Author Topic: Cold weather running clothes?  (Read 4831 times)

GreenSheep

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Cold weather running clothes?
« on: December 04, 2016, 09:52:38 AM »
Having lived in warm climates for the past 15 years, I don't have much in the way of cold weather running clothes. Some aging leggings and a couple of pairs of warmer pants that used to be "non-running" pants. (Haha, I sometimes run in the black J. Crew pants I used to wear to parties in college. The ones we used to call "ass pants." Surprisingly, they have held up really well!) Some shirts formerly used for hiking, some old fleeces. I probably need more bottoms than tops.

I now work several days a month in cold, dry northern New Mexico (teens-30s in the mornings, when I typically run), and I plan to move to Washington's Olympic Peninsula in about a year (not quite as cold, and not at all dry). I'd like to finally get some decent running clothes that will keep me comfortable and last a long time without costing an arm and a leg. I'm willing to make somewhat of an investment for things that will last, but I don't want to go too crazy. Any thoughts from other runners?

I'm a red panda

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 10:23:31 AM »
I'm a huge fan of Under Armour Frosty Tights.  They are expensive, but I've had mine for more than a decade.   I don't run in them, but many people do.  (I ice skate, cross country ski. and also wear them to shovel snow...)
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 04:14:38 PM by iowajes »

plog

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2016, 10:30:41 AM »
"Runner" has 2 meanings now a days.

1. People who actually run--put in miles, try to improve times.

2. People who occasionally jog and like to dress to make people think they are the #1 type.

To be #1 you can buy sweat pants and sweat shirts from a thrift store for less than $5 a garment.  To be #2 you can still do it cheaply and go to Target. 

GreenSheep

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2016, 10:49:34 AM »
"Runner" has 2 meanings now a days.

1. People who actually run--put in miles, try to improve times.

2. People who occasionally jog and like to dress to make people think they are the #1 type.

To be #1 you can buy sweat pants and sweat shirts from a thrift store for less than $5 a garment.  To be #2 you can still do it cheaply and go to Target.

Any real runner (and I do consider myself one, as I have run marathons and continue to run for about an hour at at time, usually in areas where there's no one around to impress) will tell you that sweatpants and sweatshirts are a terrible idea. Cotton just collects sweat and makes you cold and wet.

Civex

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2016, 10:51:28 AM »
A pair of tights, a half zip, a hat, a beard, and a pair of light gloves should cover you for 30s. I end up doing the bulk of my yearly mileage in the winter so I can be ready for spring races. I like NorthFace running tights, I'm using a freebie hat, an old Under Armor half zip, and depending on the temp I have woolen gloves they give away at races or a set of brooks mittens I got as a gift 2 years ago.

IMO people tend to overdress for cold weather running, once you get going you generally feel 20-30 degrees warmer. I don't do anything special with my shoes, but I know a fair number of runners who use Yak Tracks.

plog

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2016, 01:13:11 PM »

I stand by my advice.  If you begin sweating it's time to shed a layer.  Here's my outfit for 30 degree weather---shoes, socks, shorts, T-shirt, long sleeve t shirt, sweat shirt, cheap cotton gloves and I cut the sleeve off an old t shirt and wear it as a headband to cover my ears.


Mikila

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2016, 01:21:32 PM »
I consider a fleece headband essential to protect my ears from the freezing wind.

The cotton vs sweat-wicking expensive stuff will depend on the length of your runs and how much of a sweater you are.

I just wear an old sweatshirt for 35 minute runs.  And athletic pants, of course!  I freeze for about 5 minutes before I heat up from the exertion.

The only special gear I need is good shoes.  YMMV. 

MMMdude

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2016, 02:59:26 PM »
I cross country ski and occasionally run up here in frosty Northern Alberta.

My biggest challenge is ummm shrinkage and pain if certain parts get cold.  Merino wool base layer I find is essential especially down there.

When it gets to -20, i'll usually rock short sleeve base layer, long sleeve base layer, cotton long sleeve shirt and then a fleece on top of that.  After about 5 minutes I'm warm

badger1988

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2016, 03:12:36 PM »
As long as it's dry and not windy, shorts, sweatshirt, stocking hat, and light gloves are good into the single digits. Once it gets colder than that, I start adding layers.

I really prefer running in the winter because I don't get so sweaty, and love the silence a fresh blanket of snow provides.

horsepoor

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2016, 04:24:19 PM »
I have some Solomon winter running tights and they are awesome.  Got them at Sierra Trading Post for about half price.  They are good between about 15 and 40f.

On top, if it's 20 or so, I like an Under Armour mock neck with a wind vest over, or light jacket if its windy.  Very lightweight beanie and the glove liners Costco sells.  Depends on the individual though.  I see runners all bundled when it's 40 and think how I'd be burning up wearing all that.  YMMV

GreenSheep

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 12:51:17 AM »
Depends on the individual though.  I see runners all bundled when it's 40 and think how I'd be burning up wearing all that.  YMMV

Yeah, I was really looking for advice on specific durable brands, sources for those brands, etc. rather than what *types* of clothing to wear, which I have pretty well dialed in. Thanks to those who have helped with their favorites!

MsPeacock

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 06:25:34 AM »
I specifically liked Under Armor for winter running gear. They have heavy weight tights and also fleeece lined tops and bottoms. They also have base layers and outer wear. It is $$$ but so far wears well for me. You can find it at their outlet stores and on clearance online.

After that either a fleece headband for my ears, fleece hat if it is colder outside, or a neck gaiter/hood combo thing.

I haven't found anything that keeps my hands warm.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 07:14:42 AM by MsPeacock »

horsepoor

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2016, 06:40:30 AM »
Depends on the individual though.  I see runners all bundled when it's 40 and think how I'd be burning up wearing all that.  YMMV

Yeah, I was really looking for advice on specific durable brands, sources for those brands, etc. rather than what *types* of clothing to wear, which I have pretty well dialed in. Thanks to those who have helped with their favorites!

Ah, gotcha.  UnderArmour seems to be popping up at TJMaxx/Marshall's pretty frequently.  I got a nice mock neck cold gear shirt there recently for $16.99.  No problems with durability of their shirts.  I wear them for riding in the winter as well, so they definitely get used.

The other brand I like is Craft.  Sierra Trading Post often has their stuff at a discount, though I think the sizing can be variable, so read the reviews.

FLBiker

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2016, 08:02:14 AM »
I got a Nike dri-fit longsleeve shirt at a thrift store years ago, and it's my favorite base layer for running / biking in the cold.  I live in FL, though, so I'm only talking about about 30s (or occasionally high 20s).

I'm not as active in thrift stores now (when I need clothes, it's almost always for work, and I've had lousy luck getting work stuff there) but when I did, I'd just run my hand down the t-shirt / athletic shirt section, feeling for "performance" shirts.  They were typically priced the same as cotton, but better for biking / running.

starbuck

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2016, 08:58:34 AM »
You may want to check out the HeatTech line from Uniqlo, a Japanese retailer that's branched out into the US. I haven't tried it myself but have heard positive things on it's warmth from others. And it's price point is pretty fabulous. I have one of their ultralight down jackets and it's great, and a fraction of the price of Patagonia/North Face versions.

https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/women/heattech-collection/

Chranstronaut

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2016, 09:03:41 AM »
Former Washingtonian and current Michigander checking in.  I usually run about 30 minutes, and I dress pretty warm.  Info for others wanting cold weather ideas and a few brands for GreenSheep.

In Michigan, my biggest issue is the cold breeze.  I consider anything in the 30F range "full" cold weather gear, but I naturally have cold hands and feet.  I wear ankle socks, long underwear (synthetic), running shorts, "breathable" shirt, running sweater with a neck zipper (synthetic),  ear warmer, gloves and a face mask.  I'll shed the gloves and facemask first and carry them in my hand as I usually don't have pockets.

I just started using these disposable face masks, and they changed my life.  Breathing in cold air is the worst part for me and burns my throat and lungs.  The masks are softer and stretchier than I expected, and you could easily sew something like this out of scrap fabric if you prefer.  You don't have to throw them out, they seem to last a few uses, but they get swampy from your moist breath.  I love them!  I used to get a disgustingly snotty nose running in the cold, but with the facemask I don’t.  A buff might work well, but I don't like anything on my neck.

I prefer synthetic/blend long underwear, and enjoy the softness and longevity of these from REI .  I wear these under my pants every day in the winter.  Win-win!  No pilling or fading after one year of heavy use both running and as a daily base layer; I do not put them through the dryer.  I plan to buy more.

I just wear those ubiquitous stretchy cotton gloves because they’re the first thing I take off, and I might lose them. 

I bought Puma running socks at Costco about 8 years ago and they are still perfect.  100% cotton, but nicely padded along the heel and forefoot.  I wear these year round and like them in the summer if I'm going to a concert where my feet will get sweaty.

I bought an off-brand of running tights and a running sweater at Costco about 8 years ago and they are just okay.  I still wear the running sweater every day, but it started pilling in the arm pits after a year or two.  The tights are very thin and pilling and not as warm or soft as the REI base layer.  The brand starts with a P?  It wasn't Kirkland.

Everything else is just normal exercise stuff in a synthetic material – I also hate running in cotton sweats.  I mostly buy out of season at the sporting goods store.  I've found underarmour and reebok running shirts and soccer shorts for $5-15 on the clearance rack at Dick's.  I've also found some name brand running shirts at Goodwill, but I learned that if it smells like BO at the store, you may never get the stink out at home.   I didn't try that expensive detergent specially made for athletic clothing, though.

In Washington, my biggest enemy was puddles.  It's really not very cold, except in February when it's damp and below freezing.  I tried running in my REI rain shell with vents fully unzipped and it was super gross and sweaty and didn't keep me dry.  If it was just misting rain, I would wear my running sweater and a baseball cap to keep the water off my skin, whatever bottoms fit the temperature, and ran along a path with trees to block some rain.  I just accepted that I would be wet and immediately jump in the shower after.  Socks and shoe fitment were most important for me running in the rain to avoid blisters.  I ran sometimes in winter wool blend socks if it was very wet out or my Puma short socks (they are similar weight, so my running shoes fit well over both).  I wore normal running shoes (love my low-drop Merrells) but never water proofed them, so I couldn't run every day if they weren't drying out fast enough.

Talk to a local running shop about their rain layers and see if they'd recommend any of the ultra-light rain shells just for running.  I haven't tried them, but they seem promising if they breathe well enough.

TL;DR Buy any known brand on sale or second hand.  Consider a good base layer in synthetic materials.  Cover the parts of your body that get coldest naturally and don't worry about the parts that don't get cold.  Don't forget your legs have more surface area than your arms, so cover them!  Protect your lungs from freezing with a face covering.  Consider puddles and moisture induced blistersin Washington.

Re: starbuck's post - check out the sizing carefully on Uniqlo, they seem to run smaller than American sizes.  I have a shirt from them and it seems slimmer than normal.  Good quality for the price.

GreenSheep

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2016, 09:36:14 AM »
Some great input here. Thanks! I really should have thought about this back in the summer, though. Maybe I'll eek through one more winter and get things on sale in March!

Hotstreak

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2016, 10:46:43 AM »
I wear layers that are easy to shed or adjust on the fly, for when I start to heat up part way through the run.  Knee high socks that can be pushed down, hat that can be taken off, and pullover that can be half-zipped.  When it really cold (or when it's windy) I have a pair of light weight tights.  They're stretchy enough that if I start to get hot, I can pull them up above my knees (and push down my socks at the same time).

The tights were on sale at Costco for I think $6
The knee high socks were labeled 'soccer' or 'football' and about $10 for a 3-pack
Pullover I have had for a very long time but I think was $30 new
Hat $5 new

MerryMcQ

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2016, 06:43:50 PM »
Great timing on this question, I was just thinking about this myself!

Water-proof running shoes!!!

I run almost every morning here in the Seattle area. My biggest problem by far is the cold, wet feet. I ordered a pair of Brooks
Ghost 9 GTX Road-Running waterproof shoes this weekend from REI. I HATE cold, wet, squishy sock-feet. Those puddles appear out of nowhere!!!!

I start out with my son's REI Kiltek breathable rain jacket and a pair of dollar store stretchy gloves. But I heat up quickly, and I've just gotten used to being dripping wet, and it's pretty comfortable for me to run in a sports bra and yoga pants down into the 40s (with the wet-feet exception). Invest in water proof shoes and you will be happier.

I'm going to add a pair of lightweight tights and a fleece ear-warmer, though, for this freezing cold weather we're having. Brrr.

Cornbread OMalley

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2016, 08:51:50 PM »
I lived in the PNW for a few years and went running a lot in the wet weather.  I wore sweats, knit hat, and light gloves.

horsepoor

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2016, 08:55:20 PM »
Just though of a hack for shoes:  a couple years ago I took a pair that only had 100 miles or so left in them and made them into screw shoes.  Then I put a couple coats of rubberized truck bed liner from a spray can over all the mesh parts.  They aren't perfectly water proof, but they do shed moisture, and keep out the cold air pretty well.  You can also just put a piece of duct tape over the mesh toe part to cut down on air flow if you want.

human

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2016, 09:38:32 PM »
You got a ton of replies already but I'll pile on. Shorts and T shirt down to 35f (2c) this is when I start thinking I need something warmer.

For cold I have some addidas adzero slim track pants down to -5c (23f) and a long sleeve mec base layer like a T1 or T2 long sleeve zip so I can unzip if I get too hot. No jacket or hat usually and just wind gloves.

At -10c (14f) I might put on a very light weight windbreaker and stick with the T2 but now wear tights MEC Mercury (I think).

At -20 (-4f) you need to cover your face so I wear a hat and have a hood covering as much as possible. I find mitts are better at this point. Still a light windbreaker but a beefy T3 base layer (the T 3 has a hood) with a good polyester slim fit (but warm) workout shirt over that. Still wear the mercury tights but with T2 or T3 base layer bottoms underneath. I can fit the base layer under the tights because I need to one size up, the legs on those tights are way to skinny. My waist is a medium for tights but when I try on a medium I can hear the legs ripping, the waist is saggy and needs to be tightened but it works.

Any colder and add one more top and now a scarf around my face. If the pathways are really wet I put on gore-tex socks.

I'm a fan of getting the MEC stuff on sale, I have one top and bottom of each of the T1, T2 and T3. They are good for hiking too.

EDIT to add, I never wear a rain jacket when it rains even if it's close to zero C. I just get wet. The great thing at zero C or lower is that you get snow. Running in a rain jacket is the worse experience ever.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 08:52:01 AM by human »

Trifele

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2016, 04:02:03 AM »
For either running or skiing at 20 - 30 degrees, you don't need that much.  I wear Brooks tights, a thin merino wool baselayer, and a light Salomon jacket.  No one can beat Salomon on jackets -- they have it perfected. 

If you haven't ever worn merino wool for exercising, give it a try.  It far outperforms synthetics.  It's soft, comfortable, doesn't stink, and wears well.  You wash it in cold water and hang it up to dry.  LL Bean has a line of reasonably priced wool.  It comes in at least two thicknesses. I have the light one (very thin) and the medium weight for colder weather.       

chasesfish

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Re: Cold weather running clothes?
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2016, 04:25:25 AM »
My wife and I run a lot and have plenty of cold weather gear.  In full disclosure though, since moving to Texas I've become a wimp on the 30 degree mornings since I can usually wait a day and get a 50 degree morning.

We've found we can get everything we need (except shoes) at Costco.  You should be pretty good with women's athletic pants, a long-sleve athletic shirt, pullover, and hat.

If you have one of those large outlet malls around, go into the Nike and Under armor shop in late January early February and you can find some cold weather gear on clearance.  I own two pairs of running pants and got them this way.