Hypothermia is the runner’s biggest danger, in both cold and hot weather. In extreme cold, losing heat (especially from the head and feet) can lead to frostbite and circulation problems as well as hypothermia. In very hot weather, the water loss is increased, and heat exhaustion and sun stroke are added dangers. Running gear including the proper apparel is extremely important.
In cold temperatures, a runner’s gear should include wool socks and covering over the ears and head. Layering clothing is recommended, starting with tight fitting undergarments that are of synthetic moisture wicking fabrics that allow perspiration to penetrate. What is wicking? Fabrics that have a capillary action of being made up of tiny tubes encourages body wetness into the tubes rather than run down the body from gravitation pull. Good fabrics are polyester, Teflon, wool and other synthetics. Cotton is not good as it absorbs the wetness and 25% more heat is lost when the body is wet rather than dry.
Hazardous icy conditions should really be avoided, but for runners who live for their daily run outside, no matter what, their sports gear should include ice cleats for their running shoes which should also have good traction soles for all weather. Running shoes should offer support for avoiding obstacles and for softer surfaces.
Outer clothing in the winter should include insulation, be waterproof, preferably with venting and be worn over thermal or fleece long sleeves. It is very important to runners to keep their core warm and dry.
Sports and Running gear may also include sunglasses and summer visors in the hot months, neoprene or thermal jogging pants, spandex tights, and light sun repelling colored tank tops. For women, it is best to wear high impact sports bras.
Preferences for individual runners may include other sports gear such as hydration holders, monitors, watches and headphones.