You are planning to do your first trail run, you have bought new shoes with grip and you are almost ready, but… how to dress for the trail?
Let’s start with a few rules that still apply, trail running clothing must be comfortable and functional: choose breathable clothing, which preserves body temperature and does not cool the body quickly, with reflective inserts to be visible even in the dark. Tissues trail clothing they are often more resistant, with pockets where to store a small torch, neck warmer or hydration gels.
But beyond these general guidelines, how should you dress for a trail run depending on the weather and the season? Let’s see it together!
How to dress for the trail in winter: the right clothes
During colder seasons, the trail runner’s clothing will consist of thermal fabrics, waterproof and able to protect from the windof rain and humidity. The advice is to dress in layersso you can easily remove or wear a layer depending on the perceived temperature on a particular stretch of the route.
Here are the essential clothes for a winter trail:
- Thermal shirt: the first fundamental layer for any trail in cold weather (especially on mountain trails or with competitions or training at night). The thermal fabric is able to insulate the body from the cold but at the same time breathable, able to keep the skin always dry.
- sports underwear: often misunderstood, sports underwear has excellent insulating properties, men’s and women’s tights gently compress the body to keep it warm, improve blood circulation and oxygen supply to the muscles. The seamless sports bra provides comfort and freedom of movement, keeping you cool and dry.
- Windbreaker jacket: for a winter trail you have to choose one waterproof and breathable windproof jacket. Temperatures and weather conditions can change quickly, especially on mountain trails. We recommend bringing a jacket lightweight which can be easily folded and inserted into the backpack. To protect against sudden rain, it is also important that the jacket has a hood, which can protect the eyes and head.
One of the preferred materials is Gore-Texone of the most appreciated waterproof fabrics by runners and not only, a breathable fabric capable of maintaining a regular body temperature and keeping the body dry even in heavy rain.
- Trousers: pants can be snug or comfortable fitaccording to personal tastes and the type of path you are going to face. For longer trails and with longer stretches of the path you can choose a more comfortable technical pants with pockets. At the top fast trails and shorter trails that many runners prefer tight pants and with compression, to help them in the best performance. The fundamental advice is to choose trousers with a close-fitting bottom, which avoids friction with shoes and the surrounding ground and reduces the risk of snagging on branches and stones.
For trails with colder temperatures, there are fleece-lined models: they will keep the body warm and promote perspiration. Generally speaking, technical fabrics are to be preferred as they guarantee to reduce friction and irritation between the skin and the fabric and allow the body to move freely.
How to dress for a trail in summer
For the summer trails it is necessary to choose clothes particularly breathableable to absorb sweat, provide ventilation and keep the body dry.
- T-shirt: t-shirts, vests and tank tops are ideal for the hottest days, favoring the contact of the air with the skin for a better thermoregulation. The advice is to choose super breathable models that dry quicklyso as not to cool the body during stops or in the more shady and cooler areas of the route.
- Technical underwear: even for hot periods, it is necessary to opt for the right underwear, shorts and sports bras with natural and/or synthetic fabrics which ensure breathability, quick drying and reduce the formation of bacteria and irritation.
- jacket: specifically for mountain routes where 25 degrees are not exceeded, one must be inserted in the backpack lightweight or sleeveless windbreaker. In addition, the jacket is very useful to always have at hand some basic items for running, such as the map, the flashlight and the smartphone.
Jackets and vests often also have special compartments for water bottles and small bags for hydration, which are particularly practical for hydrating in summer.
- Trousers: short or long, tight or loose, the pants must respect elastic and anti-friction properties to run for many hours in maximum comfort. Many runners prefer to wear short, baggy shorts rather than tight-fitting shorts to avoid thigh chafing; or they choose pants with mesh briefs, for excellent breathability and minimal chafing.
Year-round trail accessories
Now that you know how best to dress for trail running in hot or cold weather, it’s time to complete the outfit with useful trail accessories every season. Here are our favorites:
- the neck warmer is one of those essential accessories all year round. In winter it is very useful to protect the neck and throat from the cold, while in summer it can be worn as a headband to protect the head from direct sunlight.
- Another fundamental accessory is the hat, better if waterproof and light fabric. In summer as in winter, the hat is useful to protect the eyes from the sun or the rain, always allowing good visibility of the path.
- Another essential accessory for all trail runners is the backpack. It is always useful to take a light backpack with you to store thethe water, bars and gelsthe menu and the torch head and other essential accessories. There are ultralight models with front lacing for a firm grip, ergonomically designed with water bottle pockets on the front so you don’t have to stop along the way.