Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The best winter running gear: Our top picks

Make winter running easier with this useful gear

Man running across bridge in winter
DuxX / Shutterstock

Running is one of the healthiest activities that you could possibly do. Cardiovascular fitness increases your chances of a long and fulfilling life. It keeps you strong, mobile, and able to keep up with whatever life throws at you. However, the weather doesn’t care about any of that, and the Earth continues to spin regardless of your New Year’s Resolution. Therefore, you need to be prepared when the colder months are in full swing. Here is our list of the best running gear you can pick up to stay warm.

Man running in snow
Andrew Krueger / Unsplash

Tricks for running safely in the snow and ice

Running in the winter months includes many factors that the warmer months don’t have to contend with. For instance, along with the dropping temperatures, you have to deal with snow and ice. Along with preparing yourself with the best winter running gear, there are other things you can do. Here are three tips for you to remember to sun safely in the colder weather.

  1. Know your forecast – Before you go out for your run, prepare by ensuring you know what the weather is. The last thing you want is to get caught in a dangerous blizzard.
  2. Know your route – Just because it is the same route every day doesn’t mean it doesn’t change. When it is colder outside, ice and snow can create plenty of dangerous spots for injury. Familiarize yourself with the route and the possibility of black ice.
  3. Adjust your stride – Ice is one of the biggest factors in the winter months. When you are running normally, you likely have a long gait that puts your foot out in front of you, making it too easy to slip. Shortening your stride keeps your feet under you and makes it easier to stay upright in the event of a slip.
Icebreaker 200 ZoneKnit Thermals
Icebreaker

Baselayer – Icebreaker 200 ZoneKnit Thermals

Baselayers keep you warm by soaking up the sweat that can rob your body of the heat trapped underneath the layer. This merino wool baselayer sports an anti-microbial feature that keeps you warm and insulated. The best thing about that feature is that you can wear it multiple days before washing it.

Appalachian Gear Company

Top – Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Crew

If you haven’t experienced 100% alpaca, then your life has yet to begin. It is one of the softest and most comfortable fabrics in the world. This top is perfect as a mid-layer and also on its own to just hang around wearing. Nothing is better than a top that pulls double duty.

Man wearing NOBULL Merino Wool Track Pant
NOBULL

Bottom – NOBULL Merino Wool Track Pant

NOBULL is one of the premiere names in athletic gear and clothing. While they are known mostly for their shoes designed for CrossFit, they have made waves with their threads as well. The merino wool makes them perfect for temperature regulation, but they are a slim fit – so size up if you plan to wear them over your Icebreaker thermals.

Man wearing Runderwear Long Running Boxers
Runderwear

Underwear – Runderwear Long Running Boxers

The right men’s underwear is the unsung hero of nearly every outfit. When you are running long distances, it is easy to remember how important underwear is when you wear the wrong one. These Runderwear boxers are longer than others and, therefore, protect your entire thigh from chafing. Add that to the seamless fabric that keeps the sweat from your legs, and you will be warm and comfortable the entire run.

Man wearing Swiftwick Flite XT Trail Five
Swiftwick

Socks – Swiftwick Flite XT Trail Five

Socks have awards. We know…it’s socks. But just like underwear, you rarely think about the right socks until you’re wearing the wrong ones. These socks from Swiftwick are designed for the trail and for running. And if you need to know if they are on this list, you can look at their accolades: Runner’s World Gear Of The Year Award Winner, Outside Magazine Editor’s Choice Award Winner, and Men’s Health Outdoor Award Winner.

Man wearing La Sportiva Session Tech Hoody
La Sportiva

La Sportiva Session Tech Hoody

Waterproof fleece-lined panels made from recycled materials keep the moisture out and the warmth in when you are running in temperatures lower than ten degrees. You may not be the kind of person who runs when the temperature drops that far below freezing, but if you are, this jacket masquerading as a hoodie will allow you to.

Man wearing Tough Outfitters Skull Cap
Tough Outfitters

Hat – Tough Outfitters Skull Cap

When you run in the cold weather, your head can be your worst nightmare. Sweat can rob your scalp of heat and wet your hair. And, of course, wet hair in the cold is a recipe for sickness. The skull cap from Tough Outfitters is lightweight and breathable enough to keep your hair dry but warm enough to keep you from freezing out halfway through your run.

The North Face Apex Insulated Etip
The North Face

Gloves – The North Face Apex Insulated Etip

Few companies know cold weather better than The North Face. Named after the most challenging side of the mountain, they know how to keep you warm and prepared in the coldest of temperatures. With the company’s Heatseeker Eco insulation and touchscreen compatibility, these are the best you will find.

Black Diamond Sprint 225 Headlamp
Backcountry

Light – Black Diamond Sprint 225 Headlamp

The days are shorter in the winter, which means if you run in the morning before work or after work, it’s likely you will be running in the dark. For your safety, a headlamp is always recommended. The 225-lumen brightness will keep you safe by catching the attention of drivers and lighting your way.

Jaybird Sport Earthproof Audio Vista 2
Jaybird Sport

Headphones – Jaybird Sport Earthproof Audio Vista 2

Ever been to the gym and thought someone not listening to headphones was a psycho? Us too. Even when you are running, the desire to completely disappear into a song or a podcast is an integral part of ignoring the pain of a workout. The Vista 2 is a rugged selection with noise-canceling technology and SurroundSense, which allows you to temporarily dim your song to hear your surrounding environment.

Running during the winter months can pose a bit of a challenge, especially if you reside in climates that resemble the frozen tundra. But just because Mother Nature has challenged you with snow, ice, and sub-zero temperatures doesn’t mean your fitness needs to take a back door.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
This is the best workout gear when you need to layer up
Don't let the cold weather keep you from getting your fitness on
Man running in the winter weather.

Staying consistent with your fitness routine can be quite the challenge during the long and frigid winter months. The days are the shortest of the year, with the waning sun setting in what seems like the early afternoon. Temperatures can drop to sub-zero on an all too often basis. Just traveling to and from your house to work, let alone the gym, can be a daunting task in and of itself.

But spring can bring its own challenges. Depending on where you live, March and April weather could be balmy or you could be facing weeks more of snowy weather. (And, for a lot of us, springtime means a weird fluctuation between both extremes, which makes preparing for a workout even harder.)

Read more
Salomon made a running shoe designed to be beat up – then recycled
Why the new Salomon running shoes are a win for athletes and Mother Nature
man running by mountain

Green fashion is a significant trend, and Mother Nature is grateful. The Gap started its Washwell program to reduce the use of natural resources during the denim-making process. Adidas makes cycling shoes with vegan leather. Brands are also looking for ways to make running sneakers more sustainable.

It's a welcome movement in an often polarizing space.

Read more
The 10 best men’s workout shirts to help you get fit in 2023
Man running in a workout shirt

There are multiple things to consider when purchasing new workout apparel. You want to make sure you do your due diligence beforehand. When looking for the optimal workout shirt, functionality often takes precedence over style, for most men. After all, a minimalist cotton t-shirt is ideal, but it won't look (or smell) so great after an hour-long workout, especially if your working out, outdoors. That's why, in the past decade, some of our favorite activewear brands like Lululemon, Vuori, and Under Armour have developed breathable fabrics with moisture-wicking and odor-fighting technology that are now practically must-haves for any exercise gear, especially when it comes to making high-quality shirts.

That being said, not all workout tops are created equal. When it comes to finding the right workout fit, make sure it doesn't feel too tight or baggy around your underarms, your shoulders, or across your chest, i.e., the areas you exercise most. We sifted through some of the most popular brands to select the best workout shirts that are as practical as they are fashionable. Here are our top picks for the best men's workout shirts of 2023.

Read more