It seems that preparing to run outdoors this time of year takes more time than the actual run itself. Finding motivation to head out the door is significantly more difficult when you know you’ll have to dress in a million layers just to stay warm.
It’s taken quite a few years and many brutal runs, but I’ve finally learned a few lessons about dressing for the cold weather running season. Regardless of whether you live in a snow-filled area or just deal with chillier temperatures, winter can bring a few brutal obstacles for runners.
Learning how to dress for winter running is a skill in and of itself.
Luckily, running outdoors in the winter provides just as many mental and physical benefits as it does throughout the rest of the year.
It’s easy to hibernate inside on the treadmill during the winter running season, but by doing so you’re missing out on the fresh air, beautiful scenery and feeling of accomplishment after those outdoor runs.
If you’re battling chilly temperatures, harsh winds, and never-ending snow or ice, you’re not alone. Despite their challenges, there are a few pieces of running gear that will make those cold weather runs enjoyable and, dare I say it – warm.
Check out this guide to some of the ultimate, most practical pieces of winter running gear. With everything from running mittens to shoes and leggings, this running gear will keep you warm with limited layers.
Some of my favorite pieces of cold weather running gear have come from purchases that I thought were “too cheap” to be worth it – but have become a staple and lasted many years. Check out the best winter running gear below!
The Best Winter Running Gear
These mittens have literally been game-changers for me. My fingers used to get so cold while I ran. I used to wear three different gloves, layering them up in attempts to keep my fingers from turning white.
Once I got these mittens, I couldn’t believe what a difference they made. I no longer have to wear any lighter gloves underneath them, and my fingers stay warm from their own heat. These are the mittens I carry with me in my coat, in the car, and whenever I leave the house now.
When I first got this hoodie, I really liked it because of the high collar and the fun color (mine is neon yellow). The collar covers your neck, and the sides of your face, keeping the wind away from your skin on those cold days. It took me a few runs to realize that this was also completely water proof, but as soon as I did I knew I wanted to keep it forever.
This shirt is a slightly different style of running gear than what I would normally pick out. It’s a bit thicker and bulkier than I usually choose, but after wearing it just once I was so glad I took a chance and bought something different. I wore this hoodie on a run one time when it started raining, and was so surprised to see the rain drops literally rolling off of it. Plus it’s ridiculously warm.
This vest has been one of my favorites since I got it. It feels so lightweight, but still manages to keep me ridiculously warm. It has pockets on the outside as well as the inside, which I love in the winter because it keeps my phone warmer.
This was definitely one of the bigger investments I’ve made in running clothes, but it is of such a high quality that I plan to be able to use it for years to come (in addition to the four its been since I originally bought it). If you wait for a sale this vest is well worth the cost!
These are my go-to leggings for cold temperatures. I used to wear two leggings to run outside on really cold days until I got these. They have definitely gotten their fair share of use, and they are the only leggings I have that are warm enough to get me through the winter.
These running tights have two layers to keep you extra warm during those cold weather runs. These winter running tights have kept me warmer than any pants I’ve ever owned! I especially like the zippers at the bottoms which make it easy to get around shoes or thick socks.
I got these running shoes a few years ago and have been surprised by how well they work! The Gortex material is essentially waterproof, which is great throughout the winter. This material works magic after it has snowed or iced, keeping your feet completely dry even as you trudge through snow and melting water.
These shoes are a staple in my running gear throughout the year, as I wear them on days in the summer or spring when it’s raining for the extra protection. My feet have yet to get wet while wearing these shoes, and there have been some pretty big puddles on my path!
This is a classic base layer that I wear for all extreme cold events – I wear it running, skiing, skating, sledding, etc. It is so basic but really does the trick. It’s skin tight so it’s easy to slide under other clothes and keeps that body heat in!
Finding the right winter running gear may involve a bit of experimentation, but it can truly make or break this running season. Running in cold weather doesn’t have to feel miserable.
Making an investment to purchase a few high quality pieces of winter running gear will allow you to truly enjoy and appreciate this beautiful time of year.
There is nothing quite the like the satisfaction of completing a run through the elements, and winter brings the utmost opportunities. Stay warm this winter season with this game changing cold weather gear.