Essential Winter Running Gear Guide and Ultimate Tips•
Posted on December 18 2023
Winter Challenges Tips
Running in winter is undoubtedly a great challenge for all athletes due to the low temperatures and the intensity of the rain, snow, ice and wind. As a result, there is often less desire to run and the temptation to swap the sport for the comfort of the home fireplace.
That's why it's essential that you make the right choice of winter running gear, because only then will you have a more enjoyable running experience. With the right equipment, we can all turn this season into a huge opportunity to strengthen our endurance, keep fit and explore beautiful landscapes.
In this article, we'll cover practical tips on how to run in winter, the essential winter running gear and the best footwear options for this season.
How to Run in the Winter
Due to the constant adverse conditions, running in winter requires a strategic approach to ensure the athlete's comfort, safety and performance.
Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about how to prepare for a winter run is to dress and wear the right shoes for the season. But is that all that matters?
Of course not! So here are some essential tips for getting the most out of your runs during the colder months:
The first is to keep up to date with the weather forecast, in other words, you should be aware of the weather conditions before you go out running in winter, so that you can prepare properly. This is because, remembering that safety is always the priority, if the conditions are very adverse, it is preferable to make the decision to train indoors to avoid unnecessary risks.
The second tip complements what we saw in the first. It's about choosing the right times to run. Choose to run during the hottest hours of the day, when the temperature is a little higher. In addition, it makes sense to take advantage of daylight rather than nighttime hours to ensure a safer run.
And speaking of enjoying the daylight, this is often not possible, mainly due to the schedules of most professions. What's more, during the winter, the daylight hours are considerably shorter, making it likely that when you leave work you'll be faced with intense darkness. Faced with this situation, the third suggestion is to take care with visibility. To this end, we recommend constantly wearing reflective clothing and, whenever possible, running in well-lit areas.
The fourth suggestion is to attach extreme importance to warming up! If warming up on hot days is a strictly necessary part of every runner's routine, it's even more important on cold days. In this sense, it is crucial to warm up the muscles properly, and it is advisable to perform dynamic warm-up exercises to prepare the body for running and, consequently, reduce the risk of injury.
Another way to reduce the risk of injury is to be fully aware of the conditions of the terrain you are going to face. That said, the fifth recommendation is to try to keep a constant eye out for possible slippery areas of ice and mud. By anticipating and identifying these obstacles, you can adjust your stride and posture during your run, ensuring safer running and minimizing the chances of accidents.
Last but not least, NEVER underestimate the importance of hydration.
During colder days, it's common to associate hydration mainly with hot periods, however, even in the coldest seasons, the body needs water to function effectively. Exposure to the cold can lead to a decrease in the sensation of thirst, but perspiration and breathing continue, increasing the need for water replenishment. So make sure you maintain adequate water intake throughout the day, before and after your run, to ensure optimal physical performance and effective recovery.
With these tips, you'll certainly be better prepared to challenge what the winter has in store for you. But don't forget that at the end of your winter run, it's essential that you immediately change out of your wet clothes to avoid losing body heat and to prevent uncomfortable colds and flu.
What to Wear Running in Winter: Essential Winter Running Gear
As we've seen, running in winter under the associated low temperatures and adverse conditions means that choosing the right winter running gear is crucial to ensuring a pleasant and safe run.
Therefore, it makes sense to dress appropriately to overcome the cold and stand up to the rain and snow, especially protecting the extremities of the body such as the hands, feet and head, as these tend to be the areas most susceptible to low temperatures.
Although this precaution against the cold is crucial, it is also crucial to understand that dressing too warmly is also an extremely common mistake. Although you may feel comfortable in the first few minutes, the truth is that after a short while you'll be too hot to continue practicing your sport.That said, even if it's a bit hard at first, you should dress for the majority of your training, i.e. without too many clothes, because after a while you'll be warm again.After this feedback on how much to wear to run in winter, it makes sense to explore some tips on each of the outfits to wear in these weather conditions:
Try to dress in layers to regulate your body temperature while running. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer and add layers as necessary. As an intermediate layer, it's advisable to use a thermal jersey to provide additional insulation and therefore retain body heat. For this purpose, Fyke offers its Boost Seamless Sport Shirt Long Sleeve and Boost Seamless Sport T-Shirt Short Sleeve.
The outer layer should be a waterproof and windproof jacket that provides effective protection against the penetration of freezing wind and exposure to rain or snow. This fundamental piece will not only keep you warm, but also ensure that you stay dry and comfortable in adverse weather conditions. That said, make sure you choose a jacket that combines durability, resistance and functionality so that you can fearlessly face what nature has to offer during your outdoor activities.Explore our complete guide on how to choose the ideal waterproof running jacket for your needs and discover the Top 7 best models recommended by Fyke.
You should also wear thermal running pants or tights to keep your legs warm when running in winter. This choice is essential to ensure not only thermal comfort, but also to prevent possible muscle injuries resulting from the cold.Thermal pants and tights provide additional insulation, which retains body heat and protects muscles from low temperatures.
However, it's important to choose breathable materials to prevent the build-up of sweat.
As far as clothing is concerned, there is no doubt that it plays an extremely important role in an athlete's warm-up. However, it is important to highlight the equal importance of accessories, as it is they that will provide the additional care to the body extremities mentioned above. We have chosen to place the main emphasis on all of them:
Gloves: Essential for protecting your hands from the bitter cold, running gloves not only keep your hands warm, but also ensure dexterity and comfort during your run. Opting for merino wool gloves is a good option to keep your hands continually warm..
Tubular: A versatile accessory, the tubular can be used in different ways, as a scarf to protect the neck or as a cap to keep the head warm. This accessory is great for running in winter because it allows you to warm up areas that are very affected by the cold, namely the nose, ears, mouth and neck.
Socks: Key elements for keeping your feet warm and protected. Thermal socks offer additional insulation, helping to prevent discomfort caused by the cold. Fyke provides athletes with sports socks with aloe vera and antibacterial treatments for guaranteed foot health care.
Sleeves: Compression sleeves help to keep the arms and calves warm, promoting blood circulation and helping to prevent cold and muscle injuries.
Beanie: A crucial item for keeping the head warm, the beanie protects against heat loss, especially in extreme cold conditions, contributing to overall comfort during the race.
Other headwear (hats / headbands / visors): These accessories offer versatile options for directing water away from the face, ensuring clear visibility even in heavy rain and for protecting the head and forehead against wind and cold.
Waterproof running belt: It's often unavoidable not to carry some essential belongings with you during your runs, such as your cell phone or keys. To ensure the safety of these items, it is crucial to keep them in a safe place that prevents water from getting into them. In these cases, a waterproof running belt is the answer.
Sunglasses: Even in winter, sunglasses can make perfect sense to protect your eyes from the wind and rain.
Lip balm and hand cream: Cold weather can cause dry skin, especially on the lips and hands. Use a lip balm and hand cream before going for a run in winter.
Having listed the clothing and accessories to take into account when running in winter, it only remains to mention winter running gear with reflective details to ensure your safety.
That said, always take into account the local weather conditions and adapt your clothing according to the temperature and the weather forecast. Running in winter can be an enjoyable experience with the right winter running gear. Enjoy!
If you need more information on the essential sportswear for trail running, read our 2024 Gear Guide.
What Running Shoes are Best for Winter
Having highlighted the role of clothing and accessories for running in winter, it remains to be seen what type of footwear to use in the adverse conditions that this cold season brings.
Choosing the right shoes is essential to ensure stability, traction and comfort when running in winter. The right shoes for this season should have non-slip soles, capable of providing a solid grip on wet or slippery surfaces, common during this time of year, in order to prevent falls and slips.
In addition, it is essential that the shoes offer thermal insulation to keep your feet warm in colder temperatures.
Make sure the shoes provide a firm fit, offering adequate support for the ankles and allowing natural movement without compromising stability.
Also opt for sneakers with materials that are waterproof to protect your feet from moisture, but also breathable to prevent excess sweat. Waterproofness is crucial as it is an effective barrier against water ingress, keeping your feet dry and comfortable even in wet or snowy conditions, while breathability allows sweat to evaporate, preventing internal moisture from accumulating which could lead to discomfort or even possible skin problems.
That said, choosing footwear wisely not only improves running performance, but also reduces the risk of injury, providing a safer and more enjoyable experience in the colder months. With this in mind, here are some of the shoes we've highlighted as being the most suitable for running in winter, both for road and trail running:
For Road Running
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 GTX: Nike is known for innovation and the Pegasus line, with the GTX (Gore-Tex) edition, offers waterproofing and comfort, making them ideal for running in wet conditions.
Adidas Ultraboost Winter.RDY: With Adidas' Winter.RDY technology, these sneakers provide thermal insulation, keeping feet dry and warm, as well as a modern and elegant design.
Asics GT-2000 9 G-TX: Renowned for its stability, the GT-2000 line with the G-TX version offers waterproofing and support and is suitable for running on varied terrain.
Brooks Ghost 13 GTX: They incorporate Gore-Tex technology for waterproofing. They feature a durable, grippy sole that provides balanced cushioning for medium to long-distance runs.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 GTX: They offer comfort, responsive cushioning and a Gore-Tex membrane for protection against rain.
Mizuno Wave Rider 25 GTX: Integrating Gore-Tex technology, a responsive midsole and excellent traction in the sole, the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 GTX shoes are designed to provide waterproofing for road races.
For Trail Running
Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 GTX: Renowned for their cushioning, the Hoka Speedgoat 4 GTX are waterproof and offer excellent grip on wet and muddy trails.
Brooks Cascadia 16 GTX: With a durable construction and GTX technology, the Brooks Cascadia 16 offer stability and protection from the elements for trail runners.
Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX: With the Gore-Tex membrane, these shoes provide waterproofing, keeping feet dry even on wet terrain. The aggressive outsole offers excellent traction on varied trails, while the robust and durable design is ideal for runners who face
New Balance Hierro v6 Gore-Tex: With Gore-Tex technology, the Hierro v6 provide waterproofing and are ideal for trail runners facing adverse weather conditions.
Saucony Peregrine 11 GTX: Equipped with GTX technology, they offer effective waterproofing, keeping feet dry on wet and muddy terrain. In addition, the Peregrine line is known for its robust traction and stability, making this model a reliable option for runners facing adverse conditions on trails.
Scarpa Spin Ultra GTX: With Gore-Tex technology present, they offer waterproofing, keeping your feet dry when running in winter. The sturdy, grippy sole provides traction on different surfaces, while the lightweight, breathable design allows you to tackle trail running challenges with confidence.
Running in the Rain and Cold Has Never Been Easier!
There is nothing in the world of running where prior preparation is not of paramount importance. Facing adverse weather conditions when running in winter is no exception; on the contrary, it deserves extra attention due to the various difficulties imposed on athletes.
With this guide, Fyke has sought to help you prepare to enjoy good runs and appreciate the beautiful rainy and snowy landscapes that winter brings. However, it's crucial to remember that in order to achieve this comfortably and safely, it's necessary not only to consider the tips on how to run in winter, but also to follow the recommendations relating to clothing, accessories and footwear. These elements are the real heroes that make it possible to overcome the great barriers presented by cold, rain, hail and snow, and the corresponding consequences.
So, when preparing to face the challenging conditions of winter, remember to appreciate the fundamental role played by the right winter running gear, which not only boosts your performance, but also protects your body from the rigors of the weather.
Are you ready to run in winter?
Get your Fyke winter running gear now and face the storms without any fear!