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Winter Running Gear Essentials – Be Ready for Cold Weather

Having the right winter running gear makes a huge difference in being able to enjoy running in the winter.

In this article, you’ll know which gear to go out and get and which gear to avoid when you’re shopping this holiday season (even if it is for yourself!).

If you read our winter running tips article a few days ago, you know how important the right gear can be, especially in the winter, so here are our winter running gear essentials.

runner at cold snowy weather

Let’s Get Started with Everyone’s Favorites. Shoes!

Brooks Ghost 11 Running Shoe

Brooks Mens Ghost 11 Running Shoe - Black/Silver/Orange - D - 13.0
  • SHOE SIZE: "D" = Medium width, "EE" = Wide width
  • FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners with a medium to high arch looking for neutral support.
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability—yet it feels lighter than ever.
  • SMOOTH, STABLE RIDE: The Segmented Crash Pad is designed to adapt to each foot fall, so no matter how your foot lands, you’ll enjoy the smoothest ride possible.
  • SOFT, SECURE FIT: The newly engineered mesh upper practically disappears on foot with strategically placed stretch and structure where you need it most.

Review: The Ghost from Brooks has been one of the best selling running shoes for years. It was also selected as Runner’s World Editor’s Choice for running shoes in 2023.

There are some great reasons for this. With its BioMoGo DNA midsole and DNA Loft softness, the shoe is both comfortable and responsive.

But in the winter, you don’t just need comfortable and responsive. You need a shoe that stays dry and avoids slipping around in icy or snowy conditions.

Want to hear the news?

This shoe passes the test with flying colors.

The Ghost 11’s Segmented Crash Pad absorbs shock, improves heel-to-toe transitions, and doesn’t slide around in moderately icy or snowy conditions. It is an excellent shoe for all conditions.

The only downside is this shoe is not built for super extremes. A touch below freezing? A little bit of snow/ice? Fine. But if you’re running in Siberia in the dead of winter, consider a different shoe.


  • Cushioned.
  • Responsive.
  • Affordable.
  • Durable.
  • Good Looking.
  • Runner’s World Editors Choice.


  • High Midsole Drop.
  • Heavier Shoe.
  • Not Built for Extreme Conditions.


Our grade: A- (ideal for moderate conditions).

Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Running Shoe

Review: Altra is slowly turning its brand into a household name in running. It certainly is not mainstream like New Balance, Brooks, or Asics, but Altra has found a niche in building for extreme conditions.


Ultramarathoners and other runners with similar bouts of insanity have found their home in the Altra brand. The Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell especially is built to handle the extreme.

Snow? Mud? You name it, this shoe can handle it.

The Polartec Neoshell that Altra uses on the outside is waterproof and is exceptional at keeping muck off the shoe and staying firm and resistant in tough conditions.

But, while the shoe is exceptional in cold and wet winter conditions, it has the downside of not being able to handle summer conditions well. If the weather is warm, expect your feet to be very warm very quickly.


  • Waterproof.
  • Tough.
  • Zero Drop.
  • Wide.
  • Stable.
  • Built for Extreme Wet/Cold.


  • Very Warm.
  • Not Pretty.
  • Not Cheap.


Our Grade: A- (ideal for extreme conditions).

Saucony Ride 8 GTX Running Shoe

Saucony Men's Ride 8 GTX Running Shoe, White/Black/Orange,8 M US
  • Waterproof, cushioned road running shoe with PowerGrid cushioning and iBR+ durability compound in high-abrasion areas of outsole
  • Waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane
  • 8mm heel-to-toe drop

Review: Saucony has been making quality shoes for many years and the Ride 8 GTX is no exception. This shoe is lighter than both the Ghost 11 and the Lone Peak 3.0. This makes it a better shoe for harder efforts like tempos or even longer races.

The shoe claims it is waterproof with the Gore FLEX and we’ve found that it works well, but is not as effective as the Polartec waterproofing found in the Lone Peak 3.0.

Here’s what we found.

The shoe is not as durable as the Ghost 11, but that is likely due to the shoe being built lighter and with more stiffness (making it better for faster efforts) than the Ghost 11 or Lone Peak 3.0

This shoe is made for moderate road conditions but may struggle a bit in off-road or more extreme conditions


  • Lightweight Trainer.
  • Responsive.
  • Moderately Waterproof.
  • Excellent for Road.
  • Rugged Appearance.


  • Not Built for Extreme Conditions.
  • Decently Expensive.
  • Not Super Durable.


Our Grade: B (a strong choice for front of the pack runners in moderate conditions).

Next Up, Jackets!

Salomon Bonatti Jacket

Salomon Bonatti WP Jacket M, Black, Medium
  • play in any weather
  • 2.5L fabric delivers weather protection with less weight.
  • Advanced Skin Dry 2.5L fabric plus a fitted hood protect you from harsh conditions.
  • Easily packs into its own chest pocket.

Review: This jacket is sweet! Not only is it waterproof and windproof, it is also warm and lightweight.

What else?

We love that the jacket is breathable and has a hood to keep cold rain off our head and neck. It is also super light and folds down into its own chest pocket.

The Salomon Skin Dry Advanced technology does a great job of keeping you dry both from the rain and from your own sweat.

The only downside could be the fit. If you have a longer or wider torso, it may be a little tight or small. It also is an expensive jacket.


  • Waterproof.
  • Windproof.
  • Super Light.
  • Salomon Skin Dry Advanced.
  • Breathable.
  • Hood.


  • Expensive.
  • Built for Skinny Runners with Short Torsos.


Our Grade: A (Ideal for runners in all winter conditions, if it fits).

New Balance Reflective Packable Jacket

New Balance Men's Light Packable Jacket, Marine Blue, Medium
  • Packable into front zip chest pocket with silver reflective logos and trims
  • Hood with toggle and bungee
  • Perforation detail on back
  • Drop back hem and v-fold binding on hem and cuffs
  • Wind and water resistant

Review: In a time of year when daylight is scarce and safety is a priority, the New Balance Reflective Packable Jacket shines (literally), ensuring that you are visible on the roads.

The jacket looks great and is both wind and water-resistant. It is thick enough to keep you warm in sub-freezing temperatures but light enough to keep you moving at your goal pace.

The only problem?

Our biggest issue with this jacket is the lack of a hood, which could expose the head and neck to rain that can end up soaking through the rest of your body if you’re not careful.

We recommend it for cold weather and in the dark, but the lack of a hood makes it difficult to choose in winter rains.


  • Highly Reflective.
  • Light.
  • Warm.
  • Good Fit.
  • Reasonably Priced.


  • Minimal Color Options.
  • No Hood.


Our Grade: B+ (Ideal for cold and dark, not for rain).

Brooks Canopy Jacket

Brooks Men's Canopy Jacket, Black/Black Stripe, X-Large
  • Main body: 100% polyester
  • Side panels: 89% polyester, 11% spandex
  • Mock collar with fitted hood
  • Hood rolls and is fastened down with loop inside collar
  • Thumbholes

Review: This jacket made a name for itself on the shoulders of Des Linden as she won the 2018 Boston Marathon.

What makes it worth it?

Not only does the jacket look great, but it also does a good job of keeping you warm and dry in adverse conditions.

This piece of winter running gear may not be the ideal option for a blizzard or torrential rain, as we’ve found the waterproofing is not perfect, but the Canopy does a good job, like the Ghost 11 shoe from the same company, of being a strong choice for moderate conditions.

Combine that with good durability and a reasonable price, and we highly recommend this jacket.


  • Affordable.
  • Attractive.
  • Breathable.
  • Packable.
  • Wind & Rain Resistant.


  • Not 100% Waterproof.
  • Not Excellent in Extreme Conditions.


Our Grade: B (ideal for moderate winter conditions).

Moving on to Tights!

Before we get started here, let us be clear that winter running tights are for both women AND men.

Don’t believe me?

Watch a workout from any elite running on cold conditions. It doesn’t matter what their gender, they are wearing tights.

Under Armour ColdGear Armour Compression Leggings

Under Armour Men's ColdGear Armour Compression Leggings, Black (001)/Charcoal, Medium
  • Dual-layer fabric with an ultra-warm, brushed interior & a smooth, fast-drying exterior
  • Stretch-mesh gusset & inseam panels provide strategic ventilation
  • 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction
  • Material wicks sweat & dries really fast
  • Under Armour’s mission is to make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation

Review: We tried these out a few weeks ago and they quickly became our favorite winter running tights.

These light tights keep you dry, avoid chafing, and keep you warm. Our males loved them as well, complaining that most winter running tights restrict movement too much, but these allowed for a full range of motion while staying warm.

Want to hear the news?

That’s why these tights are selected as our “Best Men’s Winter Running Gear 2023”.

We tried them out in sub-freezing temperatures, but they are a little thinner than some other tights and may not be ideal if the temperature drops below zero.


  • Excellent Range of Motion.
  • Breathability.
  • Dry.
  • Warm.
  • Good Fit.
  • Comfortable.
  • Anti-Chafe.
  • Affordable.


  • May Be Less Than Ideal for Sub-Freezing.


Our Grade: A (Ideal for any run between 40 and -10 degrees Farenheit).

New Balance Heat Tight

New Balance Women's Matte Shine Cold Weather Tech Tight, Black, Large
  • Reflective logos and print
  • Stash pocket inside waistband
  • Silicone grip hem
  • NB Heat fabrication

Review: These tights do a great job of balancing mobility and warmth. The NB Heat fabric helps you to stay dry and warm in winter conditions. These tights also have a reflective strip on the front, sides, and back of the legs, allowing you to be visible from all sides.

These tights also have a good pocket on the side, with plenty of room for a phone or wallet.

What else?

A zipper on the side of the lower leg is a great feature to help take these tights on and off easily. That, along with a drawstring around the waist, is a big help for ensuring the tights fit well.

All in all, these tights are great for winter conditions. They have a bit less mobility than their Under Armour competitors, but they are good looking, durable, and breathable.


  • Mobile.
  • Reflective.
  • Good Looking.
  • Durable.
  • Warm.
  • Leg Pocket.
  • Stays Dry.


  • A touch Expensive.


Our Grade: A (Ideal for colder temperatures).

DeFeet Woolie Boolie Socks

DEFEET Woolie Boolie Baaad Sheep Socks, Charcoal/Neon Pink, Medium
  • Ultimate dryness and protection
  • Protect yourself from athlete's foot
  • Look good in these amazing socks

Review: Defeet claims to be a cycling company, but we’ve found their socks to be excellent for running as well.

Part of this is due to the temperature difference between running and cycling. Due to the higher speeds that occur while riding a bike, cycling socks have to be thicker and warmer while still providing the mobility and comfort we expect from running socks.

Why do we love them?

These socks do an excellent job of handling moisture while staying warm and durable in the coldest of runs. This is why we name the Woolie Boolie the “Best Women’s Winter Running Gear 2023.”

The biggest downside? It isn’t cheap, but it is the best sock we’ve tested.


  • Warm.
  • Wool.
  • Moisture Wicking.
  • Good Mobility.
  • Very Durable.
  • Fun Color Options.


  • Expensive.


Our Grade: A- (Ideal for any conditions, if you have the cash).

Drymax Cold Weather Running Socks

Review: The only sock on this list intentionally made for running, these socks are excellent. They have triple layer insulation on the front, arch support on the bottom, and a Y-Heel on the back

The downside?

They don’t handle moisture quite as well as Defeet’s Woolie Boolie and the extra padding can sometimes feel a bit awkward, but they still do a great job of staying warm and dry in winter conditions.

These socks also have great mobility and with numerous color options, they can match any winter running outfit.


  • Insulation.
  • Arch Support.
  • Good Fit.
  • Stay Dry.
  • Mobile.
  • Color Options.


  • Could Stay Dryer.
  • Too Much Padding.


Our Grade: B+ (a great winter running option!).

Smartwool Hike Medium Crew Socks

Smartwool Men's Hiking Medium Crew Sock (Large, Navy)
  • WARM INSULATION: Experience durability at its peak with the Smartwool Men’s PhD Outdoor Light Crew Socks. These socks are built for performance in the highest degree, making them ready for any adventure on your list.
  • COMFORTABLE FIT: The Men’s PhD Outdoor Light Crew Socks feature a 4 Degree Elite Fit System for a dialed, performance-oriented fit with a flex zone at the ankle and a Virtually Seamless toe for enhanced comfort.
  • DURABLE YET BREATHABLE: The Men’s PhD Outdoor Light Crew Socks are designed with Indestructawool technology for exceptional durability and comfort. The body-mapped mesh zones featured on these socks offer added breathability for all-day wear.
  • LIGHT CUSHION: The lightly cushioned bottom on the Men’s PhD Outdoor Light Crew Socks allows you to wear these performance socks on various trails and road terrains without discomfort. Whether you are biking, running, skiing, or hiking, these socks will provide you with padded comfort during any season.
  • CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Comprised of 66% Merino Wool, 33% Nylon, and 1% Elastane, the Men’s PhD Outdoor Light Crew Socks should be machine washed inside out in warm water and tumble dried on low. These socks should not be bleached, ironed, or dry cleaned.

Review: These socks are super warm and a great addition to your winter running gear collection. We love the balance of cushioning and warmth and they are excellent at keeping the toes warm on cold winter runs.

What’s weird?

They are technically “hiking” socks, but we included them here because they are much warmer than most running socks while still staying mobile and versatile enough for a run.

The biggest downside is the lack of moisture wicking technology. While they are “all-purpose” and “built for hiking”, they aren’t great if your feet tend to sweat a lot.

Therefore, we recommend them on very cold runs at an easy pace. However, if you plan on running hard enough to work up a sweat, we recommend you go with one of the two previous options.


  • Reasonably priced.
  • Very Warm.
  • Built-In Arch Support.
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Good Cushioning.


  • Can’t Handle Very Wet Conditions.
  • Sometimes TOO Warm.


Our Grade: B (Ideal for dry and extremely cold conditions).

Now Let’s Talk About Accessories

Tough Headwear Running Beanie

Helmet Liner Skull Cap Beanie - Ultimate Thermal Retention and Performance Moisture Wicking. Perfect for Running, Cycling, Skiing & Winter Sports. Fits Under Helmets (HL with Ear Covers) Black
  • Ready for Duty: Wear our skull cap on its own or under your helmet. Wear it as you ride, snowboard or ski. Wear it as you run, work out or play football. Heck, wear it as you're doing laundry. It's so lightweight and comfortable you'll forget you're wearing it. Like you, this skull cap is ready for duty.
  • Activate Outdoor Adventure: Keep your head warmer with this skullcap and pull moisture and sweat away from your skin and hair.
  • Premium Performance: Our stretchy, breathable fabric wicks away sweat while the brushed lining provides lightweight thermal retention.
  • Listen to Your Ears: No more numb frozen ears, they say! Give them this helmet liner to keep them nice and toasty. They'll thank you, we promise.
  • One Size Fits All Noggins: Experience thermal retention & moisture wicking performance with our 89% polyester 11% spandex blend, our skull cap beanie will fit comfortably, even if you have an Einstein-sized noggin.

Review: This beanie was named the “Best Winter Running Hat” by Runner’s World in 2018. We agree.

Not only is the beanie super affordable, but it is also lightweight and stretchy to fit well on any head.

Our favorite part is the numerous color options, including bright orange and yellow to help with visibility and safety during the winter.

The Tough Headwear beanie also does great with moisture and is thin enough to wear under a thicker cap if the conditions get too extreme.

Also, if it ends up getting too warm, the beanie is small enough to pull off and fit easily in the pocket of a running jacket, running tights, or even to tuck into your waistband.


  • Lightweight.
  • Warm.
  • Stretchy.
  • Stays Dry.
  • Thin.
  • Small.
  • Easy to Take Off.
  • Safe Colors.
  • Affordable.


  • None!


Our Grade: A+ (Ideal for any day that requires a little extra warmth).

Adidas Paramount Beanie

adidas Men's Paramount Beanie, Black - Night Grey/Tech Steel, ONE SIZE
  • Climalite mesh wicks away moisture and dries quickly for ultimate comfort
  • Climawarm yarns lock in heat to keep you warm in the harshest outdoor weather conditions
  • Finished with a reflective adidas logo Climawarm tech call out
  • Marled yarns give an elevated heathered look to this traditional beanie silhouette

Review: You might be wondering why Adidas, one of the biggest brands in running, hasn’t cracked our list yet.

Honestly? We don’t love their winter running gear.

They are one of our favorite summer brands but are not as specialized at making great winter options.

This hat is an exception.


The Adidas Paramount Beanie does a great job of being a low-key great running beanie. Unlike all the items on this list so far, wearing this around town is perfectly normal. Heck, if it’s cold enough, you could even wear it to work.

It also offers enough reflectivity to be seen, but not too much to be crazy.

Its lifestyle appearance also doesn’t stop it from being great at keeping your head warm in cold weather. The Adidas ClimaWarm yarns are brilliant at trapping heat and staying dry.

While we wouldn’t recommend it in a downpour, this hat is great at handling light rain or a good amount of sweat.

The only downside is that the hat is a touch more expensive than its competitors.


  • Not JUST A Running Cap.
  • ClimaWarm Keeps It Warm and Dry.
  • Looks Great.
  • Reflective.


  • A Touch Expensive.


Our Grade: B+ (Ideal for any day of the week, unless your budget is tight).

Seirus Innovation Hyperlite All Weather Polartec Glove with Sound Touch Technology

Seirus Innovation Men's Hyperlite All Weather Polartec Glove with Sound Touch Technology, Black, Large
  • ALL WEATHER POLARTEC - Provides the highest warmth per weight ratio for insulating materials resulting in the warmest most versatile lightweight glove that is soft to the touch
  • TALK. TEXT. SURF. SWIPE - Advanced touchscreen technology allows you to control your smartphone or tablet without removing your gloves
  • MAXIMUM DEXTERITY and COMFORT - 4-Way stretch outer layer with tri-laminate weathershield provide a windproof, waterproof breathable membrane with a wicking inner lining
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND WARM - Hyperlite shell is half the weight of the Original All Weather Glove making it thin enough to pick up a dime
  • FORM FIT DESIGN - The Lycra cuff ensure a comfortable and snug fit making this a perfect glove for biking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures

Review: Ok. That was a mouthful. Despite the excessively long title, this glove from Seirus is absolutely fantastic.

We’ve been trying running gloves for years and we’ve never found ones that are warm, mobile, stay dry in the cold, look good, and allows us to use our phones without taking it off.

This does it.

With this lightweight glove on you’ll still be able to tie your shoes, zip up your jacket, use your phone, or do anything else that a thicker glove makes it difficult to do.

All the while, your fingers will stay warm and dry even in a heavy downpour.

One of the most underrated part of this glove is the extended “sleeve” by the wrist. This allows you to tuck your gloves into a long sleeve shirt or jacket on a cold day and even strap your watch on top of it to make sure your fingers stay insulated and warm.

The big news?

These reasons are why this glove from Seirus is our best winter running gear 2023.


  • Comfortable.
  • Warm.
  • Stays Dry.
  • Sound Touch Technology.
  • Mobile.
  • Good Fit.
  • Affordable.


  • Too Long of a Name!


Our Grade: A++ (Ideal. Period.).

New Balance Lightweight Running Glove

New Balance Lightweight Running Gloves, Hi-Lite, Large
  • These New Balance lightweight running gloves are the brand new staple of your running outfit! Not only are they technologically innovative, they are extremely stylish.
  • Made from high quality 86% Polyester, 14% Spandex to create an extremely smooth Fleece, with 150 GSM. Designed with grippers on the palm, you will have a firm grip no matter what weather condition you are facing!
  • Marathon Black and Marathon Heather have the names of each of the 5 New York City Burroughs on the fingers: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island
  • Engineered with properties which help to prevent odor.
  • Touchscreen Compatible: New Balance running gloves all feature touch tip fingers, allowing your gloves to be as versatile as you are!

Review: These gloves are an excellent light option for moderate conditions. They are stretchy and breathable and we love the texture on the palms that helps with holding on to what we need.

The touch technology on the thumb and index finger were also useful for our phones. However, they did not work as well when they were wet.

Our thoughts?

In general, these gloves are an affordable option to add to your winter running collection, but they may not be the best choice when it rains.


  • Stretchy.
  • Breathable.
  • Light.
  • Affordable.
  • Touch Technology.
  • Textured palm.


  • Not Great in Rain.
  • Not Great in Extreme Cold.


Our Grade: B+ (Ideal for a runner on a budget).

LAMEDA Thermal Arm Warmers

LAMEDA Thermal Arm Warmers Winter Unisex Running Cycling Outdoors XS/S
  • Warm & Windproof. Fleece liner keep your arm warm, suitable for most activities in fall & winter
  • High elastic fabric to protect muscle better. Nylon & spandex fabrics, promotes faster muscle recovery and blood circulation, muscle feel more comfort when sports
  • 3D cut designed and constructed to fit perfectly to the arm
  • UV protection design, protect your skin and makes you comfortable
  • Reflective Logo. Reflective LAMEDA brand Logo printed, increase the visibility and safety at night riding

Review: With arm warmers the goal is simple. Warm. The. Arms. Seems obvious right?

Yet so many brands charge a ridiculous amount for unnecessary things. That’s why we like these. They keep it simple.

Here’s the deal.

These arm sleeves are affordable and get the job done. They breathe well, stay in place, and are easy to slide off if necessary. We also love the three hundred and sixty degrees of reflectivity.

We highly recommend them.


  • Keeps Arms Warm.
  • Breathable.
  • Reflective.
  • Stay in Place.
  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Small.


  • Too much logo.


Our Grade: A- (Ideal if the logo doesn’t bother you).

We hope you enjoyed our review of our favorite winter running gear for the 2023 winter season.

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See you again soon!