Sure, you can run in jeans and a hoodie but it’s not exactly ideal. It’s constraining, hot, and you’ll feel icky. We’ve taken a look at some of the best running pants out there to give you a cool and comfortable run.
The beauty of a lot of activewear is that the material used for them is designed specifically with activity in mind. Using certain types of fabric to wick sweat away from your body is just one way of keeping you cool. Other methods work via mesh panels that increase ventilation and keep the air flowing next to your skin. It’s all in a bid to make you feel more comfortable, even if your muscles are screaming as you try to achieve a new personal best.
There’s a wide wealth of choice out there so we’ve focused on a few different types of running pants for you to keep cool, with other activewear to come later.
Under Armour Women’s Tech Capri ($25-$200)
For women, Under Armour’s Women’s Tech Capri do a similarly great job as its its Launch Shorts. Made from ultra-soft fabric, it’s quick drying, wicking away sweat from your body. Additionally, there’s anti-odor technology that prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes and, essentially, means your clothes won’t stink at the end of a hard run.
A skinny ribbed waistband with drawcord means they’re comfortable to wear and easy to adjust. The best part? There are front pockets that are perfect for slipping your phone or keys into.
Mava Men’s Compression Long Leggings ($30)
Prefer a much snugger fit or simply to have a base layer underneath other pants? Mava Men’s Compression Long Leggings are a great choice. They offer targeted compression which protects against muscle trauma during training. With support for your upper and lower leg muscles, they’re perfect if you need a little extra help while pushing yourself on a run.
Material wise, they offer antibacterial protection, moisture wicking and a breathable surface so you won’t end up a sweaty mess, despite being snugly wrapped up in the leggings. Impressively, they’re designed to remain cool in summer while retaining heat during the winter.
Nike Dri-FIT Flex Men’s Running Pants ($20-$85)
Straight forward running pants are an essential part of any runner’s wardrobe. Nike’s Dri-FIT Flex Men’s Running Pants fit the bill perfectly. They include reflective details, zippered side seam pockets, and zippered ankle hems.
Nike’s Flex fabric stretches with your body to allow for optimal range of movement, with its Dri-FIT technology keeping sweat away from your skin. As a long time user of Dri-FIT stuff, I’ve consistently been impressed at what a great job it does of keeping me dry during a hard session. These pants are perfect for regular use.
Adidas Men’s Running Response Track Pants ($39-$70)
Another set of regular looking running pants, Adidas’s Men’s Running Response Track Pants have a few neat tricks up their, well, pant leg. Besides Adidas’s proprietary climalite fabric which wicks sweat away from your skin, these pants include a sweat guard pocket that means any small items you store won’t get wet, even if you end up on a super long run.
Elsewhere, there are reflective details to keep you noticeable in dim light, and a drawcord on the waist for maximum comfort. In all, there are 2 front pockets, plus the sweat guard rear pocket which is zippered.
Adidas Men’s Running Response Long Tights ($37-$84)
If a tighter fit is more your style, Adidas’s Men’s Running Response Long Tights offers similar advantages to the track pants, but with a more compressed fit.
Reflective stripes on the back ensure people will see you in dim lighting conditions, with three different pockets keeping your possessions safe. The rear pocket has a zipper so it’s perfect for storing your keys. The ankle hems are also zippered so you can loosen up and get a little more comfortable for those longer runs. For the most part hough, you won’t have to worry about this due to the climalite fabric keeping you cool.
Under Armour Men’s Launch 9″ Shorts ($21-$84)
Our final pick for best running pants isn’t, well, pants at all. When it comes to ultimate cooling you can’t beat leaving your lower legs exposed so shorts it is. Running pants are great but when you’re particularly hot bodied or in a hot climate, there’s no substitute for shorts.
So, that means any pair of shorts will do, right? Well, kind of, but Under Armour’s Men’s Launch 9″ Shorts are extra effective because of the material they’re made out of.
Constructed from ultra-light, stretch-woven fabric, they offer entirely unrestricted movement as you run. An internal mesh liner helps moisture escape, while adding breathability for your skin. Mesh side panels add further ventilation so that you keep suitably cool. For any sweat that does develop, the material works to wick it away from your skin before drying it fast so you’re not left with damp shorts at the end of a hard run.