What to Wear Running in the Rain


Wet and rainy weather doesn’t have to mean retreating inside; you just need the right running gear

Overdressing is one of the most common mistakes runners make in the rain; wearing more layers will not keep you dry but wearing the right layers will.

So if you don't want to retreat to the treadmill, his is everything you need to know about staying cool and dry in the rain.

Essentail Running Kit For The Rain

Provided your usual running kit is sweat-wicking and breathable it's suitable for the rainbut there are a few essential pieces that can make all the difference to your performance. 

Always avoid wearing cotton; the natural fibres act like a sponge soaking up all the water, weighing you down and making you cold. 


Whether you're running on trails or running on roads the slippery conditions can slow you down or even result in an injury. Add to that puddles, dewy grass, and muddy trails and suddenly wet, uncomfortable trainers and blisters are a concern too. 

Look for trainers with a GORE-TEX upper; many brands release waterproof versions of their most popular running shoes around autumn and winter.

Make sure your running shoes are made from breathable fabrics, with mesh vents on the upper to boost airflow to allow any moisture to escape your shoes, reducing your risk of blisters as well as wet, soggy feet.

Well-fitting trainers will go a long way to preventing blisters, so make sure you choose the best running shoes for you. Get your free gait analysis at your local Runners Need store. Using video technology to analyse how your feet respong to every step, our expert fitters can asses your biomechanics and running style to ensure you're running in the perfect trainers. 


Invest in a good pair of technical run socks to keep your feet cool and the moisture away from your skin preventing blisters and rubbing. Features to look out for are technical and sweat-wicking fabrics, mesh ventilation under your arch, as well as flat seams and a snug fit.


Your jacket needs to keep the rain and wind out so look for waterproof and windproof running jackets. Features like taped seams and reflectivity are essential. A good waterproof running jacket will still be sweat-wicking and have ventilation to keep it breathable.

Find out which is the best running jacket for you.


Wearing a hat with a brim such as a sports cap or visor will help keep the rain off your race helping you see, even in downpour. 

Tips For Running in the Rain

Visibility - Rain often means low light conditions so select outer layers that are bright, high visibility, and have reflective detail to stay safe.

Prevent chafing  - Chafing can happen whatever the weather but it can be muh worse if you and your clothes are wet from the rain. Use anti-chafe gels to reduce risk. 


Take your clothes off - As soon as you get home take your clothes off and change into something dry to keep warm.


Drying your shoes - When you get back from your run take off your running shoes and stuff them with crumpled newspaper to help keep their shape and draw the moisture out of the fabric.

Try not to put them in front of a heater or in the dryer as this can shrink and warp their shape, and don’t even think about putting your running shoes in the washing machine. It can damage the foam that makes up the midsole, reducing its cushioning effect. 

Instead, to Safely Clean your Running Shoes:

  • If possible, remove the insole and laces, clean in a bowl of lukewarm water with a dash of laundry detergent to remove sweat and dirt. 
  • Use a light scrubbing brush or old toothbrush to lightly remove dirt and grit from your running shoes.
  • Soak your shoes in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes with a dash of laundry detergent.
  • Once soaked, gently brush off the mud and dirt before rinsing well in cold water.
  • Shake off any excess water before tight stuff your shoes with balled newspaper. This will soak up the remaining moisture.
  • Allow around 12-24 hours for your shoes to dry naturally. Place them around 2 metres from a radiator but not directly on a heat source as this can shrink and warp your trainers.

Don't Run if...

  • There’s a thunder storm. Always think twice about going out for a run in stormy weather for your safety.
  • It’s very (very) windy. Rain and wind can be, at best unpleasant, and at worst a dangerous combination especially if it’s cold. Your body can cool down really quickly putting you at risk of injury and illness. Although wind can be a good form of resistance, if gusts are higher than 40mph think about rescheduling your run.
  • You’re aiming for a PB. Slippery roads and trails can be hard on your muscles and joints, changing your form, so don’t expect to run your fastest in pouring rain. 

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