The Best Winter Running Gear for 2021

Updated

Running on trails in the harsh winter can be quite an adventurous task. However, endowing yourself with the best winter running gear is essential to stay warm and comfortable. These running clothes are made using high-quality materials that are snug fit, water-resistant, and windproof. You also need not worry about getting wet due to excessive sweating while on the run, as these fabrics mop away the sweat and dry quickly.

Not sure about the types of layering and accessories you need to stock up on? We have you covered with gear to survive even the coldest days ahead.

Importance Of Good Gear And Layers

As the temperature drops, you need not stay away from your daily running schedule. With the right amount of layering and high quality equipment, you will be able to hit the trail even in the harsh climatic conditions. Here’s why it is important to use the right layers and gear while running during the winter season.

  • Layering with breathable fabrics enables you to keep the moisture away from your skin so that the inner clothing remains dry and warm throughout the run.
  • Opting for clothes with flaps and zippers offer extra ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Using the right winter fabrics will keep you from getting frostbite. Avoid using cotton materials as they absorb moisture, weigh you down, and take much longer to dry out.
  • Choosing the wrong gear or not wearing sufficient layers will result in more energy consumption to heat your body, thereby leaving you extremely tired.

How To Choose The Best Winter Running Gear

While selecting your gear, you need to pay attention to certain aspects to avoid making the wrong investment. Here are some pointers you need to keep in mind while shopping for your running attire.

Sufficient Warmth

Opt for products that provide enough warmth and will be able to retain your body heat even under extreme cold climates. Clothing specially designed with polyester blend and merino wool will provide the necessary warmth your body requires.

Achieving the Perfect Fit

Shopping for running clothes and accessories that have a snug fit will keep you from having to adjust them or pull on them continuously while on the run.

Ability to Breathe Well

Winter running clothes that have great breathability are an added feature, as it helps you stay warm without feeling suffocated while running for miles. It also works great for those who sweat excessively, as it helps you to remain dry throughout.

Upper Body: Jackets & Layers

To keep your upper body dry and warm during the cold winter months, it’s essential to wear Layered clothing. The best winter running gear consists of three layers of clothing to keep the chill away.

Top layers

The top layer keeps you protected from the snow, chilly blasts, and rain during winter. As it enables you to remain dry, the other layers will be able to function well. The outermost layers are mostly water repellent, windproof, and comes with a durable water repellent finishing.

Mid-layers

The middle layer works great in retaining your body heat. These layers come in a variety of options ranging from natural to synthetic fabrics.

Base layers

When it comes to the base layer, it is the final layer that comes in contact with your skin. This layer’s main purpose is to regulate the moisture content, keep sweat away, and control the body temperature.

Jackets

Running jackets usually come with a slight lining that allows you to remain warm during the cold winters. They are generally water repellent, abrasion-resistant, and windproof – to keep you safe as you run for miles. Jackets are not the same as winter coats. As the temperatures dip, winter jackets offer sufficient bulk and warmth to your body.

Make sure to check the weather before selecting your outer layer! During the cold rainy climate, you will have to go for a waterproof jacket. If the weather conditions are dry, you can opt for a much softer, water repellant option. However, make sure it’s made using quality materials that are breathable and comfortable to wear.

Some of the best winter running jackets include:

For Women:

Mizuno Breath Thermo HZ Jacket

Nike Essential Jacket Filled

For Men:

Brooks Men’s Elite Canopy Jacket

rabbit Elements Jacket

Base Layers

Base layers help your body to remain warm and prevent you from becoming hypothermic – during the extremely harsh winters. This gear lies in close contact with your skin and helps in regulating your natural body heat. It also features a moisture-wicking technology that keeps your sweat away and enables you to stay dry and cool while on the trail.

The natural blends give you a soft feel and texture and are light in weight. Buy a couple of them and get at least one set of the synthetic base layer that comes with a hood.

Check out these best base layers that are built to last:

Helly Hansen LIFA Merino Crew

Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Crew

Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve 2.0

Lower Body: Pants, Leggings, Tights, and Socks

Regardless of how harsh the climatic conditions are, it’s essential to protect your legs and provide all the warmth needed.

Wearing a warm set of running pants, tights, or leggings, and a pair of socks will offer you the necessary cover you need on a wintery day. With these lower body winter running gear, you need not worry about restricting your movement – even when the weather outside is not favorable.

Pants

The best winter running pants help you to stay warm even when the temperature drops drastically. It’s the ideal option for those who wish to work out, even in the chilly weather. The thick material and the long length of these pants keep you warm and are specially customized to stay out of your way and offer a sleek look.

You no longer have to worry about going out even when it’s windy and biting cold, as these running pants are wind resistant. You can also wear them over your tights for added protection, and they also come with zippers and pockets. These modern running pants consist of light, soft and stretchy fabrics that enhance your performance and give you a minimalist feel.

Some of the best running pants include:

For Women:

New Balance Q Speed Run Crew Pant

Nike Swift Run Pant

For Men:

Under Armour ColdGear Reactor Pant

Brooks Men’s Spartan Pant

Leggings

You may come across different types of leggings in the market. To carry-on your early morning jog during cold weather, you need to wear slightly thick and windproof clothes.

Avoid opting for running leggings that come with mesh ventilation. This aspect works great while working out inside the gym or during warm weather conditions. However, during the winter months, opt for leggings that will keep you warm from the cold blasts of wind.

It’s advisable to go for leggings made using softshell fabrics. The softshell materials breathe well and prevent the build-up of moisture content on your skin.

Here are a few running leggings that work great during the cold winter season:

Nike Fast Flash Running Leggings

Under Armour HeatGear Training Leggings

Adidas Alphaskin COLD.RDY Prime Long Leggings

Tights

Running tights are an essential clothing gear you need to stock in your wardrobe – if you happen to be an enthusiastic runner or athlete.

This clothing gear offers sufficient warmth in winter and also allows you to stay cool during the fall. This is mainly due to the compression design of the fabrics used. Compression helps in providing adequate blood circulation to the thighs, thereby maintaining the natural body heat.

The long length, snug fit, and body-hugging material of the leggings cover your lower body from the icy cold weather. Some models are specially designed with additional insulation to fight against the freezing temperatures.

Some of the best running tights you will come across include:

For Women:

Mizuno Breath Thermo Tight

Brooks Greenlight Running Tight

For Men:

New Balance Impact Run Heat Tight

Gore Wear R3 Thermo Tight

Socks

For those runners who reside in the coldest regions of the world, warm woolen socks are a must-have! Selecting higher or ankle length socks during winter works great. Wondering why? Well, no one wishes to expose even a little bit of skin to the freezing weather outdoors. Depending on your personal preference, you can opt for socks of varying thickness and weight.

We recommend Smartwool PhD® Run Cold Weather Mid Crew Socks as a great option to warm your feet from the biting cold. Specially designed using a blend of elastane and imported wool, these socks offer comfort and a soft feel for winter runners.

The Smartwool Indestructawool technology used ensures great durability and will keep you company during the long winters. The Four Degree Elite Fit System provides a snug fit and prevents the socks from slipping down while you run. The targeted cushioning present at the heel and the foot’s ball safeguards your feet from sudden impacts.

Accessories

Winter running gear remains incomplete without coupling it with the right winter accessories. As the temperatures reach an extreme low, it’s essential to drape yourself with the right set of running gear to avoid getting frozen.

High-quality and better performance fabrics blend to offer comfort, warmth, and protection from the harsh climatic conditions. Get yourself some good quality running beanie, headgear, and warm gloves to get cozy as you head out to the trails for a morning jog.

Running Beanie

When it comes to covering the top of your head and ears, you need to opt for a running beanie that’s made using soft and breathable fabrics. This will enable you to remain cool and dry by wicking away the moisture from your skin and prevent you from getting all wet due to sweating.

Opting for a polyester blend or merino wool beanie would be a great option, as they tend to dry quickly. Make sure to get ones that are long enough to cover your ears well. Using these versatile options, you can also fold them up as you wish for a modern or sleek style.

Some of the best running beanies available include:

Outdoor Research Wind Pro Hat

New Balance Lightweight Skullcap

Running Headband

Wearing a comfortable running headband while going for excursions outside during the cold wintery days will keep your neck, head, and face safe from the chilly winds.

Opting for headbands made using thick materials such as merino wool will provide you with extreme comfort and warmth. These also come with a moisture-wicking design – to keep the sweat from your eyes and enables you to stay dry throughout your workout session. Whether you’re planning to hit the trail in the snow or rain, these running headbands would be a great add-on to your running gear.

Have a look at some of the top running headbands on the market:

Kari Traa Tikse Headband

Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear

Running Gloves

It’s essential to get warm winter running gloves that are not too bulky and of the right size to brace the extreme cold weather. You also need to make sure that you will be able to adjust your winter clothing or even tie up your shoelaces without removing the gloves.

Our best pick goes to the SmartWool Merino Sport Fleece Training Gloves. Made using soft, merino wool fabrics, it offers sufficient warmth and comfort to your skin. The polyester blend on the outer layer helps in regulating the body heat. Wrapping your hands in these running gloves allows your skin to breathe well and keeps it from getting sweaty.

The silicone grip on the fingers and palm offers a tight grip while sledding or using your phone. Since the wrist comes with reflective features, it offers adequate visibility even during low light winter conditions.

Conclusion

Looking for running gear to stay warm is not an easy task. Go through the above list to get an overall idea of the different running gear types you will need in your winter wardrobe.

With the right layering set, running in cold weather conditions can be a fun activity. However, pay attention to the local weather reports and warnings to choose the right winter running gear along with your running shoes.

 

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