Jogging outside in the winter can be invigorating, but it’s also a completely different ballgame from jogging during the warmer months. You’re dealing with cold temps, harsh winds, the potential for snow, icy streets and sidewalks, and the fact that it gets darker much earlier. If you’re committed to running during the winter months despite the weather, you need to be prepared. Below are some of the best running accessories and clothes every winter jogger will need to stay comfortable.
What To Do When Jogging In The Cold
Before you start purchasing things to make your jogs feel warmer, be realistic about your intentions, and think about what could benefit you the most. And aside from using the below items, keep some important tips in mind.
- Do your warm-up inside. A warm-up is always important, and during the colder months, you should do yours inside, where it’s still comfortable. Not only does this loosen up your muscles and joints and get your body ready for a run, but it also raises your body temperature a few degrees so that you’re not freezing from the get-go.
- Learn the right way to breathe. If you’re a seasoned runner, the chances are good that you already know how to breathe properly. Even so, it’s worth a reminder. Try to avoid breathing in the dry, cold air all around you, or you could risk getting sick or developing a cough from the burning feeling in your lungs.
- Stay warm even if you know you’re going to sweat. Yes, a run is likely going to make you pretty sweaty, even if it’s super cold out. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid accessories to keep you warm. Keeping your head and hands toasty is especially important. Still, you don’t want to overdo it—being too warm will make you sweat a lot, which could lead to overheating. That’s why cold gear (specially made to keep you warm but not too warm) is ideal.
- Layer as needed. Instead of wearing a thick sweatshirt or jacket, try layering instead. An item of clothing meant to be used as a base layer will wick moisture away and help regulate your body temperature. Then, add layers from there that can be peeled off if necessary.
- Opt for cold gear. It may be more money, but clothing and accessories made specifically for cold weather are worth buying. They’re designed to wick sweat away and keep you warm without overheating you.
Running in cold weather doesn’t just require special clothing. You’ll also need a few essential accessories to stay comfortable and warm and also to keep you prepared for whatever kind of weather situation pops up, whether it’s ice, rain, or snow. Some of these will also keep you more visible since winter means that it’s often more cloudy and gray during the day, and it gets a lot darker a lot earlier.
To Keep Your Hands Warm: Zensah Reflective Touch Screen Running Gloves
You need gloves when running in the cold weather, and if you plan on using a phone to listen to music or track your pace, you’ll want touchscreen-friendly gloves. These Zensah Reflective Touch Screen Running Gloves have it all. They’re warm but are made of breathable material so that your hands don’t get too hot (although it’s worth noting they may not be ideal for extremely cold temps). They also have a touch screen fingertip and thumb so you can use your phone, as well as silicone gripping on the inside palm so you can hold your phone or water bottle securely.
The reflective strips on the front of the glove keep you visible even when it’s getting dark outside, which is a nice touch. There’s also a convenient microsuede “swipe wipe” on the thumb of each glove so that you can casually wipe your running nose if you need to (a common issue when jogging in the cold).
Zensah Reflective Touch Screen Running Gloves, Large, Neon Pink
These Zensah Reflective gloves are touch screen friendly, made of a breathable material, have a no-slip palm, and fit comfortably.
To Prevent Slipping: YakTrax Run Traction Cleats
Winter weather means the streets and sidewalks are often icy and slick, which means you can easily slip, fall, and hurt yourself. Try to prevent that with Yaktrak Run Traction Cleats. These come in four different sizes and are made to slip over running shoes specifically to protect against the conditions that come with cold weather.
Made of steel spikes and coils, these provide 360 degrees of traction so that you don’t slip, and the rubber frame keeps them secure on your feet. They’re easy to use and will fit most shoes.
Yaktrax Medium (Shoe Size: W 10.5-12.5/M 9-11), Gray/Red
The Yaktrax Traction Cleats are a must when it's icy and snowy outside as they provide some much-needed traction.
To Stay Visible At Night: NITE IZE Taglit LED Marker
Since it gets darker earlier in the winter and generally tends to be cloudier, it’s always essential to wear something reflective. This Taglit LED Marker is great: it’s versatile and can be placed anywhere on your person and moved from clothes, so you’re not stuck with wearing just one thing. It glows or flashes to keep you visible and safe when running in the dark, and is weather resistant.
It also won’t damage whatever it’s on since it works like a magnet.
NITE IZE TGL-35-R3 TagLit LED Marker, Pink
You can move this Taglit LED Marker anywhere you want it to go so you stay safe even in dark conditions.
To Keep Your Neck Warm: The North Face Standard Issue Gaiter
A scarf is bulky and obnoxious to wear during a run, but you need something to keep the cold from creeping in through your exposed or partially exposed neck. The North Face Standard Issue Gaiter fits comfortably around your neck, and there’s no need to adjust it during your run. It’s reversible, so you can flip it around when you want.
The lightweight fleece keeps you warm but not overheated and feels nice against your skin. It also has an elastic with a shock cord so that you can adjust it to fit as needed.
To Keep Wind Out Of Your Ears: Tough Headwear Ear Warmer Headband
If it’s not cold enough, a hat can keep you a little too warm. If you want something lighter, but the wind is still bothering your ears, opt for the Tough Headwear Ear Warmer Headband. Made with performance in mind, it’s breathable and light but still warm. It fits snugly around your head and won’t stretch after a few wears.
It also has a tapered design so that you can still use earbuds without feeling uncomfortable, and is wide enough to fit over your entire ear without budging during your run.
Ear Warmer Headband - Winter Fleece Ear Band Covers - Cold Weather Running Ear Muffs for Cycling & Sports for Men & Women
This Tough Headwear Ear Warmer is light but warm, covers your entire ear, and won't budge from its spot.
To Keep Your Feet Dry: Salomon Trail Gaiters
Think of these Salomon Trail Gaiters as a tiny scarf for your shoes instead of your neck. They easily wrap around a pair of running shoes to cover up the entire opening of your ankle, so that ice, snow, water, and debris doesn’t sneak in, making your socks and feet uncomfortably wet and cold. They couldn’t be easier to use, should fit most shoes, and work well (as long as you don’t need the traction cleats as well).
Salomon Trail Gaiters, Low
These Salomon Trail Gaiters leave no room for debris, ice, or snow to get in your shoes and make your feet wet.
So You Can See: Biolite Headlamp
If you plan on jogging in the evening or at night, the smartest thing to do is get a headlamp. Sure, the magnetic TagLight is nice so that other people can see you coming, but the Biolite Headlamp makes you visible and allows you to see what’s happening in front of you. It’s also made for physical activity, so it has a thin strap that sits flat on your forehead and won’t bounce or slip as you move around.
The band is also moisture-wicking, so it stays dry while you run, and some clips easily adjust to whatever size you need it to be. It works on a rechargeable battery with up to 40 hours of battery life.
BioLite HeadLamp 330 Lumen No-Bounce Rechargeable Head Light
The Biolite Headlamp ensures you'll be able to see what's in front of you even in the dark.
When it comes to clothing, layering is critical, since you can remove items as needed if you feel like you’re starting to overheat. You should also opt for gear specifically made for being active in cold weather, which is going to help wick away excess sweat and feel tough enough to withstand windy, harsh conditions.
To Keep Your Head Warm: For Women: ASICS Women’s Thermopolis LT Ruched Beanie
A headband is nice for days when it’s not super cold, but when those temps drop, you need a hat. The ASICS Thermopolis LT Ruched Beanie is a fan favorite because it’s soft and light but still warm. It’s made with a double layer for added thermal protection and is reversible, so if you want to be noticed, switch it over to the bright orange side.
It easily pulls over your ears to keep them warm and has an opening in the back for your ponytail to slide through so that you can wear your hair up with ease. It’s also light enough to be worn under a thicker hat or a helmet.
ASICS Women's Thermopolis LT Ruched Beanie
The ASICS Thermopolis Beanie easily fits over your ears, is reversible, is super warm but light, and has a ponytail opening.
For Men: Men’s Tough Headwear Running Beanie
For men, there’s the Tough Headwear Running Beanie, which acts as a hat on its own or a helmet liner. Comfortable and lightweight, it’s stretchy but doesn’t stretch out, and keeps you warm without making you too warm. It’s also moisture-wicking to keep sweat at bay.
Skull Cap Helmet Liner & Running Beanie Hat - Winter Cycling Hats & Ski Head Caps for Men & Women for Skiing & Workout - Ultimate Thermal Retention & Performance Moisture Wicking - Fits Under Helmets
The Tough Headwear Running Beanie is made to be nice and warm, moisture-wicking, and super comfortable.
For Dry, Warm Feet: Swiftwick Pursuit Four Trail Running & Cycling Socks
Nothing is worse than cold, wet feet when you’re running. Swiftwick Pursuit Four Trail Running and Cycling Socks earn top ratings from both men and women for how comfortable they are while running or doing other physical activity. They’re warm and insulated, with a seamless toe to reduce uncomfortable friction. Made of natural merino wool, they provide temperature control for any weather and pull moisture away from your feet, so they don’t get too sweaty.
The nice thing about these socks is that they also have a light cushion that makes them great to wear when your feet are pounding the cold pavement, as well as a double-layered crew cuff to give your calves extra protection. Since they’re made with activities like running in mind, you know they have to be a good fit.
Swiftwick- PURSUIT FOUR Cycling & Trail Running Socks, Merino Wool (Black/Coal, Large)
These Swiftwick socks are made of natural merino wool for expert temperature control, have a light cushion, and keep your calves protected.
The Best Cozy Vest: New Balance Radiant Heat Vest
Many runners don’t enjoy wearing puffy jackets or big sweatshirts when running. If you can get away with that, opt for layering a vest over a warm top. This gives you an extra layer without feeling too heavy. The New Balance Radiant Heat Vest is a favorite for both men and women. The New Balance HEAT technology and PrimaLoft ThermoPlume insulation with Cross Core work to capture heat and keep it in.
It has zippered pockets and reflective trim to keep your belongings and yourself safe and sound. Even as a puffer vest, it looks sleek as you jog.
The Perfect Leggings: Under Armour Cold Gear Leggings
When it comes to leggings for chilly days, you can’t do better than Under Armour Cold Gear Leggings. Made with a dual-layer fabric that keeps you warm and a material that wicks away sweat and dries quickly, they’re cozy without feeling too heavy. The seams help eliminate chafing, and the waistband won’t roll down as you run.
Under Armour Women's ColdGear Compression Leggings
Under Armour Cold Gear Leggings are super warm without ever feeling heavy and help keep you dry even when you're sweating.