More Winter Running Gear Recommendations for Women
Welcome to part 2 of our Winter Running Gear for Women series. Yesterday I shared what I learned from three hard core, local Minnesota ladies who had some great input on the best base layers, outer shells and more cold weather running gear. I got input from;
- Heather Kampf, elite middle distance runner and member of Team USA Minnesota and ASICS America.
- Bekah Metzdorff, co-owner of Mill City Running
- Jennifer Fitzharris-Funk, who races with TEAM SOAS as a brand ambassador.
Don’t use winter as an excuse to stay inside on the treadmill, or not run at all. Wear the right winter running gear and you’ll be set.
Cold Weather Running Gear to Keep your Extremities Warm
Your head, neck, face, hands and feet often get the coldest, and the most susceptible to frostbite (or just really really painful when you come back inside). If you’ve ever been on a really cold winter run when your hands are so cold you can’t bend your fingers, you know what I’m talking about. Below are some specific and general recommendations for winter running gear.
Although I’ve provided links to products online, support the geniuses at your local running specialty store!
For your Head and Face
Wearing a hat is essential. If you have long hair, something like a BondiBand hat has holes for your pony tail. Jennifer’s favorite winter ‘beanie’ is a Nike Dry-Fit, (which is also reflective). They both wick sweat and have thermal properties. It’s nice to have a neck warmer for winter running. It gives you an option to pull over your face should you need it at the beginning of your run.
I’ve got a Smart Wool neck warmer that sometimes doubles as a tissue if my nose gets runny. Just don’t forget to wash it before your next run.
When it gets really cold, neoprene face masks can keep your face from freezing.
Winter Running Gear For your Hands
Wind blocker really comes in handy here (pun intended). Women and men can benefit from convertible glove/mittens. They are a gloves that have a mitten flap that can be pulled over the fingers for added warmth. Something like the Nathan TransWarmer Convertible Glove/Mitt also has a nose wipe and is touch screen compatible.
Heather and Bekah recommend the All-In-One Mitt from Asics. It’s a shell that you can put over the top of any liner glove that has excellent wind blocking protection. Also, you can always layer up on “dollar gloves” from Target. If you get too warm, it’s easy to remove a layer and throw it in a pocket.
The Saucony Ulti-Mitt is another great option. Like the All-in-One Mitt from Asics, the shell stashes away when you don’t need it. The bonus here is a terry cloth fabric area on the thumb to wipe your inevitably running nose.
Keeping your Feet Warm
Even when not focused on winter running gear, runners should care about their socks. Like your hands, a good pair of merino wool socks should be enough to keep your feet warm. Many runners (men and women alike), will benefit from thick hiking socks. SmartWool (again), has fantastic cold weather running socks. Cold weather running shoes are also helpful.
“ I can also get by if I double up my summer running socks. I’ll throw on a pair of thin no-show socks and then a pair of quarter length socks that cover my ankles.”Experiment with different socks and sock combinations. Depending on your tolerance for cold, some combination of these should do the trick.
The Importance of Cold Weather Running Eyeware
Snow reflects 85% UV radiation vs 25% off concrete. That’s over three times more intense than summer running! Unless you’re running in the dark, find a cheap pair of sunglasses or better yet, ski goggles. They will block wind, won’t fog and prevent squinting. This is one of the most overlooked piece of winter running gear by far!
What are some of YOUR tips for cold weather running gear?
Here are 9 additional tips for cold weather running from Active.com.