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How Do You Layer up for Winter Running?

How Do You Layer up for Winter Running?

The freezing temperatures should not deter you from running outdoors and enjoying the white velvet scenery that winter brings. Running safely in winter takes a bit of planning to make sure that you don't get cold feet or frosted fingertips. So how do you layer up for winter running?

How to Layer Up for Winter Running

When the mercury drops, you have to dress up well to avoid getting wet and that freezing feeling while running outside. By trying out different methods to find out what suits your temperature preferences and wearing proper layers for cold weather running to stay warm and mobile, you'll reap the many benefits running does to the body. 

How Do You Layer up for Winter Running?

RELATED: Running's Psychological Advantages: How It Improves Mental Health

Let's layer up and warm up for a chilly run!

Tuck in the base layers.

An ideal base layer for running is lightweight and moisture-wicking to remove moisture from your body. Many runners prefer quick-dry synthetics, allowing for adding extra layers like waterproof or windproof jackets as necessary.

When it's below freezing, wear two moisture-wicking base layers, avoiding cotton. If you wear a base layer, like a crew neck base layer, mock neck compressive top, body fit base layer, or a sustainable thumbhole mesh base layer, tuck the bottom layer into your pants for warmth and wind protection. Don't overdress because you'll warm up while running.

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Choose well your insulating layers.

A good mid-layer, whether insulated with down or synthetic material, traps your body's warmth by creating loft, but it should also release vapor to avoid overheating. Pick a thermal crew neck t-shirt, thermal suit, or thermal water-resistant tights to help trap heat while letting moisture out. It's totally "ugh" to feel damp clothes when running in cold weather.


Stay warm with an outer layer.

Prioritize insulation and breathability when layering up with a good winter running jacket. While a windproof or water-resistant hooded softshell windbreaker is crucial in extreme cold or wet weather, ensure the right mix of breathability and insulation on milder days. Use a water-resistant mid-layer vest to maintain core warmth when a jacket is too warm but a single layer isn't sufficient.

Protect your legs well.

In single-digit temperatures, opt for full-length, fleece-lined leggings or thicker running pants; consider layering a loose-fitting pair over the top. For 20 to 40 degrees, regular full-length tights are suitable, and for 40 to 50 degrees, use mid-length or quarter tights, or even shorts. 

"How To Pick the Best Winter Leggings" can be your guide when shopping for a pair to keep your legs warm in your winter runs.

Cover your hands.

Shield your hands from the cold with gloves suitable for 20-40 degrees, and for temperatures in the teens, opt for mittens that provide better warmth through finger-to-finger contact.

Keep your ears and head warm.

Keep your ears warm like your hands by wearing a hat, buff, or ear warmers in temperatures under 50 degrees.

What are the best winter running jackets?

Wearing the best winter running jackets should do the trick in protecting you from the harsh winter elements as you break a sweat.

Thermal High Neck Jacket (Men's)

Our Thermal High Neck Jacket (Men's) is water-resistant as it's made from 100% polyester without sacrificing comfort and breathability. Lined with fleece to keep heat in, this thermal jacket does well for any winter outdoor activities.

With a high collar and full zip closure, cold winds stay at bay. Its reflective elements let you stay visible for other joggers or cars to see. It has silicon grippers at the hem to prevent the jacket from riding up.

Water-Resistant Hooded Softshell Windbreaker

We gotta keep the cold winter winds at bay as well with the help of this lovely Water-Resistant Hooded Softshell Windbreaker.

Made from 100% polyester, this windbreaker is water-resistant and windproof while providing the needed warmth with its soft fleece lining. With full-zip closure and a high-stand collar to block the chilly winds, this winter running jacket also comes with a detachable hood in case you don't need it on days that aren't that super cold.

For the gentlemen out there, we also have the Thermal Hooded Softshell Windbreaker for you.

Cycling Windproof Jacket

The beauty of Baleaf's activewear is that it's versatile enough to be worn for different transitions throughout the day and even activities. While the Cycling Windproof Jacket is perfect for cycling, it also can be used as a winter running jacket. 

Made of 100% polyester which makes it water-resistant but breathable and durable with 10,000 grams/m2 breathability. So it won't stick to your skin, leading to an all-day of comfort. The hood and the hem come with an elastic drawcord and hook-and-loop cuffs to combat the chilly winds. Its large zipper pockets let you store your valuables securely as you run, hike, or bike.

How many layers are needed?

How Do You Layer up for Winter Running?

Test your running gear to discover what suits you best; consider loop runs to adjust your clothing layers as required, aiming to start a little cold and finish sweaty.

When dressing for a cold run, aim to stay warm without overheating by avoiding excessive layering, and keep in mind that longer runs can elevate your body temperature, so consider a temperature 10 to 20 degrees higher than the reading.

Let's take a look at how to layer up at different temperatures in Fahrenheit.

At 40 to 50 Degrees

Choose cropped or full-length tights or pants with a long-sleeved shirt and a light sweatshirt for cool weather, and switch to an extra long-sleeved shirt or layer a short-sleeved one if you heat up. When it's around 40 degrees, think about switching to shorts and using moisture-wicking fabrics to stay dry.

At 30 to 40 Degrees

Go for a long-sleeved shirt, long pants or tights, gloves, and ear warmers, and consider using single-layer gloves or mittens, as well as a vest with front padding and breathable back for insulation and arm cooling with extra mobility.

At 20 to 30 Degrees

Layer up with a long-sleeved shirt, fleece, and a jacket or vest for your upper body, and opt for tights or pants below. Keep your ears warm with a hat, wear heavy gloves, and consider using hand warmers, while ensuring your clothing is thin, breathable, and easy to shed if you start feeling too hot.

Below 20 Degrees

Don't forget to bring an extra pair of gloves and a neck gaiter. The neck tube serves as versatile protection for your face, ears, and throat, and make sure you've got enough pockets for storing extra layers in case it gets warmer.

Preparation Is the Key

#wemovetogether even in freezing weather. With the right cold-weather All Running Gear, winter runs can be just as enjoyable as any other season.

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