Ever notice that when the temperature drops, your motivation to head outside goes with it? Keep up with your outdoor workout schedule this holiday season and beyond with cold weather running clothes designed to do two things: Pull moisture away from your body and keep you warm. Here's what to stock your closet with this winter (hint: Think layers, layers and…well, more layers).
Moving Comfort Sera Bra ($34; MovingComfort.com)
Rule number one: Ditch the cotton. Your sports bra is the layer of clothing closest to your skin, so it’s important that it be made with synthetic fabrics designed to pull moisture away from your body. The last thing you want is a cotton bra that will absorb sweat—it's like holding a cold, damp cloth to your chest for your entire walk or run (can't you practically hear the raspy cough now?). Instead, look for fabrics like polypropylene or polyester/spandex/Lycra® blends.
Saucony PrimoLite Low Mock Long Sleeve ($42; Saucony.com)
If it’s below 45 degrees, go with a long-sleeve top made with synthetic fabrics. Look for styles with sleeves that go slightly past your wrist so you don’t have any space between your running gloves and your top (some styles even have holes cut out for your thumbs to ensure sleeves won’t slip up). A mock turtleneck style will give extra protection to your chest and neck, but a crewneck design is a better choice if you tend to overheat.
Nike Clima-FIT Convertible Jacket ($100; NikeStore.com)
The shell’s job is to keep wind and water away from your base layer. Look for light jackets made with microfibers designed to ward off water while also letting sweat vapors escape so you don't overheat in your cold weather running clothes. If your workout schedule requires running in the late afternoon or evening when it’s dark, get a design with reflectors as well.
[header = Keep your winter workout schedule on track with cold weather running clothes.]
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. InsulaTour Vest ($100; PearlIzumi.com)
If it’s not cold enough for a full shell (as in, 50-ish degrees)—or if it’s so cold you need a layer on top of a shell (below freezing)—consider adding a vest to your cold weather running clothes. Think of this as an insulator either adding some extra “padding” against the cold on those particularly chilly days, or as a shield from the wind when the weather’s milder and you don’t want two layers over your arms.
Adidas adiSTAR Tights ($75; ShopAdidas.com)
Shorts are fine for the gym, but if it’s less than 55 degrees or so, pants are your best bet. Opt for styles made with synthetic fabrics like polyester that’ll pull sweat away and keep your legs warm to avoid injury. Since most running tights/pants come in dark shades, get a pair with reflectors if your workout schedule has you running at night. Not into the tight, tapered look? Go for a boot-cut style instead for a flattering shape.
Headband or Hat
Brooks Dry 2 Racer Cap ($20; BrooksRunning.com)
So here’s the rule: If it’s below freezing, wear a hat. If not, then keep your ears warm with a headband. Just like your other cold weather running clothes, it’s important that the outer layer is made with water-resistant fabrics like polyester and Lycra®.
Pearl Izumi Women’s Grip-Lite Glove ($20; PearlIzumi.com)
Keep your hands warm and dry with a pair of specialty running gloves made with breathable fabrics—and also look for fitted wrist bands to avoid having your running gloves slide up. Something else to keep in mind: Gloves designed with grips on the palm will make it easier to grab your water bottle, open energy gel packets and/or change the song on your iPod.
Thorlo mini-crew JMX ($13; Thorlo.com)
If your feet get cold, the rest of your body will, too. Opt for a pair of specialty running socks made with a wool or polyester blend. Crew styles will do the trick, but your best bet is to go with an ankle-cut to avoid any exposed skin.