5 Essentials for Winter Running

It’s dipped below 45 for at least 4 morning runs now so that means winter is around the corner. Winter doesn’t mean stop running for me, it just means layer up!

Getting through the winter requires some solid gear. A few good staples can last you season after season. I have one outer shell that I’ve worn for 4 or 5 years now. A well-made outer can really last with proper care so put the money down to really invest in some good staples.

Here is the gear that is worth the money.

A Good Pair of Gloves

I’m that runner that needs gloves anytime I run below 60 degrees. I can’t tell you how many races I’ve run in shorts/sparkle skirt, tank top and gloves. So when winter rolls around it’s doubly important. I like to layer everything I wear during winter and that goes for my gloves too. I will take some basic cotton gloves as my base layer and then wear an outer shell that will block the wind. I just got these bad boys and can’t wait to see how they fair on those chilly Colorado mornings!

You can even invest in some gloves that you can put heat packs in or that go in the microwave before you head out the door!

Good Outerlayer Jacket

I CANNOT stress enough how important a wind and water resistant/proof outer layer is for winter. Winter brings snow, snow melts on warm skin, wet skin at freezing temps is no bueno.

Winter brings howling winds, howling winds but through cotton and tech layers, cutting wind makes skin really cold and you won’t warm up to run properly (been there).

A great outer layer can really make all the difference between a bearable versus unbearable run. Hoods are also a great way to stay warm while you warm up and then you can throw it down when you need some air.

Good Tights

I buy most of my running tights on the cheap but investing in a really good pair of warm running tights meant for cold weather can make a world of a difference during those coldest days. They can wick sweat properly so you don’t end up sweaty and freezing at the end of your run. Plus on extra cold days, you can layer these up easy with your more basic leggings without restricting movement. Making an investment in a really good pair of cold weather leggings can keep you running all winter!

Good Wool Socks

You might be thinking, “wool socks? Those are the worst!” but hear me out. Brands like Smartwool make amazingly comfortable socks and wool has all the properties you want for your feet. It naturally wicks moisture and insulates. Really any base layer made of wool is going to be an amazing option. I run most mornings during the coldest months in some Smartwool socks which also keep my ankles warm. I may not look the most fashionable but I’ll make that sacrifice for warm feet and ankles.

Good Ear Cover

Your poor little ears are going to be sticking out there in the cold, feeling the wind as you are sprinting around town. You don’t want to leave them out!

I’m a huge fan of ear bands but on extra cold days, insulating your head will help maintain your core temp too. What’s a great option? A Merino Wool BUFF! These things can be and ear band or a hat or really any type of head/neck covering you could need during the winter months. This is particularly important because it gives you the option to change the arrangement while on the run. It’s super versatile and can help a lot!

BONUS Suggestion - If you live somewhere snowy and your city/neighbors aren’t the best at keeping paths free of snow and ice, you should take a look at some Yak Trax! You can also make some homemade ice spikes with some screws in the soles of your running shoes. My Yak Trax have saved me from so many slips and have kept me running in snowy Boulder no matter the state of the paths, sidewalks and roads.

So these are the 5 items I think every runner should invest in to keep running all winter long. What is your “can’t live without it” item to get through the winter? Leave a comment and let others know!