What Should I Wear When Running In Windy Weather?

Running routines can be crucial when it comes to training, gaining stamina, or losing weight, so skipping a day can be quite detrimental.

This means that sometimes, runners will need to head out in inclement weather, including wind. Running on a windy day can be very different from running during calmer weather, however.

Learning what clothes to wear can help to make the run more enjoyable and comfortable.

What Should I Wear When Running In Windy Weather?

Wear Form-Fitting Clothing

Wind can affect your run in two ways. First, it can make a run feel cooler, which can be a benefit in the summer but a challenge on colder days.

Wind can also pull at your clothes, creating drag and making it so that you need to work harder to keep up your speed or go the full distance you have planned.

Wearing form-fitting clothing can help with the second issue. Leggings and a form-fitting t-shirt can help you reduce drag.

You can also choose warmer clothes, such as a hoodie or jacket, that fit snuggly. Avoid clothing such as baggy pants or scarves that will fly around in windy weather, distracting you from your run or damaging your running form.

Remember to also choose clothing that’s comfortable and doesn’t restrict you in any way. Your running form is important, and your clothing should allow you to move with a natural, easy gait.

couple jogging wearing warm clothes

Consider the Temperature

During the warmer months, a strong breeze can be a benefit to your run, as the wind makes the air temperature feel cooler and can even help to dry moisture, cooling you down.

In colder temperatures, however, wind can make a run very chilly. Before you head out, consider how much colder the wind will make your run.

Wind chill can easily make the air temperature feel 10 or more degrees colder. However, as you warm up during your run, you tend to feel about 10 degrees warmer.

Most likely, your run will start cold and become warmer as you go.

To make your run more comfortable, consider dressing in layers. Thick or fleece-lined leggings are form-fitting but can help you stay warm as you run.

An undershirt or t-shirt layered with a hoodie or jacket will give you options, and you can take off your outer layer if you become too hot.

Some windbreakers can be compressed enough to fit into a pocket, but a small backpack can also help you carry extra layers.

Backpacks for running often have features for strapping them around your waist, so they won’t flop around while you run.

Accessories are also an important consideration when running in the wind. A close-fitting beanie or knit cap can offer a good amount of extra warmth, and it’s not too bulky or heavy to carry if you need to take it off.

Gloves are also a good idea. When you run, blood tends to move away from your hands and towards your legs. The cold created by the wind will also tell your body to draw blood away from the extremities and towards the vital organs, all of which can add up to chilled hands and fingers.

When it comes to socks, try to choose a pair that’s made from a fabric that efficiently wicks away moisture.

woman running in cold temperature

Dress from the Head Down

As you run, your body naturally sends blood towards your legs, drawing it away from your hands and arms.

Because of this, your hands and arms will become cold on windy days faster than your legs. During windy day runs, many runners choose to wear shorts and a t-shirt but may add a pair of gloves to keep their hands warm.

Other people prefer to wear a jacket or long-sleeved shirt for warmth, but stick with shorts or thin leggings, since the legs will most likely stay warm as you run, and this can help to balance out your body temperature.

Windchill can make the air feel like 10 degrees or more colder.

Different Clothing Material Options

Runners know that the material clothing is made from matters because different materials are more efficient at wicking away moisture.

Cotton tends to soak up moisture, keeping it close and creating chill. Other fabrics, however, such as natural bamboo or synthetic performance fabrics, are specifically designed to draw moisture away, keeping it off the skin.

This is crucial in windy weather, as excess moisture can make you feel very cold in the wind.

The material of your outer clothing is also an important factor. Breathable inner and outer layers will help to reduce excess moisture, which will in turn help you stay warmer.

A durable outer layer, however, such as a windbreaker, will stop the wind from penetrating your clothing and can also help you shed any rain, keeping you warm and dry while you run.

couple running wearing windbreakers

Lip Balm and Sunglasses

Wind can easily chap sensitive skin, so applying a layer of lip balm or petroleum jelly can help to protect your lips.

In colder weather, you can even wear a face covering to keep your lips and skin protected.

The wind also has the potential to carry about dust and small bits of debris. Getting something caught in your eye can put a damper on your run, and reduced visibility can be dangerous, so consider wearing sunglasses or safety glasses to protect your eyes.

woman running with sunglasses on

Wear Something Reflective

On cloudy days or when the wind is picking up debris, visibility can be reduced. Not only can this make your run more challenging, but it can also mean that other traffic might have a hard time spotting you.

On windy days, wear something bright or reflective in order to remain as visible as possible.

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