Winter Running Gear for Under $100!
I love bargain shopping – especially for running clothes. So when Nathan asked me to try to find a complete winter running outfit on a $100 budget, I jumped at the challenge. A nice winter running jacket can easily set you back $100, and I knew that putting together a whole outfit would be a tall order. When you’ve been running for a long time, you can forget how much money adds up for all that gear when you’re buying it one piece at a time.
Nathan and I decided on a few parameters for this little project:
- Everything would be found on Amazon because it’s a resource everyone has at their fingertips.
- Running shoes and underwear would not be included in the $100 budget.
- It would be assumed that people already owned a hat/headband and gloves by virtue of living in snowy Minnesota.
Once I found the items, I’d do a few test runs in my chosen outfit in 15 to 20-degree temperatures. (We chose this temperature range because it’s the average daytime high for Minneapolis during the winter months.)
A word about Amazon: It’s not a perfect place to buy running clothes. For one, each size and color can be priced differently depending on the seller. For instance, a base layer may cost $11 for a small, $16 for a medium, and $17 for a large, and can fluctuate more than the stock market. Second, while you can filter for running clothes, search results will bring up yoga leggings when what you’re really looking for is heavy duty running tights.
So with these mandates in mind, here’s my head-to-toe $100 winter running outfit.
Winter Running Jacket:
I started with the running jacket because I knew this would be the most important layer. If your jacket doesn’t block the wind and keep your core warm, you’re going to be miserable no matter what else you’re wearing. Contrary to what Nathan said in the Winter Running Gear Guide, I don’t necessarily believe that a $100 jacket is twice as good as a $50 jacket. Yes, the extra money will get you handy features like thumb holes and waterproof phone pockets, but a less expensive jacket will still keep you warm and get you out on the road during the winter months.
I chose this jacket in a size small and paid $18.99 in November of 2016. It came with a nice little pouch, which makes it suitable for spring and fall weather, too. Easy, foldable storage is helpful for carrying a thin jacket on longer runs in case the weather turns nasty (or for shedding layers when it gets warm).
The base layer was the second item I picked out. I love semi-fitted “waffle weave” tech shirts, and I was able to find this Asics model for $17.96 in a size small. It’s not so tight that it will ride up while I’m running, but not so loose that it will get bunched up under other layers.
For a lot of my more mild winter runs, I can get by with a base layer and a good jacket. But since I had already picked out a thin windbreaker that wouldn’t provide much insulation, I decided to also get this Champion half zip for $21.79.
Last but not least, it was time to select some bottoms. I’ll admit it took a long time to sort through all the “athleisure” leggings classified as tights. I picked these Nike tights for $35.99 at the time of purchase. The have ankle zippers and a key pocket, but when they arrived in the mail I was disappointed at the thinness of the material. We’ll see how they hold up during a run!
The grand total: $94.73
Now that I have my $100 running outfit, it’s time to wait for a nice 20-degree day to log some miles and see how it all holds up!
Your Budget Shopping Tips
What are your tips and tricks for finding winter running clothes on the cheap? Tell us in the comments below!