Q:

How should I dress for a cold-weather run?

I’m sick of being confined to the treadmill this winter. How should I dress for a cold-weather run? Knox Brookline, Massachusetts

Feb 2, 2007
Outside
Outside Magazine
Asics Packable Shelter Vest

Packable Shelter Vest

A:

Two principles: Layer, and go for complete coverage. With that in mind you can easily mix and match what you wear to cope with anything from ten below to 32 degrees.

Let say it’s a little below freezing. You start with a basic lightweight pair of tights such as Cannondale’s Lightweight Tight ($45; cannondale.com). For a top, Patagonia’s Capilene 2 Crew ($38; patagonia.com) or Icebreaker’s wool Bodyfit 260 Long Sleeve Crewe ($69; icebreaker.com) would be great. Then, depending on wind conditions and how warm you get when running, throw on a light vest such as Asics’s Packable Shelter Vest ($45; asics.com), or a jacket such as Nike’s Tailwind ($110; nike.com). Add some light liner gloves (polypro glove liners work well) and a hat, and you’re set.

If it gets colder, switch to a pair of mid-weight tights such as Pearl Izumi’s Microsensor Tight ($69; pearlizumi.com). Add an insulating T-shirt such as REI’s MTS Crew ($24; rei.com), then layer on the Icebreaker shirt and the jacket, and you should be good to go. Maybe add warmer gloves, too. I really like Manzella’s Silkweight Windstopper Gloves ($30; manzella.com), which are surprisingly warm on their own and can easily fit over a silk or polypro glove liner.

For wet weather, a waterproof shell would be in order. Road Runner Sports’s Men’s RSS Jacket ($200; roadrunnersports.com) is a good buy, with a Gore-Tex XCR membrane and a cut that’s good for running. Add a waterproof cap such as Marmot’s Precip Hat ($18; marmot.com) and you’re set. I don’t think you need rain pants—they just flap around too much.

So, with those pieces, you can mix and match for nearly any conditions. You’ll soon get a sense of what combo works best depending on the weather.

You’ve got your winter gear, now get outside and use it. Away.com’s ski and snowboard guide makes it easy to find nearby slopes just begging for fresh tracks.

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