The Almighty Baselayer

Pictured: Craft Active Extreme Baselayer, available in men’s & women’s

The single most important piece (aside from shoes) of your running arsenal. Without a good baselayer, you’re cooked.

Poor choice of words – let’s say you’re frozen. Literally.

Three main things you should know about a baselayer:

  • made from knit fabric, which gives them stretch in all directions and breathability
  • fits snug to the skin, serving as your first defense against cold and moving moisture off the skin
  • generally made from a polyester, nylon or wool blend (COTTON IS ROTTEN)

So a baselayer is the epicenter of your running wardrobe world. It manages the combination of cold air, body heat and sweat, allowing you to run comfortably throughout the winter months. Here’s a primer:

Your CORE warms your whole system (bloodflow originates here), so you want to make sure it is properly insulated. You put on your comfy baselayer, which fits close to the skin on your core.

Ugh. This is coming soon.

As you get into your run, you will begin to PERSPIRE (even when it’s cold out). This is because your body is working hard, causing your base internal temperature to rise. Your body then works to cool itself by sweating.

Your baselayer grabs that moisture and takes it right off your skin. The baselayer brings the moisture to the surface of the garment, allowing it to EVAPORATE. Because the baselayer is made of synthetic material, it dries quickly.

Pictured: Saucony Daybreak LS, available in Geo Print or Black

Here’s why cotton is rotten: it ABSORBS and HOLDS moisture. So when you sweat, that moisture just sits on the garment, against your skin. And guess what happens when it’s cold out? That wet cotton shirt gets COLD. Imagine holding a cold, wet t-shirt against your skin for the duration of your run. YUCK.

Now that we’ve got you convinced of the importance of a good baselayer, stop by your nearest Marathon Sports and get yourself outfitted. We have pieces by Craft, Saucony, Nike, Under Armour, and more.

Don’t worry – you don’t need to buy one for every day of the week. Because they’re so quick-drying, they’re very easy to care for. If you’re between laundry cycles, just wash yours out in the sink and hang-dry it. It will be ready to go for your next run! When you do finally run that thing through the washing machine, just make sure to skip the dryer and just hang it up or lay it flat to dry. The high heat inside the dryer can cause premature breakdown of the garment fibers.