What to look for in men’s summer running kit
All you need to know about summer gear for men.
High temperatures means high risk if you’re not careful about your kit. Feeling the sun on your back is one thing. Peeling the skin off it because you’re sunburnt is quite another. So be sensible. Slip, slap, slop and shop wisely to make sure the heat makes you happy, not hospitalised.
Sleeves Really? In the searing heat? Well yes, sleeves. Why? Because they actually act as a skin coolant, with their specially made fabric that wicks away sweat. Make sure you get them in a light colour to reflect the heat and protect the skin from harmful rays, but don’t forget to enjoy the fact they look tremendous and very sporty.
You’ll get used to choosing anything with thermocool technology on the label and t-shirts are no exception. You need something with plenty of ventilation, not too clingy, and fashioned from breathable material to get rid of excess moisture. And don’t forget that a UV factor is built into a lot of running tops and you will definitely need that too.
If a short sleeve is too much, then a running vest or singlet will do the job. You’re looking for the same kind of breathability in terms of material as the short-sleeved t-shirt. A lot of vests are made without side seams to avoid chafing and rubbing. And don’t forget to cover up additional exposed skin with sun cream, especially the shoulders and back of the neck.
Light and comfortable are the buzz words here. Chafing can be a problem at any time of the year, but especially in the summer when skin is hot and clammy for prolonged periods. Anything that manages excess moisture and feels good when you run is ideal. Look out for different styles which incorporate either a split or a panelled seam.
It’s easy to forget to apply it everywhere and when you do, a painful lesson can often result. Slap on the highest factor you can lay your hands on, and make sure it’s sweat resistant and ideally insect resistant too, as bites can become an irritating issue in the summer.
Another must have. Tinted lenses for every kind of light condition are one optional extra on a huge variety of brands. A protection factor of 100 is advisable and wrap around shades will also protect you from wind and fly damage. A nose piece and brow bar come as standard in most models for optimum protection.
Less is always more in the heat and a tracker that is small and easy to slip on to your wrist is perfect for summer conditions. Something that tracks your every move and has a calorie counter is ideal, but you can also find models that will assess the length and quality of your sleep. Yes. Really. And all of this will interface easily with your iPod/iPad equipment. Isn’t technology brilliant?
What’s this? It sounds like a water tutor who runs with you and shouts every time you need to drink. And it sort of is. But it’s actually a very clever drinks bottle that has an LED display on the front which tells you how much you need to drink and when. And it fits perfectly into a hydration belt for when you’re going long distance.
Please don’t leave home without this because a hat will keep the sun off your scalp and protect your face from the strongest rays. Ideally you’re looking for a lightweight hat or cap with good ventilation and a breathable mesh fabric. Remember, the right headwear will dispose of excess sweat and keep you cool. And for a handy extra tip, why not put your cap in the fridge before you head out for a run? Or even in the freezer for 15 minutes for an ultra cool feel.
In the heat you really do need something comfortable and supportive. But it also needs to able to allow air to circulate freely and prevent any chafing. A lot of sportswear manufacturers have invested time and technology in this area, so the choice is large.
In the summer sweat will be a constant companion no matter how far you run, so it might be an idea to get yourself body glide. It comes with sunscreen, so just work it into any areas that you feel might be prone to rubbing or chafing and off you go.