Running in the Rain: 8 Strange Tricks that Actually Work

Running in the Rain: 8 Strange Tricks that Actually Work


Ever see people running in the rain, and wonder: how the heck do they do that?!

Like the 2018 Boston Marathon, where runners endured hours of relentless rain.

Well, for years, I watched soggy runners happily run past my house on rainy days.

We’re talking pouring rain. Buckets of rain.

They made it look so darn easy.

How do they not get blisters? 

Aren’t they soaked?

Why are they smiling?!

That’s it: I want to learn how to run in the rain.

So I did.

And now I’ll share the secrets to running in the rain (smile optional) that will get you out there and keep you going, even when it’s down-pouring.

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8.) Wear Tighter, Darker, Wicking Clothing

Ever seen a wet t-shirt contest?

Yeah, me either…

Point being, you don’t want to be the runner caught in the rain wearing a white t-shirt. It’s all sorts of see-through, and that’s not a good look for anyone while running.

Plus, wearing tighter wicking clothing (especially the layers closest to your skin) pulls sweat and moisture away from your skin.

Why is that important?

Because moisture that stays close to your skin causes problems, like chafing, blisters, and issues with body temperature regulation.

So absolutely NO COTTON. Just say no to cotton. 

Say yes to performance (aka wicking) materials.


7.) Duct Tape is Your Friend

I used this trick during my first half marathon.

It worked very well.

It’s not going to keep your feet completely dry, but it helps, and prolongs the dryness.

Here’s how to duct tape your running shoes:


Step 1: Get your running shoes, duct tape, and scissors

How to Duct Tape Running Sneakers - Running in the Rain


Step 2: Cut a piece of duct tape (about 8 inches, depending on how big your running shoes are) and wrap it around the front rubber part of the sole

How to Duct Tape Running Sneakers - Running in the Rain


Step 3: Cut tiny slits at an angle (as shown in this next picture)

How to Duct Tape Running Sneakers - Running in the Rain

And then fold them over (with the top piece overlapping the sides)

How to Duct Tape Running Sneakers - Running in the Rain

Step 4: Cut another piece of duct tape (about 6-8 inches, make sure it’s long enough to cover the top and sides as shown below here)

How to Duct Tape Running Sneakers - Running in the Rain

Secure that piece tightly – make sure all the duct tape is pushed down so no air pockets or unsealed parts exist.

Voilà! You have a happy duct-taped running sneaker!

How to Duct Tape Running Sneakers - Running in the Rain


6.) And Lube is Your Best Friend

Ok, that sounded dirty…completely unintentional, I swear.

But seriously, lubricants like Aquaphor, Body Glide, or Vaseline work wonders for preventing chafing and blisters.

Read more on preventing blisters at How to Prevent Blisters from Running.

Aquaphor is my favorite. Slather it onto problem areas like bra straps or the bottom part of the bra, your toes, heels, places where clothing tags hit your skin, etc.

Aquaphor or any other lube creates a ‘seal’ against water and reduces friction from rubbing.

I used to get toe blisters from rain, humidity, and/or sweat (aka moisture) and Aquaphor changed the game and saved my feet!


5.) Trash Bags are Cheap Jackets

Running in the Rain - Trash bag
Image credit: (which has a fabulous story of running the incredibly rainy 2018 Boston Marathon)

Sure, it’s not the prettiest look, but if it’s warm outside and raining, consider throwing on a plastic trash bag instead of a rain jacket.

Or, if it’s cold outside, use the garbage bag as your outermost layer.

2 easy steps: Simply cut a small hole in the bottom for your head (not too big or the rain will easily get in…just enough to snugly fit your head through). Then put the bag on.

Bonus step: If you’re using a bag with drawstrings, you can close the bag a little tighter, but not too tight, to keep it in place better.

Running in the Rain - Trash Bag approach
Image credit: (who has more great photos of the 2018 Boston Marathon)


4.) But If You Want Real Clothing, Get a Rain Jacket

Sometimes a trash bag just won’t do.

What to look for in a quality running rain jacket:

  • Windproof and waterproof – Because, rain.
  • Hood – preferably with an adjustable drawstring to make it fit snugly around your face.
  • Ventilation system – to keep air circulating and prevent overheating.
  • Reflective features – rain often means clouds, which means darker-than-normal running conditions. Be seen.

We like the Charles River Apparel Women’s New Englander Waterproof Rain Jacket (because New Englanders know about running in the rain, let me tell you). 

13 color options too, not bad!


3.) Put Your Phone in a Plastic Baggy

Running in the Rain - Phone in Plastic Baggy

Run with your smartphone?

Whether it’s to listen to music, track your run, or simply feel safer, many runners bring phones with them on runs.

And unfortunately, most phone arm holders aren’t waterproof.

And obviously holding it your hand won’t protect it from the rain either.

So how can we solve this problem and keep our phones safe from rain water?


Wrap your phone in a plastic baggy or two! I prefer bags with ziplock closure, but any plastic baggy will do.

So low-tech, I know. But also inexpensive and effective. Such a great running hack (like running hacks? read 15 running hacks to make running easier).


2.) Wear Performance (Wicking) Socks

Running in the Rain - Performance Socks

This is my favorite running secret ever.

Running in the rain is hard enough. You don’t want foot blisters on top of it.

How to save your feet from blisters in the rain:

  • Wear performance socks: Do not wear cotton! Again, cotton is the worst sock choice…choose a wicking sock to pull moisture away from your feet. Balega socks are my favorite because they’re cushiony and work really well in rain and humidity (or if you just normally sweat a lot while running).
Balega socks rock

  • Wear Toe Socks: They look funny. They feel funny the first time. But I promise…they work like a charm (and you get used to them so quickly). My go-to is Injinji toe socks. I own about 8 pairs (maybe more) and have been wearing them religiously in the rain and heat for over 2 years now.
Injinji socks save feet, try them yourself, you’ll see


1.) Wear a Brimmed Hat

Everyone told me that wearing a hat was the #1 piece of advice for running in the rain.

And I didn’t listen to them at first.

Why? Because I used to hate hats.

I have a small head and nothing fit me properly.

So all hats annoyed me.

Until…I found the Under Armour Fly By ArmourVent Cap for women, It’s under $25 and fits small heads (and average size heads) because it’s nicely adjustable.

Keeps rain out of your eyes, ventilates well, and has good adjustment to make it bigger or smaller

 Wearing a brimmed hat in the rain keeps the rain water out of your eyes so you can see ahead of you and run safely.

Try it!


Ok, Back it Up – Is Running in the Rain Advisable?

No one is forcing you to run in the rain…but if you do, you’re gonna feel great.

Once you get past the “I’m running in the rain, yikes!” thoughts, it’s actually fun!

However, safety always takes priority. Use caution when stepping in slippery areas (specifically the painted lines in the road and crosswalks or muddy areas). Watch for traffic. Wear reflective gear so cars can see you.

Ok, now the reasons to run in the rain…

3 Reasons to run in the rain:

  • Builds Mental Toughness: If you can run in the rain (and snow), you can do almost anything. Nothing can stop you if your training involves rainy days. Make your body and mind get used to running in adversity.
  • It’s Kinda Fun: Splashing in puddles isn’t just for kids. Once you’re wet…you’re not getting any wetter, so may as well have fun with it! Splash in a puddle, smile into the rain, or whatever brings joy to the situation.
  • There’s No Reason Not To: You’re not gonna melt (obviously be careful out there…see next section)


You Might Also Like:

15 Running Hacks, Revealed

10 Warm Weather Running Tips

Running in the Rain - 8 Strange Tricks that Work

Running in the Rain - 8 Strange Tricks that Work
Running in the Rain - 8 Strange Tricks that WorkRunning in the Rain - 8 Strange Tricks that Work
8 Tricks for Running in the Rain. Don't miss a run because of rain, find out how to make running in the rain less crappy.

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