9 Cold-Weather Running Essentials
Forget the forecast. This gear will keep you moving through the toughest season.
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Endorphins are well worth a flogging from winter weather, but for those rational runners who don’t like wind-whipped eyes and numb toes, know that running companies have you in mind.
#1: Made from lightweight merino wool with a touch of nylon for durability, Icebreaker’s Aero Long Sleeve Half Zip ($80) insulates but never caused us to overheat. Let the zipper fly for extra ventilation when the intensity picks up.
#2: and #3: Training in winter means running in the dark. Make yourself visible with Nathan’s TransWarmer Convertible gloves ($55), which double as mittens and have rechargeable USB lights across the back of the hand, and LightFit BlackLight vest ($55), with six LEDs and reflective piping. Dorky? A bit, but drivers will know you’re there from up to 1,300 feet away.
#4: It’s important to keep your nethers warm, which is why CW-X incorporated windproof panels into its Insulator Stabilyx tights ($125). Compression strips reduce muscle load, and temperature-regulating fabric throughout kept our lower half warm.
#5: The waterproof Brooks Infiniti IV jacket ($120) was designed for temperatures in the forties, but paired with the Icebreaker Aero Half Zip it kept us toasty below freezing. Even better, the semifitted polyester won’t slow down your interval sets when the wind picks up.
#6: The Saucony Kinvara 5 Runshield ($110) has everything we love about the Kinvara series, including minimalist uppers and a substantial but not too thick slab of foam underfoot. This one’s been armored up for snowy trails with FlexShell water-resistant coating.
#7: Lightweight crew socks aren’t enough for winter runs, and burly ski socks are too much. The Balega Enduro V-Tech Quarter ($12), with cushioning in the toes, heel, and cuff, is just right.
#8: Reflective yarn stitched into the North Face acrylic Night Light beanie ($30) kept us visible on predawn training runs, and we especially liked the addition of a fleece band around the ears for those days when a skullcap just won’t cut it.
#9: Twist an ankle on a patch of ice? Hit the SOS button on the Timex Ironman One GPS+ watch ($400, plus data plan) to call for help. You can also store and listen to music, live-track your runs, and monitor metrics like pace and distance—all without the need of a phone.