Beat the Heat with “Smart” Running Gear
Photo: Mark Doolittle

Beat the heat with running gear that keeps you cool

Sweat and summer running go together like race bibs and safety pins, but the heat doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. Savvy clothing brands now offer pieces with sun protection, enhanced breathability and cooling technologies. You merely need to choose the right product (or all of them!) to suit your running needs.

However, these technologies only work if you use them. Which means, when it comes to logging miles under the blazing sun, it’s up to you to lessen the beating from the sun’s harmful rays. In addition to covering up as much as possible and wearing sunscreen, consider running in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler and the sun isn’t so bright. Also, remember to hydrate with electrolytes–replenishing sodium, potassium and magnesium becomes more important the more you sweat.

One thing to remember is that unlike many running clothes, those with cooling technologies generally aren’t the best layering pieces for winter weather athletic pursuits.

Coolcore Impact 8” Short

What makes these 8” inch inseam shorts with an inner brief stand apart from the crowd is their mechanically-engineered, chemical-free cooling technology that is activated by moisture and sweat. The technology won’t wash out and can reduce body surface temperature by as much as thirty percent. The outer short also delivers UPF 30+ sun protection. ($45, coolcore.com)

ASICS Fusex Printed Short Sleeve

Cooling technologies in the yarn, help to keep you comfortable as you crank the BTUs during summer training miles. Ergonomically placed seams reduce uncomfortable friction and reflective visibility accents come in handy for dawn and dusk runs. ($45, asics.com)

Buff UV Arm Sleeves

For tank top and short sleeve days, these breathable, UPF 40+ sleeves will keep arms protected without overheating.($25, buffusa.com) Buff also makes Pack Run Hats with UPF 50 protection ($32)

Columbia Solar Ridge Shorts

Soft, wicking and UPF 40 sun protection fabric makes these shorts indispensible for long summer trail and road runs. They stay put thanks to a wide elastic waist with a drawstring and even have a secure zip pocket. ($45, columbia.com)

Outdoor Research Gauge Tee

Available for both men and women, this shirt keeps you cool by not keeping you completely dry. It may sound intuitive, but sweat is cooling and if it’s all wicked away, the cooling benefit is lost. This shirt retains just enough moisture to keep you feeling cooler without clinging to your skin. It works best in hot and humid conditions. ($59, outdoorresearch.com)

Mission Classic Cooling Headband

Replace your terry sweatband with this updated cooling take on the classic. Sure, it mops up sweat like a winner, is soft and looks good. But, when it reacts with moisture, it cools to 30 degrees below body surface temperature for a delightfully refreshing effect. ($15, mission.com)

Camelbak Ultra Handheld Chill

Warm water pretty much tastes dreadful when you’re in the midst of a long, hot run. The latest 17oz soft flask from Camelbak keeps your hydrating beverage of choice cold two times longer than standard insulated bottles, without the bulk. ($45, camelbak.com)

 

 

Allison Pattillo
Motiv Running senior editor Allison Pattillo writes about running, health, nutrition, gear and travel from her home in Colorado. When it comes to gear, she’s a fan of tall running socks, short running skirts and wearing her hat backwards. Even with a BQ and a few podium finishes (all triathlons should be run, bike, canoe!), Allison finds more inspiration from running in beautiful places and exploring on the run instead of the numbers on a stopwatch. She looks forward to the day when she finds her ultimate running dog, which, at this point, may be more bulldog than border collie.