Featured Fitness Tips & Advice

Dressing For Winter Running

January 29, 2016

(Without Buying a Whole New Wardrobe)

It feels weird to be writing about dressing for winter running when the temperature is currently above zero. I’m kind of loving this warm weather and not having to stress about how to dress myself.

Knowing what to wear to run in the winter is one of the biggest things that has prevented me from getting out there in previous years. I didn’t want to blow all of my spending money on a whole new winter wardrobe so have been making use with what I already have and picking up some key pieces when I find a good deal or using gift cards. Running is free, but if you get caught up trying to buy all the best/newest gear and gadgets, it can become quite the expensive hobby. (On that note, if anyone feels like showering me in gifts, fitness stuff will always win me over. I hear Valentine’s Day is coming up…).

With the help of Ashley‘s and Nicole’s guide to dressing for specific temperatures, I’ve done a pretty good job of dressing appropriately so far this year.

Dressing for winter running

Here’s what my winter wardrobe has consisted of:

  • Panache sports bra from The Bra Lounge
  • Lululemon tank for base layer
  • 2 long sleeves, one from Old Navy, one from Running Room (thanks to the gift card I received as part of my Calgary Marathon Forerunner welcome package!)
  • Lululemon zip up
  • Lorna Jane windbreaker
  • Lorna Jane headband
  • 2 pairs of leggings, one Fabletics, one Old Navy
  • Wool toque (made by my mama)
  • Wool socks (also made by my mama)
  • Running Room gloves
  • Shoes (just my standard Adidas)

Here’s what I would change:

  • Swap my windbreaker for an actual winter running jacket. I think this is hands down the most important piece of clothing needed for winter running and the one thing to invest in. Thankfully I just ordered the Down For A Run Pullover from Lululemon (after calling 11 stores across two provinces to track down a size other than size 4…)
  • Add another pair of pants over my leggings for days when it’s colder than -15. Even the Old Navy thermal leggings aren’t warm enough and my legs end up being freezing.
  • Grab a pair of trail shoes for better grip on snowy trails. I’m hoping to find a BOGO deal when I have some extra spending money so I can grab a pair of trail running shoes and a regular pair of running shoes.

Really, what I would change is minimal. I think this goes to show that you really can work with what you have already as long as you have a base layer to wick away moisture and an outer layer that helps keep the cold wind off, what you wear in between can be improvised easily enough. (Of course, I can’t help feel a little self conscious passing other runners, dressed in legit winter running gear while I’m out there in my hodgepodge outfits.)

With spring just around the corner, winter styles will be hitting the sale shelves soon which is a great time to snag some gear for next year. I also love scoping out Old Navy for more inexpensive pieces with great sales.

 

What are your tips for dressing for winter running?

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    laura @ scribbles and sass
    January 29, 2016 at 7:26 am

    i grabbed a pair of trail shoes while i was home for christmas but hadn’t run in them before my race so i didn’t want to chance anything. but they would have been super helpful because i was slipping all over the place.

    great list, love!

    • Reply
      Becky
      January 29, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Ah yes, racing in new shoes in a no-no. What kind of trail shoes did you get?

  • Reply
    Brie @ A Slice of Brie
    January 29, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I too would like a pair of trail shoes! Not that I’ve been running outside this winter, haha!, but even just for walks outside, they would be nice to have. I have such a hard time investing in things for the next season…it’s like “spend the money now only to put it away for several months”…totally a mental hurdle for me. (I have issues). Totally jealous your mom can knit! This was my first winter ever wearing wool socks (while snowshoeing – wool makes me insanely itchy, but for some reason wool socks don’t) and I couldn’t believe how toasty they kept my feet! I’m a believer now! 🙂

    • Reply
      Becky
      January 29, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Haha yeah I’m totally on the same page with buying something now and waiting to use it. If I buy it I want to use it now!! I’m glad that it’s still only January but Spring stuff is coming out so any winter sales purchases will still get a month or two of use.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    January 29, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Awesome post, Becky..and thanks for linking to mine!

    I want to buy a proper winter running jacket too, I actually don’t have one. But I’ve been getting by alright. Maybe I can snag one end of season this year..haha.

    Have a great weekend beauty!

    • Reply
      Becky
      January 29, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Yeah, I feel like a winter running jacket is a nice to have, not a need to have. You can definitely get by with whatever you have around.

      Hope you have a great weekend too <3

  • Reply
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
    January 29, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I’ve never owned a winter running jacket because I feel like I would get too hot. For me, layering is key. I wear a lot of the same gear over and over in winter but like you I don’t want to invest alot of money.

    • Reply
      Becky
      January 29, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      I don’t really know what the running room winter running jackets are like but they seem light enough that they would keep you perfectly warm without overheating? The jacket I just got from Lulu (came in this afternoon!!) is down but has vents to let air in and I think it’s going to be great for cold days without having to wear a whole ton of layers. We’ll see!

  • Reply
    allison
    January 29, 2016 at 10:27 am

    While I’m not a runner; I’ve been trying to get out more since we have been faced with any -40 days. I’m wearing: tank base layer, long sleeve compression shirt, long sleeve half zip, fleece vest, compression leggings. I really would love a pair of winter lined leggings.

    • Reply
      Becky
      January 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Just a note about winter lined leggings – the Old Navy winter activewear leggings aren’t that warm. But they sure are soft on the inside!!
      I think a vest would be great for winter too. I debated getting one from Lulu but went with the full pullover instead.

      • Reply
        allison
        January 30, 2016 at 2:27 pm

        Thanks for the tip. I love old navy for athletic wear, but the regular leggings are too long (I’m so short), I’m looking for the 7/8 length but the only ones on the website last week had mesh panels which look super cool but probably not any help in the winter.

  • Reply
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs
    January 29, 2016 at 11:18 am

    While you wait for trail shoes, you can even grab a pair of YakTraks (or similar) to slip over your shoes for some added traction in the meantime.
    I definitely need to get back out in the winter to run – and pick up some wool socks!

    • Reply
      Becky
      January 29, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      That’s true about the Yaktraks but they seem like they’re pricey too??

  • Reply
    Kaella On The Run
    January 29, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I agree, layering is key! I have a winter running jacket but it’s not like a “typical” winter jacket. It’s a Breathe Thermo by Mizuno so it is really light and then heats up as you run. If I’m not comfortable, and warm, I’m not going to enjoy my run!

    • Reply
      Becky
      January 29, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      That jacket sounds awesome. My Lulu jacket came in this afternoon and I love it!!

  • Reply
    Leigh
    January 29, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Great tips! Costco also has some really good base layers for great prices. I’ve been wanting a new running jacket that isn’t black, but haven’t had any luck so far (I also don’t want to spend $150)

    • Reply
      Becky
      January 30, 2016 at 11:23 am

      I was looking at those base layers. Do you have them? Are they decent?

      I’m with you not wanting to pay that kind of price for a running jacket. Thank goodness for a gift card to help with that. Have you looked at The Running Room jackets? Tons of colours and under $100.

  • Reply
    Joel Campbell
    February 11, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Curious as to what the consensus is on the men’s side. I get to about -23 with Lulu tights/shorts, Lulu base layer, Notth Face zip up, torque and light gloves.

    • Reply
      Becky
      February 12, 2016 at 6:41 am

      Sounds like you’ve got it figured out! I really can’t comment on what works for men 😛 Although it the general necessities should be the same.

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