By Michelle La Sala
When choosing clothing for running, there is only one essential thing that you need to know – Cotton is Rotten! Make sure no matter what time of year it is, you are wearing a wicking material close to the skin. The problem with cotton is that when you sweat, your clothes stay wet and that is not only uncomfortable and sometimes heavy, but it will also create friction on your skin, causing chafing.
All sports brands have their wicking material, whether that is Dri-FIT, CoolMax, HVAC, etc., If you stick with these items, your comfort level on your run will stay high. In the summer months, I would recommend a moisture transferring sports bra, top, and shorts. In the fall and spring, you can generally stick with these items and add a wicking long sleeve as well. I love the ½ zip long sleeve tops because you can regulate your temperature much better. Getting a little warm, but not warm enough to go short sleeve, take the zipper down. Is there a cold breeze chilling your neck, take the zipper up!
In the winter, make absolutely sure your base layers are moisture wicking! If the temperature is below 50 but above 40, I like to wear capri tights, a long sleeve ½ zip and some gloves. If it gets below 40, that’s when we are talking long tights, vest and hat! The vest is my favorite winter accessory. With a wicking turtleneck underneath, the vest adds just the right amount of added insulation without getting too hot. Plus, most vests have pockets, so as you warm up, you can stow your gloves safely.
Comfortable socks are a necessity all year round and cotton here is a no-no as well. Make sure to go to your favorite running store to stock up on socks. They almost never carry cotton! Whether you like a thin sock or something thicker, they will have many wicking choices for you.