Basically, wherever you live in the United States, running in the heat is something you’re going to have to deal with regularly. Some have referred to hot and humid conditions as “poor man’s altitude” because of their similar physiological and performance benefits. But, in order to enjoy those benefits, you actually have to get out there and run in the heat and humidity. For that, you’re going to want to have the best hot weather running gear.
We’re not going to lie to you: There’s a certain amount of unpleasantness that is unavoidable when running in hot weather. But, with the right hot weather running gear, you can make summer running significantly more bearable. And that can be the difference between skipping a run and getting out the door.
Hot weather running socks
What we’re looking for: In the summer, having the right socks is more important than ever. It doesn’t have to be raining for your feet to get wet, so a good pair of running socks is essential hot weather running gear. For a good hot weather sock, we’re looking for something that dries quickly and prevents blisters. Since it’s summer, we want it to be lightweight and breathable as well.
Feetures Elite Ultra Light No-Show Tab Running Socks
The Feetures Elite Ultra Light No-Show Tab running sock is a super thin, lightweight sock with iWick fabric to keep your foot dry and cool on the hottest and sweatiest days. Targeted compression ensures these socks will stay in place, further reducing the risk of blisters.
OS1st Thin Air Performance Socks
These socks are built to keep your feet cool. In addition to all the blister prevention you expect from a performance sock, the OS1st Thin Air Performance Sock is designed with ultra thin materials to maximize air flow around your foot.
Hot weather running top
What were looking for: We know that not all technical, moisture-wicking tees are created equal. Sometimes they inexplicably get rough when wet. Some get really heavy-feeling. Others still simply don’t fit all that well. When it’s hot out, we need all the help we can get. We want a shirt that wicks moisture and feels light and airy throughout the run.
Our recommendation: Rabbit EZ Tee
Let’s not bury the lede: This running shirt is incredibly soft, and stays soft and cool no matter how wet you get it, whether you’re caught in an afternoon thunderstorm or sweating your butt off. Did we mention it looks great too? The Rabbit EZ Tee comes in both men’s and women’s cuts so everyone can luxuriate in this soft and cool running shirt.
Hot weather running shorts
What we’re looking for: Similar to our shirts, we want the shorts we wear in the heat to be light and airy. We also need them to wick moisture because there is no worse feeling than peeling sweaty shorts off our skin at the end of a summer run. Because of that, we either want something that is light and loose-fitting or a short tight.
Our men’s recommendation: Brooks Sherpa 5” Short
Listen, we all know that 5” is the perfect inseam length for shorts. They’re short enough that you don’t look like T.J. Ford lacing ‘em up for the Milwaukee Bucks and long enough to not be obscene. The Brooks Sherpa 5” has a wider waistband for a distraction-free fit and plenty of external elastic pockets for provisions you need on the run. A back zipper pocket allows you to safely secure keys and cards.
Our women’s recommendation: On Sprinter Shorts
These lightweight shorts will keep you cool and dry. But, most importantly, you’ll feel fast in these snug and compressed shorts. Despite their name, these shorts aren’t just built for short distances. They’re also packed with five pockets for your phone – yes, your phone! – and other essentials. An additional key loop provides safe storage for your house key.
Hot weather sports bra
What we’re looking for: In hot weather, women need a sports bra that wicks moisture, dries quickly, and is supportive. But, we’re also looking for a bra that delivers that support while feeling lightweight.
Our recommendation: Rabbit Strappy Pocket Bra
Don’t let the spaghetti straps fool you: This is a supportive running bra. The thin straps just add to the overall lightweight feel. Most important for our purposes in this hot weather gear guide is that nylon made from recycled coffee grounds keeps this bra is cool and quick drying while also controlling odor. A back pocket can hold your phone securely without bouncing to complete this supportive and lightweight bra.
Best running hat
What we’re looking for: Obviously, we’re looking for a hat that keeps the sun off your face when the summer sun is beating down on you. Simply by virtue of having a brim, most hats will do that just fine. A hat that advertises UPF protection gives us just a bit extra feeling of security that we’re being protected on the run. Our heads also get super sweaty, so we want something that wicks sweat and dries quickly as well.
Ciele Athletics GOCap
Ciele’s signature cap is stylish and lightweight to keep you cool and looking good throughout the warmer months. Moisture-wicking fabric will keep you cool even as sweat pours out of your cranium and UPF +40 protection keeps your face safe from the sun’s harmful rays. With over a dozen fun colors, the Ciele Athletics GOCap will allow you to crush your summer miles in style.
On Lightweight Cap
Let’s face reality: Not everyone can pull off a five-panel running cap. For those of us who can’t, the On Lightweight Cap fits like a traditional baseball cap while keeping you cool with moisture-wicking fabric and laser-cut ventilation.
Best water bottle
What we’re looking for: There are days when a water bottle is an essential piece of hot weather running gear. But, all else being equal, no one would choose to carry a water bottle for an entire run. So, a key factor will be how much we can carry the bottle without constantly think about carrying a water bottle. In the heat, insulation is also important so that you’re not drinking bath water at the end of a run.
Our recommendation: Nathan Quicksqueeze 18 oz. Insulated Handheld
With an 18 oz. capacity, the Nathan QuickSqueeze will ensure you stay hydrated on even your longest summer runs. An adjustable strap and rubber backing will allow you to keep a secure grip on it even as your hand gets a little slippery from sweat. An insulated liner will keep your water cool throughout your run. The Nathan Quicksqueeze also has a stash pocket that is perfect for gels, keys, or credit cards.
Best hydration pack
What we’re looking for: If we’re going to wear a hydration pack in the heat, it better deliver. Obviously, it has to fit well and feel light to not cause and chafing. But we also want it to carry more than just a bladder full of water. We’d like to also be able to carry some gels and another water bottle with an electrolyte mix. Additional storage for other essentials like keys and credit cards or even a spare shirt would be nice as well.
Our recommendation: Nathan Quickstart 2.0 4L Hydration Pack
The Nathan Quickstart 2.0 is a great lightweight hydration pack that packs in plenty of features and storage capacity. A zipper pocket on the other front strap can fit gels, keys, or credit cards, and an ample zippered back pocket can fit a light change of clothes or any other gear you might want during or after your run.
Best running sunglasses:
What we’re looking for: Basically, something that’s designed to be run in. These glasses should be light on the face without slipping or bouncing during the run. When we’re out running at dawn or at sunset, we often find ourselves staring straight into the sun, so we want something polarized, or anti-glare, as well.
Our recommendation: Goodr OGs
You had us at, “they’re only $25,” but the Goodr OG’s are legitimately good sunglasses. They’re polarized and lightweight. They won’t slip or bounce while you’re running. Basically, everything you’d want from a pair of running sunglasses. On top of all that, they look really cool with dozens of colors to choose from in this classic frame.