The Best Summer Running Gear and Tips on How to Stay Cool in Hot Weather Conditions

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Summer is without question the best season to run. You know you won’t have to worry about fits of rain or windy weather slowing you down — it’s just you and the path ahead.

But if you happen to miss your morning or evening cool-weather window, the hot temperatures of midday can throw a slew of challenges in your way. Thankfully there are many things you can do in order to keep the heat at bay and get the most out of your summer workout if you find yourself pounding the pavement at noon in 90-degree heat. We’ve rounded up some tips on how to run in the summer and provided some summer running gear to get you through those hot weather runs.

No matter where you live, extra hydration should be priority number one for summer running. Drink water before, during, and after your run. If you think you need to hydrate more, just pour yourself another glass to be safe. The body needs all the fluids you can provide, especially during the summer.

As previously mentioned, it’s always smart to run when the conditions are at their coolest. Early morning or even late afternoons will likely be your best bet. We recommend heading out before the sun comes up because fitness is a great way to boost your energy and mood for the day.

If you’re not the early bird type, midday runs can be made easier by running near bodies of water since they tend to provide a cool breeze or at an indoor gym with a track. You could also opt for a shady path in a grassy park in order to stay away from the heat retaining asphalt. Another method for getting prepared for summer running is to overdress yourself during the winter months so your body gets used to working hard in warm conditions.

Now on to gear. Summer running gear differs immensely from your cold weather attire. You want materials that are lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking to keep your body temperature down, as well as innovative devices to make sure you aren’t overworking yourself. Check out all the best summer running gear below.

Nathan Insulated Flask – $29
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Nathan’s insulated flask comes with everything you need for the perfect summer running water bottle. Not only will its double-walled construction keep water colder for longer, it features an adjustable hand strap for grip-free running, as well as an expandable zippered pocket for all your other necessary baggage like an iPhone, keys, or debit card.

You could also opt for an easy to carry and breathable CamelBak vest that stores water bottles or a water filtration bottle that will allow you to get clean water from anywhere.

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Nathan Streak Reflective Vest – $22
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The neon yellow Nathan vest comes with reflective strips that provide 360-degree visibility at distances of up to 1,200 feet. This is perfect for those early morning summer runs we were talking about. It boasts a lightweight, minimal design that does not restrict motion in any way and is easy to stuff away once the sun rises.

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Fourlaps Running Shorts – $68
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When the highs come out, so do the thighs. These 5” running shorts from Fourlaps were designed with laser-cut ventilation to regulate your body temperature and an antimicrobial, moisture-wicking liner for active comfort. They also sport a rear zippered pocket as well as a reflective tape and logo for added visibility.

If you’re not the short length-liner running type, these liner-less shorts from Lululemon are a little longer, yet offer sweat-wicking technology to keep you cool.

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The North Face Running Tank – $45
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If you decide to embark on your summer running journey during a warmer hour or still like the airy feel in brisk mornings, The North Face offers a lightweight, odor-resistant tank that’s made with breathable mesh to keep the heat at bay. It also boasts reflective logos and trim, as well as a higher back neckline to safeguard your neck from those harsh summer UV rays.

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Patagonia Wind Chaser Short Sleeve – $59
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Patagonia’s Wind Chaser is a great short-sleeved running short if you’re not a tank fan. It’s crafted with breathable, moisture-wicking polyester, gusseted underarms to protect you from chaffing, and built-in 35 UPF protection to fend off those sunny summer days.

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Montane Minimus Jacket – $131
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Some of those early morning runs might be a little chillier than you anticipated. In that case, you might want to have a lightweight jacket on hand in order to make sure your body temperature stays moderate. The Montane Minimus jacket is lightweight and has exceptional breathability.

And if you live somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, where summer rain is common, the Minimus jacket is also waterproof.

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adidas Ultraboost Parley – $180
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Snagging an extra pair of shoes for the summer months might not be necessary for everyone. However, if it gets excruciatingly hot during the summer where you live, it may be in your best interest to grab something durable, breathable, and offers great traction.

Adidas’ Parley sneakers are crafted with an upper knit spun from plastics found on shorelines from around the country and built on the brand’s Ultraboost technology, resulting in an extremely comfortable and environmentally conscious running shoe.

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District Vision Keiichi Standard – $199
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When embarking on your early morning run through the neighborhood, the sunrise can be a bit of a blinder. District Vision’s running sunglasses ensure the sun won’t be a pain in your eyes. Developed over a two-year technical testing period involving New York City athletes, the Keiichi Standard is ready to take on any route.

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adidas AdiZero Cap – $26
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The adidas AdiZero running cap is built with mesh sides to let heat escape and let the breeze keep blowing through your hair on your summer running expeditions. The fabric is also crafted with UPF 50 material to make sure your scalp doesn’t catch a sunburn.

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Suunto 3 Fitness Watch – $229
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The Suunto 3 offers more than just some great looking wrist-wear. The fitness watch features a built-in personal trainer that can actually write your training plan and motivate you through workouts. Just calibrate the timepiece with your personal information and it will begin to generate a basic training plan for the week. It will even measure your heart rate and estimate your time of recovery.

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On the opposite side of the spectrum, here’s what you need and what to do when running in the dead of winter.

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