What To Wear Running In The Cold & Rain: Autumn Layering Guide

by Sportitude

With the golden-amber hues and blankets of leaves cushioning your steps, autumn is a breathtaking time to be on the road or trail. The autumn air is inviting - encouraging you to soak in nature, enjoy the positive benefits of running on your mental health and flow into a routine.

Autumn running kick-starts your momentum for the winter months, however gearing up for the transitional season has its unique challenges. The weather in autumn isn’t fixed – it shifts from sapphire-blue skies to overcast and drizzly days all within one week. It’s never as warm as summer or cold as winter, so what’s the trick to dressing for this in-between temperature? Layering.

Your running clothing doesn’t have to be heavy or bulky to provide protection – it’s all about how each layer does a specific job – from sweat control, to warmth, to keeping the elements out – working together to support your overall comfort.

Once you find the right formula of running clothing to maintain your body at an optimal temperature and keep you protected from the wind and rain, you can focus on your run without distractions.

In this article we’ll breakdown your autumn layers into baselayer, midlayer and outer layer, and share with you our top picks for the season. We’ll also shine the spotlight on toasty warm running accessories and visibility accessories to stand out when the daylight shortens and to make your autumn runs a breeze.

Baselayer: Lightweight & Sweat-wicking

The baselayer is your soft, next-to-skin layer. Depending on the conditions, you may choose a baselayer with more coverage like a long sleeve running t-shirt, or with less coverage like a short sleeve running t-shirt.

To keep your run free of irritation, opt for baselayers that are free of buttons or zips for a smooth feel against your skin.

When shopping for a baselayer, look out for the keywords lightweight and sweat-wicking. Lightweight because you don’t want to feel weighed down by your running clothing – it should feel barely there, and sweat-wicking to keep you dry, fresh and to encourage evaporative cooling when the intensity rises.

Choose breathable, synthetic materials like polyester over cotton, as cotton is naturally moisture absorbent rather than moisture-wicking – holding sweat close to your body which can chill your skin. Many leading running brands are making the move towards sustainable running clothing - crafting apparel with recycled polyester to preserve resources and give a new life to plastic waste.

On dry, warmer days a baselayer may be all you need to enjoy your autumn runs. Even on chiller days, you may want to strip down to your baselayer, as your body temperature will increase with the heat generated by your own muscle movement. Therefore, it's important to choose a baselayer that you feel confident wearing solo.

For additional warmth, tuck your baselayer into your compression tights or running shorts.

Your baselayer should provide:

  • Lightweight breathability
  • Sweat-wicking comfort
  • A soft and smooth feel
  • A next-to-skin fit

Baselayers: Hers & His

Ronhill Core Women’s Long Sleeve Running T-Shirt & Ronhill Core Men’s Long Sleeve Running T-Shirt

Lightweight with a luxurious feel, the Ronhill Core long sleeve running t-shirt easily transitions between the seasons. Long sleeve coverage and sweat-wicking Vapourlite fabric provides the perfect balance of protection and breathability.

Opting for the vibrant, eye-catching colours means that if you shed off your other layers, you’ll remain easily visible to other road users. 


Asics Silver Women's Long Sleeve Running Top & Asics Silver Men's Long Sleeve Running Top

The Asics Silver long sleeve running top is designed for freedom of motion, featuring a body-skimming, athletic fit. It ticks your boxes for a baselayer, with quick-drying fabric for sweat control and a lightweight, smooth feel.

Irritation-free flat seams keep you primed for autumn running - from daily training to endurance efforts. The reflective Asics logo helps you stand out when wearing it as your only layer, and long sleeve coverage prepares you for crushing your running goals during chill conditions.

Ronhill Life Practice 1/2 Zip Women's Long Sleeve Running Top & Ronhill Life Practice 1/2 Zip Men's Long Sleeve Running T-Shirt

Pairing a lightweight design with thermal properties, the Ronhill Life Practice 1/2 Zip long sleeve running top makes running in cold weather a breeze.

Although it has features reminiscent of a midlayer, its feather-soft performance fabric makes it suitable as a baselayer. It offers next-to-skin warmth - with high collar and thumb loops for additional coverage. The sweat-wicking design keeps you comfortable in the chill.

The sleek, bulk-free design make it easy to layer. When wearing as a solo layer, the reflective elements help increase your visibility when running in low light conditions.

2XU Aero Women's Running T-Shirt & 2XU Aero Men's Running T-Shirt

Not every autumn run is going to be in goosebump weather. The 2XU Aero running t-shirt is ideal for warmer days with a moisture-wicking front panel and breathable mesh back panel for sweat control.

The lightweight performance fabric offers an irritation-free fit and the sleek style allows it to be layered smoothly beneath a cosier midlayer or rain running jacket. With a reflective 2XU logo to stand out from the pack, it will help spark your motivation to run this autumn.

Check out the 2XU Aero women's long sleeve training top for full coverage.

Midlayer: Warmth & Insulation   


The primary goal of a midlayer is warmth while complementing the function of the baselayer - transferring sweat away from your skin and to the exterior surface of the fabric. 

Midlayers are an essential part of your running rotation when the temperature drops, such as during chilly autumn night runs or as autumn transitions into winter. Many are crafted from specialised thermal fabrics designed to capture your body heat and hold it close to your skin.

Runners gravitate to midlayers for their long sleeve coverage with thumbholes or attached mittens, and stand-up collars for toasty warmth. Quarter or half zip closures allow you to zip down to increase air flow when your body heats up for personalised temperature control.

Midlayers may also take the form of a running vest/gilet, providing coverage of the torso to keep your core warm, while offering a sleeveless cut to allow your arms to pump freely to maintain proper running form.

Your midlayer should provide:

  • Warmth / insulation
  • Customisable temperature control
  • A fit that's snug enough to hold in warmth, and relaxed enough to accommodate a baselayer underneath

Midlayers: Hers & His

2XU Ignition ¼ Zip Women's Long Sleeve Running Top & 2XU Ignition 1/4 Zip Men's Long Sleeve Running Top

The 2XU Ignition ¼ Zip long sleeve running top features a double-knit 3D waffle construction. Small air pockets trap warmth against your skin – ensuring your body heat is put to good use when conditions outside are cool.

This fast-drying and breathable design, made with 94% recycled polyester, keeps you warm without running the risk of sweat weighing you down. A stand-up collar and thumbholes/flip-over mittens on the cuffs provide chill-fighting coverage to these key areas.

When wearing it as an exterior layer, this running top inspires confidence with the reflective details capturing the attention of other road users at night.

Ronhill Core Women’s Running Vest/Gilet & Ronhill Core Men’s Running Vest/Gilet

The Ronhill Core running vest is both wind-resistant and water-resistant to protect your core against the elements. This sleeveless design allows your arms to swing naturally to maintain proper running form while providing coverage where it counts.

Full zip closure provides customisable ventilation and makes it easy to shed a layer, while the convenient chest pocket provides easy access to your running essentials.

Outer Layer: Weatherproof Shell

The outer layer is your water-resistant, water-repellent or even waterproof membrane that keeps you run-ready in less-than-ideal conditions. They act as your lightweight armour – blocking out the wind and rain to keep your inner layers dry and working effectively.

Rainy, drizzly or windy weather is what you make of it – and with the right rain running jacket – you can embrace the elements and feel empowered as one of the few runners to tackle these conditions.

Hooded styles provide additional coverage, keeping the rain out of your eyes and face. Rain running jackets usually feature full zip closure for easy on/off and custom ventilation, and multiple pockets to stow away running nutrition and other small essentials. 

Lightweight and flexible designs allow your rain running jacket to be tied around your waist when the weather takes a turn for the better. Some are even packable and easily tuck away into their own pocket.

Reflective elements are particularly beneficial on your outer layer – considering you’ll be wearing it in rainy, gloomy conditions where you’ll be hard to spot running by the road.  

To crush your autumn and winter running, check out our top rain running jacket picks below for this season.

Your outer layer should be:

  • Water-resistant, water-repellent or waterproof (for rainy conditions)
  • Lightweight and flexible as to not interfere with your running form
  • Relaxed fitting for easy layering

Outer Layers For Her

Nike Dri-Fit Repel Women's Trail Running Jacket

A bold, stormy look meets packable protection in the Nike Dri-Fit Repel women’s trail running jacket. This rain running jacket equips you with a water-repellent finish, preventing moisture from soaking through.

Sweat-wicking Dri-Fit technology and buttery-soft woven fabric work together to keep you fresh and focused. Multiple storage options including 2 side-seam zip pockets and a small zip pocket ensure all your little running essentials have a place.

With a hood for water-repelling coverage of your head and face, and elastic waist and sleeve hugging softly to your body to keep the moisture out, it’s your ideal outer layer when rain clouds are brewing. 

Nike Sportswear Essential Windrunner Woven Women’s Running Jacket

Combining heritage-inspired style with weather-resistant features, the Nike Sportswear Essential Windrunner Woven women’s running jacket keeps you run-ready in all conditions.

Crafted from crinkle woven fabric, it provides a lightweight barrier with coverage where it counts. Long sleeves and a stand-up collar let you stand up to less-than ideal weather, and an internal bungee and drawcord at the hem locks in the fit.

A mesh lining and back vents ensure you never feel stuffy – adding an element of breathability while keeping the elements out.

Ronhill WindstopperTech Gore-Tex Women's Waterproof Running Jacket

The Ronhill WindstopperTech Gore-Tex women's waterproof running jacket has adventure at its core - being made in collaboration with Mountain Equipment, the outdoor experts in protective clothing.

Gore-Tex Windstopper fabric means you can embrace the elements without hesitation. The lightweight and stretchy design keeps this rain jacket run-ready - whether you're reaching new summits or gliding through the urban jungle. Sweat vapour escapes and rain rolls off effortlessly, preventing the weather from being a barrier to your runs.

2-way zip allows you to customise the ventilation and pockets provide opportunities to store your small essentials. With reflective details front and back, you can be more easily seen when you take your runs to the road in the low light hours.

Outer Layers For Him

Ronhill Tech Hyperchill Men's Running Jacket

The Ronhill Tech Hyperchill men's running jacket provides thermal protection so you can run stronger and more comfortably in the goosebump seasons.

The jacquard honeycomb pattern captures your body heat in tiny air pockets against your skin - providing winter-ready insulation. This effective design allows the running jacket to remain breathable while providing toasty warmth.

Crafted with specialised fabrics, it also creates a lightweight membrane against the wind. Partly made of recycled materials, you can enjoy a soft feel and chill-fighting design while keeping your carbon footprint lighter on the environment.

For a rain running jacket made with Ronhill's running expertise, check out the Ronhill Tech Gore-Tex Mercurial waterproof running jacket below.

Ronhill Tech Gore-Tex Mercurial Men's Waterproof Running Jacket

The Ronhill Tech Gore-Tex Mercurial men's waterproof running jacket is your ever-reliable protection against the elements. Ronhill partnered with Mountain Equipment and Gore-Tex to create this running jacket that's ready for wild weather.

Storm clouds don't have to put a pause on your adventure, with an entirely waterproof and windproof construction. This trustworthy design both allows your skin to breathe and features taped seams to prevent rain from sneaking in.

The running jacket is ultra-adaptable to meet the demands of changing conditions, featuring an adjustable hood, hem and cuff. With a high content of recycled materials, it keeps you primed for whatever nature throws at you while being a more eco-conscious choice.

The packable design means its easy to shed the layer and tuck it into your hydration pack when the rain clouds clear.

Outer Layers: Hers & His

Ronill Core Women's Running Jacket & Ronhill Core Men's Running Jacket

The secret to the Ronhill Core running jacket is balance. Ronhill have kept it free of a waterproof membrane in preference for lightweight breathability. It means that this water-resistant and wind resistant design ensures you stay protected from the elements without the risk of overheating. You can conquer more kilometres or crush your speedwork confidently during your rainy runs.

A fleece-lined collar fights off the chill and the relaxed fit offers ease of layering. A front zip pocket provides quick access to your running essentials and the reflective detail makes you run-ready as your day runs transition into night.

2XU Commute Women's Insulation Jacket & 2XU Commute Men's Insulation Jacket

The 2XU Commute insulation jacket is your winter essential for in-between workouts and recovery days. The C6 DWR treatment provides a barrier against rain, and the fast-drying design keeps you ready for those action-packed days when cosy vibes are essential.

3M Thinsulate Featherless insulation provides superior warmth retention. The lightweight weather protection resembles the warming properties of 600 fill-power natural down, even after exposure to the elements like rain.

It's easy to personalise the coverage with a detachable hood and full zip closure for increased versatility. Your essentials stay safe in the multiple pockets including a waterproof zip pocket on the chest for secure storage and easy access.

For longer coverage, check out the 2XU Commute women's longline insulation jacket.

Must-Have Autumn Running Accessories

Little essentials make a big difference in topping off your autumn running wardrobe. From adding extra warmth where it counts to boosting your visibility after dark, these running accessories are a must-have for the colder, wetter seasons.

On Merino Beanie

The On Merino beanie provides lightweight warmth to top off your autumn and winter running wardrobe. Naturally thermoregulating, sweat-wicking and luxuriously soft against your skin, Merino wool is a favourite fibre for recreational to elite runners. Designed by the Swiss running brand On Running, you know it can tackle the chill and changing conditions.

1000 Mile UP Reflective Running Gloves

Cold weather isn’t kind on your hands. The 1000 Mile UP Reflective running gloves not only provide a lightweight barrier and insulation to keep the bitter chill off your skin, but help you shine – literally – on your night runs.

A vibrant, multi-colour reflective pattern awakens to life when captured in an external light source like vehicle headlights – so the end of daylight savings doesn’t mean an end to your runs. You’ll stay safe and seen, plus the touchscreen-friendly design makes it easy to stay connected on-the-go.

Pair it with the winter-ready 1000 Mile UP Reflective Running Beanie to complete the look and stay visible from the head down.

Safety Skin Reflective Silver Skin Spread - 42.5g Stick

The Safety Skin Reflective Silver Skin Spread is the first-of-its-kind - offering reflectivity that you apply to your skin like a deodorant stick. When exposed to vehicle headlines, lamplights, torches or other external light sources, it illuminates with bright, unmissable silver light.

With less hours of light in the day, it’s a must-have for autumn running at night. For runners that prefer to run lighter without excess fabric like reflective running sleeves or knee-high reflective running socks, it’s a fantastic and fun solution to stay safe and seen. Apply to your arms, legs, calves, running clothing - you name it.

This rain and sweat-resistant design can withstand the toughest workouts, and is easily removed with a wet wipe or soap and water. It means there is no barrier to when you run – no matter the weather.

Provis Y-Fumble Reflective Arm Pocket

The Provis Y-Fumble Reflective arm pocket is a reflective arm band and safe home on-the-go for your phone all in one. With reflective elements on all angles, this lightweight arm pocket lets you shine on your night runs – keeping you easily spotted in vehicle headlights.

This easy and smooth slip-on design is free from straps that can potentially cause irritation or chafing. With an ultra-soft and accommodating design to fit everything from your phone to your running nutrition like energy gels, it’s a must-have for runners seeking to stay active after dark or in overcast conditions.

Wet Weather Shoe Care

Running shoes with a waterproof, Gore-Tex membrane aren't essential for autumn running and rainy conditions. With the right shoe care, you can turn any running shoes into a wet weather ready ride.

CREP Protect – Rain and Stain Protection Spray

The Crep Protect rain and stain protection spray creates an invisible, hydrophobic barrier over your running shoes to keep them fresh and ready for rainy runs.

During autumn runs you’ll encounter dewy grass, muddy parks and slick roads. Rather than cringing against every splash of water or splotch of dirt, this liquid-repelling stain shield inspires confidence when taking your best running shoes into the elements – keeping them protected and primed to perform.

Happy autumn running!

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