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Gear for trail running: The perfect apparel for runners

Demands on running apparel for trail runners

Running is one sports activity that you initially really need very little. Running shoes, athletic pants or tights, and a shirt – and off you go. For trail running though the demands on the gear are a bit tougher. Aside from special trail running shoes, you should also consider appropriate technical apparel. With the proper trail running apparel, you don’t automatically run faster, but you will in any case by significantly more comfortable and relaxed – and safer too. Ultimately, you are indeed in the mountains when running, exposed to wind and weather, and at altitude it can quickly get cold.


For running apparel for trail runners, performance and function are the focus in first order. Sports apparel must perform in the mountains and on trail runs – particularly if you are covering longer distances. Uphill, you quickly get sweaty, thus breathability and good moisture moisture management are a must. At the same time, you can’t let yourself get chilled and you should always be equipped for turns in the weather. Essential of course is also comfort. Trail running apparel must be comfortable, cannot chafe, and should feel nice next to your skin. 


To be fast on the trail weight is also key: With lightweight gear, running is just easier and you can keep going longer, too. In addition, apparel for trail runners should take into consideration poor visibility conditions. Most jackets and pants or tights offer reflectivity so runners can still be seen at twilight or in fog. 


Of course, there are many pieces of apparel that are practical for trail running. In any case what is necessary is:


// Weather protective jacket
// Running pants or tights
// Performance shirt 


We’ll take a look at which fabric and which features you need to consider in these products for trail running. 

Technical jackets: Protection from weather

A technical weather protection jacket is part of your mandatory gear for trail running. The weather in the mountains can quickly take a turn. Plus, for a short break at the summit, you should always have a wind or rain jacket in your pack to protect your upper body from chills.


Ideally, a running jacket for trail runners should be windproof and, preferably, also waterproof. At the same time, it must also be breathable so a runner doesn’t overheat during intense activity. Lightweight jackets with a small packsize can find a place in even the smallest pack and are therefore always there in case you need it. Particularly practical is when the jacket also has a hood so you can protect your head, too.

Weather protective jacket product recommendations from Hannes Namberger and Maria Koller

Ultrarunner Hannes Namberger’s favorite jacket:  DYNAFIT Glockner Ultra Gore-Tex ShakeDry Jacket  – “This jacket is the best choice in bad weather and can even be worn over a backpack.”

The favorite jacket of Maria Koller, winner of the Madeira Skyrace 2019: DYNAFIT Alpine Wind Jacket – “Super light wind jacket, great for running or for leisure wear. Looks fantastic with jeans too.”

Trail running pants and tights

For trail running, technical pants, tights or shorts are a must. Whether short or long, breezy shorts, or snug tights is a matter of personal preference and naturally also depends on the season. Close-fitting running tights have the advantage that they minimize abrasion over longer distances and ensure you don’t fall victim to chafing. The intelligent solution for everyone who prefers looser running shorts because of how they look, are 2in1 shorts with snug liner pants and a loose-fitting overpant  For women there is a version with an over-skirt instead of a pant, lending a feminine look on the trail.

No matter what the look, you should always pay attention that trail running pants are comfortable and still sit firmly. High breathability and good fabric ventilation contribute to keeping your skin dry and minimizing any hot spots or wounds. Most trail running pants, shorts or tights also have some pockets to stash small essentials such as car keys, an energy bar, or a flask. 

Running tights or pants for trail runners: The favorite products of Hannes Namberger and Maria Koller

Both Hannes and Maria in races and for training prefer to wear the 2in1 running pant.

Hannes Namberger’s favorite running pants:  DYNAFIT Glockner Ultra 2in1 Shorts – “All of your important items such as a soft flask, energy bar, mobile phone, or wind jacket can be easily stowed.”

Maria Koller’s favorite running pants:  Alpine Pro 2in1 Shorts – “Amazingly comfortable! With its liner pant, the shorts fit perfectly, never slipping even on steep climbs or during speedy downhill running! The liner is cut snugly but still never binds!”

Performance shirts

Accessories: Practical little helpers

T-shirts with technical performance are in every trail runner’s closet. In addition to short-sleeve shirts, there are also long-sleeve performance shirts or tank tops without any sleeves at all, depending on the season. No matter what version you prefer, what is essential is that the fabric wicks away sweat from the body reliably and it guarantees good air circulation. Precisely in the summer, when you sweat a lot, any fabric should dry quickly and be as ventilated as possible as well as lightweight.

In addition, what is also important is that technical shirts for trail running are comfortable next to your skin and that the cut doesn’t limit freedom of movement. Shirts with some percentage of stretch offer particularly good comfort. Seams, logos and graphic prints should never chafe or rub and should be in a place that still allows you to carry a pack comfortably.

Performance shirts for trail runners: Maria Koller’s favorite product

2in1 solutions aren’t just for running bottoms, but also are available in tops for women.

Maria Koller’s product tip: DYNAFIT Alpine 2in1 Tank – “This top is super comfortable to wear. Loosely cut, the top underneath fits perfectly and you don’t need to wear a sports bra Even larger sizes.”

Of course, there are all sorts of practical accessories that can make running on trails a little easier. Many runners like to wear technical headbands so sweat doesn’t run into their eyes and to keep hair from falling in their face. Caps or lightweight beanies are also popular depending on the season. And precisely in the transition between seasons when you can’t decide between long or short sleeves is when arm warmers and leg warmers can come in handy. They add a little extra warmth and can be pulled off in a snap when you don’t need them any longer.

Accessory tip for trail runners from Oriol Cardona Coll

Demanding skyrunning races are the forte of mountain runner  Oriol Cardona Coll. 

Product tip from Oriol: DYNAFIT Ultra Arm Guard – “Lightweight and practical! You can head out on a run in a T-shirt and if it gets chilly, you don’t need a jacket right away. These arm warmers are often quite sufficient.”