Winter Running Must Haves

Hiya Everyone!

Since the weather has started to cool off and I’m coming out of my full on denial that it’s no longer summer anymore, I thought it was about time we discussed cold weather running clothes. Now that the weather is cooling off, you’re probably packing away your running shorts and tank tops for the winter. You’re probably also feeling a little less than inspired to step outside for a run when you take a look at your winter running clothes (or lack there of), so I’ve put together a round-up of some essential items to stay warm on your winter runs this season, including some of my favorites in each category. I always like to treat myself to a couple of new pieces when the seasons change so I’m definitely looking to add a few of the pieces I don’t already have to my closet.

I hope this gives you some ideas of pieces to freshen up your winter workout wardrobe so you can look cute and stay warm at the same time!


1. Water Resistant Reflective Jacket


If you’re running in the fall/winter seasons in a wet climate (like the Pacific Northwest, where I live) having a water resistant and reflective jacket is a must. It tends to be rainy and gloomy around here this time of the year, so having something that will help keep you dry, but also make you more visible to traffic for those early morning and evening runs  is really important. I like to wear a lot of thin layers when I am exercising outdoors so it’s easy for me to adjust my temperature as I warm up throughout my workout. I really like how insanely reflective this Nightlife jacket from Brooks is. I also love how it’s vented on the back for breath ability and folds up into the vented pocket if you decide to take it off, so you don’t have to carry around a bulky jacket for the rest of your run.

Where to buy: Brooks and Nike.

2. Ear Warmer Headband


My ears are always FREEZING when I’m doing any sort of outdoor exercise during the winter months. Whether it’s hiking, running or just taking a casual stroll by the water, I almost always have my hair up in a ponytail, leaving them exposed to the elements. Every time I find myself in a situation where my ears feel so cold that they might just fall off, I always swear I’m going to buy an ear warmer headband and never do. I’m on the lookout for the perfect knit one that will stay in place while moving around, but I just haven’t found one that I love yet. If you have one that you like, make sure to comment below so I can check it out!

Where to buy: Lululemon, Road Runner Sports and Sports Authority.

3. Sweat Wicking Top


Depending on how cold it is where you live, you may be able to get away with only wearing a long sleeve top or half zip shirt on your cold weather runs. If you need something a little bit warmer, this sweat wicking top from Nike also serves as a great base layer under a thermal vest or jacket. I will also sometimes wear a sweat wicking t-shirt under one of these for a little added warmth. They are easy to layer with, insanely comfortable and come in lots of cute colors! I also love that they have thumb holes on the sleeves to help keep my hands warm! I also really like the Zella half-zips from Nordstrom, that tend to be a little heavier, but I usually go for the Nike ones because they are a little looser fitting.

Where to buy: Nike, Nordstrom and Lululemon.

4. Warm Winter Tights


I have a few pairs of running tights that I like, but they don’t do the trick when it comes to keeping me warm during a Christmas 5k. For some reason my legs are always cold during the winter months, no matter what I am wearing, so when I saw these thermal tights from Brooks, I knew I needed to have them in my life. I am beyond picky about the fit and comfort of my workout clothing, so the fact that I can wear these tights to stay warm on a run and also as leggings on a casual day paired with a longer sweater, is a miracle.

Where to buy: Brooks, Under Armour and The North Face.

5. Thermal Vest


Sometimes it’s too warm for a full on jacket, but too cold for just a long sleeve shirt. So what do you do now? My recommendation would be to wear a long sleeve shirt with a vest over the top for extra warmth. Now you don’t want to go for just any fashionable looking vest here, you need something that is meant for outdoor activities like running, camping, ect, not just a puffy vest that is meant to go to the mall and back. Make sure to look for something like this vest from Columbia that will help insulate you from the wind and help keep you dry from the rain, too.

Where to buy: Columbia and Nordstrom.

6. Gloves


The one thing I always seem to forget when I bundle up for a winter run is gloves. It never fails that I manage to forget them and complain until I warm up about how cold my hand are. The ones I am currently loving are the Vapor Dry Gloves from Brooks. They are made from moisture-wicking fabric and have a touch screen compatible finger pad on them so you don’t have to take them off to use your phone. Even though all of those features are great, the thing I love about these gloves the most is that they have a little clip on them so you can fasten both gloves together when you’re not wearing them. This helps prevent one from getting lost during after race festivities!

Where to buy: Brooks, REI and Lululemon.

7. Thermal Hoodie

thermal hoodie

Another great clothing option for staying warm during a cold weather run is a running jacket. I love this thermal hoodie from Brooks, because it is very comfy, warm and the hand area of the sleeves fits snugly around my hand when I’m wearing my gloves so I don’t get any drafts cooling me down! I also love the detailing on the back of this jacket and that it’s a little longer than most so you don’t have to worry about it coming up in the back.

Where to by: Brooks and Under Armour.

8. Waterproof Running Shoes


Since cold weather running in the Pacific Northwest also includes spending a good amount of time running in the rain (WHICH I LOVE!!!), investing in a waterproof running shoe is a great idea. Brooks equipped a version of their popular Adrenaline shoes  with breathable, waterproof Gore-Tex! I wore the original version of the Adrenaline’s during my first half marathon at Disney World and was beyond impressed with how they handled. I definitely need to get a pair of these this year so I don’t spend the winter rotating between soggy running shoes!

Where to buy: Brooks and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Questions of the Day:

What is your go-to brand for cold weather running clothes?

What is one piece you’re dying to add to your wardrobe?

Am I the only one that ALWAYS forgets to bring gloves or continues to put off buying a ear warmer headband?


Linking up to the Olives ‘n WineThe Fit SwitchPeas and CrayonsRunning 4 CupcakesJill Conyers, Fitful Focus and MCM Mama Runs linkups.

18 thoughts on “Winter Running Must Haves

  1. I LOVE posts about workout gear! 🙂 I don’t have a go-to brand for running gear – I’m equal opportunity! – but I finally bought an ear-warmer headband last winter and it was life changing. Suddenly winter running wasn’t quite so bad. I have never, never forgotten gloves while running in the cold because my fingers are the first place to get numb and I would turn around within 10 steps if I forgot! This winter I am looking for a vest to use as a layer, because I often get too hot in a jacket.


    • Thanks! I’m so glad you liked it! I’m working on a post about fashion forward workout bottoms that I will be posting soon, so keep an eye out for it! Where did you get your ear warmer? I’m still on the lookout for the perfect one!


      • My husband actually bought it for me, so I have no idea! I remember cutting the tags out because they were bugging me, but I don’t remember the brand. There are lots of really cute workout pants around right now – finally more choice than just black!! 🙂


  2. Love it! Definitely getting ready for this! man, running in the cold is not my fav! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! Found you via #DishtheFit

    -brittany @NFSisters


  3. I was going to comment on a favorite but I love it all! I think I NEED new gloves. I’ve yet to find a brand that really keeps my hands warm. And I WANT the vest and jacket.

    I would much rather shop for running/workout clothes than any other type of clothing.



  4. I love when bloggers do posts like this…It makes the shopping easier for me. HA! I definitely need to get some long leggings this winter. I love that turquoise vest. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


    • That’s so awesome! I’m so glad you liked it and that it helps make shopping easier for you! Is there another workout clothing piece you’re looking for good options on? I’d be happy to put together another post if there is something in particular you’re looking for!


  5. Pingback: 5 Things Friday – New Workout Clothes, Stitch Fix, December Races & Holiday Gift Basket Giveaway! | A Couple of Dashes

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