The Best Way to Layer for Running in Cold Weather

Winter runs can be some of the most peaceful and beautiful runs, but if you aren’t dressed properly they can also be pretty uncomfortable. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast can help you make smarter choices.

One of the most common mistakes people make is wearing too much and not being able to shed any layers during the run. Avoid bulky and baggy clothes or you might be paying attention to adjusting and trying to be comfortable more than focusing on the run itself.

Think light, but well-made. There are many running brands that make clothing specific for winter running that are lightweight but thick and warm material that won’t cause any chafing or make you colder during your run.

Some essentials for winter running:

  • light hat or beanie
  • light gloves
  • medium-weight base layer
  • lighter wind resistant jacket
  • spandex tights
  • wool running socks

As for your bottoms, a pair of thick spandex under a pair of running pants or shorts will make sure that heat doesn’t escape and will wick the sweat so you don’t freeze.

Socks might be the most important part. If your toes get cold during your run, it’ll make you want to turn around and go home in a hurry. A pair of wool socks specific for running are a non-negotiable for cooler-weather runs. Depending on how much snow and ice you are running on, you might want to invest in a pair of running shoe cleat attachments to reduce your risk of slipping if icy or snowy conditions are possible in your region.

Obviously winter running has its fair share of variables, so if it is especially cold out, you might want to put on a second base layer and a warmer pair of socks. If it’s windy or snowy, you might want to wear a pair of sunglasses or ski goggles so your vision isn’t impaired. If you are in high-motorized traffic areas, be sure to wear bright reflective colors as well as some pedestrian lights, making you visible to others.

Be safe on the runs, and congratulations on your dedication to running even though the elements may not be in your favor.

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