(NOTE: this is NOT a sponsored or paid post.)
Since this is my first year running in cold weather it’s been a little bit of an experiment trying to figure out what kind of gear works best. It’s not even officially winter yet and we’ve experienced some brutal weather here in Michigan so far! I thought I would write a quick post that shows my favorite combination of cold weather running gear. I’m still experimenting, but this seems to be working well and has gotten me through a lot of cold runs including a 10 degree 20 miler last weekend! As I continue to experiment with different clothing and gear I’ll be sure to share my favorite items with you!
I’ll start from the top and then work my way down:
1. Underarmour Beanie Hat
This sucker really holds in the heat but it doesn’t feel suffocating and it draws the sweat away from your scalp. It’s very cozy! I typically only wear this if it’s below freezing. Otherwise, I like to wear my Nike running cap with a headband. Either one works!
2. Nike Dri Fit long-sleeve half-zip shirt
This is probably one of my favorite pieces of running gear. It’s funny because I would probably never spend this much money on a shirt. But it was a gift and I’m super glad that I have it! I should really buy another one. In cold weather it’s really important that you have something to cover your neck so make sure that you have at least one long-sleeve shirt or jacket that zips up to cover your neck. I also have a long-sleeve wool blend shirt that I bought at Costco. But I can only wear that on shorter runs because it rubs my neck in a weird way and creates a hot spot on longer runs. Of course, if I remembered to use my Body Glide that would solve that problem!
3. Outer shirt
I should probably get some type of shell jacket, but in the meantime I just wear another dri-fit shirt on top of the inner layer. I do my best to make sure it’s brightly colored, especially if I run later in the afternoon.
4. Half Finger Pocket Mitten Gloves
I like these because I can still dig around in my pack if I need to and sometimes my fingers get warm so I like to let them breathe for a little while. I only wear these if it’s SUPER cold. Otherwise I just wear one of those cheapy pair of gloves…you know, the kind you buy for like a dollar at the grocery store. If it’s really cold and you don’t have a pair of half finger mitten gloves, I recommend wearing a pair of mittens over your cheapy gloves.
5. Paradox Dri-Release Merino/Wool Blend tights
I got these at Costco and they’re GREAT! I really need to order another pair. I don’t think I would be comfortable wearing these and nothing else though…I only wear these under another pair of pants. They remind me of long-underwear, but a lot more comfortable.
6. Adidas Fleece Pants
These were another Costco purchase. 🙂 They aren’t breathable, but they keep me nice and warm even when it’s windy. They’re loose enough so that the tights I wear underneath still have room to breathe. I also like to wear them around the house because they are cozy.
7. Dri-fit socks
I’ve heard that wool running socks can be pretty swanky but I don’t own a pair. So I’ve just been wearing the same old socks that I normally wear. I haven’t noticed much of an issue with my feet so I guess I’ll keep doing more of the same.
8. Adidas trail running shoes
I typically like to wear my trail shoes when there’s snow on the roads for extra traction. I REALLY need to get a pair of YakTrax but I haven’t yet!
9. Nathan running belt
Until I get a shell jacket that can hold my phone and gel packs when I need them, I’m forced to wear my running belt. It doesn’t thrill me, but it’s small enough so it doesn’t end up bothering me too much. For my long runs I have a fuel belt that holds two bottles, but last week both my water and Gatorade froze, so I’m not quite sure how useful that’s gonna be moving forward…
So that’s it! As you can see, there’s nothing too complicated…you just have to make sure that you layer up, and go the extra mile (bazinga!) to cover your head, neck, and hands. And remember, in cold weather it’s even more important that you use gear that keeps the sweat off your skin. The thought of running outside in the cold may seem depressing, but really…once you get going it’s really quite invigorating!
Once you’re done running and come back inside you’ll want to get those clothes off as soon as possible to avoid getting the chills. If you meet up with friends to do a long run and plan on going out for breakfast after, be sure to bring some extra clothes to change into…at least from the waist up. Otherwise you will be shivering and won’t be able to fully enjoy your well-earned pancakes.
So, what’s your favorite piece of cold weather running gear? I’m always interested to know what other runners use!