Best winter running gear to beat the cold

Beat the cold and conquer your training with the best winter running gear.

Man running in winter running gear

If you’re like us, then chances are you too are not the biggest fan of running in the winter. It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s dark, and it’s damn right miserable.

High-quality winter running gear is therefore essential to stay warm, safe, and to remain visible.

Oh, and let’s not forget the importance of looking stylish out on the road or trail.

With winter just around the corner, we’ve taken our pick at sixteen of the best winter running gear essentials for men and women.

Related: The ultimate guide to winter running for beginners.

Best winter running gear for men and women in 2021

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1. USB rechargeable running headtorch

Features:

  • 45-degree tilt 
  • USB rechargeable 
  • 160-lumens
  • 5 light modes

A headtorch is a piece of kit a runner cannot go without during the winter months.

As this head torch is USB rechargeable, this is super convenient and ideal not only for running, but for any other sporting activities (even walking) in low light conditions.

You’ll benefit from five light modes, a bright 160-lumen light, and a convenient 45-degree tilt for tough terrain.

Related: 10 of the best head torches for running.

2. Rockay Men’s performance winter running tights

Rockay mens performance run tights

Features:

  • HeiQ Fresh odour control & recycled design
  • Refective details
  • Secure pocket on the right side of the tights

When it comes to winter running gear, you’ll struggle to get by without a quality pair of running tights.

The Rockay performance winter running tights for men are our go-to choice, with highly reflective details, pockets for essentials, and fresh odour control technology.

Oh, and not to forget sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric – comfortable on the skin and made from recycled materials!

Related: 10 Best men’s running tights and leggings in 2022.

3. Rockay Women’s performance winter running tights

Rockay performance run tights

Features:

  • HeiQ fresh odour control
  • Reflective detailing
  • Secure pocket
  • Sustainable & recycled design

The Rockay women’s performance winter running tights are a must-have piece of kit for the colder months.

Made using recycled materials, sweat-wicking in design, and containing anti-odour technology, it’s our preferred choice of tights for when the weather turns sour.

You also benefit from a dedicated phone pocket, large enough to hold your phone, but tight enough for it not to bounce!

Related: 13 of the best women’s running tights available in 2021.

4. New Balance touchscreen running gloves

Features:

  • Touchscreen compatible
  • Highly reflective details
  • Odour control protection

The touchscreen design of these New Balance running gloves allows you to use your phone while running.

Whether chasing segments on Strava, navigating a map, or switching songs, it’s always a plus when you don’t have to get your hands cold.

These running gloves are also highly reflective, whether you choose the blinding colour dragonfly, or a more subtle black or hi-lite.

Related: 12 Best running gloves for winter running in 2022.

5. Under armour ColdGear running thermal for men

Features:

  • Choice of 12 colours
  • Anti-odour technology
  • Second-skin-like fit and feel

This under armour coldgear running thermal fits like a second skin thanks to the compression design, making for a great base layer during winter.

Created with anti-odour technology, you can rest assured you’ll remain comfortable, hygienic, and most importantly, warm while out logging those frosty miles.

We recommend wearing a long-sleeve or half-zip over a thermal to maximise heat gain.

6. Baleaf women’s fleece thermal running top

Features:

  • Breathable and lightweight fabric
  • Fleece-lined to provide a constant temperature
  • Reflective elements

The soft-brushed, fleece-lined fabric of the Baleaf women’s thermal running top is the cherry on top for winter running.

A must-have winter running gear essential, this fleece top is more of a primary layer than a traditional thermal.

We recommend pairing it with a running jacket for rainy days, and standalone in regular colder weather.

Unlike other cold-weather focused gear, you also benefit from a highly reflective design, keeping you seen in the darkest of conditions.

7. Danish Endurance merino wool running socks

Features:

  • Sweat-wicking and anti-blister design
  • Recommended by an Olympic athlete
  • Merino wool

Merino wool socks help remove moisture and water away from the skin, providing additional warmth in the toughest of conditions.

I don’t know about you, but with winter in the UK, I’ll take all the warmth I can get.

This pair of running socks from Danish Endurance also contains an anti-blister design, are sweat-wicking, and designed for going the distance.

Oh, and you’ll remain nice and toasty which is also a plus!

Related: Best running socks in 2022 for increased comfort.

8. Rockay winter running beanie

Rockay women's glacier blue beanie

Features:

  • Made from recycled materials
  • One-size-fits-all
  • Reversible and warm design

Is it really winter if you don’t have a beanie at the ready? We think not.

The Rockay winter running beanie is durable, lightweight, and designed for going the distance.

The fabric is made from recycled materials, comfortable on the skin, but soft-brushed for added warmth, and highly reflective when running at night.

It’s also a one-size-fits-all design – so we’re sure it’ll fit!

9. Proviz reflect 360 reflective running jacket

Features:

  • 360-degree award-winning reflective design
  • Waterproof & highly breathable
  • Zipped side pockets

The Proviz reflect 360 running jacket is a go-to piece of winter running gear for many runners.

Award-winning in design, highly breathable, and waterproof, it’s easy to see why, too.

While there are more waterproof jackets out there, it’s difficult to beat the reflectiveness provided by Proviz.

But hey, that’s what they’re known for!

10. Higher State 1/4 zip thermal running top for men

Higher State 1/4 zip thermal running top for men
Image Credit: Sportsshoes

Features:

  • Reflective details and UV protection
  • Zipped sleeve pocket
  • Performance fit and brushed inner fabric

There’s no versatile piece of kit quite like a 1/4 zip during winter. This staple piece of winter running gear helps you retain heat in some of the toughest of elements.

The Higher State 1/4 zip is available in six different colours, including a highly reflective sunset yellow, a more subtle anthracite, and a trusty blue.

With a performance fit and brushed inner fabric, you’re sure to stay warm, a pocket to store valuables, and flatlock stitching to reduce skin irritation (something we would like to some on more 1/4 zips).

11. Women’s Radlight long-sleeved running top

Women's Radlight women's long-sleeved running top
Image Credit: Sportsshoes

Features:

  • Brushed fleece lining for added warmth
  • Reflective print
  • Reinforced shoulder details for added comfort when carrying a backpack

A current best-seller, the Women’s Radlight long-sleeved running top is the ultimate winter running buddy.

The stretch fabric and brushed-fleece lining provide you with a comfortable but warm fit.

You also have multiple pockets for valuables, thumb loops for added comfort, and a reflective print for increased visibility.

Oh, and unlike other running tops, there are reinforced shoulder straps for added comfort and protection when carrying a pack.

12. Rockay accelerate running socks

Rockay accelerate running socks

Features:

  • Award-winning and anti-blister guarantee
  • anti-odour and sweat-wicking technology
  • Fully supportive and cushioned design

Another pair of running socks, this time from Rockay, are award-winning in design, and well-suited for the winter months.

Although this pair is not made from merino wool like the previously mentioned socks from Danish Endurance, they are created using recycled fabric.

With anti-odour and sweat-wicking technology, paired with a fully supportive and cushioned design, there’s no better all-rounder for your daily run or tough interval session.

13. Higher State High visibility running vest

Higher State High visibility running vest
Image Credit: Sportsshoes

Features:

  • Fully reflective
  • Adjustable velcro tabs ensure a secure and comfortable fit
  • Lightweight and breathable

Remain visible on those early morning and late-night runs with the Higher State high visibility running vest.

Lightweight in design, it won’t slow you down while also improving your visibility massively.

Whether walking the dog or slogging out an interval session, there’s no better way to increase your safety.

14. Petzl Tikka running headlamp

Petzl Tikka running head lamp
Image Credit: Sportsshoes

Features:

  • 300-lumen brightness
  • Three light modes (proximity, movement, and distance)
  • Fully adjustable fit

Another running head torch, this time from Petzl, is a favourite piece of kit for many runners.

With 300-lumen brightness and three light modes, you’re guaranteed maximum visibility and increased safety.

Slightly more advanced than the other head torch on our list, this headlamp is easy to use, practical, and affordable!

15. TCA women’s running gilet

Features:

  • TCA guarantee (365-day return policy)
  • 2 zipped pockets
  • Premium sustainable padding for optimal warmth

The TCA women’s running gilet has premium thermal padding and zipped pockets to keep you running all winter long.

Also, the gilet contains a reflective print to keep you seen when running at night.

Let’s not forget the fact that this gilet is also endorsed by professional athletes – you’re in good hands.

Besides, if you decide it’s not for you, then you have 365 days to change your mind!

16. Higher State fully reflective running gilet for men

Features:

  • Windproof and water-resistant
  • Full 360-degree reflective design
  • Zipped pockets
  • Performance fit

Our final piece of winter running gear is the men’s Higher State running gilet.

Available in either reflective black or silver, you gain protection from the wind and other adverse weather alongside full 360-degree reflectivity.

Let’s not forget the addition of multiple zipped pockets, either.

Similar to the gilet above, it also contains a performance fit, designed for comfort and going the distance.

What helps when running in the cold?

Runner stretching in the cold

If you’re looking to stay nice and toasty this winter when out training, it’s important to wear the proper running gear.

Also, you’ll want to perform dynamic stretches inside (if possible), and stay as aerobic as possible to keep your temperature steady.

Equally, however, it’s just as important to stay safe. Wrap up warm, wear reflective gear, and look out for one another on the roads!

What to wear when running in the winter?

When running in the winter, the best method of dressing is to wear multiple layers.

For example, this may include a thermal, a regular long-sleeved running t-shirt, a 1/4 zip, and perhaps a waterproof jacket.

Remember: you can always take layers off when you’re out, but you can’t necessarily add layers on.

We would also recommend a running head torch – allowing you to not only see where you’re going, but to increase your visibility to cars and pedestrians.

Do you need winter running shoes?

Winter running shoes are not necessary. However, if where you live is prone to ice, then you may benefit from a pair of fell or waterproof trail running shoes.

Besides, if there is ice or the weather is particularly foul, we would always recommend opting for the treadmill… I mean treadmill.

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