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4999 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 1, 2013 1:48 PM by MJLO
NewFormerHSrunner Rookie 2 posts since
Jan 19, 2013
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 19, 2013 5:38 PM

What to wear in winter

Obviously new to this, but wondering the best apparel for winter running. I've heard a wind suit with a compression shirt underneath. I've also heard a hoodie and running shorts. What is best? I live in Virginia Beach and temps during the day avg about 40 in winter. Also I want to get Skele toes. The pair I'm looking at is four-toed with a design to channel out water for running in rain. Are those acceptable? Also, should socks be worn with them? General information and advice are welcomed as well.

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 20, 2013 1:00 PM (in response to NewFormerHSrunner)
    What to wear in winter

    The short answer is just dress in tight layers with the dri-fit fabric closest to the body followed by a mixed poly/cotten with another shirt for warmth and so on.  Ski vests work great because they protect the core and allow for free arm movement. 


    I have some Skeletoes and were them mostly for recovery efforts after races or on shorter walking routes.  I would not recommend them for winter running, but it depends on your training routine and route.  In general, compression or thermo socks might work well along with a more stable shoe (heavier tread, for example) with the challenging weather.  I wear trail shoes through the colder months because they add protection with the bonus of promoting extra leg strength. 


    Wishing you all the best. 

  • crl8686 Legend 1,312 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 20, 2013 8:04 PM (in response to NewFormerHSrunner)
    Re: What to wear in winter

    Don't overdress; 40 deg is not severely cold, and you don't want to be pouring sweat during your run. I live just north of Los Angeles and often run in 40 deg weather (typical winter early AM). In dry weather will usually wear two T-shirts (one short-sleeved under one long-sleeved), compression-type shorts with a relatively long inseam, gloves and a cap. As much tech fabric as possible, although I'm in a dry climate where that is less critical. In a humid climate, like yours, all tech fabric would be best. If it's raining, I use a long-sleeved tech shirt under a lightweight, ventilated rain jacket with a hood and brim, same shorts, same gloves. At 40 deg I use my regular synthetic running socks and running shoes. I don't use a thermal (fleece) layer or long leggings - too hot unless it's below 40 deg.


    I wear conventional running shoes so can't speak to Skeletoes, but others can surely provide info there.

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: Ontario Mills 5K, Ontario, CA, 25:17

    New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

  • crl8686 Legend 1,312 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jan 23, 2013 10:25 PM (in response to NewFormerHSrunner)
    What to wear in winter

    The "compression shorts" I use are sold in stores as women's exercise shorts. They're really much more like unpadded bike shorts; they fit snug but not super tight, and can be worn alone, especially if in traditional dark colors. I like them because they reduce leg chafing to zero. There is no difference between winter and summer; I wear them all year round. Of course "cold winter" for me is 40 deg.

    Real compression shorts (the ones sold as such) fit tighter and leave little to the imagination. Those should really be worn under something else.



    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: Ontario Mills 5K, Ontario, CA, 25:17

    New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

  • edensacres Pro 197 posts since
    Jun 19, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 26, 2013 9:20 AM (in response to NewFormerHSrunner)
    What to wear in winter

    Lots of great advice here.  My two cents

    -keep a log for a few weeks with what the temperature was as well as any wind/wind chill, and percipitation as well as what you wore and how it worked, or didnt work for you.  You'll figure out whats right for you pretty quickly

    - Your body generally heats up after about 5 minutes so you can either be a little cold to start, or plan on ditching a layer

    - I reccommend you go to a running store (not a big box place) and have them look at your gait before choosing a shoe. 

    - My favorite winter item is my silk balaclava - I can wear it a number of different ways depending on the wind and temp and even layer a hat on top if needed


    As for wet weather shoes, my foot landed in a snow covered puddle and was totally submirged.  Within 5 minutes I had forgotten about it.  My sock, a non cotton sock I picked up at the running store, pulled them moisture away from my foot and the trail running shoes (Brooks cascadia) has enough mesh in it that water was able to seep out.  (I was able to wring out my sock after the run 3 miles later but it didnt bother me).  I wear the same shoes and sock no matter the weather, the only thing that changes is in icy conditions I run with yaktrax on.


    Good luck and have fun.  I'll take 40 over 80 any day!

    Started C25K 3/29/11 for the third time - Graduated 7/1/11 - some of us take longer

    Completed Races

    Webster Co. Woodchopping Festival 5K (5/28/11) 38:03 "Holy crap! Did he just say 38 something? I was hopinig for 45 minutes"

    Never underestimate yourself!

    That Dam Race 5K 7/23/11 44:46 - a challenging route & a hot day- but I will do better next year!

    "Run for the Ta-Ta's 5K 10/29/11 39:54 in the snow!

    Woodchoppers 5K 5/26/12 36:08 My 5 year old was 5 minutes behind me. Way to go Liat!

    Fly By 10k 6/16/12 1:24:12

    And the dream race...

    "Flying Pig Half Marathon" Cincinnati, OH (May 2013)

  • DarnSlow Rookie 3 posts since
    Aug 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 30, 2013 8:47 AM (in response to NewFormerHSrunner)
    What to wear in winter

    Many commentators on this site have recommended Champion C9 apparel made from synthetic fabrics, which is sold at Target.  Taking their advice, I've bought several different pieces over the past couple years, and they work great.  You can get good deals at the end of the season when they migrate to the clearance rack, though they'll be gone if you wait too long.  I also bought a Nike Element jacket on eBay for about 40-50% off of the list price.  Hopefully, it's not counterfeit.  I use it as an extra layer when the temperature is below 35 F.  Through trial and error, I've come up with a scale in 5 degree intervals that dictates what layers I'll wear.  What works for me at 40F is Brooks leggings, a solid longsleeve C9 jersey with turtleneck, C9 cap, and thin gloves, all synthetic fabrics.  If the temperature were a few degress cooler, I'd add a sleeveless C9 shirt underneath.  Being a male "intermediate" runner, I don't particularly care whether or not my leggings are too clingy, or how I look in them.  All I care about is being comfortable, and training as best I can.


    Have fun, and be safe!

  • AtlantaDebbie Rookie 2 posts since
    Feb 2, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jan 30, 2013 2:59 PM (in response to NewFormerHSrunner)
    What to wear in winter


    I'll pass along the specific items I'd wear, and let you convert those to things that might work for you. 


    I'm very cold natured, so 40 degrees is pretty cool to me.  At that temp, I'd wear a the Skirt Sports Tough Chick top.  It is long sleeved with thumbholes and of warm fabric.  It has a pocket on the upper bicep with an envelop style closure designed to hold an iPhone (or similar device) and a large kangaroo style pocket where you can stick in your hands.  Both sides have zippers, so you can also zip it up to keep things from falling out while you run.  When you get warm, you can unzip the half zip zipper (I wear a non-white sports bra under) and also place running gloves, or a beanie or a headband inside the kangaroo pocket.

    For bottoms, I'd wear either Nike leggings that come all the way to the ankles, not crops, and with zippers at the ankles.  As I get warm, I'd unzip the zipper to cool off a little.

    I'd wear the same shoes and same sox that I wear yearround.  I can't wear skeletoes - I wear a particular size and style of New Balance and that is all that has worked for me.  I wear the same kind yeararound and wear silk sox.  They don't provide much warmth, so I depend upon keeping my upper body warm and having that warm my extremities.  I also like being able to take off the running gloves and headband/beanie and store in a pocket.

    I'm yet to find a pair of running gloves that truly, truly allow me to use my iPhone as easily as they claim to do but I still like the tech fabric that can dry quickly. 


    Since I am so cold natured, I thought I'd toss out a few other things that would work for me at higher temps.  Those might be more like 40 degrees for other people.    At 60, I'm likely to wear a sleeveless tank (I like the Fearless from Skirt Sports), arm warmers (I like Lululemons), and the same Nike leggings with the zippered ankles.  I can take off the arm warmers and stick them in the pockets of the Fearless as I warm up.  I'd pass on the gloves and earband that I would need at 40 degrees, but at least wear a ballcap.  Lululemon makes a cap with a zippered pocket that can hold some cash and a single key, and I use that quite a bit.  It is a little less breathable than a standard summer ballcap so it keeps me a tiny bit warmer.


    The temps at the finish of a race have to break 70 before I will wear shorts or a running skirt.  When I do, I often wear some compression-style shorts from SkirtSports that have pockets on the thighs to hold iPhones with either a skirt or looser shorts over them.    The compression style shorts are long enough to keep my thighs from chafing and snug enough to hold my iPhone in place. 


    If the temps are going to be below 40, I wear a jacket from Athleta (a Gap family store) called Prevail.  It is a thicker fabric and somewhat water resistant.  I would also wear a thin longsleeved shirt underneath, gloves, headband, and my Nike leggings, probably without zippers.


    I'm a fan of pockets and small items that I can use to self-support to stay warm, dry, hydrated and energized.  I use my iPhone for music, Runkeeper, and to be able to call my husband if I just don't feel like running back after running 5 miles away from home -- only once did I do that, but I was glad to have that option when I needed it.  ;-) 

  • MJLO Rookie 1 posts since
    Feb 14, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Feb 1, 2013 1:48 PM (in response to NewFormerHSrunner)
    Re: What to wear in winter

    I'm in Cleveland and run all winter (average temp 20-40 degrees).  My theory is if I have the appropriate attire I have no excuse not to run!  The only thing that stops me is ice.  I love my Under Armour Cold Gear compression tights and jacket.  I wear the tights alone without another layer.  I do wear a long sleeve DriFit shirt under my jacket. My jacket has the thumb hole which I love because the sleeve comes down far enough to cover my knuckles.  If i wear gloves, they usually come off within 15 minutes of my run when I start to get warm. I wear the same running shoes and socks that I do in the summer.  What I love about the Under Armour tights is they have this elastic or something in the ankle that prevents them from sliding up.  So... I still wear my ankle socks and they are never exposed or cold.  There is often snow and slush but once I get going, my feet don't get cold.  The cold doesn't bother me at all.  The worst part is the drive home if I meet a friend for a run.  My suggestion for that is bring dry clothes to do a quick change in the car.  Good luck and enjoy!

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