SHORTS OR LYCRA LEGGINGS?: Those of you who... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Those of you who "know" me on here will be familiar with my love affair with all things lycra and clingy tight. However as the air temperature rises, I am wondering if I should start wearing shorts?

I must admit I don't get overheated in leggings, but would it be better to allow more air flow to the legs know....the "chaps" now it's warmer?

I await your answers with baited breath and excitement. Especially from Juicyju as she will probably say "just wear a mankini"......

33 Replies

Why would you NOT want to wear shorts? Try shorts, you may find you love them. Personally I feel 'free-er' when I can feel the warm air on my legs. Loose shorts (not short tights) all the way for me from about 10°C upwards for a fast run, or 12°C for a slow run.

danzargoGraduate in reply to swanscot

It's because I just LOVE my lycra leggings. I love the way you "grade" your shorts depending on air temp! Hilarious!

swanscotGraduate in reply to danzargo

But you may find you love the feeling of warm air circulating around your legs.

Grading whether it's a short' wearing day or not is just commonsense to me. I don't wear shorts if it's cold, or if I'm not going to be running with much effort and therefore not going to be creating so much warmth myself

Dressing for running each time depends on what type of training run I'm doing (quick check of training plan); the temperature (quick poke of nose outside back door to check thermometer nailed to wood store); and check of wind speed to assess wind chill (quick check of tree branches in garden).

danzargoGraduate in reply to swanscot

Yeah you're right. I'm gonna give it a go next outing.

whitemare in reply to swanscot

Why wear tights in the summer? Because I live between the tropic lines, where the angle of the sun is as high during "winter" here as it is for you in summer. In June, it's directly over my head, and near vertical year round. I have good reason to be more worried about skin cancer than heat.

I also wear compression shirts with full length sleeves, shirts made for wearing under baseball jerseys. They're incredibly light, yet they provide full UVA/UVB protection. No, I don't wear compression shirts and tights because they're both skin tight, I wear them for the sun.


Shorts Mr Dan. All that cooling air and the added bonus of a sun tan with extra vitamin D. on the side. Win, win!

danzargoGraduate in reply to AncientMum

Good call.

swanscotGraduate in reply to AncientMum

Oh yes, the 'glow' too. I don't tan, but this morning I noticed the freckles on my legs are multiplying and legs now look ever-so-slight less peelly-wally! ;-)

Get them legs out dan , they will love it


Shorts I would say


Shorts all the way. Lycra? Not for me ;)


Why don't you post photo's in both, then we can make a fully informed decision ;)

No, seriously, I have been wondering whether to do the same, but at the moment, I like having my flesh fully under control, so lycra it is!


You townies take security too far! Us country cousins don't shut the crown jewels away, as long as they are not on full view, a bit of ventilation is a lovely thing.


Have you considered LYCRA shorts??

danzargoGraduate in reply to tomlertoos

I've got some of those.......they're called compression shorts. Bit TOO obvious around the "special potato area" for me though. I'm extrovert, but not THAT extrovert!! I think I'll don the old regular shorts next time out and try those. :-)


Nice cool shorts. Best wishes.


I would say shorts too Dan but I bought 2 pairs a month ago and still haven't been brave enough to wear them. Maybe when I come back from Dubai next week I won't feel as conscious!! Not sure if I'm allowed over there- at least I will have an excuse! :)

danzargoGraduate in reply to carole01

I've been to Dubai and you're fine within a hotel complex when it comes to exposing sunbathing flesh. However in the shopping malls you have to cover up. HAVE FUN! It's gonna be hot hot hot!!

carole01Graduate in reply to danzargo

Thanks - never been before! Does that apply to shopping malls within a hotel complex too?

danzargoGraduate in reply to carole01

Yes generally the rule is within hotel pool area etc - flesh on show is ok. Anywhere where there are locals, people shopping etc - cover up. It's quite a simple rule but if you don't stick to it you can get arrested!

carole01Graduate in reply to danzargo

Thanks again - longs for me!! But a thought .. next run.. lycra running shorts and the little ones on top to hide any bits our mothers/fathers gave us! LOL!! :) Good luck and next parkrun 25?? :)

danzargoGraduate in reply to carole01

HAhaha! 25??? No way Jose! I'm not that good.


Without a doubt I say SHORTS. I wear lycra for cycling up to 10 (how do you put a degree symbol in here?) degrees, then out with the sorts. I used to wear shorts down to zero, but I was told I would hurt my knees (only they weren't so polite).

As for running I follow the same rule, 10 degrees and up - shorts; below 10 - Tracksters.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are running in shorts, watch out for tics climbing up the hairs and trying to get, ahem, somewhere warm!! I met a chap once who said that he once had a tic where a Jewish gentleman couldn't ~ OUCH!!

danzargoGraduate in reply to Hidden

OWWWW!!! Thanks for the top tip SC.

swanscotGraduate in reply to Hidden

The degree symbol = Alt 0176

( On a PC - hold down the Alt key and on the numeric keypad on the right of the keyboard, type 0176)

Edit to add: I don't mean to imply that you don't know what I mean by Alt10176; I'm spelling this out to help any less pc literate folks who may be reading.

Hidden in reply to swanscot

Thanks ~ that's what I thought, but it wouldn't play! I shall experiment and try again.

Happy running.


Shorts, Dan. Definitely the way to go. And if you go commando you'll have plenty of fresh air to cool Tom, Dick and Harry ;)

danzargoGraduate in reply to OldNed



Running shorts all the way Dan! Get those legs out!

Trail shorts are slightly longer than the "short shorts"... commando... :)


Just the same dilemma. Last year there is no way I would impose my thighs on the world... this year... well... slightly more toned and slimmer... and the last two runs in the heat were waay too hot, so maybe I'll just have to give it a go!


Only just seen this.. Sorry!!! Right- I'm aiming for red Adidas running knickers so I suggest you do the same ... Nice and tight and cool too ;)

danzargoGraduate in reply to ju-ju-

Just ordered some in shocking pink. Thanks Juju.

If you're worried about summer heat, try tights made of lighter material (e.g. 6 ounce fabric). I bought a few pairs of tights from a brand called Insport. They have no durability (they'll last one summer) but are extremely light and cheap to buy (about US$25 per pair).

Another option is Drywick fabric, which does as its name infers, wicking sweat away. I buy online from JL Track in the US, if you've ever heard of them. The quality is good and I've got pairs over three years old still in good condition.

I live in Taiwan where "winter" is 10C and summers are 30-40C with humidity of 75% or more year round. That's likely a lot warmer and humid than where you live, and I have no "burns" from Drywick tights even though they're a heavy fabric. I sweat like a pig and have to drink a lot on long rides (50-80km), but I'm willing to live with that.

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