This Is the Exact Kit I Wear For Cold-Weather Runs
These eight garments consistently see me through winter's crankiest afternoons
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Last week, a Strava follower commented on one of my runs, asking me why I’d increased my mileage as of late. I replied that I’m just trying to spend more time outside of the house this winter. Running’s been my respite of choice from pandemic-induced introversion. No matter how pitiful the weather is, I like to get out for at least 20 minutes a day. Lately, I’ve been out and about for over an hour.
Cold-weather running isn’t just a mood booster for me. It’s dynamite for the body, with a variety of surprising health benefits. I’m proud to say I’ve actually gotten faster this winter. That said, I’d be quitting runs left and right if I weren’t properly equipped for the elements. Wind chill delights in stopping running resolutions right in their tracks.
To that end: I wear the same kit for cold-weather runs, every single day. It’s cozy, it’s moisture-wicking, and it includes gear from a variety of brands — Nike, Vuori and Lululemon among them. (Hey, I’m not a professional runner, and neither are you. We don’t have to play favorites.) Each piece looks great, but that’s not why I wear them. They’re chosen for sheer utility and performance. I need to know I can rely on my pants, for instance, when I’m already worried about icy patches and dwindling daylight and the cold zapping my phone down to 9% battery.
I’ve included my exact kit below. From the quarter-zip down to the socks. Everything here plays a role in making sure I stay on the roads, no matter how gnarly it gets out there. These are the eight garments I’ve come to rely on for cranking through winter’s crankiest afternoons.
Under Armour Men’s UA Qualifier Run 2.0 ½ Zip
I wear this half-zip atop a T-shirt and sweatshirt. I like how it packs down against the chest and wrists, preventing any wind chill from sneaking in through the hem or sleeves. I actually feel agile in this thing, which is helpful because I still like to do some speed work throughout the winter.
Janji Repeat Merino Tech Long Sleeve
Don’t sleep on Janji. It’s one of our favorite underrated running labels thanks to garments like this merino baselayer. I love the breathable fabric, the fact I can sweat directly into it and it never stains or smells, and the secure lockdown fit from (mock)neck to waist.
Proof 72-Hour Merino Tee
I don’t wear another long-sleeve top for my base layer because I like a bit of mobility in my arms. Plus, once you get moving out there — especially on days the sun made a legit effort — it’s easy to get overheated. In fairness, there are a ton of tees that could slot into that role and get the job done, but I generally wear this number from Proof. It’s soft, moves with you, and has a bit of old-school flair.
Vuori Sunday Performance Jogger
Let me be clear: I’m not anti-running tights. I’ll pull them out for tempo runs and time trials. But for your standard neighborhood four-miler, I just prefer something a bit looser around the quads. I have no clue if Vuori designed these joggers with actual jogging in mind — they might’ve been thinking “lounging” — but I’m a devotee. These are easily my favorite running pants. There are zippered pockets all over the place, they somehow keep my legs warm, and that cuff at the bottom keeps them from riding up on my socks.
On Running Merino Beanie
This thing was tested on trails in the Alps. It shows. Its temperature-regulating prowess is unmatched in the world of beanies. Easily my favorite cap I’ve ever run in. The Merino wool looks dapper, dries quickly, and keeps the noggin toasty while preventing it from sizzling.
Nike Sphere 360 Running Gloves
I’ve run with various versions of Nike gloves for 10 years. I have zero complaints. They really have two jobs: handle sweat (your hands get way sweatier on runs than you’d think), and keep your fingers from falling off. Great pairs go above and beyond and offer touchscreen capability. This pair checks every box.
Nike Spark Socks
More Swoosh. There are a ton of thoughtful brands out there making socks expressly for running. Think: Swiftwick, Bombas, good ole Smartwool. For whatever reason, I just really enjoy running in Nike socks. They’re designed for endless miles, so preventing “hot spots” (blisters) is second nature. And they just pack an extra oomph on the cushion front, which I’ve come to appreciate. I like wearing them at their full height and tucking them under the Vuori joggers.
Lululemon Always in Motion Boxer Mesh 5″
The other day, I had a long conversation with a man I don’t know too well about how criminally comfy these boxers are. They’re butter smooth. They just know exactly what they’re doing down there. Which is critical — much of the year, I just run in running shorts, which have their own liner. It’s nice to know I’m covered in the colder months. Pick yourself up a few pairs.
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