The Best Winter Running Gear, According to Philly Runners

Philly runners weigh in on the best winter gear to help keep you dry and warm on your runs this season.

Resisting your bed’s siren song of warmth during the winter can be tough. Especially when the alternative is going for a run in the frigid winter air, where each gust of wind feels like Jack Frost is slapping you across the face. The best way to fight the inevitable winter laziness? Have the right gear on deck to brush off winter’s worst.

Your wardrobe should act like armor against the cold and allow the length of your runs to be decided by you, not the forecast. And because dropping that sage wisdom simply isn’t enough to get you to leave your bed, we’re sure, we asked seven of our favorite Philly runners to spill on the items they couldn’t leave behind on a cold winter run. So say adios to windburn and embrace the winter running season!

1. Katie Rodger, founder of The Juice and a big-time Philly runner.
Favorite piece of winter running gear: Lululemon’s Run Fast Neck Warmer, $28.

“At the end of the day, the one item I can’t live without is Lululemon’s dickey/scarf/neck warmer. It is absolutely amazing. Pull it over your nose to defrost your lungs as you run, or pull it up from the back to wear it as a hood, this little multitasker offers big-time warmth. It is both wind and water resistant, super cozy, a bit reflective, and even has a drawstring to stop it from sliding down and around. Dickeys for the win!”

2. John Goldthorp, owner of Fix Your Run.
Favorite piece of winter running gear: Altra Lone Peak Neoshell Shoes, $150.

“Remember that time you went running and your feet got wet, cold and blistered? Yeah, that hasn’t happened to me recently. Hands down my favorite winter running item is the Altra Lone Peak Neoshell. Altra is a shoe company that understands exactly how a shoe should fit (widest at the toes, flexible, various amounts cushioning depending on the model), so when I heard they came out with a warm, waterproof trail-running shoe, I got pretty excited. Although this season has been pretty tame so far, the shoes have kept me dry and warm while allowing my feet to do their thing.”

3. Suzanne Allaire, runs the November Project Philadelphia.
Favorite piece of winter running gear: The North Face Women’s Warm Long-Sleeve Crew Neck, $50.

“I get cold fast, and once I get a chill, I find it hard to warm back up, so it is imperative that when I get outside in the cold that I am prepared. My go-to for winter running is a solid base layer. I have the North Face Warm Crew Neck Top that I can wear under just about anything. It has FlashDry technology, so it acts like my second skin, pushing moisture to the fabric surface and eliminating it so I can keep moving and stay warm and dry. I don’t leave home without this piece when the temps are low. It’s form fitting and thin, too. So far I’ve yet to find something I can toss on underneath!”

4. Cory Smith, owner of Run Your Personal Best.
Favorite piece of winter running gear: New Balance Windblocker Jacket, $159.99. (Editor’s note: New Balance doesn’t make the jacket Cory loves anymore, but they tell us this is the closest thing to it.)

“There’s one shirt/jacket that New Balance used to make called the New Balance Windblocker 1/2 Zip that is the best winter running jacket ever.  This jacket does it all: blocks wind, is water resistant and is super warm. I’d wear this and T-Shirt on those 15-degree nights last year and be hot.”

5. Wesley Celestino, co-founder of Chasing Trail.
Favorite piece of winter running gear: Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Hydropull, $30.

“My favorite winter running item will probably have to be my Nike balaclava. It is great for when it’s really cold. It covers your neck and head from the cold and wind. It also has a piece that can cover your mouth and nose when it is really cold. It is very versatile which makes it a must-have for those winter running miles.”

6. Rebecca Barber, founder of the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run.
Favorite piece of winter running gear: Under Armour Storm Layered Up Vest, $74.99.

“My pick would be my Under Armour running vest! It’s a great way to layer up in the winter, as well as a great way to carry things. Body temperature can swing during the winter, so I can use the pockets in the vest to hold gloves, Chapstick, and more. Pro tip: If you don’t opt for the vest above, at least try to get one with pockets that have zippers or you may or may not lose three right running gloves in a season — not that I know from personal experience or anything … ”

7. Gary Brown Jr., co-founder of Chasing Trail.
Favorite piece of winter running gear: Sugoi MidZero Tights, $75.

“My favorite piece of running gear right now is a Pair of Sugoi MidZero Tights. They are warm where I need them to be and breathable when I need them to be. I can also throw them on over a pair of cycling bibs and be just as warm! Multi function!”

Pssst: Got a can’t-live-without winter running item? Let us know in the comments! 

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly — here’s how: