What to wear if You Run in Cold Weather

What to wear if You Run in Cold Weather

11.05.2022 Off By manager_1

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Are you an avid runner who strives to stay in shape through the winter months? Casual runner not sure what to wear when it’s icy. Do not let the monotony of running get you down. Take some time to select cold-weather running gear so that you can run in cool temperatures.

Here are some top tips for running in winter months.

Layer on

Your body heat will warm the air pockets between layers of clothing. This insulation is better than one thicker layer. Plus, layers let you customize. Are you feeling cold? Grab a hat from your pocket. Are you feeling warm? Take off or unzip a vest. Your layering sweet spot will depend on how intense you workout, what your baseline body temperature is, how sweaty you are, and even gender. Women typically feel colder than men. You can experiment to discover what works best for you.

Dress for warmer weather than it actually is

Once you begin moving, your body will heat up. If you don’t layer enough, you could get more hot and sweaty, which could lead to you getting colder. Hypothermia can occur when sweat freezes.

Reflective clothing is a must

Winter evenings are dark regardless of the weather. You must ensure that drivers can see you coming. Make sure to look for gear that has LED lights or reflective details. These are the ones that will show up in your headlights. An opaque jacket with bright colors is not helpful in the dark.

Running Layers for Upper Body

Selecting a shirt

Sleeves are a must for any heavyweight or midweight base-layer shirt. It should wick moisture away from the skin, dry quickly, and draw heat away from the core. Material considerations:

  1. Avoid cotton. It loses its insulation properties when it is wet.
  2. Merino wool tops provide warmth and natural odor resistance.
  3. Heavyweight synthetics: Polartec and polyester fleece, microfleece, and Capilene.
  4. Thermax, CoolMax, Thinsulate and polypropylene are all good midweight synthetics.


Jackets that are specifically made for cold weather should be considered. They tend to be thicker and have more core insulation.

  1. To protect yourself from the elements, look for a wind- or water-resistant shell.
  2. Remember that waterproof jackets trap sweat so you might still get damp, but you will be much more comfortable.

Accessories for Running

Accessories can prevent frostbite and windburn, as well as chapped skin. Accessories should be waterproof and moisture-wicking. These are the main distinguishing marks that set running gloves apart from other hats.

Because 10% of our body heat is lost through our heads, warm hats are especially important. Cold ears can be uncomfortable. Here are some considerations for hats:

  1. If temperatures are above freezing, you can use a lightweight hat.
  2. If temperatures are below freezing, you can use a fleece beanie, fleece headband or wool hat.
  3. If the wind chill drops below 10 degrees F, you can wear a full-face ski mask.
  4. Still cold? Consider adding a neck gaiter, a warm, soft fabric tube that can be pulled over your nose and mouth or all the way up to the top of the head like a ski mask or balaclava.

Keep Your Lower Body Warm

You might find that your legs generate heat so you may need less layers for your lower body than your upper. But, be aware of what works best for your body.

Running pants & Leggings

A good pair of running pants such as Zella leggings will suffice. When deciding on the right thickness and material for your leggings, consider how cold it gets in your area.

  1. Tights three-quarter length might provide enough coverage. They can be paired with tall socks for a lot of versatility.
  2. Consider thick thermal running tights or tights, which may be fleece-lined.
  3. Consider adding windproof track pants to your tights if it is really cold below 10 degrees F.
  4. Notice: Some wind- and water-resistant tights may already have a nylon outer lining.

Running shoes

You might consider switching out your regular sneaks for winter-specific shoes. They’ll be warmer, waterproof and offer better traction for running on snow and ice. Here are some tips to help you choose the right running shoes.

  1. You can still wear your regular trainers but you should consider adding a traction device. They are usually made of coiled wire and steel spikes, and can help you avoid slipping.
  2. Avoid mesh-heavy shoes as water can get in.
  3. Shoes that fit your gaiter should be considered.
  4. If you plan to wear them with thick socks, it might be a good idea to size up.

Athletic socks

Socks made of merino wool, or tech fabric are best. Never use cotton as it can cause blisters and make you feel cold. Here are some additional tips:

  1. They should be moisture-wicking.
  2. The thicker the fabric, the better. If it is below freezing, start thin but don’t hesitate to do heavy duty when it gets frigid.
  3. Your socks should be high enough to reach your ankles so that they can cover the gap between your tights and your shoes.
  4. For extra protection, consider adding running gaiters to your ankles.