Fall weather is often the sweet spot for running. With the sweltering, muggy moles of summer runs in the rearview mirror and the frigid winds and icy roads of the winter yet to come, autumn has bright, sunny skies, and dry, crisp air that leaves your lungs and legs feeling like you could float along the roads or trails for miles upon miles. Fall is an ideal season to run a marathon or step up your training before the darkness and cold of winter descends.
That said, fall weather can be variable — bridging the gap between the hot summer, where you aim to wear as little as you can get away with, and the freezing winter, where you’re decked out in multiple layers to cover every inch of exposed skin. Your fall running wardrobe should have light, breathable options for shorts, pants, short- and long-sleeved tops, and a light running jacket or vest. Depending on the climate in which you live and your personal preference, running gloves and a thin hat can also be helpful. To help you fully enjoy each and every run this fall in comfort, our top picks for the best fall running clothes for men are below.
Full disclosure: When we first saw the price of the Ibex Journey Long Sleeve top, we almost immediately nixed it from contention for earning a spot on our list of the best running clothes, but it’s so luxuriously divine that it not only fully warrants a heavy-handed recommendation but also more than earns its high cost.
The Ibex Journey Long Sleeve feels like dreamy, soft cashmere, yet it’s far more breathable and delivers on all the moisture-wicking properties you’d hope for in the best running tops. Made from 83% premium merino wool and 17% nylon, this lightweight shirt is supremely breathable. Moreover, merino wool does a much better job regulating temperature than typical polyester running shirts. It also doesn’t harbor odors, preventing the notorious vague stench that invariably clings to polyester running tops even after washing.
The Ibex Journey strikes just the right balance of stretch, durability, and comfort. The fit is relaxed yet stylish. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, given the fact that wool can keep you cool in warmer weather and warm on chilly days, the Ibex Journey Long Sleeve is a versatile fall running top for all sorts of temperatures and conditions.
The Nathan Tempo Quarter-Zip running top is perfect for long runs and marathon training. The long-sleeve running top features an ultra-soft, four-way-stretch fabric that’s as comfortable as it is breathable. With sweat-wicking properties, you’ll stay dry even on hard tempo runs and track intervals. There are little details in the design of the Nathan Tempo Quarter-Zip running top that make it especially perfect for runners, such as a discrete sleeve pocket to stow small belongings, reflective detailing to increase visibility, and the quarter-zip style, which enables greater temperature regulation and ease of pulling without breaking your stride. It’s the soft, silky, comfortable, lightweight running top we all imagine yet rarely find.
The Under Armour Men’s Sportstyle Tricot Joggers are our new go-to loose, lightweight fall running pants. Tapered joggers like these are a great alternative to full-length running pants for those that don’t like the compression and skin-tight fit of running tights. Because of the tapered fit and ankle cuffs, the Under Armour Tricot Joggers stay in place without riding up and don’t interfere with your running stride. Made from 100% polyester with a smooth exterior and soft interior, the joggers can insulate and keep your legs warm on cooler days and breathe to prevent overheating.
The material wicks sweat and dries really fast. With a ribbed waistband and external drawcord, you can adjust the fit for optimal comfort. Lastly, we love the array of pockets, including a pocket on the back, hand pockets, and a handy internal phone pocket.
Given the cooler and blustery weather characteristic of the fall, a two-in-one running short offers the benefits of regular running shorts while providing additional protection against the elements. The Baleaf Men’s 2-in-1 Running Shorts have a 5-inch inseam, an elastic waist, an internal pocket, and a super lightweight polyester outer layer. A spandex first layer provides support while offering ample room and air circulation to keep you feeling your best. There are also two side pockets and a roomy back pocket with a zipper closure, large enough to hold your phone.
The Nathan Men’s Rise Short Sleeve Running Top is described as buttery soft, and there’s truly no better way to convey the lusciously soft and smooth knit of this shirt. In terms of comfort, texture, anti-chafing, and anti-itch qualities, the Nathan Men’s Rise Short Sleeve trumped every other running top we tested. It’s also extremely lightweight and breathable, with venting back panels to encourage airflow and keep you cool. There are reflective highlights to aid visibility and perfectly flat seams to prevent any rubbing or chafing, even if you layer a jacket or tighter shirt on top.
On chilly fall runs, you just need a lightweight running glove. Anything more can cause your hands to overheat and sweat, which ultimately makes you colder. The Smartwool Liner Gloves are the perfect lightweight running glove for milder temperatures. As they are designed to be worn under warmer gloves or mittens, they can also be worn as a base layer under another pair of running gloves when the winter temperatures plummet — handy for when you still have a tempo run on your training schedule. The gloves have a lightweight, somewhat loose-knit blend of 46% merino wool, 46% acrylic, and 8% elastane.
Wool does an excellent job keeping your hands and fingers warm in cold weather and cool when it is warm, meaning that you’ll have a nice temperature-regulated environment inside your running glove. The Smartwool Liner gloves are touchscreen-compatible, so you can still navigate Strava or operate your Garmin without removing the gloves. They are also really easy to take off and stow in the pocket of your running jacket should your hands get too toasty.
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