AMR Gears Up Your Favorite Cold Weather Running Gear: 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.
By Allison Pattillo
A big part of the challenge of winter running–at least for me–is choosing the right clothes for the weather. Not out of the “look good, feel good” school of thought, more in line with “dress right to be safe and enjoy yourself.” Knowing I’m dressed for the weather helps to give me the motivation to get out the door. As I type this, I’m “ready to run” on the top, with pajama pants on my lower half, while I wait for a heavy pair of tights to finish in the dryer (they’re an old pair by Hind that works well for walking the dogs and layering under ski pants, meaning I can do all my adventures without changing clothes #winning).
Luckily, we have BAMBassadors all over the country, including some of the chillier spots in the lower 48. We asked them to share their absolute favorite cold weather running outfit to help our greater audience stay warm. Read on to see what makes sense for you! (Note that when items are no longer available, we’ve suggested alternate selections.)
“I run six days a week through the winter in the Syracuse, NY area. Most winters I will only hit the tread mill or completely bail only a handful of times. That says a lot about how much I dislike treadmill running and how I have accumulated a lot of good winter clothes and gear. Syracuse usually gets the NY golden snowball award with total snowfalls of over ten feet (192” max) and our temps can go down to -26 (much colder with windchill),” Penny N.
-I love the bright colors of this ASICS hat. It also covers my ears and sits low over my face. However, it’s not available now. Instead, try the Boco Gear Women’s Performance Knit Beanie. ($27, one size)
I like this one because I ‘love the run’ and AMR. But my favorite is one from forever ago from LULULEMON because it is thick, longer and sops up my runner’s snot. Neither are available now, so try the super soft Pipe Dream Lined with Micro Fleece from Turtlefur. Sometimes I tuck my gator under my hat, so I don’t get snow down my neck. ($31, one size)
-I like a long sleeve tech (with thumb holes and long enough to tuck into my pants). This Bakline Essentials – Palisade Long Sleeve shirt ($60, XS–XXL), or go with Oiselle’s Flyout Long Sleeve ($72, XS-26), fits nicely under my Smartwool Merino 250 ($105, XS-XL) which makes my core toasty warm but can be scratchy directly on my skin.
-My Brooks Running jacket is wind and snow proof, has a zip/snap front and big pockets that snap, is vented and, if I do say so myself, is super cute. Sadly it’s not available. The Athleta Inlet Jacket is a stylish and functional replacement. ($179, XXS-3X)
–Saucony Fortify Convertible Glove (these will be mentioned again!) are fleece inside and on the cuff. They are roomy enough to wear glove liners inside and/or use hand warmers. (Tip: Did you know that if the hand warmers are still warm when you get home then you can wrap them in Saran Wrap and put them in a plastic bag to use the next day? The reusable hand warmers don’t get warm enough for me). The mittens can be clipped together, so they are easier to find, and they also have a soft material on the outside for nose wiping. ($45, XS-XL)
-Brooks Running tights, like the Momentum Thermal Tights ($95, XS-XXL), have pockets, but I usually carry my phone closer to my core. I’ll layer windproof pants on top if it’s really bitter.
-The Smartwool Women’s Smartloft 60 Skirt is also awesome over my tights to keep my tushy and torso warm. ($100, XS-XL)
-Smartwool mid-crew socks so no skin shows and keep my feet warm and dry. These are the Women’s Hike Light Cushion Zig Zag Valley Mid Crew Socks. ($22, S-LG)
-Finally, a tip for shoes. I take an older pair of running shoes and screw in tiny, big square head screws into the toes and heals for gripping and spray something to repel the wet snow. One year I wore plastic bags over my socks. I looked dorky but my feet were dry.
“I live not too far outside of D.C., so winters here are rather mild until around January, or whenever a polar vortex decides to pay us a visit. Still, we have our fair share of sub-freezing days up until late March, so layering is key,” Sarah F.
-For a base layer, I love the softness and stretch of Saucony’s 1/4 Zip Sportop. ($80, XXS-3X)
-My 2XU jacket–similar to the Light Speed WP–is lightweight and waterproof, so it comes in handy on rainy or snowy runs. ($220, XS-XL)
-Fleece-lined leggings, like these from 90 Degree by Reflex, are as cute as they are cozy! ($45, XS-XXL)
-A buff is a must. I’ll usually grab two; one for my neck and one for my face or over my ears. ($20-$45, one size)
-This is more of an economical winter survival tip. I buy a bunch of gloves at the dollar bin at Target–nothing fancy, as long as my hands are covered, I’m good!
“As a Minnesota runner, we have to prepare for running in temperatures between 20F and -10F or colder for 4+ months of the year. 30F feels “hot” during winter. Snow is a regular occurrence and feels like running in soft sand. And then as it melts and refreezes, it hardens into ice, so we must be able to run on icy terrain as well. The sun feels particularly bright in winter, as it bounces off the white snow. Many times, the coldest days are also the sunniest days, so having eye protection from the sun and extreme cold is important,” Rhianna S.
-The THREE LAYERS of super soft and cozy fleece in a Turtlefur earband are a worthy adversary to brutal temperatures. ($16, one size)
-Keeping your hands free for maximum balance is key when running in snow, ice, and the like. Thankfully, the FlipBelt Classic Running Belt carries even more than a multi-tasking mom can. ($34, XXS-XXL)
-Warmth without bulk—these look sharp– is what the Athleta Rainer Tights are all about. They even have pockets. ($98, XXS-3X)
-The Smartwool socks in the image are an older style/pattern. Smartwool has LOTS of great options though. The link takes you to their “sock finder” feature. Also check out these cozy wool socks from Swiftwick ($20, S-XL) and Bombas. ($24, S-L)
-To keep my feet warm and dry, and to maintain traction on slick surfaces (they come with studs), I choose Ice Bug NewRun Women’s BUGrip® GTX shoes ($210, 5.5-10.5)
“I live in Denver, Colorado, so winter weather can be warmer 50-60’s or colder and 20-30’s. Conditions also vary based on if you’re running in the city or the mountains. It’s good to be prepared for wind, snow and ice!!” Stephanie G.
Editor’s note: This may seem like a lot of wool, but for those of us that live in Colorado, we can attest to its performance abilities from cold and snowy days, to warm bluebird days—it truly can do it all! And layers, you need ALL the layers in the mountains.
-First of all, Smartwool Women’s Smartloft 60 hoodie vest is great looking, as in where it as often as possible! Then, thanks to wool loft insulation, it’s warm (even when wet) and breathable. Stretch side panels give you room to move, and the front and back panels are DWR coated and wind resistant. Plus, pockets! ($160, XS-XL)
-Frozen cheeks (butt cheeks that is) are no fun when you step in that post-run hot shower. This sassy Smartwool Women’s Smartloft 60 Skirt provides an extra layer of warmth as well as extra pockets. Wear it on your run, or shimmy into it afterwards to stay toasty as you go about your day. ($100, XS-XL)
-The Smartwool Women’s Merino 250 Base Layer Pattern Crew provides serious warmth. It also comes in a variety of fun patterns and colors, with flatlock seams and seamless shoulder panels for ultimate comfort. ($110, XS-XL)
-Say “so long” to chilly legs with Patagonia Women’s Capilene Thermal Weight Bottoms. They are made of a wonderfully soft against your skin, but durable against the elements fabric and really do take the sting out of cold runs. ($89, XXS-XL)
You might be noticing a theme here, convertible glove/mitts are a must for our runners when it’s cold! Nathan’s Women’s Reflective Convertible Glove/Mitt won’t let you down, and they have reflective pops for low-light conditions. ($35, XS-XL)
-Smartwool Ski Socks or Smartwool Hiking Socks, like these, will keep toes toasty and ankles protected from slush and cold breezes. ($23, S-L)
Damp weather (be that rain or snow), gray days, and temperatures in the 30s, 40s, and 50s are what our tester (podcast host Sarah) in Portland, OR deals with on the daily during the winter. That means thinking about layers and how to stay dry from the outside in without getting soggy from the inside out.
-Full-length tights make me feel claustrophobic, but when temps drop below 40 degrees, even I switch to something slightly longer than capris. The KORSA Performer Tech Crop Legging 2.0 are my go-to for cold days. The side pockets on these are ideal for stashing my phone and my Knuckle Lights ($45) once the dark turns to daylight. ($95, XS-XL)
-Solid support, chafe-free comfort, and high-beam covering pads (which add a little welcome insulation in winter!) make the Handful Y-Back Sports Bra a regular in my bra rotation. ($58, XS-XL)
-This KORSA long-sleeve tech tee is from 2020 (and no longer available), but this one ($30, XXS-3X) from Under Armour has thumbholes and enough stretch to push up your sleeves to prevent overheating. (The bane of SBS’s cold weather running existence!)
-A running vest, like mine from CRAFT from several seasons ago, is my BRF in the fall and winter. It protects my core from colder temps and rain, while ensuring I don’t overheat or feel trapped in a terrarium! I love the fit of this CRAFT vest–close to the body without clinging. For more vest options, check out these from Brooks Running ($110, XS-XXL), Oiselle ($156, XS-XL), and On Running ($140, XS-XL).
-I suffer from cold hands even on warm days, so it’s key for me to keep my hands warm. The Saucony Fortify Convertible Glove are gloves with a mitten “hood” so when my paws start to warm up, I can reveal the gloves. (These are also great for playing pickleball!) ($45, XS-XL)
-The Floral Explosion Another Mother Runner Running Hat is my all-time favorite hat from our store (pretty flowers!). The brim keeps the rain off my face, while the lightweight nylon holds in some head heat without turning me into a hot mess. I wear one of our running hats year-round. ($30, one size)
Did we miss an item from your favorite cold weather running outfit ?
Let us know in the comments below!