How To Choose The Best Running Jacket

Summer or winter, the British weather can be unpredictable, so a good quality running jacket is always a wise investment.


Giving you the best protection from biting winds to April showers, your running jacket should first and foremost be sweat wicking and breathable to keep you from overheating. But most importantly, like your running shoes, it has to be comfortable or you just won't wear it.


Follow our guide to running jackets so your running doesn’t have to stop when the weather takes a turn for the worse. 


A jacket is waterproof when it is water resistant enough to keep out driving rain, rather than drizzle. Designed to keep the rain out while also moving the sweat away from your body, a waterproof running jacket should always be breathable to keep you from overheating. It will also be windproof.


Waterproof jackets will usually have taped seams to prevent water seeping in; a lack of taping however, doesn’t always indicate a poor quality jacket. 



Howling winds and driving rain are nothing on a lightweight showerproof shell, so if you’re braving the storms or the heavy rain a fully waterproof jacket is a must. You might not mind being soaked to begin with but not only are you increasing your chance of chafing, once the water hits your skin you’ll start feeling the cold. 



Showerproof jackets are water, and wind, resistant. Breathable, and featherweight, they can handle light rain for brief periods of time but if heavy rains start they won’t hold up.


Designed for runners with added mesh ventilation and a streamlined cut, showerproof jackets usually allow more movement than a waterproof jacket.



As these jackets are lightweight, breathable, and sweat-wicking they make the perfect outer layer for spring, autumn, and even summer evenings when there’s just a little rain or it feels a bit too chilly to head out in just a running t-shirt or vest.


Filled with down or a synthetic fabric, insulated running jackets are designed to keep you warmer on colder days, without overheating, and can usually be identified by their puffy shape. These jackets are mostly water-resistant and breathable but not fully waterproof.



If it's below 0°C insulated running jackets are often the best way to stay warm but it usually depends on personal preference.


Although different jackets provide different levels of insulation it’s important to always remember that although you may feel the cold stepping out, once you start running you’ll body will generate its own heat. 


Features to Look out for:

VENTS Because even the most breathable rainwear can get overwhelmed during strenuous activity, look for showerproof jackets with either mesh ventilation or waterproof jackets with zips under the arms. 


VISIBILITY Rain and bad weather often means low light conditions so staying safe, and visible, is important. Look for reflective materials or hi-viz features on your jacket


HOOD Some runners love to run with a hood, others find it just gets in the way, but with so many options from detachable, to roll up, to no hood at all you’re sure to find the perfect fit for you. If you’re used to running in windy conditions a roll up hood is a good feature as it won’t get blown about but it’s still there for calmer, but wetter days. 


PRICE When it comes to running jackets, especially waterproof ones, you’re paying for research, development, and performance of the fabric. If it’s an insulated jacket you’re after feathered down isn’t cheap so expect to pay anywhere between £30 and £200 depending on the brand and intended use of your jacket.


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