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Best Winter Running Gear Reviewed and Compared

last updated Nov 28, 2018
With the items we've chosen on our list below, athletes will no longer be forced to stay indoors this winter. These products are nothing but the very best quality: affordable and perfect for those nippy days.  Weather can have such a negative impact on performance, making athletes miss that training day or personal record, so take a look at the winter gear we've selected below. We know that it will help keep you on track, comfortable, but most importantly, warm!
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Hours Researching
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Products Evaluated
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Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Tess Bercan:

In this review, we have updated our number eight spot to ROCKAY Accelerate Running Socks. While these socks are relatively new to the market, we can vouch for them first-hand, as we have tested them in person. Not only are they incredibly comfortable, made with great quality, and anti-blister, but they come with a lifetime guarantee.

Sorting Options
Comfort Breathability Advanced Features Style By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Comfort
94%
Breathability
87%
Advanced Features
89%
Style
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$19.98
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
Comfort
91%
Breathability
97%
Advanced Features
82%
Style
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$33.95
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Comfort
93%
Breathability
90%
Advanced Features
89%
Style
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$9.99
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Comfort
89%
Breathability
84%
Advanced Features
92%
Style
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$81.95
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Comfort
86%
Breathability
85%
Advanced Features
83%
Style
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$144.71
$149.00
See Deal
$149.00
See Deal
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.3
Comfort
86%
Breathability
85%
Advanced Features
87%
Style
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$8.95
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Comfort
86%
Breathability
81%
Advanced Features
85%
Style
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$16.00
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Comfort
87%
Breathability
80%
Advanced Features
83%
Style
79%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$15.95
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.5
Comfort
84%
Breathability
79%
Advanced Features
86%
Style
77%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Comfort
78%
Breathability
83%
Advanced Features
74%
Style
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$39.99
See Deal
$49.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Tesla Thermal Wintergear Leggings
  • Rockay Blaze
  • Meister Thermal Booties
  • Brooks Essential Run Vest
  • The North Face Apex Bionic 2
  • Tough Headwear Helmet Liner
  • Drymax Cold Weather Run
  • Rockay Accelerate Running Socks
  • Pearl Izumi Thermal Conductive Glove
  • Under Armour Men's ColdGear
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Our Favorites

1. Tesla Thermal Wintergear Leggings

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Tesla Thermal Wintergear Leggings
Comfort
94
Breathability
87
Advanced Features
89
Style
90
best offer for today
$19.98
Pros:

Compression helps prevent muscle soreness

Provides insulation and breathability

Inexpensive

Cons:

Material is somewhat flimsy

This is a must if you are running in cold winter weather. Hundreds and hundreds of positive customer reviews testify for the efficiency of the Tesla Thermal Leggings. You’re going to get compression, warmth, and quality; it’s our top choice for staying warm.

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Excellent materials

The Tesla Thermal Leggings are made from a mixture of polyester and spandex. This formula works well to provide tight yet comfortable compression for the wearer's legs while keeping the price low.

Powerful performance

Just because these thermal leggings fit tightly on the wearer's body, it doesn't mean their movement will be limited in any way. Wearing these Tesla leggings will guarantee a breathtaking range of motion.

Cost and Value

For the same price as a pack of boxer briefs, the Tesla Thermal Leggings offer all of the support, breathability, and heat insulation a runner could want. It's really a no-brainer with such a cheap price tag!

2. Rockay Blaze

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
Rockay Blaze
Comfort
91
Breathability
97
Advanced Features
82
Style
87
best offer for today
$33.95
Pros:

Environmentally friendly

Added ventilation and moisture-wicking properties

Anti-odor technology

Lifetime warranty

Cons:

Lacking color options for female runners

Winter may be coming - and it’s important that you are prepared for what the cold weather has in store. The best way to be on top of it is through using the Rockay Blaze Graduated Compression Leg Sleeves. This product is designed with some impressive technology that can really keep an individual running in the winter. Let’s explore some of these features below.

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Very Durable

The one thing that stands out with this product is how durable it really is. It has been designed from high-quality, premium compression materials. So much so that, this item has surpassed the Swisslastic’s Compression Test. All consumers will receive the results from this test upon purchase, further proving the effectiveness of this product.

Goodbye Odors

All runners have been in a situation before where, after a good run, their gear is a bit smelly. So, as a result, we wash and rewash the gear with cleaning chemicals. Say goodbye to this entire process with Polygiene Stays Fresh Technology. After a long run, all you need to do is allow this to hang-dry - and no odors or bacteria will populate.

Cost and Value

When it comes to cost and value, this product reigns supreme, in our opinion. While it does come at a higher cost, the value significantly outweighs the price. Here, consumers are receiving a wealth of value, including moisture-wicking technology, a lifetime guarantee, and so much more. If you need some compression this winter, this product should be a top pick.

3. Meister Thermal Booties

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Meister Thermal Booties
Comfort
93
Breathability
90
Advanced Features
89
Style
83
best offer for today
$9.99
Pros:

Extremely comfortable to wear

Thermal Neoprene does an excellent job of keeping heat in

Multi-use

Durable, long lasting

Cons:

Takes some time to get used to

The answer for anyone whose toes freeze is to add another layer of protection. Give your toes the royal treatment with Booties from Meister. These comfortable sleeves can be worn easily under socks and can really make a huge difference.

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Low cut

With a design that only covers the tips of your feet, these warmers offer enough insulation to prevent frostbite. At the same time, enough breathing room is kept for the rest of the wearer's feet to prevent excessive heat retention and sweating.

Sturdy materials

This Meister product is made from the king of textiles, neoprene. Commonly used for wetsuits and dive suits, this material is extremely sturdy, heat-absorbing, and has excellent moisture management properties.

Cost and Value

Ten dollars for a pair of half-socks might sound ludicrous at first, but just hear us out. These Meister Toe Warmers are a perfect addition to any outdoor winter activities and will ensure your little piggies stay warm and dry all the way home.

4. Brooks Essential Run Vest

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Brooks Essential Run Vest
Comfort
89
Breathability
84
Advanced Features
92
Style
85
best offer for today
$81.95
Pros:

Breathable

Wind and water resistant

Excellent manufacturing quality

Cons:

Expensive

Only comes in one color

Made for men, this running vest is waterproof and wind resistant. It is also made from 100% polyester and comes in a vibrant neon green, perfect for being seen during those late-night or early morning running sessions.

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Safety, guaranteed

The bright neon color scheme implemented in the design of this Brooks product isn't just for fashion appeal. This product was designed to improve the visibility of the wearer, which can help to keep them safe if they decide to run in low visibility environments like fog or snow.

Protection from the elements

Absolutely nothing is getting in the way of you and your run if you're wearing this Brooks vest. Neither rain nor snow will penetrate this product's water-resistant coating.

Cost and Value

This is far from the cheapest product from this list. As a premium product, Brooks lists this running vest at a premium price. However, you can rest assured that the quality of this product is worth every penny.

5. The North Face Apex Bionic 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
The North Face Apex Bionic 2
Comfort
86
Breathability
85
Advanced Features
83
Style
90
best offer for today
more shops
$144.71
$149.00
See Deal
$149.00
See Deal
Pros:

Water-repellent soft-shell

Zip chest media pocket, for phone, etc

Hem cinch-cord keeps pockets well adjusted

Extremely durable

Cons:

Wild price variations

No winter runner's gear set would be complete without a good jacket. This offering from The North Face excels in many different areas, one of the most notable being its stretchiness. It moves like a running top but protects you from the worst the winter can throw at you.

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Relaxed fit

The way in which this jacket was designed ensures comfort and protection without sacrificing either. It's tailor-made to provide the most relaxing experience whether running or just sitting around.

Impeccable style

The North Face is one of the hottest brands right now because of their impeccable eye for fashion. Anyone sporting one of these jackets is sure to turn a few heads.

Cost and Value

Be careful where you shop for this jacket. Depending on the retailer, prices can range from highly affordable to ludicrously expensive. Some limited styles and sizes will run the risk of hardcore price inflation.

6. Tough Headwear Helmet Liner

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.3
Tough Headwear Helmet Liner
Comfort
86
Breathability
85
Advanced Features
87
Style
83
best offer for today
$8.95
Pros:

Thermal retention is highly rated

Fits under helmets for more uses

Premium breathable materials

Moisture wicking

Cons:

Only comes in black

Ear covers, my friends: Ear covers. These will be your best friend when you are heading outside to the cold, frigid temperatures. Tough Headwear makes the best reviewed thermal retention skull cap; don’t leave home without it!

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Hair friendly

Long-haired individuals rejoice! These skull caps come in two different models, one of which offers a handy hole to place your ponytail. There's no need to worry about hat hair or awkward lumps in your beanie.

Comfortable fit

The Tough Headwear Helmet Liner is made predominantly from polyester with just a smidge of spandex. This guarantees a comfortable one-size-fits-all fit without costing an arm and a leg.

Cost and Value

On the subject of cost, this skull cap is sold at an exceptional price. What's even better is the lifetime warranty offered by the manufacturer that guarantees they will resolve any issues with your product.

7. Drymax Cold Weather Run

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Drymax Cold Weather Run
Comfort
86
Breathability
81
Advanced Features
85
Style
80
best offer for today
$16.00
Pros:

Made in the USA

Deal with moisture very well

Durable, long lasting

Tons of color options

Cons:

Very expensive for a single pair

Suffer from cold feet? Kiss that problem goodbye with the Drymax cold weather crew socks. As you would expect, one of the key features of these socks is that they keep your feet dry. There is nothing worse than cold, wet feet.

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Smart insulation

These Drymax crew socks are equipped with three different layers of insulation around the front portion. This allows for targeted heat absorption where it matters without interfering with breathability.

Perfect fit

Thanks to elastic bands around the ankle and arch, wearers of these socks can maintain their proper fit through all manner of physical activity. The Y-Heel design it boasts also helps significantly in this regard.

Cost and Value

There's no getting around the fact that this product from Drymax is far more expensive than even an entire pack of ordinary crew socks. However, they will provide a longevity and heat insulation that simply can't be found anywhere else.

8. Rockay Accelerate Running Socks

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Rockay Accelerate Running Socks
Comfort
87
Breathability
80
Advanced Features
83
Style
79
best offer for today
$15.95
Pros:

Anti-blister padding

Odorless

Snug fit

Cons:

Can agitate wearers with wool allergies

Perfect for runners with stinky feet, these socks are made in Europe and from an organic material called Merino wool that has naturally odorless qualities. These socks are also perfect for runners who are dealing with blisters; padding at the toe and the heel mean you can kiss blisters and chafing goodbye!

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Merino wool

There are so many reasons why Merino wool is one of the best options around. it's sturdy, it can prevent bacterial growth, it's warm, and it's extremely comfortable. These design elements come together to form a perfect running sock.

Blister Resistor

If the comfy wool padding isn't enough for you, get a load of the heel and toe of these Rockay socks. Even more padding has been added to these high-impact areas for the purpose of preventing blisters or other forms of skin irritation.

Cost and Value

Specialty socks don't come cheap, especially if they're made from the top-quality materials. Still, Rockay doesn't charge an arm and a leg for these exceptional foot coverings.

9. Pearl Izumi Thermal Conductive Glove

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.5
Pearl Izumi Thermal Conductive Glove
Comfort
84
Breathability
79
Advanced Features
86
Style
77
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Solid construction

Lightweight

Can use touch screens without taking them off

Moisture release technology

Cons:

Slight durability concerns

The thermal protection on the Pearl Izumi’s is significant. Best of all is that they are conductive so you can use any touchscreen device without having to take off your gloves. Their lightweight thinness also makes them perfect for running.

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Winter-friendly

These gloves use smart technology to provide excellent insulation and moisture control. Izumi uses a material called P.R.O. Thermal fabric to meet the needs of a cold-weather athlete.

Device compatibility

Thanks to the specially designed synthetic leather located on the thumb and forefinger of each glove, wearers can use touchscreen devices while they're worn. No more exposing your fingers to biting cold in order to send that text!

Cost and Value

It's possible to find a pair of winter gloves for cheaper than this Pearl Izumi pair. However, the comfort, durability, and technology that was put into the design of these gloves more than justify the admittedly reasonable price.

10. Under Armour Men's ColdGear

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Under Armour Men's ColdGear
Comfort
78
Breathability
83
Advanced Features
74
Style
85
best offer for today
more shops
$49.99
$39.99
See Deal
Pros:

Keeps warmth in

Lightweight construction

Very effective compression design

Cons:

Hard to find some sizes and colors

Layers are one of the most important aspects of winter running. You need to make sure you are keeping as much of the warmth that you are producing as you can. That is exactly what the Under Armour ColdGear Compression Mock does. The ultra-lightweight interwoven layers lock in heat and wick away moisture from the body to keep runners warm and dry.

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Dual layers

The way Underarmour combines the best of both worlds is with their dual layer construction style. The inside of the ColdGear running shirt is made from soft, insulated material and the outside is made from a fast-drying and smooth fabric.

Multiple styles

Under Armour knows how to make products that are just as stylish as they are functional. There are 14 different colorways for customers to choose from, although some may be harder to find than others.

Cost and Value

As previously mentioned, some of the rarer colorways may have inflated prices due to scarcity. However, the majority of models and sizes for the ColdGear top are reasonably priced.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

At Runnerclick, we live by the motto, "The run should be fun." Although we feel that the health benefits and therapeutic bonuses of consistent running should be enjoyed all year long, we know all too well that it’s not fun to run out there when temperatures get very low. According to runners from climates that get very cold, they are less likely to run the lower the mercury gets.

Through trial and error, and hundreds of miles of near freezing running users' feedback, we have compiled an outstanding list of the best running gear that will combat the freezing temperatures. This is beyond the childhood advice of “don’t forget your jacket” as you left for school. The materials and fabrics found on this winter gear are considered the absolute best by outdoor nature lovers and serious year-round runners.

Breathability

Guess what? You’re still going to sweat. This is why just making something “as warm as possible” is not enough to make it on our list. The last thing we want is for our readers to be soaked in sweat while running in freezing temperatures. This is why we looked for gear with breathable materials and liners that wicked away excess moisture while still providing insulation. Beware of cotton: it can be one of the worst materials for running in cold temperatures. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the material will not allow for proper ventilation. We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing the right materials and our buying guide is jam-packed with cutting-edge winter technology.

Advanced Features

It’s easily overlooked, but snow turns into water. Science: we’re pretty good at it!

In all seriousness though, there are pieces of gear that are crucial to running in winter weather that need to be waterproof. Take headwear, for example. It should be insulated against the cold, moisture wicking for your sweat, and waterproof for protection against snow. While most manufacturers are great at providing two of the three, it’s imperative that all those checkboxes are marked.

We made sure that the products on our list made the grade in all these departments and kept testers nice and dry throughout their entire run. Again, this is an area where moving beyond the marketing slogans on the packaging, and into the field of active outdoor runners can give you a solid list of outdoor gear.

Style

It’s wintertime, nature is dormant, and everything is white. That doesn’t mean that you have to run in boring or drab colors. Let’s have some fun out there! Our options for leggings and long sleeve thermals don’t just keep you nice and warm, but come in a rainbow of color options to match your individual style. When you click through to take a look at the item through Amazon, you will be greeted by a plethora of selections to choose from.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Be Careful With Compression

Many of the products listed here offer some form of compression as a major selling point. This makes sense since compression garments are a great way to retain body heat; however, too much compression can limit your air and blood flow, potentially becoming a health hazard. Be careful and make sure you pick out a product in your true size.

Watch Out For Allergies

A few of the products listed here are made from wool, a fabric material that has been known to trigger allergic reactions. If you feel uncomfortably warm or itchy while wearing any wool-based products, remove them immediately in order to avoid any further symptoms or pain.

Other Factors to Consider

Materials

When making your selections and adding items to your cart, keep in mind how often you will be running and how much laundry (or how little) you want to do. Thermals, for example, will need to be washed more often than outwear like jackets. So make sure that you get more than one if you are planning to run a couple of times per week. Other items such as beanies and face masks can be reused more often before needing a washing.

Size

When making your selection, take a moment and go through the sizing guides that accompany all of the products on their individual pages. There you will find measurements to consider to make sure that this gear will fit you best. Remember that thermals should be nice and snug while not cutting off circulation. They should also be comfortable around your waist. We’ve heard from a lot of runners that make the mistake of getting their compression and winter apparel a couple of sizes too small, and it ends up being uncomfortable. Selecting the right size is ensure that you have a pleasant running experience, while still staying warm.

Product Purity

We’ve selected the best winter gear that has received top reviews from several different trusted sources. Remember that just because a brand says: “it’s the best” means that it literally is. Winter wear, and all athletic gear, in general, is a highly marketed sector that spends millions on dollars to convince customers their brand is the best. Who are you going to trust, a CEO that has never seen an outdoor trail, or seasoned outdoor enthusiasts with no corporate affiliation?

Value

With just a little more research and slightly increased detective work, we uncovered winter gear that is at the highest of performance while being at the lowest in prices. In addition, when working together with Amazon, an online powerhouse, we were able to find the best values around for our readers. There is no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to be able to run during wintertime. Watch out for review sites that frequently list an expensive “best of” list; it’s a telltale sign of not putting the reader first.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What are some of the advantages of winter running?
a:

For one thing, you can stay away from the gym around January and February and not have to deal with the crowd of New Year Resolution folks. Also, studies show that outdoor runners tend to run a little longer and a little faster than those who just ran on treadmills alone. Getting out there and running is really second to none, this gear can make it an enjoyable experience.

q: Are there any precautions that I should take if I’m new to wintertime running?
a:

Wearing the right gear and staying safe is key, so remember to start slow and get your body used to colder temperatures if you are not used to them. Of course, if you have asthma, COPD, or heart disease, you should always consult your doctor before facing extremely cold temperatures. Other than that, you’re good to go. Even subzero temperatures are safe for running if you know how to do it.

q: I’ve got regular thermals; shouldn’t that be enough?
a:

Negative. Standard thermals are not meant for working out, let alone running long distances. You will be sweating in no time and not have the moisture control safeguards in place to help you out. This will make for a terrible run and uncomfortable feeling. Selecting the right gear for the job is essential.

q: What is the biggest thing to look out for when running outdoors during the wintertime?
a:

Ice. You should use extreme caution when running when the temperature is freezing water on the ground. This can lead to loss of traction and injury. There are several trail rated running shoes that are effective for ice, but you should always be very careful. Ice is hard to see and even harder to correct for when you are already slipping on it.

Sources

  1. Active, Active, Health Blog,
  2. Competitor, Competitor, Running Website,
  3. Runner’s World, Runner’s World, Running Webste,
  4. Amazon, Amazon, Product Reviews,