The Best Cold Weather Running Gear for 2023

man and woman running in snow

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Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or have recently started a new workout routine, the freezing temperatures and gloomy winter weather keep many people indoors for the season. However, did you know that cold-weather running is a great way to help burn those extra calories and boost your immune system? Not only that, but a date with nature does also wonders for your mental health by reducing stress and helping to combat seasonal depression. Running has a calming effect on the body, releasing feel-good chemicals that help ease your mood.

It's time to trade your shorts for leggings and get outside! If you're just getting started with a winter running regimen, here are some great options for gear that can retain heat in the dropping temperatures without restricting your movement.

Why Trust Us?

The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring their years of knowledge and experience to each review. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

Cold-Weather Products for Winter Running - Our Top Picks

Best Men's Vest - Spyder Glissade Hybrid Insulated Vest

Spyder Glissade Hybrid Insulator Vest

SPECS

  • Material: Outer: 100% nylon, Lining: 100% polyester, 60g fill-power
  • Technology: Metallic performance panels, iridescent reflective trims
  • Length: 28"
  • Fit: Athletic
  • Zip: Full zip closure in with a zipper garage and internal draft flap
  • Pocket: Hand pockets

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Layer up for more running mileage with the Spyder Glissade Hybrid Insulated Vest. This stylish, flattering vest, often used for skiing or backpacking, is engineered with down-proof recycled nylon construction, combining double weave stretch polyester and coated in Durable Water Repellant (DWR). The double-weave panels offer the right amount of breathability, elasticity, and ease.

It was tailored to be a technical layering vest for harsh conditions and can serve as a lightweight vest on a crisp fall or spring day. Runners also appreciate the sleeveless style, which delivers a natural range of motion when training outdoors.

What We Like

  • Stand up collar offers extra coverage
  • Sleeveless design allows a wide range of motion
  • Durable Water-Resistant (DWR) coating provides quick-drying fabric

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

BUY: Spyder Glissade Hybrid Insulated Vest


Best Women's Vest - New Balance Women's Heat Grid Vest

New Balance Women's Heat Grid Vest

SPECS

  • Material: 67% recycled polyester, 33% polyester front body; 98% recycled polyester, 2% spandex back body
  • Technology: NB HEAT technology, reflective trims
  • Fit: Athletic
  • Pocket: 2 zippered front pockets

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When running in chilly temperatures, vests are practical accessories because you can layer up without restricting your arms. With sleet or snow often in the forecast this time of year, women will appreciate the New Balance Heat Grid Vest, which features NB HEAT technology and vapor loft insulation that helps brave the elements.

Stylish and sleek, the vest comes with dependable hand pockets (It has pockets!), so you can safely store your belongings. Additionally, reflective accents help aid early morning or evening winter visibility.

What We Like

  • Warm and breathable
  • Fitted silhouette
  • Half-zip pullover style
  • Reflective trim

What We Don't Like

  • Does not include hood

BUY: New Balance Women's Heat Grid Vest


Best Running Socks - Swiftwick Pursuit Socks

Swiftwick Pursuit Socks

SPECS

  • Material: 66% Merino wool, 32% nylon, 2% spandex
  • Length: Variety of lengths
  • Quantity: Individual and 3-pack
  • Moisture-wicking: Yes

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Socks provide the needed insulation for cold temperatures. Wearing a high-quality sock with construction from superior materials will make the difference in frigid temperatures. For the cold weather apparel for your feet, consider any pair of socks in the Swiftwick Pursuit™ collection.

Comprised of natural-fiber Merino wool, the extended sturdy heel pocket optimizes the wearability of these socks. The reinforced heel and toe deliver warmth in the winter, absorbing moisture without feeling drenched.

The wool is soft against your skin, directing moisture away from your feet while regulating temperature, therefore keeping you warm in the winter. Compression socks can also help keep you warm while minimizing the risk of injury.

What We Like

  • Breathable
  • Feet stay dry
  • Warm

What We Don't Like

  • Sizes run large
  • Expensive

BUY: Swiftwick Pursuit Sock


Best Long Sleeve Shirt - Mizuno Breath Thermo Long Sleeve Top

Mizuno Breath Thermo Long Sleeve Top

SPECS

  • Material: 90% polyester, 7% polyacrylate, 3% spandex
  • Technology: Flatlock seaming, 360-reflectivity, 4-way stretch material, BreathThermo® fabric
  • Fit: Athletic
  • Moisture-wicking: Yes

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Whether worn as a base layer or as an everyday long sleeve, the Mizuno Breath Thermo Top uses your body heat to make and retain warmth during long winter jogs. Not only that, but the moisture-wicking material with flatlock seams also helps to keep you dry, with just the right amount of stretch needed to move without feeling restricted.

If you're wearing this top as an outer layer, you'll appreciate the 360-degree reflectivity that creates visibility on dark morning or early evening runs. Additionally, when used as a base layer, the sleeves' convenient thumbholes shield your hands from the cold and keep the sleeves from inching up.

What We Like

  • 360-reflectivity raises visibility
  • Convenient thumbholes
  • Moisture-wicking

What We Don't Like

  • May run small

BUY: Mizuno Breath Thermo Long Sleeve Top


Best Winter Hat - Salomon Active Beanie

Salomon Active Beanie

SPECS

  • Material Material: 91% polyester, 9% elastane
  • Material Weight: 33g

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The purpose of wearing a hat in the winter is to preserve your body heat rather than allowing it to escape from your head. Every amount of skin that is exposed allows the cold to creep in. Constructed with microfleece, the updated design on this beanie includes reflective detailing on the back, improving visibility and keeping you warm.

Available in five trendy colors, it is lightweight and packable, and if the weather changes mid-run, easy to hold or store in your waistband. Machine washable and fast drying, it's the ideal beanie to throw in your workout bag when you're on the run.

What We Like

  • Reflective detailing
  • Lightweight
  • Fast drying
  • Machine washable

What We Don't Like

  • May run small

BUY: Salomon Active Beanie


Best Running Tights - Sugoi Subzero Zap Tight

Sugoi Subzero Zap Tight

SPECS

  • Material: 90% polyester and 10% spandex, SubZero fabric with DWR water resistance for thermal protection paneled with Zap reflectivity
  • Zip: 6" locking ankle zippers
  • Waist: Comfort elastic waist with drawstring closure

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Because they keep you warm in the winter and add extra support, wearing running tights means you can spend less time concerned about the weather conditions and more time focused on running. Running tights have become increasingly popular among avid runners, making running easier by featuring key factors like lightweight comfort and muscle compression. The Sugoi Subzero Zap Tight is constructed with DWR water resistance for thermal protection, offering weather protection and warmth without weighing you down.

The six-inch locking ankle zippers keep abundant bagginess away and Sugoi's Zap Tech helps illuminate your body in the lowest light conditions. Blended with 90-percent polyester and 10-percent spandex, the fabric is a high-density combined knit that's brushed on the inside, adding extra thickness.

What We Like

  • Comfort elastic waist
  • Side phone pocket fits a large phone
  • Paneled with Zap reflectivity

What We Don't Like

  • May run small

BUY: Sugoi Subzero Zap Tight


Best Men's Jacket - Under Armour Men's ColdGear® Reactor Performance Hybrid

Under Armour Men's ColdGear Reactor Performance Hybrid

SPECS

  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Technology: ColdGear Reactor insulation adjusts to the activity, UA Storm technology repels water, quilted pattern traps heat
  • Zip: Full zip closure
  • Pocket: Inside chest pockets, zip hand pockets

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The UA Men's ColdGear® Reactor Performance Hybrid is crafted with fleece side panels offering added breathability and mobility for running. A sizable 3-piece hood comes with an extended brim and collar, providing extra coverage. And it looks stylish and sleek.

Lightweight but robust, the jacket is constructed with an even, ripstop woven-body fabric that retains heat and keeps you comfortable during your winter run. Enough said.

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Stylish
  • Sizeable 3-piece hood

What We Don't Like

  • Runs small
  • Bottom material can loosen over time

BUY: Under Armour Men's ColdGear® Reactor Performance Hybrid


Best Women's Jacket - Under Armour Women's ColdGear® Reactor Performance Jacket

Under Armour Women's ColdGear Reactor Performance Jacket

SPECS

  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Technology: Insulation adjusts to the activity, repels water, quilted pattern traps heat
  • Zip: Full-zip closure
  • Pocket: Inside chest pockets, zip hand pockets

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With frigid temperatures, the inclination is to layer up your clothing when heading outdoors. However, you also don't want to pile on so much clothing that you become uncomfortable. The UA Women's ColdGear® Reactor Performance Jacket is a lightweight insulated jacket you can wear while running outdoors. Its quilted insulation traps heat, allowing air to flow without overheating.

An added feature is the wide funnel neck collar for additional coverage and warmth. Comfortable and adaptable, its fleece-lined pockets keep your hands warm. It is also available in stylish jewel tones.

What We Like

  • Available in several colors
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Flattering fit

What We Don't Like

  • May run small
  • May fall above the natural waistline

BUY: Under Armour Women's ColdGear® Reactor Performance Jacket


Best Gloves - Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Wind Training Glove

Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Wind Training Glove

SPECS

  • Material: 47% polyester, 38% Merino wool, 15% elastane
  • Technology: Touchscreen compatible
  • Palm grip: Nylon overlay

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Winter temperatures can get bitter and piercing, numbing our fingers and making outdoor activities uncomfortable. If left uncovered, our hands can quickly turn into blocks of ice. Protect your hands, starting with the Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Wind Training Glove. Created with a synthetic Merino wool mix, this moisture-wicking fast-drying glove provides all the breathable warmth needed to power through the polar conditions.

Reflective piping increases visibility, and silicone fingers with palm grippers won't let your phone or keys slip. Music-loving runners will appreciate the glove's touch-screen compatibility, enabling you to change your tunes while moving.

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Touch-screen compatible
  • Fast drying

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in one color
  • Rubber gripping can peel off

BUY: Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Wind Training Glove


Best Hand Warmers - BESKAR Portable Hand Warmer

BESKAR Portable Hand Warmer

SPECS

  • Rechargeable: Yes! 6-12 hours of warmth.
  • Heat settings: Low-temp: 95-108℉, Medium-temp:108-118℉, High-temp:118-131℉

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During your outdoor runs, your hands often get cold, which is why most runners wear gloves. Some runners take an extra step when retaining hand warmth by carrying a portable electric hand warmer. The BESKAR Portable Hand Warmer is easy to carry and instantly provides warmth to your digits.

Small enough to hold in your pocket, it offers 12 hours of warming time with its double-sided heating. It quickly heats up to 95℉ in only 3 seconds and offers you three temperature thresholds.

What We Like

  • Ultra-fast charge and recharge
  • Longer battery life than other hand warmers
  • Offers 3 different temperatures
  • Safety features protect from overheating

What We Don't Like

  • Takes a while to charge
  • Cannot use the heating function when charging

BUY: BESKAR Portable Hand Warmer


Best Lip Protectant - Burt's Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm

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As the mercury drops, there is less moisture in the air, which means our skin and lips become dry. A good lip balm is necessary because it shields your lips from those freezing temperatures.

Designed with more butter and less wax, the Burt's Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm is a self-care essential, with a formula that locks in moisture to relieve your dry lips. Produced with 100% natural ingredients, the balm is created without parabens, phthalates, or petrolatum. Just apply once, and this protectant will leave your lips moisturized for up to four hours.

What We Like

  • Wide variety of flavors
  • Natural ingredients
  • Glides on smoothly

What We Don't Like

  • Pricier than most lip balms
  • May need to be reapplied frequently

BUY: Burt's Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm


Why is Cold Weather Running Gear a Good Investment?

Cold weather running gear is a good investment because it is tailored to maintain warmth while optimizing your mileage. With specific apparel made to protect you from the elements, the gear provides:

  • Temperature regulation
  • Increased circulation
  • Conserved energy
  • Muscle protection

Why Running Outside is Good for You

With a forecast of snow and frigid temperatures, you might be tempted to stay inside, but running outside has numerous benefits, including:

  • Mental boost
  • Improved stability
  • Improved focus

What to Look for When Buying Cold Weather Running Gear?

There is no shortage of cold-weather gear on the market. To optimize your decisions, be sure to prioritize certain features:

  • Materials (moisture-wicking)
  • Layers
  • Traction
  • Reflectivity

FAQs About Cold Weather Running Gear


Why is Cold Weather Running Gear Expensive?

Because of its engineered technology, some cold-weather gear will be at a higher price point. That doesn't mean it's overpriced and not worth the investment. Companies are constantly researching ways for their products to retain warmth without restricting movement or making the runner uncomfortable. As a result, apparel companies tend to explore ways to optimize running gear, resulting in a higher price.

How do you Adapt to Running in Cold Weather?

Beginning runners can adapt to the cold by stretching and keeping the flexibility of their muscles in mind. A good practice is to start slowly in your stretching routine and keep realistic running goals in mind. Those new to running often begin in a community running program, where they can find other newbies and set realistic expectations.

Does Running in the Cold Burn More Calories?

While we may think running in cold weather burns more calories, it typically doesn't. Unless we are running on a rigorous trail or through heavy fallen snow or mud, we won't be burning any extra calories in the winter season. Also, while running in heavier clothes may burn more calories, today's cold-weather gear is typically lightweight and breathable. That said, while cold weather running may not be a quick weight-loss fix, it is still a dynamic means of healthy exercise and fitness maintenance.

About the Author

Kelly Feng

Kelly is an experienced sports writer whose work appears in TeamUSA, FloGymnastics, and College Gym News. She has written about Olympic athletes like Shane Wiskus, Sam Mikulak, Simone Biles, and Laura Zeng; trampolinists Nicole Ahsinger and Alexi Shostak; and collegiate gymnastic teams such as LSU, BYU, and UCLA.

See More from Kelly

Kelly is an experienced sports writer whose work appears in TeamUSA, FloGymnastics, and College Gym News. She has written about Olympic athletes like Shane Wiskus, Sam Mikulak, Simone Biles, and Laura Zeng; trampolinists Nicole Ahsinger and Alexi Shostak; and collegiate gymnastic teams such as LSU, BYU, and UCLA.

See More from Kelly

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