What to Wear For Cross Country Running

Expert Advice on Running Clothing,Autumn & Winter Running Advice,Speed Training & Cross-Country Advice
What to Wear For Cross Country Running

If you're getting ready for cross country season, here are some ideas on what you could or should have in your kit bag for autumn and winter training and for race day as well.

SpikesFell ShoesReplacements / Hats & GlovesTopsNutritionJacketsCompressionLegwearSocks

Cross Country Spikes

It is obviously beneficial to stay upright! Spikes or studs are the best way to do this. There are specialist cross country running shoes with a slightly more flexible spike plate than you'll find on a track spike, with shallow studs to compliment the spikes.

The flexibility underfoot will feel more comfortable on the uneven ground of cross country courses. In keeping with most spikes, new manufacturing processes allow them to be made with almost seamless uppers, making for a very comfortable fit.

All round track spikes like the Nike Zoom Rival D or Adidas Allroundstar (which is also available in a Junior version), are fine for cross country, and great as a first pair of spikes, or for occasional spike users. It's important to highlight that kids will grow out of them so quickly, and before you know you'll have to upgrade to a larger size, so alternating between cross country and track for juniors is suitable, just make sure to screw longer spikes in for cross-country (9mm or 12mm). Shout out to the kids who are involved and having fun! Check out our blog on how to care for your spikes!

Shop Cross Country Spikes

Adidas Adizero XCS

Brooks Draft XC

Replacement Spikes & Spanner

Spikes and a spanner are always provided with the shoes, but the spikes may not be long enough for all race conditions.

Generally you'll want 9mm for firm / dry ground, 12mm for your average British weather conditions, and 15mm for mud-bath conditions. After a muddy race, do try and get the worst of the mud off your spikes as soon as you can, they will last longer that way.

Giving the spikes a little loosen with a turn or two of your spike wrench will also help prevent mud drying in the spike threads, rusting, and making it harder to change the spikes. Always pay attention when screwing in the spikes; cross thread them and they're ruined!

U.P. Pyramid Spikes 9mm

U.P. Pyramid Spikes 12mm

U.P. Pyramid Spikes 15mm

Fell Running Shoes

Fell running studs are recommended for courses with harder trail sections. Designed with a racing flat with grippy outsoles that provide excellent traction on wet and muddy terrain. It offers superior durability and protection for runners on the toughest terrains and offers superior performance at an affordable price. If you are going to do an obstacle course the X Talon 255 would be the best option.

The Inov-8 Mudclaw G260 v2 offers a super durable Graphene grip with snugger fitting. A versatile option suitable for fell running and training on hills and trails.

Shop Fell Running Shoes

Men's La Sportiva Mutant

Men's Inov-8 X Talon 255

Men's Inov-8 X Talon 260 Ultra v2

Women's La Sportiva Mutant

Women's Salomon Speedcross 6 Wide

Inov-8 Mudclaw G260 V2
£140.00 £89.00

Running Hats & Gloves

It is generally acknowledged you lose a lot of body heat through the top of your head, so a thin lightweight running hat or headband are good for those cold training evenings and during races. Paired with light running gloves you'll probably find it possible to race in shorts and t-shirt when it's not too cold.

Shop Hats & Gloves

Buff Lightweight Merino

Ronhill Beanie and Gloves Set
£23.00 £16.10

Long Sleeve Running Tops

A good baselayer will keep body heat in, but wick sweat to the surface to evaporate, so you don't feel hot and clammy. A good racing choice under a vest is a crew neck, with sleeves that can push up easily if you do get a little warm.

The classic Odlo is perfect layered under your club vest, as it offers a good balance of fantastic wicking as well as warmth. If you get warm once you start running and just want to keep the chill off then the Ronhill long-sleeved top offers good breathability without being too warm, plus the Afterhour version is amazingly visible for dark training nights. If you feel the cold, you might be happier with one of our warmer thermal tops.

Shop Long Sleeve Running Tops

Men's Odlo Seamless Baselayer

Men's Ronhill Tech Top

Men's Janji Run All Day Tech Top

Women's Ronhill Tech Afterhours Top

Women's Ronhill Tech Top

Women's Janji Run All Day Tech Top

Water Bottle & Snack

It is important to keep energy levels up and maintain your performance. Why not try a mix isotonic drink, or reduce muscle cramping and heat stress as well as boosting your stamina with the Saltstick chews – lemon is my favourite. Pack an energy bar for pre race, or protein bar for post race, or both!

Shop Running Nutrition

SIS Bottle 600ml

Elete Electrolyte Add-In 25ml

SIS Go Electrolyte Powder 500g

SaltStick Fastchews

Clif Bar Nut Butter Filled

Maurten Solid 225

Running Jackets & Trousers

Judging by recent weather, a wind/rain running jacket is pretty much essential for anyone doing sports outside! Even if the weather is going to be dry, a windproof jacket like the Ronhill Everyday jackets are great to keep you warm.

There are also more expensive fully waterproof options like the Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Jackets, or the best value waterproof in the Mizuno 20K jacket.

Stay seen on your nighttime runs with Ronhill's Afterlight jacket. The jacket features a super reflective print that helps drivers see you on the road. Plus, it comes in a non-bright fluoro color so you can wear it during the day as well.

To keep the wind and rain off your legs when you’re not racing there’s the fully waterproof options from Salomon and Montane.

Shop Running Jackets / Shop Running Trousers

Men's Janji Rainrunner Pack Jacket

Men's OMM Kamleika Jacket

Men's Montane Minimus Pants
£100.00 £60.00

Women's Janji Rainrunner Pack Jacket

Women's Ronhill Tech Gore-Tex Mercurial Jacket

Montane Unisex Podium Waterproof Pants
£80.00 £59.00

Compression Tights / Shorts / Socks

The support they offer can reduce muscle wear and tear, resulting in faster recovery after intense training or racing. They feature compression that can improve blood flow, reduce muscle vibrations, and help you feel more comfortable so you can focus on your run. Compression clothing can also support muscle memory so that your muscles fire optimally, helping you achieve your best possible performance.

Shop Compression Running Clothing

Men's Pressio BIO Run Tights
£110.00 £99.00

Women's Pressio BIO High Rise Tights
£110.00 £99.00

Pressio Power Calf Guards

Pressio Equilibrium Compression Socks


Yes you will need a pair of running shorts, either club issue or at least to vaguely match your club vest. And a pair of lycra tights to keep your muscles warm as you warm up and cool down.

Shop Running Legwear

Men's Odlo Element Warm Tights

Men's On Tights Long Lumos

Men's Ronhill Tech Revive Stretch Tights

Women's Janji Pace 7/8 Tights

Women's Brooks Run Visible Tights

Women's Ronhill Tech Revive Stretch Tights

Black Socks!

Thickness of sock is a choice to consider and opinions vary! a thicker and padded sock will provide comfort or warmth. Whereas thin socks will provide lighter coverage.

For the thicker options try Hilly Supreme which will keep your feet warmer in wet mud. Or for a thinner choice the Hilly Lite Anklet has been a long time best seller! In between popular choices are the Feetures and Belega – both available In black.

Shop Black Running Socks

Balega Enduro Quarter Socks

Feetures Elite Light Cushion Quarter Socks

Hilly Active Minimum Cushioning Anklet Socks

Hilly Twin Skin Minimum Cushioning Socklets

Injinji Run Lightweight Mini-Crew Toe Socks

Stance Run Crew Staple Socks

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