What to Wear When Running in the Rain

What to Wear When Running in the Rain: A Runner’s Guide

Written By: author image Kyle Cash
author image Kyle Cash
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.

This post was last updated on

A run in the rain is always fun. However, it can easily lead to chafing. So, here’s what to wear when running in the rain to keep you warm and dry.


Running in the rain involves a mix of mental toughness, planning, and the right gear.

But it can be tough to know what to wear when running in the rain. There are plenty of options out there, but what will keep you warm, dry, and safe?

Lucky for you, I’ve run in the rain and screwed up enough to figure out what works and doesn’t.

So, let’s get into it.

    What to wear running in the rain

    • Waterproof jacket
    • Moisture-wicking shirt
    • Water-resistant tights
    • Brimmed hat
    • Waterproof gloves
    • Grippy shoes

    Clothing

    Jacket

    Look for a jacket that’s lightweight, waterproof, and breathable.

    One with fabrics like Gore-Tex or a similar waterproof/water-resistant material works best.

    What to wear when running in the rain? A rain jacket is top priority.
    Credit | Canva

    These materials help keep you dry while also allowing sweat to escape. Make sure the jacket is tight-fitting to your body but isn’t suffocating you. Even better if the jacket comes with a hood or other adjustable materials. These are perfect when you’re facing high winds so you can lock down a good fit, so you don’t get soaked.

    Last, if you ensure the jacket’s reflective, you’re doing yourself a favor.

    Remember these things, and you’ll be set with your jacket.

    Shirt

    There are a few things to consider with your shirt:

    • Breathability
    • Moisture-wicking ability
    • Temperature regulation

    Since your shirt will be under your rain jacket, you want something that’s breathable and wicks moisture away.

    It gets hot inside your jacket, and you’re bound to start sweating heavily — no matter how cold. So you need something to help move that heat away from your body.

    Avoid cotton shirts because they absorb moisture and make for an unpleasant experience.

    Instead, choose a Dri-Fit style shirt that’ll be more comfortable.

    Hat

    Believe it or not, waterproof running caps exist!

    And they’re perfect for your rainy runs and will help keep your head as dry (as possible).

    The cap’s brim helps keep the rain out of your face, and the waterproof material on top will keep your hair nice and dry. Make sure the hat fits snugly to keep it from blowing off mid-run or consider one with a strap or drawstring.

    They may be fighting a losing battle, but keeping your head dry and warm is always lovely.

    Gloves

    I hate when my hands are cold.

    And a pair of waterproof gloves are great for keeping them dry and warm.

    So, find a pair of waterproof, insulated gloves that keep your hands warm. You may not need them if it’s just a light rain, but having some cover for your extremities is always a plus.

    Or, just ball your hands inside your jacket — that works, too!

    Pants

    A solid pair of breathable and waterproof running tights are a great base layer.

    These tights help keep you dry but don’t allow sweat to pile up and make you uncomfortable. Plus, sweat-wicking helps prevent chafing. So no awkward spots that end your run early.

    Make sure they fit correctly and are comfortable beforehand. You don’t want the tights to restrict your movement or affect circulation.

    But running tights are the way to go if you want to be warm and dry.

    Accessories

    Headlamp

    Invest in a headlamp if it’s dark or you’re running at dark times.

    Not only does it help you see, but it helps others see you. And that’s crucial during rain storms.

    Visibility is already low, so adding a bit of light to make yourself noticed is an easy fix.

    Waterproof phone case

    Phones today are already reasonably water-resistant.

    But, if you’re going out for a longer run, there’s no point in risking it. And waterproof phone cases are as cheap as candy these days.

    You should always have your phone for security reasons, so do it a favor and keep it dry, too.

    Shoes

    There are three basic things to consider when choosing your shoe:

    1. Is it waterproof?
    2. Does it have a good grip?
    3. How is the support?

    First, you need to wear waterproof shoes or at least very breathable.

    This will keep water out or help it drain more quickly, keeping your feet dry. When running, your feet are your most significant actor, and keeping them blister-free is critical.

    Waterproof running shoes are crucial
    Credit | Canva

    Next, make sure the shoe has a good grip on slippery surfaces.

    You’ll be running on wet pavement or trails, so ensure the shoe can handle the surfaces well. If they can’t, you’re only risking injury.

    Last, make sure it has extra cushioning and support.

    You must know that your foot is secure and supported with each stride. Instability on wet surfaces is a bad combination.

    Tips for running in the rain

    Running in the rain is the quickest way to feel like a child again.

    Splashing through puddles, cool air flowing into your lungs — is running always this wonderful?

    But, it comes with its own set of risks. So, even if you’re a seasoned runner, you should take precautions.

    1. Wear proper clothing

    Invest in some quality waterproof running gear.

    Get a breathable, waterproof jacket that keeps you dry and warm in the cold rain for your outer layer. Wet clothes lead to an unpleasant experience and potential injury or illness. So keep the rain out at the start, and that begins with your jacket.

    But you need it to be breathable, so you don’t overheat or get uncomfortable. Running in wet weather is a tricky game.

    Plus, invest in other accessories and the right gear, such as:

    • Find waterproof pants to deflect the rain
    • Wear a brimmed hat to keep the rain out of your eyes and keep your vision clear (a cap or visor works, too)
    • Buy waterproof gloves to keep your hands warm
    • Find underwear that moves moisture away from your skin to stay dry and prevent chafing
    • Get a vest as a base layer to help keep you warm

    If it’s dark outside, ensure your jacket has reflective material for cars and others.

    A little investment financially will be a massive investment for your safety.

    2. Wear waterproof or breathable shoes with good grip

    This could have been included with the clothing section, but running shoes are essential enough to have their own section.

    Choose your best, grippy trail shoes in your closet or plain running shoes.

    Naturally, surfaces get slicker when it rains. And slick outsoles and slick surfaces mean potential injury. So, just like your clothes, invest in an excellent pair of waterproof or quick-dry shoes with great grip.

    A woman runs in the rain. in acity
    Credit | Canva

    Also, find a solid pair of waterproof shoes to keep the water out, so your feet don’t get too wet.

    Blisters form quickly with water and friction. So, a pair of waterproof shoes (Nike Gore-Tex) or excellent breathability will keep your running socks from getting soggy. You’re already getting pelted. No need to get everything too wet.

    Also, consider grabbing a great pair of moisture-wicking socks to keep the stormy weather away from your feet.

    These can help move moisture away from your feet and keep you blister-free. Avoid wearing cotton socks, and choose polyester or nylon instead.

    You’ll thank yourself later.

    3. Choose a safe route

    Go with what you know.

    A runner runs through mud in a field
    Credit | Canva

    A rainy run isn’t the time to switch it up and take an unknown route. Stick to one of your tried-and-true running routes. Preferably one with few cars, fewer puddles, flooded areas, and fewer obstacles.

    So, find your favorite route and enjoy it!

    4. Avoid dark areas

    Avoid areas with visibility issues.

    Stick to well-lit streets and areas where the water isn’t flooding. Running in heavy rain means being aware of the environmental conditions in addition to any vehicles.

    So, stay in a well-lit area, so you’re seen easily.

    5. Monitor the weather

    Check the forecast before your run, and monitor the weather’s prediction.

    Aim to time your run when the rain will be the lightest/safest. If you go out and the conditions aren’t safe, don’t feel ashamed to turn around.

    It may seem silly, but even the most experienced runners get caught off-guard by the weather.

    6. Stay hydrated

    You may not notice it, but dehydration creeps up on you.

    A man drinks from a water bottle
    Credit | Canva

    And that’s especially true in the pouring rain. You may not feel thirsty, but your body is still sweating and working.

    So, carry a water bottle with you to keep yourself hydrated.

    7. Warm up properly

    With slick and colder conditions, your chance of injury increases.

    Take the time to warm up properly and prepare your body for your run. There’s no need to head straight out into a cold environment with cold muscles.

    A short 5-minute dynamic warm-up is perfect pre-run.

    8. Listen to your body

    If you start not enjoying the experience, turn around.

    The only measure you have is how you feel. And if you’re too cold, wet, or unwell, why risk it?

    Live to run another day and head on home.

    Instead, cozy up in warmth with an excellent running book, podcast, or movie on Netflix! Or, hit the treadmill and get a workout in! Either way, keep yourself safe.

    What do you wear when running in the rain?

    I enjoy running when it’s raining, especially when it’s pouring.

    You know you’re going to get wet, and that’s okay. That’s part of the fun! As long as it’s safe to run.

    And with these tips/suggestions, you’re ready to tackle the wet streets or go trail running on muddy trails. And you’ll avoid any chafing and blisters your body tries to throw at you. Even the worst weather won’t be able to stop you!

    So, let me know in the comments. What do you prefer to wear when running in the rain?

    Last, if you aren’t already, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok!

    author avatar
    Kyle Cash Owner
    Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.