The 8 Best Items for Running in the Rain

April showers bring May flowers, which is ideal for your #seenonmyrun Instagram posts, but unpleasurable for long runs. If you’re running an early summer or late spring race, your training block is in full swing, which means you’ll have to brave whatever elements the weather gods decide to throw for the next 90 days. To make sure you’re adequately prepared for running in the rain, we have eight pieces of essential gear that’ll keep you warm as you slog through the mileage. Whether you’re sneaking in a quick speed workout on the track or bumping up your weekly mileage on a Sunday, these pieces will help you stay mentally on track.

Waterproof Hat

Lululemon Lightspeed Running Hat: This lightweight hat keeps snow, rain, sleet and any other precipitation out of your eyes so you can knock out your long run on days where the weather is less than ideal, plus it comes in six colors. In any snowstorm, you’re going to want a hat to keep the water out of your eyes so you can check your mileage at every street corner.

Waterproof Running Shoes

Under Armour Hovr CGR Mid Connected: The Michelin rubber outsole on these Cold Gear Reactor sneakers from Under Armour is the same as the rubber found in your tires, so that you won’t slip over grates or ice. The storm technology fabric on the upper won’t wet out, which makes it ideal for running in the rain as well as the cold, and it’s still breathable for when the weather starts to warm up.

Mittens or Gloves

Tracksmith NDO Mittens: The merino wool in these mittens will stay warm even when wet. On a recent nine-miler, I wore these through snowy conditions meaning the exterior layer wet out, but the merino wool lining kept my hands warm despite the falling temperatures. The magnetic fasteners on the cuffs are a nice touch, so they stick together when you’re not using them.

Waterproof Jacket

Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket: The Storm Racer Jacket was built for trail running, meaning it’s lightweight, breathable and waterproof. There aren’t any pockets on the jacket, which can prove problematic. However, it’s hard to find an exterior layer that can fend of weather like this one. I never feel clammy or sweaty inside, aside from the actual sweating that happens during a workout.

Wool Socks

Smartwool PhD Pro Endurance Print Crew Socks: These socks were designed by Rob Krar, an ultrarunner, meaning they’ll support your feet over hundreds of miles. The indestructawool fabric will hold up and stay warm even when damp. Mesh venting on the top of the foot lets toes breathe, so the inside of your shoe doesn’t become a sauna.

Waterproof Wallet

Nite Ize RunOff Wallet: If you’re running alone, it’s always good to have a form of money — credit, debit or cash — on you, in addition to your keys, an ID and possibly your health insurance card. The Nite Ize RunOff wallet is compact enough to stuff in a pocket, but will also clip to your waist belt and will keep everything dry when running in the rain. It’s rated to IP67, meaning it’ll keep your belongings in the clear for up to 30 minutes.

Waterproof Pants

The North Face Flight Winter Pant: If you like to run in shorts, but want to avoid them getting soaked, throw on these pants. The FlashDry fabric wicks away sweat from the inside, plus it’s treated with DWR to repel raindrops.

Sweat-Wicking T-Shirt

Adidas Tivid Tee: Under your jacket, you’re going to want a breathable tee or long sleeve, depending on the wind and temperature conditions. This Adidas tee with Climalite technology works to keep you dry from the inside out.

Everything You Need to Bike Commute in the Rain

The weather might change but your commute remains the same. Here’s eight items to get you from A to B when it gets wet. Read the Story

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Meg Lappe

Meg Lappe is Gear Patrol’s Editorial Coordinator, handling strategy across our digital, print, video and social teams. She can typically be found running around.

More by Meg Lappe | Follow on Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email390shares “Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” – John Ruskin

I can’t lie, I think the right gear is probably the most important tip! (Right after just learning to enjoy it!) So let’s start with the gear and then focus on the tips that will make running in the rain more enjoyable.

A few of these I have tested and others have been recommendations from friends out in the Pacific Northwest! The biggest thing we all have to understand about jackets is terminology! A running rain jacket needs to meet the requirements of where you live.

Means that it is designed to totally block water from reaching your body. The result of this most often is a jacket that’s a little stiffer (think GoreTex) and doesn’t allow your body to breathe, making it like a little sweat box.

More and more jackets are claiming to be waterproof and breathable, which is obviously much better for runners but most still report these jackets can get warm.

These are what you might often think of as a wind breaker, they’re usually very light weight and good in a light drizzle or a short light rain. They aren’t going to keep you dry in a heavier or longer lasting rain.

Based on the above if it’s warm outside, you’re probably better off to just embrace the wet. But when it’s cool, the jacket is key because it’s going to prevent your body temperature from dropping. If your core is working hard to warm up it will pull blood from fingers, toes and limbs.

Which jackets will really keep you dry in the rain? And which one’s are actually best for running? Find out! #runchat #gearchat

Best Rain Jacket for Running

Moving on to the best rain jackets! All of these are linked so you can get additional product information if desired and indeed they are Amazon links. As always it’s a free way to send some coins to RTTF if you make an Amazon purchase (doesn’t change your price, but they give me a few pennies) and it’s anonymous!

Jackets are listed in order of last known price high to low.

OMM Halo
This jacket is a lightweight waterproof option, recommended by a few different runners. It’s on the upper end of the price spectrum but might be because it’s supposed to be both waterproof and yet breathable enough for running.

Designed by runners in Britain who created the Original Mountain Marathon, they have that one their side! It wasn’t designed for something else and then converted to runners, it was designed for runners.

Patagonia Houdini
This is what I’m wearing here and clearly having a blast. Let’s be honest though, I was wet in every conceivable inch of my body because it was a total downpour. I however love this jacket (as did about 20 other people who recommended it) because it’s SUPER lightweight which makes it comfy in the spring or summer and it will handle a light drizzle, plus block wind. Right now this has my vote for the best running rain jacket.

Shower Pass Pro Tech
Recommended by someone who bike commuted for years and now runs in it. They don’t make this particular version in women’s, but sizes do go down to a XS. It’s also clear, which I seriously think is cool, but this jacket is not for summer runs.

Asics Storm Jacket
This water-resistant running jacket has reflective threads throughout which is a big perk for road runners. This jacket is probably more ideal for spring or fall rainy runs than summer runs. The fitted nature also makes it a bit more flattering than a lot of jackets.

Marmot Precip
This is another fully waterproof jacket, which the recommender did note wasn’t super breathable for runners. Maybe more ideal for hiking, walking, etc in the rain. It is super lightweight, so it’s not designed to keep you warm, just dry and if you aren’t a sweater like me, might be just perfect!

What to wear running in cold rain? This is all about layers! I’ve talked about base layers, so start there and then ensure you’ve got a waterproof jacket.

Additional Gear for Rainy Runs

Once you get past the jacket, is there anything else that can help in the rain? Yup a few pieces of gear and good old fashioned duct tape! These tips are great for running a marathon in the rain or simply making your training run a bit more enjoyable.

Grab a Big Billed Hat
I love wearing a hat when it’s raining. Something about at least keeping it from slapping you in the face is helpful. Not that it won’t at points, but it’s a bit of welcome protection.

When I say big billed, I’m not thinking floppy hat, more that you can find running hats with a larger bill like this Columbia Watertight Hat.

Waterproof Shoes (or DIY)
If you have waterproof shoes, now is the time to embrace them. Often they’re trail shoes or a bit harder shoes, so be sure you’ve worn them before. Don’t buy waterproof shoes at the expo! A little drier feet might cost you blisters.

What you can do instead is duct tape your existing shoes!

This is a BRILLIANT idea from So What I Run. What’s worse that that moment you splash in to a puddle and feel your sock soak up the water. This isn’t going to keep you 100% dry, but so much better!!

Rock the Trash Bag Fashion
You’ve seen them at a plenty of start lines and that’s because it’s nice to at least be dry while you wait. Once you start running a trash bag or poncho can become problematic because of the humid heat bubble they create.

Be sure you aren’t afraid to rip it off if your body is getting warm because you’ll still end up wet, just either from sweat or rain.

Wool Clothing and Socks
If you’re out in cold and wet conditions, this is one of the better options for keeping the water away from your skin. You want that to help keep you from getting chilled.

Tips for Running in the Rain

Now let’s finish it off with a few additional tips, including my own personal honesty. If it’s cold outside and massively down pouring, you’ll find me on the treadmill. I LIKE running, there’s nothing for me to gain in making myself miserable.

Now if it’s over 45 degrees, I’m pretty good. And if I happen to be out when it starts running, then it’s even easier to embrace it!

Attitude Makes the Day
If you can think like a kid, you’re going to have a much better day. Once you’re shoes are wet, embrace it and jump in the puddles, laugh about it and just charge on. You won’t dry out, so stop trying to side step it.

Prep for the Temps
If you happen to be running in the cold and it rains, then be sure you have a dry towel in your car and can pull off wet clothes as soon as possible. Your body temperature will drop quickly once you stop running, so drying off and finding warm clothes is key.

Body Glide Like Crazy
Don’t skimp in getting every single toe, bit of your foot, leg and arms layered up with Body Glide. The additional friction from wet clothes makes it more common to find yourself chaffed.

Dry Your Shoes
After the run you can stuff your shoes with newspaper or honestly I have found these Stuffits to work really well!

What I love about all of this is it’s also helping me as I get more in to hiking where you truly have to be prepared for all potential weather! My friend Heather has inspired me to keep pushing my limits every time she posts about new trails like Bryce Canyon!

Any rainy run tips I missed?

Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram Daily Fun: RunToTheFinish

Facebook Community Chatter: RunToTheFinish

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A mix of cold, rain, and wind is one of the most difficult times to be outside. Trying to run fast in these conditions is even more challenging.

More than 30,000 runners learned this lesson firsthand during the 122nd Boston Marathon, which featured temperatures of around 40 degrees, an inch of soaking rain, and a consistent headwind of 10 to 20 miles per hour.

Like in any race, the results were still largely a function of natural talent, dedicated training, and mental tenacity. But one factor played an outsized role in these exceptional conditions: clothing selection. For many runners, their attire affected their times by minutes and sometimes made the difference between a triumphant finish or a DNF.

I, thankfully, did not race Boston this year, opting instead for the Houston Marathon in January, which had ideal weather and where I PRed in 2:28:24. But I’ve experienced my fair share of crappy race-day weather, including subfreezing temperatures and snow at the Colorado Marathon, cold rain and high winds at 10,000 feet during the Bighorn 100 in Wyoming, slushy rain and wet snow on Col du Bonhumme during Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, and countless track and cross-country meets as a Bay State high schooler in conditions that mirrored those at Boston.

Over the years, I’ve honed my wet-weather race day kit. Here’s what I’ve learned the hard way.

Dial In Your Prerace Game

Before a race, huddle in a warm, dry spot with as many disposable clothes on as possible. I’m talking multiple layers of Goodwill-worthy clothes that you don’t mind not recovering and a single-use poncho or emergency blanket. A garbage bag works, too. Ditch all or most of these items just before the start or after the first few miles. Having disposable clothes is preferable to using a gear check (if one is offered), because you can hang onto disposable clothes for longer instead of needing to turn over everything 30 or 60 minutes prior to the race.

While waiting to cross the starting mat, avoid becoming deeply cold (feeling like only a hot shower can warm you up) so that it doesn’t take much longer than the standard ten-ish minutes of race pace to warm up. Deep cold is double-trouble: the body does not operate efficiently when it’s cold, and it taps its energy stores simply to stay warm rather than saving them for the race. In addition to wearing extra layers, bring a bottle of hot tea to the starting area.

Know Thy Body

If you were to ask a room of experienced runners, “What’s the best clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions?,” you probably won’t get a single answer, as demonstrated in this LetsRun thread. Everyone has their own gear preferences, based on gender, body composition, athletic background, seasonal acclimation, personal budget, and more.

As an example, the men’s winner at Boston, Yuki Kawauchi, wore a ball cap, singlet, arm sleeves, glove liners, and split shorts from the gun. But this setup failed professional runner Sage Canaday, who DNFed around mile 18 because he “felt very hypothermic.”

Experimenting with different options in wide-ranging weather conditions is the best way to learn what works for you. The next time you get an unfavorable forecast for an important workout, don’t reschedule. Instead adjust your expectations, get it done, and take notes afterward about what worked and what didn’t.

Understand Fibers and Fabrics

Because personal preference is such large factor in determining what works best for you, the material the product is made out of is far more important than a specific brand or product model. For insulating layers, you really have two options: polyester and wool.

Polyester manages moisture best by wicking water away from the skin and drying quickly. The fibers don’t absorb water. However, water molecules do get trapped between the fibers and so, when wet, polyester is chilly.

Merino wool does not dry as quickly as polyester and it absorbs more water, but it insulates better when wet. Unless you pee on yourself, wool is not warm when wet (trust me), but it is less chilling than polyester.

Waterproof-breathable fabrics like Gore-Tex are a last resort for running in cold and wet conditions. While they are the most water-resistant of the options listed here, they are the least breathable and will be overwhelmed by perspiration if not supplemented by direct venting. The running market is underserved by this category. Most waterproof-breathable shells are made of stiff fabrics and are too heavy and loose-fitting, although there is a growing list of exceptions, like the Ultimate Direction Ultra v2 jacket .

My Picks

For reasons given earlier, I’m reluctant to provide recommended clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions, or to list any garments as being the best. There is simply too much personal subjectivity. But I can at least speculate on what I would have worn at Boston this year. Note that I run cold, so many readers may find my choices to be overkill.

Patagonia Capilene Midweight Zip-Neck ($70)

Up top, I would wear a form-fitting midweight polyester top like this one from Patagonia, which would offer a good balance of moisture management and warmth.

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Arc’Teryx Norvan Shell ($300)

Over the midweight top, I would need a shell to cut the wind and trap body heat. I have spoken with a few Boston finishers, and most gave a thumbs-up for their wind shell. The women’s winner, Des Linden, wore the Brooks Canopy. If you run cold, it’s even wetter than Boston, or you’re out there for more than just a few hours, a slim-fitting minimalist waterproof-breathable shell like the Arc’Teryx Norvan would be better.

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Under Armour Sonic Compression Shorts ($25)

For bottoms, I would wear Under Armour Sonic Compression shorts (full review here), which have a six-inch inseam and are made of 84 percent polyester and 16 percent spandex. Unfortunately, they were discontinued several years ago and I haven’t found a comparable replacement. Short tights would defend my quads against cold precip and wind and cause much less chafing than conventional running shorts. For extra insulation in a critical area, I would wear Jockey Sport Stretch Tech Briefs.

Compression Socks

I don’t wear compression socks, but they could help insulate the calf muscles in cold weather. Three-quarter tights that extend below the knee would be a reasonable selection, too. Personally, I would just coat my knees and lower legs with Bonnie’s Balm or a similar wax-based salve.

Naked Running Band ($45)

I use this two-ounce band to stow items not in use, like my shell if it’s not raining or my gloves if my hands are overheating. I wore it during the 121st Boston Marathon, too, but for a different reason: I carried ten ounces of drink mix solution so that I could avoid early aid stations and have a more efficient bottle than spill-prone plastic cups. You can read my full review here.

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Headsweats Race Hat ($25)

When running in the rain, I wear a hat to keep rain out of my eyes. Normally I wear the SuperVisor, but a cap would be warmer.

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Showa 281 Gloves ($10)

My ears and hands are especially vulnerable to the cold. To protect my digits, I would use the Showa 281 gloves, with perhaps DeFeet Wool Duraglove liners underneath for more warmth.

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Buff ($25)

I bring a Buff on any run in temperatures below 60 degrees or so, mostly to use an earband. For cold and wet conditions, a wool version would be best. Wring it out as needed.

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Filed To: RunningBostonMarathonWeatherRacing Lead Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty

The Best Men’s Running Tights

For some, the moment the weather gets cold enough to necessitate wearing tights to run is the moment they choose to pack in running outside altogether until the spring. Pah, we say to them, pah! Running in the winter is just as enjoyable as running in the summer – you just need the right kind of running gear.

Good running tights will keep you snug without restricting movement and offer some compression to help warm up your muscles and aid in their post-run recovery. Here are, in no particular order, eight sets of running leggings to consider.

Under Armour ColdGear Run Tights

These comfortable tights are exactly what you need when the temperature drops properly low, with dual-layer ColdGear fabric that insulates your legs so you won’t feel the bite of the cold even in sub-zero conditions.

Buy from Under Armour | £65

Soar ELITE Session Tights

The remarkable thing about these tights is that you can use them for speed sessions and races in the winter without fear of restricting your freedom of movement. On the inside of the tights are four silicone bands, positioned around the ankles, calves, thighs and waist in order to ensure the material doesn’t slip or bunch up on the run. They’re not the warmest option, as you might expect of tights built for speed, but they do provide some welcome extra insulation during fast runs in the cold without the bulk of standard winter tights.

Buy from Soar | £124

Nike Flash Running Tights

Rather than a tight compression fit, Nike has made these tights with a stretchy fabric, so they’re a more comfortable option for anyone who has taken against compression tights in the past. There is a reflective trim on the cuffs, and there’s an impressively large back pocket that you can squeeze a phone into.

Buy from Nike | £39.95 (currently reduced to £27.47)

On Tights Long

If you’re intrigued by the name of these tights, it’s explained by On also selling 7/8ths tights, which are perfect for anyone who reckons their lower calves are their best feature and should be on display whenever possible. Anyway, if you’re as ashamed of flaunting your calves as we are, these long tights are warm and delightfully soft on the skin, and have a couple of handy pockets for your valuables.

Buy from On | £95

2XU Reflect Run Compression Tights

2XU is renowned for its compression garments, so it’s no surprise that these tights feature powerful compression throughout, but it’s the reflective details on the calves that really catch the eye and make them a superb winter option for anyone who mostly runs in the evenings. The reflective details offer 360° visibility so you can feel safer when cars are flying past, as we did when we used these tights for a 24-hour relay race that included two night legs.

Buy from 2XU | £90

Gore R3 Partial Windstopper Tights

Windproof and water-repellent fabric on the top half of these tights keeps you warm and dry where it’s most appreciated, while the lighter fabric below the knee prioritises breathability. There’s a small zipped pocket on the back of the tights, which have reflective details on the front and back.

Buy from Gore | £89.99

Kalenji Run Warm Running Tights

These wallet-friendly winter warmers cost under a tenner. While they don’t offer the same protection against wind and water that you’ll find on pricier pairs of thermal tights, they’ll certainly keep the cold out on chilly, dry days.

Buy from Decathlon | £9.99

dhb Run Tech Tight

If you’re working on a tight (excuse the pun) budget but still want a quality garment then, as always with running gear, dhb’s running range is worth a look. These snug tights have mesh panels behind the knee to avoid overheating, and even offer a sizeable back pocket that’s large enough to accommodate a phone – always a pleasing bonus on running clothes.

Buy from Wiggle | £35 (currently reduced to £26.25)


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When things get soggy, keep moving with these runner-tested tips!


If you have a race on your calendar that’s expected to get a bit sloshy with a strong chance of soaked shoes, we’ve definitely been there and can relate. You can control your training program, food intake and gear, but you can’t control the weather. Rain or shine, the race will go on. You’ve done all the hard work leading up to race day—so don’t let the wet weather stop you from conquering the course.

In case Mother Nature decides to give you one more challenge from start to finish—as if the race itself wasn’t challenging enough—here are a few tips to help you stay dry without racing to the store and buying a rain jacket. Whether you’re navigating 26.2 miles at the Boston Marathon, sloshing through 13.1 or 26.2 at the Humana Rock ’n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, or splashing your way through your very first 5K in a notoriously rainy city, these tips will ensure you have the best race day possible:

Stay Dry As Much As Possible Before the Race

If it’s raining, you’re going to get wet. However, it’s important to stay dry as long as possible before you start running. When you’re clothes get wet, they’ll start to get heavy. If you stay dry before the race, you’re preventing a lot of pre-race weight gain.

It’s important to warm up before a race, so try to stay inside as long as possible. Running coach and author of Running a Marathon for Dummies, Dr. Jason Karp, suggests racers sit in the car for a bit longer or find a nearby building or café. Keep warm and do dynamic stretches to loosen up. “If you can’t get inside, wear a garbage bag or some other protective layer on top of your racing clothes until just before the start of the race,” says Karp.

Avoid Cotton and Loose Clothing, Wear Light Apparel

Cotton or cotton-mixed fabric soaks up water and makes your clothes heavy to run in. Wear dri-wicking material; this way your clothes won’t hold the moisture.

Also, make sure you’re running attire is as light as possible. If it is going to rain the entire race, wearing apparel that is light even when it is wet will save from feeling weighed down.

RELATED: Shine Bright In The Rain With These Night Outfits

Wear Form-Fitting Clothes

Loose shorts tend to ride up when wet—not to mention, they become uncomfortable and unattractive—so the tighter the apparel, the better. This will also help prevent chafing, which will only be aggravated by soaked legs.

Wear Thin Socks

Similar to the above, avoid cotton socks. Make sure your socks are man-made fibers that are designed for running. Cotton socks will soak up water and make your shoes extremely heavy, squishy and squeaky throughout the entire race—talk about mid-race discomfort.

Karp suggests wearing two pairs of thin socks to try to keep your feet dry and to powder your feet, which will help manage the moisture.

Aim To Prevent Chafing (But Do This Even When Skies Are Clear)

Use body glide or petroleum jelly anywhere on your body that you think may get irritated. Rain makes chafing worse, so prevent the pain and lather up—even in areas that have never bothered you before. You’re better safe and over-glided than sorry and covered in inflamed hot spots.

RELATED: The Perfect Race Day Survival Kit

Wear a Hat

There’s nothing worse than your face getting wet and the salty water dripping down into your eyes—ouch! Wearing a brimmed hat will keep water out of your face when running. Plus you need to keep your focus on the road to avoid wet potholes and slipping—twisted ankles are worse than rain.

Some runners wear goggles to protect their eyes (no, seriously!). You can opt for running sunglasses, and some shades are made with a lighter tint if it’s gloomy outside. You still get the raindrop protection but don’t feel like you’re dipping into darkness the whole time.

Spray Water Repellent On Your Shoes

This will help keep your shoes dry, which will help prevent heavy feet and blistering. Just make sure you spray your shoes about 24 hours before the race so your shoes can dry in time.

Don’t Sweat A No-Rain-Jacket Situation

If you don’t have a rain-specific jacket, that’s okay. You can go to any drugstore and get a poncho, fold it up, and place it in your run pocket or fuel belt. If it starts raining, you can throw this on to help you stay dry.

Protect Your iPhone Or iPod

If you run with music, make sure you wrap your iPhone or iPod in a waterproof case or plastic baggy to avoid it from getting wet. If you’re fine without music, it’s best to leave it at home.

RELATED: 5 Super-Warm Jackets For Post-Run Comfort

Bring Extra Clothes

Pack an extra set of clothes to change into post-race—just make sure it stays dry! It’s important to keep warm once you cross the finish line to avoid muscle stiffness and coldness. Plus, you want to be comfortable at the post-race party. Throw a towel in your car or checked bag as well.

Stay Connected for Race-Day Updates

Participant safety is a race’s number one concern and sometimes weather can quickly escalate from a light rain to thunderstorms. Make sure to stay connected on race day by checking the event website, Facebook and Twitter feeds. This is the best way for race officials to communicate race day updates or alerts.

7 Great Waterproof Rain Jackets for Running

© Postalyon |

As spring races are starting soon, it’s important to find good gear. Spring on the east coast could mean perfect weather, but it could also mean torrential downpours and 30 degrees. Remember Boston last year?

In 2016 and 2017, I raced 10+ races in pouring rain. The weather varied from 30 degrees with wind chills of 20 to 50 degrees and rain. Truthfully, 50 degrees with misty rain is ideal.

One thing that stayed constant was the need for proper gear. Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can’t run fast. In fact, I set my 10 mile PR in the pouring rain and 30 degrees. Why? Because I was wearing the right clothing.

A good rain jacket is expensive, but it can also turn a cold and rainy race into a fast one. Make no mistake that there are plenty of different jackets, but a completely waterproof jacket is going to be expensive. You will also see, waterproof and water resistant are not the same.

Let’s break it down:

Waterproof jackets come in plenty of options and weights such as the thinnest lightweight shells to heavy-duty waterproof jackets.

A shell provides a thin, water-resistant layer between you and the rain. Water will seep in, and it’s best used for temperatures above 45 degrees.

A fully waterproof jacket uses material that makes it resistant to water but it’s also breathable. I’ve run over five half marathons in torrential downpours, unzipped my waterproof jacket and been dry underneath.

What is the difference between “waterproof” and “water resistant”?

This terminology might not seem like a big difference, but it is. It causes jackets to differ in price by more than $100.

Water-resistant means the jacket resists the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely and not for very long.

Waterproof means the jacket is impervious to water. It also usually means the jacket has protection against elements like wind.

How do I know which one is best for me?

It depends on where you are racing. If you are running and training in weather that barely drops under 40 or 50 degrees, you’re probably fine with a water-resistant jacket.

If you’re training where the weather can be 30 degrees, pouring rain, and windy, investing in a waterproof jacket might make all of the difference. Here are a few great running jackets below.

Waterproof jackets

Waterproof jackets are more expensive but are going to keep you drier for a longer period. Many are also windproof and stop the wind from piercing through.


At $300, this is not a cheap investment, but Gore products are lifetime guaranteed. If it stops working you can send it in to get it fixed. My Gore jacket is the best thing I’ve bought myself for outdoor running.

I’ve run several runs and races in torrential downpours and been dry. The GORE-TEX jacket is completely waterproof. Plus, it’s breathable so when you sweat you don’t get moisture locked into your jacket.

Nike AeroShield Running Jacket

At $350, the Nike Aeroshield is at the top. It shields against rain and wind to keep you dry and comfortable. It’s a great jacket if you anticipate running in the pouring rain and 30 degrees.

Running an East Coast wet marathon? This is another heavy duty jacket. Plus the ventilated design allows excess sweat and body heat to escape.

Columbia Outdry Caldorado Shell Jacket

This is Columbia’s first fully waterproof and breathable jacket. Plus at $200, it’s 1/3 less than other jackets of the same caliber. It stands up against wind, rain, and weather and has ventilation to allow breathability when you sweat. With the amount of ventilation it’s also a good option if you sweat more than average or you’re running in a bit warmer weather.

The North Face Ambition Rain Jacket

At $160, the North Face Ambition Jacket is significantly cheaper than other jackets of its caliber. It’s much lighter, but you might find yourself needing more layers for a colder run. If you’re looking for a light jacket for 35-40 degree rainy run, it’s great.

Lighter rain jackets

These jackets are going to protect against rain, but they aren’t fully waterproof — which means after a certain amount of time, you’ll find yourself drenched. They are still better than running with no jacket, plus you’re much less likely to overheat when it’s warmer.

Saucony Vigor Jacket

At $140, the Saucony Vigor jacket is a good option for a warmer rainy run, or a day lacking wind. The seams are sealed on the inside which means it will protect from the rain for a while. On days that it’s 40+ degrees with no rain, this jacket would be ideal.

Brooks Canopy Jacket

At $120, this is the same jacket; Des Linden wore when she won the Boston Marathon. Keep in mind; it’s not fully waterproof so you will still find yourself drenched by the end of a long run or race. That being said, it’s got to be good if Des wore it to win Boston. The jacket is a weather-resistant jacket as well as minimal and easily packable.

New Balance Lite Packjacket 2.0

At $95, the New Balance Lite Packjacket offers protection in the lightest material. If you don’t want to be weighed down and are okay with getting soaked after an hour, than this is the right jacket for you. The material allows it to be packed into a small spots for travel and storage.

There are plenty of jackets out there for training. It’s important to figure out your own training needs and what works best for you.

Hollie Sick is an avid New Jersey-based runner who’s completed more than 40 half marathons and the 2018 New York City Marathon. Read her blog, or follow her on Facebook.

5 Best Waterproof Running Jackets for Trail Running & Ultrarunning in 2020

Welcome to our Best Waterproof Running Jackets guide which features the top 5 lightweight waterproof jackets for trail runners, ultrarunners, fastpackers and hikers. Fall has arrived and Winter is coming, which means you’re most likely looking for the best gear to keep you warm and dry during those rainy weather runs. Because waterproof running jackets are usually quite expensive, It’s important to invest in a durable running jacket that will last long enough to give you good value for money and of course, perform as expected without letting rain in. There are few things worse than running when you’re soaking wet with a core temperature that’s declining by the minute. Don’t let winter ruin your running motivation, buy the right gear and the bad weather will seem insignificant.

When buying your next waterproof running jacket there are a few essential features that you’ll want to look out for, and these features are my ranking criteria for this ‘best-of’ list. For a waterproof running jacket to be great, it must:

  • be fully waterproof. If the product marketing says water-resistant or water-repellant then it may not actually be fully waterproof.
  • be lightweight. Avoid being weighed down by a jacket that absorbs water, even if it keeps you dry underneath.
  • have some level of breathability. At some point, you’re going to be running in the rain while the temperature isn’t crazy cold, like in the Fall or Spring for example. A breathable jacket will ensure you don’t overheat while running by helping moisture (i.e. sweat) pass away from your body.
  • be form-fitting. Extra wind resistance while running is a real ‘drag’, especially on a wet and windy day. Make sure your jacket fits your body’s frame closely, if that means you need to drop down a size, consider it.

All of the waterproof running jackets in this list have the important features listed above, so whichever one you choose, you’ll make a good buying decision. All these jackets are impressive so your final decision may actually come down to price, or how stylish you feel the jacket looks.

RELATED: 5 Best Women’s Waterproof Running Jackets for Trail Running in 2020

With these features in mind, I’m here to help you find a waterproof running jacket that you’re going to love and use for years to come. This list of the ‘best waterproof running jackets’ is continually updated, so make sure you check back before buying your next winter running jacket.

1. Arc’teryx Norvan SL Hoody

[CRPDesigned for high intensity trail running in wet conditions the Arc’teryx Norvan SL Hoody is an ultralight (125g/4.4oz), breathable yet waterproof GORE-TEX jacket. The Norvan SL Hoody’s lightweight, minimal design makes it an excellent addition to any mountain lover’s hydration pack/vest, especially if moving fast and light is your jam (like it is mine), I’m looking at you trail runners, ultrarunners, and fastpackers. The jacket uses GORE-TEX with SHAKEDRY™ watershed technology which eliminates the need for a face fabric, significantly reducing weight and increasing breathability while delivering durably waterproof and windproof protection.

This jacket is also compressible and packable which is important when you have other trail running essentials that you may need to carry with you on your run. The jacket design is trim, slim fit which helps reduce drag and weight, it also optimizes its breathability during intense workouts.

The hood has an elasticated brim which ensures good visibility while the brim keeps the rain off your face. I like how it can also be rolled up and secured when not in use which keeps it from flapping behind you as you run. Did I mention this is the lightest jacket in the list?

There are reflective elements on the cuffs for extra visibility at night too. If you need a headlamp for your night runs, check out our 5 Best Headlamps for Trail Running & Ultrarunning in Gear Guide.

  • Weight: 4.4oz (125g) $325.00 1 new from $325.00 See Deal $325.00 See Deal $325.00 See Deal

Last Amazon price update was: 31st January 2020 11:01 am

RELATED: 5 Best Waterproof Trail Running Shoes for wet weather running

2. Salomon S/Lab MOTIONFIT 360 Jacket

The Salomon S/LAB MotionFit 360° Jacket is probably the most innovative waterproof running jacket on this list for a couple of reasons. Firstly it has a membrane which is waterproof and windproof but also manages breathability and moisture very well. I think the biggest innovation though is how easily you can take it off while running. The jacket has a stretch waistband that lets you store it around your waist without taking it off. This means you can also pull it up over your running pack when you need to put it back on. It’s probably the ultimate waterproof jacket for trail racing because of this.

Like the Norvan Sl Hoody jacket listed above, this jacket uses GORE-TEX® SHAKEDRY fabric which allows it to breathe better than any other waterproof fabric, it’s also what keeps the weight down.

If you’re wondering what MotionFit 360° is, it’s a patterning that’s engineered to move fluidly with your body to allow maximum freedom of movement. Jackets like this that are engineered with GORE-TEX® Active fabrics are built for extreme breathability and are ideal for highly aerobic, done-in-a-day type activities

Every seam on the Salomon S/Lab MOTIONFIT 360 Jacket is sealed from the elements and it comes with a hood that has a minimalist construction which fits without the need for drawcords. The fit of the jacket is what Salomon call ‘Active fit’ which means it is close fitting and lets you move. Not too tight, not too loose.

  • Weight: 5.5oz (156g) $374.95 See Deal See Deal

Last Amazon price update was: 31st January 2020 11:01 am

3. On Waterproof Anorak

The On Waterproof Anorak has many practical features that will keep bad weather out while still allowing for airflow and breathability. The hidden vents on the front and rear will help increase airflow through the jacket while still making sure the rain stays out. The On Waterproof Anorak is a great mixed-weather running jacket too because it packs down into its own inner pocket ready to be stashed into your hydration pack at a moments notice, with ease.

The jacket is made with a premium three-layer membrane which is how it’s completely waterproof and windproof while still allowing for that dynamic breathability. Elements in the lining are also able to transport moisture from the body and expand as they do so which according to On means the more you sweat the more breathable the jacket becomes.

We like that the materials have been responsibly chosen. The advanced waterproof membrane is not only breathable, stretchable and durable, but it’s also entirely PTFE-free.

The fit is a bit looser than the slim fit styles of the Arcteryx and Salomon jackets described in this list, which is good if you prefer a looser fit, or if ‘slim-fit’ apparel doesn’t suit your body shape.

  • Weight: 7.62oz (216g)

RELATED LINKS: ON Running Reviews: On Shoes & Apparel Reviewed

4. Salomon Bonatti Pro WP Jacket (Editor’s Choice)

The Salomon Bonatti Pro WP Jacket is the minimalist protective layer that ticks all the boxes for technical trails: stay dry, stay fresh, and run light.

It’s built with technical fabric engineered to deliver weather protection with less weight. The jacket also has a fitted hood to protect you from harsh conditions like driving rain.

Like some of the other waterproof running jackets on this list, the Bonatti Pro WP packs down into its own chest pocket for compact storage when you need to stash it in your hydration pack. Similarly to the Salomon S/Lab MOTIONFIT 360 Jacket above, this one also has MotionFit for unrestricted freedom of movement while being active.

I like how Salmon has started to introduce extra volume on the back of their jackets to allow for enough room for your hydration vest to be worn underneath, smart. Salomon has also added waist adjustment functionality and reflective details for safety at night. Everything about this jacket has been thoughtfully designed.

  • Weight: 6.8oz (194g) $199.95 See Deal See Deal

Last Amazon price update was: 31st January 2020 11:01 am

5. Nike Shield Hooded Running Jacket

The Nike Shield Hooded Running Jacket is a warm jacket for running in the rain. Yes, it’s perfect for those cold winter runs! The Shield Jacket is made with water-resistant ripstop and has a brimmed hood for extra protection from bad weather, and a midweight design for warmth. It’s not a lightweight minimal jacket but it will keep you very comfortable during short runs when the weather outside is trying to persuade you to stay in.

The jacket is breathable too due to the woven mesh fabric lining the underarms sections. Functioning like gussets, the inserts also help with freedom of movement.

One of the cool things about this jacket it the 2-way full front zip which allows customization up or down, in case the temperature heats up and you need extra airflow going inside your jacket to cool you down.

Zippered hand pockets secure are a good place to secure your phone and other essentials, should you need to and there’s plenty of reflective elements to keep you seen and safe while running at night.

This one may be a little heavier than the other jackets on this list but it’s probably the warmest.

What to wear when running in the rain?

Optimize your traction

To make sure you don’t skid, wear suitable shoes and avoid smooth-soled trainers. After your run, dry your shoes properly by stuffing them with balls of paper so they don’t lose their shape.

Protect your stuff

To protect your phone, stash it in an inside pocket of your waterproof jacket or in a ziplock-type bag. You can also opt for a protective case or a waterproof armband.

Choose a waterproof sports jacket to run in the rain

When rain joins the party, the important thing is to insulate yourself well. Once your underwear gets damp, it’s hard to warm up again. A lightweight yet waterproof jacket is the runner’s best friend. Garments incorporating the Defender® membrane are perfect for running in the rain because they combine :

• Water repellency

• A microporous membrane

• Optimal ventilation

With this type of garment, you’re safe from rain but also from bursts of heat and wind. Beware of waterproof jackets that aren’t suited to sport. It can be tempting to wear them if it rains, but they offer poor breathability and turn into saunas after a few minutes’ running.

Bottoms suited to running in the rain

Unless you run with an umbrella in your hand, there’s no way to avoid getting wet. So you may as well get used to it – and choose a comfortable outfit that suits the situation. We advise you to choose shorts when there’s rain about, as soaked running pants will weigh you down and chill the muscles – in which case, paradoxically, you’ll be colder in pants than shorts. What’s more, wet garments can be tough on the skin, chafing after a few miles. When you’re out running, the areas most prone to chafing / rubbing are :

• Thighs

• Armpits

• Feet

• Chest

So be sure to apply anti-chafing cream and tape before you put your kit on.

Accessories to protect your face when running in the rain

When heavy rain falls, it’s better to protect your face so you don’t get rain in your eyes and lose visibility. To avoid discomfort that will slow you down, you have two solutions.

Peaked hood

The peaked hood, or ergonomic hood, meets several requirements :

• Protecting you from rain with waterproofing and/or water repellency

• Protecting your face with a peak

• Not impeding your movements

• Staying in place by means of a multi-point tightening system

Running caps

Caps are more versatile, protecting you from both sun and rain. Like hoods, they meet some of runners’ specific requirements :

• Quick drying

• Easy to stash in a backpack

• Protect your eyes effectively with their large peak

• Keep your head cool thanks to optimal ventilation

Apparel for blocking out cold on a run

Protecting yourself from cold in winter and the

• When running in winter and the fall, be sure to wear a technical fabric like Polartec® under your jacket. This fabric keeps you warm while also providing maximum breathability.

Protecting yourself from cold in spring

• In springtime, a basic tee-shirt or even a bra is all you need. In that case, it’s important to pick a jacket with a soft, comfortable lining. This type of garment prevents chafing, which typically increases in the wet.

Six Tips For Running In The Rain

Finding the motivation to get out of the door and run can be hard at the best of times, and if it’s raining, sleeting, hailing or snowing then the strong temptation is to sack it off and wait for fairer weather.

Unfortunately, if you’re in the middle of a training plan ahead of a big event, sometimes you can’t postpone a run because it’s raining – especially if it looks like it’s going to rain for days on end. Plus there’s every chance the race itself will take place on a rainy day.

“If you’re training for a run in Britain then you have to be prepared for a rain-soaked race – 133 days a year receive rain or snow,” says Graham Ferris, strength and conditioning coach at Pure Sports Medicine.

Fortunately, Ferris didn’t just bring doom and gloom with his precipitation stats. He also gave us some great advice on how to make the best of a rainy run, whether that’s a training session or a race.

1. Pick Your Footwear Carefully

“The sole needs to have a good tread to avoid slippery surfaces, not just for safety but also for force application,” says Ferris. “How can you propel yourself forwards if your feet just slide backwards? When it comes to a race, warm up in another pair of shoes and socks, and keep a dry pair for the race. These small things will keep your feet in better health.”

2. Make Yourself Chafe-Proof

“Chafing is very common during wet runs,” says Ferris. “Apply a layer of Vaseline to areas that are prone to chafing – inner thighs, armpits, sports-bra lining and your nipples.”

3. Dress For The Temperature, Not The Rain

While a waterproof top can be a useful during wet runs, it’s easy to overdress in the rain and make yourself uncomfortably hot.

“Wear a wind- or water-resistant layer over the top of a layer that wicks sweat away, but dress more for the temperature,” says Ferris. “It’s raining – you’re going to get wet.”

4. Go For That PB

“The rain can help stop your body temperature rising too high, which in turn promotes less thermic stress on the body, lower heart rate and perceived exertion,” say Ferris.

That’s right, the rain can be a good thing and can even help you chase down that elusive PB.

“Some studies have found almost 13 seconds knocked off 5km runs in recreational runners when using an effective cooling technique on the body,” says Ferris.

5. Embrace The Mental Challenge

“Some runners don’t mind the rain, because accomplishing something given the added challenge can be rewarding, but some dread it,” says Ferris. “Just keep reminding yourself that a warm shower is only moments away.”

Your rainy runs will build new confidence in your running, which can provide a welcome boost on race day.

“Changing your perception of the task in hand can be a huge factor in your success during arduous conditions,” says Ferris. “Is this race really as tough as that wet run you did a few weeks ago? Probably not. You’ve got this!

“Every time you successfully put your body outside of its comfort zone, your comfort zone increases. You become less nervous in these conditions and you psychologically feel steadier.”

6. Change, FAST

“Get out of your wet clothing as soon as you can after the run,” says Ferris. “Once you have stopped moving, your body is going to start cooling. You don’t want this to happen too rapidly in those cold and wet clothes or you might find yourself with early signs of hypothermia. Grab a bin liner and get yourself changed.”

Rain gear for running

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