The Marathon Outfit Essentials: What Should Men Wear?

Two man running

Man in a marathon wearing Starlord Men’s Performance Leggings

Product shown: Starlord Men’s Performance Leggings

“Any idiot can run, but it takes a special kind of idiot to run a marathon.”

So, you beautiful crazy bastard, you’ve decided to run a marathon.

The ultimate challenge of mental strength, physical endurance and sheer will, a marathon is an event like no other. You’ve got the enthusiasm. You’ve got the passion. But to conquer this challenge, you’re gonna also need the right kit. 

So, let’s break it all down and figure out how to make the ordinary extraordinary. Here’s our guide to the best gear to wear while running a marathon.

How to dress for the marathon

Okay, first things first. If you’re planning on wearing a massive chicken suit or dressing as a giant banana with bright yellow running pants, there’s nothing for you here. You’re all set fella. 

For the rest of us, choosing the right gear is massive.

Man running wearing Party Animal Men’s Compression Shorts

Product shown: Party Animal Men’s Compression Shorts

The Shirt

First, the fit. Get the wrong size and you’ll want to end the race almost as soon as you’ve started. So, get fitted and try before you buy – nail that balance between well-fitted and slightly loose – and always go for a quality lightweight, durable fabric.

Avoid cotton like the plague – it soaks up moisture and holds it against your skin – instead go for a nylon/ polyester blend men’s compression shirt. It’ll wick moisture away from those sweaty Betty bits and keep you nice and dry.

Another key benefit of wearing a men’s compression shirt is that it supports your muscles during performance and helps aid recovery after performance. So, those chest and arm muscles are gonna feel so much better with the right men’s compression shirt. 

The Bottoms

Your leg muscles are gonna go to war for you boy, so you best kit them out with some genuine top quality armour. That means compression pants all the way. 

The best men’s compression pants support your key leg muscles during performance, while stimulating the flow of oxygen. And, come mile 20, oxygen is gonna be the important thing in your life boyyo! They’re also damn fine at wicking away sweat.  

Comfort and performance aside, a good quality pair of men’s running tights help massively when it comes to recovery. Whatever happens, your muscles are going to be shot to bits at the end of a 26.2 mile run. Men’s compression pants will ease the pain, reducing lactic acid build up and stimulating blood flow for a better recovery. 

You can even get quality men’s leggings with pockets, so you can stock up on sports chews and glucose gel packets to keep those energy levels going.

Not a jeggings for men kinda guy? Go for a quality pair of men’s running shorts made from a nylon/polyester blend. Don’t just go for any men’s running shorts though – make sure they’ve got pockets to carry your marathon essentials.

The Shoes

You know the only thing as important as choosing the right shoe for a marathon? Choosing the left shoe for a marathon.


Banish those blisters and toss those cheap trainers with the hole in the toe. Cos, all joking aside, shoes are the most important item to get right when running a marathon.

Sure, you could save your pennies and nab yourself a bargain pair of decent Nike or Adidas trainers. But, nowadays there are bigger boys playing the game, using science to make the best running shoes known to man.

Our pick for makers of men’s running shoes is Brooks, particularly the Adrenaline GTS 20. The cushioning is next-level – you’ll feel like you’re running on clouds with these bad boys.

“At mile 20, I thought I was dead. At mile 22, I wished I was dead. At mile 24, I knew I was dead. At mile 26.2, I realised I had become too tough to kill.”

Some random hard bastard

Man finish the marathon wearing Sabretooth Men’s Performance Leggings

Product shown: Sabretooth Men’s Performance Leggings

The Underwear

When it comes to picking your cacks for a marathon, tighty whities ain’t gonna cut the mustard. Same with standard boxers – you’re gonna need something ultra comfortable, to keep your boys in their place and to stop the dreaded runner’s chafe.

The best compression underwear for men not only focuses on comfort – with the obligatory sweat wicking capabilities and breathability – but also on support. Designed to promote blood flow and improve oxygenation of muscle tissue, compression underwear for men is generally made from technical fabrics for that ‘like a glove’ fit. You could also go for a quality pair of men’s spandex shorts, for that stretchy, second skin feel. 

Whether you go for compression underwear for men or men’s spandex shorts, wear your running pants underneath a pair of men’s running shorts to keep you nice and snug down under.


The Socks

For warm weather running, go for Pursuit Four Ultralight low cut socks. They’ll give you proper arch support, targeted compression, moisture wicking and look the business in all types of trainers.

For cooler temperatures, something like the Danish Endurance bamboo low cut socks offer great cushioning and breathability.

The Belt

Super long distance runs require you to be jacked up with supplies. The best solution? Belt up like Batman. Go for a quality constructed, breathable, four-way stretch belt for an unobtrusive fit. Something that does the job without getting in the way is essential.

Running Jacket or Vest (Optional)

Old blighty eh? Chances are, the heavens will open. In which case, a sleek, functional hooded waterproof jacket is an absolute winner.

Man jogging wearing Conquest Signature series Meggings

Another option is a hydration vest. Go for a race-ready minimal pack that’s lightweight and nimble., like the Osprey Duro 1.5.

Tips for staying hydrated 


Slowly drink a pint of water or sports drink exactly two hours before the run starts. That way, by the time the race starts, it will have been absorbed into your system.


Take 3 or 4 long sips of water every 15 or so minutes during the whole race. 


Steadily replace the fluids lost during the race. For every kilo of bodyweight you lose, you need to drink one-and-a-half litres of fluid, so weigh yourself before and after for a good guide.

Man jogging wearing Tiger Shark Men’s Performance Leggings

Product shown: Tiger Shark Men’s Performance Leggings