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Happy 2021 and happy winter! A few weeks ago I published my Winter Running Tips post and felt like an appropriate follow-up post would be favorite winter running clothing and accessories. (Because how can someone have a successful winter of running if they’re not dressed for the elements?)
Let’s start simple – clothing!
The most asked question I receive regarding winter running clothing is by far what brand of leggings I recommend. I own many pairs of running leggings from Fabletics (in addition to many sports bras – very supportive!). Anyway, I love Fabletics leggings because they are really durable, warm, come in tons of different colors, AND aren’t see through when you bend over (very important!!). By durable I mean stretchy, long lasting, and able to survive the winter elements. I’ve had some of my pairs for years and they still feel brand new. No holes, tears, or fabric that looks run down or worn.
I own a couple pairs of the Mid-Rise PowerHold Legging and love them. I’ve logged tons of miles in them and have had each pair for a couple of years – at least!
Mid-Rise PowerHold Legging
This fall when I was switching my summer clothes with winter clothes, I realized that most of my winter running gear was black and wanted a little more color to add more color to my wardrobe so I am more easily seen by cars when the weather is bleak and dark. I bought two pairs of the High-Waisted SculpKnit Essential Legging – one pair in the color Vermillion and one in Marina. Both pairs are very comfortable and stretchy but do not have pockets.
Vermillion High-Waisted SculpKnit Essential Legging
Marina High-Waisted SculpKnit Essential Legging
If you’re looking for a legging with a warm and cozy inner lining to keep your legs warm, the High-Waisted Cold Weather Legging looks like a good choice! If I get another pair of leggings, these may be the ones.
I have a couple pairs of leggings from Victoria’s Secret and I believe the Incredible Essential Legging is one of the pairs. I got mine at least 4 or 5 years ago and don’t see the same color available but the style and fit looks identical.
Incredible Essential Legging
Rabbit also has some options for leggings.
*I used to have some leggings from another running company but felt they were too thin and not warm enough for winter running, so I will not be ordering from them again.
Many of my long sleeve wicking shirts are from races I’ve run in the past and I’m assuming that some of you reading this also have tons of shirts from races 🙂 Those are the best in my opinion because they always bring back memories from a fun day!
Race shirts aside, I have a few shirts from Rabbit and LOVE them! They’re true to size, comfortable, and made with high quality material.
One top I own from Rabbit is the Tortoise Neck. With a warm and fuzzy inside, it keeps me warm on runs that are pretty chilly and you can easily pair it well with casual clothing too. I really like how it’s not skin tight. It fits a little bit looser and allows you to feel like you can really move in it and stay comfortable.
I own a couple EZ tee LS from Rabbit. I can’t find the exact patterns on their website, but this is a pretty similar option!
EZ tee LS
This long sleeve is only available to runners who are on Rabbit’s RADrabbit team and I think the date to order one has passed, but it is similar to the EZ tee LS.
*If it’s really chilly and I need to add another top layer, I have a few wicking, skin tight turtlenecks from Goodwill, which I’ll put on first and then a long sleeve or 3/4 zip over.
Now if you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I just ordered a running vest from Lululemon. (Yes, I’ve been running for 5+ years and have never owned a running vest…not sure how I’ve survived all these New England winters without one). Yesterday, the real feel was 20 degrees and I wore the vest over a long sleeve wicking shirt and didn’t feel cold at all! It’s very lightweight and has four pockets (2 on each side). I do recommend sizing up so it’s long enough to cover your entire shirt and torso.
Down For It All Vest*
*I can’t find this color on the website but there is a black option available.
Windbreaker / Shell:
Another winter element many of us face is that bitter cold wind – brrrr! I have been wearing this Adidas shell for 6+ years! This exact jacket is no longer available but Adidas and Rabbit both have a bunch of other jackets available.
My preference in socks does not change with the seasons. Personally, I prefer a thicker sock as opposed to thin. My favorite brands are Smartwool, Saucony, and Balega.
Ok – onto accessories!
My first go to winter running accessory are Kahtoola nanospikes. I’ve mentioned these in previous posts and want to reiterate how crucial these are for runners living in areas that get snow and ice. I see runners on Instagram post about how slippery their run was or how they had to stop and finish up on the treadmill, and I think to myself, “Why not just get some spikes?!”. I have had mine for 3+ years and have not had any slips or falls.
Another accessory I’ve mentioned before is the Noxgear Tracer360 Reflective Vest. While this vest is important for winter running because there is less daylight, it’s great to use year-round if you’re an early morning or late night runner. There are a bunch of different colors and settings to choose from to ensure that you’re seen by cars.
Hats & Headbands:
Honestly, any hat or headband is fine for me. I know a lot of runners like the headbands with the hole in the back for your ponytail. I have a TrailHeads Ponytail Headband – Fleece Earband and like it. It definitely keeps the ears warm!
When I look for something to wear on my head I keep a couple things in mind: 1) I want to make sure it’s colorful so I can be seen by cars, and 2) I want it to cover my ears to keep them warm. (Bonus if it holds your earbuds in place!) 😉 I also have a bunch of hats from races I’ve run and wear these often. Again, they’re colorful and bring back fun memories!
My hands get warm pretty quickly when I’m running so I usually start with my gloves on and then take them off anywhere between miles 1-3 and hold them the rest of my run. Something to keep in mind when ordering gloves is to make sure they’re water resistant. I also like gloves that have touch screen enabled fabric on the index finger and thumb so you can quickly do something on your phone without having to take them off.
I have a couple pairs of Prodigen gloves and have gotten a lot of use out of them. They’re touchscreen, wind and water resistant, insulated, and have a grip.
Rabbit has some good options for gloves. TrailHeads and Lululemon both have glove and mitten options.
Face / neck warmer:
I’m pretty simple when it comes to this – I just wear my neck warmer that I wear skiing. I’ve had it for so many years (aka since I was in grade school) and it’s proven to work!
I’ve had a few people mention the Polar Band-It Fleece Headwarmer. This looks like an awesome product and I love how it’s 2-in-1!
Rabbit and New Balance also have a few different options for hats, headbands, and neck gaiters.
Goggles & Sunglasses:
My running coach, Siobhan, lives in Colorado and is a mountain ultra runner and rabbit ELITE trail runner. Earlier this winter, she recommended the Burton Anon MFI Fleece Helmet Hood. The goggles and face mask magnet together and don’t fog up. She bought some for her family and says they work really well!
Sunglasses are a must in the winter because the sunlight is blinding when it reflects off the snow! I always wear Goodr sunglasses and own a few different patterns and colors.
Finally, something to keep in mind for winter running is to stay on top of your hydration just like you would during summer running. Just because it’s colder and you may not feel as sweaty doesn’t mean you don’t need to hydrate! I highly recommend the Nathan brand if you’re looking for hydration options.
For long runs, I always wear my Nathan Intensity Women’s 2 Liter Hydration Backpack. I prefer to not have anything in my hands while running so having this strapped to my back is a dream. It has lots of pockets, doesn’t bounce, and you can fit a 32 oz. bladder in it.
For shorter runs, I use my Nathan Insulated Handheld Water Bottle. The case has a pocket and it’s comfortable to hold.
Ok, I think that covers the basics for winter running gear and gives you some options and ideas if you’re looking for some more items. Please let me know if you’re on the hunt for something that I didn’t mention above and I’ll be happy to give you a recommendation. Or, if there’s an article of clothing or an accessory for winter running that you love, please share in the comments so other people can see 🙂
Happy running and stay warm!