Nike's Air Zoom Structure 18 Flash running shoes are made for rough weather and low lighting conditions.     Photo: Courtesy of Nike

8 Essentials for Run Commuting This Winter

Running to work is hard, especially when you have to contend with cold weather, poor visibility, and icy roads. On those days, your gear matters.

More than biking or driving, running to work lets you enjoy your surroundings. Of course, your enjoyment may decrease when winter sets in—unless you’re prepared. Frigid conditions are no reason to give up an active commute. Arm yourself with reflective piping and tough accessories, then get out the door.

Osprey Rev 12 Pack ($110)

  Photo: Osprey

If you’re serious about run commuting, you need a running-specific bag to stash water and your extra layers. We like the Osprey Rev 12, a torso-hugging hydration pack that accommodates a 2.5-liter water reservoir. Remove the bladder to make room for your work clothes (leave your dress shoes at the office), or keep it in for long commutes. Built for endurance events, this bag has a clever smartphone pocket on the left shoulder strap for quick access to your favorite fitness app.


Princeton Tec Byte Headlamp ($20)

  Photo: Princeton Tec

Don’t let the dark keep you from run commuting this winter. The 64-gram Princeton Tec Byte is built with a 70-lumen Maxbright LED that has more than enough power to illuminate the road. It’s also light and slim enough not to bounce around on your way home. The Byte features an intuitive push-button switch that lets you easily change the settings or adjust the beam direction without removing the lamp from your forehead.


Nike Air Zoom Structure 18 Flash ($135)

  Photo: Nike

Rare is the road-oriented, weather-resistant, reflective yet nonostentatious running shoe, but the Nike Air Zoom Structure 18 Flash pulls it all off. These winter running kicks have triple-density midsoles for added support, space-age foam wedges for cushioning, and stretchy socklike liners for a foot-hugging fit. These shoes will keep your feet dry, visible, and comfortable on your way to the office.


Yurbuds Inspire 400 Limited Edition ($50)

  Photo: Yurbuds

Running to work is a great time to plow through podcasts (Serial, anyone?) or listen to new music. But if your earbuds refuse to stay in place, you’ll spend more time cursing than cruising. Yurbuds has you covered: These Inspire 400 earbuds use Twistlock technology to stay put in the auditory sweet spot. Just be careful not to lose the pointy rubber tips—it’s like taking away their superpower.


Keen Targhee Lite Quarter Crew ($9)

  Photo: Keen

These Keen Targhee Lite socks have contour arch support for added comfort, seamless toe areas to reduce bunching, and a left-right design for optimal fit. Made from merino wool and a mix of nylon, Lycra, and spandex, these socks are toasty warm and formfitting.


Icebreaker Pocket Hat ($27)

  Photo: Icebreaker

Your head makes up about 10 percent of your body’s surface area, so keeping it warm is must. Icebreaker’s merino Pocket Hat kept us warm in subfreezing temperatures. It’s also lightweight, breathable, odor-resistant, and small enough to stuff into your jacket pocket. This hat comes in four colors—eight if you count the reversibility factor.


The North Face Illuminated Reversible Jacket ($200)

  Photo: The North Face

Your run-commuting jacket should be lightweight and rugged, especially in the shoulder, upper back, and collarbone regions, which see the most backpack friction. This North Face Illuminated Reversible Jacket is built with the company’s Apex ClimateBlock fabric, designed to be equal parts breathable and abrasion-resistant, and the exterior is treated with a DWR finish. We like the soft-shell jacket’s formfitting cut and reversibility: You can sport the highlighter yellow for 360-degree visibility during your commute, then flip it over to the asphalt gray for a mellower look.


Illuminite Second Skin Glove ($30)

  Photo: Illuminite

Thanks to a reflective dot pattern, these Illuminite Second Skin Gloves light up like a beacon when headlights hit them. These gloves are warm without being bulky, and the thumb and index fingers are touchscreen compatible.

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