As the temperature drops, it's tempting for your workout resolve to follow suit. But you can avoid the dreaded winter rut. One of the major keys to getting and maintaining motivation throughout the season is getting geared up right. These shoes, jackets, accessories and more will keep you warm and comfortable in just about any conditions outside of a full-on blizzard.
Once you try these battery-operated warmers, you'll never run out in the cold without 'em. These little guys fit easily into any gloves (and can rest right against your skin), but they're not just for your hands; they can slide into pant or jacket pockets to offer any chilled body part up to six hours of continuous heat per charge. The lithium-ion polymer batteries can be recharged over 500 times, and can charge in four hours or less. Get too toasty—they can reach up to 116°F—and you can turn the warmers off with the touch of a button. While thin and lightweight, ThermaCELL's hand warmers are shock- and water-resistant (so no worries about getting too sweaty).
Nathan Sports IceSpeed Insulated Handheld Water Bottle
If you're staying on track with an endurance running regimen, you'll need a small, portable water bottle that can keep pace—and keep your water from turning to ice as the temperatures drop. That's where Nathan's IceSpeed Insulated Handheld Water Bottle shines. Their grip-free handheld features an IceCutter Cap and a Blast Valve to prevent water from freezing in—what else—freezing conditions. The bottle's fully adjustable hand strap works in tandem with running gloves, plus there's a hand warmer pocket that also works to keep your water in its liquid form. It even comes fixed with an expandable front pocket to fit all your running essentials—smartphone, keys, ID, gels—and you don't have to pull your gloves off to undo the large zipper pulls either.
Wear it around town or for your most rigorous workouts, The North Face's Kilowatt Ops Jacket caters to style and performance. Crafted from 100 percent windproof fabric that also boasts thermoregulating technology (keeps your body warm in cold and cool as you heat up), double-entry hand pockets, media ports for your earbuds, and internal mitts you've got the ultimate everyday jacket. Plus, its sleek design make it seriously stylish.
Consider these NANOspikes studded snow tires for your sneakers. The elastomer harness slips around any and all shoes, providing lightweight and low-profile traction that bites into icy sidewalks and roads with ease. It boasts dual-density traction plates that provide added support by dispersing force underfoot while preserving the comfort and flexibility of your running shoe. What's more, the NANOspikes have traction nubs that help the harness adhere to the thread of your shoe to prevent any slippage, and 10 cleat-like spikes on the exterior beneath each foot.
Let's be candid for a minute. When the temperature drops, even a little bit, you're going to battle a runny nose through the entirety of your run. The handy thing about these run gloves from Sugoi is they engineered the thumb to be soft and highly absorbant, so you can wipe your nose with comfort and ease. (It's also touchscreen compatible.) What's more, the glove has a wind-resistant back combined with a stretchy thermal palm to keep your hands warm. It even has pull tabs at the wrist to keep the wind and cold out, reflective detailing to keep you visible for those early morning and early evening (it's dark by 4 p.m. after all) runs.
Sure, tights let you move freely, but in extreme cold, you need a little extra substance in a pant to keep your muscles warm. These Nike Therma-Sphere Max Men's Training Pants are designed do just that. Their innovative, water-repellent fabric traps warm air against your body, keeping you insulated from the cold and challenging conditions. And they crafted the pants with Thermal Dri-Fit fabric panels to ensure breathability and enhance mobility. They're designed with articulated seams and a natural (not too tight) fit to keep a wide range of motion that follows the contours of your lower body and its natural movements. The cuffed hems at the ankles have zippers so you can easily adjust the fit, change over shoes, and keep your ankles warm and protected.
Whether paired over a long sleeve for milder temperatures, or layered over a jacket for freezing conditions, a good vest is a winter essential. This one is made with repurposed and highly insulating "next generation merino," which is engineered with a water repellent outer coating and a wool lining for warmth and comfort. It's highly breathable, warm when wet, durable, and has minimal bulk. It also features zippered front hand pockets, an internal secure stash pocket with a media cord port, an internal storm flap, and stretch binding at the armholes and sides to ensure comfortable layering.
Smartwool Men's PhD Run Ultra Light Mid Crew Socks
Built for the highest degree of performance, these socks boast minimal cushioning for comfort without added bulk, mesh ventilation zones to enhance breathability and manage moisture, superior durability, and two types of elastic for greater stretch, fit, and recovery. The virtually seamless toe ensures your shoe won't chafe or irritate your foot, and its mid crew cut offers added protection against snow, mud, and slush on the road or trail.
This pant from Asics protects you from wind, water—and anything else winter throws at you—with a softshell, water-resistant front. Its brushed knit back and looser fit around the upper leg allow you to move more comfortably and maximizes your range of motion. With 180-degree visibility (the zippered pockets, zippered leg openings and logo have reflective elements) and unrestrictive construction, you can keep the intensity high on all your outdoor winter workouts.
asics.com, $80 (available at Asics stores, at specialty retail stores, or on Amazon)
Ready for anything, The Ride 8 from Saucony boasts GORE FLEX, which takes the durability and waterproof benefits of Gore-Tex and makes it more flexible (these are 20 percent lighter than the standard waterproof bootie). Your feet will stay dry and comfortable, especially with the durable water repellent finish on the sockliner. You can trudge through all the snow and slush you want; the "Winterfell" camo print hides dirt and grime.
Comfortable? Check. Amazing fit? Check. Top-performing? You betcha. This Lycra top will keep you warm no matter how chilling your outdoor workouts are. Better yet, the sweat-wicking fabric will ensure no foul-smelling stinks will settle into the fibers; it even inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Perfect for layering, the Lululemon half zip has hidden thumb loops to keep your sleeves down and bunching obsolete. It also has reflective detailing along the sides to keep you visible as the sun sinks.
If you want to add impressive warmth—instantly—you absolutely need a neck gaiter. Keep gusts of wind and snow from getting into your jacket and careening into your neck with this microfleece option from Helly Hansen. It's lightweight, insulating, and quick drying, making it perfect for cold weather cardio sessions.
You'll become fast friends with the DTS2 BUGrip GTX; the distance training shoe has superior traction against slush, falling snow, and protects your feet from the freezing cold so you can keep your stride and pace no matter what's below your feet. Made specifically with long distance runners in mind (city dwellers and trailblazers alike), the shoe boasts a waterproof GORE-TEX membrane, a richly padded heel collar for added support, and a fully cushioned midsole for stability and comfort.
Some days are so insanely cold that you need the workout-gear equivalent of hiding your face behind a scarf. This form-fitting tactical hood from Under Armour provides exceptional warmth; its inner layer is made from a soft, heat-conductive coating to hold onto your body heat. It can be worn as a balaclava or as a neck gaiter; the chin drops down to provide face exposure and greater ventilation. Believe it or not, after a while you'll forget you're wearing it (but you'll be thrilled you are). Its four-way stretch fabric allows for greater mobility and holds its shape over time. It's even engineered with moisture-wicking and anti-odor technology to keep any microbes or funky smells from adhering to the mask.
For light snow, rain, or sleet, L.L. Bean's Polartec Alpha Fitness Cap is the perfect addition to your run. The short bicycle brim and drop-down earflaps (which can easily fold up) offer protection where you need it most, and boasts 360-degree reflectivity and a small zippered pocket to store a key or credit card. The soft-shell exterior is entirely wind- and water-resistant, while the interior features a moisture-wicking sweatband, mesh lining, and insulation to keep your head warm and dry.
If you're running on thin—or thick—ice, you'll want the Arctic Talon 275. It performs amazingly well on slippery conditions because of the durable spikes aligned on the outsole of the shoe. No matter how your foot strikes the ground, your shoe will grip. These are lightweight but completely stable; the bottom is reinforced to shield your foot from sharp rocks and forces.
inov-8.com, $130 (available available at the end January 2016 at Amazon, Zappos, BackCountry, and Running Warehouse)
Designed and constructed to move with you, the Supernova Tee from Adidas is the perfect layer to get through long winter runs. The shirt’s thumb holes help block wind from sneaking up your sleeves, which fit a bit more snug than the rest of the top. If you’re looking for a multipurpose run top that also happens to highlight your muscles, look no further.