Winter Running Gear

Baby It's Cold Outside

That’s right folks, winter is here! Snow is coming and for some of you that means figuring out how to dress accordingly. Even though freezing cold temperatures are a yearly phenomenon it can still be difficult to figure out how many layers to put on. Shifting from a warmer climate in the summer-->fall-->winter can be a different feeling than going from winter-->spring. Therefore, 35* may warrant long pants or shorts depending on if you are an internal polar bear or not.

Why wicking material?

Wicking material is important as it helps keep the material close to your skin dry. This minimizes chafing from occurring. If you have a wet piece of clothing rubbing against your body, the friction against your skin increases leading to chafing and blisters.

Cotton versus wool:

Cotton: Light material, breathable, absorbs water

Cotton is better suited for everyday clothing in the summer where you are sweating less, bedding, upholstery

Wool: Thicker and able to retain heat, wicks moisture, softer, water resistant

Wool is better for activities prone to sweat such as hiking, running, skiing, snow shoeing

Where do you tend to lose most of your heat?

A study performed by BMJ in 2008 reported that the human body looses about 7-10% body heat through their HEAD. The importance of a hat or headband during really cold temperatures is key to sustaining as much body heat as you can during an outdoor run.

Gloves versus mittens for warmth?

Although gloves provide more dexterity and functional use, mittens win in terms of warmth. By allowing all of your fingers to be close together and touching you are able to generate more heat. Gloves would be better suited for activities such as trekking or skiing.


Top Layers

  • Thin long sleeve made of wicking material to prevent sweat from sticking to your skin which can cause your body to cool even faster leading to potential hypothermia
  • Jacket
  • Arm Sleeves

Bottom Layers

  • Thin tights
  • Women: Shorts or skirt over the tights, Men: Compression shorts under or over tights for additional warmth
  • Thick fleece lined tights
  • Leg warmers


  • Hat or headband
  • Thin gloves
  • Face warmer
  • Sunglasses
  • Yaktrax
  • Socks-varying levels of thickness
  • Thick mittens

My Favorite Winter Gear:

  1. Feetures Socks
  2. Athleta Fleece Tights
  3. Athleta Running Jacket
  4. Face Warmer
  5. Down Mittens

What do I wear based on the temperature?

30-35*: Short sleeve shirt, thin long sleeve shirt, thin running jacket-windbreaker, thin gloves, headband, thin leggings

20-30*: Short sleeve shirt, 2x thin long sleeve, non-insulated running jacket, gloves, hat, thick leggings or running jacket with short sleeve shirt underneath

15* and lower: Short sleeve shirt, running jacket, (long sleeve if lower than 10*), thick gloves, hat with fleece, thick fleece leggings, thick socks, face covering

** It is important to note that wind chill makes a huge difference in perceived feel and will change how you dress. Check the weather before heading out.

Have fun running! And don’t forget to warm yourself up with a hot cup of coffee and some relaxing time by the fireplace.

Don't forget to have some fun while you are out there!