April is a darn complicated month. Neither hot nor cold. Sleet showers in the morning, t-shirt weather in the afternoon. Hat on, hat off. The idiosyncratic quirks of April also bring beads of sweat to runners’ foreheads. And often before training. Short or long? Two layers? Or maybe three? And what about the running jacket? Questions about questions.

It’s not that complicated to dress appropriately and comfortably. But as is often the case in life, it’s about finding the happy medium. This article explains what role running jackets play in this, why breathable and windproof are (not entirely) mutually exclusive, which ones you should get out of your closet at the start of the 2023 running season and what’s popular on the runners’ pier this year.

Running jackets have two main functions. On the one hand, they are intended to protect the wearer. In winter before low temperatures, in spring more before drizzle or the last cool gusts of wind from the east. Running jackets should also be comfortable. Because even the highest water column and high-tech fibers that protect against cold are worthless if the jacket pinches under your armpits when you run or the zipper rubs on your neck and chin. It also causes frustration and a bad mood. The problem: How high the feel-good factor of the new running jacket is usually only becomes clear on the first run. When browsing online, always pay attention to information from the manufacturer, who often gives helpful tips on fit.

In contrast to normal everyday clothing, sportswear sometimes has to endure a lot. Not only do they have to defend themselves against wind, rain and cold. The functional fibers are also challenged from within. The great art of high-quality functional clothing is to transport sweat away to the outside in the form of water vapor – but at the same time ensure that the body does not cool down. So rain and cold air should stay outside. Permeable from the inside and windproof and waterproof from the outside. Insulate from the cold and dissipate heat at the same time. Sounds like a tricky undertaking. Can that succeed?

There are actually synthetic fibers that can achieve this feat. To do this, manufacturers of running jackets combine different types of fibers. Up to certain limits, the processed fibers protect the body from cooling down and at the same time ensure that the body does not overheat by transporting excess heat and water vapor to the outside. A brilliant achievement. Especially in April, when the (running) weather is a little crazy from time to time, such running jackets are worth their weight in gold. Running jackets additionally lined with light fleece only make sense in really icy temperatures.

TIP: With an Otto voucher you can save up to 40% on many sports and outdoor items.

It is a matter of taste whether a running jacket has to have a hood. When the weather is right, a thin running cap will certainly protect your head more effectively. In the event of a shower, a hood can help in the short term.

In general, many amateur runners tend to dress too thickly when exercising outdoors. The following helps as a guide to running clothing that is appropriate for the temperature: Add three degrees to the current outside temperature and then decide what to wear in this weather. For example, assume it is 13 degrees if the thermometer shows ten degrees. This may make you shiver a little in the first few minutes – but it will prevent your body from overheating once it has reached its operating temperature. You should quickly discard the obvious idea of ​​taking off your running jacket during training. Typically, the layers you wear underneath are far from insulating. The wind hits the sweaty body directly and heat regulation is lost.

You can read more tips about jogging outfits here.

When temperatures are around ten degrees in spring, it’s best to use a thin functional shirt as a base layer. The running jacket you put on top should be windproof and breathable. Running jackets are rather counterproductive as soon as temperatures climb to around 15 degrees. Here the body hardly needs to be protected from the weather. Instead, it should be ensured that the sweat on the skin is absorbed and transported away by the functional fibers. As a rule, short or long running shirts that fit directly to the body are the best solution in early summer. At the latest with the first autumn storms, the hour of running jackets strikes again.

This article contains so-called affiliate links. Further information are available here.