Raynauds and winter running

Chatting to other runners it seems lots of us have Raynauds. I'm pretty lucky in that mine is only ever bad when it's cold - I know there can be other triggers for it too - but after forgetting my gloves for my run this morning - ironically I was distracted by the excitement of making the first running footprints up Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh after the snow had settled (I know I know, in some respects my mental age is indeed 7 years old..) - and having my fingers go a really interesting blue colour, I was wondering what solutions any of you have come up with?

I've been reading through some old threads on gloves - I currently run in GORE ones from a few years ago, they have been pretty good but are getting thin as I use them so much - does anyone have any experience of any particularly good ones? Ideally that elusive combination of maintaining Raynauds fingers at non-painful level, but also being lightweight enough to enable a bit of dexterity - e.g. mastery of keys/dog lead/phone. 

Also socks? I have Hilly twin skin socks that I love to race in, but in this weather sometimes find myself wearing lots of pairs at once, is there an alternative to not feeling your toes for long runs in winter? Help much appreciated!


  • Hi Rosie.
    I too have Raynaulds, and yes it is a fine line between gloves being too thin to be of use and too thick to be a pain in the rump. I went to my Doc's, who made me have a blood test to confirm the problem, then gave me some tablets to take when I went out in the cold, which opens up the small veins etc in the hands and feet. I cant remember the name of the tabs, but if you went to the doc's, he is bound to know it, and hopefully give you a prescription.
  • Hi Nigel.

    Were the tablets called nifedipine? Did they help?

    I tried nifedipine once at low dose when I was working outdoors all day and it got a bit silly with not being able to move my fingers but having quite a low blood pressure naturally they left me falling over at inopportune moments so I stopped quite quickly! May be worth going back and trying again at some point though I guess depending how long it stays really cold for, so interested to hear others experiences..


  • Rosie,

    My winter gloves are sealskinz ultra grips - if you are likely to get your hands wet through rain or snow ....these keep things toasty.

    Socks tend to be either Hilly Off Roads - but I reckon anything with a high Merino wool keeps the chills off.



  • Thanks Graham, had heard of sealskinz but not tried them. I shall investigate!
  • Hi Rosie.
    Cant help with the name now I'm afraid. I got them a while back and cant read the label! Doh. I'm sure your Doc can name a few.
  • Cheers nigel, will investigate next time I'm there. Keeping fingers crossed (well, when I can cross them! image) toasty new gloves will do the trick for now..have ordered some sealskinz.. 

  • If i were you i'd go to the doctors ans tell the doc about it and you'll get prescribed Nifedipine, it should help image I had trouble feeling light headed with them going from lying down to standing too quickly but soon got used to them.
  • That's useful to know that the light headedness wears off - maybe I'll try them again. Thanks image
  • I also have reynaud's syndrome and a failed attempt at nifedipine. For running I prefer asics performance gloves. They are similar to softshell on the back of the hand and thin stretchy material in the palm. They are windproof, but my hands don't overheat. They have lasted 2 winters and many washing machine cycles. When it is really cold, I still prefer these to wool or fleece gloves as they are more windproof. I then wear tops with thumb-loops on top, and/or thin merino liners underneath. If you cannot find those, I am sure there are other thin softshell gloves available.

    Personally I hate thick, heavy, stiff winter gloves. They are difficult to wash and dry, and I find my hands don't move well in them and they get colder. Cycling and walking, I've gone for a layering system. I've got gore-tex overmittens from Extremities, using silk or merino liners as a base and fleece or wool as a midlayer when necessary. Sounds a little technical, but it means I can vary according to weather and activity, all layers can easily be dried (particularly important when camping) and I don't end up feeling like I've got boots on my hands.
  • Oh, and for socks I prefer thin wool when it is cold. I have a pair of sealskins, but I get very warm in them. I find the main problem is shoes, not socks. Most trainers are thin mesh, which is horrible when it is cold and wet. In normal trainers in bad whether my toes go completely white whether I've got good socks or not. I have a pair of salomon trail shoes that I wear if the weather is really, really terrible, even if I am running on roads. They keep me warm.

    So I tend to feel pretty comfortable in the cold. Unfortunately, I have not found a solution for my nose, which is also affected. If anyone has found one please let me know! Short of running with a balaclava I am really at loss as to how I prevent it from going blue (and then embarrassingly lobster-coloured once I go inside).
  • K - you could try using a buff. i don't have a problem with my nose i'm glad to say but my ears which is far easier - wooly hat, wwell thin windproof these days for running.

    Agree that thin layers esp the wind proof layer is essential. That's the one thing that's made the biggest difference. Still have problems though, which reminds me that I need to make some mittens.

  • Thanks gingerbread mouse - if I am brave enough I might try a buff
  • Doesn't seem to affect me until I'm finished and all the heat is draining out of me. Today I had a record NINE white fingers! 10 minutes in the shower sorted them out.
  • Alcohol is another post-run option. Does not sound very healthy I know, but it is effective at dilating the blood vessels. I find my fingers return to normal after about 2 units.
  • Kakatin wrote (see)
    Alcohol is another post-run option. Does not sound very healthy I know, but it is effective at dilating the blood vessels. I find my fingers return to normal after about 2 units.
    I'll try that in the bath tonight. image
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