The winter season can put a damper on your running routine. Gloomy weather, wet and frozen tracks, and the cold chill can make you think twice about running outdoors. Even getting up can be a challenge when it’s always bed weather in the morning. And if you do drag yourself out from under the covers, you may think of just hitting the gym. But in these times, it’s best to just get out and pound the pavement, not the treadmill. With the right winter running gear, you can confidently hit the open road.
The weather can be unpredictable and it’s best to always be prepared for anything mother nature throws at you. Pro tip, dress in layers to layer up if it's too cold or layer down if it gets too hot. Take what you may need just in case so you don’t freeze like a popsicle. It’s also true for the opposite, dress smartly so you don’t burn up. And remember, your extremities get colder faster so heat up your head and hands first and remember to hydrate. Now that you know what you’ll be needing from head to toe, let’s run down the top 12 best winter running gear.
1. Hands - New Balance Lightweight Convertible Gloves
These lightweight gloves provide versatile protection for your hands. Because they let your fingers share heat, mittens keep you warmer. However, they can be unwieldy if you want to use your phone. And as you warm up, they may get too hot. These convertible gloves let you pull over a mitt to cover your fingers if it gets too cold or fold them back if you get warm. Plus, they have touchscreen friendly fingertips and reflective details for visibility.
2. Head - Blu Toque Bluetooth Beanie For Running
This headgear keeps you warm while listening to your favorite tracks. With bluetooth 4.2, it’s compatible with Apple and Android devices. It has intuitive controls and a built in microphone for hands free calling. A 2 hour charge gives you non stop listening pleasure for up to 6 hours - more than enough for a couple of runs. A reflective strip around the beanie lets drivers and other runners know you’re there. Plus, the bluetooth module is detachable so you can wash the beanie.
Pamper your feet with this pair. Since your feet take most of the brunt when running, keeping them comfortable is a must. These socks from Smartwool combine features like cushioning and breathability with a snug fit for maximum comfort. And the material, Merino wool, feels great while providing warmth. Elastics keep them in place and the mid crew height ensures that your legs are not exposed.
4. Base Layer - Tracksmith Brighton Base Layer
Another Merino wool product graces our lineup, this time for the base layer upper. The Brighton from Tracksmith is soft and great at keeping you dry. It’s light but keeps you warm - ideal for layering under a thicker mid-layer or a jacket. Closed knit sleeves help warm your arms and seamless construction prevents chafing. Great at wicking moisture and regulating temperature, it’s a definite must have.
5. Middle Layer - Brooks Notch Thermal Hoodie
This mid layer hoodie has, as its name suggests, a notched interior that wicks away sweat and helps keep heat in. The hoodie can be tucked away when not needed and can be secured to prevent it from annoyingly bouncing. The ½ zipper allows you to control coverage and regulate your temperature. It also has an antimicrobial finish to keep odors away between washes.
6. Outer Layer - Brooks Elite Canopy Jacket
The best outer layer need not be thick and heavy. Since we’re layering, we’re counting on the inner layers for warmth. This outer layer from Brooks traps the warmth in while keeping the wind and rain out. Reflective details up front and on the sleeves help make you more visible. It also has a hood that doesn’t block your peripheral vision and can be stowed away. What’s really great about it is that you can pack the jacket away when not needed.
7. Tights - Asics Windblock Tight
These performance oriented tights are made of all weather material, keeping you warm and dry through rain and snow. It draws water out with its breathable material. It keeps you warm on the windiest days thanks to its wind-proof paneling on the upper thigh blocks. The drawstring on the waist allows for adjustability and makes you feel comfortable even through intense workouts. The reflective bar on the back of the leg and ASICS logo adds visibility for training in low-light conditions.
8. Hydration - Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra 16oz
Because it’s cold, you may think that you don’t need to drink while on the run. Don’t let the weather fool you. You’ll be working up a sweat either way so it’s best to take a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. It helps that this bottle from Amphipod is hydrated so your water doesn’t freeze midrun.
9. Belt - Salomon Pulse Unisex Belt
You can never have enough pockets especially if you plan on being ready for anything. The minimalist style of the Pulse belt discreetly secures your belongings and even your hydration flask. Made from stretchable fabrics, it fits securely on your waist. Plus, its two diagonal straps provide additional storage options.
10. Cleats - Yaktrax Run Ice Shoes
Running on snow and ice is your worst enemy this winter. It’s hard to tell if what you’re running on has frozen over and you risk falling and even injury. These cleats from Yaktrax provide the best traction for your kicks even on ice and snow. Run with confidence with its metal studs and coils. A must have if you plan to run in all conditions.
There you have it. These are our picks for the best winter running accessories. If these don’t give you the confidence to stay motivated, then consider investing in a coach to get you started. Having a trusted friend who’s willing to meet you about twice a week or letting your dog get some much needed exercise gives you less of an excuse to pass up a run.