Approaching first winter

Hi folks I started running in March this year & it's been an incredible whirlwind adventure. With winter approaching I hoped for advice on recommended gear (must haves) so please advise on gloves, type of clothing & if I need different footwear etc Thank you.


  • Get down to Aldi. They have winter cycling kit in.

    All you need is an extra layer or two. It's pretty much the same as summer running but with more kit on.
  • Dudley, I started in March as well. My Marathon is next week but I will want to continue running through winter so am interested in what gear I need.

    i've already bought a head touch as run off road and looking friars to trying that out in the morning. Only part that confuses me though is I always wear a cap (a must with glasses and rain). Think I'll need to skip the cap so I can angle my torch towards the ground.

    I've been looking at the goretex clothing but wondering whether I really need something that expensive. We've had a great summer in terms of lack of rain but reckon we'll be getting a fair bit over this winter.

    Any tips from experienced runners would also be appreciated by me.





  • Cougie's right - running keeps you pretty warm, even in the middle of winter, so you only need to modify what you wear in the summer.

    You can probably get away with a light, waterproof jacket, a woolly hat and a pair of gloves. 


  • As far as head-torch and headwear is concerned Exposure do a headband for their range of lights which work with a cap or woolly hat. Obviously it is designed to work with their lights but other makes of (less expensive) light will fit as well.

    Exposure lights are the nuts though!

    Gloves wise I found some cheap gloves in the Pound Shop they look tiny but stretch to fit, they work a treat (lightweight and quick dry).

    In my experience a waterproof gilet works better than a jacket for running.

  • Screamapillar wrote (see)

    Cougie's right - running keeps you pretty warm, even in the middle of winter, so you only need to modify what you wear in the summer.

    You can probably get away with a light, waterproof jacket, a woolly hat and a pair of gloves. 


    + 1

    Last year was my first winter run season. I thought i'd need loads of layers but i found that i got through all that snow with a long sleeve technical top, long tights, windproof jacket, buff and gloves.

  • I've not bothered with gloves either - I just pull my sleeves down over my hands if I'm cold - otherwise I overheat.

    It'd have to be a cold day to need a hat too.

    I dont think goretex is needed either - goretex wont cope with the amount of sweat you'll make from running - if you think about it - even a teeshirt alone gets damp - let alone being covered up.
  • Everyone is different and you really need to work it out for yourself. I am totally gobsmacked when I see people running with loads of layers, including microfleeces and goretex jackets and bare hands.

    I on the other hand will often be out in the same conditions with T-shirt and shorts, but always gloves!

    Probably good things to start with are some tights, a couple of long-sleeved tops, a windproof gilet, and I like a headband to keep my ears warm without my head cooking. Make yourself visible - I got some great reflective armbands from Lidl with lights on last year, and they don't flap about like a vest.

    Waterproof is a matter of personal preference. Personally I subscribe to the view that Goretex etc is not designed for coping with the relatively high humidity in this country, especially when combined with running, and you'll end up just as wet anyway. Skin is waterproof anyway.  Keeping the wind off is the key.

  • +1 on the Goretex comments above - expensive waste of money if you are doing anything more than moderate activity.

    Keeping the wind off is the key to staying warm so a good windproof is probably a better investment than a waterproof.

    Also a decent hat and gloves, tights and LST for when it gets really cold, and some hi vis attire/lights if you intend to be runnign on roads in the dark

  • Everyone is different.  I need gloves as my hands freeze so wear much thicker ones than everyone else.  I do have a goretex, the water resistant ones are just not man enough when it decides to downpour and you have an 18 miler to complete.  Having said that the goretex only comes out for heavy rain, light rain the lighter jacket comes out.  Hi vis is a must if you run in the dark too.

    I recommend tights, long sleeve tops, gloves and hat and see how you get on too!

  • +1 for exiled claret. I can cope with shorts even in zero degrees but gloves are a must. My fingers get pretty painful in the cold. Never bother with a hat though.

    I also use tights also which add a bit of comfort, and I recomend keeping last years trainers for the wet muddy days.


  • I would add something special to deal with ice in the footwear dept if you expect this from local conditions. There's everything from stretch-over rubbers with a few small carbide tips, to Yaktrax with a spring rather than spike approach, to spiked shoes from the likes of Icebug. I would stay away from Asics Arctic because although they have spikes they are not carbide-tipped so wear out very quickly (though they are replaceable. For shallow but uncompacted snow, trainers with a thick trail tread like Salomon Speedcross will do. I live in Norway and have to deal with these conditions every year. If you search for some of those keywords you will find quite a few old posts on this.

  • Try saying "no waterproof needed" to the people who had to retire from SDW50 with hypothermia! Montane Minimus or similar is great in those conditions (and on shorter runs with rain/sleet coming down in near-freezing temperatures).

    I really dislike being too cold and I'm sure I'm more likely to pull a muscle if my legs feel cold and are stiffening up. I've got several pairs of long running tights, including one pair with windproof panels on the fronts of the thighs which I got from Lidl and find fantastic on the very coldest days. Hats and gloves are good - you can always take them off and carry them or stuff them in a pocket/waist pouch if you're getting too warm.

    Agree with Steve C. re. considering specialist footwear for icy conditions - I have Stabilicers (sport version) and have found them pretty good.

  • Debra - as Dudley only started this March I doubt he's doing the SDW50 just yet.

    Obviously if you're doing extreme events like that then you'd need to be a bit more well equipped.
  • cougie: yes, I gave an extreme example image - I just get fed up with people saying waterproofs aren't needed - which could lead to people thinking they should never need one, whatever the conditions. I agree that most of the time you'll get wet from the inside out rather than the outside in wearing one for running at reasonable speeds, but that's not the case for long slow runs in cold wet & windy weather...

  • Thanks guys.

    i guessed in the goretex scenario - same with the footwear. Water can still get into shoes but can't escape from goretex (from what I understand).

    I personally will be wearing gloves when it gets slightly cold - if necessary can always tuck them into my shorts waistband.

    I hadn't thought about footwear. I run hard trails mainly but guess some will be a lot softer in winter. I may have to look into new shoes - those Adi Kanadia don't look bad. can anyone tell me if the soles wear out quickly on tarmac like with some trail shoes?


  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    I like to be toastie warm with a good baselayer and merino top in the depths of winter. Even in the autumn to be honest. Can't stand having my head or hands covered though. Have tried hats and gloves but they're off within the first 20mins because I get far too hot. Ear muffs are good though. If it ices over this winter I'm going to give serious thought to getting some Icebug studded trail shoes.
  • I've bought various bits of kit for winter running but find I only really need most of it when it's really, really cold. A long sleeve base layer under a t-shirt is my only usual concession to the autumn/winter weather. Gloves if it's really bitter, hat if it's also blowing a gale and tights only if it's practically arctic. I made the mistake initially of starting my run all warm and cosy but have found that's just a recipe for getting way too hot. Much better to start feeling a bit chilly and warm up as you run. Obviously, if you're going to be doing a really long run or are out in the middle of nowhere, it might be sensible to carry a bit of extra warm kit with you, in case anything goes wrong. Most of the time though, I'm close enough to home that I can go back for something or can get home quickly if I abort a run.

    I'd just go with it and see what extra bits of kit you might need as you go along.

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