I was going to call this post Running Clothes for a Muslim Country, but I have no idea what it is like to run in Pakistan or Egypt or Libya and I’m pretty sure it isn’t even possible in Somaliland, or at least it wasn’t when I lived there. So that seemed pretty presumptuous. Then I was going to call it Running Clothes for Conservative Places, but that felt presumptuous too.

Djibouti is unique. There are women wearing gloves, socks, and full-face veils and there are women running in shorts and tank-tops. Granted they are from different countries, but they can pass one another on the street in peace.

Djibouti is a pretty decent place to be a runner. If you have thick skin. Thick enough to ignore the heat and searing sun, thick enough that the dust and trucker exhaust won’t niggle in too deep. Thick enough to ignore people staring or commenting.

But otherwise, Djibouti is a good place to run. I see interesting things on every run. Like camels and sunsets and donkey carts and airplanes landing and parachuters and the ocean. I’m free to run, even as a woman. I feel safe. That’s not to say something couldn’t happen and I don’t go certain places, but I also don’t run alone in dark parks in Minnesota either.

So here is what I wear, most of the time.

Not short shorts. Sorry French military, the shorts are just a wee bit, um, short. And tight. And white. Or, unfortunately, gray.

Shoes. I have tried the whole barefooting thing and there are just too many thorns, dead animals, shards of broken glass. And the ground is too hot, like, gave me heat blisters hot. Not worth it. I like trail shoes for most of my runs and lately have been trying Asics Gel Scout. I also run in Saucony Kinvara, Saucony Peregrine Trail, and ASICS Gel-Cumulus. (Tip: buy last seasons shoes and save $20-40) I typically have two pairs that I rotate until they hit 500 miles. Saucony has so far proven to be the least sweaty and I have yet to finish a hot run squishing around in a pair of Kinvaras. For Djibouti, that is saying a lot.

I’m going to have to say no tank-tops unless you are at the beach or in a race. Yes you can wear tank-tops. But they show a little too much female skin for my tastes. (Truth be told, I do sometimes wear tanks)

Moisture wicking or tech everything. This is pretty much required unless you enjoy rashes and chafing in every place on your body. Especially socks. I used to run in my husband’s sport socks before I had a chance to travel out of the country and get moisture wicking socks. By the end of runs I would be squishing into soggy messes and would up with blisters all over my feet.

I don’t know what these are called but they are my new favorite running clothes for Djibouti. Skants? Skandex? Pant-skirts? Skirt-pants? Feels like pants, looks like a skirt. One piece. Covers your butt.

Running djibouti
The intense heat and humidity in Djibouti require me to consider what I look like while running and after running. Some pants leave mortifying sweat marks, any light color will become see-through within minutes. Black or dark, even with the heat, is the way to go.

What do you wear to run where you run?