Winter running is not for the faint-hearted or for those of you lacking in discipline. The dreary winter months in many countries can be cold as well as dark and dragging your backside out of bed when it’s pitch black outside, and there’s a layer of frost on the sidewalk certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea! Motivation can be hard to find, or you may swap your usual 5-miler for a session indoors on the treadmill. As the old saying goes though, summer bodies are made in the winter, so a drop in mercury and the absence of Mr. Sunshine are no excuse for letting your regular workout routine go out the window. Nor is not having the right gear a valid reason for hanging up your running shoes either! With the proper clothing and accessories for the job coupled with a winning attitude to match, you can continue to safely and warmly run throughout the winter months even when Mother Nature is at her most punishing. Winter running is all about layering and knowing which strategic pieces to invest in. It’s easy to take items off if you get too warm and tie them around your waist or stuff them in your pocket but forget your winter running gloves or a windbreaker and you’re in for a world of pain and frostbite where you want at least! So let’s take a look at some of very best winter running gear that will keep you both warm and dry from head to toe.
The Best Winter Running Gear
You should always start out with a base layer, and they don’t come much more practical or supportive than the Under Armour range. What that brand don’t know about technical sports gear really isn’t worth bothering about. This ColdGear Fitted Mock top is just like a second layer and is designed to be super soft, lightweight and supportive without sacrificing on comfort. This is created in their fitted style which provides a next-to-skin feel without feeling like you’re a sausage about to burst out of its skin! For those of you who like their base layers even tighter they fo also offer an ultra-tight compression fit or a fuller cut comfort loose shape too. Under Armours Coldgear technology delivers soft brushed fabric on the inside and smooth exterior, so you get all the warmth retention without feeling weighed down. Available in a wide choice of colors, this top is perfect for winter running as it’s constructed with chafe-free flat seems as well as anti-anti-door technology. The 4-way stretch provides flexibility, and the moisture-wicking material keeps you warm and dry.
Fitted next-to-skin design with 87% polyester and 13% elastane
Ultra-warm thanks to dual-layered fabric with soft brushed interior
Flexible movement courtesy of 4-way stretch construction
Moisture wicking, fast drying and anti-microbial
Flat seam construction for a chafe-free experience
- BrandUnder Armour
- Weight7 ounces
Warm hands are an absolute must if you love winter running and we’re sticking again with Under Armour for our next technical product recommendation. These men’s Threadborne Run Gloves have been designed to provide plenty of stretches and give while being ultra-soft and breathable too. With a rain and snow repellent UA Storm coating they will keep your hands dry but won’t sacrifice on that all-important breathability. Featuring that all-important Tech Touch technology, you can also continue to fully operate your touch screen devices without the inconvenience of having to remove your gloves so shuffling that motivational playlist is easy. There’s even a soft Speedwide fleece feature on the back of the index finger and thumb just in case you get a touch of the sniffles! With a reflective UA logo and print, these Threadborne running gloves also deliver extra visibility and safety during low light running sessions.
Warm, breathable and flexible thanks to 85% polyester and 15% silicone construction
Plenty of stretch and performance as well as being ultra-soft
Storm finish coating effectively repels rain, snow, and moisture
Tech Touch print allows for operation of touch screen devices without removing gloves
Reflective logo provides additional visibility in poor conditions
- BrandUnder Armour
- Weight1 pounds
We might as well stick with Under Armour for our next best running gear product review as it’s undoubtedly true that they do make superb technical garments. As everyone knows, heat escapes from your extremities, especially your head, and whether you are blessed with a full head of hair or are balding, keep warm when you are out running by covering your head and ears is critical. This ColdGear Reactor Elements Beanie is perfect for winter running. Available in a wide choice of colors, once again it features their patented UA storm coating to repel and protect you from rain and snow while still being breathable. The fleece construction is soft and warm to wear but quickly dries out, and with ColdGear reactor lining, it intuitively and cleverly adapts to your activity level. This beanie hat is minimalist and stylish looking but certainly not lacking in those all-important cold-weather features. It features anti-door and anti-microbial technology too so your head and your hat remain warm and dry no matter what.
Warm and breathable with 100% polyester outer and lining of 81” polyester and 19% elastane
Storm finish coating effectively repels rain, snow, and moisture
ColdGear reactor lining adapts to your activity level to keep you warm
Moisture wicking, fast drying and anti-microbial
The brushed inner layer and smooth quick-dry outer layer
- BrandUnder Armour
- Weight0.32 ounces
One thing you will definitely want to invest in if you are running during the colder winter months is a pair of excellent, technical base layer tights. These Nike Men’s Training Tights make a superb choice delivering just the right amount of compression, comfort, and flexibility. With Nike’s sweat-wicking technology they help to keep your body warm and dry without over-heating, even when you are pushing yourself to your limits and working up a sweat. With flat seem construction too they are smooth and gentle against your skin and won’t cause any irritation to chafe. They feature that iconic Nike swoosh motif on the left leg. Stylish, streamlined and a comfortable fit.
Comfortable and warm blend of 90% polyester and 10% spandex
Feature Nike’s Dri-Fit technology for superior moisture wicking
Compressive fit for close to body comfort and support plus option for layering
Flat seam, non-chafing construction
Feature Nike swoosh on left leg
- Weight1 pounds
We’ve already discussed the importance of keeping your head warm as that’s one of the main places that we lose heat. For those of you that want something that also protects the delicate neck area and effectively keeps the wind chill out, then our next product selection in the Best Winter Running Gear review if the one for you. It’s the Nike Pro Combat hood and is made from Therma-FIT material which provides insulation as well as moisture wicking technology. Not just ideal for winter running, this Hyperwarm Hydropull hood is also great for extreme weather sports like skiing and snowboarding. With its flat seam construction, it delivers a close and comfortable non-chafing fit which can be worn alone or layered under a helmet or hood. It provides full face protection which extends below the neckline, and one size should fit all. It also conveniently converts into a neck gaiter. The wind doesn’t stand a chance against this bad boy. Make sure you also check our guide to the best neck gaiters.
Delivers excellent full face protection
Superior heat retention and moisture wicking properties
Smooth, anti-chafing flatlock seam construction
Form-fitting design can be worn alone or under a helmet
Converts to a neck gaiter plus extends below the neckline
- Weight4 ounces
Depending upon where in the world you live and what kind of winter sports and running you get involved with, then a pair of cleats may be in order so that you really can continue to enjoy your outdoor pursuits whatever the weather. These Run Traction Cleats from Yaktrax go over your own running shoes and are designed with a high-strength rubber frame and straps over the toe and foot for extra security. They also feature highly reflective material on the sides for your safety ensuring you are better seen in low light conditions. These superior winter cleats feature replaceable 3 mm carbide-steel spikes combined with 1.4 mm rust-resistant stainless steel coils for confidence striding out over ice and packed snow. They deliver a full 360 degrees of traction on cold surfaces plus stability in all directions and have been tested to temperatures as loos as -41 degrees. Quite frankly if you are still running out in those punishing conditions, you must be superhuman or possibly a bit mental! They come in 4 sizes to fit most shoes, and Yaktrax recommends you go up one size larger than you’d ordinarily wear.
Designed to fit over most running shoes conveniently
Constructed from 3 mm carbide steel pikes and 1.4 mm stainless steel coils
Deliver 360 degrees traction and multi-directional stability
Reflective heel and side straps for safety
Tested for breakage in temperatures as low as -41 degrees F
- Weight0.8 ounces
Be bright, be seen, be Illumiseen! Running in winter means less sunshine and daylight hours, so you need to ensure that you are visible no matter how dimly lit the conditions outside. This LED Reflective Belt from Illumiseen provides 360 degrees of visibility and not only illuminates but also reflects light from oncoming traffic too. Whether you are running, walking, hiking or cycling, It’s easy to wear, user-friendly, comfortable and fully adjustable too. The light function can be toggled between either Flash or Glow with a simple click, and the belt straps are fully adjustable so you can wear it around your waist, your shoulder or even a backpack. It features a sturdy and durable Micro USB rechargeable battery which can provide up to 20 hours of illumination.
Delivers 36 degrees of visibility
Reflects and illuminates light and features a Flash and Glow function
Adjustable and comfortable elastic straps
Features a UAB rechargeable micro-battery
Can provide up to 20 hours of illumination
- Weight4.5 ounces
If you are planning on running throughout the winter, you need an insulated running jacket that is lightweight and warm and which will seal out the cold while not inhibiting or restricting your mobility. This Adidas Men’s Winter Running Jacket is perfect with an elastic trim hold and cuffs along with an adjustable bungee hem to block out cold wherever you might typically be exposed. It features a durable water repellent coating to keep you warm and dry along with built-in headphone channels. A high neck and hood further add to the protective features of this Adidas best winter running jacket.
Synthetic insulation keeps you warm and dry
Bungee adjustable hem, hood, and elastic cuffs block out cold
Built-in headphone channels
Durable water repellent finish
Lightweight polyester padding for ultimate insulation
If you are running in the winter, you might want to consider a pair of dedicated running shoes like these Salmon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes. The benefits of which are aggressive grip, a more precise and stable foothold, and weatherproof comfort. These Salomon’s offer Gore-Tex protection and are a seriously lightweight yet technically advanced trail running shoe. Featuring quick lace, minimalist pull on and off construction, as well as Sensifit comfort fit for secure and snug, customized shaping around your foot, they are the perfect shoes for all seasons but particularly well suited to winter running conditions.
Feature contagrip, mudguard as well as anti-debris mesh
Mid feather construction featuring weatherproof Gore-Tex technology
Quicklace and Sensift systems in place for ultimate comfort and customization
Deliver aggressive grip and precise foothold
Perfect for traveling over soft ground at speed
Well established for their superior stability, durability, as well as rugged style, our next best running gear recommendation, is these Asics Gel Kahana shoes. With gel cushioning for your comfort and support, they deliver confidence and superior traction across weather worn roads and trails. The gel minimizes shock impact for a much smoother ride, and the SpEVA midsole offers plenty of bounce back. With Trusstic System technology, the structural integrity of the shoe is maintained, but the soles are light-weight rather than feeling cumbersome. Reversed lugs ensure plenty of traction and support across of kinds of terrain going both uphill and downhill. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best Gore Tex running shoes.
Feature a trail-specific outsole with reversed lugs
Plenty of Gel cushioning for one board support and shock absorption
Dual density midsole system for stability
Perfect for uphill and downhill running across all types of terrain
Trusstic system technology
- Weight12 ounces
If you find it hard to leave the house without your usual essentials, then a running pouch belt could come in extremely handy. It’s the hands-free way to ensure that you still have access to all your essentials without having to over-stuff your pockets. This Sport2People pouch comes with 2 expandable pockets so that you can safely carry your phone, an energy bar plus some emergency money and your keys. It comfortably fits around your waist and won’t bounce or cause any rubbing or chafing plus its waterproof and features a durable, high-quality zipper. There’s also a special earphones hole and reflective darts so that you can be safely seen.
Lightweight, comfortable and water resistant high-quality construction
3 reflective darts for visibility during low light conditions
Special earphone holes
No bouncing, moving or chafing when you are out running
2 expandable pockets for all your valuables
- ModelPouch Belt USA Patented
- Weight1.9 ounces
If you are running, cycling or even just out walking your dog in the winter, it’s best to be seen than to be sorry. This Reflective Vest and a Reflective Band set from HiVisible is just what you need to ensure you can be seen from up to 800 feet away in all kinds of weather including fog as well as the dark. The reflective armbands can be strategically positioned around your wrists, arms or ankles and the vest, which comes in either Green or Pink will go over most tops and jackets and is suitable for both men and women. It features an adjustable belt for extra support, is lightweight and breathable and doesn’t require batteries.
Provides 360-degree visibility and can be seen from 800 feet away
Reflective in all weather and light conditions including night, dark, rain and fog
Comes with 4 additional reflective bands perfect for wrists and ankles
Comfortable and adjustable fit
Lightweight and breathable plus no batteries required
- Weight8.2 ounces
Sporty, stylish and comfortable too, these Adidas Men’s Cloudfoam Ultimate running shoes are bound to make you want to get up and go out for a run whatever the weather, come rain or shine, no matter the season. They’re the last word in comfort. Designed to be lightweight and breathable and packed with patented Adidas Cloudfoam cushioning which makes them a sheer joy to wear. They’re soft and springy and will have you feeling light on your feet as you take to the street. Available in a wide choice of colors too, these Adidas shoes definitely had to make it onto our best winter running gear review.
Fully Adidas branded on tongue and heel cap
Comfortable and breathable textile lining
Super-soft Cloudfoam cushioning for enhanced comfort
Lightweight yet supportive fit
Wide range of colors available
- Weight12 ounces
If you are a dedicated runner and a bit of snow and sleet don’t deter you from your workout program, the one thing that you are going to need is a pair of comfortable, warm and breathable running socks. With their strategically placed cushioning and their wicking technology, these Nike Dry-Fit socks were made for running. They’ve been anatomically designed for correct fit on both your left and right feet plus that zonal cushioning helps to minimize impact. The seamless toe construction also prevents rubbing and chafing while the Y-stitch heel creates a secure and stable fit.
Dit-Fit fabric keeps feet cool, comfortable and dry
Anatomically designed for left and right foot
Shock resistant zonal cushioning
Seamless knit construction for comfort
Secure fit Y-stitch heel support
Available in a whole host of colors, this Mubasel Hydration Backpack delivers enough water to support you for the entire day out, no matter what the activity. The insulated bladder compartment keeps your water fresh and cold and can hold up to 70 ounces. An extendable bite valve makes it easy to reach plus the bladder can be conveniently removed for cleaning. This hydration pack also comes with an assortment of handy additional storage pockets so that you can safely carry your belongings with you on that winter run.
Adjustable waist and chest straps help to bear the load
Extra convenient zipper compartments for all your belongings
Ventilated mesh padding for breathability and comfort
Durable, water-resistant and high-quality construction
Leak-proof design delivering thermal insulation
- BrandMubasel Gear
- Weight1.6 pounds
Our final product selection today in this Best Winter Running Gear review goes to a Beanie Hat from Touch Headwear. Protecting your head is one of the most important things you can do when running in cold weather conditions. Designed in a sleek and close fitting skull cap style, it’s super lightweight and comfortable and makes the perfect helmet liner too. It’s moisture wicking, one size fits all and provides lightweight thermal heat retention.
Perfect to wear alone or under a helmet
Lightweight, comfortable and breathable
One size fits all
Skull cap style design
Super stretchy with soft brushed lining
- BrandTough Headwear
- Weight0.64 ounces
Winter Running Gear Buying Guide
Luring yourself out of the comfort for your home when the temperature drops can be challenging so here are our top cold weather tips to make the best out of those chilly winter training sessions.
Tips For Running In The Winter
- Consider running with a buddy or joining a club rather than going solo, that way you will have more encouragement but also be under an amount of peer pressure not to bail just because there are a few flakes of snow falling from the sky!
- Make sure you invest in the correct shoes for the winter. You need to be warm and dry plus go for something that has more traction and support. Ideally, you want a pair of running shoes which feature Gore-Tex uppers and good lugs on the soles.
- Dress appropriately and go for easy to remove thin layers made from technical fabrics rather than anything too thick that’s not breathable or moisture wicking.
- Be safe and be seen. Also, ensure that you have some reflective lighting either incorporated into your garments or consider wearing an illuminated high visibility vest or a headlamp.
- Make sure that you properly warm up first before you start pounding the sidewalks. Your muscles need to be warm to avoid any injuries or strains which are more prevalent in colder weather.
- Cover up those extremities and make sure you are adequately protected from the wind. Gloves, a hat, and a high neckline are all recommended.
- Running in winter should be about maintenance rather than speed so don’t give yourself too much of a hard time if you are off your usual pace. Consistency and just committing to getting out there are what matter.
- Quickly get out of your clothes post run to avoid catching a chill. Even if your clothes are moisture wicking, get changed, relax and give yourself a big pat on the back for making it out.