What to Wear Running in the Cold

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As temperatures turn colder, many runners put their running routine on hold until spring arrives. If you plan to continue training throughout winter months, make sure you have all of the appropriate gear!

Make an investment in breathable sweat-wicking layers and outer layers designed to block wind and snow, plus accessories for both hands and heads. We will cover every angle.


Hand warmers are an essential piece of gear for running during cold-weather runs, offering instantaneous warmth when needed most. Contained within disposable packs filled with ingredients which respond quickly when exposed to air and provide long-lasting warmth for hands and fingers. Ideal for keeping in gloves, socks or pockets when running outside – easily opened and closed again whenever required!

Hand warmers can add extra warmth to your feet or calves when worn with compatible footwear and socks, and should also be lightweight enough to easily fit in pockets or shoes without adding unnecessary bulk. To use hand warmers effectively for this purpose, select warmers that match these criteria and choose ones with compatible sizes – these should then work!

Wearing mittens or gloves while running is another essential way of protecting your skin from the elements and frostbite. Make sure yours are breathable to reduce sweat build-up that could result in frostbite.

Plan your outfit by adding 10 degrees to the actual temperature of the day, as this will account for wind chill and help ensure a comfortable running experience. Considering incorporating wind or rain-resistant shell jacket or poncho into your running outfit for added protection may also help.

Keep this in mind as temperatures on a weather forecast don’t always translate to how it feels while moving. Layered clothing can quickly overheat once running begins, while sweat-soaked fabric may leave you cold and exposed. Opt for technical fabrics like wool and fleece that breathe to stay warm.

Face Masks

Masks for running can help protect both the face and head while running in extremely cold weather, keeping cold air at bay while keeping in your breath. Masks may also help if you suffer from chronic respiratory conditions that make it sensitive to cold air or are running with limited indoor options due to CDC recommendations that require social distancing measures or restrict movements indoors.

When searching for cold-weather masks, look for options that are athletically comfortable. The material used can have an effect on breathability, warmth and comfort – thicker materials tend to keep out heat but may feel bulky or restrictive; choose one with adjustable sizing so you can find one that best meets your needs.

Face masks designed specifically for runners can be easily adjusted to accommodate various head sizes. Some, like Under Armour’s X5 mask, are more versatile, functioning well for cycling or skiing as well. Nike Snood provides runners with another more flexible face mask option by covering both nose and mouth but being pulled down to provide ventilation when necessary.

Running in cold temperatures requires layering up, as your body heat will quickly increase as you exercise. A lightweight base layer that is soft and moisture-wicking should serve as a starting point; then add an insulating layer such as a vest or long-sleeve tech shirt, followed by heated tights or jacket depending on conditions, before finally donning a hat and gloves to protect head, neck and hands from further exposure.


A balaclava (pronounced ba-luh-klaa vuh) is a tightly fitting knitted face mask that covers your head, ears, nose and throat. Ideal for cold weather sports like skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and hiking as it provides warmth and protection from wind and snow.

As well as keeping the cold air and snow at bay, balaclavas also can help prevent sweat build-up that could otherwise lead to irritation or chafing during running. When shopping for one, select one made of breathable fabrics which allow your skin to breathe during exercise.

Before wearing your balaclava on any cold-weather runs, it is crucial that you first check its fit. A snug-fitting balaclava will provide optimal insulation and comfort; just be careful that it doesn’t compress too tightly around your face as that could become uncomfortable over extended periods of time.

Thickly knitted balaclavas are often preferred by skiers and snowboarders because they fit easily under helmets; however, they can ice up when temperatures get really cold, making breathing difficult. Thin, perforated balaclavas offer more airflow while keeping your face protected and warm.

Recently, balaclavas have become an increasingly fashionable part of winter running gear thanks to trendy designers like Raf Simons and Vetements co-founder Demna Gvasalia incorporating them into their collections. Athletes such as Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as well as rappers Drake and Ye have also been seen sporting them while on the move – they can even be pulled down underneath one’s nose and mouth for use while running.

Neck Gaiters

A neck gaiter is a flexible fabric tube that slides over your head, offering extra warmth in very cold environments. You can wear it loosely around your upper chest area (similar to wearing looser top of turtleneck) or pull up and over lower face for extra protection on extremely cold days. Furthermore, it can be folded into different configurations like headband, bandana or just plain neck scarf for further customization and protection.

Gaiters feature ventilated fabric to speed the cooling process by drawing sweat off of your skin and spreading it across a wider surface area, where it evaporates more rapidly. Some models even come equipped with cooling or heating devices for hot spots.

The ideal undergarment should be constructed of moisture-wicking material that repels water so it doesn’t soak into your clothes and create chill. Polyester, nylon or synthetic blend fabrics tend to do this best while cotton tends to absorb and store up moisture for too long, leading to chill.

If it’s raining or snowing, opt for a waterproof option like this one from Sealskinz that also comes equipped with antimicrobial treatment and soft fleece lining for added warmth. Folded up into an easily transportable package, it fits easily in pockets or waistbands while loosely worn or tightened down to form a balaclava or neck gaiter; plus it repels UV rays to provide added sun protection when the sun comes out!

Gloves or Mittens

Running in cold temperatures puts strain on both your hands, which are susceptible to becoming extremely cold. Gloves or mittens may help keep them toasty so you can continue generating heat in your body without risk of frostbite during runs. Exposed hands may also compromise circulation leading to numbness or worsening conditions such as Raynaud’s Disease.

Many brands provide temperature ratings or ranges for their gloves, which should serve as your starting point in selecting an ideal pair for running in various climate conditions. Since our bodies respond differently to cold, use your real-life experience when matching up suggested ratings with actual conditions – adjust accordingly!

For most winter runs, we advise starting off with a lightweight glove to provide insulation against wind and precipitation without increasing sweat production. Hestra offers such an option with its thin polyester and spandex fabric known as the “cashmere of running,” which feels luxuriously silky while stretching to form a second skin fit.

Hestra offers another excellent option with these versatile mittens that come in different sizes to ensure the ideal fit. Perfect for subzero temperatures, these wind and waterproof outer mitt covers provide ample protection from cold and snow while even packing into an easy stuff sack for storage purposes.

If you want a pair of gloves that provide ample warmth and protection from cold weather, look no further than Craft gloves with their Merino liners. Not only are the merino liners supersoft and warm; they wick away sweat so as not to cause overheating. Plus, when temperatures plummet even further, simply swap out your inner gloves for outer ones when your hands start feeling chilly!