The Best Winter Running Gear To Survive Seriously Frigid Temps
LBH, running anywhere at any time is hard. But running outside in winter? That’s some next-level dedication right there. Of course, that task becomes a lot easier when you have the right gear to get you through the frigid weather. And outdoor workout pros have some strong opinions when it comes to choosing outfits for clocking long runs in the cold. Snag their choices for the top winter running gear to keep your mileage (and motivation) up when the temps drop way down.
Arc’teryx Rho LTW
A merino-based beanie, this hat will keep your head nice and toasty—the number-one priority when striding outside in winter. Zina Bougri, a gear tester who has experimented with tons of fitness products, says it’s her favorite to wear on the road.
Gore Closefit Tricot Gloves
The North Face
“Because your hands are consistently driving forward through the cold air, warm wind-resistant gloves are a necessity,” says Hollis M. Tuttle, senior coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City. She says this pair stands out from the crowd, courtesy of their durable shell and soft lining, along with touchscreen capabilities.
BodyFitZone Long Sleeve Crewe
Thanks to a merino wool-based layer, this will keep your core temperature up as you hit the streets. “I find that wool feels more ‘cozy’ against my skin while providing all the benefits of other technical pieces,” says Tuttle. “This shirt moves well without chafing and the mesh panels help regulate body temperature as it elevates and drops.”
Coriolis Hooded Windbreaker
With a super-lightweight yet durable outer layer, you get protection from the elements while the merino wool lining provides the warmth. “It’s perfect for chilly morning runs,” says Icebreaker ambassador and adventure athlete Priya Mareedu.
Fleece of Mind Jacket
A wind- and water-resistant jacket, this one offers a removable hood, thumbholes, a ventilation panel, and a zipper in the back to stash your belongings, too. Tuttle loves it for days when there’s a chance of rain.
“This is my go-to outer layer,” says Bougri. “Its Polartec Power Grid technology traps body heat while still wicking away excess moisture, and the Polartec Alpha synthetic insulation along the chest adds the perfect amount of warmth.” It’s the ultimate combination for a winter workout jacket.
Deena Kastor, Olympic medalist and American record holder in the marathon, loves wearing these tights in any weather. “They have a wide comfort range in temperature, keeping the winter guessing game of ‘what to wear’ out of the equation,” she says. “With these, I can just head out and get in the work.”
Winter Warm Mid-Rise Tight
The North Face
Fleece-lined leggings are a must-have for surviving winter workouts. While these pants provide plenty of warmth thanks to that extra-thick lining, they still wick away wetness and feel light, says Bougri.
Merion+ Cushion No Show Tab Socks
The merino wool material of these socks keeps feet dry and warm, while the compression underfoot helps with arch support. To top it off, the toe offers a no-rub seamless finish, making it one of Precision Running Lab’s manager and instructor Angela Rubin’s faves.
PhD Run Cold Weather Mid-Crew Socks
“I’m a huge fan of merino wool—it’s naturally lightweight, soft, non-itchy, moisture-wicking, and keeps feet dry and warm even while sweating,” says Tuttle. She likes this sock in particular because of how perfectly it fits her foot, and it adds a little extra layer under tights, thanks to the higher cut.
“I love the Nimbus for its cushion, as I train on the roads for most of marathon season,” says Kastor. If you need a pair of sneaks for heavy mileage, this shoe is for you—no matter what season you set your stride. (Check out some more top picks for winter running shoes.)
NANOspikes Traction System
“If it’s icy, I don’t leave home without these,” says Bougri. The lightweight, cage-like construction goes right over any running shoe, adding little metal spikes underfoot to keep you from slipping on icy surfaces while you’re hoofing it.
Training through winter for a marathon? You’ll want this lightweight running pack to stash all your goods, from gels and gummies to chapstick and sunscreen. “There is enough volume in the pack to carry a variety of layers,” says Kelly Halpin, a mountain endurance athlete who competes in triathlon and climbing events. She loves this one because of how durable it is outdoors, too. “It’s built to last,” she says.
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