This past week California got its first downpour in a while, potentially alleviating the pretty bad drought that we’ve all been experiencing. Even though it’s helping, it does pose some problems for the runners out there. Obviously running in the rain has its dangers like sliding and falling (I recently busted my toe just by walking!). So considering that the rainy season might actually bring rain, is there any gear out there that can keep us on the road and running strong? In order to maintain an optimal run, you want to keep the gear to a minimum in order to reduce your encumbrance. Check out these lightweight gear suggestions that can help you enjoy an awesome rainy run.
Next-to-skin clothing (NTS): You’ll probably be happy to be wearing these things as they provide lightweight coverage as well as some heat retention during your run. Several companies make next-to-skin clothing, ranging from underwear to long sleeves. You’ll want to focus on NTS that can give you great warmth retention. Fleet Feet Sports recommends getting gear fitted with Merino wool to keep good heat retention. Check out Smartwool’s selection on NTS baselayer clothing. Prices start around 70$ and they have full selection of tops, legs, underwear, and socks. Smartwool utilizes Merino wool, which has a lot of traits that top even the best synthetic fibers. It has the best heat regulation capabilities and retains the heat, even when wet. Check out the benefits of Merino wool here and see how the money is definitely worth the product.
Jackets: This is a must need if you’re going to brave the cold and the wind while you run in the rain. Waterproof is a definite must, even with that fancy NTS clothing. I will warn readers right now that waterproof/wind resistant quality running jackets will be fairly expensive, but be aware that the costs reflects the quality you get as well. Craft Sports has a nice selection of running jackets that provide a slim fit and is almost waterproof. Though it is made from waterproof materials, the jackets do not have fully sealed seams. I chose this for definite consideration because you get the protection you want against the wind and rain for a decent price of 99$. For those willing to burn more cash on their gear, many have suggested to me to check out Pearl Izumi’s stuff, because their jackets are one of the few truly waterproof stuff in the market right now. Like Craft Sport’s product, the Izumi jacket is made with waterproof and windproof fabric. It goes another level they make the jackets with fully waterproof seams to prevent any leakage into your jacket. At about 185$ the Pearl Izumi running jacket collection will be potentially beneficial in extreme weather conditions.
Shoes: Now I know some weird people that don’t mind the soggy running shoes, as long as they don’t get chaffing from their socks. If you can find yourself some anti chafing/waterproof socks, then you don’t need to worry about the water resistance of the shoes. However, let’s consider some great waterproof shoes for those of you who don’t like the feeling of having a small pond in your shoes. At around 140$, the Brooks Men’s Adrenaline ASR 10 GTX seems like a nice combo to add for your running gear. Being completely waterproof through their GORE-TEX® membrane technology, you don’t need to worry about that sloshy feeling of wet shoes. It seems one of the few setbacks this shoe has is that it will feel a bit on the heavy side, but then again that is a relative to the runner experiencing these shoes. A nice addition to these shoes is another one of Smartwool’s products, the PhD Run socks. These socks, also utilizing Merino Wool, will do your feet wonders as it significantly reduces discomfort from chafing, because you’ll still feel a little bit of that even with waterproof shoes.
Running gear never runs for cheap, but these picks will definitely make a good addition to your running wardrobe. Also, these awesome pieces of running gear will definitely help you conquer the upcoming rainy weather that SoCal might be overdue for.