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Best Running Shoes, Clothes, And Gear For Women in 2020

 

One of the best things about running is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. You really don’t need much gear to get up and run. It’s one of the easiest things in the world to do.

But spending just a little on the right running gear can skyrocket your running progress, as well as making it much easier on the body.

It’s also kind of impossible not to get excited about cool and interesting running gear once you start looking at it!

We’ve reviewed some of the best running shoes, clothes, and gear for women so you can make sure you’re covered. You’ll see they’re split into hot weather gear and cold weather gear. We want you safe and comfy in all conditions!

Let’s check it out!

 

Top 6 Best and Favorites

 

Saucony Ride 13

 

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • 3D printed overlays for extra stability
  • The rubber outsole is very durable
Check Price

 

Under Armour Fly-By Shorts

 

  • Lightweight
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Wide elastic waistband
Check Price

 

adidas 3 Stripes Legging

 

  • High-rise elastic waistband
  • Machine washable
  • Soft and comfortable
Check Price

 

Brooks Fiona Sports Bra

 

  • Nylon/spandex/polyester fabric
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Three clasp settings
Check Price

 

Craft Intensity Jacket

 

  • Side ventilation panels
  • Dual front zippered pockets
  • VentairX windproof material
Check Price

 

Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Training Beanie

 

  • Fleece lining
  • Front and back reflective elements
  • Ponytail and sunglasses openings
Check Price

Warm Weather Shoes & Gear

We’re talking about hot summer and warm spring/fall days. You need to stay as cool as possible when running in warm weather and make sure you’ve got plenty of hydration.

Best Road Running Shoes

1. Saucony Ride 13

Your feet need to be protected while you’re running, but they also need a certain level of comfort in order to get the best results out of your run.

The Saucony Ride 13 provides both of those in good measure. This is a sturdy pair of shoes. Their FORMFIT design molds to the foot and offers both support and comfort, while they also feature 3D printed overlays that create a supportive framework on the outer foot.

But unlike some, they don’t sacrifice breathability for stability. The mesh upper allows a decent amount of airflow, keeping your feet cool while they’re well-supported.

With great softness underfoot, they’re as comfortable as they are sturdy. Saucony’s PWRRUN cushioning is shock-absorbing while still being springy and responsive.

Their TRIFLEX outsole is crafted from blown rubber to make it extra durable, as well as being very flexible.

A nice touch that isn’t common on women’s shoes is that they come in both regular and wide. There’s also a vast array of sizes (from 5 to 12), so every woman should be able to find a suitable fit for them.

Although there is one extremely brightly colored choice, most of their color options are light pastel, which looks great on the feet.


PROS:

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • 3D printed overlays for extra stability
  • Blown rubber outsole is very durable
  • Comes in wide too

CONS:

  • Seem to run slightly small

Check Price on Amazon

Top Trail Running Shoes

 

2. Salomon Women’s Alphacross GTX

Adventurous ladies, these win our top spot for trail running shoes. Salomons are known for their suitability for all-terrain running, and these are no different.

With deep, sharp rubber lugs underneath, you should be able to run on any surface safely. The traction they provide is unparalleled, and they’re said to work just as well on wet surfaces as dry ones.

The Contagrip outsole is created from a rubber compound that has both impressive traction and durability.

Something that gives this shoe a boost over some other trail running shoes is the addition of a GoreTex layer. Running through puddles and mud won’t leave you with wet feet, but they’ll still be able to breathe and perspire without overheating.

Their EnergyCell midsole, made out of EVA foam, is soft on the soles and absorbs shock as your feet hit the road (or track, or mud, or mountain path).

The Alphacross features a traditional lace-up system, which is slightly less convenient than Salomon’s usual QuickLace design. Also, customers report that these laces tend to loosen too easily.

Another thing that may be an issue for some is that they don’t come in wide sizes.


PROS:

  • Deep and aggressive grip lugs
  • Feature a GoreTex layer
  • Shock-absorbing midsole
  • Lightweight on the feet

CONS:

  • The regular lacing (as opposed to Salomon’s QuickLace system) may be more prone to loosening while you’re on the trail
  • May not fit wide feet (and not available in wide sizes)

Check Price on Amazon

Best Leggings

3. adidas 3 Stripes Legging

A comfortable pair of pants is another essential on the road, and these leggings come in first place.

They’re made of cotton, which is super soft and easy to pull on. The only potential problem is that cotton is quite a warm fabric. If you overheat easily you may find these to be unsuitable.

These leggings are designed for comfort and movability. Aside from the cotton material, the waistband is high-rise, so there’ll be no chafing on your hips. It’s also elastic instead of having a drawstring, which is an added comfort bonus.

Women of all sizes should find the right fit, as they’re available from X-Small to X-Large. With a color range of almost 40 choices, you can quite easily match a pair of these to every shirt you own!


PROS:

  • High-rise elastic waistband for comfort
  • Wide variety of sizes
  • Machine washable
  • Soft and comfortable

CONS:

  • Cotton may be too thick for some in warm weather

Check Price on Amazon

Top Running Shorts

4. Under Armour Fly-By Shorts

If you dislike tight-fitting legging or simply prefer shorts for hot weather, the Under Armour Fly-By shorts are our first choice.

They only come in one length, so some ladies may find them too short for comfort. But if you are comfy with them, you can choose your ideal pair from 40+ designs and colors and six sizes.

They’re practical as well as stylish. Lightweight, moisture-wicking material makes them incredibly easy to move around in while staying dry in all conditions.

Another great feature that helps in hot weather specifically is the addition of two mesh panels down either side. These increase airflow significantly, keeping you as cool as possible while exercising.

A wide, elastic waistband makes them comfortable and non-rubbing. The hems are slightly contoured, giving them some shape that sets them apart from any old pair of men’s or women’s shorts.

Some nice additional features include two front pockets, a hidden storage pocket in the back, and an in-built brief for extra stability.


PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Wide elastic waistband
  • Hidden back storage pocket
  • We like the side mesh panels for extra breathability

CONS:

  • Some runners may find them too short to be comfortable

Check Price on Amazon

Top Running Shirt

5. Nike Dri-FIT Victory Short Sleeve Training Top

The Victory is a flattering, form-fitting shirt that’s our number one choice for women. It features a stylish V-neck collar design, and the back hem is slightly lower for wider coverage.

It’s created from a polyester and spandex blend that makes it breathable and just stretchy enough to be comfortable.

Nike’s Dri-Fit tech helps disperse sweat evenly across the surface to allow for easier evaporation. That means you stay cooler and drier on every run.

The shirt is quite fitted, so if you’d prefer a looser style you may need to order a size up. They’re available from X-Small to XX-Large.

Considering this shirt ticks all the boxes in both the practical and the stylish departments, it’s definitely a Victory in our opinion!


PROS:

  • Polyester/spandex blend is both cool and comfy
  • Dri-Fit fabric is great for hot weather
  • We like that the back panel is more mesh-like for airflow
  • Flattering design with a V-neck and longer back

CONS:

  • Slim fit may be uncomfortable for some runners
  • Some may not like the different color back panel of the gray shirt

Check Price on Amazon

Best Long Sleeve Shirt

6. BALEAF Long Sleeve UV Shirts

Ladies who prefer long-sleeved shirts, we highly recommend the BALEAF UV shirts. Not only do they pack some great features into their attire, but they’re also quite affordable.

They’re designed for comfort, movability, and style. A tagless collar means you’ll never have to deal with scratching on the back of your neck while on the move.

The polyester and spandex material is also fairly soft and slightly stretchy, so moving around comfortably isn’t a problem. A round neck and slightly longer back hem add to both the comfort and style elements.

Choose from some bright and unusual colors, but be careful – the lighter ones could be see-through.

The fabric is quick-drying and cooling and has UV protection built into it, which makes it perfect for summer running. There are also reflective elements added, so you can run at night if you prefer to beat the worst of the heat.


PROS:

  • Very quick-drying material
  • Tagless collar for extra comfort
  • Reflective elements added
  • Incorporated UV protection

CONS:

  • The lighter colors may be see-through

Check Price on Amazon

Top Running Tank Top

7. Nike Dri-Fit Elastika Tank Top

As tank tops go, this one is pretty awesome. The Elastika features an unusual open-backed design, which goes a long way towards keeping ladies cool on the road.

The dual cross-strap is not only eye-catching and pretty, but it means the airflow is amazing. This shirt definitely gets our stamp of approval for summer wear just based on that.

As if you need more ventilation (although there’s no such thing as too much), you’ll find colored mesh panels under each arm for even more breathability.

We highly recommend this shirt for its superb mix of style and practicality.


PROS:

  • Open-backed design for superior breathability
  • Extra mesh panels for even better airflow
  • Nike’s Dri-Fit technology for cooling
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • Only available in X-Small and Small

Check Price on Amazon

Best Sports Bra

8. Brooks Fiona Sports Bra

Every female runner knows that a sports bra can make the biggest difference to your comfort on the road.

One of the biggest reasons the Brooks Fiona comes top of its class is that the shoulder straps are adjustable. This isn’t often a feature on sports bras, so it offers a unique custom fit that others may not achieve.

In addition to the shoulder straps, it has three clasp settings so you can get the underband fit perfect too.

There’s no padding in this bra, but it has some compression in its fabric and gives plenty of support.

Customers make frequent mention of the fact that this sports bra is great for bustier women. Just don’t put it in the dryer after washing – it could shrink or become misshapen.


PROS:

  • Nylon/spandex/polyester fabric
  • Adjustable shoulder straps are a big bonus
  • Three clasp settings
  • Many customers mention that it’s great for bustier women

CONS:

  • Some women may not like the fact that there’s no padding in this bra
  • Putting it in the dryer may cause it to shrink or deform

Check Price on Amazon

Top Running Socks

9. Balega Ultralight No Show

For summer running, you want a lightweight, cool sock. The Balegas are exactly that, and they come in a vast array of iridescent colors to make you super visible on the road.

They’re called “No Show” for a reason! If you prefer longer socks, these may not be for you. They’re below-ankle height, but feature a handy heel tab that stops them from sliding down while you’re running.

“Ultralight” is right. They’re crafted thin intentionally, so you can hardly feel them on your feet. This is a big bonus in hot weather.

These socks also make use of Drynamix moisture-wicking fabric to evaporate sweat before it causes wet feet. Ventilation is increased even more by the strategic placement of mesh panels on the sock.

If you need more reason to get yourself a pair, they have some other great characteristics. The left/right foot construction makes for a better fit, they’re seamless for higher comfort, and they offer elastic arch support.

Unlike most other socks, the Balegas come in five different sizes. This scores big brownie points, as it allows for a much more custom fit.


PROS:

  • Thin and lightweight but durable
  • Keeps feet cool and dry
  • No seams means less chafing
  • We like the heel tab to prevent the sock slipping into the shoe

CONS:

  • Runners who prefer higher socks may not like these

Check Price on Amazon

Best Handheld Water Bottle

10. Nathan ExoShot Handheld Flask

Hydration is of paramount importance when running in warm weather. It can be difficult to carry a water bottle with you when on the road and still run comfortably, though.

This little soft flask is super to keep you watered on runs of up to 10 miles. It takes 12 ounces, although it can be difficult to fill to its full capacity without it feeling bulky and over-full.

The integrated spine design allows the bottle to retain its structure as it empties, making it easier for the runner to handle.

There’s no need to worry about it being awkward to carry. The bottle comes with a neoprene sleeve for better grip. Even better, it also has a hand strap (with a small pocket) which makes it even easier to hang onto.

Some customers report that their bottle arrived with a plasticky smell and left a chemical taste in the water. The bottle is BPA-free, which makes it much safer than some others. But you may need to clean your bottle thoroughly a few times before use to make sure the smell and taste go away.


PROS:

  • BPA-free
  • It can be used with Nathan hydration vests
  • Come with a hand strap and a neoprene sleeve
  • We like the integrated spine to give the soft bottle more structure

CONS:

  • You may need to clean your bottle thoroughly more than once before using to get rid of plasticky smell and taste

Check Price on Amazon

Top Running Waist Belt

11. Ultimate Direction Ultra Belt 5.0

If you don’t want the hassle of holding a water bottle while you run, or need more capacity than a single bottle can provide, this water belt could be the best option for you.

It’s fairly light, so you won’t feel weighed down while you’re moving. The waistband is wide and soft and should prevent chafing or squeezing quite well.

There’s a nicely-sized pocket on the back that can easily fit a cellphone, snack, or bunch of keys. A small key pocket on the front of the waist is a nice touch, although it can only fit one key at a time, or perhaps a few bills.

A nice bonus is that you’ll get two water bottles when you buy this belt. No need to try and make your current bottles fit!


PROS:

  • Comes with 2 bottles
  • Wide, comfortable waistband
  • Decently sized back pocket
  • Front key pocket

CONS:

  • The front key pocket may not fit more than one key

Check Price on Amazon

Best Hydration Pack

12. Nathan Quickstart Plus 6L Race Vest

Perhaps you like a pack rather than a belt. The Nathan Quickstart is the height of convenience, and it’s smaller than most vests. You’ll hardly feel it on your back while you’re on the trails or tar, but you’ll have a decent amount of water with you at all times.

The vest comes with a hydration pack of 52 ounces. A bite valve prevents leaking, ensuring that every drop of your water is well-used and none goes to waste.

As well as being small, it’s soft, lightweight, and breathable. It won’t contribute much to overheating, with a mesh fabric that is sweat-wicking.

Something we like a lot about this vest is the storage capacity. There are 2 large zipped pockets on the back, a smaller zipped pocket on the front, and an open storage pouch that can fit another bottle if you need more water.

Runners taller than 6-foot may find that the hydration pack is a little too small for them, despite the adjustable straps.


PROS:

  • Comes with a 52-ounce hydration pack
  • Variety of storage pockets
  • Small and lightweight
  • It has reflective pieces for heightened visibility

CONS:

  • The small, one-size-fits-all design means it may not fit comfortably on some runners
  • Sizing runs small

Check Price on Amazon

Top Running Sunglasses

13. JOJEN Polarized Sports Sunglasses

Sunglasses can be neglected during the colder months, but you may be surprised at how harsh winter sun can be on your eyes!

Every woman should have a pair of sunglasses that are as stylish as they are protective. The JOJEN ticks both those boxes.

The JOJEN lenses are polarized, which reduces glare. This is an extremely helpful feature when running in full sun. They also protect your eyes from harmful UVA rays.

The nylon frame is lightweight but strong enough to withstand easy breaking. Even if they do happen to crack, these sunglasses come with a money-back guarantee, as well as a Lifetime Breakage Warranty.

One of the best things about these glasses is that they’re non-slip and non-bounce. The rubber nose piece keeps the right where they should be, no matter how hard you run or how much you sweat.

Let’s not forget the stylish part – they come in 16 different models, each sporting unique colors and frame designs.


PROS:

  • No-slip, which is great for running
  • Block all UVA rays
  • Light but strong nylon frame
  • Reduces glare

CONS:

  • Not waterproof so be careful not to get them wet

Check Price on Amazon

Cold Weather Shoes & Gear

If you head outside on cold winter days, you’ll need the right gear for a comfortable run. A good running hat, gloves, and jacket will make all the difference.

Best Long Sleeve Running Shirt

14. Nike Element Long Sleeve Running Top

Running in cold weather can be quite an adrenaline boost, not to mention get your blood pumping quite nicely.

A long-sleeved running shirt is important to keep the cold at bay. The Nike Element lands top spot for its features – you’ll be warm, dry, and comfortable in one of these.

A polyester/spandex mix with Dri-Fit technology, the Element shirt wicks away sweat so you don’t get damp and cold. If you feel like you’re getting too warm, simply unzip the half-zipper neck for some ventilation.

We particularly like the addition of thumb holes. These allow you to keep your hands covered to an extent, and prevent sneaky winds from blowing up your sleeves.


PROS:

  • We love the thumb holes in the sleeves
  • Half-zipper closure allows for cooling if necessary
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Available in 4 sizes

CONS:

  • Some may find the design of the neck slightly uncomfortable

Check Price on Amazon

Top Running Jacket

15. Craft Intensity Jacket

Your jacket will be your outermost layer, and unlike most winter jackets, should be lightweight. Remember, it’s better to layer lightweight items than wear one heavy piece of clothing.

This eye-catching jacket is lightweight and pretty, too. There are four designs, all in bright colors for higher visibility.

You’ll be warm in any weather, considering this jacket is constructed from windproof VentairX material. If you do get a little too warm, the ventilation panels on the sides provide extra airflow.

The two front pockets are zippered, so you can easily carry your valuables with you. This jacket is also machine washable, which is convenient and easy.

We recommend buying one size up if you’re layering.


PROS:

  • Side ventilation panels
  • Dual front zippered pockets
  • Machine washable
  • Crafted from VentairX windproof material

CONS:

  • Not stretchable, so best to choose one size up (especially for layering)

Check Price on Amazon

Best Base Layer For Running

16. Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Crew

Speaking of layering, you’ll need a high-quality base layer to build on. This one is perfect – it’s constructed from Merino wool, which is known for its warmth.

Something that gets our thumbs-up is the fact that Merino wool has an odor-control feature. That means that if you do sweat a little, it will move it away from the body to evaporate quicker, but you also won’t get any kind of strange smells after a run.

It has a simple design, fitting quite close to the body and featuring flatlock seams for added comfort.

Another nice characteristic of this jacket is the fact that it can go through both the washing machine and the tumble dryer.


PROS:

  • Merino wool construction
  • Has an odor control feature
  • Can machine wash and tumble dry
  • Slim fit design and flatlock seams for comfort

CONS:

  • It’s slightly pricey (but that’s to be expected with Merino wool)

Check Price on Amazon

Top Winter Running Tights

17. BALEAF Fleece Lined Leggings

Cosy leggings are always a good idea in the cold. These multipurpose tights are lined with fleece, but remain breathable and sweat-wicking. Layer with them or wear them alone, it’s up to you.

They’re 87% polyester, which draws away sweat and dries quickly. A nice comfort feature is the high, wide waistband. No chafing or rubbing while you’re running!

Unlike most “yoga pants” these sport three pockets. One on each side allows for you to carry small items like a phone or cash. Some customers find them to be strangely shaped, but they should fit most phones fairly comfortably.

There’s also a hidden key pocket on the waistband. It won’t fit a full bunch of keys, though.

There’s a size to fit every woman, ranging from X-Small to 3X-Large.


PROS:

  • Fleece-lined for warmth
  • Wide range of sizes
  • Handy side pocket
  • High waistband for comfort

CONS:

  • According to customer reviews they seem to run small

Check Price on Amazon

Best Wool Socks

18. Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mid Crew Socks

Keeping your feet warm is high priority in winter weather. These Smartwool crew socks will do the job in style.

Their 200 needle construction makes for a dense sock, while still being fairly light on the foot. They’re decently cushioned without being bulky, and the wool/nylon/elastane blend makes them warm but still fairly quick-drying.

One of the nice practical features of these socks is that they’re both machine washable and tumble dryer-friendly.

Another positive is that they actually come in different sizes. No one-size-fits-all means that you can get a better fit and a more comfortable experience.

They’re a little pricey for only one pair, but you can’t really put a price on keeping your feet safe and warm in the cold!


PROS:

  • Crew height for extra warmth
  • Various sizes available
  • Machine washable and tumble dry
  • 200 needle construction is durable but lightweight

CONS:

  • Slightly pricey for one pair

Check Price on Amazon

Best Reflective Vest

19. Amphipod Xinglet

Safety is key when you’re out on the road, all the more so when you’re out in the dark. That doesn’t only mean running at night. Winter weather can be bleaker than summer, so it’s a great idea to have a reflective vest for darker days.

This one is so lightweight and soft that you may even forget you’re wearing it. Unlike other vests, it’s not even a full garment. It’s basically a pair of reflective suspenders that’s super easy to slip over whatever you’re wearing.

The waist can be adjusted from 27 to 47 inches, to allow for as many layers as you have underneath. The shoulders can also be set to whatever size suits you.

Despite its adjustability, taller runners may find this vest to be too short and uncomfortable. It really depends on personal preference, though!

The reflective elements give 360-degree visibility. According to reviews, they tend to rub off after a while, so it’s definitely not something you can put in the washing machine.

But if you want to stay very visible but not add an extra layer to your outfit, this would be a great choice.


PROS:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Easily adjustable to a variety of sizes
  • 360-degree reflective elements
  • Soft and won’t chafe

CONS:

  • May be a little short and uncomfortable on tall runners, despite its adjustability
  • Not machine-washable

Check Price on Amazon

Top Winter Gloves For Running

20. TrailHeads Running Gloves

Have you ever tried running with freezing hands? You can’t think of much else except how frozen they feel, and they’re sore too. A good pair of gloves is not to be neglected for cooler weather runs.

These ones are both windproof and moisture-wicking. They’ll keep your hands cosy in windy conditions while avoiding getting damp if you sweat.

You’ll still be able to use your phone, thanks to their touchscreen-friendly fingers. If you use your phone as a fitness tracker, this is a highly useful feature.

Non-slip palms and a unique decal add to the practicality and prettiness of these gloves. They’re available in small, medium, and large sizes.

If you’re planning on running in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you would most likely need a thinner base layer glove underneath this one, though.


PROS:

  • Windproof and abrasion-proof
  • Able to use with touchscreens
  • Non-slip palms
  • Moisture-wicking thermal layer

CONS:

  • May not be suitable for conditions under 40 degrees Fahrenheit

Check Price on Amazon

Best Winter Cap

21. Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Training Beanie

We lose the most heat from our heads, so it’s crucial to keep them warm and covered while running.

You can’t beat Merino wool for warmth. This beanie uses a mix of wool and polyester, to bring you the best of both worlds – warmth and comfort.

A polyester outer shell is durable and keeps the elements out. Merino wool on the inside keeps you toasty without being overly hot.

It’s meant to keep you warm, but it also has some very helpful features that will be appreciated by many women runners. An opening for a ponytail is something unique but very useful. No more trying to stuff your hair into a normal beanie!

It has a similar feature for sunglasses. Smartwool’s attention to detail, warmth, and special care to accommodate the female runner earns them a thumbs-up from us!


PROS:

  • Fleece lining
  • Front and back reflective elements
  • Safe for the washing machine
  • We like the ponytail and sunglasses openings

CONS:

  • A little on the pricey side

Check Price on Amazon

 

FAQs

Wondering about running gear or running in colder weather? Here are some answers to common questions.

What Are The Most Important Running Gear Pieces?

For women, number one should be a great sports bra! This piece of gear alone can make the difference between a fantastic run and an uncomfortable one.

Apart from that, the main part of your body used when running is your feet, so it’s natural that the most important pieces of running gear are your shoes and socks.

After those, I would suggest that a great watch to track your time and the distance you’ve covered. It’s certainly not a necessity, but a watch can help you set better goals and improve your performance.

Other things that are less important but still essential to have on the road include:

  • Great quality underwear
  • Comfortable shorts or tights
  • A moisture-wicking shirt or singlet

Is Running In Cooler Temperatures Possible and Recommended?

Definitely, to both questions! If you live in a cold climate it’s just as possible to get out in the cooler air for a run as it is in warmer places.

In fact, some studies suggest that cold exposure can improve the immune system slightly. It’s important to note that this happens more with runners who are used to running in the cold.

If you’re used to the heat and suddenly decide to take a run in an unusually cold environment, it could have an adverse reaction on your body.

Either way, though, the most important part of running in any weather is dressing the right way for it.

Both heat and cold can be tolerated extremely well if you’re dressed appropriately for them.

What Kind of Running Gear is Important in Winter?

When running in the cold, make sure you have a solid base layer. Tights are a great lower base layer for wearing underneath shorts if you wish to double up. If not, you can wear tights on their own or another kind of pants if you prefer.

Long-sleeve shirts are essential as an upper base layer. Add a short-sleeved shirt over it and a jacket. Layering is the best way to keep warm on the road.

Thick socks are a must. Gloves or mittens are also a helpful addition.

The Wired Runner