How to Dress for Winter Running
Don’t let the dropping temperatures scare you away—our guide for running outside no matter the conditions.
If this is the year you took up running, you may be wondering about how to get through the cold winter months that are fast approaching. Snow, ice, wind and bitter temperatures can make the going tough. But with the right gear, winter can actually be a nice time to run.
Think about it—no more heat and humidity to make you feel like you are barely making forward progress. A chance to get outside your house when, for the most part, everything else is based inside. A few quiet hours to yourself, away from the work-from-home, remote learning, pandemic chaos.
Before you head out, it’s helpful to know if you tend to overheat or remain cold when you’re outdoors. There’s a whole spectrum of runners in this regard, so know yourself and let that inform the pieces you select for winter running.
Here’s How to Dress for Winter Running Success:
The thing about running in the winter is that conditions can change quickly. This is especially true if you tend to start your runs in the early morning, pre-dawn hours. As the sun rises, the temperatures do, too, making it likely you’ll want to shed a layer.
For women, a good approach would be running crops, on the bottom. For men, running tights. For both on top: a base-layer, long-sleeved shirt on top, with a second, warmer or wind-resistant layer. As you heat up, pull the top layer off and wrap it around your waist.
You’ll also want to add gloves, maybe a hat or ear warmers. If you heat up, stash the extras in your FlipBelt waistband to keep your hands free for running.
Bring Some Light
Winter days are short, so the odds are that at some point, you’re going to face some miles in the dark. It’s important to see where you’re headed and to be seen by oncoming traffic, too.
Lights come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges, but some don’t provide what you really need. A waist-mounted light is a great way to go, casting a wide light on the terrain ahead of you, freeing your head and allowing you to look around without constant checking for obstacles as with a headlamp. Also, the waist-mounted light avoids the glare delivered from a headlamp, and the light is at an easy height for drivers to see as well. Choose one with plenty of lumens, like the FlipBelt’s LED running light, which comes packed with 500 lumens, no bouncing, and will ensure you don’t miss a step in the dark.
It might seem unnecessary to bring water along on a winter run, but it’s just as important as in the summer. You can dehydrate in any conditions, especially if you’re going long and the sun is up.
Find a preferred way to bring your water or electrolyte drink along—there’s a wide variety to choose from, but one that you can stash on your waist makes it convenient to grab. This is especially important in the winter months, when numb fingers can make holding bottles more difficult.
Consider Traction Devices
If you live in an area that tends to get a fair share of ice in the winter, you might want to invest in a pair of traction devices. These simple, slip-on devices come equipped with metal spikes or coils that cover the bottoms of your shoes and keep you from sliding around while dealing with the elements. They can make your winter running more carefree, allowing you to enjoy your time outdoors, and you won’t even notice they are there.
With these tips and tricks, you can sail into and through winter like a pro. When the snow and ice finally begin to melt, you’ll have a head start on your fitness, and a new appreciation for time spent outdoors, whatever the weather.