Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean you have to stop running — you just need to get the best cold weather running gear so you don’t freeze.
When selecting top-of-the-line gear, you’ll want to consider the material of your clothing and accessories first and foremost. Look for insulated fabrics, thermal layers, and fleece materials that will protect you from the elements. When you can, opt for breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics, because clothes that absorb sweat and remain wet can cause your body to cool even faster.
If you’re looking for footwear for cold-weather running, choose a pair of shoes with extra traction or better grips for snowy or slippery ground. Traction-building accessories like crampons or spikes, which attach to your shoes to help you grip slick surfaces, are a great upgrade if the area where you run is especially icy.
Lastly, if you run at night, consider running gear constructed with reflective materials or with built-in lights. In the cold weather reflective clothing and gear can be even more effective, as it often reflects off snow or ice to give drivers a better view of you in the dark (and you a better view of the ground you’re running on).
To help you out with your search, I’ve gathered some of the best cold weather running gear below. Take a look at the selections and feel your "badass winter runner" persona begin to wash over you.
Core 10 Women’s ‘Build Your Own’ Onstride Run
Made from a blend of 88 percent polyester and 12 percent spandex, these thicker running tights are moisture-wicking, breathable, and offer plenty of stretch. Their unique fabric blend coupled with their high-quality construction help them hold in body heat during long runs. In fact, one reviewer says these leggings held in so much heat as she worked out that she couldn’t wear them in the warm weather. Not only are these leggings constructed with opaque fabric that’s comfortable for longterm wear, but they’re available in your choice of fit: high-rise, medium-rise, or cross-waist (pictured above). They even have a small pocket for technology or a house key if you need to store something while you’re out for a run. For budget tights that look similar to these but cost a bit less, try these affordable thermal leggings.
Marmot Women’s Sirona Hoodie
Because this stretch fleece hoodie is constructed with an ultra-warm combination of elastane, fleece, and polyester, it allows you to jog in frigid temperatures without freezing. The fabric is moisture-wicking so you can sweat in it without getting damp and chilly. The hood, cuffs, and trim also feature extra elastic to block cold air from entering your jacket when you run, and the sleeves even have thumbholes for extra warmth. And best yet, it comes with zippered hand pockets to protect your hands in the cold, and it features flat-locked seams to prevent against any uncomfortable chafing.
Regna X Women’s Activewear Lightweight Sports Jacket
This cold weather running jacket isn’t quite as high-end as the one above but it’s significantly cheaper and available in more sizes, ranging from small to triple extra-large. Built with a stretch-woven fabric that’s breathable yet warm, the garment will keep you warm on long runs without breaking the bank. It has a zip-up closure system in the front and mesh fabric in the back to add extra ventilation. Like the hoodie above, it showcases thumbholes to keep your sleeves in place and prevent heat from escaping. And because this jacket is available in ten colors including blue, black, and white, you can match it to your favorite workout outfit effortlessly.
Headsweats Thermal Reversible Beanie
This cold weather running beanie is made from 100 percent fleece on one side and COOLMAX knit fabric on the other side, so that you can easily reverse it depending on your temperature. As you perspire, the material transports the moisture to the outer layer so it can evaporate. It’s also machine washable and is sewn together with a flat-lock stitching that doesn’t rub or chafe your ears as you run. Said one satisfied Amazon reviewer, "Bought two of these for my kids who have just started running with me, great even in the coldest weather conditions."
Salomon Drifter Mid Skirt
This cold weather puffy skirt is made with soft insulation and an advanced shield fabric made with Pertex, making it fully waterproof and wind-resistant. When it starts getting chilly, just throw it over your running tights for extra warmth — a great compromise if it’s too cold for summer leggings but not quite frigid enough for full fleece pants. It’s also great for wearing over your thicker tights mid-winter when it’s truly freezing out. The material is flexible and allows for great movement so you don’t feel restricted as you run. The design is also fully reversible. As a bonus, wearing the skirt lets you sit on icy park benches or snow-covered logs without your rear end getting covered in water, rain, or ice.
TrailHeads Women’s Running Touchscreen Gloves
Built with flexible four-way PolarTec material, these winter running gloves have a tough, wind-proof outer layer and a soft, brushed fabric inner layer that work together to keep your hands toasty while you train. The interior liner is sweat-wicking and breathable so you don’t get sticky while the tips of the thumbs and forefingers are touchscreen compatible to let you play music or snap selfies without removing them. The palms even have silicone grips to prevent your phone or other electronics from slipping.
Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats
These traction cleats for runners will allow you to keep jogging outdoors once snow and ice starts to make the ground slippery. Built with a mix of 3-millimeter carbide steel spikes and 1.4-millimeter stainless steel coils, these cleats are like studded tires for your feet. The spikes, which are replaceable if they ever break off, deliver 360 degrees of traction to ensure that you don’t slip and hurt yourself on sidewalks that are prone to black ice and other winter hazards. They can perform without snapping at strikingly low temperatures (they work at temperatures as low as -41 degrees Fahrenheit) and are available in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes.
Night Trek Shoe Lights
These clever running lights for your sneakers not only help cars and fellow pedestrians spot you at night — they also illuminate the pavement or trail so you don’t trip on rocks, roots, or uneven sidewalks. They are easy to slide on and super sturdy. Just clip them to your shoelaces and they’ll stay put, even with lots of motion and impact. The lights are completely waterproof and cold-resistant so you can jog in heavy rain and snow without worrying about the weather affecting the lights. What’s more, they come with a rechargeable USB cord so you’ll never have to replace the batteries.
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