The Best Running Masks for Training and Safety

Wearing a mask while running is hardly a brand new phenomenon. Serious athletes have been wearing running masks for years and for myriad reasons, many of which we’ll discuss below. What has changed during the days of the global pandemic of 2020 is that now runners of all experience levels are wondering about getting a mask so they can stay safe while jogging, trail running, doing sprints, or logging the long-distance miles, and suddenly there are more face masks on the market than ever before.

Whereas even a few short months ago there might have been only a dozen or so options popping up in your browser when you searched for the best face mask for runners, today you will be inundated.

So, how to figure out what is the best running mask for COVID-19? Simply put, it’s a mask for runners that lets you keep running while keeping you safe. You need a face mask that is breathable and wicks sweat, such as SLEEFS masks made with blended polyester and cotton layers. You need one that will stay in place on your face either thanks to an elastic fit or adjustable straps. And you need a running face mask you can count on to last after multiple cycles of runs and washes.

Now, there is that nagging question: do you need a mask to run outside during the coronavirus days? By in large, the answer is no, at least in a legal sense. 

In most cities and states right now, masks are not required for running. Provided you are doing your runs outdoors and are in an environment where you can maintain a safe social distance from other runners (and cyclists, skaters, and pedestrians) like a park, trail, or broad streets or sidewalks, then you are free to run without a face covering – just give people wide berth.

But should you wear a mask for running? Probably, at least for now.

A good cloth mask will not hamper your ability to get plenty of air as you run (or walk, bike, hike, and so on) so you should simply see wearing a cloth mask as you run as part of your everyday ensemble for now. And as with the rest of your exercise ensemble, you can have some fun with it. SLEEFS offers masks in designs that range from the bright and bold (and even with crazy designs, because why not?) to the patriotic to the more subtle and subdued in design. We also have masks for kids and adults with any head size thanks to the many adjustable face masks we offer.

And one more thought about the best mask for running for 2020, year of the virus: COVID-19 has an incubation period of up to two full weeks, so you may well become infected and not know it for many days. Wearing a mask while running, as while shopping, commuting, and so on, is every bit as much about keeping your fellow human safe from your potential infection as it is about protecting you from theirs.

Do you need a mask to run outside during the coronavirus days? By in large, the answer is no.