Can You Run In Jeans?

Jeans are the most common style of pants worn, and while they can be very comfortable, are they suitable for every activity? For example, can you run in jeans? 

You be wondering, can you run in jeans? After all, having a change of clothes to go running is a hassle. Unfortunately, while you can technically run in jeans, it’s a bad idea. 

Why You Can’t Run In Jeans

There are many good reasons why running in jeans is a terrible idea. If you’re running to get in some serious exercise, this material is not what you want. Jeans are often coarse, heavy fabrics that don’t breathe as well as other materials.

This means when you start to build up a sweat; your jeans will feel even heavier and stiffer. Plus, the fabric will most certainly rub against your skin which can cause rashes and possibly abrasions. Then there’s the very crucial factor of mobility.

Can You Run In Jeans?
Wearing jeans while running may cause fatigue and injury

Most jeans don’t provide the kind of mobility found in other fabrics. This means you have less range of motion, making running that much more difficult, especially if you begin to sweat. When your running form isn’t smooth and consistent, you also risk injuries such as pulled muscles and tendons.

Jeans might cause you to misstep and hurt your ankle. They can also drain your energy since your body’s working much harder, causing fatigue which can increase the likelihood of injury. You might also be wondering how to wear running shoes with jeans.

Positives About Running In Jeans

If you want to get active but don’t own athletic wear, you might run in jeans to get started. After peeling off those icky jeans once or twice, you’ll be motivated to get yourself running attire. If you’re on your lunch break at work or want some quick and healthy exercise, a brief jog in jeans shouldn’t bother you that much.

Jeans are also solid and hold up better than lighter fabrics. You can also find athletic jeans that combine the best of jeans and athletic wear.

Those who live in areas with cold weather need thicker and heavy clothing to stay warm. This is when the downside of jeans not being as breathable becomes a positive. If possible, you may want to wear some moisture-wicking long underwear or compression pants underneath so that you don’t get your jeans all sticky with sweat.

You might prefer 2-in-1 running shorts or even joggers if you’re stuck. The right shoes are vital too, check out our explainer on can you run in Allbirds.

What Are the Best Fabrics To Run In?


This plastic-based material is very durable, breathable, non-absorbent, and lightweight. It also blocks UV rays while keeping you nice and warm, making it great for running jackets. However, it does not have the same anti-bacterial properties found in natural fibers.


Nylon is among the most popular fabrics for running as it’s breathable, sweat-wicking, very stretchy, and provides a smooth and comfortable running experience.


Durable and stretchy, spandex is a legendary fabric that’s changed the game in both exercise and casual wear. It offers unrestricted movement and always snaps right back into shape.

Two women running with spandex pants
Spandex fabrics offer unrestricted movement


This fabric is also popular worn by runners as it’s water resistant, making it an ideal base layer. No matter how much a person sweats, they will likely remain dry wearing polypropylene.


There are different types of wool, but the one ideal for both cold and hot weather running is Merino wool. It is temperature regulating, sweat-wicking, breathable, and naturally anti-bacterial. Often it’s combined with synthetic fibers like spandex which gives a more form-fitting shape.

Plus, it’s lightweight.


Bamboo is a fantastic eco-friendly alternative to many synthetic fibers. Bamboo is anti-bacterial, sweat-wicking, and very soft.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy our explainer on can you run in Vans.