It’s that time of year again when the winter weather sets in, and running outside becomes a little more difficult.
Knowing what to wear when running in the cold is essential.
This article will discuss what winter running gear you need in really cold weather and wind chill and what types of clothing you should consider wearing.
We’ll also provide tips for running in the cold and running in the cold gear!
Why Is Winter Running So Dang Hard?
Winter running in can be difficult for a few reasons.
First, the cold can make your muscles tight and harder to move. This can lead to injuries if you’re not careful.
But even without injury, getting the body acclimated to the wind chill and cold weather can take some time. During this warm-up period, your body will feel like it wants to go back inside to the nice warm air.
Second, breathing in winter weather is harder because the air is colder and drier.
This can make it difficult to get enough oxygen to your muscles, which can cause cold and winter running feel harder than usual.
Finally, winter weather can also make you more susceptible to hypothermia. This condition, where your body temperature drops below what is considered safe, can lead to serious health problems.
This is why knowing what winter running gear to wear running if you are in the cold is important.
What To Wear When You Run In The Cold
As much of a challenge as the really cold temperatures and wind chill can be, there are things pieces of running gear you can wear cold and winter running to keep yourself warm while out in the elements.
Some of these are going to be obvious, and some not so much.
Let’s look at some great ideas about what running gear to wear if you run in the cold winter.
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Sweet Sweat Waist Training Belt (For Men And Women)
It’s not a commonly discussed benefit of the Sweet Sweat belt (I’m not sure anyone is talking about it), but the Sweet Sweat is a great way to keep your core warm when you are running in colder temperatures.
The Sweet Sweat Waist Training Belt is a belt you wear around your waist that helps to increase blood flow and circulation.
It’s often used by people trying to lose weight or tone their stomachs.
In this case, we wear it for a base layer of additional running gear.
The belt helps work as a base layer and will increase body heat and blood flow to your core, which helps keep your internal organs and muscles warm.
The Sweet Sweat belt is made of neoprene, a material that helps trap body heat. This makes it an ideal piece of clothing to wear when running in cold weather.
The belt is also adjustable, making it as tight or loose as you need.
It’s important to note that the Sweet Sweat belt is not a substitute for good cold weather running gear. You will still need to dress appropriately for the weather conditions and wear appropriate layers.
But if you are looking for a different way to keep your core warm, the Sweet Sweat belt is a great choice of winter running gear to wear.
Running Gloves For Hand And Finger Protection
If you are like me, your fingers and toes are the first to start getting cold.
So when I’m picking out what to wear when I go running in the cold, I think of winter running gloves.
A great way to keep warm while running in cold weather, specifically your hands and fingers, is to wear gloves.
There are many different types and styles of gloves available to wear, so you should be able to find a pair that fits your needs.
Some runners prefer to wear fingerless gloves because they don’t want to lose their fingers’ dexterity once they get cold and want to be able to use the touchscreen on their phones.
Others prefer full-fingered gloves because they provide more warmth.
This is the option I like, as most fingered gloves have a special texture on the fingertips that works great with most touch-sensitive phone screens.
There are also gloves available that have a built-in mitten. This is a great option for runners who want the warmth of a mitten but still need to be able to use their fingers.
Whichever type of glove you choose, make sure it’s made from breathable material so your hands don’t get too sweaty from the additional base layer.
Running Hat Or Running Beanie
Another great bit of running gear to keep warm while cold winter weather running is to wear a hat or beanie.
Depending on your style preference, and maybe even the severity of the cold, you might prefer a regular baseball-style cap for extra head warmth on some days and a winter running beanie when it’s colder.
This is especially true when you need to wear additional coverage and warmth.
I enjoy wearing a running hat when it’s chilly, but in cold degrees, the running beanie is a must for me when it gets into the colder season.
This helps keep my head and ears warm and some of my face and head area.
If you wear a beanie, make sure it’s made from breathable material so your head doesn’t get too sweaty.
You can even wear a running Bluetooth beanie now with built-in speakers to listen to your favorite music when winter running.
Whichever you choose to wear, a running hat or running beanie, keeping your head and ears warm is an absolute must when you decide what to wear if you are in winter weather running in low degrees of temperature.
Running Headband To Keep Your Head Warm
If you are wearing a running hat or beanie, you might not think you also need a winter running headband under it.
I didn’t think so, either.
But, it turns out that a lightweight and breathable headband under my hat or beanie helped keep my head and ear a little warmer and helped absorb some of the sweat under my hat.
I often wear a headband under my running beanie for those reasons.
And Amazon has multi-packs of running headbands for pretty low prices, so adding this to the winter running outfit repertoire is a no-brainer.
Neck Gaiter Masks For Warmth And Protection
This is an excellent option for both men and women when they want to keep the cold winter air off their faces.
A neck gaiter mask can be worn a few different ways.
The most popular way to wear it is as a face mask, providing warmth and coverage for your nose and mouth area in cold weather.
It can also be worn as a neck warmer or even pulled up over your head and worn as a hat.
This versatility makes the neck gaiter mask a must-have for runners who want to be able to adjust their coverage as the weather or temperature changes.
Plus, most neck gaiters are made from a lightweight and breathable material, so you don’t have to worry about them being too hot or sweaty.
They make some with a nice cloth interior for heavy-duty cold protection.
There are so many different ways to wear a neck gaiter mask, which is why I think they are an essential piece of what to wear running to keep warm if you are running in the cold.
Thermal Clothing For An Additional Layer Of Warmth
This is a no-brainer, but I still wanted to mention it.
Wearing thermal clothing when running in cold weather is a great way to add an extra base layer of warmth under your clothing.
There are many different types and styles of thermal clothing available, so you should be able to find something that keeps you warm and fits your needs.
I often wear an upper body long sleeve thermal shirt as a base layer and running tights under my regular running clothes for an additional base layer when it gets cold.
They are made from a lightweight and breathable moisture-wicking material, so I don’t have to worry about them being too hot or sweaty.
Plus, they add an extra base layer of warmth that is always welcome when running in the cold.
I use dri-fit moisture-wicking thermal compression clothes by DEVOPS, which you can find on Amazon for a great price.
Running Sunglasses To Block The Sun And Cold Air
This might seem like an odd choice for what to wear running in cold weather, but hear me out.
Running sunglasses are great for keeping the wind and cold air out of your eyes.
And if you live in a cold and rainy area, running sunglasses block the wind and rain, an extra reason to wear for running.
They also help protect your eyes from the sun if it’s shining (which can happen even on cloudy and cold days).
I like to have a pair of running sunglasses handy when I’m running in the cold to put them on if needed.
I typically only wear them if it’s windy or the sun is shining, but they are a great option.
And there are many different styles and brands of running sunglasses available, so you should be able to find a pair that you like when you decide what to wear for running.
Running Shoes Or Footwear For Warmth And Traction
Finally, let’s talk about the running shoe.
Wearing the right shoes is essential, regardless of the weather.
But when it comes to what to wear when running in the cold, you should keep a few things in mind.
First, make sure you have a good pair of running socks. They should be made from a breathable material and fit well.
I often wear thicker running socks when it’s cold outside. They help keep my feet warm and prevent blisters, which are more likely to occur in the cold.
Second, make sure your shoes are well-insulated. This is especially important if you live in a wet or colder winter.
Nothing will ruin a good run like having cold, wet feet.
There are many different types of cold-weather running shoes available, so make sure you choose a pair that will keep your feet warm and dry.
But whatever type of shoe you choose, make sure it’s up for keeping your feet warm in the cold.
Running In The Cold Benefits
When the weather outside is cold, it can be tempting to stay indoors and avoid getting active. However, research has shown many benefits to running in the cold.
For one, exposure to cold temperatures can help to boost the immune system.
In addition, cold weather running can aid in weight loss and improve circulation.
The key to reaping these benefits is to dress appropriately for the conditions. Wearing light, breathable clothing will help keep the body warm without overheating.
Protecting exposed skin from the cold, wind, and sun is also important.
Final Thoughts On What To Wear When Running In The Cold
You have everything you need to know about what to wear running in the cold.
I hope this guide was helpful and that you are now better prepared to tackle your next cold weather run.
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Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.