Running remains the ideal sport for the COVID-era.
But the problem is that thousands of people have taken to it since quarantine upended normal life and closed gyms for the foreseeable future. It's a great way to exercise while remaining socially distant. As more people hit the pavement and explore new trails, avoiding human contact may be tricky if you live in a big, populated area. Luckily, fitness companies have been working tirelessly to craft the perfect masks for runners.
They remain in high demand, so the covers below may not necessarily be in stock right now, but as the fall months creep in, running masks are inevitably going to become a more frequent part of the new normal. Don't fret if they're not available. Amesh Adalja M.D., a senior scholar with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says there is no evidence indicative of runners spreading the virus.
"Transmission doesn't occur through fleeting contact," Adlja told Runner's World. "That's not significant exposure." But for those who are mandated by the state to wear face masks, or just want to be extra conscientious while they lace up and get outside, here are the best masks to help you do it.
While currently sold out, New Balance has a long history of curating good quality running gear, and their shot at the face mask is no different. As one of the first running companies to kickstart a production for face masks, the minimal one-size-fits-all design makes for excellent breathability and limited weight.
The three layers of fabric all but ensure that the mask will trap in some heat and make your face sweat, but its moldable nose piece means you won't fog up your sunglasses while you run.
While it's worth noting that the Boco Gear Performance face mask is for PM2.5 protection (the coronavirus is even smaller than PM2.5), it remains a lightweight mask that is perfect for strenuous outdoor activities. It is one of the lighter running masks available but has a tight-knit layer along the inside to keep it sturdy on your face. The mask also has a separate pocket filter, which adds even further protection, but makes it a little harder to breathe.
While these masks are currently sold out due to insanely high demand, the Adidas fitness mask was one of the first significant face masks explicitly unveiled for fitness. Made with a flexible material and straps that stretch to keep the mask fitted to your face, the face cover also has two fabric layers to keep dust and particles away from your mouth.
It's also made with 93% recyclable polyester and is sold as a three-pack. Adidas additionally promises that every $2 from every pack sold will go to Save the Children's Global Coronavirus Response Fund.
The Wolford mask is super stretchy and incredibly durable. It repels sweat and helps your face stay dry during workouts, and it's incredibly water-resistant so you can run in the rain. Unlike brands of flimsy face masks, Wolford is a design company known for its durable and comfortable leggings, and their face mask is no different.
One of the most coveted face masks on the market, the Under Armour UA Sports Mask is difficult to get a hold of thanks to the insane demand. Incredibly lightweight, with a variety of sizes, the masks three-layer concept makes for optimal comfort when really working up a sweat. Made from a spacer fabric, open-cell foam, and a "UA iso-chill" to help keep the fabric cool against your skin, the mask also molds to your face and has an "anti-microbial treatment." They have a new batch ready for pre-order now, so make sure to order them now if you want them by September.