Whether it's winter or summer, opting for a running base layer is always a good idea. It’s for that reason that we have put together a list of the top 15 so that you can find the best running base layer to keep you comfortable on your next run.
Including men’s, women’s and unisex products, below you are sure to find your fit so that you are prepared come rain or shine. Pick your colour, style, and fit, and match your new running base layer to the rest of your gear before heading out onto the tracks.
Just before we begin, have you thought about a career in the fitness sector? If so, you will be interested in OriGym’s personal training diploma, a combination of your level 2 & 3 designed to get you industry ready.
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Written by Professional S & C Coaches
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Written by Professional S & C Coaches
What Is A Running Base Layer?
A running base layer is a top worn for running that regulates the temperature of the body in any season. In the summer months and on hotter days, a running base layer acts as a regulator, wicking away sweat from the skin.
As well as this, you can wear a base layer for running in cold weather throughout winter, as it will act as a heat preserve and fit like a second skin. To achieve optimal performance from your running base layer, it's a good idea to opt for one that is tight fitting and comfortable, so you can wear it underneath any running garments without irritation.
If you’re looking for a base layer to run in hot weather, head over to our article on running in hot weather: tips and precautions to get prepared.
15 Best Running Base Layers
The first contender for the best running base layer is the Supacore Long Sleeve Compression Top. Supacore takes pride in their product, boasting premium compression long sleeved tops that incorporate medical-grade graduated compressive forces.
The seamless knitting technology provides an advanced compression garment, which is just one of the reasons why this product is a women's favourite. Whatsmore is the postural support that encourages improved body movement, making this arguably the best running base layer for winter runs.
As well as taking advantage of the improved body movement, you can also rest assured that this product reduces muscle oscillation and thus reduces risk of injury.
Slipping into this long sleeve base layer for running is comfortable and safe in any season thanks to its compression technology which aids circulation, helps with recovery, and increases overall performance.
So on your search for the best winter running base layer or the perfect summer base layer, you can ensure that the moisture wicking, quick drying fabric and mesh panels embraced by Supacore provide nothing but the best.
Get ready for the summer sprints with the best running sunglasses that you can choose from here.
Whether you’re looking for a cold weather running base layer, or the perfect sweat-wicking undergarment for your next run - Rhino have created the perfect chic and simplistic product.
This product is breathable, comfortable and boasts versatility by being suitable for all sports. Alongside this is a vast amount of colour choice, you can choose from over 15 different colours to suit the season or your mood.
If that wasn’t enough, another great feature of this item is it’s material, which is made up of 90% Polyester and 10% Spandex RhinoFlex Sportswear, making a super lightweight, soft, and quick-drying.
This makes it the perfect lightweight design to wear under one of the best running jackets on the market this year. You can wear Rhinos running base layer to regulate temperature for the best comfort and wearability with other garments in a sporting environment.
One last reason why the Rhino top is featured as the best base layer for winter running, summer running, or year-round comfort, is affordability. With a small price point of under £20, you can stay colourful, cool, or warm, not to mention comfortable, all without breaking the bank.
Searching for the best women’s base layer running tops? Halti have you covered.
The Free Recy Shirt is a base layer that boasts environmentally friendly material by being partly made of recycled fabric. Along with the environmental benefits, this multi-functional running base layer shirt keeps you protected and sweat-free during your favourite various outdoor activities
This isn’t just a good base layer for winter running either, as you can also wear this in the summertime too. In fact, this is a great option for summer as you can take advantage of the lightweight and smooth Active Dry Knit fabric that seamlessly transfers moisture away from the skin, keeping you comfortable and dry during exercise in hot weather.
Moreover, you can feel stylish and comfortable in any circumstances as the combination of high tech seamless technology makes this running base layer suitable for multiple purposes and exercise regimes.
Opt for Halti and feel confident in a relaxed fitting and seamless material, and to stay motivated on your next run, listen to your favourite playlist on the best running headphones that you can choose from here.
Designed with not only functionality, but also comfortability in mind, this running base layer assists in temperature regulation and ensures freedom of movement with a super soft fabric and raw neck hemline.
For women, base layer running gear can sometimes be hard to find with the perfect fit, however, the Crew Room provides a size range from XS to XL, so you can try to find your most comfortable size and feel confident on your run.
The last thing you want is a base layer for running in cold weather or warm temperatures that irritates your neck line or distracts you from the road ahead. That's why Crew Room created a neckline that promises no discomfort from the collar with a super soft fabric and a four way stretch.
This running base layer is a womens favourite thanks to the breathable and sweat-wicking material that allows you to push yourself harder than ever and still feel comfortable. As well as the beneficial materials, you can feel stylish in the slim-fit design that hugs you in all the right places.
The next running base layer on our list comes from Pedla, with a product boasting both comfort and style.
Pedla describes how the Elevate uses the most advanced moisture-wicking Italian fabric to prevent sweat from building on the skin, ultimately regulating body temperature.
Those looking for a base layer for running in cold weather may shy away from a sleeveless base layer, however you can count on the anatomic fit providing sleek and flattering comfort in any weather by using Pedlas RideMESH base fabric.
You can rest assured that with the Pedla base layer, the anti-bacterial and odor resistant properties keep you feeling as fresh as possible throughout your run, no matter the intensity. So, take advantage of excellent moisture wicking treatment and stylish Pedla reflective detailing by making your next running base layer the Elevate.
If you need some motivation to throw on your running base layer and hit the pavement, read our article on the mental health benefits of running here.
The best base layers for running in cold weather are able to keep you warm without overheating or making you too sweaty, and have to be comfortable against your skin.
That’s why we love this base layer from Mountain Warehouse! The fabric is 95% polyester with 5% elastane to improve stretch and movement. Polyester is a synthetic fabric that has excellent moisture wicking properties so you can be confident this running base layer will keep you dry as you exercise.
This particular base layer for running has IsoCool technology, which means the material is supremely moisture wicking to keep you less sweaty, but also quick drying so you’re not weighed down by wet fabric. It’s also highly breathable which will allow air to circulate over your skin to keep you from overheating.
Sizes range from 4-28 so it’s a great inclusive brand for any body shape, and you’ll be sure to find one that fits you just right. It’s also available for a great price, so if you’re new to using base layers it’s a great one to start with and find what works for you.
If all this hasn’t convinced you, the 5 star rating and dozens of positive reviews on their website just might!
Next up on our journey to find you the best running base layer fit is the Macpac men’s Eyre Long Sleeve Tee.
This product features a lightweight design and is described as perfect for fast and light adventures or relaxing on the weekend. Be sure to pair this base layer with your pick from the best running accessories that we listed here.
The Eyre range is engineered to be light, breathable and moisture-wicking. Whatsmore is the Polygiene® odour control technology, helping prevent the growth of odour producing bacteria. Macpac states how you can spend more time doing what you love, and less time worrying about washing your running gear - confirming that it's a win for you, and the environment.
The chic design with a regular fit brings plenty of aesthetical benefits to your run too, with an envelope-style internal pocket. Moreover, a UPF rating for protection against the sun so you can run safely.
It’s important to take notice of reviews, that's why we found an honest review of somebody pleased with the product, describing it as “Great long sleeve top to keep the sun off and made of nice material.”
The material is made from a soft, bluesign® approved polyester mesh fabric with added elastane for stretch. So for the perfect balance and the best running base layer for less intense activity, take a chance on Macpac!
Find some more useful running accessories in our articles below:
- 11 Best Running Sunglasses To Brighten Your Run
- 15 Best Running Belts For All Types Of Runners
- Best Bluetooth Running Headphones
Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym!
Coming in an array of colours, this running base layer is the perfect choice for females looking for a highly praised product with unique features.
The Solbari running base layer uses CoolaSun fabric, enhancing a cooling effect on the skin on hot days all the while being incredibly soft on the skin. The CoolaSun gloats versatility, due to you being able to wear this top on its own, or underneath garments for an extra layer of sun protection.
Moreover, this is a great base layer for winter running or summer running due to the happy medium of an athletic fit, but not skin tight due to the supple nature of the fabric. You can be sure to trust this product too, as it has been designed, tested and rated in Australia UPF50+, the highest rating achievable for fabric in the world!
Alongside all of these features is a UVA and UVB blocking technology, a super lightweight, moisture wicking and breathable material and an overall recommendation from medical experts to maintain healthy skin.
So, opt for Solbari to stay safe with your running base layer from the sun. For an added safety measure, check out our rundown of the best reflective running gear of 2022 here.
Your next running base layer could be the Basez 2 with this product being awarded the ‘Best Buy’ by the Independent in November 2020.
With confidence, Spatzwear say how their product is the most technologically advanced base layer you’ll ever own, flaunting features such as a high neck, thumb loops, extended rear section and more.
You can be sure to have moisture managing fabric with a thermal, yet light design making it the best base layer for running in cold weather. Being worn next to your skin, this long sleeve top is designed to trap a layer of warm air and actively move the moisture away from your skin.
You can appreciate the hard work gone into creating this base layer, as it was developed from scratch and has earned trust by being rigorously tested. It is warm and comfortable, and all the while being cut and designed specifically for exercising in the cold or wet weather.
If you are somebody who is seeking a base layer for winter running, head over to our article on running in the rain: tips, precautions and clothes checklist here.
Designed to become the best base layer for running in cold weather, Gilbert Rugby conveys their understanding of rugby players' reliability on a good running base layer and this can be translated over into running to take advantage of the same technology.
Confidently, you can trust Gilbert on their statement that the Atomic Baselayer top is crucial for any kit bag. Acting as a second skin, this next to the skin layer keeps you comfortable and warm for your runs during colder months.
As a base layer for running in cold weather, it's important that you have as much agility and freedom as possible. That's why this top is built with extra layers to reduce impairment of speed and agility and ensures that you feel comfortable in any weather condition.
Moreover, this running base layer has ergonomic side panels and sleeves that provide nothing but comfort and assistance to the runner. Not to forget that it comes in black, white, dark navy, royal blue and red so you can fit it with any kit colour. Don't forget to pair your kit with a great pair of mens running leggings!
Next up on our list to help you find the best running base layer is the Li-Ning road running layer.
This running base layer is perfect for those on a budget and yet still seek high quality in their exercise garments. The material is made up from nylon, polyester and elastane to provide just the right amount of stretch and still provide top comfort.
Li-Ning confirm that their product obtains a super soft stretch and is skin friendly. What sets this base layer for running apart from the rest is the unisex nature. Li-Ning says that though the product is designed for men, it is loved by females too!
The dark grey marl colour is an exercise wardrobe staple, useful as a base layer running cold weather with long sleeves to provide comfort and warmth. So invest into the budget Road Running base layer from Li-Ning and head out on your next run! And, if you’re looking to up your frequency, find our article on running everyday: benefits & risks here to get started.
The Eliza Purple Base Layer found its way onto our list due to the plethora of qualities that all women’s base layer running tops should have.
It is perfect for all kinds of sporting activities, including running, by offering high stretch, comfort and all important flexibility. This is another great option for those looking for a cold weather running base layer that has long sleeves and is budget friendly.
In addition to this, you can wear this base layer running in the summer too, as the seamless design means that you won't suffer from any chafing or uncomfort when running in the heat.
All of these features pull together in a running base layer that is stylish in its colour and provides a blend of aesthetic, comfort and performance - what more could you want!
So join the customers of Elizat and slip into a fitted, high stretch base layer with a seamless knit construction on a budget.
Be sure to stay hydrated during your run, particularly in the heat and choose from the best running water bottles here.
The next best long sleeve base layer for running on our list is the budget friendly Meetyoo Compression Shirt. This shirt promises free movement and strain prevention, the high elastic fabric offers overall excellent comfort and full range of movement.
Whatsmore is the instantaneous absorption of sweat and body odor prevention, so you can run for as long as possible and need not worry about any unwanted odor or uncomfortable sweat. The polyester and elastane fabric is breathable and sweat wicking, ensuring there is no unnecessary irritation on your run.
This is the best running base layer for winter or summer with such a reasonable price point, it is versatile in that you can wear it as outerwear or inner and is ideal for any sports performed at various intensities. If you’re a regular runner, be sure to head over to our list of the best cushioned running shoes here.
But that's not all, as this is a running base layer that includes PTT material, increasing the wear and longevity of the product overall so you can use your base layer without worrying about it wearing away quickly.
The Endura Baabaa blend running base layer combines a Merino blend, therefore being naturally antibacterial and odours are kept at bay.
The material is incredibly warm, soft and keeps you feeling comfortable throughout your run. Though this is good cold weather running base layer, it is also perfect for warmer days as it remains light and drys fast to ensure you feel fresh.
For women, a base layer running top should be tight fitting and have the ability to be worn under outer layers without bulkiness or discomfort. This is certainly achieved with the Endura base layer as the fabric dries fast and is soft against the skin for supreme comfort.
You can count on this base layer for running in cold weather, or warm, and take advantage of itch free comfort and a high warmth to weight ratio.
Not to forget some other notable features, like your laundry being made easy with the base layer being machine washable. Moreover, tons of reviews support the product rewarding Endura with plenty of 5 star reviews!
Next on our list is the Enertor Unisex Base Layer. This is a product suitable for everybody, with EnergyKnit™ stabilisers for enhanced comfort throughout your run and improved ventilation.
So how does this running base layer set itself apart from the rest? Well, advanced Nilit® Innergy converts the body’s energy into Far InfraRed Rays which improves recovery times and reduces lactic acid associated with cramping.
There are even more features that make this running base layer a part of your running kit, like enhanced ventilation for improved comfort and a ergonomic fit for unisex wear. You can wear this baselayer under further layers of clothing and all year round no matter the season, so you can be sure your investment is worth it.
You need not worry about any unwanted odors either, as you are protected by anti-microbial yarn that will ensure you feel fresher for longer. Plus, quality is ensured, with the highest quality materials being used and made in Italy - using a seamless run to prevent rubbing and irritation.
Lastly on our list is the Paramo base layer, which is described as an essential piece of kit for both highly demanding and everyday outdoor activities.
Paramo explains how no matter the activity, finding a clothing system that is perfect for differing temperatures and activity levels is challenging. Particularly in the U.K, temperatures can fluctuate quickly and drastically so to save carrying a heavy bag with multiple changes, this running base layer does the work for you.
The Grid Technic helps to reduce the number of layers needed by regulating temperatures depending on the environment. For example, the base layer offers cooling when exposed to wind, or insulation when covered with a wind or waterproof outer layer.
This baselayer boasts a zipped neck, thumb loops and an overall feminine cut. The thumb holes are particularly useful for colder weather to eliminate any gap between glove and jacket to keep your hands warm. You can also take advantage of a broad range of movement provided by the stretch fabric.
Overall this running base layer is the perfect pick for those unpredictable weather conditions, or simply to have in your running wardrobe as an all year round staple. This is due to the excellent insulation and when uncovered alongside the gaps between the grid - which allows moving air to reach the skin and still provide a good range of movement.
Now that you have come to the end of our list and have chosen your running base layer, you can complete your running kit with the best running gear that you can find here.
Why Is Merino Wool A Good Base Layer?
Merino wool is a fiber that is harvested from Merino sheep, and as you will have found throughout the list, it is something that is included in only the best running base layers. It is a widely popular component to base layers due to its many desirable qualities, such as:
- UV protection
And a key feature, odor resistance. Due to the ability of Merino wool being able to withstand moisture naturally, odor is kept at bay throughout exercise and can be helpful for reducing wash loads and getting more wear from your base layer.
How Tight Should My Base Layer Be?
Your base layer should be relatively tight and snug but not so much that it restricts movement. If you’re looking for a base layer to keep you warm, you want a top that fits close to the skin to trap in heat.
You should be able to move freely yet have a ‘second-skin’ feeling from your base layer. That is why it is important to have a good material that has stretch and softness to prevent any stiffness.
We recommend that you go for your typical size as too small may feel restrictive and too big will not be useful for temperature regulation.
Before You Go...
Now that you have found your next purchase in your running kit, you should be ready to head out feeling warm, comfortable and stylish.
Running should be enjoyable, so make sure you find your fit from our list and allow your new purchase to act as a motivator to get you on your next run.
If you are an avid runner, you may be a fitness fanatic who is ready to take on the fitness industry. If so, check out our level 2 fitness instructing course here or, download our FREE prospectus to browse through all of our courses.
Written by Professional S & C Coaches
Download Your FREE 16 Week Half Marathon Training Programme
Written by Professional S & C Coaches