What gear do you need for winter/cold weather running?
I get asked this question all the time. I see this question asked all the time across social media.
Let me start with I am by no means a winter running expert, but I do get out there in the freezing cold. Like last weekend, it was 9 degrees during out run. COLD!
So with that I will give you my must haves and my wish list for winter/cold/dark running. What does dark have to do with it? Well the days are a whole lot shorter so more dark running.
My absolute favorite thing for cold weather running is this shirt. I wear it every time I run in cold weather. I like it because it’s super warm and I don’t need a ton of layers. There’s no added bulk when running. I wear the shirt alone (well I always wear a tank top under it) and I’ll add a windbreaker or a light layer on top but really that’s it. I wore it for the 9 degree run with a very light long sleeved over it and my upper body was nice and warm the whole time. I love it so much I really want to get the pants to see how they are because as warm as my core and arms were, my butt and thighs were cold haha. It does come in men’s and kid’s too so bonus. The little is getting one for Christmas so she doesn’t have to layer up as much when she’s outside playing in the snow or when she comes on my short snowy runs with me. For real though, if you splurge on one thing, make it this. I also wore it under a sweatshirt to a cold Patriot’s game. Actually I wear it anytime I’m going to be outside in the cold for a long time. I think I need a few more 😉
I had the pleasure of trying this vest at Rock Lobster during my night leg and I was sooooo in love with it. You don’t feel like you are wearing anything. It’s super bright (but not annoying to you). After I went on a 5am group run in the dark and a few girls were wearing it, I ordered mine. You could see them forever. They were definitely way more visible than I was with my reflective vest on. It’s really cool though, it changes colors and doesn’t get in your way at all. You can even get one for your dog (actually I really want to buy the dog one for my neighbor because he walks his dog in the dark every day and you can’t see either one of them).
I wear a head band when I run. I am not a big fan of hats and I like my hair way up when I am running. It’s always in a messy bun. If it’s snowing I’ll put the headband over a visor. I wear this head band every time I run in the cold. My ears are never cold. It doesn’t slide around. I put it on and don’t touch it the rest of the run (unless I take it off because I got hot).
These are my favorite socks and I wear them for long distance and cold runs because they are thicker. I have never had a problem with my feet getting cold wearing these. I actually wore them for my marathon and didn’t get a single blister. But with that said I do really really want to try the smartwool cold weather running socks that EVERYONE raves about and I would like a taller sock for the colder weather or at least snowy runs.
Again…winter running = more dark running. My go to headlamp is the Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp. It came highly recommended by my friend David and did not disappoint. I love it. It doesn’t bounce around at all. I hardly even notice I’m wearing it. It’s really easy to adjust the brightness. It goes from dim to super bright. You can also adjust where the light is pointing. Oh and it has a red blinky light on the back too. Worth every penny. But I also have a backup head lamp in case I forget to charge mine. I don’t love it as much as my Black Diamond but I do like it. It bounces a little more but that is easily fixable if you wear a visor or a hat with a bill. It works great though.
I don’t wear these a ton, but I defintely wear them if the roads are on the icier side or covered in snow (they aren’t meant for pavement running). I keep them in a bag with all of my cold weather/dark run stuff which pretty much lives in my car all winter so I always have them if I need them. They are pretty easy to pop on and off over your shoes. They do have a different feel when running in them though.
I don’t have a glove recommendation for you. I like my gloves, but I need to invest in a pair or mittens for running when it’s really cold. What are your favorite mittens for running??
What are your must haves for cold weather running?