The Best Cold Weather Running Gear, According to a Running Coach

Stay warm and comfortable while you set a new PR

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Our Top Picks
"A base layer that can be worn under sweats or pants, Under Armour's leggings promise to be chafe-free, fast-drying, and anti-odor."
"Don't worry about common running issues when wearing these tights, which securely store your phone and feature reflective details."
"A heavy-duty option, the Bionic 2 Jacket can be layered over thinner running apparel and was made to help you brave the elements."
"This wind-resistant pick provides all the insulation without any of the bulkiness, making it a staple for morning or evening runs."
"When everyday socks just don't cut it, go for Drymax's crew socks, designed specifically to keep your feet warm and dry."
"You won't have to choose between sporting a ponytail or a hat with this fleece option that lets you wear both."
"When your coat doesn't have pockets, gloves make all the difference, especially when they're screen-friendly."
"Wear this long-sleeve on its own or as a base layer when it becomes cold, added bonuses are its reflective details and thumbholes."
"Protect your ears from the wind and minimize pesky flyaways with Turtle Fur's unisex fleece headband."
"Style under a heavy-duty jacket or as outerwear, this windproof, core-protecting pick was built for cold or rainy conditions."

Cold temperatures don’t mean you have to banish yourself to the treadmill. Staying safe and comfortable when running in cold weather is all about wearing the right clothes. When shopping, look for clothes that will keep you warm but are breathable, suitable for layering, and have good wicking capabilities.

Here is the best cold weather running gear on the market.

Under Armour Men's ColdGear Compression Leggings

A quality pair of running tights is essential for anyone who runs in cold weather. Under Armour's ColdGear Compression Leggings ensure warmth and wind protection in winter weather while also reducing muscle fatigue. The dual-layer fabric provides an ultra-warm, brushed interior as well as a smooth, fast-drying exterior that wicks away moisture to keep you dry and chafe-free.

The four-way stretch construction allows for exceptional range of motion, while the anti-odor technology prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes.

Athleta Women’s Rainier Tights

Made of a breathable, high-performance material, these tights from Athleta are ideal for cold-weather runs. The soft, brushed interior keeps you warm and cozy, while the quick-drying, breathable fabric pulls sweat away so you stay dry.

Other cool features are the back drop-in pocket for your smartphone, zipped pockets to secure your essentials, and reflective details to keep you seen in low-light conditions.

The North Face Women's Apex Bionic 2 Jacket

Harsh winter weather is no match for this jacket from The North Face. The WindWall softshell protects you from the wind but is still breathable enough to keep you from overheating. The water-repellent finish and stand-up collar provide additional protection from the elements.

Zippered hand and chest pockets are perfect for stashing your phone and other essentials. With a comfortable, flattering fit, this attractive jacket also works well for casual wear, giving you a lot of bang for your buck. 

Under Armour Men’s ColdGear Sprint Hybrid Jacket

This jacket from Under Armour provides the warm insulation and wind protection that runners need for cold-weather runs. Yet it’s still lightweight and stretchy enough to allow for exceptional mobility and comfort.

The adjustable hood provides even more protection, while the zippered hand pockets are convenient for stashing your gloves, hat, or other essentials.

Drymax Cold Weather Running Crew Socks

Cold, wet feet can make for a miserable run, but you can keep them warm and dry with these Drymax socks. Designed especially for activities in cool-to-cold conditions, they feature a special Dual Layer Moisture Removal System, which instantly removes moisture from the skin through the inner Drymax layer to the outer absorbent layer.

Another layer of Drymax insulation at the front of the sock provides further protection from wind chill. The socks also feature dense (but not thick) padding, which protects and cushions feet without adding bulk.

TrailHeads Women’s Ponytail Beanie

Runners with long hair know how annoying it can be when your ponytail gets bunched up in the back of your winter hat. Enter the TrailHeads Ponytail hat, which features a hole in the back to keep your ponytail up and out of the way.

Made of polyester fleece, it provides warm insulation and moisture-wicking abilities to keep your head dry and comfortable.

The North Face Men's Apex + ETIP Gloves

These gloves from The North Face deliver exactly what runners need to keep their hands warm on the run. Comfortable and versatile, they have a weather-resistant softshell for protection against moisture and wind. The ETIP functionality allows you to use your phone or other touchscreen devices without removing your gloves.

Additionally, the gloves feature silicone gripper palms to ensure a good hold on your phone, water bottle, or anything else you carry on your morning jog. Runners also appreciate the tab at the cuff to make it easier to take the gloves on and off.

Nike Women's Element Long Sleeve Running Shirt

A solid addition to your cold-weather running attire collection, this versatile long-sleeve shirt from Nike can be worn on its own during cool runs or underneath a thermal layer when the temperature really drops. The Nike Dry fabric wicks away sweat to keep you dry while the thumb holes provide additional coverage and warmth.

Turtle Fur Fleece Headband

With its contoured shape and stretchy, soft fleece, this cold-weather headband hugs your ears, keeping them warm and protected from the elements. The material is itch-free and quick-drying, so if you do start sweating, you won’t stay wet. They’re perfect for when you don’t need to wear a full winter hat and are available in more than a dozen basic and bright colors.

The North Face Men’s Apex Bionic 2 Vest

This windproof and water-resistant vest from The North Face keeps your core warm during cold and windy runs. The fleece backer lining provides additional warmth, and you can zip it up or down to regulate your temperature.

The zippered pockets on the side and chest are ideal for stashing essentials such as your keys or phone. And a hem cinch-cord helps block out wind and rain while you’re running.

Lululemon Women’s Another Mile Vest

When it’s too cold to run in only a long sleeve shirt but a running jacket will make you overheat, a running vest is an ideal solution. This comfy one from Lululemon features water-repellent and windproof fabric, as well as PrimaLoft insulation. It provides warmth without the bulk, and the stretchy panels allow for full range of motion.

Under Armour Men’s Tech ½ Zip Long-Sleeve Shirt

This shirt from Under Armour is perfect for layering on very cold runs but can also be worn alone when it’s not as frigid. The ultra-light UA Tech fabric provides breathable coverage and excellent mobility, while the soft inner layer traps heat to keep you warm and cozy.

Moisture-wicking technology keeps you dry, and the fabric’s antimicrobial properties help prevent odors. Runners also like the stand-up collar and front half zipper, which they can zip up or down to regulate their temperature as they warm up during runs.

TrailHeads Women’s Running Gloves

These running gloves combine a durable, wind-resistant outer layer with a super soft, moisture-wicking inner layer to keep you warm and dry. Made of Polartec Power Stretch Pro fabric, they move and stretch with you. The conductive fabric on the tips of the thumb and forefinger lets you keep your hands protected as you use your smartphone or other touchscreen devices.

The silicone palm grips are perfect for holding onto your phone or water bottle, and the metallic swirl design adds a stylish touch.

Smartwool Cold Weather Performance Sock

These lightweight Smartwool socks keep your feet warm and comfortable on the run without feeling bulky. Designed specifically for runners, they feature a Four Degree Elite Fit System that allows for maximum stretch and mobility while still keeping the socks in place.

They’re made with Indestructawool technology for exceptional comfort and durability, especially in high-wear areas.

Turtle Fur Fleece Neck Warmer

Any runner who braves cold and windy weather needs a warm neck gaiter. Made of soft, comfy fleece, this popular neck warmer from Turtle Fur is easy to pull up and down on the run. It has two layers of fleece, so the outside layer can get wet from the elements while the inside stays dry and warm.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

An avid runner and marathon running coach, Christine Luff runs and coaches outdoors through wintry weather, so she has researched, tested, and recommended lots of cold weather running gear.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Castellani JW, Tipton MJ. Cold stress effects on exposure tolerance and exercise performance. Compr Physiol. 2016;6(1):443-69. doi:10.1002/cphy.c140081