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AMR Gears Up: Wool, Wool, Baby

Wool Running Apparel: the next edition of Another Mother Runner Gears Up. We have #motherrunners put key running gear to the test, then deliver the results so you can grab the gear that works best for your running and body. 

AMR Gears Up: Wool Running Gear

Baby it’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop running! 

And these days wool running gear is suitable for year-round training. Forget those long-ago memories of scratchy coats and mittens. Wool’s latest knits, weights, and blends (think polyester, bamboo, elastane and spandex) makes it ideal for aerobic sweat sessions in all conditions. The adaptability is a result of the fiber structure, which gives wool its temperature regulating, moisture management, breathability, stain and wrinkle-resistant, and anti-stink properties.

Sound too good to be true? It's not, and AMR testers put the latest wool gear through indoor and outdoor runs to prove it.

Here are the favorites:

Wool Running GearIcebreaker Unisex Tech Trainer Hybrid Gloves

Tester Rating: 5

Our tester who ran in these on cold days (temperatures in the 20s in Queens, NY) said she generally stays away from wool because she has sensitive skin and the fabric tends to be too scratchy for her. However, these didn’t itch at all, plus kept her hands nice and warm. She said they were a bit on the large size, and she recommends going down a size since they’re unisex.

Price: $60

Perfect for: Toasty fingers that can dial in the tunes

Grab it here:

Wool Running GearBuff Lightweight Merino Wool Multifunctional Headwear

Tester Rating: 4.5

Our testers loved the ease of use and versatility of this Buff, starting runs with it over their faces and shifting it to their neck or head as they warmed up. Given its compact size, it’s also easy to wrap around your wrist or put in a pocket if not needed. Testers enjoyed this most on runs around 30 degrees and below. The downside is that the portion over your mouth can freeze on truly cold days. Since it’s a loop though, you can simply spin it!

Price: $29

Perfect for: Keeping sensitive bits–ears, nose, mouth, chin, neck–toasty on cold runs

Grab it here:

Wool Running GearSmartwool Merino Sport 250 Long Sleeve 1/4 Zip

Tester Rating: 5

This was our New Hampshire tester’s first time running in wool, and now she’s a convert! She loved how well the shirt functioned, keeping her warm without feeling clammy, even on high sweat runs. The comfortable fit and thumbholes both get two thumbs up as well, and who doesn’t appreciate the adjustability of a ¼ zip? Wool garments often do come with a higher price tag, which is what had been stopping her. Since she now sees the value and appreciates the quality of the piece she tested, our practical New Englander is going to be scouring sale racks.

Price: $100

Perfect For: Pretty much anything—wear it as a layering piece, as a sweater, on the run, skiing, roasting marshmallows fireside…….

Grab it here:

Voormi Short Sleeve Merino Tech Tee

Tester Rating: 4.5

This polyester and wool blend shirt feels dreamy against skin, with no chafing or rubbing even after a damp 16-mile run with a backpack. It has a comfortably relaxed fit and shows no signs of pilling after more than a dozen washings. It’s also been a nice layering piece on truly cold days. The one knock is that it does not have flat seams; however, as noted, this was not a problem for our tester, but is a head's up for those who have chafe-prone underarms.

Price: $70

Perfect For: Year-round running and layering

Grab it here:

Wool Running GearIcebreaker Tech Lite Long Sleeve Crewe Low

Tester Rating: 5

This tester was another first-time wool runner…. and she’s a fan! No doubt the cute styling, comfortable feel against her skin and functionality of this wool and nylon blend shirt made for a winning combination. She wore it under a thin running jacket on a damp Pennsylvania day with a windchill in the 20s and was perfectly comfortable, touting the lightweight warmth.

Price: $100

Perfect For: A base layer that’s pretty enough to hold its own

Grab it here:

Wool Running GearTracksmith Waffle Layer Shirt

Tester Rating: 5

This 100% merino wool shirt has a waffle pattern to trap heat when you’re cold and release it as you get warmer. Our tester said the fit was excellent and also kept her warm, not hot, on a hard run in 40-degree temperatures. Even better, it looks super cute on the run and around town, and because it’s wool, you can do so without giving off a stink!

Price: $108

Perfect For: Sweating and hanging out in style

Grab it here:

Wool Running GearSmartwool Women’s Merino Sport Capri

Tester Rating: 4.5

Our Denver tester regularly runs in wool because she’s a fan of warmth with simultaneous wicking power. That said, these don’t have as much wool as other pieces in the review (it’s primarily used in the soft waistband and crotch panel), meaning that while they functioned well, they felt a bit more like your favorite “regular” capris than “wooly” ones. The generous pockets were a winning feature, with one that zips and one that’s open.

Price: $80

Perfect For: Someone who wants to give wool a spin but is a bit nervous to go all-in on a completely wool garment.

Grab it here:

Wool Running GearDhaelie Tights Winter for Women

Tester Rating: 4.5

These are just the ticket for cold weather running. Stretch wool felt great against the skin, while wind and water resistant panels on the front helped to keep wind and snow at bay. They also have wool backed, mesh side panels for a welcome mix of warmth and breathability, and the combo drawstring and comfortably wide waistband kept the tights in place. Our testers only gripe was the lack of pockets. There is a key pocket, but chances are if you’re wearing these, you’ll be wearing a jacket or vest as well, which could solve the pocket issue.

Price: $130

Perfect For: Charging hard even as the temperature drops

Grab it here:

Check out all of the AMR Gears Up columns here!

Did we miss your favorite wool running gear?
Let us know in the comments below!

2 responses to “AMR Gears Up: Wool, Wool, Baby

  1. I love my Icebreaker wool tank top. I live in Florida where it’s almost always hot and humid. It seems to wick away sweat and like Alison says, it doesn’t stink!

  2. I’m so surprised that no one has commented on this post! Love this compilation – and to hear that the testers became wool converts. I started running in wool about 4 years ago and haven’t looked back. It keeps me warm when I need to be warm, and cool when I warm up/sweat. Doesn’t stink. Icebreaker shirts are all machine washable which gets two major thumbs up! I even wear a short sleeved wool shirt in spring/fall. Want to try the gloves now! Don’t be afraid to try wool, mother runners!!!

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