At races I’ve noticed that runners seem to have very different temperature thresholds. At Saturday’s Law Day 5K, I was wearing tights and an Under Armour mock-turtleneck and was standing next to people in shorts and singlets.
So, I wondered: At what temperature do you wear shorts?
Every day is a shorts day
I always wear shorts! Hot, warm, cold, freezing! I’m crazy! — Daniel J. Smith
44 degrees and below
It depends. Race day — high 20s. Training — high 30s, low 40s. Rain would bring those numbers up a bit. — Pat Krott, running a little over a year
Low 40′s for either shorts or capris. — Karen Manganaro, running 6 years
I wear shorts at 40 and above, sometimes even cooler if it is not windy. My upper body is all that gets chilly so I still will wear a lite running jacket over a high tech shirt and a hat and gloves when in the low 40s. If I am racing, then I wear shorts and a singlet at 40 degrees. I’ve been running every day, at least 6 miles a day since 1974. — Rick Armstrong, running for 38 years
32 degrees is my cut-off – I actually live in VA – only had to wear running pants once this whole winter! This year’s NYD 5 miler was a nice change from the previous two years in Erie. — Tom G., running steady for about 12 years now (took about a 7-year break in the 90’s). Probably about 20 years total where I’d call myself a runner.
I run with shorts anytime it’s above 35 degrees, sometimes colder depending on how I feel. — Greg Hall, running 7 years
Mid-30s. — Fred Evanoff, running 10 years
It varies, but if it’s sunny and not windy I’ll wear shorts when it’s 35. If it’s raining or windy, 45-50 is shorts weather. I wore shorts at the Law Day race last week and it was 38 degrees at race time. — Tom Madura, running about 30 years
My shorts threshold is 40 degrees….any colder and I’m in tights or inside. — Tom Toale, running for 36 years
I’ll wear shorts at 35 degrees with no wind or rain, otherwise 40 degrees. Usually, as long as I have a hat and gloves, I’m good to go. I’ll wear gloves up to 50 degrees. I hate when my hands are cold. — Mike Lawrence, running regularly for 6 years, intermittently the previous 20+ years
Depends on wind/wind chill. No wind, I’ll wear shorts in the mid 30s. Wind/rain chill can take that up to the 50s. — Jim Lang, running 10 years or so
45 degrees! — Dennis Albrewczynski, running 3 years
45 if sun is shining….and you DO NOT want to see me in tights, so we’ll stick with sweats! LOL. — Tim May, running 3 years or so
50 degrees. — Tom Bourne, running 1 year
45 degrees! — Ange Eberlein, running 15 years
When I was in my 40s, anything above 40° was shorts weather. Now that I’m in my 50s, 50° or above seems to be the limit. We’ll see what my 60s bring. — Greg Wigham, running off and on for 20 years
45 degrees or so. — Dan Cass, running 15 years
I am right with Greg (above) on the age requiring tights in relation to age! Actually, the correlation is more like your age plus 13 times 17 percent = the temp you will require tights. Everybody is not the same, but this will be close for most folks — Mike Vieyra, running 34 years (Editor’s Note: leave it to the numbers guy to come up with a mathematical formula! LOL!)
50-55 degrees, but 45 if racing. — Ginny Sackett, running 24 years
My cutoff is usually 50 degrees. If it’s higher than that or above, I go with shorts; however, most of my weekday running is done before 5:30 a.m. and if it is windy/raining and hovering around 50, I stick with lightweight long pants and lightweight long sleeved shirt. So hard to decide sometimes! — Robin Tufts, running about 15 years
Back in the day my threshold was about 45 degrees, but on one of our favorite courses we would pass the local garbage collection guys. They were crazy. Every winter, they had a bet between each other concerning shorts. The first to don long pants had to buy the other one a case of beer. Often we would see them in January during 20-degree morning runs, knee-deep in snow, sporting bear legs. Neither wanted to give in to the other. Guess we were kinda crazy, too, to be out there running in 20 degrees. Ah, the good old days. —Anonymous
The temps need to crack 50 before I go short. — Frank Combopiano, running 7 years
50 degrees! — Peggy Hardesty, been running more than 30 years
To answer your question — 45 degrees, assuming normal wind. I like to run right before or right at dawn, so it’s usually pretty chilly or downright frigid in the winter. I’ll run in anything over 5 degrees. Here’s my general gear guide:
5-30 degrees — Full winter gear — warm running jacket, warm running pants, tights, full cover hat, gloves, mittens over gloves. Some of my favorite runs have some in the freezing cold.
30-35 degrees — Full winter gear except shorts over tights instead of warm pants, gloves
35-45 degrees — tights with t-shirt & shorts over them, gloves, baseball cap
45-55 degrees — long-sleeve shirt & shorts — no winter gear necessary!
55-65 degrees — short-sleeve shirt & shorts
Over 65 — tank top & shorts. Bring lots of water!!
— Rob Roddy, running 3 years
65 degrees! — Eloise, a newbie
No shorts for me, but I’ll rock a skort when the temp hits 60. —Rhonda Berlin, running 5 years
Usually 58 degrees or warmer for shorts, except for a race when it can be 45 degrees or warmer. — John Hutchison, running for 28 years with a few years off in the younger days
I’d say 55 degrees and up, I’ll wear shorts. — Rae Anne Grvaier, running for 2 years
I prefer 55-60 degrees before I start running in shorts. — Amy Cronk, running off & on since age 10, so about 27 years now (Amy says she’s glad to be back “on” now!)
60 degrees. — Rana Evanoff, running 10 years
Roughly 55 degrees. — Beth McLaughlin, running 5 years
I switch from tights to shorts around 60 degrees. — Rebecca Wiler, running for 28 years
Must be at least 70 degrees. — Jan Comi, 19 years race walking and running
Call me a candyass, but I’m with Jan Comi on this one, though I might lower that number to 65 and, like Rhonda Berlin, I usually opt for a skort. — Heather Cass, running for 15 years
What item can you absolutely NOT run without?
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