I love EVERYTHING about fall including the clothes! This time of year is truly the best season for running—the cooler temperatures lead to faster running, PRs, and just overall more enjoyable running. Right before the first day of fall, I got a lovely “get healing” package from Ann Mazur, creator of the running clothing brand Relay Active (for my torn hip labrum).
I am in love with everything she gifted me to add to my running wardrobe (and everyday wardrobe!)…which isn’t surprising because I’ve fallen in love with all of the clothes I’ve ever gotten from Relay Active.
My new fall faves inspired me to do a round-up of the best fall running clothes so I can share these with you all. Because, running in the fall, while so pleasant and glorious, can be very confusing. You start off cold, overdress, then you’re burning up!
These clothes are moisture-wicking and are perfect for layering. Oh, and they are really cute and stylish (and COMFORTABLE) so you can get the most out of this ideal running season!
In this article, I will cover:
- What do runners wear in the fall?
- What is the best fabric for running in the cold?
- How should I dress for a fall race?
- How to Layer for Fall Running
- & My Favorite Fall Running Clothes of 2023
Let’s get going!
Related: What Should I Wear for Fall Running?
What do runners wear in the fall?
The key to dressing for fall weather is LAYERS. You want to wear clothes that are easily layered so you can shed a layer after you warm-up. Choose fabrics that are lightweight, stretchy, breathable, and sweat-wicking. Avoid cotton at all costs! Cotton retains your sweat and will make you feel chilled and weighed down.
What is the best fabric for running in the cold?
The magical fabric of merino wool is best for the fall because it helps regulate your temperature by keeping in heat while wicking away moisture. A technical fabric like polyester, nylon, and lycra are great materials for fall running, as well.
How should I dress for a fall race?
If you have a fall race, wear an extra lyer of a long sleeve and pants to warm up your body temperature, and then you can shed that at the start line.
If it’s below 40 degrees, you may want to wear a wool base layer or arm sleeves with your singlet. You can also wear a light long sleeve that you shed early on in the race. Shorts or half-tights are usually best for races on cooler days.
Clothing combos of long on top and short on bottom, or short on top and long on bottom are a matter of personal preference!
How do you layer for fall running?
For a run in the fall crisp air, wear a base layer and an outer layer you can shed like a zip jacket or vest. Tights or shorts are usually enough for cooler temps. Running gloves or mittens and wool socks will keep your digits warm!
Get all the details on how to dress for fall in my Fall Running Dressing Guide!
My Favorite Fall Running Clothes of 2023
Best Running Tights for Fall (with pockets!)
What I love about these running tights is that they are cute, comfortable, have easily accessible pockets, come in beautifully unique colors and patterns, and don’t break the bank.
The Kayla Pocket Leggings feature a breathable, performance fabric with a soft, fuzzy interior. It’s truly built for comfort and hard workout days whether it’s a long run or on the track.
There really isn’t anything not to love about the Relay Active Kayla Pocket Leggings. I wear them running and running around the house, to school, and around town because they are so comfortable and fit so well.
Related: THE Best Running Gear for Winter
Best Running Long Sleeve Shirt for Fall
This is a repeat fall fave.
That’s because I have yet to find a more versatile long sleeve running shirt than Tracksmith’s Brighton base layer. This shirt is magic. It’s so lightweight and breathable yet keeps you incredibly warm. I
It’s thin so easy to layer under other thicker long sleeve running shirts like Tracksmith’s Session Quarter Zip. It’s incredibly soft and the Merino wool wicks away sweat and keeps you dry and warm.
If you’re still not familiar with the performance benefits of Merino wool blend, be prepared for a revelation. The Tracksmith Brighton base layer comes in beautiful autumn inspired colors. I have had mine for many years, and they stand the test of time and remain stink-free! Oh, and they are seamless so no chaffing!
(If you aren’t a Tracksmith fan any more after their Boston Singlet post, check out my list of other running apparel brands to try.)
Another Best Running Long Sleeve Shirt for Fall
I had to add the St. Clair Long Sleeve running shirt by Relay Active because it is just so dang soft. I love this shirt for around the house, and walks with my pups on brisk mornings, and on the run tucked into my Relay Active tights. It’s a light layer best for mild temperatures with a flattering cut that you will feel cool and stylish to wear to the store or pick-up line!
Best Running Shorts for Fall
I love the fall color of the Tracksmith Van Cortlandt Grand Shorts and the throwback cut of 1970s running shorts. They are high-rise with a longer 4-inch inseam and drawstring. lightweight,
moisture-wicking and breathable mesh that is antimicrobial to prevent stink. They make you feel fast and free on race day or any training run. I also love these with a sweatshirt for doing mom things.
Related: Best Pocket Shorts for Runners
Best Running Sports Bra for Fall
Oh, the Kella Pocket Crop Top from Relay Active is going to be a long-time fall favorite of mine. Scratch that. All-season favorite. This crop top is perfect for fall as the longer fit adds some warmth on an autumn run where it feels too hot for a shirt but not hot enough for just a sports bra.
The Kella Pocket Crop Top is ultra-soft and features an easily accessible phone pocket in the back. It pairs well with the Relay Active Madison Pocket Shorts or Kayla Pocket Leggings. And I love layering a long sleeve-top over it and still having easy access to my phone.
The fabric is a performance fabric so it’s quick dry and it comes with flexible cups that add the perfect amount of support. May I mention the fit is chafe-free and ultra-flattering? It’s a must-have!
Related: Best Pocket Bras for Runners
Best Loungewear Pants for after a Run
Fall means comfort to me. And comfort means the famous (for all the right reasons) Vuori Performance Jogger. I think this Jogger is THE reason why you see so much Vuori these days. It’s so soft and so cute. When the temps chill, I wear them everywhere…in the house, outside the house, in bed, not in bed. They are so comfortable and
wear so well.
I don’t run hard or long in these. But do use them as warm-up pants. And as soon as I take my hot shower after a long run, I slip these beauties on. And then don’t take them off until the next run!
Related: Vuori Running Shorts Review
Best Running Jacket for Fall
Mmmm, I love my Relay Active Allegheny Jacket. It’s perfect for layering over a base layer on fall runs and then stripping off when I get warm. It’s also great for warming up
after the run and for the playground with my kids. The hand pockets allow you to stash the random things your kids hand you. The thumb holes are a lovely touch for keeping your hands warm too without committing to
This material is ultra-smooth and buttery soft, so it’s like a vacation for your skin. Because it’s sleek, it just makes you look put-together unlike a zipped sweatshirt could.
Best Loungewear Sweatshirt for after a Run
Speaking of comfort after the run, look cute and comfy in the Relay Active Mountour Half Zip sweatshirt. This French terry cotton/poly blend top has become my go-to for after workouts and on walks to school on chilly days. The fit is relaxed and the mock turtleneck color is super stylish. It’s limited edition, so act fast on this one.
Best Running Tank Top of Fall
Okay, you caught me. The Tracksmith Harrier Tank is another repeat guest on this list of fall faves. Because,
again, the merino wool makes this running tank magic. It keeps your core warm but lets your extremities breathe. It makes the perfect regulation of temperature in a confusing season possible.
The fabric also makes it impervious to odors and promises you won’t overheat or get chilled on your run.
Best Running Short Tights for Fall (with pockets!)
I have fallen in love with these pocket shorts from Relay Active despite never liking short pocket tights. The phone never seemed to be in the right place on my thigh. These pocket shorts have redeemed short tights. They are comfortable, flattering, and the phone fits snug so you don’t even know it’s
The fabric is buttery soft, dries quickly, and the waistband stays put. A pocket on either side allows you to pack your phone and fuel. And they look super fly with a long sleep on crisp days.
Best Matching Outfit with Pockets
Crop $54.99 & Leggings $69.99
Hot off the sewing machine! FittSafe founder Faith wants us to be safe on the run (especially for those dark early morning runs) which is why she designed a brand new clothing line (literally JUST launched!) with copious amounts of pockets. These tights have dual side pockets and the crop has as an accessible internal and zip pocket under your chest so you can safely stash a phone and personal items needed to keep you safe.
The fabric of this reflective gear is ultra-soft, the muted and bright colors are beautiful, and the fit is sculpting. This outfit is perfect for a fall long run as you can stash everything you need and layer a long sleeve over until you warm up. Also wear it around to the park, school, or the gym—the crop is longer so there’s no need to be shy!
Best Running Hat
Don’t forget you lose most of your body heat from your head! Keep it warm with another magical wool blend from Tracksmith with the Varsity Running Hat. With another vintage design in autumnal-inspired colors, this hat has two-gauge construction keeps that keeps it fitted without feeling too tight. It’s soft, not itchy, and pairs well with fall running clothes on and off the roads.
Best Running Mittens
If any of my loved ones are reading this and looking for a Christmas gift for me, this is what I want! The Tracksmith Franklin Mitten.
I borrowed these from my sister last winter and I love them! I have a condition called Raynaud’s that makes my cold hands crazy cold (they turn white and lose feeling and function). These kept my fingers warm and function. And they are attractive and breathable with a cozy velvety double velour fleece construction.
Hope my best running gear for fall cool runs is helpful to you! And, don’t forget! You still need sun protection in colder temperatures.
If you want guidance with your running goals, check out my run coaching services. Also, be sure to check out my free training plans:
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