Tips for Winter Running Gear (plus a huge giveaway!)

When you move to Vermont in Autumn and sign up for a spring marathon, you expect a lot of your training is going to be in sub-zero temperatures, navigating ice patches, snow drifts and frostbite. Then, a crazy-mild winter happens and your coldest run is 32 degrees with a dusting of snow on the ground.

I’m not complaining (really, I’m not), but it does mean this winter running gear guide is a little later in the season than I originally planned. Also, I’ve always loved those icicle eyelash insta photos…but maybe next year. (Or maybe March, who knows!)

The best thing about this winter running guide? I’ve organized a huge giveaway of lots of my favorite running gear for one lucky reader! Entry for a prize pack of 5 winter running essentials worth more than $130 is at the end of this post. 

Tips for Winter Running Gear: Check out this winter running gear guide for the best layers and accessories for your cold-weather run.

Disclaimer: Some of the products in this guide were given to me for review. Others I bought myself and just love. I only ever review products I like and use regularly. Additionally, some of the links for products are affiliate links, meaning if you click on them and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. 

Let’s start with the basics

For cold weather running, think thermal. You’ll need thermal tights and a thermal base layer to keep you warm. In these photos, I’m wearing an Under Armour Women’s ColdGear crew top, as well as Spandits! thermal tights in their Hashtag pattern. Basically, these layers have a little fuzz on the inside, making them a slightly thicker material and trapping air, which helps keep you warm.

Tips for Winter Running Gear: Check out this winter running gear guide for the best layers and accessories for your cold-weather run.

When it gets ridiculously cold, layers will be your friend. Each layer of clothing provides space where air is trapped, keeping you toasty despite the environment. The best layering fabrics are warm and thin, so your movement isn’t inhibited when you run. Silk and fine-spun wool are great options. When you’re running in snow or rain, a weather resistant shell like this New Balance Shadow Run Jacket can also come in handy (and bonus – it acts as another layer to keep you warm).

There are so many options for upper body layers – tops, vests, hoodies, shells – but if you’re only wearing a pair of thermal tights, your booty is going to get chilly. You can still layer your lower body, though. Try a pair of shorts over top of your running tights, or a running skirt will also do the trick. 

Ice, ice, baby

Are there any winter running guides that don’t quote Vanilla Ice at some point? One of the biggest reasons for runners to turn to the treadmill instead of their outdoor route is treacherous conditions. Whether it’s snow, ice, or a combination of both, the idea of slipping and breaking a bone is enough for many runners to head indoors instead. I was so excited to receive these Kahtoola NANOspikes (included in the giveaway!) which slip on over your sneakers to provide traction in icy conditions.

Tips for Winter Running Gear: Check out this winter running gear guide for the best layers and accessories for your cold-weather run.

I tried them on my HOKA One Ones, because those shoes have some serious sole. I figured if the NANOspikes could fit on Hokas and be comfortable, they’d work with every running shoe. I admit, I was nervous before my first run in these. Getting them on the shoes took a little muscle and then when I tried them on, they felt tight and I worried they were going to pinch me and give me nasty blisters.

Turned out I had nothing to worry about. They took a little getting used to – at first I was almost trying to change my footfall to ‘protect’ my feet, thinking they would rub the wrong way. After a few minutes when I realized they felt okay, I started running more naturally and if it wasn’t for the clattering on the sidewalk, I would have forgotten they were on. Then I hit the snow-covered trails and was so happy to be running where I’d had to avoid before I had these spikes. These are a game changer. If you are worried about icy areas, or you want to continue trail running in winter, I can’t recommend these enough.

No one wants cankles (Cold Ankles)

My ankles are always the one place I forget about keeping warm. However, I have an arsenal of socks and sleeves I will definitely wear when it gets cold enough. Just like for layering purposes, wool is a great material to look for in winter running socks. I have a couple of pairs of these Darn Tough Vermont Socks, which are warm but thin. I also love my Bombas, since they have tabs that come up over the bottom of my tights. For when it gets super chilly, you can layer with compression socks or sleeves under your running tights.

Gloves with selfie power

If you’re a running blogger, or Instagrammer, you don’t want to freeze your fingers off getting the ubiquitous shoe selfie (or risk frostbite for anything more creative). Even if you could care less about photos on the run, if you have a touch screen GPS watch like mine, you want to be able to quickly use your watch with taking your gloves off first. That’s why you need these TrailHeads Power Stretch Running Gloves (included in the giveaway!), which have touch-screen enabled material on the thumb and forefinger, so they stay on while you use your smart phone. Wicking, thermal and wind-resistant, these gloves are a must-have.

Tips for Winter Running Gear: Check out this winter running gear guide for the best layers and accessories for your cold-weather run.

I like warm hugs!

I also like my warm Hygge. What the hygge is a hygge? It’s a Danish word (pronounced ‘hoo-gah’) which basically translates to cosiness, but really it means creating a warm, cosy, feel-good atmosphere. The Spandits! Hygge (included in the giveaway!) is a thermal neckwarmer in the awesome patterns and colors Spandits! is known for. You can scrunch it down around your neck, or pull it up over your nose and ears when the temperatures really drop.

Having a layer of fabric over you mouth and nose when you’re running in very cold conditions is important – it acts to warm the air you’re breathing in, protecting your throat and lungs from the icy temperature.

Tips for Winter Running Gear: Check out this winter running gear guide for the best layers and accessories for your cold-weather run.

Heads up

In these photos, I’m wearing the TrailHeads Power Ponytail Headband (you can check out a past review of that here). I am not a fan of beanies and skull caps when running – they tend to slip off my head, or else they have to be so tight to stay on that they give me a headache. I find the thicker headbands for winter work well – if it’s not too cold out, I’ve also run with a thin headband (like a Bondi Band ) to keep my ears warm, with a running cap over top.

The eyes have it

I remember unpacking my custom, prescription Oakley running sunglasses when we moved in to our new place. I have a memory of looking at them in my hands, thinking, “I need to put these somewhere safe while I’m still unpacking, so a certain toddler doesn’t discover them.” And that’s the extent of my memory, unfortunately, because I have torn my place apart looking for those sunglasses several times since then.

But winter time is just as important as sunny summer days for wearing sunglasses while running. In fact, the glare from snow and ice can be even harsher on your eyes than in the middle of summer. So I improvise with my regular sunglasses and yes, I feel like kind of a hipster doofus, and no, they are not as comfortable as glasses specifically designed for running, but I am not a squinty, headachy mess at the end of my run, so it’s a small win for me.

Tips for Winter Running Gear: Check out this winter running gear guide for the best layers and accessories for your cold-weather run.

Skin is in

Even with all your layers and accessories, you’re still going to be exposing some skin to the elements. And because you don’t want skin cancer, or bizarre tan lines (YES, you can still get sunburn in the winter – all that reflection and glare is UV rays heading toward your face), you need to use a sunscreen, like this awesome Block Island Organics SPF 30 Face Moisturizer (included in the giveaway!). It  protects you from the sun, moisturizes your skin, it’s vegan and it has NO nasty chemicals!

Tips for Winter Running Gear: Check out this winter running gear guide for the best layers and accessories for your cold-weather run.

And speaking of moisturizer, I am addicted to the None of Your Beeswax Salve, made at the Touch and Go Farm in Bridgewater, VT (included in the giveaway!). You can use it on your lips, hands and feet. I’ve been slathering it on my hands pre-run, so the heat from wearing gloves really lets it sink into my skin. I bought this salve as a Christmas gift from Tita, the woman who makes it, at a small provisions store in Vermont. As soon as I got home, I wished I’d bought some for myself as well, so I was thrilled when my mother-in-law gave me a jar for Christmas. I love it and I reached out to the farm to ask if they’d offer a jar for the giveaway. You will love this stuff!

Tips for Winter Running Gear: Check out this winter running gear guide for the best layers and accessories for your cold-weather run.

Okay, my friends, are you ready to WIN the Fine Fit Day winter running gear prize pack? There will be one winner selected at random via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Entrants must have a US mailing address to receive their prizes. Each merchant will be shipping the prize directly to the winner. Giveaway runs from 2/5/16 to 2/12/16. Winner will be notified by email. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the post! GOOD LUCK! πŸ™‚

Tips for Winter Running Gear: Check out this winter running gear guide for the best layers and accessories for your cold-weather run.

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I’m linking up with Erica and Smitha for their weekly giveaway round up! Don’t forget to check out their sites for more giveaways and prizes!

Comments

  1. Walking carefully is my favorite

  2. Jessica G says:

    Great running gear! I avoid the ‘dreadmill’ at all costs, so I could really, really use these amazing gadgets for those morning runs!!

  3. My go-to is my UA Coldgear!
    Marcia recently posted…Weightloss Week 4: Weights and MeasuresMy Profile

  4. RunCheerRun says:

    My must have running gear accessory is a good pair of gloves (that I’m still searching for). My hands get cold (and stay cold) quicker than anywhere else.

  5. Winter has been very mild here too – not complain either πŸ˜€ – and it is kind of scary cause i feel like it will probably be snowing in March!!
    ellen recently posted…High Five Friday πŸ™‚My Profile

  6. My must have item is my running jacket (super comfortable and keeps me nice and warm on the cold days!) and my gloves! My hands are always the coldest part of me, so gloves are a must have!

  7. I love my beanie cap!

  8. A great pair of gloves. My hands always get so cold.

  9. Spandits! Hygges are my go-to! They rock.

  10. a good hat/headband – something to keep my head warm πŸ˜‰

  11. My go-to is all things Under Armour. I pretty much live in their cold gear leggings in the winter as I live in CT πŸ™‚

  12. Fantastic running gear! Thanks for such a great giveaway opportunity!!

  13. Love them all!

  14. Warm pants are a winter running must have for me πŸ™‚ Thanks for hosting the giveaway!
    Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…Top Five Friday #42My Profile

  15. Heather S says:

    My knit headband!

  16. Armwarmers! I run really hot, so I like being able to easily uncover and cover my arms.
    Hannah recently posted…Running Bottoms with Pockets: Gear for AdventureMy Profile

  17. i love ALLLL these items! I especially like how cool those ice/shoe traction things are. Wish i had a US address, i would for sure enter this contest!

  18. I love my Spandits! thermals! That and a down veat are perfect for winter cold runs.

  19. Gotta have warm gloves.

  20. When it’s cold out, I need a head warmer. Otherwise I will be absolutely miserable. Thank you for hosting such an awesome giveaway! Fingers crossed. πŸ™‚
    Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me recently posted…Currently: February 2016My Profile

  21. Considering I’m not a fan of winter I really need clothing I can layer and that insulates me well to keep warm while out in The cold.

  22. I like to have pocket warmers when it’s super cold out. It gives me the little boost I need.

  23. Ginny Hunt says:

    My must have for cold gear would have to be a pair of gloves. If my fingers get froze, I’m done for!

  24. Great gear guide! You covered all the bases. I LOVE those gloves. I keep my iPhone warm in a FlipBelt, but whenever I take it out to skip ahead a track it’ll die from the cold, so those are genius.
    Leah @ Run. Crave. Conquer. recently posted…Hamilton Is My Running BuddyMy Profile

  25. In the cold (below 20 degrees or more) I always have to wear a pair of running tights and then a thermal pair of tights.

  26. I can’t live without my fleece lined tights! And my snug fitting tank tops as my first layer.

  27. I have to have a warm pair of gloves, my hands are always cold and will get numb during an entire run if they aren’t covered properly.

  28. I have so much winter running gear, but there are some things on here that I haven’t ever tried before! I usually use a Buff to cover my face/neck/head and I can’t run without one!

  29. Gotta have some kind of covering for my ears.I can handle cold hands, but not cold ears!

  30. Amie Hewett says:

    Living in Maine I can totally relate! Great gear!!

  31. Amie Hewett says:

    Katuhla MicroSpikes my favorite winter gear for running on snowy trails!

  32. I have to have my neck gaiter during cold runs. Would love to try the spandits one

  33. Earmuffs are a must for me, great giveaway

  34. layers and shoe spikes are always a must have for me. I haven’t fallen…yet!

  35. Good gloves! Current go to – Craft Thermal with windstoppers. I hit the ground here (in Chicago) on Friday. There was a cute dusting of snow… over ice. Womp womp!

  36. A warm headband/hat and gloves for sure!

  37. thermal tights

  38. SmartWool!

  39. Great article! Nanospikes for icy conditions are a must!

  40. It’s a toss up between running mitts or a balaclava!
    Theresa recently posted…The Counter DateMy Profile

  41. I always need a thick pair of gloves!

  42. Really, really good shoes are a must have!!

  43. i need good gloves!

  44. I must have gloves.

  45. I need a good layer on my top that wicks sweat and keeps me warm.

  46. i love my ear muffs, I don’t like wearing hats, so they keep my ears warm!

  47. I need to gloves!!!!!!

  48. Kimberly M. says:

    I am usually pretty warm even in winter so my must have is a good pair of gloves since my hands are the only thing that really gets cold from the elements.

  49. gloves are a must have for me in the winter

  50. Enjoy having layers, although I usually end up redirecting my route past my house once or twice to shed a few things throughout a run.

  51. wool socks. my feet are always cold – even when running

  52. I’m forever looking for the right glove and something for my ears that isn’t too bulky.

  53. Ellen Casper says:

    Must have are gloves!

  54. I love Oiselle’s long sleeve lux shirt. So soft and warm and wicks sweat really well that it makes a great base layer!

  55. Merino wool CEP calf-high socks have been a life saver this year! I also splurged on a pair of down mittens that are keeping my fingers toasty. Thanks for the post and giveaway!

  56. In the winter I like my arms to be covered.

  57. I need wool socks and I need gloves. The larger parts of my body can be okay with the cold but I need serious protection for my hands and feet.

  58. I always have to have good gloves because my fingers get cold.

  59. My must have is something to cover my ears. I have to have warm ears!

  60. Warm gloves!!

  61. Under Armour Coldgear compression tights are my Winter must-have!

  62. Layers is my must-have running accessory for the Winter.

  63. A pair of gloves

  64. My must have is are my 2XU Thermal Compression Tights. They are so warm, great even when cold and windy. Keeps me so toasty.
    John @ run. geek. run(disney) recently posted…Run / Walk 26.2? Believe It | Jeff GallowayMy Profile

  65. Sonya Sanderson says:

    must have a good set of thermals.

  66. Head band

  67. I have a nice warm running hat with a ponytail hole.

  68. Skincare, hat, hydration, and gloves on the coldest mornings, are my winter running necessities here in CA. I’d love to share these goodies with a special running friend from upstate NY if I win. I sure wish I’d had Nanospikes when I lived in MI for all the times I fell on my booty. πŸ™‚

  69. Great blog. I can’t run in cold weather without my neck warmer!

  70. A smart wool top that is the best thing ever! And wool socks πŸ™‚ I live in NH so I appreciate these good reminders

  71. Terri Irvin says:

    I love to wear light thermal underwear and fingerless gloves.

Trackbacks

  1. […] last week, don’t forget TODAY is the last day you can enter my winter running gear giveaway! Head over here to enter for a chance to win a prize pack including NANOspikes for your shoes, running gloves, organic sunscreen, a neck warmer […]

  2. […] month I also ran a huge giveaway for some of my favorite winter running gear! This was my biggest giveaway to date and I was so excited to be able to offer one of my readers […]

  3. […] and sunscreen aren’t just for the summer. I wrote this post on winter running essentials last year and there’s a reason sunscreen is included – it’s easy to forget when […]

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