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It is hot outside, y’all. Step outside for more than 10 minutes, and you’ll be glistening in the sun like the cast of Top Gun: Maverick playing football. Basically, you’ll need to be prepared for high temperatures as you head outside for a run (or Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer-style beach volleyball). You’ll want to wear running apparel that’s made to keep you cool. Ditch the fleece shorts and consider breathable, sweating-wicking shorts for your summertime runs.
There are many things to keep in mind when shopping for men’s summer running gear: cooling fabric with moisture- and sweat-wicking capabilities, UV protection, and comfortability are all important. Basically, if you aren’t wearing the correct type of fabric, you may not get airflow and allow your skin to breath — which makes for a very uncomfortable jog. We rounded up the best of the best from our favorite brands. Our top picks include short-sleeve shorts, running shorts, socks, and even moisture-wicking undies. Yep, you’ll want to feel dry from head to toe! (You’ll thank us later.)
We also included some accessories like sunglasses and hats — but of course, there are many additional things you need to do to keep cool as you run outside in the summer heat. Be sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water, go at a slower pace than normal, avoid the hottest points of the day (most times, that’s noon to two o’clock), and stop immediately if you feel dizzy or start to cramp up. Pair those tips with these outfits, and you’ll actually begin to enjoy running in the summertime.
1. Best Tank Top for Scorching Summer Days
Nike Dri-FIT Rise 365 Men’s Running Tank (S-4X) – Nike, $50
Keep it classic and cool with a Dri-FIT shirt from Nike. This shirt is made for running: and it’s soft, breathable, and has a loose fit to allow even airflow. The open-hole knit fabric was sourced from the requests of hundreds of runners, and it dries quickly and even has reflective elements. The shirt is part of Nike’s sustainability program — it’s made from 100% recycled polyester fibers. This shirt is the perfect option if you’re running outside often.
2. Best Short-Sleeve Shirt for Everyday Wear
Carbonite Short Sleeve (XS-2X) – Brooks, $48.75
Here’s a fantastic reflective short sleeve shirt for warm summer nights. Feel free to wear it during the day, but the 3M reflective panels keep you visible to drivers up to 600 feet away. The lightweight shirt is quick-drying and breathable as well, and it will dry in six minutes flat. Brooks teams up with scientists, researchers, and runners to make sure they’re getting every detail right.
3. A Shirt With UPF 50 for Beach Runs
Satankund UPF+ 50 Rashguard (S-2X) – Amazon, $21.99
If you love to jog by the beach or just really want to ensure you’re adequately protected by the sun, this comfortable rashguard is made for all sorts of outdoor activities, like hiking, water sports, and running. It has a UPF of 50, but is just as moisture-wicking and breathable as other running options. It also has the added bonus of being wrinkle-free.
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4. Best Underwear for Hot Days
Men’s Running Boxer Briefs (S-XXL) – Runderwear, $32.00
Runderwear is here to keep you cool in all the right places! Their boxer shorts are made from lightweight and durable fabric that wick away moisture — so you’ll stay chafe-free, even during marathons. They’ll also stay firmly in place, thanks to the silicone leg grippers. The 5-inch inseam should be a great fit with many pairs of your current running shorts, but consider briefs in case they’re too long for you. With a 4.9-star average rating, these are a must-have for a lot of distance runners. One reviewer called it the “fourth best invention in the world” after fire, the wheel, and airport bars.
5. Best Socks for Odor-Free Feet
Men’s Run No Show Tab Ultra-Lightweight Running Sock – Darn Tough, $16.00
It’s time to finally put an end to sweaty feet. That sweet relief of taking off your shoes and wiggling your toes around (so they get fresh air) after a run is truly the best. However, you won’t have to wait until the end of your run to get your feet dry or cool if you invest in the right socks. These lightweight socks are made from sweat-wicking merino wool to keep your feet dry and odor-free and have a silky cuff to prevent chafing and blisters. Also, no slipping or bunching. These socks stay in place. While these are a great pick for summertime, they’ll also keep your feet warm in the winter. Gotta love the versatility of merino wool!
6. Best Short Shorts for Long-Distance
Nike AeroSwift Men’s 4″ Running Shorts (S-4X) – Nike, $64.97
Nike is hard to compete with when it comes to summertime running apparel. The Nike AeroSwift shorts are stylish, and check all the boxes for a pair of summer running shorts. They’re lightweight, sweat-wicking, and even have a ventilated waistband to keep you cool. They come in various colors, but hyper pink is too cool and screams summertime. The sustainable shorts are made of recycled polyester fibers.
7. Best Long Shorts for Long Distance
Baleaf 7″ Running Shorts (S-3X) – Amazon, $21+
This pair of men’s running shorts have a mesh lining and a secure zippered back pocket to keep your essentials in. It has mesh down the sides to provide ventilation, and even have a built-in pair of briefs to make this the only thing you need to get out on the road.
8. Best Sunglasses for Road Running
Nike Victory Road Tint Sunglasses – Nike, $175.00
We like these sunglasses for men and women — they’re simple, but the comfort goes to a new level, because running in your beach shades isn’t exactly comfy. These sunglasses are easily adjustable in the nose pad and temples for the perfect fit. Plus, they have something called “road tint” — which is a tint that provides better visibility on the road by toning down the harsh lights from the cars, so you can run safely.
9. The Best Hat for Keeping Your Head Cool
Lightweight Cap – On, $39.99
This featherlight hat is perfect for everyone. The one-size-fits-all hat has laser-cut ventilation to keep your head nice and cool. I don’t know about you, but my head basically becomes a shower head when running, and non-stop sweat from the head down is the worst. With a hat meant to keep your head dry and cool, you can stay comfortable. This hat will also help keep your face cool and protected from harmful UV rays. Just be sure always to wear sunscreen.
10. A Comfortable Sweatband
Tough Headwear Sweat Band – Amazon, $5.95
If hats aren’t your thing, try out this sweatband — it comes in a bunch of unique styles and patterns, keeps hair out of your face, and has four-way stretch for a comfortable fit. If you’ve tried sweat bands before and not been wowed, don’t worry: this has been tested against more traditional sweatbands and is proven to wick away more sweat and moisture than the competition.