Finding the right baselayer is clutch when it comes to preparing for winter running. A good baselayer is more than just another running shirt – it provides additional warmth and wicks moisture like a champ to minimize chafing and rapid temperature swings during your run. So don’t just throw on any baselayer – pay attention to a few key aspects for the best possible performance. Shop our Men’s and Women’s Running Baselayers to find the right piece for your upcoming winter runs.
It’s a good idea to look for a more fitted running shirt when choosing a baselayer. Wicking moisture away from the skin is one of the primary purposes of a baselayer, so it’s best to have a lot of skin contact with the garment. Having a close-to-body fit is also nice because it allows you to easily layer without bulkiness or bunching in more inclement weather conditions.
In a baselayer, the location of the seams is almost as important as the type of seams. For example, if a seamline is placed directly across your elbow, it will likely chafe on a long run no matter how nice the seam is. A seamline that is placed along the side of your arm will be much more comfortable. Some runners find that raglan sleeves help to minimize chafing in the shoulder and armpit area.
Synthetic fabrics and certain blends of wool (typically merino, for it’s softness) offer the best moisture management. The fabric type and thickness of a baselayer will differ depending on the weather conditions for which the piece was designed. If you’re going to be in very cold conditions, try a baselayer with thicker fabric and a closer weave. For more moderate temperatures, a thinner piece will serve well. To help you judge what will work best, we list temperature ranges on the product page of each baselayer we carry.
Some of Our Faves
We asked a couple of RW employees to tell us about their favorite baselayers.
“I like the Craft Active Extreme Crew. It’s super soft and very fitted. I like baselayers to be really fitted, so that there are no folds in the fabric. This baselayer is great for extremely cold conditions” – Joanna
“When I use a baselayer, I prefer a sleeveless option like the Under Armour HeatGear Sleeveless to maintain maximum mobility in the arms, while regulating core warmth.” – Taro
“I’ve found that the Mizuno Breath Thermo Stretch Crew is like your own personal microwave for your body. It’s noticeably warmer than other fitted long sleeves of similar thickness.” – Matt