Cold weather running gear mens – A Guide to choose the right one

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Do you know cold weather training is an effective way to toughen up your muscle and train at the same time? Cold weather training especially burns belly fat and thigh fat. A few accessories like running tights or pants, running gloves or mittens, a windproof running jacket is specially designed to use during prolong workout in freezing cold temperature. This article is about cold weather running gear mens so that you can find the necessary accessories for running in the upcoming winter.

Why are cold weather running gear important for men?

Wearing the right gear is the main thing to stay safe and comfortable when running in cold weather. Cold weather gears reduce muscle fatigue and ensure warmth even in freezing cold temperature. They also include anti-odor technology that prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes and 360-degree reflectivity that adds visibility and safety for training during poor light conditions.

The biggest threat exercising in chilly, windy weather is hypothermia. It is the condition of having an abnormally low body temperature. Hypothermia is a dangerous situation because your heart, nervous system and other organs cannot work normally. The main purpose of wearing cold weather exercise gears is preventing hypothermia.

Understanding the layering system

While running in the wet, windy, cold temperature, you need to stay warm and dry without overheating yourself. In order to achieve the condition, you need a layering system that will absorb your sweat and allows you to run comfortably. 2-3 layers of layering system trap a small amount of body heat between them and insulate your body.

Layering system also transports sweat and moisture away from the skin, allowing vapor to escape on the outside. On the other hand, non-sweat-wicking cotton clothing traps moisture and sweat vapor. This makes you felling chilly, clammy and uncomfortable. So, layering system carries significant importance in winter running wear.

What should you include in your layering arrangement?

Your longevity of winter workout depends on layering arrangement or how would you place one layer over the other. First, wear a tight-fitting base layer. Ideally, a base layer should be tight fitting. So, it traps air next to the skin and insulates the body from the cold. Base layer clothing is made somewhat smaller. So, buy something larger that you normally wear.

Your next layer would be a long-sleeved running top. This is the second layer and it will trap warm air. Not only that, it will transport sweat vapor to the outside of your layering system.

Your third layer would be the outer layer. It will shield you from wind and rain.

A 2-minute guide to mens winter running wear

Cooler temperature is a great relief to many people after an extremely hot and humid summer. But cold condition also means that you need to dress differently. When dressing to run in cold temperature, always keep in mind that your running temperature would be different than outside temperature.

Usually, your running temperature would be 10 to 20 degrees more than the outside temperature. For example, if the outside temperature is say, 0 degree, than your running temperature or the temperature you would feel could be 10 to 15 degrees while running. Below is a table that will help you understand what to wear under different temperatures

Table: Temperature range versus what to wear.

Temperature Range (in Fahrenheit0 What to wear
60+ degrees (F) tank top and shorts
50–59 degrees (F) short sleeve tech shirt and shorts
40–49 degrees (F) long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, gloves (optional), headband to cover ears (optional)
30–39 degrees (F) long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, gloves, and headband to cover ears
20–29 degrees (F) two shirts layered—a long sleeve tech shirt and a short sleeve tech shirt or long sleeve shirt and jacket—tights, gloves, and headband or hat to cover ears
10–19 degrees (F) two shirts layered, tights, gloves or mittens, headband or hat, and windbreaker jacket/pants
0–9 degrees (F) Two shirts layered, tights, windbreaker jacket/pants, mittens, headband or hat, ski mask to cover the face

Here is the list of cold weather running gear mens

Staying safe and comfortable while running in cold weather depends on wearing the right clothes and gear. Men need a variety of gear and essentials to tackle the challenges of winter running. Below is a list of items that every man should keep at his disposal.

  • A base layer
  • Running pants/tights
  • A windproof running jacket
  • Running gloves/mittens
  • Headband
  • Hat and visor
  • Running socks (Usually tech fabric /wool blend)
  • Magnetic LED running maker.

A Base Layer

A base layer is your foundation garment over which you place middle or outer layer depending on temperature condition. The function of the base layer is adding considerable warmth.

What makes a great base layer?

There is no versatile base layer. It depends on who will use it and for what purpose. Again, a tabular data will help us to pick the best base layer quickly.

Respective user User situation The ideal base layer (for the specific user)
You live in a colder part of the world You go to work in freezing cold temperature, then sit in a poorly heated office all day. Silk base layer.
The Bicycle Commuter You pedaling furiously from rainy springs to frigid winters Lightweight merino wool base layer.
Someone who likes skiing You are planning to spend next winter vacation in a ski resort Heavyweight merino wool base layers
You are looking for a cheap alternative You want to stay warm without spending too much A base layer made from synthetic material.
All-weather motorcyclist You want to ride 85mph on the highway. Windchill can make 35 degrees feel like zero The heaviest synthetic base layer with a windproof membrane built into them

Usability

Usability of the base layer depends on where you want to use it. If you want to use it in your office, the right one would be the one that you can wear all day long while sitting in the desk. But things will be different if you want to use it in your outdoor workout during winter.

In such case, the ideal base layer would be the one that will keep you dry as you sweat. It will also help you regulate your body temperature as you warm up during activities and then cool down during rest.

Breathability and Warmth

Both breathability and warmth are crucial criteria in the base layer. You may surprise to hear that boosting your active performance depends on wearing breathable attire. Your comfortability and thus longevity of your workout depend on your attire’s breathability. And we have already mentioned the base layer’s main function is keep you warm.

Durability and Materials

Base layer is mainly made from four materials. These are

Synthetic

common synthetic materials used to make base layer are nylon, polyester or a polyester blend. Synthetic materials give much warmth while remaining breathable. They are perfect for snug fit. They are capable of moisture wicking. The downside is they stink easily. They resist abrasions and wrinkling. So, they are much durable.

Cotton

a base layer made from cotton are affordable and add a fair bit of warmth. It can soak up any sweat or moisture then gets cold and clammy. Wear cotton base layer that is thick and heavy.

Silk

Silk is a special fabric designed for use in colder temperatures. Its excellent soft thread gives an unbeatable smooth texture, which feels great on the skin. But silk is expensive. Also, it is not as durable as synthetic materials. It is vulnerable to sunlight and abrasions.

Wool

Traditional wool is now sparsely used in base layers. Because older fabric is replaced by merino wool, which features exceptionally soft fibers. Wool is soft and lightweight to the skin. It relies more on moisture absorption than wicking. It can resists odor. It is usually more expensive than other materials. When it is about durability, it can shrink if not properly washed. It also vulnerable to moth damage if not properly stored.

Compression and Fit

The most efficient and optimum layering system depends on what type of base layer you wear. You can wear different types of base layer:

Compression fit base layer

Compression fit base layer can be wear to both tops and bottoms including shorts as well as a legging. They are designed to “squeeze” the body and provide Graduated Compression with a stronger squeeze at the extremities such as the arms and lower limbs and less squeeze at the core.

Fitted base layer

They do not provide much squeeze or compression. Fitted base layers are ideal for women and mums.

Soft/regular fitted base layers

This type of base layer does not squeeze the body but offers a comfortable, cool fitting.

Relaxed fit base layer

this type is designed to sit more loosely on the body. These are commonly found in pure Merino wool garments.

Odor Prevention

If the base layer is made from synthetic material, it will end up smelling. But if it is wool, there will be no smell. Polyester or polypropylene made base layer smell horribly. It can be washed out but the smell will be back again by the end of he day. The best practice to prevent odor is to wear base layer made from Merino wool. It can be worn for days without foul smelling.

Staying Dry

An ideal base layer will absorb sweat and keep you dry. Keeping you dry while running is an integral part of temperature regulation.

Running pants/tights

Runners have contradictory opinions regarding what to wear on your leg on a cold weather run. Do you need tights, trousers, shorts, compression? Or why do you wear it for the first place?

Should you wear tights?

Many top and amateur runners wear running tights to enhance their performance and they look great. The advantage of running tights is these magical pieces of apparel offer flexibility. They block wind and chill. Another great benefit is compression. They trigger more blood circulation and keep your muscles in shape. Running tights wick moisture from the inside and block it from the outside, and move more fluidly during both long runs and sprint workouts.

How to choose pants?

Thermal insulation is must during winter outdoor workout. So, your running tights should provide some protection against the cold. Quality running tights come with seams which follow the muscle to avoid irritation and limit chaffing points. Often they incorporate flatlock seam with a regular seam. Flatlock seam supports natural muscle movement.

Good running tights are also designed to be snug fit. This means they do not fit so tightly that can restrict your circulation. Modern running tights also include compression feature. Tights offering compression can be pretty useful to those running at a fast pace, or uneven ground. And lastly, choose pants that are made of waterproof materials and have elastane content for support and flexibility.

A windproof running jacket

Highly technical, breathable fabrics make the running jacket an integral part of winter running gear. When running in colder or wet conditions, the jacket keeps you warm and dry. These jackets are very lightweight and easy to pack away. They are suitable for windy but not very cold weather.

How to buy a windproof running jacket?

Windproof jackets are great for protecting you from a cold wind’s bite. But what features you need to check out before purchasing one?

Blocks the wind

do not buy the one that cannot block the wind. Since blocking the wind would be its main job. It should have wind blocking panels in the front. Like other jacket types, it should have some breathability

Reflective

while running, you need to be safe in the dark. Particularly in the winter. Your windproof jackets should have reflective piping and strip all over.

Fits well

Buy one a little bit larger than you normally wear. Because think of the layers you will be wearing underneath. A jacket that is tightly fit can feel suffocating when worn with layers.

Running gloves/mittens

Running gloves keep your hands warm during cold weather Runnings. They allow mobility of your fingers.

How to buy running gloves?

Consider below facts when buying a pair of running gloves

Materials

The material is by far the most important criterion. Because a number of features like sweat-wicking, breathability, warmth, wind, and waterproofing depends on the material from which the gloves are made from.

A glove made with polyester has high breathability and sweat-wicking potential while keeping your hands dry and comfortable. But it will not offer wind or waterproofing. An acrylic-elastane glove will be breathable, stretchy and decently warm, but it lacks wind or waterproofing

Fleece gloves are super cozy, but they do not offer much sweat-wicking and breathability. A glove made with polypropylene will offer great wind and waterproofing to keep the runner’s hands dry and warm, but it does sacrifice some of the breathability and internal moisture-management in the process.

Fit

running gloves should fit snug to the hands. They should feel like a second, much warmer, a layer of skin. Gloves that are too big will flop around and can lead to chafing. On the other hand, gloves that are too small will cut off circulation to the fingers and results in uncomfortable numbness in the hands.

Thickness

They should be thicker on the back side of the hands so that they can provide the most warmth and wind protection. But the palm of the hand and inside of the fingers will feature a thinner mesh fabric for maximum breathability.

Warmth

Some glove fabrics are warmer than others. Whether a glove is warm enough depends on runner’s choice. Some runners prefer to keep the gloves throughout the entire length of a run. Others might reach a point where they can take them off and stuff them in a pocket.

Seasonality

Gloves can be worn year-round. For fall and winter wearing, a glove with a liner and a wind-proofing fabric keep fingers warm and comfortable. Gloves should be lightweight. So, they don’t interrupt the comfort or flow of a run.

Headband and hat with visor

Both long-haired and short-haired (particularly women runners) know that hair can block vision. This is an irritating distraction. In this situation, running headbands can tidy up your hair.

How to buy?

When you are buying a running headband, you need to check two features. The headband should be made of high-performance fabrics that can pull sweat away from your hair and evaporate fast. And the second feature is it should have a grippy interior that ensures the band will stay put, even during your most intense sweat workout.

Running socks (Usually tech fabric/wool blend)

Runners are pretty obsessed over every detail of running shoe. Often time, they do not give much importance to running socks. But a good pair of socks helps to absorb impact, wick away moisture, support your arches, and reduce the friction that can cause blisters.

Material

This is the most important things to consider. Socks made from polyester, acrylic, and nylon are best because they help wick away moisture and prevent blisters. A wool blend can also be a good choice to keep feet warm and dry. In all sense, avoid anything that is 100% cotton made. It will retain moisture and make very sweaty and uncomfortable feet.

Cushioning

Cushioning and the thickness of running socks depends on runner’s personal choice. Luckily, there are plenty of options. They are designed to provide cushioning in places that are more likely to develop blisters.

Height

like cushioning, the height of your running socks depends on your personal choice. But the height of sock becomes important in some occasions. If you are tired of chafing the backs of your ankles, try out a pair of crew length running socks. However, if you prefer a subtler look, quarter length socks will be perfect.

Magnetic LED running marker

Magnetic LED running maker make you instantly visible at night. These reflective bright LEDs can be magnetically clips to clothing, hats, shoes, or bags making the runner instantly visible. The powerful neodymium magnets hold it firmly in place, and the colorful LEDs can be set to glow or flash. This weather-resistant marker light usually have more than 70 hours of operation making it a great companion for evening runs, bike rides, and other activities at dusk or dawn.

How to choose?

  • At least four bright red LEDs or four bright green LEDs(for yellow)
  • Strong neodymium magnets for easy and secure clipping to the fabric
  • Passive reflectivity pattern
  • Weather resistant
  • Durable nylon seamless design
  • Long longevity of battery life

Conclusion

Running in winter requires dedication. The task becomes far easier when you have the right gear to run through the frigid weather. Your running achievements depend on choosing the correct gear. They also decide whether your running experience will be an enjoyable or miserable one.  Heavy outfits can weigh you down and slow your pace. On the other hand, wet clothes can quickly become uncomfortable and can also cause chafing.

Choosing the right gear relies on how much knowledge you have on different gears. In this cold weather running gear mens guide we try to explain what features you look into when you will purchase different running gears. We expect it will help you to pick the right one.

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