Keep warm and carry on - the right running gear for winter

Keep warm and carry on - the right running gear for winter

Baby, it’s cold outside…but that’s no excuse to give up on your running. Running in the rain or snow can mean some challenges for your clothing. The right clothes mean that you can still enjoy your exercise. The wrong clothes will make it a miserable and even dangerous experience.

With the Cancer Research London Winter Run happening this Sunday in London and snow covering much of the UK, we thought it was time to take a look at what’s needed for winter running, with a retro playlist to match!


As you run, you’ll sweat. You need clothing that wicks away the sweat, which means no cotton. Synthetic fabrics such as polypropylene or any of the ‘technical’ fabrics are the best as they pull the sweat away from you. Silk also works if you can afford it.


So like an onion, dress in layers. You need that wicking layer, an insulating fleece and a windproof outer jacket. Legs are surprisingly good at staying warm, so one good pair of running leggings should do. Think about how to carry any layers that you shed; a well-fitting waist pack could be useful.

Keeping those extremities warm is also very important. A fleece hat and a good pair of fleece gloves should be an essential part of your running kit.


Keep an eye on the grip on trainer soles; winter may be a good time for a new pair. There’s not much to be done to provide grip on ice, but grippy soles will help on wet grass and if there is snow on the ground.


Most importantly – see and be seen. Even if your run is on pavements you must be visible. Wear reflective gear and bright colours. Carrying a small torch is a good idea if your run is on country lanes.

They say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. So make sure you have the right clothes and enjoy your run.


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Matthew C.
4 February 2015

Matthew C.

Onion dressing is good, but don't overestimate how hot you will get once you're warmed up. 2 or 3 light layers is plenty, plus a hat or gloves. I can't imagine ever needing more than that, even on the coldest 0 degrees days. .

Sarah L.
30 January 2015

Sarah L.

shoes are indeed tricky - we've had a lot of black ice on cold mornings. Probably no answer but would love to know if there is a recommendation.

Phillip H.
29 January 2015

Phillip H.

fleece is right up there in the 'best thing since sliced bread' department. Warm, still warm when wet and dries very quickly. And weighs very little.

Emma C.
29 January 2015

Emma C.

I have never used a running hat before but yesterday went for a run near the coast and omg it was killing my forehead. I wondered what kind of hat material was best - so great to know it's fleece! Thanks :)

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