When it comes to running in cold weather, making sure you dress properly is key. Depending on the temperature, a variety of clothing from hats and jackets to tights and technical shirts may be necessary. All you need to know about what to wear running based on temperature is in this guide I put together on what to wear for running.
This guide is based on our own experience as well as my twin sister Julie. Since we live in Canada, we get a large range of temperatures throughout the year, from -30 degrees Celsius to +30 degrees Celsius. It’s important to dress accordingly. We’ve learned mostly by trial and error, however, here is the advice we offer.
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What To Wear For Running in Temperatures from 20°C to 30°C (68 – 86°)
What to wear when the weather is nice and balmy is a no-brainer. All you need is a pair of shorts and a tank or T-shirt. Don’t forget to pack a lot of water on those hotter days or those long runs to stay hydrated!
What To Wear For Running in Temperatures from 10° to 20°C (50- 68°F)
On warmer days, a singlet with capris will do well. When temperatures dip closer to 10 degrees, you might want to start thinking of covering up a bit. You can do long sleeve shirts with shorts or leggings. I find my legs can take the cold better than my arms and torso.
What To Wear For Running in Temperatures from 0°C to 10°C (32 – 50°F)
Julie and I agree that temperatures ranging from 0°C to 10°C are the ideal temperature for running. Here is what I suggest wearing when the temperature starts to drop closer to the 0°C mark.
On top, I would wear 2 thin layers, a long-sleeve tech shirt, and a running jacket as a top layer. On the bottom, some running leggings will do the trick.
What To Wear For Running in Temperatures -10°C to 0°C (14 – 32°F)
When temperatures dip below Zero, it’s time to dress in layers. On top, I would add 3 layers; a long-sleeve shirt, a thick hoodie or running jacket, and sleeveless vest.
For the bottom, she suggests two layers; some moisture-wicking leggings with a water-resistant top layer.
Temperature -20°C to -10°C (-4 – 14°F)
When temperatures dip below -10°C, it’s really important to dress properly in order not to get frost-bitten. I tend not to run if it dips below -10°C, however, the photo below was taken on a 10 Km race in February of 2016 when the temperature was at-20°C.
On the bottom I suggest 2 layers as the temperatures approach -10 C. In this cold weather, your thighs need an extra layer of protection since they are cutting the wind and can freeze quickly. I suggest leggings under something soft and loose. Don’t forget gloves, toque and neck-warmer if your neck is exposed.
On those super cold days, it’s best to wear three layers on top. The base layer would be a long sleeve shirt. The mid-layer is for heat. A hoodie or a fleece will do a great job. The top layer, such as the Saucony Nomad Jacket as seen below, is for weather protection. I suggest some Merino wool socks to keep your feet warm.
You will also need a neck warmer, a warm hat and gloves.
Temperature Below -20°C (-4°F)
When the temperature dips below -20°C, I suggest it’s just too cold to run! Sit back, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and ponder how grateful that you are inside and toasty warm!
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Join in on the conversation:
What’s your favourite winter gear brand
Are you brave enough to venture out in the cold?
What’s your favourite temperature range to run in?