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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

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

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

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

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

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…
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