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September 23, 2022  |  Sports & Fitness

How to dress for fall workouts

Fall is a great time to work out outdoors. The worst of the summer heat is gone, and the bitter winter cold hasn’t set in yet. Whether you like to run, hike, walk, bike or do strength training exercises in the park, you’ll be comfortable getting your workout in nearly any time of day.

Regardless of weather, you should choose your workout clothes carefully. You don’t want to dress too warmly and overheat, but you want to be warm enough if it gets a little chilly during early morning workouts. 

Our fitness expert, Judd NeSmith, NASM-CPT, PES and founder of Serious Fitness, explains how to choose the best fall workout clothes so you stay warm and dry no matter how much sweat you work up. 

In this article: Under Armour Men’s Tech 2.0 Short-Sleeve T-ShirtBALEAF Women’s Active Yoga Joggers and Tough Headwear Beanie Knit Hat.

Choose the right material

When dressing for fall workouts, the materials you wear make all the difference. NeSmith is a big fan of synthetic workout clothing in the fall because it’s moisture-wicking. These fabrics pull sweat and moisture away from the body and dry quickly, keeping you comfortable, even in chilly weather. 

Look for workout clothes made of polyester, nylon, spandex or a blend of polyester and another synthetic material. Wool also works well for fall workout clothes. Despite being a natural fiber, wool is also moisture-wicking and highly breathable, so it can keep you comfortable in unpredictable fall weather. 

Avoid cotton — this natural material is breathable, but it isn’t moisture-wicking. “Cotton absorbs sweat and stays wet, so it has a hard time keeping you dry and warm in cooler weather,” NeSmith explains. 

Layer

In cool fall weather, layering your workout clothes ensures you’re comfortable at the start of your workout and once you start sweating. 

NeSmith suggests starting with a base layer, which can be a sleeveless or short-sleeve workout shirt and layering a looser-fitting long-sleeve workout shirt over it. This keeps you warm when you start your workout but allows you to take off the top layer to get more comfortable once you’re warmed up. 

Hoodies also work well as a top layer. “Many brands are making really comfortable hoodies that aren’t that thick or bulky, so they’re perfect for fall," NeSmith says. "They’re a pullover style that can be worn over your favorite base layer.” Under Armour, Nike and Adidas are excellent brands for hoodies. 

Choose the right bottoms

When it comes to the right bottoms for fall workouts, NeSmith believes shorts are still an excellent option, especially for runners and cyclists who need freedom of movement for their lower body. 

For late fall when the weather is really cool, NeSmith likes joggers. These sweatpants taper to an elastic cuff, so they do an excellent job of keeping your legs warm. If you get overheated during your workout, you can push the cuffs up toward your knees and turn them into shorts. 

FAQ

Q. What accessories do you need for fall workouts?

A. NeSmith recommends wearing a beanie for fall workouts. “You lose a lot of heat through your head, so a hat can keep you warm,” he says. A beanie also protects your ears from the wind when running or biking. You may also want to invest in a thin pair of gloves because your hands and fingers can get cold very easily. 

Q. What types of workouts are best in the fall?

A. Fall is a perfect time for walking, running, hiking and biking. Trail running is a particularly ideal fall workout because you can take in the fall foliage on the trails. Outdoor sports like soccer and football are also great ways to get your heart rate up in the fall. 

Best fall workout clothes

Best C9 Champion Women’s Soft Tech Tee

C9 Champion Women’s Soft Tech Tee 

This soft, comfortable polyester blend shirt features a semi-fitted design that layers well under other workout gear. It’s moisture-wicking and dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about staying warm during fall workouts. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Under Armour Men’s Tech 2.0 Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

Under Armour Men’s Tech 2.0 Short-Sleeve T-Shirt 

This 100% polyester shirt wicks away sweat and dries quickly, ensuring you’re always warm and dry on your fall runs. It’s super soft and stretchy, allowing it to move with your body. It comes in more than 15 colors.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Best Adidas Men’s Essentials 3-Stripes French Terry Hoodie

Adidas Men’s Essentials 3-Stripes French Terry Hoodie

This cotton hoodie has a regular fit that’s not too tight to layer over T-shirts for fall workouts. The drawstring hood and kangaroo pocket keep your head and hands warm in chilly weather. 

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Best Champion Men’s 10-Inch Core Training Short

Champion Men’s 10-Inch Core Training Short 

These polyester shorts dry quickly, meaning you don’t have to worry about chafing during workouts. They have side vents for better mobility and an adjustable waistband for a customized fit. 

Sold by Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl's and Macy’s

Best Under Armour Men’s Sportstyle Tricot Joggers

Under Armour Men’s Sportstyle Tricot Joggers

These sweat-wicking polyester joggers have ribbed ankle cuffs for a comfortable tapered fit. They have an external drawstring waist that allows you to customize the fit and zip-closed side pockets as well as an internal phone pocket. 

Sold by Amazon

Best BALEAF Women’s Active Yoga Joggers

BALEAF Women’s Active Yoga Joggers

These lightweight joggers are breathable and comfortable enough for your longest workouts. They have an elastic waistband with a drawstring cord and large side pockets to hold your essentials. You can choose from more than 15 colors.

Sold by Amazon

Best Tough Headwear Beanie Knit Hat

Tough Headwear Beanie Knit Hat

This lightweight ribbed beanie is perfect for fall workouts. It’s made of flexible acrylic yarn that stretches to fit heads of different sizes and shapes. The material also maintains its shape and color after repeated washings. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Unigear Lightweight Running Gloves

Unigear Lightweight Running Gloves

These lightweight gloves can keep your hands warm when running, walking or biking. The fabric stretches easily to fit hands of various sizes, and they’re touchscreen-compatible.

Sold by Amazon 

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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