winter runningby Info Guru Aurora LaJambre

Winter running requires more on the body than pants and a top.

Cold, windy weather and icy trail conditions make it challenging to keep a regular running routine if you don’t have proper clothing.

Top winter trail running gear protects you from freezing temperatures, wind burn and other cold-weather elements that cross your path.

10. Gloves


Once the temperature gets below 20 degrees F, those fingertips are painfully vulnerable to frostbite. It’s impossible to enjoy a scenic run when your fingers are red and numb. Sports gloves wick moisture to keep your hands both dry and warm. They’re pricier than regular gloves, but you’ll feel the difference right away. Some are made with gripping material on the fingertips so you can still work your MP3 player without having to take them off.

9. Thermo sports shirt

Thermo sports shirt

The aim of winter running gear is to protect your from cold, moisture and wind without restricting motion. Thermo sports shirts do all of the above. They cling to the body to trap in heat so they’re an ideal base layer.

8. Sports bra

Sports bra

As always, a sports bra is essential for all female runners. More so than other times of year, sweat-wicking synthetic fabric is a must-have. What’s the point in investing in quality winter trail running gear if you’re going to undermine it with a cotton bra? Same goes for underwear.

7. Trail sneakers

Trail sneakers

Sidewalks and roads can get pretty tough to navigate when they’re slippery and piled high with plowed snow. Trail sneakers offer extra tread to reduce your chances of slipping. They’re made from weather-resistant material to keep your feet dry and guard them from wind.

6. Athletic hat

Athletic hat

The head is the part of your body most sensitive to extreme temperatures. Athletic hats help you retain body heat so you can still enjoy long runs no matter how cold it gets. They’re made from synthetic fabric to block wind and designed to pull down far enough to cover your ears while hugging the skull for a snug, high-performance fit.

5. Mid layer

Mid layer

Warm thermal layering methods apply to sports, too. The mid layer goes between the base layer and jacket. Its main job is to keep you warm while still allowing moisture to evaporate. A mix of synthetic fabric and mesh keeps you dry without reducing body heat. Go for a high crew neck or turtle neck for extra protection and a bold, bright color so you’re easy to see.

4. Reflective jacket

Reflective jacket

Reflective running jackets shield you from wind and snow. Choose a reflective style if your trail crosses paths with cross country skiers and roads. High visibility is critical in winter because snow can be blindingly bright. Bonus features include attached gloves, hood and a high neck. Pockets should be minimal and have a flap or zipper.

3. Wind pants

Wind pants

Attempting to run in the cold wearing sweatpants is a beginner’s mistake. The bagginess hurts your pace and cotton will absorb moisture from your body and the air. Athletic wind pants go over leggings and block wind and moisture from getting through.

2. Compression tights

Compression tights

The body warms up once you start moving, but not nearly enough. Running tights or leggings are made with compression fabric to boost circulation. Wear them as your inner layer beneath warmer, looser pants. Inner layers are the best way to guard your skin from chilly air.

1. Wool socks

Wool socks

Winter trail running gear must extend from head to toe. Prevent frostbite on your toes with wool sports socks. They’re made to wick moisture, warm feet and guard them from bacteria. Toe socks go the extra distance of blocking each toe from chafing and blisters. Pull them up high over your tights so no skin is exposed. You’re ready to run.