What To Wear Cold Weather Running

Cold weather running can be a real challenge, but with the right clothing and gear, it can also be incredibly invigorating. As someone who loves to run outdoors regardless of the temperature, I’ve had my fair share of trial and error when it comes to dressing for cold weather runs.

Layer Up for Warmth

When it comes to dressing for cold weather running, layering is key. The first layer should be a moisture-wicking base layer that will help keep you dry and comfortable throughout your run. Look for materials like merino wool or synthetic blends that will effectively wick away moisture from your skin.

On top of your base layer, add a mid-layer that provides insulation. This could be a long-sleeved shirt or a light fleece jacket. The mid-layer will trap heat and keep you warm while still allowing for breathability.

For especially cold temperatures, don’t be afraid to add an additional outer layer. A lightweight, windproof jacket will help protect you from chilly winds and further insulate your body.

Protect Your Extremities

When running in cold weather, it’s important to pay attention to your extremities, as they are the most vulnerable to frostbite. Make sure to wear a hat or headband that covers your ears to protect them from the cold. I personally love wearing a thermal beanie that not only keeps me warm but also keeps my hair out of my face.

Don’t forget about your hands! Invest in a good pair of running gloves that are designed to keep your hands warm while still allowing for flexibility and dexterity. Look for gloves with touchscreen compatibility so you can still use your phone or running watch without having to take them off.

Lastly, don’t neglect your feet. Invest in a pair of thermal running socks that will keep your feet warm and dry throughout your run. And make sure to wear running shoes that have good traction to prevent slipping on icy or snowy surfaces.

Stay Visible and Safe

When running in cold weather, it’s important to prioritize safety. With shorter days and longer nights, visibility is crucial. Wear reflective clothing or accessories, such as a reflective vest or armbands, to make sure you’re visible to drivers and other pedestrians.

In addition to staying visible, consider wearing a headlamp or carrying a small flashlight to help you see and be seen in low-light conditions. This will not only help you navigate your path but also alert others to your presence.

Don’t Forget to Hydrate

Even in cold weather, staying hydrated is important. Running in the cold can cause you to sweat, and dehydration can still occur. Make sure to drink water before and after your run, and consider carrying a small water bottle or hydration pack with you during your run.

Remember that thirst is not always a reliable indicator of hydration, so be conscious of drinking water regularly to prevent dehydration and maintain optimal performance.


Running in cold weather can be challenging, but with the right clothing and gear, it can also be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. By layering up for warmth, protecting your extremities, staying visible and safe, and staying hydrated, you can make the most of your cold weather runs.

So, don’t let the cold weather stop you from getting out there and hitting the pavement. Embrace the chill, dress appropriately, and enjoy the exhilaration of cold weather running!