Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Great Gear to Keep You Running All Winter Long

Two things happened this week that sparked a motivation inside of me to write this post:

1.  I went running in 20 degree weather on Sunday and really enjoyed it!
2.  My inbox is getting hammered with sale ads from my favorite sporting goods stores.  So, now is a great time to steal some deals on running gear.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post that covered cold weather running tips from top experts.  Many runners, especially beginners, feel that the treadmill is the only option for running when the temperatures dip.  I love to challenge that! You can get out when it gets cold, and even enjoy it if you are prepared.

Need a little enticing?? Well, getting great gear is half of the fun, right?? First, I'll share with you some fabulous products that are made to keep you WARM and DRY - the two most important things to consider when you head out into the cold.  Be sure to scroll down below the products for more information on the most effective way to layer your clothing based on the temperatures you'll be running in.


The Balaclava covers all the spots on the head that a cap and gaiter miss.  This one from Smartwool is perfect.  I also highly recommend visiting their website for a great variety of base layer products that are  perfect for any outdoor winter sport.
Besides being cute, this Beanie from Athleta has a convenient opening in the back for your ponytail.  I love it when fashion and function mix!


If you are thinking about what changes you need to make to your footwear for cold weather running, you might consider reviewing an article from Runner's World on how to winterize your shoes. The two products mentioned by the author that provide stability when running in snow or on ice are YakTrax and Stabilicers.
Keep your footsies warm and dry with these wonderfully cushioned PhD Lite wool socks from Title 9 Sports.  Wool socks are a great option for cold weather running, and can be used for skiing or any other winter sport.

Base layers that wick moisture away from the body help keep you dry and warm on your run.  I like the popular shirts from Under Armour, because they are durable, and can be found at most sporting goods retaliers.

I bought one of these Nike Element 1/2 Zip pull overs to wear when temps are above 45 degrees, and I love it.  It's incredibly light and warm, and I can throw it over a t-shirt in the spring, or a long sleeve base-layer in the winter months.

For warmer days, wear this Nike Element Shield Full Zip jacket over base layers.  The sleeves are extra long, and have a thumb hole to keep your hands and wrists extra cozy.

For evening runs, being visible is key. This Women's Nightlife Essential Run Jacket from Brooks was a top pic by Runner's World experts.

It's always windy where we live, so I need something that keeps me warm, dry and beats the wind.  Last year I bought this Gravity Jacket from Marmot during a big sale at, and I love it.  I wear it all the time, not just for running, and it's awesome for snow sports.
When your go-to pair of running tights aren't warm enough and sweats feel to bulky, go for these Cold Killer Pants from Title 9.  Not to fitted, not too loose, just comfy, warm and dry!


A great pair of gloves is essential to running comfort in cold temps.  I like these Power Stretch Gloves from The North Face.  They are super light and flexible and fit easily in a coat pocket if your hands get too warm.
I never appreciated the importance of wearing proper eye-protection when running until a couple of years ago.  But, sunglasses aren't just for summer runs.  Wearing glasses in the winter helps block the wind and keeps eyes from drying out.  I've got my eye on an Oakley Commit SQ sunglasses pair.

A What to Wear When Guide From Runner's World Magazine: (NOTE: These tips do not consider rain, but only sunny or non-precipitating days.)

35&deg to 45&deg F and Clear Wear tights or thin running pants, a long-sleeve shirt, and a vest. You may be able to keep your hands warm using the thumbholes of your long-sleeve shirt when it's 45&deg F outside, but you should put on gloves when it's closer to 35&deg F.

10&deg to 35&deg F and Clear Wear technical underwear under your tights or pants and a long-sleeve shirt underneath an insulated vest or jacket. Thin gloves are essential, and at the lower end of the temperature scale, you should switch to thick gloves or mittens and add a thin beanie.

-10&deg to 10&deg F and Clear Focus on covering every inch of your body at least once (maybe even twice) by wearing wool underwear and thick socks underneath tights and running pants. To keep your core warm and dry, go with a long-sleeve base layer under an insulated vest and windproof jacket. Round it out with a beanie and mitts over gloves.
More Great Advice from the Boulder Running Company Blog:
1st Layer. Next to the skin you want a lightweight layer that is excellent at wicking moisture away from the skin. No cotton here. Choose long underwear (with a long sleeve top) made of a wicking material like silk, Thinsulate, Thermax, Coolmax or another polypropylene fabric. These are comfortable, keep the skin dry and are very lightweight

2nd Layer. The thermal or insulating layer, here you want the most warmth with the least amount of weight. You can go with wool, depending on the weight, but a good choice is fleece, polar fleece, like Polartec, or microfleece, with the tighter weave the better. The object here is to stay warm when it’s very cold, to maintain flexibility, and to be able to shed the layer should the temperature rush above 40 F.

Top Layer. The outside layer is for heat retention, wind resistance and water resistance. The key is really wind resistance because you don’t want an ill wind to penetrate into the other layers and negate their benefits. This outer shell will also hold the heat in, however many of the newer fabrics are also breathable so while they keep you warm they keep the heat in check. And, of course, the water resistance is there for when it’s snowing or sleeting so you don’t get wet.
This layering works for both the upper part of the body and the lower part and legs, but of course the pieces will be different. The 1st layer is easy for both areas. In the 2nd layer, for the lower body and legs, which require fewer overall layers in any case, wear running pants; if it gets really, really cold (below 10 F), add another layer of insulated long johns and perhaps some water-resistant track pants.
That’s the body. However, as everyone knows you lose as much of 40% of your body heat through your head, so choosing the right headwear is very important. Try a fleece or wool hat that covers the ears well and resists slipping. For the really cold days, you can add a fleece gaiter that can be pulled up to protect your face and cover your nose and mouth, and when the temperatures dip even more, or the wind is raging, you can get a balaclava, sometimes called a full ski mask, made of wool or fleece and that generally covers everything but the eyes. Also, don’t forget the lip balm, as cold weather plays havoc on the lips.
Hand warming is also very important, as a lot of body heat is lost through the extremities, and hands are subject to frostbite. A great pair of insulated gloves works well – there are many on the market that are lightweight and still warm, with wicking properties and breathability. When it gets really warm, try mittens as the fingers together will add warmth to the whole hand.
And, of course, the feet, since you are running. Choose wool or synthetic insulated socks – Coolmax is a good choice – and never cotton (in cold or warm weather) because cotton doesn’t wick away moisture. Don’t pack your feet to tightly in the shoes as this will impede warmth; in fact, many runners wear a half larger running shoe in winter to accommodate the bulkier socks.

1 comment:

  1. The jacket was perfect.The red is beautiful and the fit is perfect.I am in the process of trying to order the same jacket it pink and purple.I want 2 more of the, .. I will be buying harvard square hs960w ladies booth bay fleece jacket


If you are having trouble leaving a comment, please feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a response on my Facebook page. Thanks!