There’s no need to resign yourself to the treadmill when the weather turns. If you’ve got the right kit for the weather, running outdoors in the wind and rain can still be enjoyable, even refreshing if the heatwave left its mark on you and your running. A good running jacket is an essential part of anyone’s kit and if you find one that you really love, it can even be a great incentive to get out there and run despite bad weather.
What to look for in a running jacket
Ideally you want to keep the wind and rain out, without getting too hot and bothered inside your jacket. Water-resistant (showerproof) jackets will keep a bit of drizzle at bay, while a fully waterproof jacket will keep you dry in a downpour, but it’ll be less breathable.
When shopping for a jacket you’ll pay more for the latest technical fabrics that keep you dry and help you avoid overheating. Top-of-the-range jackets will include flat, sealed seams, breathable panels, waterproof zips and so on.
A hood can be useful – it will keep the wind and rain out better than a hat – but if your normal route crosses a lot of roads it may be worth avoiding because hoods reduce your peripheral vision.
Speaking of running near roads, staying visible in low light should be a key consideration. Opt for something with reflective elements, and even flashy colours and patterns will help you be seen from a distance by traffic.
We also think zippable pockets are essential – no-one wants to leave their phone at home, right? – so make sure your chosen jacket has one that’s large enough.
And finally, it’s important to go for a running-specific jacket to avoid unnecessary rustling and to give you the maximum freedom of movement. Start your search with our top six picks.
Tribe Waterproof Morph Jacket
Billed as a three-in-one, the Tribe Running Morph Jacket comes in two pieces, a gilet and a bolero jacket. When worn together these make up a full jacket which cleverly allows for more airflow than a traditional one-piece would. It’s fully waterproof, yet breathable and with a bit of stretch. In a nice change from all the black running jackets around, the Morph jacket comes in a pretty aqua colour and has reflective detailing. It boasts zip pockets, a media port, a hood and storm cuffs. This one doesn’t come cheap at ￡175 but it’s a versatile and stylish item.
Buy from Tribe Sports | ￡175 (currently reduced to ￡105)
Brooks Fly-By Hoodie
This zip front running hoodie keeps you toasty warm thanks to the thermal fabric. It’s great for dry, cold days, or you could pair it with a basic waterproof top layer for added protection against wind and rain. It has front pockets and an inner security pocket offering a snug fit for your phone although there’s no zip, so some may find themselves patting their phone every few steps to make sure it hasn’t fallen out.
Buy from Brooks | Black ￡70
Adidas Supernova Storm Jacket
With a flattering cut and a slightly longer back to cover your bottom, this lightweight, water-repellent yet breathable jacket from Adidas is a real winner. It has two zipped pockets at the front for your valuables and comes in a selection of bold colours. A perfect workhorse running jacket for spring and autumn.
Buy from Adidas | ￡64.95 (currently reduced to ￡44.06)
The Nike AeroShield is a lightweight, breathable yet waterproof jacket, a combination that justifies its hefty price. It features taped seams, a removable hood with a drawstring, zipped pockets, and air vents above the elbows and on the upper back so you don’t overheat. Zip-open side vents and Velcro adjustable cuffs also allow you to adapt to the weather as you go.
Buy from Nike | ￡259.95
Soar Fenn Shell Jacket
Not just lightweight and breathable, the Soar Fenn Shell jacket is also slim-fitting and stylish – we love the slightly retro red/orange colourway. The clean lines of the jacket are completed by a neat high collar and simple elasticated cuffs, and there’s a hidden drawstring around the bottom of the jacket. Made from a Japanese technical fabric, this jacket will shrug off a British downpour like water off a duck’s back. A single, waterproof zip pocket on the lower back will keep your phone safe and dry to boot.
Buy from Soar Running | ￡165
Adidas Response Wind Jacket
A wind- and water-resistant jacket which looks stylish and doesn’t cost the Earth, this is a great choice for casual runners. Its sweat-wicking fabric is only shower-proof, but if you’re unlikely to train in a monsoon, it should do the trick. A zip pocket keeps your stuff safe and reflective strips ensure you’re more visible at night.
Buy from Adidas | ￡44.95 (currently reduced to ￡22.48)