What To Wear For Cross Country Running

When it comes to cross country running, the right attire can make a huge difference in your performance and overall comfort. As an avid cross country runner myself, I’ve learned through trial and error what works best when it comes to clothing and gear. In this article, I’ll share my personal recommendations and experiences to help you make the right choices for your next cross country run.

1. Choose Moisture-Wicking Fabrics

One of the most important aspects of cross country running attire is choosing fabrics that wick away moisture. Running long distances can make you sweat profusely, and wearing clothing that absorbs and holds moisture can lead to discomfort and chafing. Look for clothing made of synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, as these fabrics are designed to pull moisture away from your skin and help it evaporate quickly.

2. Opt for Breathable and Lightweight Clothing

Since cross country running often takes place in various weather conditions, it’s crucial to choose clothing that is breathable and lightweight. This will help regulate your body temperature and prevent overheating. Look for shirts with mesh panels or ventilation holes to enhance airflow, and consider wearing shorts or leggings that are made with lightweight materials to provide maximum comfort and flexibility.

3. Dress in Layers for Changing Weather

Weather conditions can change quickly during a cross country run, so it’s essential to be prepared. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust your clothing to stay comfortable throughout your run. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add a lightweight long-sleeve shirt or jacket for cooler temperatures, and consider wearing a windbreaker or waterproof outer layer to protect yourself from wind and rain.

4. Don’t Forget About Proper Footwear

Investing in a good pair of running shoes is crucial for any cross country runner. Look for shoes that provide adequate support, cushioning, and stability. Depending on the terrain you’ll be running on, you may want to choose shoes with more or less aggressive traction. It’s also essential to wear moisture-wicking socks that will keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.

5. Protect Yourself from the Sun

When running outdoors for long periods, protecting your skin from the sun is essential. Wear a lightweight hat or visor to shield your face from direct sunlight and prevent overheating. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to exposed skin to prevent sunburn, even on cloudy days.

6. Consider Accessories

There are a few additional accessories that can enhance your cross country running experience. A good pair of sunglasses can protect your eyes from the sun, dust, and other debris. Compression sleeves or socks can help improve blood circulation and provide extra support to your muscles. Finally, a running belt or armband can store your phone, keys, or energy gels, allowing you to run hands-free.


Choosing the right clothing and gear for cross country running is essential for both performance and comfort. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics, breathable and lightweight clothing, and don’t forget proper footwear. Dress in layers for changing weather conditions, protect yourself from the sun, and consider adding accessories that can enhance your running experience. By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your next cross country adventure. Happy running!