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Let’s be real: Working out isn’t always that great, and colder weather definitely kills all motivation to do it. This is especially true for people who usually exercise outdoors—runners in particular. Not only does the cold make it hard to want to go outside, but the appearance of snow and ice can make it physically impossible to even walk outside, let alone run or jog.
Though we’re not suggesting anyone try to run on a sheet of ice, you don’t have to skip your daily jog just because the temperatures have dropped. In fact, this cold-weather running gear will make it easier than ever for you to get your outdoor sweat on in the winter.
You might be able to get away with jogging hat-less on days that are only mildly cold, but when it’s below freezing? You’re going to need something to protect your noggin. Our tip? Go with something lightweight so your head stays warm but doesn’t get too sweaty.
The Run It Out hat from lululemon is designed to stay put while still letting your head breathe. The material is soft and helps to wick away sweat as you run. There’s even a little window so you can wear it comfortably with a ponytail.
If you wear your hair in a ponytail every time you run, this hat was made for you. The polyester fleece material keeps your head insulated but still works to wick away sweat, and the opening in the back fits around a ponytail. The hat stretches softly to fit around your head but will remain snug throughout your run to keep you warm.
If you’re a nighttime runner, you know how important it is to have on some sort of reflective gear. This beanie is not only soft and sleek, but it’s also got reflective details woven right into the fabric so you can be seen by drivers on dark nights.
If you’re not a hat person, we definitely understand. If you don’t like to cover your whole head while you’re running, you should at least cover your ears. Along with your fingers and toes, they’re one of the most susceptible areas to frostbite during cold weather conditions.
This fleece headband will not only protect your ears from the cold as you run, but it’ll hold your ponytail in place too. Even though it isn’t a full hat, it’s designed to fit snugly and keep any stray hairs off your face as you run.
For days when the temperature is cold but not icy, this lightweight ear warmer is all you need. The special Rulu fabric is ultra soft and comfortable to wear and will keep your ears warm and protected without making your head feel too hot.
If more traditional ear muffs are your thing during colder runs, why not wear some that shine? These ear warmers from Athleta will protect your ears while letting the rest of your head breathe, all with a fun metallic sheen. The outer material is also waterproof, so your ears will stay dry and warm even on rainy days.
Jackets and Vests
When you’re running in cold weather, a plain old t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt won’t do. You need something not only to keep you warm but also to get the sweat off your skin to keep the chill away.
This Athleta half-zip reflective pullover is the ultimate running jacket. It’s light enough to be used during mild weather but still heavy enough to provide some warmth when the temperatures really begin to drop. With moisture-wicking fabric, reflective detailing for nighttime runs, and thumb holes to keep your sleeves right where you want them, this jacket will become a go-to all year long.
Whether you don’t like to wear a full jacket when you run or it’s not yet cold enough to need one, a good vest can give you the right amount of warmth without weighing you down. The Extra Mile Vest is also great for running in rainy weather because of its removable hood and water-repellent Hi Impact Swift fabric. Add in some reflective details and a few pockets for keys and your phone, and you’ve got the ultimate runner’s vest for all weather types.
When you need a heavier jacket, this one’ll provide a little extra warmth without weighing you down. It’s stretchy so you can still move easily during your workout, and it has a more relaxed fit so it’s perfect for layering over another shirt when you need to. The thumb holes also allow you to keep your sleeves down without limiting your mobility.
Finding gloves that work well during a run isn’t always easy. They either don’t protect your hands or protect them so well that your hands are sweaty and hot by the time your workout is over. The perfect glove is lightweight but thick enough to keep the cold air out.
These lululemon gloves are smooth and sleek but tightly woven so your hands will stay fully protected from the cold. The material will help to wick away any sweat as you go, and the reflective strips on the sides will make your nighttime runs a little safer. They also have tech-friendly fingertips so you don’t have to take them off to use your phone, and they even snap together so one doesn’t go missing in your bag.
For colder days, these Cold Weather Training Gloves from Athleta fit the bill. The fabric is thicker to protect your hands from even the harshest and coldest winds, all without being too bulky. With tech-friendly fingertips, snaps, reflective strips, and gripping technology, they’re the ultimate glove for both protection and mobility during your workouts.
The problem with buying fingerless gloves is that there will inevitably come a time when you wish they had full fingers. These mittens are the best of both worlds—wear them as a regular pair of mittens when you need to or pull back the finger covers when you want a pair of fingerless gloves. The cover folds back into a storage pocket when not in use, and the thumb flap even stays secure with magnets.
Tights and Leggings
Put those capris away, because winter running calls for tights and leggings. No ordinary pair will do, though. You need one that’s both breathable and insulating, and we found quite a few options that’ll serve you well.
What’s not to love about the Sculptek running tight? They’re made of special Polartec fabric to provide your body with plenty of insulation as you run but are still breathable so sweat can evaporate as you go—sweat on your skin in freezing temperatures is a big no-no. They’re also perfectly stretchy, with compression fabric throughout their high waist, giving you a little extra squeeze where you might want it.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect hybrid of running tights and cozy sweatpants, we’ve found it for you. The Run On Joggers are stretchy and slightly fitted like leggings but are a little looser around the legs like sweatpants—they even have a drawstring so you can adjust the fit. With a waistband pocket and a few reflective strips, you can run in comfort and keep all your essentials close too.
If you’re looking for a more affordable running tight, Target has your back. These running tights hug your legs without being too tight and help sweat to evaporate so you’ll stay dry and warm as you run. There’s even a zippered pocket for anything you need to take with you and a drawstring to give you a tighter fit.
Shoes and Socks
Proper shoes are absolutely essential for any outdoor runner, and that’s especially true when the weather gets cold. It’s even more crucial to re-evaluate your footwear when you find yourself jogging through sleet and snow so you don’t find yourself slipping and sliding (or end up with a case of frostbite).
Whether you’re a trail runner or find yourself hitting the pavement no matter what the weather conditions are, these are the shoes for you. Their wide heel will give you increased stability on your runs, and the bottom treads were designed to provide grip in even the wettest, muddiest conditions. There’s also a water-resistant mesh overlay to make these shoes the ultimate in footwear for wet-weather running.
When you talk about running shoes, you can’t forget a good pair of smartwool socks to go along with them. These socks from Athleta are made with merino wool to keep your feet warm and cushioned during runs without being super thick and bulky. The toe is also virtually seamless and has several mesh ventilation zones for ultimate comfort.