8 Gear Essentials for Winter Running

November 8, 2016 Gear Reviews,How to

Winter shouldn’t be a reason to skip out on cardio. Even though the season is a time of chilly temperatures and shorter days, don’t think that running outdoors is impossible or miserable. Running during the winter can be enjoyable with these eight gear essentials.

Having the right gear in the winter is an important safety measure when temperatures are low. The gear on this list is all important for combating winter’s chill, and sometimes wet and windy conditions, to make for a great run. As always, check the forecast for not only weather conditions but also to learn the warmest times of day. Running on a sunny and mild winter day is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors during colder months.

Now depending on your location will depend on how much clothing you truly need to stay warm on a winter run. Layering clothing is key for regulating your body’s temperature. If running in below freezing temperatures, please read the descriptions below for further recommendations on clothing and gear.

1. Gloves

pearl izumi running gloves

Photo Credit: PearlIzumi.com

Gloves are a must-have while winter running. Depending on how cold the weather is, lightweight running gloves could suffice or you might need some warmer mittens or gloves to combat colder temperatures. Whatever gloves you choose, remember to purchase water resistant fabrics, like wool or polyester.

Shop Running Gloves

2. Running Beanie

pearl izumi running winter hat beanie

Photo Credit: Pearlizumi.com

Heat escapes from your head so use a wool hat or beanie to keep your head and ears warm. Not only can the cold be miserable without a beanie, but windy conditions without a warm hat can also turn a good run into a bad run. Seek out lightweight wool hats that wick moisture and won’t be too warm while running.

Shop Running Beanies

3. Balaclava

pearl izumi black balaclava

Photo Credit: Pearlizumi.com

Protecting the neck and face is necessary when running in the winter. If a balaclava might seem too warm to wear, multi-use headwear, like a Buff or even a bandana, is a great way to protect your neck from the cold and wind. Furthermore a Buff or bandana is multi-use, making them a great gear item to always bring on a chilly run.

Shop Balaclava

4. Running Tights

pearl izumi black running tights

Photo Credit: Pearlizumi.com

Running tights, especially those that are wind-resistant, are a great defense against the cold and wind. If temperatures are very cold, pair running tights with water-resistant pants, or even running shorts or a skirt to give the hips a bit more warmth.

Shop Running Tights

5. Long Sleeve Base Layer

pearl izumi long sleeve base layer

Photo Credit: Pearlizumi.com

When choosing a base layer for winter running, always get a long sleeve shirt with a water-resistant fabric that will wick away moisture. Polyester and polyester blends are the perfect choice for a base layer for winter running. Read our review on Patagonia’s Merino Air base layers.

Shop Base Layers

6. Wool Socks

pearl izumi thermal wool running socks

Photo Credit: Pearlizumi.com

Just like everything on this list, socks for winter running should wick away moisture. Therefore wool socks are a perfect choice. Choose tall socks to keep the ankles and calves warm.

Shop Wool Socks

7. Waterproof Shoes

merrell waterproof trail running shoe

Photo Credit: Merrell.com

Waterproof shoes protect your feet from outside moisture and wind. They are definitely beneficial when running in snowy or wet conditions. Choosing trail running shoes also provide more grip compared to regular running shoes.

Shop Waterproof Trail Running Shoes

8. Lightweight Outerwear

pearl izumi running jacket

Photo Credit: Pearlizumi.com

An outer layer, such as a shell, vest or jacket, will likely be required if temperatures are below freezing and wet. A wool jacket or a vest can keep the body warm on a dry day. However a lightweight waterproof or water resistance shell is perfect for wet winter conditions. Read our post on the Top 6 Running Jackets.

Shop Waterproof Running Jackets

Shop Running Vests

What else do you wear on a winter run? Tell us your running gear essentials in the comments below

Not into running? Check out 5 new winter activities you can try this season


Madison Dragna