What To Wear Running Below Freezing

Running in below-freezing temperatures can be a thrilling and invigorating experience, but it’s crucial to dress appropriately to stay safe and comfortable. As an avid runner who has braved many cold-weather runs, I’ve learned a lot about how to dress for the occasion. Here’s my guide to what to wear when running below freezing.

Base Layer

First things first, always start with a moisture-wicking base layer. This will help pull sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry and preventing that chilling sensation. I highly recommend investing in a good quality long-sleeve base layer made of merino wool or synthetic materials.

Insulating Layer

On top of your base layer, add an insulating layer to help trap heat close to your body. A fleece-lined or thermal running top is a great choice for this layer. Make sure it’s not too bulky to allow for easy movement.

Outer Layer

For the outer layer, a windproof and water-resistant jacket is essential. Look for one with ventilation options to prevent overheating. Reflective elements on the jacket are also important for visibility during low-light conditions.


Invest in a pair of thermal running tights or pants to keep your legs warm. Look for options with a brushed interior for extra warmth and a drawstring waist for a secure fit. It’s also a good idea to choose bottoms with reflective details for added safety.


Don’t forget about your extremities! A moisture-wicking beanie or headband to cover your ears, thermal gloves or mittens, and wool-blend socks are all essential for staying warm during the run. Additionally, consider wearing a neck gaiter or scarf to protect your neck and face from the biting cold.


Choose running shoes with good traction to handle slippery surfaces. Consider adding traction devices such as Yaktrax to your shoes for added grip on icy terrain. It’s also important to wear moisture-wicking and insulated running socks to keep your feet dry and warm.

Safety Reminder

Always prioritize safety when running in freezing temperatures. Let someone know your planned route and estimated return time. Carry a fully charged phone and some form of identification. Stay visible with reflective clothing and accessories, and consider running with a buddy for added security.

Hydration and Nutrition

Even in the cold, it’s important to stay hydrated and fuel your body properly. Consider using an insulated water bottle to prevent your water from freezing. Pack easily accessible snacks like energy gels or bars in a pocket for a quick energy boost during the run.

Remember, the key to running in below-freezing temperatures is to layer up appropriately, stay visible, and prioritize safety at all times. With the right gear and mindset, cold-weather running can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Happy running!