There are few things worse than not being able to run at your best because it’s too hot out. But if you live somewhere steamy, it can be difficult to avoid running in the heat.
Preparation is key! We’ve checked out the best hot weather running gear to give you an idea of what you should be wearing when you hit the road. We have you covered from top to toe to stay safe and comfortable while running in the heat.
Let’s check out our top choices.
Top 5 Best and Favorites
Salomon Unisex XA Cap
BALEAF Men’s Quick Dry Short Sleeve
Brooks Distance Short Sleeve
Balega Ultralight No Show
Goodr The OGs
1. Salomon Unisex Xa Cap
You may think a cap is just a cap, but the Salomon is better suited for hot weather than other hats.
It’s constructed from mechanical stretch mesh, which is quite breathable and allows for great airflow while on the go. Now you can feel the wind in your hair even while wearing a cap!
Another great summer feature is the fact that the fabric is UPF50, for extra heat protection.
This hat is also incredibly light, weighing less than an ounce. You’ll hardly feel it on your head, and the Velcro hook-n-loop strap is sturdy enough to keep it from flying away if there’s a bit of a breeze.
It’s important to note that even though this headwear is quick-drying, it’s not waterproof! You’ll come home less sweaty around the hairline, but it won’t prevent rain from landing on your head or face.
It’s also easy to choose something that suits you, with three sizing options and 10 colors available.
- Lightweight (0,035 oz)
- Quick-drying, breathable fabric
- UPF50 sun protection for extra safety
- Reflective logo means added visibility at night
- The logo may come off in high heat
Men’s Running T-Shirt
2. BALEAF Men’s Quick Dry Short Sleeve T-Shirt Sun Protection Running Workout Shirts
If you’re a guy who prefers a shirt with sleeves, this one is our best pick for upper-half hot weather running gear.
Depending on which color/model you choose, the shirt could be 100% polyester or a polyester/spandex blend, so if that makes a difference to you, be sure to check before you check out.
This shirt is built for on-the-move comfort. The raglan sleeves are designed to fit arms from slim to muscular, and the flatlock seams mean no chafing. Another comfort feature we like is the tagless collar.
The material (whichever one you go for) is quite breathable and wicks away moisture, although some customers report the shirt smelling not-so-sweet after a run. Its 4-way stretch construction allows for easy movement in all directions, so you can run free and unhindered.
With almost 30 colors and sizes from small to 3XL, there’s something for every runner and every style.
- Quick-dry polyester for less sweaty workouts
- Flatlock seams for less chafing
- Longer back hem to prevent it riding up
- Tagless collar is extra comfortable
- The fabric is delicate and threads may pull easily (and after washing)
Women’s Running Shirt
3. Brooks Distance Short Sleeve
This t-shirt is designed with women and heat in mind. The cut is both more comfortable and more flattering for a female figure.
The DriLayer material will keep you as dry as possible, and the shirt is thin and breathable for good airflow while jogging. The crew neck is wide and comfortable. Some may not enjoy the back design (v-cutout with string), but it adds an extra element of ventilation.
Buying this shirt also means supporting sustainable products, as it’s made from 88% recycled polyester, and 12% lyocell.
Just throw it in the washing machine after your run, and if you need it again in a hurry, it’s tumble-dryer-friendly too.
- Machine wash and tumble dry for convenience
- Semi-fitted cut is geared towards women’s builds
- DriLayer fabric for wicking away sweat
- Made with 88% recycled material
- Some may not like back design
4. ASICS Rival II Singlet
ASICS is well-known for their sporting apparel, and this singlet wins top spot for men to stay cool on summer runs.
It’s made from 100% micro polyester, which is soft, and movable to keep you comfortable and moving freely while exercising. Another bonus that we appreciate is the fact that it doesn’t chafe, which is a huge plus.
You’ll also find the shirt to be quite breathable, and the wide shoulder cutouts assist in providing excellent cooling. There’s also less chance of fraying or thread pulling thanks to the binding at the arm and neck holes.
Customers do report this shirt running large, so it may be wise to buy a size smaller than you would usually.
- 100% micro polyester
- The shoulder cutaways are great for ventilation
- Binding at neck and sleeve holes extends durability
- Sizing runs large, so check carefully
Women’s Running Tank
5. Brooks Pick-up Tank
Available in various feminine colors and patterns, the Brooks Pick-up tank top comes in at numero uno for our best hot weather running gear for women.
The tank is quite form-fitting, which allows for greater streamlining and no loose fabric when you’re flying down the track or road.
The DriLayer polyester/spandex blend breathes well and is fast-drying. The open-back design is a stylish and effective way to get better airflow around the upper body and keep you both cool and dry.
It seems to be quite true to size, but it’s meant to hug your body. If you prefer something more loose-fitting, order a size larger.
Machine wash and tumble dry (on low heat) to keep it clean and soft in between uses!
- We like the open-back design for better airflow
- Form-fitting and streamlined
- Tumble-dryer friendly
- It may be uncomfortable for those who prefer looser fits
Men’s Running Shorts
6. New Balance 5″ Impact Shorts
A comfortable pair of shorts can make all the difference to the quality of your run, and these take first place on our list.
They’re 5” in length, which is great for men who don’t enjoy their pants too short. Not long enough to be too baggy, but not short enough to be uncomfortable.
The side mesh panel is a super cooling addition and draws air in as you’re moving. An elastic waistband, although it doesn’t offer a custom fit like a drawstring, keeps them tight but not uncomfortable. It’s soft and comfortable while exercising.
The polyester/spandex material mix is light and cool. It’s hard to overheat in these shorts, and they’re just wide enough around the legs to allow for extra airflow.
Other features we particularly like are the built-in briefs for support in all the right places, and the zippered side/back pocket that just fits a phone or car keys comfortably.
- Built-in briefs for support and comfort
- 5” length is a great length for runners who don’t like too short
- We like the side mesh panel for extra cooling
- Elastic waistband doesn’t offer custom fit and may stretch
Women’s Running Shorts
7. Under Armour Fly By 2.0 Running Shorts
These stylish women’s shorts are soft, flexible, and made of light polyester and elastane. This combo is sweat-wicking and easy-drying, keeping you sleek and dry during your cardio.
Adding to the breathability, there’s a mesh section on either side to allow air to flow more freely. This lets excess heat that you generate flow right out, while cool air comes in easily.
Built-in briefs keep them tight and supportive, and the drawstring cord allows you to loosen or tighten as you wish for high comfort. They’d be great to wear over a pair of compression shorts.
They tend to run small, so you may need to order up. The downside to these is that they don’t have pockets, which can be a slight inconvenience if you need to carry car keys or a phone.
- The drawstring closure allows for a perfect fit
- The wide waistband is comfortable
- Almost 30 different colors to choose from
- Stylish crossover hem design
- There are no pockets in these shorts
- Tend to run small
8. Brooks Rebound Racer
Ladies, you’ll understand when I say that a sports bra is quite possibly the most important piece of running apparel you’ll wear. Wearing the wrong one can not only make for a highly unenjoyable run, but it can also contribute more than you may realize to overheating.
The Brooks Rebound Racer is made of breathable material, includes mesh sections for enhanced ventilation, and uses DriLayer moisture-wicking fabric in key sweat areas.
Some ladies report it being slightly heavier than others, but this is personal preference more than anything. It’s tight and compressing in all the right places, but it also offers a hook-and-loop closure for easy removal.
The thin back is also helpful when it comes to breathability, allowing more air and less fabric to trap heat.
- Protect from horizontal, vertical, and circular motion
- Variety of sizes, from B to DD
- Adjustable shoulder straps to create the perfect fit
- Added mesh panels in high-sweat zones
- Reported to run slightly small
9. Balega Ultralight No Show
Socks are another thing that can be an unintentional heat trap. Our top choice, the Balega Ultralight No Show socks, are created to be lighter and thinner than others, particularly so your feet don’t get too hot and ruin your jog.
The ankle-height and ventilation panels mean your feet will get decent air. In addition, they make use of Drynamix moisture-wicking tech, so if your feet sweat this should help you avoid getting too wet and sticky.
Other things we love about these foot-huggers include their seamless toes (fewer blisters!), arch and heel support, and an unusual but effective left/right sock construction, which allows for a better fit.
- Built-in compressive arch support
- Heel tab helps stop socks slipping into shoes
- We like that they’re constructed in left/right socks for a better fit
- The seamless toe is a nice touch that helps prevent blisters
- May not be as durable as others
10. Goodr The OGs
Eye protection is as important as the rest of your body when running, so we’ve added the Goodr sunglasses to our best hot weather running gear.
They’re perfect for running, especially in hot weather as they have a special grip-coated frame to prevent them slipping down your nose as you go. The exaggerated ear hook helps keep them stable and snug on your head without being jostled.
Polarized, scratch-resistant 53mm lenses keep your eyes protected from the sun with a protection factor of UV400. The downside is that water seems to damage the lenses, so they may not be the best if you’re planning on getting wet.
You’ll both feel and look cool with these on your face during your run. There are up to 30 colors to choose from, and their price is decent enough that you can get yourself a couple of pairs to match your running gear.
- No-slip, no-bounce promise from Goodr
- Feature UV400 polarized lenses for sun protection
- Scratch-resistant lenses
- Many funky choices to choose from
- Not waterproof – water may ruin the lenses
11. Coppertone SPORT Spray Sunscreen SPF 50
Running gear isn’t necessarily only what you take on the road with you. It’s all the stuff you need to get yourself ready for taking that jog, and sunscreen is an essential part of the best hot weather running gear.
This Coppertone is SPF50, and will stay on through sweat, water, and whatever else you may encounter on your run.
The spray application is helpful. Firstly, it’s easy to apply to places that could be harder to reach. Secondly, it prevents waste. If you’re planning to apply it to your face, spray it into your hand first!
Theyé also included moisturizing agents and vitamin E in their formula, for extra protection and hydration when you’re wearing this.
Don’t forget to do a small skin test first – some people are allergic to sunscreen, and you really don’t want a whole-body rash. Also, it’s wise to do a small stain test, as some customers have reported their clothes being badly stained.
- Water and sweat-resistant, so it stays on for longer
- The spray application allows it to get to harder-to-reach places
- Contains vitamin E and moisturizing agents
- May stain clothing
Handheld Water Bottle
12. Nathan SpeedMax Plus Handheld Flask
Perhaps even more important than your clothing is staying hydrated. It’s dehydration that leads to all the nasty side-effects the heat can bring, so having a high-quality water bottle on the road with you is a must.
The Speedmax is small but mighty, allowing you to carry 22-oz liquid around with you to keep you properly hydrated. It’s only 8.8 inches tall, so it’s not too unwieldy.
It even comes with its own jacket. The mouth of the bottle is wide enough for you to slip some ice cubes inside, which is super for jogs in hot weather.
You can use it with or without the jacket, but keeping it on allows you to use the hand strap for easy gripping while moving, as well as the handy pocket, which fits a phone or other valuables.
The blast valve cap gives a high flow rate so you won’t need to work hard for your water while running. It’s also pretty brightly colored, so it acts as an extra safety measure!
- 22-oz capacity
- We like the extra features the flask offers
- Wide enough to add ice cubes for extra cooling
- The bottle is very firm and may be hard to squeeze
13. Ultimate Direction Ultra Belt 5.0
If you aren’t keen on holding your water bottle while you run, or you’d prefer to take two for maximum hydration, this hydration belt would be a fantastic option for you.
The waistband is made of Flex Mono Mesh for a custom fit that also allows for breathability too, so it won’t add any extra heat to your exercise.
We really love the dual bottle pockets. They’re ideal for running in the summer heat – you can take up to a quarter of a gallon with you on the road to stay watered and avoid the dreaded dehydration. Fantastic for longer runs!
The belt features two pockets: a key pocket on the front of the waistband and a rear, weather-resistant zip pocket that fits a phone nicely. You won’t need to worry about carrying space when you’re wearing this belt.
- Ability to carry two bottles at once
- Zipped pocket is weather resistant
- Compression waist belt for secure fit
- Mesh construction for breathability
- Some may find it uncomfortable to have around the waist while running
14. Nathan Quickstart 4L Race Pack
If you don’t like the idea of the hydration belt, this pack could be a better fit for you. It’s one-size-fits-most, and both the front and side straps are adjustable for a snug fit.
It comes with a bladder that can take almost half a gallon of liquid, so it’s superb for staying hydrated on long runs.
The pack weighs 9.5 ounces with the bladder, so it’s fairly lightweight and the mesh straps keep air flowing and wick away water and sweat. It may take a bit of getting used to having something on your back, but it’s an amazing hands-free way of keeping yourself well-hydrated while you’re out.
As well as helping you stay watered and cool, the storage capacity is pretty great on this backpack. There’s a flask/bottle pocket on one front strap, and a zippered pocket on the other that can comfortably fit a phone, keys, and a snack bar.
It’s also reflective, so whether you’re running during the day or in the dark, you’ll be visible. This vest would be perfectly suitable for both men and women. It runs slightly on the small side, so rather go larger!
- Convenient and more comfortable for most than a waist belt
- Slightly less than half a gallon volume
- One size fits most so this suits guys and girls, big and small
- Soft inner binding to reduce chafing
- Some phones won’t fit in the storage pocket
- Can’t take larger than the bladder it comes with