The London Marathon is on Sunday, with approximately 38,000 runners taking to the capital’s pavements.
Whether you’re going to be one of them or not, if you run – anything from park jogs to ultra-marathons – it’s likely that you’re interested in the latest gear on offer.
The latest fabric technology means that there’s now a wide range of running wear that offers unprecedented comfort. Most apparel is now made from fabric with sweat-wicking properties. This is where the material absorbs your sweat and then “wicks” it away from your body in the same way as a candle wick absorbs liquid. It’s taken to the outer surface of the clothing, where it can evaporate much more quickly.
We tried out an array of shorts, tights, tops, jackets and socks to find out how well each performed on a medium length run in both rain and shine, and how comfortable they were.
1. Adidas Supernova Climachill Tee: £31, Adidas
This running top has silver aluminium dots on the back that are supposed to conduct heat away from your body. It’s certainly cool to wear due to how loose-fitting and lightweight it is. It’s made out of Adidas’ ‘Climatic’ fabric, a mesh-like material that feels so soft and light that it’s easy to forget you’ve got it on. The main reason for this is how quickly the fabric dries, meaning that you don’t get weighed down by any dampness.
2. Saucony Freedom Short Sleeve top: £17.49, Sports Shoes
Like the Adidas Climachill Tee, this is a lightweight top that fits nice and loosely, so it won’t bother you while you’re running. A mesh panel covers its back, which helps regulate your temperature and provides rapid cooling. For its price, it is also very good at sweat-wicking and keeping you dry.
3. Nike AeroReact top: £75, Nike
We may be approaching summer, but if you’re an early morning or late-night runner, then you’ll want to get yourself a long-sleeved top that won’t make you clammy. Step forward the Nike AeroReact, which uses cutting-edge fabric made up of thousands of pore-like holes. These open to increase airflow when you sweat, and close when you’re cooling down to prevent you from getting the chills. We really noticed the difference by the end of the run – this one exceeded our expectations.
4. Adidas Response Shorts: £15, Adidas
These light and stylish shorts have clearly been made with comfort in mind. Like any of the best running apparel, they’re almost unnoticeable while you’re running. The slightly oversized design means that your legs have plenty of room, while the wicking fabric means any of the perspiration from your sweaty thighs is swept away from your body. And they have the all-important zip pocket for your keys and any cards.
5. Gore Running Wear Fusion 2-in-1 Shorts: £62.99, Wiggle
If you’re looking for a spandex tights and shorts combo to wear while running, why not buy a product that is both of these things? As well as being incredibly comfortable and light, these Gore shorts, which combine spandex undershorts with light polyester, also have a stylish and colourful design. The only catch is the price, but if you are willing to splash out on a great pair of shorts then you won’t regret it.
6. Reebok One Series tights: £42, Reebok
If you’re someone who usually runs early enough in the morning that you see your own breath, then it doesn’t matter what the season is – these men’s tights will make your run so much more comfortable. In fact, they offer so much more warmth and protection for your leg muscles, that you may find it even easier to get up and go knowing that your calves aren’t going to freeze. You won’t want to wear them during the middle of a summer’s day, but for any other time they offer great comfort, and 360 degree reflectivity at the ankles to help you stay visible at night.
7. The North Face Flight Series Vent jacket: £130, The North Face
The North Face doesn’t mess around when it comes to producing durable, practical clothing, and this jacket is no different – with it you can run anywhere and in whatever conditions. It is very lightweight and can be worn in summer, and is also one of the more stylish running jackets on the market, and will keep you both comfortable during every season. If you ever run at night, it also has reflective strips to keep you visible.
8. GORE Fusion Windstopper: £169.99, Wiggle
This windbreaker is a great buy if you’re looking for a jacket that will protect you whatever the weather. Its lightweight, breathable design provides comfort, while its elasticated hood keeps your head protected and dry. It also comes with a handy zip pocket, and reflective stripes to aid visibility.
9. Nike Palm Impossibly Light jacket: £80, Nike
Weighing just 85 grams, this running jacket is the lightest Nike has ever produced. It’s quite a thing to hold in your hands, but even better to wear on a run where you need extra protection but don’t want to overheat, especially during the summer. Also, despite its weight, it is durable and water-resistant, and offers a good amount of wind resistance.
10. Happy Socks: £12, Happy Socks
Socks are often overlooked when it comes to running. But with Happy Socks’ range of running wear, this will be the last thing that happens when you embark on a run. If you’re looking to stand out then their eye-catching designs – which include 80s palm trees and multi-bubblegum-coloured camouflage – are just what you need. And they’re practical too, offering incredible comfort, and they provide a great bit of extra breathable cushioning that keeps your foot warm without overheating.
If you've ever felt slightly constricted by your running top, and want something that will keep you cool throughout your run, then you won't regreat buying the Adidas Supernova Climachill tee.
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