For obvious – and rather depressing – reasons (ahem, climate change), the autumn months aren’t as cold as they used to be. These days, for those living in the UK, a winter running jacket will likely leave you far too warm, unless you live in remote Scotland, of course.
That said, on brisk mornings and cool, dark evenings, a long sleeve and pair of tights is just the ticket to keeping the chill out.
We’ve selected some of our favourites in our round-up below of the best autumn running clothes of 2021.
BUFF Pack Speed Cap (Unisex)
It wouldn’t be an autumn kit round-up without a running hat: an essential all year round in our books. This one is ultra lightweight for all your adventures and can easily be folded, packed or crushed down into a pocket when you’re not using it. There’s a drawcord for an adjustable fit and reflective logo on the front to help keep you stay seen when running in low light.
Soar Merino & Silk Base Layer (Men’s)
A wonderfully lightweight running layer, designed to keep you comfortable during fresher autumn runs. The merino and silk knit is buttery soft against the skin, while still wicking away sweat to keep you running cool and dry as things heat up. There are flatlock seams to prevent chafing, plus the materials are naturally antibacterial to keep you feeling, and smelling, fresh.
Smartwool PhD Run Cold Weather Mid Crew Socks (Men’s)
There’s nothing worse than cold, wet toes mid-run. These Smartwool socks are crafted from merino wool to keep your feet warm during those colder-weather outings. They also have a seamless design to minimise any chafing, targeted cushioning to protect your feet from blisters without adding too much bulk and mesh venting to prevent your feet from getting too sweaty as you run.
New Balance Tenacity Tee (Men’s)
If you’re not ready to go into a long-sleeve just yet, this simple running T-shirt from New Balance ticks all the right boxes and can be layered underneath a jacket when the temperature really drops. Made using New Balance’s fast-drying technology, the stretch-knit material and the underarm gussets allow you to move comfortably, whatever your pace.
Zone3 Men’s Phantom Lightweight Tights (Men’s)
If you’re a fan of compression leggings when the temperature drops, these tights will quickly become that pair you dig around in your drawer for. They’re wonderfully lightweight, while still being compressive, they have flatlock stitching and heat-bonded ankle seams for maximum comfort and mesh panels on the backs of the knees for breathability.
BAM Black Rocks Zip Neck Bamboo Base Layer (Men’s)
This zip-neck base layer is made from soft bamboo jersey, which is good for your skin as well as being great for the planet. It’s longer in the arms and body for additional coverage and has thumb loops to keep your hands cosy on colder mornings. We like the attention to detail, with little extras like a zip guard, which prevents chafing or irritation when done up.
On Tights Long (Men’s)
Paying £95 for a pair of leggings is a lot, but like all Swiss running brand On’s kit, these are expertly crafted and built to last. It’s all about the little extras – the zipped ankles to make getting them on and off easier, the adjustable waistband and the concealed pockets to keep your valuables protected from the weather. They also have a wider waistband, designed to be extra comfy on the move.
Runderwear Running Base Layer (Women’s)
Famous for its running-specific underwear, Runderwear knows a thing or two about chafe-free comfort. This base layer is no exception, with a sweat-wicking design and breathable mesh panels to keep you cool and comfortable as things heat up. We’re big fans of the built-in hand mitts, which come in handy (pun intended) when you’ve forgotten your gloves.
Pocket Sport Morisot Legging (Women’s)
Not only will these leggings add a splash of colour to your running wardrobe, they also won’t budge on the run, thanks to the clever little waistband gripper that helps keep them in place. There’s a small internal pocket for your keys and lip balm, but you’ll still need your running belt for your phone and gels. We’re huge fans of the super-high waistband for comfort, too.
Kalenji Run Support Leggings (Women’s)
Who said running kit has to cost the earth? These leggings are affordable, hard-working and supportive in all the right places. There are two hidden pockets for all your essentials in the waistband, which is higher and wider than average, to keep you feeling comfortable on the move. The leggings are available in a 3⁄4 length and a longer leg to suit runners of all heights.
adidas Techfit Period-Proof 7/8 Leggings (Women’s)
These adidas techfit leggigns have a discreet layer built in for extra protection during your period. Designed to be worn with your regular period products, the in-built Flow Shield prevents any leakages from distracting you from your performance. Aside from this, the leggings have everything you’d expect – a high-rise waistband, a pocket and mesh vents to keep you cool as you move.
Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve 2.0 Race (Women’s)
Ideal for petite runners, or wearing on race day, Lululemon’s Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve 2.0 Race Length top is cropped to avoid any annoying bunching. Lightweight and sweat-wicking, this might be on the more expensive side, but it’ll last without going bobbly or smelly. We also love the longer sleeves, complete with thumb holes to tuck your hands into when the temperature dips.
Sundried Women’s Seamless Leggings (Women’s)
We’re big fans of the seamless design of these Sundried leggings, which sit comfortably against the skin and don’t rub or budge, whatever the session. There’s a high waistband designed to hug your tummy as you move, and a leg pocket, which makes accessing your phone or a gel on the run that little bit easier. They come up a little big, so if you’re between sizes, size down.
Zero Gravity High-Waisted Running Leggings (Women’s)
These are Sweaty Betty’s best-selling leggings for a reason – they’re buttery soft, they have easy-access leg pockets big enough for your phone and they’re available in a number of prints. Our deputy digital editor has been running in the same pair of Zero Gravity leggings for years and they’ve washed well and don’t bobble. They’ll help you feel great as you clock up the miles.
New Balance Accelerate Long Sleeve (Women’s)
With reflective details to help keep you seen, this running top from New Balance will add a pop of colour to your autumn running wardrobe. We like the flattering scalloped hem, offering extra coverage as you clock up the miles, plus the thumb holes on the sleeves, which you can tuck cold hands into on chilly mornings. An affordable, basic layer – you can’t go wrong.
Under Armour Qualifier Run 2.0 ½ Zip (Women’s)
Built for those days when you can’t decide between a long sleeve and your running jacket, this half-zip layer is water-resistant, while still being light and breathable as you pick up the pace. The ribbed collar keeps the wind off your neck when the temperature really drops, plus, there are thumb holes for colder days and a small, zipped pocket for your essentials.
On Performance Long-T (Women’s)
A casual layer, designed for your most demanding runs, this On running top is relaxed and comfortable. Perfect for those in-between conditions, the top is designed to be breathable but warm, thanks to its knit fabric. It might be on the more expensive side, but it’s designed to be worn year after year, thanks to its high-quality blend of fabrics and simple design.
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