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Running Base Layers And Thermals Buying Guide

Choosing the right base layers could make or break your run. Take a look at this brief guide to find out the basics about buying the right base layers and thermals.

Running base layers

Base layers are designed to regulate body temperature. They do this by effectively wicking sweat away from your skin to leave you feeling comfortable and dry. The thermal properties of base layers work efficiently in warmer conditions by trapping a thin layer of warm air between your skin and the material to insulate the body and maintain your core temperature.

To work efficiently, a base layer should be fitted to your body. But the fabric shouldn’t be restricting in any way - a good base layer will feel more like a second skin and be flexible to your movement.

Look out for flatlock seams or completely seamless base layers. These work best to prevent skin irritation. You can also get base layers with varying sleeve lengths - so that you can wear them all year round.

Most running base layers tend to be made from synthetic fabrics or merino wool. Those made from synthetic materials are lightweight, fast drying and wick sweat away from the body quickly. Base layers made from merino wool tend to be warmer than synthetic alternatives, but generally speaking, not as quick to dry.

You will find that some base layers are sold as ‘summer’ base layers with the primary focus and wicking away sweat, while ‘spring/autumn’ and ‘winter’ base layers offer varying degrees of warmth.


Thermal gear is perfect for running in cold conditions to give you additional protection against the elements. Thermals work by adding a layer of insulation between your body and the material. By absorbing any excess moisture from the body and regulating air flow in the insulating layer, thermal gear helps keep the skin dry so that you don’t get cold.

The tight knit of the garment helps the body retain warmth, making it the perfect solution for those cold runs. Good thermal material such as merino wool is also breathable and allows moisture to be wicked away from the skin.

On really cold days, running in thermal tights is advised, to keep muscles warm and prevent injury. Again the thermal material will lock in heat to keep your legs warm but remains breathable by drawing sweat away from the skin.

The ultimate performance accessory to manage sweat throughout your run. Moisture wicking and quick drying. The heat activating ceramic yarn provide warmth and reflectivity for safety while training.



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