How Should a Running Jacket Fit?

Regardless of if you’ve been running for years or are just starting out as a runner, you realize that dressing right is just as important as using the right shoes and getting your form right.

As the winter rolls in, a running jacket will become an essential piece of clothing. 

But if you’ve never worn one before or haven’t gotten the chance to compare notes about running jackets with another runner, you won’t know how it should fit.

All you really need to know is this:

A running jacket is just another piece of training gear, and like you prefer your shoes to fit a certain way, you will need your jacket to fit a certain way. You may wear a snug-fitting jacket or one that’s oversized – whatever keeps you comfortable. Comfort is conducive to great training and better results.

In simpler words, it’s a matter of personal preference. 


There are some things you can do in the store to test whether a jacket will feel right when you’re on your run.

Here’s how you can find the right jacket and test if it fits you right.

How To Test Whether A Running Jacket Fits Right

One of the first things you should check when you put a jacket on is whether it gives you your full range of arm movement.

The next thing you must ensure is the seams of the jacket do not irritate your skin. If you’ve been running for a while, you know how easy getting a rash can be.

If you have particularly sensitive skin, you can get a jacket that has flatlock seams. These seams connect the cloth without causing any bulk in the jacket, which helps prevent irritation when running and subsequent rashes.

If you prefer wearing a close-fitting jacket, you must ensure it doesn’t feel restrictive when you take deep breaths on your run. Put the jacket on and take deep breaths, expanding your diaphragm as much as you can. Boxers will run after sparring often in full headgear.

If the jacket doesn’t feel restrictive and doesn’t irritate your skin, you have your winner.

But runners often forget considering the climate of the area they live in – a jacket that is made to protect you from cold winds may not serve you well when it’s snowing outside.

The type of weather your area has in the winters matters a lot, and no one jacket will keep you protected from the cold straight across the board.

Picking The Right Jacket According To The Weather Conditions

Winters Are Dry Yet Windy

Getting your hands on a windbreaker jacket is the right way to go if the winters are dry and windy where you live.

These jackets don’t have a membrane and are very breathable, allowing your sweat to vaporize quickly when you’re on your run, keeping you comfortable.

Windbreakers are also thin, so you could use them throughout the year without getting too warm and uncomfortable.

The material used makes them very compressible. You could stuff one in your backpack when you’re trail running and put it on whenever you start to get cold.

The thin and light material gives them a comfortable fit, and oversized windbreakers tend to be very comfortable.

While windbreakers are not waterproof, a lot of them are water-resistant and will protect you from light rain.

If you like wearing a jacket when running most days, windbreakers are the right type of jacket to get.

Winters Comprise Drizzles And Light Snows 

Windbreakers are too light for this kind of weather. Using a water-repellent jacket is the right way to go if it drizzles or snows in the winter where you live.

These running jackets protect you from the rain – the water beads on the outside of the jacket, sliding off without getting you wet.

Water-repellent jackets do not have membranes, either, making them quite breathable. These are heavier than windbreakers but fit just as well and will keep you comfortable if you’re out running during light rainfall.

The cost

A running jacket won’t set you back an awful lot of money. But we don’t want to b]be breaking the bank. We recently visited UK based Joslin Rhodes Retirement Planning. One of the financial advisors joked that a waterproof jacket is one of the best investments you will ever make, and you know what! We don’t disagree! . A running jacket for less than £80 can save a lot of money in the bank and make those walks and jogs during retirement a little easier.

It Rains Heavily In The Winter

If you love running in the rain, water-repellent running jackets won’t serve you right. You will need a thicker waterproof jacket. If you dont have this you may want to check out our how to waterproof a jacket guide.

A membrane is incorporated into the fabric, which keeps the moisture from entering the fabric while keeping the jacket very breathable.

But then again, while the fit can feel comfortable, these are heavier, and if you’re a new runner, they might slow you down a little.

Regardless of the kind of jacket you choose, the bottom line is, your running jacket must protect you from cold winds, rain, and snow without limiting your range of movement.

The best way of going about buying a running jacket is to try one out in your regular clothing size and see what kind of fit you like.

Make sure you factor in your area’s weather and don’t shy away from exploring all the different style options.