If you live in many parts of the country, right now you’ve got loads of excuses for avoiding the pavement for another few months. It’s cold! It’s icy! It’s dark! You’re right, it is. But if you wait for conditions to be perfect, you’ll never go.

Getting out the door is the hardest part. Once you’re outside making fresh tracks, feeling your heart pump, seeing your breath…you’ll forget all those excuses and be thankful you made the decision to go. 

But that’s true only if you’re comfortable. To be comfortable, you need the right winter running gear. So if you’re thinking of adding more miles to your calendar, and live in a cold-weather climate, you might want to add a few (or all) of my favorite running must-haves to your list! They make getting out the door a little bit easier. Who doesn’t need some of that?

Are you in need of some good winter running gear?

Today I’m sharing my must have, absolute favorites.

  1. Kahtoola Microspikes Traction System – The BEST running/walking traction you can find. Bar none. They look super tough and they are…and extremely natural and comfortable too. I promise. Just don’t wear them inside on your hardwood floor! These are a MUST – whether you walk or run – if you live in snowy/icy climates.
  2. Asics Gel Nimbus  Since we’re on the subject of feet (the most important, and neglected, part of our bodies for running), I’ve been running in Asics for almost 20 years now. I’ve tried every shoe and they have never once failed. My only injures, after a dozen marathons and an Ironman, have come when I wasn’t replacing them as often as I should. However, as much as I love my Asics, I highly recommend getting fitted at a local running store. Not only will they help you find your perfect fit, but you can usually run them down the street before you buy. And local stores are usually great about exchanging if there’s a problem
  3. Solomon Speedcross These are my absolute favorite trail or winter running shoes. Plus, they’re super cool looking, right? They come in a ton of amazing colors and combinations and are just plain fun. They’ve got great traction on their own, but paired with the Kahtoola Microspikes you are not falling down, period. I’ve run thousands of miles and haven’t fallen once. Bonus: they’re extremely durable. I ran in my last pair for years and only replaced them because I wanted a new fun color!
  4. Sugoi Subzero Tight – I love my Sugoi tights. They’re insulated and warm, but not bulky at all. And they last for years. Mine are at least 9 years old. That’s kind of gross. Do you sense a theme? Buy quality and wear it forever.
  5. Lululemon Inspire Jacket –  I don’t like to get hot (did I say that already?), so I don’t bundle up too much on my runs. A tank and thin long sleeved running top, with thermal running tights and I’m off!  I’ll throw on this jacket if it’s really cold. Unfortunately you can’t get this one anymore (it’s that old), but there are lots of stylish options from lululemon, Zella, Sugoi, Patagonia, North Face, or you can do like I sometimes do and hit TJmaxx for an inexpensive fleece to throw on top and keep you warm. Just remember: cotton is NOT your friend! It won’t wick the sweat and will make you cold!!! Here are a few options I like: Sugoi firewall jacket, or 2Xu elite run jacket.
  6. Petzl Hadlamp – For winter running, it’s dark so much of the day that this is a safety must!
  7. Spibelt Running Belt  I put my phone inside (and I have the big iPhone 6), but they’re great for a snack or two as well. I wear mine on every run, no matter what time of year. I had my first one for about 10 years and just bought a new one last month. It’s seriously a must-have.
  8. Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Running Belt – If you like to carry your own water or electrolyte drink with you, this hydration belt is the best. I am extremely sensitive to noise and can get hyper fixated on minor irritations and this belt has none. I have used it to train and run marathons and don’t even notice it’s there except when I need it. No sloshing, no leaking, no jostling on my hips. I give this an absolute two thumbs up.
  9. Fleece Headband  I went running the other morning in the wind without a headband or hat and got total brain freeze. And not the semi-satisfying kind you get when you’re eating ice cream! It still hurts just thinking about it! Do yourself a favor and get a headband. And then wear it!
  10. Lightweight Gloves – I can’t find the smart wool gloves I run with, but these look similar. I love lightweight gloves because I hate getting too hot, and these are thin enough to shove in a pocket or into your waistband if you do.

Have you ever said: “It’s too cold outside to exercise?” Well now you can’t. Even with a few pieces of this gear, that same old excuse just won’t work anymore. You’re welcome. So grab your gear and get outside and start logging some miles!

Your body, your heart, and your mind will all thank you for it. I promise.

Happy running!