked for comfortable attire made of high-quality material that was also functional, protective, high performance, and a tried and true brand that we knew you all would trust and love. Check it out below!
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Reviews Considered
2073
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
13
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Products Evaluated
25
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Giselle Killebrew:

Our most current update brings the Rockay accelerate running socks, Nike tempo shorts, and the Nike Dri-Fit Knit Short Sleeve Top. Once you get your hands on one of these you will find they are an absolute essential to your running arsenal and you won't remember a time without them.

Sorting Options
Materials Style Comfort Durability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Materials
92%
Style
96%
Comfort
95%
Durability
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
$14.83
Best Deal
$18.71
Best Deal
$39.55
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Materials
95%
Style
94%
Comfort
89%
Durability
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
$15.95
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Materials
90%
Style
83%
Comfort
85%
Durability
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
$9.00
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
Materials
87%
Style
90%
Comfort
88%
Durability
81%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
$27.98
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Materials
85%
Style
87%
Comfort
84%
Durability
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Materials
79%
Style
84%
Comfort
85%
Durability
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
$19.99
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Materials
84%
Style
83%
Comfort
85%
Durability
78%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
$55.00
Best Deal
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.5
Materials
77%
Style
79%
Comfort
78%
Durability
76%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
$19.20
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.3
Materials
76%
Style
78%
Comfort
76%
Durability
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73.3
Materials
73%
Style
71%
Comfort
75%
Durability
74%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.11.18)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Nike Tempo Shorts
  • Rockay Accelerate Running Socks
  • Bondi Band Solid Headband
  • Nike Dri-Fit Legend
  • Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve
  • Ultra Pocket Hat
  • Nike Stretch Woven Pants
  • New Balance Tempo Singlet
  • Under Armour Launch Running Shorts
  • Sugoi RSR Visor
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Our Favorites

1. Nike Tempo Shorts

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Nike Tempo Shorts
Materials
92
Style
96
Comfort
95
Durability
93
best offer for today
more shops
$39.55
$14.83
Best deal
$18.71
Best deal
Pros:

Breathable and comfortable

Adjustable waistband

Appealing style

Cons:

Wild price variations

These budget-friendly shorts come in lots of colors and have quickly become a favorite among many female runners. They are incredibly durable and will literally last for years if you care for them properly.

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Comfort and fit

These Nike shorts are very lightweight and breathable. They're also constructed with flat seams in order to prevent chafing and irritation during your runs. The textiles used in its manufacture are 100% polyester Dri-Fit material, keeping you cool, dry, and comfortable during your running sessions.

Breathability and mobility

The elastic waistband for the Nike Tempo running shorts has a drawstring so you can customize the fit. This allows for a greater degree of mobility since a properly adjusted waistband won't run the risk of slipping during repetitive movement. Additionally, the mesh side panels on the shorts allow for maximum breathability without interfering with your run.

Cost and value

On one hand, these running shorts come at a reasonable price for several sizes and colorways. On the other hand, some of the rarer options suffer from severe price inflation. Whether or not this product is worth its cost will depend on what specific model you plan on purchasing.

2. Rockay Accelerate Running Socks

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Rockay Accelerate Running Socks
Materials
95
Style
94
Comfort
89
Durability
96
best offer for today
$15.95
Pros:

Padded heel and toe

Durable wool construction

Excellent style

Cons:

May trigger allergic reactions

Expensive per pair

While they are a little pricey for socks, these are the best of the best when it comes to performance. They will keep your feet cool and dry and allow you perform to the best of your ability.

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High-quality materials

These Rockay running socks are proudly made from Merino wool. This material comes with many beneficial features, such as an impressively long lifespan. Additionally, extra padding around the heel and toe of each sock provides enhanced comfort.

Breathability and comfort

Although the wool material used for these Rockay running socks is comfortable and durable, it may not be very comfortable when running in excessively warm weather. Additionally, those who are allergy prone may develop a nasty reaction if they aren't careful!

Cost and value

When considering how well made these socks are and how long they will last, the premium pricing is easy to justify. Still, it's understandable that many prospective customers might balk at the price for even one pair of Rockay Accelerates.

3. Bondi Band Solid Headband

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Bondi Band Solid Headband
Materials
90
Style
83
Comfort
85
Durability
89
best offer for today
$9.00
Pros:

Highly absorbent

Made in the USA

Stretchy and highly breathable

Cons:

Can only cover the head

This is yet another great piece of clothing to have around during blazing hot summer months. Go full-on Rambo with the Bondi Band Headband! This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to keep sweat out of your eyes while running.

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Materials and durability

What makes this Bondi headband stand out from a sea of cheap polyester clothing is its use of spandex and lycra in its construction. Thanks to these resilient textiles, runners can attack the pavement or treadmill with their full strength without causing any damage to their headgear.

Comfort and style

It's so easy to effortlessly wear this headband that you may even forget that you have it on in the first place! Fortunately, no one else will, thanks to the variety of appealing color options available to customers.

Cost and value

Although it can only provide comfort and coverage for the wearer's head, this Bondi headband comes at a fantastic price. This is even more impressive when considering how well-made it is and the strength of its materials.

4. Nike Dri-Fit Legend

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
Nike Dri-Fit Legend
Materials
87
Style
90
Comfort
88
Durability
81
best offer for today
$27.98
Pros:

Moisture-wicking material

Multiple color options

Fitted polyester design

Cons:

Cheap textiles

This shirt is available for both men and women in several sizes and colors. It's comfortable, durable, and made of 100% polyester, making it affordable and highly functional.

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Material and breathability

This crewneck shirt is 100% polyester and has a mesh back panel for added breathability. It is made of Dri-Fit material, meaning it is moisture-wicking and fast-drying. It works admirably as a running shirt as a result, although it is far from the most durable or comfortable option on the market.

Comfort and fit

The Nike Dri-Fit Legend is fitted for both men and women. However, its material stays loose enough to allow for a full range of motion during any high-intensity activities. As a result, it strikes a perfect balance between control and comfort.

Cost and value

Much like some other Nike products on the market, different sizes and colorways have slightly increased prices due to scarcity. However, even the most expensive variant of this product is reasonably priced.

5. Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve
Materials
85
Style
87
Comfort
84
Durability
87
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Lots of colorways

High-quality tech fabric

Excellent breathability

Cons:

Superior models available

This shirt from Under Armour is comfortable and loose-fitting. This will keep you dry and looking sharp during your runs since it comes in lots of color options. It certainly helps that they're highly affordable and durable!

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Material and breathability

The UA tech patented material it is made of allows it to be quick-drying, soft, and lightweight. Furthermore, the Moisture Transport System the shirt utilizes allows it to be moisture-wicking, thus keeping you cool and dry.

Style and design

Under Armour has been around for quite some time and knows a thing or two about functional and fashionable apparel. This short sleeved shirt is certainly no exception to the rule.

Cost and value

At its lowest, these Under Armour short sleeves are a steal. But at the high end, it might take some thought before pulling the trigger. Ultimately, however, this is worth the price.

6. Ultra Pocket Hat

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Ultra Pocket Hat
Materials
79
Style
84
Comfort
85
Durability
83
best offer for today
$19.99
Pros:

Convenient zippered pocket

Stylish retro design

Reasonable price

Cons:

Pocket is very small

Hats are an excellent addition to your run, whether training or competing. They protect you from the sun and keep you a little cooler on those hot, sunny days. This particular hat, however, goes above and beyond.

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Features and material

Runners who are used to packing light often struggle with finding a good place to store all their gear. Fortunately, this hat has a convenient zippered pocket that is just large enough to securely hold a few essentials.

Protection and style

Although it may not seem like it, the truth is that this style of hat is coming back into style. Additionally, this 'dad hat' can provide you with valuable protection from UV rays when running for long periods of time in the sun.

Cost and value

If Nike were to sell a hat with this product's features, there's a 100% chance that they would charge triple the price. Fortunately, this product is sold by a smaller company that doesn't jack up their product costs.

7. Nike Stretch Woven Pants

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Nike Stretch Woven Pants
Materials
84
Style
83
Comfort
85
Durability
78
best offer for today
more shops
$55.00
Best deal
Pros:

Well designed elastic waistband

Zippered side pockets and ankles

Appealing design

Lightweight and breathable

Cons:

Only comes in black

Costs more than average sweatpants

The votes are in, and the stretch woven pants from Nike are a clear winner when it comes to running pants. These pants can keep you toasty during your warmup or be worn comfortably through the duration of your run; such is their versatility. With strong elastic, contour cut legs, and a classic Nike design, it’s all here.

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Breathability and materials

Although the predominant use of polyester may be unappealing to some, these Nike pants make the most of it. Thanks to their Dri-Fit technology, this material is used to its fullest potential and can effectively wick away moisture generated from strenuous running activities.

Extra features

A convenient feature Nike added to these running pants is the inclusion of two zippered pockets that can hold valuables or music listening devices. In order to keep stored items from spilling onto the pavement while sprinting, they can be securely closed with the aid of zippers. Some zippers have also been added to the cuffs of the legs for an extra-tight fit.

Cost and value

These are far more expensive than any ordinary pair of sweatpants, thanks in no small part to the brand appeal and bonus features. They're ultimately worth the extra cost, although the lack of additional color options may not sit well with some prospective customers.

8. New Balance Tempo Singlet

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.5
New Balance Tempo Singlet
Materials
77
Style
79
Comfort
78
Durability
76
best offer for today
$19.20
Pros:

Versatile

Breathable and anti-microbial

Multiple color choices

Cons:

Less popular brand appeal

Hot summer weather has set in but you don’t want to be that shirtless guy jogging in traffic? Singlets, or tank tops if you prefer, are your answer. Here we have an ultra lightweight and anti-chafing top from New Balance. In colder months, you can even throw it on as a base layer to insulate yourself: all in all, a great buy.

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Material and breathability

Once again, this is an article of clothing made almost entirely from the lightweight and inexpensive polyester. Although this fabric does help to keep costs low and can offer great moisture management, the overall durability and comfort can leave a lot to be desired.

Style and functionality

As previously mentioned, this tank top from New Balance can be worn on its own or in layers during colder weather. With the company's logo tastefully placed on the upper corner, this product looks stylish in a minimalistic way.

Cost and value

When considering the excellent breathability and sweat management, this product offers a surprisingly decent value despite costing more than an entire five pack of cheap cotton tank tops. It also helps that there are a wide variety of colorways to choose from.

9. Under Armour Launch Running Shorts

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.3
Under Armour Launch Running Shorts
Materials
76
Style
78
Comfort
76
Durability
75
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Prevents odor and bacteria

Different colors to choose from

Recognizable and popular brand

Cons:

Absurd price fluctuations

Need a boost? Feel the strength of a linebacker when you wear these shorts. The Launch Runs are solid multi-use shorts made from 100% polyester, so they're guaranteed to keep you nice and cool. These are great for trail running or even to wear to a birthday party.

Read more

Weight and Durability

The reason why polyester is such a suspect fabric in the design of these clothes is that it's fully synthetic and offers a fraction of the durability that can be found in other materials. Still, these shorts are well-made and shouldn't lead to any issues if the wearer exercises caution during their running sessions.

Extra features

Under Armour understands the importance of hygiene when it comes to designing active apparel. For this reason, they ensured that their Launch running shorts contain anti-microbial elements that prevent the spread of bacteria or odor.

Cost and value

It's the same story as many other products on this list. Most options in terms of color and size are reasonably priced while others cost ludicrous amounts due to limited stock driving up demand. Exercise caution and you can find a good deal.

10. Sugoi RSR Visor

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73.3
Sugoi RSR Visor
Materials
73
Style
71
Comfort
75
Durability
74
best offer for today
Pros:

Mesh ventilation allows air to flow

Adjustable Velcro back strap

Pre-molded brim that keeps shape well

Cons:

Unappealing style

Some don’t like to run with their heads completely covered but still want some protection for their noggin. For you fine folks out there, Sugoi has the excellent RSR visor. This is a trim and lightweight product that does an excellent job protecting your face while leaving your hair free to catch the breeze.

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Breathability and style

On one hand, the open design and mesh accents ensure that this product has excellent breathability. On the other hand, this style is reserved almost exclusively for dads and baby boomers. You have been warned.

Materials and comfort

Once again, the minimalistic design of this Sugoi visor ensures lightweight comfort. However, the use of polyester calls its durability into question.

Cost and value

When it comes to visors, this Sugoi model is more or less the same price as any other. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find in stock.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Fabric is an extremely important factor in the selection process for running clothing. There are a variety of materials to choose from; some will pull sweat away from the body, leaving it cool, and others won't, which will cause discomfort. Clothes made out of polypropylene material or Coolmax generally make a great selection for use in sweaty exercises and environments.

Some clothes that are made out of cotton should not be your priority if you sweat frequently, as they tend to keep moisture in. Also, avoid clothes that are made of rubber or plastic as they tend to raise your internal temperature. This can cause great irritation and chafing of affected areas.

Style

Although it may not seem like such a big deal at first, the truth is that style plays a significant role in running clothing. After all, no one wants to leave the house looking like a slob, even if it's to exercise. For that reason, the products on this list have all been judged for their fashion appeal, with higher scores given to those from name brands or with multiple colorways.

There's another aspect of style that has practical importance when it comes to running clothing: reflectivity. It may not seem appealing to fashionistas to wear clothes with highly reflective elements, especially if they're worried about being confused for a crossing guard! However, these materials can improve the wearer's visibility in low light environments, which can come in handy if you decide to run alongside a road at night.

Comfort

When shopping, you will need to find running clothes that fit your body well in order to help you work out. Wearing loose clothes that make you comfortable is a great idea in casual settings; however, if you are a runner you need to put on tight-fitting clothes that will not snag or get caught. That way, you can run at your best without anything holding you back.

The comfort of a cloth is relative to its material, fit, and seaming, among other factors. Having the right fit and material will be a step towards having the best results in practice; the seams should be soft and well knitted in order to prevent chaffing, especially in the pants region. Consider getting the right material that will give you the comfort you deserve.

Durability

The durability of any clothing you buy will be related to the quality of the material (and often the asking price). How long your running clothing lasts is a major factor that went into the evaluation of these ten products. These products are all well put together and should be fairly easy to clean and maintain. Although rare for clothing, any products with extended warranties will receive higher scores in this area.

Value

It's true that runners should look for clothing that is made from comfortable, breathable, well-fitting, and fashionable material. However, one thing most runners definitely don't want to do is spend an absurd amount of money in order to obtain all of these features! This category determines whether or not a product comes at a price that is fair when compared to its features and other products like it on the market.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Comfort
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The Weather Outside is....

Understanding what type of climate you may be running in can help when picking out running clothes. For example, do you live in an environment where it's cold for the primary part of the year? If so, it's important to find clothing that comes with thermal properties. If you live in the tropics, thermal running clothes will prove quite ineffective.

Size is Key!

Have you ever purchased a shirt or pair of pants and found the size to be too big or too small? When it comes to running, you can't make this mistake. Wearing wrong-sized clothing can hinder your performance, preventing your ability to either meet or surpass goals. Before you purchase any type of running clothes, carefully read the sizing chart and check with customer reviews to see what people are saying about the size.

Other Factors to Consider

Breathability

What we can all agree is that no matter what the weather is outside, running for long enough will result in sweat. Runners have a challenge, especially if they run in all seasons: maintaining that balance between insulation and breathability in accordance with the climate. Make sure that the clothing you buy is at an appropriate level of ventilation for your environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How should I wash my running clothes?
a:

Make sure you know the type of material that you own; this will determine the type of water and detergent to use in order to avoid causing damage or shrinkage. In general, cold water on a low to mid-intensity cycle is ideal for any machine-washable running clothes.

q: How often should I change my running clothes?
a:

This will depend on the frequency of your running and on the maintenance you practice on your running gear. Ensure that you wash your running clothes regularly and keeping them in a cool, dry area free from excessive sunlight in order to prolong their lifespan. In general, a good rule is to replace running clothes every 4 months.

q: What is the best fabric for hot weather?
a:

Polypropylene serves well for wicking away excess sweat, leaving you dry and cool when running in warm or hot weather. Failing that, anything lightweight with bright colors is ideal for maximum comfort and breathability.

Sources

  1. Diana Rodriguez, Choosing the Right Workout Clothes, Health and Fitness, Jul 01, 2009
  2. Antonio, 5 Reasons To Choose The Right Athletic Clothing, Fashion and Clothing, Apr 06, 2016
  3. Florence Griffith Joyner, HOW TO PICK RUNNING CLOTHES AND OTHER RUNNING GEAR, Health and Exercise,
  4. KAY IRELAND, The Advantages of Running in Tights, Sports and Fitness., Sep 11, 2017