Editor's Note: Updated June 1, 2022: We updated this piece to remove any products that were out of stock and have added two new products from popular brands that have gained some stellar reviews from customers.

You can’t change a 90-degree day, 100 percent humidity, or the dread of logging miles in both. But you can outfit yourself in whisper-weight, sweat-wicking apparel that helps make summer runs feel like the good kind of hot. We’ve handpicked 14 new pieces that are up to the task. With ventilation galore, you will barely notice these pieces on your body.

There are two types of runners: the ones who bundle up under three layers of clothing and embrace the cold and the ones who relish in the heat and humidity of summer running.

For the record, I’m firmly in the former camp, so when it comes to choosing clothing and gear to keep me cool in the summer, I’m extremely particular. These 14 pieces of gear have been tested or recommended by runners who are no strangers to hot-weather running.

Best Hot-Weather Running Gear

What to Consider

Our bodies sweat for a reason: to keep us cool. So, when choosing running clothing for summer miles, it’s important to find options that are lightweight and breathable, to let your body do its thing as the temps rise. Look for features like “moisture-wicking” and “odor control,” because let’s be honest, summer running smells terrible.

As for accessories? You don’t want to weigh yourself down with heavy water bottles or thick hats. Hydration systems that you can wear (vests, handhelds with straps, belts) and lightweight hats or visors are the way to go.

Ultimately, when you’re shopping for the best summer running gear, you want it to keep you cool, not weigh you down, and protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

How We Selected

We don’t recommend gear without first trying it ourselves, speaking with fellow editors and product reviewers, or researching the market and surveying user reviews. I’ve been running for nearly 20 years, and while I prefer fall and winter running, I still log 25 to 30 miles a week in the heat. To compile this list, I’ve factored in comfort, material, odor control, and the treasure trove of recommendations from other Runner’s World editors.

For more summer running essentials, check out our coverage of the best moisture-wicking running gear, hydration packs, and sweat-resistant sunscreens!


—MOST CONVENIENT HYDRATION—

Nathan Insulated Handheld Flask

Insulated Handheld Flask
Nathan amazon.com
$40.09

  • Easy to hold
  • Convenient drinking
  • Storage pouch holds keys, cards, and gels

  • Larger model may be too clunky for some

I have a very old model of the SpeedShot, a little smaller than this 12-ounce version. It’s been my trusted on-the-go water bottle for nearly 10 years, and that’s because it’s not too large; I don’t have to actually hold it, thanks to the hand strap; and with just a gentle squeeze, I get a shot of cold water. The “shot” system is particularly helpful in conserving water over longer runs. Pro tip: Fill your water bottle two-thirds of the way and freeze on its side overnight. You’ll have ice when you start running and it’ll slowly thaw as the temps (and you) heat up.


―BEST HANDS-FREE HYDRATION―

Dr. Health Running Belt Sport Waist Pack

Running Belt Sport Waist Pack
Dr. Health amazon.com
$13.99

  • Lightweight

  • May be difficult to remove water bottle and put it back while on the move

If you’d rather strap a bottle to your back and keep your hands free, this is a lightweight, no-frills hydration belt. It can hold a bottle, phone, and keys without bouncing. And for days you’re not running, the belt is perfect for carrying your water while hiking.


—BEST HYDRATION TABLETS—

Nuun Sport Electrolyte Tablets

Electrolyte Drink Tablets
Nuun amazon.com
$29.96
$25.82 (14% off)

  • Travel well
  • Great flavors
  • Replaces vital electrolytes

The more you sweat, the more you should think about replacing your electrolytes. This won't just help you feel better in the moment, but it can also help you recover faster and more efficiently. These tablets are free of gluten, synthetic flavors and dyes, and have only one gram of sugar per tab. They also taste great and are awesome for travel.

For more great ways to stay hydrated, check out our picks for the best electrolyte tablets.


—BEST LIGHTWEIGHT CAP—

Ciele GoCap

GOCap
Ciele Athletics amazon.com
$40.00

  • Reflective detail
  • Fast-drying fabrics

  • Pricey

This Montreal-based upstart is infusing fun and playfulness into the sport. Make no mistake, these hip hats are made for performance first, but they have great style too. The GOCap is one of the brand’s signature styles and comes in a wide range of colorful combinations. We like the fast-drying Coolwick fabric that keeps your head dry on hot days, plus the multipanel construction that allows for a sleek, comfortable fit. The soft, bendable brim and reflective accents are bonus features that roadies and trail runners, respectively, will appreciate.



―BEST WOMEN’S TANK TOP―

New Balance Q Speed Fuel Jacquard Tank

Q Speed Jacquard Tank
New Balance newbalance.com
$23.99

  • Unrestrictive
  • Lightweight
  • Stylish

It’s hard to find a piece of New Balance gear that doesn’t do the job—I love the 1400 v6 racing shoe—and the Q Speed Fuel Jacquard Tank is a lightweight, breathable tank that still provides full coverage. It features cooling and moisture-wicking technology for those sweaty miles. We also love the stylish side panels—for making a subtle fashion statement while on the move.

For more great running tops, check out our picks for the best active tanks.


―BEST WOMEN’S SHORTS―

Saucony Fortify Hot Short

Fortify 3 Hot Short
Saucony saucony.com
$27.95

  • Wide waistband provides coverage and support

  • Three-inch inseam my be too short for some

Don’t be fooled by the name hot short. These are far from hot, at least temperature-wise, if you catch our drift. The wide waistband provides coverage and added support, not to mention lots of storage—cash for a post-run cold beverage, perhaps? The 3-inch inseam is short, but they don’t ride up, making these perfect for speed work and long runs. Plus, they come in a rainbow-themed color. Sign us up!


—BEST MEN'S SHORT SLEEVE—

Tracksmith Twilight Tee

Twilight Tee
Tracksmith tracksmith.com
$68.00

  • Ultra-breathable fabric
  • Protects shoulders from sunburn
  • Available in multiple colors

Even if you typically opt for tanks over short-sleeved shirts when you run on hot days, this one may change your mind. It is constructed from a super soft, lightweight mesh that comes in eight different colors. It is super breathable, and feels like a second skin—plus, it will help protect your shoulders from direct sun.





―BEST MEN’S SLEEVELESS―

Under Armour Men’s Qualifier Iso-Chill Running Singlet

Men's Qualifier Iso-Chill Running Singlet
Under Armour amazon.com

  • Back mesh panel
  • Very lightweight
  • Reflective detail

  • Overuse of anti-microbial properties could lead to superbugs

This singlet is made of stretchy poly-elastane fabric that has anti-microbial tech to fend off bad B.O.

Reflective logos and accents enhance visibility, and a back mesh panel provides ventilation. Our tester liked how the cut allowed free movement, and commented that it was so lightweight “it felt like there was nothing there.”


—BEST MEN’S SHORTS—

Janji AFO Middle Shorts

AFO Middle Shorts
Janji
$42.00

  • Airy and lightweight

  • Smaller items can get tucked into the bowels of the zipper pocket

The Middle Short is for those hazy summer days when long, dewy runs call for sweat-wicking shorts. The Middle Short comes in a range of lengths—5-inch and 7-inch—so you can show as much (or as little) thigh as you’d like. Runner’s World has called these shorts a superlight, flowy masterpiece, thanks to their mesh material for ventilation and drying.



―BEST SUNGLASSES—SPLURGE―

Tifosi Optics Aethon

Aethon Sunglasses
Tifosi Optics amazon.com
$79.95
$49.95 (38% off)

  • Three lens options included
  • Removable brow guard

  • Less versatile for casual wear

These sport shades punch above their price point with three lens options in the box, including a clear set for low-light use. Vents in the frame prevent fogging, and a removable brow bar kept forehead sweat out of our eyes on hot and humid runs. The hydrophilic rubber grippers don’t move on sweaty faces, and the ear and nosepieces are adjustable.


―BEST SUNGLASSES—AFFORDABLE―

Goodr OGs

OGs Sunglasses
Goodr rei.com
$25.00

  • Very inexpensive

  • Narrow fit

Sorry-not-sorry if you’ve heard us rave about Goodr before. There is no shortage of running sunglasses, but Goodr's $25, lightweight, no-bounce model continues to impress. Our biggest complaint is the narrow fit, so for bigger heads, go for the BFG styles for 10 bucks more. On top of providing UV protection and keeping away sweat, Goodr sunglasses come in a wide array of fun (and funny) colorways, like Gardening with a Kraken, shown above.



—BEST SOCKS—

Smartwool Phd Run Light Elite Socks

PhD Run Light Elite Socks
Smartwool amazon.com
$18.22

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

  • Pricey

Don’t let the word “wool” deter you from choosing some of the best socks running has to offer. Smartwool uses merino wool, which is thinner and softer than traditional wool—the kind that’s in your favorite bulky winter sweater. Merino wool helps regulate body temps, pulls away sweat, and controls odor—whew!

This model is so lightweight you won’t notice they’re there, which is what you want in all running gear. Plus, the light cushion makes the ride even more comfortable.

Smartwool offers a variety of sock heights—these are 2.25 inches, which keeps them above your shoe to prevent slipping. The only downside is cost—a single pair runs about $18, but you’ll wear them for years, making them well worth the investment.

For more great socks that will keep you comfortable mile after mile, check out our coverage of the best running socks.



—BEST SUNSCREEN—ALL OVER—

Skinnies Sungel SPF 30

Sungel
Skinnies amazon.com
$34.99

  • Fast drying
  • Sweatproof

We test a lot of sunscreens on our daily lunch runs and we’ve been impressed with Skinnies Sungel. The New Zealand-born brand made a sunscreen that isn’t water-based, so it’s more concentrated, won’t sweat off, and lasts longer. A pea-sized drop is all you need to cover your face and neck—slather it on your forehead because it won’t sting your eyes—and there’s only a slightly waxy feeling on your fingers afterward. It dries in just two minutes and forms a thin layer that adheres to your skin throughout a long run. Plus, it’s designated reef-safe.


―BEST SUNSCREEN—FACE―

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

Unseen Sunscreen
Supergoop! amazon.com
$27.00

  • Lightweight
  • Goes on clear

Hate heavy, goopy formulas? This featherweight, clear, and scentless option is completely undetectable. You’ll barely even know you’re wearing anything, but don't forget to reapply during long runs—this sunscreen is sweat-resistant for just 40 minutes.