Fashion & Style

The best running clothes for women

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The best running clothes for women enhance performance and comfort
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Running clothing for women should be comfortable, durable and good looking

Running clothes are important for a number of reasons: You need to be visible and comfortable. It certainly does not hurt to look good while you are running because you never know whose path you might cross while you are taking your daily constitutional.

Running clothes for women have certainly improved over the years. In the past, the best women could hope for was a sloppy pair of sweat pants and a hoodie. Now there are dozens of running ensembles to choose from that provide serious runners with comfort, support, warmth or coolness as well as make you look good.

During the spring and fall months, runners need a light weight jacket. Purchase one that is made of moisture wicking and has reflective piping so that you can be seen, a zipper guard and, better yet, thumb holes so you can keep your sleeves in place.

The material that your garment is made from is the key to durability and a comfortable fit.  A fabric called DRYROAD moves heat and moisture away from the body and is quick drying. This results in you spending less time and energy cooling off because the fabric keeps your body at a comfortable temperature and prevents the moisture or heat from getting on your body. DRYROAD is combined with microfiber, Lycra or Supplex, which creates a silky, draped effect that is resistant to wrinkles and breathes.

Other fabrics to be on the outlook for include fabrics that have made great strides in running clothing for women, including TRANSPOR, which is a fast drying fabric, as well as COOLMAX, which was the first moisture management material created in 1986. When you sweat, the moisture moves to the outer layer of fabric. Once it reaches its destination it quickly evaporates and you stay dry and cool in the summer and warm in the winter due to the moisture transfer. You can also avoid getting chafed when you wear items made out of this material.

When selecting your running outfit, look for firm structure and high yarn count fabrics, which can be blends of cotton or nylon or polyester. Acrylic provides good insulation. Nylon may result in heavy static build up. Cotton can get wet from sweat if you are running in hot weather. Your best bet is to get a blend of these materials to provide moisture absorption and comfort.

If you run in the heat, chose light colored running clothing because it will repel heat and UV rays better than dark colors do. Opt for a fitted jacket with low rise cut pants. However, it you do not like the look or feel of this style, go with what you prefer, such as a longer jacket and wider pants that come up higher on the waist. Running clothes for women are now designed with a variety of cuts, lengths and styles to choose from

Your running shoes are vitally important. The straighter your shoe, the more stable it is. The shoe serves as a steering wheel and guides your foot in the direction of the curve of the shoe. A straight shoe is good for those who have feet that over-pronate, which means that the feet turn outward or inward too far. A curved shoe that is lightweight is the best for fast runners. A semi-curved shoe provides stability.

A running shoe consists of three parts including the upper part, the midsole and the outsole. The upper part protects the foot from rocks and dirt, holds the foot in place and is made of synthetic leather which results in durability. The upper part also has reflective material so you can be seen and mesh for breathability. The midsole is the most important part of the shoe. It is made of lightweight, foam-based cushioning. When the density of the foam is doubled it is called a medial post because it is situated on the inside of the shoe. The outsole features flex grooves for flexibility, has tread for traction and protects your feet from rocks. The outsole is constructed of blown rubber and carbon rubber.

Your shoe should allow you some wiggle room. You need space between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe. Your shoe should fit comfortably through the mid-foot and there should not be any slippage at the heel.

A sports bra is one of the most critical components of running clothes for women, because you do not want your breasts bumping and bouncing. Lack of support is painful and can damage your breasts. Sports bras or fitness bras come in an assortment of styles. On a hot day, the bra can be worn as an outer layer. Sports bras feature zip front styling, padded straps for comfort and molded cups.

If you have large breasts, look for a bra that provides maximum support. You can wear two bras simultaneously if you need the extra support. Cotton is supportive fabric but it will not keep you dry. Supplex and Lycra are preferable because these fabrics will keep you dry and comfortable. Nylon blends provide the least support. Most fitness bras are fitted with CoolMax, which helps keep moisture away from your skin.

Some women prefer running in short shorts, which are ideal when it is hot. Others prefer longer shorts. Tights are an option as well. The tights can be calf length or full length. There are running tights available that are allow breathability, reflection, a wide waistband for comfort, anti-chafe flat seams, mesh panels for ventilation and a zippered waistband pocket.



Women's Running Magazine

Runner's World

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