The Best Cold-Weather Running Gear

Unless I’m doing the Evil Twin Treadmill Workout, I’m pretty much all set with running anywhere but outside. You can find me pounding pavement or hitting the trails year-round, in any weather. I’m like the god damn postal service. Rain, snow, sleet or shine…

That being said, you can’t put a price tag on the gear that keeps you warm all winter. Here’s a list of the best cold-weather running gear I’ve found—the stuff I count on to keep me comfortable when the weather gets, uh, New England-y.

1. Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro Socks

I’m on season two with these socks and, damn. These things are awesome. They keep my feet (a.) warm (b.) dry and (c.) cushioned. When the temperature drops, these socks are absolutely key to a comfortable run.

2. UnderArmour ColdGear® Reactor Running Leggings

The $80 price tag is meh, but see above statement: you can’t put a price tag on the gear that keeps you warm all winter. There’s nothing worse than numb thighs after running a few miles in sub-freezing temps, except maybe trying to maintain a decent pace while hauling ass in multiple layers. These eliminate both problems. I particularly like that they come in different lengths, because I’m a little shorty, you know?

3. Marmot PreCip Jacket

They say that every girl needs a little black dress. Well, this shell is my equivalent of the little black dress. I’ve worn this on everything from windy summertime treks to cold-and-wet ice climbing adventures. What I like about it for cold-weather running is that it protects against wind, rain, sleet, and snow while offering surprisingly good ventilation. The pit zips help. A lot. I layer mine on top of either a lightweight wool base layer, or even a microfleece-lined quarter-zip. Make sure you use TechWash to keep it clean—a regular, old detergent will deteriorate its weatherproofing.

4. Fingerless Gloves with Mitten Flap

Smartwool makes a great pair of these, buuuut…I don’t know about you, I do some pretty nasty things with the gloves I run in. They double as a tissue and triple as a sweat rag and the price tag on the Smartwool version makes it hard to justify using them as anything but a pair of gloves. Fortunately, Amazon’s got us covered. I keep the mitten flap closed while I’m running, but appreciate having easy access to my fingertips when I need to retie my laces or change to a different Spotify station. Make sure the mitten flap has a Velcro tab and not a button, otherwise I promise you’ll get super frustrated.

5. Buff® UV Multifunctional Headband

I’m not a hat person. Maybe it’s because my ridiculously curly hair physically doesn’t fit under a hat. Or maybe it’s because they don’t allow enough heat to escape while I’m sweating up a storm. Either way, I’m a Buff® girl. I use my half Buff®—which, consequently is now called the UV Multifunctional Headband—to keep my ears from burning while I’m hot to trot in cold temps. The Buff offers UV protection and moisture-wicking warmth, which are some pretty great assets on an outdoor run…

Cold weather is no excuse to skip that run (or jog, or walk, or skip-a-dee-doo…). Having the right gear is everything! These are just my picks, but if you have any favorites or think I missed the mark on anything, please feel free to leave a comment!

Shop away, and then go get after it already!