A TrailRunner's Guide to Spring Layering

As spring begins to vacillate back and forth from lovely temps to bits of snow, my trailrunning attire is really being put through its paces. It is a great time to run in Pisgah National Forest, so don't let the unpredictable weather hold you back! Here are a few key pieces to keep you happily passing mountain vistas and babbling creeks.

Base Layer
No matter the weather, my first top layer is always a baselayer. Mountain Hardwear's Wicked Tees are smooth and silky against the skin, but wick flawlessly to keep you dry and comfortable, unlike a sopping wet old, cotton tee.

Wicking Socks
Darn Tough & Smarwool making great socks for running that keep your feet comfy. Every time I veer from these standards and wear a pair of thin, cheapie socks, my toes get rubbed and I realize the error of my ways.

Trailrunning Shoes
Although I am no expert runner, I can honestly tell the difference between running in road shoes and running in trailrunners. Trailrunners have more aggressive soles to handle the varying terrain, and focus on supporting your foot through unlevel trails. Many have creative "socks" and "tongues" to keep pesky rocks and debris out of your way. A Gore-Tex version can be a great tool for keeping dry despite spring's showers, although I am running these days in a lightweight pair of ENDs that breathe and cushion well.

When I have my way and the weather is good, I skip an outerlayer, or quickly tie it around my waist once my heartrate gets going. But a layer like the Butter Zippity gives you a simple, stretchy wicking layer and the Transition Jacket offers a highly technical, lightweight softshell that sheds water, thwarts wind, stretches, and offers 360 degree reflectivity. Both are great to throw on for the beginning and end of your run on cooler days, making sure not to get cold as you warm up and cool down.

Hat & Gloves
Again, in my perfect world, I don't need these. But, it is nice to have a brightly colored hat to keep it clear to hunters that you are a trailrunner and minimize heat loss through your noggin. Chameece Gloves are lightweight enough to forget you are carrying them if the weather heats up, but keep the circulation going in your hands.

Whatever the weather throws at us, happy trailrunning!

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