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12 Best Winter Running Essentials

  • 12 Best Winter Running Essentials

Running in cold air is actually more effective than sweating on an indoor treadmill. Needless to say, the right gear is essential: sweat-wicking fabrics and shoes suitable for blasting through puddles and mud. But there is much more than that. These twelve items are a winter runner’s essentials that can help you burn fat during those calorie-stacking holidays.

Base layer

The most important layer is the one touching your skin, so choose clothes which use a compression technology like the Mizuno Breath Thermo Running Crew. Its polyester/polyacrylate fabric won’t chafe like other compression shirt materials.


As an outermost layer, a jacket protects you against wind and rain. Nike’s Element Shield Max is designed with special features like a set of hand warmers that complement your gloves and a hood for when a beanie is not enough.


As with the upper body base layer, a pair of tights needs to be made of compression material that can easily wick away sweat. Paired with synthetic underwear, Skins ¾ pants should keep you warm without overheating. Keep in mind that you will warm up quickly when running.

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Wind pants

Unless you are Rocky Balboa, you definitely shouldn’t run in your baggy sweats in winter as cotton will collect moisture instead of repelling it. Adidas’s Response 3-Stripes Wind Pants will add another layer on top of your tights, keeping the wind out and the body heat in.

Wool socks

Socks are an item that can make or break the winter running experience. Warm winter socks are too bulky to fit into running shoes, but Smartwool PhD Toe Sock Mini are comfortable and among the best in wicking away the moisture and preventing blisters with their individual toe design.


Paired with warm socks, you can use the same running shoes you wore in the summer. If the weather is dry, your feet will stay dry if you avoid puddles. For longer, winter runs, though, consider upgrading your footwear. Shoes with water-resistant upper layer like the Nike Free can keep the water drops out, but won’t protect you from puddles. If you want full water protection, go with Gore-Tex shoes which are designed for trail running.


You should also protect your head from cold weather as it is quite sensitive to low temperatures. The North Face Passing Through Beanie is lightweight and made of polyester and elastane materials that provide a tight but comfy fit.


Your regular gym headphones won’t have much use in winter and wearing earbuds in chilly weather is not pleasant at all. Bluetooth AKG headphones are an absolute must have. They are stylish but durable enough for sports use. Their soft outer shell is perfect for outdoor running as it provides a comfortable fit.    

Reflective spray

Another essential for running in winter dusk ‒ the Albedo 100 Reflective Spray is invisible during the day, but glows under headlights. So, spray your running clothes, shoes or backpack. There is a temporary, week-long version and a permanent one. It is great for cyclists and commuters, too.

Lip balm

Don’t forget to pack the lip balm. Carmex Lip Balm Moisture Plus 2g will prevent your lips from cracking, but it is also good around your nostrils. Apply it around your eyes to avoid wind burn making you older than you are. If you have problem with streaming eyes, wear clear-lens glasses on windy days.

Therefore, if you want to truly enjoy running in the crisp winter air, you should use the right running equipment. This way, you will protect yourself from, windburn, and head colds, as well as reduce the chances of slipping on muddy ground.

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