It’s that time of year again…cold weather running clothes! What to wear, what to wear…ohhh the decisions to be made! We’ve been in the clear this month so far EXCEPT for the few recent mornings where the temperature has been about 35 degrees!! Yet, by the afternoon, you’re stripping down to shorts and a t-shirt, soo what do you do in this case??
First of all, I will be honest. I really do enjoy the fall running weather, however when it drops below 50 degrees, that’s where my desire to run outside diminishes. For the most part, the Fall weather stays above 45 degrees in the afternoon time, however, I find myself stuck in a dilemma now. I’ve gotten surprisingly SO used to running in the morning. This is great and all, however the only downside is that the sun is just rising and the frost is still in the air.
So, what do you wear at this point? Well, whether this is a good or bad thing, I’ve gotten into a full habit of running in the mornings and therefor, I’ll need to dress the part as well. This also means, time to revaaaamppp my winter running wardrobe!!
Okay, probably not, I need to get out of this “I work now, I have money to spend” mindset. But, I really am lacking in this warm running clothes category. Although, I do have a few pieces buried somewhere that I could scavenge up…
So what would my typical running attire resemble?
I tend to wear very “whacky” outfits when it comes to running, as I talked about in my first running wardrobe post that I’ve written about in the past! My attire really can change depending on the day.
Weather: Sunny, 55+ degrees, ALMOST warm enough to wear shorts
What to wear: Shorts, LONG, KNEE-HIGH socks, t-shirt
Why? The shorts and t-shirt give you that breathing room for when your body temperature quickly adjusts to the slightly cooler temp and begins to sweat up a storm. However, the long, knee-high socks, give you that warmth for the first few minutes you step out the door and begin your run. It’s ALMOST as if you’re wearing pants, but the second you start to overheat, all you need to do is roll them down!
Weather: Sunny, 40-50 degrees
What to wear: Capri Spandex, t-shirt, MAYBE a light long sleeve over (can tie around your waist if you get hot…and YES I know that’s the “mom look” and YES I rock it all the time. NO SHAME GAME.)
Why? Although it may be sunny and the air is just beginning to warm up, it’s still 40 degrees, which means its 8 degrees away from it technically being cold enough to snow! This means, regardless, you have to keep your body loose and warm! SO as much as you hate layering, it’s worth it in the long run (no pun intended… -_-)
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 40 degrees, brisk air
What to wear: Not going to lie, this is the nippy fall weather I actually really enjoy running in! So throw on some capri spandex, wear a long sleeve, and if you’re the type who tends to always be colder than everyone else, try adding some long running socks to your attire!
Why? The high socks are a great go-to…that way, if you do warm up, just pull the socks down and show off your toned calves! Again, for the long sleeve, I’d personally stick to something slightly heavy, but also something that’s not skin tight so that you could potentially roll the sleeves up if you warm up!
Weather: Sunny, 30-40 degrees
What to wear: long spandex, long sleeve shirt, short socks
Why? This is the type of weather that FOOLS you. You look out your window and see the sun shining bright and you think, maybe, JUST maybe it’s one of those weird days in the fall where global warming effects the climate and it’s warm enough to throw on some shorts! HA, Mother Nature got you! It’s COLD and you will freeze your bum off if you step outside in shorts! As an FYI, I’d suggest a long sleeve that’s neither too light, nor to heavy.
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 30 degrees and under, brisk breeze
What to wear: long spandex (on the thicker side), long sleeve shirt (2 depending on the material thickness), medium length socks (to cover the ankle gap between spandex and shoes)
Why? Say hellooo to winter and goodbye fall, the temp just dropped and you need to prepare yourself! I wouldn’t settle for anything less than keeping your body totally warmed up and covered! Stick to semi thick long spandex. Depending on the long sleeve top, you may want to throw on 2 long sleeves (on the lighter side) or 1 thick long sleeve. I like to wear medium height socks to pull up over the area where my ankle is exposed to the air due to the length of my spandex. Personally, I’m not the type to wear gloves or a head piece unless it’s REALLY cold, but if you need, that would be a good option for this weather!
Weather: FREEZING (i.e. 20 degrees and under, brisk winter breeze, no sun!)
What to wear: Long spandex (thick material), 2 long sleeve shirts (thicker = the better), knee high socks (thicker), running gloves/mittens, winter hat or running head band (to cover ears), optional: windbreaker jacket, winter neck cover-up)
Why? It’s COLD and your body will thank you AFTER the run if you bundle up properly!! Definitely wear a thick pair of spandex! If you don’t’ have a thick pair then layer them! I’ve even worn normal, day leggings over a pair of thin long spandex. For the top, layer up! Layer up with some relatively thick long sleeves. For example, it could be a long sleeve Under Armour top, tucked into your pants, then layer that with a long sleeve, quarter zip (to leave some room for comfort), you could EVEN layer that with a free-moving running sweatshirt or a nice windbreaker. As for the accessories, running gloves are good, BUT mittens are better because all of your fingers can be warmed up in one centralized place, where sometimes with the gloves, your fingers being individually covered can tend to lose circulation!
Finally…here’s a list of some of my FAVORITE running apparel. FYI these are my preferences, but everyone has their own opinion, so go explore and see what fits and is most comfortable for you!
Style: Long Running Spandex, LOVE their colors, patters, and style! I know they’re pricey but honestly I just bought my FIRST pair and I love them. They’re great for running, just the right amount of thickness, they’re breathable, durable, and they neither ride up or fall down!
Company: Under Armour
Style: Nothing wrong with the classic Under Armour running spandex. These are and have always been my go to! They have a variety of thicknesses to choose from which is great when your changing from the fall to winter seasons. They have pretty basic colors, BUT they’re so durable (have had mine for years) and they’re flexible, yet form fitting!
Style: Long Running Spandex, Nike Pro, I personally just LOVE their fun colors and patterns! They’re also pretty thick and cozy on the inside! ONLY complaint is that sometimes they tend to fall down because they don’t have a tight band at the top.
Style: Long Running Spandex, w/ flexible breathing vents, and back pocket zipper. Only issue is that I’ve had a pair rip soon after purchasing them…
Company: Under Armour
Style: Again, these are a classic and have ALWAYS been a go to for me. Whether it’s the thick turtle neck that I can never get over my large head in the winter time OR the lighter version to wear as a first layer under a cotton long-sleeve t-shirt. Additionally, they have GREAT long-sleeve, quarter zips that are super comfy, light weight, and breathable (we had these for our track team in college and we loved running in them)!
Style: Nike has some great long sleeve t-shirts and quarter zips that are made in a really nice running, light weight material. Again, we used some of their apparel for our track team.
Style: They have great moveable, breathable long sleeves, of any thickness and color/patter! Again, they tend to be a little over-priced, but it’s worth investing in just ONE go to as a basic running top.
Others: Obviously I just mentioned big name brands above. Now hear me out when I say that probably 1/8 of my fall/winter running wardrobe is made up of these brands. I typically like to have a few nice running spandex that I can rely on so I have at least one of each brand. So that leaves me with 4 durable spandex to wear on my runs every day and switch between them. As for the tops, I usually stick with 3 or 4 really nice quarter zips, varying in material thickness. For the extra layering, I have SO many long sleeve cotton t-shirts and to be honest, I really don’t mind running in these as well! I’ve collected so many throughout my track high school and college careers from meets that it would be silly not to wear them!
So with that, if you are looking for additional running clothes and are on a budget, here are some places to check out!
-Dicks Sporting Goods
-Aeropostal (I know, I know…but they have a good, cheap selection!)