Dressing appropriately for a spring run can be tricky thanks, in large part, to those proverbial April showers. But we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive guide for every scenario.
Whether you’re hunting your next PR or just a few mimosas, here’s everything you need to know about gearing up for Mother Nature’s silly season. Simply move on to the next page, or select the scenario that most interests you below.
Running in the Rain
By Kolby Paxton
Sure, April showers bring May flowers, but they also throw a wrench in our running plans. The prospect of getting wet isn’t even the problem—a light rain can actually make for pretty enjoyable conditions. Rather, it’s the unpredictability of spring rain that makes things tricky. On one hand, should you throw caution to the wind and forgo an extra layer, you’ll end up cold and water-logged with miles left to cover. On the other hand, jackets meant to keep us dry are often cumbersome and impossible to get rid of should the looming rain clouds choose to hold their water.
Enter Roka’s Ultralight Run Pack Jacket, a peerless miracle worker that almost single-handedly dissolves the struggles of spring training. The water resistant shell manages to keep you dry while maintaining enough breathability to prevent sauna status—a remarkable feat by itself. And when the weather shifts and you no longer need your sleeves, the jacket can also be folded into a tiny ball that fits easily into your pocket or FlipBelt—and weighs less than your energy gel.
I paired the jacket with another Roka product, the Elite 9” Training Short, for a couple of reasons. First, these shorts rock regardless of the weather—perfect fit, perfectly breathable, perfectly awesome. Second, I hate wearing pants or tights when the potential for elevated humidity exists, and the length of these shorts is ideal for shielding my quads from the drizzle. Of course, running in the rain requires a cap, and the Mizuno Elite Run Cap is the perfect choice, thanks to its lightweight and moisture repellant properties. Toss the Lululemon Somatic Short Sleeve Tee on beneath your magic jacket and you’re perfectly suited to adjust to Mother Nature’s most fickle behavior.
My last piece of advice? Don’t forget the shades. When those clouds part and you’re squinting your way home, you’ll understand what I’m saying. The Oakley Radar Lock Path Prizm is the choice, here, thanks to a tight but perfectly flexible frame that allows you to stow them on top of your fancy cap without losing them (because you’re so fast, obviously).
Roka Men’s Elite 9” Training Short — $70
Roka Men’s Ultralight Run Pack Jacket — $175
Lululemon Somatic Short Sleeve — $68
Oakley Radar Lock Path Prizm — $200
Lululemon Invigorate Bra — $52
Brooks Seattle Running Tights — $99
Long Weekend Run
By Melanie Clancy
Ah, the long, slow distance day. You’ve managed to avoid it all week, but come Saturday you’re fresh out of excuses. Up you go with the alarm clock, and the birds for that matter—no time to waste, it is a Saturday, after all—and you’re out the door with the sunrise.
Dressing for a spring LSD, however, takes a bit of planning given the unpredictable nature of the season’s weather: pop-up showers, wind, unexpected heat or a chill in the air, all this and more can easily happen in the span of a 2-hour-plus run. This outfit has considered all scenarios and accounted for each.
Chafing is concern No. 1 when I select a pair of running tights or capris for a high mileage day, which is why I love New Balance’s Printed Performance Tight; the 90/10 nylon to Lycra blend is super soft and sweat-wicking, and the contoured waistband hits high enough to make for a comfy but flattering fit. I gravitate toward bold colors, so the neon pops at the gathered ankles is just the right amount of I-haven’t-had-my-coffee-yet flair. Pairing them with the Asics Emma Racerback tank makes for a lightweight combo; the tank is super breathable and fits loose, which I personally prefer over more fitted options.
However, a successful spring run is all about the details, so if there’s even a hint of rain in the forecast I add the Brooks LSD jacket. It’s windproof and water-resistant, plus it packs into a small pocket you can carry hands-free thanks to the elastic band. I stripped it off three miles into a 7-mile trail run and never noticed it again.
And of course, for an LSD day you need a sports bra that can sustain a high impact workout—I banned the bounce with the Asics Adjust bra, which gets bonus points for the interesting strap details and reflective accents.
Complete the ensemble with a Saucony Speed Run Visor and every runner’s best friend: a pair of high-performance Roka shades. I chose the Vendee Ultra, a remarkably lightweight, super durable model that refuses to slide or bounce. That’s great for a number of reasons, not least of which is your uninterrupted ability to see passing runners marvel at how cool you look.
New Balance Printed Performance Tight — $84.99
Brooks Women’s LSD Running Jacket — $60-$100
Roka Men’s Elite All-Season Run SS Shirt — $75
Brooks Go-To 7” Running Shorts — $40
Running in the Dark
By Kolby Paxton
Running may be your passion, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to fit into the daylight hours. Jobs, kids and our social lives have a way of forcing us to run without the sun. Of course, that’s not all bad. Early morning runs are kind of my thing and darkness in general creates serenity that’s difficult to duplicate. That said, runners who aren’t easily seen can have their serenity interrupted rather abruptly by passing motorists or cyclists.
Safety is of paramount importance when running under the cover of darkness, and perhaps no one does high-visibility gear better than Asics. Runners could dress head to toe in Asics’ Lite-Show line of apparel and be perfectly well-off. I consistently go for the Lite-Show Sleeveless T-shirt, which looks completely inconspicuous until headlights hit it—at which point it illuminates like a city skyline. Early mornings and spring evenings can be a little too cool sans sleeves, though, and my solution is simple: the Lite-Show Half Zip. Same song, brighter verse, the half zip is available in caution yellow and offers the same high-visibility protection.
I grouped these products with the Brooks Threshold Reflective Tights, which come equipped with reflective details of their own. I wear a FlipBelt for every run because they’re the perfect in-run storage solution, but I save the Reflective PT Belt for dark runs for obvious reasons. The 360-degree 3M reflective details turn a runner into a human caution sign.
And lastly, my sock game is on point thanks to Balega—which is, quite literally, the only running sock you’ll ever wear once you’ve tried a pair. I went with the Hidden Comfort in “screamin’ green” for this high-vis ensemble, but depending on weather conditions and personal preference, you may opt for something from the Endura or Ultralight families, instead.
Asics Men’s Lite-Show Half Zip — $60
Asics Men’s Lite-Show Sleeveless — $45
Brooks Threshold Reflective Tights — $60
Balega Hidden Comfort Socks — $12
FlipBelt Reflective PT Belt — $32.99
Asics Women’s Lite-Show Tank — $50
Asics Women’s Lite-Show 3-N-1 Short — $55
Morning Run to the Coffee Shop
By Jackie Veling
Of all the sweet pleasures we runners enjoy, nothing is dearer than the weekend morning run, followed by a quick trip to your favorite coffee shop. Whether you’re logging a heart-racing tempo workout or racking up some serious mileage before most people even make it out of bed (#humblebrag), indulging in that warm cup of Joe is the ultimate reward for a job well done.
But a hard run followed by a public outing requires special gear, so we tested apparel specifically with our weekend warriors in mind.
Let’s start with the pant. The second I got my hands on Brooks’ Ghost Crop tights, I knew it would become a weekend staple. This super light, ultrathin performance legging is a crowd-pleaser with its bright colors and wide waistband. The DriLayer fabric kept me pretty much sweat-free (I didn’t even have to head home for a change of clothes before hitting up my barista), and I couldn’t have been happier to slip my iPhone into the ready-made pouch on the side (seriously, why don’t more pants have this?).
I matched the pant with the Saucony Breeze Tank to keep things light and loose on top. I’m a sucker for a strappy racer back, and with the wide band at the bottom, it’s probably the most attractive tank you’ll get your hands on this spring.
Spring not looking so springy for you? If your climate is a little colder, slip on a legging from Noli for a thicker, full-length pant—I went with the “Sky Bird” design because I’m daring like that—and pair it with a Lululemon NTS jacket for extra warmth that doesn’t skip out on performance. For good measure, slide on a pair of Balega’s Blister Resist socks and marvel at how your shoes just magically became more comfortable.
The perfect finishing touch is Oakley Reverie shades—trendy enough for your latte, but “runner” enough for you. Now, it’s time to get your caffeine fix.
Brooks Women’s Ghost Crop Running Tights — $120
Lululemon Women’s NTS Jacket — $128
Balega Blister Resist No Show — $13
Saucony Interval 2-1 Short — $41
By Kolby Paxton
I’m going to let you in on a not-so-well-kept secret in my city: On the weekend, there is perhaps no greater late morning activity than a light jog—yes, jog—to your favorite brunch and beer spot. If yours, like mine, happens to be located along your favorite running trail, then consider this me offering up the virtual equivalent of a high-five.
Thanks for that.
However, a few miles is still a few miles, so what’s a running bruncher to do?
You might assume this outfit would be entirely comprised of offerings from the undisputed king and queen of athleisure, Lululemon—and it very well could be. But, believe it or not, your go-to running brands are also in on the act. Speaking of Lulu, I go with the Surge Pants every chance I get, and the run to brunch is the perfect opportunity. These fashion-forward track pants are water repellant and made to keep you looking great while on the move.
Should you elect to go with shorts, there’s no better option than the Brooks Fremont Running Shorts. I love all running apparel manufactured by this Seattle, Wash.-based company, but this is my favorite Brooks product of all-time. True story: The first time I wore them, my wife asked me why I was wearing khakis. They’re understated and trendy and yet deliver the performance you’d expect from a running-specific short. Buy them now. Thank me later.
All that talk about bottoms, but you can’t get into the watering hole shirtless. Instead, I pair the New Balance Kairosport Tee with the Saucony Kineta Pullover. The former is the result of some sort of T-shirt sorcery. That’s the only explanation for a shirt that wears as naturally as your favorite old cotton T-shirt, but weighs virtually nothing and provides out-of-this-world moisture wicking performance and breathability. The Saucony Kineta, meanwhile, is waiting to be your go-to sweatshirt. I get excited when the outdoor temperature in Texas dips below 60 degrees, just because I can break this baby out without judgment.
Lastly, any pro bruncher knows their sunglasses game has to be proper. The Oakley Holbrook Prizm manages to adequately combine a super fly lifestyle frame with a performance-oriented fit that won’t slide during a light jaunt to your waiting social life.
Brooks Fremont Running Shorts — $65
New Balance Kairosport Tee — $39.99
Lululemon Surge Run Backpack — $138
Titikia Starnova High Performance Tank — $38
Brooks Ghost Crop Running Tights — $120
Running with Your Dog in the Park
By Nikki Chavanelle
Sunday might be rest day for most people, but my dog has a no-days-off mentality. Chilly spring mornings can all too quickly turn into sweltering sunny afternoons, so throwing together an outfit is all about layering—and layering smart.
My go-to leggings are the Saucony Bullet tights; they’re made out of a very breathable PowerLuxe material, so even when the morning heats up, I stay cool and dry. They’re not too tight, either, so I can wear them all day long, not just at the dog park.
New Balance monopolizes the rest of my outfit, from the Pace Bra (also my favorite for a high-impact workout), to the simple, stretchy—and aptly named—Perfect Tank. I top the outfit off with the In Transit jacket equipped with pockets for my doggy bags and keys. This jacket should be in every runner’s closet—it’s made out of a knit fabric that is dreamy soft, and they added mesh piecing on the back for extra breathability.
Last but not least, playing fetch with my dog requires a reliable pair of shades that won’t fall from my face every time I make a move for the tennis ball. I’m an aviator girl, so I opted for the Roka Phantom Ultra—available in a handful of lens-frame combinations—made with titanium frames that weigh next to nothing. And by “next to nothing,” I mean right next to it; as in, 20 grams. That’s about four sheets of paper. Fair warning: You will forget you’re wearing them, but if your dog is anything like mine, you’ll have plenty of other things to worry about.
New Balance Perfect Tank — $29.99
New Balance In-Transit Jacket — $94.99
FlipBelt Reflective PT Belt — $32.99
Lululemon Men’s Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve — $68
Oakley Kill-A Training Pants — $85
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