To some the following statement might sound weird, but so far this winter I’ve already had the pleasure of being able to enjoy three or four snowy weather runs.
How can running in the snow be enjoyable, you ask? Well, it’s all about having the right gear. If you’re dressed right with the best winter running gear, running in the cold, and yes, even the snow (and even while it’s snowing) won’t feel like a drag.
Over the past few weeks I’ve specifically gotten a lot of questions about the sneakers I run in in the snow and how I keep my feet dry and warm during snowy winter runs. So, to start off this round-up of my picks for the best winter running gear, I’ll tell you all about my sneakers and other shoe/feet accessories, and then I’ll go into some other new pieces I’ve come to love since I last addressed this topic in 2013.
The Best Winter Running Gear
The North Face Ultra Endurance Running Shoe
I got these sneakers as part of the TNF Locals ambassador program about a year ago, but I didn’t truly start to use them regularly until our trip to Scotland in November. We had a hike up Arthur’s Seat planned so I knew I would need a sturdy sneaker with good traction since it’s an intermediate-level hike. That, paired with the fact that I didn’t want to pack more than one pair of sneakers for the trip, but also wanted to make sure that I could run a few days, led me straight to the North Face Endurance shoes that had been stowed away on my shoe rack. They turned out to be perfect on all fronts!
Me running in Edinburgh, Scotland with my North Face Ultra Endurance sneakers.
Great for running on normal terrain and also great for a moderate hike. Since they worked so well on the hike, which was slightly wet and slippery too, I decided to try them out in the snow when we got back to New York, and they proved totally reliable then too.
Winter #running is fun when you have the right gear! Here are @hungry_runner’s fav picks: https://ctt.ec/6Cy15+ #runchat
They have great traction in the snow and I’m also super impressed with how dry they keep my feet. There’s no moisture coming in through the soles and the upper is sturdy enough to keep out any snow or water that gets kicked up on top of my feet.
Me running in my North Face sneakers in the snow with Anna.
Overall, these sneakers have been truly impressive on all fronts and are definitely the most versatile shoe I own.
I snagged my pair of Yaktrax for free back when I was working at The Active Times. They’ve come in handy for a few runs here and there when I really need lots of extra traction because of ice, but other than that, since I’ve started running with my North Face Ultra Endurance sneakers in the snow, I haven’t found them necessary.
They do work great though, so I definitely recommend them for runners who live somewhere where there’s lots of snow on the ground and freezing temps for a good portion of the winter. For everyone else, they are a nice form of extra assurance for snowy/icy runs, especially if you’re running in regular shoes with not great/mediocre traction.
Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats – $31.20
Old Navy Earband
I randomly picked up this headband on a whim at Old Navy one day and it was such a great steal.
It’s bright and has a reflective logo for visibility when running in the dark, which is a must for safe running. Also, it’s a very warm fleece-y material that’s so so soft but also moisture-wicking so that it doesn’t get all soppy wet from your sweat. Unfortunately, I don’t see it online, so it’s very possible they’ve phased it out of their activewear rotation.
3 items pictured here: the Old Navy ear band, and The North Face Flight Series Fuse jacket and Reebok convertible mittens — both mentioned below.
It’s not the only good option in the ear band category, though. I’ve been swapping between my Old Navy headband, my NYC Marathon one from Asics (similar to this one ($19.99) or this one ($18)), one that I have from Moving Comfort (which no longer exists, but this one ($12.93) from Pearl Izumi is similar), and another that I have from 2XU ($23). I like them all and they’ve all lasted quite a while so I definitely recommend any or all!
And if you want a fleece-y type ear band like my Old Navy band, this one ($11.99) from Turtle Fur looks similar and has good reviews.
The North Face Flight Series Fuse Jacket
This is another piece that I received as part of being a TNF Locals ambassador and I really can’t say enough good things about it.
It’s very light-weight and primarily designed for rain, but even so, it’s proven a staple for me for winter running. When it’s really cold out (under 35 F) it works great as a wind-blocking shell layer over a thick longsleeve, fleece-type shirt or half zip. And when the temperatures are more mild (but maybe still windy or rainy) it’s still perfect for staying dry and/or protected from the wind over a lighter base layer.
Running in Brooklyn Bridge Park in my Flight Series Fuse Jacket.
My favorite thing about it though is its built-in vents. Personally, I tend to get hot even when running in cold temperatures, so having a tiny breeze to cool off is ideal. And of course, the benefit of that in warmer temperatures is pretty obvious.
Darn Tough Socks
These are also an item I got when I was working at The Active Times and have LOVED ever since. As far as running-appropriate, warm socks go, in my opinion, these are THE BEST.
They are made of merino wool and they come in all different styles. I’ve been loving the Merino Wool Micro Crew Cushion socks ($14-$24), which are a bit lighter and more low-riding, and the Hiker Boot Full Cushion sock ($19-$24), which are thicker (and warmer) and come up a little higher.
I also use these socks for skiiing and hiking!
Just like I said keeping my ears warm is a must, same goes for my hands. For about four years I’ve been running with fingerless gloves that have the mitten pullover from Reebok. They are GREAT and perfect for when you get hot because you can just roll back the mitten part to let some fresh air graze your hands.
There are those convertible mittens and my North Face sneakers again!
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find these anywhere for a while, so I assume Reebok no longer makes them. The good news, though: my friend Ashley mentioned to me that Brooks has an identical pair ($50), so I will be switching over to those soon since my Reebok pair definitely need an upgrade.
Obviously this isn’t everything you need for comfy winter running, but I wanted to share a quick round-up of my favorites and what I think is the best winter running gear right now. So that’s what I’m wearing on most of my winter run adventures these days!
What are your favorite winter running accessories at the moment? Let me know in the comments section below!
Disclaimer: Although I have received many of these items for free, I was not compensated for this post (or any others involving these items) and, as always, all opinions are my own based on my personal experience.